Saturday, August 24, 2013

say hello to my perfect bread

He's so perfect, he'll probably say "hello" back.

100% spelt, including spelt sourdough for the first time.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

the heat is on - miami mojito

The weekend isn't over yet, nor is is hot weather, so why not treat yourself to the best summer refreshment - mojito. I found a great recipe few years ago and the reactions I get every time I make it are positive, to say the least. For me, this is the ultimate picnic drink, but I'll explain that in a moment.

Here's the video I got it from:

I always use brown sugar and I'm not really sure how they came up with using white here, whatever. Thanks to the blending, the flavours are really intensive and the grated lime skin really adds something special.

What I usually do is prepare the base and pour it into a plastic bottle and tell someone else to bring soda water and plastic cups wherever we're meeting. Then we're just mixing it with the water in the cup, each to their own linking. It's really convenient and much better than just drinking beer in a park.

Just to make it easier, here are the ingredients for a 0,7l bottle of rum:

  • a large handful of fresh spearmint leaves (believe me, peppermint won't work here)
  • 1,5 cup brown sugar (more like demerara, muscovado won't do at all, also, you may think that's a lot - it's not)
  • 0,75 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • a generous tablespoon of freshly grated lime peel
  • loads and loads of ice
  • a 0,7l bottle of golden or white rum (never dark)
  • a 1,5l bottle of soda water

Thursday, August 15, 2013

K├Âttbullar - IKEA meatballs

I've spent a lot of time trying to find THE recipe for THE swedish meatballs from IKEA. I finally found it somewhere deep in the forgotten corners of IKEA servers, in Norwegian. For those of you, who don't speak Norwegian: learn it ASAP, it's a great language. For those of you, who don't speak Norwegian and are not willing to learn - you're lucky I'm able to translate this recipe for you. Here it is.
Swedish meatballs
Real Swedish meatballs should be small and served with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.
  • 500 g highest quality ground meat
  • 4 tbs breadcrumbs
  • 2 ts (full) grainy or French mustard
  • 150 ml milk
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • salt and pepper
Mix the breadcrumbs and milk and set them aside for 5 minutes. Mix all the ingredients together and form small balls. Fry them on butter or sunflower oil for about 8-10 minutes, depending on their size.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

a quick one - good housewifin'

There are days when you just can't be bothered with coming up with elaborate plans what to make for breakfast, dinner etc., but you still want it to be good and impressive. Days, when shortcuts are in order.
Shortcut one: find a stunning breakfast recipe somewhere you know you won't be disappointed. Let's say, on smittenkitchen. Here's what I found: shakshuka. Make sure, you make twice the amount you need.
Shortcut two: find a way of extending the meal to a satisfying dinner, let's say, turn it into a pizza (an appropriate amount for two people would be 1/4 of what Jamie suggests here, so keep that in mind unless you want to extend the shortcuts into storing some pizza dough for the next days).
Enjoy the comments. For me it was "wow, what is this" in the morning and "god, this is really amazing" in the afternoon. Thanks, Deb and Jamie!

seasonal - grill, simple lamb, asparagus

I've been experiencing some lags recently, so please excuse me for posting about asparagus way beyond season (well, at least in Europe). But, hey, the grilling season is still on, so perhaps at least the lamb recipe will be useful.

Both the green asparagus and lamb chops are extremely easy and fast to prepare, but at the same time - they're really impressive. All you need to do with the asparagus, once you cleaned them (which, in Europe, doesn't only mean trimming the lower ends - you should really peel them unless you're lucky enough to find 50 cm long asparagus you can afford to cut 15 cm off) is to sprinkle them with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and olive oil - they're ready to grill.

Now - with the lamb there are two ways to do this. An uncertain, easy one, and a delicious one you have to put some more effort into. You can either buy ready made pesto genovese for this, or make it yourself. Unless you have a brand you're sure of and very little time, I recommend making it yourself. I actually dislike pine nuts, so I substitute them with walnuts. With added garlic it's not really pesto genovese anymore, but, hell, it's god. I use a blender - this way it's easier to get a more even, flavourful sauce.

So, for the semi-pesto I throw a big bunch of fresh basil leaves, a handful of parmigiano, a couple pressed big garlic cloves (I usually add more, but I love garlic, not everybody does) and a handful of walnuts. I season it after blending - the parmiggiano is salty, so it's easy to overdo it with the salt before tasting.

TIP: To make the walnuts blend better with the other ingredients I use a garlic presser - no more large bits!

Back to the grilling - take the lamb chops (any lamb chops) and generously rub them with the pesto. Place them on the grill together with the asparagus. If the chops are small and thin, I recommend putting the asparagus on earlier, as they may take longer to cook. As for the times - don't require exact times for me - this all depends on the grill, the temperature you achieved, the size of the chops and most of all - on your preferences. I like it rare or at least medium-rare.

As you can see on the picture, I didn't use a regular grill/barbecue - I tried out the Lotus Grill thingy and I'm quite pleased with it. If you're doing it right, that is, read the manual and use all the things you need to use, including the lighting gel (unlike we did the first time round), it's really great. It heats up almost immediately, it's clean, doesn't take much space, you can use it on your balcony without annoying the people next door or above you. Also, if you're a design and gadget freak like me, it's simply pretty cool. We have the smaller one, but it also comes in bigger sizes for bigger parties. Check it out here: