Local Heart, Global Soul

November 2, 2016

Like Diamonds In The Rough There Are Traces Of Sparkle…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Earlier this year, Himself and I had a late afternoon appointment near the center of the city of The Hague.

We finished more or less at the time that we expected and were preparing to come home when we decided to phone the respective friends where our kids had been hanging out since they arrived home after school to see how things were going.

They were not only both going exceptionally well and having such a great time, they begged to stay for dinner where they were.

We spoke to our friends to check if this would be ok and since both replied with an enthusiastic “Yes”, we suddenly found ourselves in no rush to rush home to cook dinner for the family.

Both Himself and I were fairly tired and didn’t want to go all around the city looking for somewhere to eat, so kept our search to the area close to where we had parked our car.

This is how we ended up at the Spanish “Que pasa” Restaurant in the Laan van Meerdervoort.

Since it was early Spring it was bitterly cold on the street, we were early and there were few people around so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We both agreed that we fancied Tapa and ordered accordingly.

The meal certainly wasn’t bad, the prawns and dried ham were nice but the meatballs were so-so and whilst the lamb chops looked fabulous, they were rather tough. Nothing stood out and made us instantly decide that a return visit would be in order. There was no “wow” factor.

I spied a lovely garden area out the back that I imagine would be excellent for a summer’s day visit, it even had a view of the Peace Palace tower, so had a temperature not been about 9 degrees Celsius with an added freezing wind, it might have been a nice place to sit.

The people were very friendly too, so that wasn’t the problem either, it’s just that the food wasn’t really up to what many people expect these days when they go out of a meal.

It’s a shame, because supporting little places like this is exactly what we want to be about, and there is always the added hope that when you walk in the door that maybe, just maybe we might have discovered a hidden gem. Sadly this one is more a diamond in the rough: there are traces of sparkle but not quite enough to have made a brighter review.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It was getting dark by the time I took this photograph and in the low light inside the camera was struggling…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Laan van Meerdervoort 13A, 2517 AB The Hague · ~
+31 70-3657057

 

 

April 1, 2012

On A (Spanish) Mission in Napier…

Filed under: HISTORY,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

This post carries on from yesterday’s one… I tried to split the photographs roughly into Art Deco style buildings and Spanish Mission style but since I’m no architect  I probably didn’t do it perfectly and some buildings (I think) are amalgamations of styles that include Spanish Mission.

Either way, here’s a short photo gallery of beautiful buildings for you to drool over…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 16, 2011

Spanish Stuffed Tomatoes …. Tutorial Tapas Delicioso!

Filed under: FOOD,SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A “Spanish” theme was proposed for the  food to be served at our last beer tasting evening.

The idea germinated after a recent cycling trip in Spain by our friends “The travelling Two” and  prompted by the fact that they had bought back a wonderful Spanish ham as a tasty souvenir and were willing to share.

I thought of  tapas recipes I had tried in the past but decided on a whim to try something  completely new.

My dear friend Google supplied me with a multitude of options, (actually too many options)… but after a little investigation I stumbled on a recipe that looked different, tasty and quick and easy, i.e. not too fussy to make with crutches and a chair in my tiny galley kitchen.
I will post the recipe as I found it and note the alterations I made as I went.

In my version:  I made 7 very large  tomatoes, so I  used 10 eggs,  used only 5 Tablespoons of mayonnaise,  (to keep it “healthy” but  upon reflection, who am I kidding with 10 eggs in the mix already ?! LOL)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I used half a cup of breadcrumbs, added 6 large cloves of  fresh crushed garlic and at least half a cup of freshly chopped parsley.

Ingredients:

8 small tomatoes, or 3 large ones
4 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
6 tablespoons allioli or mayonnaise (allioli  btw is a traditional Spanish Garlic mayonnaise)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon white breadcrumbs, if using large tomatoes

I have a little gadget what I scored from the local Kringloopwinkel (second-hand Shop) many years ago, it’s like a giant wire spoon that’s proved great for scooping out boiled eggs,  anything in the deep fryer and in this instance, getting tomatoes in and out of hot water for quick and easy blanching.

Method:

Skin the tomatoes, first by cutting out the core with a sharp knife and making a ‘+’ incision on the other end of the tomato. Then place in a pan of boiling water for 10 seconds. (yep, I can confirm that 10 seconds is really all it takes!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Remove and plunge into a bowl of iced or very cold water (this latter step is to stop the tomatoes from cooking and going mushy).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Slice the tops off the tomatoes, and just enough of their bases to remove the rounded ends so that they will sit squarely on the plate. Keep the tops if using small tomatoes, but discard those large tomatoes. Remove the seeds and insides, either with a teaspoon or small, sharp knife.

(This proved trickier than I thought since the tomatoes were slippery to hold without their skins on, and the sides tended to break easily… I’m going to try and scoop one out next time skin-on and then see if it stays intact after it’s 10 second dip into simmering water… I don’t know if it would work but I’d be willing to try to see if I can make this step  a bit easier)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Mash the eggs with the allioli -or the mayonnaise, if using- salt, pepper and parsley.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For large tomatoes, the filling must be firm enough to be sliced. If you make your own mayonnaise, thicken it by using more egg yolks. If you use shop-bought mayonnaise or allioli, add white breadcrumbs until the mixture reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(I just used less mayonnaise)

Stuff the tomatoes, firmly pressing the filling down. With small tomatoes, replace the lids at a jaunty angle. If keeping to serve later, brush them with olive oil and black pepper to prevent them from drying out.

(I was lazy and didn’t bother with the olive oil)

Cover with clingfilm and keep. (but I did do this)

Refrigerate for 1 hour, then slice with a sharp carving knife into rings.

(I chose to cut my large tomatoes into quarters instead). Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

(…next time… all my parsley was already in the filling mix)

I semi-expected these to be quite heavy, and so did a few of my Foodie friends… but everyone commented on how unexpectly light and refreshing they were,  and they disappeared rapidly. Excellent!  I will experiment with different sized tomatoes (smaller ones have more flavour) but due to popular demand I will definitely be making these again.

http://www.spain-recipes.com/stuffed-tomatoes.html

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