Baked Sweet Potato with Almond, Parmesan and Sage Crumble (gluten free)

This is an old recipe that was in need of an update. I love sage butter, especially mixed with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. So I thought of making a savory crumble to top some baked sweet potatoes. I used almond meal instead of normal flour and it was delicious. It’s super easy to make. You can have it as a side for thanksgiving or friends-giving. This recipe makes enough crumble for 5 sweet potatoes but you can always double it.

Ingredients:

5 medium sweet potatoes, roasted

1 cup of almond meal

60gr of grated Parmesan cheese

13 fresh sage leaves, chopped

4 tablespoons of butter, cold

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Cayenne to taste

Extra:

A few sage leaves

Vegetable oil for frying the leaves

 

First bake the sweet potatoes in the oven at 180C/350F until tender, about 1 hour.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise but not all the way to the bottom. Try to make a pocket for the crumble.

To make the crumble, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, using your fingers or a fork. You want the texture to resemble breadcrumbs.

Spoon the crumble on top of the sweet potato and broil until it becomes golden. To serve, you can sprinkle some thinly sliced sage or a few fried sage leaves. To fry the leaves, just heat about 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a small pan. Once it is hot, fry the sage leaves for about 3-5 seconds. Then transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. Enjoy!

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Orange & Pink Peppercorn Rolls with Orange Glaze and Pomegranate Seeds

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Holiday season is around the corner and with that comes family and friend gatherings. These rolls are great for dessert or brunch, and are perfect for sharing. I mixed the pink peppercorns, sugar and orange zest in the food processor. This allows the natural oils in the orange zest to come out and the whole pink peppercorns to be crushed. This recipe is very aromatic and the pink peppercorns add a very subtle heat and peppery taste. The tartness of the pomegranate seeds are there to balance the sweetness in the glaze, as well as to add a more festive feel to it. We just had a couple of these and will probably finish the rest during movie night later today.

This recipe makes about 11 small rolls.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

7 grs of dry yeast

1 cup of warm milk

3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup of sugar

1 egg

For the filling:

1 cup of sugar

Zest of 3 oranges

1 tablespoon of pink peppercorns

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

3 tablespoons of melted butter

For the egg wash:

1 egg

1 tablespoon of water

For the glaze:

2 cups of icing sugar

Fresh orange juice (about 1 orange), without pulp

Extra:

½ cup of pomegranate seeds

 

Place the warm milk and yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer and let it sit for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes have passed, add the remaining ingredients for the dough to the bowl with the yeast.

Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment. You can also knead it by hand.

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 has passed, lightly butter the oven dish in which you are going to bake the rolls. To make filling, place the sugar, orange zest, pink peppercorns and cinnamon in the food processor. Pulse for a couple of minutes until the peppercorns are crushed. Transfer the sugar to a small bowl. Have the butter already melted and ready with a brush.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle. Then brush the top of the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly on top. Roll it tight lengthwise. Cut the uneven edges and discard of them. Now that you have an even rolled dough, cut it into about 11 even pieces. Place the pieces on the prepared oven dish, leaving some space in between. Brush a large piece of plastic wrap with vegetable oil. Cover the rolls with the greased side down. Let them rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 10 or 15 minutes before the timer is up for the second rise, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the hour is up, remove the plastic wrap from the oven dish, brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake them for about 23-25 minutes until golden.

Once the rolls are baked, start making the glaze. Place the icing sugar in a small bowl. Slowly pour in the orange juice while whisking until the glaze becomes pourable. Once the glaze is of your desired consistency, just pour it on top of the rolls. Add some pomegranate seeds. They are best when served right away while they are still warm. Enjoy!

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Chocolate, Oatmeal & Cranberry Sandwich Cookies with Vanilla Bean Frosting

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These cookie sandwiches are soft and chewy. They make a perfect edible gift for the holidays.

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This recipe makes about 23 small sandwich cookies.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour

¼ cup of cocoa powder

1 cup of instant oats

1 cup of brown sugar

113grs of softened butter

1 egg

½ teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of baking soda

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/3 cup of chopped dried cranberries

1 tablespoon of milk

For the vanilla bean frosting:

4 tablespoons of skyr or Greek yogurt

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped off

3 cups of powdered sugar

 

To make the cookies, preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line an oven sheet with parchment paper.

Cream the butter with the sugar. Then add the egg and vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder. Finally add the milk, oats and cranberries.

Grab about 1 teaspoon of the dough and roll it into a ball using your hands. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and repeat for the rest of the dough. Bake them for about 10 minutes. Allow them to cool down for a couple of minutes in the baking sheet, and then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Once all the cookies are cold, start making the frosting. Whisk the skyr with the vanilla bean seeds and then gradually add the powdered sugar.

Place about one teaspoon of the frosting on the flat side of one cookie, top with the flat side of another cookie, and press to spread the filling. Repeat for all. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Purple Carrot & Golden Beet Tart with Tahini & Sumac

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I made this tart today for dinner and it hardly lasted till dinner. Since I cook everything early to be able to photograph it during daylight, it was hard to stop eating it. I love the sweetness of the carrots and beets combined with the citrusy sumac and creamy tahini. It’s a very easy tart to make for this holiday season.

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This recipe is enough for a 40x24cm tart.

Ingredients:

1 sheet of puff pastry (40x24cms)

4 medium purple carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise with a mandolin

1 very large golden beet, thinly sliced with a mandoline

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the tahini-sumac sauce:

¼ cup of tahini

1 tablespoon of sumac

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of honey

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

Chili flakes to taste

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

For the toppings:

80grs of feta, crumbled

¼ cup of chopped chives, dressed in a bit of olive oil, white vinegar, salt and pepper

¼ cup of toasted pine nuts

2 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds

Extra:

Egg wash

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Cook the thinly sliced carrots and beets in a large pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper. I cooked them separately for about 5 minutes until tender but still firm, stirring often.

To make the tahini-sumac sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

Place the puff pastry on an oven sheet lined with parchment paper. Fold the edges, making a 1cm border and pinch to seal them. Using a fork, pinch the dough all over, except for the borders.

Spread the tahini-sumac sauce evenly over the pastry. Arrange the cooked carrot and beet slices all over the pastry. Make sure to spread them evenly, so there is a good ratio of carrot/beet on each slice later on.

Brush the edges of the puff pastry with the egg wash. Bake it for 35 minutes, till golden.

To serve, spread the crumble feta all over. Do the same for the toasted pine nuts, pomegranate and the dressed chives. Enjoy!

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Duck Breast Salad with Orange – Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

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I love duck breast and it’s something I don’t eat very often. Usually I have to go to a butcher to get it because regular supermarkets here don’t carry it unless it’s the holiday season. That time of the year has come and when I saw it at the supermarket, I couldn’t resist. This is a salad you can have as a first course or main, perfect for the holidays. And it doesn’t require a lot of time which is very handy if you want to host a dinner.

This recipe serves 2. If you would like it as a main course, I find it nicer to get 1 duck breast per person.

Ingredients:         

For the vinaigrette:

½ cup of fresh orange juice

½ cup of olive oil

¼ cup of apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of poppy seeds

2 tablespoons of honey

Salt

Pepper

For the duck:

1 duck breast, about 225grs.

Salt

Pepper

For the salad:

1/3 cup of dried cranberries

2 apples, thinly sliced (I used one Royal Gala and one Granny Smith)

1 persimmon, thinly sliced

40grs of baby kale

75grs of arugula

 

To make the vinaigrette, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake it until it emulsifies. Taste for salt and set it aside. Just re-shake it right before serving.

To cook the duck breast, first preheat the oven to 200C/390F. Trim any excess skin that is just hanging off the meat. Using a sharp knife, score the fat of the breast in a criss-cross pattern.  Season it with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat up a cast iron skillet or oven-proof pan over medium heat. Place the duck breast with the skin side down and let the fat render off for 4 minutes. Then sear the meat side for 1 minute.  Finally turn the breast fat side down again and place it in the oven for 5 minutes. This will give you a medium to medium rare duck breast depending on the size of it. Once the breast is cooked, let it rest for 5 minutes and then thinly slice it.

To plate up, mix the arugula with the baby kale and divide it among 2 plates. Add the cranberries, apples and persimmon.  Then add the sliced duck breast and serve with the dressing on the side.

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