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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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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Korean-Style Pork Meatballs with Stir-fried Noodles

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This is an Asian version of spaghetti and meatballs. Juicy meatballs are coated in a sauce made with Korean chili paste, grated pear and other Asian ingredients. Because of the thick sauce for the meatballs, I kept the stir-fried noodles very simple.

This recipe makes about 19 meatballs and serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

500gr of minced pork

1 spring onion, finely sliced

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

¾ cup of panko

Salt

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

For the Korean-style sauce:

1 tablespoon of Korean chili paste (Gochujang)

1 pear, peeled & shredded

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of hoisin

Juice of ½ a lime

Pinch of salt

For the stir-fried noodles:

200gr of noodles of your choice (I used glass noodles)

3 ½ tablespoons of oyster sauce

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 spring onion, chopped

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, you can use some minced ginger and some honey, or make a simple syrup infused with fresh ginger)

Extras:

Chopped chives

Sesame seeds

 

Start by making the meatballs. In a bowl, mix the minced pork with the spring onion, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, sesame oil, panko and salt. Then using your hands, shape the mixture into meatballs. This will make about 19 meatballs; just don’t make them too big otherwise they will take longer to cook.

Place 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, brown the meatballs. Try to brown them evenly.  Then transfer them to a plate and set them aside. Don’t clean the pan.

Blend all of the ingredients for the Korean-style sauce until smooth. Pour the sauce in the same pan where you browned the meatballs over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring carefully so each meatball is evenly coated in the sauce.

Cook the noodles as instructed on the package. Heat up a pan or wok over medium heat. Once it is hot add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, spring onion and ginger syrup. Stir to mix it and then add the noodles. Stir-fry it for 1 to 2 minutes.

Divide the noodles among 3 plates. Then add the meatballs and the sauce. Finish it with some chopped chives and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

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This is a vegetarian take on the traditional Shepherd’s pie. Still hearty and comforting, but a bit lighter. The addition of smoked paprika and port to the lentils gives it another depth of flavor. The cauliflower mash is soft, creamy and cheesy.

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

For the lentil stew:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 bell peppers, finely chopped

1 leek, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

1 ½ cups of beluga lentils

1 shot of port

1 cup of tomato puree

1 liter of vegetable stock

¾ teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 tablespoon of sumac

11/2 teaspoon of celery salt

Salt to taste

For the cauliflower mash:

1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into chunks

½ cup of cream

½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 cup of shredded Gouda cheese

Salt to taste

Extra:

40grs of grated Parmesan

Chives for decoration (optional)

 

Start by making the lentil stew. Place the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and leek. Cook while stirring for about 6 minutes. Then add the garlic, bell peppers and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Add the smoked paprika, sumac, celery salt and some salt.

Then add the lentils, port and tomato puree. Stir for about one minute and then add the stock. Let it cook for about 40 minutes, stirring from time to time. It’s done when the lentils are cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. Adjust the salt and spices to your liking.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Boil the cauliflower until tender, about 8 minutes. Then drain it.

Blend (or use a food processor) the cauliflower with the cream, onion powder and salt. Once you have a creamy mash, add the shredded Gouda and mix until it is well combined. Taste for salt.

Place the lentil stew in an oven-proof dish and spread the cauliflower mash evenly over it. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan.

Place it in the oven for about 40 minutes until the top is golden. Sprinkle with some chives and enjoy!

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Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Butternut Squash Béchamel

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It’s been too long since I’ve made cannelloni. I was at an Italian store the other day getting squid ink pasta for another recipe and when I saw boxes of cannelloni, I just had to get one. I stuffed them with ricotta and spinach, and made a butternut squash béchamel sauce to cover them. I could eat pasta everyday!

This recipe serves 4.

For the filling:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

300gr of fresh spinach

Pinch of onion powder

Salt

Pepper

500grs of ricotta

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of cayenne

For the béchamel:

3 tablespoons of butter

Pinch of garlic powder

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

5 cups of milk

1 medium butternut squash

40grs of grated Parmesan

Extras:

16 cannelloni

40grs of grated Parmesan for sprinkling on top

Fresh sage leaves (optional)

Vegetable oil to fry the sage leaves(optional)

 

For the butternut squash, slice the butternut squash into chunks. Take out the seeds and place the chunks on a plate. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and microwave for 9 minutes. Once the squash is cooked, be careful when you remove the plastic wrap so that the steam coming out doesn’t burn you. Spoon out the flesh of the squash and place it on a medium bowl. Set it aside.

Place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach has wilted. Then place the spinach on a sieve with a bowl underneath and press to get rid of most of the liquid. Set it aside.

To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add a pinch of garlic powder and the flour. Stir for 2 minutes. Then add the milk and stir until it thickens, about 6 minutes. Add the cooked butternut squash and Parmesan. Blend it until smooth using an immersion blender. Taste for salt.

To finish making the filling, mix the wilted spinach with the ricotta in a bowl. Add the lemon pepper, cayenne, pepper and salt. Mix well.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Place the ricotta filling in a piping bag and fill each cannelloni with it.

Grease with some olive oil a medium oven dish and add about 3 ladles of the béchamel. Spread the cannelloni over the sauce. Cover them with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle some extra grated Parmesan all over. Bake it for 40 minutes until golden.

If you want, you can fry some sage leaves in a small pan with vegetable oil, then place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Then use them to decorate the dish.

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