Monday, June 30, 2014

Orange Sauce


I wanted a zesty, fruity sauce with high acidity to go with a duck breast. I'm not a sauce cook, really, but this one turned out great! As you can see, with ate this with noodles and veggies, but it's also great with rice.

Makes enough for four people, with perhaps a little leftovers.

Orange Sauce
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 oranges - juice and zest
1 tbsp concentrated veal stock 
250 ml white wine
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp butter

Start by mixing sugar and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and keep cooking until the mixture turns a light caramel. Remove from heat, and add in orange juice (but reserve the zest for later!), veal stock, wine and salt. Cook on high heat until it reduces quite a bit - perhaps for 5 minutes. Lower the heat and cook for an additional 5, maybe 10 minutes.

Stir the corn starch with the water and add to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes, until it thickens. If it's too thick, add more water. If it's perfect, add the orange zest, whisk in the butter, and serve. 
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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Catering lunches, a week around the world

I had the pleasure of presenting the following menus this week for a workshop on Engaging differences.  I've hyperlinked all of the recipes to previous recipes and any that are missing shall be added at the end of this post.

Engage Difference Lunches
1. Turkish Mezze
Patli�anYog�rtl� (eggplant with yoghurt), White bean with pomegranate, K�fte (minimeatballs with vegetarian options), Black Sea endive with pomegranate walnut filling, Turkish salad all with flat breads. Callebaut Dark Chocolate Brownies

2. Moroccan Caravan
MoroccanBeet Salad, Rabat Eggplant, Marak (Tajine) of Swiss Chard with eggs, served with rice and flat breads.

3. Mediterranean Mix

4. Tour of India
Vegetarian Samosas with dip (North India), Cabbage Thoren (Kerala), BengaliZucchini, Chick pea curry, Dal with Spinach and Basmati Rice.

5. Korea and China

6. Around the World
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Vanilla (Cherry) Frozen Yogurt


I wanted to try out my Chef'n Sweet Spot ice cream maker, but I didn't have that much cream at home, and I was too lazy to go shop. I looked around for a frozen yogurt recipe, couldn't find any that I liked, and decided it was easy enough to improvise. Was it? Yes, it was.

Here's what it looks like "in progress"

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
4 small servings

400 g Turkish (or greek) yogurt - about 10% fat
50 g cream (full-fat)
100 g sugar (I used a nice organic raw sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Stir together. Chill, and then churn - in an ordinary ice cream machine, or if you're lucky enough to have one of the Sweet Spots, in that. It'll turn out lovely and creamy and perfect as a base for whatever mix-ins you want. Titus chose gummy bears, and I had some already-cooked cherries (that I used for homemade cherry soda!) in the fridge that were perfect to fold in.

Yummy! And not horribly bad for you, either. Now I'll have to buy some cream so I can make a proper ice cream base - the kids weren't crazy about the yogurt-ness of this, they're pretty picky...

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Strawberry Jam


I had leftover strawberries after Midsummer, turning a little soft and mushy. What to do? Jam. Obviously. 

So. I used 500 g of strawberries, zest and juice from one lemon, and seeds from one vanilla bean. I blitzed this quickly with a stick blender, then added 400 g of jam sugar (with pectin). I let it sit for about an hour, then boiled it vigorously for five minutes. And that was that. Done. 

Made three small jars. (And a half, actually.) 

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Exciting mail day!


As I was going out to get my mail, a delivery van pulled up and brought me a huge packet from Lakeland! They're a UK company, but delivers to Sweden for a very reasonable fee, and I've placed an order or two in the past. This time, it was something that caught my eye on a blog a little while ago... a Chef'n Sweet Spot Ice cream maker! Basically it's just a big freezeable pie plate, that you pour a little ice cream base into and churn into your own customized ice cream serving. (Something like Cold Stone creamery, I'm thinking.) I'm picturing all sorts of exciting mix-ins, and especially the ability to make different kinds for the kids. We'll see how it works out - I'll put it to the test soon, and I can't wait to report back to you!


I also had a look at their sale section, and had to pick up a pretty cool collapsible pan, perfect for marshmallows and stuff like that. And a cutter. And, umm, bowls for coating them in different things.. I need to have a marshmallows party soon, apparently. (The pan  is reviewed here.)


And finally, I absolutely could not resist Star Wars ice cube trays. Who could, really?

Disclaimer - this post is not sponsored in any way. I'm just excited.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pickerel Cheeks and Wild Rice with Saskatoons on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

 This morning I presented the following recipes on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  The Pickerel cheeks, wild rice and saskatoons are all available at Gimli Fish.

Pickerel Cheeks (easy)
1 lb pickerel cheeks
2 tsp butter
1 bunch fresh sorrel (or other favourite fresh herbs)
salt and pepper, to taste
splash Mirin, to deglaze pan (can use Vermouth or for non-alcohol uses, apple or pear juice)

Saut� pickerel cheeks on both sides in melted butter with herbs over medium high heat. Deglaze and season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately.

 Pickerel Cheeks (difficult)
Same as above but wrap each pickerel cheek as a package in the sorrel leaf and tie with a chive.


Wild Rice with Saskatoons (serve hot or cold)

1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed
4 cups water

1 onion, thinly sliced or fine dice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup Saskatoons
1/4 cup toasted nuts (pine nuts, almonds, pecans, etc.) optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tbs favourite spice blend (Ras el Hanout, Baharat, Cajun, Herbes d�Provence)  Today I�m making it with Herbes d�Provence

Cook rice by bringing to a boil and then simmering for 45 minutes or until most of the rice has curled.  In a pan, saut� onion in olive oil over medium heat.  Add in all ingredients.  Mix rice and seasoning together in a bowl.  Serve hot or cold.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Quick dinner or lunch - corn soup


Hands down my son's favorite food. We only eat it when it's just the two of us, or maybe when we're three - never when my husband's home though. It's our little special treat. No real recipe, just a sketch...

Fry some bacon in a pot. Add corn - from a can or frozen is fine. Cook on high heat until it starts to smell a little like popcorn. Add a little flour and stir it in well. Gradually add milk. Cook until it's thickened a little. Stir in creme fraiche and a spoonful of chives. Season with salt if you need it, and ground white pepper.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Cookies


Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Cookies
about 50 small cookies

185 g butter, softened
150 g brown sugar
140 g white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
70 g ground hazelnuts
130 g toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
210 g flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
300 g chocolate (I used about 75 g dark, the rest milk chocolate)

Start by beating the butter with both sugars until very fluffy and well combined. Add the vanilla and the eggs, and keep beating until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix ground hazelnuts, chopped hazelnuts, flour, salt, baking soda and chocolate. Add this to the cookie batter and mix until combined.

Chill for at least one hour. Use a cookie scoop or your hands to shape balls - I make these pretty small, about the size of a small walnut. Place on a cookie sheet (I could fit 12) and bake at 175�C for about 8 minutes.

I also freeze the un-cooked cookie-scoops, and bake directly from frozen. In that case, you might want to add a minute or two to the cooking time.
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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chicken Tikka (kind of) with spicy cauliflower & cashews, melon salad and raita


I know, I don't usually write recipes with multiple components. Maybe I should though, because lately I've been gravitating towards those kinds of recipes myself. I'm often so tired and with so little fantasy for menu planning, and it's really nice to get suggestions for things that go together. This recipe, just like many others I've been posting recently, was adapted from Samantha Larsen's cookbook. It's built just like that - around meals, rather than individual dishes. Just the thing for this mama! As always, the measurements and ingredients vary slightly from the original, to make this my own - and I encourage you to do the same.

It's certainly not the most authentic Indian Chicken Tikka Masala. I know that! But bear with me and try this - it's delicious. And do make the sides, at least the spicy cauliflower & cashew because that was just wonderful. In fact, I can't wait to make it again.

I know this looks like an awfully long recipe,  but don't despair.

Chicken Tikka (kind of) 
4 chicken breasts

100 ml yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp garam masala
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red chili, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato pur�e

1/2 tbsp neutral oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
400 ml (1 can) crushed tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
300 ml cream
3 tbsp apricot preserves
lemon juice to taste

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, and let the chicken rest in it for at least an hour.

For the sauce, heat the oil (I use canola) in a heavy saucepan. Add the spices and fry on medium heat until very fragrant. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add the tomatoes and the chicken stock cube and cook for ten minutes. Add the cream and cook for another five minutes and then finally the apricot preserves. Season with salt and some lemon juice.

When ready to cook, heat some oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken before removing to a roasting pan. Cover with the sauce and cook in the oven, at 175�C, for about 20 minutes.

Serve with rice and some fresh bread. (And all of the following sides, if you wish.)


Spicy Cauliflower & Cashews
1 small head of cauliflower
1 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, in fine wedges
100 ml cashew nuts
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp mango chutney
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Divide the cauliflower into small florets. Heat the oil and fry the spices and the florets on medium heat for five minutes. Add the onions and cashews and fry for a few more minutes. Stir in the mango chutney, and finally the coriander. Season with salt and pepper if you wish.


Melon Salad with cucumber
1 small cantaloupe melon
1/2 cucumber
large handful fresh mint, chopped
1 lime
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp canola oil

Peel and seed both melon and cucumber. Cut into large dice. Zest the lime, and stir together with the juice, brown sugar, oil and mint. Toss with the cucumber and melon.


300 ml yogurt
1/2 tsp dried mint
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garam masala

Stir together everything and leave in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors mingle.
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Friday, June 13, 2014

Potato Chip Cookies with Hazelnuts


I consider these cookies to be among my very very best, ever. The perfect mix between soft, chewy, crunchy, sweet and salty! And they're super simple to make, too. I used thick-cut artisanal potato chips, but hey, use whatever you have as long as they're just plain salty.


Potato Chip Cookies with Hazelnuts
about 25

200 g butter, at room temperature
90 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (or use vanilla sugar or vanilla powder)
40 g crushed potato chips
70 g toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
250-300 g all-purpose flour (start with the smaller quantity, add more as needed)

for rolling:
4 tbsp sugar

for sprinkling:
4 tbsp crushed potato chips
pinch of salt

Cream the butter and sugar. Add vanilla. Add in chips, nuts and flour. Add the smaller quantity flour first, and see if you need more - mine was a little too sticky, so I added a bit extra.

Roll small balls, and roll in the extra sugar. Flatten slightly with a glass (if it sticks, dip the glass in sugar first).

Sprinkle with a mixture of more potato chips and a little extra salt.

Bake at 175�C for about 10 minutes
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Spinach Mascarpone Pasta

pasta med spenat och mascarpone

Actually a re-post of an old recipe from when I first started blogging! I had a miserable photo back then and this is such a great dish I thought I'd do a little re-promoting. Titus adored this and asks for spinach pasta all the time now. Can't blame him - it's delicious. And very, very fattening. 

I've changed the quantities a bit... play around to make sure it's what you like. 

Pasta with Spinach and Mascarpone
by Jamie Oliver

500 g tagliatelle
200 g spinach, rinsed, dried and cut into fine shreds (depending on your patience)
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1/2 nutmeg, grated
olive oil
knob of butter
salt, pepper
250 g mascarpone
200 ml cream (I used full-fat.)
2 large handfuls of grated parmesan

Cook the pasta in your normal way. Meanwhile, get a large pan and melt the butter and oil. Add the garlic and nutmeg, and when it's warm, add the spinach. Let it wilt for 3-4 minutes. Season it with salt and pepper. Add the mascarpone and the cream, and a little bit of pasta water. Season again, if necessary.

When the pasta is done, drain it and RESERVE SOME WATER. That's important. You need it. Add the pasta to the sauce, mix well, and add the parmesan. Mix again, and loosen it with several glugs of pasta water, added gradually. You want a soft, silky sauce, not a thick mess. Serve immediately - this can not wait.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How we eat risotto


These days, we never mix anything into a risotto. We serve it plain. With toppings. On the side. Lots of toppings. That way, everyone can get what they like. We always have corn, peas, bacon and often mushrooms. On this occasion, we happened to have red bellpepper and cubed goat's cheese as well. A good night.

I have tons of risotto recipes in my archive.
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Quick Lunch Idea - Cilantro & Bacon Egg salad


Boiled eggs. (Fresh farm eggs, too!) A little mayo. Crispy bacon. Cilantro. And salt. And buttered sourdough toast.

Hungry yet?
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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Not bad at ALL - Thai Ribs

Thai-Style ribs - sounds weird, but this was pretty darned good. 

Recipe is from the winner of Swedish masterchef - Amir Kheirmand, and his book "V�rldens b�sta mat". ("Best food in the world") I simplified the recipe a little and might simplify it even more next time, feel free to play around with it. (I omitted most of the heat - none of us appreciate spicy food, to be honest.)  We ate the ribs with plain rice and some veggies tossed with teriyaki sauce. 

The book is fun - I liked it a lot. It has great photos and plenty of recipes. Next on my list to try are skewers with spicy Indian chicken thighs, or maybe the coca-cola soaked ribs. I do like coca-cola. And my husband really likes ribs. 


Thai-Style Ribs
two small slabs of thick-cut ribs (about 1,2 kilos), separated
thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, coarsely cut (don't bother peeling it) 
2 lemongrass stalks, pounded and coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1-2 red chilis, sliced
50 ml japanese light soy sauce

Place all ingredients in a pot. Add water to just cover the ribs. Bring to a boil, remove any scum, cover with a lid and let it cook on low heat for about 90 minutes. Meanwhile, get on with the marinade...

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red chili, minced
50 ml japanese light soy sauce
50 ml oyster sauce
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
100 ml ketchup
2 limes, juiced
humb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Mix all ingredients for the marinade. When the ribs are cooked, drain them from the cooking liquid and place in the marinade for at least half an hour. (I haven't tried but I bet you can do this well in advance and chill the whole thing.) Heat the oven to 225�C and cook the ribs for about 15-20 minutes. Turn the ribs halfway through to ensure they don't burn, but crisp up evenly. Serve, and enjoy!

And finally a photo of my husband's lunch - leftover ribs, on toast, with a fried egg. He says it was delicious. 
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Lamb K�fte and Beef Kabob on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

This morning I enjoyed presenting the following recipes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  So easy to prepare in advance and then pop on the grill.  

Wonderful Halal lamb and beef from Millad's Grocery at 396 Notre Dame.  Afghani Naan is also so versatile for appetizers, open-faced sandwiches, etc.

Lamb K�fte

1 lb ground meat (lamb, elk or bison) (Order fresh from Millad�s on Notre Dame)
2 tbs Baharat 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup bread crumbs or Panko
1 egg
1 small onion, grated
1-2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients well together and form into small oblong shapes. Broil or grill for a few minutes on each side until done. Enjoy with pita, yoghurt tahini sauce or other dips.

The K�fte are often broiled in a large pan with hot peppers, onions, tomatoes and garlic.

Turkish Beef Kebab

1 lb thinly sliced beef or lamb (Today was halal inside round beef)*
1 onion, grated
1 medium tomato, grated
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dry mint
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
� cup olive oil *
1 cup red wine

If meat is a tough cut, you may pound the thinly sliced beef.  Mix all ingredients together and let marinate overnight of for several hours.

Skewer the meat and grill over high heat, turning.  Let meat rest and serve with yoghurt tahini sauce, grilled vegetables and Afghani Naan. (available fresh at Millad�s on Notre Dame)

Yoghurt tahini sauce

1/2 cup good plain yoghurt
1 clove garlic, minced
3 heaping tbs tahini*
2 tsp lemon or lime juice
pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together. The tahini will cause the sauce to thicken quickly. Use on grilled Pide or Naan or as a crudit� dip.


* Fresh Halal meats such as lamb, beef, goat, chicken can be purchased at Millad�s Grocery Mart on Notre Dame at the corner of Carlton and Notre Dame.  Excellent  tahini and Turkish olive oil can also be purchased at Millad�s.
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