Winter usually feels too long when the calendar says “February”. Personally, I long for sunlight and good energy by then and I pray for some warming sunrays to kiss my cheeks. What else could help better boost your mood than a lovely walk by the sea?
Even though it might be freezing cold, the sea looks absolutely gorgeous when the sun comes out! The light breaks almost as if it was summer, yet the glow is different – a bit darker, slightly more frail but somehow this view feels even more special than during summertime. The delicately colorful scenary is breathtaking and being surrounded by so much beauty brings a smile to my face.
Noordwijk, about one hour away from Amsterdam, is famous for its 13 km long sandy beaches and dunes. In the winter, beach houses offer escape from the brisk wind with open fire places, hot drinks and great sea food. This time, I treat myself with hot “frietjes” and a glas of rosé as a sun downer. The wine’s pale pink fits perfectly the colors of the sunset and my mood.
It feels so good to be back for a short visit! When I was young, I studied in Amsterdam and absolutely loved to eat “lecker frietjes” – these delicious, hot and freshly fried potato fries served with all sorts of different mayonnaise blends. The garlic version is my absolute favorite but you can create any kind of mayonnaise and season it to your personal taste.
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove – peeled and crushed
- 500 ml olive oil – extra virgin
- 2-3 tsp lemon juice – from fresh lemon
- 1-2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
- salt – freshly grounded
1// Whisk the egg yolks together with the mustard so the mixture turns creamy.
2// Slowly start dripping in about 250 ml of the olive oil while continuing to whisk so an emulsion evolves. This may take a few minutes.
3// Add the garlic together with the vinegar and continue to whisk the mixture so all gets nicely absorbed and it thickens and becomes smooth.
4// Keep on whisking! Incorporate the rest of the olive oil together with the lemon and season with salt.
For me, potato fries taste so much better from the oven instead of being deep fried. In the oven they get this special texture and a lovely smokey flavor. In addition, fresh herbs and garlic give it such a great twist. And as a bonus, fries from the oven turn out to be much healthier.
- 2 large potatoes – peeled and sliced into thin sticks
- 1 garlic clove – slightly crushed
- 3-4 rosemary springs
- 2 tsp olive oil – extra virgin (for brushing)
- salt & pepper – freshly grounded
1// Preheat the oven at 220 °C.
2// Place the potato sticks, garlic clove and the herbs on a non-sticking baking tray, brush the potato sticks with a little bit of olive oil and bake for about 10 minutes or until getting brownish on the sides.
3// Flip the potato sticks and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and soft on the inside.
4// Open the oven and let the “frietjes” rest for a moment. Shortly before serving, season with freshly grounded salt and pepper.
These “frietjes” together with a freshly made garlic mayonnaise is my personal Oscar-winning team!
Taking a walk back to the hotel, I had the pleasure to enjoy this great view of the sunset. This made my stay truly energizing! So, in the end, February can be very very lovely!