Category Archives: Side Dishes

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

Elotes and Pineapple Salad , Ensalada de Elotes con Piña

This is our favorite Summer Salad, Elotes Salad or Mexican Street corn Salad with pineapple. It’s basically Mexican Street Corn that you can eat with a spoon rather than digging into a whole corn on the cob covered with Cotija, paprika etc…which can be a challenge, except that I have added some grilled pineapple.
This is a great salad to serve at your next Barbeque, or as we like to do, add it to Tacos and even pile it high on Burgers. So SO good!
It’s very simple, you start by grilling corn and fresh pineapple and once they are cooled you cut off the kernels carefully with a sharp knife, then toss together with the pineapple chunks in a simple dressing.

Prep time : 15 min
Cooking time : 10 min
Serves : 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 ears of Corn
  • 1/3- 1/2 of a fresh pineapple, peeled and sliced thick-ish (see note*)
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 small red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped fine
  • ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese (see note**)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro, more for on top

Dressing:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup crème fraiche
  • Juice of 1 lime, or more according to taste
  • A few dashes of Tabasco ( or Franks hot sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, more for on top
  • Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat (an outdoor) grill or grill pan to medium heat. Clean your corn if necessary and rub all over with a little oil. Place on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning every few minutes. Do the same with the Pineapple slices. Remove them once cooked from the grill and let them cool.
Meanwhile mix mayonnaise, crème fraiche, lime juice, tabasco and paprika together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Cut the kernels off the cob, and cut the pineapple slices into bite-size pieces
Get out a pretty bowl and combine everything… the corn, pineapple, onion, scallions, chili peppers, Cotija cheese, cilantro, and dressing. Reserve some cilantro and Cotija to sprinkle on top.

Enjoy!

* Any left-over Pineapple is great grilled and then served with ice-cream as a dessert.
** If you can’t find Cotija, I think that Feta resembles it most, it has a similar texture and taste.

If you make this Elotes salad, 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

The best Garlicky Herbs and Cheese Fries

We had these garlicky herbs and cheese fries for the first in New York last year and loved them so much that I knew I had to make them at home. 
It’s no rocket science really, just oven fries, with good seasoning and good melting cheese on top, but so good!

For the best crispy home made fries you need to parboil the potato chips first, I know it seems like a lot of trouble but it is totally worth it.

Serves: 4 as a side

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. oregano, dried
1/2 tsp. rosemary, dried
1/4 cup Parmesan grated
1/4 cup strong cheese like cheddar or mature gouda
1/3 cup mozzarella grated.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Peel and cut your potatoes into fries, and rinse.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil,  add a good amount of salt.
Once its boiling, add the potato chips,  bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.
Drain well, and place potato chips on a tea towel to dry completely.
Meanwhile pre heat oven to 210 C,
Get a large baking tray out and place the potato chips on it, drizzle with the olive oil and toss to cover each fry. Season with salt.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, turn the fries over so the brown evenly and bake for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile mix the grated cheeses with the herbs. Quickly remove the tray from the oven, push the fries a bit to the middle of the tray with a wooden spoon and sprinkle with the herbs and cheese mix. Bake for 20 more minutes until melted and golden.
Eat straight away,  these are great with some Aïoli. Enjoy!

If you make this recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you.  And please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Broccoli Salad

With Summer on its way, it’s great to have lots of salad recipes on hand. This Broccoli salad is so colorful and fun to make, and obviously fantastic to eat. The great thing about this particular salad is that you can even make it a day in advance, it holds up really well, making it perfect for Bbq’s and Picnics.

It’s very simple to make, start by soaking the cranberries in warm water.
Then you caramelize the pecan nuts with the butter and sugar.
As these cool, you steam the broccoli florets for just 3 minutes in the microwave. You rinse them under cold water and drain.
The rest of the ingredients are then added and tossed with the delicious simple dressing.


⏰ Prep time : 15 minutes
🍝 Cooking time : 15 minutes
🍴 Serves : 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main course


INGREDIENTS:

• 1 large head of Broccoli, cut into florets
• 1/2 cup of pecans
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon butter
• pinch of salt
• 1/3 cup dried cranberries
• 1/3 cup pomegranate arils, reserve some to scatter on top before serving
• 4 oz. chopped cooked ham
• 4 oz. grated aged cheddar, coarsely grated or finely chopped
• 2 tbsp. chopped chives
• 2 tbsp. chopped parsley, (1 tbsp. goes in and the other on top)
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• a good squeeze of lime juice
• 2-3 tbsp. milk
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Start by soaking the cranberries in warm water.
2. Then heat a small pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Add the Pecans, salt and the tablespoon of sugar.
3. Keep stirring until sugar is caramelizing and the nuts are golden.
4. Transfer to a plate lined with a piece of parchment paper and make sure to separate the nuts or they will form clusters.
5. Steam the broccoli florets for three minutes, rinse under cold water and drain very well.
6. For the dressing mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, lime juice, sugar and season with salt and pepper.
7. Drain the cranberries and pat dry with kitchen paper.
8. Toss all the remaining ingredients over the broccoli and mix carefully.
9. Add the dressing and toss again.
10. Place all on top of some salad leafs on a big platter to serve.
11. Sprinkle with the pomegranate arils and some parsley.

ENJOY!
MYRA