Xmas Lunch at the Conservatorium Hotel

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I can’t believe how fast this year has passed by. With Christmas just around the corner, lots of restaurants already have their holiday menus planned. A great alternative if you want to skip on the cooking. As much as I enjoy the whole cooking process, sometimes it’s nice to let others do it and just enjoy the meal and the company.

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Today I had a Xmas lunch at the Conservatorium Hotel. Our table was beautifully decorated and with live singing, it was impossible not to get into the holiday spirit. We started with the Hamachi sashimi with caviar, beef tartar with nashi pear, Alaskan king crab with avocado & blood orange, and a wild carrot tartar with ash & chardonnay vinaigrette. This was all to share. The first two were my favorite. I love a good steak tartare and the combination with pear was just delicious. And the Hamachi, well I ended up eating a bit of my neighbor’s as well.

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Then we had a cappuccino of roasted celeriac with white truffle. The soup was very airy and full of flavor with a surprise of citrusy mushrooms in the bottom. For a more traditional touch, the main course was composed of very tender and juicy beef Wellington with structures of mushrooms, Bordelaise sauce, mashed potatoes, poached pears and chestnuts in salted caramel sauce.

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fullsizerender-2And since there is no ending without something sweet, we had the winter wonderland dessert and some gingerbread men. I really enjoy Schilo Van Coevorden’s cooking. I’ve been coming here since early this year and it never disappoints.

The Conservatorium Hotel

Van Baerlestraat 27 , Amsterdam

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Curried Cauliflower, Lentil & Chickpea Sliders with Coconut Coleslaw and Mango/Pomegranate Salsa

The veggie burger I was teasing you with on my Instagram stories. This time with cauliflower, red lentil and chickpeas. All mixed together with hot curry and spices. Paired with coconut cabbage and carrot slaw, and mango/pomegranate salsa. It’s slightly spicy and sweet. Keep in mind that I used dried chickpeas which need to be soaked overnight.

This recipe makes about 20 small sliders.

Ingredients:

For the patties:

½ cup of dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight

½ cup of red lentils

2 cups of vegetable stock

2 cups of grated cauliflower (I used the food processor until it had a rice-like consistency)

1 ½ teaspoon of hot curry powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoons of onion powder

1 teaspoon of paprika powder

½ a teaspoon of mustard powder

1 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

1 egg

1/3 cup of breadcrumbs

1/3 cup of all-purpose flour

For the coating:

¾ cup of breadcrumbs

¾ cup of panko

¾ teaspoon of salt

¾ teaspoon of smoked paprika

For the coconut coleslaw:

4 tablespoons of mayonnaise

2 teaspoons of mustard

Juice of 1 lime

6 tablespoons of coconut milk

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

¾ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

150grs of shredded carrot

200grs of shredded cabbage

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of onion powder

For the mango/pomegranate salsa:

1 mango, finely diced

1 medium red onion, finely diced

Juice of 1 lime

1 red chili, finely chopped

1/3 cup of pomegranate seeds

½ a bunch of coriander, chopped

Salt to taste

Extra:

About 1 cup of vegetable oil

Slider buns

 

The night before, soak the chickpeas in cold water.

The next day, start by making the coconut coleslaw. Add the mayo, mustard, lime juice, coconut milk, vinegar, salt, sugar, cayenne and onion powder to a large bowl. Mix well and then add the shredded carrot and cabbage. Mix until the cabbage and carrot are well coated in the sauce. Covered it and let it sit in the fridge until ready to serve. It’s best to let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

To make the mango/pomegranate salsa, just mix all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste for salt and let it sit in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the patties, first cook the lentils. Place the lentils and vegetable stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until soft, stirring from time to time. This will take about 15 minutes. Once they are cooked, turn off the heat and let them dry out in the saucepan for 30 minutes.

Once the 30 minutes are up, place the cooked lentils, drained chickpeas, shredded cauliflower and the rest of the ingredients for the patties in the food processor. Pulse until everything is mixed through.

To make the coating, just mix all of the ingredients in a shallow bowl. Because the patty mixture is quite soft, it’s better to make each patty small. I made each patty with about 1 tablespoon of the mixture. You can make them bigger, just try not to make them too big as they might break while cooking.

Grab about 1 tablespoon of the patty mixture and form it into a ball with your hands. Coat it in the breadcrumb mixture and set it aside. Repeat for all.

Pour the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, cook the patties in batches. Flatten them a bit with the back of a spatula and cook them until evenly golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes.

Serve the sliders with the coconut coleslaw and mango/pomegranate salsa. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, 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 my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

 

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Het Massagehuys (Massage parlor in Amsterdam West)

                                                                                  *Picture taken from Het Massagehuys website

 

Last Tuesday I paid Het Massagehuys a visit. I’ve been swamped with work lately and holding a lot of stress, so I needed a bit of a reset. This was my second visit and I already love this place. It’s clean, the service is great and the massages are affordable. When you come in, you get some slippers and a robe. You can change in a private room and you get a locker to put all your stuff away. This time I was welcomed by Xenia, one of the house captains. She explained me how the oils they use are homemade and all natural. They offer 6 different kinds of massages. I went for the stress relief. After about 55 minutes of pure bliss (she’s got heavenly hands!), it was time for some tea. The kind of tea you get depends on the kind of massage you take, as it is meant to complement your treatment. This is a little gem in Amsterdam West and offers a great way to escape the busy city life, even if it’s just for 1 hour.

Het Massagehuys

Jan Evertsenstraat 110-H Amsterdam (close to Mercatorplein)

For more foodie inspiration, 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 my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

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Peruvian Shrimp Chowder (Chupe de Camarones)

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Today is Pieter’s birthday. He wanted to stay in and requested this Peruvian soup he remembers from when we were in Lima. I am very happy to oblige since of course I want to make him something that he really enjoys, but also a mini proud moment since of everything he wanted, he requested something from my home country. This soup is a sort of bisque. This version can be made anywhere. It is just very important to get whole shrimp (with shells and heads) since they are the base for this soup. Served with some lime wedges and it’s heaven in a bowl.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

750g whole medium shrimp (peeled and deveined, reserve the shells and heads)

½ red onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup tomato puree

2 teaspoons of tomato paste

3 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped (or any other kind for mashing, you want it to give consistency to the soup)

Handful of rice

2 liters of seafood stock (I boiled 1 crab, 300 gr of vongole, 1 diced carrot, 2 stalks of celery and 1 leek)

2 tablespoons of butter

½ cup of white wine or Pisco

Salt

Olive oil

¼ cup of peas

¼ cup of broad beans

½ cup of corn kernels

200ml cream

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

150gr feta, crumbled

½ bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

Extras:

3 eggs, fried

Lime wedges for serving

 

To make the stock, just boil the crab with the vongole, carrot, celery and chopped leek for about 20-30 minutes, Then drain and reserve the stock.

To prepare the shrimp sauce, first peel the shrimp and then remove the veins. Reserve the shells and heads. Put the clean shrimp tails in a bowl and reserve in the fridge. (if you want you can reserve 3 whole shrimps and cook them with the shells and then reserve them for decorating the plate)

In a medium pan and over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil. Then add the shells, heads and white wine. Cook until the wine has reduced. Put the shells in a blender; add some salt and about 3 cups of the seafood stock. Blend until smooth and then sift the mixture. Reserve it.

In a large pot, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tomato puree. Add the remaining of the seafood stock and the shrimp sauce. Add the potatoes, a handful of rice and some salt. Let it simmer on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the peas, broad beans, corn kernels and shrimp tails to the soup. Let it cook for about 3 minutes and then add the cream.  Add the oregano, half of the chopped coriander and taste for salt.

Pour the soup into 3 bowls and sprinkle with some feta and more coriander. Place a fried egg on top of each bowl and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, 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 my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

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Pork, Pineapple & Water Chestnut Noodle Stir-Fry

These past weeks have been so busy and with not that much time to cook, stir-fry dishes are always a savior. We are extending our apartment and the building was supposed to have been finished in October, but now it looks like it is going to be finished around the beginning of January. This kinda sucks since we were looking forward to celebrating our first Christmas in our new finished house. Our living room and kitchen have been full of boxes since we moved in, but hopefully it will all be done soon.

Going back to the stir-fry, I made it with minced pork. But if you would like to keep it vegetarian, it would also go well with soya mince or any vegetable that would like.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

300gr of minced pork

1 ½ cup of diced fresh pineapple

1 sweet pepper, finely chopped

250gr of water chestnuts, finely chopped (I used frozen ones, thawed)

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced

½ teaspoon of Sichuan pepper powder

2 tablespoons of chili bean sauce

4 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

3 tablespoons of hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons of oyster sauce

75grs of bean sprouts

3 spring onions

325grs of rice noodles

Extras:

Sesame seeds

Spring onion

 

First prep and chop all of your ingredients. Then cook the rice noodles as instructed on the package.

Place one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the minced pork and Sichuan pepper powder. Cook for about 3 minutes while stirring until it gets browned. Then add the garlic, ginger and chili bean sauce. Cook for an extra minute while stirring.

Then add the pineapple, sweet pepper and water chestnuts. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin, oyster sauce, bean sprouts and spring onions. Mix well and then add the cooked noodles. Stir-fry till the noodles are well coated in the sauce.

Serve straight away with extra spring onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, 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 my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

 

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