Salmon Coconut Chowder

Chilly temperatures are upon us (at least here in NL). I’ve already started switching my closet as summer jackets will no longer cut it for me. And with that, hearty and comforting dishes will be on our house’s menu more often. This is a bit of an Asian take on chowder. I used coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass and chili (this soup is not spicy but you can always add more chili). For some crunch and extra flavor, I topped it with fried onions. I also used beer in this soup. Pieter thought that the combo was a bit weird, until he tasted it. It works, so now it is here on the blog.

This recipe serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 leeks, finely chopped

3 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger

2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped (white part only)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 cup of pilsner beer

1 big head of salmon

1.5 litters of vegetable stock (1 cube of vegetable stock mixed with 1.5 litters of boiling water)

4 small potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes (I used the kind for mashing because it will thicken the soup)

400ml of coconut milk

Salt

Kernels of one corn

200grs of skinless salmon filler, sliced into cubes

Extras:

Fried onions (store bought)

Coriander leaves for serving

Lime wedges

Crusty bread

 

In a large pot, place the vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the leeks, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and chili. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Then add the beer and let it simmer till half of it evaporates. Then add the head of salmon and the vegetable stock. Let it simmer for 1/2 hour.

Once the 30 minutes have passed, remove the salmon head. Carefully remove as much salmon meat as you can from the head. Be careful to discard of any bones. Shred the meat with a fork and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

Add the coconut milk and potatoes. Give it a good stir and let it simmer for another 30 minutes over medium heat.

Once the soup has reduced, add the shredded salmon (head) meat and the corn kernels. You can now also add the salmon fillet cubes, so that they cook in the soup. This will only take a couple of minutes. For presentation purposes, I cooked the salmon cubes in a pan with a bit of vegetable oil and a sprinkle of celery salt. This will only take a couple of minutes till the salmon is golden on all sides.

Serve the soup with a sprinkle of crispy fried onions and chopped coriander. And some crusty bread & lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!

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Clam Chowder Spaghetti

I love clams and I should definitely eat them more often. They are so easy and quick to cook. To keep the cooking time short for this recipe, I used fresh pasta and dried spices. So no cutting onions and garlic. You can skip on the bacon if you are vegetarian and use a bit of smoked paprika for extra flavor. Perfect comfort food for a lazy day.

Ingredients:

500grs of scrubbed cockles, clams or vongole

250grs of fresh spaghetti or the pasta of your choice

150gr of chopped bacon

200grs of crème fraiche

200ml of cream

3/4 teaspoon of onion powder

3/4 teaspoon of garlic

3/4 teaspoon of celery salt

Pinch of cayenne

Kernels of 2 corns on the cob

100grs of baby spinach

5 tablespoons of chopped chives

 

Rinse the clams under cold water for a couple of minutes. Discard of any that are open and don’t close when you tap them.

Place the chopped bacon in a large pan over medium heat. Stir from time to time until it is fully cooked. Then add the crème fraiche, cream and spices

Mix well until the crème fraiche has dissolved into a sauce.

In the meanwhile, cook the pasta as instructed on the package.

Add the corn and clams to the sauce. Cover the pan with a lid until the clams open. This will take about 3-4 minutes. Discard of any that didn’t open. Then add the spinach, cover it with a lid for 1 extra minute so that it wilts faster. Mix well and then add the cooked pasta.

Mix well so that the pasta is covered in the sauce. Taste for salt. Serve straight away and enjoy!

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Peruvian Shrimp Chowder (Chupe de Camarones)

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Today is Pieter’s birthday. He wanted to stay in and requested this Peruvian soup he remembers from when we were in Lima. I am very happy to oblige since of course I want to make him something that he really enjoys, but also a mini proud moment since of everything he wanted, he requested something from my home country. This soup is a sort of bisque. This version can be made anywhere. It is just very important to get whole shrimp (with shells and heads) since they are the base for this soup. Served with some lime wedges and it’s heaven in a bowl.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

750g whole medium shrimp (peeled and deveined, reserve the shells and heads)

½ red onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup tomato puree

2 teaspoons of tomato paste

3 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped (or any other kind for mashing, you want it to give consistency to the soup)

Handful of rice

2 liters of seafood stock (I boiled 1 crab, 300 gr of vongole, 1 diced carrot, 2 stalks of celery and 1 leek)

2 tablespoons of butter

½ cup of white wine or Pisco

Salt

Olive oil

¼ cup of peas

¼ cup of broad beans

½ cup of corn kernels

200ml cream

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

150gr feta, crumbled

½ bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

Extras:

3 eggs, fried

Lime wedges for serving

 

To make the stock, just boil the crab with the vongole, carrot, celery and chopped leek for about 20-30 minutes, Then drain and reserve the stock.

To prepare the shrimp sauce, first peel the shrimp and then remove the veins. Reserve the shells and heads. Put the clean shrimp tails in a bowl and reserve in the fridge. (if you want you can reserve 3 whole shrimps and cook them with the shells and then reserve them for decorating the plate)

In a medium pan and over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil. Then add the shells, heads and white wine. Cook until the wine has reduced. Put the shells in a blender; add some salt and about 3 cups of the seafood stock. Blend until smooth and then sift the mixture. Reserve it.

In a large pot, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tomato puree. Add the remaining of the seafood stock and the shrimp sauce. Add the potatoes, a handful of rice and some salt. Let it simmer on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the peas, broad beans, corn kernels and shrimp tails to the soup. Let it cook for about 3 minutes and then add the cream.  Add the oregano, half of the chopped coriander and taste for salt.

Pour the soup into 3 bowls and sprinkle with some feta and more coriander. Place a fried egg on top of each bowl and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

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Clam Chowder

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I love how filling and flavorful chowders can be. They also bring back good memories for me since they remind of the times when I lived in the States. I love the mix of flavors of the clams, smoked bacon, corn and potatoes. Some of my favorite things together in one bowl.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

600grs of clams, scrubbed

7 slices of smoked bacon

Kernels of 2 corns on the cob or about 1 cup of frozen corn

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ cup of white wine

1 leek, finely sliced (white part and light green part only)

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

500gr of potatoes (not the kind for mashing), peeled and chopped into small cubes

1 ½ litter of vegetable stock

250ml of heavy cream

Celery salt

Pinch of onion powder

Extras:

Fresh thyme leaves

Chopped chives

Crusty bread

 

Rinse the clams under cold water for a couple of minutes. Discard of any that are open and don’t close when you tap them.

Bring the stock to a simmer. Once it is simmering, add the clams and cook them until they open. This will only take a few minutes.  Then remove the clams with a slotted spoon, discard of any that haven’t open and set them aside to cool down a bit.

In the meanwhile, transfer the stock to a large bowl. Be careful if there is a bit of sand left from the clams at the bottom, make sure if there is not to transfer it to the bowl.

Remove the clams from the shell and chop them. Keep them in the fridge until ready to use.

Cook the bacon slices in a large pan with no oil over medium heat. Cook until crispy and reserve the fat. Chop the bacon slices into small pieces and set it aside.

In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and bacon fat over medium heat. Add the leek and shallot. Cook for a few minutes while stirring until they become a bit transparent and soft. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the onion powder, celery salt and white wine. Stir until half of the wine has evaporated. Add the potatoes and the stock. Cook for about 25 minutes.

Add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.  Then add the corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes. Finally add the clams and let them warm up for an extra minute.

Adjust the salt to your liking.

Serve the chowder among 3 bowls. Sprinkle with the bacon pieces, chopped chives and a few fresh thyme leaves. Eat it with some crusty bread slices.

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