What a difference between cooking for 15p or cooking for 2p, between travelling back to Belgium or staying at home for the first time since ages.
As Christmas eve dinner we decided to enjoy a hot pot with fish and some tempura as a starter.
Even for a fish fondue I prefer a chicken broth ( and Iris agrees). Buy 1 kilo ( is 1/2 of an entire one )of good quality chicken. Remove the chicken leg for another occasion. Put the meat in a large soup casserole. Add a bunch of fresh parsley, 2 bay leaves, 1 lime in 2 parts, 1 onion in quarters, 4 garlic cloves, a few coriander seeds, 1 star anise, 1 chili, a few pepper balls, 5cm of fresh ginger, a large pinch of salt, 75 cl of white wine and approximately 2,5 liters of water. Cover and heat the pan. Allow to simmer for 1,5h . Cool down. Remove the lime. Allow to rest for an overnight. Seaf the broth and store in the fridge. Remove the chicken meat from the bones and keep for the next lunch.
As vegetables I clean and chop 1 large bell pepper, some courgette, a few mushrooms, some red onion and some beans ( there are plenty of other possibilities). As fish I chop some salmon, some squid and some monkfish, but other firm fishes can be chosen. Whatever is not eaten during dinner ends up in the broth (which will become even more flavorful after the fondue ritual) and will be an excellent lunch or dinner for the following day( add some fresh coriander as finishing touch)for the following day.
Combine the fondue with some rice, or noodles, soya sauce, sweet and sour sauce and a simple curry sauce ( red curry or green curry paste with coconut milk).
Don’t forget the tempura before this mindful dinner. Whatever vegetable is allowed, but being just the two of us, our pick of the day is fresh baby artichokes. Remove the outer leaves and ends. Cut in quarters and store in water with lemon juice. The best tempura is light and crispy. Max of our local restaurant Anonimax shared his secret recipe. Mix 40 grams of manitoba flour and 10 grams of rice flour with 100 ml of ice cold sparkling water. Add pepper and salt. Use a whisk to obtain a light mixture. Heat a pan with sunflower oil until 180°. Soak the drained artichokes in the batter. Fry in small portions. Serve with lemon wedges, sweet and sour sauce and a ready made mayonnaise flavored with lime juice, lime zeste, pepper and salt.
Merry Christmas ❣