Summer Nachos with Mango & Nectarine salsa

I love fruity salsas and now that summer is in full swing, it is the perfect excuse to make it with all the wonderful produce out there. This is a vegetarian recipe which can easily be made vegan if you skip on the sour cream.  You can either fry or bake the tortilla chips. I ended up doing half of them baked and the other half of them fried, since I had a little problem with my oven.

For the tortillas:

About 12 tortillas (I used 3 different colors)

Vegetable oil

Pinch of salt

For the mango & nectarine salsa:

1 medium mango, very finely chopped

1 nectarine, very finely chopped

1 medium red onion, very finely chopped

1 medium jalapeño, very finely chopped (without seeds)

1 medium red chili, very finely chopped (without seeds)

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Extra toppings:

The kernels of one ear of corn, cooked

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 avocado, thinly sliced

Extra jalapeño slices

Extra red chili slices

125grs of sour cream

 

You can either bake or fry your tortilla chips.

If you bake them, preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush each tortilla with a bit of vegetable oil. Then using kitchen scissors or a knife, cut each tortilla into small triangles. Spread the small pieces of tortilla in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Bake them for about 10-12 minutes, till crispy. Repeat for the rest.

If you fry your tortilla chips, place about ½ cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Fry the pieces of tortilla till golden on both sides. Do it in batches without overcrowding the pan. This will only take about a minute or two, so keep an eye on them. Once fried, place them in a plate lined with some paper towels and sprinkle them with a bit of salt.

To make the salsa, just mix the finely chopped mango and nectarine with the remaining ingredients. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Set it aside.

To assemble the nachos, first place the tortillas in a sheet pan or plate. Add small dollops or quenelles of sour cream all over. Then spread the mango & nectarine salsa. Sprinkle the corn kernels over the chips. Top with some slices of radishes, avocado, jalapeño and chili. Serve right away and enjoy!

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Thai Spiced Nuts

Inspired by our lasted trip to Thailand, I created this spiced nuts recipe. When I travel, I always like to visit the local markets and supermarkets to see and try what they have to offer. I could spend hours browsing through each isle or stand. Pieter actually got tired of waiting for me on our last supermarket trip there while I was examining the information on the packaging of every snack I found interesting.

These nuts are sticky and they have a sort of umami taste. I just used the Thai basil for decoration but you can add it freshly chopped right before serving. And it’s done in 20 minutes with minimal amount of cooking. I was generous with the spice measurements. If you like it spicy, you can always add for chili powder or cayenne.

Ingredients:

150grs of unsalted cashew nuts

125grs of unsalted almonds

80grs of unsalted pumpkin seeds

For the Sauce:

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ teaspoon of kaffir lime leaf powder

1 ½ teaspoon of cayenne or chili powder

1 teaspoon of lemon grass powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 ½ tablespoon of salt

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

¼ cup of sugar

¼ cup of water

 

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

Place all of the ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan. Whisk so all the spices get dissolve into the water. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Don’t forget to stir constantly so that it doesn’t burn. It’s ready when most of the water has evaporated and it has become a syrup.

Add the nuts and mix well to coat them. Spread them in a single layer over the prepared baking sheet.

Bake them for 15 minutes. Stirring half way though the cooking time.

Once they come out of the oven, allow them to cool. Then try to separate the nuts into smaller chunks.

If you want, add freshly chopped Thai basil right before serving. Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter & Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn

The other day we had unexpected friends over and while they started opening some beers in the kitchen, I made some kettle corn to snack on. This is what I love about popcorn, it’s so easy and quick to make. The variety of flavors you can add to it is basically endless. And this Peanut butter popcorn is such a divine combo! I’ve partnered with Calve Peanut Butter to create this recipe. It’s crunchy, salty, sweet and addictive. The perfect snack for movie night and it also makes a nice edible gift.

This recipe makes 1 large bowl of popcorn.

Ingredients:

For the popcorn:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

105grs of popcorn kernels (1/2 a cup)

For the Peanut butter & sea salt caramel sauce:

100grs of sugar (3/4 cup)

45grs of butter tablespoons of butter (3 tablespoons)

105grs of water (¾ cup)

75grs of Calve smooth peanut butter (1/3 of a cup)

1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt

1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of baking soda

Brush one very large bowl with vegetable oil. If you don’t have one large enough, grease two medium ones. Keep in mind that you need to have enough space to coat all the popcorn in the caramel.

Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

In a large pan with a lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the popcorn, cover and keep the pan moving until all the kernels have popped. Transfer the popcorn to the greased bowl. Remove any unpopped kernels.

Add the sugar, water and butter to a medium pan. Cook over medium heat until it becomes a light golden color. This will take about 10 minutes. Swirl the pan from time to time.

Remove the pan from the heat. Quickly add the peanut butter, sea salt and baking soda. Stir with a wooden spoon until it is all well combined.

Pour the peanut butter caramel sauce over the popcorn and mix well. Spread the popcorn over the prepared baking tray. Allow it to cool down. Once cooled, you can break them apart into smaller chunks. It will keep in an air-tight container till the next day. Enjoy!

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Kimchi Loaded Hasselback Potatoes

Today is the first workday in weeks that I finally have our place all to myself. I could finally catch up on my own work which makes me super happy. The construction has finally ended and now we only need to work on minor details. Can’t wait to show you more once it is finished. I am also very excited about a  mini trip we are doing soon.

Going back to the recipe, I caramelized onions with kimchi and Gochujang paste to make the red sauce. Then added some shredded cheese, sriracha sour cream for a bit more extra heat and freshness. And finally some chives. Slicing the potatoes this way makes the edges quite crispy. A very easy and cheap party appetizer.

This recipe is for 1 kilo of potatoes.

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:

1 kilo of russet potatoes, I used medium-small potatoes

Olive oil for brushing the potatoes

Pinch of salt

For the caramelized kimchi and onion sauce:

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of garlic powder

½ cup of kimchi

1 teaspoon of Gochujang paste

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can find it, you can use honey with a teaspoon of minced ginger)

For the Sriracha sour cream:

125grs of sour cream

1 tabelspoon of sriracha

Juice of half a lime

Pinch of salt

For the extra toppings:

½ a cup of shredded cheese (I used Gouda but you can also use cheddar)

Chopped chives

 

Preheat your oven to 200C/390F. Line your baking tray with parchment paper.

Scrub, wash and dry the potatoes.

To make it a bit easier on yourself, place the potato on your cutting board in between the handles of two wooden spoons (you can also use chopsticks). This will help prevent that your knife cuts all the way through the potato. Just be patient and go slow as you slice each potato as thin as you can, without going all the way through. Repeat for all the potatoes.

Carefully place them on the prepared baking tray. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt.

Bake them for 30 minutes. Then brush them with olive oil again and finish baking for 30 minutes. You can pinch the biggest potato in the middle to check if it is cooked or not. Keep the oven on afterwards.

While the potatoes are baking, start making the kimchi and onion sauce. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced onion. Add a pinch of salt and garlic powder. Cook for about 6 min, while stirring from time to time.

Then add the kimchi, Gochujang paste, ginger syrup and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 3 minutes to caramelize the kimchi. Blend it until it becomes a paste. Set it aside.

To make the sriracha sour cream, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Keep it in the fridge covered until ready to serve.

Using a spoon, spread some of the kimchi on top of each roasted potato. I used about 1 teaspoon per potato. A bit more for the bigger ones. Then sprinkle the shredded cheese over the kimchi layer.

Return the potatoes to the oven and bake them until the cheese has melted. About 5 minutes, check so that it doesn’t burn.

Drizzle some of the sriracha sour cream on top of each potato. Sprinkle some chives. Serve straight away and enjoy!

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Oven Fries with Feta, Preserved Lemon & Oregano

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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!

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Mint Fudge Ice Cream (All natural color)

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Mint chocolate chip ice cream is one of my favorite flavors, unfortunately for some reason it is not very popular here. So now that I finally have an ice cream machine, this was one flavor I was very eager to make at home. Instead of chocolate chips, I mixed it with fudge ice cream. It is such a delicious combination. And the best part, it has no artificial coloring. By placing the sugar and fresh mint leaves in the food processor, you get this wonderful natural green color.

This recipe makes about 2 liters of ice cream.

Ingredients:

For the mint ice cream:

1 ½ cups of whole milk

2 cups of cream

1 1/2 cup of sugar

5 egg yolks

1 bunch of mint, leaves only (about 1 cup of packed mint leaves)

For the fudge ice cream:

3 cups of whole milk

2 cans of condensed milk (total of 800grs)

1 cup of sifted cocoa powder

1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

 

Start by making the fudge ice cream. Place the milk, vanilla and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the cocoa powder has dissolved into the milk. Then add the condensed milk and stir with a wooden spoon for about 15 minutes. You know it’s done when you draw a line with your finger on the back of the spoon and it stays. Allow it to cool down to room temperature.

In the meanwhile, start making the mint ice cream base. Place the mint and the sugar in the food processor. Pulse until the mint has been incorporated into the sugar and you have a nice even green colored sugar. Place the mint sugar in a large bowl and add the egg yolks. Whisk until it is well combined.

Place the milk and the cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, slowly pour it into the bowl with the mint and egg yolks while whisking fast. It is important to add it slowly so that the egg yolks don’t curdle. Then transfer it back to the saucepan and stir for about 8 minutes until it thickens. You know it’s done when you draw a line with your finger on the back of the spoon and it stays.

Then pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Allow it to cool down to room temperature.

Once both ice cream bases are at room temperature, place them in the fridge overnight for the flavors to develop or at least till both mixtures are complete cold.

Freeze the fudge mixture in the ice cream maker according to the manufactures instructions. This ice cream will be a lot softer than normal ice cream, so transfer it to an airtight container as fast as possible. Place it in the freezer.

Freeze the mint ice cream base in the ice cream maker according to the manufactures instructions. Once it is done, remove the fudge ice cream from the freezer. Get a large airtight container ready, add about ¼ of the fudge ice cream and then ¼ of the mint ice cream. Continue doing this until you have no more ice cream left, this will create a marble effect. Freeze overnight.

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Oven-Baked Chicken Wings with Cherry BBQ Sauce

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I’ve partnered with Hero Fruit to create this chicken recipe. I used their cherry jam to make this BBQ sauce. A very easy recipe that requires minimal effort, so perfect for a weeknight dinner. For the Dutch version of this recipe, you can check out www.herojamstudio.nl.

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This recipe serves 2 to 3 people.

Ingredients:

1 kilo of chicken wings

1 cup of ketchup

½ cup of Hero Original cherry jam

5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon of salt

A pinch of black pepper

½ a teaspoon of cayenne (optional)

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of chopped chives (optional)

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Recipe instructions:

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

First, make the cherry BBQ sauce. Place the ketchup, cherry jam, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder in the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the cherry BBQ sauce into a large bowl and add the chicken wings. Mix it well so all the wings are evenly coated in the sauce.

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Place a sheet of parchment paper in the oven dish, you can skip this but it makes cleaning it afterwards easier.

Spread the wings in a single layer on the oven dish. Reserve the leftover BBQ sauce for later.

Bake them for 1 hour. After 30 minutes, take them out of the oven, brush them with the remaining BBQ sauce and then finish baking for the remaining half an hour.

Once the wings are baked, pour the remaining juices from the wings into a pan. Cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes until it becomes a thick sauce.

Serve the wings; brush them with the sauce that you reduced in a pan. Sprinkle some chopped chives and enjoy!

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Mini Cucumber with Greek Yogurt & Savory Granola

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A super healthy snack since summer is around the corner. It’s super crunchy, fresh and very easy to make. Great to take to a picnic too.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 cups of Greek yogurt

8 mini cucumbers, sliced lengthwise

Drizzle of olive oil

Chopped chives

For the savory granola:

½ cup of oatmeal

½ cup of nutritional yeast

¼ cup buckwheat

Pinch of celery salt

1 teaspoon of sumac

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

¼ cup of olive oil

 

To make the granola, preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients for the granola in a bowl and then spread it over the prepared baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring half way through. Then allow it to cool down.

Serve the Greek yogurt in one bowl, drizzle some olive oil and top with a bit of chopped chives. Serve the granola in another bowl. Dip the cucumber slices in the Greek yogurt and then coat them in the granola. Enjoy!

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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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Apple, Cardamom & Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

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My sweet tooth was bugging me again so I gave in. I’ve wanted to make this recipe for a couple of weeks already but didn’t find the time. The combination of apple, cinnamon and cardamom is just irresistible. I made apple chips and placed one chip in between each slice of the dough, so when you pull it out you get a lovely apple surprise. You can also use store-bought chips, but if you want to make them at home, you can find the recipe by clicking here. Just don’t add the cayenne and sumac. I’ve recently started to use Snapchat, so if you would like to get peeks of Amsterdam just add me. Snapchat: cravingsinams

This recipe is for a 25cm loaf pan.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3 ½ cups of All-purpose flour

7gr dry yeast

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of cardamom powder

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup of sugar

1 egg

For the Filling:

3/4 cup of sugar

1 ½ tablespoons of cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of cardamom powder

3 tablespoons of melted butter

2 apples made into apple chips, you can buy them but I made them at home. Recipe here (just skip the cayenne and sumac)

Extras:

Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)

 

Pour the milk into a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the cardamom powder and whisk it. Once it starts to simmer, turn off the heat. Transfer it to a bowl and let it cool down to lukewarm.

Place the yeast and the lukewarm cardamom milk in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Place the rest of the ingredients for the dough in the bowl with the yeast.

Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment.  If you knead it by hand, it will take about 10 minutes.

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, line your loaf pan with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and lightly flour your working area.

Mix the sugar, cinnamon powder and cardamom powder for the filling in a small bowl.

Roll out one piece of dough into a rectangle of about 44×22 centimeters. Brush it with some melted butter. Then sprinkle some of the spiced sugar all over it. Then using a pizza cutter slice the dough in two lengthwise. Then cut each long slice into 6 pieces, so you have a total of 12 pieces. Place 1 apple chip on top of each piece. Stack each piece on top of the other. Arrange it in half of the prepared loaf pan. Repeat for the remaining piece of dough. Keep the leftover spiced sugar.

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Let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. About 10 minutes before the time is up, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the 30 minutes are up, brush the top with some egg wash and sprinkle some of the remaining spiced sugar.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden. About 20 minutes in, check if it’s getting too dark because of the spiced sugar. If it is, cover the top with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.

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