My Amsterdam Restaurant, Café & Coffee Guide (where to eat in Amsterdam)

I’ve been meaning to write this food guide for a while now. The most popular DM that I get asked on my Instagram is which places do I recommend to go eat. So here are my favorites places in Amsterdam. From where to get coffee, brunch or food on the go, to my favorite restaurants and places to satisfy your sweet tooth. I’ll keep updating this list as I try new places.

For Coffee:

Trakeren Koffie

They also do very cute latte art. If you want latte art different from a heart (they do bunnies, lions, etc), it is better to ask for it when you order though. The guys working there are very friendly so don’t be shy to ask for it.

Coffee Sometime

They have nice coffee and tea. And I love their desserts which change often. They also serve brunch dishes, I still need to try them. I usually go for my cuppa and something sweet.

Lot Sixty One

They sell very good coffee. I find the coffee here stronger in taste than in other coffee shops.

Toki

I love their coffee and they also sell Kombucha. They also have cakes and brunch dishes. It’s close to Central Station

Scandinavian Embassy

Great spot if you are in De Pijp area. Don’t forget to try their cinnamon buns. They also serve some brunch dishes.

4850

Their concept is a bit more unique. They serve coffee, wine and food. It’s in the East side of Amsterdam.

Bocca

Great coffee and the café is quite large for Amsterdam standards. It’s a short walk from Leidesplein.

For Brunch:

Dignita

They have two locations. One close to Vondelpark and the other in the east of Amsterdam (Hoftuin). The one in Hoftuin has a big garden, so nice to go if you want to be in the sun. They serve all day brunch.

Pluk

They sell all day brunch with plenty of sweet options. This place is also Instagram heaven. They have two locations (not far from one another) in the Nine Streets area.

Restaurants:

Daalder

They serve lunch and dinner. Their three course lunch menu starts at €37,50 and their five course dinner menu starts at €69. It is very well priced for what you get. The dishes are very creative. They also have a vegetarian menu.

C Amsterdam

Their menu is divided based on the different temperatures the dishes are prepared in. C stands for Celsius. Open for lunch and dinner. Two course lunch menu starts at €29. Four course dinner menu starts at 47.5 euros.

Flora

Mexican meets California type of food. They are open for dinner. It is quite popular in summer because they have a large terrace, so go early if the weather is nice.

Spaghetteria Pastabar

They have 5 locations in Amsterdam. All their pastas are homemade. Nothing fancy, just well prepared and home-style pasta dishes. Perfect to get your carb fix. Open only for dinner.

Pizza Beppe

Cozy restaurant offering Neapolitan pizza.

Restaurant Khan

This Korean restaurant close to the Amstelpark is not in a very popular location but it’s worth a visit if you are craving Korean food. Only open for dinner and reservations are a must. Last time we were there, the waiter had to tell people coming in that they were fully booked. Even to a group that was waiting outside before the restaurant even opened. This is their phone number: 020 646 3722. They don’t have a webpage.

Ron Gastrobar Downtown 

Indonesian restaurant that specializes in street food and rice tables. Located very close to Central station, above Hudson’s bay department store.

The Vegan Junk Food Bar 

If you are craving junk food, this is a great place to go even if you are not vegan. They sell vegan bitterballen (a bite size version of the Dutch croquettes, so if you are vegan and want to try them, this is the place). I love their Flashy (loaded) sweet potato fries. It is open for lunch and dinner. They have 4 locations all over Amsterdam.

The Beef Chief 

So far this is my favorite burger place in Amsterdam. I love their Kimchi burger and loaded fries. It’s in Amsterdam Noord.

Umaimon 

Ramen place close to Leidseplein.

For typical Dutch Croquettes:

Eetsalon Van Dobben

This is where I take any family or friend that comes from abroad. They sell typical Dutch croquettes and sandwiches. It’s is close to Rembrandtplein in the city center. But it is a bit hidden, located on a small side street. The people working there all wear white coats and it has a very old, almost dinner feel to it.

Par Hasard

They have two locations in Amsterdam. One in De Pijp and another one in Oud West. They made the traditional Dutch Snackbar (where you get fries, croquettes and other fried foods more often to go) trendier. Their fries are really good.

Holtkamp

It is a well-known bakery (I love their cheesecake) but they are also very popular for their croquettes. There is no place to sit here though since it is just takeaway.

For a savory bite to eat on the go:

Ibericus

They sell delicious Iberico ham sandwiches. The bread that they use for their sandwiches is amazing too. You can sit inside or just take them to go.

Hoi Tin Bakery

This is a good alternative If you are in the center and want something to eat on the go and very cheap. It’s a Chinese restaurant but they have a small bakery in the front. They sell different kinds of pastries like bbq pork buns. Mostly everything is under 2€ and you can ask them to warm it up for you.  It is located on Zeedijk which is Amsterdam’s Chinatown. I’ve only tried their bakery, not the restaurant itself.

Vleminckx (Fries in a cone)

Fries in a cone are very popular here and this place is great at it. It is very well known so there is often a line, but it goes quickly so you don’t have to wait for long. One thing to remember if you are new in the Netherlands, sauces are sold apart so they cost extra (even at places like McDonald’s and Burger King). It’s located on a side street of Kalverstraat (Amsterdam’s most popular shopping street). What I like about this shop is that they have a small bottle of vinegar next to the napkins that you can also add to your fries (this is for free). When I order my fries with mayo here, I add a squirt of vinegar since I like it a bit more sour.

Hema

If you don’t live in NL, Hema is a very popular store here. They sell a bit of everything. They usually have a bakery in the front where you can order a sandwich with Rookworst. It’s their popular smoked sausage. Nice with mustard.

For your sweet tooth:

Van Stapele

It’s a cute little shop that only sells one type of cookie. Dark chocolate stuffed with a soft white chocolate filling. If you are lucky, you get them still warm from the oven. They are very popular and there is often a line outside but it goes fast. They also sell them in tins, so it also makes a nice gift.

Matcha Bar 

Like the name says, they sell matcha desserts. My favorite is their Japanese fluffy cheesecake (it has no matcha). It’s so light that I could eat a whole cheesecake by myself.

Polaberry 

Strawberry covered in chocolate heaven. They also sell the cutest Amsterdam chocolate bars and cake pops.

Winkel 43

Try their popular apple pie.

Piza Ijs

Ice cream place. One of the few places that sell mint chocolate chip. At least that I know of.

Poffertjes

Poffertjes are tiny yeasted pancakes. They are usually made with buckwheat flour. And they are served with a small piece of butter and covered in powdered sugar. You can usually find at least one stand at any market. If I crave them, I go to the Albert Cuyp Market.

Stroopwafels

These are delicious super thin waffle cookies with a caramel syrup filling. They are best when they are freshly made and still hot. You can also buy them at supermarkets and place them on top of your cup of tea or coffee, and they will warm up and soften.

I love the ones at the Albert Cuyp market. They are many stands there but the little blue & red cart with the Original Stroopwafels sign is the most popular one. You can buy them at the market starting at 1.5 or 2 euros. The markets are only open from Monday to Saturday.

Van Wonderen Stroopwafels (located at the Kalverstraat) are also very nice, they serve them with a large variety of toppings but of course they are more expensive than at the market.

Ijsmanschap

Popsicle bar in Amsterdam West

Ludo & Hedo

They sell unconventional gelato flavors

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Veggie Caesar salad with Yogurt Dressing, Crunchy Chickpeas, Roasted Cauliflower with Steak Seasoning & Roasted Fennel (With Vegan Dressing Variation)

I made this about two weeks ago and posted it on my Instagram stories. And since you guys asked for the recipe, here it finally is. I love this salad because of the variety of flavours and textures. I made two dressings for it. One is a more traditional Caesar dressing but with yogurt. And the other dressing is vegan with soy yogurt, nutritional yeast and capers. I seasoned the cauliflower with steak seasoning but you can season it with the spices that you like. And I love the crispy chickpeas, we couldn’t stop snacking on them. You can make the dressing & roasted vegetables in advance. But the crispy chickpeas are best fried just before serving.

This recipe serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

4 romaine hearts, chopped

For the Yogurt Caesar Dressing:

½ cup of natural yogurt

6 anchovy fillets, minced

1 tablespoon of the oil from the anchovies

1 tablespoon of mustard

Juice of 1 lime

1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese

¼ cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon of honey

For the Vegan dressing:

½ cup of natural soy yogurt

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of mustard

1 tablespoon of capers

1 ½ tablespoon of nutritional yeast

Juice of half a lime

¼ cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon of agave syrup

For the roasted fennel:

1 big fennel bulb, thinly sliced

About 2 tablespoons of olive oil

A pinch of celery salt or sea salt

For the roasted cauliflower:

1 medium cauliflower, sliced into steaks or chunks

Olive oil

Steak seasoning of your choice or mix your own spices (a mix of black pepper, red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika powder)

For the crispy chickpeas:

1 can of chickpeas, about 265 grs (net weight)

½ cup of flour

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of cayenne (optional)

¼ cup of vegetable oil

To make the roasted fennel:

Preheat your oven to 200C/390F.

Thinly slice the fennel and place it in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle it with some olive oil and sprinkle with some celery salt (or sea salt).

Roast it for 25- 30 minutes till the edges are golden.

To make the roasted cauliflower:

I sliced the cauliflower into steaks just for presentation purposes but you can also just chop it up into small pieces. I used McCormick’s Grill mates Montreal steak seasoning that we bought in the US. You can use any steak seasoning or spices that you like. Or make your own. I’ve listed the ingredients of the seasoning above. 

Add some olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and sprinkle some of the seasoning. Roast for about 7 minutes depending on the size that you sliced/chopped the cauliflower. I like it a bit charred and to still have some bite.

To make the crispy chickpeas:

Rinse your canned chickpeas under cold water. Then pat them dry with paper towels. In a bowl, mix the flour with the onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt & cayenne.

Place the dried chickpeas in the seasoned flour and mix them through. Then pour the chickpeas into a fine mesh sieve. Shake it to remove the excess flour.

Add ¼ cup of vegetable oil to a large pan over medium heat. They don’t need to be deep fried, but it is good to have a thin layer of oil in the pan to get them crispy. Once the oil is hot, fry the chickpeas for about 7-8 minutes untill they get golden.

Transfer the crunchy chickpeas to a bowl lined with parchment paper. Taste for salt and add it if needed.

To serve, mix the romaine with the dressing. Serve with the roasted fennel, cauliflower and chickpeas. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Paris Weekend Guide (where to eat, shop & Instagrammable spots)

A couple of months ago we decided to book a weekend in Paris to just go eat and take a mini break from work. And this past weekend that’s exactly what we did. I took the picture of the Eiffel Tower above from Avenue de Camoens. Also good to know: the tower sparkles every hour on the hour for 5 minutes after sunset.

Here is where we ate:

Café Panache (lunch – dinner)

They serve bistro classics with a twist. We had the crispy chicken club sandwich and the spicy beef tartare for lunch. We arrived Friday afternoon at opening time and we were seated at the bar since we didn’t have a reservation. Reservation advised.

Du Pain et Des Idées (bakery)

I’ve been wanting to try their pistachio escargot pastry for a while and it didn’t disappoint. Plus, it was the size of my face so I just shared one with Pieter. The bakery is only open from Monday to Friday, so if you are only going for a long weekend. Keep that in mind.

Verjus (dinner)

Open from Monday to Friday, they only serve a tasting menu for dinner. It costs €78 and we loved it. The dishes were well executed and service was fast. Reservation is a must.

Buvette (all day)

We came here for breakfast on Saturday. We tried their croque monsieur which came with cornichons. It was delicious. They don’t take reservations.

Frenchie to Go (breakfast – late lunch)

UK and American fast food with a French twist. We came for lunch and had their fish & chips, and buttermilk fried chicken with coleslaw.

Homies

This is a restaurant but we only came here for drinks. We were meeting an old friend of Pieter’s and the bar we were going to go was full. This one was close by and we only had to wait for a little bit to get a table. It turned out to be a nice discovery. It had a really nice atmosphere  and their cocktails were really good.

Pink Mamma (Lunch – dinner)

This Italian restaurant is really popular and they don’t take reservations. We arrived 30 minutes before opening time for lunch and there were already around 8 people waiting in line in the rain. The restaurant has 4 floors and they start sitting you from the top floor down. Since we arrived quite early, we were seated at the top floor. The place is Instagram heaven and the top floor has a glass roof, so perfect to take pictures with natural light. The food was delicious and the service was quite fast and friendly. Pieter had the Bruschetta tartare style and the Regina Instagram pizza with burrata. I had my love for truffle satisfied with the Arancino al tartufo and their in-house made pasta with truffle. All the dishes were reasonably priced.

Four seasons Hotel George V Christmas Pop Up (everyday till January 7th 2019)

We stopped at this pop up to try their famous caramelized pain au chocolat and it was incredible! I’m still dreaming about it.

Pierre Hermé (various shops around the city)

No trip to Paris is complete for me without stopping here. I love their macarons and they change seasonally.

Where to shop:

Merci: Concept store with very nice brands and their Insta famous red car.

La Grande Épicerie de Paris: Upscale supermarket and specialty store

Le Bon Marche: Department store

Galeries Lafayette: Department store. You can get a nice view of the city from their rooftop terrace.

Sephora: If you have it in your country, you will probably not be interested. But I love makeup and Sephora is no longer in NL. So whenever I travel to a country that has it, it’s a mandatory stop for me. They have many locations in Paris.

Other Instagrammable spots (these pictures are from my trip last year):

Trocadero

Rue Crémieux. Most likely Paris most colourful street. It reminds me of London.

La Maison Rose in Montmartre

Also good to know:

Paris is a big city and you should be careful of pick pockets. Even though I had heard about them, and they do announce on the speakers of the metro to be careful, I had never seen it happening until this last trip. This happened while we were on the metro. As a group of lady tourists were getting off at one stop  and a group of kids (around 17 years old) were getting in, there was some pushing and yelling. At first we didn’t know what was going on. Until one of the lady tourists wanted to get back in the metro and the kids stood by the door forming a wall to not let her back in. That’s when the lady yelled: Pick Pocket. Only then we realised that they were not just kids, they were a gang. Once the metro departed, I was pretty scared of the whole situation since they were still blocking the door. The guy next to us started taking pictures of the gang, they noticed and started harassing him. Luckily the gang just got off at the next stop. This by no means should discourage you to visit this beautiful city. I am just mentioning this so you can be aware of at least one of their tricks to create confusion and steal. It is always good to be vigilant.

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade Pasta with Cauliflower & Pistachios (Vegan Friendly)

I made this the last week for dinner and we liked it so much, that I made it again this morning to be able to take a proper picture of it and write the recipe. I really dislike the lack of natural light during these colder months but it was a good excuse to make pasta again. I can never have too much of it.

This recipe is super simple and quick to make. I chopped all the ingredients for the tapenade by hand just to have bigger chunks. But you can also do it in the food processor. I made it using anchovies because I like the umami flavour that they give. But if you are vegan or don’t like them, you can skip them.

Ingredients:

400grs of pasta, I used Mezzi Rigatoni

For the cauliflower:

1 small cauliflower, chopped into small pieces (about 4-5 cups)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of cayenne

1 teaspoon of celery salt

1 teaspoon of onion powder

For the sun-dried tomato tapenade:

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, minced (from a can, preserved in olive oil)

1 tablespoon of capers, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

½ cup of Kalamata olives, minced

6 anchovy filets, minced (optional)

1 ½ teaspoon of chilli flakes or more to taste

Salt to taste. When I use anchovies, I don’t add any salt as they are salty enough

For the toppings:

1/3 of a cup of toasted unsalted pistachios

5 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley

 

Start by making the cauliflower. Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot; add the cauliflower, cayenne, celery salt and onion powder. Cook for about 6 minutes until it is cooked through and a bit charred. Don’t forget to stir from time to time.

To toast the pistachios, first finely chopped them. Then place them in a large pan over medium heat. Toast them without any oil for a minute or two while stirring. Make sure to keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t burn. Transfer them to a bowl and set them aside to cool down.

To make the sauce: mince the sun-dried tomatoes, capers, garlic and Kalamata olives. If you are using anchovies, mince them as well. If you want to save time, you can also use a food processor for this. This time I just chopped them by hand.

Cook the pasta of as instructed on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, start making the sauce. Poor 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the minced tomatoes, capers, garlic, Kalamata olives, chillli flakes and anchovies (if using). Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Once the pasta is ready, reserve a bit of the pasta water to loosen up the sauce. I reserved about ¼ of a cup. Add the pasta, cauliflower, and a bit of the pasta water to the sauce. Cook for one extra minute while mixing, until everything is combined. Add salt to taste if needed.

Serve the pasta with the toasted pistachios and parsley. I also like to add an extra sprinkle of chilli flakes. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A Day at Walt Disney World Orlando

I have very fond memories of the Disney World parks in Orlando. I used to go there on vacation with my parents as a kid. It’s been 15 years since my last visit and this was Pieter’s first time at any of the Disney parks. So, we were both pretty excited to be there. We had one day-hopper tickets which meant we could visit all 4 theme parks in one day. We originally wanted to end the day at Magic Kingdom in order to watch the fireworks show at the end. But the day we went, they had an especial Halloween show which meant no fireworks. We decided to start at Magic Kingdom instead.

We arrived bout 15 minutes before the park opened. I do recommend to try to go on a weekday if you can, and arriving a bit before the park opens. Then you can go straight to the most popular attraction that you want to go to, and can skip the lines. After buying some souvenirs and taking a mandatory picture in front of Cinderella’s castle, we headed straight towards space mountain. I had forgotten how much fun rollercoasters are. We got some pineapple Dole Whip at Aloha Isle, which was very welcome since it was scorching hot that day. We also grabbed a Mickey pretzel with cheese sauce.

We then took the bus towards Disney’s Hollywood studios and headed straight towards the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

We were too late to book a fast pass for this, so we waited about an hour in line. It was well worth it though. This was both our favorite ride that day. Then we went to Aerosmith’s rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. This was so much fun and we only waited in line for about 10 minutes. We had a corn dog and then took another bus towards Epcot center.

There was a Food & Wine festival at Epcot so we grabbed some bites to eat at a few stands.

Then I had some shaved ice at the Japan Pavilion. We had some funnel cake with powdered sugar. This was so good and I haven’t had it in ages. We walked through the rest of the countries and then finished it off by going on Mission Space.

We had an amazing day at Disney and loved going to the thrill rides.

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Kale & Harissa Roasted Chickpea Salad

We’ve been currently obsessed with harissa. I’ve been using it a lot to roast eggplants and chickpeas. And Pieter just discovered that he loves topping his goat cheese crackers with it. I posted this salad on my Instagram stories and I got so many requests for the recipe that I made it again today to write down the exact measurements.

This is a great fall/winter salad. It has a lot of bite to it and it is quite filling. We had it twice last week and I always make 4 portions so we can have the leftovers (without mixing all the dressing) the next day for lunch. This recipe is also vegan if you swap the honey for agave syrup. Happy #meatlessmonday!

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

For the Harissa roasted chickpeas:

530grs of drained canned chickpeas (4 cups)

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 heaped tablespoons of harissa paste, or more if you like it more spicy

2 tablespoons of agave syrup or honey

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of celery salt

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

For the salad:

16 cups of shredded kale, or any other greens that you like (enough for 4 servings)

1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds, toasted

1/3 cup of pine nuts, toasted

1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds

For the shallot vinaigrette:

2 small shallots, finely shopped

½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup of white vinegar

¼ cup of red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of mustard

2 tablespoons of agave syrup or honey

1 teaspoon of salt

 

Start by making the harissa roasted chickpeas. Drain the canned chickpeas. Place the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the chickpeas, harissa, agave or honey, balsamic vinegar, onion powder, celery salt and garlic powder. Mix well. Let it cook until it caramelizes and turns slightly brown. This will take about 12 minutes. Don’t forget to stir from time to time, especially towards the end. Otherwise it can burn easily because of the honey/agave. Taste if it needs any salt. Transfer the chickpeas to a bowl and set it aside.

Toast the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts in a pan with no oil, on medium heat. Toss constantly so that they don’t burn. This will only take a couple of minutes. Transfer them to a bowl and set it aside.

To make the vinaigrette, finely chop two small shallots. Place the shallots in a jar that has a lid. Then add the olive oil, white vinegar, red wine vinegar, mustard, agave or honey and salt. Close the jar and shake it until it emulsifies.

Once you are ready to eat, massage the kale with the vinaigrette for about a minute. This will soften the kale. If you are not serving the whole recipe, don’t mix all the kale with all the vinaigrette. Just mix the amount that you are going to eat right away. Serve it with the roasted chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Peruvian Shrimp Risotto (with Aji Amarillo)

It’s already turning a bit chilly here, so comfort food is in order. This Peruvian risotto has a bit of a kick because of the Aji Amarillo chili paste (you can find it at Tijn’s toko here in Amsterdam, or online). I made a sauce using the shrimp heads and shells, so you can really taste the shrimp. It’s sort of a risotto with shrimp bisque. The flavors remind me of my childhood. That’s also why I served it with some fried calamari, besides just for added texture and flavor.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the risotto:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 small white onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of Aji Amarillo paste

800grs of shrimp, with the heads and shells

3/4 cup of White wine

1 ¾ cups of Arborio rice (risotto rice)

1 1/2 litters of vegetable stock

½ cup of cream

½ cup of grated Grana Padano (or Parmesan)

Salt to taste

For the shrimp sauce:

The shell of the tails and the heads of the shrimp

2 tablespoons of butter

¼ cup of white wine

2 cups of vegetable stock

Extras:

Olive oil or butter to cook the shrimp tails

1 tablespoon of chopped parsley

Fried calamari (optional), recipe here

Lime wedges for serving

 

First make the shrimp sauce. Remove the heads from the shrimp. Then peel and devein them. Keep the tail shells and the heads. Place the peeled shrimp tails back in the fridge.

In a large pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the shrimp shells and heads. Sautee them for about 1 minute. Then add the white wine. Let it reduce for one minute while stirring. Then add two cups of vegetable stock and let it reduce for 5 minutes. Then blend it all until smooth. Pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Set the sauce aside. Discard the solids.

Then start making the risotto. Place the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over low heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onions. Cook for 4 minutes, until they are translucent (but not brown). Stir from time to time. Then add the garlic and the Aji Amarillo paste. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Add the rice, stir to coat it in the sauce. Then add the white wine and let it reduce for 30 seconds. Turn up the heat to medium-low. Add one ladle of the vegetable stock to the rice and stir until most of it evaporates. Repeat adding ladles of the stock and stirring for 15 minutes.

Finally add the shrimp sauce, grated grana Padano and cream. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring.  Turn off the heat.

In another pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter. Add the shrimp tails and cook until they turn pink. Time will vary depending on the side of the shrimp, but they cook quite fast. Add salt to taste.

Serve the risotto into bowls, add the shrimp tails and sprinkle with some parsley. Serve it with some lime wedges. I also served it some fried calamari, this is optional but it goes really well with it. For the calamari; I just breaded it flour, then beaten eggs and finally in panko. If you want to have the full recipe (and how to clean the squid), you can check this recipe of mine. I just didn’t use cornmeal this time.

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Cecconi’s Amsterdam

Cecconi’s is the recently opened Italian restaurant of the Soho House in Amsterdam. They serve hand-made pasta, seafood and dishes from Northern Italy. If you have never heard of Soho house, it’s a private club. They have locations in key cities all over the world. But you don’t have to be a member to come to the restaurant.

We were there at the press opening and tasted some of the chef’s selection. We ordered a few cocktails. Pieter’s favorite was the Ambrato Spritz which had St. Germain, Ambrato, mint and prosecco. My favorites were their Bellini and their Garibaldi sour. The Garibaldi sour was a mocktail with orange, homemade orgeat, flattened crodino, citrus and bitter.

For starters we had the burrata with tomato and basil, a classic topped with pistachio nuts. And the Vitello tonnato with caper berries which was also very tasty.

Our mains were the risotto with wild mushrooms, the lobster spaghetti and the veal Milanese. I loved the veal Milanese. It’s something I don’t eat very often but this one was very crunchy and perfectly cooked. The risotto was delightful. I’m a big fan of mushrooms and this one hit the spot.

For dessert, we shared a tiramisu and the profiteroles with pistachio ice cream and chocolate sauce. Both were amazing and not overly sweet.

Overall the service was really good, our waiter was very friendly and proud of the food he was serving. The portions are big, so you won’t go home hungry. If you want Italian comfort food, this is the place to go.

Cecconi’s Amsterdam

Spuistraat 210

1012VT, Amsterdam

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Al Pastor Cauliflower Tacos (vegan)

The heat wave is finally over and we are back to good old cold Dutch summer weather. 35C weather is no fun when there is no air-conditioning and you have to work, but I was loving the 30C days. For the last few weeks we have been practically living of salads (the filling kind, not just lettuce). Not only because it was too hot to cook, but I was so busy with some styling projects that I didn’t have time or energy to cook dinner either.

But this week I took some time off and I actually had some me-time, which is something my body really needed. As someone who gets migraines when I am stressed, I really need to listen to my body. The past few weeks had been really draining physically. Which is why I took a break from posting on social media to just concentrate in my other projects and not overwork myself.

For this recipe, I bought all the Mexican ingredients at Tjin’s Toko close to the Albert Cuyp market. This  is a super easy meal and you can also cook the cauliflower in advance and just reheat it when you want to eat. Just blend all of the ingredients for the adobo sauce, grilled the pineapple, and just cook the cauliflower in a pan with the sauce. And it also happens to be vegan. You can top the tacos with any sauce that you like. This time I served them with some store-bought salsa verde. And I served them with some Hibiscus iced tea with lime.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the adobo sauce:

3 teaspoons of dried Guajillo chili powder

1 teaspoon of dried oregano

2 Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (comes in a can)

1 tablespoon of the abobo sauce from the chipotle chili can

1 tablespoon of achiote powder

1/4 cup of white vinegar

2 garlic cloves

½ white onion, roughly chopped

Pinch of cumin

Pinch of salt

¼ cup of fresh orange juice

1 clove

Extras:

1 large cauliflower, sliced into small florets

1 ripe pineapple (peeled, cored and sliced into pieces)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

12 small tortillas

A handful of coriander, chopped

Limes for serving

Sauce of your choice for serving, I used salsa verde

2 avocados, thinly sliced

 

To make the sauce, just blend all of the ingredients until you have a paste.

Mix the sauce with the cauliflower florets.

Heat up a large cast iron skillet and brush it with a bit of olive oil over medium-high heat. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, just use a normal pan. Once the pan is hot, grilled the pineapple for a couple of minutes until it is a bit charred. Set them aside.

In a large pan over medium heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil. Then add half of the cauliflower. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked but still has some bite and it is a bit charred. Don’t forget to stir from time to time. Wash the pan in between cooking the two batches because the remaining adobo from the first batch will burn. Then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the last batch of cauliflower.

Warm up the tortillas in a pan.

To serve, add a few slices of avocado to each tortilla. Then add some of the cauliflower, the the grilled pineapple and sprinkle some of the chopped coriander. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Crispy & Spicy Tofu Bánh Mì with Green Papaya Slaw

A mash-up Asian recipe which is very easy to make and perfect for this meatless Monday. The tofu is coated in a sambal marinade, and then coated in panko to seal in all the flavours. Served as a sandwich with a nice baguette and green papaya slaw. You’ve got crunchy, sweet, tangy and spicy. Umami all the way!

Last year we went on holiday to Thailand. I ordered green papaya salad as a side dish for lunch and dinner everyday while we were there. I love the sweet, tangy and spicy combination. Plus it was so cheap there, I might as well indulge in my cravings. My green papaya salad recipe is a bit different, I skipped on the beans and tomatoes. I wanted to keep it more like a slaw, but it is still bursting with flavor. You can find green papaya at most Tokos (Asian stores) in Amsterdam. I bought this one at the Honk Kong store on the Kinkerstraat. I also wrote a Grocery & Market Amsterdam Guide in case you are new here and want to know where to find specific ingredients. You can see the guide here.

I love tofu. But for me I always have to season it well, since it is quite bland on its own. Last week I received some sambals from my friend Lily. Her parents own an Asian store in the south of Holland called Amazing Sang Lee. They are known for making delicious Sambal and they now sell about 20 different varieties. I wanted to incorporate their Taotjo sambal into a recipe. And I came up with this one. I made a marinade with the sambal and coated the tofu in it. Then I coated it in panko to give it some crunch and seal in the marinade. The result is so delicious. This tofu in itself doesn’t need anything else. You can just snack on it like that. But since I wanted to make it into a whole meal, I turned it into a Bánh Mì sandwich.

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

For the crispy & spicy tofu:
300grs of firm tofu for frying
3 tablespoons of Taotjo Sambal (or the sambal of your preference), you can add more if you like it more spicy
4 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 teaspoons of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of honey or agave
2 teaspoons of white vinegar
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of celery salt
½ a teaspoon of garlic powder

For the tofu coating:
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups of panko breadcrumbs
1 cup of all-purpose flour

For the green papaya slaw:
1 green papaya (about 600grs) shredded, gives about 4-5 cups
1/2 cup of toasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bird’s eye chili (or more to taste), minced
1 cup of shredded carrot
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar (you can also use palm sugar)

Extras:
Coriander leaves
2 baguettes
About ¾ of a cup of vegetable oil to fry the tofu
About 3 cups of mixed greens (lettuce)

 

First remove the tofu from its packaging. Pat it dry with a paper towel to remove the excess moisture. Then slice it into 1cm thick pieces. I prefer them not too thick because this way, you get a more balance bite of crunch, marinade and tofu.

To make the marinade: Mix the sambal with the rest of the ingredients. Brush each slice of tofu with the marinade on both sides. Place it in the fridge while you make the slaw.

To make the green papaya slaw: Peel the skin off the papaya. Then shred it. I used my mandoline with the julienne attachment. But you can also use a grater if you don’t have a mandoline.

In a big bowl, mix the chili with the garlic, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Mix it well, trying to dissolve the sugar as much as possible. Then add the shredded green papaya and carrot. Mix well until everything is coated in the sauce. Then add the peanuts. Mix well.

To make the coating for the tofu: Have the beaten eggs in one bowl, the flour in another and the panko in the last bowl. Take the tofu out of the fridge. Grab a piece and coat it in the flour, be careful not to remove any of the sambal marinade. Then coat it in the beaten egg and finally in the panko. Repeat for all.

Pour about ¾ of a cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the tofu in batches. Fry until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes, so keep an eye on it.

To assemble each sandwich, first add a layer of mixed greens. Then add the green papaya slaw. Finally add the crispy tofu and top with some coriander leaves. Serve right away. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email