Without any races to attend, the Trek-Segafredo riders have been sharpening up their skills in the kitchen. So naturally we decided to launch the Tour de Cuisine.
Each week we will add one of our riders’ recipes here that you can recreate at home. Of course, it is only natural that we would add a competitive element. After we have compiled all the recipes, you will have the chance to vote for your favorite and crown our Tour de Cuisine champion.
Our chef for this week is Anna Plichta, who brings something a little different to the table.
Anna Plichta’s Dandelion Syrup
I chose this recipe because it is traditional in Poland. I learned how to make it from my Grandma when I was a child. I love to use natural ingredients while cooking and seasonal fruits or vegetables. Nature is giving us this for free and we should be able to make the most of it. On the other hand, making this is just fun and a nice way to spend time with your family.
- 3 liters of dandelions
- 2 liters of water
- 1 kilogram of brown sugar
- 1 lemon
1. Take your family for a nice walk to a green area, far away from pollution and traffic
2. Collect plenty of dandelions. To make it more fun, you can compete to see who collects the most.
3. Return home and put the dandelion petals in a big pot, cover with water and bring to a rolling boil. Allow to boil for 15 min.
4. Remove from heat, cover and allow to soak overnight in a cool place.
5. The next day, strain the liquid into a sieve over a pot.
6. Add the sugar and the juice of 1 lemon. Simmer on a low heat for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. While cooking you can prepare jars. It can be a fun activity (especially for children) to decorate the jars with paper.
7. Fill the jars with the syrup and seal tightly. Store in the fridge.
8. Your syrup can be used as a topping for pancakes, waffles, oatmeal or add to your favorite tea.
Jasper Stuyven’s Meatballs and Eggplant
This is one of the first dishes I started making when I was still living with my parents and it is still a favorite of mine - my go-to comfort food. I also love fresh-made tomato sauce.
- 1 can tomato chunks
- Tomato paste
- Herbs: Basil, oregano, Herbs de Provence (herb choice is flexible)
- Fresh tomatoes: a mix of regular, ruffled, and cherry
- Red wine
- 2 large eggplants
- 500g beef, minced
- 1 egg
1. Chop the fresh tomatoes, (optionally cut out the white parts of the tomatoes to reduce the cooking time as they contain a lot of juice).
2 Saute the onion and garlic. Move them to a large saucepan and add the can of tomato chunks, paste, and fresh tomatoes.
3 Add the red wine and herbs and simmer gently on a low heat. The longer you can leave the sauce to cook, the better it will be. I left mine to cook for almost 6 hours! If you want the sauce to have a bit of a kick, you can add some chopped chillies or hot sauce.
4. Slice the eggplant, but not all the way through so they don’t fall apart. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with pepper and salt. Add to a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 40 minutes
5 Remove the eggplants from the oven. In the gaps put slices of mozzarella and throw over the tomato sauce and some parmesan on top. Put back in the over for another 15 minutes.
6. While the eggplant cooks, mix the egg, breadcrumbs and seasoning of your choice with the minced beef. Shape them into balls and pan fry until they are cooked, try not to overcook them…
7. Plate the eggplants along with the meatballs and enjoy!
Audrey Cordon-Ragot’s ‘Quatre-Quarts’
I chose this recipe because it comes from my home region of Bretagne. We call it ‘quatre-quarts’ meaning ‘four quarters’ because of the proportions of each ingredient.
It’s simple, although not super healthy because there is a lot of butter, but everyone likes it. You can finish it with chocolate or fruits, but personally, I love the original recipe.
- 210 grams butter
- 210 grams plain flour
- 210 grams sugar
- 210 grams eggs (approx. 4 eggs)
- 11 grams baking powder
1 – Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F
2 – Soften the butter then mix together with the sugar and eggs.
3 – Slowly add the flour and the baking powder.
4 – Put the cake mix in a cake tin and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5 – Bake in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, depending on your oven. Check frequently and remove from the oven when golden brown.
6 – Bon appétit!
Mia Margherita pizza by Vincenzo Nibali
Pizza is one of the culinary symbols of Italy. From north to south, there is no family in which it has not been prepared and cooked. Compared to restaurant pizza, which can be made to perfection in the style you prefer, from Neapolitan to Roman, homemade pizza only follows the rule of personal taste. Here is 'Margherita mia' with help from Rachele and Emma.
- 800 grams all-purpose wheat flour (0 or 00)
- 200 grams semolina flour
- 14 grams brewer’s yeast
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 650 ml tepid water
- tomato sauce
- fresh mozzarella
- Place both flours, brewer’s yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of the food mixer. Make sure that the salt and yeast do not come into contact so that the salt does not cancel the leavening effect of the yeast
- Add a little water and turn on the mixer to knead. As the water is absorbed by the dough, add more until it is used up
- If you don’t have a food processor you can easily knead by hand. In either case, proceed for about ten minutes until the dough becomes elastic
- Dump the dough on the workbench, make four folds and leave to rise under a cloth for about 4 hours
- Roll out the dough on the baking tray and let it rise again for about 30 minutes
- Add the tomato sauce and bake in the oven at 220°C in the lower part of the oven for 10 minutes
- Add the diced mozzarella and olives and let the pizza cook for another 10 minutes at the top of the oven
- Remove your pizza from the oven, slice it and eat it – naturally with hands!
Toms Skujins’ Sweetest Sweet Potato Bars
There are several reasons why I picked this recipe. One of them is that I love potatoes in any form. However, it is also simple enough for anyone to make. It’s also easy for people to adapt and make it different every time with dried fruit, seeds, or anything else you can think of. Sometimes you see people throw 20 ingredients in a bar, but you have to remember to keep it simple.
- Coconut oil for the pan
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 egg
- 1 medium sweet potato, steamed or baked
- 1 cup oats blended into fine flour
- 3 cups oats
- Pinch of salt
- Cinnamon to taste
- Vanilla to taste
- 1/2 cup of oat milk
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
1 – Soak 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in 2.5 tablespoons of water for at least 5 minutes
2 – Blend the sweet potato until smooth
3 – Mix together the blended oats, normal oats, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda
4 – In a separate bowl whisk the egg, add chia seeds, sweet potato and 1/2 cup of oat milk (or similar)
4 – Mix both bowls together. If too dry add a little bit more milk
5 – Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes then check to bake to your preference
6 – Enjoy!
Letizia Paternoster's Strudel
Ladies and gentlemen, the strudel. It is a typical dish of my region and a real must-have in a traditional meal. I have chosen the sweet version based on apples, pine nuts, raisins, and cinnamon. For me, the strudel means only one thing: home!
- 8 apples (about 800 grams)
- 50 grams raisins
- 30 grams pine nuts
- 50 grams sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Icing sugar
- 1 roll of puff pastry, 230 grams
- Peel the apples thoroughly and cut them into medium-sized pieces.
- Roll out the roll of puff pastry, making sure to sprinkle some flour on the workbench before. With a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry until it is very thin.
- On a baking tray, lay baking paper and place the puff pastry on top. Do it to one side, leaving some of the pastry over the edge. It will be used to close the fillings.
- In the center of the dough, place a generous layer of the previously cut apples. Place them in a rectangular shape, making sure there is enough pastry left to close it.
- Add the pine nuts, raisins, cinnamon and sugar. Finally, add another layer of apples.
- Take the edges of the pastry and cover the filling. It is important to close it securely but be careful not to break the pastry!
- In case you still have some filling left over, you can take an extra roll of pastry and make some small dumplings.
- Cook in a static oven at 200°C for about 20 minutes. During this time, keep checking on the progress of the strudel and judge according to the color of the pastry.
- When the strudel has cooled down, sprinkle the icing sugar on top.
- Buon appetito!
Charlie Quarterman’s Cottage Pie
Cottage Pie is a really traditional British dish with a good, healthy mix of ingredients in there. It’s easy to make a lot of it in one go too, so I really like to have this before a long training day.
- 45ml olive oil
- 750g beef mince
- 1.5 medium onions
- 3 carrots
- 3 celery sticks
- 2 garlic cloves
- 30g plain flour
- 30g tomato purée
- 1.5 large glasses of red wine
- 50ml Worcestershire sauce/tomato ketchup
- 400ml beef/vegetable stock
- ~1kg potatoes
- 200ml milk
- 25g butter
- 200g grated cheddar cheese
1) Fry the beef in a large pan with 15ml olive oil until brown
2) Add 30ml of olive oil, 2 finely chopped onions, 3 finely chopped carrots, and 3 finely chopped celery sticks, and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes
3) Add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves, 30g plain flour, and 30g tomato purée and increase the heat a little bit
4) Add 1.5 large glasses of wine, 50ml Worcestershire sauce, and 400ml vegetable stock in water and cook on a lower heat for 20 minutes
5) Meanwhile boil the peeled and chopped potatoes until soft
6) Drain the potatoes and add 200ml milk, 100g grated cheese, and 25g butter before mashing until there are no lumps of potato left. Then add salt and pepper to taste.
7) Pour the meat/sauce into a large dish and flatten. Then add the potato carefully on top and make a flat layer.
8) With a fork, make cross-hatched lines across the potato before sprinkling the remaining grated cheese on top
9) Put the dish into the oven at 220C/200C fan/gas 7 for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden.