Category Archives: Cooking lab

Sammy’s Rhubarb Pie

This rhubarb pie is probably one of the best pies we have ever tried and it’s really easy to prepare. It has quite a lot of sugar and butter in it but since we don’t eat pie every day, we decided not to feel too bad while enjoying some unhealthy stuff. Serve it together with vanilla ice-cream or vanilla sauce.  We promise, you and your guests won’t be able to resist a second serving.


A handful of rhubarb stalks, about 6-8 (trimmed, rinsed and cut in 2 cm pieces)
125 grams butter
2 dl flour
1 1/2 dl sugar
0.75 tsp. baking powder

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Place the chopped rhubarb in a pie tin. Melt the butter and mix together with flour, sugar and baking powder. Put the crust over the rhubarb. Bake it in the oven for about 25 minutes.

A passion for tapas

Did you know that Spanish tapas can be divided into different categories? Cosas de picar is usually something simple like nuts, olives or cheese. Pinchos is food served on wooden sticks that is supposed to symbolize the darts used in bullfighting. Bocadillos are sandwiches with fillings. (There are many other categories described in the cookbook A passion for tapas). Regional specialities also vary across the country. The Canary Islands is for example known for its great selection of various Mojo sauces (made of red or green peppers, vinegar and garlic) and “wrinkly potatoes” Papas Arrugadas (boiled in salted water and baked in their skin). While staying in Gran Canaria we decided to try experimenting a bit and come up with a couple of new, or slightly revised, tapas recipes. So far, we have only made oven baked fish with olives and Camembert (which we thought turned out very well) but today we can share with you two more recipes that don’t take long to prepare: Spicy almonds and Carrot salad with a taste of fresh mint and lemon.

Carrot salad with a taste of fresh mint and lemon

Ingredients (2 persons) 

3 carrots
1 handful fresh mint
1 lemon (juice)
olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a frying pan. Peel and slice the carrots and place them in a bowl. Chop the fresh mint and mix together with the carrots. Add cumin, salt, lemon juice and a bit of olive oil. Toss before serving.



Spicy almonds

This is the perfect pre-dinner snack that goes exceptionally well with a cold beer. Blanch the almonds for 2-3 minutes. Take off the skin and let them dry. Place the almonds on a baking tray and coat them in olive oil. Roast them in the oven for approximately 15 minutes at 200 degrees celsius. Toss the almonds from time to time so they don’t burn. Drain the nuts on kitchen paper, place them in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and chili powder.

La Chinata

La Chinata has some amazing gourmet products (olive oil, jam ,marmalade, vinegar, etc.) and we use them a lot in our recipes. We are very happy that this company saw one of our postings, Sam’s grilled peppers with mango salsa and wrote about us on their blog

We will definitely try to come up with more recipes that involves their products in the future.

Sangria Sunshine

Being frequent visitors to Spain we suddenly realized we actually never tried making our own Sangria. Why, why, WHY? It’s the perfect party punch for hot summer days and refreshing when you desperately need something chilly (preferable with alcohol) to drink while lying by the pool. So, tadaaa, today we came up with this super delicious Sangria recipe.

Remember that you don’t have to use the most fancy of wines but we recommend that you don’t go for the cheapest one either.





1 bottle of white wine (a semi dry Rioja works perfectly well)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 orange
1 lemon
8-10 strawberries
1 bottle (275 ml) Vodka Orange Mix

Pour the chilled wine into a pitcher. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon until dissolved. Cut the orange, lemon and strawberries and add the fruit into the pitcher together with one bottle of Vodka Orange Mix. Use slices of fruit as garnish and serve with ice.

What is your best Sangria recipe? Pls share with us.

Holiday tapas

From Laayoune it only takes 40 minutes to fly to the vacation paradise Gran Canaria. Spending time here is all about sunbathing and relaxation, therefore, minimizing the time in the kitchen is a must. However, fresh fruits and vegetables make it fun and easy to improvise and this holiday we decided that no recipes, no googling, no chef programs are allowed – just passion for Mediterranean style of cooking and tapas. Today we oven baked fish fillets and topped them with  anchovy stuffed olives and Camembert. It only takes 30-40 minutes to prepare:

Ingredients   (2 persons)

4 small-medium sized fish fillets
200g anchovy stuffed olives (chopped)
pieces of Camembert
olive oil
garlic powder
salt and pepper

Put some olive oil in an oven proof pan. Place the fish fillets in the pan and add salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste. Top off with the chopped olives and pieces of Camembert. Put it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius. Add some lemon juice before serving.

Serve with homemade tomato sauce and boiled broccoli with shaved parmesan cheese on top.

Pan-fried oysters with garlic mayo

This is a dish that was inspired by New Orleans and the Creole style of frying oysters. It is easy to make, requires few culinary skills but is really yummy and goes well with some cold beer or white wine.


12 shucked fresh oysters
½ cup of beer
1 tbsp mustard
1 egg
1 cup flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
½ cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves
Black and red pepper
Garlic powder

Mix the beer, mustard and egg, put in the oysters and marinate for one hour in the fridge. Mix in a bowl flour, spices and set aside. Grade two cloves of garlic and mix with ½ cup mayo and refrigerate. Heat a pan, put enough oil to cover the bottom. Dredge each oyster in the flour mix, shaking off any excess and fry for one-two minutes. Serve with garlic mayo.

Sahara Splasher

Here is a festive drink recipe. In the samandthedunes team, Alex’s version is heavier on vodka and Hanna prefers more pineapple juice so we have agreed on a compromise. In other words, you can be flexible with the measurements depending on how strong you want your drink.  Sahara Splasher is easy to make, has a refreshing taste and will spice up any party.


1 part Absolut Vodka (Absolut Mango is even better)
3 parts pineapple juice
1/2 mango
Splash of lime juice
Club Soda

Mix in a blender the vodka, pineapple juice, pieces of mango and ice. Pour the mix into a glass (we prefer an old-fashioned one) and top off with some Club Soda and lime juice. Garnish with a slice of mango.

Cheers, it’s Sahara Splasher time!

Sam’s oysters on the half shell

Shucking oysters is no easy task, you obviously need a special knife and you have to be very careful or you might go missing a few fingers. However, once you get the hang of it, it is not that difficult. We are absolutely no experts, but shucking two dozen oysters takes us now only a few minutes. Here is the trick: first pry it a bit open by inserting the knife into the “hinge” at the back of the shell, then poke around for the muscle and once you find it, twist the blade firmly. Place the opened oysters on a plate of crushed ice and serve with your favorite accompaniments. And don’t forget that bottle of Laurent-Perrier.

Sam’s oysters on the half shell


12 shucked oysters on the half shell
6 tbsp Heinz Ketchup
½ lemon (juice)
4 tbsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp horseradish
Tabasco and salt

Mix all the ingredients, add Tabasco and salt to taste and enjoy with the oysters.

The oyster bonanza kicks off: Sam’s surf n turf

100 oysters for our readers ( least the recipies)

We are supposed to be a joie de vivre blog, right? Sure, we have some five star hotels and Michelin star restaurants but when you think “high life”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Obviously, champagne. Lots of it. And oysters. So, in an attempt to live up to our reputation, we went to Dakhla, famous for its oyster farms, and bought one hundred big ones. To prove to our readers (and to ourselves) that we really are a truly luxurious blog, every Wednesday for the next eight weeks we will present to you one new oyster recipe prepared by the samandthedunes team (keep your fingers crossed). Here is the first one:

Sam’s surf n turf oysters.


12 oysters
100 g bacon
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sause

Open the oysters and put them on a baking pan. Put rice under to keep the oystes stable. Drizzle Worcestershire sause over the oysters. Top with finely chopped bacon (pre-fried).

Grill in oven  for about 5-10 min. at 250 C (480F). Serve with chopped parsley and lemon wedge. Savor with a nice bubbly!


Spicy crab sticks

We had this pack of crab sticks in the fridge but didn’t really know what to do with them except for using in various salads. But one day we bought some noodles and it suddenly struck us, hmmm, what if…

OK, here is a hot recipe you can make without breaking a sweat (ah, but you will when eating). In fact, it will even make your eyes water.


200 grams crab sticks
1 red pepper, chopped
1 small chili pepper, chopped
½ can of pineapples, sliced
½ cup pineapple juice
200 grams sweet chili sauce
Sesame oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, curry
1 small leek, chopped

Put sesame oil, peppers, pineapples, chili and sweet chili sauce into a hot pan. Mix in the pineapple juice and the crab sticks.  Add salt, pepper, garlic and curry powder to taste. Cook for about 10 – 15 minutes. Boil the noodles. Add the spicy crab stick sause and garnish with chopped leeks. Enjoy with a glass of chilled rosé and beware – you will be breathing fire!

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