Category Archives: Food Blog

Spelt Soda Bread, dairy free

Soda Bread, dairy free.1

I’m going to hop right in to this….this Soda Bread is my favorite quick bread yet. It’s so fast that I won’t be buying bread for a long time. I can decide to make bread and 45 minutes later be eating it for lunch, we just love it.

The best thing about this Dairy free Soda Bread recipe is…..yes, you guessed it….it’s that it’s dairy free. So you don’t need to have buttermilk in the fridge.

Personally, I don’t enjoy the density that results of the use of dairy in a soda bread, it’s just too heavy for my taste, that’s why I came up with this version.

As you can see in the recipe below, it honestly couldn’t be simpler. Flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt a touch of honey and some plain vinegar to get the baking soda going, that’s it. Don’t let the vinegar scare you off, because it is just a little bit to replace the acidity from the buttermilk in conventional recipes. And you do not taste it at all.
I’ve been baking this Spelt Soda Bread every day for the last few months and my family absolutely loves it.

I use organic Spelt flour, so super healthy and absolutely no additives!

Give it a try, you’ll see what I mean. And I would love to hear your comments.
This loaf will keep for 2 days at room temperature but is best eaten the same day. It does freeze well. Freeze in a zip lock bag and take out slices as you need them.

This is a small loaf and will serve 3 to 4 people
Prep time is 10-15 minutes
Cooking time is 30 minutes

Soda Bread, dairy free.4

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups / 170 gr. whole grain Spelt flour
2 cups / 240 gr. white Spelt flour
1 tsp. / 5 gr. baking soda
1/2 tsp./ 2.5 gr. baking powder
1/2 tsp./2.5 gr. salt (for kosher salt you might need a little more)
2 tsp./ 10 ml. of honey
2 tsp./ 10 ml.  apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar
1 1/8 cups. / 270ml. cup hand warm water

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre heat oven to 400 F / 200 C, with baking tray in the middle position of the oven.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Gently mix together until well combined (I always use a whisk)
In a jug mix honey with water and vinegar and stir to combine.
Don’t mix bread until your oven is hot. This because baking soda only works for about 30 minutes, we need all the leavening action we can get so wait until oven is hot!
Then add water/honey/vinegar mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine. Quickly shape into a ball, adding a little extra flour if you need it. Place on parchment paper and make a cut or two in the ball of dough. Quickly place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
The loaf should sound hollow when tapped on, also pierce with a wooden skewer all the way through to make sure loaf is thoroughly cooked.
A great little tip is to place a small (oven safe) bowl with hot water in the back of the oven, moisture will help rise the dough and I actually do this with all my breads. I hope you love this loaf as much as we do.

Enjoy!

Soda Bread, dairy free.1

A Spelt Soda Bread to remember!

Pecan Cranberry stuffed Pork Roast

Pecan Cranberry stuffed Pork Roast is the best to feed a crowd.

If you’re on a budget or if you don’t have a lot of people coming over this Christmas, or for whatever reason (still a lot of restrictions in Europe) a roast Pork is a great idea!

This delicious roast pork is stuffed with sausage meat, onions, pecans and cranberries, all of those wonderful Christmas flavors, so you can imagine how thrilled I am about this easy roast. And also, this way you won’t be stuck with a wheelbarrow of leftover turkey, maybe just enough for a sandwich the next day.

You can serve this with mashed potatoes or roast potatoes and lots of different roast vegetables. Or if you want a super quick side dish you could make polenta, which might even be the best choice, with some butter and parmesan.

INGREDIENTS:

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup fresh sausage meat, half a pound roughly (Casings removed)
  • 1 tsp. dry sage
  • 1/2 tsp. all spice
  • 1 Pork loin, 2 1/2-3 lbs.
  • a good drizzle of olive oil

For tray and gravy

  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • a few sage leafs
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • one glass of red wine or port
  • one tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup stock

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fry onion in olive oil over medium heat, add garlic after two minutes and cook gently until golden.
  2. Add dry sage and allspice, give it a stir and remove from the heat, let cool completely.
  3. Cut pork loin open to form a blanket or ask your butcher to do this.
  4. Spread the pork loin out on a cutting board and season generously with salt and pepper, on both sides.
  5. Mix onion-spice mixture with sausage meat, pecans and cranberries. Spread over pork leaving a one inch/2.5cm strip uncovered on the outer end (away from you). Roll up the pork carefully and tie with butcher’s string. If you have difficulty tying, use small pieces of string that fit around once and tie to make a knot. Use 4 to 5 pieces of string, it doesn’t matter as long as it holds together, we will remove the string before serving anyway.
  6. Heat oven to 200 C/400 F
  7. Place pork on a bed of onion, carrots, Celery and herbs. Drizzle with olive oil
  8. Bake for 30 min. Reduce temp to 180 C/350 F and cook for another 45 min. Depending on size or meat. It’s 30 minutes per pound.
  9. For the gravy, remove pork from tray to let rest for 5 to ten minutes, covered lightly with aluminum foil. Remove the strings before serving.
  10. Place tray on the hob on medium heat and scrape the bottom of the pan, add one glass of red wine, or port. Stirring all the time, add a tablespoon of flour and stir it to combine well. Now slowly add chicken or beef stock until desired consistency. Let cook for a few minutes and strain into a sauce boat.
  11. Serve sliced with gravy and your favorite vegetables and potatoes. Enjoy!

Crisp Amaretto Cherry Pots

As soon as the weather changes we love having crumbles for dessert, there’s something so utterly comforting about warm fruit with a buttery crispy topping. Besides being so simple to make the possibilities are endless.
I made these individual pots for a dinner party dessert with added Amaretto for the adults but if you don’t want to use alcohol you can simply omit or even substitute for a few drops of almond extract. See note below. 

INGREDIENTS:
For the crisp topping
• 200gr. all purpose flour
• 100gr. sugar
• 140gr. unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed, plus a little for greasing
• 60 gr. ground or finely chopped almonds
• Pinch of salt
For the filling
• 500 gr. Frozen pitted black cherries
• 1 tbsp. corn starch (maizena)
• 2 tbsp. sugar
• Pinch of cinnamon
• 2 tablespoons Amaretto liquor* (optional, and leave out for children)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre heat the oven to 200C/180C
1. In a large mixing bowl, place the flour, sugar, pinch of salt and the cubed butter. Mix with your hands until it you have a crumbly mixture with still some lumps of butter remaining.
2. Toss in the almonds and mix to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, toss the cherries together with the sugar, cinnamon and corn starch. Pour over the Amaretto and stir to combine.
4. Spoon mixture into 6 oven safe ramekins and spoon the crumble over the filling.
5. Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until the top is golden and the cherries are bubbling.
6. Serve hot or at room temperature with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or crème fraiche.
Enjoy!


∗Substitute Amaretto for a few drops almond extract, a little goes a long way since almond extract is quite strong.

Need more crumble inspiration? Try these….

 

 

Potatoes baked in Salt Crust

This irresistible dish is a joy for everyone at the table.

New potatoes are cooked buried in a pile of damp salt, which seals them in completely. This intensifies the potato flavor and once cooked the texture is creamy and buttery, like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.

This is a very old cooking method that has been used for centuries, also common for cooking fish and meat. Potatoes however are the perfect dish to start off with if you are new to cooking in salt. It’s spectacular yet surprisingly easy.
Bring the whole dish of salt covered potatoes to the table so everyone can dig out their own potato treasures.

I like to serve them with some Aïoli and butter. This is a true feast for everyone!


Prep time : 10 min
Cooking time : 50 min
Serves : 6
Square / round pan / tin

INGREDIENTS:

• 3 lbs. new potatoes with skin on
• 2 lbs. coarse salt
• Rosemary, about one tablespoon dried or a few twigs fresh
• A few bay leafs
• 1 tbsp. coarse black pepper, cracked or ground coarse
• 6 Garlic cloves, some sliced, some small ones left whole with skin on

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 180C /350F

Spread half the salt on the base of a large baking dish.

Nestle the new potatoes on top and sprinkle with the rosemary, bay leafs, pepper, and garlic then cover completely with the remaining salt.

Using a clean plant spray bottle, spray water on the crust gently without soaking, just a few times is enough.

Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 50 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve in the baking dish, so everyone at the table can scoop out their potatoes, dust off the salt and enjoy with a little butter or aioli.

If you make these potatoes baked in salt crust, be sure to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you and if you love it, pin it. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! @thecookingspoonblog or hashtag it #thecookingspoonblog