The Column with Simone B. Michielen: From my kitchen…


I love to cook (and to eat). No surprise there, I guess. But what I really like is to create new recipes, or use unusual ingredients and try and try till I have a result that surprises and opens up even more possibilities.

After Masterchef, producers of very good local products came to me and asked me if I had an idea for a new dish, of even better, make something unexpected with their products as base. Of course we all know that drizzling some olive or pumpkinseed oil over vanilla ice-cream is good, but what they asked for was something that really stands out. One of the requests I had was if I could make sweets with high end olive oil. Maybe you have tasted the results on Sladka Istra last year and the year before?

A restaurant/campsite in our valley also makes a very good dry apple cider, and when they asked me to make a BBQ sauce for their ribs, I used their cider. Best sauce I ever made!

And although the world is opening up, it still seems wise to try to find our happiness and activities in our own environment, so I thought it is time to share a few of my recipes. Some are a secret by request of the company that asked me to create it, but some are not. Time for some experiments in your kitchen! Don’t be afraid when you read the ingredients, the result tastes good and will surprise you and your guests!

Sweet tapenade:

500 gram dried dates

100 gram green olives

1 lemon (zest)

150 ml lemon oil

Cook the dates on low temperature for about 30 minutes. Drain, but save the water they were cooked in. Let cool down a little and put in the blender with the other ingredients. Blend till smooth. If you think the mass is to solid, add some of the date fluid.

Put it in a clean jar and cool in the refrigerator.

Use in sweet desserts, on biscuit, in a cake and drizzle with some olive oil.

Chocolate mousse with whisky and chilli olive oil

120 grams 70% chocolate cut in pieces

2 egg yolks

1 dl cream to heat

2 ½ dl cream to whisk

1 egg white, whipped

1 tablespoon whisky

Chilli olive oil

Warm the 1 dl cream with the whiskey till it is almost boiling. Take off the fire and put the chocolate in. Leave for a few minutes and whisk till it is smooth. If it is cooled down a little you can add and mix the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of chilli oil. Mix carefully with the whipped cream till it is a fluffy mass. Mix with the stiff egg white to add even extra air.

Put in the refrigerator to cool down. You can put it already in glasses for a nice presentation or save it in a bowl and make nice portions on a plate later. Combine with whatever you like 😉