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Kalafior z bułką tartą (cauliflower with browned butter and bread crumbs)

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Sometimes the simple things in life are among the best, like this very easy and tasty cauliflower dish. Cauliflower with browned butter and bread crumbs is THE way to eat cauliflower in Poland, or at least in my family. To my pleasant surprise Pille wrote about the same dish some time ago as they also eat cauliflower in the same way in Estonia. In Sweden it’s often served gratinated in cheese sauce which doesn’t appeal to me at all.

This dish is one of those comfort dishes that I love to eat and the simplicity makes it a perfect snack or dinner when I’m very tired and hungry. When I was growing up we very often had it as a condiment or just ate it plain, nowadays I eat it more seldom as my dear husband dislikes cauliflower and I can’t eat a whole califlower by myself. But last week I found very small cauliflowers in the grocery store, perfect for one person and then I knew immediately what I would cook. This isn’t really a recipe, you just cook some cauliflower and then you take some butter and bread crumbs for the “sauce”.

    Kalafior z bułką tartą (cauliflower with browned butter and bread crumbs)
    (serves one)

    1 small cauliflower (300 gram)
    1.5 tbsp butter
    1.5 tbsp fine dry bread crumbs

    Boil the whole cauliflower in salted water for about 12 minuter, until soft enough but not too soft. You want it kind of al dente. If you’re using a large cauliflower then cut it in florets before boiling, and also boil it shorter. Drain the cauliflower and put it on a serving plate. Melt the butter in a pan, add the bread crumbs. Stir the mixture while it browns, this will take a couple of minutes. Pour/sprinkle the butter/crumb mixture over the cauliflower and serve.

Polish cottage cheese salad (twarożek z szczypiorkem i rzodkiewką)

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

This simple and refreshing summer salad with cottage cheese is very popular in Poland. I’ve eaten it every summer since childhood and will continue to do so. I make the salad exactly as my mother does, the way she learnt to do it from her mother, my dear granny.

    Polish cottage cheese salad
    (twarożek z szczypiorkem i rzodkiewką)

    3 spring unions
    12 large radishes
    400 gram cottage cheese
    150 ml crème fraîche (or sour cream)
    salt
    pepper

    Slice the spring onions. Grate the radishes. Combine spring onions, radishes, cottage cheese and crème fraîche. Salt and pepper. Serve with freshly baked bread.

Mini crisp bread with herring and fresh potato

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007


Mini crisp bread with fresh potato, herring, sour cream and chives.

We spent the whole Easter in Gothenburg with our families, eating a lot of wonderful food and playing games. On Easter Saturday, Fredrik’s father made these simple starters with a taste of Sweden, due to the herring and crisp bread. They were inspired by a commercial which he saw in the grocery store and I must say that it’s a great idea, especially for Midsummer’s Eve. I’m aware of that it can be hard finding mini crisp bread abroad, but maybe at IKEA? Both Wasa and Leksands bröd produce mini variants of their crisp bread, and it doesn’t really matter which you use. Swedish herring can definitely be found at the food market at IKEA. An idea that I’ll try to remember for next time is to add a slice of the strong Västerbotten cheese between the potato and herring, just to add more taste.

    Mini crisp bread with herring and fresh potato

    Mini crisp bread (either Leksands Mini or Wasa Knäckis)
    a couple small fresh potatoes, boiled
    Swedish herring
    sour cream
    chives
    butter

    Butter the mini crisp bread. Slice the potatoes and cut the herring into small pieces. Put a slice of potato on each crisp bread, add a piece of herring and decorate with sour cream and chives.

Västerbottensoststipendiet 2007

Monday, April 16th, 2007


Jesper Kansten, winner of Västerbottensoststipendiet 2007

Västerbottensost is a Swedish hard cheese aged for at least 12 months and is one of my very favourite cheeses. It has a rich and heavy flavour and some people say that it reminds of young parmesan cheese. It’s quite salty and a bit fruity with a vague hint of toffee, but I have to admit that I never analyse the taste, I just eat it. But today on the seminar on Västerbotten cheese, which was given by the producer Norrmejerier due to the Västerbotten cheese scholarship, there were discussions on the characteristic taste while we tasted it. Apparently the cheese also has an element of umami, which you probably know is the 5th basic taste. After the seminar we had a nice buffet, and of course all dishes had Västerbotten cheese in them. Following the buffet, the winner of the Västerbotten cheese scholarship was announced. The scholarship is a competition between students from the restaurant high schools, where the purpose is to create and cook a modern dish with Västerbotten cheese. Furthermore the price per serving may not exceed 20 SEK.

Jesper’s winner dish: Warm terrine consisting of hand of pork, apple and mushrooms with a celery and Västerbotten cheese crème, Västerbotten cheese sticks and pearl onions in saurkraut.

This year’s winner was Jesper Kansten who won 3 weeks of internship at Erwin Lauterbach’s restaurant Saison in Copenhagen, Denmark. Jesper’s dish can be seen on the photo above. We weren’t able to taste the creation, but at least it was on display.


Food from the buffet: Asparagus tart, Chicken and Mango salad, Roasted pepper soup with grilled scampi, bread with Västerbotten cheese butter and Vegetarian Carpaccio with Västerbotten cheese.

I had a nice time at the event together with Anne from Anne’s Food. We got recipes for all of the dishes, both from the buffet and the three finalists creations, and also some other interesting recipes containing Västerbotten cheese. We also received a signed book (Lust, en bok om livets salt) written by the conferencier, Steffo Törnquist, a big piece of Västerbotten cheese and a bag of grated Västerbotten cheese. Thanks to Prime PR for the invitation!

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 7th, 2007


Easter baskets with samples of Easter food, called Swienconka

I’ve just returned from church where we’ve been for the traditional blessing of Easter food. Every family decorates a basket and fill it with samples of the Easter food which will be eaten tomorrow on Easter day. The tradition is only common in east European catholic countries and the church is always filled with people and baskets.

Happy Easter to all of you!

Pączki jagodowe (Polish bilberry doughnuts)

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007


Polish bilberry doughnuts, made this evening

Pączki are delicious Polish doughnuts, filled with preserves. The most common filling is marmalade made from rose buds or plum marmalade, but you can fill them with any thick preserve you prefer. One of my favourite fillings is Advocaat custard which is vanilla custard with a kind of egg liqueur. My mother mostly fill them with plum marmalade which is delicious as well. In Poland pączki have their own day, but it’s very common to eat them during the whole year. I still remember when I was 9 years old and I toghether with my mother visited relatives in Poland during summer; we went to a bakery and bought loads of fresh pączki which we ate outside the bakery. Then we went back inside and bought another 30 to bring back to my aunt. The baker must have thought we were insane. But that is actually the problem with pączki, because when you start eating fresh still warm pączki, you just can’t get enough. When my mother used to make them at home we ate them all in no time :-) Anyway, the main day for pączki is last Thursday before Lent which is called Tłusty czwartek and means fat Thursday. I missed fat Thursday this year, which was a few weeks ago, so I made Pączki this evening even though lent has started. They were nice, but I wasn’t pleased with the result so I will make a new try tomorrow. I used bilberry jam as filling and it was lovely. Tomorrow I will probably use the same filling but I will modify the recipe and then post about it.

Ice chocolate

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006


Ice chocolate, to the left with almonds and to the right with walnuts.

Ice chocolate, ischoklad, is a typical Swedish Christmas candy which is made really easily. I must admit that I have no clue where the name comes from, maybe because you have to store these chocolates in the fridge or else they’ll melt.

    Ice chocolate (ischoklad)
    (makes about 45)

    200 gr chocolate
    80 gr copha (Swe: kokosfett, Eng: Palmin)
    45 tiny aluminium cups
    optional: your favourite nuts
    optional: orange liquor

    Break the chocolate into pieces and put it in a deep heatproof bowl together with the copha. Melt them at a rather low temperature in the microwave. Stir the mixture and pour it into the aluminium cups.
    I usually fill up 25 of the cups, then I add some drops of orange liquor to the rest of the mixture and fill the remaining cups. Add nuts. Store in the fridge, in airtight containers with a sheet of greaseproof paper between each layer.

Lingonberry caves with cinnamon

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

A raspberry cave is a typical Swedish short bread cookie filled with jam. In this variant the common raspberry jam is substituted with lingonberry jam and there’s cinnamon in the dough which make the cookies quite Christmasy. The cookies are very easily done and you are quickly rewarded with delicate and delicious cookies. I always use butter, never margarine, when I bake to get that extra nice flavour.

    Lingonberry caves with cinnamon
    (makes 30 cookies, source: Arla)

    200 gram butter, at room temperature
    100 ml caster sugar
    1 tsp vanilla sugar
    450 ml flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cinnamon
    75 ml lingonberry jam (or substitute with your favourite one)
    30 medium paper cups (“småbrödsformar”, about 4 cm wide)

    Heat the oven to 200° C.

    Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar. Add the flour, combined with baking soda and cinnamon. Divide the dough into 30 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and put in a medium sized paper cup (the ones I used are called “småbrödsformar”). With your finger, do an indention and fill it with jam.
    Bake in the middle of the oven for about 12 minutes.