Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Salmon fillets with peanut crust, spicy vegetables and noodles

Is it sad that one of today's highlights was seeing the new Met line train at the station leaving work? Probably, but if you would like me spend 2 h a day in those old smelly Met trains that shake so bad that it is sometimes impossible to read something, not to mention trying to drink coffee without spilling it all over you (actually some days the train is shaking so bad I'm contemplating the need of wearing a sport bra when traveling...), you would be excited too. For awhile I thought the new trains were like Santa Claus, just a fairy tale, but now we do occasionally see them. Though they always appear to be not in service. Quite like the rest of Met line really...

Anyhow, to further cheer me up on this foggy day I cooked this very easy dish. It is based on a recipe from the latest number of Delicious. Lots of nice vegetables with hot chili, ginger, and tangy lime. The peanut crust add extra crunch and a bit of saltiness. All in all, a lovely dinner with a minimum of effort.

Salmon fillets with peanut crust, spicy vegetables and noodles (4 portions)
4 skinless salmon fillets
50 g peanuts, finely chopped
small bunch of coriander, chopped
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
a handful of fresh breadcrumbs
1.5 tbsp toasted sesame oil
3 pak choi, leaves separated
6 spring onions, halved lengthways and then sliced in 4 cm pieces
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 orange pepper, sliced
100 g mangetout
2 red chillies, finely chopped
2 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
light soy sauce
lime wedges
200 g dry egg noodles

Preheat the oven to 200C

Mix the peanuts, coriander, lime zest and juice, breadcrumbs and 0.5 tbsp sesame oil, then press together onto the top of the salmon fillets

Scatter the pak choi, spring onions, peppers and mangetout in a large oven dish or roasting tray. Top with the chillies, ginger and garlic, and drizzle over 1 tbsp sesame oil

Place the salmon fillets on top. Roast in the oven for 8-12 min until the salmon is just cooked through.

Prepare the egg noodles according to instructions

Top the noodles with vegetables and salmon, and drizzle over soy sauce. Serve with additional lime wedges, more coriander, and chopped peanuts for extra crunch.

Here is one of my favourite songs so far this year, 'Looking glass' by Little Dragon. Quite a weird limbo video though...

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Saffron cake

I'm not a big fan of Christmas as a holiday, it's to commercial and I find a lot of the traditions quite restraining. Maybe I would feel differently if there wasn't Christmas stuff in the shops already in September. It's only November now, but I've already heard enough Christmas songs. At work I'm for sure the grinch, and my colleague S is definitively the Christmas fairy.

Anyhow, there are things I do like about Christmas, like a lot of the traditional food and drinks. In Sweden we make a lot of cakes and buns with saffron before Christmas. This is a slightly different saffron cake compared to the traditional ones. It got a beautiful yellow colour, and helps me feel maybe a tiny bit more happy about Christmas approaching.

Saffron cake
200 g butter
0.5 g saffron
2 eggs
3 dl sugar
1.5 dl milk
1.5 cm fresh ginger, grated
4 dl plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
juice from 1-2 lemons

Preheat the oven to 175C

Butter and bread a 24 cm cake tin

Melt the butter

Using a pestle and mortar, powder the saffron threads with a little sugar

Whip eggs and sugar. Add saffron, butter, ginger, and milk.

Add the baking powder

Finally add the flour and make a smooth batter

Pour the cake batter into the tin, and bake for 45 min.

While the cake is still hot from the oven, pierce the surface with a fork and pour onto the lemon juice.

Dust over the cake with icing sugar before serving.

Here is a different Christmas song, Achtung Christmas by Tyskarna från Lund (the Germans from Lund). The band started as part of a Swedish comedy group, Varanteatern, and makes fun of stereotypical synth music.

Osso bucco brisket with celeriac mash

What to do on a rainy November Sunday? Cook of course! I love slow-cooked food, it requires a minimum of work for maximum of taste. This is a version of a classic Italian dish, Osso bucco. Osso bucco should be made with veal shanks, or possibly lamb shanks instead, but if you do like me and go food shopping on a Sunday afternoon, the meat counter can be quite empty. Today I instead used brisket, which is one of my favourite meats for slow-cooking.

I think osso bucco is traditionally served with saffron rice or risotto, but it's great served also with polenta or potato gnocchi. My original plan today was actually to make gnocchi, but I felt a bit lazy and ended up making celeriac mash instead. I used half potatoes and half celeriac, I think the mash becomes to watery with just celeriac. I think mash is the ultimate comfort food, smooth, silky, buttery, mmmm.....

Osso bucco brisket with celeriac mash (4 portions)
800 g brisket, sliced into 2 x 3 cm cubes, or 4- 6 thick slices of veal shank (2-3 inches), or 3-4 small lamb shanks
2 carrots, sliced
2 yellow onions, chopped
300 g celeriac, finely chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can of whole tomatoes
1 bottle of white wine
8 bay leaves
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 cubes of beef, veal or chicken stock
salt and pepper

For the mash
500 g celeriac, chopped
500 g potatoes, chopped
2 cubes of chicken stock

1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
grated lemon zest from 1-2 lemons
1 garlic clove, grated

Start by dusting the meat with flour, and then browning it at high heat and lightly season with salt and pepper

Saute onions, carrot, celeriac and garlic for 5 min in large pot.

Add the meat, wine, bay leaves, tomatoes, herbs and stock cubes to the pot.

Cook on medium heat until the wine has reduced to 1/2 the volume.

Cover the pot with a lid and continue cooking the osso bucco at low heat for a couple of hours until the meat is tender. Alternatively cook in the oven at low temperature. Add more water if necessary if the stew is going a bit to dry and concentrated.

While the osso bucco is cooking, make the mash.

Add the chopped potatoes and celeriac to a pot, cover with milk and add the chicken stock.Cook until the vegetables are soft.

Drain and reserve the remainder of the milk. Puree the vegetables, add 50 g of butter and enough of the reserved milk to give a smooth consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the osso bucco with the mash and sprinkle over gremolata. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Butter bean and garlic soup

I have been a lazy cook and food blogger lately. There's been a lot of things going on lately and I haven't really had time to cook or blog about it. November is such a depressing month, it's so dark (and still it is lighter here in the UK then in Sweden...), wet and boring. I feel like I have no energy left. I hate winter!

Anyhow, this soup, which is a version of a Tuscan bean soup, is smooth and filling, with a sweetness from lots and lots of garlic. One thing is for sure, if you eat this soup, you really should be safe from both vampires and colds :) Despite the number of garlic cloves, it doesn't taste very strongly of garlic as you roast the cloves first.

Butter bean and garlic soup (4 portions)
2 cans of butter beans
1 large potato, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
4 bay leaves
1 pinch chili flakes
chicken or vegetable stock
1 dl milk
15 garlic cloves, unpeeled
olive oil
salt and pepper

Start by roasting the garlic cloves in a little olive oil in the oven at 225C. Once the cloves are soft, peel and keep the soft roasted flesh

Whilst the garlic cloves are roasting, fry the chopped onion and garlic on medium heat for a couple of minutes in a large pot

Add herbs and spices, beans, potatoes and parsnips. Cover with chicken stock and boil for 20-30 min until the vegetables are soft.

Remove bay leaves, add the roasted garlic and milk, and puree the soup. Add more water if necessary

Add salt and pepper to taste.

I served this with homemade bread, delicious!

Here is a song that get's me dancing, trying to shake of my November blues, Cardiac arrest by Teddybears

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Braised sausages with lentils and apples

Like I wrote in my last post, I'm really into comfort food at the moment. This casserole with sausages, lentils and apples might not be very pretty dish, but it tastes heavenly and is easy to make. My sister and her husband were here over the weekend, and as they also are major foodies, we both ate and talked about food a lot. We had this discussion if it's healthier to eat a lot of lentils and beans compared to for example dishes with meat. I don't know, I think I'll side with my sister here and say it comes down more to portion size if you want to eat healthy and losing weight (Sorry L!). That said, I do think everyone would benefit from eating more lentils, because they are nutritious, cheap and most importantly of all, delicious. Though this is an incredibly tasty dish, making portion size control difficult....

If you don't like sausages, and those strange people exist - my sister is one of them, you could braise beef or chicken instead, but maybe then also add some smoked bacon for flavour. Or make the lentils without any meat and serve it with for example pan-fried cod.

Braised sausages with lentils and apples (4 portions)
4 dl puy or green lentils
4 bay leaves
1 cube of beef stock
450 g of sausages (I used Tesco's chili pork sausages)
1 large red onion, in thin wedges
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 apples, in wedges
1 tbsp flour
1 dl red wine
1 tsp dried thyme
1 large tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 cube of chicken stock
salt and pepper

Start by boiling the lentils in beef stock together with the bay leaves. Cook for 15-20 minutes until they start to soften but still are a bit crunchy.

Cut the sausages in thirds, and fry in a large saucepan on medium heat until golden.

Add the onion and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes, then add the apples and fry for another couple of minutes.

Sprinkle over the flour and stir it in.

Add the red wine and about 3 dl of chicken stock, also add the thyme and mustard.

Drain the lentils and remove the bay leaves. Add the lentils to the saucepan and cook on low heat for another 15 min. Add more stock if necessary.

Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

Today's song is Veronica Maggio's Stopp

Oven pancake with bacon and apples (fläskpannkaka med äpplen)

I've been ill for the last couple of weeks, I have this very persistent cold. When I'm ill I feel really sorry for myself and wish I was home and my mum could take care of me. Unfortunately I am a grown-up, and unless I'm extremely ill like last year when I had the swine flu and had to go into to the hospital for a bit, I have to take care of myself (but must say my flatmate does a great job of taking care of me too, she's a sweetheart). The next best thing after my mum at times like this is comfort food.

Maybe this is an expat thing, but I think it probably is the same for everyone, comfort food is food you grew up eating. One of favourite dinners growing up, and still when I go home, is a thick pancake with salty bacon. In Sweden you would use rimmat fläsk, which is a heavily salted fatty pork meat, here I used smoked bacon but I think pancetta would work as well. Instead of bacon, you can make this pancake with apples but then you might prefer having it as dessert. Here I used both bacon and apples as I like the contrast between salt and sweet. In Sweden you would eat your bacon pancake with sugar or lingonberry jam, thus you would get that contrast anyway. I'm not very keen on jams so I add the apples instead. To make this a meal, I serve it with a simple salad with grated carrots, grated cabbage and oranges.

Oven pancake with bacon and apples (6 portions)
600 g smoked bacon, chopped
2 apples
50 g butter
5 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 L milk
5 dl wheat flour

Fry the bacon in the pan until it starts to be slightly crispy

Whip the eggs, add the salt, 2 dl of milk, and flour, stir it until you have a smooth batter. Add the milk, a little at the time, and whip it until you have a smooth batter.

Put a large oven tray in the oven at 225C, add the butter to the tray

Once the butter has melted, add the bacon and apples to the tray. Pour over the pancake batter and put the tray in the oven.

Cook for ca 35 min until the pancake is golden and has risen.

Serve with sugar and jam if you like, and salad.

As I'm feeling a bit home-sick and nostalgic, I've been listening to Bo Kaspers Orkester a lot today, a band I listen to a lot during late evenings over endless cups of tea with my friends during my late teens/early twenties. Here is one of my favourites, Hon är så söt (She is so sweet)

Parsnip soup with home-made bread rolls

Fresh bread still hot from the oven must be one of the most delicious things ever! Just the incredibly smell that fills the house when you bake bread is a reason good enough to make you're own bread. I love baking, it is easy and doesn't take much time at all. I made this to go with a parsnip soup last week when I had a friend over for dinner. Soup is such comforting food when it is chilly outside. Soup, bread, some wine, and hours spent in company with your friends, that is truly quality time.

The soup is easy to make (sorry C, there is some creme fraiche in it, but you can make it without it. The creme fraiche makes it a little bit smoother and enhances the flavour), and the bread as well. The dough needs some time to rise, you can do it for half the time than I suggested but the longer time will develop the taste of the bread. So far I have never been able to find fresh yeast here in the UK except if I go to Scandinavian kitchen to buy Swedish yeast or by asking for it at bakeries, here in the UK I almost always use dry yeast. It works well, I particularly like Sainsbury's dry yeast.

I added crispy smoked bacon and portobello mushrooms to the soup when I served it. The saltiness of the bacon goes very well with the slight sweetness of the soup.

Basic white bread rolls (20 rolls)
45-50g yeast
6 dl milk or water
50 g butter or 2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar or runny honey
10-12 dl strong wheat flour

If you use fresh yeast:

- Dissolve the yeast in a little milk or water first in a large bowl
- Melt the butter, warm the milk or water. If you use fresh yeast, warm the liquid to 37C (finger temperature)
- Add the warm liquid to the yeast mixture and stir until the yeast is completely dissolved
- Add sugar/honey and salt, then add 2/3 of the flour and stir together
- Add more flour until you have a smooth dough
- Knead the dough for a couple of minutes in the bowl or on the kitchen counter
- Leave it to rise in a bowl covered with a kitchen towel for 30-60 min

If you use dry yeast:

- Add 10 dl of flour, sugar (if you use honey, add it to the liquid instead), salt and yeast to a large bowl and mix it together
- Melt the butter, warm the milk or water. If you use dry yeast, warm the liquid to 45C (slightly hotter than finger temperature)
- Add the warm liquid to the flour mixture and stir together
- Add more flour until you have a smooth dough
- Knead the dough for a couple of minutes in the bowl or on the kitchen counter
- Leave it to rise in a bowl covered with a kitchen towel for 30-60 min

Once the dough has risen for the first time, take up the dough and knead it on the kitchen counter. Add more flour if the dough is loose and sticky.

Divide the dough in two, then roll out each half to a long roll and divide into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece to form a small bun and place on a buttered baking tray. Make sure to not place the buns to close together as they'll grow in size.

Cover the baking trays with kitchen towels and let them rise for an additional 30 min.

Bake at 225C for 10-20 min until golden. Both the top and bottom should be golden, and the rolls should feel 'light' and not heavy and doughy.

Parsnip soup (4 portions)
5 large parsnips, chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small celeriac, chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 dl white wine
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp honey
0.5 tsp dried thyme
0.5 tsp smoked paprika
2 cubes of chicken or vegetable stock
a pinch of dried chili flakes
1 dl creme fraiche
olive oil
salt and pepper

6 slices of smoked bacon, finely chopped
4 portobello mushrooms, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, pressed

Saute onions, garlic and celeriac in a large pot for a couple of minutes without the colouring the onions

Add the parsnips, wine, spices, and stock cubes. Add enough water to cover the vegetables.

Cook for 15-20 min until the parsnips and celeriac are soft.

Remove the bay leaves and blend the soup until smooth, and return it to the stove.

Add the creme fraiche, and if necessary more water.

Add salt and pepper to taste. The soup should have a delicate slightly sweet taste.

Fry the bacon until crispy and remove from the pan. Fry the mushrooms together with the garlic in the bacon fat. Stir together bacon and mushrooms, and let everyone add it to the soup themselves when serving.

Here's one of Robyn's latest songs, Hang with me, to go with the soup

Roasted root vegetables with feta cheese

I'm trying to save a bit of money at the moment as I want to go on a longer trip to China next year, and one way to save money is food. However, cheap food doesn't have to be boring, there is really no need to just eat pot noodles because you're skint. Although I do remember one summer as a student when I was pretty broke and partially survived on massive courgettes from a friends garden, pasta, and apples from the gardens around where I lived... That wasn't much fun, but just at little bit of money is really enough to eat very well.

One way of saving money on food is eating according to the seasons, at the moment things like root vegetables and apples are really cheap. That they are tasty and good for you is another bonus. This is an easy dish, I think it's good on it's own with a spicy feta cheese mix, but you could of course have it together with for example a roasted chicken too.

Roasted vegetables with feta cheese (4 portions)
4 carrots
8 parsnips
6 large potatoes
2 red onions
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp dried thyme
1-2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
olive oil
salt and pepper

250 g feta cheese
1 dl sour cream
1-2 tsp harissa (I used Belazu rose harissa, one of my favourites)
1 garlic clove, pressed

Cut the vegetables in equal sized wedges, and place in a large oven dish

Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, add the garlic, smoked paprika, herbs and salt and pepper, and toss the vegetables to cover them with the oil and spices

Place the dish in the oven and roast at 200C for 30-45 min until the vegetables are golden and soft.

In the meantime, grate the feta cheese, add the sour cream, harissa and garlic and mix together for a coarse sauce.

Enjoy! And why not listen to the lovely Elegi by Lars Winnerbäck whilst eating this?

Monday, 11 October 2010

Cauliflower and lentil curry

I made this today to have for lunch during this week, roughly following a recipe I found in the latest number of Delicious. Delicious is my favourite food magazine here in the UK, I find inspiring recipes in most of the numbers. I love food magazines and cook books, preferably reading them in bed. Nothing wrong in indulging in a bit of food porn :)

This curry is quite mild and filling, with mushy lentils and crisp cauliflower. You could have it with rice or bread, but I think I'll have it as it is. Next time I'll be sure to add some turmeric, as the recipe suggested, to give it a nicer brighter yellow colour, but I forgot to buy it when I was at the grocery store (along with a lot of other stuff I should have bought, sometimes I really am a goldfish). I think I would also add some mustard seeds at the start together with the cumin seeds, and maybe also add some cardamon pods.

Cauliflower and lentil curry (4 portions)
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
150 g red lentils
1 yellow onion
2 cm ginger, grated
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 red chili
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
0.5 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp mild curry powder - I added 1.5 tbsp
1 can of coconut milk
200 gr tomatoes, chopped
juice from 1 lime
large bunch of coriander
1 cube of vegetable stock
mild olive or sunflower oil

Fried spices
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
6 cloves
0.5 tsp chili flakes
mild olive oil or sunflower oil

Put the lentils into a small pan with 450 ml cold water, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 10-20 min until the lentils are soft and almost like a puree.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add half of the cumin seeds and the cauliflower florets, cook for a couple of minutes on medium heat until the cauliflower starts to have coloured spots.

Add some oil, the rest of the cumin seeds, and once the seeds starts sizzling, add the chopped onion. Cook gently until the onions has softened but not browned.

Add the ginger, garlic, and chili, and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add ground coriander, cumin, turmeric and curry powder, cook for another minute and then add coconut milk and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is just tender.

Stir the lentils into the curry with the lime juice and add salt to taste. Simmer for a couple of more minutes.

Add the chopped coriander and turn of the heat.

Fry the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cloves and chili flakes in a little oil quickly, and then stir into the curry. Let the fried spices infuse the curry for a couple of minutes before serving.

Mmmmm, already looking forward to lunch tomorrow (and Wednesday, and probably Thursday, but will be quite happy to go out for lunch on Friday to eat something else)!

Today's music suggestion is one of my favourite songs my Anna Ternheim, To be gone. For some reason I always associate it with autumn.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

How do you leave comments on the blog?

I got a couple of questions re how to leave comments on the posted recipes. It is easy, when you get the choice to add Name/URL, you just write your name (or whatever you want to call yourself). You don't need an account or URL.

So please, keep reading and let me know what you think of the recipes and the music :)

Kladdkaka - Swedish sticky chocolate cake

Kladdkaka is a Swedish sticky chocolate cake, a bit similar to chocolate brownies. Kladdkaka is very popular in Sweden and is served in most cafes. I made this as dessert to have after the chili on our birthday party. It is very easy to do, the only thing is to keep an eye on the time, if it is left to long in the oven it goes dry and you really want it to be quite gooey and loose.

I used a recipe from a Swedish blog dedicated to kladdkaka and other chocolate cakes, the original recipe can be found here http://kladdkakerecept.blogspot.com/2007/11/lyxig-kladdkaka.html

Kladdkaka (8 portions, but sometimes it is enough for only 2 people as it is delicious...)
100 g butter
100 g dark chocolate, I used Green&Black 70% dark chocolate, chopped
4 tbsp cocoa powder
2 eggs
2 dl sugar
1 1/4 dl flour
1 pinch of salt
2 tbsp strong coffee

Preheat the oven to 175C.

Butter and bread a 24 cm cake tin.

Melt the butter, and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted in the hot butter.

Pour the butter and chocolate mixture into a bowl, add the sugar, salt, flour, coffee and eggs. Stir until you have smooth and glossy batter.

Pour the cake batter into the tin, and bake for 20-24 min. The cake should still be quite soft and gooey in the middle when you take it out.

Let the cake settle for a couple of hours before eating. It's great on it's own or you could serve it with ice cream or whipped cream and raspberries. You can also vary the recipe by adding for example raspberries and pistachio nuts to the cake batter.

Here is more Swedish electro to go with the cake, Rebecca & Fiona's The luminary ones

Beef chili

It was my birthday earlier this week, and to celebrate I had invited my friends over to our flat. I love having people around and cook for them. I wanted to make something autumnal and that I could leave on the stove with a minimum of attention so I decided to make a massive pot of chili. The picture was taken quite late in the evening, but the 10L pot was completely full at the start of it, and the following morning completely empty. Lucky that, because I thought when I was making it that I might end up eating chili for the next 6 months.... I have a tendency to cook way too much food, it's like I have a perpetual fear of anyone leaving my house hungry. I think this trait is directly passed down from my mum and gran, my family cooks a lot and really do show their love through food.

This recipe is for 15-20 people, but you can easily just divide it and make a smaller batch. The addition of coffee, cocoa powder and cinnamon gives the chili a complex and deep flavour. I made it the night before the party, it needs a good 4-5 hours on the stove or in the oven on low heat. The day after you slowly heat it up again and add the beans and maybe some additional red wine or spices. It's hot and full of flavours, I served it with sour cream and bread but you can of course also serve it with rice.

Beef chili (15-20 portions)
3 kg of casserole/stewing beef, cut in 2 x 2 cm chunks
6 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 bottle of red wine
6 yellow onions, chopped
6 peppers, chopped
250 g chorizo, thinly sliced
600 g smoked bacon, chopped
15 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 cans of butter or cannellini beans
10 bay leaves
2 tbsp mild chili powder
1 tbsp chili flakes
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp oregano
0.5 dl sugar
0.5 dl apple cider vinegar, or use red vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 cubes with beef stock
1 dl strong coffee

Start by browning the meat in batches, lightly season it with salt and pepper, and add to the pot.

Saute onions, peppers, and garlic and add to the pot.

Fry the bacon and add to the pot.

Add the chorizo, tomatoes, red wine, the beef stock, sugar, vinegar, coffee. Add water if necessary.

Cook at low temperature on the stove or in the oven, it takes up to 4-5 h for the meat to become tender and the flavours to develop.

It the chili is too hot, try adding more sugar and adding some more wine or vinegar. Usually it will become more mellow by day two as the flavours develop.

The next day, heat it up on low temperature and add the beans. If you like, add 2 dl red wine too. Let cook for another hour on low heat, taste it and add some more salt/pepper/sugar if necessary.

What could be better than some cool electro to go with that hot chili? Here's Robert Svensson's The beat

Monday, 4 October 2010

Sweetcorn soup with chorizo and salsa

I'm just back after a fantastic and sunny weekend in Barcelona. Such amazing food, I love tapas, especially the fried green peppers, Pimientos de Padron. So delicious, I need to learn how to do them! Back here in the big smoke it was quickly back to reality with drizzle and tube strike. To counteract the real world for a bit longer, I made this yellow and spicy sweetcorn soup. It's quick and easy to do, and I know this is going to sound really corny, it's sunshine in bowl, it really is.

Sweetcorn soup with chorizo and salsa (4-5 portions)
3 large cans of sweetcorn w/o added sugar (approx 900 g)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cm fresh ginger, finely sliced
0.5 tsp smoked paprika
vegetable or chicken stock
200 g chorizo, finely sliced
100-150 g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 small bunch of coriander
3 spring onions, finely chopped
zest and juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Fry the onion, chillies, red pepper, ginger and garlic on moderate heat in a large sauce pan

Add the sweetcorn and stock, cook for 10-15 min

In the meantime, stir together the chopped tomatoes, green pepper, spring onions, coriander and lime juice and zest to a salsa.

Also fry the chorizo on moderate heat until slightly crispy.

Blend the soup until smooth, add salt and pepper to taste

Serve the soup topped with salsa, chorizo, and yoghurt.

I served to soup with tasty quesadillas.

tomato puree
mature cheddar

Spread a thin layer of tomato paste onto one tortilla, cover with thin cheese slices or a thin layer of grated cheese. Cover with another tortilla.

Heat up a little olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the tortilla and fry on both sides until golden and the cheese has melted.

Cut in triangles and serve directly with the soup.

To brighten up your dinner even more, and to remind you that summer will come back again, here is a Swedish indie pop song from 1993, 'Waiting for the summer' by Stevepops. It's one of my favourites from high school.

Have a happy Monday everyone!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Chicken burger with quinoa salad

I had such a bad day today, you know one of those days when you really should not have bothered getting out of bed. Monday, rain, too much work, delayed trains.... When I'm in a bad mood and I just want to punch someone, anyone, I cook instead. Once I've chopped through an onion I'm at peace again. Cooking and food, that's my kind of therapy.

This chicken burger is packed with flavours, hot chili to get that chill out after waiting for the bus in the drizzle, zingy lemon and ginger and lime to help you escape the bleakness of a rainy September night that feels like November. If you like me feels like Life has kicked you in the stomach, this will hopefully make you feel a least a little bit better. And if you're happy and content already, good for you and this will still be a fantastic meal. I served this with a quinoa salad and yoghurt dressing, but another option would be to serve as traditional burgers with maybe lightly toasted ciabatta and sliced avocado.

Chicken burgers (12 small burgers, or 6 portions)
700 g chicken fillets, finely chopped to a mince
1 bunch of spring onions
3 red chillies, finely chopped
4-5 pressed garlic cloves
zest from 2 limes
3 cm fresh ginger, finely grated
2 tsps lemongrass paste
1 egg
salt and pepper
olive oil

It's easy mincing chicken fillets, it just takes minutes with a sharp knife to mince the meat. Or you can use a food processor if you have one.

Mix the minced chicken with all the other ingredients, adding the egg last.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, form the chicken mince to small burgers and fry on both sides until golden. Make small burgers, this will make it easier to turn them when you're cooking them, and also makes it easier to make sure that they're really cooked through properly.

This burgers freeze well if you want to eat them later.

I served the burgers with this easy quinoa salad. Quinoa is one of my favourite grains, actually quinoa is not a grain but the seeds from a plant related to spinach and weeds like tumbleweed, but biology lesson aside, it's filling and healthier than other grains like couscous.

Quinoa salad (4-6 portions)
2 dl quinoa
chicken stock
3 small courgettes, thinly sliced
200 g cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 small bunches of coriander
Juice from 1 lime
1 pressed garlic clove
salt and pepper
olive oil

Cook the quinoa in chicken stock on gentle heat until soft, drain of the excess water

Fry the courgette with the garlic in olive oil until golden. Add the tomatoes, red onion and spring onions and fry for a couple of minutes.

Mix the quinoa with the vegetables, coriander and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This salad is good warm, lukewarm and cold, perfect for the lunch box.

Yoghurt dressing
1 dl yoghurt
2 tbs sweet chili sauce
1 small pressed garlic clove
Juice from 1 lime
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper

Mix all of the ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste.

The other thing that always make me happy is music. This is one of my current favourites, from Swedish electro clash band Alice in Videoland, listening to this I just want to dance.

Happy Monday all of you!!!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Salmon pudding (laxpudding)

Salmon pudding (laxpudding) is a classic Swedish dish, but maybe not as well known as I thought. I made this for my Swedish flatmate and a couple of our Swedish expat friends yesterday, and turned out that three of them actually didn't know what it was (although that didn't stop them from accepting the dinner invitation, or from stuffing themselves once the food was on the table). After a lot of discussion on from where in Sweden salmon pudding origins (the province of Halland apparently), we moved onto children's TV shows (Solstollarna and Vilse i pannkakan, no wonder our generation is a bit... confused...), politics (Swedish general election today), and how incredibly expensive the flight tickets to go home to Sweden for Christmas already are. Important stuff for expats.

Anyhow, I can't guarantee that this dish will result in meaningful (?) conversations for everyone, but it is an easy all in one pot dish, and as evidenced by yesterdays limited leftovers, quite tasty and popular.

Salmon pudding (6-8 portions)
500 g salted, cured or smoked salmon, skin- and boneless
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs salt
1.5 kg potatoes in thin slices
2 large leeks, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1-2 dl dill, finely chopped
6 eggs
2 dl single cream
4 dl milk

I prefer using salted salmon, and it is very easy to make yourself. This is a fast way of curing it. However if you want to cure salmon properly to eat it without any additional cooking, you need to cure for 24-48 h in the fridge, and should then freeze it for an additional 24 h before eating it.

Mix sugar and salt and rub it in on both sides of the salmon. Place in a dish and cover with clingfilm. Either let the salmon cure for a couple of hours in the fridge, or 30 min in room temperature. The result is a firmer fish, as the salt and sugar draws out a lot of the moisture. Salted salmon fillets are also gorgeous just fried and served with boiled new potatoes and maybe a hollandaise sauce.

Butter a large ovenproof dish and layer potatoes, leeks, onions, dill and salmon. Do several layers, starting and ending with a layer of potatoes.

Beat the eggs with the milk and cream and pour into the dish. If you use smoked salmon, you might want to add some salt to the egg mixture. Grind over some black or white pepper.

Cook for around 1 h at 200C until golden brown and the potatoes are soft.

Serve with lemon wedges, clarified butter and a fresh salad. I made the salad below yesterday, it is nice and crisp.

Crisp lemony salad
1 bag of watercress, spinach and rocket
2 small little gem salad heads
1 yellow pepper, chopped
10-12 radishes, finely sliced
3 cm of a leek, finely sliced

Peel and juice from one lemon
1 tbs olive oil
1 pressed garlic clove
salt and pepper

To add some Swedish atmosphere to your dinner, or just because it is a great song, listen to Swedish band Johnossi's 'Man must dance'.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Apricot and red lentil soup

Now when summer sadly is over, I'm really in the mood for hot soups. This soup is filling, slightly spicy and with a sweetness from the dry apricots. I made this today, and I'm already looking forward to having it again tomorrow for lunch.

Apricot and red lentil soup (4 portions)
2 dl red lentils
15 dried apricots, chopped
2 cans of plum tomatoes
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red chili, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 bay leaves
0.5 tsp ground cumin
0.5 tsp dried thyme
3 cardamon pods
5 dl of chicken or vegetable stock
zest and juice from one lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Garlic yoghurt
1 dl Greek yoghurt
1 pressed garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onion, garlic, chili, apricot gently in olive oil.

Add the cumin, thyme, cardamon pods, bay leaves, tomatoes, lentils, lemon zest and stock. Let simmer for 20-30 min until the lentils are soft. You might need to add some additional water after approx half the cooking time to avoid the soup going to dry.

Mix the yoghurt with garlic, salt and pepper.

Take out the bay leaves and cardamon pods (if you can find them). Blend the soup. If you like a chunkier soup, only blend half of it. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. The trick is to get the right balance between sweetness, salt and lemony zing.

Serve the soup topped with a spoon of garlic yoghurt and fresh bread.

Cinnamon buns

Cinnamon buns (kanelbullar) are probably one of the most popular baked goods in Sweden. You can buy them in every coffee shop and grocery store. Cinnamon buns even have their own day in Sweden, it can be celebrated on the 4th of October. Everyone loves cinnamon buns, and maybe no one more than Swedish expats. It's just something so comforting, so much like home to have a warm newly baked cinnamon bun and glass of cold milk. That they also taste divine is a bonus.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I brought a cake on the wrong day for the cake club at work. To remedy this, I decided to bake cinnamon buns and bring into work the following Monday. This was met with protests from my Swedish flatmate, she thought it was very unfair that I would bake cinnamon buns when she was away from London and couldn't have any. I had to promise her to leave a bag of buns in the freezer for her for when she would be back. Like I said, cinnamon buns brings out a lot of feelings.

This recipe is again from the fantastic Sju sorters kakor cake recipe book from ICA bokförlag.

Cinnamon buns (45 buns)
150 g butter
5 dl milk
50 g yeast, fresh or equivalent quantity dry (I like Sainsbury's own as there is no need to reconstitute it first)
0.5 tsp salt
1-1.5 dl sugar
1-2 tsp ground cardamon
approx 13 dl strong white flour

100 g room tempered butter
1 dl sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground cardamon

1 egg

Melt the butter and add the milk, warm to 37C (finger warm).

If using fresh yeast, dissolve the yeast in some of the warm milk, then add the remainder of the milk and butter, salt, sugar and cardamon. If you use dry yeast, mix it with the flour before mixing it with the milk, sugar etc.

Then add the flour, start with approx 2/3 of the flour (so mix the dried yeast with only 2/3 of the flour, or you might not add all of it...), and work the dough until smooth and not sticky. Add more flour if necessary.

Let the dough rise to double size in bowl covered with a tea towel (or use clingfilm, it works as well). This usually takes 30-60 min.

Work the dough in the bowl for a couple of minutes, and then move it to a work surface lightly sprinkled with flour.

Divide the dough into two pieces, and, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a large rectangle, roughly 0.5-1 cm thick. Cover the dough with a thin layer of butter, sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and cardamon.

Start rolling together from one of the long edges until you got a long roll. Divide the roll into 1-1.5 cm thick slices. Place the slices with one of the cut surface facing upwards in paper forms (I use the ones for muffins/cupcakes) and place on a oven tray. Cover with a tea towel and let rise to double size. This again takes 30-60 min. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Heat the oven to 225C (if using electric fan oven) or 250C (if using a conventional electric or gas oven).

Brush the cinnamon buns with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar. In Sweden you would use a type of sugar with larger granules, pärlsocker (pearl sugar), but normal granulated sugar works as well.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 8-10 min.


Fyris apple cake

Where I work we have a cake club. Every Monday we take turns bringing in a homemade cake, and this is truly the highlight of that day (sometimes week I'm sad to say), and we had some glorious cakes so far. My memory is not fantastic, and I was convinced that it was my turn to bring a cake on the Tuesday after the August bank holiday, so I decided to do one of my favourite cakes. It turned out to actually not be my turn, but I don't think anyone really complained about getting cake on a Tuesday instead of a Monday.

My mum used to bake this quite often in particular during the autumn when the apples are at their best. The combination of cinnamon and apples are a classic, and this cake is so easy to make that I highly recommend it. I've taken the recipe from a classic Swedish cake recipe book, Sju sorters kakor (Seven types of cakes) from ICA bokförlag. The title refers not to that the book only contains recipes for seven types of cakes, but to the tradition that if you invited someone over for coffee in Sweden, you should serve them at least seven different types of cakes or biscuits. This would be called having kafferep in the olden days, and I guess is the Swedish version of cream tea. Having a proper break for coffee and maybe a cake or cinnamon bun, called fika in Sweden, is still very popular. Fika can be just a short break at work, or last for hours at a cafe or at home. One of the things I miss most about living abroad is meeting up for a fika.

Anyhow, here's the recipe for this lovely cake. I have no idea why it is called Fyris apple cake, maybe it refers to the Fyris stream flowing through my Swedish hometown, Uppsala?

Fyris apple cake
125 g butter
1.5 dl sugar
2 eggs
2.5 dl plain flour
1.2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
3-4 apples - for example my favourite, the Braeburn apple
1-2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Heat the oven to 175C

Butter and bread (use bread crumbs, can be bought in some grocery stores, or polenta) a round tin form, 24 cm in diameter. Using bread crumbs or polenta makes it easier to remove the cake without it sticking to the tin.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add one egg at the time, and then the flour mixed with the baking powder. Stir in the milk to a smooth batter and pour into the form.

Slice the apples thinly and stick into the batter.

Mix the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the cake.

Bake for 30-40 min in the lower region of the oven (if you have an electric oven, otherwise in the middle).

Enjoy as it is or with a good custard or vanilla ice cream.

If you want to make a larger one, just double or triple the recipe and use a large oven tin and cut into squares.

Puy lentil salad with goats cheese

I love a filling salad, and I eat them all year around, in particular for lunch. Lentils are one of my favourite pulses, for salads I prefer the small slightly spicy puy lentils whereas for soups I prefer the softer red lentils. Lentils, in contrast to most dried beans, don't need to be soaked prior to cooking and cook quite quickly. This salad is beautiful together with chicken or steak, but will also be very good on it's own. It also holds quite well for a couple of days in case you make a larger batch or get any leftovers, and is delicious both slightly warm and cold.

I do this salad a lot with slight variations. I quite often add some mustard, a little bit of sugar, and finely chopped fresh tarragon instead of the blushed tomatoes, and add Parmesan cheese instead of goats cheese. Or add other salad leaves like spinach. Or add chopped dry fruit like apricots and toasted cashews. Or finely chopped coriander, lime juice and zest and finely chopped red chili for a more Asian flavour.

Puy lentil salad with goats cheese (4-6 portions)
200-250 g puy lentils
4 bay leaves
chicken, beef or vegetable stock
250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
one bag of rocket leaves
250 g blushed tomatoes
2 tbsp capers
150-200g soft goats cheese
zest and juice from one lemon
1 finely chopped red onion
2-3 finely chopped garlic cloves
1-2 handfuls of chopped fresh basil
1 sprig of finely chopped fresh rosemary
finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Start by rinsing the lentils in cold water and then boil in stock together with the bay leaves. Drain the lentils when they're soft but still slightly chewy, this should take 20-30 min, and remove the bay leaves.

During the time it takes to boil the lentils, finely chop the red onion, herbs, garlic and blushed tomatoes. Mix with the still warm lentils and also stir in the lemon juice and zest, capers, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. As the lentils are still warm, they will soak up a lot of the lovely flavours from the garlic, lemon and the other goodies.

Quarter the cherry tomatoes and add to the salad. Once the salad is slightly warm/room temperature, add the roughly chopped rocket. Add salt and pepper according to taste, top with chunks of goats cheese and serve.

Scallops with broad beans and pancetta

It's been ages since I last up-dated my blog with new recipes. It's not that I haven't been cooking, actually I have been cooking a lot, but holidays abroad, work and other commitments have gotten in the way of blogging. The good news I got plenty of new recipes to share with you now.

I've also done some changes, it should now be possible to leave comments. Please do, and let me know what you think of the recipes.

I love scallops and don't eat them nearly enough considering how easy they're to cook. There's this view that scallops are fancy and expensive, but actually they're not that costly (at least not here in the UK) and you can quite often buy nice hand-dived ones also at larger grocery stores. For at starter, like this recipe, you really don't need that many. I made this a month ago for a couple of my friends, and everybody loved it. It is quick, zingy, and very fresh. I've used broad beans, but you can also use runner beans, and instead of pancetta use chorizo.

Scallops with broad beans and pancetta (4 portions)
2-3 scallops/person - this really depends on if you buy king scallops or the smaller size. If using the larger ones I would halve them
150 g pancetta cubes
150-200 g broad beans (podded weight)
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
zest and juice from 1 lemon
2-3 tbsp creme fraiche
olive oil
black pepper
1 lemon in wedges for serving

Start with boiling the broad beans for 3-5 min, then rinse in cold water and split the pods along the seam to push out the beans. Then double-pod by slitting the outer skin with your nail and push out the bright green inner beans. Leave the broad beans in cold water until use to preserve the colour.

Fry the pancetta in a pan until crisp. Remove and let drain on kitchen paper. Set aside the frying pan, leaving the bacon fat in it.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and gently fry the chilli, garlic and lemon zest for a couple of minutes. Add the broad beans and toss with lemon juice and creme fraiche.

Return the bacon pan to high heat and fry the scallops for 30 sec on each side until lightly caramelised and ground over some black pepper. Serve immediately on top of the broad beans together with lemon wedges and some nice fresh bread to soak up the juices.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup

I love soups and eat them a lot for dinner and lunch all year round. More filling soups like Moroccan lentil soups or classics like bouef bourguignon during the winter, and lighter soups like gazpacho or creme ninon during the summer.

One of my favourites is this soup with roasted peppers and tomatoes. I eat it both summer and winter, but it's particularly good this time of year when it's easy to buy beautifully ripe tomatoes. This soup can also be used as a pasta sauce, accompaniment to barbecued meat or fish. Only difference is that you would not add any additional water or broth at the last step to keep a thicker consistency. Actually this soup/sauce is so good that as I'm writing this I'm contemplating raiding the fridge of some of the leftovers and eat it as a dip with a couple of slices of crusty baguette. Did I mention it's also nice cold and can be eaten as a gazpacho? So go on, do make this soup, you will not regret it!

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup (4 portions)
4-6 large red peppers (I used 4 of the longer pointed red peppers, otherwise I would've used 6 of the 'normal' ones)
12 large ripe tomatoes
1 red chili
1 yellow onion
1 handful of basil
6 garlic cloves
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
olive oil
chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsb roasted pine kernels

Halve and deseed the peppers. Add to a ovenproof dish with the skin side facing upwards and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 200-250C until the skin is bubbly and black. Take out from the oven and cover with kitchen towel or transfer to a plastic bag. Covering up the peppers will help with removing the skins. Let cool down.

Quarter the tomatoes, add to a large ovenproof dish with the cut side up. Peel the garlic cloves and add to the dish. Slice the onion, finely chop the chili and basil, sprinkle over the tomatoes. Sprinkle over salt and sugar. Drizzle over vinegar and olive oil. Roast in the oven at 150-200C for around 30-60 min. You want the tomatoes to turn mushy. They will release a lot of juices, let these reduce down to about 1/2 the volume.

Peel of the skins from the roasted peppers, and blend the peppers with the roasted tomatoes. Add 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and one cube of chicken stock. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. It will be quite thick in consistency, ideal to use for a sauce, but dilute with boiling water to the consistency you like for a soup.

Pour the soup into bowls, and serve with sour cream and sprinkle over roasted pine kernels.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Salmon with pak choi and noodles

This is another Asian-influenced recipe. I love Asian food and if I had to choose to only eat food from one continent, that would be my choice I think. Korean bulgogi and kimchi, sushi, Thai green papaya salads, Vietnamese pho, Philippine kinilaw, malay laksa soup and roti canai, Singaporean chili crab, dim sum, mmmmm...... To be honest I love most food. I'm Swedish so I do enjoy a lot of Swedish specialities and I cook some of these dishes on a regular basis, so they will for sure also make an appearance here on the blog.

One of the things I love about Asian food is that a lot of it is very quick to do and rely on fresh vegetables. One of my favourite Asian vegetables is pak choi. For a master class in how to cook it to perfection, I recommend one of my favourite food blogs in English, Steamy Kitchen, http://steamykitchen.com/2112-bok-choy-stir-fry-recipe.html

Salmon with pak choi and noodles (2 portions)
2 salmon steaks a' 150 g
1 packet of egg noodles (I use one of the standard instant ramen noodles ones)
4 heads of pak choi
1/2 dl light soy sauce
1/2 tsp honey
1 pressed garlic clove
1 tsp sambal oelek or chili paste, or a finely chopped fresh chili
1 lime, the grated peel
1 tbs miso paste
For the vegetables and noodles:
1 tbs neutral oil
1 tsp hot water
3 finely chopped/grated garlic cloves
1 finally chopped red chili
1 cm fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbs miso paste
1 tbs roasted sesame seeds
light soy sauce
lime wedges

Mix the marinade, and marinate the salmon steaks for 30 min in room temperature. While the salmon is marinating, roast the sesame seeds in a dry pan, trim the edges of the pak choi, and chop/grate chili, garlic and ginger.

Fry the salmon steaks in a hot frying or griddle plan for a couple of minutes on each side. Cover and put to the side.

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package, drain and cover.

Add a tbs of neutral cooking oil to a cold wok or frying pan. Add the chili, garlic and ginger to the wok and fry on medium heat. You want to infuse the oil without burning the garlic, which can easily taste bitter if it's fried to long. Add the pak choi to the wok/pan and toss with the oil, add 1 tbs with boiling water (the steam will help cook the pak choi without burning the garlic). Take the wok of the stove and add the noodles to the pan, add the miso paste, toss with the pak choi, drizzle over a little sesame oil (don't use a lot, it's got quite a strong taste) and soy sauce to taste.

Plate up the noodles, add the salmon, and sprinkle over the roasted sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges.

Asian steak salad with strawberries

I've been thinking about starting a food blog for ages. Once I took the descision to do it, I started to obsess about what should be the first recipe. I wanted something with a wow factor, something that would stand out. I cooked a lot during the last weeks, but either something went wrong, or I forgot to take a picture of a delicious dinner.

In the end I just decided to go with one of my lunch boxes. I usually bring in my own lunch to work, that way I get something I like, and that is reasonable healthy. Now during the summer I tend to do a lot of salads. I love fruit and berries, but normally I prefer them on their own and I don't really like it in food. If you want to hear me rant, you just need to get me started on the subject of warm bananas in food, or raisins in general.

Anyhow, I digress. This is an Asian-influenced salad where the hot spiciness from red chillies and sour lime meet the sweetness of melon and strawberries. This would work equally well with mango. I've used steak, but this salad would be very nice also with chicken or seafood. Instead of chopped peanuts on top, roasted sesame seeds or cashew nuts would be lovely as well. The measures are not exact, I'm quite an impulsive cook and never follow recipes to the letter. Taste everything until it tastes nice for you!

Oh, and sorry about the poor picture quality. My camera is not working at the moment so I have to use my iPhone.

Asian steak salad with strawberries (2-3 portions)
2 rump steaks a' 150g
1 tsp sambal oelek
1 dl light soy sauce
1 tsp honey
2 garlic cloves
2 cm fresh ginger
1 stalk of lemon grass
1 lime
1 head of romaine salad
baby spinach
100 g mange tout
3 spring onions
fresh herbs: finely chopped basil, coriander and mint
1/2 galia or cantaloupe melon
150-200 g strawberries
juice from 1-2 limes
1 garlic clove, grated, finely chopped or pressed
1 finely chopped red chili
1/2 tsp fish sauce or light soy
a couple of drops of sesame oil
1/2 tsp honey
(salt and pepper to taste)
2 tbs chopped salted peanuts

Grate garlic, ginger and the lime peel. Mix with soy sauce, juice from the limes, honey, finely chopped lemon grass and sambal oelek (can be substituted with freshly chopped chili or chili paste). Marinate the steaks in the mixture for at least 30 min in room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

While the steaks are marinating, quarter the strawberries, chop the melon into cubes (1-2 cm in size), chops the mange touts, and finely chop the spring onions and herbs. Tear the salad and spinach, and mix with the other vegetables, herbs and fruit. Make the dressing and dress the salad, and chop the peanuts.

Heat up a griddle or frying pan, and fry the steaks a couple of minutes on each side, and then let them rest before slicing in thin sections.

Plate up the salad, add a couple of slices of beef, drizzle over some of the meat juices, and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts.

Welcome in for a bite

I love to cook, eat and talk about food. For me, food is not just an energy source but a passion. I cook a lot, and I also read lots of blogs about food. I've finally decided to take the step to start writing my own blog about the food I love. As I also love music, I might now and again throw in music suggestions as well.

Smaklig måltid (bon appetite in Swedish)!