06 September 2023
power on the egg with lidewij welten
A shining star on the pitch and behind the Big Green Egg
Hockey star Lidewij Welten is not only a star player on the pitch; she is also a shining star with the Big Green Egg. EGGing is a haven in the busy and irregular life of this enthusiastic hockey international, resulting in the most delicious meals! Discover the EGG skills of the cheerful forward here.
What role does food play in your life?
‘Nowadays a very important one, but when I was younger, I didn’t really like anything. Hockey has played a part in this. During training camps, I had to eat what was on the table and, of course, I grew up. In addition, I travel a lot for my work, but also for personal enjoyment. This allows me to experience and appreciate different flavours. So, when it comes to enjoying good food, I’m in the right place with my Indonesian in-laws!’
So you really are an epicurean in that regard?
‘Absolutely! We really like to go all-out sometimes. This applies to both me and my boyfriend Raphael. We are real bon vivants, but that has to be in combination with a healthy lifestyle. Both of us think that’s important. After all, you want to be fit on the pitch, both for yourself and for the sport. As a result, you’re physically stronger and you can keep going for longer in matches. That is why we cook with fresh ingredients, so we know what we’re eating. Healthy eating and enjoyment go very well together.’
So, the Big Green Egg suits your lifestyle very well.
‘Definitely. We’ve had the Big Green Egg for about three years now. I used to see it at people’s homes and thought it was an incredibly beautiful product. So, I started looking into it and found out how versatile the Big Green Egg was. I though that was really fantastic! I’ve now found out that it’s even more versatile than I thought. You can really cook delicious food on it and I keep discovering and trying new things. The chicken tajine I made is a good example.’
Are you the chef in the house?
‘We both are; Raphael loves to cook, too. As a professional model, he also has irregular working hours. So, it depends who’s home first and now and then we have a day off, too. Sometimes, I’m away all day and when I come home, there’s something delicious on the table, while other times it’s the other way around. We cook together sometimes as well. And I always enjoy making something in the EGG when family or friends come over. If the weather is good, you’re close to your guests at the table and there’s something surprising about it, especially in winter when people are sitting inside and you suddenly conjure a meal out of the EGG.’
Do you also each have your own specialities that you make in the Big Green Egg?
‘I mainly cook entire dishes and Raphael primarily prepares cuts of meat and whole fish. And we often make stir fries. We recently had a tomahawk steak and I told Raphael that he should actually cook it caveman style, so straight on the glowing charcoal. He didn’t actually want to do it at first, but he did anyway and it tasted great! He just needed to take the plunge.’
What are your favourite dishes to make in the Big Green Egg?
‘Stews, especially in winter. I don’t mind running back and forth through the rain either. Whether you’re making hash, goulash or coq au vin, the Big Green Egg really adds something. You taste it! And when I have a day off, I also enjoy baking bread in it, for example. Then I have some peace and quiet, and I take my time. It is so much fun to be busy with it the whole day, albeit not continuously. You start by kneading the dough, which then needs to rise. A bit later, you light the charcoal. In the meantime, you do bits and bobs around the house. Or I start making pizza dough in the morning so I can bake pizza in the Big Green Egg in the evening. They taste so much better baked on the Baking Stone in the EGG than in a conventional oven. Recently, for example, I also made a shepherd’s pie. Next time though, I’ll use a different dish. I had made it in the lid of the Dutch Oven, so it wasn’t so high, but tasted delicious!’
Your cooking is very varied. Where does all this inspiration come from?
‘We often draw inspiration from our trips. Recently bought a paella pan in Spain, so paella from the Big Green Egg will be on the table here soon.
And we often cook from the Modus Operandi. We look at what’s left in the fridge or freezer, then see if there’s a recipe with that ingredient. Or we just browse through it and see what we fancy. One time, for example, I made the meatball peekaboo when a friend of Raphael’s came for dinner. They thought I had made a giant meatball, until I cut into it and the cauliflower appeared under the mince. Sometimes I put my own twist on recipes. For example, I always add pickled onions to Hungarian goulash; it’s so delicious. This is also how the chicken tagine came about. We love spicy food, which is why this is so delicious, as well being a healthy and quick stew.’
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