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.

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

London Baby!

Pieter and I went to London for a weekend at the beginning of the month. I was super excited as it was my first time, plus I had heard so many good things about the food scene over there. And sure did we eat well. I wish we could have stayed longer. I had so many places on my excel sheet (yes, I like to be organized when I travel) but 3 days was just too short.

We stayed at a very nice Apart hotel called Leman Locke which was walking distance from the Aldgate metro station in East London.

We started off with bubble waffles at a stand called Nosteagia. The first night we walked through Leicester Square and went to Shake Shack. I’ve seen pictures of their burgers on Instagram and really wanted to try them. They were really good! The next morning we woke up very early to go to Notting Hill. I really wanted to see all the beautiful and colorful houses there. 

The most popular being on St. Luke’s Mews, where Love Actually was shot. So we walked a bit through this neighborhood and ended up having breakfast at Farm Girl. A very cozy and healthy café on Portobello Road. We had the Rose Latte, avocado roast with a poached egg and the buckwheat berry pancakes with amber maple syrup, cranberries and hibiscus. We were surprised on how fast our order came out. It was very busy on a Saturday morning and they still got our order out in no time plus our waiter was very friendly.

After that we went to Maître Choux. The shop is eye candy with all the eclairs on display. They were also delicious by the way. And the eating tour didn’t stop there. Next on the list was Dominique Ansel’s bakery. We shared one Cronut and one of their frozen S’mores. The Cronut was great but if it wasn’t because I was stuffed, I would have ordered another S’more. That chewy marshmallow with Tahitian Vanilla ice cream was heavenly!

And then it was time for lunch. We headed to Breddos tacos.

A nice taqueria in Clerkenwell. We had the Kung Pao pork belly, the sweet potato and cochinita pibil tacos. Plus an octopus tostada, queso fundido and agua frescas. Those chili sauces they give you with tortillas at the beginning were exactly my cup of tea. If you want to go, try to arrive early. By the time we were done eating there was a line outside.

After all the eating we headed towards Westminster Bridge to get a glimpse of Big Ben. After getting up so early and doing quite a lot of walking and eating, we decided to go back to the hotel to chill a bit before meeting some friends for dinner.

We met them at Rosa’s Thai Café. Both Pieter and I love Thai food. Both our friends highly recommended this place and since Punky is Thai and her husband Jeroen lived in Thailand for a while, we trusted them. And it was good! We had the calamari, salmon red curry, papaya salad, grilled spicy sausages, stir-fried aubergine and rice. Thinking about it makes me salivate. It was too dark to take pictures but we enjoyed every single dish. They have 7 locations in London so it is worth a visit. Walking back to our hotel, we stumbled across St. John. A restaurant I have been wanting to visit ever since I saw it on one of Anthony Bourdain’s show years ago. So we decided to go in for just a quick bite. I must say that I am very lucky to have a husband who enjoys eating as much as I do, and who said: “We are here now, so let’s just go in”, when I saw it. We sat at the bar, shared the pudding and the very famous roasted bone marrow with parsley salad. Well worth stretching our stomachs a bit more.

On our last day, we decided to visit Neal’s yard. The place is exploding with colors. Since we were there quite early, the shops were not open yet. But we got some nice pictures without other people which was also nice.

For breakfast we went to Caravan Restaurants (the one on Bankside).We had the kimchi pancake with pork belly, gochujang ketchup & sunny duck egg. And the salt beef brisket hash, pickled cucumber & poached eggs with hollandaise. The food and service was great.

Afterwards, we met our friend Jeroen again at Liberty London. It was great to get a little tour of the city from a local.

 

After the tour we headed to Chinatown for some ice cream. I was looking forward to trying the Taiyaki ice cream from Chinatown Bakery.

 

Afterwards we walked to Milk Train café for some more ice cream. Their soft serve ice cream comes with a cloud of cotton candy, so of course I had to try it (Thank you to Frank for the recommendation).

I had the black sesame one and it was divine! We then headed to a pub to finally sit down and have some lunch before catching our plane back to Amsterdam. A few metro stations were close and since we were worried about time, we decided to just take a cab back to the airport. Like usual I feel asleep during the ride but woke up to a pink sky close to the airport. We left with our feet hurting but with happy bellies and new memories. With a flight of under an hour from Amsterdam, I hope we can go back soon. London, you were awesome!

 

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Barcelona

Pieter and I went to Barcelona for a weekend in August. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect! Even though we were in the city, we wanted to also chill a bit. So we spent a whole day just soaking up the sun and swimming in the pool of our hotel. We stayed at the gorgeous Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I. You can see my review of the hotel here.

img_1600

Because of the heat, we had no choice but to have as many ice creams as we could to cool down. We started by paying Amorino a visit. It had been ages since I last had one of their ice creams. It didn’t hurt that besides being delicious, they are gorgeous (very Instagramable) and they have a few locations in the city.

We also made a mandatory stop at the Boqueria market. We indulged in juices, fresh fruit and of course Jamón ibérico. Another reason why I love this market is because in their large variety of products that they offer, there is a little stand that has Peruvian products. So of course, it was heaven for me.

El Nacional is a nice place to have some bites or a full meal. A friend of mine recommended it to me. If you are ever in Barcelona it’s worth a visit. The restaurant has 4 different areas where you can enjoy different kinds of food. From tapas to meats, to a large bar in the middle.

We went there a couple of hours before closing time so it was already too dark for taking pictures, but we really enjoyed everything we ordered. The lady serving us was very kind and attentive. And if you go, don’t forget to check out their bathroom.

Peruvian food still needs to become a thing here in the Netherlands but when I found out that Barcelona had a Tanta restaurant, I was eager to go try it out. Tanta is a Peruvian restaurant that we always visit when we are in Lima. It was a mini trip to Peru in one sitting. The chicha morada, ceviche and leche de tigre were on point.

Besides a couple of trips to Amorino, we also tried the ice creams at Rocambolesc. An artisanal ice cream shop by the Roca brothers (El Celler de Can Roca). They serve innovative flavors of soft serve with many toppings to choose from and fun looking popsicles.

While strolling through the gorgeous Passatge Sert in El Born, we made a little stop to get our caffeine kick at Nømad Coffee. We had a really good cappuccino there. Got some cold brew for on the go and brought some coffee beans back home with us.

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.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Last Week

donuts

One thing I was missing here was a proper donut shop. I love them and grew up eating them, but I could never find a good one in Amsterdam. Last Thursday I found out that a new donut shop just opened here and I couldn’t wait to go and try it out. The next day I stopped by in the afternoon and they were almost sold out, so I could only buy 2 flavors. I got 2 crème brûlée and 1 lemon curd. They were so good! So fluffy and the filling was delicious. I want to go back to try the other flavors. The bakery is called Harewood Bakery and it’s on the Albert Cuypstraat. I go to the Albert Cuyp market often and it’s going to take some self-restrain to not pay them a visit too often, especially when the weather turns cold and my carb cravings go up.

My friend Marjolein from Sneakers and Smoothies interviewed me for Fashionchick (in Dutch). You can read the interview here.

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Links of the week

IMG_0965

We are having a late summer after all and I couldn’t be happier. I’m trying to enjoy the sun as much as possible since the weather can change drastically and that means trying to spend less time in the kitchen, and more time enjoying. So tonight I made a quick kimchi & bacon stir-fried ramen.

Here are the links of the week:

  1. How Worcestershire sauce is made. Never knew!
  2. How to make your own mochi ice cream. It actually seems easy to make.
  3. This kimchi fried rice looks incredible!
  4. The story of the first Michelin star food stall.
  5. Watermelon S’mores!
  6. The best cuts of meat.
  7. This zucchini flower ricotta pie is gorgeous!
  8. Less known greens and how to use them.

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

My Festival Burger Part 2 (Cheeseburger with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Caramelized Onions on a Potato Hamburger Bun)

Cravings in Amsterdam burger 2

A few weeks ago, Hellmann’s asked me to create my own festival burger and I hosted a giveaway. I asked you guys to pitch your favorite festival burger on Instagram and I would make the winner’s idea into a recipe. The idea which won was a beef burger served on a potato bun with caramelized onions, lettuce, sundried tomatoes, cheddar and Hellmann’s.

Cravings in Amsterdam burger 2 pic 2

I’m all for any kind of burger (veggie, fish, chicken) but sometimes I just crave a good old fashion beef burger, preferably with cheese. It’s been a long time since I had a potato bun and since I love making bread, I created this potato hamburger bun recipe. Instead of adding just sundried tomatoes, I made a pesto with them. The result is a finger lickin’ good burger. If you are curious about my first festival burger, you can check it out by clicking here.

This recipe makes 4 hamburgers.

Ingredients:

For the potato hamburger buns (makes 8 buns):

3.5grs of dry yeast

½ cup of lukewarm milk

1 egg

1/3 cup of mashed potatoes

2 ½ cups of self-rising flower

¼ cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of melted butter

Pinch of salt

Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)

1 ½ tablespoons of black sesame seeds

For the sundried tomato pesto (enough for 4 burgers):

130grs of sundried tomatoes

A handful of fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup of cashews nuts

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of salt

For the caramelized onions:

3 medium onions, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of port

For the burger patties (makes 4 burgers):

700grs of minced beef

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of celery salt

Pinch of black pepper

2 tablespoons of smoked BBQ sauce

Extras:

Hellmann’s to spread on the bread

4 tablespoons of butter to cook the burgers

4 cheese slices of your choice, I used a Gouda with chili

Lettuce of your choice, I used for lamb’s lettuce

 

To make the potato hamburger buns:

Boil 3 medium potatoes until they are completely cooked. Then peel them and mash them. Make sure there are no lumps. Measure 1/3 of a cup of mash potato and set it aside to cool.

Place the lukewarm milk and yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast. Then add the flour, mashed potato, sugar, salt, egg and melted butter. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment.  If you knead it by hand, it will take about 10 minutes.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then 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.

Once the hour has passed, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Since I have a small oven, I used two small sheets. Place the dough in your floured working area. Punch it to get rid of some air. Slice it into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball, pinching the ends together at the bottom. Place the balls in the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space in between each ball. Remember that they will rise for another hour and then rise again while baking.

Cut out a large piece of plastic wrap (large enough to cover the baking sheet) and brush it with some vegetable oil. Cover the buns with it, greased side touching the buns. This will prevent it from sticking to them once they rise.

Let the buns rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 10 minutes before your timer goes, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Brush each bun with the egg wash and sprinkle with some black sesame seeds.

Bake the buns for about 12 minutes or till golden. Set them aside.

To make the caramelized onions:

Place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, lower the heat to med-low and add the red onions, balsamic vinegar, port and salt. Let it cook for about 10 minutes until they caramelized. Stir every few minutes to avoid them from burning. Set it aside.

To make the sundried tomato pesto:

Just place the sundried tomatoes, basil, cashews, olive oil and salt in the food processor or blender. Blend or pulse until it becomes a paste. Taste for salt and set it aside.

To make the burger patties:

Mix the minced beef with the spices and BBQ sauce. Then form 4 equal patties.

Once the bread and toppings are ready, start to cook the burgers.

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Then add the burger patties and cook them for about 4 minutes on each size. On the last minute, add the slices of cheese and cover the pan with a lid so that the cheese can melt.

Spread the bottom of the bun with the sundried tomato pesto, and then add some lettuce. Place the beef patty over the lettuce and top with some caramelized onions. Spread some Hellmann’s on the top part of the bun and 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 me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Mini Brownie Cookie Sandwiches Stuffed with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

fixed

It’s taken me ages to post this recipe. If you follow me on Snapchat, you’ve probably already seen it last month. I love the combination of the salted caramel in the ice cream with the brownie cookies. They make great little treats which would be very welcome in this heat.

While I was testing this ice cream recipe, on the first batch I didn’t add enough salt but that (not salty) ice cream was great to make affogato. So if you feel like making normal caramel ice cream, just skip on the salt and enjoy it with some espresso.

This recipe makes about 20 mini ice cream sandwiches.

Ingredients:

For the salted caramel ice cream:

For the salted caramel:

1 cup of sugar (212grs)

2 teaspoons of sea salt like Maldon

2 tablespoons of butter

1 cup of cream (250ml)

For the ice cream base:

2 ½ cups of whole milk (470ml)

1 cup of cream (250ml)

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

¼ cup of sugar

4 egg yolks

For the cookies:

100grs of dark chocolate, chopped

113grs of butter

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

¾ of a cup of brown sugar, packed

½ cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

2 teaspoons of cornstarch

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

¼ cup of cocoa powder

 

Start by making the salted caramel. Melt the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it becomes amber in color. Swirl the pan around to avoid the edges from burning. This will take about 9 minutes. Off the heat add the butter, salt and cream. Over medium-low heat, stir until the caramel dissolves again and there are no lumps. This will take about 10 minutes. Then carefully pour the caramel into a large bowl. Be slow so if there are any chunks of caramel, they will stay at the button of the pan and then discard them. Allow it to cool down while you make the ice cream base.

To make the ice cream base, place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk them with the sugar.

Place the milk, cream and vanilla essence in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, slowly pour it into the yolk mixture while whisking. Then transfer it back to the saucepan over medium heat and stir for about 5 minutes until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. You know it’s ready when you draw a line with your finger on the back of a spoon and it stays.

Place a fine sieve over the bowl with the caramel. Carefully pour the ice cream base over the caramel. Remove the sieve. Whisk so that the caramel is well combined with the ice cream base. Allow it to come to room temperature and the place it in the fridge until it is completely cold. Once it is cold, freeze it in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours or better overnight.

To make the cookies, place the butter and chopped dark chocolate in a small bowl. Melt it in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate has melted completely. Then allow it to cool down.

Mix the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder in another bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugars and vanilla. Then slowly whisk in the cooled melted chocolate.

Then add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture in batches. Mix until everything is combined.

Then allow the dough to chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

Once the cookie dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and grab about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball using your hands. Place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the rest, leaving some space in between each ball. Bake the cookies for 9 minutes. While a batch is baking, keep the remaining cookie dough in the fridge.

Let the cookies rest in the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Once your cookies are cooled, start making the ice cream sandwiches. To store them, just wrapped them separately in plastic wrap and freeze them. 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 me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About last week

FullSizeRender

It has been crazy lately with work and the renovation of our new apartment. Our weekends mean at least one trip to the hardware store. We still need to paint and place the new floors. Not to mention that we also need to start packing since we need to leave our rental apartment at the end of the month. That’s something I am not really looking forward to and have been postponing since the beginning of the month.

On Tuesday I attended a cake workshop at the Grand Café Krasnapolsky. We were divided into 3 groups and we each made a different dessert. At the end, we were treated to a sweet feast. They placed so many desserts along the marble table we were working on before. A dream for anyone with a sweet tooth!

FullSizeRender (1)

It was so much fun. And I also got to take some cheesecake back home. It had been a long time since I wore a chef’s coat. I was just looking at my old Paul Bocuse album from the time I was in France in 2006. I can’t believe it was 10 years ago already!

198450_18921968416_7225_n

I created a new chocolate recipe for a port campaign. The picture below was the aftermath of the shoot. You can check out the recipe by clicking here.

IMG_9156

We had such nice weather on Sunday that we decided to just wander around the city in our bikes. We spotted the Amsterdam flag in the background and I just had to stop to take a picture.

IMG_9106

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 me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Frisée, Gorgonzola & Bacon Salad with Cherry and Port Dressing

frisee salad cherry

This past weekend, I saw cherries for the first time at the market and of course I had to get some. Besides snacking on them, I saved some for this salad. For the dressing, I used frozen cherries just because they already come pitted but you can also use fresh ones. I love the combination of the slightly sweet dressing with the bitterness of the frisée, the salty bacon and creamy gorgonzola.

This recipe serves 2.

For the dressing:

1 cup of frozen cherries, pitted

1 shot of port

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 tablespoons of honey

Pinch of garlic powder

Salt to taste

For the salad:

5 slices of crispy bacon, crumbled

½ a head of frisée, torn into bite sized pieces

80grs of gorgonzola, crumbled into small pieces

1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and sliced

 

Start by making the dressing. Place the cherries in the microwave for about 1 ½ minutes to thaw. Then blend them and pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Pour the cherry juice into a medium saucepan. Add the port, balsamic, olive oil, honey and garlic powder. Cook for about 4 minutes over medium heat, until it thickens a bit and the alcohol evaporates. Add salt to taste. Then pour it into a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To assemble the salad, just divide the frisée among two bowls. Add the gorgonzola, cherries and bacon. Serve with the dressing on the side. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Cauliflower & Ricotta Fritters with Radish Salad (fritters made with cauliflower & radish leaves)

IMG_4396

I have been following the amazing Sarah Phillips on Instagram (@food) for a while now. Not too long ago she created another account called Ugly Produce is Beautiful (@uglyproduceisbeautiful), to create awareness of how much food is wasted. It is a great initiative to educate people of how you can actually use produce that is considered imperfect or not good for sale anymore. And parts of produce that you might not know are edible, like radish and cauliflower leaves.

In an effort to promote less food waste, I created this recipe. I roasted the cauliflower (florets plus stem) with spices and olive oil and then mixed it with the chopped cauliflower leaves, radish leaves, ricotta and Parmesan. I finally served the fritters with a simple radish salad. It makes a delicious vegetarian meal!

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the fritters:

1 small cauliflower

¼ cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of celery salt

Cayenne to taste

Salt

Pepper

Radish leaves (from the bunch for the salad), finely chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

2 eggs

125gr of ricotta

60gr of grated Parmesan

1/3 cup of bread crumbs

1/3 cup of panko

1/3 cup of cornmeal

For the radish salad:

1 bunch of radishes, julienned (I used a mandoline)

1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped chives

For the dressing:

1/3 cup of olive oil

¼ cup of white vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Extra:

Olive oil for pan-frying the fritters

 

Preheat your oven to 230C/446F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and finely chop them. Set them aside.

Finely chop the cauliflower, including the stem. Try not to leave any big chunks. Place the chopped cauliflower in a large bowl. Add ¼ cup of olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, celery salty, salt and pepper. Mix well and spread it over the prepared baking sheet. Place it in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, stirring half way through.

To make the dressing just place all of the ingredients in a jar, put the lid on and shake it. Set it aside.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven and allow it to cool down for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the chopped cauliflower leaves, chopped radish leaves, lemon zest, ricotta and parmesan. Mix well. Then add the cauliflower, panko, bread crumbs, cornmeal and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine and then add the eggs. Mix everything well.

Pour about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Grab about 2 tablespoons of the cauliflower mixture and shape it into a ball, place it in the pan and repeat for a few more. Flatten it a bit with the back of a spatula. Cook until brown on both sides. Repeat for the rest. It’s better to make the fritters small so they don’t break while flipping them.

Add some of the dressing to the julienned radishes and chives, mix well. Serve the fritters with the radish salad and extra dressing on the side.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email