daily commute.

Could be worse.


pink flamingo.

I would link to their website but they've committed the unpardonable sin of autoplay music, against which I have to lodge a small protest. "They" are Pink Flamingo, a French non-traditional pizza chain that's just opened up shop in Amsterdam. I went with KK last night and we ended up with the Almodovar (foreground, kind of a riff on paella, with chorizo, shrimp, chicken, crème fraîche and saffron) and the Poulidor (background; duck, green apple, goat cheese).

We knew that they were going to be unusual, but the first bites were more confusing than anything. Not bad at all, but there was some kind of distracting tension between the crust and the toppings, like they weren't supporting each other's goals. And then five minutes' worth of eating later, everything made more sense and we were happily crunching our way towards clean plates. Don't know what it was, a mismatch of expectations and experience, or whatever, but by the time we were leaving we agreed we'd pretty happily go back for another round sometime, I think I'd go even "weirder" next time.



polenta pil-pil.

Alton Brown's savory polenta plus a pil-pil sauce. Plus shrimp. Plus bacon.


gambas pil pil.
1/4 cup neutral oil
2 tbsp butter
6 to 8 pilli-pilli chiles
1/2 large onion, chopped, this is optional
1 roasted or fresh red pepper, cut into fat julienne (we often sub or add a tomato or two)
salt and pepper

24 shrimp, halved lengthwise
2 tbsp butter

3-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup celery leaves or parsley, chopped

Add oil and butter to wok, saute the little pilli pilli chiles for 5 minutes or so to infuse the liquid with a little heat. Then add onion and pepper (and/or tomato if using) and saute until tender or however you like your onions. Bring the sauce to taste via salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the pan and reserve.

Heat the wok to high, melt the 2 tbsp of butter and then add the shrimpies. Saute for a minute or two, until they're almost done, then add the reserved sauce and the garlic, and heck, a bit more butter if you feel lucky. Leave on heat for another minute or two until everything's warmed through, then serve in something properly Spanishy like an earthenware bowl, with lots of good crusty bread for dipping. You could remove the chiles first if you were serving guests who are chile-sensitive: these are hot. But it'll still have a kick even without them. Garnish with the herbs if you want. Serves 2ish.




Tonight, the multi-component wonderfulness of bibimbap. This one featured that same old great spinach, a tofu teriyaki, a tamago-y egg, a fusion-y risotto, sesame carrots, scallions, peppers, and the following steak.

Which! Is also a recipe for KFC, or Korean Fried Chicken. Basically instead of using the below as a marinade, you puree it and use it as a sauce in which you toss your properly baked or fried chicken wings. Fascinating stuff, I know.


ginger-marinated steak with gochujang.

4 scallions, chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
3 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1 tbsp grated peeled ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp roasted sesame oil
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp raw sugar
2 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
400g steak



friet to be, you and me.

It seems like whenever we have an out-of-town guest, one of the first things they ask for is a friet (or frites, depending on who they are). And it seems like it's usually in the middle of the afternoon, which is a weird time to eat at Amsterdam restaurants anyway b/c of lunch/dinner changeover. Add to that the fact frites are not usually orderable separately on restaurant menus (they usually come with main dishes)...and it's always a puzzle as to where the nearest place is that we can have a beer and some frites, ideally while sitting outside on a canal..

For our future reference: the answer is literally just around the corner at Cafe Nassau.

Also, we often wonder what the best way to do Indonesian is, and the answer is obviously still Terang Boelan. The rijsttafel is €21 (get it with white rice not fried rice because everything's quite salty enough already), and if you add two lemper and a side of bami, €27 feeds three people quite handily. And why the fuck am I italicizing every non-English word. Anyway if you get the whole thing cold (iow, not warmed up), you can then go to a bar for a drink or three before you take your grub home. Grub.



road trip.

Eighteen miles away there's a beach that not too many people know about. If a friend of yours goes away to Greece for a week for work, maybe he leaves his car behind in Amsterdam. Maybe he gives you the keys. Maybe your roommate uses this car to pick you up after your own work and then drive you to this eighteen-mile-away beach. Even if you're only there for a couple hours, it's a couple hours that really rearranges your mental furniture, in that way where your same old stuff looks remarkably fresh and renewed. I am recommend.