Thursday, July 31, 2014

Licorice-glazed Duck, Figs in Port, Sunchoke Pur�e


A post long over-due. I made this for our 13-course dinner. In January. Well, yes. My backlog is almost empty now, so I guess that's good news... :-)  Anyway. This dish was made with the idea to incorporate licorice in a non-sweet dish, and it turned out very well. Different, yes - but fun, too. And still tasty.

Licorice-glazed Duck

2 duck breasts
2 tsp licorice powder
1 tsp whisky
1/2 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp japanese soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp sweet chili sauce

Score the duck breasts, and brown, skin side down, until golden. Stir together all ingredients for the glaze and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened. Slather this on the duck breasts and cook in the oven at 175�C until at your desired temperature. (Some say 65�C, some say 70�C, some say more...)

Figs in Port
8  fresh figs, quartered
200 g sugar
300 ml water
200 ml port

Stir together sugar, water and port and bring to a boil. Add the figs and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Sunchoke Pur�e
400 g sunchokes, peeled and chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil
100 ml cream

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the shallot and cook on medium heat until softened. Add the sunchokes and the cream, cover with a lid and cook until completely soft. Mash, and season with salt.

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Folkets Falafel, Malm�

We're still in skåne, having a great time. Today, we've been to Folkets Park in Malmö which has a great playground. And just outside, on Trelleborgsgatan, is one of Malmö's many falafel & kebab restaurants, Folkets Falafel. You can't get this sort of fast food better anywhere else in Sweden - Malmö is outstanding.

I had a wrap with falafel - basically spiced chickpea fritters - and fried

Halloumi. It was also stuffed with salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and parsley, and a mild garlic sauce. So amazingly yummy. And at a mere 30:-, a fantastic deal
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Crock-Pot Ricecooker


I've always wanted a good rice cooker. I've eyed those expensive Japanese ones, and I've really wanted one of those, but they're not easy to get here and besides, they're SO expensive. We bought a super cheap one a few years ago, and hated it. Then a few weeks ago, we were browsing at a kitchen-stuff store and decided on a whim to get this one. It's pretty nice! I like that it has a steam basket on top so you can steam something while cooking the rice, or just use it for steaming.

Still, I need to work on the rice. Maybe use a specific type of rice? First try came out way too soft and mushy. Second attempt was ok, but not great. Any tips for me?
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles

I hate posting without photos, but.. I have losing recipes, too. So before I forget, let me just post this one...

Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles
about 30

200 g hazelnut chocolate (Swedish Schweizern�t is ideal)
80 g dark chocolate
100 ml cream
1 tbsp butter, at room temperature

Finely chop the chocolate. Heat the cream until boiling, and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for a minute, add the butter, and stir until smooth. Pour into small foil cups, and chill.
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Ystad: S�derberg & Sara

We're vacationing in Skåne, in southern Sweden, for a week. We've rented a house, and are exploring the surrounding towns and sights. Today, we're in Ystad. Very quaint town! We had lunch at Söderberg & Sara, a café & bakery that made into White Guide. We bought some bread to take home, and tried the pulled pork burgers for lunch. They came with a really delicious cole slaw and on brioche buns. Very yummy! Per also tried the coffee - strong and excellent - and Titus had a lovely fluffy cinnamon bun. Do visit if you can!
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Three quick dipping sauces


We made fried chicken a few weeks ago. So, so delicious. And I happen to love my own recipe for it, so go ahead and try that!

This time, we made some simple but fun dipping sauces to go along. 

Per wanted honey-mustard, I wanted ranch and I knew our guests would like a bbq sauce so.. well, let's get to it!

Honey Mustard: 

100 ml mayonnaise
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp American yellow mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
pinch of dried tarragon
pinch of black pepper

Smoky BBQ: 

100 ml ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
� tsp American yellow mustard
� tsp Dijon mustard
� teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
tiny splash of liquid smoke 


100 ml turkish or greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp buttermilk (I use Swedish filmj�lk) 
2 tsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
pinch of sugar
pinch of Italian seasoning (I used basil, tarragon, rosemary & oregano)

For all of these sauces, the method could not be simpler. Add, stir. Completely fool-proof!
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quick vanilla ice cream


I was desperate to try my new Chef'n Sweet Spot Ice cream maker - I love it by the way - so I whipped up a quick vanilla ice cream base. None of that tempering-egg-yolks-leave-overnight-business! A custard base ice cream keeps a lot better, but since the Sweet Spot only makes a single serving, it doesn't really matter. I also like the slightly cooler mouthfeel an egg-free ice cream gives.

I used two vanilla beans since I have a bunch to use up - but one will do. And yes, I know, the photo doesn't look very vanilla because apparently I didn't manage to get a photo of a plain bowl. This had stirred in cherry compote and is covered by sone homemade magic shell. Yum!

Quick vanilla ice cream
6-8 servings

500 ml cream (full-fat)
250 ml milk
150 g sugar
tiny pinch of salt
2 vanilla beans, scored and scraped
1 tsp vanilla extract (can be omitted, but is nice)

Heat half the cream with the sugar, salt and vanilla beans. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour onto the rest of the cream and milk, and the vanilla extract. Chill completely before freezing in whatever ice cream machine you have.
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Coco-cardamom balls


I'm not into raw food per se but I'm always on the lookout for yummy stuff... If it happens to be good for you, or at least not totally bad, that's a bonus. I'm at my hungriest in late afternoon, and I need to keep some sort of healthy snack at hand. I recently made these little balls from coconuts, almonds and dates, and they turned out to be delicious! Sort of like marzipan, sort of like cookie dough! And they come together in a few minutes, and keep for several days. They freeze well, too.

Coco-cardamom balls
100 ml almonds
150 ml coconut flakes (unsweetened) 
15 dates
Pinch vanilla powder
Pinch cardamom 
2 tbsp coconut oil

You do need a food processor. Start with the almonds - process until finely chopped. Add coconut flakes, dates, vanilla, cardamom and the oil. Process until you have a uniform mass.

Roll into little balls - this will be a little bit difficult as the "dough" is quite crumbly, but pinch and roll and you'll get there. Refrigerate, and they will firm up as the coconut oil goes solid again.


If you like other goodies like these, here's a good book to check out! Smarta S�tsaker ("Smart Sweets") by Ulrika Hoffer. It's a tad bit preachy, and the recipes are not super exact, but there are some great ideas in here. And lovely photography, too. 
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Grilled Sockeye Salmon two ways on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

 Tomorrow I will be presenting the following grilled Salmon recipes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host, Laurie Hoogstraten.  The Sockeye Salmon is a wild caught fish from a sustainable source. They are expecting a huge run this year.  Fillets, steaks or whole can be purchased at Gimli Fish.

A classic preparation is quite simple with Lemon, Dill and butter but I thought that listeners may be interested in trying a few other ways.

For  increased enjoyment at the grill, try  a BBQ sheet available at D. A. Niels.  You can get grill marks, keep the moisture of the food and nothing falls through! Also try soaking a Cedar Plank and cooking the fish on the grill on the cedar.

 Marinating Sockeye Salmon Steak

 Marinating Honey Miso Sockeye Salmon Fillet

 Grilling on BBQ Sheet

1. Honey Miso Grilled Sockeye Salmon

1 inch fresh ginger, minced
3 tbs miso (Light coloured, available at Sun Wah or Oriental Market or other Asian markets)
1 green onion, finely chopped (or chives)
3 tbs honey
3 tbs Chinese cooking wine or Mirin
a drizzle of chili oil
A drizzle of sesame oil
1-2 fillets Sockeye Salmon

Combine first 6 ingredients until well blended. Smooth over fish and let marinade for at least one hour. Grill, skin-side down, up to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.   Serve immediately.


2. Seared Salmon Steaks or fillets

2 steaks Salmon or one whole filet
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
1/4 teaspoon ginger paste
1/4 teaspoon crushed pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed make paste with water (always
make paste with a little water)

Put all the ingredients onto a plate in a little pile.
Sprinkle over the vinegar and mix to a paste with the fingers.
Pat the masala evenly over the sides of the fish and marinate for minimum 1/2 an hour and better still for 4-5 hours.

When ready to cook or grill,  Put 2 tablespoons oil in a pan on a high heat. Sprinkle the fish with a little(pinch) salt more on both the sides of fish , reduce the heat and add the fish. Dip fish in oil on one side, turn over onto the other side and back again so it doesn�t stick to the pan. Increase the heat medium flame and cook for 5 minutes on one side, then 5 minutes on the other.
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

News from Microplane


Microplane has sent me some goodies - really awesome, sharp goodies. I've been using their graters for years, and while I love them and use them often, I was dismayed when two of mine decided to break at virtually the same time! Both had plastic framing and that's what broke - not too surprisingly after hard use, but still, disappointing. These ones, however, are part of the Gourmet series and there's no plastic, meaning there's really nothing that can break.

I use the fine one for garlic, ginger, chocolate, and citrus zest, mostly. The large one is great for cheese, although I also have an older ribbon grater that's pretty nice. The large one can also do things like carrots, cucumber (perfect for tzatziki) and many other things.

The third thing in the photo is Microplane's new mandolin slicer! It's nice and sturdy but it's main feature is that it has a removable julienne blade. Basically it's a small extra attachment, that makes perfect long ribbons of food. While not in use, there's a storage place for it in the back of the slicer - very handy.

I don't think I need to tell you that all of these are super sharp and should be handled with care. Nothing for the kids! :-)
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


How about some cookies? These are just right - perfectly crisp on the outside, but chewy and soft inside. And delicious. Just delicious.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

225 g butter, softened
220 g brown sugar
130 g white sugar
2 eggs
245 g flour
175 g rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamon
200 g raisins

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

In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats, salt, baking soda, raisins, cinnamon and cardamon. 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 mine 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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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Lamb Meatballs & Creamy Risoni


Yummy dinner idea, from Swedish dairy giant Arla's new summer cookbook. The original idea was to make oblong meatballs, fry them, and then thread on skewers and heat on the grill, but I'm certainly not heating up the grill just to re-heat a little meat. Seems wasteful to me. So, we did small meatballs instead and then placed them on skewers.

Completely optional, of course. I thought it would entice our kids but.. well. Not so sure that worked. Dante ate five before we served the pasta, but after that, he wouldn't touch them. Titus had a tiny bite and declared that he didn't like them. Oh well. I loved them!

Lamb Meatballs
500 g lamb mince
1 red chili
zest from 1 lemon
 2 garlic cloves, minced
100 ml milk
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
butter to fry

Mix everything together, and shape small meatballs. Fry in butter until cooked through. Serve on skewers if you want to, or not - it's totally up to you.

 Creamy Risoni
1 onion, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp butter
200 ml risoni (rice-shaped pasta)
1000 ml water
1 tsp olive oil

Melt the butter, and gently fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes until softened and fragrant. Add the risoni, water and salt, and cook for ten minutes. Drain, and stir in the oil. Serve with the suggested toppings. (If you don't have picky kids, serve on a large platter. If you do though, I suggest having the toppings in separate bowls...)

crumbled feta cheese
finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
pomegranate seeds
toasted pine nuts
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Gluten-Free cookbook


I have to tell you about a marvelous baking book called Nytt Fikabr�d! (Fikabr�d means.. well, cakes and cookies and anything you'd have with a cup of coffee, basically. Nytt means new.) The authors, Jessica Frej and Maria Blohm, have already written about bread but have now made this new book as well. It's not out yet, but I've seen a review copy  - and what can I say? It's good news for all gluten-intolerant people out there. It'll be released on August 8.

I've tried one recipe from it so far, and it was a huge success. I won't give away the recipe - but perhaps I can publish a version of it later on.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Glammed up Grilled Cheese on CBC

This morning I had the pleasure of preparing and presenting the following grilled cheese sandwiches on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host Laurie Hoogstraten.  Works beautifully with Tall Grass Prairie Sour Dough Light Rye bread and Nature's Farm eggs.
I served the sandwiches with Rhubarb Chutney made with Ras el Hanout. 

Glammed up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

1 loaf Sour Dough Light Rye (Tall Grass Prairie Bakery)

Pear, Blue, Onion Jam and Dijon Grilled Cheese

For each sandwich:
1 heaping tbs onion jam (recipe follows)
thinly sliced pear
Dijon Mustard, to your taste
Benedictine Blue, or other yummy blue cheeses
2 slices bread
1 tbs butter

Assemble sandwich as follows:  Spread Dijon mustard on bread slices topped onion jam, thinly sliced pear and desired amount of blue cheese.  Close sandwich.  Bring skillet to medium - medium high heat and add butter.  Grill sandwich on each side until brown and cheese has melted.  Cut in half, plate and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Onion Jam
1 -3 medium red onions or up to 12 shallots, thinly sliced
2-5 tbs olive oil
pinch salt
Optional:  1 tbs brown sugar
Pepper, to taste

On low to medium low heat, add olive oil and sliced onions to a skillet.  Let cook for 30 + minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add seasonings and optional brown sugar to speed caramelization.  When fully soften but not dry browned, add liquid to deglaze.  Deglaze with red wine, balsamic vinegar, juice or tea.

Roasted Red Pepper, pesto, Bocconcini, Cave aged Gruyere, soft fried egg

Prepare sandwich as above, stacking with desired ingredients but leave open, frying one slice of bread open.  Prepare a soft fried or over easy egg.  Place in sandwich and cover.  Serve and enjoy the beautiful mess.
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Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

As usual, we celebrated 4th of July with dear friends and lots of food. Highlights included Dagmars awesome Double-Cheese hamburger dip, homemade cherry soda, a double chocolate cheesecake and the lovely flag cake.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Brown butter chocolate balls


Browned butter makes everything better - even the eternal Swedish favorite chocolate balls. Browning the butter makes the flavors much more intense and caramelized. Yummy!

Brown butter chocolate balls

110 g butter
50 g dark chocolate
400 ml oats
110 g sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla powder
3 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsp espresso

To decorate:
Pearl sugar or coconut

Place the butter in a small saucepan, ideally one with a light inside color. Heat until it's caramel-colored, or maybe a little bit deeper. It will smell heavenly.

Chop the dark chocolate and place in a bowl. Pour over the hot butter, and wait for a minute. Stir until smooth. Next, stir in the oats, sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder and espresso, and a little pinch of salt.

Place in the fridge to firm up, then shape very small balls and roll in pearl sugar. Some prefer shredded coconut, I'll leave that up to you.

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