Monday, 29 March 2010

Curry-scented beef soup

I am not a big fan out what Swedes and Norwegians call "husmanskost". I can't seem to remember the English translation, but I guess it's somewhere along the lines of "traditional home cooked food". A little googling by my friend Titta came up with the term "homely fare".

However, let me rephrase, I am not a very big fan of Swedish and Norwegian "homely fare". The way I see it, I like Thai food, and Indian food, and Chinese food, and Mexican food and, yeah other kinds of food and I assume the foods I like from these countries are their "homely fare".

Anyways, what I am getting at is that I am not a big fan of Swedish and Norwegian "homely fare", but my bf is, unfortunately, a huge fan. He longs for boiled potatoes, and other things he is used to from his childhood. I on the other hand can't stand boiled potatoes, except for new potatoes cooked with large twigs of dill and served with sour cream and chopped chives on a warm summer day.

So, I don't cook boiled potatoes and other Scandinavian homely fares, I make Thai curries, Chinese stir-fries and Mexican enchiladas. But from time to time I cook traditional foods, and yesterday was one of those times. I didn't want to make it all traditional though, so found a recipe combining the traditional Swedish beef-soup with the flavours of Indian curry powder. Yum!

Curry-scented beef soup
Serves 4
Adapted from

400 g beef
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tart apple, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp butter
3 tsp curry powder
1 l water
3 tbsp reduced veal stock (in Swedish: kalvfond)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can (400 g) crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper

1. Start by browning the meat, onions, garlic and apple in the butter in a sauce pan. Sprinkle in the curry powder, stir to mix and allow to fry for a couple of minutes.

2. Add in the water, tomato paste, reduced veal stock and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Serve with a dollop of cream fraiche on top and a slice of garlic bread on the side.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Penne with salmon and creamed spinach

Yum, this was a great little dinner for one tonight. I just cooked some Penne pasta, wilted some spinach in a frying pan, tossed in some thinly sliced garlic, some sweet corn and poured in some heavy cream. Salt & pepper.

Delicious, simple and quick!

Mexican egg rolls

I was invited to attend "Den store gavefesten" at Ibsenhuset last Tuesday. It's a big concert featuring local talents, not only singing but also line dancing, football skills and agility, sponsored by one of the local banks here in Skien. There was a great orchestra entertaining us in the foyer and we were served an assortment of finger foods, Spanish meatballs, little mini-quiches and tasty little Mexican egg rolls.

I ate quite a few of these Mexican egg rolls, hello it was free and I was hungry! and quite enjoyed myself. But I couldn't help but think of how I could improve on the flavour.

Here's my first attempt

Mexican egg rolls
Makes lots

400 g ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 packet taco seasoning
1 dl taco salsa
100 g sweet corn
2 tbsp chopped jalapeños
1 dl water
1 packet spring roll wrappers
oil for deep frying

1. Start by browning the beef and the onion in a frying pan. Pour in the rest of the ingredients and fry for 10 minutes.

2. Take out a spring roll wrapper, if using the large variety cut it in half. Place about 1 tbsp of the taco beef at one end of the wrapper. Fold in the corners and roll into a finger-looking thing. Do this until you either run out of filling or wrappers.

3. Heat the oil and deep fry until golden and crispy.

4. Serve with an assortment of dipping sauces.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Under construction

As you can see my blog does no long look like it used to... this is due to a silly misstake by me. I am trying to solve it, but I am afraid I have lost the old design. I need to find another design that I'm happy with, but in the meantime you'll see some different designs.


Thursday, 25 March 2010

Potato and spinach quiche

I'm back, as per usual I don't have a good reason for being away from such a long time.

I found the recipe for this quiche well over a year ago on the back of the bag that the potatoes came in. I scribbled it down and put it in my recipe folder thinking I'd get around to trying it out sometime soon. This was not the case, I forgot all about the recipe and only came across it again a few days ago when I was rummaging through the recipe folder looking for inspiration for dinner. Next time I make it I'm going to add in some feta cheese for a little extra flavour!

Potato and spinach quiche
Serves 4
150 g butter
3 dl flour
2-2½ tbsp ice cold water

300 g boiled, cold potatoes
200 g baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 red onion, cut into thin rings
50 g sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 eggs
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 dl heavy cream
1 tbsp dill, chopped
salt & pepper

Set your oven to 200° C.
1. Start by making the crust. In a food processor, combine flour and butter. When crumbly, add in a little water at a time until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic film and place in the fridge to chill for about 1 hr. When chilled, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and line a springform pan, 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. Pre-bake the crust for 10 mins.

2. While the pastry is chilling in the fridge, prepare the filling. Cut the potatoes into slices and then cut the slices in half. Mix with the spinach, red onion and the sun-dried tomatoes. In a separate bowl, crack the eggs, add the heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, dill and salt & pepper, whisk to combine.

3. Place the dry filling in the now pre-baked crust, and pour in the egg mixture.

4. Bake the pie at (the recipe says 170° C but I had to use 200 ° and my oven is only about 3 years old- I say, if it doesn't set at 170° C up the temp to 200° C) 170° C for 15-20 minutes.