Sunday, 27 September 2009

Homemade farfalle pasta

I was looking for a quick dinner to have before volleyball practice on Monday and all I could come up with was pasta. Finding myself with a bit more time on my hands than I had planned I decided to make homemade pasta.

I am so tired of the boring pasta shapes the machine can make so I decided to try my luck at making farfalle pasta. Farfalle pasta is also called bow-tie pasta, and it looks more difficult to make than it actually is.

I am not going to go into the actual making of farfalle pasta, that you can read about here. Just wanted to get it out there. I made farfalle pasta and they looked good!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Blueberry muffins

I just learned the difference between a muffin and a cupcake. According to a whole bunch of different internet sites, a muffin is something you have for breakfast, and a cupcake usually has frosting and is something you have for dessert.

With that in mind, here's a recipe for blueberry muffins. Perfect for brekkie!

Blueberry muffins
Makes 10 large muffins

240 g all-purpose flour
2 dl sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
25 g melted butter/margarine
1,5 dl milk
2 egg yolks
2 dl blueberries

1. Heat the oven to 225° C.

2. Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

3. Melt the butter and mix in with the flour. Pour the milk into a tall glass, add the egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add the milk mix in with the rest of the ingredients. Carefully fold in the blueberries.

4. Divide the batter evently into muffins cups. Bake on the middle shelf for about 15 minutes until golden brown and when a toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean.

5. Cool on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Self-picking heaven

Yesterday me and my bf's mother went on a little trip. We had made plans to go blueberry-picking in the mountains, and I was quite doubtful as to whether there would be any blueberries to pick at all this late in the season. As it turned out I didn't have to worry, there were plenty of berries to pick. On our way up into the hills we passed a sign announcing self-picking of potatoes, onions and carrots. I instantly knew we'd have to postpone our blueberry picking for at least an hour or two, I just had to pick some of the goodies advertised!

I love self-picking places and secretly, well not so secretly any more, dream of running my own self-picking farm in the future. I love that you get to see where the vegetables come from, you even get to pick them straight from the dirt yourself, instead of just seeing them in bag at the supermarket. I love searching for, and finding all the quirky looking vegetables. Like a three-legged carrot, or a huge knot of intertwined potatoes. It's charming!

They had two different kinds of potatoes to pick, almond potatoes and Beate potatoes. I only picked almond potatoes thinking I'd be back today for some Beate. (The weather today was not potato-picking friendly so I will have to return another day). Well, I got quite a few delicious almond potatoes and can't wait to cook some for dinner this week. Recipes anyone?

Picking onions was rather tedious work. The larger onions had been picked by someone else, not that I minded, the smaller onions taste much better, and a great number of small onions had been trampled. But I found a good kilo of small red- and white onions. I was happy!

Look at these funny-looking carrots. Aren't they just simply charming? Some carrots had been picked and tossed out by other people, but further down the field you could, with a pitchfork, dig for your own, fresh as can be, carrots. I dug for some but then went back to digging for small carrots in the dirt, carrots discarded by others but still left in the dirt instead of on top of it.

After spending, I was about to say a small fortune but that would have been a lie since the prices were really great, a little bit of money at the self-picking place we headed up into the mountains for some blueberry picking. We spent about 2 hours picking and came away with somewhere between 3-4 litres of delicious blueberries. I also picked a small handful of lingonberries, but quite honestly I don't know why I bothered. I don't like lingonberries and there isn't a whole lot one can do with only a small handful of berries anyhow.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Spring rolls in September

It was Saturday, the sun was shining from a clear blue sky, and where was I? Inside, in front of the TV, watching Ching's Kitchen with Ching-He Huang on BBC Lifestyle. And did they only show one episode? No. Two? No. Three? No. The truth is they showed a whopping 8 episodes, from 1-4:30 pm.
Needless to say, I am a big fan of Ching. She makes Asian food easy.

Both me and the bf were inspired by her recipe for spring rolls and decided on making it for dinner. Our previous plan had been to make what we had had the day before, which was pan-fried pork fillets with herb-crusted oven roast potatoes and Bearnaise sauce.

Here's Ching's recipe for spring rolls

Spring rolls
Makes 6-8 large spring rolls

2 small chicken breasts, or equivalent amount of other meat
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese five spice
4 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes and drained
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 cm ginger piece, grated
75 g bean sprouts
2 large spring onions, or 5 cm leek, finely sliced
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
1 tbsp oyster sauce
12-16 spring roll wrappers
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp water
750 ml vegetable oil, for deep frying

1. Chop the chicken or other meat into very small pieces, almost minced-looking. Heat the 1 tbsp oil in a wok, or frying pan. Stir-fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes, stirring all the time. Season with soy sauce and five spice powder. Take the chicken off the heat, and allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. Coarsely chop the mushrooms. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables. Add the cooled chicken and the oyster sauce, stir well to combine.

3. Place two spring roll wrappers on top of each other. Place 1-2 tbsp of the filling in the center of the sheet. Mix water and cornflour. Dip the tip of your finger into the mixture, and brush the edges of the wrapper. The mixture will act like a glue, stopping the rolls from opening when you deep fry them. Fold in the corners, then roll it up into a cigar-looking thing.

4. Heat the oil in a wok, or deep saucepan. DO NOT HAVE THE KITCHEN FAN ON as if the oil catches fire, the fire will get sucked into the fan!! Deep fry the spring rolls until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Drain on some kitchen roll paper. Serve with sweet chili dipping sauce.

På svenska

Monday, 7 September 2009

Banana cake

My boyfriend's parents threw him a birthday party for the family on Saturday, and I just felt I couldn't show up empty-handed. Being the foodie I am I decided to bake a cake- a banana cake.

Banana cake
Adapted from Leila Lindholm in Leila bakar

1 dl caster sugar
2 dl powdered sugar
150 g soft butter
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
3 dl all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground ginger
(50 g walnuts)

1. Heat your fan oven to 175° C.
2. Cream together the sugars and butter.
3. Mash the bananas, add to the buttermix. Combine. Add the eggs.
4. Sift in the dry ingredients and tip the walnuts into the mix, fold to combine.
5. Pour the banana cake mixture into a greased and floured 24 cm round cake pan.
6. Bake on the middle shelf for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy with a cup of coffee!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Homemade Tahini

With nothing else to do I found myself watching BBC Lifestyle's Chef At Home with Michael Smith. Today's inspiration was Morocco, and he made a chicken stew and some other dishes, one of them being hummus. One of the ingredients in hummus is Tahini. Tahini is a sesame paste, made from sesame seeds and vegetable oil, used alot in Middle Eastern- and some Asian foods.

My friend Hanna once gave me the recipe for hummus, and one day I decided I'd make it for a dinner party I was hosting for a few friends. As the recipe called for Tahini I went to the local Middle Eastern food shop and the only jar I found was a huge plastic thing. Well, I needed Tahini so I bought it, and then only used however much the recipe called for and then never again.... I think I threw it out when I moved here...

So, inspired by Michael Smith's Moroccan feast and Hanna's hummus in mind I decided on making my own Tahini, so that I have a batch at home when I feel in the mood for some Middle Eastern flavours.


1 cup hulled sesame seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Roast the sesame seeds in a 170° C oven for 5-10 minutes, keep an eye on them so they don't
burn. Chill

In a mixer, tip in the seeds and half of the oil. Mix to combine. Stop to clean the sides with a rubber spatula from time to time

After about 1 minute, slowly pour in the rest of the oil. Don't add all of it at the same time, as by adding a little at a time you can control how thick or thin you want you Tahini.

Store the Tahini in an air-tight jar in the fridge for quite a few weeks.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Meatball nachos

Simple dinner for 2, for the days when you don't feel like slaving over of the stove for hours.

Meatball nachos
Serves 2-3

15-20 meatballs
2 dl sweetcorn
½ onion, chopped
½ dl aubergine, chopped
½ dl zuccini, chopped
200 g bacon, fried until crispy
1 bag/21 g TORO Pepper sauce mix (can be substituted for any pepper sauce mix)
nacho chips
grated cheese

Heat your oven to 220° C

1. Fry the vegetables in some oil for 5 minutes until the onion has turned translucent and the aubergines and zuccini feels soft.

2. Add the meatballs and fried bacon, heat through.

3. Make the sauce according to the instructions on the bag. (Should be about 3 dl finished product).

4. Pour the vegetable- and meatball mix into an oven proof dish. Pour over the sauce. Cover with nachos and the grated cheese.

5. Place in the hot oven and bake until the cheese has melted. Sprinkle with dried oregano.


Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Canja De Galinha

I know I said in an earlier post that the food I ate on the Azores was terrible, and for the most part of it that was the truth. However, I did have one thing that really struck my fancy. A gorgeous chicken and rice soup.

According to the waiter at the restaurant where we had this soup it was a typical Azorean soup, but according to the Internet, and we all know just how reliable the Internet is, claims this soup originated in Brazil. I will not go further into the history of the soup, all I need to know is how to make it for myself.

I don't normally make soups, but today called for soup. I have an extremely sore throat and what's better for the soul than chicken soup? In fact, I had had my heart set on mushroom soup for the entire day, but then the bf came home and suggested the soup we had on the Azores. I googled the recipe and realized the soup contains chicken giblets and would require up to 2 ½ hours cooking . No thank you, I thought!! But I decided on making my own version, and believe it or not, but it turned out delicious.

So, here's my take on Canja De Galinha

Canja De Galinha
Serves 2

2 chicken thighs bones in, cut into thigh and drumstick
1 red onion, finely chopped
pinch of salt
pinch of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 dried chili
2 ½ cups/ 6 dl water
1 cup cooked rice
1 tsp mint leaves, chopped
pinch of turmeric
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
olive oil

1. Drizzle olive oil into a hot saucepan. Add the onions and fry until translucent, but make sure they do not brown or burn. Add in the pieces of chicken, stir.

2. Add salt, thyme, bay leaf, dried chili, and water. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

3. Check that the chicken is done, if it is move on to the next step, if not, keep on cooking until the chicken juices run clear.

4. Take out the chicken, remove the meat from the bones. Return the meat to the soup, add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil, remove from the heat.

4. Serve in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and a piece of white bread on the side.


Taco flavoured chicken lasagna

I have been absent for quite some time now, I haven't felt any inspiration at all lately. I have been cooking, but only half-heartedly.

However, the other week I made a delicious lasagna filled with goodness such as rotisserie chicken and taco spices. YUM! Here's the recipe:

Taco flavoured chicken lasagna
Serves 4

500 g chicken meat
2 onions
1 boccolli (250 g)
1 red bell pepper (200g)
2 bags of taco seasoning (80 g)
1 ½ dl water
2 dl light creme fraiche
200 g cream cheese (for example Philadelphia cheese)
2 dl milk
9 lasagna noodles
1 dl grated cheese

1. Heat your oven to 175°C.

2. Peel and chopped the onion. Cut the broccolli + stem into smaller pieces. De seed and cut the bell pepper into smaller pieces.

3. Cut the chicken into strips. Fry the chicken and the vegetables in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the taco seasoning and water.

4. Stir in the creme fraiche, cream cheese, and milk. Bring to the boil.

5. Cover the base of an oven-proof dish with some of the chicken sauce. Cover with lsagna noodles, add another layer of chicken sauce, cover with noodles. Keep on doing this until you have used up all the sauce and noodles. Be sure to always start and end with a layer of sauce. Sprinkle with the cheese.

6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

- As seen in Buffé #2, 2009