Author Archives: The Cooking spoon

Thai Coconut Chicken saucy noodle soup

This quick and easy Thai inspired soup is what you need in your life right now! Cozy and comforting, and so perfect for cold weather. This fragrant soup comes together in no time and  is probably one of my favourite meals to make. Everyone loves a good bowl of noodles. Add a nice steaming hot fragrant broth to the mix and everyone will be begging you for seconds.

The soup is super simple to make. Chicken is simmered in a well seasoned broth, then shredded. Some delicious veggies are added and coconut milk together with some aromatics. The whole process takes about 30 minutes, the result is absolute comfort in a bowl.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tbsp. coconut oil
3 shallots,  peeled and chopped fine
2.5 cm / 1 inch, grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
2 – 3 tablespoons green Thai curry paste*
3 Kafir lime leafs**
1 stalk lemon grass,  bashed with cleaver
2 chicken breast
2 cups vegetables of choice*** fresh or frozen
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups coconut milk
1 tbsp.  fish or to tast
2 tsp. Sugar
1/4 cup (small handful)Thai basil
1/4 cup (small handful) Cilantro
Lime wedges for serving
Peanuts for serving
Scallions, sliced thin for serving
200 gr/ 8 oz pack thin wheat or rice noodles, 

*Thai curry paste can be very hot, so try two tablespoons first and add more if you like it hot.
**If you can’t find kefir lime leafs, use a little extra lime
***The vegetables I used are a frozen mix of bean sprouts , mangetouts, carrots, leek, onion. But you can add any fresh or frozen vegetable you like.

METHOD:


Heat coconut oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots,  ginger and garlic and cook for a few minutes.  Add curry paste a stir until fragrant.  Add the chicken broth, kafir lime leafs and lemon grass. Bring to a simmer.
Add the chicken breasts to the pot and simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes or untill chicken is cooked thru (depending on thickness).

Remove the chicken from the broth to a plate and shred with two forks. Add the coconut milk to the pan, bring to a simmer and return de chicken to the pot, together with the vegetables. Stir in the fish sauce and sugar.
In the meantime cook the noodles in a separate pot or soak according to the package directions.
Add the thai basil and cilantro to the pot reserving some for garnish.
Serve the soup in deep bowls over the noodle. Garnish with cilantro,  basil, lime wedges,  peanuts and spring onions. Serve piping hot. Crispy chili oil is also delicious on top, enjoy!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake pots

Layers of hazelnut, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie crumb, brownie bits and cream. An incredibly delicious dessert.

These are the perfect, “make in advance dessert”, almost like mini triffles. You can make these in cute little (mason) jars or glasses, perfect for a dinner party or to take along as a gift. Since they can be made ahead, there is no last minute fiddling about when you have guests over. Maybe serve these chocolate hazelnut cheesecake pots for your Thanksgiving dinner.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 chocolate chip cookies
  • 3/4 cup/180 ml. full fat natural unsweetened Greek yoghurt
  • 6.7 oz. / 200 ml natural cream cheese
  • 1 cup/240 ml. Whipping cream
  • 5 oz. /140 gr. Dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp./ 30 ml. rice syrup or sugar
  • 2 tsp./10 ml. Instant gelatine powder
  • 2 tsp./10 ml. vanilla paste or 1 tsp extract
  • 2 tbsp. 30 gr. hazelnuts chopped
  • 2 squares of brownie, store bought or homemade
  • 4 x drizzle of caramel, from a bottle

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place four glasses or jars on your kitchen counter, divide the chocolate chip cookies over the glasses by breaking them in pieces. Drizzle in a little caramel over the cookies in each glas.

Chop chocolate into very small pieces. Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add three tablespoons of the whipping cream, heat up but do not let it boil over low/medium heat. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let sit, covered for five minutes, then gently stir to combine.

Make sure your yoghurt and cream cheese are at room temperature. Place yoghurt and cream cheese in a bowl and add the one tablespoon of rice syrup or sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat by hand until smooth and combined well.

Pour the melted chocolate into the yoghurt very slowly and mixing constantly with a whisk until very well combined, set aside.

Beat the whipping cream with the remaining rice syrup or sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff and add gelatin powder and set aside.

Now you can layer your pots. On top of the cookies and caramel start layering chocolate cream cheese mixture, brownie pieces, whipped cream, drizzle of caramel and chopped hazelnuts. Repeat with another layer and ending with some cream. Then decorate with some extra chopped chocolate or brownie pieces. Cover and chill for at least two hours. These can be made a day in advance. Enjoy!

easy-chicken-soup-with-fluffy-spelt-dumplings

Easy Chicken soup with Fluffy Spelt Dumplings

This is a very comforting soup made in about a fourth of the time than regular chicken soup because of the use of breasts instead of a whole chicken. Making this a quick fix when you crave chicken soup with dumplings on a rainy day. Nothing beats a chicken and dumplings soup when you need a little comforting or are simply in the mood for a steaming bowl of nourishing goodness.

These dumplings are the ones I make all the time at home, the spelt flour makes the dumplings extra light and fluffy.

All you have to do is brown seasoned chicken breasts in some olive oil, add the stock and some herbs and onion and simmer until cooked through. Then you remove the chicken and shred or cut it into bite size pieces. In another pan, you pan fry the veggies and add the chicken broth. The dumpling mixture is a one bowl situation, mix everything and shape into balls and drop into the broth, voilà.

Serves : 4 (can easily be doubled)
Prep time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
stock:
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 chicken breast
1.5 L water
2 chicken stock cubes
2 bay leafs
1 onion cut in half with skin on for colour
2 cloves, pierced into the onion halves
small bunch of parsley, stalks only (use leafs for serving)

For the soup:
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil olive
1 cup cubed carrot
1 cup celery, cut into bite size pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped fine
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
black pepper to taste
parsley for serving

For the Dumplings:
2 cups white Spelt flour
4 tsp. baking powder
black pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each dried parsley and dried chives
3/4 cup milk
3 tbsp. olive oil

easy-chicken-soup-with-fluffy-spelt-dumplings

INSTRUCTIONS:
Place a large pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chicken breasts and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. I do this when I flip the breasts after browning one side. Meanwhile, boil the water in the kettle.
Once the chicken is nicely coloured, add the stock cubes by crumbling them between your fingers and add the hot water carefully. Add the onion with the cloves, the bay leaves and parsley stalks. Bring to a very slow simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts.
Once the breasts are cooked through remove them to a plate to cool slightly and strain the stock through a sieve and put back in the large pot and back on the stove to keep hot.

Now make the dumpling mix, by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl, adding a little extra flour if it seems to wet or a little extra water or milk if it seems to dry. The mixture should be soft but shape-able. Set aside.

Heat large pot with a wide opening so you can fit a lot of dumplings in one go* (see note), add the tablespoon of butter and the tablespoon of olive oil. Add all the chopped veggies to the pan and cook until they start to get slightly golden. Add the oregano, thyme and the stock. Bring to a simmer, the veggies will not need too long since they are chopped small, about 15 to 20 minutes in total. So after about 10, minutes you can add the shredded chicken and follow up with the dumplings. Carefully drop the dumplings into the soup, making sure they do not touch. Place a lid on the pot and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 12- 13 minutes. Flip dumplings over with the use of two spoons and cook for another two minutes, with the lid of the pan back on. They will fluff up a lot, so do not overcrowd the pan. Once they care cooked thru, sprinkle with parsley and serve straight away, maybe with some grated Parmesan cheese.

NOTE : Sometimes, I like to cook the dumplings separately if I make a lot of dumplings at the same time. Just heat a pot with simmering salted water and cook dumplings according to the recipe. Later you can add them to the soup, when ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Baked souffle Oatmeal with Figs and Pears

Baked oatmeal is a great way to enjoy a classic breakfast, but this version is guaranteed to knock your socks off!  The soft and fluffy texture of this baked oatmeal souffle is velvety and light. Perfect for this time of year when we are transitioning slowly into fall. It’s also very easy to make!

You could customize this to any flavor you like, if you prefer apples or only pears over figs.  It’s all good. I love the combination of the figs with the cardamom, but you can omit this and just use cinnamon instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup  rolled oats
  • 1 1/2  cups milk of choice
  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp. Melted butter
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3 figs (ripe but firm), sliced
  • 1 ripe, firm pear, sliced
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • maple syrup for serving

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Butter a 9-10”/22-25cm. dish and set aside.

Place oatmeal in a large bowl, add salt, baking powder and spices.

In a measuring jug, beat egg yolks and add milk. Stir in vanilla, maple syrup and melted butter. pour this over the dry ingredients and combine with spatula.

In a very clean (and fat free) mixing bowl, add the egg whites and beat on med/high speed with a hand mixer for about 5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.

Carefully and gently fold the egg whites into the oatmeal until just combined.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish/skillet and top with sliced figs and pears in a pretty patern. Sprinkle with a little sugar and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until set,  golden and puffed up.  Once you remove the souffle from the oven it will sink slightly, don’t worry this is perfectly normal. Serve with maple syrup.

Enjoy!