Mediterranean braised chicken drumsticks

I’ve been spending a lot of my nights home alone lately. Which is a bit sad of course, but also quite nice because that means I get to experiment with food! I love cooking savory/dinner food, but I am not as confident with that as I am with sweets (if you could call me confident in that arena…). So having some nights to myself allows me to just try stuff and see what happens. This time, it turned into some really delicious and belly-warming braised chicken drumsticks!

mediterranean braised chicken

Mediterranean braised chicken drumsticks
Serves 2

Ingredients

4-5 chicken drumsticks
a bit of flour (+ a ziplockbag/other small plastic bag)
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 large carrot
10 button mushrooms
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1 can of diced tomato
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried parsley
chili flakes to taste
1/2 can of water (use the diced tomato can)
pinch of salt

Instructions

1. Heat a heavy-bottom skillet pan and add olive oil;
2. Roughly dice the onions, carrot, and mushrooms and add to the hot pan;
3. While the vegetables are in the pan, clean the drumsticks and pat dry;
4. Put flour in the plastic bag/ziplock bag and put each drumstick in there one by one, shaking (while holding the bag closed with your hand!) to coat with flour;
5. Add the drumsticks to the pan and get a little color on them;
6. Once the drumsticks have a bit of color, add the sliced garlic and stir for about 30 sec;
7. Add the can of diced tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, parsley, chili flakes and another 1/2 can of water;
8. Stir the mixture so that the chicken is sort of coated all over with tomato-sauce, turn down the heat to a simmer;
9. Close the pan with a lid and let simmer for 40-50 minutes, check on the chicken about every 10 minutes, so you can flip the drumsticks over. This way, they won’t dry out on one side;
10. After 40-50 minutes (try one drumstick by cutting into it, if the fluids run clear, it’s cooked) get ready to eat some delicious chicken!

Serving tip: rice or some type of potato dish.

Great reads on the www

It’s time for another edition of Great reads! I have been saving up some articles, so please don’t get angry with me when some of them are a bit older…

Sleep is important yo!

19 cookbooks recommended by chefs.

What its like to live in space!

A week’s worth in groceries around the world.

While this article is focused on parents, I think these are just 15 recipes everyone should know!

Does (social) science’s self-correction mechanism work? This article’s author thinks not.

Have a great weekend y’all!

Banana Bread Cinnamon Muffins

Soooo…. I disappeared for a bit, didn’t I? I got swooshed away for a long weekend in Barcelona by the boyfriend! I love that city! If you are ever in need of a good destination for a weekend city-trip, this is the place to go. The people are laid-back and the city is very airy/open… The streets are wide and often include a boulevard in the middle for pedestrians. Somehow there are never really that many cars, and the parks and buildings are just a gem of good landscaping and architecture. It seems as though the entire city was built at the same time, because all buildings fit together so well (with the exception of large, ugly shopping malls and banks).

photo (1)photo

It was actually the National Day of Spain this past weekend, so when we walked out of the hotel, we were greeted by lots and lots of flags! Also, mojitos are nice!

I made these muffins before we left, and I have been wanting to make them again ever since (just need some more overripe bananas!). They are nice and sweet, but not too sweet, and they have a slightly nutty taste because of the whole wheat flour. This also allows me to believe I am eating something kind of healthy. I mean, there’s fruit in there as well! I can tell you now that you will have some of that cinnamon-sugar left once you have sprinkled everything twice, but I trust that you will know what to do with it! Some options include: sprinkling on toast, pancakes, waffles, using it for doughnuts (or donuts?), french toast, etc., etc.

banana bread cinnamon muffins

Banana Bread Cinnamon Muffins
makes 12

Ingredients

For the muffins:
75 gr brown sugar
70 gr butter, melted
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas
120 gr wheat flour
80 gr whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt

For the cinnamon-sugar:
25 gr caster sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon

Instructions

1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F), and line 12 muffin-forms with paper liners;
2. Mash brown sugar, melted butter, egg, vanilla extract and bananas until its a sort of lumpy mash;
3. In a separate bowl mix caster sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon topping;
4. In a third bowl (or the bowl that comes with your scale – which is what I usually use at this point) mix both flours, the baking powder and pinch of salt;
5. Add dry mix to the wet mash and fold until just combined (i.e. as good as no more dry flour-mix, but still lumpy);
6. Fill the muffin-forms halfway with muffin mixture, then generously sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar;
7. Fill the muffin-forms with the rest of the mixture, and add another layer of cinnamon-sugar on top;
8. Put the muffins in the oven for 20-25 minutes (mine took about 22 minutes), or until a skewer comes out clean (or almost clean);
9. Take the muffin-tins out of the oven and let cool for a minute or so. Remove the muffins and let them cool completely before eating.

Adapted from Deliciously Declassified

banana bread cinnamon muffins - amsterdam and apple pie

Apple crumble for two

Apple crumble

This weekend I figured it really was time I add some apple to this blog. As last week’s apple muffins were a disaster, I decided to try something different. And apple crumble. Or was it crisp? Or cobbler? Searching foodporn sites such as foodgawker, and pinterest had me confused. It seemed that all these terms (especially crisp and crumble) were used interchangeably… So I turned to Google, and ended up at this Huffington Post article. The conclusion:

  • A crumble is an oven dish of fruit topped with a streusel-like topping that includes oats;
  • A crisp is similar to a crumble, but doesn’t include oats, resulting in a topping that’s more like crumbled pie crust;
  • A cobbler is an oven dish of fruit topped with individually dropped biscuits;
  • A buckle is a layer of cake-like batter topped with fruit. As the cake cookes it rises above the fruit while the fruit tries to sink to the bottom, creating it to buckle (how clever!);
  • A grunt/slump is the same as a cobbler, but then made on the stove instead of in the oven;
  • A brown betty is similar to a crisp, but also includes a layer of crisp at the bottom, sandwiching the fruit in between.

Thus far my lesson on different fruit-desserts! And I am definitely making a crumble, as I am including oats of some sort. More specifically, I wanted to use granola clusters (or Cruesli in Dutch). Why? Because that’s what I had at home, and I wasn’t feeling like going to the store to buy oats just for this recipe. I also thought it might be nice to add a little extra crunch to the crumble. And why for two? Well, I only had one apple left + we’re a household of two and I always end up halving recipes to fit our needs, so I figured I would make a tailor-made recipe for the two of us.

Apple crumble

I adapted a recipe from Joy the Baker for a peach cobbler (which is actually a crumble according to above definitions), and used small ramekins for easy serving.

Apple Crumble for two
serves two (or one if you really like crumble)

Ingredients

1 TBSP flour
1 TBSP brown sugar
3 TBSP granola clusters (or Cruesli)
tiny pinch of salt
1 TBSP butter, cubed
1 small apple
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, split in 2 1/4 tsp

Instructions

1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F), and butter two small ramekins;
2. In a small bowl, mix flour, sugar, granola clusters, pinch of salt, and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon;
3. Add cubes of butter and work them in the mixture with your fingers, until only small pebbles of butter remain;
4. Core and cut the apple in small pieces (I left the skin on, but you can always peel it first) and add to a second small bowl;
5. Add 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon and mix until all apple pieces are covered;
6. Add apple mixture to ramekins and top with crumble;
7. Bake for 20 minutes, until the topping is golden brown (took 23 minutes for me);
8. Remove from the oven and serve warm (optionally with vanilla ice cream).

Apple crumble

Great reads on the www

Today I have only one great read for you, and I didn’t even find if myself. I ran into it on A Cup of Jo and was instantly in love. It’s this New York Times article about being a restaurant regular…

This article is why I couldn’t possibly be a restaurant critic. While I sometimes try new restaurants or cafés, I tend to gravitate back to my good old favorites. The places where I am the regular. Where I am welcomed by genuine smiles and happiness to see me. It’s like a cozy blanket, warming you from within, and as the author says, a sort of coming home. In Amsterdam, I have certain places that I really enjoy, and today I want to share them with you. Because, even though you might not become a regular there, I still want to show you my home.

To start, we have Hoi Tin an authentic Chinese restaurant (because we all know what Dutch Chinese food is like…) in China Town in Amsterdam. While the place doesn’t look like much, the food is ridiculously good. We’ve gone there for Dim Sum at least 40 times in the last two years. It was actually the place of our second date, where I said I could eat with chopstick, but then clearly couldn’t (I can now!).

Then there is an Indian restaurant Mayur, near Leidse Plein. One time, when the boyfriend was there with work-people, the owner asked where I was and he said I was really bummed I couldn’t come. The owner then ran into the kitchen and came back out with a portion of Butter Chicken, some rice and a naan for me to eat at home, so I could at least enjoy their food.

While not really in the center of Amsterdam, this place is really worth the trouble. And if you’re one of those people who goes to conferences in the RAI conference center, this is just around the corner. It’s Indonesian food at its best. The place is always crowded in the weekends, so make sure to make a reservation. Their rijst tafels (or rice tables) are delicious, but if you’re not starving I could also recommend a Soto Ayam (chicken soup but infinitely better) and Nasi Rames (mini rice table).

And once you’re there, please also try Pakistan, which is, as you might have guessed, a Pakistan restaurant. While some flavors closely resemble Indian cuisine, there are some differences related to differences in religion in both countries. For example, there are cow-meat dishes here, while you won’t find those at an Indian place. This is a family-owned restaurant, and on busy evenings sons and brothers jump in to support the busy kitchen. They also do take-out, if that’s more your thing.

As you might have noticed, these are all foreign cuisines, not Dutch cuisine restaurants. I have to say that I have yet to find the warm and cozy feelings of home at a restaurant serving Dutch (or more typical, French inspired) food… But I will keep you posted! Also, I want to do a post on the best places in Amsterdam for Apple Pie :)

P.s. most of these links go to either Dutch sites or google map pages, but I think the general restaurant lingo, such as route/contact/map will help the international people find their way as well!

Gnocchi with Turkey, Spinach, and Mushrooms

I was going to post a recipe for apple muffins (this blog is called Amsterdam AND Apple Pie for a reason…), but they failed miserably. So I’ll have to work on that recipe for next week! In the mean time, I thought I’d share one of our weeknight meals. Since we both work full-time now, there is not much time during the week to create lavish, grande dinners. So instead we go for two things: easy and delicious. And even though this dish might not look very special or appetizing, it is!

Gnocchi with turkey, spinach, and mushrooms

Gnocchi with turkey, spinach, and mushrooms
Serves 3 (or 2 if you have a large appetite)

Ingredients:

1/2 tbsp olive oil + a little bit to oil the oven-dish
1 large turkey fillet (ours was 270 gr)
150 gr button mushrooms, sliced
200 gr fresh spinach, washed
1 packet Gnocchi (500 gr)
2 tsp pesto
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F) and boil about 1/1.5 liters of water in the water-cooker (or in a pot on the stove);
2. Cut the turkey fillet (or chicken if you prefer) in equal chunks;
3. Put a large skillet (or wok) on the stove and add 1/2 tbsp olive oil;
4. While the skillet heats up, use a little bit of olive oil to oil your oven-dish (or use a non-stick one);
5. Add the turkey pieces to the skillet and make sure the sides are seared completely;
6. Add the sliced mushrooms and toss around;
7. Once the mushrooms look nice and brown, add the fresh spinach leaves and carefully toss them over in the skillet to wilt the leaves;
8. Add boiling water to a pot, and add gnocchi, boil for prescribed amount of time (on ours it says only 3 minutes), or until they come floating to the top;
9. Drain the gnocchi and add to the turkey/mushroom/spinach mixture;
10. Add 2 tsp of your favorite pesto;
11. Add most of the parmesan cheese and toss around so all ingredients mix;
12. Take skillet off the stove and pour mixture in your oven-dish;
13. Scatter the remaining cheese on top;
14. Put the oven-dish in the center of the oven and let it get crispy for about 10 minutes;
15. Take out of the oven when it looks ready and enjoy!

*If you’d like you can of course add salt and pepper, we like the flavor of the pesto and the cheese so we don’t add anything.

 

Great reads on the www

 

Autumn Leaves

Leaves are turning red! I love watching the tree outside our window slowly changing color. Such a nice reminder of what’s to come…

Here are some reads I ran into this week:

11 obsolete words that should make a come-back + 79 words you’re probably (maybe?) pronouncing incorrectly.

Researchers are on top of it: why your bread always lands butter-side down + do animals also suffer from dementia?

Ten Brooklyn writers and how they write.

Life in your early 20s v.s. life in your late 20s – I still fall in the first category, but can already recognize myself in some of the stuff reserved for late 20s people… Is this bad…?

Learn from the greatest pickpocket in the world this weekend!