Family Dinner in Hillegersberg: Stunning Melon Gazpacho with White Fish and Mixed Vegetables

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I love their soup serving dishes!

After a full weekend of racing at the Holland-Beker, Jess and I enjoyed a Monday off from rowing training.  I dedicated my off-day to exploring the countryside around Hillegersberg, where Uncle Bob and Cathinka live, by running with Cathinka and biking the dikes in nearby Delft with Bob.  At the end of a day spent exploring outside, Bob and Cathinka treated me to a family dinner at home with the three of us and their grown foster-daughter, Michelle, who was visiting from nearby Utrecht.  In the photo gallery, you can see photos from my morning run with Cathinka, where we ran past a working windmill, as well as photos from my bike adventure with Bob, and photos from a visit to the Markthal (market hall) in Rotterdam.

For dinner, we first enjoyed a chilled gazpacho course that Cathinka learned to make during a trip to France.  The gazpacho was made with traditional tomatoes and herbs, with the refreshing addition of honeydew melon.  Next, Cathinka stir-fried mixed vegetables in a large wok while Bob pan-fried fresh white-fish.  The mixed vegetables were pre-chopped, seasonal vegetables available at the nearby grocery store, which had an incredibly varied and colorful produce section!  My Uncle Bob is an avid cook, and attends a monthly gathering of enthusiastic cooks who meet to learn new recipes and prepare a four or five course meal for each other, with wine pairings.   Next time I am in the Netherlands, I will have to see if we can coordinate a visit to that dinner, too!

 

Recipe

Gazpacho with melon – serves 4

A melon baller would be useful for this recipe, but if you do not have one, simply cut your melon into bite-sized cubes.

 

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  1. 1 small honeydew melon, balled
  2. 2 pounds whole large ripe tomatoes
  3. 1 large onion
  4. 2 large garlic cloves
  5. 2 T chopped chervil (or French parsley)
  6. 2 T chopped basil
  7. 1 t thyme
  8. salt, pepper to taste
  9. 1 T bouillon paste

 

Steps:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and immerse tomatoes for one minute.
  2. Drain and cool tomatoes under cold water.
  3. Peel off tomato skin and cut tomatoes into quarters, remove and discard the seeds. You can save the tomato water for later if it separates easily.
  4. In a food processor, chop the tomatoes along with sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion.
  5. Pour the food processor mixture into a saucepan with about 3 cups of water and the bouillon paste.
  6. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.
  7. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
  8. Once cool, stir in the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Chill soup in the refrigerator.
  10. Halve your honeydew melon and scoop out at least 2 cups of melon balls. Add to soup and continue to chill until serving.

Recipe

White fish and mixed vegetables – serves 4

Use any fresh, thin filet of white fish for this recipe.

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  1. 1 T sunflower oil
  2. 2 T soy sauce
  3. packaged chopped mixed vegetables
  4. 1 T butter
  5. 2 T olive oil
  6. 1.5 – 2 lbs of fish
  7. salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add sunflower oil and packaged vegetables, and stir to keep the vegetables moving.
  3. Add half of your soy sauce and stir to coat, adding more if desired.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a cast iron pan over medium heat.  Add butter and olive oil.
  5. Cook two filets of white-fish at a time, flipping after about 3 minutes on each side.  When filet is fully cooked, the edges will crisp and the fish will flake easily with a fork.  The filet will become more opaque while cooking.
  6. Season with a sprinkling of salt and pepper before serving.

 

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