Slow Cooker Red Cabbage

My Grandma’s Slow Cooker Red Cabbage

Slow Cooker Red Cabbage

My Grandmother was a lively, determined and courageous woman with great style. She kept a beautiful house, and was also a great cook. Not necessarily exquisite cuisine, but more of an everyday cook. Also super fast and very inventive.

She didn’t own a crock pot in those days, but I do remember her slow cooking on a Paraffin Stove.
Slow cooked Red Cabbage with apples and spices, just the smell reminds me of her and my mother who has cooked the same recipe for over half a century. To me this is home cooking.
I don’t make it very often but when the temperature drops it’s just what you need, home made cozy comfort food.


Serves : 6-8
INGREDIENTS:

Slow Cooker Red Cabbage

Slow Cooker Red Cabbage

2 tbsp. butter
1 medium red cabbage, shredded on a mandoline or cut thinly with  knife
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
2 medium apples, peeled and diced small
1/4 tsp. ground dry ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground all spice
2 bay leaves
1/4 Cup  sugar
1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 Cups water
1/4 Cup red wine (I use alcohol free wine so that works fine too) or more water

Slow Cooker Red Cabbage

METHOD:
This couldn’t be easier.
Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker, toss very well.
Set the cooker to high and put on the lid. Leave to cook for 5 to 6 hours, depending how hot your slow cooker is. The water amount is just right for my slow cooker, but half way through cooking check to see how you are doing on the liquid, it shouldn’t get dry. Add a little water if necessary.
This is one of the few vegetable dishes that you want well cooked.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Stuffed Peppers and Aubergines

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Great vegetarian main dish!

During the holiday season you want to be able to serve a great main dish to your vegetarian guests that’s not just everyone else’s side dishes.

Well here to the rescue with this fantastic vegetarian main course. You can prepare it a day ahead and cook it in the oven on the day itself. Leaving you plenty of time to pour those drinks and catch up with your friends and family.

And we both know that it doesn’t have to be Christmas to serve these delicious stuffed vegetables, how about meatless Monday?

How about your new years resolutions? Has anyone started thinking about them? I have thought of a few, I want to start running more (ehem) I want to start running.

I walk a lot though. I bought a step counter thingy, ok let me look that up…..so, a pedometer and ever since I got it I have walked more and more, it’s almost like a curse. Now when I need to get cream for instance like yesterday evening, all of sudden it occurred to me that I had to make caramel for my daughters cake, I will walk , normally I would take my bike or car, but now I do walk everywhere. I think I probably walk about 8000 steps a day, which isn’t enough it should be 10.000 they say but hey, I’m moving.

And of course another good resolution would be to eat less meat. I think twice a week is more than enough. I already do that but my daughter for instance is such carnivore.She would have spare ribs for breakfast if she could.

So, give this a try and let me know if you miss the beef? I bet you won’t.

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Serves 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side

Ingredients.

2 Aubergines

2 red peppers

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 garlic, peeled and grated

1 pack of Quorn mince or vegetarian mince, 340 grs. / 12 oz.

2 cups cooked spelt or brown rice

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. agave or honey

1 tbsp. flour

1 cup vegetable stock

a handful parsley, chopped

2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1 cup grated cheese like cheddar or gouda or vegan substitute

salt and pepper

Bechamel sauce;

4 tbsp. olive oil

1/3 cup flour

2 cups soy milk

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Method;

Pre heat oven to 200° / 390°

Wash all the vegetables, dry them and cut them in half. Cut the core and seeds out of the peppers leaving the stalk on. I actually try to cut the stalk in half too so everyone gets a bit of green.

Remove the flesh from the aubergine leaving about a quarter inch of the sides.

Cut up the flesh.

Put a large frying pan on the heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the onion and garlic until beginning to colour. Add the aubergine and celery and add the other tablespoon of oil. Season with the Cajun seasoning and cook for about 15 minutes until the aubergine is soft.

Add the quorn and spelt and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and sweetener. Cook for an other minute.

Add the tablespoon of flour and cook for a minute or two. Add a cup of stock and stir around, it should be getting a little  thick, the idea is to bind the filling a little bit so it holds better in the vegetables. Fill the peppers and aubergine halves and place them in a baking tray that has been covered with parchment paper.

To make the bechamel sauce;

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat.

Add the flour and whisk into the oil until smooth.
Cook  for 2 minutes, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and changes to a lighter colour.
Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to stop lumps forming.
Cook for at least five minutes so the flour is  fully cooked.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the filled vegetables. and cover with aluminum foil, place on a rack in the middle of the oven.  After 30 minutes remove the foil and sprinkle generously with the grated cheddar. Return to the oven for additional 20-30 minutes.
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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 #thecookingspoon on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Clementine Cranberry Roast Pork

…with crème fraîche mashed potatoes.

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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.

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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

Needed;

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

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Method;

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 our 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.

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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.

Baked Beans, three cooking methods

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…Slow Cooker, Oven or Stove Top.

If you have never had home made Baked Beans before, you’re missing out on something very good and comforting. Seriously the first time I had them, I just couldn’t believe how a simple pot of beans could blow me away like that.

The ingredient list may seem long but it’s effortless to throw together.

Throw everything in a pot and that’s it. Dinner done, ok a couple of hours later. If you cook it in a crock pot you don’t even have to stay home.

I’ve given you the cooking times of the three common methods, crock pot, stove and oven. Which ever you prefer. Oven being the authentic way, but all just as good.

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Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 lb. white Beans , soaked overnight in plenty of water

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

4 oz. smoked bacon cut into cubes

2 Bay Leaves

1  2.5 oz can of Tomato Paste

2 tbsp. Pure Blackstrap Molasses

2 tbsp. Maple Syrup

1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp. Liquid Smoke

1 tbsp. Sweet Smoked Paprika

1 tbsp. stock concentrate, beef or chicken

1 thick slice of salted smoked pork (loin or shoulder), known also as Kasseler

2 tbsp. thick Dark Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp. Himalayan Salt

Black Pepper

1/4 C. Tomato Ketchup

3 C. water

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Method;

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add diced bacon, garlic, and onion to pan and stir frequently until bacon begins to crisp, about 8-10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining ingredients.  The liquid should cover the beans by 1/2 inch. Add more water if necessary. Bring to a simmer.

Oven : Preheat oven to 300° F . Transfer to an oven proof dish and cover with foil. Cook without stirring, until the beans are tender and the liquid has thickened, about 6 hours. Check the beans every hour to see if you need to add more water, the beans should be saucy at all times.  For the last hour of cooking, uncover beans.

Slow Cooker : Transfer to slow cooker and cook on high for about 4-5 hours, depending on your slow cooker, so check.

Stove Top : Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours with the lid half on, check for liquid every now and then.

I like to serve the Baked Beans with home made bread.

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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.

Passion Kale Salad with Grapes

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Let me introduce you to a new couple,  Passion fruit and Kale. They say opposites attract, right?

Kale being strong, textured, dark and rough, and Passion fruit being delicate, perfumed, sweet and juicy.

These two go together so well. I wanted to find something completely different from the most obvious choices to accompany the kale, giving it sweetness and something  very different.

The addition of Grapes I love because to me they are like little explosions of sweet juice.

The nuts have had a turn in the pan with a bit of honey and salt to give them crunch and flavour. So to make a long story short, I think you’re really gonna like this one and it’s so pretty too.

The essential trick is to massage the Kale long enough for the right texture, it’s also easier to digest this way and it becomes a little softer.

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Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients;

1  12 oz./350 gr. bag of (organic) washed and chopped Kale

juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 tsp Himalayan Salt

1 tbsp. Raw Honey

freshly Black Pepper

1/2 C. red grapes cut in half

1 passion fruit. (wrinkled fruit means sweeter)

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1/3 C. Walnuts roughly chopped

1 tbsp. Honey

a sprinkling of Himalayan Salt

Method;

Get out a tray and cover with parchment paper.

Put a frying pan on to medium heat. Toast the walnuts for  about three minutes until golden, add the salt and honey. Cook for an other minute or so until syrupy and sticky. Take off the heat and pour the nuts onto the tray with parchment paper. Let cool.

Put the Kale in a bowl. Add salt, lemon juice and olive oil. With very clean hands, start massaging and squeezing the kale, for about ten minutes. Until it turns darker and softer.

Spoon out half of the Passion fruit and add the tablespoon honey, incorporate in the kale salad and mix.

Place the Kale on a pretty serving dish or plate. Decorate with the grapes and nuts. Spoon the other half of the passion fruit pulp out on top of the kale salad.

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Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Harvest Pumpkin Salad, baked Halloumi & Chantherelles with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Jerusalem Artichoke au jus with Pancetta, Garlic and Thyme

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Let’s talk about the Jerusalem Artichoke. This knobby little tuber with the resemblance of ginger is an (underestimated) root vegetable.

Jerusalem Artichokes are packed with inulin, a long chain of fructose molecules that us humans have a hard time breaking down.  So that makes it a fibre rather than a starch and has hardly any effect on blood sugar levels. Inulin is also a  prebiotic that stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract that in turn aids digestion and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.

There has been some controversy lately on the internet about this vegetable  whether it’s bad for the tummy, or if it may cause gas or some intolerance. I have to say that I have never had any trouble. Some peope say it’s because of the skin so just peel them to be save.

And although the side effects such as gas only occurs in a small percentage of people, it’s best to know whether you’re one of those people before serving them at your next dinner party. Just try a few and see. They are really worth it.

They are also very healthy, with high fibre, high potassium, good for lowering cholesterol and they boost the immune system. So let’s stay positive and give them a change. They have a delicious nutty flavour and also really do have an artichoke flavour. They are velvety soft on the inside, perfect for fall dishes.

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Ingredients;

1 lb. Jerusalem Artichoke

1 lemon

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

2 tsp. very good quality Beef Broth Concentrate

1/4  C. hot water

2 oz. chopped Pancetta

1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped fine

a few sprigs of thyme

1 tsp. Thyme leafs for decorating

Method;

Halve the lemon, squeeze out the juice and put the juice  into a bowl with plenty of cold water. Peel the jerusalem artichokes, cut away the ends, then cut into two if very long. then drop them into the lemon water to stop them from discolouring.

Heat  the oil and half the butter in a large sauté pan or deep frying pan over a medium heat. Drain the jerusalem artichokes, dry them well, add to the pan. Fry them for 5 minutes until they get a bit golden brown. Add the stock concentrate, move the pan around very gently and add the water, not all at once, safe some for later. Tuck in the thyme sprigs. Partially cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook for  15 minutes until just tender. After ten minutes check and see if you need to add water. Move the jerusalem artichoke around gently so they all get covered in the jus. Be careful not to break the topinambur since they are quite fragile. By the end of cooking the liquid should have evaporated and you should be left with a sticky kind of coating on the chokes.

In an other large frying pan add the rest of the butter and cook the pancetta until just turning golden. Add the garlic and leave to cook for a few seconds. Add to the pan of Jeruslaem Artichokes  and gently toss everything together. Sprinkle over the remaining thyme leafs.

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Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Maple glazed Hazelnuts and Bacon

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Maple glazed Hazelnuts and Bacon

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This side dish is going to blow your mind! Wait… side dish?  What am I saying, it’s more than just a side dish, you don’t really need anything else, it’s that good.

I have to confess that I am a little bit obsessed with side dishes, I think they deserve more attention. It also has to do with the fact that I try not to eat carbs in the evening so I want to have something really spectacular to compensate for the lack of potatoes or rice. When I was eating these Brussels sprouts I almost forgot about the grilled chicken I had on the side and ate the entire dish of sprouts, oops.

Ok, I’ll admit that I was very full, but so satisfied.

Serves 4 (or 2 if you’re like me)

      

Ingredients;

1 lbs. Brussels sprouts, cleaned and shredded

1 small onion, peeled and diced as fine as you can

1 Garlic clove, peeled and grated or crushed

4 oz. smoked Bacon, cut in medium small dice  (* Omit or use vegetarian bacon for vegetarians)

1/3 C. Hazelnuts, skin removed

2 tbsp. Butter

2 tbsp. Maple Syrup

salt and pepper

2 – 3 tbsp. Water

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Method;

Over medium high heat fry the bacon for a few minutes in one tablespoon of butter. Once they start to get a little crispy and golden add the hazelnuts. Fry for about 4 minutes until the nuts become golden.  Now add the Maple syrup and continue to cook for an other  3 minutes until all is nice and sticky and golden.

Place the nuts and bacon in a bowl and set aside.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Once melted add the onions, the garlic and the Brussels sprouts after a minutes or so. Start sautéing, season with salt and black pepper. Add the two  tablespoons of water and put a lid on the pan, leaving a side open, or use a lid with holes in it like I do.

Cook for about seven minutes or until they are tender to your liking. Return the hazelnuts and bacon to the pan and sautee for another minute until heated thru. Serve immediately.

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"Gratin Dauphinois"

Gratin Dauphinois with Gruyere.

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Ingredients;

2 lb /1 kg starchy potatoes

1 garlic clove peeled and sliced in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

grating of nutmeg

Freshly ground pepper

1 C. cream

1/2 C. chicken stock

1 C.  grated Gruyere cheese

Method;

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

Bring cream, chicken stock, nutmeg and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and let it steep while you make the rest of the gratin.

Rub a baking dish with the cut garlic, then spread with the  butter.

Peel the potatoes and slice them thin.

Place half of the potatoes in the dish, then scatter over cheese.

Repeat for the second layer, finishing with the cheese.

Pour over the cream.

Cover with lid or foil, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 until the top is bubbly and golden. Rest for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with some chives or parsley before serving.

Alt="Gratin Dauphinois"

Alt="Gratin Dauphinois"

Another great fast side dish would be Super quick pan roast Jacket Potatoes.

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Endive Gratin with Baked Apples, Blue cheese and Thyme

Serves 4 as a side dish

Who disliked Endives as a kid?… raise your hands….

Well I don’t know about you, but I really really disliked Endives when I was a child. Always prepared so very over cooked. Boiled and then rolled in some cheap ham and covered in cheese. It was bitter and the consistency was just aweful.

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Thank goodness we have come a long way since then when it comes to being creative with endive. Really there is more than just Waldorf salad and the typical gratin.

I actually love this dish and some times I eat it with just some steamed new potatoes, it’s that satisfying. But I think it goes particularly well with white meats like  chicken or pork.

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Ingredients;

6 Large heads of Endive, about 1.5 lbs.

3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp. pine nuts

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin.

1 tablespoon fresh Thyme leafs

1/4 C. white wine

5 oz. blue cheese, 2 medium apples, peeled, core removed, cut in wedges

2 tbsp. honey

2 – 3 tbsp. pine nuts

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Method;

In a large frying pan, melt one tablespoon of butter and when hot add the apples. Fry for about 5 minutes then add 1 tbsp. of  honey, cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the apple slices to a plate and reserve.

Cut the endive in half lengthwise and remove bruised outer leafs if necessary. Slice away a small bit from the bottom.

In the same pan, add the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Add the endive cut side down and sprinkle over the thyme, season with salt and pepper.Cook for about  5 minutes before adding the garlic and the remaining honey, and turn them once in a while.  Add the white wine. Depending on how thick they are, cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Pierce with a knife to check if they are tender but still a little bit firm.

Turn on the grill.

Transfer the endive to a baking dish and gently place the baked apple wedges around the sides.

Cut the blue cheese in slices and divide over the endive. Sprinkle over the pine nuts.

Grill the endives for about 5 minutes until nice and melted and golden. Keep an eye on it!

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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Not quite what you were looking for? How about a  Beet Salad

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Quinoa Tabbouléh with Chickpeas and Pomegranite Seeds

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Serves 4 as a side

Quinoa is such a versatile grain, I love it! It’s cooked in minutes and basically you can do anything you like with it once it’s cooked. Plus point; it freezes really well too. Just put it in a zip lock bag in the freezer and scoop out what you need.

During the Summer, when it’s too warm to eat hot dishes I like making salads like these, where there is some sort of grain involved and you have your veggies and carbs in one dish.

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Tabbouleh is a middle eastern dish usually made with Bulgur, a kind of dried cracked wheat, but I like to use Quinoa instead since it has a lot more protein, less carbs and more fibre. Also it’s Gluten free.  Quinoa to me is a super grain, the seeds grow on large feather like branches and can be black, red or white. In Inca quinoa means “mother grain”, and I can see why.

However when you cook Quinoa it is very important that you rinse the seeds very well before cooking since they are covered in saponin, a bitter substance that works like a natural insect repellant for the plant.

Ingredients;

1 1/2 C. Quinoa

3 C. Stock, vegetable or chicken

1 can of chickpeas, drained

1/2 C. Pomegranite seeds

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup good olive oil

Himalayan salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts

1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1  cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced

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Method;

Cook the Quinoa according to package instructions or;

Wash the Quinoa thoroughly and put in a pan, add the stock. Bring to a gently boil and cook with the lid on the pan for about 10 – 12 minutes , taste and check  to see if the Quinoa is done.

Place the Quinoa in a large bowl and let it cool before adding the chickpeas, pom seeds, scallions, cucumber, herbs, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss and serve either cooled or at room temperature. Great with grilled meats!

Enjoy

Myra Xo

Looking for more great recipes to try?  Be sure to check out this Watermelon Salad

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