Nacho Jalapeño Cheese Burger with Cumin Chili Ketchup

 Nacho jalapeno burger

This Burger favorite has mixed in jalapeños and crumbled nachos.   Served with a delicious Cumin Chili Ketchup. Cheese on top, grilled peppers and onions, a fried egg, and creamy guacamole to  balance it all out!

I make these burgers from pork shoulder that I chop myself in the food processor. But you can use ground pork, beef or a mixture of both. 

I like to serve them with more Nachos on the side rather than fries. Let the Fiesta begin!

Nacho jalapeno burger

Nacho jalapeno burger

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 Pound lean ground Pork
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lightly crushed Nachos, regular kind. Leave it chunky.
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • 4  slices cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 7 slices jalapeños
  • 8 ounces your favorite guacamole
  • 1/4 tsp. Cumin
  • A few drops hot sauce
  • 1/3 cup Ketchup
  • 4 eggs, fried
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • Lettuce

Nacho jalapeno burger

Nacho jalapeno burger


Cube the meat if you are chopping it yourself and place it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make the chopping much easier.

Pulse for a few times in the food processor until you have a consistency of ground meat.

Place in a bowl and combine ground pork, 1 tablespoon olive oil, egg yolk, chopped onion, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, oregano, 3 chopped slices Jalapeños and crushed nachos.

Mix with a wooden spoon or your hands and separate into 4, form into patties.

Heat a large griddle pan and spray  with olive oil.

Place the burgers on the griddle a leave for 5 minutes, turn over and place cheese on top. Cook for another 4 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile cook the onions and peppers in an other pan with the tablespoon of olive oil.

Quickly fry the eggs in a little olive oil.

Mix 1/4 tsp cumin and a few drops hot sauce with 1/3 cup ketchup and set aside.

Brush cut side of buns with butter. Place the rolls on the griddle butter side down to toast.

When the burger is done, put some cumin chili ketchup on the bun first, then lettuce. Then Guacamole.  Place the burger on top. Top with grilled peppers and onions and a slice of  jalapeño, and top with a fried egg.


Myra XO

Nacho jalapeno burger

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.

Lighter French Cassoulet

Lighter French Cassoulet3

Lighter French Cassoulet4

I’ve decided that this will be my last “Winter” recipe, since we only have one week ’till Spring. Hopefully the weather will get better and we can move in to lighter affair.

In the evenings it still gets pretty cold so I figured I could still get away with it.

Cassoulet, the name of the earthenware dish in which it is served, is an aromatic, hearty bean and meat stew with some aromatic herbs and spices, the flavor is subtle and delicate, and really comforting.

The key to a perfect cassoulet is the slow cooking process that tenderizes the meat and the beans and infuses the stew with its rich flavor. Your house will be filled with an incredible aroma that will get anyones stomach rumbling as soon as they walk thru the door.

There are many varieties of Cassoulet depending on your meat choices. My personal preference is smoked sausage, bacon, pork and chicken. You could go for Duck confit, but I find it too heavy so I have opted for the chicken instead.

I have a serious weakness for any type of legume, which I blame on my Spanish upbringing. In schools almost everyday you’ll get some sort of bean dish as a starter. And now I just love all bean dish.

Gluten free  ✔

Dairy free  ✔

Ref. sugar free  ✔

Egg free  ✔

Serves 4

Lighter French Cassoulet24.jpg


  • 2 fresh small ham hocks
  • 5 oz. diced smoked Bacon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pounds dried  cannellini beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 small carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onions, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, unpeeled, plus 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. All spice
  • 1 quart / 1 liter,  chicken broth
  • 4 parsley sprigs, 2 thyme sprigs and 2 bay leaf
  • 4 chicken legs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 pork sausages, your favourite kind
  • 1 smoked kielbasa or other smoked sausage, or 2 small ones

Lighter French Cassoulet25


Lighter French Cassoulet16



  • In a bowl, cover the beans with 3 inches of water and soak overnight.
  • Add the bacon and ham hocks to a  very large frying pan  or pot and brown them lightly.
  • Remove and set aside.
  • Add the carrots, onions and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, about 7 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and bay leaves.
  • Add the all spice.
  • Add the glass of wine.
  • Add the head of garlic and the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth and the herbs and bring to a boil.
  • Add the beans to the pan and simmer until the beans are just tender, about 2 hours.
  • Pick out the ham hocks.  Cut the meats into bite-size pieces; discard the bones, skin and gristle. Pick out the head of garlic and reserve.
  • Put the meat back in with the beans.
  • Transfer the beans and liquid to a casserole dish
  • Preheat the oven to 180 ° C / 350° F
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet.
  • Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper.
  • Add the sausages and chicken legs to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over.
  • Nestle the sausages, the chicken and the kielbasa into the cassoulet.
  • Put the garlic bulb in the middle.
  • Bake the cassoulet for 1 hour longer, until it is richly browned on the surface. Transfer to a rack and let rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with plenty of crusty french bread.



Myra. XO 



Lighter French Cassoulet15  Lighter French Cassoulet17


Lighter French Cassoulet14.jpg


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. ♥


Five Spice Slow roasted Pork Belly




I Couldn’t wait to share this with you. A great change from all things turkey.
I think Asian is pretty much the opposite of turkey and I really needed that. I love the holidays and everything about them, but it’s time for something completely different.
This five spice slow roasted pork belly is going to drive you mad with delight once you’ve tasted it.
Tender as can be with and a super crispy skin, aka crackling!
And best of all, this piece cost me around € 6, 50 is weighs around 1.3 kg. / 2.8 lbs and you could easily serve six people from this piece. Hallelujah to that.
It’s important that you dry the skin very very well, then make cuts in it with a Stanley knife but not all the way thru to the meat, just the fat.
I’ve marinated it overnight in a plastic zip lock bag, skin side facing up so that that part is not in the marinade.
Then the next day, bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes, then on slow for 2 1/2 hours. This may seem like a long time and it is, but you want to render away as much fat as possible.





1 pork belly, without bone  about 1.3 kg / 2.8 lbs.
1″grated fresh ginger, (don’t bother peeling it first)
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
1 tsp. Chinese Five Spice
1 tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil
2 tbsp. Hoisin Sauce
1 tbsp. Honey
1 1/2 tbsp. Soy Sauce or tamari  (gluten free)
1 tbsp. Conimex Ketjap Manis






Mix the marinade in a bowl.

Place the pork in a zip lock bag, skin side down , pour and rub all the marinade over the meat, close the bag and carefully turn the skin side up.
Place the bag on a plate and leave to marinade for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.

The next day,  Pre heat the oven to 220°C / 430°F

Remove the pork from the fridge an hour before cooking.

Remove the meat from marinade and discard the bag and juices.
Dry thoroughly with kitchen paper.

Take a sharp Stanley knife and make cuts all over the skin side of the belly diagonally, a third of an inch apart if you can.  All the way thru the fat but not yet touching the meat. This is important!

Rub with some salt and place in a roasting tin that has been lined with a double layer of foil.
Place in the hot oven and cook for about 20 minutes.
Lower the heat to 160°C / 320°F and cook for an other 2 1/2 hours. Cover loosely with some foil if the skin gets to dark, the foil does have to be tented to keep the crispyness.

Remove from oven. Let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with rice noodles, Bok Choy and some hoisin sauce. Or any other vegetable of choice. Leftovers are heavenly and it also freezes well, but you do have to remove the skin because this can get a little chewy after freezing.




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 Sticky Shrimp & Pineapple with Jasmin Rice.



Clementine Cranberry Roast Pork



First of all I need to tell you that a Pork Roast is the best deal to feed a crowd. If you’re on a budget and have a lot of people coming over for Christmas, skip the Turkey, skip the Beef and go for roast pork, it’s the way to go, really.

This piece of meat cost me just 5 €, yes, that’s right 5€!

I almost wanted to ask the guy at the market if he had made a mistake. Almost….but I didn’t I figured he knew what he was doing, right?

And imagine what you can do with all the leftovers, we had this roast the other day obviously, and my daughter ate a huge baguette the next day with  thinly sliced pork and sate sauce, which was pretty awesome. But there are tons of other things you can make, like taco’s, enchiladas, ragú. I always look forward to left overs, it’s almost even better the next day.

I like to serve it with my crème fraîche mashed potatoes and lots of vegetables.




Serves 6

Ingredients Spice mix;

1 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. ground Coriander

1/4 tsp. ground Black Pepper

1/4 tsp.dried Thyme

1/4 tsp. Onion Powder

1/4 tsp.  Simply Organic Garlic Powder Certified Organic, 3.64-Ounce Container

1/8 tsp. Allspice

1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves

1/8 tsp. Cinnamon


A large roasting tin

Ingredients Roast;

Boneless pork Shoulder or Butt 2.8 – 3  lbs

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

3 celery sticks, cut into pieces

3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

2 onions, peeled and quartered

2 garlic bulbs

4 clementines

3 bay leaves

2 C. red wine

1/4 C. Cranberry jelly

salt and pepper



Take your pork roast out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Preheat the oven temperature to 320°F./ 160°C.

Place all the seasoning and spices in a little bowl and mix.

Dry the pork roast thoroughly with kitchen paper and tie up with kitchen rope if necessary. Season the pork roast all over.

Heat a frying pan of high heat and add two tablespoons of butter and two of olive oil., When hot add the roast and sear all over until you have a nice dark brown crust, this takes about 15 minutes. Rotating the roast to brown evenly.

Meanwhile cut up your vegetables and place in the bottom of a roasting tin, cut the tops of two garlic bulbs and place in the tin along with the vegetables. Cut two clementines in half and place in the tin as well. Season the vegetables generously with salt and pepper

Place the roast on top of the vegetables with all the juices from the frying pan, squeeze over the juice of two clementines and add 2 cups of red wine and  three bay leaves. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for two hours, checking after an hour to see how the liquid is doing, add some water if necessary.

After two hours, remove foil and cut away the kitchen twine if you have used it and spread the cranberry jelly over the roast. Return to oven and roast uncovered for an other half hour.

When an internal thermometer reads about 71° C /160° F, it should be just done.

Take the roast out of the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.

Tip: Use this resting time to finish off your other side dishes and make the gravy.

To make the gravy, pass all the ingredients from the roasting tin through a sieve, heat the gravy and taste , add some cranberry jelly if you like and thicken with a teaspoon of corn starch diluted in some cold water.


Crème fraîche Mashed Potatoes;

2 lb.  russet or Yukon gold potatoes

1/4 C. butter

3/4 C. hot milk

1/4 C. Crème fraîche

Peel and cut the potatoes in half add to a pot of cold salted water, cook for about 20 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and mash with 1/4 cup butter. Add the hot milk and the crème fraîche season with salt and pepper. Mash until desired consistency, I like my mash a tiny bit chunky but that’s personal.



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.

Chorio Burger

Chorizo Burger, Balsamic Onions and melted Manchego.

Serves 4


I can get so  excited about hamburgers, you have no idea. I can think about it all day, day dream about it and talk about it. I try not to but I would love to, honestly.

I figured since Autumn is here I would just slip in one last Burger. The weather has been surprisingly mild here in Holland so far, so I haven’t really made the mind swap to fall foods yet.  I don’t really eat as many Burgers in autumn and winter. It just seems more like a summer food to me. So…

I came up with this burger because I am crazy about chorizo. You don’t need a lot of chorizo to get that super delicious smoked paprika flavour . I have used the dried chorizo because it’s the only one we can get here. It worked very well. Especially with the sticky balsamic onions.



Ingredients Chorizo Burger;

1 lb ground beef, organic if you possible

4 oz. dried chorizo, skin removed

1 onion, peeled and cut in four

1 garlic clove, peeled and grated

1/2 tsp. salt

a good grinding of black pepper

1 tps. smoked paprika (spanish preferably)

1 egg yolk *

1/4 C. fresh bread crumbs

1 tbsp. chopped parsley


1 small zucchini, sliced

Roast red peppers from a jar

4 thick slices of Manchego

4 Hamburger Buns


  • I never use egg white in a burger because I find it makes it rubbery.


Ingredients Balsamic Onions;

1 tbsp. olive oil

4 large onions, peeled and sliced medium thick

4 tbsp. coconut blossom sugar or brown sugar

3 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar, the darker the better


Method Chorizo Burgers;

Cut the chorizo in small bits, put them in a food processor together with the onion and garlic and blitz a few times until small. Put the beef and the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add the chorizo and onion mix to the bowl as well. Mix and form into 4 patties.

Put a griddle pan over the heat. Grill the burger for about 4 minutes on each side. Put the manchego cheese on the burger as soon as you flip them over.

Grill the slices of zucchini alongside the burgers.


Method Balsamic Onions;

Heat a small frying pan and add the olive oil. When medium hot add all the onions, cook for 10 minutes of medium low heat. Add the sugar and cook another 5 minutes until dark and sticky. Finally add the balsamic vinegar and cook for an other two to three  minutes until slightly reduced.

To assemble the burgers. Toast the buns, on the bottom layer a piece of grilled pepper, then 4 slices of grilled zucchini, then the burger and then top with loads of sticky glazed onions. Serve with fries and sauces of choice. I served my burgers with Aïoli.



Not quite what you were looking for? How about Deluxe Beef burger filled with Onions and Crispy Bacon, topped with Gouda  IMG_9579


NOTE: Store leftover egg whites in a container in the freezer for a wonderful Pavlova.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin over creamy Polenta with Sherry gravy & crispy fried Sage leafs.

EditThis is a recipe that I have been making for years, at least 15 or so. I always make it for informal dinner parties for friends and family when you want something different but not too complicated or fancy.

To be honest with you, I don’t even remember how I came up with this recipe but I do know that guests have always loved it. It is an unusual combination of ingredients but that’s what makes it work. I guess you’ll just have to try for yourself.

You have to stuff the tenderloin first. Then you can cook the polenta and the prepared tenderloin at the same time,  since the cooking time is about the same.



Ingredients Tenderloin;

1 Pork Tenderloin weighing about 12 – 14 oz

1 thin slice Serrano ham or Parma ham

1 tbsp. Ketjap Manis

1 tbsp. Apricot Jam

1 spring onion

Salt and Pepper

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 glass dry Sherry



Ingredients Polenta;

1 C. Polenta

2 C. milk

1 1/2 C. Chicken stock, good quality

3 tbsp. butter

1/3 C. Parmesan Cheese, grated



Start by preparing the tenderloin. Lay it out on a chopping board and make a deep cut lengthwise but not all the way thru, about halfway. Open up and flatten with the palm of your hand.

In a little bowl combine the apricot preserve and the ketjap and spread all of it in the middle of the tenderloin. Cover with the ham and put the spring onion on top. Now close the tenderloin and fasten with kitchen twine.

Meanwhile bring to a boil the milk with the chicken stock. Add the polenta and stirring now and then cook for about 18 to 20 minutes. Just before the end add the butter and half the parmesan cheese. Taste the polenta and add salt and pepper (if necessary).  Reserve the other half for serving.

Heat a frying pan on the stove and add butter and olive oil. Cook the tenderloin, browning it all over and turning every few minutes. Give the polenta a stir now and then.

The tenderloin will take about 18 minutes, remove to  cutting board and cover loosely with tin foil. Remove the twine and slice.

Add the sherry to the pan with the meat juices and scrape to loosen  the crusty bits.

To serve, place a good amount of polenta on a plate, serve with a few slices of the tenderloin and the sherry gravy, Serve with more parmesan cheese on the side. Place a few crispy sage leafs on the polenta.

To make the crispy sage leafs, just fry them in the the pan alongside the tenderloin,frying a few leafs at a time just for two minutes or so, place them on kitchen paper until ready to use.


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Looking for more great recipes to try?  Be sure to check out this Pollo al Ajillo, Chicken in Garlic Sauce .

Smokey Maple glazed Bbq Spare Ribs.


When you’re in the mood for Bbq ribs and it’s pouring with rain outside, you’ve got a problem. Best thing to do if you live in a very rainy country like we do is to cook them in a slow cooker and finish them off under the grill. I make these all the time and it’s almost embarrassing how easy they are. You just have to plan it a bit in advance.

Ideally you make the Bbq Sauce 24 hours in advance before marinating the ribs for a night. You could buy ready-made Bbq Sauce if you like but it’s great to have your own special home-made sauce.

The recipe for the Bbq sauce is enough for several times. I keep mine in the fridge and use it over grilled chicken, hot dogs or steak.



 Ingredients Smokey Maple Bbq Sauce:

2 tbsp. Olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped fine

1 garlic clove, peeled and grated or crushed

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1/2 C Maple syrup

1  14.5 oz. can  peeled chopped tomatoes + 1 can of water or more

1 tsp. mustard powder

1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning

1/2 tsp, ground black pepper

3 tbsp. liquid smoke

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. Soy sauce



Fry onion and garlic in the olive oil over gentle heat until just beginning to go golden, add the remaining ingredients and simmer for an hour. Add more water if needed, for the right thickness. Let cool completely and store in the fridge.


For the ribs:

4  lbs. of spare ribs.

21/2 C. Bbq sauce


Place the ribs in the pot of the slow cooker and pour over 2 cups of Bbq sauce. Let marinate overnight in the fridge.

The next day take the pot out of the fridge and put it in the slow cooker. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or for 4 to 5 hours on low. This really depends on your slow cooker so you may have to adjust the cooking time.

When the ribs are tender to your liking, transfer them carefully to a baking tray, preferably with a rack on it. Pour some more Bbq sauce over the ribs and repeat when you turn them over. Grill for about five minutes on each side. Keep an eye on them. Remove form oven and place on a large platter. Serve straight away.


Myra XO