Bbq Honey Chicken Tenders Cobb Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Let’s celebrate Spring in full glory with this amazing refreshing salad. It’s super easy to make and you can easily substitute the chicken with some succulent Shrimp or any other protein you like.

INGREDIENTS COBB SALAD:

  • 1 lb. chicken tenders
  • 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ cup bbq sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil for frying
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 20 cherry tomatoes (more or less)
  • 2 -4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 small can of corn, drained
  • 1 – 2 avocados, peeled and stone removed
  • 1/3 cup olives
  • handful baby carrots

GREEN GODDESS DRESSING:

  • 1 avocado, peeled and stone removed
  • ½ cup natural yoghurt of choice
  • ½ cup natural sugar free milk of choice
  • Small handful of fresh Basil* see note
  • Small handful of fresh Dill* see note
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • A dash of tabasco
  • Juice of half a lime
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup of water or more for the right consistency

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. First we’ll marinate the chicken, place the chicken tenders in a bowl and season them with the Cajun seasoning , then add the bbq sauce. Mix to combine and cover. Place in the fridge to marinate, overnight if possible but any amount of time is good.
  2. Take out a large plate or platter and arrange a layer of lettuce on it.
  3. Meanwhile wash the peppers and pinch them with a fork all over, put them on a plate and microwave for 6 minutes, remove and cover with foil straight away. This is so the skin will loosen from the peppers. When cool enough to handle pull away all the skin and tear the peppers into strips, place them on the lettuce in a single diagonal row.
  4. Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange in a row on the lettuce
  5. Cut the eggs in quarters and arrange on platter.
  6. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  7. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender, and run until all is smooth. Add the water until you have the desired consistency.
  8. Now heat a non stick frying pan large enough to hold the chicken tenders in one layer and set to high heat.
  9. Add the olive oil and place the tenders in the pan, cook on one side for two minutes and turn. Cook for another two minutes and lower the heat to low.
  10. Cook for another two minutes or until cooked thru, check by pulling a piece open.
  11. Add the tablespoon of honey and stir around so it starts to caramelize. Turn off the heat and place the chicken tenders on the salad right before serving.

Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce for two

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I kind of feel like I am having tiny Christmas dinners all throughout the month of December. And I gotta say, I’m lovin’ it.

This is one of those dinners. Simple as can be and festive as can be.

Duck goes really well with any kind of fruit and is usually paired with citrus, but it goes equally well with berries and darker fruits like plums or cherries.

The Duck breast has been treated in a different way because I really dislike the skin. I do like the skin when it’s crispy, but how long does the crispiness last , really? By the time dinner gets to the table and you actually start eating the crispyness is almost gone.
So, what I do and what may seem as a shocker to some of you, but I remove the skin and treat the breast more like a steak. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper and pan fried. I use a cast iron pan for this because it works best in my opinion.

Then I cut up the skin in tiny bits and render the fat, where I then pan roast the potatoes and finish them of in the oven. This gives you the best roast potatoes you can ever imagine, and you’ll be surprised to see how the skin disappears in the pan almost completely.

The cherry sauce goes so well with the duck, it’s a little bit sweet and a little bit sour, perfect against the intense duck flavour, and such a festive dish.

      

Serves 2 – 3

Ingredients Duck Breasts;

2 Duck breasts

salt and pepper

Thyme

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Method;

Remove the Duck from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.

Remove the skin and chop fine. Place in a cast iron skillet and render the fat over low heat, until all the skin has almost disappeared. You will end up with about 4 to 6 tbsp. fat.

Season the duck breast on both sides, heat a cast iron frying pan over high heat with three tablespoons of the duck fat.
Place both duck breasts in the pan and don’t move them for about 3 minutes then turn the over. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Remove to a plate and let sit covered with foil for about five minutes.
This is medium cooked, if you like it less done cook it for 5 minutes total. For completely done 7 to 8  minutes, it depends a little bit on the size of the duck breast and the thickness.

Slice and serve with the pan roast potatoes and cherry sauce.

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Ingredients Cherry Sauce;

1/2 C. brown Sugar or sugar of choice

1/2 C. Red wine Vinegar

2 whole Star Anise

1 Cinnamon Sticks

3 C. frozen Cherries (no stones)

1 tsp. corn starch

1 tbsp water

Method;

Place the sugar, vinegar, star anise and cinnamon in a medium non-stick frying pan over high heat and bring to a simmer. Add the cherries and cook, turning occasionally, for 8–10 minutes or until just soft and the sauce has reduced a little. Make a slurry with the corn starch and water, add to the sauce and let thicken.

Ingredients Roast Potatoes;
1/2 Lb., potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp. fat rendered from duck breasts.
salt

Method;

Pre heat oven to 220° C  / 428° F
Par boil the potatoes for about ten minutes, drain, and let them steam off.
Heat the (oven proof) pan with rendered duck fat and roast the potatoes until they start ro turn golden brown. Place the pan in the oven and roast for an other 20 25 minutes until crispy and golden all over, turning ocasionally. Season with salt.

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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 Clementine Cranberry Roast Pork

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Holiday Cranberry and Pear Sauce with Star Anise.

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Holiday Cranberry Pear Sauce

I am so excited that the holiday season is coming up, but I think I may have mentioned that before.

Either way, I always feel the need to prepare and stock up on essentials so I won’t get caught by the Bull (Spanish expression, bull meaning something unexpected).

I like to have plenty of sauces and condiments on hand for not only the turkey, but for Pâtés, sandwiches and cheeses too.

Here’s my favorite sauce, the star anise gives it such a depth of flavour that I am sure you will love. It’s made in a jiffy and easily keeps over the holiday season. The preserving sugar I am using is one that only requires a short cooking time, so check which sugar is available to you and cook according to directions on the sugar package.

      

Makes 2 medium Jars.

Ingredients;

12.5 oz bag of fresh Cranberries

2 medium pears

1/2 C.  orange juice

2 Star Anise

1 Cinnamon Stick

12 oz. Preserving Sugar

Method;

In a pan, place the cranberries, the peeled, cored and chopped pears, the o.j. the spices and sugar.

Leave to macerate for about two hours. Stirring occasionally.

Turn the heat on high and bring it to a boil, reduce heat but is must still bubble slightly. Cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Ladle into sterilized jars, seal and place them upside down on a clean kitchen towel for about an hour. Turn upright and cool completely. Label and store.

Holiday Cranberry Pear Sauce

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

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Pickled Red Cabbage

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Swedish Meatballs with Cranberry Tangerine sauce

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Swedish is such a beautiful language. Not that I understand a word of it but it just sounds so wonderful.  I only know three words in Swedish,  Svenska, Köttbullar and Ikea.

The first time I ate Swedish meatballs was actually in New York. It was truely love at first bite.

A friend was having them for lunch and I just couldn’t believe how good they were. I’ve been making them for a long time now and they never bore me. That creamy sauce and the hint of Dill is just perfect. I always make the cranberry sauce with it too since I can’t eat the meatballs without it. Originally it is served with a Lingonberry jam, but we don’t have them here. The cranberry is related to the Lingonberry, known also as the mountain cranberry, so that’s good enough for me.

Either way all berries are very healthy so I’m making cranberry sauce to go with the meatballs.

Serves: 4

Ingredients Meatballs;

1 lb. ground beef

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp. Butter

1/2 C. fresh bread crumbs

2 tbsp. milk

1 tbsp.  parsley, chopped

1 tbsp. dill, chopped

¼ teaspoon ground Allspice

¼ teaspoon ground Nutmeg

½ teaspoon Garlic Powder

2 tsp.  Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp. Dijon Mustard

fresh ground Pepper

½ teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp. Olive Oil + 1 tbsp. butter

Sauce;

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 C. Beef stock, from a cube is fine

1/2 C. full fat Crème fraîche mixed with 1 tsp. corn starch *see note below

1 – 2 tbsp. chopped Dill

salt and pepper to taste

 Swedish meatballs with Cranberry Tangerine sauce

Method;

First start by gently cooking the onion in 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat until translucent, about five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a bowl soak the bread crumbs in the two tablespoons of milk. Add the ground beef, parsley, dill, allspice, nutmeg, onion, garlic powder, pepper, salt and egg yolk. Mix until combined.

Roll into small meatballs, about the size of a golf ball.  In a large skillet heat olive oil and 1 Tablespoon butter. Add the meatballs and cook turning continuously until brown on each side and cooked throughout. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.

For the sauce add the butter and flour to skillet and whisk until it turns brown. Slowly stir in beef broth,  bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Add the crème fraîche . Bring to a very low simmer and add the meatballs back to the pan and heat thru. Sprinkle over fresh chopped Dill. I like a lot of dill but use as much as you like.

Serve over egg noodles, rice or french fries. Serve with the Cranberry sauce.

*Note: crème fraîche can curdle especially the low fat kind so you need to use full fat, this prevents the proteins from clinging to each other when heated, resulting in a curdled mess. Also the corn starch acts as an extra prevention and keeps everything together.

Cranberry Tangerine Sauce;

1/2 C. fresh tangerine juice

3/4 C. Organic Cane Sugar

1 cinnamon stick

12 ounces whole cranberries

Method;

In a medium saucepan, combine in the juice, the cranberries, sugar, and cinnamon. Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Ladle into glass jars. Keep in the refrigerator. Keeps for a couple of weeks or you could freeze some of it.

Swedish meatballs with Cranberry Tangerine sauce

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Moroccan Meatballs with Quinoa

Roasted Tomato sauce

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Eating seasonal is one of the best ways to cook and enjoy food at its peak moment of flavor. It only makes sense to draw from what’s fresh and put in on your table. Now at the market we have all sorts of Tomatoes, and I love to combine them in this sauce. You can make this throughout the entire season and store it in the freezer. It can be used for so many dishes and is like a good foundation for many recipes. Keep it on hand and you will always be able to make a quick dinner.

Roasting tomatoes is the secret to a sweet and fresh tasting sauce, even after it’s been jarred or frozen. And it’s beyond easy to do.

Ingredients;

  • 4 lbs. Tomatoes, washed and stems removed. Use different types!
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled, squash them a little bit with the side of a knife
  • 2 large Onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp. Finely chopped fresh Rosemary
  • 1/4 C.  extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small tin (2.5 oz.) Tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp. Honey
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 5 or 6 twist of the Pepper mill

toms

Instructions;

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a large oven tray with baking parchment. Sprinkle the Basil leafs over the tray.

Cut large tomatoes in quarters, smaller ones in half. Mix in a bowl with all the remaining ingredients.

Place the tomato mix on the  baking sheet covering all the Basil leafs so they don’t burn.

Bake for 1 hour.

Allow to cool. Remove the skins from the garlic before blending the sauce in batches. Pulse 2-3 times then blend. Pour into quart jars or pour into freezer bags to freeze flat.

Will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week or 4 months in the freezer.

Enjoy.

Myra XO