Chicken Miso Ramen

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I made this soup a few weeks ago when my husband got a cold. Since he also likes Asian food, I thought of making him an Asian chicken soup.  It’s a super simple dish to make and perfect for these colder months.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

600grs of chicken, I used chicken thighs

1 white onion, sliced in half

1 piece of fresh ginger, peeled and crushed (I used a piece the size of my thumb)

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 ½ litters of water

5grs of dashi powder

3 tablespoons of miso, I used red miso

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

Toppings:

80grs of oyster mushrooms

100gr of broccolini

Sesame oil

Garlic powder

salt

2 Spring onions, greens only

1 cup of bean sprouts

2 eggs

Chili oil

2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds

½ sheet of nori, cut into 2 pieces

250grs of ramen noodles

 

To make the soup, place 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Brown the chicken. Then add the onion, ginger and garlic. Add the water and let it cook for 30 minutes on medium heat.

While the stock is cooking, start making the toppings. Stir-fry the oyster mushrooms and broccolini in some sesame oil with a pinch of garlic powder and salt.

Cook the ramen noodles as instructed on the package.

Boil 2 eggs for 7 minutes. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan.

Once the 30 minutes for the stock are up, remove the chicken from the saucepan and shred it. Set aside.

Pass the stock through a sieve.

In the same empty saucepan, add the miso and dashi powder. Slowly add the stock while whisking.

To plate up, divide the ramen noodles in between two bowls. Add the shredded chicken and soup. Top with spring onions, bean sprouts, broccolini, mushrooms, eggs, sesame seeds and nori. Drizzle some chili oil and serve with extra soy sauce and sesame oil on the side.

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Pocha Factory (Korean street food)

FullSizeRender2A couple of weeks ago, I saw a picture of a waffled kim-cheese (kimchi grilled cheese) sandwich on social media and it made me so hungry! That is how I found out about Pocha Factory, a Korean street food pop-up eatery. Unfortunately for me, the day I saw that sandwich was the last day they were at the Albert Cuyp market in Amsterdam, and I was not able to make it. So I kept an eye on their Instagram and Facebook to see when they would be in Amsterdam again.

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This past Thursday night, Pocha hosted a Korean fried chicken & beer night at BarBrå. That’s where I met the lovely Chi, the face behind Pocha Factory. I went there with my hubby, and we had delicious fried chicken wings, and fries with sriracha mayo and kimchi ketchup. A finger licking good date night! We actually came back for more later that night.

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Chi will be in Amsterdam again for The Burger Beer Battle Round 3 on July 18th.

Pocha Factory

http://www.eatpocha.com/

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.

Peruvian Chicken & Coriander Soup (Aguadito de Pollo)

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I was really looking forward to the spring-like weather that had been announced for this weekend.  I got over excited that it said it was going to be around 14 degrees Celsius. My wishful thinking took over me and in that mindset I left the house in a lighter jacket. Wrong, wrong, wrong idea! I thought it would be a nice idea to go to a petting zoo, since the weather was going to be so nice. As weird as it may sound, I had wanted to pet a cow for more than a year now. I love animals and whenever I travel by train and I see the countryside and farm animals, I have an urge to go pet them. Crazy animal lover lady here!

Since our choice of transport here is by bicycle, we went to the petting zoo biking.  The sun was out and shining but the very cold wind was a bit too much.  I had left my gloves at home along with my winter jacket and the wind was actually hurting my hands as we biked.  It was still nice to go outside and get some fresh air.  The only cow we found at the petting zoo surely enjoyed her head being scratched. But because the wind was very cold, we ended up going back home earlier.  A soup like this is very welcoming after a cold day out.

This soup falls under the category we call “levanta muertos”. It means to wake up the dead.  It is called like that because many people have it at dawn or early in the morning after a night out drinking.  There are different versions of it, like with fish or mussels.

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I grew up eating this. It was something my mom would make often during winter.  It’s comforting and filling. And like a lot of Peruvian dishes, it is served with lime wedges. It is not the prettiest soup to photograph to say the least but it makes up for it in taste.  I had to look for a replacement for Aji Amarillo (Peruvian chili paste) because I am not always able to find it here.  I have started using Sriracha as a replacement in some dishes and for this it also works well. For the coriander rice version of this dish, you can click here.

This soup is ready in about 30 minutes. This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

2 bunches of coriander (without the hard stems)

200gr chicken breast, diced

10 cups of chicken stock

½ cup canned corn, or fresh

½ cup green peas, can be frozen or fresh

½ sweet pepper or bell pepper

1 red onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of sriracha or Peruvian Aji Amarillo paste (yellow chili paste)

1/3 cup of rice

Salt

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Lime wedges for serving

 

Blend the coriander with the stock and set aside.

In a large pot, add the vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, sriracha or Aji Amarillo, and sweet pepper.  Cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the diced chicken and rice. Stir for another minute and add the coriander stock. Cook for about 20 minutes. Then add the corn and peas.  Let it cook until the corn and peas are done. Taste for salt. Serve with lime wedges.

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.

Cranberry Chicken Roulade with Black Rice, Purslane & Cranberry Red Wine Sauce

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Seeing cranberries at the market starts to get me into the holiday spirit! This a recipe from last year which I just updated and tweaked a bit. This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

2 chicken breasts, about 560 grams

Salt

Pepper

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil

For the cranberry compote:

2 cups of fresh cranberries

2 cups of water

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar

For the cranberry red wine sauce:

Leftover of the cranberry compote

1 ½ cups of chicken stock

¼ cup red wine

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 bay leaf

Salt

For the black rice:

1 cup of black rice

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of salt

4 cups of boiling water

Extras:

1 handful of purslane, washed

Olive oil

Vinegar

Salt

Pepper

 

First make the cranberry compote, just place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Once the cranberries start to pop, stir from time to time to prevent the bottom from sticking. Cook for about 15 minutes until it has thickened and turned into a compote. Transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down completely.

While the sauce is cooling down, start making the rice. Place the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic powder, rice and salt. Stir for a few seconds and then add the boiling water. Cover it with a lid and let it cook on low heat for about 35 to 40 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.

To prepare the chicken, first butterfly it and then place it in between 2 plastic wrap pieces. Using a meat tenderizer, hammer it until it has an even thickness.

Place the chicken in a new long piece of plastic wrap, sprinkle some salt and pepper on it. Add about 2 tablespoons of the cranberry compote in the middle, lengthwise. Careful not to add too much so it doesn’t overflow. Roll it like a sausage very tightly with the plastic wrap and make knots on both edges.

Repeat for second piece and then place them in a large pot with boiling water and cook them for 10 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, start preparing the sauce.

Blend the remaining cranberry compote with the chicken stock. Then pass it through a strainer and discard the pulp.

Place the sauce in a medium saucepan; add the red wine, sugar and bay leaf.  Reduce it until it has become a thick sauce. Add salt to taste and remove the bay leaf.  Set aside.

Once the 10 minutes for the chicken have passed, remove them from the water and remove the plastic wrap. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Brown the chicken on all sides. Remove them from the pan and slice them.

In a small bowl, mix the purslane with a splash of olive oil, vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Serve the sliced chicken with the black rice, salad and some of the cranberry-red wine sauce.

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Chicken & Catnip Cat treats

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I finally baked some cat treats for my two furry babies. I do consider myself a cat lady, if I am not petting my own, you will see me trying to pet cats on the streets or bars/cafes. I was very happy to see when I moved to Amsterdam, that many bars/cafes have their own cat. The reason for that is to keep the mice problem under control. Since it’s such an old city there are lots of mice making their homes in the nooks and crannies of all the old but beautiful buildings here. It is completely normal to see mice here. Even at the movies, it is just a fact. Living here, you either have to be very lucky not to have seen one, or you have a cat.

After a few months of moving here, my hubby and I decided to adopt a kitty. It was funny to set ground rules before we actually did. We agreed the cat would always be indoors. He didn’t want the cat to sleep on the bed, I just laughed at that. He said it was just going to be a cat, a pet. He never had pets growing up, so he never got attached.

And then we adopted Mandu (Catmandu), a tiny 3 month old short hair kitten from a shelter here. First night in the apartment and she came to snuggle in the bed, he didn’t have the heart to take her off the bed.  She stopped being a cat or pet for him. She became family. She made our place a home. It is so nice to come home and find a little furry being, so excited to greet you. Besides sleeping, her favorite hobby is playing her favorite game on the Ipad. 

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Three years later, I convinced him to get a second one. It was bound to happen anyways, it just took me longer than planned.  I had always wanted a Maine coon.

Then one day we started looking here. I found a breeder online that had one kitten left for sale. One I went gaga for when I saw the picture. That’s how we found Nip (Catnip), a gorgeous, super gentle and hyperactive Maine coon. Who has grown so fast that now he outgrew the Amsterdam house we built for him and Mandu. He is always hungry, so that made him the prefect candidate to learn tricks; So far he can do high fives. 

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So back to the treats, this recipe is very simple to make. It was funny to find them both in the kitchen while the treats were in the oven.  They really enjoyed eating them.  It only contains 3 ingredients and your cats will be happy.

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Ingredients:

200gr minced chicken

2 tablespoons of catnip

1 egg white

 

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F

In a small bowl, mix the chicken, catnip and egg white (I used a fork). Then place the chicken mixture in between two sheets of parchment paper and using a rolling pin, roll it until it is very flat and thin.  Then carefully remove the top parchment paper and place the one with the mixture on a baking sheet.

Bake for 50 minutes. The chicken will be cooked and dried out a bit.Cut into small pieces and allow to cool before you offer it to your kitties. Store in a container in the fridge.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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When I lived in Dallas I would often stop at Pei Wei with friends and eat their chicken lettuce wraps.  For the lack of one in Amsterdam, I now make my own version at home.  I add black fungus because I like its texture. When I was a kid and we would go to a Chinese restaurant, my mom, sister and I would pick them out of the stir-fries and eat them first.

Ingredients:

500gr chicken breast (skinless and boneless)

2 tablespoons of flour

1 bell pepper, chopped into small cubes

1 cup of shredded carrot

1 cup of chopped water chestnuts ( I get them frozen)

2 spring onions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of ginger, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

25gr black fungus (Cloud ear fungus) optional

100gr of cellophane noodles (optional)

1 iceberg lettuce, separate the leaves

Vegetable oil

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon of hoisin

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of oyster sauce

¼ cup of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

 

Soak the fungus in boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain and chop it into small pieces. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat about 2 cups of vegetable oil.  Try to break off the cellophane noodles into smaller pieces. Once the oil is hot, fry the noodles and press them so they are covered in the oil. Fry them until they puff up. It will only take a few seconds.  Then drain them on paper towels.

Chop all the veggies and set them aside.

Mince the chicken and then mix it with the flour.

Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.

Heat up 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pan or wok.  Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and stir trying to separate the pieces as much as you can.  Cook for about 3 minutes and then add the bell pepper, ginger, chili, spring onion, fungus, garlic, water chestnuts and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes and then add sauce. Stir fry for another 2 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Serve with the crispy noodles and the lettuce.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

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I tried this soup for the first time when I lived in Texas and I loved it. I think I really like Mexican food because it resembles Peruvian food in the way that they also use a lot of chilies and lime. Lime is one of those things that we always have in our kitchen.

This is my version of the soup. Mexican chilies are hard to find here, so I just use a bird’s eye chili.  You can buy soft tortillas, cut them into strips and then fry them but I use tortilla chips instead.  This recipe serves 2 large bowls as a main course.

Ingredients:

200gr of boneless chicken breast

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

½ of a red onion, chopped

1 Bird’s eye chili, chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 Celery stick, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 Tomatoes, seeded and diced

½ teaspoon of dried oregano

Sprinkle of cumin

8 cups of chicken stock

1/2 cup of tomato puree

Kernels of one corn

Salt

2 Avocados, diced

A handful of Feta, chopped or crumbled

A handful of Coriander, freshly chopped

A handful of tortilla chips, crumbled

Lime wedges

 

In a large saucepan, add the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onions, chili, bell pepper, celery and carrot. Cook for a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent. Then add the garlic, tomatoes, oregano, cumin and chicken stock. Let it cook for 10 minutes, then blend it and sift it.

Once the soup is smooth, add the tomato puree, corn and chicken.  Let it simmer until the chicken is cooked. Once the chicken is boiled, remove from the saucepan and shred it. Put the shredded chicken back in the soup.  Taste the soup for salt.

Serve the soup and then garnish it with the avocado, feta, coriander, tortilla chips and lime wedges.