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    You are in: Home / Cookbooks / Everybody Eats Well in Belgium
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    18 recipes in

    Everybody Eats Well in Belgium

    Ruth Van Waerebeek's wonderful cookbook is out of print, but she has given me permission to post some of her recipes here. (I'll add more as time allows.) My goal in doing so is simply to share the pleasures I've had cooking and enjoying her traditional Belgian dishes. Please visit my "About Me" page to learn more about Ruth: Belgophile. And here's Ruth today: http://www.mapuyampay.cl

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    From Ruth Van Waerebeek's "Everyone Eats Well in Belgian." She describes it as her mother's signature dish. Recommends: "This wonderful dish is tradtionally served with Recipe #341811. Recipe #418054 make it a feast."

    Recipe #418242

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek's "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook." Labor intensive, somewhat messy and time-consuming to make, but people rave about these. Golden brown and crunchy on the outside, then mashed potato heaven inside. I've done what Ruth recommends: make the croquettes the day before, and just do the deep frying at dinner time.

    Recipe #418054

    From Ruth van Waerebeek’s “Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook.” Ruth call this "My Mother's Meatloaf." She also recommends a variation: adding small cubes of Swiss cheese to the meat mixture, and placing thin slices of smoked bacon atop the loaf while it is baked.

    Recipe #417472

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek's "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook." She recommends serving as an accompaniment to roasted poultry or pork.

    Recipe #341811

    From Ruth Van Waerebeeks’s “Everybody Eats Well In Belgium Cookbook.” Traditional Belgium shrimp croquettes are made with North Sea shrimp, called brown shrimp -- small, and very flavorful, and not readily available in the United States. Ruth writes: “For a while I thought I could never duplicate [the traditional Belgian croquette in the U.S.] .... But with a little experimentation I achieved quite good results. Do avoid frozen peeled shrimp, for they have very little flavor and search out the freshest shrimp you can find.” The dish must be refrigerated at least overnight to allow yourself enough preparation time. (And DO read the directions through to prepare yourself for the time involved!)

    Recipe #342111

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek's "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook." Ruth says this soup has a special status in Belgium where it's commonly served at wedding receptions, anniversaries and other festive occasions. It's a little different from the tomato soup I grew up with: creamy, yes, but with bits of fresh tomato and the flavors of Madeira or Cognac providing a kind of grown-up undertone. This is Ruth's mother's version; it can be made a day ahead.

    Recipe #341611

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek's "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium." Use a rich, dark and slightly bitter beer, such as Rodenbach, or a dark Abbey ale. Serve with French fries or boiled potatoes, applesauce, and beer.

    Recipe #341423

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek’s "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook." A simple-to-make, delicious spaghetti dinner — and nicely different from the traditional spaghetti and meatballs. Here, the thick sauce is loaded with vegetables and ground beef (or try ground turkey for a leaner version.) The Gruyère cheese is worth the extra cost; it makes all the difference. I like the extra Tabasco, too. I usually double or triple, and freeze the extra for another meal or two later in the week. This dish, a couple of bottles of wine, and some friends... you got yourself a nice, casual dinner party.

    Recipe #340490

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek's “Everyone Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook.” Don’t be turned off by the unusual name; it's Dutch in origin (pronounced VAH-ter-zoy); it’s basically a hearty chicken and vegetable soup/stew thing, with a deliciously rich and creamy broth. (I tell the kids that it’s Belgian Chicken Soup, and they love it.) It's not hard to make at all, and great for entertaining since it can be prepared almost entirely ahead of time.

    Recipe #340969

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek’s “Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook.” This has become my standard Thanksgiving turkey recipe. I follow it precisely, alternately basting with drippings and butter every 15 minutes. The result is a spectacular presentation—a beautiful, dark golden brown turkey that everyone ooh’s and ahh’s over. It’s not that hard, just takes a little extra work. And the extras—making the forcemeat stuffing beforehand and the gravy at the end—are worth the trouble. Ruth says that the Christmas Turkey is traditionally served with Deep-Fried Potatoe Croquettes, Celery Root and Potato Purée, an assortment of green vegetables, and Baked Apples Filed with Berries, or Pears Poached in Spiced Red Wine.

    Recipe #340758

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek’s “Everybody Eats Well in Belgian Cookbook.” She uses it as the stuffing in her Christmas Turkey recipe, which I use on Thanksgiving. The stuffing takes a fair amount of prep (and those porcini mushrooms can be hard to find and expensive; I've started skipping them), but people absolutely love it. It's got a rich, complex taste completely different from the traditional bread-and-herb stuffing. (I looked it up: Forcemeat comes from the French “farce,” to stuff. The forcemeat stuffing is more like a meatloaf.) This recipe is enough for a 12 to 14 pound turkey.

    Recipe #340491

    From Ruth Van Waerebeeks’s “Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook,” from her “Cooking With Beer” chapter. Fairly easy to make, and delicious.

    Recipe #340156

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek's "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook." Ruth describes this as a "lavish-to-look-at-but-easy-to-prepare feast for your most festive dinner party. The presentation is spectacular." I can vouch for that: when I put in on the table recently, everyone oooh'ed and aaaah'ed. And the next day, I got an email from my friend: "Out of the blue today Bill says to me, 'Boy, that roast was really good last night,' I can't remember the last time he remarked on a roast the next day!"

    Recipe #341620

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek's "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook." There are other good frites recipes on Recipezaar; I'm including Ruth's for the sake of personal closure -- I can't NOT include her frites in my collection of her traditional Belgian recipes. What makes Ruth's unique is her call for older, starchy potatoes. As she says: "Never make fries with new potatoes.... It is imperative to use a starchy older potato for making real Belgian fries.... All your efforts will be in vain as the young potatoes have not had time to develop sufficient starch." She adds: "The size of the fries is a very personal matter. Experiment to find the size you like best." Adjust the frying time according to the thickness you prefer.

    Recipe #341786

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek's "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook." Ruth writes, "The strong peppery flavor of the celery root marries extremely well with the sweetness of the potato, giving the purée a depth of flavor that is haunting and almost addictive." She's right.

    Recipe #341553

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek's "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook."

    Recipe #340157

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek's "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook." Delicious.

    Recipe #341805

    From Ruth Van Waerebeek’s “Everbody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook.” Ruth recommends this as an accompaniment to her Christmas Turkey. I make this once a year for Thanksgiving. Note: Prepare several hours prior to, if not the day before, serving.

    Recipe #341815


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