Quesadillas with caramelized onions and plum, tomato & chili jam

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I’ve been crazy about plums lately. Snacking on them while finishing the last season of Narcos over the weekend. I caramelized them in balsamic to top a Dutch baby. And for these, I turned them into a quick jam with tomatoes and chili. These quesadillas are a bit sweet and savory. I only added a very thin layer of the jam in the quesadillas as you don’t want them to be overly sweet. The jam pairs very well with the caramelized onions and cheese. And for something fresh, I topped them with slices of fresh figs and some cress.

This recipe makes 4 quesadillas.

Ingredients:

For the plum, tomatoes & chili jam:

400grs of plums (I used Victoria plums)

600gr of tomatoes

1 red chili, minced (you can add more or less depending on your taste, I also added the seeds)

Juice of ½ a lime

½ a cup of sugar

½ teaspoon salt

For the caramelized onions:

1 kilo of white onions, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Extras:

8 large tortillas

300grs of grated Gouda cheese

4 figs, sliced

Cress

Start by making the jam. Boil some water in a pot. Score the tomatoes and plums. Once the water is boiling, add the scored tomatoes and plums, and let them blanch for 30 seconds. Then removed them from the water and peel them. Remove the stones from the plums. Chop the plums and tomatoes (I included the seeds).

Place the chopped plums, tomatoes, chili, lime juice, sugar and salt in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Cook for about 35 minutes until it becomes a jam. Stir from time to time so that it doesn’t burn at the bottom. Transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To make the caramelized onions, place the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes while stirring. Then lower the heat to low and cook for another 11 minutes until the onions caramelize. The add some salt, pepper and the balsamic vinegar. Cook for another 2 minutes until the balsamic evaporates. Taste for salt and transfer it to a bowl.

To assemble each quesadilla, spread a very thin layer of the jam over one tortilla. Then spread some of the caramelized onion on top. Sprinkle some of the shredded cheese and cover it with another tortilla.

Heat up a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, carefully slide the quesadilla from the plate to the pan. Let it cook until it gets crispy on the bottom. Then carefully place the plate over the pan and flip the pan so that the quesadilla is on the plate again, and then carefully slide it into the pan to cook the other side. Repeat for the rest.

Slice the quesadillas into equal pieces. Serve with some fig slices and cress. Enjoy!

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Fresh Corn Fritter Tacos with Feta & Jalapeño/Cucumber Salsa

FullSizeRenderI love corn season and how versatile corn is. Love it in a Peruvian ceviche, love the Mexican street corn and I actually can’t think of any dish which had it that I didn’t like. This time I made it into fritters and stuffed them in tortillas. So delicious and super simple to make. This dish can be made in under 30 minutes. So if you don’t know what to cook today, give these a try. It is #tacotuesday after all!

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This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the salsa:

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 cucumber, finely chopped (without the core/seeds)

2 jalapeños or more to taste, finely chopped

Juice of 2 limes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the corn fritters:

Kernels of 3 corns

1/3 cup of yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

2 eggs

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

Salt

Pepper

Extras:

12 small tortillas

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil for frying the fritters

100grs of crumbled feta

 

First prepare the jalapeño/cucumber salsa. Just mix all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set it aside until ready to serve.

To make the corn fritters, place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk them with a fork. Then add the cornmeal, flour, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix and finally add the corn kernels and chives. Mix well. Then use an immersion blender or pour the mixture into a normal blender. Pulse just a couple of times just to blend some of the corn, so that fritters are easier to shape. You still want to have whole kernels in there so don’t overdo it.

Then pour some vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once it is hot, start frying the fritters in batches. I made them small, using about 1 tablespoon of batter. Fry until golden on both sides. About 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side.

Once all the fritters are cooked, warm up the tortillas.

Serve the tacos with some crumbled feta, the corn fritters and the 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 my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Crunchy Togarashi Zucchini Chips with Okonomiyaki Sauce

IMG_0304I made these Japanese style zucchini chips for lunch today. This crappy “summer” weather has me craving comfort food. It is so freaking cold. At least these crispy bites of goodness kept me warm. If you have never heard of Nanami togarashi, it is a Japanese chili and spice mix which is sold in most Asian stores. It contains chili pepper, orange peel, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed. It is a really balanced spice mixture. I normally use it when I make sushi.

This recipe is a small batch which serves 2 people.

Ingredients:

For the zucchini chips:

1 Zucchini, sliced into 1cm rounds

2 cups of panko breadcrumbs

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 ½ tablespoons of Nanami Togarashi

1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds

Pinch of onion powder

Salt

2 eggs, beaten

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:

1 cup of vegetable oil for frying the zucchini

Chopped chives for decoration (optional)

 

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the Okonomiyaki sauce in a medium bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.

Have the coating ready. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Place the flour with a pinch of salt in another bowl. Finally have a bowl ready with the panko, togarashi, sesame seeds, a pinch of onion powder and a good pinch of salt (make sure to mix it with a fork).

Grab a zucchini piece and coat it in the flour, then the eggs and finally in the panko mixture. Repeat until all the zucchini pieces are evenly coated.

Pour the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully fry the zucchini in batches until they become golden. This will only take about 2-3 minutes per batch. Place them over paper towels while you fry the rest.

Serve with the zucchini fries with the Okonomiyaki Sauce and some chopped chives. I also sprinkled a bit of extra togarashi on the sauce. 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.

 

Black Rice, Bimi & Pineapple Stir Fry

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I had been eating this stir fry for two days in a row. I made two large batches to eat throughout the day. It is so easy to make and black rice is so healthy. I am trying to make simpler recipes at the moment since we are busy with the renovations of the new apartment and we need to start packing. We need to leave our current rental apartment at the end of the month and now time is ticking. So easy meals like this one, which I can just reheat in the microwave are a life saver.

This recipe serves 2 -3 people

Ingredients:

¾ cup of black rice

4 cups of vegetable stock (hot)

½ of a pineapple, cored and chopped into pieces

2 sticks of lemongrass, (white part only) finely chopped

1 ½ tablespoons of minced ginger

2 small bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1/3 cup of cashew nuts, chopped

200grs of bimi, chopped

4 tablespoons of oyster sauce

1 teaspoon of fish sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

 

Start by rinsing the black rice under cold water. Then place it in a medium saucepan with the vegetable stock and let it cook covered for about 45 minutes over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is cooked. Then turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes.

Place the sesame oil and vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the lemongrass, chili and ginger. Cook for a minute and then add the bimi, pineapple and cashew nuts. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the bimi is cooked. Then add the oyster sauce, fish sauce and black rice. Stir fry it for a couple of minutes. Then adjust the seasoning to your liking. 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.

Harissa & Turmeric Roasted Aubergine with Cashew & Sumac Crumbs

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It’s been a while since I’ve cooked with harissa so I decided to use it as the base for these roasted aubergines. For extra flavor, I added turmeric, dried oregano and celery salt. For some crunch, I made some sumac flavored crumbs with cashews and bread. A delicious and very healthy vegetarian meal!

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 small aubergines, sliced lengthwise (about 1.5cm thick)

100grs of harissa

2 teaspoons of turmeric

8 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of dried oregano

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of celery salt

For the cashew & sumac crumbs:

4 slices of crusty bread, chopped

¾ cup of chopped cashews, unsalted

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of sumac

Salt to taste

Pinch of garlic powder

Extras:

6 tablespoons of chopped chives

Edible flowers (optional)

 

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

In a small bowl, mix the harissa, turmeric, olive oil, dried oregano, apple cider vinegar and celery salt.

Brush both sides of the sliced eggplants with the sauce. Place the sliced aubergine in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes.

While the aubergine is roasting, start making the crumbs. Place the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the chopped bread, cashews, sumac, salt and garlic powder. Cook for a few minutes while stirring until the bread is toasted.

Place the bread and cashew mixture in the food processor and pulse until you get crumbs. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Transfer it to a bowl and set it aside.

Serve the roasted aubergine with some of the crumbs, chopped chives and edible flowers. I like to eat it with white rice. 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.

 

Soya Mince & Lentil Chili Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Avocado Sour Cream

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The other day while browsing through a supermarket, I found a package of frozen soya mince. I have always been very curious about it and this is the first time I saw it at a store here. When I was in University, I remember there was a healthy food shop next to it that would sell lasagna with soya mince and it was so good. If you didn’t go early, you would miss it since it would always sell out. That was pretty much my whole experience with soya mince. So now that I saw it here, I had to test it out. And I am quite happy with the results. So for this taco Tuesday, I made a chili with the soya mince and lentils; and served them on tortillas along with some pico de gallo and avocado sour cream.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the chili:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ a red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

200grs of frozen soya mince, thawed

1/3 cup of black lentils

1 sweet paprika, finely chopped

Pinch of cumin powder

1 teaspoon of paprika powder

Cayenne to taste

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of celery salt

250grs of tomato puree

1 litter of vegetable stock

Salt to taste

For the pico de gallo:

1 ½ red onions, finely chopped

4 tomatoes, cored and finely chopped (no seeds)

1 bunch of coriander, chopped

Chopped chili to taste

Juice of 1 ½ limes

1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

Salt to taste

For the avocado sour cream:

1 avocado

125grs of sour cream

Juice of ½ a lime

Salt to taste

Extras:

12 small tortillas

 

To make the chili, place the olive oil and onion in a large pan over medium heat. Cook until the onions become translucent. Then add the garlic, soya mince, lentils and spices. Cook for about 1 minute while stirring. Then add the honey, tomato puree and vegetable stock. Stir so everything is mixed. Let it cook for about 20 minutes till most of the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are cooked through. Taste for salt.

To make the pico de gallo just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

For the avocado sour cream, blend all of the ingredients until smooth.

Warm up the tortillas in a pan. Serve with the chili, pico de gallo and avocado sour cream.

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

Golden Beet & Yellow Carrot Soup with Feta & Pistachios

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As far as the weather forecast goes, it seems like temperatures are finally going to rise. And I couldn’t be happier. I’m so tired of feeling cold every time I go outside. So I am very much looking forward to warmer weather and picnics in the park. But till then, a creamy golden soup for this meatless Monday.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

800grs of golden beet, peeled and chopped into chunks

700grs of yellow carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 leek, finely chopped (white part only)

2 medium shallots, chopped

1 1/2 litters of vegetable stock

100ml of cream

Salt to taste

Toppings:

150grs, crumbled feta or goat cheese

40gr of chopped pistachios, pan roasted

Garden cress

 

Place the olive oil, leek and shallots in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring from time to time. Don’t let it get brown.

Then add the carrots, beets and garlic. Stir for 1 minute and then add the vegetable stock.

Let it cook for 25 minutes until the beets and carrots are cooked through.

Then blend it until smooth. Add the cream and salt to taste.

Divide the soup into 3 bowls and top with some crumbled feta (or goat cheese), pistachios and garden cress. I also added some nasturtium leaves as decoration.

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

Zucchini Waffle Dippers with Avocado Sour Cream

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

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the zucchini waffles:

1 zucchini, shredded (not the seeds) and squeezed

1 egg

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 cup of milk

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons of baking powder

20grs of grated Parmesan cheese

Pinch of salt

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

For the avocado sour cream:

1 avocado

125gr of sour cream

Juice of ½ a lime

Salt to taste

 

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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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