Peruvian Shrimp Chowder (Chupe de Camarones)

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Today is Pieter’s birthday. He wanted to stay in and requested this Peruvian soup he remembers from when we were in Lima. I am very happy to oblige since of course I want to make him something that he really enjoys, but also a mini proud moment since of everything he wanted, he requested something from my home country. This soup is a sort of bisque. This version can be made anywhere. It is just very important to get whole shrimp (with shells and heads) since they are the base for this soup. Served with some lime wedges and it’s heaven in a bowl.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

750g whole medium shrimp (peeled and deveined, reserve the shells and heads)

½ red onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup tomato puree

2 teaspoons of tomato paste

3 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped (or any other kind for mashing, you want it to give consistency to the soup)

Handful of rice

2 liters of seafood stock (I boiled 1 crab, 300 gr of vongole, 1 diced carrot, 2 stalks of celery and 1 leek)

2 tablespoons of butter

½ cup of white wine or Pisco

Salt

Olive oil

¼ cup of peas

¼ cup of broad beans

½ cup of corn kernels

200ml cream

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

150gr feta, crumbled

½ bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

Extras:

3 eggs, fried

Lime wedges for serving

 

To make the stock, just boil the crab with the vongole, carrot, celery and chopped leek for about 20-30 minutes, Then drain and reserve the stock.

To prepare the shrimp sauce, first peel the shrimp and then remove the veins. Reserve the shells and heads. Put the clean shrimp tails in a bowl and reserve in the fridge. (if you want you can reserve 3 whole shrimps and cook them with the shells and then reserve them for decorating the plate)

In a medium pan and over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil. Then add the shells, heads and white wine. Cook until the wine has reduced. Put the shells in a blender; add some salt and about 3 cups of the seafood stock. Blend until smooth and then sift the mixture. Reserve it.

In a large pot, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tomato puree. Add the remaining of the seafood stock and the shrimp sauce. Add the potatoes, a handful of rice and some salt. Let it simmer on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the peas, broad beans, corn kernels and shrimp tails to the soup. Let it cook for about 3 minutes and then add the cream.  Add the oregano, half of the chopped coriander and taste for salt.

Pour the soup into 3 bowls and sprinkle with some feta and more coriander. Place a fried egg on top of each bowl and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

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Thai Red Curry Mussels

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It’s mussel season again. I love them so much that I will sometimes make them for just myself. My hubby will eat them but it’s not his favorite thing in the world. So if I crave them often, I will just make them for lunch. They take so little effort to cook that I don’t mind making them for just myself.

I usually make them the classic way with parsley, garlic and tomatoes. But this time, I made them with Thai red curry. Something my hubby is more likely to enjoy since he loves Thai curry, and so do I.  We both devoured them.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

4 kilos of mussels, scrubbed and beards removed

2 tablespoons of minced ginger

1 lemongrass, finely chopped (hard outer part removed)

70grs of Thai red curry paste

400ml of coconut milk

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

½ a bunch of coriander, chopped

2 tablespoons of chopped Thai basil

Extras:

Crusty bread for serving

Lime wedges

Extra Thai basil for decoration (optional)

 

Rinse and scrub the mussels well under cold water, pulling off any beards. Discard any mussels that are broken or that don’t clamp shut when tapped.

Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the lemongrass, ginger and curry paste. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes while stirring. Then add the coconut milk and whisk till it is completely incorporated.

Then add the mussels and cover the pot. Let them steam until they open. This will only take a couple of minutes. Then remove the mussels using tongs. Discard of any mussels that haven’t opened. Let the sauce reduce for a couple of minutes.

Place the mussels on your serving bowls, pour the sauce over them and sprinkle with the chopped coriander and Thai basil. Decorate it with some whole Thai basil leaves if you wish. Serve it with lime wedges and crusty bread. 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.

Octopus Tacos with Sweet Peppers & Kalamata Olives Salsa

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It’s been a while since I posted a new recipe for Taco Tuesday and I’ve had this one in mind for over a month now. Octopus is so delicious, and I definitely don’t eat it often enough.  I boiled it first. Then I pan-fried it in some olive oil with some garlic, parsley and lemon juice. A Mediterranean style kinda tacos. We are finally moving to our new apartment this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

12 small tortillas

50grs of lamb’s lettuce of watercress

For the octopus:

1 medium octopus (about 1.1 kilo) cleaned

For boiling:

1 bay leave

1 lemon cut in half

1 teaspoon of salt

For the pan:

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoon of olive oil

Handful of chopped parsley

Juice of half a lemon

Salt

Pepper

For the salsa:

100grs of pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped

2 sweet peppers, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

Boil some water with 1 teaspoon of salt, the lemon cut in half and the bay leave. Once the water is boiling, submerge only the tentacles in the water for a few seconds. The tentacles will start to curl up. Do this 3 times. Then completely submerge the whole octopus in the water and cover it with a lid. Let it cook until it is tender. This octopus took 40 minutes. To check when it’s done, just pierce it with a knife (if it goes easily, it’s done) or slice off a piece and try it.

Remove the octopus from the pot and let it cool down.

In the meanwhile, make the salsa. Just mix the Kalamata olives, sweet peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix it well and set it aside.

Cut off the head and the beak from the octopus and pat it dry with some paper towels.

Chop it into bite size pieces.

Heat up the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. If your pan is small, fry the octopus in 2 batches. Fry it for 2 minutes and then add the garlic. Cook for 1 more minute will stirring to prevent the garlic from burning. Take it off the heat and add the lemon juice and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Warm up the tortilla in a pan.

Serve the octopus right away with the lamb’s lettuce and 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 me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Steamed Buns with Crispy Calamari & Korean Sauce

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Fried calamari is one of my favorite summer meals. And it is very cheap and easy to make at home. I must admit that cleaning squid is not favorite cooking activity but it doesn’t take very long and the finish product is well worth it. If you don’t feel like doing it, you can always buy them cleaned. The cornmeal and panko coating make the calamari rings extra crispy, just how I love them! For the buns, I just got them frozen at my local Asian store. Just 5 minutes in the steamer since they are quite small and I was done. No need to thaw them.

For the sauce, this time I went for Korean. For some freshness, I added a cucumber and radish salad in a sesame dressing. It is such a great combination with the crispy calamari. My hubby and I finished everything in no time.

This recipe makes 10 small sandwiches.

Ingredients:

10 small steamed buns, I get the frozen ones.

500grs of squid, about 8 small ones (cleaned)

For the coating:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 cups of panko

1 cup of cornmeal

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Salt

4 eggs, beaten

For the Korean sauce:

4 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 ½ tablespoons of minced ginger

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of Korean chili paste

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of honey

1/3 of a cup of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

For the cucumber and radish salad with sesame dressing:

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

10 radishes, thinly sliced

¼ of a cup of sesame oil

1/3 of a cup of white vinegar

3 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, just add 1 teaspoon of grated ginger)

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds

1 teaspoon of white sesame seeds

Extra:

1 litter of vegetable oil

Coriander for garnish

 

Start by making the sauce. Place the sesame oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the minced ginger, garlic and Korean chili paste. Cook while stirring for about 1 minute. Then add the brown sugar, honey, soy sauce and white vinegar. Stir until everything is well mixed and the sugar has dissolved. Once the sauce is ready, set it aside in a bowl.

To make the cucumber and radish salad, whisk all of the ingredients for the dressing until evenly combined. Then add the sliced cucumber and radish and mix well. Set it aside.

Then start to prepare the squid. You can ask your fishmonger to clean them for you or you can do it yourself. If you have never cleaned a squid before, start by slicing the tentacles off. Just slice it below the eyes. Reserve the tentacles but discard of the beak.

Then holding the body, pull out the head and the inner parts. Also remove the flaps. What I like to do is pull the squid inside out so I can rinse it properly under cold water, don’t forget to also rinse the tentacles. Then pull it back to normal and peel the thin skin so that you are left with only white meat. Pat the squid dry with some paper towels and then slice it into small rings. Repeat for all.

Once all your squid are cleaned, start making the coating. In a medium bowl, mix the panko, cornmeal, onion powder, garlic powder and a pinch of salt. Have another bowl ready with the beaten eggs and another one with the flour.

Dip each squid ring and tentacle in the flour, then the eggs and finally in the panko/cornmeal mixture. Repeat for all. Once all the calamari is well coated, place it on a tray in a single layer and keep it in the fridge until ready to fry.

In the meanwhile, start prepping your steamed buns. I got them frozen and they went into my steamer for 5 minutes without thawing. The time will depend on the instructions in the package.

Then place the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry he calamari in batches until they are golden. This will only take a few minutes per batch. Just make sure the oil is not too hot that it burns them quickly.

Serve each bun with some of the cucumber and radish salad, calamari and drizzle some of the Korean sauce. Serve straight away. 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 me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Clam Chowder

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I love how filling and flavorful chowders can be. They also bring back good memories for me since they remind of the times when I lived in the States. I love the mix of flavors of the clams, smoked bacon, corn and potatoes. Some of my favorite things together in one bowl.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

600grs of clams, scrubbed

7 slices of smoked bacon

Kernels of 2 corns on the cob or about 1 cup of frozen corn

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ cup of white wine

1 leek, finely sliced (white part and light green part only)

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

500gr of potatoes (not the kind for mashing), peeled and chopped into small cubes

1 ½ litter of vegetable stock

250ml of heavy cream

Celery salt

Pinch of onion powder

Extras:

Fresh thyme leaves

Chopped chives

Crusty bread

 

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.

Bring the stock to a simmer. Once it is simmering, add the clams and cook them until they open. This will only take a few minutes.  Then remove the clams with a slotted spoon, discard of any that haven’t open and set them aside to cool down a bit.

In the meanwhile, transfer the stock to a large bowl. Be careful if there is a bit of sand left from the clams at the bottom, make sure if there is not to transfer it to the bowl.

Remove the clams from the shell and chop them. Keep them in the fridge until ready to use.

Cook the bacon slices in a large pan with no oil over medium heat. Cook until crispy and reserve the fat. Chop the bacon slices into small pieces and set it aside.

In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and bacon fat over medium heat. Add the leek and shallot. Cook for a few minutes while stirring until they become a bit transparent and soft. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the onion powder, celery salt and white wine. Stir until half of the wine has evaporated. Add the potatoes and the stock. Cook for about 25 minutes.

Add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.  Then add the corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes. Finally add the clams and let them warm up for an extra minute.

Adjust the salt to your liking.

Serve the chowder among 3 bowls. Sprinkle with the bacon pieces, chopped chives and a few fresh thyme leaves. Eat it with some crusty bread slices.

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

 

 

 

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.

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

Mini Poke Ramen Cups

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I was going through my food pictures a couple of days ago and saw a pic of two sushi bowls (or poke) that I made last month and I started to crave fresh tuna again. I thought of making it into appetizer sizes, perfect to share at a dinner party. I seasoned some ramen noodles with sushi vinegar and wasabi Furikake. And made it into tiny cups, by baking them in a muffin pan. They turned out so good, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Just make sure to not make them too thick and use parchment paper as muffin liners to prevent them from sticking to the pan. I tried greasing the pan, parchment paper and cupcake liners. Parchment paper worked the best. Thank you to Vanessa from Pickmeadaisy.com for giving me the tip to add pomegranate seeds to my poke. It goes really well with the tuna!

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This recipe makes 12 mini cups.

Ingredients:

For the ramen cups:

120grs of ramen noodles

1 egg

2 tablespoons of sushi vinegar

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of wasabi Furikake

1 ½ tablespoons of vegetable oil

For the tuna poke:

400gr of fresh tuna, cut into small cubes

2 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger

5 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 teaspoon of togarashi

1 avocado, cut into very small cubes

1 teaspoon of lime juice

2 teaspoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

2 teaspoons of yuzu powder

¼ cup + 1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

 

Start by making the ramen cups; cook the ramen noodles as instructed on the package. Then drain them and place them in a bowl with the sushi vinegar, Furikake, salt and vegetable oil. Mix well. Allow it to cool down for 5 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with parchment paper squares in each cup. If you only grease the muffin pan with oil, the ramen will stick to the pan, so better use parchment paper as muffin liners.

Then place the noodles in the food processor and add the egg. Pulse a few times to get it chopped and mixed through. Don’t over chop it as it is nice to still be able to see that it is ramen noodles.

To make each ramen cup, place about 2 ½ tablespoons of the ramen mixture into each muffin cup, press well to try to create a cup. Repeat for all 12.

Bake them for 30 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside.

To make the poke, just place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl except for the avocado and mix well. Once everything is mixed through, add the avocado and mix it carefully. Especially if the avocado is very ripe, so it keeps its shape.

Spoon some of the poke into each ramen cup and enjoy!

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

Coconut Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

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I’ve had shrimp on mine mind for the last week and finally decided to incorporate them into a taco recipe. Coconut and panko crusted shrimp with a pan-roasted pineapple salsa. So good and fresh, it was hard to stop eating them before taking pictures.

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This recipe is for 12 tacos:

Ingredients:

12 small tortillas

For the shrimp:

300grs of shrimp, peeled

1 cup of all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup of panko

1 cup of shredded dried coconut, unsweetened

1 tablespoon of salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

1 ½ cups of vegetable oil for pan-frying the shrimp

For the pineapple salsa:

½ of a pineapple, chopped into small pieces

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of cayenne

1 tablespoon of sugar

Salt

Pepper

1 small red onion, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

3 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Chopped chili to taste

 

To make the pineapple salsa, place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Then add the pineapple, cayenne, sugar, some salt and pepper. Cook it until it caramelizes, this will take about 7 minutes. Stir from time to time. Once the pineapple is done, transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down.

In the meanwhile, start preparing the shrimp. Separate the ingredients for the coating. Place the flour in one bowl. Have the beaten eggs in another bowl. And in the last bowl mix the panko, coconut, salt, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder. First coat each shrimp in the flour, then the egg and finally in the panko/coconut mixture.

Pour the vegetable oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, start frying the shrimp in batches. They will take about 2 minutes per side, just make sure that the oil is not too hot, otherwise they will get brown without being cooked through. Place the fried shrimp on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil. Have a taste and sprinkle them with some salt if you wish.

Once the shrimp are done, the pineapple should already have cooled down. So mix the pineapple with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, red onion, lime juice, coriander, salt and pepper. Mix well.

To serve, warm up the tortillas in a pan and serve it with the shrimp and pineapple salsa. Enjoy!

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

Crab Salad Buns

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I have a soft spot for crab and today I decided to satisfy my craving for it with these crab salad buns.

This recipe is for 12 buns.

Ingredients:

For the buns:

3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

7grs of dry yeast

½ cup of warm water

½ cup of milk

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 egg

1 tablespoon of sugar

For the crab salad:

700gr of crab meat, I used canned crab meat

3 celery stalks, chopped very small

1 granny smith apple, chopped very small

Juice of 1 lime

8 tablespoons of mayonnaise

2 teaspoons of mustard

Celery salt to taste

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

½ cup of chopped chives, plus more for decoration

Extras:

Poppy seeds

Egg wash

To make the buns:

Place the yeast and the warm water in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes are up, add the remaining ingredients for the dough. 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 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 dough has risen, place it on a floured working area and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place the balls in an oven tray lined with parchment paper, leaving some space in between.

Grease with some vegetable oil, one large piece of plastic wrap. Cover the buns with it, greased side touching the buns (this will prevent them from sticking to the plastic). Let them rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 10 minutes before the buns are done rising, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the hour is up, brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle them with some poppy seeds. Bake them for 15 minutes or till golden.

To make the crab salad, just mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

Make a cut along the top of each bun, without going all the way down. Stuff each bun generously with the crab salad and decorate with some chives. Enjoy!

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

Mussels, Bubbles & Prawns Night by Chef and the City

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Chef and the city hosted a Mussels, Bubbles & Prawns night yesterday. It was an evening full of unlimited prawns, mussels and homemade fries. The event took place at Room 66, which used to be a small restaurant. The location matched perfectly with the concept. Small and cozy, where you could just serve yourself and have a casual evening with friends.  We were welcomed with fresh oysters and cocktails. Not a bad way to start a Thursday night, if you ask me.

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As the theme was unlimited food, it just kept on coming. The nice smell was impossible to pass, as I couldn’t help myself and had another serving every time a new platter full of freshly made mussels would arrive at the bar.

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Chef and the city is an interactive catering company owned by Aleksandra Polski, where if you choose to, you can also learn new culinary skills such as making sushi or decorating cupcakes. She will most likely be hosting similar events like the Mussels, Bubbles & Prawns night. You can check her Facebook page to keep up to date for future events.

Happy Friday guys!