Category Archives: Main

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!

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

10 Minute storecupboard Miso Ginger Rice Noodle Bowl

This is barely a recipe but I wanted to jot it down so I remember for next time, should I unexpectedly run out of food (again). And maybe this has happened to you too…
This is my go-to dinner when the fridge is empty and I am too tired to go to the store.
It’s very basic, made in a jiffy and good to have on hand just in case.
It does require some pantry items which I hope you have, like chili paste, rice noodles, soy sauce, miso etc…any veggies laying around in the back of your fridge will do.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups water
  • 4 eggs (or any other protein you may have)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 small/medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
  • 1 tsp. ginger, peeled, grated
  • 1.5 tbsp. soy sauce , more to taste
  • 2 tbsp. miso paste (I used white)
  • 2 tsp. Mae Pranom Thai chili paste (contains shrimp+tamarind)
  • 200 gr/7 oz. thick rice noodles
  • chili flakes
  • cilantro if you have it, which I didn’t…
  • 1 cup Broccoli florets or any other veggies
  • Lao gan ma crispy chili oil for drizzling on top. (The best chili oil in the history of mankind.)
  • 1 tsp. Sesame oil for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat a large pan or pot with a medium high rim, you’re cooking everything in here so you need the room for stock etc…
Put the kettle on for 2 cups of boiling water.
Place 2 to 4 eggs depending on appetite in a small pan cover with cold water, place on stove and bring to a boil, cook for 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and peel, set aside. Meanwhile…
Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil to medium heat,
Add 1 small finely chopped onion, 3 minced garlic and one teaspoon minced ginger.
Cook for 4 minutes, add 2 tbsp. Miso paste, 2 teaspoons shrimp chili paste and a pinch of chili flakes.
Add 2 cup of boiling water, add the rice noodles* and the broccoli, cook for 4 minutes on low heat. Turn off the heat and add some sesame oil.
Season with soy sauce.
Divide into two bowls, add boiled eggs cut in half and drizzle with crispy chili oil. If you have it, use cilantro, sesame seeds, chives or any other toppings you may have lying around. Enjoy!

Peach Halloumi Summer Salad with Sweet Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Ripe Sweet summer Peaches and crispy Halloumi, a salty, sweet and tangy element in every single bite. The sweet lemon Basil Vinaigrette just brings the whole salad to WOW level. Make this at your next Barbeque, so you can grill the Halloumi on there too or make it in a griddle pan in the convenience of your kitchen. 

Either way this salad is always good, as a side, lunch or as a dinner on it’s own. And make double the dressing, because it’s delicious on everything, grilled chicken, fish, sandwiches…..

As always, the salad ingredients are all optional and inter-changeable. Use what you have on hand, and leave out what you don’t like


Prep time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 2 minutes
Serves : 4 as a side, 2 as a light meal

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large bags of prepared salad mix, about 10-14 oz. / 300-400 gr.
  • 1 block Halloumi, drained and patted dry
  • 1 or two ripe peaches, pealed and cut into wedges
  • 1 or two Avocados
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 Spring onions
  • 1/4 cup whole Basil leafs
  • micro greens


SWEET LEMON BASIL VINAIGRETTE:

  • a handful Basil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 tbsp. Honey
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste



INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Get out a large serving platter, plate or salad dish and place all the lettuce leaves in the bowl.
  2. Place all the ingredients for the dressing in blender and blend for a minute to combine everything well.  Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Heat a small frying pan and toast the pine nuts, keep an eye on them since they burn quickly.
  4. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and again each half in half. Then cut into thick slices, so you end up with thick quarters. Arrange on top of the lettuce leafs.
  5. Cut the avocado in half and scoop out pieces using a small spoon and place on the salad.
  6. Arrange the red cabbage over the greens.
  7. Arrange the peaches over the greens.
  8. Slice the spring onions and sprinkle over the salad.
  9. Arrange micro greens on top of salad, if using. 
  10. Heat a griddle pan until hot. Slice the Halloumi into 1/4″ slices (1/2 cm) and place on the dry griddle pan and grill each side for one minute. Alternatively, grill on the barbeque.
  11. Place on top of the salad as soon as them come out of the pan.
  12. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the salad and serve straight away with plenty of the sweet lemon basil vinaigrette. 


Enjoy!!