Archive for October, 2006

How to make your own quark-curd

Sunday, October 29th, 2006


Quark is a kind of soft cream cheese often used in Polish recipes and you’vre probably noticed that I use it a lot, especially in cheesecakes as I’m used to eastern european cheesecakes with quark instead of cream cheese. The problem is that in Sweden we only have Kesella. Kesella works rather well in some recipes but for most dishes it’s just too watery and runny. Some dishes calls for compact quark, and that you solve by making it yourself. This is just the base recipe, when you’re done you can use this homemade quark in cheesecakes (maybe a Tiramisù cheesecake or raspberry cheesecake brownies, pierogi (a sort of Polish tortellini), pancakes (either Polish ones or pancakes that melt in your mouth) or other dishes. Or you can just add some of your favourite spices and put it on a piece of bread together with some tomato slices and you have yourself a delicious sandwich. In day or two I will post another great dish which calls for this homemade quark.

(makes about 400 gr)

2 litres of filmjölk 3% (Kefir should work as well)

Pour the filmjölk into an ovenproof container.

Heat the oven to 100 degrees C. Put the container into the oven for about 1 hour.

It’s done when the quark-curd has thickened slightly and begun to separate from the whey. Be aware that you need to carefully stir with a spoon to see if the whey has separated or not.

Cover a large sieve with a clean kitchen towel (sterilized with boiling water!) and pour everything in the container onto the towel. Let drain for at least 1 hour, preferably longer.

Then take the whole kitchen towel and try to drain the last by hand, squeezing firmly. Keep the quark-curd in the fridge until you need it.

Quark-curd, ready to eat.

Chicken Dijonnaise

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

Chicken Dijonnaise

Chicken Dijonnaise with brown rice and tomatoes.

Lately I’ve used a lot of Dijon mustard when cooking, it’s hot and gives a nice flavour to the food. I’ve also been using Dijonnaise which is a combination of Dijon mustard and mayonnaise, a lovely combination if you ask me. It’s perfect on sandwiches or with chicken like here in this old dish. This recipe isn’t from any cookbook, it’s just a recipe from the condiments producer Maille which I saw in an ad in Delicious magazine. There’s no fancy chef behind this recipe, but it’s perfectly good anyway. As I like the hot flavour of plain Dijon, I added some of that aswell. If you can’t find Dijonnaise in your store you can just combine mayonnaise with some tablespoons of Dijon mustard.

    Chicken Dijonnaise
    (serves 4)

    4 chicken breasts
    25 gr unsalted butter
    1 tbs olive oil
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    100 gr button mushrooms, sliced
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 tbs plain flour
    1/2 cup Dijonnaise
    150 ml dry white wine
    275 ml chicken stock
    2 tbs finely chopped tarragon plus extra leaves to garnish
    200 ml creme fraiche

    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

    Season chicken with salt and pepper. Melt butter and oil in an ovenproof frypan with lid over medium heat. Cook chicken in batches for 2-3 minutes each side until golden. Set aside.

    Add onion to the frypan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook for a further minute. Add flour, stirring well to combine. Add Dijonnaise, wine, stock and tarragon, and bring to boil, stirring continuosly.

    Return chicken to pan, cover and transfer to oven for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

    Remove chicken from pan and set aside, then place pan over medium-high heat and reduce the sauce for 1-2 minutes. Stir in creme fraiche and heat through. To serve, place each chicken piece on a serving plate, spoon sauce over the top and garnish with tarragon leaves.

Weekend Cat Blogging #72

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

Nemo, Bowser and Vida. Even Vida loves the cat tree :-)

It’s time for weekend cat blogging again. Each weekend food Bloggers around the world share pictures of their cute cats. This week I Got Two Shoes is hosting. See the roundup here.

When we went for our honeymoon to Japan, we separated our cats and let Bowser stay at my mother’s together with her two Maine Coons Nemo and Pixie and her cute little Lhasa Apso Vida. Vida is so much smaller than 12 kg Nemo, so they look very cute when wash each other. My mother’s cats are very friendly so they get along very well with Bowser; Bowser and Nemo even cuddled up several times. Bowser had a great time on his vacation and he was probably very glad that Yoshi and Tanuki spent their vacation with Fredrik’s parents, among others on their boat (!).

Tea and toffee from Anne!

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Don’t you just love Anne’s labels!?

Today when I came home from work a parcel was waiting for me from sweet Anne. She heard that I had problems finding my new favourite tea, a green tea with cheesecake (or actually lemon and yoghurt) flavour. She found it in a small tea shop on Värmdö and kindly bought me some of that fantastic tea. She was also so sweet and enclosed here own yummy lingonberry toffees. Thank you so much Anne, what a perfect start to the weekend!

Anne’s lingonberry toffees

Potato skins with blue cheese and spinach

Monday, October 16th, 2006

I love potatoes: mashed, fried, au gratin… But most of all I like baked potatoes, either plain ones which I eat with yummy condiments, or pre-stuffed like these ones with blue cheese. I liked them, a lot. The original recipe is from Arla, but I adjusted the amounts (moooore cheese….). Enjoy!

    Potato skins with blue cheese and spinach
    (Serves 2)

    2 large baking potatoes (about 600 gr)
    150 gr fresh spinach
    3 garlic cloves
    1 tbsp butter
    190 gr gräddädelost (Swedish creamy blue cheese, read more about it here)
    200 ml crème fraiche light
    Maldon sea salt

    Bake the 2 potatoes in the oven until done. This will take about 1 hour in 200 degrees C.

    Chop the garlic and fry it butter together with the spinach. Grate the cheese coarsely and combine with crème fraiche and the spinach.

    Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. Make sure that the skins remain intact. Mash the potato flesh and combine with the spinach mixture. Salt and pepper the mixture. Fill the skins and bake them in the upper part of the oven at 250 degrees C for about 10 minutes. Serve with a salad.

Biscotti with lingonberries and white chocolate

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

Biscotti with lingonberries and white chocolate
Home made lingonberry biscottis are perfect with a cup of espresso
These are lovely biscottis with a kind of Swedish touch thanks to the lingonberries. I thought that they were perfect for Euro Blogging by Post so I baked them for Scott , the rest of them went to my husband’s office where they were very popular. The recipe is from the Swedish “Två systras söta” by the Eisenman sisters, which I can’t stop recommending. Buy it! :-) I don’t like my biscottis too dry so I was quite careful with the total time in the oven.

    Biscotti with lingonberries and white chocolate
    makes about 45

    100 gram butter
    200 ml caster sugar
    3 eggs
    700 ml flour
    3 tsp baking powder
    0.5 tsp vanilla sugar
    0.5 tsp salt
    100 gram chopped white chocolate
    200 ml lingonberries

    Heat the oven to 175 degrees.

    Beat sugar and butter until white. Add the eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients and the add the lingonberries and chopped chocolate. Add the the second mixture to the one with butter/eggs/sugar.
    Separate the dough into 3 parts and roll each part into a rope. Place on baking sheet, either greased or parchment-lined.

    Bake the biscotti for 15 minutes (I let them bake for 20 minutes). Take out the baking sheet, turn off the oven and slice the biscotti diagonally in 2 cm wide pieces. Return the baking sheet to the oven and keep the biscottis in the warm oven until dried and crunchy.

EBBP#6 – An Italian parcel from London!

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Have I ever said that I love EBBP? Well, probably :-) Today I felt really special when I received a food parcel from Simonetta and in her letter saw the words “[...] a cake that I made for you. [...]”
A cake, baked in the UK, for me :-) Aaah :-) Myself I baked Biscotti with Lingonberries and white chocolate especially for my own EBBP recipient, but you have to admit that her sentence makes you feel special anyway. Here are all the lovely Italian treats from Simonetta *lucky me*:

Chocolates from Modica (Sicily): Simonetta had them sent from a wonderful chocolate shop called Bonajuto. Three of the chocolates are with chili pepper and they are all made using an ancient Aztec recipe. They are unique in their preparation and texture, they contain almost no cocoa butter, so they are crunchy and crumbly with a crystal like apperance. They smell lovely and I can’t wait to try them.

Pesto: Simonetta writes that it’s made with the right type of Basil, the one from Liguria.

Sbrisolona: A typical crunchy cake from Verona which Simonetta baked for me. It’s originally from the neighbouring town of Mantova but it has spread all over the nearby provinces. It smells wonderful and I have already nibbled on it. So yummy!!! I will most likely kindly ask Simonetta for the recipe…

Trofie: A regional pasta.

Thanks again Simonetta for your lovely parcel! Thanks also to Johanna for hosting! You can read Johanna’s roundup here.