Writing recipes for a restaurant like Amigo feels a bit weird, especially as I’ve got no connection to the food scene in any way. However, throughout the last two years, cooking has been one of the ways to deal with the stress (and free time) of the lockdowns.
So, when Amigo asked me to make a top 10 list, this felt like the only logical choice – I don’t want to bother you with travel destinations or vinyl albums. Anyways, I’m not a pro – at all – so bear with me as I try to explain how you can make my favourite creations yourself. Any of these will go down very well with the mix I’ve made for the occasion.

Bon appetit!

Listen also to Jonas’ guest mix on WAV for Amigo’s MFSP series. Broadcasted on Thursday 09.12 between 13h & 14h45

1. Spicy semolina with corn and peanuts

Took this one from the latest Ottolenghi book. It only came out in September, but I’ve already made this dish about 5 times. It’s so damn fast and easy + it’s a great leftover lunch for the next day. The original recipe is a bit unnecessarily complicated, so I’ve dumbed it down a bit.


– 75 g semolina, not the ultra-thin kind

– Olive oil

– 400 g of canned corn

– 80 g of roasted salted peanuts

– 1 green chilli pepper, chopped finely (leave out the seeds if you don’t like spicy)

– 2 limes

– 20 g of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely

– 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

– 200 ml coconut milk

– Fresh cilantro

– Dry herbs:

  • cinnamon powder (half a teaspoon)
  • cumin seeds (1 teaspoon)
  • about five cloves
  • turmeric powder (half a teaspoon)

Start by toasting the herbs quickly: add the dry spices (except the turmeric) to a hot sizeable deep pan (no oil!). Once they start smelling real good (usually no more than a minute), add the corn and half of the chilli pepper (and some salt) for about 3 minutes. Then add the peanuts and roast for another 3 to 5 minutes (until the corn and peanuts start to brown). Next, get the whole pan off the stove, take out the cloves and stir in the juice of half a lime. Split this mixture in half. Set one aside, and use a hand mixer to blend the other until it’s smooth like a puree.

Place the pan back on the stove, add some oil and put on medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger and the rest of the chilli pepper and take a deep breath because this is the best smell in the whole world. After about 2 minutes, add 400 ml of water, coconut milk (keep a bit on the side for garnish), turmeric powder, and salt – wait until it boils. Now add the semolina, bit by bit, slowly but surely, while stirring because you don’t want it to clog up. Next, add the mixed half of the corn and keep stirring until it’s all smooth like porridge, nice and thick – usually no more than 5 minutes. Serve in deep noodle/soup bowls, sprinkle over some leftover coconut milk, the unmixed half of the corn/peanuts, some fresh cilantro and a lime wedge. Thank me (and Yotam) later.

2. Couscous Deluxe

Couscous is, of course, super simple, but I love how you can always add whatever you have lying around to upgrade a straightforward meal. It’s so easy to make a lot of it – great for having people over or when you want to have lunch for the next day. Anyways, my test-and-tried recipe goes as follows:


– 400-500 g couscous

– 2 limes (or lemons)

– 500 ml chicken broth

– 50 g butter

– Honey

– Feta

– 2-3 shallots

– A bunch of radishes

– About 400 g of sugar snaps or green beans (boiled)

– Fresh mint, coriander and persil (at least 20 g each)

– Seeds from one pomegranate

– Some seeds and nuts

This list may sound super complicated, but you can add or omit anything, as long as you start with the following: fire up the oven to 200 degrees, put a pan on the stove and bring the chicken broth, honey and all the lime juice (also add the zest from one lime if you can) to a boil. Next, put the couscous in a deep oven dish and pour over that broth mix. Put all that in the oven for about 15 or 20 minutes, take it out and let it cool down. After that, it’s just about chopping up and adding all the other stuff + adding salt and pepper. The more you add, the more impressed your guests will be.

3. Indonesian fried rice

The kind of dish you can eat for breakfast and dinner. You can go all the way spice-wise, but here’s a quick and easy version I like to use when I don’t feel like spending too much time in the kitchen.


– 200 g Jasmin rice

– 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

– A big thumb of ginger, peeled and chopped finely

– 300 g shredded white cabbage

– 200 g sugar snaps or green beans

– 2 stems of green onion

– Sambal Oelek, two tablespoons

– Ketjap Manis, three tablespoons

– One egg per person

– 1 lime

– Coconut powder (optional)

First, cook your rice. Second, boil the sugar snaps (or green beans) in salted water for 2-3 minutes. Once all that’s done, leave it on the side. Now fire up a large deep pan with some oil (preferably sunflower or peanut oil), add the garlic, the ginger and the sambal oelek — fry for about a minute (or two, until it becomes super fragrant). Now add the cabbage and the green onions (leave some for the garnish) and stir-fry for another 5 minutes. While this is going on, turn the eggs into omelettes in another pan. Next, add the ketjap and the rice to the vegetable mix and continue stir-frying for another 5 minutes. To serve: put the rice mix in a noodle/soup bowl, lay an omelette on top, sprinkle over some coconut powder and the rest of your green onion. Add a wedge of lime for good measure.

4. Sweet potato shakshuka with sriracha butter

Ok, I might be an Ottolenghi fanboy, sue me. But how can your interest not be peaked when you read shakshuka and sweet potato in the same sentence? In the meantime, this dish has become a regular over here.


– 1 kg of sweet potato, don’t peel them

– 1 small red onion

– 3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

– 1 lemon

– Olive oil

– 150 g shredded cheddar

– 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds

– 4 eggs

– Sriracha hot sauce

– About 50 g of unsalted butter

Ok, bear with me. Put the oven at 200 degrees, puncture the potatoes with a fork a few times and let them bake in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size. Once done, take them out and let them cool down – and lower the temperature to about 180 degrees. While this is happening, cut the onion into super thin rings, place them into a bowl, squeeze out the lemon juice over it, add a pinch of salt, and let this marinate for a bit.

Now comes the fun part: peel off the potato skin with your bare hands, and rip them into 5-centimetre pieces, more or less. Spread this out over an oven sheet, spray over some olive oil, some salt and pepper – and bake it for about 8 minutes in the oven (which should be at 180 degrees by now). Watch closely because you don’t want to let them burn. Finally, take them out and let them cool down. You now have sweet potato chips.

Mash the potato flesh with a fork until it’s puree, add the cheddar, the garlic, the cumin seeds, some salt and pepper – and give it a swirl. Heat a pan (that you have a cover for) to medium heat with a spoonful of oil and bake the potato mixture. Make sure it’s spread evenly across the whole pan and heat for about 10 minutes. Next, press four holes in the puree with a spoon and crack open an egg in each of them. Add more salt and pepper, put the cover on and sway the pan back and forth for a bit. Now, wait 5 minutes.

In those 5 minutes, you’ll need to do one more thing, and you’re ready: heat the butter and the sriracha sauce in another small sauce pot (on medium-high). Wait until everything has melted, but keep stirring almost constantly until the butter is about to boil (don’t actually let it boil).

Now it’s dinnertime: put the pan in the middle of the table, open the cover, pour over the butter, the marinated onions, the potato chips (make sure you leave some for your own snacking needs, hehe) and some fresh cilantro. You have now earned bragging rights.

5. Roasted Pumpkin Soup

(Sorry I don’t have any of my own pictures for this recipe). Soup is easy, but when you roast the vegetables before mixing them, you can make it so much more tasteful. This is what I make when it’s miserable Belgian weather outside. Goes very well with some sourdough bread and proper butter.


– A pumpkin (around 1 kg, doesn’t matter what kind)

– 2 big onions

– 3 pieces of garlic

– 1 litre vegetable broth

– A mix of dry herbs (cumin, curry, turmeric, ground coriander, paprika, etc.)

– Pumpkin seeds (roast them if you can)

– Feta

Put the oven on 180 degrees. Roughly cut up the pumpkin, onions and garlic (and feel free to add whatever vegetables you have lying around). Spread them on an oven plate, pour over a bit of olive oil and the dry herbs (see my suggestion above, but works fine with most combinations – I add a chilli pepper in there sometimes) and let it roast for about 20 minutes, take out when they look well-done. In the meantime, take a big Dutch oven or soup pan, bring the broth to a boil and add the roasted vegetables to the mix. Use a hand mixer until it’s silky smooth, garnish with the pumpkin seeds and feta et voila.

6. Hangover Cheeseburger Rice

(Same here, don’t have my own picture, unfortunately). My ultimate hangover comfort food. I know it’s completely irresponsible culinary behaviour, but since we’re sinning anyway, we might as well go all the way.


– 500 g of cooked white rice, preferably already a day old or at least cooled down

– Bacon bits (around 100 g)

– Minced meat (between 100-200 g)

– 1 onion, chopped up in small pieces

– 100 g of yellow mustard (the sweet American kind, not the sharp European versions)

– A pack of shredded cheddar

– A pack of chopped lettuce

– Sesame seeds

Fire up the stove, and fry the bacon pieces until they are nearly done. Add the onion and continue frying for a few minutes. Now add the mustard, and take the pan off the stove while the whole mix cools down. Fry the minced meat in a big wok pan (add salt and pepper) until it looks done. Now add the bacon-onion-mustard mixture, the rice and the cheddar for another good 5 minutes or so. Add more mustard to your liking. Serve in a bowl and garnish with the sesame seeds and some hot sauce. Now curl up on your sofa and watch an entire season of Friends.

7. Butter Chicken

Ok, here comes the big one. I don’t usually like dishes that require a few hours of preparation, but this one is so damn good I make it at least once a month. Perfect comfort food for the weekends, and easy to make a lot of, so you have dinner for a few days. I stole this idea from a Matty Matheson video on Munchies, but with personal tweaks. This recipe serves at least four people.


– Around 1 kg of chicken breasts, cut into chunky pieces

– Between 500 g and 1 kg of washed Jasmin rice (depends on how hungry you are)

– 2 yellow onions, chopped

– 120 g of ghee (if you can’t find this: regular unsalted butter works too)

– 50 g of unsalted butter

– Olive oil, around six tablespoons

– 5-6 garlic cloves

– 2 red chillies, more if you like it hot, roughly chopped (throw away the seeds if you don’t like spicy)

– Fresh ginger, about three large thumbs, peeled

– Tomato paste, one tiny can

– Around 800g of tomato puree / strained tomatoes

– 200 ml of heavy cream or coconut milk

– Fresh cilantro

– Dry herbs (2-3 tablespoons each)

  • turmeric
  • paprika
  • garam masala
  • ground coriander
  • ground cumin
  • (optional: a teaspoon of chilli powder)

A Dutch oven will work best here, but you can use any big pot. First, add the olive oil, chillies, onion and ginger in a blender until it becomes a smooth purée. Now heat the ghee/butter on medium-high, add the purée and fry for about 15 minutes (damn, that smell). Now add the tomato paste (not the tomato puree, this will come later) and all the dry herbs and cook for 5 minutes. The stuff will be really sticky at this point, so add about 350 ml of water and scrape off the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Once you’ve done that, add the tomato puree, wait until it gets boiling, then put on low heat. Cover your pot and let it simmer for around an hour – stir from time to time. The result should be a thick, flavorful sauce.

While this is on, prepare your Jasmin rice. You can do it quick and easy, or you can pimp it like I like to do. If you want to go down that road: wash your rice with cold water and a sieve. Then add it to a large pot, with double the volume of water. Next, add some dry herbs like cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, curry leaves, star anise, salt, and a good bit of pepper. Let the whole thing come to a boil until there’s no more water. Take out all the herbs before you serve, of course.

Ok, so how’s the sauce going? Once it has been stewing for an hour, add the chicken pieces and let them boil in the sauce for another 15 minutes. Add the heavy cream (or coconut milk) and the butter to finish. Please give it a good whirl et voila. To serve: fill a noodle or soup bowl with your rice, add a good splash of butter chicken on top, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

8. The Ultimate Breakfast Burger

My favourite dish to make on a long sunny Sunday morning. The same applies here: the ingredients are just a suggestion; this dish is super adaptable to anyone’s taste.


– Fresh pistolets from the bakery

– Bacon strips

– Eggs

– Avocado

– Lime

– Small pack of lamb’s lettuce and/or rucola

– Dairy/cheese spread, the cheap kind

– Fresh chives

First, chop up the chives, add them to a bowl with the cheese/dairy spread and a few drops of lime juice, and give it a swirl. You have now made a fresh herb cheese spread – put aside. Mash the avocado in a different bowl with a fork (add pepper and salt, maybe some lime juice and even a chopped shallot or onion if you want to go full guac). Fry the bacon strips, put them aside as well. Cut the pistolets in half and fry them for a bit in the same pan, so they soak up that sweet, sweet bacon juice and get a bit crunchy. Now make some omelettes separately, sprinkle them with herbs (chives, turmeric, paprika and cajun are recommendations) and some pepper and salt. Now for the fun part: spread that cheese-chive mix on both pistolet halves, and get creative with all the other ingredients in between. Under no circumstance you will be able to eat this without spilling your food all over the table, but what’s a burger if it isn’t overstacked?

9. Watermelon Salad

(Sorry, had to go look for a stock image for this one). I don’t have a sweet tooth. This is probably the only dessert I make, and that’s just because it’s so damn simple and effective. It’s literally ready within 5 minutes, and the sweet-salt combo is delish.


– Watermelon

– Feta

– A good bunch of fresh mint

– Olive oil (if you have spicy olive oil, even better)

Chop up the watermelon and feta in cubes and add the chopped mint. Pour over some olive oil, and that’s literally it. Sprinkle over some lemon zest if you feel fancy. Pro tip: the watermelon can also be replaced by khaki.

10. Homemade Masala Chai

(Another stock image, sorry). Everybody loves a good masala chai, and you’d be surprised how easy it is to make a great homemade version yourself. Of course, you need to have all these spices, but other than that, it’s a straightforward way to make yourself a drink while you watch Netflix on the couch under your blanket.

Ingredients for 2 cups:

– 2 cups of whole milk/oat milk

– A table spoon of black tea

– A cinnamon stick

– A few pieces star anise

– 3-4 pods of cardamom

– A teaspoon of cloves

– A teaspoon of black pepper seeds

– A good piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

– A few pinches of turmeric powder

– Sugar (or honey, but sugar works best in my opinion)

Get a medium pot fired up on medium heat. Toast the herbs (except the ginger and turmeric) for about a minute until that sweet smell kicks in. Then add the milk, ginger, turmeric and tea and bring to a boil. Make sure you keep stirring often and scrape the bottom, add the sugar to your liking (don’t be afraid to use a lot – I like it super sweet, so go crazy if you want). As it’s about to boil, turn off the fire, let it cool for a few minutes, sieve out all the herbs and tea, and there’s your cup of comfort.