Beet & Potato “Tacos”

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Not too long ago I watched a video on The Feed Feed’s Snapchat where Kendra from Paleo Paparazzi used thinly sliced Jicama instead of tortillas to make healthier tacos. That inspired me to make these. My mom is a big potato salad fan and so am I. A potato salad at the Christmas table was always a must. She would make it with cooked beets, eggs and cornichons. When I was little I didn’t like beets that much but now I love them, raw or cooked. So this is my version of my mom’s salad in taco form. It makes a great appetizer for a party too. It doesn’t require a lot of time to make and it is budget friendly.

Ingredients:

700grs of potatoes (I used 4 large ones)

2 large beets, I used 1 candy cane and one golden beet

1/3 cup of finely chopped cornichons

1 cup of blanched peas

1 ½ tablespoons of finely chopped dill

For the dressing:

1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup of mayonnaise

½ teaspoon of celery salt

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of mustard

1 ½ teaspoons of honey

Salt to taste

 

Cook the potatoes in a pot with boiling salted water until tender.

Then drain them and allow them to cool down enough to handle. Peel them and chop them into small cubes. Remember the size of your beets; you don’t want huge cubes of potato as a filling to the tacos.

Peel the beets using a potato peeler and then with the help of a mandoline, thinly slice the beets so you get your raw “tortillas”.

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

In a large bowl, add the potatoes, cornichon, peas and dill. Add the dressing and mix well.

To assemble each taco, just grab about 2 tablespoons of the potato salad and use the raw beets as if you were using tortillas.

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Spring Polenta with Peas, Shrimp & Asparagus

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The weather is always indecisive in spring. We had a few good days where it was very warm. One where we could actually be outside without wearing a jacket. Then the temperature dropped again and I was back wearing my winter jacket. And yesterday we had hail. So in the spirit of sunny but cold days I made this spring polenta. Still comforting but with more veggies. I wanted to also top it with some Parmesan shavings but I only realized I had forgotten it after I finished shooting. So add some if you like. We have been going nuts buying plants and seeds in preparation for our new apartment since it has a garden. We will only be moving in summer but we are already growing some plants in our balcony and my prop room has become a green house. We grew this green basil ourselves and cannot wait for all our other plants to grow.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the shrimp:

250gr of shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of salt

Pinch of celery salt

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ a lemon

For the asparagus:

150grs of thin asparagus, thinly sliced except for the tips (If you get the thick asparagus just cook them longer)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of garlic powder

For the pea polenta:

¾ cup of coarse yellow cornmeal

2 cups of frozen peas

3 1/2 cups of boiling vegetable stock or water

250ml of cream

Salt

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of garlic powder

Extras:

Handful of micro basil (I used green and purple)

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Edible flowers (optional)

 

Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the asparagus, a pinch of salt and garlic powder. Saute them for about 2 minutes. Set them aside.

In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shrimp, garlic powder, celery salt, and salt. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the shrimp are pink. The time will depend on the size of your shrimp, mine were small. Then add the lemon juice and zest. Cook for an extra minute while tossing. Set it aside.

For the polenta, place the frozen peas in the jar of the blender and add the boiling stock or water. Let it sit for 30 seconds so that the peas get blenched and then blend until smooth. Pass it through a fine mesh sieve.

Pour the pea stock (reserve ¼ of a cup of the pea stock), cream, salt, celery salt, and garlic powder into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it starts simmering, slowing sprinkle the cornmeal while whisking. Whisk on medium-low heat for about 8 minutes until it becomes creamy and it is fully cooked. It is important to keep whisking to avoid lumps from forming.

Once the polenta is cooked, add the remaining ¼ of a cup of the pea stock if it needs to loosen up a bit. Taste for salt.

In a small bowl, mix the micro basil with the lemon juice, olive oil and salt.

Serve the polenta with the asparagus, shrimp, dressed micro basil and edible flowers.

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Skillet Breakfast Pizza (with Greek yogurt)

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Yesterday was such a gorgeous spring day here. For the first time this year we could bike without our jackets on. We took advantage of the beautiful weather and were out pretty much all day. We went out for lunch, for ice cream and just biked around the city feeling the sun on our skin. Since the weather is quite temperamental here, if it’s sunny and warm you go outside and enjoy it. No question about it because you don’t know when you’ll have another day like that. And of course the whole city was out. People were laying in the park and having BBQs. The cherry trees are blooming. On the weekends I try to be more active on Snapchat, especially if the weather is nice. So if you would like to get a peek of Amsterdam, you can add me: cravingsinams.

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I could eat pizza at any time of the day and now that spring is here, why not a breakfast pizza that screams of spring? It’s perfect to make on the weekend. For the sauce, I made it with Greek yogurt, spices and olive oil. The only cheese I added was thinly sliced Parmesan.

This recipe makes 2 small pizzas. I used a 23cm cast iron skillet.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3.5grs of dry yeast

1/2 cup of warm water

Pinch of sugar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Pinch of salt

1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour

For the Greek yogurt sauce:

120grs of Greek yogurt

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of celery salt

2 teaspoons of olive oil

For the toppings:

¼ cup of blanched edamame

6 asparagus, thinly sliced (I sliced the tips in half lengthwise)

4 slices of Parma ham, broken into pieces

20grs of parmesan, thinly sliced with a knife or grated

2 eggs

Extra:

Olive oil

 

Start by making the pizza dough; place the warm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes have passed, add the flour, salt and olive oil. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes using the dough hook attachment. If the dough is too sticky, just sprinkle a bit more flour and let it knead for 1 extra minute.

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 is up, place your skillet in the oven and preheat it to 230C/446F.

Mix all of the ingredients for the Greek yogurt sauce.

Place your dough in your floured working area. Divide it into 2 equal pieces. Roll out one piece about the same size as your cast iron skillet. Once your oven is hot, remove the skillet (use gloves). Pour about 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet and swirl it around so it covers also the edges.

Place the dough in the skillet, spread half of the yogurt sauce and add half of the asparagus, edamame, ham and Parmesan. Separate the egg white from the egg yolk in two small bowls. Only add the egg white in the middle of the pizza.

Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the pizza from the oven and place the egg yolk on top of the egg white. Bake it for an extra 3 minutes.

Remove from the oven and repeat for the remaining piece of dough. I suggest you share this one while the other is in the oven.

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Brownie Cookies with Rhubarb & Vanilla Bean

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A friend of mine brought me a chocolate bar for cooking from her trip to France and the first thing that came to my mind were these cookies. They are soft and fudgy on the inside. Rich but not overly sweet, and the tartness of the rhubarb still comes through.

This recipe makes about 30 cookies.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

100grs of dark chocolate, chopped

113grs of butter

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

¾ of a cup of brown sugar, packed

½ cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

2 teaspoons of cornstarch

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

¼ cup of cocoa powder

For the rhubarb:

2 rhubarb stalks

1 tablespoon of butter

1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

1 tablespoon of sugar

 

To make the cookies, place the butter and chopped dark chocolate in a small bowl. Melt it in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate has melted completely. Then allow it to cool down.

Mix the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder in another bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugars and vanilla. Then slowly whisk in the cooled melted chocolate.

Then add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture in batches. Mix until everything is combined.

Then allow the dough to chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

In the meanwhile, start preparing the rhubarb. Slice the stalks in two lengthwise. Then finely slice them.

Place the butter with the sugar in a pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the rhubarb and vanilla and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Then transfer the rhubarb to a fine mesh sieve with a bowl underneath to catch all the liquid. Let it sit there until the chilling time for the cookie dough is up.

Once the cookie dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Discard the juice from the rhubarb and place the rhubarb in a small bowl.

Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and grab about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll it into a ball using your hands. Place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the rest, leaving some space in between each ball. Place about 1 teaspoon of the rhubarb on top of each ball and press with your fingers so it sticks. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. While a batch is baking, keep the remaining cookie dough in the fridge.

Let the cookies rest in the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

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Celeriac, Beet & Potato Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette

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Today I felt like having a salad for dinner. I made this one with thinly sliced beets which I just pan-roasted, roasted baby potatoes, celeriac ribbons and arugula. A semi-warm salad perfect for the beginning of spring since it is still quite cold here.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

5 small beets (I used 3 yellow, 1 candy cane and 1 purple)

500grs of baby potatoes, washed and sliced in half

1/2 celeriac

100grs of arugula

Olive oil

Salt

For the horseradish vinaigrette:

1/3 of a cup of olive oil

1/3 of a cup of apple cider vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons of honey

1 tablespoon of horseradish

1 teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Pepper

 

To make the vinaigrette, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid, cover it and then shake it to emulsify it.

Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the baby potatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook while tossing from time to time until the potatoes are golden outside and fully cooked on the inside. The time will depend on the size of the potatoes. Set them aside.

Peel the beets and using a mandoline, finely slice them. Set them aside. I kept and cooked the different color of beets separate so that the purple beets wouldn’t stain the others but you don’t have to.

Add about 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan where you cooked the potatoes, add the yellow beets and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes until they cooked but still have a crunch. If you sliced them paper thin they will take less time. Add some salt.

Do the same for the candy cane beet and for the purple beet. Set them aside

Once the beets are cooked, start prepping the celeriac. You only need half of it, the other half you can reserve for another recipe. Peel it and slice it into about 1 cm pieces. Then using a potato peeler just shave it to create ribbons.

Place the celeriac ribbons, potatoes, beets and arugula in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve among 3 plates and eat straight away.

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

 

Fried Avocado Tacos with Strawberry & Rhubarb Salsa

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I saw rhubarb at the market a few of weeks ago and this recipe popped into my head. Then when I decided to make it, I went to the only stand where I had seen it and of course they didn’t have it anymore. So I kept coming back to check until this past Saturday when they had it again. Kid in a candy store kind of excitement on my end. I am thrilled about spring produce since with it comes new dishes and hope for better weather. And with hope, I really mean it since you never know if it’s going to be a warm or not. But seeing more produce at the market makes me happy and I am also looking forward to seeing more variety of flowers. We bought a rhubarb plant about a week ago at a farmer’s market and we are hoping that it will grow nicely so we can eat it later. Both my hubby and I love plants and with our new apartment with a garden being delivered this summer, we already ordered online plenty of seeds to plant.

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Going back to the tacos, the avocado fries are very crunchy because of the panko coating. I added some honey to the salsa to balance out the sourness of the rhubarb.

This recipe is for 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

12 small tortillas

About 1 cup of vegetable oil for pan-frying the avocado

For the fried avocados:

2 avocados, halved, pitted and sliced lengthwise (I made them not too thick)

3 eggs, beaten

2 cups of flour

3 cups of panko

Salt

Garlic powder

Onion powder

For the salsa:

1 rhubarb stalk, sliced lengthwise in 2 and then finely sliced

1 red onion, finely chopped

5 large strawberries, hulled

5 tablespoons of chopped coriander

2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons of honey

1 ½ tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Salt

Pepper

 

Sliced the rhubarb in two lengthwise and then finely slice it. Place it in a saucepan with boiling water over medium heat. Let it cook for only 1 minute (if you leave it too long it will become mush). Then drain it and chop it the same size as the onion.

In a large bowl, mix the onion, strawberries and rhubarb.

In a small container with a lid, mix the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, some salt and pepper. Put the lid on and shake it to emulsify the dressing for the salsa. Then add it to the mix of the onion, strawberry and rhubarb. Add the chopped coriander. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. Set it aside until ready to use.

To make the avocado fries, first add some seasoning to the coating. Place the beaten eggs, flour and panko in separate bowls. Add some salt, garlic and onion powder to each bowl and mix well.

Then coat each avocado slice in the flour, then the eggs and finally the panko. Once all the avocado slices are well coated, pour the vegetable oil into a large pan over medium heat. Have a large plate lined with paper towels ready. Fry the avocado slices in batches until golden on both sizes. Place them in the prepared plate to soak up the excess oil. Season them with some extra salt if desired.

Once the avocados fries are done, warm up the tortillas in a pan. Place a few avocado fries on each tortilla and top with the salsa. Enjoy!

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

Spring Frittata with a Salad of Shaved Asparagus and Grana Padano

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This dish makes a great breakfast, lunch or light dinner. I added a few potatoes to have a bit more sustenance. Every time the word sustenance comes to mind, it reminds me of the first Thor movie (Nerd Alert!). In the movie, Thor says he needs sustenance because his mortal form is growing weak. My hubby and I always joke about it. Whenever one of us is hungry, we say: “I need sustenance” in a commanding voice. It is just something that stuck with us.

Even though most people cook their asparagus before they eat them, you can also just eat them raw. In this salad, I prepared them raw but you can also sauté them in a pan.

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This recipe is enough for a 23cm skillet and serves 4.

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Ingredients:

For the Frittata:

4 small potatoes, (boiled, peeled and diced)

10 radishes, sliced into quarters

1 yellow zucchini, chopped

½ cup of frozen peas

9 eggs, beaten

¼ cup of milk

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

Pinch of cayenne

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

For the salad:

1 bunch of asparagus

30grs of Grana Padano, shaved

Juice of ½ a lemon

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Boil the potatoes until tender, peel them and dice them. Chop the radishes and zucchini.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and whisk in the milk, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a cast iron skillet. Add the zucchini and radishes. Cook for about 4 minutes. Then add the boiled potatoes and frozen peas. Season with salt and pepper. Stir so everything is mixed. Pour the egg mixture and let it cook for another 4 minutes without stirring. Then transfer the skillet to the pre-heated oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the frittata is in the oven, start preparing the salad. Wash the asparagus and snap off the hard ends. Then shave each asparagus into thin ribbons using a potato peeler, cheese slicer or mandolin.

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Shave the Grana Padano.

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

Place the shave asparagus on a plate; add the shaved Grana Padano and the dressing. Mix well.

Once the frittata is cooked, slice it into 4 pieces and serve with some of the salad on top.