One of my favourite aspects about travelling is all the new food I get to try out. Revolutionary, I know. I´m sure many fellow bon vivants feel the same and as such I hope you´ll enjoy this new series on the blog #foodIlovedin . Through these series I´m hoping to document all the amazing food I eat in all the places I visit, and even dive a bit into the cultural and social aspect of food in said areas. We´re starting off with Amsterdam, and all the yummy food I ate there. As per usual, I went for local dishes and their stories, and kept my eyes wide open for the six days I spent in the city of over 160 canals, observing its restaurant and many brasseries (what´s with the million brasseries, Dutchies?!). Additionally to all my observations and recommendations, I´d suggest you check out Laura de Grave´s Amsterdam Cookbook – a fantastic collection of recipes as they are cooked in her favourite Amsterdam restaurants. From Pancakes from Gratine, to Oysters from Nam Kee and Advocaat from Kessens – you´ll find the most notorious dishes and where to have them as well as how to cook them yourself in her book.
I returned from Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago with the ardent conviction that I needed to once and for all learn to make a Dutch baby (the dish, not an actual tall, blonde baby). This is not because I had eaten Dutch baby pancakes in Amsterdam, but rather because I couldn´t find any there. Which comes at no surprise when you actually find out there´s nothing Dutch about Dutch baby pancakes – they´re actually American, and haven been derived from the German Pfannkuchen. The deceiving “Dutch” in their name is simply a corruption of the “Deutsch” word. Upon finding this out, I thought “you know what? if they´re not Dutch, nor entirely German, let´s bring them yet another twist and make them Mexican!”. So I adjusted the original recipe to make them less sweet and added a Mexican layer to them. They were absolutely delicious (I have made them twice so far) and so so easy to make I think I´ll be making these a Sunday regular!
Confession time: this is probably the most impromptu #homemadeMonday and #guestchefseries I´ve ever done. I had to take a last minute trip to Romania and didn´t get to plan ahead, so today I found myself in Bucharest, at my friend Julie´s house, with a calendar full of meetings and no plan for what to share. And since I would have really felt like I was letting you down if I came up with nothing today, I convinced my friend Julie that the roasted chicken she was preparing for us for lunch is totally worth going up on the blog, especially as it has a special ingredient I would have never thought of adding to it! Keep reading to find out more.
For my first ten years of eating pizza, I always, always, always went for the prosciutto e funghi option. I guess that´s not so unusual for a kid, to find THE pizza and stick to it until adulthood. Maybe a bit more unusual (to not use the word sad), is that once I reached teenagehood, I found myself a new pizza I stuck with for about ten years, and that was Hawaii (outrageous, I know). And now, in adulthood, I´ve been stuck on Diavola. So essentially, it´s been three pizza flavours defining my life, and I rarely strayed from them. Recently, though, I found myself twice (and that is a lot!), choosing pizzas with figs in them, a combination I never thought would work. And boy, did I like it. I liked it so much that after doing some testing at home, I came up with an own prosciutto and fig pizza recipe, which I´m happily sharing with you this #homemadeMonday. I promise that even if it doesn´t sound like your cup of tea (or slice of pizza), you´ll be amazed by how good this combo tastes.
I´m typing this #homemadeMonday from the Hoxton´s lobby (take it as a great recommendation if you want to have a nice drink while you´re in Amsterdam). I´ve just head some poached eggs on an English muffin and half an avo toast, but my mouth is still watering at the thought of this week´s recipe – a couscous with fried apricots, halloumi, sundried tomatoes and mint. I just find the combination so utterly perfect, that I never want to try couscous any other way. Although, I will also continue making it in hubby´s favourite fashion – find the recipe here.
Pears are definitely not in my top five favourite fruit, but I find myself adding to dishes over and over again – like in this drunken pear risotto or in this perfect winter salad (shhhh, it´s perfect for summer too!). And then when Pinterest gave me the idea to wrap them in prosciutto, with a bit of creamy cheese and a mango chutney topping, I felt like I died and went straight to heaven. It´s a stretch to call this an actual recipe, considering there´s no cooking involved, but I thought I´d nonetheless put it on the blog for your next brunch session.
June marks the one year anniversary of the #guestchefseries and not that I´ve run out of friends, but this month I am actually repeating a guest chef. Meanting, you are now meeting my 97 year old Nonna again, this time for her delicious (and beautiful) ratatouille dish. We cooked it together a couple of weeks ago and then I reproduced it at home, in a prettier format, to share with you all as I think it´s the perfect dinner party recipe. And while it might look fancy it´s actually super easy to make! Keep reading…
To me, all dishes I end up loving carry with them the story of when, where and with whom I first had them. When it comes to minestrone, I wish I could tell you I had it on a narrow Italian street as I was visiting that beautiful country, but the reality is, I first tried minestrone on a dark day, in a tiny Italian restaurant in the middle of Berlin, with my friend Sam. I loved it instantly but it wasn´t until years later that I finally tried doing it myself at home. And now, after much testing and tasting, I bring you this recipe (inspired by Magnolia´s Table). Minestrone is an ancient soup, literally dating from B.C. times, in what was the Roman empire. And while you can technically throw in it any veggies, I find that there are a few “cannot miss” ones – like celery and carrot. Anyway, read on to see how I make minestrone for the whole block.
For someone who doesn´t like quinoa, I sure am persistent in trying to find combinations that will work with it. That´s how this #homemadeMonday edition came about. Me, myself and I, strolling around the farmers´ market in the search for veggies that would work well with this earthy seed. I came up with radishes (oddly enough, one of my least favourite veggies), cucumber and of course – feta cheese. What resulted is a fresh summer salad, with earthy tones, that makes for a great light, yet rich in vitamins lunch or dinner. Read on for the recipe.
This #homemadeMonday called for a light dish – not because of any efforts towards a summer body (all bodies are summer bodies) but because it´s Sangria season and that to me means light dishes and heavy Sangria jars. And since the farmers´ market I go to on Saturdays has been displaying an exquisite selection of zucchinis for the past few days, I thought of giving the raw zucchini a chance. Mind you, I´ve only ever tasted cooked zucchini before, but was pleasantly surprised by how the raw version tasted. I inspired myself from this recipe – changing some things like replacing the goat cheese for feta cheese, the pine nuts for walnuts, choosing amaranth microgreens for an even nutty-er flavour and coating it all with honey instead of lemon juice. Read on for my recipe, or check the one I linked.