Belgium is one those unsung countries when it comes to gastronomy.
Who has heard of the Ardennes Forest and its abundant game and mushrooms? Have you visited Bruges? The biggest misconception is “French fries”! Sorry, mate, but they are Belgian! And what about mussles and waffles?… And the beer?
Here is a typical fare that people in Bruges are fond of:
Potato Cream (Mashed potato cream), Shrimps & Smoked Ham!
INGREDIENTS: for 4 persons
-Potatoes: 4 bintje if possible
-Small (grey) shrimps: 300 g
-Smoked ham: 4 slices
-Egg yolks: 4
-Butter: 150 g
-White wine: 3 cups/600 ml
-Olive oil (EV): a little
-Fresh cream: 1 large tablespoon
-Nutmeg: 1 pinch
-Salt, pepper: to taste
-Peel the potatoes. Cut them for easier cooking. Boil them in water for 20 minutes. Mash them with a fork. Add a little of the cooking water if necessary. Add and mix in a little olive oil and the fresh cream. Keep warm.
-Lightly fry smoked ham in a little butter. Get the shrimps rid of their shells and heads.
-In a bain-marie (on the fire put a pan with water and heat, use a smaller pan and place it inside the water-filled pan so as to avoid a direct contact with the heat) pan, whisk the egg yolks quickly addin the wine to them litle by little. Then add and mix the butter, a small piece at a time. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix.
Add this sauce to the mashed potatoes, mixing the two delicately. Season again if necessary. Ad the nutmeg.
-In a plate place some mashed potatoes in the middle. Wrap a piece of smoked ham around it and put the plate under the grill for a few minutes to obtain a lightly coloured top for the potatoes.
-Steam the shrimps and place them on top and around the mashed potatoes. Add a touch with some flat parsley or other herb of your liking!
To be savoured with a Belgian beer!