Author Archives: The Cooking spoon

Crispy Nori Summer rolls with Lime Soy Peanut sauce

Crispy Nori Summer rolls with an amazing lime soy peanut dipping sauce. We love Summer rolls, but this time I added a little extra Nori (seaweed sheet) and shallow fried them until crispy! And I can tell you that Summer rolls just got even better. They’re so easy to make too.
All you do is prep your veggies and shrimp, soak your rice sheets, place a nice piece of nori in the middle of the rice paper and layer your filling on top, roll ’em up and set aside. Then fry them for a few minutes and voilá.
So even when you are craving sushi, this is the way to go. If you find rolling sushi hard then adding a rice paper sheet is an easy trick to keep it all together. The frying is optional, but so delicious and crispy.

Serves 4


  • 16 rice paper sheets
  • 2 Nori sheets, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 32 small cooked shrimp
  • 50g. / 1.5 oz dried thin (rice) noodles
  • 2 cup finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup carrot sticks, or (bag) of shredded
  • 1/2 cucumber cut into stick, seeds removed
  • Fresh basil and chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. neutral oil for frying


  • 3 tbsp. peanut butter,
  • 2 tbsp. soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Sesame seed oil
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce (nam pla)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp  lime juice
  • 1/3 cup water or more
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder*
  • 1/2 tsp crispy chili (in oil) or sambal oelek


Cook or soak your noodles according to package directions and set aside.
Cut your veggies unless you are using store bought pre-shredded which is a great idea if you are in a hurry.
Make the dipping sauce by mixing all the ingredients and set aside.
Place a large pan over medium heat and add the cabbage with half a cup of water,  place a lid on the pan and bring to a boil.  Cook for one minute, drain a place cabbage on a plate. Do the same with the carrots.
The quickly fry the shrimp for a minute or two until just cooked.
The basil leaves and koriander are also in the line up.
Get a deep plate and fill with water, have a working board ready to place the soaked rice sheets on.

Now soak a rice sheet for 10 seconds in water, place on board. Place nori sheet in the middle and slightly at the bottom of the circle. Layer your ingredients in your favorite order, finish with koriander and basil leafs.
To roll, flip one side towards the middle, then the other, start rolling from the part nearest to you, all the way up until you have a tight roll.
Lightly grease a plate a place roll on it. Continue with the remaining rolls.
To fry, add one tablespoon of vegetable oil to a large frying pan**, and fry rolls on all sides for about 7 minutes or until light golden and crispy. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

**you can also use two frying pans to cook all the rolls in one go.



White Velvet Cake with custard buttercream and Raspberry filling.

This is the cake of your dreams. Velvet is the perfect word to discribe this cake. It is soft and pillowy and light. The velvety smooth buttercream, rich in vanilla,  melts in your mouth and complements the cake perfectly. There is a layer of smooth raspberry jam that adds just the right amount of tang to balance it all out. Try it, you will not regret it. Perfect for any celebration.


For the cake:

  • 3/4 c / 170 gr. soft unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 c. / 300 gr. granulated sugar
  • 3 c. / 300 gr. Cake flour*, spooned, leveled, and sifted
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt or (1/8 table salt)
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. / 15 ml.  pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/8 c. / 270 ml. whole buttermilk, at room temperature

For the velvety Buttercream:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 c. / 200 gr. sugar
  • 1/2 c. / 118 ml. Water
  • 2 c. / 450 gr soft butter
  • 2 tsp / 10 ml.  vanilla extract
  • to make your own cake flour, replace per 1 cup flour, a 1/4 cup of the flour with corn starch.

For the smooth Raspberry filling:

  • 1/2 c / 100 gr. Raspberry jam
  • 1/4 c / 60 ml. Water


Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line 2 x 9-inch/ 22 cm. round  cake tins with parchment paper. Lightly grease pans and parchment and dust with some flour to cover all surfaces then tip out excess flour.

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until light and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes, scraping the sides as needed.
Beat in egg whites, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.
In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients
Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a separate jug.
Gently add in flour and buttermilk mixture into butter mixture in the bowl in three times mixing gently on the lowest setting,  after each addition, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides in between to make sure all is mixed well.

Transfer batter to prepared pans.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30  minutes.
Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove cakes to wire racks and cool completely.

For the velvety Buttercream:
In a bowl beat the yolks with a hand mixer until pale.
Meanwhile melt sugar in a pan with the water until sugar is completely dissolved, do not stir! You can gently swirl, as soon as it boils remove from heat. 
In a steady stream, beat syrup into yolk mixture still beating, make sure syrup does not hit the beaters or syrup will fly everywhere.
Add in the butter gradually.
Ready to frost your cake.

For the smooth Raspberry filling:
Heat jam and water in a small pan, strain thru a sieve to remove seeds. Let cool.

To assemble cake.
Place first cake layer on plate, spread with raspberry filling.
Pipe buttercream all over and smooth out with spatula.
Place second layer on top.
Frost the entire cake with the remaining butter cream. You can add a little of the raspberry jam filling to the buttercream for a pink hue or dab jam on xake to create more deeper pink in certain places. Decorate and serve.
This cake is best on the day it is made. You can freeze the cake layers before frosting but I find it impacts the texture and the cake looses the lightness.

Crispy polenta crusted fish tacos

Our new favorite week-night dinner.  Crispy polenta crusted fish tacos!
These are going to become one of your favorite tacos too. Easy to make but still feel like  a special dinner.
Firm fish morcels are seasoned and coated in fine (instant) polenta. Then pan fried. Stuffed into corn taco shells and topped with a yummy  sauce. I topped them with some hot pineapple too.


  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour lour
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 4 firm fish fillets (tilapia), cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup oil for frying
  • Taco shells, 2 or 3 per person
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 2 avocados slices
  • Grated cheese optional
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp. Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
  • A few drops tabasco
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder


For the sauce, mix all the ingredients and set aside. 
For the fish, prepare a bowl with polenta, and an other bowl in which you beat the two eggs.
On a work board, season the fish and coat with flower by sprinkling the flour over the fish.
Dip each piece of fish, first in the beaten eggs and the roll thru the polenta, gently pressing to cover completely. 
When all the pieces are done, heat a frying pan with the oil anf fry the fish for about 4 to 5 minutes, turning once gently. Remove one piece to test if its done.
In the meantime place your pineapple in an oven proof dish and heat in the oven alongside the tacos shells, as per the instructions on the box.
To serve, place some shredded lettuce in each taco, pile on fish nuggets and warm pineapple and dollop some sauce on top. Serve with avocado wedges.

P.s. Any leftover sauce is great on sandwiches the next day, it will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. 

Dutch Apple Pie

It doesn’t get anymore Dutch than Apple pie!
Apple pie is served at every occasion in the Netherlands,  it’s available in every single cafe or restaurant and also every single supermarket.  And although these are ok, nothing beats home-made Dutch Apple pie.  This recipe has been in my family for generations and my grandmother’s apple pie is legendary. This is her recipe!
It’s very simple and that is the beauty of it. The best apples are Jonagold, they hold their shape and don’t loose too much moisture, also Braeburn, Elstar or Golden delicious are great and you can also use a mix of apples which is what I usually do.


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups (320g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup (60gr) fine sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (2 stick, 225g) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2-3 tablespoons very cold water
  • 6 large apples approximately, 
  • 1/4 cup (60gr) fine sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract


To make the dough, in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Add the cubed butter and half of the beaten egg (the other half is for brushing over the crust) and pulse again until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and pulse again until it just comes together when pressed.  Transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap, divide into two and shape into two disks. Wrap tightly and chill for an hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge and let stand for 10 minutes. 
Place one part of the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to an even thick large round big enough to cover the bottom and sides of an 8 inch / 20 cm cake tin. Flour the dough as needed slightly to prevent sticking. 
Line your tin with parchment paper then carefully transfer disk to tin, if it breaks its ok, just patch it up as you go. Make sure to line the sides evenly and all the way up. Place the pie tin in the fridge while you make the filling.

Pre heat oven to 160C/320F.
Make your filling by peeling and removing the core of your apples. Then cut into pieces of about 1/2″/1.5cm. Place in bowl and add the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and corn starch. Toss to mix and add the your pastry lined tin.
Roll out the second disk to a thickness of approximately 1/4″/0.6 cm to make the pretty lattice for the top. Cut into strips and place on apple filling to make a lattice pattern making sure to gently press the ends of the strips to the dough 8n the tin.
Brush all the visible dough with the remaining beaten egg 
Transfer to the oven and bake for one hour.
Transfer to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
Cut into wedges and serve as is or with whipped cream or ice cream.