Thursday, 30 April 2009

Put another shrimp on the barbie, mate!

To celebrate "Valborg" and May 1st in my own very special way I went out and bought a grill today. My intention was to assemble it, post pictures of the assembling, and then let you all take pity on me... And, this I will do, kind of.

You see, I failed to remember to take photos of the grill when it was still in parts just sitting there waiting to be assembled, and the actual act of assembling. Very annoying, but let me assure you, there were about 1000 different pieces of screws and bits of metal, a lot of looking at not very precise instructions, a lot of swearing, an awful lot of sweating, and countless thoughts along the lines of "what did I get myself into?". After unpacking the grill from it's square box, I took one look at the instructions and thought "oh boy, this is gonna take a while". Who would have guessed you'd have to have a degree in astrophysics to assemble a simple-looking grill?!

Anyway, I started to assemble the lid as this seemed to be the easy part. About half way through I decided I could not go on without making myself a drink first. So, off I went to the liquor cupboard. (Assembling a grill could send just about anyone running for the liquor). With a drink in one hand and a screwdriver in the other, I returned to previously described state of mind. I started screwing the legs into place, just to realize that left on the ground were 4 little cups which apparently were supposed to be attached to the legs, prior to screwing them onto the bottom of the grill... Like I had nothing better to do, nowhere else I'd rather be, I unscrewed the legs, put the little cups on and screwed the legs back on! Then came the struggle of trying to fit the wheels to the legs, then screw the screws into the tiniest holes known to mankind... I was contemplating a second, a third, and a forth drink at this point! Like there had been some kind of divine intervention I managed to fit all the parts together and....

...there is was, assembled and ready to be used! What a glorious sight it was, I could almost hear the heavenly choir singing "oh happy day", but just almost!

I am now fit, and ready, for a season of grilling delicious food!


Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Meat on a stick with tzatziki

I only need one word, OK two words combined into one, to describe tonight's dinner: YUMMILICIOUS! It was truly scrumptious, and I want you all to make it yourselves so that you too can enjoy this food, food fit for kings and queens all over the world! Try it, I am sure you'll love it! And if you don't like it, there must be something wrong with you!

Meat on a stick
Serves 2

400 g ground beef
1 clove garlic, grated
1 small onion, grated
1 tsp jeera (cumin) powder
1 tsp dhania (coriander) powder
1 pinch salt
½ pinch red chili powder

Heat oven to 220 C.

1. Put 12 wooden skewers in water to soak, this will prevent the skewers from catching fire while cooking, while you prepare the meat. You will most likely end up using about 10.

2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

3. Take a small handful of the meat mix in your hands and make a sausage shape. Thread onto a soaked wooden skewer. Do this with the rest of the meat mix until you have used up all the meat.

4. Use an oven dish slightly narrower than the skewers are long. Place the meat sticks on top of the dish so that they hang free and do not touch the bottom of the dish. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes, check on them from time to time, as sometimes it takes shorter/longer time.
You can also BBQ the meat outside, or in a griddle pan on the stove.

Serves 2

2 dl Greek yogurt, sour cream, or crême fraiche
5 cm cucumber, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
salt and pepper

Put the yogurt in a bowl. Grate the cucumber and place the gratings in a kitchen towel. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Mix the cucumber and garlic into the yogurt, season with salt and pepper.

- Comments are love

Spicy Holy Basil Chicken Curry

I love browsing the aisles of my local Asian food shop. I love looking at all the different foods, spices, pickles, rice, vegetables, and things I don't even know what they are. The other day I was looking for the Satay Seasoning mix I love, but couldn't find it. The man at the cash register told me he had it out back but did not want to go searching for it. So I had to make new plans for dinner. I continued browsing and found a packet of Holy Basil Seasoning Paste. It looked easy enough to make, and only cost 14,90 NOK.
As always, I did not stick to the recipe when preparing, but it turned out delicious anyway. Delicious, but spicy, very spicy. Luckily I had an open can on coconut cream in the fridge, so I added the content into the pan, and enjoyed a yummy dinner.

Spicy Holy Basil Chicken Curry
Serves 2

1 ½ dl Basmati rice
2 1/4 dl water
1 pinch salt

250 g chicken, other meat or firm fish
1 packet Holy Basil Seasoning Paste
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 red bell pepper
4 button mushroom
1 small onion
1/4 box coconut milk/cream

1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Place in a saucepan, and add the water. Bring to the boil, bring down the heat to a slow simmer. Simmer, under lid, for 17 minutes, remove from the heat. Remove the lid and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork.

2. Follow the instructions on the packet to make the Holy Basil Chicken Curry. add the vegetables when the chicken is almost done. Stir in the coconut milk/cream, allow to heat.

3. Enjoy!

- Comments are love

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Thai prawn risotto

Sometimes an idea sounds really good in my head, but laid out on paper, or as in this case on a plate, does not seem like an all that clever idea. That is what happened to me yesterday. I was in a hurry to make a quick dinner before I was off to volleyball practice. I had a craving for risotto but didn't really have all that much to put in it. The thought hit me, why not use the tiger prawns I have in the freezer and give the risotto a "Thai-twist" by marinating the prawns in Thai green curry paste? Ok, I must admit, following my train of thoughts on this one now tells me that it was really never a good idea to mix Thai and Italian cuisine. But I did not realize that yesterday, so I made Thai-inspired prawns on a bed of risotto. Obviously, it wasn't the tastiest dinner I have ever had, but it was eatable and the prawns were gorgeous.

Will-you-try-my-Thai-prawn risotto?

Serves 2

2 dl risotto rice
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ clove garlic, chopped
about 5 dl chicken/fish stock or 1 dl white wine and 4 dl stock
(however, I used ½ dl of coconut cream and 5 dl stock)

6 tiger prawns, peeled and de-veined
1 tsp vegetable oil
½ clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp Thai green curry paste
a pinch of chili-salt

1. Follow the instructions on the risotto rice package on how to best cook it.

2. Put the oil, garlic, curry paste, and chili salt in a bowl. Add the prawns and marinate for 15 minutes.

3.When the risotto is all but done, add the prawns to the pan and cook 'til the prawns are pink.

4. Plate, sprinkle with chopped red pepper and coriander/cilantro leaves.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Sushi anyone?

I have a question to all you foodies out there: does anyone know of a good recipe for sushi? I must admit I do not know very much about sushi, other than it is actually kind of tasty. Up until about two weeks ago I had my obvious doubts, having only ever tried the kind you buy pre-packed at Marks & Spencers. No, that was a lie. I had sushi and tempura at a Japanese restaurant in the outskirts of Indianapolis, IN in 2008, but can't really remember if I like it or not. Can't imagined it made a very good impression on me, seeing as I can't remember it very well. However, what changed my mind mind about sushi was the sushi-place at the Nils Ericsson terminal in downtown Gothenburg, Sweden. I only tried one piece, but it was a scrumptious piece of salmon and rice. I have been craving sushi ever since, real sushi with wasabi and pickled ginger.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sun-dried tomatoes

Don't you just love tomatoes? Fresh from the vine, tomato sauce on your spaghetti, or cut in half and sprinkled with salt for a fresh summer snack? I love tomatoes, and I especially love sun-dried tomatoes! It's such a versatile dish, you can have it in food, with food, or as food. I use it in my favourite Greek-inspired chicken dish- recipe will be added when I make it next.

Sun-dried tomatoes

1 kg tomatoes
generous drizzle of olive oil
a bunch of your favourite herbs, for example basil, oregano and/or tarragon
5 dl Vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
1 dried chili

Heat your oven to a chocking 50 C. PLEASE OBSERVE, you need a fan/convection oven in order to make the sun-dried tomatoes!

1. Cut the tomatoes in slices or in halves and place on an oven tray. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with the herbs.

2. Bake for 12 hours or until most of the water content has vaporised from the tomatoes. Check from time to time, and be sure not to let the tomatoes go hard. It takes less time if you slice them, than if you cut them in half.

I had my oven on 80 C as it does not go as low as 50. The tomatoes then took roughly 6.5 hours.

3. Allow to cool, put the tomatoes in a sterilized glass jar layered with sliced garlic, and the chili, whole. Pour in the vegetable oil, and let the flavours mature for 1 month before use.

- Comments are love

Friday, 24 April 2009


Once upon a time there were two girls from two different countries, one girl was Angélica (me) from Sweden, and the other was Titta from Finland. The two met in a Westlife-chat room many years ago, and a friendship blossomed out of countless hours of mutual adoration for said boy band. The friendship is still going strong after almost 10 years, despite the fact that we have actually never met in person. The adoration for said boy band is, however, long forgotten. I received the recipe for "Fetajuttu" from Titta to share with the rest of world. I have not made it myself, but Titta assures me it is delicious.
"Fetajuttu" means "the feta thing" in Finnish.

serves 2-3

400 g feta cheese
1 red pepper
400 g crushed tomatoes
ground black pepper
olive oil

Heat oven to 200 C

1. Cube or crumble the feta cheese. Dice the red pepper.

2. Put in an ovenproof dish and pour in the tomatoes. Season with ground pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

3. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Spread on top of bread or eat it as it is. Can be reheated, and might be freezer friendly.

- Comments are love

Home made guacamole

Guacamole is a refreshing green "salsa" with its origin in the Aztec food culture. I make it for Mexican food, such as tacos, nachos or fajitas.

Home made guacamole

1 ripe avocado
2 tsp crème fraîche or sour cream
2 pinches chili salt
2 squeezes lime/lemon juice
½ clove garlic, crushed or grated
a very small handful coriander/cilantro leaves

1. Slice the avocado in two and remove the stone.

2. Mix the avocado, out of its skin, with the rest of the ingredients to a semi-smooth paste.

3. Sprinkle with chopped coriander/cilantro leaves.

4. Enjoy with your favourite Mexican food!

- Comments are love


I love my spices! I have quite a few, and I am always trying to update my spice rack with new and exciting spices. Here's a selection of the spices I have. Some are more exotic than others, but they are equally important when it comes to cooking delicious food!

Clove /Bay leaf

Dried red chili /Chinese Jasmin tea

Garam masala /Dried lime leaf

Dried curry leaf /Piper longum

Star anis /Tandoori masala

Methi seed /Cinnamon stick

Black onion seed /Cardemom pod

Red ground chili /Yellow curry powder

Black mustard seed /Fenugreek leaf


I first made this salt as a trial and error. Looking through my cupboards I realized I had a whole bunch of dried chilies and a lot of rock salt that I did not quite know how to finish. Then I thought, why not combine the two? I did, and it was a big hit. I use is on my kettle made popcorn, a nice twist to my Friday treat.


2 dried chili
½ dl table salt

Crush and grind the chili into a chunky powder, using a pestle and mortar. Add the salt and combine until the salt is a fine powder.

Store in an air-tight container.

Thai variation

2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1-2 fresh chili

Grind all ingredients in an pestle and mortar into a chunky powder. The fresh chilies will give the mix a pink-orange colour.

Sprinkle on fresh fruit and enjoy!

- As seen on Chez Pim

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Challenge #1

The challenge for this week is to make a curry paste popular in Malaysian and Singaporean cooking:

Make Laksa curry paste

1 onion, quartered
2 tbsp ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks lemon grass, white part only
6 dried chillies, soaked and chopped
4 macadamia nuts
1 tbsp shrimp paste
6-8 Vietnamese mint leaves (Laksa leaves)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tbsp sunflower oil

Mix everything together in a food processor or use a pestle and mortar. If making it in a p&m, leave out the oil unless the paste looks very dry. Store in an air-tight jar or freeze.

Vietnamese mint is also called Vietnamese coriander/cilantro, Cambodian mint, hot mint, and in Thailand it is called Pak Pai. If you can not find this at your local Asian food store, don't worry, you can skip it.

- As made by Jill Dupleix for Good Food Live

Green curry paste

Green curry paste is used a lot in Thai cooking, and it is surprisingly easy to make. I love it, and I keep a jar of it in the fridge at all times. Mix with coconut milk and add prawns, spring vegetables and noodles for an easy lunch!

Green curry paste
Makes 125 ml
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 green chillies, de-seeded and chopped
2 stalks of lemon grass
3 tbsp coriander/cilantro root, chopped
2 cm galangal, or ginger
1 shallot, large
zest and juice from one lime
1 pinch salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns

Just put everything into a food processor and blend into a smooth paste. Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge.

Freezes well up till 2 months.

- As seen in Ching's Kitchen

Sterilizing jars

For food preservation, such as pesto or jam, in jars, you'll need to sterilize the jar first.
It's simple and does not take all that long, but be sure to do this while you are making whatever you are meaning to preserve.

How to:

Start by putting the jar/s in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, but leave the jars in the water until you need them. Remove the jars from the hot water with tongs or something similar. Fill the jar within ½ inch from the top. Wipe off any spills with a clean towel. If you are making something that is oil-based, cover the top with oil and put the lid on. If you are making jam, you need to buy waxed paper discs and follow the instructions on the pack. Allow the jar to cool in room temperature for 24 hours before storing in cupboard or fridge.


I tried pesto for the very first time in London in 2003. And I instantly fell in love with this bright green sauce. I use it with pasta, just toss a spoon or two into a pan of spaghetti, add some grated Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and olives for a quick and delicious lunch-treat.


½ clove of garlic, grated
salt and pepper
3 handfuls of fresh basil leaves
½-1 dl pine nuts, lightly toasted
½-1 dl Parmesan cheese, grated
olive oil, optional
a squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

1. Mix garlic, salt and basil leaves in a pestle and mortar, or pulse in a food processor. Add the pine nuts and mix again.

2. Pour out into a bowl and add half the Parmesan cheese. Stir and add olive oil to make into a firm sauce.

3. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cheese until you reach the desired taste.

4. Add lemon juice.

5. Keep in a sterilized jar, will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks if covered with a layer of olive oil, and ensuring you always use a clean spoon.

- As seen on Jamie Oliver

Pesto-marinated pork tenderloin with baked potatoes

Yet another recipe I found in a food magazine- don't you just love food magazines?!
I made this one Saturday as a treat for me and my boyfriend, and it was truly yummilicious. We scored it 5 out of 6.

Pesto-marinated pork tenderloin with baked potatoes
Serves 4

700 g pork tenderloin
4 tbsp pesto
1 tbsp vegetable oil

4 over-sized potatoes

1. Heat oven to 250 C. Wash and dry the potatoes. Prick with a fork to allow steam to escape. Put on a tray into the oven and cook for 1 hour. Take out, cut in half, or make a jacket potatoe, and add a knob butter, allowing it to melt.

2. Marinate the pork tenderloin in pesto for at least 10 minutes.

3. Heat oil in a frying pan and brown the tenderloin on all sides.

4. Place the tenderloin in an ovenproof dish. With a meat thermometer in the center of the tenderloin, cook in a 180 C oven for 15 min. For a pink center allow the pork to get to 70 C, and for a well-done pork allow it to heat to 76 C, taking it out when it is 5 degrees lower. You can also fry it in the pan for 20 minutes, checking it is done by cutting into the meat ensuring the meat juices run clear. Either way, allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes, it will now continue to cook to the desired temperature and will also release some of its juices.

5. Cut into half an inche slices and serve with the potatoes and a salad.

Fish green curry

I found this recipe in a food magazine, and just had to try it out. It looked just delicious on the photo, and it was absolutely delicious, and so easy to make. My boyfriend even made an ambitious promise saying he'd invite his parents over for dinner one day, and serve them this dish. A promise yet to be fulfilled!

Fish green curry
serves 4

600 g fish fillets, cod or other quite firm fish
salt and pepper
4 carrots, peel into fine strips using a potato peeler, or cut like matchsticks
250g sugar snaps, cut in half
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp brown or caster sugar
1 small bunch or coriander/cilantro

1. Season the fish with the salt and pepper. Roll the fillets, if the fish allows it, and secure with toothpick or bamboo skewer, otherwise cut into bit-size pieces.

2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the curry paste, allow to sizzle for 1 minute. Add the carrots, and allow to heat for 2minutes. Add grated or finely chopped garlic, ginger, sugar snaps, coconut milk, fish sauce, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil.

3.Turn down the heat, add the fish and allow to simmer for 8 minutes, or until the fish is done.

4. Serve with rice and sprinkle with spring onion and chopped coriander/cilantro.

Thai prawn balls

I made these prawn balls the other week and they went down a treat. They are truly delicious! I served them with boiled Basmati rice and a sweet and sour sauce, but I think they might be even better just served as a treat on a Friday-night in. Or if you would still like to have them as a main course, make a double batch.

Thai prawn balls
makes 16 small balls

200 g tiger prawn, for a vegetarian version use canned sweet corn
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 chili, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine, can be left out if you can't find it in your local Asian shop
1 tbsp rice flour
50 g coriander/cilantro, finely chopped

Chop the prawns coarsely, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Fry in hot oil for 2 minutes per side, squeeze some lemon over the top and serve immediately.

Freezes well, cooked, for about 1 week.

- As seen on Ching's Kitchen

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Salmon log with chives

This is another "dish" I made for Easter. I served it on a piece of Swedish "knäckebröd". It's a great hors d'oeuvre and goes well with a glass of white wine.

Salmon log with chives

250 g cream cheese
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 spring onions, finely chopped
420 g cooked salmon/smoked salmon
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
40 g pecan nuts, finely chopped
20 g chives, finely chopped
80 g dill, finely chopped

1. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and lemon juice to a fine paste. Mix in the spring onions, salmon, black pepper, pecans and chives. Allow to rest in the fridge for atleast 2 hours to ensure the mixture is firm when you move on to the next step.

2. Put the mix onto some cling film and roll into a firm log shape. Allow to cool once more and then roll the log in the chopped dill.

Slice and serve ontop of savoury crackers or "knäckebröd".
Will freeze well for a couple of days, maybe 1 week.

Lemon- infused ground black pepper

I don't know about the rest of the world, but in Sweden you can buy lemon-infused black pepper ready-made at your local supermarket. This one's for all you guys who don't have this luxury.

Lemon-infused ground black pepper

2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
the rind of 1 lemon, only the yellow part
1 tbsp salt
3 pinches garlic powder
3 pinches onion powder
2 pinches yellow mustard powder
1 tsp icing sugar

Mix all the spices together in a bowl. Put into an air-tight container and store in a cool, dry place.

Goes well with fish, and chicken.

Smoked salmon and spinach tart

Ok, it's time for my first recipe. It's one of my favourite "new" recipes. The last time I made this tart was for Easter and everyone, me and my boyfriend, loved it. However, I couldn't find any spinach at the supermarket so had to improvise and ended up using broccoli instead. (My boyfriend actually prefered it with broccoli, so I guess that'll be what I'll be making from now on).

Smoked salmon and spinach/broccoli tart


3 dl all-purpose flour
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
125 g unsalted butter or margarine
2- 2½ tbsp cold water

1 small leek
100 g fresh spinach, or frozen broccoli
100 g smoked salmon
1 dl grated cheese
2 eggs
1 dl heavy cream
2 pinches salt

Heat oven to 200 C.

1.Mix flour, Parmesan cheese and butter so that it looks like crumble. Add water, a little at a time, and make a dough. Set to rest, covered with a damp cloth, for 30 min. Press the chilled dough into a round, loose-bottomed mould (23-24 cm), letting the pastry come up around the edges about 5 cm.. With some aluminum foil, cover the edges so when you bake it the edges will not collapse. Prebake the pastry for 10 mins.

2.Clean and chop the leek. Put some oil in a pan, heat and steam the leeks for a few minutes allowing them to get soft. Roughly chop the spinach, if you are using frozen broccoli cut the florets lengthways, add to the pan allowing the spinach to wilt or the broccoli to heat. Pour out on a plate to chill.
3. Cut the salmon into strips and mix with the spinach/broccoli.
4. Combine eggs, cream, salt and lemon-infused pepper in a bowl. Add the grated cheese and the spinach-salmon mix.

5. Pour the mixture into the prebaked pastry, be sure to remove the tin foil first!

6. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes. The tart should be firm to the touch when done.

Serve with a fresh salad.

Can be served hot or cold, and is excellent to freeze for up to 3 months.