Spicy oysters with a glass of chilled bubbles makes a festive starter.
A no fuss dinner for 4 to 6 persons
2 tsp sichuan peppercorns
2 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tbsp flaky sea salt
Using the pestle coarsely grind the spices.
Add the sea salt, roughly ground and stir to combine.
Remove the oysters from the shell and dry with absorbent paper towel.
Roll the oysters in the spice mixture and return to the shell.
Serve with a glass of bubbles.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
8 fresh sage leaves
Salt and pepper
1/2 to 1 cup/120ml to 240 ml chicken broth, plus more if needed
1 (3 pound/1,3 kg) pork loin roast, butterflied
Add theonion, apples and sage.
Saute until softened.
Remove from the heat and let the stuffing mixture cool completely before putting it in the pork loin.
Spoon the stuffing down the pork, horizontally, in a line.
Roll the pork over the stuffing, jelly roll style, ending with the seam down and fat side up.
Lightly score the fat, in a diamond pattern, with a sharp knife.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
Tightly tie the pork roast up with butcher's twine, season it with more salt and pepper, and transfer to a roasting pan.
Stick some sage leafs under the twine.
Roast the pork in a preheated oven for about 90 minutes or until an instantread thermometer registers 160º F.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Serve with stewed Dutch pears & Brussels sprouts.
150 g bulgur
500 g Brussels sprouts
40 g shaved almonds
3 tbsp sunflower oil
3 tsp curry powder
250 g Greek yoghurt
Bring plenty of salted water to the boil in a large pot.
Add the Brussels sprouts.
Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.
In the meantime roast the almonds in a pan without oil.
Remove from the pan.
Peel and dice the onion.
Cut the Brussels sprouts in halves.
Heat oil in a large pan, then fry the onion for 1 minute.
Add the Brussels sprouts and fry for 4-5 minutes.
Allow to brown but do not let them burn.
Add the curry and roast briefly.
Season with salt.
Serve the Brussels sprouts with yoghurt.
6 Gieser Wildemann pears
350 ml red wine,
3 tbsp sugar
peel of 1 lemon
Place the pears in an ovenproof dish, tightly packed together, they should 'stand up'.
Bake the pears in a preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Pour the wine over the pears and sprinkle with the sugar and the lemon rind.
Bake for another 30 minutes until the pears are done and the wine will have reduced to a syrup.
Serve at room temperature.
7 ounces/200 g semisweet chocolate (45-50% cocoa)
1 cup/200 g butter
1 cup/200 g sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of instant espresso coffee to bring out the deep chocolate notes (Medaglia D’oro)
Cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F/180ºC.
Line a 9 inch/23cm spring-form cake pan with greaseproof or other non-stick paper and grease the pan.
Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with butter, in a heat-proof bowl, over hot water and set aside.
Beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar.
Fold in the melted butter and chocolate mixture.
Beat egg whites until frothy by using an electric mixer, than gradually add the remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
Fold in the beaten egg whites.
Bake at 350 ̊F/180ºC, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 35-40 minutes.
Use a knife to separate the cake from the non-stick paper.
Let cool completely before serving. Garnish the tart with fresh blackberries if you wish.
Drinks image: Anouk de Kleermaeker and Leonie Mooren. Oyster image: Jonny Vailant. Meat images and pears image: Colin Cooke and recipes Paul Lowe. Brussels sprouts image: Kitchen Trinity. Chocolate tart image: Linda Pugliese and recipe Carlo Geraci, all via Taverne Agency.