Author Archives: The Cooking spoon

Thai Peanut Curry with Chicken Meatballs and Zucchini


Curries are always a great hit in our home, whether it’s just us or whether we have guests joining us for dinner. It’s so easy to prepare, everyone loves a Curry and it can be made in advance. This particular Curry is one I make very often because we love Thai Curries and also because it has Peanut butter in it. We love all things Peanut sauce, have you tried our Sate sauce?

TIP: I usually double the sauce and freeze half for later in small containers, it works so well for a quick dinner.

Prep time : 20 min
Cooking time : 20 min
Serves : 4




INGREDIENTS:


Meatballs
• 1 lb./450 gr. Ground chicken
• 1 clove garlic, grated
• 1 tsp. soy sauce
• 1 tsp. fish sauce
• 1 tsp. Thai red curry paste
• Ground pepper
• Grated lime zest, just a little bit

Curry sauce
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 2 medium shallots, minced
• 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated or minced
• 3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
• 1 zucchini in bite-size pieces
• 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
• ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
• 1 can coconut milk, 13.5 oz./400 ml.
• 1 tbsp. Palm sugar or brown sugar
• About ½-1 cup water
• 1 tbsp. Fish sauce (adjust to taste)
• Juice of ½ – 1 lime (adjust to taste)
• fresh cilantro, rice and chopped nuts for serving

More Thai ideas: 


INSTRUCTIONS:


1. In a large bowl, add the chicken mince and add the garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, Thai red curry paste, ground pepper and lime zest. Mix to combine and shape into meatballs about the size of a golf ball, set aside.
2. In a large pot, bring the oil to medium heat. Add the shallots, and cook for 3 minutes, or until translucent. Next add the ginger and garlic. Stir and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes.
3. Now add the curry paste, stir for a minute and add the peanut butter, fish sauce, sugar and coconut milk and water, bring to a simmer. Carefully add the meatballs.
4. Bring to a simmer again and cover partially with a lid, cook for about 15 minutes then add the Zucchini, cover and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes or until Zucchini is bite tender. Check throughout cooking if you need to add more water.
5. Add the lime juice and check the seasoning, add more fish sauce if you want it saltier. I always check that the meatballs are fully cooked by cutting one in half.
6. Serve warm over cooked rice, with more cilantro, lime wedges and some chopped nuts.

Enjoy!

Fideuá – Spanish Seafood noodle dish similar to Paella

Fideuá, is a Spanish dish very similar to Paella but uses “fideos” which is a tiny pasta (it looks like thin spaghetti cut into one inch pieces), instead of rice.

Fresh fish, squid, prawns, tomatoes, noodles all cooked together in a good home made fish stock.

Fideuá is similar to paella, mostly because it is cooked in a Paellera which is the large pan used for Paellas and Fideuás. You can buy them online, using a regular frying pan will only work if you are cooking for two people at the most, since the rice or the noodles need to be in a thin layer to get the perfect texture.

The best way to cook paella is outside on an open fire. But I make it on the stove all the time, when I’m using my 4 person paella pan. For larger amounts I cook it outside.

Serves : 4
INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (for cooking)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 400 gr. Cleaned Squid, cut into pieces
  • 400 gr. Firm fish, Halibut, Monkfish , Seabass….
  • 4-8 large Shrimp (optional)
  • 400 gr. Fideos nr. 4, or thin spaghetti broken into one inch pieces
  • ¼ cup canned tomato sauce (tomate frito)
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika (Pimentón de la vera)
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 4 cups (good quality) fish stock, preferable home made
  • Salt to taste
  • Aioli to serve
  • Lemon wedges to serve
  • Parsley to serve
  • Lot’s of Sangria to serve (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

First bring your stock to a simmer and have a ladle ready.
Have your onion chopped, garlic chopped, fish cut into large-ish pieces and squid cut into bite size pieces too.
Everything happens rather quickly so have everything portioned out, a little bowl with your paprika powder, the tomato sauce etc…
Heat the Paellera, (the paella pan) on medium high heat. Add the olive oil, and add the onion and stir for a few minutes until it starts to color slightly, add the garlic and stir for one more minute. Add the squid, and fry for a minute or two, add the fish and stir around carefully for another few minutes.
Now add the paprika powder, stirring all the time but and add the tomato sauce and Saffron.
Now add the the noodles , making sure to coat all of them in the oil and sauce, add about half of the hot stock, adding more as needed. If you need more liquid, add hot water.
Cook on high heat for about 10 minutes, lower the temperature and taste the liquid to see if you need to add more salt. Cook for another ten to fifteen minutes until the noodles are cooked. There should still be some liquid in the pan and the noodles will have stuck to the bottom of the pan in the middle and is considered the best part. Enjoy!
Serve straight away with Aioli and lemon.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

If you love Raspberries, you’re going to love this recipe. I’m a little obsessed with this bread at the moment and have been eating it every single day for the past two or three weeks, I can’t even remember, we just can’t get enough of it.

Dark chocolate chunks with sweet Raspberries are just the best combination ever. Put those two in a rich Banana bread batter and you are pretty much in Paradise.

I used freeze-dried Raspberries, because I happen to have them, but you can use fresh ones if you prefer. Frozen ones on the other hand will dye your bread pink.

I love dark chocolate, the darker the better but if you prefer a little sweeter chocolate, by all means use semi-sweet.

As for the bananas, use them very ripe, when they’re speckled with black dots.

I have used olive oil here, a very mild kind since I love the fruitiness it adds to the bread, perfect with the Raspberries.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 medium very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cup mashed)
  • 1/4 cup neutral olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour,
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks, or chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried Raspberries or 1 cup fresh raspberries

METHOD:

Pre heat the oven to 180C/350F. Lightly oil a 9×5-inch/23x13cm loaf tin and line with baking paper.

Puree the bananas in a food processor, add the oil, yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks.

Add the (freeze-dried) Raspberries and stir until mixed thru, don’t over-mix. You want to keep the Raspberries whole.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with the spatula.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out dry(-ish). It is still supposed to be moist since it’s a banana bread, however there should not be any batter still sticking to the skewer.
Should the bread become too dark you can tent some foil over the top loosely.

Remove from oven once it is finished baking and let it cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from tin with the parchment paper and let cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy!

Peaches and Cream Baked Oatmeal

Being a fan of Baked Oatmeal like I am, I rarely eat anything else for breakfast, the need for variation is almost a necessity. For this dreamy baked oatmeal recipe I was inspired by the classic Peaches and cream combination, perfect with all the juicy ripe Peaches available now. Since I wanted to make it spectacular in taste I added creamy Ricotta, and a lot of vanilla. It’s so so good, it’s basically dessert.

The baked oatmeal ends up with an almost pudding-like center (due to the ricotta) , a crispy exterior and juicy peach in every single bite. I have to say, this is now my favourite Summer breakfast. It honestly tastes like a decadent dessert, drizzle with a little honey, add a spoonful of Greek yoghurt or more Ricotta and you have yourself a dreamy breakfast that is easy to prepare ahead of time and super healthy too.

So, about the ingredients…

Peaches – Use yellow Peaches if you can, since they have a more intense Peach flavour that their white cousins.

Eggs – Eggs give lift and give the oatmeal structure, it also adds a good amount of proteins and nutritional value. 

Honey – you can adjust the amount to taste, it gives the baked oatmeal a sweet flavor that goes perfect with the Peaches and the Vanilla.

Baking powder – also for a good lift, making the baked oatmeal more cake-like

Cinnamon and nutmeg – just a hint of these two spices is enough to give the Oatmeal that something extra

Vanilla extract – use real vanilla bean if you can, otherwise a good extract. Vanilla is a must. 

Salt – a pinch of salt is what keeps it from tasting bland.

Milk – Use any kind of milk you like, the fattier the milk, the creamier the baked oatmeal will be. Plant milk works too.  

Butter – Let’s be real, is there anything better than butter, even a few tablespoons can work a miracle, it adds a lot of flavour and improves texture.

Oats – quick cooking oats this time, since I wanted a creamier end-result. 

Ricotta – adds all the creaminess.


Prep time : 15 min

Cooking time : 30

Serves : 6-8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp. melted butter for baking dish
  • 4 to 5 Peaches, not too ripe
  • 4 cups/400 gr. quick cooking Oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. grated Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml. melted butter
  • 1/3 cup/80 ml. Honey
  • scraping of one Vanilla bean or 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml. full fat Greek Yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml. milk of choice
  • 1/3 cup/120 ml. Ricotta

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Grease a 8 x 10 inch baking dish, or similar with the tablespoon of butter.
In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients, the quick-cooking oats, the baking powder, baking soda, the cinnamon, the nutmeg and the salt. Stir to combine well. 
In another bowl beat the eggs, the melted butter, the honey, the vanilla, the yogurt, the milk and the Ricotta.

Peel the Peaches*, slice in half, remove the the stone by twisting the halves, then cut into wedges. Divide into two portions.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to combine. Pour half the oat mixture into the greased baking dish and layer half the Peaches over the oats, cover with the remaining oats and place the remaining Peaches on top in a decorative pattern. Brush the Peaches gently with a little oil or use a little cooking spray, this will prevent them from burning or going to dark. Bake for 30 minutes, serve with additional Honey if desired and more Cream or Yoghurt.

Enjoy!

  • *If you are having trouble peeling the Peaches, you can cut a small cross into the crown of the Peach, plunge them into a pot of (no longer) boiling water for one or two minutes, until the skin cracks open then remove them straight away into an ice bath, then proceed to peel.

If you make this recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you.  And please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations!