Honey Chili (Sriracha) Potatoes

A while ago, one of Pieter’s colleague from India told him about this dish, and how he should definitely try it. I’ve been wanting to make it ever since. This weekend I finally got to it and started testing it. This is my version of it and I love it. It is an Indian-Chinese dish and it sort of reminds me of sweet and sour chicken, but the potato version of it.

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:
600grs baby potatoes with skin, chopped into cubes (as even as possible)
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon of  sesame seeds
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of Sriracha
3 tablespoons of ketchup
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons of honey
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of white Vinegar
1 teaspoon of corn flour
Salt to taste

Start by slicing the potatoes into small cubes. Keep the skin on. Then add the vegetable oil to a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the potatoes in two batches. You don’t want to crowd them. Try not to move the potatoes too much as it will prevent them from getting golden. Place the cooked potatoes on a plate lined with paper towels.

Place the Sriracha, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, honey, white part of the spring onions and vinegar in a bowl.

In a clean pan, add one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the ginger, sesame seeds and cayenne. Cook for two minutes while stirring. Then add the sauce mix and the corn flour. Cook for another minute while stirring. Then add the fried potatoes. Mix well until the potatoes are coated in the sauce. Add salt to taste.

Sprinkle the green part of the spring onions and some extra sesame seeds. Serve straight away. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti with Mussels in a Spicy Tomato Sauce

It’s mussel season over here in the Netherlands and I couldn’t resist getting some. I love their taste and the fact that they are cooked in no time. Add some pasta and this becomes a very filling meal. I used anchovies for the sauce and for me, that made it salty enough. So I didn’t add any extra salt, but you can always add salt later if you wish.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 kilos of mussels, scrubbed and beards removed

250grs of spaghetti

Chopped parsley for serving

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 small red onion, finely chopped

20grs of anchovy filets, finely chopped (use the oil too)

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of freshly chopped red chili (you can add more or less, depending on your taste)

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 cup of white wine

500ml of tomato puree

1 cup of vegetable stock

 

Rinse and scrub the mussels under cold water, pulling off any beards. Discard of any mussels that are broken or that don’t clamp shut when tapped.

In a large pan with a lid, place the olive oil plus the anchovy oil over medium-low heat. Once it’s hot, add the red onion, anchovy, oregano and chili. Let it cook for about 4 to 5 minutes till the onion becomes translucent. Don’t forget to stir.

Then add the garlic and stir. Add the white wine and let it reduce to half. Then add the tomato puree and the vegetable stock. Let it reduce until you have a creamy sauce. About 12 minutes.

Then add the mussels, give it a good stir and cover with the lid. Let it cook over medium heat until the mussels open. This will only take a couple of minutes, so keep an eye on them.

One the mussels are cooked, remove them from the sauce and set them aside (discard of any that haven’t opened). Let the sauce reduce again over medium heat.

In the meanwhile cook the pasta as instructed on the package. By the time the pasta is cooked, the sauce should have reduced enough. Add the drained cooked pasta and toss to coat. Taste for salt. I didn’t add any because the anchovy made it salty enough for me.

Serve the pasta with the mussels. Sprinkle some chopped parsley. I also served them with roasted cherry tomatoes. To roast them, just place a few vines of cherry tomatoes in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle some olive oil, salt, onion and garlic powder. Roast for 20 minutes at 180C/350F. Enjoy!

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Spicy Asian Vegetable Soup

The stock in this soup is an explosion of flavors, from roasted garlic and onions, to clove, cinnamon, chilies and the umami that miso brings. If you have time, make the stock the day before so the flavors can infuse overnight. The lime juice balances the heat nicely. For the toppings, you can add any vegetables that you like. I just choose these to have different textures in one bite. The fried wontons strips and sliced sugar snaps give it a nice crunch. For the noodles, I used rice flakes. It was the first time I saw them at my Asian store so I gave them a try and I liked them, but you can use whichever noodle you prefer.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the spicy vegetable stock:

1 head of garlic

2 red onions

Vegetable oil

2 cloves

1 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon of chopped ginger

1 tablespoon of red miso paste

1 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper powder

3 tablespoons of chili bean sauce

1 bay leaf

½ a teaspoon of ginger powder

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

½ teaspoon of celery salt

3 litters of boiling water

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup or honey

Toppings:

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

100grs of sliced sugar snap peas

100grs of fried wonton strips

100grs of rice noodles or the noodles of your choice (I used rice flakes)

1 cup of frozen shelled edamame

2 baby paksoi, leaves separated

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

A handful of Enoki mushrooms

Sesame seeds for serving

2 soft boiled eggs (7 minutes)

 

You can make the stock in advance. I made it the night before to let all the flavors infuse. Wrap the garlic bulb in foil with about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Do the same for the 2 red onions. Roast them for 1 hour at 180C/350F. Once they are roasted. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the shell. Peel the roasted onions and chop them.

Pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the roasted garlic, roasted onions, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, ginger, miso paste, Sichuan pepper powder, chili bean sauce, bay leaf, ginger powder, brown sugar, celery salt, garlic powder, onion powder and ginger syrup. Cook while stirring for about 3 minutes. Then add the boiling water. Give it a good stir so that there is nothing sticking at the bottom.

Lower the heat to the lowest and let it simmer for 1 and a half hour.

It you have time; once the stock is done, covered it and let it infuse overnight. If not, just pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Set it aside.

To fry the wontons, I just thinly sliced them into strips using a pair of scissors. Then pan-fry them in vegetable oil until golden.

For the rice noodles, I cooked them according to package instructions in a different pot.

Once you are ready to serve, reheat the stock over medium heat. Add the lime juice and sesame oil.

Add the sliced sugar snaps, paksoi and frozen edamame. Stir for about 1-2 minutes and then divide it over 3 bowls. Add the rice noodles and top with some spring onions, sesame seeds, soft boiled eggs, Enoki mushrooms and fried wontons. Enjoy!

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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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Quesadillas with caramelized onions and plum, tomato & chili jam

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I’ve been crazy about plums lately. Snacking on them while finishing the last season of Narcos over the weekend. I caramelized them in balsamic to top a Dutch baby. And for these, I turned them into a quick jam with tomatoes and chili. These quesadillas are a bit sweet and savory. I only added a very thin layer of the jam in the quesadillas as you don’t want them to be overly sweet. The jam pairs very well with the caramelized onions and cheese. And for something fresh, I topped them with slices of fresh figs and some cress.

This recipe makes 4 quesadillas.

Ingredients:

For the plum, tomatoes & chili jam:

400grs of plums (I used Victoria plums)

600gr of tomatoes

1 red chili, minced (you can add more or less depending on your taste, I also added the seeds)

Juice of ½ a lime

½ a cup of sugar

½ teaspoon salt

For the caramelized onions:

1 kilo of white onions, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Extras:

8 large tortillas

300grs of grated Gouda cheese

4 figs, sliced

Cress

Start by making the jam. Boil some water in a pot. Score the tomatoes and plums. Once the water is boiling, add the scored tomatoes and plums, and let them blanch for 30 seconds. Then removed them from the water and peel them. Remove the stones from the plums. Chop the plums and tomatoes (I included the seeds).

Place the chopped plums, tomatoes, chili, lime juice, sugar and salt in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Cook for about 35 minutes until it becomes a jam. Stir from time to time so that it doesn’t burn at the bottom. Transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To make the caramelized onions, place the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes while stirring. Then lower the heat to low and cook for another 11 minutes until the onions caramelize. The add some salt, pepper and the balsamic vinegar. Cook for another 2 minutes until the balsamic evaporates. Taste for salt and transfer it to a bowl.

To assemble each quesadilla, spread a very thin layer of the jam over one tortilla. Then spread some of the caramelized onion on top. Sprinkle some of the shredded cheese and cover it with another tortilla.

Heat up a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, carefully slide the quesadilla from the plate to the pan. Let it cook until it gets crispy on the bottom. Then carefully place the plate over the pan and flip the pan so that the quesadilla is on the plate again, and then carefully slide it into the pan to cook the other side. Repeat for the rest.

Slice the quesadillas into equal pieces. Serve with some fig slices and cress. Enjoy!

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Soya Mince & Lentil Chili Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Avocado Sour Cream

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The other day while browsing through a supermarket, I found a package of frozen soya mince. I have always been very curious about it and this is the first time I saw it at a store here. When I was in University, I remember there was a healthy food shop next to it that would sell lasagna with soya mince and it was so good. If you didn’t go early, you would miss it since it would always sell out. That was pretty much my whole experience with soya mince. So now that I saw it here, I had to test it out. And I am quite happy with the results. So for this taco Tuesday, I made a chili with the soya mince and lentils; and served them on tortillas along with some pico de gallo and avocado sour cream.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the chili:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ a red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

200grs of frozen soya mince, thawed

1/3 cup of black lentils

1 sweet paprika, finely chopped

Pinch of cumin powder

1 teaspoon of paprika powder

Cayenne to taste

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of celery salt

250grs of tomato puree

1 litter of vegetable stock

Salt to taste

For the pico de gallo:

1 ½ red onions, finely chopped

4 tomatoes, cored and finely chopped (no seeds)

1 bunch of coriander, chopped

Chopped chili to taste

Juice of 1 ½ limes

1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

Salt to taste

For the avocado sour cream:

1 avocado

125grs of sour cream

Juice of ½ a lime

Salt to taste

Extras:

12 small tortillas

 

To make the chili, place the olive oil and onion in a large pan over medium heat. Cook until the onions become translucent. Then add the garlic, soya mince, lentils and spices. Cook for about 1 minute while stirring. Then add the honey, tomato puree and vegetable stock. Stir so everything is mixed. Let it cook for about 20 minutes till most of the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are cooked through. Taste for salt.

To make the pico de gallo just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

For the avocado sour cream, blend all of the ingredients until smooth.

Warm up the tortillas in a pan. Serve with the chili, pico de gallo and avocado sour cream.

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Thai-Inspired Steak Salad

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On the weekends, I prefer to keep my meals simple and not time-consuming. It’s not always the case but I try. And a steak is always welcome, it cooks quiet quickly and both my husband and I go gaga for it. It’s not something we could eat everyday but when we do, it is really a treat. And lately our favorite way to eat it is in a salad. This time I made a Thai-style dressing. And I added Thai basil, coriander and mint to the salad. So you have all these mini explosions of flavors in every bite. I used a mandoline to slice the carrots and cucumber into thin ribbons, but you can just shred the carrots and thinly slice the cucumber with a knife.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the steak:

500gr of Flank steak

Vegetable oil for brushing the steak

Salt

Pepper

For the salad:

½ cucumber, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 medium yellow carrot, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

1 medium purple carrot, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size

4 tablespoons of chopped coriander

8 Thai basil leaved, finely chopped

8 mint leaves, finely chopped

About 100grs of a lettuce mix of your choice (I used lamb’s lettuce, baby spinach, baby Swiss chard and baby red tatsoi)

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 big lime

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 small bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

¼ cup of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of minced ginger

1 small clove of garlic, minced

Optional:

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

½ red chili, thinly sliced

 

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid. Cover it and shake it. Set it aside until ready to use.

Prepare all your veggies.

To cook the meat, heat up a large pan over medium heat. Brush the steak with some vegetable oil. Add salt and pepper on both sides.

Once the pan is hot, place the meat and cook it to your liking. For medium rare, it takes about 5 minutes per side but it will also depend on the thickness of the steak. My steak was a bit thick in the middle so it took about 1 extra minute.

Let the steak rest for 5 minutes and then thinly slice it.

Once the steak is done and sliced, place all the vegetables and lettuce in a large bowl. Give the dressing another shake and add it to the salad. Mix it well so everything is well coated, I just used my hands.

Serve the salad and then add the steak slices. Sprinkle some of the sliced spring onion and chili over the steak. Finally pour the remaining dressing from the bowl on top of the steak. Enjoy!

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Blood Orange, Chocolate & Chili Upside-Down Cake

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I love the gorgeous tint that blood oranges have and I was looking forward to making a recipe with them. I find the combination of orange and chocolate delicious, and to give it a little kick I added one chili. This is not meant to be spicy; you just feel a little tingling on the tongue at the end.  And I felt it more the day after. After that I don’t know because we finished it on the second day. It is a very simple, soft and no-fuzz cake.

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This cake is for a 21cm cake mold.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

1 ¼ teaspoon of baking soda

½ teaspoon of salt

½ cup of cocoa powder

¾ cup of vegetable oil

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

2 egg yolks

1 egg

1 ½ cup of sugar

Zest of 1 orange

1 bird’s eye chili, chopped (I used a 5 cm long chili)

For the orange part:

1 or 2 blood oranges, sliced into about 1/2 cm slices

½ cup of sugar

3 tablespoons of butter

¼ cup of orange juice

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line the bottom of the cake mold with parchment paper.

Once the oven is hot, start to prepare the cake batter. Sift the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

Chop the chili with the orange zest, until it is very fine. Then place the zest and chili in a large bowl along with the sugar. Whisk it on low speed for 30 seconds to allow the oils to come out. Then add the egg and egg yolks, and whisk until it is all incorporated. Add the vegetable oil, milk and vinegar. Finally add the dry ingredients and whisk until it is well combined.

To make the orange part, place the butter, sugar and orange juice in a large pan over medium heat. Let it cook for about 3 minutes until the sugar dissolves, swirling the pan around. Carefully pour it into the prepared cake mold and arrange the orange slices on top of the caramel. Press a bit so that the orange slices stick to it.

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Then carefully pour over the cake batter.

Bake it for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Let it cool for 5 minutes in the mold and then carefully run a knife through the edges of the cake and turn it upside down on a serving platter.

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Beluga Lentil Chili with Crispy Kale

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It’s been a long time since I’ve made chili, so I made some today but with beluga lentils. I made it this morning and have been snaking on it throughout the day, luckily I made plenty to last for dinner. I served it with some crispy kale, avocado, cheddar and sour cream. I also made some cornbread to go along with it. Perfect for meatless Monday!

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, chopped

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of cayenne

½ teaspoon of paprika powder

Pinch of cumin or more to taste

Salt

1.5 litters of vegetable stock

500ml of tomato pure

1 tablespoon of honey

2 cups of beluga lentils

For the crispy kale:

4 cups of shredded kale

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of salt

Toppings:

Grated cheddar

Sliced avocado

Sour cream

 

Place the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, jalapeño and all the spices. Cook for 3 minutes while stirring.

Add the vegetable stock and the tomato puree. Stir to mix it and let it cook for 10 minutes. Then using an immersion blender, blend it until smooth.

Add the lentils and honey. Let it cook for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time until most of the liquid has reduced and the lentils are cooked through.

To make the crispy kale, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Mix the kale with the olive oil, lemon pepper and salt. Spread the kale in a single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes until the kale becomes crispy.

Serve the lentil chili with a dollop of sour cream, avocado slices, grated cheddar and some of the crispy kale. Enjoy!

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Summer Squash Pasta with Anchovy, Lime & Chili Pesto

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This is a super easy and zesty summer pasta dish. It’s great for those days where you don’t feel like spending too much time in the kitchen. We went shopping this morning, then ran some errands and after that, we went the park to enjoy the sun. By the time we came home, we were hungry for some carbs. Especially since we live in Amsterdam, we do everything by bike. I had planned to make a light salad for dinner but that wasn’t going to cut it tonight. So this pasta was it.

I love the combination of the anchovy, lime and chili. I could just eat this pesto with a spoon. Because of the pine nuts and anchovy, it doesn’t have the prettiest color but it is so tasty.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the pesto:

Zest of 2 limes

75gr of pine nuts, toasted

6 anchovy fillets

½ red chili, chopped (or more if you like it spicy)

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the rest:

1 yellow squash, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 purple carrot, diced (optional)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Dried chili flakes

Juice of 1 lime

250gr of fresh pasta, i used spaghetti

 

Dice the yellow squash, zucchini and purple carrot about the same size. I didn’t use the core of the squash just for presentation purposes, but you can just use the whole vegetable.

To make the pesto, just place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste, it doesn’t have to be completely smooth. Set aside.

Cook the pasta as instructed in the package.

Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the garlic and carrot. Cook for 1 minute. Then add the yellow squash and zucchini. Add salt, pepper and some chili flakes. Cook for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Add the anchovy pesto and stir. Finally add the pasta and the juice of 1 lime. Mix well. Taste for salt and pepper.

Serve right away. I like to sprinkle extra chili flakes over each plate of pasta.