Oven Fries with Feta, Preserved Lemon & Oregano

Processed with Snapseed.

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!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Fresh Corn Fritter Tacos with Feta & Jalapeño/Cucumber Salsa

FullSizeRenderI love corn season and how versatile corn is. Love it in a Peruvian ceviche, love the Mexican street corn and I actually can’t think of any dish which had it that I didn’t like. This time I made it into fritters and stuffed them in tortillas. So delicious and super simple to make. This dish can be made in under 30 minutes. So if you don’t know what to cook today, give these a try. It is #tacotuesday after all!

IMG_0512

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the salsa:

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 cucumber, finely chopped (without the core/seeds)

2 jalapeños or more to taste, finely chopped

Juice of 2 limes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the corn fritters:

Kernels of 3 corns

1/3 cup of yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

2 eggs

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

Salt

Pepper

Extras:

12 small tortillas

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil for frying the fritters

100grs of crumbled feta

 

First prepare the jalapeño/cucumber salsa. Just mix all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set it aside until ready to serve.

To make the corn fritters, place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk them with a fork. Then add the cornmeal, flour, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix and finally add the corn kernels and chives. Mix well. Then use an immersion blender or pour the mixture into a normal blender. Pulse just a couple of times just to blend some of the corn, so that fritters are easier to shape. You still want to have whole kernels in there so don’t overdo it.

Then pour some vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once it is hot, start frying the fritters in batches. I made them small, using about 1 tablespoon of batter. Fry until golden on both sides. About 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side.

Once all the fritters are cooked, warm up the tortillas.

Serve the tacos with some crumbled feta, the corn fritters and the salsa. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Sweet Potato Falafel Salad

FullSizeRenderOn Sunday we visited the Japanese cherry blossom park at the Amsterdamse bos. It’s one of those things I look forward to every spring. The weather was just perfect that day! Sunny and warm. People brought their picnics and were chilling on the grass. It’s a beautiful place around this time of the year and very close to Amsterdam.

IMG_4456

I had been craving falafel and I made this one by adding mashed roasted sweet potato to the chickpea mixture. It adds a slight sweetness to it. I served them over a very simple salad with baby Swiss chard, Kalamata olives, cucumber and feta. It’s healthy, easy to make and filling.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the sweet potato falafel:

1 cup of dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight

1 bunch of parsley

1 cup of mashed roasted sweet potato

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of celery salt

Juice of ½ a lime

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of salt

For the salad:

1 cucumber, core removed and thinly sliced

100grs of crumbled feta

100gr of Kalamata olives, sliced

100grs of baby Swiss chard or any leafy greens of your choice

Garden cress (optional)

For the dressing:

1/3 cup of olive oil

¼ cup of white vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Extra:

Olive oil for pan-frying the falafel

 

To make the sweet potato falafel, soak the dried chickpeas in enough water overnight. For the sweet potato, you can roast it the night before, mash it and keep it in the fridge. Roast 1 medium sweet potato at 180C/350F for 1 hour.

The next day, drain the chickpeas and place all of the ingredients for the falafel in the food processor. Pulse until everything is well combined and there are not big chunks, but not too fine that it becomes a puree. You want it to still have some texture.

Then grab some of the mixture and form it into a ball using the palm of your hands. I grabbed about 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture. It makes about 25 small balls.

Once all the falafels are assembled, pour about 1/3 of a cup of olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the falafel in batches until lightly browned. This will take about 5 minutes per batch. Just be careful not to press on them too much while turning them so that they don’t break apart.

To make the dressing just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid, close it and shake it until it emulsifies.

In a large bowl, mix the sliced cucumber, crumbled feta, Kalamata olives, baby Swiss chard and garden cress. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Divide the salad among 3 plates and then add the falafel. Enjoy!

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

Spinach & Zucchini Quesadillas with Pomegranate & Feta Salsa

FullSizeRender

I love a laid back dinner at home, even better when it doesn’t involve cutlery. I stuffed these quesadillas with Gouda, spinach and zucchini. And because you can never have too much cheese, I made a feta salsa to go along with it.

This recipe makes 4 quesadillas.

Ingredients:

8 large tortillas

For the filling:

1 tablespoon of olive oil

200grs of fresh spinach

2 zucchinis, chopped into small pieces without the seeds

150grs of sour cream

180grs of shredded Gouda

A pinch of garlic powder

A pinch of onion powder

Salt

Pepper

Lemon pepper

For the pomegranate & Feta salsa:

100grs of crumbled feta

½ cups of pomegranate seeds

2 tablespoons of lime juice

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Salt

Pepper

 

To make the salsa; just mix the crumbled feta with the pomegranate, olive oil, lime juice, coriander, salt and pepper. Set it aside.

Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the zucchini, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and lemon pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes while stirring. Then add the spinach and cook it until it becomes wilted. Add a bit more salt and pepper. Transfer it to a bowl.

To assemble each quesadilla, place one tortilla on a large plate. Spread a thin layer of sour cream over it. Then spread ¼ of the zucchini/spinach mixture. Finally sprinkle some of the shredded Gouda 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.

Slide the quesadillas into equal pieces and serve with the pomegranate & feta salsa. Enjoy!

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

 

 

 

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Harissa Butter, Feta & Pomegranate

IMG_3936

This is a very easy to make side dish for the holidays. The harissa butter adds a bit of heat that goes well with the sweetness of the butternut squash.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash, sliced in half

1 tablespoon of butter

1 teaspoon of harissa or more to taste

2 tablespoons of Parmesan

2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

Salt

Extras:

½ cup of pomegranate seeds

100grs of crumbled feta

Micro arugula for decoration

Handful of arugula

Olive oil

White vinegar

Salt

Pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.

Place the butternut squash in a roasting tray lined with parchment paper. Add ½ cup of water and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake until very tender. Mine took about 1 hour but the time will depend on the size of your squash.

Once the butternut squash is tender, spoon out all of the flesh into a bowl but leave some attached to the edges of one half so that it holds its shape for the second bake.

Turn up the heat to 230C/440F.

Melt the butter in a pan with the harissa. Place the butternut squash flesh, harissa butter, Parmesan, breadcrumbs and salt in the food processor and pulse until smooth.

Stuff the reserved butternut half with the butternut puree. Place it on a oven tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.

To serve, mix the arugula with a splash of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Place the butternut squash in the middle of a large plate. Place the arugula salad all around the squash. Top it with the crumbled feta, pomegranate and micro arugula. Serve right away.

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

Butternut Squash & Charred Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Feta, Coriander and Sumac Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

IMG_2186

Fall vegetarian tacos. I made these this past Tuesday and we devoured them. I love the combination of the creamy butternut squash with the crunchy Brussels sprouts and pumpkin seeds, and the saltiness of the feta. 

IMG_2410

This recipe is for 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the butternut squash puree:

1 small butternut squash

¼ cup of cream

Pinch of salt

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of cayenne pepper

For the sumac roasted pumpkin seeds:

1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds

Drizzle of olive oil

1 ½ tablespoon of sumac

Pinch of salt

For the Brussels sprouts:

350gr of Brussels sprouts, cleaned & halved

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of Salt

Toppings:

1 pomegranate

200gr of feta, crumbled

A handful of chopped coriander

Extras:

12 small tortillas

 

To make the sumac roasted pumpkin seeds, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Spread the seeds over an oven tray lined with parchment paper. Roast for 15 minutes at 180C/350F. Set aside.

To make the pure, slice the butternut squash into chunks. Take the seeds out 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. Add the cream, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. Blend it until smooth using an immersion blender. Transfer the puree into a small saucepan. Over medium heat, let it thicken for 5 minutes while stirring.

For the Brussels sprouts, pour the olive oil into a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the Brussels sprouts, lemon pepper, cayenne and salt.  Cook for 5 minutes until charred, stirring from time to time. Set aside.

To serve, warm up the tortillas in a pan. Spoon some of the warm butternut squash puree into each tortilla, add the charred Brussels sprouts and top with the roasted pumpkin seeds, feta, pomegranate seeds and coriander.

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

 

Sweet Potato, Zucchini and Feta Burgers with Chimichurri

burger

Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce that is very popular throughout South America. Whenever we had a barbeque growing up, we always had chimichurri on the table. We would always get the meat, sausages and chimichurri from an Argentinian butcher and it was to die for.

Nowadays, I always make it whenever we have a BBQ. It is always a hit. I like mine a bit more acidic than normal, so if you don’t, just add a bit more olive oil, or less lime juice.  I usually make chimichurri to accompany meat; it is very nice to dip some crusty bread in it while the meat is cooking as well. But this time I wanted it on a veggie burger.  I really like the combination of flavors with the sweet potato, feta and zucchini. The panko coating gives each burger a really nice crispy outside. This dish makes a very filling meatless Monday.

Ingredients:

For the Burgers:

1 kilo of sweet potatoes

2 zucchinis

200gr feta cheese, crumbled

2 eggs

½ cup of pre-cooked  cornmeal (I used PAN)

¼ cup of all-purpose flour

3 shallots, finely chopped

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

Panko breadcrumbs, enough to coat each burger

For the chimichurri:

2 cups of flat leaf parsley, firmly packed and without hard stems

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1 bird’s eye chili, chopped

1 tablespoons of dried oregano

½ cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon of salt

Pepper

 

To make the chimichurri, just put all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it is very fine.  Pour it into a small bowl and cover with plastic film. You can keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

CIMG6402

chimichurri

To make the burgers, first roast the sweet potatoes whole in the oven at 180C/350F for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until very tender.  Then peel and mash them.

Grate the zucchinis, discard of the core with the seeds.  Then try to squeeze as much of the water out of it.  Add the grated and squeezed zucchini to the bowl of the mashed sweet potatoes.

Sautee the shallots in a bit of olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add it to the zucchini and mashed sweet potatoes.

Crumble the feta into the burger mixture; add the eggs, cornmeal and flour. Add some pepper and a bit of salt. Don’t add too much salt, because the feta is already quite salty.  Mix well.

Over medium heat, add some olive oil to a non-stick pan.

Put about 2 cups of panko on a flat plate, spoon some of burger mixture in the middle of the plate.  You can use a measuring cup, an ice cream scoop or a regular spoon.  Spoon some of the panko on top of the mixture and around the edges. Flatten it a bit to make it look like a burger.  Then with the help of a spatula, lift the burger. Make sure it’s evenly coated in panko and pan-fry it.  Let it turn golden before flipping it. You don’t want to touch it too much otherwise it will fall apart. Once both sides are golden, remove from the pan. Repeat for all of the mixture.

Serve with the chimichurri.

burgers