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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Baked Eggs on Sweet Potato Skins with Avocado

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This was my breakfast yesterday and I got many questions on Instagram on how to make it, so I decided to post the recipe. It’s super easy and very healthy.

Update: Here is how to make the avocado rose:

This recipe makes 4.

Ingredients:

2 sweet potatoes, I used small ones

4 eggs

1 avocado

1 tablespoon of chopped chives

Sea salt

Chili flakes

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parmenchent paper. Once the oven is hot, bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour, or until tender.

Then take them out of the oven (keep the oven on) and slice them in half. Scoop the flesh out, leaving a thin layer attached to the skin so it keeps its shape. You can use the sweet potato flesh for another recipe.

Sprinkle a bit of salt on top of each sweet potato skin. Since I like my yolks still runny, I separated the eggs whites from the egg yolks. I added an egg white to each sweet potato skin and baked them for 20 minutes until the egg white had set. Then I removed them from the oven and added the yolks. Finally baked them for an additional 3 minutes. If you don’t like your egg yolks runny, just add the whole egg at once.

Once the eggs are done, remove the potato skins from the oven. Topped them with thinly sliced avocado and sprinkle with some chopped chives, sea salt and chili flakes.

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Skillet Breakfast Pizza (with Greek yogurt)

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Yesterday was such a gorgeous spring day here. For the first time this year we could bike without our jackets on. We took advantage of the beautiful weather and were out pretty much all day. We went out for lunch, for ice cream and just biked around the city feeling the sun on our skin. Since the weather is quite temperamental here, if it’s sunny and warm you go outside and enjoy it. No question about it because you don’t know when you’ll have another day like that. And of course the whole city was out. People were laying in the park and having BBQs. The cherry trees are blooming. On the weekends I try to be more active on Snapchat, especially if the weather is nice. So if you would like to get a peek of Amsterdam, you can add me: cravingsinams.

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I could eat pizza at any time of the day and now that spring is here, why not a breakfast pizza that screams of spring? It’s perfect to make on the weekend. For the sauce, I made it with Greek yogurt, spices and olive oil. The only cheese I added was thinly sliced Parmesan.

This recipe makes 2 small pizzas. I used a 23cm cast iron skillet.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3.5grs of dry yeast

1/2 cup of warm water

Pinch of sugar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Pinch of salt

1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour

For the Greek yogurt sauce:

120grs of Greek yogurt

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of celery salt

2 teaspoons of olive oil

For the toppings:

¼ cup of blanched edamame

6 asparagus, thinly sliced (I sliced the tips in half lengthwise)

4 slices of Parma ham, broken into pieces

20grs of parmesan, thinly sliced with a knife or grated

2 eggs

Extra:

Olive oil

 

Start by making the pizza dough; place the warm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes have passed, add the flour, salt and olive oil. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes using the dough hook attachment. If the dough is too sticky, just sprinkle a bit more flour and let it knead for 1 extra minute.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with a bit of vegetable oil.  Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Once the hour is up, place your skillet in the oven and preheat it to 230C/446F.

Mix all of the ingredients for the Greek yogurt sauce.

Place your dough in your floured working area. Divide it into 2 equal pieces. Roll out one piece about the same size as your cast iron skillet. Once your oven is hot, remove the skillet (use gloves). Pour about 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet and swirl it around so it covers also the edges.

Place the dough in the skillet, spread half of the yogurt sauce and add half of the asparagus, edamame, ham and Parmesan. Separate the egg white from the egg yolk in two small bowls. Only add the egg white in the middle of the pizza.

Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the pizza from the oven and place the egg yolk on top of the egg white. Bake it for an extra 3 minutes.

Remove from the oven and repeat for the remaining piece of dough. I suggest you share this one while the other is in the oven.

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Papa Rellena (Potato stuffed with Beef)

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This is a very popular Peruvian dish which can be easily made in any country. Traditionally it has a bit of Peruvian chili paste (Aji panca) but you can also use any hot sauce or skip it all together. I’m out of Peruvian chili paste at the moment so I just used Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper sauce. I also coated them in panko, because I find that you don’t get a nice even color with just flour. Plus panko adds crunchiness, so I am all for it. This is one of my childhood favorites and my mom still makes it when I visit her.

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This recipe makes about 7 stuffed potatoes.

Ingredients:

For the potato mash:

1 ½ kilos of potatoes, use starchy potatoes like Russet (or how it is called here: kruimige)

Salt

1 egg white

¼ cup of all-purpose flour

For the beef filling:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

300grs of minced beef

1 tablespoon of Aji panca, or any hot sauce

¼ cup of tomato puree

50gr of pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

¼ cup of raisins, chopped

2 boiled eggs

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Pinch of sugar

Salt

Pepper

For the salsa criolla:

2 red onions, chopped

2 bird’s eye chili, chopped

4 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Juice of ½ lime

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Extras:

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 ½ cups of panko

3 eggs, beaten

2 cups of vegetable oil for pan-frying

 

Boil the potatoes until tender. Then carefully peel them while they are still hot and mash them. Add salt to taste. Let it cool down a bit until you can handle touching the mash. Add the egg white and flour. Knead the dough with your hands making sure there are no lumps. Then cover it and start making the filling.

Place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and minced beef. Cook until the beef starts to get brown. Then add the garlic and hot sauce, cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato puree, olives, raisins, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook for about 5 minutes while stirring, or until the beef is cooked through. Then turn off the heat and add the coriander.

Place the eggs in a saucepan, add boiling water and let them cook for 8 minutes. Peel off the shells and chop them. Add them to the meat mixture and mix well.

Take about 1 cup of the potato dough and flatten it with your hands, add about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the beef filling in the middle and them shape it into a sort of football. Make sure the filling is not sticking out. Repeat for all.

Once all the stuffed potatoes are done, have the coating ready. Coat each potato in the egg, then flour, then egg again and finally in the panko. Set it aside and repeat for the rest.

To make the salsa criolla, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

Pour the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the potatoes in batches. I like to do only 2 at a time because they get golden quite fast. And you need to be careful when flipping them so they don’t break. Since the are already cooked, you just have to pan-fry them till they are evenly golden. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels.

Serve them right away with the salsa criolla.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

BBQ Pulled Pork, Avocado, Gouda & Fried Egg Breakfast Sandwich on a Soft Pretzel Bun

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I was craving pulled pork lately so I went to my butcher to get a nice piece of pork shoulder to make it. It is so easy to make. It does require time for the meat to get tender but you can just set your timer. I cooked the pork a day in advance and just kept it in the fridge. This is the sandwich I made for breakfast on Saturday. The pretzel buns I did make on the same day as they are best when they are fresh out of the oven. This made a very indulgent Saturday morning.

A quick tip: If you add pork bones to the Dutch oven where you are cooking the meat, you end up with a good stock to later use for ramen. I didn’t add it to the recipe, but it is what I did to not waste the stock I was left with after cooking the meat.

This recipe makes 8 medium sandwiches.

Ingredients:              

For the pork:

800gr of boneless pork shoulder

About 3 litters of beef stock

3/4 cup of Smoked BBQ sauce

For the soft pretzel bun:

For the dough:

1 cup of warm water

1 package of dry yeast (7gr)

2 tablespoons of butter, melted

3 cups of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 ½ teaspoons of salt

For the water bath:

10 cups of boiling water

2/3 cup of baking soda (here in the Netherlands, you can find it in a toko/asian store)

Extras for the buns:

Egg wash

Coarse sea salt

Vegetable oil

Toppings for the sandwich:

2 avocados, sliced

8 fried eggs

8 slices of Gouda cheese

 

To cook the pork:

Slice off any big parts of fat from the outside of the piece of pork. Then chop it into large chunks (about the size of half a cup). Place the pork in a Dutch oven. Add enough stock to submerge all the pieces of pork. Let it come to a simmer over medium heat. Cover it with a lid and let it cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours. Check every half hour and add more stock if necessary. You know it’s done when the meat just falls apart.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred it using two forks. You can save the stock and use it for something else. Set the shredded pork aside.

To make the soft pretzel buns:

Place the warm water and the yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Then add the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Knead the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Do it on low speed for about 5 minutes, until it stops sticking to the edges and it forms a ball. You can also knead it by hand.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with some vegetable oil. Place the dough back in the greased bowl and cover with plastic film. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment with vegetable oil.

Start making the water bath. Mix the boiling water with the baking soda in a large pot.  Make sure it is not completely filled to the top because the baking soda bubbles a bit. Leave the heat on medium, while you work on the dough.

Place the dough in your working area, it is not necessary to use extra flour. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Make each piece into a ball.

Place the balls in the water bath for 30 seconds. I did 4 at a time.  Then remove them from the water using a slotted spoon and place each ball in the prepared baking tray.

Once they are all done, cut a cross in the middle of each bun, brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle some coarse salt on top of each one. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Once the buns are done, mix the shredded pork with the BBQ sauce. Warm it up in a pan.

Slice each bun into halves. Add a slice of Gouda, and then some of the BBQ pulled pork. Top it with avocado slices and a fried egg. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Dutch Baby Pancake with Gouda, Crispy Bacon & a Fried Egg

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Dutch baby pancakes are usually sweet, served with powdered sugar and fruit. I wanted to make a savory version of it.  I sprinkled shredded Gouda to the batter before it went into the oven and then topped it with some bacon and a fried egg. You can play around with the toppings as you like. It is super easy to make. The edges of the pancake are crispy and in the center it is still soft. This savory version is not only nice for breakfast but it also works great for lunch.

This recipe is for 1 pancake.

Ingredients:

For the batter:

2 eggs

½ cup of milk

¾ cup of all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons of butter

Pinch of salt

Toppings:

5 tablespoons of shredded Gouda cheese

2 or 3 slices of crispy bacon, chopped

1 fried egg or more if you like

Chives, chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 230C/446F with a cast iron skillet inside.

Place the eggs, milk, flour and salt in the blender and blend until smooth. Leave the batter in the blender.

Take the hot skillet out of the oven and add the butter. Place it back in the oven until the butter melts, this will only take about 1 minute. Take the skillet out of the oven again. Swirl the butter so it coats all the edges of the skillet. Once the skillet is completely coated in butter, pour the remaining melted butter into the blender with the rest of the pancake batter. Blend until everything is combined.

Add the pancake batter into the hot skillet and sprinkle the shredded Gouda over it.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the pancake turns golden and the edges have puffed up.

Serve with a fried egg, crispy bacon and chives.

 

Lyonnaise Salad Crostini

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This is another take on the classic French salad. If you’ve never had a Lyonnaise salad, it is just a poached egg, bacon and frisee lettuce. The simple things are often the best. Instead of using poached eggs; I fried them, and I used quail eggs instead so they would fit into small toasts. I turned the bacon into crumbs, and made an onion-white wine vinaigrette. It works great for a dinner party and as a light lunch. I love frisee; I really enjoy the bite that it gives. I have a beet tartare recipe which also has it, and you can check it out by clicking here.

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Summer seems to come and go here, some days it feels like summer and others like early autumn. Today is the latter one, rainy and a bit chilly.  Yesterday wasn’t very nice either, but we had a great lunch at the Pure Markt in the Amstel Park. We arrived starving and wanted to eat everything in sight! We went for some steamed buns, duck banh mi, a donut and a delicious pulled pork cheeseburger topped with fried onions. We left the market with very happy bellies.

pulled pork cheeseburger

Ingredients:

1 baguette, sliced and toasted

3 cups of frisee, washed and torn into pieces

12 quail eggs, or more depending on the amount of bread slices that you have

140gr smoked bacon slices

For the vinaigrette:

1 medium white onion, chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 shot of white wine

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1/3 of a cup of white vinegar

1/3 of a cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon of honey

Salt

Pepper

 

Cook the bacon in a pan until crispy. Then place it in the food processor and pulse until you get crumbs. To get it a bit crunchier again, I spread it over a baking tray lined with parchment paper and baked it for about 10 minutes at 180C/350F. But you can skip this step.

Cook the onion with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Then add the white wine. Stir for a few seconds until the liquid evaporates a bit. Place the onions with the liquid in a jar, add the remaining ingredients for the vinaigrette. Cover with a lid and shake it until it emulsifies. Set aside.

Fry the quail eggs.

To plate up, place a bit of frisee on top of each toast. Then add the fried egg, spoon some of the vinaigrette and finish it by sprinkling some of the bacon crumbs.