Peruvian Rice with Clams & Prawns (Arroz con Mariscos)

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This morning I had to go to the Peruvian embassy to vote so I thought, might as well have a Peruvian lunch.This is my version of the classic Arroz con Mariscos., a Peruvian rice with seafood. It usually also has fish, octopus, squid and scallops. Mine is a simpler version with just prawns and clams. It is like a seafood risotto with chilies, coriander and lime. For this recipe you need 2 kinds of Peruvian chili paste. You can usually find them at Latin American stores or online.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

7 cups of cooked rice

500grs of clams (I used cockles)

400grs of large prawns

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of butter

½ red onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of aji panca (a type of Peruvian Chili paste)

2 tablespoons of aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow chili paste)

½ cup of white wine

1 cup of fish or seafood stock (you can also use any stock you like)

1/3 cup of tomato puree

250ml of cream

¾ cup of frozen peas

20grs of grated parmesan

½ cup of chopped coriander

Salt to taste

Juice of ½ a lime

Extras:

More chopped coriander for decoration

Lime wedges for serving

 

Cook the rice. Once it is cooked, start with the rest.

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.

In a large pan over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and cook until translucent.

Then add the garlic, aji panca and aji amarillo. Cook for 1 minute while stirring.

Add the prawns and cook until they turn pink and are cooked through. This will only take a few minutes, depending on their size. Remove the prawns from the pan and set them aside.

Add the white wine, clams and stock to the same pan where you cooked the prawns. Cover it with a lid until the clams open. Once the clams are cooked, remove them from the pan and set them aside. Discard of any that didn’t open.

Add the tomato puree to the same pan. Stir to mix it well and then add the cooked rice. Stir and add the cream, Parmesan, peas and coriander. Stir until the peas are cooked. Add the juice of ½ a lime and salt to taste.

To plate up, place the prawns and clams on top of the rice. Add extra chopped coriander and serve with lime wedges.

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Coconut Mojito Ice Cream

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It feels like summer today and I couldn’t be happier, especially since it’s supposed to last till at least Monday. That also means ice cream weather is upon us. I love the combination of coconut, lime and mint. The alcohol is optional but I used coconut rum to add more coconut flavor. Yum!

This recipe makes about 1.5 litters of ice cream

Ingredients:

For the lime and mint simple syrup:

½ cup of sugar

1/3 cup of mint leaves, packed

Juice + zest of 3 limes

1 cup of water

For the ice cream base:

400ml of coconut milk

250ml of whipping cream

½ cup of sugar

4 egg yolks

1 cup of shredded and desiccated coconut (optional)

½ cup of coconut rum (optional)

 

Start by making the lime and mint simple syrup. Place the lime zest, lime juice, mint leaves, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, stir from time to time so the sugar dissolves. Then transfer it to a bowl and let it cool down.

For the ice cream base, place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.

Place the coconut milk and whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk it to dissolve any solids from the coconut milk. Once it is simmering, very slowly start pouring it into the egg yolk and sugar mixture while whisking. It is important to pour it slowly and to whisk it fast so that the yolks don’t curdle.

Then transfer the mixture into the saucepan again. Over medium low heat and using a wooden spoon, stir for about 5 to 6 minutes. You know it’s done, when you draw a line with your finger on the back of the spoon and it stays. Transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down. If you want to be sure there are no curds, just use a fine mesh sieve and strain the mixture.

Once the ice cream base has come to room temperature, place it in the fridge to cool down completely.

Once the ice cream base is cold, strain the simple syrup and whisk it into the ice cream base. Add the rum. Whisk to combine.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is nearly finished freezing, add the desiccated coconut into the machine and allow it to mix thoroughly.

Store in an airtight container for at least 2 hours before serving.

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Zucchini Waffle Dippers with Avocado Sour Cream

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I love finger food, especially on the weekends. These waffles are great for brunch or as an appetizer.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the zucchini waffles:

1 zucchini, shredded (not the seeds) and squeezed

1 egg

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 cup of milk

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons of baking powder

20grs of grated Parmesan cheese

Pinch of salt

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

For the avocado sour cream:

1 avocado

125gr of sour cream

Juice of ½ a lime

Salt to taste

 

Blend all of the ingredients for the batter until smooth. Then add the squeezed zucchini and mix it with a spoon or spatula.

Brush your waffle iron with some vegetable oil or use cooking spray. Pour in some of the waffle batter. I made small waffles so each corner would be bite size. The cooking time will depend on your waffle iron. Mine takes 4 minutes per waffle.

To make the avocado sour cream, just blend all of the ingredients until smooth.

Slice the waffles into small pieces, serve with the avocado sour cream as the dipping.

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Thai Red Curry with Shrimp & Sugar Snaps Peas

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This flavorsome meal with store bought curry is perfect for a weeknight. Easy and ready in under 30 minutes. I added sugar snap peas to have an extra crunchy texture in the curry.

This recipe serves 3 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 ½ tablespoons of minced ginger

1 lemongrass, (white part only) finely chopped

50grs of red curry paste

1 ½ teaspoons of brown sugar or palm sugar

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

600ml of coconut milk

1 sweet pepper, finely chopped

250grs of shrimp, cleaned and deveined

Juice of ½ a lime

For the sugar snaps:

150grs of sugar snaps

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Salt

Extras:

Cooked white rice

Coriander leaves

Lime wedges

 

Pour one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the sugar snap peas and cook them for about 1 minute, while stirring. Add salt and set them aside.

In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Cook for about 1 minute until it becomes fragrant. Then add the sugar, curry paste and fish sauce. Cook for another minute while stirring. Then add the coconut milk, mix it well and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat until it thickens.

Then add the sweet peppers and shrimps. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. This will take about 3 to5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the sugar snap peas and the juice of half a lime. Mix well.

Serve with white rice, coriander leaves and lime wedges.

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Thai-Inspired Steak Salad

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On the weekends, I prefer to keep my meals simple and not time-consuming. It’s not always the case but I try. And a steak is always welcome, it cooks quiet quickly and both my husband and I go gaga for it. It’s not something we could eat everyday but when we do, it is really a treat. And lately our favorite way to eat it is in a salad. This time I made a Thai-style dressing. And I added Thai basil, coriander and mint to the salad. So you have all these mini explosions of flavors in every bite. I used a mandoline to slice the carrots and cucumber into thin ribbons, but you can just shred the carrots and thinly slice the cucumber with a knife.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the steak:

500gr of Flank steak

Vegetable oil for brushing the steak

Salt

Pepper

For the salad:

½ cucumber, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 medium yellow carrot, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

1 medium purple carrot, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size

4 tablespoons of chopped coriander

8 Thai basil leaved, finely chopped

8 mint leaves, finely chopped

About 100grs of a lettuce mix of your choice (I used lamb’s lettuce, baby spinach, baby Swiss chard and baby red tatsoi)

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 big lime

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 small bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

¼ cup of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of minced ginger

1 small clove of garlic, minced

Optional:

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

½ red chili, thinly sliced

 

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid. Cover it and shake it. Set it aside until ready to use.

Prepare all your veggies.

To cook the meat, heat up a large pan over medium heat. Brush the steak with some vegetable oil. Add salt and pepper on both sides.

Once the pan is hot, place the meat and cook it to your liking. For medium rare, it takes about 5 minutes per side but it will also depend on the thickness of the steak. My steak was a bit thick in the middle so it took about 1 extra minute.

Let the steak rest for 5 minutes and then thinly slice it.

Once the steak is done and sliced, place all the vegetables and lettuce in a large bowl. Give the dressing another shake and add it to the salad. Mix it well so everything is well coated, I just used my hands.

Serve the salad and then add the steak slices. Sprinkle some of the sliced spring onion and chili over the steak. Finally pour the remaining dressing from the bowl on top of the steak. Enjoy!

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Gin & Lime Chicken Tacos with Grapefruit Salsa

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One of my favorite ways to enjoy a gin & tonic is with grapefruit. So for this Taco Tuesday, I marinated some chicken thighs in Hendrick’s gin, lime juice and lime zest. And to go along with it, I made a grapefruit and avocado salsa. If you don’t feel like eating it with tortillas, you can also eat it with some rice.

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This recipe is for 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

500gr of chicken thighs, skinless & boneless

12 small tortillas

2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the gin & lime marinade:

1/3 cup of gin (I used Hendrick’s)

Zest & juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of salt

Pepper

Pinch of cayenne

For the grapefruit salsa:

1 large ruby red grapefruit, peeled, sliced into segments and then chopped

1 avocado, chopped

Juice of ½ a lime

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ red onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon of honey

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Salt

Pepper

 

 

First chop the chicken thighs into small cubes.

In a medium bowl, mix the gin, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar and spices. Place the chicken in the marinade. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the salsa, first carefully peel the grapefruit making sure to discard of any white parts. Then cut it into segments and carefully chop them. Chop the avocado, onion and coriander

In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil with the lime juice, red wine vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Place the avocado, onion, coriander and grapefruit in the dressing and carefully mix it.

Once the 30 minutes have passed for the marinade, take the chicken out of the fridge.  Remove it from the marinade. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, cook half of the chicken until lightly browned.  This will only take about 4 minutes.  Then repeat for the remaining chicken.  Add a bit of salt to the cooked chicken.

To serve, warm up the tortillas in a pan. Serve them with the gin & lime chicken and the grapefruit salsa.

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Summer Squash Pasta with Anchovy, Lime & Chili Pesto

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This is a super easy and zesty summer pasta dish. It’s great for those days where you don’t feel like spending too much time in the kitchen. We went shopping this morning, then ran some errands and after that, we went the park to enjoy the sun. By the time we came home, we were hungry for some carbs. Especially since we live in Amsterdam, we do everything by bike. I had planned to make a light salad for dinner but that wasn’t going to cut it tonight. So this pasta was it.

I love the combination of the anchovy, lime and chili. I could just eat this pesto with a spoon. Because of the pine nuts and anchovy, it doesn’t have the prettiest color but it is so tasty.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the pesto:

Zest of 2 limes

75gr of pine nuts, toasted

6 anchovy fillets

½ red chili, chopped (or more if you like it spicy)

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the rest:

1 yellow squash, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 purple carrot, diced (optional)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Dried chili flakes

Juice of 1 lime

250gr of fresh pasta, i used spaghetti

 

Dice the yellow squash, zucchini and purple carrot about the same size. I didn’t use the core of the squash just for presentation purposes, but you can just use the whole vegetable.

To make the pesto, just place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste, it doesn’t have to be completely smooth. Set aside.

Cook the pasta as instructed in the package.

Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the garlic and carrot. Cook for 1 minute. Then add the yellow squash and zucchini. Add salt, pepper and some chili flakes. Cook for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Add the anchovy pesto and stir. Finally add the pasta and the juice of 1 lime. Mix well. Taste for salt and pepper.

Serve right away. I like to sprinkle extra chili flakes over each plate of pasta.

 

 

Panko Crusted Cauliflower Steaks with Greek Yogurt & Sriracha sauce

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The cauliflowers were calling my name at the market. I got one and I made it into “steaks”. But instead of roasting them in the oven, I covered them in a panko-cornmeal mixture, and then pan-fried them. To feel a bit less guilty about frying them, I made a sriracha sauce with Greek yogurt instead of mayo. The result is crunchy goodness drizzled with a cool, zesty, sweet and spicy sauce.

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 large head of cauliflower

4 eggs, beaten

1 ½ cups of panko

1 ½ cups of cornmeal

1 cup of flour

1 teaspoon of paprika

½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of salt

Vegetable oil for pan-frying

For the sauce:

1 cup of Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of sriracha, or more to taste

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ tablespoons of honey

Salt

Topping:

Chives for decoration

 

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

Trim the leaves from the cauliflower and trim the end of the stem but leave the core intact.

Slice the cauliflower from the center into 4 “steaks” of about 1 to 1 ½ cm thick.

Mix the panko, cornmeal, paprika, onion powder & salt in one plate. Place the flour on another plate and the beaten eggs on a separate plate.

Coat each cauliflower in the flour, then the egg and finally in the panko mixture.

Add some vegetable oil to a pan over medium heat. You’ll need a bit more than ¼ of a cup.

Once the pan is hot, add the cauliflower steaks. Cook until they are golden on both sides. This will take about 3 minutes per side. Place the steaks on a cutting board lined with paper towels to absorb some of the oil.

Serve the steaks with a drizzle of the sriracha sauce and some chopped chives.

Lime & Blueberry Lattice Pie


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Growing up my favorite pie was lime merengue pie. My mom would make it often and we would just devour it. The lime filling in this this recipe is the same as my mom used to make, and one that is very popular as it is so simple. It’s just a mixture of condensed milk, lime juice and egg yolks. To upgrade it a bit; instead of making a crushed cookie crust, I made a buttery pastry dough with a lattice top. And because it is summer and blueberries are in full swing, I added them too. I saw them at the market and had to get some.

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I made this pie on Thursday for a dessert night I hosted for some friends the next day. I made it in between running errands, making a cake for a friend’s birthday and going to her party. She rented a boat and we cruised through the Amsterdam canals with some nice bites and drinks.

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I finally finished baking the pie at 11 pm and went to bed with the apartment smelling like pie.

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This recipe is for a 23cm pie mold.

Ingredients:

For the pie crust:

2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

1 ½ tablespoons of sugar

½ teaspoon of salt

226gr of butter, cold and cut into cubes

6 tablespoons of cold water

For the filling:

1 can of condensed milk, 400ml

1/3 of a cup of lime juice

3 egg yolks

2 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries

Extras:

Egg wash

Granulated sugar for sprinkling on the lattice top

 

You can make the pie crust in the food processor, by hand or in the stand mixer.  I used my stand mixer fitted with the flat beater. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the cold butter pieces, mix it with a spatula. Then mix on low speed for about 2 minutes. Then add the cold water and mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until you have an even dough.

Divide the dough into 2 parts. Pat it down with your hands, forming a circle with each piece. Keep one piece on a floured working area. Wrap the remaining piece with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for 1 hour.

Roll out the piece of dough that you left on your working area. Dust with enough flour so it doesn’t stick. Roll it big enough to cover the bottom of the pie mold. Place the dough on the bottom of the pie mold, press with your fingers so the sides stick and trim the edges. Refrigerate until the time for the one that you placed in the freezer is up.

Once the hour is up for the dough in the freezer, take the pie mold from the fridge and start making the filling. In a bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, lime juice and egg yolks. Pour the lime filling into the pie. Then arrange the blueberries on top of the lime filling.

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Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper. This will make cleaning easier, since the blueberries ooze a bit of liquid.

Take out the remaining dough from the freezer; roll it out into a big rectangle. Cut it into strips of about 2cm thick. You’ll need 12 strips for the lattice top and 2 strips for the edges of the pie. If you don’t know how to arrange the lattice top, you can click here to see instructions with pictures from The Kitchn on how to arrange it. Once the lattice top is set, add the 2 remaining strips to cover the edges of the pie.

Brush the dough with some of the egg wash and sprinkle some granulated sugar. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the dough is golden.

Allow the pie to cool down completely before slicing it with a bread knife.

 

 

Lime Cookies Stuffed with Bounty, with a Malibu Lime glaze

Lime Cookies Stuffed with Bounty, with a Malibu Lime glaze

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Lately I have been into making stuffed cookies; I blame my sweet tooth on the cold weather. Bikini season is far, far away still, so a little overindulgence won’t hurt. Since I can’t have tropical weather at the moment, at least I can eat something that evokes summer to me.  Coconut, rum and lime. I really love this combination, so I thought of putting them together in cookie form.  This recipe makes about 19 cookies.

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For the cookie dough:

113gr butter, at room temperature

½ cup of granulated sugar

½ cup of icing sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

2 cups of all-purpose flour

Juice of 5 limes

Zest of 3 limes

For the filling:

5 bounty chocolate bars

For the glaze:

1 1/3 cup of icing sugar

1 tablespoon of Malibu rum

Juice of 1 lime

 

To make the cookie dough, cream the butter with the granulated sugar and icing sugar until light and fluffy.  Then mix in the egg, vanilla, baking soda and salt.  Add the flour. Finally add the lime zest and lime juice.

Once it is all mixed, cover and let it sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour.  You can also leave it in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Open all of the bounty bars. Slice each piece into 3 parts.

Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and start shaping the cookies.

Take about a tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball with your hands. Then flatten it, pressing with both your hands.  Place a piece of the bounty bar in the middle. Bring the edges of the dough together and press to seal them and then form a ball again.  Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet and repeat until all the cookies are done.  The dough is quite sticky, I found it easier to wash my hands after assembling 5 cookies, and then start to assemble them again.

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Bake them for about 10 minutes, until the edges start getting golden.  Then remove from the oven, let them rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Once the cookies have cooled down, start making the glaze.  Mix the icing sugar, Malibu and lime juice in a small bowl.  Pour the glaze in a Ziploc bag, and snip off one of the corners of the bag. Use it as a piping bag and drizzle over each cookie.

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