Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Onion Tart

With no meat in sight in the fridge or the in freezer, but about a ton of onions in the pantry, I set out to make an onion tart for dinner. Having never made an onion tart before I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to make, and with how absolutely tasty the finished tart was.

Next time I'm going to try and use a mild blue cheese instead of just normal cheese, to give it a little more flavour.

Can't wait to make this again!

Onion tart
Adapted from Bärbloggen
Serves 4

Pie crust
3 ½ dl flour
150 g cold butter, cut into pieces
a pinch salt
about 2 tbsp ice cold water

4 medium onions
3 eggs
2 ½ dl milk
3 dl grated cheese
salt and pepper
a little paprika powder

Preheat the oven to 200° C.
1. Start by making the pie crust, as this needs to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Place the flour, butter and salt in a food processor. Mix/pulse until you have a crumbly mix, then add in 1 tbsp of water and pulse. The dough might come together at this point, but if it doesn't, add in a little bit more water until the dough comes together. Place the dough in a plastic bag, flatten it out and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, start on the filling. Cut the onions using a mandolin, or a sharp knife, into really thin rings. Heat some butter or oil in a pan, and fry the onions on a medium to high heat until translucent. Set aside to cool off.

3. Take the pie crust dough out of the fridge and roll it out onto a floured surface. Lift up the dough and fit into a tart pan. Make sure the edges are covered all the way up if you are using a pan with low edges. Prick the pie crust and line it with some parchment paper, and fill with ceramic baking beans or rice. Blind bake for 15 minutes.

4. While the crust is blind baking in the oven, combine the eggs, milk, cheese and spices in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

5. Take out the pie crust from the oven and remove baking beans and parchment paper. Add the, now chilled, onions to the crust. Pour the egg and cheese mix on top, and place the whole thing back into the oven for 30 minutes or until the eggs have set.

Serve with a green salad.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Apple cake

In preparation for making the apple butter I went to my bf's parents' house to pick apples from some trees they have growing in their garden. I picked, and picked, and picked, really without paying too much attention to how many apples I picked. I left their house with 2 grocery bags worth of apples. To say the least, I've had my work cut out for me trying to figure out what to do with all the apples.

Last week I made apple sauce, I've used apples in salads and in my cooking, and I am thinking about maybe having a go at making apple chutney. On Saturday, of last week, I made an apple cake. Yum! It wasn't for me though, I made it for the café at church. And as I have previously said here on the blog, baking cakes for the café requires demographics. You have to know who will show up (as in what age-group. Older people= stuff smothered in whipped cream, younger people= modern cakes, such as cheesecakes or things made of chocolate). I thought I'd play it safe this week, since Irene was making a cake made out of meringue and whipped cream (not a pavlova, but a cake called "Verdens beste"- "The world's best"), I decided to make an apple cake. Old, as well as young people love apple cakes, don't they?

I can tell you, they do. But do you know what they love more than apple cake, or "Verdens beste" for that matter? They love apple cake baked by the new volunteers at church. There I was, selling my cake, when the new volunteers showed up, German and Austrian apple cake in hand, and they barely had the chance to put the cake down before people were fighting over the pieces.

Needless to say, I returned home with half the cake... 

Apple cake
Adapted from Allt om mat
Makes about 30 slices

7 dl plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp powdered vanilla sugar
2 eggs
4 dl sugar
3 dl milk
4 tbsp (50 g) melted butter
2 tbsp apple butter, optional

1 kg apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
2 tbsp cinnamon
0,75 dl sugar

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200° C. Mix flour, baking powder, powdered vanilla sugar, normal sugar in a large bowl. Crack the eggs in a different bowl, whisk in the milk and the melted butter, and the apple butter, if using. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in a little of the egg mixture. Stir to combine using a wooden spoon. Pour in a little more of the egg mixture and stir again, keep doing this until you have incorporated all the of the egg mixture into the flour,and you are left with a smooth batter. Do not use an electric beater for this.

2. Place the peeled, cored and wedged apples in a large plastic freezer bag. Pour in the sugar and the cinnamon. Close the bag and shake it to ensure each wedge of apple is coated.

3. Line a baking tray (30 x 40 cm) with baking parchment. Spread the batter onto the parchment. Press the apple wedges down into the batter one after another in neat rows until you have covered the entire cake with apples. Discard any left over apples, or eat them with some ice cream or some yoghurt.

4. Place the cake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake-bit of the bake comes out try and free of crumbs.

Serve the cake with ice cream or pour over some vanilla custard.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Spicy chicken & bulgur one-pot

I only just recently discovered the wonderful world of one-pots. A one-pot is a dish where everything is basically cooked in ONE POT. However, if you go to Wikipedia and search for one-pot, you get One-pot synthesis, which I guess after having read only the first couple of line, isn't too far from the truth. In a way....

Back to the subject of one-pots. When I say I only just recently discovered one-pots, what I  really mean is that I earlier today discovered and realized the wonderful world of one-pots. I was browsing through some cooking sites and, as always, stumbled across a recipe for the, said, one-pot. Not only did the recipe seem quick and simple to make, I also knew I had "all" but one ingredient already at home, which is a big plus in my book since my pantry and fridge/freezer are literally begging me to fill them. What I mean by "all" is that I actually did not have chicken thighs or couscous at home, as the original recipe called for. But I had chicken breast fillets and bulgur, so I simply substituted the couscous with bulgur and the thighs with breast fillets.And because I had some green lentils and some raisins in the cupboard I decided to add them to the recipe.

When I cooked this dish I feared it'd get too dry, and that I would have to have some kind of sauce or raita to go with it, but the lemon juice at the end really brightened the flavour and somehow made the dish moist. But by all means, go ahead and serve this dish with a raita or some other yoghurt-based sauce of your choice.
This one-pot is definitely a dish I'll be making again, soon. All the flavours worked really well together, it remind me a little bit of Middle-Eastern or North African flavours, and it was yummie!

Spicy chicken & bulgur one-pot
Adapted from BBCGoodFood
Serves 4

4 chicken breast fillets
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
500 ml chicken stock (I used stock from a cube)
10 black or green olives
1 dl raisins
1- 1½ dl cooked green lentils
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 dl bulgur

1. Start off by putting the chicken fillets into a plastic bag. Add in 1 tsp turmeric and ½ tbsp garam masala, also add in a pinch of salt. Close the bag and massage it so that the chicken fillets gets coated with the spices. Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a saucepan or a saute pan. Add in the chicken fillets and fry for 2 minutes on each side. Take the fillets out of the pan and place them on a plate. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and tip in the onion and garlic, and fry until golden, about 8-10 minutes on low-medium heat. Stir in the remaining 1 tsp turmeric and ½ tbsp garam masala. Allow the spices to fry for 1 minute. Pour over the stock and add the olives and the raisins. Bring to the boil. Place the chicken fillets back into the pan and cover the pan with a lid, or some aluminium foil. Over medium heat, simmer until the chicken is done. This can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on how large/thick your fillets are.

3. When the chicken is done, take them out of the pan and place on a clean plate, cover with some aluminium foil to keep them warm. Add the bulgur and the lentils to the pan and stir. Cover and allow the bulgur to cook, check every now and then to ensure there's enough water in the pan. You can always add in a bit more stock or some water if the pan gets dry. Taste to check if the bulgur is done after about 10-15 minutes. Depending on the size of the bulgur used, the time may vary.

3. Place the cooked chicken back into the pan. Squeeze over the lemon juice, and sprinkle the lemon zest and parsley on top.

I had some sliced almonds in the cupboard that I roasted in a pan until golden. I then scattered them on top of the dish together with the lemon zest and the parsley.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Food Network Canada

I'm, like, famous in Canada!!!

A few days ago, when I made the apple butter, I decided to post the photo I took on the site where I'd found the recipe (Food Network Canada). Little did I know that not many days after posting the photo it would be selected pic of the week. I feel so honoured, and it's great being famous, even if it's all the way over in Canada.

Check out the photo HERE

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Homemade apple butter

Canadian apple butter

It is Canada week over at The World On Out Plates, and I decided to make Canadian apple butter.

Apple butter, for those of you who are not in the know, is a really thick apple sauce. It tastes like the best apple sauce you have ever tried. I promise, you'll love it.

Apple Butter
Makes about 1 large jar
Recipe by Michael Smith from Food Network Canada

10  apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup apple juice
1/4 tsp each of ground nutmeg, cardamom,  cloves and allspice
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Place all the ingredients in a large sauce pan, stir to combine. Over medium to high heat, cook the apples until they become very soft. Let the mixture cook until the liquid had reduced with about 80% and you have a thick, dark brown sauce.

2. Remove from heat, and using an immersion hand blender, purée the apple butter. Pour the apple butter into sterilized jars.