Turmeric, Ginger & Lemon Loaf

This sweat bread is so delicious. The ginger, lemon and cinnamon filling becomes sticky, creating a wonderful crust on top. And these flavors go so well with the turmeric bread. Filled with warm flavors, this is perfect for the cold months that are ahead of us. Plus just look at the amazing color that the turmeric gives! Pieter and I already finished half of it for lunch. This loaf also works very well as French toast.

This recipe is for one large loaf (25cm loaf pan).

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3/4 cup of warm water

7grs of dry yeast

4 cups of all-purpose flour

2 eggs

4 tablespoons of melted butter

½ teaspoon of salt

½ cup of granulated sugar

1 teaspoon of ginger powder

½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

2 tablespoons of turmeric powder

For the filling:

Zest of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder

2 tablespoons of very finely chopped ginger

1 1/4 cup of sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

 

Place the yeast and the warm water in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes are up, add the remaining ingredients for the dough. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment. If you knead it by hand, do it for about 10 minutes.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and grease it with a bit of vegetable oil. Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

While the dough is rising, make the filling. Mix the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and the chopped ginger in a small bowl. Set it aside until ready to use.

Once the dough has risen, divide it into 2 equal pieces. Roll out one piece into a rectangle of about 34x26cm. Spread half of the filling all over the dough. Then roll it like a tight crepe. Repeat for the remaining piece of dough. If you prefer to have visuals on how to form the dough, check this older post of mine.

Once you have two filled logs, grab one and make a clean slice over the middle. But leave the top part attached. Then twist it trying to keep the open side up. Do the same thing with the other log. Then twist the two logs together. Slice off the uneven edges. Then pinch the edges to seal them and tuck them underneath.

Place the babka in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Do it carefully, so that you don’t stretch the dough too much and that the filling doesn’t spill out. 

 

Cut off a piece of plastic wrap (large enough that so that it covers the loaf pan). Brush one side with a bit of vegetable oil. Cover the top of the loaf with the plastic wrap, greased side down.

Let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 15 minutes before the second rise is up, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the loaf is done rising, bake it for 35 minutes.

Carefully remove the loaf from the pan. Enjoy!

If you have some left over the next day, you can make it into French toast.

 

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Cold Noodle Salad with Miso & Sesame Dressing

A super easy salad that can be easily adapted to what you have in your fridge or any other toppings you feel like having. I love vinegar and I have been eating a lot of pickled veggies lately. So for this, I pickled some radish in red wine vinegar to add a pop of color. You can also use pickled ginger instead. To keep it simple I just added avocado, a 6 minute egg, cucumber and edamame. This is great to take to lunch the next day too.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the miso & sesame dressing:

1 teaspoon of red miso

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

4 tablespoons of sesame oil

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons of agave syrup or honey

1 clove of garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon of chili oil

For the salad:

200grs of noodles of your choice (I used a gluten free variety, made with brown rice & amaranth)

½ a cucumber, thinly sliced

A bit of pickled radish (I pickled my own in red wine vinegar, hence the color , with a bit of salt, sugar and chili), you can also use pickled ginger.

150gr of cooked edamame beans

1 egg

1 avocado, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon of Togarashi

1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds

 

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until it emulsifies. Set it aside.

For the soft boiled egg, place it in a saucepan and add boiling water. Let it cook for 6 minutes over medium heat. Then rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking. Peel it and set it aside until serving.

Cook the noodles as instructed on the package. Then rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking. Drizzle a little bit of sesame oil so that they don’t stick.

Divide the noodles over two bowls. Add the avocado, edamame, cucumber, radish and egg. Sprinkle some togarashi and black sesame seeds on top. Serve with the miso & sesame dressing. Enjoy!

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Salmon Coconut Chowder

Chilly temperatures are upon us (at least here in NL). I’ve already started switching my closet as summer jackets will no longer cut it for me. And with that, hearty and comforting dishes will be on our house’s menu more often. This is a bit of an Asian take on chowder. I used coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass and chili (this soup is not spicy but you can always add more chili). For some crunch and extra flavor, I topped it with fried onions. I also used beer in this soup. Pieter thought that the combo was a bit weird, until he tasted it. It works, so now it is here on the blog.

This recipe serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 leeks, finely chopped

3 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger

2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped (white part only)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 cup of pilsner beer

1 big head of salmon

1.5 litters of vegetable stock (1 cube of vegetable stock mixed with 1.5 litters of boiling water)

4 small potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes (I used the kind for mashing because it will thicken the soup)

400ml of coconut milk

Salt

Kernels of one corn

200grs of skinless salmon filler, sliced into cubes

Extras:

Fried onions (store bought)

Coriander leaves for serving

Lime wedges

Crusty bread

 

In a large pot, place the vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the leeks, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and chili. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Then add the beer and let it simmer till half of it evaporates. Then add the head of salmon and the vegetable stock. Let it simmer for 1/2 hour.

Once the 30 minutes have passed, remove the salmon head. Carefully remove as much salmon meat as you can from the head. Be careful to discard of any bones. Shred the meat with a fork and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

Add the coconut milk and potatoes. Give it a good stir and let it simmer for another 30 minutes over medium heat.

Once the soup has reduced, add the shredded salmon (head) meat and the corn kernels. You can now also add the salmon fillet cubes, so that they cook in the soup. This will only take a couple of minutes. For presentation purposes, I cooked the salmon cubes in a pan with a bit of vegetable oil and a sprinkle of celery salt. This will only take a couple of minutes till the salmon is golden on all sides.

Serve the soup with a sprinkle of crispy fried onions and chopped coriander. And some crusty bread & lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!

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Sichuan Cauliflower Tacos with Chive Flatbread (Vegan)

You guys know I like to experiment with my taco recipes as they are often non-traditional. This recipe had been on my to-test list for a while. I started making the cauliflower last week, but it wasn’t the texture that I had in mind. It ended up either being too coarse, or way too mushy (too small). The latter ended up looking not appetizing at all. So I started to do some research and I stumbled across Pinch of Yum’s Cauliflower walnut taco meat. This was genius! By adding walnut to the cauliflower, the mince had more texture. Resembling more minced meat and exactly what I was looking for. I made mine in a pan though. And because I wanted to keep the Asian vibes going, I made chive & sesame oil flatbreads which I shaped into taco shells. This recipe is not only delicious, it also happens to be vegan.

This recipe makes 16 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the chive flatbread:

2 1/2 cups of self-rising flour

1 cup of boiling water

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

For the cauliflower:

2 cups of cauliflower

1 ½ cups of walnuts

1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder

1 tablespoon of fresh ginger

1 teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 1/2 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper powder

1 tablespoon of chili bean sauce

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of hoisin

For the sauce:

Juice of half a lime

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of agave syrup

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

Extras:

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

5 radishes, thinly sliced

Garden cress, for decoration

Sesame seeds

Sesame oil for cooking the bread

 

Start by making the chive flat bread to use as tortillas. Place the flour, sesame oil, salt and boiling water in the bowl of the stand mixer. Knead the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Do it on low speed for about 5 minutes. Then add the chopped chives and knead until it is just mixed through.

If you do it by hand, slowly pour the boiling water into the bowl with the flour. You can use chopsticks or a fork to mix it. Once the dough has cooled down enough to handle with your hands, knead it for about 5 minutes. Finally add the chives and knead it until it is mixed through the dough.

Once the dough has been kneaded, form it into a ball. Grease a clean bowl with a bit of sesame oil. Put the dough in the greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

In the meanwhile, start preparing the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower, walnuts, ginger, Chinese five spice powder, onion powder, garlic powder, Sichuan pepper powder and sesame oil in the food processor. Pulse until you have an even mince (Just till everything is mixed though).

Add the cauliflower mince to a large pan with no oil. Cook on medium heat while constantly stirring so it doesn’t burned and it gets a light brown color. This will take about 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes have passed, add the chili bean sauce, soy sauce and hoisin. Stir for about 3 to 5 minutes till it is all mixed through and has an even darker color. Set it aside.

To make the sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Set it aside.

Thinly slice the cucumber and radishes. Set them aside.

Going back to the dough: Once the 30 minutes have passed, place the dough on your floured working area. Divide it into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Then grab one piece and roll it into a circle, so you have a tortilla shape. Repeat for all.

Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, cook the flat bread in batches. It takes about 2 minutes per side, till they are golden. Once your first batch is cooked, quickly fold each into a taco shell shape. I just put two glasses in between them to keep the shape. They are easier to shape if they just come out of the pan, so be quick. If you don’t feel like it, you can also just leave them flat and serve them like that.

Once all the flatbread is cooked. Just give the cauliflower a quick reheat in the same pan.

To serve, place a few slices of cucumber on the flatbread. Then add the cauliflower. Top with a few slices of radish, sesame seeds and garden cress. Pour some of the sauce on each taco just before eating. Enjoy!

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Chicha Morada Popsicles (made with Peruvian Purple Corn)

Chicha morada is a non-fermented purple corn drink from Peru. It is said that this particular corn is packed with antioxidants. But for me it’s not about its nutritional value, that’s just a plus. For me, it reminds me of my childhood. Just the smell of it while it is cooking brings me back to Peru. This is and will always be my favorite drink. If you go to Peru, the chicha morada will taste a bit different at each restaurant. Some add more cloves or cinnamon. Some add more sugar or less lime juice. So you can always adapt it to your palate. If you make it to drink it though, keep it refrigerated for 3 to max 4 days. You can also spike it with Pisco or rum to make it into a punch. A good chicha morada will have a deep purple color, so it will not be a translucent liquid. You can buy the purple corn at stores that sell Latin American products or online.

This recipe makes about 12 popsicles or about 2 littles of Chicha Morada.

Ingredients:

500g Purple Corn

Rind and core of one pineapple

4 cinnamon sticks

4 cloves

2 apples cut into quarters

4 liters of boiling water

Sugar to taste (I add about 1/2 cup of sugar)

Juice of 2 to 3 limes (or to taste)

 

Place the purple corn in a large pot with the pineapple rind and core, the cinnamon sticks, cloves, apples and 2 liters of boiling water. Let it simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes. You can also partially cover it with a lid because it does splatter if it gets too hot. Otherwise just lower the heat a bit. After the 45 minutes have passed and the liquid has reduced, add the remaining 2 litters of boiling water. Let it simmer for an extra 45 minutes. You know it’s done when the corn kernels sort of crack and you can see the flesh of the corn.

Sift the liquid and discard of the solids. Be careful not to splatter the liquid over your clothes.

Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Since the liquid is hot, it will dissolve quicker. Transfer it to a pitcher and let it cool at room temperature. Once the chicha morada is cold, add the lime juice to taste. Mix well and then pour it into each popsicle mold. Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

The next day, carefully remove them from the mold by rinsing them over hot water. Enjoy!

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Logroño & Bilbao (Northern Spain) Photo Diary

Last week I was in Spain for 3 days. I had a direct flight from Amsterdam to Bilbao airport and after a 1.5 hour drive, I was in Logroño (the capital of the Rioja province). A very small but charming town. We explored the city during the siesta (afternoon), which was great because the streets were not crowded.

That night, we went on a Tapas tour. We were told that each bar specializes in one kind of tapa and that is what they are known for. We went to a lot and I don’t remember the names of them all, except for these ones: El soldado de tudelilla for their tomato salad and Bar Soriano for their garlicky mushrooms. We also had some piparras, fried peppers similar to shishito peppers. They are just fried in olive oil and then sprinkled with sea salt. Some are spicy and some are not. So fun to eat with a group. If you like crispy pork, look for a bar that sells cecina.

The next day we visited the Campo Viejo vineyard and had some paella for lunch there.

    

That afternoon, we headed back to Bilbao and visited the Guggenheim museum. After the tour we had dinner at Nerua, the 1 Michelin star restaurant located at the museum. The food was amazing. Simple and delicate dishes, but very well executed.

The next morning, we had a little tour of the Mercado de la Ribera (market). You can have some tapas there. I bought some piparras (chilies) to bring back home. After that, we had a private tapas workshop at Los Fueros (Bilbao’s oldest restaurant).

    

The picture below is from the chilies I took back home. I’m so hooked that I am going to try to find them here, or at least something similar.

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Spaghetti Carbonara

An old classic that needed a picture update. I had a very old picture here from before the time I had photography backgrounds so it was time for an update. This is a no fuss recipe that is ready in 15 minutes. It is made with a few basic ingredients and it is full of flavor. Traditionally it is made with guanciale or pancetta and Pecorino cheese but I like to substitute them for bacon strips for its crispiness and Parmesan because well, I really like Parmesan.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

250g fresh spaghetti

3 egg yolks

1 egg

150g bacon strips

40gr of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Cook the bacon in a non-stick pan over medium heat until it becomes crispy. Remove from the heat and reserve the drippings. Chop the bacon strips and set it aside. I like to save a bit to sprinkle on top just before serving, this way it still has some crunch.

Cook the pasta al dente as instructed on the package. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water.

In a large bowl, add the egg yolks and egg, and whisk until combined. Slowly whisk in about 1/4 of a cup of the reserved cooking water and about 1 teaspoon of the bacon drippings. This prevents the eggs from curdling. Add the spaghetti and bacon. Toss to coat. Gradually add the Parmesan, stirring and tossing to melt it. Toss until the sauce thickens, adding a few more tablespoons of the pasta water if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the pasta into two bowls and garnish with extra Parmesan and the bacon (if you reserved some for crunch). Enjoy!

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Mexican-style Rice, Black beans & Spinach Enchiladas with Red Pepper Sauce

It’s been a long time since I’ve made enchiladas. I don’t know why, because I love them. I wasn’t sure yesterday of what to make for dinner and then this popped into my head. I love roasted red pepper sauce and buying the peppers already roasted saves time and at least here, it tends to be cheaper too. The sauce couldn’t be simpler, just blend all of the ingredients and you are done. No cooking since it will thicken in the oven. I went veggie for the filling, and used Mexican-style rice, black beans and spinach. This is a very filling meal and any leftovers make a great packed lunch. Weather hasn’t been great here. It’s cold for being summer, so this was the perfect meal to warm up.

Ingredients:

For the filling:

100gr of fresh spinach

1 cup of shredded cheese, I used Gouda

1 cup of canned black beans (drained)

For the Mexican-style rice:

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of cayenne

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cups of white rice

3 3/4 cups of boiling vegetable stock

½ cup of tomato puree

For the red pepper sauce:

350grs of roasted peppers, about 5 large bell peppers if you want to roast them yourself

250ml of cream

1 teaspoon of celery salt

1 teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Extras:

6 tortillas

1 cup of shredded cheese, I used Gouda

1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

Fresh coriander for serving

1 lime, sliced into wedges for serving

 

Start by making the rice. Place the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over the lowest heat. Once the oil is hot, add all the spices and rice. Stir for about a minute. Then add the boiling vegetable stock and tomato puree. Cover it with a lid and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

In the meanwhile, make the red pepper sauce. Just blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Place it in a big bowl and set it aside.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the rice is cooked and while it is still hot, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the fresh spinach, black beans and cheese for the filing. Stir until everything is mixed and the spinach has wilted.

Spoon a thin layer of the red pepper sauce on the bottom of your baking dish

Dip one tortilla into the red pepper sauce, shake off the excess sauce. Then place the wet tortilla on a cutting board. Stuff it with the rice and then roll it tight. Place it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat for the rest.

Add the remaining sauce on top of the stuffed tortillas. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

Then broil for an extra 5 minutes.

Serve with some chopped coriander, sliced jalapeños and lime wedges. Enjoy!

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Cajun-style Shrimp Tacos with Greek Yogurt Cabbage Slaw

Can’t go too long without tacos and this time I opted for shrimp. I just made a spiced flour coating for the shrimp which adds flavor but not crunch. If you would like crunchy shrimp, just go an extra step. After coating the shrimp in the spiced flour, coat it in beaten eggs and then panko. For the slaw, I wanted to keep it light. So I used Greek yogurt for the dressing.

Ingredients:

For the slaw:

1 medium green cabbage, shredded

1 small red cabbage, shredded

For the dressing:

1 cup of Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of mustard

1/3 cup of white vinegar

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of onion powder

½ a teaspoon of garlic powder

2 teaspoons of salt

For the shrimp:

1 cup of vegetable oil

500grs of peeled raw shrimp, make sure that the shrimp is dry (use paper towels)

For the seasoning:

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of dried coriander

1 teaspoon of celery powder

1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of onion powder

2 teaspoons of cayenne powder

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 cup of all-purpose flour

If you want a crunchy coating:

2 eggs

2 cups of panko

Salt

Extras:

Hot sauce

Tortillas

 

First shred the cabbages. To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. Add the dressing to the cabbage and mix well. Leave it in the fridge to rest until ready to serve.

If your shrimp is a bit moist, make sure to pad it dry with paper towels.

Mix all the spices and flour for the seasoning. Coat the shrimp in the spiced flour mixture.

If you want crunchy shrimp: After coating in the flour, coat it in the beaten eggs and finally the panko mixed with a bit of salt.

Pour half of the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the shrimp in batches. This will take about 2 minutes per side. Add more oil to the pan if needed for the next batches.

Place the fried shrimp on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil. Have a taste and sprinkle them with some salt if you wish.

To serve, warm up the tortillas in a pan. Then serve each taco with some slaw, shrimp and hot sauce. 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.