Showing posts from December, 2012

Pita Durum / Doner Kebab Recipe

World's most popular fast-food? You're likely thinking it's McDonald's or the American hamburger, right? No. The Turkish doner kebab, which I knew lovingly merely as a pita durum in Belgium has become the staple of late-night friture (fry shop) runs. There's various takes on this food-log of a burrito, but my favorite is that of the Middle Eastern snack shops in Brussels which stuff a tortilla with spit-roasted lamb (or sometimes chicken) and frites (fries) (which is absolutely amazing) along with sauce and salad. At about 3.50 Euros, they're cheap and delicious, but the quality of the durum varies from shop to shop.

My favorite came from a shop called Au P'tit Creux 2 in Anderlecht. I'd typically stop in waiting for the last 31 tram of the night at Saint Guidon after a night of drinking. By far, they seemed to have the best meat, and always stuffed it full of frites. It made the perfect take-home indulgence.

I've now made these at home since arriv…

Sauce Blanche Recipe

Order from a friture in Belgium (or France) and you'll be presented with countless numbers of sauces for your fries and sandwiches. While I love the tartar sauce on my frites, it's the sauce blanche that I have to have on my pitas and durums (donner kebobs). Sometimes called just pita sauce, kebob sauce or white sauce (in English): Sauce Blanche is actually fairly similar to ranch dressing in the U.S. Yet each friture may "doctor" their recipe for their customers, and some restaurants even make their own from scratch. Toss some on your next shawarma dish and enjoy a bit of my favorite European sauce.

Sauce Blanche Recipe
1 small sour cream
1 clove of garlic
Chopped green onion (approx. 2 Tablespoons)
pinch of salt and pepper
pinch of dill


Place garlic, and a small amount of green onion in a food processor and blend.Add yogurt and salt and pepper, continue to process until uniform.

Better than Cracker Barrel's: Hashbrown Casserole

Christmas in America: no matter how bad the weather is that you were forced to endure to arrive at your destination, the great news is you can drink and eat yourself out of your depression through mountains of food, and the gifting of expensive presents.

If there's a Prozac of family get-togethers, it's got to be the casserole. Here's my mom's recipe for hash-brown casserole. It's darn good. I suppose if I have to be in America, far from my Belgian home, the least I can do is celebrate gluttony by eating some potatoes to honor the holiday spirit of my experiences there. Happy holidays no matter what distant shore you find yourself on, and remember beers with tears, and taters before.... ...well you get the point.

Better than Cracker Barrel's Hashbrown Casserole Ingredients:
2 lbs (frozen style) hash-browns (**thawed**)1 medium chopped onion6 Tablespoons of melted unsalted butter8 ounces sour cream16 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese10 oz can of cream of chicken soup1…

Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I just spent four months in Europe. It was an experience which changed me profoundly, which tore down my walls, rebuilt my insides, and made me a better person in so many ways. Coming home was one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life. Indeed I'm still not sure where this all leaves me, as I feel vulnerable and suffering. The only way I've made it through was knowing my family would be there at the airport, to take me by the hand and lead me back into this world safely, kindly, and with love.

Considering it's Christmas: the winter solstice, a time on earth where we each show this same compassion for each other and congratulate ourselves for making half way through the darkness, the children and I made cookies. Peanut butter cookies. Peanut butter? What's this? No more Nuttella or Speculoo? (sigh)
But there is no greater joy of spending time with glossy eyed, pajama wearing children; something that eases the weight of it all. So I'll seal them …