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Archive for March, 2012

David Chang, microbiology and fermentation.

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Some weeks ago I had the honor of attending a fun cooking event at Electrolux with chef David Chang, the owner of Momofuku. He has been awarded with the White Guide Global Gastronomy Award and thus visited Sweden during a couple of days. The Swedish chefs Magnus Nilsson, Mathias Dahlgren and Sayan Eriksson also participated in the cooking event. The event was a bit special since the theme was microbiology and fermentation. David Chang held a presentation about his work in the Momofuku lab where they experiment with fermentation and different kinds of molds…

Already during the presentation we each received a plate with fermented rice and barley and three kinds of miso (pine nut, almond and pistachio). It actually tasted really good. The presentation was very interesting and David Chang is a great speaker.

Afterwards Magnus Nilsson spoke about fermentation at his restaurant and we got to try a couple of dishes.

Above you can see how crowded it was in the Electrolux kitchen (the Swedish culinary team actually practices here). From left to right you can see Magnus Nilsson, David Chang, Sayan Isaksson and Mathias Dahlgren. Standing on the opposite side of the table, in stripes, is chef Klas Lindberg who won the prestigious title “chef of the year” in January.The whole event ended with lots of scrumptious food served by the Swedish culinary team. Delicious!

Swedish television filmed the event, and you can see a short 5 minute program below. Most parts are in English. You’ll be able to catch a glimpse of me (dressed in orange) and also my fellow food blogger Anne.

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Smulgubbe – a cross between strawberries and wild strawberries

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Photo from last year.

Spring is slowly approaching and I can’t wait for all garden plants to wake up after the winter. My favourite berry, smulgubbe (Fragaria × vescana), is a cross between strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa) and wild/woodland strawberries (Fragaria vesca). The Swedish name for strawberry is jordgubbe and the name for wild strawberry is smultron, hence the name smulgubbe. The flavour, imagine eating a strawberry and a wild strawberry at the same time, is absolutely fantastic and I can’t imagine a summer without them. The variety that I have, Rebecka, produce berries through out the whole summer season. I grow them in containers hanging on the trellis so that I can easily access them everytime I go out on my deck. During winter I half bury the whole containers so they’ll survive the cold. The plants produce a few runners, but not as many as strawberry plants usually do, so you’ll eventually get more plants. If you live in Stockholm, you can find Rebecka plants during late spring at the garden center Zetas and probably also the one called Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal, two of my favourite places in Stockholm.

Crock-Pot Goulash

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, while we still had lots of snow.

Slow cookers, in this case a Crock-Pot, are fairly new in Sweden as opposed to the US where they’ve been on the market since the 70s. The food is cooked very slowly on a low temperature while you’re at work or do other stuff. I’ve been experimenting with a Crock-Pot lately and I’ve had lots of fun so far. The first thing I decided to do was a cross between soup and stew. It’s not authentical nor 100 % Hungarian, but I still call it a goulash. In the morning, before work, I loaded the Crock-Pot with my chosen ingredients and I set it on low for 8,5 hours. After all those hours it automatically switched to just keep the stew/soup warm until we we were ready for dinner.

Some people prefer to brown their meat before adding it to the slow cooker, but seriously, I will not brown meat in the morning while still being half asleep. At that time of the day I can hardly drink a cup of coffee. So I just threw everything in the pot and let it cook. The result was a hearty delicious soup/stew that we ate with newly baked baguettes. Absolutely amazing and I still can’t believe that all I had to do was to chop the ingredients. I was bit afraid that the potatoes would be over cooked, but they were perfect!

    Crock-Pot Goulash

    900 gram beef chuck (högrev in Swedish)
    2 yellow onions
    2 Italian peppers (spetspaprika in Swedish)
    6 potatoes, peeled
    4 garlic cloves
    1 tsp thyme
    2 tsp pimenton de la vera (smoked paprika), mild
    1 tbsp paprika
    1 tbsp tomato puree
    1,5 tsp ancho
    2 tsp chipotle chili paste
    2 bay leaves
    1 can of crushed tomatoes
    800 ml stock (preferably home made)
    salt
    pepper

    Cut the meat, potatoes and peppers in large dices. Chop the onions. Finely chop or grate the garlic. Put all ingredients in a Crock-Pot and let cook on low temperature for 8,5 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh bread.

I took this photo just before I started the Crock-Pot.