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Food Friday: Belgian Cuisine 5/24/19

Facebook: Pika's Farm Table

Luc and Pika Roels of Pika's Farm Table in Lake Katrine, NY join Food Friday to discuss Belgian cuisine and cooking. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

The number to call with your questions is 1-800-348-2551. You can also email voxpop@wamc.org. 

Provided Pika Farm Table recipes:


Olive Tapenade with Belgian Endive

Belgian endives are served in Belgium cooked or steamed, baked in a skillet with garlic, or raw with a mustard vinaigrette. There are many famous endive dishes, but we love this fresh tasting, eye appealing appetizer for a group, using our own inhouse made kalamata olive tapenade. It’s beautiful, salty, can be prepared in advance and is great with crisp white wine.

To prepare:

? cut the brownish ends off of three -four endives and separate and wash and dry the individual leaves.

? start placing he leaves in a circle in a deep round dish. You are aiming for a starburst or flower effect!

? Spoon a generous amount of Pika’s tapenade ( a mix of black olives, dijon mustard, capers garlic and spices) in the center.

? Guests can pick up a crunchy leaf and use it to spoon into the tapenade.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels is the Capital of Belgium and brussel sprouts have been cultivated in Belgium since the 13th Century. We offer our frozen, prepared roasted sprouts, that take the work out of preparation. Brussel sprouts can be prepared in a variety of ways, but we love them as a hearty appetizer for two-four servings. To prepare:

? Wash and trim one pound of sprouts. Steam over salted water until tender.

? Saute four strips of chopped bacon and three chopped shallots in a little bit of butter.

Remove any excess grease, and then toss in the steamed sprout. A Flemish red ale

(Kriek Lambic) is a perfect accompaniment!

For a summer treat, we suggest you prepare sprouts roasted on the grill with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with bit of red wine vinaigrette. Serve them ice cold, as a delicious appetizer or as a side dish with grilled steak.


Roasted Vegetable Stock

Each soup and bisque that Pika’s sells starts with a natural, rich base made from our own roasted vegetable stock. Serve it as a broth, add your favorite fixings, use it as a vegan broth for your own soups and stews.

Soupe au Pistou-Pika’s Nut-Free Pesto

We make a flavorful basil pesto without adding nuts. We do this to replicate the savory pestos made from Nice to Genoa that garnish their local Soupe au Pistou. Pika’s pesto is based on the Pistou recipe from Provence. We suggest adding a dollop of pesto to a steaming bowl of Pika’s Lentil Spinach or Kale and Quinoa soup. Better yet, spread Pika’s pesto on a slice of crusty French baguette and float it in the soup.


Pika’s offers a wide variety of soups and bisques including vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. These can form the base for many Belgian and European main dishes. Here are but a few of our family favorites:

Cassoulet -Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup

Begin with our luscious thick white bean soup. This is a vegan soup, packed with great northern, cannellini, baby lima and navy beans, garden vegetables and more that 12 spices. The recipe that follows serves four, and is written to satisfy both vegan and omnivore. To prepare:

? Pour one quart of Tuscan White Bean and Kale soup into a dutch oven.

? Saute one pound of sweet Italian sausage (or vegan sausage alternative) until brown and add to the soup.

? Place several slices of bacon on the top of the mixture (or vegan bacon alternative).

? Cover and cook in a 350 degree oven for 30 min.

? Uncover and heat for an additional 30 min.

? Serve with a crisp green salad and hardy red wine.

Cheese Tortellini- Lobster Bisque

When we were children, lobster bisque was a luxury served for holidays and special occasions. But no more! Since we have two hungry teenagers in our home in Big Indian, we created a meal that combines the bisque and their favorite pasta-cheese tortellini. It stretches the meal to appease our growing children with four family servings. Our bisque is made with lots of lobster and local cream. To prepare:

? Heat a quart of Lobster bisque over a slow heat.

? Cook 1 lb of frozen or fresh cheese tortellini in salted water. Drain.

? Add to the bisque and blend carefully.

? Serve with green beans or broccoli on the side. (and some artisan sparkling water!)

Veal Meatballs-Mom's Chervil Soup

Chervil a mild herb, essential in French cuisine. It’s sometimes called French parsley. Luc’s Mom used to make this meal every Sunday, probably when Pika’s Mom was making rabbit stew with mustard. Luc “fondly” recalls fighting with his siblings over the delicious veal meatballs making sure no one got more than the rest. And it always ended up with Mom giving up her meatballs and redistributing them in an effort to restore the peace. The chervil in this soup turns it a beautiful green, inviting hue. To prepare:

? Heat a quart of Mom’s Chervil Soup.

? Mix one pound of ground veal, one cup of plain breadcrumbs, one egg beaten, garlic to taste, salt, pepper ,two tablespoons of finely chopped parsley or chervil

? Shape into nickel sized balls and roast til brown in a 350 degree oven (about 20 min.)

? Remove veal balls from the oven and drop them carefully into the simmering soup.

? Cook for 20 mins.

? Serve with buttered rolls and a Belgian light lager.


The taste and convenience of Pika’s frozen, prebaked quiches are pure heaven! Only the best ingredients, including locally sourced cream and vegetables and free range eggs are used. We always choose butter or olive oil, no shortening, no canola or other highly processed oils. Our pastry crust is only four ingredients- flour, butter, ice water and salt. You can taste the “buttah” in every slice. Serve our quiches for any meal or as a wholesome afterschool snack for the children.

Heat up a quiche on the barbeque:

You have vegetarian friends that come to your barbecues, don’t leave them stuck with eating all of your potato salad, salad and bread. Serve them something special and mouthwatering. Heating up a quiche on the barbecue works great as long as you don't put it straight on the grill. Put a frying pan or a hollow steel lid upside down on the grill and the quiche on top.

An alternative is to take a 3 feet long sheet of aluminum foil and crumble it up till you have a 10” square or circle with a +/- even thickness of +/- 1 inch. Unwrap your quiche, place it on top of the circle you just made and put it on the grill.

In both scenarios put the quiche to the side of your barbeque, not in the center the hottest spot. Put the quiche in there when you start the BBQ and by the time you’re ready to grill the meat the quiche is done, approximately 30 min for a thawed out quiche.


Waffles, Waffles, Waffles

There are two kinds of Belgian waffles, both named after a different city in Belgium. First there is the Brussels waffle- a nice, airy, rectangular waffle. These are a “knife and fork”dessert, topped with fruits, powdered sugar and whipped cream. The second is the Liege waffle which Pika’s makes fresh and serves to thousands of people at the Troy Farmers Market each Saturday. Li è ge is a city close to the German border. What makes this waffle unique is the addition of pearl sugar beads prior to baking on the waffle iron. Pearl sugar is highly compacted sugar made from sugar beets. Only two countries in the world make pearl sugar- Belgium and Sweden. This grab and go waffle needs no special toppings (but we do add them to “gild the lily”).

Chocolate Covered Waffles, Wapple (with apple) and the Baffle (with blueberry) and the

Ommegang Waffle (developed for Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown NY using their Three

Philosophers beer).

? Serve the original waffle with fresh fruit and whipped cream a la strawberry shortcake.

? Use the original or Ommegang for savory chicken and waffles, melted cheese, ham and egg, or any combination that appeals to your inner child

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