Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Green beans with garlic, lemon and chili

The Olympic Games are on now in London, but so far I've hardly noticed it (except for in the newspapers, where everything is about the Games). I live next to Lord's cricket ground, one of the venues, but there is no more people here than usual. Well, I guess archery isn't really a big public sport... Actually feels like less people overall in central London, and less people for sure at Marylebone station in the mornings.

If the weather is good I might go and try to see some of the triathlon in Hyde park on Saturday, but don't think I'll see anything else. I'm already quite bored with the Games to be honest. The chance of this blog turning into a sports blog is close to zero....Though I thought the opening ceremony was much better than I expected, I really liked that they paid tribute to NHS. Universal healthcare rules! I will never ever understand why people in the US are against healthcare for all.

Anyhow, I was starving when I got home today and wanted something warm and comforting as summer apparently is over after just one week. I rummaged through the freezer and found a bag of green beans. I love green beans (haricot vertes if you want to be fancy) as a side dish or in a salad for example, and I usually have a bag in the freezer. This dish takes no more than 10 min to do, it's buttery, spicy and delicious, and is enough for four as a side dish or two as a main. This will go well with almost any type of fish, meat or bird. I went for the supereasy option to have it with just a simple omelette. Quick, easy, cheap, and tasty. Go and cook it now!

Green beans with garlic, lemon, and chili (serves 2-4)
400 g green beans, fresh or frozen
0.5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zest
1 red chili, finely chopped
1 tbsp light soy sauce

If you use fresh green beans, start by steaming the beans lightly. If you use frozen, cover with boiling water for 2 min and then drain

Heat up a large frying pan with the olive oil

Add the green beans, fry for 3-5 min until the beans and pan is really hot

Add butter, garlic, lemon zest, red chili to the pan and stir until the butter has melted

Remove pan from the heat to prevent the garlic from burning

Stir in the soy sauce

Taste and add more soy sauce or salt if necessary

Smaklig måltid!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Pickled red onion

Here is another condiment that is great on a sandwich, in a salad or together with a grilled spicy sausage. I made a baguette with merguez sandwich, spinach, feta, tomato jam (recipe to come) and pickled red onion, and that was definetly one of the best sandwiches I ever had. Another more simple but still yummy sandwich is crisp bread with mature cheddar cheese and pickled onion.

The recipe is based on this one by Jonas Cramby, where he made a fabulous looking sandwich with pulled pork and pickled onion.

Pickled red onion
2 large red onions, finely sliced
1 red chili, finely chopped
2 dl apple cider vinegar
0.5 dl sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of mint

Heat up the vinegar with the sugar, salt and bay leaf

Stir in the onions and cook for 30 sec

Remove from the heat and add the red chili and sprig of mint

Let marinate for at least 2 h

Remove the mint, and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week 


Sorry for the absence, but I've been busy travelling and working and generally feeling stressed and anxious over everything. I've actually cooked loads to try to relax, maybe some of these recipes will make it all the way to the blog.

Anyhow, I went to a friend's house for BBQ yesterday, first one for me this year after an abysmal summer here in the UK. I decided to make baconnaise, what could be a better condiment to grilled burgers? I've wanted to baconnaise for ages as I love anything with bacon in it. Bacon is one of the main reasons I can't be a vegetarian, that salty smokey flavour, mmmmm.

So I did a bit of research and read a couple of recipes on various sites, and this is the recipe I came up with. It includes actual bacon, not just bacon fat, as I really wanted a strong bacon flavour. It was yummy, but yes, you can kind of feel your arteries clog up while you eat it. I fried 12 rashers of bacon, and used 6 of the rashers in the baconnaise. Though if you're like me, you will have no problem finding use of the remaining 6 crispy rashers...

I used to hate making mayonnaise, that it was so difficult and took ages to get really thick. Then I learned how to make mayonnaise using a hand blender, and suddenly it took 2 min to make perfect mayonnaise, amazing! I describe the method below. If you don't have a stick blender, you can slowly add the bacon fat to your egg mix like you would for a normal mayonnaise.

12 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

neutral oil
3 egg yolks
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
0.5 tsp chili flakes
black pepper

Fry the bacon rashers in a pan until crispy, remove rashers to plate to cool

Pour the bacon fat into a bowl to cool

Finely chop 6 of the bacon rashers to a grainy powder

In a tall beaker, add egg yolks, vinegar, mustard, garlic and spices

Pour the bacon fat through a sieve into the beaker. Add more neutral oil if necessary to make up a total volume of fat/oil to 1.5 dl

Take a stick blender and push it to the bottom of the beaker. Turn the blender on, it will now create a vortex where the oil is pulled into the eggs. After 1-2 min, slowly pull the blender up. Voila, you should now have perfect mayonnaise! 

Add the bacon powder to the beaker and give it all a quick mix

Taste and add more vinegar, spice, black pepper and salt to taste

Enjoy this piece of bacon heaven as a condiment for BBQs or on sandwiches