donderdag 8 oktober 2009

Foody Friday Belgian National dish

As you could read in my previous blog entry we where at the Belgian coast last weekend for the wedding of my niece. The whole of the Belgian coast is only about 40 miles long!!! It is very flat without rocks and with fine white sandy beaches.
We had beautiful fresh autumn weather with lots of sun.
And when you are there you need to buy some scrimp.
Not the scrimp you lot know but small brown scrimp.

In the olden day they where fished by fisherman on horseback like you see in the picture above. Now a day there are only a few fisherman left that honor this old traditional way of fishing .
As you can well see they use big farm horses for the job. These are " Brabantse Trekpaarden" a very strong enormously big horses but they are very gentle. They drag a net trough the water and go as deep as there belly into the sea. On each side of the horse, the fisherman has a basket to keep the scrimp in. Fresh uncooked scrimp are only 1 inch long and almost see through.
The scrimp are then cooked in seawater. Now a days small trawlers fish along the coastline to catch these valuable scrimp and every Belgian LOVES these small but delishous tasting beasts.

So when you are at the coast you buy them unpeeled. You sit down with a good glass of Stella Artois beer and start peeling. You wriggle the tail and pull it of en then you pull the head of.They are so yummie that hardly any are left to make a meal.I usely peel one to eat and one to keep! You need a lot before you can make a meal of them!

Here there are a few browny pink peelde scrimp.
When you have enough you mix them with a good mayonnaise, nothing else.
You scoop out the inside of a tomatoe , season that with white pepper and salt and fill with the scrimp mixture.
Give a salad with it and serve the tomatoes with some french fries or eat with some crusty bread.
It is truly the national dish. We simply call it ' Tomate crevettes'. This is the French expression for a tomatoe with scrimp. In Flemish we would say ' Tomaat garnaal'.
You can also serve it in a tiny tomatoe as an appetiser. Eat them quickly since the scrimp don't keep long, certainly not when you have bought them fresh.
Don't trow away the heads and tails! Sautée these with some fresh vegetables, add some water and cook for a few minutes. Put trough a siff and press out all the juices after a few minutes of cooking. It will give you a delishous base for soups and sauces.

16 opmerkingen:

The Quintessential Magpie zei

Oh, that salad in the tomato looks delicious, and the lettuce is so pretty, too!

That was a very interesting lesson in how they catch scrimp/shrimp in Belgium. I never dreamed that you could use a horse to do this! Fascinating!!! I'm so used to the scrimp/shrimp boats in Florida. I have a painting of a shrimp boat.

I throughly enjoyed this post!

Happy Foodie Friday...


Sheila :-)

Julie zei

This looks so good

SavoringTime in the Kitchen zei

What a wonderful post! I made shrimp salad today. There is nothing better than fresh shrimp - even if they are small :)

Charlene zei

Sometimes the smaller shrimp do have a better taste than the bigger ones--you can buy the small ones here that called "salad shrimp", they are usually a bit less expensive than the big ones, and just the right size for shrimp salad!

Love the idea of using the small tomotoes to make it and appetizer or party food!

Really Rainey zei

Those look too delicious! I would just eat em like that... all of em! My little granddaughter would LOVE those too!
~Really Spooky~
~Really Rainey~

LiLi M. zei

Mmmm, hier een liefhebber van wat wij natuurlijk hollandse garnalen noemen. Ik ga snel verder vanwege speekselvorming in de mond en een knorrende maag, ik wens je een heel fijn weekend!

Queen B. zei

Thanks for your comment regarding the simple sauce.
Yes, you take out the onion :)

What I like about this recipe is that it's 'SIMPLE' meaning only 4 ingredients.

Mary zei

What a wonderfully simple dish. I really loved to hear how the shrimp were once fished. I've never seen anything like that before. I really enjoyed this post. Have a wonderful day.

The Fajdich Times zei

Great post. Enjoyed your pictures. Your salad looks wonderful:)

Karen at Nittany Inspirations zei

I love all kind of shrimp. I'm sure it's worth all the work to eat them. It is very interesting how they used to catch them. Thanks for sharing.

food with style zei

i loved reading about your beach and seeing the horseback fisherman, wonderful post.

Heidi zei

Hi! I wish I could try this, but I am allergic to shell fish. Drat!! But I'd love to sit with you along your coast and have a cold beer.
Thanks for visiting, hope you'll be back soon.
Heidi - Heart and Home

quitethecrow zei

Nicki...that shrimp salad looks delicious! It is so interesting to learn how the shrimping used to be done with horses on the shore. I would never have dreamed of that. We have access to a lot of yummy shrimp here in North Carolina. I love to make a local dish called "Shrimp and Grits". If you are interested, I can email you a recipe.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting on Bonnie & Clyde. We just have fallen in love with them. We're blessed to have them in our life.

Hugs and kisses...Elizabeth

Sara's Sweet Surprise zei

I'm so happy we found each's going to be so fun getting to know each other.
You can serve me' Tomaat garnaal' any day, it looked so delicious.
Shrimp is such a tasty and versatile little crustacean. This was the first time I've ever seen them caught by "horse". What a wonderful Belgium journey...from the beautiful wedding to this dish.

Sweet wishes,

Anoniem zei

Zusje, het beste biertje bij verse Noordzee garnaaltjes is nog altijd een goeie Rodenbach. En ik zal je ook nog eens een woordenboekje bezorgen.....
Nog veel succes


Coralie Cederna Johnson zei

This is a fascinating adventure in cooking shrimp! The final product looks amazing! Thanks for the cooking lesson!