sugar, spice & everything nice


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Chilli con carne meatballs by Jamie Oliver 15 minutes meals

Posted by Certain Cravings on July 6, 2013 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (2)

At first glance you might think this is a traditional Mexican dish, but none of that is true. It's a combination of Mexican and Indian food. The garam masala gives the meatballs a unique and delicious taste. It just gives it a little bit of extra than the more 'standard' meatballs. As you can see I didn't exactly follow the recipe of Jmaie Oliver, because I've used rice instead of bulgur wheat. 


Bulgur wheat:

  • 300g bulgur wheat
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick



  • 400g lean beef mince
  • 1 heaped tsp garam masala
  • olive oil 
  • 3 jarred red peppers
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 700g passata
  • bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans
  • pinch of cumin seeds
  • 4 tsp fat free natural yoghurt
  • 1 lime


Grilled chillies

  • 4 fresh chillies


  1. Put 1 mug of bulgur wheat, 2 mugs of boiling water, preserved lemon and the cinnamon stick into the medium pan and cover, stirring occasionally;
  2. Next scrunch the mince with salt, pepper and garam masala;
  3. Shape the balls and place balls into a frying pan with oil. Toss regulary;
  4. If you don't have a food processor, just finely slice the spring onions. 
  5. Get another frying pan and mix together the passata, paprika powder, sping onions and half of the coriander. Add some more pepper and salt for the taste of the sauce 
  6. Next grill the fresh chillies. When it has those stripes, you can remove chillies from grill. 
  7. Rinse and dry the kidney beans. Add the beans to your meatballs. Next add the cumin seeds to the meat balls. 
  8. Slowly add the meatballs with the beans to your  pan with sauce (jamie advices to transer the balls to the sauce with tongs, so you can add the beans later) 
  9. Remove the cinnamon stick from your 'bulgur' pan. Mash the lemon into the bulgur wheat and serve with the meatball sauce, dollops of yoghurt, charred chilies and wedges of lime, scattered with the remaining spring onions and coriander leaves. 


Coconut buns with chicken in hoisin sauce by Jamie Oliver

Posted by Certain Cravings on March 31, 2013 at 12:40 PM Comments comments (3)

Wow doesn't this looks delicious! And I can tell you, that it tastes great! I saw Jamie Oliver making this dish in his program "15 minutes meals". So inspired by his show I decided to make this dish. Although Jamie can make it in 15 minutes, I needed more time to cook this meal, because I don't own a foodprocessor. After seeing his show a couple of times, I really think I should get one. As you can see in the picture I have replaced the tenderstem with an other veggie :-). 

The coconot buns are very easy to make, but to be honest it didn't taste that great. It's just bread with some coconut flavour. Just serve the chicken and greens with rice. 

Ingredients for 4:

Coconut buns:

1 x 400g tin of light coconut milk;
2 coconut milk tins (500g) of self raising flour plus extra for dusting.

Chicken, pickles and garnishes:

2 x 200g skinless chicken breasts;
140g mixed mushrooms;
3 tbsp hoi sin sauce plus extra to serve;
2 limes;
200g tenderstem broccoli;
1 cucumber;
1 tbsp light soy sauce;
1 tbsp rice or white wine vinegar;
1/2 bunch of fresh coriander;
3 tbsp sesame seeds;
1 x 105 pack of pickled ginger;
1-2 fresh chillies.


  1. If you have a foodprocessor, pour the coconut milk into the processor with two tins of self raising flour. Also add a pinch of salt. Turn on your processor. 
  2. Put the dough on a flour dusted surface and roll the dough into a sausage shape. 
  3. Cut the dough in 8 even sized pieces and place it into a double layered muffin case. 
  4. Next put it into one layer of the steamer.
  5. Pour the boiling water into wok and put basket of buns on top with the lid on and leave to steam hard!
  6. Cut the chicken into 1 cm stripes and toss in a bowl with roughly torn mushrooms, hoi sin sauce, juice of half a lime  and a pinch of salt. 
  7. Get the second steamer basket and add the chicken. Also add the trimmed brocolli. Put your chicken basket underneath the tray of coconut buns for 5 minutes until cooked through. This is important, because you don't want chicken dripping on your buns. 
  8. Next peel the cucumber into ribbons and toss in a bowl with soy sauce, vinegar and a few torn coriander leaves. With your clean hands squeeze and scrunch everything together to make a pickle. 
  9. Toast the sesame seeds in the frying pan until golden and then tip into a little bowl. 
  10. Cut the remaining limes into wedges and serve with the pickled ginger and hoi sin sauce in little bowls. 
  11. Serve the buns and chicken in the steamer trays, scattering everything with the remaining coriander leaves and finely sliced chilli. 

Coca Cola Spareribs

Posted by Certain Cravings on November 11, 2012 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)


Never knew it was possible to cook with cola. You would think the ribs would get a cola flavour. but the cola will just makes the meat tender and a bit more sweeter than normal. The ribs will be extra sticky and sweet. Of course the meat will fall off the bones.


  • 1 kg spareribs;
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder;
  • 1 tsp paprika powder;
  • 1 tsp cumin powder;
  • 1 tsp coriander powder;
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder;
  • 2 tbsp olive oil;
  • 1 can of coca cola;
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup;
  • 10 bay leaves;
  • salt and pepper to taste.



  1. Preheat the oven at 180C.
  2. Put the ribs in a baking tray;
  3. Get a big bowl and add all the spices (including pepper and salt), olive oil and maple syrup;
  4. Stir the mixture well and pour it over the ribs and rub the mixture in;
  5. Add the cola in the baking tray;
  6. Add the bay leaves;
  7. Put the baking tray in the oven. After 30 minutes lower the temperature to 150C for 90 minutes;
  8. Baste the ribs ever now and then;
  9. Serve with bread or whatever you like!




Pulled Pork Momofuku Style

Posted by Certain Cravings on October 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)


Ever since I watched the episode of 'No Reservations' with David Chang of Momofuku, I've been obsessing about pulled pork. After some research I've found that this is a pretty common dish for bbq in the States. In Holland I have never been to a BBQ where they have prepared this dish. I think it would just take too long for the regular BBQ. Usually I just end up eating burned meat. So the secret of pulled pork is slow cooking and a lot of patience. It isn't difficult at all but you just need to patient. You can easily eat pulled pork with noodles, rice or just one a sandwich. Remember everything tastes better with some pork ;-).



  • 1 kg pork shoulder;
  • kosher salt;
  • sugar.




  1. Rub the pork with salt and sugar and put in a deep baking dish. Cover it with tin foil and put it in the fridge. Let it marinate for at least 6 hours, but no more than 24 hours.
  2. Discard extra liquid. Put the pork in baking dish and let it in the oven for 6 hours at 120 Celsius.
  3. Use two forks to pull the meat and enjoy.

Croque Madame recipe by Rachel Khoo

Posted by Certain Cravings on September 16, 2012 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)


The only decent cooking show we can watch in Holland is Saturday Kitchen on the BBC. You probably know the cook, James Martin, as the 'butter guy'. It's amazing how much butter this guy uses for a dish. He starts with butter and ends with butter. Besides his butter fetish, James Martin is a very charming cook and a good host of the program. The best part of Saturday Kitchen is they show parts of other great cooking shows, like 'The Little Paris Kitchen'. Rachel Khoo is just so inspiring and shows you don't need a fancy kitchen to do some great cooking! It's funny to see how inventive she is. How would have thought that you reinvent the croque madame? It's such a classic dish, but she manages to give it a little twist! Like Rachel said: "No crunch, no croque". So use your butter well.




  • 1 tbsp butter (and about 3 tbsp butter for the brushing the bread);
  • 1 tbsp plain flour;
  • 200 ml milk;
  • pinch of nutmeg;
  • 1 tsp mustard;
  • 6 slices of white bread;
  • 6 egg yolks;
  • slices of ham;
  • grated cheese.



  1. Preheat oven at 180 C;
  2. Use a small sauce pan and melt the butter on a medium heat. Next add the flour and whisk it well;
  3. Slowly pour in the milk into the mixture and whisk it well. You have to pour it in slowly to avoid lumps;
  4. Add the nutmeg and mustard and mix it well. Now your bechamel sauce is almost ready. Remember it to season it. Turn off the fire and let your sauce rest;
  5. Next cut off the crust of the bread and flatten it with a rolling pin;
  6. Melt the remaing butter in an other pan and use it to brush the bread on both sides;
  7. Carefully fold the bread into the muffin tin;
  8. Add the slices of ham;
  9. Add the egg yolks (don't use the whites, becaus it doesn't fit);
  10. Add the bechamel sauce;
  11. Add the grated cheese (i've used Gouda);
  12. Brush the edges with butter for the crunch ;-);
  13. Put it in a oven of 180C for about 10 minutes for a soft egg. Others it takes 15 minutes.