Category Archives: Side Dishes

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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This is a 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?

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 milk of choice
  • salt and pepper
  • ground nutmeg, just a dash

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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 and nutmeg.
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.

 

Roast Pork 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.

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

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 leafs
  • 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.

 

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.