Potato Gratin with Chanterelles (Tartiflette my way)

We tried Tartiflette for the first time when we were in Annecy a couple of weeks ago. It is basically a potato gratin made with Reblochon cheese (a cheese from that region) and bacon. On our last day there, we went to a supermarket (like we always try to do when we travel) and we brought home some of this cheese. So I was looking forward to make my own version of this dish. I made it vegetarian by adding chanterelles and skipping on the bacon. And I added a few other things to make it more flavorful. This is a perfect side dish when you are having a dinner party or for the holidays coming up.

For the gratin:

1 1/2 kilos of waxy potatoes (not the kind for mashing)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 medium white onions, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

180ml of white wine

450grs of reblochon cheese

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

Pinch of salt

Pinch of nutmeg

For the Chanterelles:

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil

250grs of chanterelles (or any other mushroom that you like)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt to taste

Fresh thyme

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and lightly grease your oven dish.

Peel the potatoes and slice them into thin pieces. I used my mandoline to do it quicker. You can also use a food processor if you have one.

Place the olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and cook them for about 10 minutes until they become translucent. Stir from time to time, you don’t want the onions to get dark. Then add the garlic and stir for 1 more minute.

Then add the white wine, reblochon cheese and mustard. Stir until the cheese has melted and it looks like fondue. Add a pinch of nutmeg and salt to taste.

Spread 1/3 of the sliced potatoes into the prepared baking dish. Then spread 1/3 of the cheese sauce over the potato layer. Repeat this 2 more times, finishing with the cheese sauce on top.

Bake it for 35 minutes until the top is slightly brown.

Place the butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chanterelles and garlic. If your pan is not big enough, do it in two batches as you don’t want to overcrowd the mushrooms. Cook for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms are golden. Add salt to taste.

Serve the potato gratin with the sautéed chanterelles and add some fresh thyme. Enjoy!

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Buttermilk Squash Spiced Waffles

I had some Crown Prince squash leftover from dinner so I decided to put it to good use for breakfast. And to make it easy on myself, I made the waffles the night before. Once they were cold, I wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap and froze them. The morning you want to eat them, just preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Once the oven is hot, place the waffles directly on the oven rack and bake them for about 8 minutes till warm and crispy. No fuzz breakfast!

This recipe makes about 6 waffles

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of self-rising flour

1 1/4 cup of buttermilk

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 egg

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1/2 a cup of squash puree (or pumpkin)

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder

Extras:

Creme fraiche

Pomegranate seeds

Maple syrup

 

To make the squash puree, just chop it into big slices (Remove the seeds but you don’t need to peel it). Place the slices on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap. Microwave it for about 8 minutes or till the squash is tender. Be careful not to burn yourself with the steam that comes out when you remove the plastic wrap. Or just let it cool down a bit before you remove the plastic wrap. Scoop out the flesh of the squash and mash it with a fork.

To make the waffle batter, just blend all of the ingredients together.

Preheat your waffle iron. Brush it with a bit of vegetable oil or spray it with non-sticking cooking spray.

Pour some of the waffle batter into the preheated waffle iron and cook till golden-brown. I like to serve them with a dollop of crème fraiche, pomegranate seeds and some maple syrup.

If you freeze them, just warm them up  in a 180C/350F preheated oven for about 8 minutes. Place them directly on the rack so that they become crispy again.

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Caramelized Kimchi & Sriracha Stir-fry Ramen with Char Siu Aubergine

The other day I was so busy with meetings that I didn’t have time to have lunch. So I quickly stopped by my Asian store on my way home to grab an instant ramen soup. They sold some with with kimchi so I thought of making something similar but in stir-fry form. I love Chinese BBQ pork but I wanted to make a vegetarian version of it, so I made it with aubergine instead. I caramelized the kimchi for extra depth of flavor and added some sriracha for some heat.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the aubergines:

2 medium aubergines, chopped into small cubes

1/4 cup of char siu sauce (Chinese bbq sauce)

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

For the ramen:

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

½ a red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup of kimchi, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of hoisin

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

1 tablespoon of sriracha (or more to taste)

Extras:

300grs of ramen noodles

2 eggs

Sesame seeds

Chopped chives

 

For the Char siu aubergine: Mix the chopped aubergine with the char siu sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese five spice powder and vinegar. Place it on a large pan (preferably non-stick pan) over medium heat. Cook for about 14 minutes. Stirring from time to time. You want it to caramelize, so flatten it with a spatula to get them in a single layer. This way they will get nicely browned. Set it aside.

For the 7 minute eggs: Place the eggs in a saucepan over medium heat and add boiling water. Boil them for 7 minutes. Remove the shells and slice them in half.

For the ramen: Place the sesame oil, onion, kimchi and ginger in a large pan over medium-low heat. Let it caramelize for about 6 minutes, stir constantly so it doesn’t burn. Then add the garlic cloves and stir-fry for another minute. Remove it from the heat.

Boil the ramen noodles as instructed on the package. Drain them.

Once the noodles are cooked; add the hoisin, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sriracha to the pan with the kimchi. Mix well over medium heat. Then add the noodles and mix until they are coated in the sauce.

Serve the ramen with the char siu aubergine and soft boiled egg. Sprinkle some chives and sesame seeds.

I also served them with some pickled daikon that I made the night before (I juts pickled it in white vinegar with salt, sugar and chopped chili).

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Tamarind Roasted Aubergine

I love how versatile aubergines are, and how they don’t have to be just a side dish. In this recipe, they are the stars. I like to eat these over a bed of rice and snow peas sauteed in sesame oil. They add some crunch and I love their flavor too. Since the past year, I’ve been kind of obsessed with tamarind. And it goes so well with the aubergine. It adds a bit of sourness which is then balanced out with the brown sugar and honey.

This recipe is for 4 small aubergines.

Ingredients:

4 small aubergines

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon of finely chopped red chili, you can add more if you like it spicy

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 tablespoons of tamarind paste

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of honey

3 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

Extras:

Chopped chives

Fried onions (store-bought)

Chili flakes

 

Preheat your oven to 200C/390F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Slice each aubergine in half, lengthwise. Then grab a sharp paring knife and make long cuts down the length of the aubergine without slicing through the skin. Repeat with perpendicular cuts to form cubes. It’s the same way that you would slice a mango. If you need visuals on how to do it, check out these instructions with pictures from the kitchn. Do this for all the aubergines.

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

Then place the aubergines in the prepared baking dish, skin side down. Brush generously with the sauce. Make sure it gets in between the cuts. Roast them for 40 minutes.

You will probably have a little bit of sauce left. Once the 40 minutes are done, I like to brush them with the little bit of sauce that was left over. Then broil it in the oven for 5 minutes, so that the top caramelizes a bit.

Remove the aubergines from the oven. Serve them with a sprinkle of fried onions, chopped chives and chili flakes. I like to eat them with some rice and sautéed vegetables.

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Salmon Coconut Chowder

Chilly temperatures are upon us (at least here in NL). I’ve already started switching my closet as summer jackets will no longer cut it for me. And with that, hearty and comforting dishes will be on our house’s menu more often. This is a bit of an Asian take on chowder. I used coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass and chili (this soup is not spicy but you can always add more chili). For some crunch and extra flavor, I topped it with fried onions. I also used beer in this soup. Pieter thought that the combo was a bit weird, until he tasted it. It works, so now it is here on the blog.

This recipe serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 leeks, finely chopped

3 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger

2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped (white part only)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 cup of pilsner beer

1 big head of salmon

1.5 litters of vegetable stock (1 cube of vegetable stock mixed with 1.5 litters of boiling water)

4 small potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes (I used the kind for mashing because it will thicken the soup)

400ml of coconut milk

Salt

Kernels of one corn

200grs of skinless salmon filler, sliced into cubes

Extras:

Fried onions (store bought)

Coriander leaves for serving

Lime wedges

Crusty bread

 

In a large pot, place the vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the leeks, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and chili. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Then add the beer and let it simmer till half of it evaporates. Then add the head of salmon and the vegetable stock. Let it simmer for 1/2 hour.

Once the 30 minutes have passed, remove the salmon head. Carefully remove as much salmon meat as you can from the head. Be careful to discard of any bones. Shred the meat with a fork and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

Add the coconut milk and potatoes. Give it a good stir and let it simmer for another 30 minutes over medium heat.

Once the soup has reduced, add the shredded salmon (head) meat and the corn kernels. You can now also add the salmon fillet cubes, so that they cook in the soup. This will only take a couple of minutes. For presentation purposes, I cooked the salmon cubes in a pan with a bit of vegetable oil and a sprinkle of celery salt. This will only take a couple of minutes till the salmon is golden on all sides.

Serve the soup with a sprinkle of crispy fried onions and chopped coriander. And some crusty bread & lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!

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Sichuan Cauliflower Tacos with Chive Flatbread (Vegan)

You guys know I like to experiment with my taco recipes as they are often non-traditional. This recipe had been on my to-test list for a while. I started making the cauliflower last week, but it wasn’t the texture that I had in mind. It ended up either being too coarse, or way too mushy (too small). The latter ended up looking not appetizing at all. So I started to do some research and I stumbled across Pinch of Yum’s Cauliflower walnut taco meat. This was genius! By adding walnut to the cauliflower, the mince had more texture. Resembling more minced meat and exactly what I was looking for. I made mine in a pan though. And because I wanted to keep the Asian vibes going, I made chive & sesame oil flatbreads which I shaped into taco shells. This recipe is not only delicious, it also happens to be vegan.

This recipe makes 16 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the chive flatbread:

2 1/2 cups of self-rising flour

1 cup of boiling water

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

For the cauliflower:

2 cups of cauliflower

1 ½ cups of walnuts

1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder

1 tablespoon of fresh ginger

1 teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 1/2 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper powder

1 tablespoon of chili bean sauce

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of hoisin

For the sauce:

Juice of half a lime

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of agave syrup

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

Extras:

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

5 radishes, thinly sliced

Garden cress, for decoration

Sesame seeds

Sesame oil for cooking the bread

 

Start by making the chive flat bread to use as tortillas. Place the flour, sesame oil, salt and boiling water in the bowl of the stand mixer. Knead the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Do it on low speed for about 5 minutes. Then add the chopped chives and knead until it is just mixed through.

If you do it by hand, slowly pour the boiling water into the bowl with the flour. You can use chopsticks or a fork to mix it. Once the dough has cooled down enough to handle with your hands, knead it for about 5 minutes. Finally add the chives and knead it until it is mixed through the dough.

Once the dough has been kneaded, form it into a ball. Grease a clean bowl with a bit of sesame oil. Put the dough in the greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

In the meanwhile, start preparing the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower, walnuts, ginger, Chinese five spice powder, onion powder, garlic powder, Sichuan pepper powder and sesame oil in the food processor. Pulse until you have an even mince (Just till everything is mixed though).

Add the cauliflower mince to a large pan with no oil. Cook on medium heat while constantly stirring so it doesn’t burned and it gets a light brown color. This will take about 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes have passed, add the chili bean sauce, soy sauce and hoisin. Stir for about 3 to 5 minutes till it is all mixed through and has an even darker color. Set it aside.

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

Thinly slice the cucumber and radishes. Set them aside.

Going back to the dough: Once the 30 minutes have passed, place the dough on your floured working area. Divide it into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Then grab one piece and roll it into a circle, so you have a tortilla shape. Repeat for all.

Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, cook the flat bread in batches. It takes about 2 minutes per side, till they are golden. Once your first batch is cooked, quickly fold each into a taco shell shape. I just put two glasses in between them to keep the shape. They are easier to shape if they just come out of the pan, so be quick. If you don’t feel like it, you can also just leave them flat and serve them like that.

Once all the flatbread is cooked. Just give the cauliflower a quick reheat in the same pan.

To serve, place a few slices of cucumber on the flatbread. Then add the cauliflower. Top with a few slices of radish, sesame seeds and garden cress. Pour some of the sauce on each taco just before eating. Enjoy!

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Mexican-style Rice, Black beans & Spinach Enchiladas with Red Pepper Sauce

It’s been a long time since I’ve made enchiladas. I don’t know why, because I love them. I wasn’t sure yesterday of what to make for dinner and then this popped into my head. I love roasted red pepper sauce and buying the peppers already roasted saves time and at least here, it tends to be cheaper too. The sauce couldn’t be simpler, just blend all of the ingredients and you are done. No cooking since it will thicken in the oven. I went veggie for the filling, and used Mexican-style rice, black beans and spinach. This is a very filling meal and any leftovers make a great packed lunch. Weather hasn’t been great here. It’s cold for being summer, so this was the perfect meal to warm up.

Ingredients:

For the filling:

100gr of fresh spinach

1 cup of shredded cheese, I used Gouda

1 cup of canned black beans (drained)

For the Mexican-style rice:

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of cayenne

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cups of white rice

3 3/4 cups of boiling vegetable stock

½ cup of tomato puree

For the red pepper sauce:

350grs of roasted peppers, about 5 large bell peppers if you want to roast them yourself

250ml of cream

1 teaspoon of celery salt

1 teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Extras:

6 tortillas

1 cup of shredded cheese, I used Gouda

1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

Fresh coriander for serving

1 lime, sliced into wedges for serving

 

Start by making the rice. Place the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over the lowest heat. Once the oil is hot, add all the spices and rice. Stir for about a minute. Then add the boiling vegetable stock and tomato puree. Cover it with a lid and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

In the meanwhile, make the red pepper sauce. Just blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Place it in a big bowl and set it aside.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the rice is cooked and while it is still hot, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the fresh spinach, black beans and cheese for the filing. Stir until everything is mixed and the spinach has wilted.

Spoon a thin layer of the red pepper sauce on the bottom of your baking dish

Dip one tortilla into the red pepper sauce, shake off the excess sauce. Then place the wet tortilla on a cutting board. Stuff it with the rice and then roll it tight. Place it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat for the rest.

Add the remaining sauce on top of the stuffed tortillas. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

Then broil for an extra 5 minutes.

Serve with some chopped coriander, sliced jalapeños and lime wedges. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti with Mussels in a Spicy Tomato Sauce

It’s mussel season over here in the Netherlands and I couldn’t resist getting some. I love their taste and the fact that they are cooked in no time. Add some pasta and this becomes a very filling meal. I used anchovies for the sauce and for me, that made it salty enough. So I didn’t add any extra salt, but you can always add salt later if you wish.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 kilos of mussels, scrubbed and beards removed

250grs of spaghetti

Chopped parsley for serving

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 small red onion, finely chopped

20grs of anchovy filets, finely chopped (use the oil too)

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of freshly chopped red chili (you can add more or less, depending on your taste)

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 cup of white wine

500ml of tomato puree

1 cup of vegetable stock

 

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

In a large pan with a lid, place the olive oil plus the anchovy oil over medium-low heat. Once it’s hot, add the red onion, anchovy, oregano and chili. Let it cook for about 4 to 5 minutes till the onion becomes translucent. Don’t forget to stir.

Then add the garlic and stir. Add the white wine and let it reduce to half. Then add the tomato puree and the vegetable stock. Let it reduce until you have a creamy sauce. About 12 minutes.

Then add the mussels, give it a good stir and cover with the lid. Let it cook over medium heat until the mussels open. This will only take a couple of minutes, so keep an eye on them.

One the mussels are cooked, remove them from the sauce and set them aside (discard of any that haven’t opened). Let the sauce reduce again over medium heat.

In the meanwhile cook the pasta as instructed on the package. By the time the pasta is cooked, the sauce should have reduced enough. Add the drained cooked pasta and toss to coat. Taste for salt. I didn’t add any because the anchovy made it salty enough for me.

Serve the pasta with the mussels. Sprinkle some chopped parsley. I also served them with roasted cherry tomatoes. To roast them, just place a few vines of cherry tomatoes in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle some olive oil, salt, onion and garlic powder. Roast for 20 minutes at 180C/350F. Enjoy!

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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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Kimchi, Caramelized Onion & Potato Pancakes with Okonomiyaki Sauce

For me, kimchi makes everything better. Of course, you have to like kimchi. If you don’t, you can skip it. A potato and caramelized onion pancake is still delicious, but I am going for Asian vibes here. For the sauce, I just paired it with a very simple Okonomiyaki Sauce (you probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry). For a cheap and easy meal, give this a try!

This recipe makes about 6 small pancakes

Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

1 kilo of potatoes (like russet), peeled and shredded

½ cup of kimchi, minced with a knife

2 ½ tablespoons of tapioca flour

1 egg

1 egg white

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

Pinch of garlic powder

1 red onion, finely sliced

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

For the Okonomiyaki Sauce:

½ cup of ketchup

3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

1 ½ tablespoons of honey

Pinch of garlic powder

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Extras:

Vegetable oil for frying the pancakes

Chopped chives for serving

 

Start by shredding the peeled potatoes. To save time and the possibility of hurting my fingers, I used my food processor for this. Once the potatoes are shredded, place them in a fine mesh sieve. And press them to get rid of all the liquid that you can.

In a medium pan, add the sliced onion over low heat. Let it cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring from time to time until it caramelizes.

Add the potato, onion, kimchi, tapioca flour, egg, egg white, salt, pepper and garlic powder to a medium bowl. Mix well using a fork.

To make the sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve for serving.

Add about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large pan over medium heat. I used a mold to try to get the pancakes more even in shape, but you don’t have to. I placed a circular mold in the hot pan. Then I added a few tablespoons of the potato mixture and pressed to shape it. Then I removed the mold. I cooked 3 at a time. Let the pancakes cook until golden on both sides. Time will depend on the size/thickness of course. Mine took about 4-5 min per side.

Serve warm with the okonomiyaki sauce and chopped chives. I added some edible flowers for a pop of color.

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