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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Try lingonberry liqueur…

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This one is great if you’re a bit strapped for cash this festive season. Try giving it as a gift or substituting the alcohol you would have purchased otherwise.

I have basically taken a traditional recipe for a mixed berry liqueur and pillaged it with style.  I am of the impression that this new addition will provide a more tart composition. Whatever the case it tastes great, its cheap, and will get you sozzled this New Years Eve.

Ingredients

  • Should make two bottles
  • 1 pack frozen mixed berries (200g),
  • 100g Lingonberries 
  • 450g sugar,
  • pint of water,
  • half bottle of cheap vodka (500ml)
  • Potato masher, sieve,
  • Fancy bottles for decanting, or Kilner type jar

Instructions…

Make sure you sterilize your bottles using milton’s fluid or similar baby bottle sterilizer. Then Dry
Microwave mixed berries until thawed, then add lingonberries. Microwave further until they all begin to breakdown and you can see some of the juice
Now add the sugar to the mix, and mash together into a pulp.
Place the bowl back into the microwave and bring to the boil, this will also sterilise the mixture
Strain the mixture using a sieve and let it cool.  It should then resemble a thin syrup, add the water and vodka and stir. Decant into your bottle, jar, or stomach.

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This pudding couldn’t give a damn what you think…

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I haven’t made any posts for a while, so I apologise about that. Found this really tasty looking recipe for Laxpudding, or salmon pudding. Well I guess this could be described as a Swedish take on potato dauphinoise, or maybe the French stole the idea from the Swedes. Well I must take a diplomatic stance on that one, butl I really like potato dauphinoise, and I like salmon too, so I know Im gonna like this one straight away.

Laxpudding

Here goes…

Ingredients

  • A bunch of display lemons
  • Dill for decorative purposes
  • A cloth of Gingham persuasion
  • Rustic wooden board
  • 10 potatoes
  • 250 g of salmon
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dill
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
  • some butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 0.5 ml cream
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions…

First Boil you’re going to have to boil those potatoes in lightly salted water. Give the little dudes time to cool down. Make sure you use a relatively deep oven proof dish or tin. Before adding anything ensure that it is greased well, so your pudding will turn out in its entirety
Start layering the sliced potatoes, onion, dill and salmon in tiers. Make sure you add  salt and pepper between each layer.
I would also suggest smoked salmon or any other smoked fish as an interesting alternative. In such circumstances I would not add any more salt.
The next step is to whisk eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper together in a container of your choosing. and turn it over. Now add this newly whisked mixture to you’re layered dish of loveliness. It is advisable to leave the whole thing to stand in the fridge for around 2 hours or even overnight. This will let all the flavours infuse throughout the dish. I imagine using smoked salmon may allow you to leave out this step, so I good idea if your short of time.
After this step…
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Spread the breadcrumbs over the form and add a little butter. Bake Salmon for about 25 minutes, until surface is golden.
Once slightly cooled turn out dish on a plate and hope for the best.


Pepper Cookies

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…or Pepparkakor

Ok so its Christmas, and you’re right cookies aren’t healthy in anyway… but its Christmas! and something about there being less additives, preservatives and all that.

I “stumbled upon” this recipe and thought it was well worth reposting. Originally from the Guardian of all places:

 

Pepper cookies

So here goes…

MAKES ABOUT 125

For the dough:
golden syrup 150ml
brown sugar 175g
ginger powder 2 tbsp
white pepper ½ tsp
butter 175g
double cream 150ml
baking soda ½ tsp
plain wheat flour 700g, plus a bit of flour for kneading

For the icing:
icing sugar 300g
food colouring
water a bit

Mix syrup, brown sugar, ginger powder and butter in a big mixing bowl and whisk until soft and smooth. Then add the cream and mix well again. Mix the baking soda and flour, then mix into the butter mixture.

Flour the kitchen table and knead the dough well, then wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge overnight.

The next day roll out the dough really thinly and cut with the cookie cutters, using different shapes and sizes.

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for about 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

When cold, decorate with icing. Mix icing sugar with food colouring and then add water a little bit at a time, until the icing is smooth. Make sure it isn’t runny.

Definitely giving these a go and you should too. Merry Christmas and stuff


The Foodie Blog Roll

Anyways like I was sayin’…

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la muerte de Bubba

…shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp,coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it…

I am afraid Bubba forgot to mention  Skagenröra med pepparrot, and damn this ones simple, but good.

For those of you not versed in the Swedish mother tongue (me) This is Horseradish Shrimp, or prawns if your from the UK (me)… Its perfect on Ryebread, Crisp bread, or even in a sandwich and is most certainly perfect for lunch.

1 lb. fresh shrimp, cooked and peeled 
3/4 c. (12 Tbsp) mayonnaise 
1 Tbsp. horseradish 
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill weed 
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper 
Dash of lemon juice

Mix shrimp, mayonnaise, horseradish, dill, cayenne, and lemon pepper. Let stand in the refrigerator 3 hours or overnight. Serve with salad leaves, tomatoes, and cucumber or whatever suits you

Tune in again tomorrow for more recipes

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Rest In Peace Young Salmon. May your impossible dream be realised one day soon…

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How to Prepare Gravlax

Gravlax…

The word gravlax comes from the Scandinavian word grav, which literally means “grave” or “to dig” (in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch and Estonian), and lax (or laks), which means “salmon”, thus gravlax means “buried salmon”.

So why exactly would I want to eat this?

Well no other reason than it is meant to be really nice. Its really not as alarming as it sounds. Traditionally the Salmon would be buried under the sand at high-tide level and would in turn be cured. However we are going to cure the fish with salt and serve it on crisp bread, or Rye bread if you so choose. Not as adventurous but definitely more middle-class. 

Now salmon is rather expensive so a cheaper oily fish would do as a substitute. Something like mackerel or herring would do nicely

Ingredients:

  • one 3lb  to 4lb salmon fillet
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tsp. dill seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 bunches of fresh dill (use generously, as this is the main flavouring).

Now it is important to stress that unless you can be sure that your fish is really fresh, as in “sushi-grade” fresh then frozen salmon should be used.

This is because of micro-organisms which could make you ill if present.

First prepare your fillets, or buy pre-prepared

Combine the sugar and salt, then cover both sides of each fillet half with the mixture

Wash and chop the bunches of dill. Don’t throw any dill away! Sprinkle with dill seeds and ground pepper on the flesh side of each fillet.

Next, place one fillet half, flesh side up, in a dish. Make sure dish is a cosy fit. Place the chopped dill on top of this fillet, then cover with the second half, flesh side down. It should look like an ominous pink sandwich.

Cover the dish lightly with cling-film and leave at room temperature for no more than 6 hours, or until the sugar-salt mixture has melted into the fillet.

Now for the next step your going to have to find some kind of weight to put the required pressure on your little Gravlax. Some heavy stones will do the trick. Im thinking of using a brick, but only so my house-mates wonder why on god’s earth a brick has happened to materialise in our fridge. This is were the traditional sand-burial came into play.

Any how use a flat surface to spread the weight (Maybe a small chopping board or smaller glass dish) and place surface and brick on top of salmon. Refrigerate for at least two days. Turn salmon over every 12 hours.

After two days remove the gravlax from the refrigerator. Scrape off most of the dill and seasonings; pat dry with paper towels

If you are still unsure about micro-organisms then the Gravlax may be frozen at this point and then thawed. Then continue as normal. If you want to give those little dudes a chance or believe your cards have already been dealt pray continue good sirs

Using a sharp knife, cut the cured gravlax into paper-thin slices, pulling each slice away from the skin.

Layer the gravlax slices on crispbread or rye bread. Finally masticate thoroughly and hopefully your dish will taste good enough to swallow.
Gravlax is often served with a dill and mustard sauce so give that a go too…
Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp. sweet honey mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp. plain or white wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill

Mix together the mustards, sugar, salt, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in 2/3 cup canola oil until well incorporated into a smooth sauce. Stir in chopped dill. Chill until serving. Will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

I really hope you enjoyed this recipe. I know I cant wait to give it a go. Let me know how you get on. I’ll let you know how I get on tomorrow.

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Requiem for a meatball…

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Great Meatballs, and Purple Potatoes?!

The Meatballs turned out to be a great success. I hope you tried them out and I hope you found them equally as delicious. If not give them a go. My housemate’s certainly didn’t complain. I made slightly more than the recipe, because we’ve all got big appetites.

Since I couldn’t find enough cranberries at my local store I couldn’t make the Cowberry Compote, but I would definitely have given it a go otherwise. Instead I chose to make a traditional style gravy, as described in the previous post. I added two beef stock cubes to a mug of boiling water and used this to de-glaze the pan after I had browned the meatballs. After allowing this to absorb all the lovely meat juices for a few minutes I then transferred the stock to a milk pan. I brought this to the boil and allowed the stock to reduce while the meatballs were in the oven. I then gradually sieved in some plain flour to thicken the sauce, and finally added a dash of milk to the mixture. The recipe suggested cream but I felt this to be a healthier alternative.

I was going to serve the meatballs with small potatoes, but came across a more unusual choice so decided to use this instead. Purple Potatoes! Initially dubious I though what the hell and shoved them in the basket. After boiling them for 20 minutes the water surrounding these

tuberous fellows turned dark green. Upon dissection they are surprisingly, purple all the way through, which would make for some interesting mash. Anyway’s they taste just like any other potato, no doubt some potato aficionado will be disgusted at this disregard for any potato nuances, but I care not.

According to the BBC news website the “purple majesty” variety of potato “…contains up to 10 times the level of antioxidant, anthocyanins, compared with white potatoes.”

There is also nothing to worry about as they have been developed from a traditional variety grown high in the Andes. So GM fears can be put to rest. They are selling for £1 a bag at Sainsbury’s at the moment and are well worth a try in my opinion.

I also sliced up some cabbage and lightly fried this in the same pan I used for the meatballs. Seasoned the cabbage with salt and pepper.

Well I don’t think there is much else to say. It was a really tasty meal and I would most certainly try it again. If you haven’t tried the recipe already, give it a go and let me know how you got on.

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…A world devoured

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Ok, so Healthy eating and why you might be interested…

Lets face it, here in Britain and other countries around the world (You know who your are!) it would be reasonable to say that we are pretty incompetent in this department.

“… but our pace of life is too fast and something about not having the time, or a willingness to give a flying something or other about something”

Very true, but does it not strike you as strange that we have such an ineptitude towards looking after ourselves?

I mean take Japan for example, where average life expectancy is 82.25 years! You would be hard pushed to suggest that life moves at a slower rate to our own.

Yes they all exercise on mass before starting work, the government has invested heavily in public health, and they have toilets which talk but one undeniable factor is the Japanese Diet.

Scandinavian countries also rank highly on the list, and many put this down to a great diet. Those Viking’s enjoy a lean diet of fresh meat, fish, and lots of vegetables. The presence of any-kind of fast food culture is also relatively low

While in comparison to the rest of the world countries like Britain still have a high life expectancy due to a good standard of living I think we are dragged down by the way we eat.

As a student I almost see it as a duty to eat ridiculous quantities of fast food, and I will be honest I have never taken much interest in eating healthily. How ever I find that all of this gets a little boring sometimes, and I have to eat something which is not of orangey-yellowish hue.

This is when I first discovered that my cooker could be used to prepare things other than Pizza’s, pasta, and other crispy morsels of oily goodness. Now I guess I’m exaggerating a bit because I was not deprived of healthy food. My mum always ensured that I ate properly and she showed me the basics. I really enjoy cooking and I reckon everyone should enjoy it. I like to eat lots of different things from lots of different places, but eating carry outs and ready meals is expensive and more often than not devoid of any authenticity.

“How to solve this most difficult and gargantuan of predicaments?”

Get in the kitchen and start using it…

“So wait just one second here, measuring jugs can be used for things other than eating cereal?… and and the plastic bowl in the cupboard is not just for dubious alcoholic concoctions and catching the drips from our leaking stopcock?”

Yeah sure, probably…

So here’s the plan:

I thought it’d be interesting to pick a “top 10” list of healthy eating countries and eat the food from each of those countries for one month, and that’s what Im gonna do.

I shall be documenting the experience on this blog with recipes, daily progress, facts and other interesting stuff. I fully endorse giving it a go as well, so follow me into world domination or something along those lines

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