Saturday, June 20, 2009

when lightning strikes...

We had the most wonderful Midsommer. I made a big lunch with three types of herring, smörgåstårta, warm smoked salmon with horseradish sauce and much more. To drink there was beer and wodka - very traditional here in Sweden! My family came over from Holland (except my dear sister) and my parents had the task of cleaning the new potatoes...when they finally cleaned and boiled them, we forgot to put them on the table. Oh well, they made a nice potato salad to accompany the barbeque in the evening.
After lunch we had coffee with a strawberry cake and then we headed into the village to see the singing and dancing around the pole. The sun was shining, we were drinking beer and cider and finally I dared to join in for the last song. Suddenly the sun hid herself behind some clouds and we decided to slowly walk back home. A few minutes later it turned dark and a big thunder storm started. That hardly ever happens here, so I rather enjoyed it! When we were just inside our house, taking off our wet clothes and talking about how nice everything was - I saw a bright light and heard a loud bang. I thought there was some firework going on or something, but it was lightning that struck our house! That was quite scary and it actually burned our modem and router. So we have lost all our connection to the world, since we lost our internet connection.

I am writing this post after a fabulous dinner at M.'s grandmother's house, where we all were invited. I am writing to let you know that we will try to fix the internet as soon as possible, but you will have to wait a few days for a new recipe. But those recipes are worth waiting for, I can tell you that!! We had some good meals in that little wooden house in the forest and I can't wait to share the recipes with you...just a little patience please.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Apple and pear crumble

Now, my dear readers, it is time for something sweet. Something very simple and yet so good. I made this cake a few days ago for two friends who stayed with us for a few days. I didn't plan to make a dessert, as we had been eating so much during the course of their stay, but in the end I couldn't resist and threw some things together. They loved it (or so they said) and I can really recommend this recipe if you want to make something fast and easy. If you've never baked a cake before, then try this one!

Apple and pear crumble (serves 8)

3 small apples
1 ripe pear
lemon juice (fresh or from a bottle)
250 g flour
250 g sugar
150 g oats (NL: havermout/ S: havregryn)
200 g butter
3 handfuls of almonds or other nuts

* preheat the oven to 190 C
* peel the apples and pears, and cut them in cubes
* place them in a bowl and sprinkle some lemon juice on them
* put 250 g flour, 250 g sugar and 150 g oats in another bowl
* melt 200 g butter in a pan on low heat and add to the bowl with the flour mixture
* blend it all together with large spoon
* grease a spring cake tin (NL: springvorm)
* put two thirds of the pastry in the tin and use a spoon to press it down a bit
* place the apple and pear mixture on top
* chop 3 handfuls of almonds coarsely and sprinkle on top
* sprinkle the rest of the pastry mixture on top (it should be crumbly)
* place in the oven for 60 minutes, until brown
* leave to stand a little before cutting

Serve with some whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream (yes, or both). It's best served warm, but will also taste great the next day with a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Roasted red soup

I have a few recipes for you, waiting to make an appearance here on the blog. A soup; a healthy plate and a simple, but delicious dessert with nuts, apples and pears. What shall I share with you first? Perhaps the soup. I have made it a couple of times, and have the original idea for it from this website. Have a look there if you like healthy and vegetarian food.
The flavour of the roasted vegetables in this soup is really great.

I added a little twist to the recipe by putting in a little anchovies and I have replaced the vegetable bouillon for fish bouillon - but you can keep it simple and completely vegetarian too if you like.

Roasted red soup
(serves 4)

olive oil
5 ripe (grape) tomatoes (NL: trostomaten, S: kvisttomater)
1 large red bell pepper (NL/S: paprika)
4 small onions
5 cloves of garlic
500 ml water
1 cube of fish bouillon (or vegetable bouillon)
optional: 2-3 anchovies
salt and pepper
a few drops of tabasco
freshly grated parmezan

* preheat the oven to 190 C
* grease a baking tray with some oil
* peel the onions and remove the seeds and membrane of the red bell pepper
* cut the tomatoes, red bell peppers and onions in quarters, place them on the baking tray and pour a few tablespoons of olive oil on them
* use your hands to make sure they are all covered by a thin layer of oil and place them skin side down (or in case of the onions - where the skin used to be)
* don't peel the garlic, just put them in a corner of the baking tray
* place in the oven for 45 min, or until the onions are browned a bit on the sides and all the vegetables are soft and cooked
* take the garlic aside and put the rest of the vegetables (including their juices) in a pan
* peel the garlic and add to the veggies
* also add the anchovy, if you are using it. it will add a little bit of extra flavour and saltiness
* in another pan, bring 500 ml water to the boil and add the bouillon cube
* use a hand blender (NL: staafmixer, S: stavmixer) to puree the vegetables and add half of the bouillon. add more bouillon if needed to create the texture you prefer - this will vary depending on how much juice the vegetables are containing
* warm the soup through and add salt and pepper to taste, and a few drops of tabasco
* serve with a handful of freshly grated parmezan

I usually serve this soup as a starter. It's really great when you have pasta as a main course, because this way you still get your portion of vegetables. Smart, huh.
Of course you could serve it for lunch as well, perhaps with some garlic bread.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bruschetta con funghi

I wanted to make artichokes with basil butter as a starter for the girls. In the supermarket though, I found that the artichokes were way too expensive. So, when I saw they had a nice assortment of mushrooms and some ripe tomatoes, I decided to make two types of bruschetta instead. The recipe for the bruschetta con pomodori you already got and now I will tell how I made the bruscetta con funghi. It was delicious by the way!

Bruschetta con funghi

olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced + 2 cloves of garlic
300-350 g mixed mushrooms (I used oyster, shiitake and ordinary mushrooms), roughly sliced
4 slices of rustic bread
1 tablespoon of butter
handful of flatleave parsley, chopped

* heat the oven to 200 C
* heat the oil and add the garlic and mushrooms
* stir fry on a medium heat for 10 minutes
* in the meantime, roast the bread slices for 10 minutes in the oven, or fry them in a pan
* cut 2 cloves of garlic in half and rub the bread with the garlic
* back to the mushrooms: add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 handful of chopped parsley and raise the heat for a minute
* then spoon the mushroom mixture onto the slices of bread
* have a good glass of dry white wine to go with it!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bruschetta con pomodori

So, finally that bloody thesis has been handed in. What a joy and what a relief! To celebrate I had a dinner with my friends. I made some bruschetta as a starter, one with mixed mushrooms and one with tomato.

After that we had Parmigiana di Melanzana (an oven dish with aubergines and parmezan), with tagliatelle and a salad. Finally we had a glass filled with layers of marinated strawberry, vanilla cream, curd and meringues. And a lot of wine with all the courses, naturally.

Bruschetta con pomodori (4 servings)

4-6 tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped + 2 cloves of garlic
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
juice of 1/4 orange
1/2 teaspoon sugar
handful of basil, shredded
4 slices of rustic bread
salt and pepper

* put all the ingredients in a bowl and leave to stand for 30 minutes or longer
* heat the oven to 200 C and roast the bread slices for 10 minutes, or fry them in a pan
* cut 2 cloves of garlic in half and rub the bread with the garlic
* with a spoon, take some of the mixture, making sure to leave as much juice behind in the bowl as possible. Spoon the mixture on the slices of bread.

Make sure to use ripe tomatoes. I added a little orange juice, which tasted great and gives a slight twist to this classic Italian dish.