Ostrich strips with broccoli gratin and mint carrot salad.

I dedicate this post to Ovarian Cancer Awareness. Continue reading under the photos.

Ostrich is an extremely healthy meat, loaded in protein and vitamins, low in fat. It is tender and tasty on its own and delicious served with sauces like a mustard sauce or even a sweeter orange sauce. Served with bright green and yellow coloured vegetables like broccoli and carrots, you’ll have a visually appetizing as well as healthy meal.

Ostrich strips with mint carrot salad.

  • 4 pieces of ostrich, cut from the steak, about 3 cm thick.
  • whole peppercorns
  • caraway seeds
  • fleur de sel or kosher salt
  • 3 carrots
  • chopped  fresh mint
  • chopped fresh Italian leaf parsley
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • olive oil and/or coconut oil
  • toasted walnuts
  • broccoli
  • créme frâiche
  • grated cheddar cheese
  1. Peel the carrots and then peel into thin ribbons with the peeler.
  2. Finely chop the mint and parsley, add to the carrots along with the walnuts, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix together lightly.
  3. Steam the broccoli, dry and turn out into a 4 ramekins. Top each with a teaspoon of créme frâiche, sprinkle with cheese and brown under the grill until the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Crush the peppercorns and caraway seeds together in a mortar and pestle. Rub some oilve oil onto all sides of the ostrich fillets, cat entirely with the crushed pepper mixture and leave in the fridge for an hour.
  5. Heat some coconut oil or olive oil in a pan, and fry the pieces of ostrich about 4 minutes on each side for a medium rare fillet. Slice each piece into strips, season with fleur de sel/kosher salt and serve immediately with the broccoli gratin and the carrot salad on the side.
  6. Variations on the carrot salad: Instead of ribbons, cut into julienne, grate or cut into thin spaghetti. Substitute walnuts for dry roasted pine nuts. Add a teaspoon of honey to the lemon, olive oil dressing.

Serves 4 people

…just had my monthly facial and pedicure…

O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchenand Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy, Jenn of The Leftover Queen, and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are asking you to donate to the:
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund

From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67. The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.

In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.

“Patat met” mayonnaise from Amsterdam.

I’ve been in Amsterdam this past week, had a face to face with Rembrandt’s magnificent “Nightwatch” and marvelled in Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”. My feet held up their side of the bargain; marching over canals, lingering beside antique stores, storming past innumerbable fast food chains, shuffling past hordes of people, trotting hastily over tram lines, scampering out of the way of rattling bicycles, stopping at a bench for a quick sketch and plodding often into a coffee shop for some welcome repose.

…Montlouis version of “patat met mayonnaise”…


Back here in Montlouis sur Loire, our September days are beautiful …blue skies, warm autumn sun and playful shadows…which allow for some playful eating. Like some “patat met“…mayonnaise. Served at the snack bars all over Amsterdam. The most popular sauce is mayonnaise, but you can also have your fries as patatje oorlog, literally  meaning “war fries”, which comes with mayonnaise, ketchup, peanut sauce and onions. I chose to stick to mayonnaise…

For a little fun snacking here at home, I made these “patat met”…, and tried to make them a little healthier by baking them in the oven, serving with a little salad on the side and with some good mayonnaise.

Patat met” mayonnaise.

  1. Het the oven to 210 degrees C.
  2. Peel some big potatoes and dry thoroughly…11/2 -2 potatoes per person is plenty!
  3. Cut the potatoes into fingers/chips, keeping them close to the same size.
  4. Dry the chips thoroughly and spread in a single layer onto a baking sheet, covered with baking paper.
  5. Drizzle with melted coconut oil, or olive oil and gently turn the chips with your fingers to give them all a coating of oil. Sprinkle with some fresh thyme and bake the chips for 15 minutes, turning over when nicely carmelized. Test one and bake for a further 10 minutes if still hard on the bite.
  6. For a nice colour, caramelize the chips for a few seconds under the grill.
  7. Serve immediately in a cone made from brown paper, or plain white paper, lining the inside with baking paper.
  8. Finish off with a sprinkling of fleur de sel, a turn of the pepper mill, a dollop of maynnaise, thyme and a pinch of paprika for colour.
  9. Serve with an ice cold beer, or enjoy a cold coke..tomorrow we’ll go back to water!
  10. Variation: I prefer enjoying a little green salad, drizzled with a white balsamic vinegar, alongside for some freshness…

*click on each image for a larger view.

…catch up on the latest…

 …toppling over…

…pedal with flair…


‘tulips” from Amsterdam…

…well deserved rest…

…sneezing at the flowermarket…

…up and down canals…

…going home…