Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Sigrid Barany - Swedish Masterchef 2012

I am so incredibly happy and proud today, because one my best and oldest friends, Sigrid Barany, has today won Swedish Masterchef!!!!!! The Swedish Masterchef is similar to British and Australian Masterchef, with amateur cooks competing for the title. It's been fantastic, exhilarating, and nerve wracking seeing my friend on TV, but she's been AMAZING! I can't wait to get her cook book when it comes out in April.

Sigrid have also just started a blog (only in Swedish I'm afraid) that you can follow here: Spisvärme.

I have so many memories around food and Sigrid, many from when we used to share a flat together in Uppsala. Weird cooking session in the middle of night after drinking way too much (my favourite night meal is pasta with an obscene amount of cheese, ketchup and curry....), cooking up enormous amounts of food for our joint 25 year bday party (I think we ate leftover for months afterwards), and lavish dinners for new years eve celebrations.

Another food memory is our trip to Porto in Portugal, where Sigrid, who was very tired after a Ryanair flight, ordered a bbq hot dog in a small touristy restaurant for lunch. She got a large sausage that she had to bbq herself on the table over a live flame, the result was not only a cooked sausage but that Sigrid lost part of her fringe..... We had better luck with our food going out for dinner in Porto, we found a great place that did Portuguese tapas. It was so good that we had to come back a second time, and ended up staying very late at the restaurant and got free drinks from the lovely waiting staff.

Sigrid has made me so many fantastic meals, and I'm not surprised that she won today. Now I just hope she'll come and cook for me soon here in London :)

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Saturday mornings

This is one of my favourite ways to spend a Saturday morning, watching Saturday kitchen live (I love the omelette challenge!) in bed while drinking milky cardamon coffee and planning what to cook this weekend. I'm thinking of doing something with squid, if I can get out of bed and get my lazy ass down to Borough market to buy it....

What are you cooking this weekend?

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Linguine with asparagus and scallops

Today the rain is pouring down, and my umbrella broke when I went out for Sunday roast :( I have no idea how many umbrellas I buy every year, but quite a few as they either break or I leave them on the tube. It's not the only thing I leave on the tube or bus, I have a habit of loosing everything I own, from phones to umbrellas to wallets to once a box of rat brains (that I luckily got back!). The last one was not a box of ingredients to cook with, I'm not that brave with my food, but from an experiment for work. In addition to being an amateur cook by night, I'm also a scientist by day.

Anyhow, the weather today has been awful, but yesterday it was a lovely spring day. I love spring, the lighter mornings and evenings, all the spring flowers (the daffodils are in bloom outside my house), and of course all the vegetables that comes with spring.

Inspired by spring I decided to make pasta with asparagus and scallops. This is a lovely light dish, with the green asparagus and sweet scallops, with a little tangy lemon and salty pecorino,

Linguine with asparagus and scallops (serves 2)
160 g dry linguine
1 large bunch of green asparagus
6 scallops, divided in halves
100 g pecorino cheese, grated
1 medium lemon, zest
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pinch of chili flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg yolk, beaten
salt and pepper

Snap of the dry woody ends of the asparagus. Cut of the top 3-4 cm of each stalk, and cut the rest of the asparagus in 1-2 cm pieces.

Heat up the olive oil in a frying pan and add the chopped asparagus. Fry for 1-2 min and then add the garlic, fry for another few min, take care to not burn the garlic. Stir in a pinch of chili flakes and the 3/4 of the lemon zest, put the pan to the side.

Cook the linguine in plenty of boiling salted water according to pack instructions. Add the asparagus tips for the last 2 min of cooking time.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1-2 dl of the cooking water.

Return the pasta to the pot, stir in the egg yolk, fried asparagus, and cheese. If the pasta feels dry, add in some of the reserved cooking water, I usually add in around 1 dl.

Divide the scallops in halves, and fry in olive oil in a hot frying pan for 1-2 min on each side until golden.

Add the scallops on top of the pasta, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and the rest of the lemon zest.

Smaklig måltid (bon appetite in Swedish)!