Mushroom & Crème Fraiche Pasta with Toasted Breadcrumbs

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients

200grs of pasta, I used tagliatelle

For the mushrooms:

1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of butter

150grs of oyster mushroom or any that you like

2 sprigs of thyme

Pinch of salt

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon of olive oil 

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/3 cup of white wine

150grs of creme fraiche

A good pinch of salt

Black pepper to taste

1/3 cup of the pasta water

For the breadcrumbs:

1 tablespoon of olive oil 

1 large sprig of thyme, leaves only 

1/3 cup of Panko

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of salt 

Start by making your toasted breadcrumbs. Place the olive oil, thyme, panko, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder and salt in pan over medium heat. Cook while stirring until the panko is golden. Set aside.

For the mushrooms, depending on which mushroom you are using, cut them or shred them. I used Oyster mushrooms. I just shredded them to make them a bit smaller, but not too much. 

Start cooking the pasta in salted water as instructed on the package. Reserve 1/3 of a cup of the pasta water to add to the sauce later on. 

Place the butter and olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the mushrooms, thyme and a pinch of salt. Cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms are golden brown on both sides. Place them in a bowl. If you want, reserve some of them to decorate the plates. I also reserved the thyme sprigs. 

In the same pan where you cooked the mushrooms, add one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook for about 1 minutes while stirring. Add the white wine and let it reduce for half a minute. Then add the crème fraiche and the reserved pasta water. Add the drained pasta, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Stir until everything is combined and the sauce has thickened. Taste if it needs any more salt or pepper.

Serve with the reserved mushrooms and thyme. Sprinkle with some of the toasted panko. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on InstagramFacebook & TikTok. For behind the scenes & more of Amsterdam you can follow my Instagram stories.

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Corn falafel with whipped feta (vegan friendly)

I love making my own falafels, they are so much better than store-bought. It just requires a little bit of planning, as you need to soak the dried chickpeas in water overnight. This corn falafel recipe makes about 28 small falafels. You want to make them with about 1 tablespoon of the falafel mixture. They are quite crumbly. If you make them bigger, they won’t hold their shape that well and break.

The falafels are plant-based but the sauce is not. So if you eat a plant-based diet, you can skip the feta and just make a plant-based yogurt sauce instead. Just mix ¾ cup of unsweetened soy yogurt with 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon of lime juice and a pinch of celery salt. Then you can top it with Tajin seasoning or cayenne and lime zest.

This recipe makes about 28 small falafels.

Ingredients

For the corn falafel:

1 cup of dried chickpeas (Soaked in water overnight)

1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

¾ cup of canned corn, drained 

Half a bunch of parsley

1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

¾ teaspoon of garlic powder

¾ teaspoon of cayenne 

1 teaspoon of salt 

3 tablespoons of cornmeal 

For the whipped feta:

200grs of feta 

½ cup of unsweetened natural yogurt. I used soy yogurt.

Extras:

Tajin seasoning for sprinkling over the whipped feta. If you don’t have it, you can use a sprinkle of cayenne and lime zest instead. 

Chopped parsley to sprinkle over the whipped feta. 

Vegetable oil for frying the falafel. I shallow fry it in about ½ cup of oil.

The night before, soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas with water. You want to soak them for about 24 hours before making the falafels.

Place the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat and add the finely chopped white onion.

Cook it for 5-6 minutes while stirring till it caramelizes.

Add the corn and cook for another minute. 

Place the corn and onion in the food processor and blitz it for 2-3 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times in between. 

Add the drained chickpeas and the remaining ingredients for the falafel into the food processor along with the corn mixture. Blitz for 30 seconds and then stir. Do this a few times until you have a crumbly texture, you don’t want it to become a paste. See the picture below for reference.

Place the mixture in a bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes while you make the sauce.

To make the whipped feta: Place the feta and yogurt in the food processor and blitz until smooth. Keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use.

Once the 15 minutes for the falafel mixture is up, start shaping it. 

I do it by hand. Using your hand, clump together about 1 tablespoon of the mixture to compress it. Then shape it into a ball or small patties. This will make about 28 falafels.

Pour the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry them in batches for about 2 minutes per side until golden brown on both sides. Be careful when you place and remove the falafels from the pan. The mixture is crumbly, so you want to be delicate when touching it. 

Place the fried falafels on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

To serve, place the falafels in a plate or bowl. Garnish the whipped feta with a sprinkling of Tajin seasoning and parsley. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on InstagramFacebook & TikTok. For behind the scenes & more of Amsterdam you can follow my Instagram stories.

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Spiced carrot breakfast tacos with labneh, avocado and fried quail eggs

This is one of the recipes I created for Ketel One Vodka’s Big Bloody Mary book. These spiced carrot tacos with Labneh pair perfectly with their King’s Mary, which has a carrot juice base. And they are very easy to make! It’s perfect if you are having brunch with friends since you can easily make a larger batch and place all of the ingredients on the table for your friends to assemble each taco themselves. 

You can now have access to all the brunch and cocktail recipes from the book online through this link. 

This recipe makes 6 small tacos. 

Ingredients:

For the spiced carrots:

5 medium carrots, peeled and diced into small cubes

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 ½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of cayenne

1 teaspoon of celery salt

Freshly grounded pepper

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Extras:

6 small tortillas

1 cup of labneh

6 quail eggs

1 avocado, thinly sliced

Vegetable oil to fry the quail eggs

Chili flakes

To make the spiced carrots: Place the olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Once the pan is hot, add the diced carrots and the spices. Stir from time to time until the carrots are cooked through. You want them to still have some bite to them and not be mush. This will take about 5 minutes. Then add the balsamic vinegar and cook for an extra 2 minutes so they caramelize a bit.

Fry the quail eggs in vegetable oil and set them aside. 

Warm up the tortillas in a pan. 

To assemble each taco, slather a bit of the labneh on each tortilla and add some of the spiced carrots. Top with the fried quail egg and some avocado slices. Sprinkle a bit of chili flakes over the avocado. 

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

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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, finely chopped

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 make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a jar and shake it until everything is mixed. You can also just whisk all of the ingredients in a bowl.

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Spaghetti Alle Vongole

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes and an Italian classic. I hardly ever order it at a restaurant just because it takes no effort to make at home. It is prepared in about 15 minutes. By the time the pasta is cooked, the vongole is ready and you just have to combine it all.

As cravings go with me, most of the times they don’t disappear like they do for my hubby. They keep hunting me until I satisfy them. A couple of years ago, we were in Italy on holiday. On our last dinner there, I saw this dish on the menu and all of the sudden I had to have it. Unluckily for me, they were sold out! As soon as we were back home, I went to get some vongole and made the dish at home.

I’ve been craving vongole lately so I have made this dish 3 times in the past month. If you are not familiar with cooking vongole, make sure that the shells are not open when you buy it. You’ll discard of the ones that are open, so you want to get your money’s worth. I like to squeeze some lemon juice in the end, even though it is traditionally not added. I made it last on a Saturday in which after running errands all day, I didn’t feel like spending much time cooking. It was gone in less than 5 minutes. Yes, I eat very fast!

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

500gr of Vongole

2 cloves of garlic, minced

14 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

½ bunch of parsley, chopped

250ml white wine

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

260gr of spaghetti

Chili flakes to taste

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Juice of 1 lemon (optional)

 

Rinse the vongole under cold water for a couple of minutes. Discard of any that are open and don’t close when you tap them.

Mince the garlic, cut the cherry tomatoes in half and chop the parsley.

Cook the pasta as instructed on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil to a large pan with a lid. Over medium heat, add the garlic and tomatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the vongole and the white wine. Cover with the lid and let it cook till the vongole start to open, about 4 minutes. Stir. Discard of any that haven’t opened. Turn the heat off.

By this time the pasta should already be done. Add the drained pasta to the pan with the vongole. Add salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste. Then add the lemon juice and parsley. Stir until everything is combined. Serve right away.

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