New Aiko Watanabe Sake set and bowl we brought back from Japan and an artichoke in blossom.
This is a recipe I wanted to share with you since a long time but somehow it was impossible to get a decent photo.
Well last week I tried again and beside a lovely dinner I also ended up with a decent picture.
These little cakes or burgers are my favourite food a t the moment, they are incredibly yummy and not a big effort.
The Nuoc Cham
Start with making the "nuoc cham " the traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce which should be on every Vietnamese table . This recipe is my absolute favourite, it gives you a very balanced "nuoc cham" which I'd almost want to drink. I recommend making at least 3 times the amount. It can be kept in the fridge for a week.
- 1 ts rice vinegar
- 3 ts sugar
- 1 birds-eye chilli, finely chopped without the seeds
- 2 garlic cloves squashed
- 1 tbs fresh lime juice
- 2 tbs fish sauce
Mix the sugar , vinegar and water in a pan. Bring to boil and let cool down.
Add the garlic, chilli and lime juice. Then add fish sauce.
The Caramel Sauce - Thang Nuoc Dung
- 250 gr palm sugar or other sugar
Melt the sugar on very low heat. When the sugar has dissolved turn up the heat.
While stirring the sugar constantly let it caramelise until it turns brown. As soon as it starts to smoke take it of the heat and add 180 ml hot water. Be careful the sugar is very hot and adding the water will be quite "explosive".
In case the sugar crystallises again, put it back on the stove an let simmer on low heat until it dissolves again.
The caramel keeps a long time in the fridge.
- 500 gr organic or msc salmon
- 50 gr shallots finely chopped
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 1 tbs fishsauce
- 1 tbs caramel sauce
- 5 tbs finely chopped cilantro
- freshly ground pepper
- rice noodles or soba noodles
Roughly chop the salmon. Add the chopped shallots, sesame oil, the caramel sauce, the chopped cilantro and fresh ground pepper.
Make little balls and gently press them into burger shape.
Fry briefly in a hot pan. Don't over cook them they are nicer on the raw side.
While the burgers are in the pan, cook the noodles. I like soba noodles (these take a little longer than rice noodles so start cooking them before the fish goes into the pan) but if you prefer rice noodles that's fine too.
Serve with fresh fresh herbs (dill, cilantro, mint and thai basil). As with the Cha Ca La Vong, take a bit of everything and mix in the bowl.
A simple and delicious pasta dinner.
- 1 kg fresh or frozen broad beans
- 3 handfull of rockte washed and roughly cut
- Pasta of your choice
- a bit of Butter
- zest of a Lemon
- a bit of dry white wine
- salt ans pepper
Pod the broad beans and blanch them in boiling water. When they are done drain and let cool down.
Peel off the greyish skin. To do this cut the skin with a sharp knife and just pop the bright green beans out.
Peeling broad beans twice is really worth the effort, not only for the bright green colour but also they taste much nicer.
Boil the salt water for the pasta. For this recipe I like to take a big pasta type. Cook the pasta al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, blend the broad beans with a good lump of butter salt and pepper and if you like a bit of dry white wine.
Warm the broad beans puree in a saucepan, add some lemon zest.
When the pasta is ready, drain and add to the broad beans puree. Add the rocket. Mix everything, adjust the seasoning and serve on a hot plate.
We have Exiting news: Coeur de Sel is featured in a new cookbook. The book is called "Das grosse Familien Kochbuch" by Julia Hofer (AT Verlag).
I like the book's approach: modern families (with working parents) are busy and cooking a decent maybe even healthy meal every evening is difficult. The basic idea is you cook once and eat twice. It's packed with recipes that, with a twist, turn into something a little different the other day. Like making enough risotto one night so you can have risotto fritters (the best!) the next evening. It's also packed with kids kitchen experiments, like making your own nutella, or home made pasta and there are a lot of kids and food related interviews in it too.
Regular readers of this blog know that I'm an almost full-time working mum and how to arrange career and family is is a hot topic for me.
So I was happy to contribute my favourite cake, the layered show off cake, to this book. You will also find an interview with me on how we live with our fussy eater.
September is the busiest month for us. All the work related travels, the upcoming family holidays and of course THE birthday party for our son.
We have thrown crazy kids parties, but this year we did not have to much time for preparations.
The weather was supposed to be good and we wanted to have a last summer party.
I think we came up with some very funny ideas that were actually not to much work.
Instead of several cakes I decided to make popsicles. I wanted something that is fun for the kids, something they can eat plenty without going to wild on sugar and formost something I could prepare in advance.
Popsicles can be so easy, different sorts of sirup are already perfect! Mango lassie or chocolate drink from the supermarket work perfect too. Don't invest your time in the ingredients instead come up with fun ways to freeze and decorate them.
If, like me , you one have one popsicle mould you have to start a few weeks in advance, but it's really not much work and you can only take them out of the freezer on the day and voila!
With the popsicles ready in the freezer I had time to come up with some other fun thing for the feast.
Food wise I think this was our most successful b'day party, the kids just loved it.
Of course we had a cake too :-)
Our june session was spanish themed. The Moro cookbooks are on heavy rotation since their rediscovery last month.
Wisely enough I took them along to the beach the day before and we had all the time to come up with something.
A lot of inspiration though came from the things growing on the fields on our way to the beach - artichokes!
Amazingly beautiful and you could self pick them for only 3.- each :-)
The menu :
- Potato cucumber and fava bean soup ( moro the cook book)
a cold and very nice soup, perfect for hot summer days.
- Artickoes and peas with oloroso sherry (casa moro )
Hard work but nice for example as part of a tapas dinner
- Calamares rellenos de carlos ( moro the cook book)
Calamares stuffed with boiled eggs and herbs - yummy!
What else could be for dessert than
- Churros con chocolate ( moro the cook book)
Mine did not have the right consistency and it was very hard to get them through a piping bad. I will have to try again. The taste tough was perfect and the cardamom spiced chocolate sauce to go with them was the perfect match.
Dinner was eaten on the balcony, late like it's supposed to be in summer. Lot's of good wine and laughter were involved to. I hope this very bad weather we have at the moment is soon over and we are back to a hot and long summer with good drinks and spanish food on the balcony.
Since last december I'm trying to re-cook a meal that, back then came together very spontaneously. We had friends coming over and wanted to make something special but they could not stay to long for they had to get up very early the next day. It's no secret that I'm not good in hosting early dinners, I'm always to late with the preparations which leads to a very spanish lifestyle of late dinners. So we went for beetroot pickled salmon , something you can prepare days ahed and it's is always kind of special.
With it we spontaneously decided to make Parsnip Patties since we had the fridge filled with parsnips.
The dinner was spectacular and the Parsnip Potatoes Patties perfect! Ever since this day I try to re-cook them with little success.
In Stockholm this is a national dish, you get Parsnip Potatoes Patties in every restaurant. Usually served with fish roe, crème fraiche and pickled cucumbers - a match made in heaven.
Even more so I want to make my own Parsnip Potatoes Patties. Mine taste nice but the hardly ever stick together and I end up with a crumbly something on my plate :-(
I know they have to be made very fresh otherwise the potatoes loose too much water and don't sick together, and I add some beaten egg white ... any other tips?
These two turned out quite nice but the remaining 5 looked bad let me tell you ...
Back in Istanbul we were queuing for the blue Mosque but when we were only three people away from entering they closed the door for prayer .... We went to the nearest restaurant to drink some tea and eat a little something before starting queuing all over again.
In the restaurant's center were three women kneeling on the floor, one was, very thinly, rolling out little balls of dough, the second one would then bake the bread on a metal dome over a fire and the third was stuffing the bread with a variety of things - spinach, potato, cheese... the whole process was beautiful to watch, the bread even better to taste.
On the way to our garden here, there is a wild playground with a fire place and sometimes in summer there's a group of Turkish women making Gözleme. I'm determined to try making Gözleme in our garden and over the fire too!
Gözleme are just delicious, easy to make & I think brilliant to go with many menus.
For the dough:
- 250gr white flour
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 185 ml warm water
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 120 gr butter cut into 16 pieces
For the spinach stuffing:
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion very finely chopped
- 250gr spinach washed and well drained
- a good pinch of ground allspice
- 1 tbs sumac
- salt and pepper
For the potato stuffing:
- 300 firm potatoes cut in half lenthwise and slices 3mm thick
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 6 spring onions finely chopped
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
- 1/4 tablespoon roughly chopped dill
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
- 2salt and pepper
For the dough:
Place the flour and the salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the water on to the dried yeast, let it dissolve for a couple of minutes, then stir.
Mix the flour and the yeast mixture by hand, squeezing out all the lumps. After this the dough should be fairly smooth. If it's too sticky, add a bit of flour. But careful, the dough should not be too dry. Now add the olive oil by drizzling it down the side of the bowl and kneading it in for about 3 minutes. The dough should no longer be tacky but soft, elastic and smooth. Cover with clingfilm and let it rest someplace warm between 20 minutes and 1 hour.
When the dough has risen, divide it into 8 pieces and kneed into balls. On a generously floured surface with a floured rolling pin, gently roll out each ball, turning the dough a quarter each time you roll, as this keeps the shape round. The dough should be very elastic, once you got it about 5 mm lift it of the board and start stretching it by hand, rotating it to get an even thickness. You should be able to get a 20 cm round of almost paper thinness, nearly transparent at it's center.
If you don't bake the bread immediately, stack them with greaseproof paper in-between.
Place a large frying pan over medium heat, add a knob of butter and when it starts to foam, gently slip one of the sheets into the pan.
Fry one side, allowing it to blister and brown in places before you turn it. Add another knob of butter to the pan and fry on the other side. Transfer the bread to a plate and place a spoonful of the filling in the middle. Spread it out a bit and fold fold the edges of the gözleme over like an envelope to enclose the filling.
Return to the pan on low heat to warm the stuffing through and eat straight away.
For the spinach filling :
Heat the oil in a pan over low to medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Fry for a good 10 minutes stirring occasionally until golden and sweet. Add the spinach and allspice and cook until the spinach has "collapsed", losing it's original volume. Remove from the heat and if there's too much liquid still, drain it in a colander. Transfer to a board and chop coarsely. Add the sumac before tasting and seasoning.
For the potato filling :
Salt the patties 5 minutes before cooking, this helps bring out the flavour. In a large saucepan or frying pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the patties, onions and caraway seeds, stir until mixed evenly. Reduce the heat slightly and put a lid on the pan, let the patties cook but not colour. Stir from time to time and scrape off the bits of potato that stick to the bottom of the pan. When the patties are soft, remove from the heat and place in a bowl. Now add the chilli flakes and the dill and check for seasoning, adding a tablespoon or two of water if the mixture is a bit dry.
recipe from the brilliant Cafe Moro cookbook