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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
    Pepper

    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.

Lime Marinated Halloumi Skewers

Friday, July 21st, 2006

Halloumi skewers
Halloumi skewers, before grilling them.

Anne kindly invited us to her Midsummer party this year. We had a wonderful day and the food was really delicious, even if it was far from traditional Midsummer’s food which I’m rather bored of. Anne prepared most of the food and all others brought different things as well. Fredrik and I brought lime marinated halloumi skewers and a chocolate truffle cake with walnut crust and a raspberry sauce. Thanks again for inviting us, Anne!

I love Halloumi, I just can’t get enough of that squeky delicious cheese, it’s so easy to use and so easy to eat :-) For the party I prepared skewers with marinated Halloumi, pepper and red onion. I burnt them on the barbeque while the guys were drinking beer and watching, but I did get some help in the end though :-) The skewers were great but next time I’ll marinate them a little longer than just 1 hour.

    Lime Marinated Halloumi Skewers

    (makes far too many. I don’t remember the exact quantities, but you get the point)

    Skewers:
    3 parcels of Halloumi (a total of about 450 g)
    1 red pepper
    1 yellow pepper
    1 green pepper
    2 red onions

    Marinade:
    The juice from 2 limes
    The juice from 0.5 lemon
    freshly grounded pepper
    Olive oil
    fresh herbs (I used a herb which I don’t recall, but it tasted and smelled like pineapple!)

    Prepare the marinade in a bowl. Cut the Halloumi in cubes and put it in the marinade. Put the bowl in the fridge for a couple of hours. Cut the vegetables and then put everything on skewers (if wodden, put them in water for 10 minutes so they don’t start to burn on the barbecue).
    Grill the skewers on a barbecue until they get enough colour.

The Midsummer food
Yummy! Read more about the different dishes on Anne’s blog.

Pancakes that melt in your mouth

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

Yummy!

The last two Sundays we’ve been enjoying these lovely pancakes. They are truly delicious with a scent of lemon (or orange, I’ve done both variants) and they melt in your mouth. The original recipe calls for Ricotta, but I used the Swedish quark “Kesella 10%” and the second time I used the Polish quark “Serek Smietankowy Delfiko”. Both turned out really nice. The pancakes are rather fragile so be careful when you fry them. Serve the pancakes with maple syrup or your favourite jam, myself I prefer them with a Polish Raspberry Syrup.

    Lemon and Ricotta pancakes
    (adapted from “Frukost och Brunch” by Jonas Borssén)

    175 ml quark or Ricotta
    50 g melted butter
    3 large eggs, separated into whites and yolks
    1 tsp vanilla scented sugar
    50 ml plain flour
    2 tbsp caster sugar
    1 tbsp lemon or orange zest

    Combine the quark, melted butter, egg yolks and vanilla sugar and put aside. Combine flour, caster sugar and zest in a separate bowl. Combine the two previous mixtures. Whip the egg whites until they become stiff. Carefully combine one third of the egg whites with the pancake batter and blend carefully without loosing the volume from the egg whites. Then add the rest of the egg whites. The batter should be homogeneous and airy.
    Fry small pancakes (about 8-12 ones) in butter.


Colourful Veggie Dinner

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Root vegetables, Halloumi and Pesto

I love the taste of Cypriotic Halloumi cheese, it’s salty and lovely. It’s made of goat and sheep’s milk, but it can be done on cow milk as well. I use Halloumi very often when cooking dinner as the cheese has a really high melting point so it’s perfect to grill or fry. And the best part is that it’s very simple to prepare, just slice and fry until it gets a golden colour. Complement with vegetables and you have yourself a lovely dinner, if you want to you can even bread it before frying. But don’t get worried over the small green pieces in the cheese, it’s only Mint.
For a laco ovo vegetarian, Halloumi is the perfect dish to bring to a barbecue. Just slice the cheese and grill it. I always bring Halloumi with me on barbecues and people love to try it and they get really surprised that they actually like it.

Here’s a very simple weekday dinner with Halloumi:

    Oven baked root vegetables with fried Halloumi and Pesto

    Oven baked root vegetables
    Beetroot, Potato, Carrot & Parsnip (or your own favourite root vegetables)
    Salt
    Pepper
    Olive oil
    Herbs (choose your favourite)
    Sumac

    Peel the vegetables and cut them in wedges. Combine the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper and herbs in a oven proof form. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes in 225 degrees C (at least in my present oven which is really bad).

    Fried Halloumi
    1 Halloumi

    Cut the Halloumi in slices and fry in a small amount of butter until it gets golden brown.


    Pesto

    0.5 garlic clove
    3 handfuls of fresh Basil (leaves picked and chopped)
    1 handful of Pine nuts (lightly toasted)
    Sea salt and pepper
    Extra virgin olive oil
    1 good handful of grated Parmesan cheese (I prefer the one that I bought in Rome last summer)

    Mix everything in a food processor, add as much olive oil as wanted. I prefer a less “oily” Pesto.

Trumpet Chanterelles

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

Trumpet Chanterelles
I have fond memories from my childhood when the whole family went out to the forest to pick Prawdziwki (in Polish, Karl Johanssvamp in Swedish and King Bolete or Porcini in English) and other sorts of mushrooms. The Prawdziwek dries very well and is often used in the Polish cuisine, especielly for the different Christmas dishes. We never picked Trumpet Chanterelles, I picked my first one maybe 5 years ago which accidently was a poisonous mushroom very similar to the edible Chanterelle. Luckily I had some Trumpet Chanterell experts with me and they discovered my misstake. I blame it on not having experience picking Trumpet Chanterelles. I only recognize Porcini :-)
The Trumpet Chanterell is a delicious mushroom and in Sweden it can be found in almost all food stores and markets during autumn. If you decide to pick any kind of mushroom in the forest, be careful, preferably take an expert with you so you don’t pick any poisonous one. I picked my Trumpet Chanterelles in the store this time :-) The easiest dish that you can make with them are fried Chanterelles, delicious and easy!

    Fried creamy Trumpet Chanterelles

    serves 1
    200 gr fresh Trumpet Chanterelles
    butter
    1 small onion, chopped
    200 ml cream
    salt
    pepper
    Clean the Chanterelles by brushing them, don’t wash them. Divide the Trumpet Chanterelles by tearing them apart by hand. Fry them in an empty frying pan, without any butter. Let them fry/cook until all their moisture has evaporated. Now add some butter and some chopped yellow onion. Add 100 ml cream, let the Chanterelles absorb the cream and then add another 100 ml of cream, let absorb again. Add salt and pepper. Serve with cooked potatoes and crisp bread.

Tender and crisp chicken legs with sweet tomatoes

Sunday, October 9th, 2005
Ready to put in the oven. Notice the beautiful tomatoes that we bought, they were called “wild tomatoes” and came in green, yellow, orange and red.

Last weekend we went to the Gothenburg Book Fair. Once a year there’s a big book fair with exhibitors and seminars here in Gothenburg and it always draws a lot of people, including us. This year I bought many cook books as the prices were really low, but I wish that I had bought even more… Anyway, one of the cook books that I bought was Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Dinners. I’ve been planning to buy this book for such a long time, but better late than never :-)

As most of you know, I don’t each chicken anymore. At least not that often. But sometimes the craving gets really big and then I decide to cook chicken. But I don’t think that I’ll ever dare to eat it at a restaurant anymore. This time the chicken craving appeared as I was browsing through Jamie’s Dinners; I found a recipe for Tender and crip chicken legs with sweet tomatoes. The recipe sounded great and I wasn’t dissapointed, it was excellent and I enjoyed every bite of it. The chicken gets a crips surface while the rest of it is really tender and it smells delicious. The chicken almost melts in your mouth and it’s wonderful. To the chicken we made roasted potatoes in the oven, with sea salt, pepper, olive oil and rosemary. As I’m to lazy to write down the chicken recipe, I googled for it and finally found it at Jamie’s dinner’s official web site but I’ll paste it here as well. As always, be extra careful when handling raw chicken. I didn’t add any optional beans and as I just wrote I cooked the potatoes seperately.

    Tender and crisp chicken legs with sweet tomatoes
    Serves 4

    4 chicken legs, jointed
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    a big bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
    2 big handfuls of red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved, and ripe plum tomatoes, quartered
    1 whole bulb of garlic, broken up into cloves
    1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
    olive oil
    optional: 1 x 410g tin of cannellini beans, drained
    optional: 2 handfuls of new potatoes, scrubbed

    Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Season your chicken pieces all over and put them into a snug-fitting pan in one layer. Throw in all the basil leaves and stalks, then chuck in your tomatoes. Scatter the garlic cloves into the pan with the chopped chilli and drizzle over some olive oil. Mix around a bit, pushing the tomatoes underneath. Place in the oven for 1.5 hours, turning the tomatoes halfway through, until the chicken skin is crisp and the meat falls off the bone. If you fancy, you can add some drained cannellini beans or some sliced new potatoes to the pan and cook them with the chicken. Or you can serve the chicken with some simple mashed potato. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins before serving. You could even make it part of a pasta dish – remove the chicken meat from the bone and shred it, then toss into a bowl of linguini or spaghetti and serve at once.

Ready to serve, be prepared for a wonderful dinner!

Quick and Easy Langos

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

Langos with sour cream, chopped red onion and grated Västerbotten cheese.

Langos is a kind of bread, or actually deep-fried bread puffs. They are originally from Hungary and they are always for sale at festivals and events in Sweden. They are very popular and people stand in long queues to buy one instead of a boring hot dog or hamburger. You can choose between various toppings and I always choose sour cream, grated cheese and chopped red onion. They are really delicious. When I was a kid my mother used to deep-fry dough, long before we knew about Langos. Yesterday I was very hungry and didn’t know what to eat for dinner when I realized that I had yeast and sour cream in the fridge. So I dediced to do Langos. Real Langos contains cooked potato, but my Mother always used normal bread dough and so did I.

Quick and easy Langos

25 gr fresh yeast
250 ml lukewarm water
~500 ml flour
salt

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add flour and salt, combine to a flexible dough. Add more flour if needed. Let the dough rise for 10-15 minutes.

Take a piece of dough and roll it out to a rather thin oval. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Heat oil in a pan and fry each Langos separately until both sides turn golden brown. Serve the Langos with sour cream, grated cheese and chopped onion.

Plättar

Monday, August 8th, 2005

Frying small pancakes on the kitchen table

Swedish plättar are basically pancakes, but small ones. We use a special pancake pan, called plättlagg. It looks just like the picture to the left (taken from Scandinavian South as I don’t have any of my own). But what I do have is an electric one, to be placed on the kitchen table so everyone can help out and have a fun time while frying plättar. I really dislike frying pancakes or plättar all by myself at the stove. With my “electric frying machine” (I have to admit that I don’t now what it’s called) it’s much more fun and the pancake frying becomes a social event.

Plättar (for 2 persons)

2 eggs
200 ml flour
400 ml milk
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar

Beat the eggs and add the flour and milk gradually along with the sugar and salt. Fill each indentation on the plättlagg or the electric one with batter. Cook until golden brown. Eat, fry, talk and be social if using the electric frying machine, otherwise stand alone at the stove and feel like a pancake slave… :-) Serve the plättar with jam.