Category Archives: Side Dishes

One pot Summer Quinoa salad, Tahini-Orange dressing.

A quick Summer Salad that is made all in one pot. It can be served straight away (aka warm),  at room temperature,  or cold. We like it best cold, but that’s completely up to you of course.
I mean, what’s not to love about a salad that can be made all in one pot right?
You start by heating some olive oil in a large pot and cook some onion, garlic and veggies. Then you add the Quinoa,  add the rest of the ingredients and like magic,  15 minutes later you have the best Summer Quinoa salad of your life. Perfect for lunch or dinner over a bed of some greens, or as a side.
The Tahini Orange dressing takes the recipe to a whole new level 
Before you know it,  you’ll be making this one pot Summer Quinoa Salad, all Summer long.

INGREDIENTS:


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1 medium carrot,  peeled and chopped
1 cellery stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove,  peeled and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, green top removed,  chopped
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup chickpeas from can, drained
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup fresh corn, removed from ear or frozen

Tahini Orange Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup orange juice, about one
Juice from half a lemon
1 heaped tablespoon tahini
1 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2 teaspoons Coconut aminos
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A dash or two of franks hot sauce

1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup basil leafs, torn or chopped
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
Chili flakes
Extra orange or lemon wedges for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:


Place a medium pot over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil,  add onion and cook until glossy, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables in the order mentioned above stirring while doing so.  Carrot, cellery, garlic,  bell pepper and the tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Stir for two minutes and then add the quinoa,  give it a stir and combine well with all the vegetables in the pan.
Now add the hot stock, bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 13 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest uncovered for 5 minutes. Tip the Quinoa into a large serving dish.  Add the fresh herbs and carefully spoon thru to combine.
Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and decorate with orange or lemon wedges if desired. Serve with the Tahini Orange dressing .
To make the Tahini orange dressing,  simply combine all the ingredients in a small jar and shake to mix.  This dressing is delicious on all sorts of salads,  so I advise you to bookmark it. Enjoy!

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!