Miso Roasted Eggplant Gyoza

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I can’t go too long without having some dumplings. I mixed a finely chopped eggplant with miso sauce and used it as the filling. Very simple but packed with flavor. I normally let them steam but this time I pan-fried them. They are crispy little delights.

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This recipe makes about 30 gyoza.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, chopped into very small cubes

About 30 gyoza wrappers, defrosted

For the miso sauce:

1 tablespoon of aka miso

1 teaspoon of honey

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

For the dipping sauce:

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

3 tablespoons of chopped chives

Juice of 1 lime

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1/3 cup of soy sauce

Extra:

Vegetable oil for pan–frying the gyoza

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

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

Thinly slice the eggplant and then chop it into very small cubes.Since the wrappers are quite small, you want the eggplant chopped as finely as possible.

Place all of the ingredients for the miso sauce in a large bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. Add the eggplant and mix well.  Spread it evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast it for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Then allow it to cool down.

Once the eggplant has cooled down, start to assemble the gyoza. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wrapper, brush the edges of the wrapper with some water and then fold it into a half moon shape. Starting at one end, fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Keep going until it is completely sealed, trying to get rid of any air bubbles. Repeat for all.

Once the gyoza are ready, pour about 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the gyoza in batches until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes and since the filling is already cooked, it goes quite fast. Place the gyoza on a plate lined with parchment paper to absorb any excess oil.

Serve them right away with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!

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Mini Poke Ramen Cups

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I was going through my food pictures a couple of days ago and saw a pic of two sushi bowls (or poke) that I made last month and I started to crave fresh tuna again. I thought of making it into appetizer sizes, perfect to share at a dinner party. I seasoned some ramen noodles with sushi vinegar and wasabi Furikake. And made it into tiny cups, by baking them in a muffin pan. They turned out so good, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Just make sure to not make them too thick and use parchment paper as muffin liners to prevent them from sticking to the pan. I tried greasing the pan, parchment paper and cupcake liners. Parchment paper worked the best. Thank you to Vanessa from Pickmeadaisy.com for giving me the tip to add pomegranate seeds to my poke. It goes really well with the tuna!

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This recipe makes 12 mini cups.

Ingredients:

For the ramen cups:

120grs of ramen noodles

1 egg

2 tablespoons of sushi vinegar

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of wasabi Furikake

1 ½ tablespoons of vegetable oil

For the tuna poke:

400gr of fresh tuna, cut into small cubes

2 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger

5 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 teaspoon of togarashi

1 avocado, cut into very small cubes

1 teaspoon of lime juice

2 teaspoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

2 teaspoons of yuzu powder

¼ cup + 1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

 

Start by making the ramen cups; cook the ramen noodles as instructed on the package. Then drain them and place them in a bowl with the sushi vinegar, Furikake, salt and vegetable oil. Mix well. Allow it to cool down for 5 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with parchment paper squares in each cup. If you only grease the muffin pan with oil, the ramen will stick to the pan, so better use parchment paper as muffin liners.

Then place the noodles in the food processor and add the egg. Pulse a few times to get it chopped and mixed through. Don’t over chop it as it is nice to still be able to see that it is ramen noodles.

To make each ramen cup, place about 2 ½ tablespoons of the ramen mixture into each muffin cup, press well to try to create a cup. Repeat for all 12.

Bake them for 30 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside.

To make the poke, just place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl except for the avocado and mix well. Once everything is mixed through, add the avocado and mix it carefully. Especially if the avocado is very ripe, so it keeps its shape.

Spoon some of the poke into each ramen cup and enjoy!

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Beet & Pea Hummus Tart

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Beets have become one of my favorite vegetables. As a kid I would pick them out of my food and now you can find here many recipes which include this gorgeous produce. I’m already looking forward to spring and this dish reflects that. The golden and candy cane beets add bright colors to this tart. It is filling without being heavy, and great to share at any dinner party.

This recipe is for 1 sheet of puff pastry (40x24cms).

For the pea hummus:

1/3 cup of tahini

1 cup of frozen peas, blanched for 1 minute

1 cup of canned chickpeas, drained

Juice of 1 lime

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of celery salt

Salt to taste

For the beets:

1 medium golden beet

1 medium candy cane beet

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

5 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt to taste

Extras:

1 sheet of puff pastry (40x24cms)

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

¼ cup of toasted slivered almonds

 

The night before, place the frozen puff pastry in the fridge to thaw overnight.

To make the pea hummus, place the tahini in the food processor and pulse for 2 minutes. Then add the blanched peas and pulse for 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas and pulse for another 3 minutes. This will result in a smooth hummus. Finally add the lime juice, olive oil, garlic powder, celery salt and salt to taste. Pulse until everything is mixed through. Then transfer it to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and set it aside.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Once the oven is hot, take the puff pastry out of the fridge.

Roll out the puff pastry over a sheet of parchment paper. Fold the edges, making a 1 cm border and pinch to seal them. Using a fork, pinch the dough all over, except for the borders. Brush the whole pastry with the egg wash and bake it for 20 minutes till its golden. Then allow it to cool down.

While the puff pastry is cooling down, start making the beets. Peel them and with the help of a mandoline, slice them as thin as possible. Place the lime juice, vinegar, olive oil and some salt in a large bowl. Add the beet slices and mix well. Let them pickle for at least 5 minutes, and mix them halfway through.

Once the puff pastry has cooled down and the beets have sat in the vinaigrette for at least 5 minutes, start assembling the tart. Spread the hummus evenly all over the puff pastry. Then arrange the beet slices over the hummus. I folded each slice in half and tried to alternate the colors. Finally sprinkle the toasted almonds all over the beets. Enjoy!

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Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Gorgonzola – Greek Yogurt Sauce

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A bottle of Frank’s Buffalo wings sauce from my pantry was calling my name. So I made these slicers with a blue cheese sauce. This sauce is a bit lighter because I used Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Perfect to share, or not!

This recipe makes 12 sliders.

Ingredients:

For the patties:

450gr of minced chicken

1/3 of a teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

Pinch of celery salt

1 cup f panko

¾ cup of breadcrumbs

1 egg yolk

For the buffalo sauce:

1 bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce

1 tablespoon of honey

For the gorgonzola – Greek yogurt sauce:

100grs of gorgonzola, crumbled

Juice of half a lime

2 tablespoons of sour cream

1 cup of Greek yogurt

¼ of a cup of buttermilk

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Celery salt to taste

Extras:

Vegetable oil for frying the patties

12 mini buns

Celery sticks

Lamb’s lettuce or any other lettuce of your choice

A simple vinaigrette (optional)

 

To make the Greek yogurt – gorgonzola sauce, whisk the lime juice, sour cream, Greek yogurt and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Then add the gorgonzola, and blend it slightly with an immersion blender. This is just to get rid of big chunks of cheese. Add salt, celery salt and pepper to taste. Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the patties, just mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Then grab about ¼ of a cup of the chicken mixture and form it into patties.

Pour about 1/3 of a cup of vegetable oil into a large pan, over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, start frying the patties until browned on both sides and cooked through. This will take about 3 minutes per side.

In a medium saucepan, add the buffalo sauce and honey. Mix it well over medium heat. Once the patties are cooked, coat them in this sauce.

I like to serve them with some lamb’s lettuce tossed in a simple vinaigrette, a bit of the gorgonzola sauce on top and some celery sticks on the side.

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Crab Salad Buns

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I have a soft spot for crab and today I decided to satisfy my craving for it with these crab salad buns.

This recipe is for 12 buns.

Ingredients:

For the buns:

3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

7grs of dry yeast

½ cup of warm water

½ cup of milk

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 egg

1 tablespoon of sugar

For the crab salad:

700gr of crab meat, I used canned crab meat

3 celery stalks, chopped very small

1 granny smith apple, chopped very small

Juice of 1 lime

8 tablespoons of mayonnaise

2 teaspoons of mustard

Celery salt to taste

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

½ cup of chopped chives, plus more for decoration

Extras:

Poppy seeds

Egg wash

To make the buns:

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. You can also knead it by hand.

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.

Once the dough has risen, place it on a floured working area and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place the balls in an oven tray lined with parchment paper, leaving some space in between.

Grease with some vegetable oil, one large piece of plastic wrap. Cover the buns with it, greased side touching the buns (this will prevent them from sticking to the plastic). Let them rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 10 minutes before the buns are done rising, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the hour is up, brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle them with some poppy seeds. Bake them for 15 minutes or till golden.

To make the crab salad, just mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

Make a cut along the top of each bun, without going all the way down. Stuff each bun generously with the crab salad and decorate with some chives. Enjoy!

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Purple Carrot & Golden Beet Tart with Tahini & Sumac

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I made this tart today for dinner and it hardly lasted till dinner. Since I cook everything early to be able to photograph it during daylight, it was hard to stop eating it. I love the sweetness of the carrots and beets combined with the citrusy sumac and creamy tahini. It’s a very easy tart to make for this holiday season.

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This recipe is enough for a 40x24cm tart.

Ingredients:

1 sheet of puff pastry (40x24cms)

4 medium purple carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise with a mandolin

1 very large golden beet, thinly sliced with a mandoline

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the tahini-sumac sauce:

¼ cup of tahini

1 tablespoon of sumac

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of honey

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

Chili flakes to taste

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

For the toppings:

80grs of feta, crumbled

¼ cup of chopped chives, dressed in a bit of olive oil, white vinegar, salt and pepper

¼ cup of toasted pine nuts

2 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds

Extra:

Egg wash

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Cook the thinly sliced carrots and beets in a large pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper. I cooked them separately for about 5 minutes until tender but still firm, stirring often.

To make the tahini-sumac sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

Place the puff pastry on an oven sheet lined with parchment paper. Fold the edges, making a 1cm border and pinch to seal them. Using a fork, pinch the dough all over, except for the borders.

Spread the tahini-sumac sauce evenly over the pastry. Arrange the cooked carrot and beet slices all over the pastry. Make sure to spread them evenly, so there is a good ratio of carrot/beet on each slice later on.

Brush the edges of the puff pastry with the egg wash. Bake it for 35 minutes, till golden.

To serve, spread the crumble feta all over. Do the same for the toasted pine nuts, pomegranate and the dressed chives. Enjoy!

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Onion Jam Wreaths

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I’ve wanted to make savory bread again and yesterday I made these wreaths. Thinking onion soup meets rolls in a way. The bread is very soft and the sweetness of the onions really comes through in the jam. These make a great appetizer or side dish to a soup.

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This recipe makes 2 medium wreaths.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

7grs of dry yeast

½ cup of warm water

½ cup of milk

6 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 egg

1 tablespoon of sugar

¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese

For the onion jam:

4 tablespoons of olive oil

8 medium white onions, thinly sliced

Salt

Pepper

1/3 cup of white wine

¼ cup of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of sugar

4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

Extra:

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

 

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. You can also knead it by hand.

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, start making the onion jam. Place the olive oil and sliced onions in a large pan over medium heat. Add some salt and pepper and cook for about 14 minutes. Stir from time to time until the onions have caramelized. Then add the white wine, balsamic vinegar, sugar and thyme. Let it cook while stirring until all of the liquid has evaporated. Taste for salt and pepper. Blend it until smooth. Set it aside to cool down.

Once the dough has risen, place it on a floured working area and divide it into 2 equal pieces.

Roll one piece into a large rectangle of about 35x24cm. Spread some of the onion jam all over the dough. Roll it lengthwise like a tight crepe. Cut the crepe in half trying to make a clean cut, except on one end. Then start twisting the 2 pieces, make sure the opened side showing the onion jam is facing up. Pinch the ends to seal them. Finally form a circle with it, tuck the ends underneath and give it a pinch to seal them. Repeat for the other piece of dough.

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Place each wreath on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Grease with some vegetable oil two large pieces of plastic wrap. Cover the wreaths with them, greased side touching them (this will prevent them from sticking to the plastic). Let the wreaths rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 10 minutes before the wreaths are done rising, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the hour is up, brush each wreath with the egg wash. If you want, you can sprinkle them with some sea salt. Bake them for 18 minutes or till golden. Enjoy!

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

Black Olive Tapenade Pull Apart Bread

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I made this recipe a few months ago, and it has taken me forever to finally type the recipe.  I love tapenade and making it at home is so easy. It tastes so much better since you can adjust it to your liking.  Last year, I made some savory olive tapenade biscotti which I loved. It’s a tasty variation of the usually sweet cookie. You can check the recipe by clicking here.

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Since tapenade goes so well on bread, might just as well incorporate it in a recipe right? The smell coming out of my oven was divine, it made me so hungry. My hubby and I ended up having the whole thing for dinner. Bread freshly out of the oven is just so good.

This recipe fits in a 19cm bundt pan but you can double it to make a bigger batch.

Ingredients:

For the bread:

3 cups of all-purpose flour

1 package of dry yeast (7gr)

¼ cup of warm water

1 tablespoon of sugar

½ teaspoon of salt

3 tablespoons of butter, melted

1/3 cup of milk

2 eggs

For the tapenade:

1 cup of black olives (I used Kalamata), pitted

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of lime juice

1 clove of garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon of capers

3 anchovy filets

¼ cup of almonds, chopped

10 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

Black pepper

 

Place the warm water and the yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.  Then add the rest of the ingredients. Knead the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Do it on low speed for about 5 minutes, until it stops sticking to the edges and it forms a ball. You can also knead it by hand.

Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball. Clean the bowl and then grease it with some vegetable oil. Place the dough back in the greased bowl and cover with plastic film. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, start making the tapenade. Just place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste. Transfer it to a bowl, cover it with plastic film and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

Grease a bundt pan with some vegetable oil and lightly flour your working area. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll one piece into a rectangle of about 34x24cm. Slice off the edges to make it an even rectangle. Spread evenly ¼ of the tapenade. Then using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into four slices lengthwise. Then cut each long slice into 6 squares. Then stack the squares on top of each other and place it in the greased bundt pan. Repeat for the remaining dough.

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Once all the dough has been arranged in the bundt pan, cover it with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place. About 10 to 15 minutes before the hour is up, start preheating your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the dough has risen for the second time, bake it for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden on the top.

It is best when eaten fresh out of the oven. I could hardly resist waiting to take pictures of it!

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