Mussels in white wine sauce

Lovely mussels recipe and a typical Belgian/dutch way of serving them. Good quality seafood, some vegetables, seasoning and a splash of wine....that's all it takes!!
This is a dish for 2 persons, so about 1.5kg per head. We're big mussels eaters but you can count about 1kg. per person normally!

Estimated preparing time: 30 minutes

  • 3kg. of mussels
  • a big glass of dry white wine, +/- 20dl
  • 2 big onions, cut in rings
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped roughly
  • 2 carrots, chopped in thin rounds
  • 1/2 bush of flat parsley, chopped up
  • 2 chillis, chopped finely and deseeded
  • a pinch of dried chilli powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 spring onions, chopped roughly
  • handfull of cilantro, chopped finely   Keep this aside together with the spring onions

Prepare the mussels in 2 pots, so divide them in 1.5kg servings. Divide the greens and wine in 2 equal amounts.

heat up some olive oil in the pots and throw in the onions, carrots, celery, parsley and chillis.

Add the mussels, dried chilli powder and the white wine and turn up the heat. Put the lid on the pot and let this cook for 5-8 minutes, add the spring onions and cilantro and season with salt and pepper, shake well and serve!



Halloween pumpkin risotto

A nice rich and creamy pumpkin risotto to be served as an appetizer or as main dish. Ideal for cold fall weekend days ;)


  • 600gr. of pumkin, cleaned and seedless and diced in small cubes(+/- 1cm)
  • 1,3lt of chicken stock
  • 300gr. or risotto rice - Arborio or carnaroli
  •  about 50gr. of grated parmesan cheese and some slices for decoration
  • a couple of sage leaves
  • 1 challot, finely chopped
  • a glass of white wine
  • couple knobs of butter
  • salt and black pepper
  • olive oil
Make sure the chicken stock is warm.
Heat up some olive oil in a pan and fry the diced pumpkin until soft. Keep about a third apart for later and put the rest in the blender.

 Blend until you get a fine pumpkin puree, add some water if necessary. Season this puree with black pepper and salt and keep aside.

Heat up a couple of drops of olive oil in a large pan and fruit the challots.
 Add the risotto rice and stir firmly. As soon as the rice starts to get translucent you add the glass of wine and just let the alcohol cook out, this won't take long.
 Then you start to add the stock, ladle by ladle. You add one ladle and when the risotto starts to get dry you add another one. This takes about 15mins to get the rice 'al dente'. Make sure to taste from time to time, you don't want this to be overcooked and mushy but not undercooked neither. The grain should be soft but still with some bite. Now add the grated parmesan and let it melt under the rice.

 Add the pumpkin puree and diced pumkin and stir well. 
Throw in some knobs of butter, taste and season with salt and black pepper to your liking.

Heat up some olive oil in a small pan and fry the sage leaves shortly.

Take a big ladle of risotto and plate it on a dish, decorate with slices of parmesan and some sage leaves.



Chocolate mascarpone cake

An easy Chocolate cake recipe, based on a creamy masacarpone and fresh cheese filling. The chocolate is flavoured with powdered ginger but you can also buy chocolate with ginger allready in it if you can find that!


  • 250gr. mascarpone
  • 200gr. fresh cheese
  • 150gr. dark chocolate
  • 50gr.melted butter and some more for greasing the form
  • 150gr. JulesDestrooper butter waffels (or ginger bisquits or any type of hard cookie...)
  • 2 eggs
  • 35gr caster sugar
  • 1 tsp. powdered ginger
  • Springform of 20 Ø
Preheat your oven at 190°.
Break up the waffles in pieces and put them in the blender, pulse and grind to a fine crumble.

Mix the crumble with the melted butter  and spread this in the springform. Press well with the back of a spoon, certainly on the edges. Bake this in the oven for 5 minutes. Take it out and let it cool down and turn down your oven to 170°.

Mix the mascarpone with the fresh cheese to a smooth cream. Break the eggs and put them in the cheese/mascarpone cream together with the sugar.

Melt the chocolate 'au bain marie' and add the ginger to it.

Add the melted chocolate to the mascarpone/cheese mixture and pour it in the form. 
Put in the oven for 50-60 minutes. Take it out and go around the edges of the form with a thin knife to cut the the cake loose from the side of the form. Let the cake cool completely down in the form. 
Don't worry if the cake collapses a bit, that's normal.




Junkfood Deluxe by Quentin

'Junkfood Deluxe by Quentin' in Bxl is a small burger joint in the hip Châtelaine neighbourhood offering a nice variety of tasty burgers. Not your average beef-patty-on-bun-burger but something to satisfy both the hunger of a  burger aficionado and the epicurean.

The burgers may be a bit small but that gives you the opportunity to make up a combo and taste more than one burger. These combo's will also make it easier on the wallet but lest not forget....we're talking burgers here, not Guy Savoy dishes and the check will never be painfull!

I took a Reblochon burger in combo with a Boursin chicken burger and some french fries(deepfried in olive oil) on the side. The Reblochon was a pure beef patty with melty reblochon cheese, peppery pepper sauce, frisee salad, crispy bacon and crispy onions on a brioche bun. Very good and nice combination of flavours.
The Boursin had a crispy patty of ground chicken beef with chinese cabage, fresh estragon and marinated bell peppers on a sesame seed bun. A good mouth full of fresh estragon! Yummy!

Wash it down with a cold,crisp blond Vedett or have a glass or bottle of wine from the short but filled winelist.

Have a nice dessert to finish your meal, crème brulée - chocolat moeulleux - homemade icecream......
Cost?? 2 (small) burgers, french fries and a beer = 13€. ;)

Service is like the neighbourhood, easy-going and that's no problem at all!!




Fluffy Chocolate mousse

This is a recipe to make a nice fluffy/light chocolate mousse. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not talking about skipping calories but only texture wise! Mixing this with beaten eggwhite snow gives this a nice light texture. And all kids love this dessert!


  • 200gr. pure dark chocolate
  • 6 eggs, separate the whites from the yolks
  • 100gr. sugar
  • 375ml of cream, 40%
Estimated preparation time: 30 min + a few hours in the fridge.

Melt the chocolate au bain marie.

Beat the yolks with the sugar to a foamy texture. Add the melted chocolate under this mixture.

Beat the eggwhites to stiff peaks and gently spoon them under the yolks/chocolate mixture.

Whip the cream lightly, you don't need whipped cream but lightly beaten cream and mix this under the rest. Pour in cups and set in the fridge for a few hours.

Take out half an hour before serving.




Brodetto is a flavourfull and easy to make fish stew, the Italian answer to Bouillabaise. All you need is some good quality fish so go check out what your fishmonger is offering or scout the weekly/daily market for some yummy seafood. The ingredients that I used are not binding, just choose a firm white fish, some crustacean and some types of clams. See that you have a nice variation to prepare this dish!

Estimated preparing time: about 60-90 minutes, fishstock included


  • 3Dl. of fishstock  -  you'll need the following to make about 1-1,5lt. of it
    • 1,5Lt. tabwater
    • +/-500Gr. of fish ( a cheaper but firm fish, for instance Red Gurnard)
    • some fish bones +/- 500Gr.
    • 1 celery stalk, chopped
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 1 leek, only the white part, chopped
    • 3 tomatoes, chopped
    •  some flat parsley leaves, a little handfull
  • 2 fresh squid
  • 300Gr. of mussels
  • 300Gr. of vongole
  • 4 gamba
  • 300Gr. of cod cheeks
  • 1 chillie, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • a big drop of dry white wine
  • a handfull of flat parsley
  • Cayenne
  • Pepper and salt
  • Olive oil
Start by making the fish stock. Bring up 1,5lt. of water to a boil, add the vegetables, parsley, fishbones and fish. Season with pepper and salt and let it simmer for 20mins. 
Let all the ingredients cool down. Take out the chunks of fish and pass the liquid trough a sieve. Keep 3dl. of the stock aside for this recipe, after you're done with it  you can save it for later by putting it in the freezer. 

Clean the fresh squid. 
Take out the intestins and the 'bone' and cut in rings.  Heat up some olive oil and fry the squids shortly. 
Add the chillie, garlic and gamba and fry untill the shell of the gamba starts turning red.

Add the mussels, vongole and chopped parsley and pour in the white wine. Start adding the fishstock and make sure all is submerged, add some more stock if necessary. Throw in a pinch of cayenne and bring to a light boil for 10 minutes. Put in the cod cheeks and the rests of the Red Gurnard that you used for the stock and let these cook for 5 more minutes.

Divide the fish, clams and seafood into deep dishes and pour some sauce over it. Serve hot,  just like this or with a simple boiled potato or rice! The remaining sauce/stock can be recuperated for later!




Pumpkin & goat cheese soup

This soup is a lovely dish to warm yourself up now that the temps are dropping and fall is getting closer :(
Buy a big pumpkin and cut out the flesh, you'll need about 2kg, or buy them in halves. Make a scary halloween face with the emptied pumpkin, the kids will love it and so do I.


  • about 2 kg. of pumpkin flesh (you can buy halves at your local supermarket)
  • 3 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bouquet garni (2 bay leaves and a couple of sprigs of thyme, tied together)
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 cardamon pods( only the seeds not the outer shell)
  • About 1,5lt. of chicken stock
  • Worcestershire sauce
  •  about 100gr. of goat cheese, Sainte Maure or similar
  • 2 big potatoes, diced
  • 2-3 slices of bread(some old slices), cut in small cubes
  • garlic powder
  • smoked/cured meat, I used speck but anything else will do....
Cut the pumpkin flesh(peeled of course) in cubes. Chop the onions, carrots, celery and garlic finely.
Heat up some olive oil with a knob of butter and fruit the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in it. Add the cubed pumpkin and fruit for a couple of minutes.
Add the chicken stock, make sure all of the pumkin is submerged in the stock. Throw in a big pinch of salt and black pepper ,a couple of grates of nutmeg and the bouquet garni. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 30-45 minutes.

Then add the diced potatoes and let them cook for about 10 minutes.
Remove the peel/skin of the goat cheese and dice the cheese. Add it to the hot soup,take out the bouquet garni and mix with your stick mixer till you get a silky soup. Check the seasoning and add some salt and/or pepper if needed.
Add some drops of worcestershire sauce and done!
Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan and add a big pinch of garlic powder to the hot oil. Then,on high heat, fry the cubes of bread untill golden brown and crispy.

Slice up the smoked/cured meat.

Pour the hot soup in a bowl, add the croutons and sliced meat.
Now you'll have a sweet,silky pumpkin soup with a nice goat cheese taste that contradicts nicely with the sweetness.