Tag Archive for Coconut

Fish Stew

An Asian-inspired fish stew, that coincidentally used all of the ingredients that I needed to use up. It has a nice warmth from the spices and fills you up very well. I usually don’t like using frozen fish, because it is always very wet to cook, which makes it impossible to give it a nice crust, and often very dry to eat. But for this dish it’s fine, some extra wetness in the sauce is not a problem and the sauce keeps the flesh moist. Which is nice, because frozen fish is a lot cheaper than fresh fish. Do make sure you use MSC or ASC certified fish.


Fish Stew (serves 2)
Adapted from “A Simple Table – Michelle Cranston”

1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp turmeric
3 garlic cloves, crushed finely
1 small red chilli, seeds removed, chopped finely (or use some sambal instead)
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced, mostly the whites
400 g can tomatoes
500 ml bouillon (from a cube is fine, I used vegetable, but you could use chicken, fish would make it very fishy)
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 green paprika, diced
50 g brown rice
salt and pepper
400 g white fish, in large chunks
Optional: coriander, lime and/or coconut milk to finish

Heat the coconut oil in a pan. Add the cumin, turmeric, cloves, chilli and leek, and sauté until soft and fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, bouillon, sugar, paprika and brown rice. Cook until the rice is almost cooked, this will take about 30-40 minutes.
Add the fish and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked. Serve with the coriander, lime and/or coconut milk if using.

Dutch Food: Coconut Macaroons

Easy cookies with only a few ingredients. They are lovely coconutty, very sweet, slightly airy, and chewy.
Traditionally these are baked on edible paper, but I’ve also tried it without, because edible paper is not widely available. Baking them on baking paper worked fine, but you did need to be careful to peel them off. In a normal sized oven you can bake them in 2 batches (leaving the batter for the second batch in the bowl on the counter), or use 2 baking sheets and bake them at the same time. Because of our small oven, I had to bake them in 3 batches, which wasn’t ideal. The batter for the 3rd batch started to split because it was left standing for too long, it came together quite well after a bit more stirring, but the cookies baked less well than the other 2 batches, so I would advice to make a smaller amount of batter if you have a small oven.

Because I already was working with coconut, I decided to try and make coconut butter. You make it by grounding up coconut in a processor for about 5 minutes, or until lovely smooth and creamy. It sounded delicious, but it was really disappointing. You need an enormous amount of coconut for only a little butter, and it didn’t even taste nice. It was very greasy and chalky, a bit like I was eating santen (creamed coconut), not pleasant at all. I also tried making coconut whipped cream, which wasn’t a success either. I just couldn’t get it to fluff up. So from now on I’ll stick to making coconut cookies and using coconut milk.

Coconut Macaroon

Coconut Macaroons
Adapted from “Blueband Kookboek Gebak”

125 g dessicated shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 egg whites
125 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
Edible paper

Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a baking tray with edible paper.
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, keep mixing until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice, whip until well mixed. Add the coconut and fold through.
Use 2 teaspoons to make walnut-sized dollops on the edible paper. Space them about 5 cm apart. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes, till light brown and cooked.
Leave to cool, then break the edible paper around the macaroons. Store in an airtight container.

Variation: use ground almonds instead of coconut

Soy and Honey Chicken with Coconut Rice

Very simple, but utterly delicious. What else would you expect when it is a recipe from Monica Galetti (sous chef at Le Gavroche, the 2-stars restaurant of Michel Roux Jr, and a judge in Masterchef: the Professionals)?

Soy and Honey Chicken

Soy and Honey Chicken with Coconut Rice (serves 2)
Slightly adapted from Food&Drink

4 tsp clear honey
4 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sambal badjak
4 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 300 gram)

75 g brown rice
1 stock cube (I used vegetable)
1/2 tsp coconut oil

drizzle of sesame oil
drizzle of rapeseed oil
2 heads of bok choi, halved

Mix together the honey, soy sauce and sambal badjak in a heavy based pan (cold!). Add the chicken thighs and mix until completely coated in the marinade. Place the pan onto a medium heat and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the honey and soy coating has thickened to a glossy glaze.
Meanwhile, add the rice, 150 ml water and the stock cube to a separate pan and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the rice, covered, until tender (about 30 minutes).
For the bok choi, heat a drizzle of rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bok choi and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the leaves have wilted. Drizzle with a little sesame oil.
When the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork, then stir through the coconut oil.

Coconut-pineapple baked oatmeal

I made baked oatmeal in a few different flavours before, and I keep loving the concept. You can make it in advance, it has whole grains and fruit, and it makes a tasty, filling breakfast. Therefore I decided to make a new flavour variation, perfect for summer (or when you want to be reminded of summer): coconut and pineapple.
This variation is quite firm, I guess you could even eat it as a bar instead of from a bowl. I find that the pineapple makes the whole thing sweet enough (and lovely pineapple-y), I like my breakfast not too sweet. If you like sweet, add some sugar. Or drizzle with honey when serving. I like to eat it with some yoghurt, but I think it would be delicious with a splash of coconut milk too, to even further enhance the coconut flavour.

Coconut Pinapple Baked Oatmeal

Coconut-pineapple-vanilla baked oatmeal (6 portions)

1/2 cup grated coconut
2 1/2 cup oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup puréed pineapple (I puréed the pineapple from a 425 g can of pineapple on juice, and used the juice for another purposes)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup coconut milk (from a can)

Preheat the oven to 175C.
Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in the other, then combine. Mix well, pour into a 20×20 cm baking dish and cover with aluminium foil. Place in the oven, bake for 20 minutes, then remove the aluminium foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
Cover well with aluminium foil or cling film and store for a maximum of 5 days in the fridge.

Pear-Coconut Crumble

The idea for this crumble came from Jeroen Meus in his programme Dagelijkse Kost. He was making some kind of dessert, with some kind of mousse and a crumble topping. It was different than my normal crumble recipes and it seemed quite interesting, so I gave it a try. The difference is in the addition of coconut to the crumble, which gives it a lovely tropical flavour. You could also use ground nuts instead of the coconut as a variation. Another difference is that you bake the crumble separately from the fruit to achieve maximal crumbness. I used pears for this dessert because I had some pears laying around that needed to be used up, but this would be delicious with all kinds of fresh, stewed, fried or roasted fruits. Or use the crumble as Jeroen Meus did and sprinkle it over a mousse or pudding for some extra crispness.

Pear-Coconut Crumble

Pear-Coconut Crumble (4 servings)

55 g butter, cold, in cubes
55 g flour
55 g sugar
55 g coconut
pinch of salt
optional: vanilla

4 pears, peeled, cored and cubed
1 tbsp sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place butter, flour, sugar, coconut, salt and vanilla (if using) together in a bowl. Rub with your fingers until a crumble mixture has formed. Spread out on a baking tray and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir and bake for another 10 minutes until the crumble is golden and crisp. Make sure you keep an eye on it, because coconut sometimes is prone to burning. Leave to cool for a bit (this makes the crumble more crispy).
Meanwhile, place the pears, sugar and a drop of water in a pan. Cook until the pear has softened slightly.
Scoop the pear in small bowls, sprinkle with the crumble. Serve immediately.
You can make this dessert in advance, just keep the components separate until just before serving to prevent sogginess.

Coconut Bread

In the Netherlands you can buy ‘kokosbrood’ (coconut bread) in the supermarkets, it is thinly sliced and meant to put on your bread… and although I like the idea very much, I rarely buy it, because it is quite chemical and contains too much sugar. It usually disappoints me, because it is not coconutty enough. This recipe is the solution to that. Again, it is called coconut bread, and technically it still isn’t a real bread, but it does taste of coconut and it isn’t sickly sweet. In fact, it is barely sweet, so you can eat it with a little butter and/or honey on top, or with savoury things as well.

Paleo Coconut Bread (26cm long bread pan)
Slightly adapted from Paleoliscious

6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp honey
3 cups desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line your bread pan with baking paper.
Beat the eggs with the vanilla and honey with an electric mixer. Mix the coconut flakes with the baking powder and add to the egg mixture.
Place the bread in the preheated oven , bake for 20 minutes, then open the oven door and turn the temperature down to 150C. Bake it for about another 15-20 minutes, until the toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool for about 15 minutes in the tin, then let it cool further on a wire rack. Store airtight for a maximum of 3 days.

Jam and chutney

What are better presents than homemade ones? People are certainly happy when they get a nicely packed set of cute small jars of homemade jam and chutney. Making all the 6 recipes on one day is quite a marathon, you can also make a selection or only one recipe (then use big jars instead).
I give a small introduction describing the taste and some serving suggestions at each recipe.

From left to right; upper row: coconut confiture, courgette chutney, pear-vanilla jam; lower row: tropical marmelade, mandarin jelly, chili jam

From left to right; upper row: coconut confiture, courgette chutney, pear-vanilla jam; lower row: tropical marmelade, mandarin jelly, chili jam

Tropical marmelade (2 jars of 500 g)
Adapted from “2000 recettes de la cuisine Française”

A tropical version of the traditional orange marmelade, delicious on bread, with pate, duck or other game.

1/2 pineapple
1 grapefruit
1 mango
2 kiwi
1 lime
1 kg sugar
250 ml water

Cut the grapefruit in thin slices and then in small cubes. Reserve the juice that came out. Add 250 ml water to the grapefruit cubes and cook for 20 minutes.
Clean the pineapple, mango, kiwi and cube. Reserve the juice that came out.
Melt the sugar in the reserved fruit juice and the juice of the lime. Cook until bubbles for at the surface of the syrup. Add the grapefruit cubes and cook for 20 minutes. Add the pineapple, mango and kiwi and cook for another 20 minutes. Stir regularly.
The marmelade is ready when the pieces of fruit are translucent and when a drop of the syrup becomes jelly on a cold plate.
Pour in sterilized jars.

Chilli Jam (2 cups)
From Annabel Langbein – The Free Range Cook

Delicious sharp, spicy and fragrant. Perfect for dipping vegetables or spring rolls, or as a sauce in stir fries.

1 head garlic, cloves peeled
8 long red chilies, roughly chopped
200 g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 double kaffir lime leaves
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
grated zest of 4 limes
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce

Purée the garlic, chillies, ginger and kaffir lime leaves, to a coarse paste (easiest with a blender or in a kitchen machine). Place in a saucepan with the sugar, water, lime zest, rice vinegar, fish sauce and soy sauce.
Stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then boil for about 10 minutes until reduced by a third. It will bubble up like jam.
Spoon the hot chilli jam into a sterilised jar. Once opened, store it in the fridge.

Coconut marmalade (1 jar)
Adapted from “2000 recettes de la cuisine Française”

Sweet and coconutty, delicious on toasted white bread, with pineapple in a dessert or with chocolate.

1 fresh coconut
250 g sugar
50 g butter
Zest van 1/2 lemon
65 ml coconut milk
vanilla (1 pod or a teaspoon of extract)
10 ml rum

Open the coconut, discard the water (or use it for another purpose), remove the bark from the coconut flesh, then use a peeler to remove any brown bits remaining on the coconut flesh. Grate the coconut flesh finely.
Heat the grated coconut flesh, sugar, coconut milk, lemon zest and vanilla on low heat while stirring regularly. Add the butter when the mixture thickens and mix well. Take off the heat and add the rum, mix well. Pour into sterilized jars.

Courgette chutney (900g)
From “James Martin – The collection”

To give a kick to any kind of meal, for example with cheese, (cold) meats or pate, or with Indonesian/Indian curries.

2 small lemons
3 courgettes
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
100 ml dry white wine
3 tsp brown sugar
24 black pepper corns, bruised
2.5 cm ginger, peeled and minced finely
Generous pinch of salt

Peel the lemons, slice thinly and remove the pips. Cut the courgettes lengthwise in halve, then in pieces of 2,5 cm. Mix all the ingredients in a pan, place the lid on top and cook for and hour, stirring occasionally. When it is hot, it still is quite liquid. Pour in sterilized jars.

Pear-vanilla jam (2 jars of 500g)
Adapted from “2000 recettes de la cuisine Française”

Both the pear and the vanilla flavour stand out. Delicious on a slice of bread, but also perfect as a filling for cakes.

500 g pears
375 g sugar
100 ml water
1/2 lemon
Vanilla (2 pods or 2 teaspoons of extract)

Peel, quarter, core and cube the pears.
Dissolve the sugar in the water. Add the pears, lemon juice and lemon rind. Cook on high heat 40 minutes. Then add the vanilla. The jam is ready when the fruit is translucent and a drop of jam will become jammy instantly on a cold plate. Pour in sterilized jars.

Mandarin jelly (2 jars)

Has a delicate, sweet mandarin flavour. Delicious as a filling for cakes and tarts, but it also works great to add a spoon to some sautéed carrots.

600 ml mandarin juice (from +- 1.5 kg (juice)mandarins)
250 g jam sugar (I used “van gilse gelei suiker speciaal”, check the package of your sugar for the right ratio of sugar and juice, and how to prepare the jelly)

Juice the mandarins, sieve the juice and measure how much it is. Mix the sugar with the juice, bring to the boil and cook 4 minutes. Pour in sterilized jars.

Coconut Bread

Because this bread is a quick bread (no yeast and rising required), it is fast to prepare. Also, the texture is more like cake than like bread. Delicious to eat plain, with some butter or a drizzle of honey.

Coconut bread

Coconut Bread (1 loaf of bread, for a loaf/cake pan of about 23x13x8 cm (8 cup/2 liter))
From Smitten Kitchen

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
140 gram sweetened flaked coconut (I used unsweetened dessicated coconut, works fine too)
85 gram butter, melted

Heat oven to 175C.
Whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
Mix together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix.
Pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter, and stir until just smooth; do not overmix!
Butter and flour a loaf pan. Spread batter in pan and bake it for 1-1 1/4 hours, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Trail mix and coconut flapjacks

In this holiday season it is nice to have a variety of things to take with you on day trips and vacation. It is always good to have some food (and enough water!) with you, you never know what will happen, even if you expect to be able to go to a shop or something.

This year I wanted something else than the standard stuff, and had a go with making trail mix. Trail mix is quite uncommon in the Netherlands, but it has some overlap with the Dutch studentenhaver (students oats). It is a mix of grains, dried fruits, nuts and sometimes chocolate. It is light-weight, calorie-dense, tasty and easy to store, so it is ideal to take with you on hikes… hence the name trail mix.

Usually trail mix uses sweet and salty things mixed together, but I don’t like that, so I made separate sweet and salty mixes. My sweet mix contained the following: marshmallows, m&m’s, honey loops, tutti frutti (mixed dried fruit) and raisins & nuts covered in chocolate & yoghurt. My salty mix contained the following: dry roasted nut mix (peanut, almond, cashew), pepitas, salty pretzel/cracker mix and roasted chickpeas.

Another thing I wanted to add to the sweet mix were coconut-oat balls. In the end I adapted a flapjack recipe, baked it as a whole and then broke it in pieces. It became very, very delicious, coconutty and caramelly… but a slight bit greasy and very sticky. So I decided to keep them apart, to prevent the whole thing getting a sticky, greasy mess. I think they are a bit greasy because the original recipe only used oats and I swapped half for dessicated coconut, which of course also contains quite some fat. So the next time I will try it with less fat. It is a very delicious snack (high energy but not to healthy), which I will certainly make again.

Coconut flapjacks

65g butter
20g coconut oil
85g brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp stroop (golden syrup or treacle)
75g dessicated coconut
75g oats

Line a baking tin. Preheat oven at 180C.
Melt together the butter, coconut oil, brown sugar, honey and stroop on low heat. Mix in the coconut and oats, make sure that it is mixed well. Dump in the baking tin and flatten to 0.5 cm. Bake for 15-20 min, or until golden. Leave to cool completely before cutting/breaking into pieces.

Double Coconut Muffins

As promised another muffin recipe, this time quite a tropical variant. And it is healthy too, with all that coconut and whole wheat flour and no butter. The double coconut comes from the virgin coconut oil and the shredded coconut.

Beware when you buy coconut oil! There are two variants, purified and virgin. Purified coconut oil is just the actual oil, all the other coconutty things are taken out. So it does not taste like coconut at all. It is still a nice fat to work with, it has a very nice mouth-feeling and you can heat it to high temperatures, I use it for example in my home-made cruesli instead of vegetable oil, but it is not the real deal. If you find coconut oil in the shop that does not specify being virgin or purified, it will probably be purified, especially if it is quite cheap. Check your toko or Asian supermarket for it.
And then there is virgin coconut oil. This really is just pressed coconut and tastes like all the coconutty goodness. Unfortunately virgin coconut oil is in many parts of the world not available or very expensive. In the Netherlands you can buy it at a health/bio food store, but it is extremely expensive. So I started thinking on a substitution and found one: santen (creamed coconut). It is ground, dehydrated flesh of a coconut and is usually sold as a white, solid block. In the Netherlands you can find it at a supermarket, toko or Asian supermarket. It can be used together with water to form coconut milk. It has a fat percentage of about 70% and tastes very coconutty, so I figured it would be a good substitution for the virgin coconut oil. And indeed, it worked very well.    

Some other things to think about when making the recipe. If you add cold eggs and yoghurt to the molten coconut oil/santen the fat will solidify again, which will make the batter quite stiff. For the baking itself it is no problem, but you need some muscle to mix the stiff batter. So make sure your eggs and yoghurt are on room temperature. Also here in the Netherlands sweetened coconut is not available, so I used unsweetened and added some extra sugar, which worked fine. Furthermore, the hydration of shredded coconut can vary quite a lot and because you’re using quite some coconut, it can influence the baking. If your batter seems very dry, add some extra liquid, if your batter seems very wet, add some extra coconut.

These muffins are cold definitely much better than hot, when hot the coconut flavour disappears completely, while cold they are very coconutty. The yoghurt gives them a nice slightly tart flavour and they are not too sweet. And while most muffins go stale very fast, these can be stored well for a few days.  

Double coconut muffins (10-12)

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
110 gram virgin coconut oil (or santen)
95 gram flour
60 gram whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
230 gram full fat Greek yoghurt, room temperature
65 gram granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
90 gram sweetened shredded coconut, divided (add 40 gram sugar when using unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 190C. Grease 12 muffin cups with butter or coconut oil, or line them with papers. Melt the coconut oil (I used the microwave), but don’t let it get too hot, or it will curdle the eggs. Whisk together egg, sugar, coconut oil, yoghurt and vanilla. Mix in the coconut, baking powder and salt. Then fold in the flour until just combined, don’t overmix! Divide batter over muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and leave to cool.