Spice Roast Chicken

 

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Spiced Roast Chicken

 

I just had one of those evenings where I couldn’t decide in which direction to go with flavouring my beautiful  organic chicken.

I was in the mood for Mexican, but also Smokey Bbq so I ended up somewhere in the middle with this amazing Spice Rub.

It was really the best rub ever, so simple but with great result! The right direction for sure!

Slow roasting a chicken is the way to go, chicken doesn’t like high heat so better to take the time and roast slowly for the best flavour development and juiciness.

I can still hear my father say, looong and slooow while roasting the Christmas Turkey.

That has stuck with me and it applies to all poultry.

The Chicken gets a beautiful deep golden crust, the flavor is smokey, spicy, salty and sweet all at the same time.

I’m making a jar full of this stuff to keep within reach.

 

Ribbet collage

INGREDIENTS:

SPICE RUB:

  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 ½  teaspoons  salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • ½  teaspoons crushed dried chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½  teaspoon  garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons  olive oil

CHICKEN:

  • 3 pound chicken
  • 2 heads of garlic separated into cloves
  • Sprig each of  Thyme and  rosemary, 2 bay leafs 

ADDITIONAL:

  • 2 lbs. Potatoes, peeled and quartered

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 160° C /  320° F
  2. Wash the chicken with cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Sit on a board.
  3. In a bowl mix the  ingredients for the spice rub and add the oil to form a thick-ish paste.
  4. Hold the chicken with one hand and with the other loosen the skin by inserting a finger between the skin and the breast forming a pocket. You can also do this by using the back of a wooden spoon. But be gentle not to break the skin.
  5. Put a few teaspoons of the past under the skin and spread out, repeat with the other breast.
  6. Rub the remaining paste all over the chicken and inside the cavity.
  7. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  8. In the cavity insert the herbs and one head of garlic separated into cloves.
  9. Place the chicken in a roasting tin that has been lined with baking paper (easier to wash up) .
  10. Cover very loosely with a piece of tin foil that is the same size as the chicken.
  11. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for two and a half hours. Basting twice during cooking, by pouring the juices from the baking tray over the chicken.
  12. After one hour add the potatoes and remaining garlic cloves and toss thru the juices and fat in the tin.
  13. After an hour and a half, remove the tin foil.
  14. Bak until golden and crispy.
  15. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes, loosely covered with foil.

 

Enjoy!

Myra XO

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If you make this recipe make sure to post it on Instagram and tag me #thecookingspoonblog

 

….’cause sharing is cool!

 

Fool Proof Lasagna

Classic Lasagna Fool Proof

Fool Proof Lasagna

Nothing beats classic lasagna!

And this is the easiest recipe you will ever make. It’s FOOL PROOF , which means anyone can make it even if you have never cooked before. Follow the recipe exactly and you will be super happy with the result. Also it can be made ahead of time and it’s freezer-friendly too!

This recipes takes some more time to make and a little bit of effort than most of my recipes  – but I promise you, it’s worth it. I even double the recipe some times and freeze  it.

The lasagna has layers of classic meat sauce, bechamel and cheese.  A.K.A. layers of goodness!

This one of those dishes that tastes even better the very next day! So if you have leftovers, lucky you!

Fool Proof Lasagna

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 9 fresh lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 oz. finely chopped bacon
  • 1 onion peeled and diced small
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 Cup Passata (tomato sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. bouillon powder or 1 1/2 cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 C. red wine or water (red wine gives a fuller flavour)

BECHAMEL:

  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 Cups milk
  • a grating of nutmeg, about 1/8 tsp.
  • 1 bay leaf

ADDITIONAL: 

  • 3 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves or basil

DIRECTIONS MEAT SAUCE:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F / 180° C . Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  • Heat  a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and fry until it starts releasing a bit of fat, add the ground beef and onion and cook until beef has browned, add the garlic. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; season with pepper, to taste. Drain off excess fat. Put back on the heat. Stir in the passata, bouillon powder and Italian seasoning until well combined. Add the wine or water and let simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Since you are using fresh pasta you don’t want the sauce to be too wet.
  • Remove from heat.
Fool Proof Lasagna

DIRECTIONS BECHAMEL:

  1. Heat a large pot with a thick bottom, add the butter and melt.
  2. Add the flour and stir with a whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly, until very well combined and there are no lumps at all.
  4. Add the bay leaf and nutmeg.
  5. Simmer for about ten minutes until flour is fully “cooked”
  6. Remove from heat.

ASSEMBLE LASAGNA:

  1. Spread 1 cup tomato mixture onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the bechamel sauce and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat . Top with remaining noodles, tomato mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan.
  2. Place into oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until bubbling.
  3. Let cool 15 minutes. This is an important step! *
  4. Serve, garnished with parsley or tiny basil leafs, if desired.

 

Fool Proof Lasagna

Fool Proof Lasagna

 

*RESTING:Letting the Lasagna rest for 15 minutes will ensure that you can cut beautiful squares or portions.

*MAKE-AHEAD: Cover lasagna tightly with foil. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through and golden on top.

*TO FREEZE UNCOOKED: Cover lasagna tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. To bake, remove plastic wrap, cover and bake for 90 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

*FREEZE COOKED: sometimes I will make this recipe and divide it into four portions and pack them into foil baking dishes. Then freeze, when I’m in a hurry I will only have to defrost and place on a plate and microwave, and believe me….still really delicious.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Endive Salad with Grilled Peaches, Feta and Boursin Dressing

 

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The end of Summer is here. And with that sadly also the end of Peaches and Nectarines.

I have broken the promise I made to myself to make tons of peach recipes this summer, but I didn’t nearly make as many as I had planned originally. I’ve eaten tons of peaches obviously (and very grateful) but not as many recipes as I had hoped for. The summer has passed by so quickly that I’m almost freaking out about the peaches coming to an end.

Note to self: freeze some peaches before they’re all gone!

So before it’s too late here’s one salad that it fun, delicious and crunchy with feta cheese and juicy grilled Peaches. And so simple with just a few ingredients.

Since endive aka chicory can be a little bitter, what better way to compensate that than to add some juicy grilled stone fruit.

And then there’s the Boursin dressing, seriously a joy for life! And one that will go with anything, or even as a dip or over baked potatoes. I could keep going for a while.

Basically this salad covers it all,  savoury,  sweet, bitter, crunchy, acidic, juicy……YUM!


 

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⏰ Prep time: 10 min.

🍲 Cooking time: 10 min

🍴 Serves : 4 as a side

 

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 4 endive spears, gently cleaned
  • 2 large peaches
  • 4 oz. feta, cubed
  • some parsley
  • Boursin dressing
  • chili flakes

 

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut off the bitter ends from the endive spears, pull off some leafs and leave them whole.
  2. Chop the remaining endive and arrange on a platter.
  3. Heat a griddle pan.
  4. Cut the peaches in half and remove the stone.
  5. Cut into wedges, about 4 to 8, depending on the size of the peach.
  6. I didn’t need to oil my peaches because I have a very good non stick griddle pan, but if you prefer, gently brush the peach wedges with a little olive oil.
  7. Place the wedges on the griddle pan and grill for 4 minutes approximately on each side. Do not turn or touch during cooking because the griddle stripes will mess up, just flip over once and that’s it. I do this with the tip of a knife.
  8. Place the warm peaches on the endive salad.
  9. Scatter over the feta cubes.
  10. Sprinkle over some parsley leaves.
  11. Sprinkle with some chili flakes
  12. Dress with the Boursin dressing just before serving.

 

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INGREDIENTS BOURSIN DRESSING:

  • 1/2 Cup cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoon parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dill, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon savory, chopped (optional)
  • salt
  • black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a bowl mix cream cheese and buttermilk until smooth.
  2. Peel and grate the garlic on a mandolin or crush. Add to the bowl.
  3. Then add the Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, lemon juice, honey and herbs and mix with a small spoon.
  4. Add a little milk if it is to thick, you need to be able to pour the dressing.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place in the fridge and let the flavours develop.

 

Enjoy!

Myra XO

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……………..and remember to share with friends and family……………….

Crispy Fish Fajitas with Pomegranate, Avocado Chunks, pickled Onion and Cilantro Tzaziki.

Fish fajitas 2 PicMonkey Image

 

Since I am short of time at the moment and to be honest with you, I’m not feeling very inspired at the moment, I’m reposting an oldie but a goodie.

I think it’s the weather, one day 30° C / 86° F and the next 16° C / 60° F, for real!!! So I’m feeling lost as what to cook, my natural food rythm is confused. It has been raining a lot, which I love, I get my hopes up because I think fall is coming and then it’s blasting hot again. Sigh…..

So here’s our favourite seafood fajita, hope you love it like we do.

 

Crispy Fish Fajitas with Pomegranate

 

As a child I hated it when my mother would put fruit in a savoury dish, and she did it a lot! My dad loved it, so that was that, basically.

We never got kid friendly replacements either, nope no frankfurters or apple sauce for us.

I grew up eating Boeuf Stroganoff, Geschnetzeltes, Goulash and Crêpe Suzette for dessert. I remember thinking as a child, I can’t wait to be a grown up and to be able to cook and eat whatever I want. The thought of it alone ….was just great. I still don’t care for Boeuff S, Geschetzeltes or Goulash, and I really dislike crepe Suzette 🙂  coincidence?

However I do love anything with fruit in it, sweet or savoury.

So friends, I think you’re gonna like this one. I can’t say that its super fast to make because there’s a bit of prep work involved. But you could easily just make the fish and use store bought tzaziki if you want to cut in time. But then again it really is worth the extra bit of effort to end up with juicy crispy fish with such a refreshing cucumber and cilantro sauce. Any leftover tzaziki can be used on sandwiches.


 

⏰  Prep time: 20 minutes

🍤 Cooking time: 10 minutes

🍛 Serves: 4

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. firm white fish cut in large-ish chunks
  • 1/2 C. fine polenta +  1/2 C. white flour, mixed
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 C. milk
  • 1/4 C. vegetable oil for frying
  • Taco seasoning
  • 2 large onions, sliced thin
  • 1/4 C. lemon juice and some beet juice (optional)
  • 2 Avocados, peeled and sliced in to wedges, sprinkle with lemon juice
  • 1 cucumber, washed and grated coarse
  • 1 C. Plain ( soy) Yoghurt
  • 1/4 C. mayonnaise
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and grated
  • salt and pepper
  • a handful of Cilantro, chopped
  • 8 Tortillas to serve, whole wheat or regular
  • 2 C. shredded Iceberg lettuce to serve
  • Lime wedges to serve
  • 1/2 C. pomegranate seeds to serve

 

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Start by grating the cucumber, put everything in a tea towel and squeeze out as much juice as you can. Next put it in a bowl. Add the yoghurt, mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.
  2. Next put the fish chunks in one bowl, season generously with taco seasoning.
  3. In an other bowl, beat the two eggs and add the milk.
  4. In a third bowl, mix the polenta with the flour.
  5. Dip the fish in the egg mixture, then the polenta-flour and put on a separate plate.
  6. Get out a frying pan and heat the oil. Fry the fish for about five minutes on medium high heat. Take out of the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  7. Meanwhile heat the tortillas.
  8. To serve spoon a generous amount of the  cilantro tzaziki on the tortilla and some shredded iceberg lettuce, then the crispy fish on top.
  9. Add some avocado wedges and sprinkle with onion slivers and pomegranate seeds.
  10. Serve with lime wedges.

 

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Looking for more great recipes to try?  Be sure to check out this Cajun Jumbo Shrimp Tacos with Corn, a Peach & Koriander Salsa and Roasted Pepper Aïoli 

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Greek Tempeh Bbq Gyros with shoestring sweet potato oven fries

Tempeh Bbq Gyros PicMonkey Image

Μπουκιά και συγχώριο

(Boukia kai syghorio) “One bite and all is forgiven.”

My never ending love for Greece and Greek food goes on and on…..

I’m not sure if this is actually totally Greek but the basics are there and I’ve added my own Bbq twist to it.

Since I’m looking for new ways to enjoy delicious, nutritionally balanced plant-based meals, and when you love Greek food as much as I do, you have to turn up your creativity dial a notch or two. So I was Wondering if I could pull of a tempeh Gyros and if it would actually be as a good as the real deal. Can I really make a meat-free gyro that tastes as good as the original? Well I’m glad to report, yes I can and so can you!

The Gyros texture and flavor were spot on!

Here’s how it’s done… Tempeh is my go-to staple whenever I’m craving a meat dish. Not only is it high in protein, but its texture is beefy and easily adaptable to many flavors and seasonings. Especially when marinated. In my opinion it is what resembles meat the most when it comes to texture.
If you have the time,  make the marinade a day in advance so it really penetrates the tempeh.

 

🔪  prep time : 10 minutes

⏰  cooking time : 10 minutes

😋   serves : 4


INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz tempeh (package in block form)
  • 1 ½ tsp. fresh crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp. greek oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • juice of one small lemon
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. himalayan salt
  • 1/4 C. plain tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground clove (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed chili flakes
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup

To serve:
whole grain or gluten free pita bread
lettuce
chopped cucumber
2 fresh tomatoes sliced
½ red onion thinly sliced
tzatziki or soy yoghurt to serve
sweet potato oven fries with Greek oregano (see recipe)

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make marinade by mixing the ingredients in a deep dish.
  2. Cut tempeh block in half. Bring a pot of water to a boil, place tempeh halves inside and boil gently for 5 minutes. This removes any bitter taste from the tempeh.
  3. Take tempeh out of the water, and after it has cooled slice it into ¼ inch slices or strips.
  4. Place slices in the marinade.
  5. Marinate overnight; mix up the tempeh slices every once in a while to make sure you have all of them covered with marinade.
  6. Preheat a large frying pan over high heat. add a tablespoon of olive oil. Remove tempeh slices from the marinade and place in the pan.
  7. Stir fry for 7 – 10 minutes or until golden brown and beginning to crisp at the edges.
  8. Once tempeh is done, warm the pita bread in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Assemble gyros by placing tempeh slices, fresh tomatoes, and red onions on pita bread. Cover with Tzatziki or yoghurt and top with a handful of the crispy shoe-string sweet potato fries.

For the shoe-string sweet potato fries:

Pre heat oven to 200 C / 400 F
Take two large sweet potatoes and peel them.
Cut into thin shoestrings. Dry well on kitchen paper.
Place in a bowl, toss in a two teaspoons of olive oil and add salt, pepper, sweet paprika and oregano tot taste.
Toss to coat.
Line an oven tray with parchment paper.
Spread out the fries and place in the middle of the oven.
Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes until golden and crispy, depending on the thickness of the fries.

 

καλή όρεξη!

(kali orexi)

MYRA XO

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….and remember to share, your friends will love it too ❤

Chinese Spring Rolls with three dipping sauces

Chinese Spring Rolls PicMonkey Image

春捲

chūn juǎn

 

Spring rolls bring back memories of Dim Sum houses in Hong Kong with delicious dipping sauces. Filled with tons of fresh vegetables and a little pork, chicken, shrimp or tofu.

I’ve been to Hong Kong several times and loved it very much, such a buzzing city. And the food!!! Everything seems to evolve around food, so a great opportunity to taste as many different things as I could, and although I did skip the fried Grasshoppers, I indulged in tons of Dim Sum and lots of Spring Rolls.

You can get Spring Rolls everywhere here in Holland but they tend to be the big collosal brick sized ones, just not right or authentic in my opinion. I prefer the little chinese spring rolls so I started making my own years ago and at least I know what’s inside them.

These are great as a party food or also as a finger food for movie night. We have them for dinner accompanied with some cucumber sticks or salad. Either way they’re delicious and a real crowd pleaser. And really not as difficult as they may seem.

The vegetables are adjustable to whatever you may have lying around in your fridge or whatever is in season,  add any of the following,  the total should come up to one pound of vegetables approximately for this recipe. At least 4 or 5 different kinds is best. The ones marked with an asterix are the vegetables I have used in my Spring Rolls.

carrots*, shredded or cut into sticks

bamboo shoots

shiitake (soaked and stem removed)

chestnut mushrooms*

cabbage, shredded*

paksoy*

sugar snap peas*,

green beans

finely sliced red bell pepper

onions*,

beans sprouts*,

peanuts,

basil,

cilantro*,

 


 

🍜 Prep time : 30 minutes

⏰ Cooking time: 15 minutes

😋 Makes : 10 medium or 20 small


INGREDIENTS SPRING ROLLS:

4 oz. rice noodles soaked

1 tbsp. vegetable oil for frying, divided

1 lb. mixed vegetables

1 tsp. grated ginger

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry white wine

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. Ketjap Manis

1 tsp. Sambal Oelek or more

1 teaspoon sesame oil

black pepper, to taste

2 tsp. Boemboe Sate (seasoning) see Chicken Saté 

 

For the meat or tofu:

  • 8 ounces ground pork/chicken or scrambled tofu
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine or white wine
  • 1 tbsp. black bean sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper

For wrapping:

1 package 8″ square spring roll wrappers 

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water for sealing the spring rolls
  • Canola, peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

DIPPING SAUCES; 

Sate Sauce:

Sticky Red Chili Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. honey or agave if vegan
  • 1 tbsp. sambal oelek
  • 4 tbsp. Ketchup
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Garlic Lime Cashew Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for one hour, drained
  • 1/4 cup water or more
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. aple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 heaping teaspoon tahini
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • salt and pepper, or to taste

Mix in a high speed blender until smooth.

INSTRUCTIONS SPRING ROLLS:

  1. Place the noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, then set aside.
  2. Heat a large frying pan or wok, add half the oil.
  3. When hot, add the meat or tofu to the pan and fry for a few minutes, adding the seasoning after the first minute, cook until cooked thru. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Put the pan back on the heat and add the remaining oil.
  5. Add the vegetables when hot and stir fry for 5 minutes approximately. After the first minute of cooking you add the spice mix and the remaining ingredients. Tossing to coat everything.
  6. Place into the bowl with the rice noodles.
  7. Toss everything together.
  8. In a small bowl, blend the cornflour and 2 tablespoons of cold water.
  9. Next, lay two spring-roll wrapper, smooth-side down, on a clean surface as a diamond shape, with one corner pointing down towards you.
  10. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the filling on the bottom corner of the double wrapper. Brush each corner with the cornflour mixture, then start rolling up from the bottom. When the filling is covered, pull the corners in from each side (to seal the ends as you go). Continue rolling until the filling is tightly covered, then press to seal the top corner.
  11. Lay the finished rolls on a large plate that has been oiled lightly and cover with a damp tea towel. Continue until you’ve filled all the wrappers.
  12. Heat the  oil in a large wok or saucepan over a medium heat.
  13. Carefully lower the spring rolls into the oil and deep-fry for 2–3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  14. Serve with the dipping sauces.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

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……..and remember, sharing is fun!

Gluten Free Bread Loaf

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I have decided to eat gluten free for a while since regular flour is making me bloat and feel uncomfortable. The ready made bread loaves available here in the stores are a sad thing, they taste horrible and the texture leaves a lot to be desired.

I’ve been testing some gluten free flour mixes and this is the best one so far, I can use it in any recipe requiring regular flour. In a one to one ratio, so no further  calculating is necessary.

I have been using it for my quick gluten free bread loaf, pancakes and even pizza bases.

 

GLUTEN FREE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR MIX;

In a large bowl mix;

150 gr. potato starch (or corn starch)

150 gr. tapioca flour

200 gr. brown rice flour

200 gr. oat flour

300 gr. white rice flour

1 tsp xanthan gum

Stir until everything is mixed well and appears to be an even colour, store in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Bread

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GLUTEN FREE BREAD LOAF

🍝  Prep time : 30 minutes (this includes making the flour mix)

⏰  Cooking time: 60 minutes

😋  Makes : 1 loaf

INGREDIENTS;

  • 3 1/2 – 3 3/4 cups gluten free all purpose flour mix
  • 2 tsp.  instant yeast
  • 1 tsp himalayan salt
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 1 or 2 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 tbsp. honey or agave syrup
  • 1 tsp. (apple cider) vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil or olive oil

 

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INSTRUCTIONS;

  1. Combine 3 1/2 cups of  flour mix, the instant yeast and salt in mixer bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a jug measure out the warm water and add the agave or honey, the apple cider vinegar and coconut oil.
  3. Add to flour mixture.
  4. Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. It should be the consistency of a thick batter which is too thick to pour but not thick enough to form a ball. Add additional water or flour 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to get this consistency.
  5. Generously grease bottom and sides of 1 loaf pan. I find cooking spray works best, but you can use butter or oil.
  6. Spread batter in loaf pan, slice down the middle with a very sharp knife. (see photo)
  7. Let rise in warm place for about an hour. Covered loosely with cling film that has been sprayed with a little oil.
  8. Preheat oven to 190°C  / 375°F
  9. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until bread looks firm and is fairly brown on top. Knock on it and if it sounds hollow it’s done.
  10. Let cool for 20-30 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack.
  11. Let cool completely before slicing.
  12. I glaze mine with a little olive oil for shine 😊
  13. It will keep for only three days tops, so I slice it and freeze it and take out as needed.

NOTE: You can add things like sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds to the dough if you like, not more than a 1/4 cup. Sprinkle on the top too!

Enjoy!

Myra XO

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and remember sharing is cool……

 

 

 

Grilled Spring Zucchini with Peas, Lemon and Feta.

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This has to be the ultimate summer salad. I’ve completely fallen in love with this dish and I have eaten it at least 6 times in the past few weeks. I  make double for lunch the next day every single time because I just can’t resist. The combo is just…..I mean, garlic, lemon zest, feta, grilled zucchini and then the sweet peas.

And I know it’s not summer yet but with 31° (88° F) outside, I think we can call it summer, after all it’s just a technicality.

You can prepare the Grilled Zucchini Salad with Peas, Lemon and Feta ahead of time and bring it back to room temperature before serving or,  serve it warm or cold. It all works. It’s super simple to make and the flavours are simple irresistible. This would be amazing for your next Bbq too. Grilling the Zucchini on an open fire will enhance the flavours and make this dish even more amazing. Your friends and family are going to love it!

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Gluten free √

Vegetarian √


Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Zucchini
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 oz. Feta in one piece or little Feta balls
  • zest and juice of half an organic lemon
  • 2 garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • a small handful fresh mint
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

 

METHOD:

  1. Wash the zucchini and trim the ends. Cut lengthwise into 1/2 cm or 1/4″ slices.
  2. Heat a griddle pan and when hot, cook the zucchini for about three minutes on each side. Only turn them once so you get beautiful “grilling stripes”.
  3. Remove from the heat and cut the slices in half, place them on  a serving plate.
  4. Boil some water in a large pan and blanch the peas for about five minutes until just tender.
  5. Remove from the heat, drain and refresh under cold water.
  6. Sprinkle them over the zucchini.
  7. Heat the olive oil in  small pan over medium low heat and cook the garlic very gently for a minute or so until just fragrant.
  8. Pour over the veggies and let it cool down a bit.
  9. Next grate the lemon over the salad and then squeeze out the juice of half a lemon over it too.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Sprinkle over the feta and the mint leaves tearing them up a bit and leaving some leafs whole.
  12. Serve as a side or as a main course.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Grilled Spring Zucchini with Peas and Feta4

Grilled Spring Zucchini with Peas and Feta12.jpg

 

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

Salmon, Asparagus & baby Spinach White Pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella. 

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

 

Do you want to take Pizza Night to an other level? Than stay with me, with this Smoked Salmon  and Asparagus Pizza you going to treat yourself to a gourmet dinner.

Growing up we never had Pizzas, ever.

I’m not sure why, maybe my dad hated pizza or my mom probably thought it was unhealthy. I don’t really know, I’ll have to ask my mom about that. Either way, I started eating pizzas when I was living in New York, at 4 in the morning coming out of a club with my friends. So I’ve never considered Pizza to be fancy by any means. I’m slowly starting to change my mind now that I make them myself. Not so greasy, kind of healthy and topped with some seriously good ingredients.

On this Pizza I’m skipping the tomato sauce and replacing it with Crème fraîche, giving it a much softer tasting base to enhance the flavor of the fresh green Asparagus and the Smoked Salmon. They’re so wonderful on their own that just some fresh Oregano a soft gooey Buffalo Mozzarella  suffice for this outrageously delicious Pizza. And sometimes tomato sauce doesn’t agree with me, I haven’t figured out why only sometimes but to spare myself the after effects I love using Crème fraîche instead.

Meat free 

Egg free 

Refined sugar free 

 

Makes: 2 large Pizzas, or 4 small ones (for kids or for lunch with a side salad like Beet Salad or Passion Kale Salad with Grapes).


Ingredients Dough;

  • 1 C. white Spelt flour
  • 3/4 C. whole Spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp. Coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 C. luke warm water

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

Ingredients topping;

  • 1/2 C. Crème fraîche
  • 1 small ball of Buffalo Mozzarella
  • A large handful thin Asparagus (fresh or frozen, see note)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Oregano leafs
  • 1 C. baby spinach
  • 4 oz. (Organic) smoked Salmon
  • 1 tsp. dry chili flakes

Method: 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment combine all the ingredients for the dough. Knead for a few minutes until it comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, on a floured surface, form the dough into a ball using some extra flour so it isn’t sticky anymore. Oil a bowl lightly and place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel or cling film and place in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Note: if using frozen asparagus, flash fry them in a hot pan with a tiny bit of olive oil. Just to defrost them and color them a bit. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 230° C / 450° F with the baking tray in it.

Once the pizza dough is ready, lightly flour a counter. Divide the dough in two. Use your hands or a rolling pin to roll the dough out until you have a thin flattened disk. Place the pizza on a piece of parchment paper and then use your hands to gently pull the dough into a free style round-ish shape.

Spread a generous amount of Crème fraîche over the bottom, the one clove of garlic grated over each pizza, spread out over the Crème fraîche. Sprinkle with fresh Oregano and baby spinach.

Then top with Mozzarella, Asparagus and chili flakes.

Transfer the pizza by lifting the parchment paper onto a large board and slide it on to the hot baking tray with the parchment paper still underneath.

Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and the crust golden and crispy.

Remove onto a large wooden board and divide the smoked Salmon over the pizzas. Sprinkle with some more Oregano and eat straight away.

Best served with White Wine or ice cold Beer.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

 

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

 

Potato Leek soup with Cheddar and smoked Peppered Trout

Leek Potato Soup 1

A lucky person is someone who plants pebbles and harvests potatoes.  Greek proverb.

A man who prides himself on his ancestry is like the potato plant, the best part of which is underground. Spanish proverb

 

Who doesn’t love a potato? The humble tuber that can be both a super comfort food or be served alongside some posh meats or fish. Versatile like nothing else.

And although potato dishes are countless I am offering you this recipe for potato-leek soup, that I’ve up-graded with a bit of smoked peppered trout and a sprinkle of cheddar. Potato soup may not be revolutionary, but this version is remarkably delicious, satisfying, and thank goodness, still light.

When you buy fresh potatoes remove them from the plastic bag since this will make them mold quicker, as does storing them with onions or garlic. Don’t store them in the fridge either, this will give them a funny flavour since the starch will start to convert to sugar.

The best choice is a cool, dark, dry place, such as the back of a pantry.

Also Leeks  like  onions, are nutritional stars, offering plenty of potassium, some folic acid, beta-carotene (in the green part) and plenty of vitamin C.

 

 

Serves: 6


INGREDIENTS:

 

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil for cooking
  • 4 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb.  potatoes (the kind for mashed potato), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • 5  cups low-sodium vegetable  stock
  • 11.25  oz. pack  soy cream
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar or vegetarian/vegan cheddar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup minced chives or green onions
  • 8 oz. peppered smoked trout, flaked (leave out for vegans/vegetarians)

 Leek Potato Soup10

METHOD:

  • Put the olive oil in to a large pot and add the leeks and garlic.
  • Turn heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the potato and broth; bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender, then return it to the pan.
  • Add the soy cream, cheddar and nutmeg and simmer for 10 minutes longer.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper, garnish with chives and smoked trout and serve.

 

Enjoy!

Myra. XO 

 

Leek Potato Soup4

 

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about  Spiced Pumpkin Soup with a twist or  Carrot Soup .