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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.

Savory Dijon ice cream with cured salmon and fish shaped crackers

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Mustard ice cream with cured salmon, fish shaped crackers and roe.

Maybe you recall our annual thirteen course dinner at Anne’s? Every year on Twelwth Night we have a gourmet dinner at her place. Every couple prepares one starter, one main course and one dessert. This year the dinner party had a twist, every course had to have a movie or a TV series connection… The main course and dessert was quite easy to decide, but I had problems coming up with a clever starter. At last I decided to channel Pingu in a starter… I found a very intriguing recipe for savory Dijon mustard ice cream that I wanted to give a try. I decided to serve it just as the original recipe suggested with gravad lax (cured salmon), regretfully store bought as I didn’t have enough time to make my own, roe and dill. And as a final touch I baked crackers that I shaped like small fish. I was very happy when the fish came out from the oven, all fluffed up looking like small fish! The result of the whole dish? It was a very strange but interesting dish. I should have skipped the dill as it clashed, but the ice cream it self was actually great. Smooth, creamy ice cream with a Dijon mustard flavor and a small hint of curry! But remember now that due to the 13 courses, each course including this one was very small. I’m not sure I would have managed a larger serving…. For pictures of all movie themed dishes that we had, click here to get to the round up.

    Savory Dijon Ice cream
    (adapted from Gourmet)

    1 cup heavy cream
    0.5 cup whole milk
    1/4 teaspoon curry powder
    1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    pinch of salt
    4 large egg yolks
    0.5 cup packed light brown sugar
    4 tablespoons Dijon mustard

    Bring cream, milk, curry powder, vanilla, and salt just to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
    Meanwhile, whisk together yolks and brown sugar in a large metal bowl until thick and creamy. Add hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly, and pour back into pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard is thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 77°C / 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Remove from heat.

    Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean metal bowl and cool in an ice bath. Whisk in mustard, then continue to chill, stirring occasionally, until cold.
    Freeze custard in ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

    Serve the ice cream with gravad lax, roe and home baked crackers shaped as fish (for recipe see below).

    Crackers shaped as fish

    200 ml all-purpose flour
    150 ml rye flour
    0.5 tsp salt
    0.5 tsp active dry yeast
    1 tbsp sugar
    1 tbsp olive oil
    100 ml water, warm
    flaky sea salt

    Mix all ingredients but the flour in a kitchen aid. Add the flour and work into a dough. Let the machine knead for at least 5-10 minutes. Cover the dough and let rise during 1,5 hours.

    Roll out the dough very thinly between two pieces of parchment paper. I didn’t have any fish cookie cutter, so I made a fish in cardboard that I used. Brush the fish with water and sprinkle with salt.

    Bake the crackers in 175°C for 15-20 minutes.

Dagmar’s potstickers

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Long time no see! I know it’s been a long while but I hope you’ll quickly forget my absence if I’ll post my signature dish. I guess everyone has a signature dish, a dish that you love to cook and that others love to eat. If I would have to choose, I think that my signature dish would be dumplings or actually potstickers, fried dumplings. They take some time to prepare, but they are sure worth every minute. Sometimes when my guests arrive I’m still folding the dumplings but the guests are more than willing to help out as it’s a very nice way to spend time together. And sometimes I’ve even asked my girl friends to come earlier so we can fold the dumplings together while chatting and laughing.

I’m not saying that my recipe is a genuine Chinese one, because it probably isn’t. But trust me when I say that it’s scrumptious! The dough recipe I’ve found online and it’s extremely to work with. I prefer it to the ready made dumpling wrappers that you can buy in Chinese stores. The filling is my own and it contains lots of cilantro/coriander since I love it. Serve the fried potstickers with a dipping sauce. I like to serve them with 2-3 different dipping sauces for variety (make sure to serve one small bowl per person and sauce). The uncooked dumplings freeze very well, just make sure to freeze them individually on a tray first so that they won’t stick to each other. When cooking frozen dumplings, add a couple of minutes to the steaming process.

Dumpling dough (from Chow):
(Enough for around 30 dumplings depending on size)
2 cups flour
3/4 cups boiling water

Put the flour in the bowl of your food processor. Put lid on and start the machine. While running, add the boiling water through the feeding tube. Stop the machine a couple of seconds after you’ve added the water. The dough should look crumbly and when you pinch it, it should hold it’s shape.
Transfer the dough to your work surface and carefully, making sure not to burn yourself, knead it with the heel of your hands for 30 seconds. You should now have an elastic dough. Put the dough in a ziploc plastic bag and seal. Let the dough rest for at least 15 minutes but not more than 2 hours. You’ll quickly see that the hot dough will steam up the plastic bag.

While the dough is resting start on the filling. Feel free to play around with the quantities.

Dagmar’s dumpling filling:
(makes maybe 60-100 dumplings depending on size)

800 gram minced meat of your choice
250 ml spring onions, finely chopped
150 ml fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped
7 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp light soya
1 tsp maldon sea salt
2 tsp Maizena
fresh pepper

In a big bowl combine all ingredients.

Now it’s time to fold the dumplings! I use a pasta machine to roll out the dough to a thickness of number 6 marked on the machine.

Cut out rounds with a glass or a dumpling mold. I’ve bought my molds in Poland and in the US at Bath Bed and Beyond. But to be honest I prefer to fold my dumplings by hand. There’s something relaxing with folding each dumpling carefully with your hands. But it’s up to you. On the below pictures you’ll see dumplings made with both a mold and by hand.

Fill each round with filling, the quantity is depending on the size of the rounds. When using the above dough, you don’t need to add water when folding the dumplings..

This is a dumpling made with a mold:

The below ones are folded by hand, in a crescent shaped form. Compared with the one made with the mold, the crescent formed ones have a flat and nice bottom that is easier to fry. Google to find descriptions on how to fold it. Or just play around.

Cover the dumplings with plastic foil while you’re working. The below ones are hand folded.

To cook the dumplings as potstickers pour 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. When hot, put the dumplings in the pan. Make sure to cook them in batches. Fry until golden and then add 1/3 – 1/2 glass of water and quickly cover the frying pan with a lid. Let the dumplings steam for 6-7 minutes. Remove the lid and re-crisp the dumplings. If there is any water left in the pan, let it boil off first. When cooking frozen dumplings, add a couple of minutes to the steaming process.

Serve the potstickers with a dipping sauce, for example this one:

Basic dipping sauce:

4 tbsp soya
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
finely chopped chili

Mix the sauce ingredients and divide between small bowls.

These potstickers are made with the mold, which is seen on the flat shape. The ones seen in the very first photo of this post were hand wrapped.

Dreaming of summer; archipelago mackerel

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

 

It’s only November but I’m already dreaming about summer. Despite the fact that I really look forward to our upcoming New York trip I almost regret not booking a beach vacation instead. But only almost :-)

The above photo was taken at my parents in law’s house on the west coast of Sweden. I love their terrace which is facing the sea. I can sit there for hours watching the boats go by while the sea gulls are flying around. The dish on the photo is a very tasty and easy to make mackerel. You start with frying fresh mackerel fillets, then you add cream and parsley and let it simmer. Salt and pepper, and serve with boiled summer potatoes. Swedish summer in a nutshell!

 


The amazing view from their balcony.

Chicken skewers with sweet chili and peanut dipping sauce

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Lately I’m cooking a lot of Asian influenced food. The fridge contains fish sauce, oyster sauce, different soya sauces and chili. I have fresh cilantro on the kitchen counter and yesterday I even planted some cilantro seeds as my consumtion is so high. These little skewers and dipping sauce was one of the dishes that I cooked for an Asian dinner some weeks before Christmas. The recipe is from Olive; it’s easy, delicious and I’ve modified it a bit.

    Chicken skewers with sweet chili and peanut dipping sauce

    Marinade:
    2 garlic cloves
    2 tsp fish sauce
    2 tsp honey
    3 spring onions, chopped
    2 tsp vegetable oil
    4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes

    Dipping sauce:
    150 ml rice vinegar
    100 gram caster sugar
    2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
    1 red chili, finely chopped
    1 tbsp roasted peanuts, very finely chopped

    Soak as many wooden skewers as you have chicken breat cubes (around 15) in water. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a food processor. Pour the marinade into a bowl and add the chicken breast cubes. Chill for at least 1 hour.

    Heat rice vinegar and sugar in a small sauce pan. Let simmer for around 5 minutes until it thickens a bit. Cool and add the remaining ingredients.

    Skewer the chicken and cook it on a grill or frying pan until brown. Serve with the dipping sauce. I always divide dipping sauce in individual small bowls, one for each guest.

When the husband cooks..

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Easy and delicious: Entrecôte with a salad consisting of aragula, walnuts, blue cheese and apple.

Roasted chicken

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

The chicken looks burnt on the photo, but in reality it was actually golden

I love my stove. It has 5 gas cookers and two ovens: one large convection/fan oven and a small normal electric one. First I was afraid of the gas cookers, but now I couldn’t imagine being without them. The only problem with gas is that we buy it in bottles, and once when we were still quite new in the house we ran out of it during a dinner just as the guests arrived. But at least we have learned our lesson and now we always have a spare bottle…

The small oven has a rotiserie function, which I didn’t try out until this Sunday. I seasoned a chicken that I skewered on a special spit that came with the oven. I tightened the wings with tooth picks as I didn’t have anything to tie it with. Under the chicken I put a baking sheet with raw potato wedges, onion and rosemary, so they could absorb the juices from the chicken as it was rotating. One hour later in 175 degrees C I had a perfect and evenly roasted chicken and delicious potatoes. So simple and yet so good.

Bacon wrapped corncobs

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

The barbecue season is coming to an end with autumn knocking on the door. But there is still time for that last barbecue dinner. Even if you’ve cleanead the terrace and stowed your grill in the garage, you should definitly consider to take it out again and make these lovely bacon wrapped corncobs. The recipe is from my colleague F and I can’t thank him enough for it. Bacon and corn, two of my favourite ingredients, are a heavenly combination.

Take one fresh corncob per person. Remove corn husks from corncobs and boil in salted water for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool. Wrap each corncob in 3-4 rashes of bacon (or pancetta), secure with tooth picks. Grill on a barbecue until the bacon is crispy and nicely coloured. Be careful not to burn, make sure to turn regularely. Eat while still warm, don’t forget to remove the toothpicks!