Peruvian Aji Amarillo Sauce & Rocoto Sauce (Chili sauces)

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Aji amarillo which means yellow chili (even though it is actually orange) and rocoto (a red chili that kind of resembles a bell pepper) are the most popular chili peppers from Peru.

These two are my all-time favorite sauces for pretty much everything. They are great with fries, rotisserie or fried chicken, burgers, you name it! If you go to any restaurant or fast food place in Peru, you will most likely find these. Of course the level of heat depends on the chilies, so it sometimes varies. But most often they are not very spicy, especially the one with aji amarillo. Rocoto sauce tends to be more spicy, but the lime juice balances the heat very well. Whenever I make them, they are gone within the same day. Pieter also goes crazy for them.

You can usually find the aji amarillo and rocoto paste at any store that sells products from South America or online.

This time I served the sauces with buttermilk fried chicken and fried cassava. You can find the buttermilk fried chicken recipe here.

Ingredients:

For the aji amarillo sauce:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

85grs of aji amarillo paste

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander

½ cup of mayonnaise

Juice of ½ a lime

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of salt

For the rocoto sauce:

85grs of rocoto paste

2 spring onions, finely chopped

Juice of 2 limes

Pinch of Salt

Pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of olive oil

 

To make the aji amarillo sauce, place the vegetable oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook it until it becomes translucent (don’t brown it). Then add the minced garlic and cook it for an extra minute while stirring.

Blend the onion and garlic mixture with the remaining ingredients. Adjust the salt to your liking. Transfer it to a bowl and store it covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the rocoto sauce, just mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Store it covered in the fridge until ready to use.

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Tamarind Roasted Chickpea Tacos with Apple & Cabbage Slaw

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It’s taco Tuesday again and I have a thing for vegetarian tacos. This time I made an apple and cabbage slaw with buttermilk dressing. And for protein, I made my tamarind roasted chickpeas again. It’s such a delicious combination. Tangy, sweet and spicy!

This recipe is for 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

12 small tortillas

For the tamarind roasted chickpeas:

260grs of canned chickpeas, drained

2 tablespoons of tamarind paste

4 tablespoons of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of honey

Pinch of salt

Pinch of Pepper

Pinch of cayenne

For the Slaw:

4 cups of finely chopped cabbage

1 apple, shredded or julienned (I used Royal Gala)

For the slaw dressing:

1/3 cup of buttermilk

1 teaspoon of mustard

1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley

¼ cup of apple cider vinegar

¼ cup of Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons of honey

1 tablespoon of sugar

Celery salt to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon)

Pinch of chili flakes

Extras:

1 avocado, thinly sliced

Coriander leaves

Chili flakes to taste (optional)

1 chopped red chili (optional)

 

Start by roasting the chickpeas. Preheat your oven to 160C/320F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the tamarind paste, brown sugar, olive oil, honey, cayenne, salt and pepper. Then add the drained chickpeas and mix well. Spread the chickpeas on the prepared baking sheet. Roast them for 15 minutes. Then stir and increase the temperature to 180C/350F. Roast them for an extra 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and keep the chickpeas in the oven until ready to serve.

To make the slaw, whisk all of the ingredients for the dressing in a medium bowl. In another bowl, mix the cabbage with the apple. Then pour in the dressing and mix well. Let it rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Once the slaw has rested in the fridge and you are ready to serve, warm up the tortillas in a pan and remove the roasted chickpeas from the oven. Place some of the slaw on each tortilla. Add the roasted chickpeas, a few coriander leaves and avocado slices. Top with chili flakes and chopped red chili to taste. Enjoy!

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Tiramisu Pancakes

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I’ve been craving Tiramisu for a while now and while I was planning this weekend’s breakfasts, tiramisu popped back into my head. So tiramisu pancakes it was. I added some coffee and cacao powder to the pancake batter and made a mascarpone cream to go along with it. Such a delicious way to start the weekend!

This recipe makes 12 medium pancakes.

Ingredients:            

For the pancake batter:

1 cup of all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 cup of buttermilk

2 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

1 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoon of instant coffee

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the mascarpone cream:

250grs of mascarpone at room temperature

2/3 cup of whipping cream

4 teaspoons of Port or Marsala wine

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

8 tablespoons of powdered sugar or more to taste

Extras:

Extra butter for cooking the pancakes

Cocoa powder

Strawberries

 

Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Whisk the egg whites with half of the sugar until stiff peaks form.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and vanilla. Then add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, instant coffee, butter and buttermilk. Whisk until combined.

Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Then add half of the remaining egg white and fold it in. Finally fold in the remaining egg white.

Add some butter to a large pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and the pan is hot, pour about 1/3 of a cup onto the pan to make each pancake. Let it cook until the top part starts bubbling and the edges start to dry. Then flip it and cook until lightly brown. Repeat for the remaining batter.

To make the mascarpone cream, whisk the mascarpone with the whipping cream until smooth. Then add the port, vanilla and sugar. Mix until everything is combined.

If you want to serve the mascarpone cream in between each pancake in a stack, I suggest that you let the pancakes cool down a bit otherwise they will melt the cream too fast. If you want the pancakes really warm, just serve some of the cream on the side. Sprinkle some cacao powder and add some strawberries. Enjoy!

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken on a Buttermilk Biscuit with Sriracha/Lime Mayo

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A while ago I made an American style brunch for my friend Joyce, who I met while living in Dallas. I think that is the only year in my life in which I hardly ever cooked. Whenever I had time off, I would just go out to eat with friends. That year in Dallas, changed my life completely. I fell madly in love. It is there were I met my husband, he was also doing an internship at the same hotel. If someone would have told me 10 years ago that I would be married to a Dutchie and would be living in Amsterdam, I would have thought that this person was nuts.

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Going back to the recipe. While we were living in Dallas, my friend Joyce told us about some delicious honey butter chicken biscuits from the Whataburger fast food restaurant chain. So we went there to try them. We love fried chicken so I wanted to make something similar here, since she also lives in Amsterdam now. I was never a big fan of the honey butter sauce and since all 3 of us like spicy things, I made a sriracha/lime mayo instead. Last month I shared a recipe for a passion fruit and cream cheese swirl skillet brownie which is what I made for dessert that day, you can check it out by clicking here.

This recipe serves 3 to 4 people.

Ingredients for the Buttermilk Fried Chicken:

400gr of chicken breast

For the overnight marinade:

½ liter of buttermilk

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

¼ teaspoon of onion powder

¼ teaspoon of paprika powder

For the coating:

2 cups of flour

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

¼ teaspoon of onion powder

¼ teaspoon of paprika powder

¼ teaspoon of cayenne

¼ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of pepper

2 cups of buttermilk

For frying:

About 1 liter of vegetable oil

For the Sriracha/Lime Mayo:

1/3 of a cup of Sriracha

1/3 of a cup of Mayonnaise

Juice of 2 limes

2 tablespoons of honey

Ingredients for the Buttermilk Biscuits:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of baking soda

6 tablespoons of cold butter, cut into pieces

1 cup of cold buttermilk

Start the night before by slicing the chicken breast into smaller pieces. I sliced them the size of chicken fingers.  Mix all of the ingredients for the overnight buttermilk marinade in a bowl. Let the chicken soak in the buttermilk marinade overnight, in the fridge.

The next day, start by making the biscuits. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Place all of the ingredients for the biscuits in the food processor and pulse until everything is mixed.

Place the dough on a lightly floured working area. With your hands, shape the dough into a rectangle. Then fold that rectangle into thirds, as if you were folding a letter. Then flatten it again with your hands and fold it into thirds again. You want to repeat this until you have folded the dough into thirds for a total of 3 times.

Then dust the dough with some extra flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is a bit thicker than 1 cm. Cut the dough using a circular mold cutter.  I used a 7 cm cutter and the dough was enough for 8 biscuits. I didn’t use the scraps of the dough because the biscuits from the scraps don’t come out as nice.

Place the biscuits on the prepared baking tray and bake until golden, about 9 minutes. The time will depend on the size of your biscuits, so make sure to check from time to time.

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Going back to the chicken, mix all of the dry ingredients for the coating in a bowl and place the buttermilk in another bowl. Cover a cutting board with plastic wrap.

Pour the vegetable oil into a pot and heat it up on medium heat.

Remove the chicken from the overnight marinade. Coat one piece with the flour mixture, then soak it in the buttermilk and finally coat it in the flour mixture again.  Place the chicken on the prepared cutting board and repeat for the remaining pieces.

Have a large plate ready lined with paper towels.

Once all of the chicken pieces are coated, check if the oil is hot enough. You can dip the tip of a piece of chicken and check if it bubbles.

Lower the heat to medium-low. Fry the chicken in batches for about 6 minutes. I like to do it on medium-low heat because if it gets too hot, the chicken crust will burn and the inside of the chicken will still be raw.

Place the fried chicken on the plate with paper towels. Repeat until all of the chicken is fried.

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For the sriracha/lime mayo, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

Serve the biscuits with the fried chicken and the sriracha/lime mayo.

Buttermilk Roast Chicken with Sumac

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A while ago I was craving rotisserie chicken from Peru. It is one of those things you would often eat as a kid on a Sunday , when your parents didn’t feel like cooking. Either you would go out to eat it or have it delivered at home.  There is something about the combination of spices that they put on it that makes it so delicious.  Tender and juicy chicken with French fries and lots of chili sauce to dip them in, was the perfect Sunday meal. I even remember that while I lived in Maryland as a kid, my parents found a Peruvian rotisserie chicken place that was absolutely delicious. It tasted as good as back home.

I wanted to make something similar at home. I soaked the whole chicken overnight in buttermilk because it makes it more tender and juicier.  Then rub it with a lot of spices before roasting it in the oven. I added sumac to the rub because I love the lemony taste that it brings to the dish.

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This recipe is for a small 1 kilo chicken, perfect for a dinner for 2.

Ingredients:

1 kilo chicken

For the buttermilk marinade:

1 litter buttermilk

1 teaspoon of sumac

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

For the rub:

5 tablespoons of butter, softened

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

3 tablespoon of sumac

3 tablespoon of dried oregano

2 teaspoon of cumin

2 teaspoon of onion powder

2 teaspoon of garlic powder

Pinch of cayenne

Salt

 

The night before, whisk together all of the ingredients for the buttermilk marinade in a big bowl. Add the chicken and let it soak in the buttermilk mixture overnight in the fridge.

The next day, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture. Discard of the liquid. Pat it dry with some paper towels.

Mix all of the ingredients for the rub in a bowl. Place about 1/3 of the rub in between the skin and the meat.  Place the other 3rd inside the cavity and then rub the remaining of the spices all over the skin of the chicken.

Place the chicken in an oven dish, breast side down. Roast for 40 minutes.

Then remove the chicken from the oven, turn the breast side up. Place it back in the oven and roast for an extra 10 minutes. Baste it with the juices every couple of minutes.  After the 10 minutes are up, check if the chicken is fully cooked. Insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh and breast, if the juices that come out are clear and not pink, the chicken is cooked. Otherwise leave it in the oven for a few more minutes and check again.

Once the chicken is out of the oven, cover it with some foil and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then cut it in half and serve with the side of your choice. I went for pan-roasted potatoes and asparagus.

Amaranth Crusted Buttermilk Chicken with a Coriander-Sriracha Greek Yogurt Sauce

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I wanted to make a lighter version of buttermilk fried chicken. Besides the obvious reason that it is too fatty, the part I hate the most about deep frying is that the whole apartment smells like a fast food restaurant.  That is why I hardly ever do it.

I added amaranth to the coating. In case you have never heard of amaranth before, it is a seed similar to quinoa, just smaller and it also packs a lot of protein. I browned the chicken a bit in a pan with very little olive oil and then finished it cooking in the oven.  I wanted to keep the lighter vibe going so I made a sauce with coriander, sriracha, lemon zest and Greek yogurt.  Keep in mind that for this recipe you need to let the chicken marinade in buttermilk overnight.  This recipe makes about 3 portions.

Ingredients:

500gr of chicken breast, sliced into chicken finger size pieces

For the marinade:

400ml of buttermilk

Juice of ½ a lemon

Pinch of salt

Pinch of Pepper

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

¼ teaspoon of onion powder

¼ teaspoon of paprika powder

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

For the crumbs:

½ cup of amaranth

½ cup of panko

¼ cup of cornmeal

¼ cup of breadcrumbs

¼ cup of grated parmesan

1 teaspoon of salt

Pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon of lemon pepper

For the sauce:

170gr of Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons of sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

Pinch of salt

 

The night before, slice the chicken into chicken fingers size pieces. Place all of the ingredients of the marinade in a bowl, mix it and add the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and let the chicken soak in it overnight in the fridge.

To make the Greek yogurt sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl, cover with plastic film and let it sit in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the coating, first start cooking the amaranth. Boil it for 15 minutes and then drain it with a very fine mesh strainer since they are so tiny. My strainer was not small enough so I stacked a second one underneath, lost a bit of amaranth in the process, but oh well. Then I dried it a bit more in a pan for a few minutes. Set aside to allow them to cool down for a couple of minutes.

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

Place the cooked amaranth and the rest of the ingredients of the crumb mixture in a bowl. Mix well.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and coat each piece with the crumb mixture.

Brush a large non-stick pan with some olive oil. Once the pan is hot, just brown the chicken a bit on both sides. Do it in batches.  Then place the chicken in the prepared oven tray.

Bake for 8 to 10 min until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve immediately with the Greek yogurt sauce.