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Minced meat sandwich

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Minced meat sandwich topped with Västerbotten cheese.

It’s been incredible hot here in Stockholm the last week, up to 31 degrees C, and on such days you don’t actually feel like cooking and need to take short cuts. One of my favourite quick dinners is when I have some left over minced meat sauce from the day before or from the freezer. I just put a couple of table spoons of the sauce on top of white bread, top with slices of cheese and then bake the sandwiches it in the oven (200 degrees C) for 10-15 minutes. Serve the sandwiches with a salad. Quick, easy and so incredibly yummy (even though a bit unhealthy…). In the photo above I’ve used sauce containing minced meat, bacon, cinnamon and tomatoes but you can basically use any minced meat sauce.

“Meat” the new me: Sunday Roast

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007


Roasted pork loin steak
The last week has been really intense at work, with a lot of overtime. I didn’t even enter my kitchen for the whole week, except when grabbing something to drink during late evenings and nights. So when I finally had time and strenght on Sunday, I decided for a proper but drastic dinner: a Sunday steak. As most of you know for many years I didn’t eat meat except for fish and sea food, then I gradually started eating chicken and last summer even bacon (how have I managed so many years without the glorious bacon?). Lately I’ve tried different pork sausages and at the dinner reception at Arla’s Golden Cow (which I will post about) I even tried lamb! Anyway, by deciding to roast a steak for dinner I shocked my dear husband but of course, as a real carnivore he was thrilled! When the meat finally was roasting in the oven both husband and cats went insane as the scent of the roast spread out from the kitchen into the living room. The result was a delicious roast which my husband gave two thumbs up while the cats gave 2 paws up. I even managed to eat a whole slice, but I have to admit that I prefered the condiments: sauce based on the gravy and potato au gratin. It’s one thing eating sausages and bacon, and another to actually eat steak. But just give me some time and I’ll be eating all sorts of meat :-)

Dagmar’s Sunday Roast
(serves 4)

“Marinade”:
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves, crushed
zest from 1 orange
2 tbsp of fresh orange juice
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
pepper
3 small twigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil

For the steak:
1 onion, sliced
400 ml meat stock (400 ml boiling water + 2 tbsp instant meat stock)
900 gram pork loin steak, boneless (“fläskkarré” in Swedish)

Sauce:
150 ml of the gravy (if you don’t have enough, then complement with water)
100 ml double cream
1 tbsp Maizena and 3 tbsp of water
pepper

Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees C (I have a fan oven, so a normal one should be slightly warmer).

Grease a roasting pan and cover the bottom with onion slices. In a bowl combine the ingredients for the marinade. Rub the steak with the mixture and make sure that it’s all covered. Put the steak on the onions and put a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Pour half of the stock around the steak and put it into the oven. Baste the steak occasionally with gravy. After one hour, add the rest of the stock and continue basting the steak occasionally. The steak is ready when it reaches an inner temperature of between 70 and 80 degrees C, which takes about 1 1/2 hour.

According the brilliant Swedish book “Koka soppa på fysik” by Hans-Uno Bengtsson and Jan Boris-Möller, which gives a physical view on cooking, the inner temperature of all meat increases with around 4 % after taking it out from the oven. So if you want the steak to be 80 degrees, then you should take it out from the oven when it reaches 77 degrees as 0.04 times 77 is 80.03 degrees. I took mine out at 77 degrees C.

After taking out the steak, cover it in aluminium foil and let it rest for 15 minutes. Don’t even think about slicing it yet. When the steak is cooking the muscle cells forces out liquid and the 15 minutes rest is needed so that the steak can retain its juices, otherwise they will just leek out when slicing.

In the mean time put a side the onion slices on a plate and strain the gravy. Pour the strained gravy into a cooking pan. If you don’t have enough of gravy then add boiling water. Add cream and let the mixture simmer. Combine the maizena with 3 tbsp of water and stir it into the sauce. Continue stiring until it thickens and then remove the sauce from the heat. Add pepper.

Uncover the steak, slice it and put it on a serving plate together with the onion slices and some cooked vegetables, for example French green beans (haricots verts). Serve with potato au gratin and the sauce.

Chicken meatballs with parmesan and Dijon mustard

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Lately I’m eating a lot of chicken, and it’s so yummy! I love experimenting with soft minced chicken and here’s the latest result. These meatballs are delicious and creamy thanks to the parmesan but still delicate without a strong cheese flavour. The Dijon flavour only gives a vague hint.

    Chicken meatballs with parmesan and Dijon mustard
    (serves 3, makes around 25-30 small meatballs)

    350 gr minced chicken
    1 schallot onion, finely chopped
    1 garlic clove, finely grated
    1 tsp water
    5 tsp dried breadcrumbs
    3 tsp Dijon mustard
    25 gr Parmesan cheese, finely grated
    1 egg
    1 tsp maldon sea salt
    ground pepper

    Soak the breadcrumbs in the water and combine with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Shape 25-30 small meatballs, it will be rather sticky and the meatballs will be fragile so a small amount of olive oil on your hands will help. As always when handling chicken make sure to wash your hands and all utensils carefully. Fry the meatballs in butter for about 10 minutes. Serve with pasta and some extra Dijon mustard.

Spicy chicken meatballs

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

I’ve had a craving for meat the last months and I’m cooking chicken at least once or twice a week. I even eat bacon nowadays and can’t understand how I could live without it for the last 6 years. That saltyness and crispness can’t be found anywhere in the vegetable kingdom, including all that terrible fake bacon. I guess that it’s only a matter of time before I start eating other meat as well but for now chicken and bacon is fine and I even tend to combine them quite often. Today though, I’m posting an easy weekday chicken dish which I made for dinner yesterday:

    Spicy chicken meatballs
    (serves 3, makes 14 oval meatballs)

    350 gr minced chicken
    1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
    1 garlic clove, finely grated
    1 egg
    0.75 tsp dried ground sumac
    0.75 tsp dried ground cumin
    0.75 tsp dried ground coriander/cilantro
    0.5 tsp dried ground cayenne pepper
    maldon sea salt
    ground pepper

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl and shape 14 oval meatballs, it will be rather sticky so a small amount of oil on your hands will help. As always when handling chicken make sure to wash your hands and all utensils carefully. Fry the meatballs in butter for about 10 minutes. Serve with bulgur or rice.

Risotto al Taleggio

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Risotto al Taleggio. In the background you can see Anne’s twisted baguettes.

This weekend I tried to figure out what to do with the piece of Taleggio cheese that I bought spontaneous a time ago. I finally decided for a risotto, even though I was really frightened as it was my first time making a risotto. But I must say that it’s not hard at all! Just stir, stir and stir :-) This risotto has a lot of taste, due to the creamy cheese. It’s a very stinky cheese but really delicious, especially in this risotto. To the risotto we had Anne’s twisted baguettes which were very easy to make and tasted great! Bake them, you won’t be dissapointed!

    Risotto al Taleggio
    (recipe translated from Zeta)

    2 shallots, finely chopped
    3 tbsp + 2 tbsp Olive oil Extra Vergine
    300 ml Arborio rice
    200 ml white dry wine
    1 litre warm chicken broth
    200 gr Taleggio cheese, cut in cubes
    Maldon sea salt
    pepper

    Bring broth to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat.

    In another pan heat 3 tbsp olive oil, add shallots and sauté until tender and colourless. Add rice and stir for a minute or two. Add wine and stir until evaporated. Add 400 ml of hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 100 ml at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 20 minutes. When done the rice corns should be creamy with an al dente kernel. Stir in the taleggio cheese and two tablespoons of olive oil. Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve, preferably with Anne’s twisted baguettes.

Warm bulgur with trumpet chanterelles and pomegranate

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

I ran out of ideas the other day and lucklily I found a recipe for this warm autumnal bulgur salad in Elle mat och vin. It really easy to make and I loved it, the combination of pomegranate seeds with chèvre and chanterelles was lovely. It’s perfect as starter, but you can also serve it plain as a main dish or as a side dish to meat or salmon. As always I adjusted the recipe a bit; I substituted the golden chanterelles with trumpet ones instead and adjusted the amounts.

    Warm bulgur with trumpet chanterelles and pomegranate

    3 dl bulgur
    600 ml water
    1 vegetable stock cube (I actually used fond instead)
    1 pomegranate
    1 litre of fresh Trumpet chanterelles
    3 shallots (chopped)
    200 gr chèvre
    2 dl fresh plain leaved parsley (chopped)
    0.5 dl fresh thyme
    1 dl pistachios (coursly chopped)
    Maldon sea salt
    pepper

    Boil the bulgur in the water and stock until done, this should take about 10 minutes. Set aside, put on a lid and keep warm. Rinse the pomegranate. Rinse the trumpet chanterelles, cut the biggest ones into halves. Fry the chanterelles with the chopped onions in butter until all the liquid from the chanterelles has dissapeared and they are done. Add salt and pepper.
    Combine bulgur, chanterelles, parsley, thyme and pistachios. Crumble half of the chèvre over the bulgur salad and mix everything. Garnish the bulgur salad with the rest of the chèvre and the pomegranate seeds.

Knedle ze śliwkami (dumplings with plums)

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Many countries have their own versions of potato based dumplings; kroppkakor in Sweden, Klöße in Germany, Knödeln in Austria and so on. In Poland there are many dumpling variants made of boiled potatoes. We have the ones with savoury filling “Pyzy“, the sweet ones “knedle” and “kopytka” which are not filled with anything at all. Some people would probably want to add “pierogi” to the above dumpling list, but their dough normally doesn’t contain any boiled potatoes (apart from the filling) so they don’t really belong here.

Knedle ze śliwkami is typical Polish sweet dish, often eaten as a sweet dinner. The Polish kitchen isn’t always healthy… :-) Normally the dumpling dough is made of boiled potatoes, but I found a variant made out of quark (my middlename should be quark…) on the Polish food forum which I read. The result was excellent, and even Fredrik really liked these dumplings.

Knedle ze śliwkami
(makes 12, serves 4)

Dough:
250 gr quark (don’t use Kesella as it’s too runny; I made my own quark)
1 egg
120-130 gr flour
2 tablespoons of melted butter

Filling:
12 small sweet plums
12 tsp caster sugar

For serving:
melted butter
caster sugar
cinnamon


Wash the plums, pat dry and stone by cutting a gash. Stuff each plum with one teaspoon of sugar.

Boil water in a large pot.


Prepare dough in a bowl by mixing all ingredients. Work dough until firm, if the dough is too sticky add some flour. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, then flatten each piece with your hands and wrap it around each plum.

The plums should be completely covered with dough.


Put the knedle in boiling water, 6 at a time or less depending of the size of your pot. When they start floating carefully boil for about 8 minutes until you think that the plums are soft. Take out the dumplings carefully with a slotted spoon. Pour melted butter over the knedle and sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon.

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
    salt
    pepper

    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.