Oven Fries with Feta, Preserved Lemon & Oregano

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I am a sucker for fries. I wanted to try a new method for making them crispy. So the other night, I tried the Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for oven fries. The result was super crispy fries with a bit less guilt since they are baked. Her trick is to boil the potatoes first and then roast them at a high temperature. Easy, peasy!

But I wanted to make something a bit different to top the fries. So, I sautéed fresh oregano, finely chopped preserved lemon, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. Just for a bit until the oregano became aromatic. Then I mixed it with the crumbled feta. This turned out to be delicious! Not only on fries, but also on toast or crackers. So please give it a try!

This recipe serves 2.

For the fries:

½ kilo of potatoes (that will hold its shape like Russet), scrubbed and thinly sliced.

About ¼ cup of olive oil

Salt to taste

For the feta topping:

200gr of crumbled feta

1 preserved lemon, very finely chopped

Leaves of 4 fresh oregano stems, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Cayenne to taste

A pinch of salt (optional, but not too much because the feta is already salty)

3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley

 

Thinly slice the scrubbed potatoes, and boil about 2 litters of water.

Preheat your oven to 230C/450F.

Place the sliced potatoes in a large pot and add the boiling water. Let the potatoes boil for 7 minutes.

In the meanwhile, line your baking tray with aluminum foil and pour the ¼ cup of olive oil into the tray. Swirl it around so that all of the surface of the tray is coated with olive oil.

Place the tray in the oven to heat up.

Drain the potatoes. Then place them in a single layer on the hot baking tray. It is important that they are in a single layer. Don’t over-crowd them, otherwise they won’t get crispy. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Roast them for 20 minutes. Then toss them, and finish roasting them for an extra 10 minutes.

To make the feta topping, place two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the oregano, preserved lemon, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne. Cook for 1 minute while stirring. Then remove it from the heat and add it to the crumbled feta. Mix well. Taste for salt.

To serve, just top the fries with the flavored feta. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley and enjoy!

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Miso Roasted Eggplant Gyoza

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I can’t go too long without having some dumplings. I mixed a finely chopped eggplant with miso sauce and used it as the filling. Very simple but packed with flavor. I normally let them steam but this time I pan-fried them. They are crispy little delights.

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This recipe makes about 30 gyoza.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, chopped into very small cubes

About 30 gyoza wrappers, defrosted

For the miso sauce:

1 tablespoon of aka miso

1 teaspoon of honey

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

For the dipping sauce:

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

3 tablespoons of chopped chives

Juice of 1 lime

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1/3 cup of soy sauce

Extra:

Vegetable oil for pan–frying the gyoza

 

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

To make the dipping sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set it aside.

Thinly slice the eggplant and then chop it into very small cubes.Since the wrappers are quite small, you want the eggplant chopped as finely as possible.

Place all of the ingredients for the miso sauce in a large bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. Add the eggplant and mix well.  Spread it evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast it for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Then allow it to cool down.

Once the eggplant has cooled down, start to assemble the gyoza. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wrapper, brush the edges of the wrapper with some water and then fold it into a half moon shape. Starting at one end, fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Keep going until it is completely sealed, trying to get rid of any air bubbles. Repeat for all.

Once the gyoza are ready, pour about 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the gyoza in batches until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes and since the filling is already cooked, it goes quite fast. Place the gyoza on a plate lined with parchment paper to absorb any excess oil.

Serve them right away with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!

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Crispy Onion Rings

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These onion rings are super crispy because of the panko and cornmeal coating. They are so addictive. I posted this picture about a month ago on my Instagram account and since some people asked for the recipe, I thought of just placing it here. I made them again today as a topping and side to the burger below which I made for lunch. It has wasabi arugula dressed in a simple vinaigrette, a beef patty, Chili Gouda, chimichurri, a fried egg and topped it with the onion rings. It was so good!

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Ingredients:

2 medium white onions cut into about 1cm slices

1 cup of Panko

1/2 cup of cornmeal

A good pinch of paprika powder

A good pinch of onion powder

A good pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of cayenne (optional)

Salt

1 cup of all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 litter of vegetable oil

 

In a medium bowl, mix the panko with the cornmeal, paprika powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with some salt. Have another bowl ready with the beaten eggs. Have a large cutting board ready to place the onion rings and another one lined with paper towels.

Dip each onion ring in the flour, then in the beaten eggs and finally coat it well in the panko mixture. Repeat for all.

Heat up the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the onion rings in batches until they are golden. Then place them in the prepared cutting board to absorb some of the oil. Enjoy while still warm.

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Kale Coconut Fried Rice with Sriracha & Lime and Crispy Tofu

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I had read that you can make whipped cream with coconut milk. For me, it didn’t work out. I read that you need to leave a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight and that the next day when you open it; the cream would have separated from the water. I read that it had to be full fat and have no preservatives for it to work. After opening many different cans of coconut milk the day after, I still found that it didn’t separate. So I had a lot of opened coconut milk cans to spare. I made this stir-fried rice with one of them. It is a very healthy dish, and very filling too. I really liked the texture that the kale gave to the dish. It makes for a great lunch the next day. It is better if you make the rice the night before, just so it is less sticky to stir-fry. But if you don’t have the time, don’t worry about it. It will still turn out great. This recipe serves 3.

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To make the coconut rice you will need:

170grs can of coconut milk (you can also use low fat coconut milk)

Basmati rice to fill the empty 270grs can

Boiling water to fill the empty 270grs can

Pinch of salt

For the fried rice:

Coconut rice (preferably from the night before)

4 cups of shredded kale

1 ½ tablespoons of ginger, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 spring onions, chopped

10 radishes, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

For the sauce:

3 tablespoons of Sriracha sauce

Juice of 2 limes

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

For the Tofu:

300gr firm tofu

1 cup of cornmeal

Salt

Pepper

Lemon pepper

2 tablespoons of coconut oil, or vegetable oil

Toppings:

6 baby Paksoy

3 fried eggs

 

To make the coconut rice, place the rice, coconut milk, boiling water and salt in a medium saucepan. Start on medium heat until it starts to boil. Give it a good stir. Then reduce the heat to low, cover and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, mix the coconut rice with 4 cups of shredded kale.

In small bowl, mix the sriracha, lime juice and soy sauce. Set aside.

Slice the tofu about the same size as fish sticks. Pat the tofu dry with paper towels.

Mix the cornmeal, some salt, pepper and lemon pepper on a plate. Coat the tofu pieces in this mixture.

In a large pan, melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Over medium-high heat, pan fry the tofu until it is golden and crispy on both sides. Set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pan. Over high heat, stir fry the baby paksoy. Season with salt, then remove from the pan and set aside.

Fry 3 eggs.

Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to the same pan. Over medium-high heat, add the ginger, garlic, spring onion and radish. Stir fry for 1 minute and then add the coconut rice mixed with kale. Stir fry for about 2 minutes and then add the sauce. Stir fry for another minute.  Then remove from the heat.

Divide the rice between 3 plates. Serve with 2 baby paksoi, a fried egg and some of the crispy tofu.

Peanut Butter Brownie Bars With A Rice Krispie Crust

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I love peanut butter, but here in the Netherlands there is a lack of peanut butter candy, cookies and desserts. You can find Reese’s peanut butter cups, but you have to go to an actual candy store to buy them.  But besides that, you can only find peanut butter jars.  So if you want any PB dessert, you pretty much have to make it yourself.

I bought a box of Rice Krispies and I was meaning to make it into a dessert.  So today I used it and decided to make it into the crust for these brownie bars.  I made the peanut butter frosting with some melted white chocolate and then swirled it with dark chocolate.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

3 cups of Rice Krispies cereal

2 tablespoons of icing sugar

3 tablespoons of melted butter

1 vanilla bean pod or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the brownie:

57gr butter

115gr of dark chocolate, chopped

½ cup of sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

For the frosting:

1 cup of smooth peanut butter

100gr of white chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons of butter

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the swirl:

100gr of dark chocolate, chopped and melted

 

To make the crust, put the rice Krispies and icing sugar in the food processor and pulse until you get very fine crumbs. Mix the vanilla with the melted butter in a small bowl and then add the cereal crumbs. Mix well.

Line a small square baking dish (22cm) with parchment paper. Pour the cereal mixture into the baking dish and press to create a crust.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

To make the brownie, put the chocolate and butter in a small bowl and melt it in the microwave. I do it for 30 seconds intervals at a time, stirring every time until it has all melted.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla. Then add the chocolate and mix. Finally add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until it is all combined.

Pour the brownie mixture carefully on top of the crust. You want to do it slowly and carefully otherwise it will mix with the cereal and it won’t be a crust any more.

Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Once the brownie has cooled down, start making the frosting. Place the peanut butter, white chocolate, butter and vanilla in a bowl.  Melt it all together over a water bath. Once everything has melted and it is very smooth, pour it over the brownie.

To make the swirl, just melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or over a water bath.  Then pour lines of the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and using a toothpick make swirls.

Put the baking dish in the freezer for 20 minutes to set.

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Once the 20 minutes have passed, soak a knife in hot water for a few seconds before cutting it into bars. Keep in an airtight container.