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Cooking Tips & Techniques

I would love to share some of my cooking tips and techniques with you, such as a step by step guide to making mackerel spread, how to make hangop (strained yoghurt), and how to make your own almond paste.

Dutch Cookbook Measurements
Have you recently bought a Dutch cookbook and your limited Dutch skills are prohibiting you from using it? Then my list of basic Dutch measurements, ingredients, terms and methods (and their equivalents in English) may just be something for you.

Handy Substitutes for Dutch Ingredients
Perhaps you've come across a foreign looking ingredient in a Dutch recipe and you don't know how to find it, or you would like a local equivalent? Or, perhaps you're a Dutch expat trying to make an old favorite from back home without access to trusty old ingredients? Either way, I'm here to help with a handy list of substitutes for Dutch ingredients.

How To Make Almond Paste (Spijs)
Almond paste (called 'spijs' in Dutch) is used as a filling in a number of Dutch baked goods, such as 'stollen', 'gevulde koek', 'gevulde speculaas', 'banketstaaf', etc. It's very easy to make your own.

How To Make Hangop
Hangop literally means 'to hang up', which refers to the process of making this strained yoghurt. The Dutch literally used to hang the yoghurt up in a wet linen pillow, suspended by a string, so that the whey could drip down into the sink. There's nothing wrong with this old-fashioned method, but I find it less messy to strain the yoghurt over a bowl in a cloth covered sieve.

How To Make Smoked Mackerel Spread
Many people feel too daunted to use seafood in their cooking. Check out my step by step guide to making Smoked Mackerel Spread and you will see just how easy it really is.

What To Do with Cauliflower
I've borrowed these ideas for using cauliflower from 'Smaakvrienden', Angelique Schmeink's guide to culinary inspiration, filled with ideas, tips, pairings and recipes for some 80 vegetables.

How To Make Speculaaskruiden
Many Dutch recipes call for a fragrant spice mix called 'speculaaskruiden', which consists of cinnamon, mace, cloves, ginger and a few other spices. You can buy this spice mix (online), or substitute pumpkin pie spices, but if you want the authentic taste, why not mix your own? See my step by step guide, with photos.

What To Do with Witlof
These ideas for using witlof come courtesy of 'Smaakvrienden', a guide to culinary inspiration, filled with ideas, tips, pairings and recipes for some 80 vegetables.

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