Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spaghetti Bolognese

When I say I want spaghetti I mean a real bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese.  This dish is my comfort food.  I have been eating this ever since I was a little kid.  My dad cooked this sauce for my mom on their first date – that is how good this is.

I really think it is hard to find a good Spaghetti Bolognese out on the town.  Usually it never contains the balance between tomatoes, meat and spices.  This sauce is a meat sauce with tomato, it is not a tomato sauce with meat.  

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many variations of the Bolognese Sauce; everyone probably has some kind of recipe with a twist.  But the classic sauce as set forth in the archives of the Bologna chapter of the “L’Accademia Italiana della Cucina” is made with a mixture of minced or ground meats, tomatoes, tomato paste and milk or cream.

When I make this I usually make this on a Sunday in a large pot and have it for the week. This sauce gets better the longer you cook it.  Minimum is 1 1/2 hours but it gets better at 3 hours and the sauce is even better the day after you cook it.

There are many variations you can do to this recipe. Sometimes I add sausage to it and even jalapeno peppers to give it a little kick.  You can use turkey instead of meat; add mushrooms or other vegetables too. But the recipe below is always the same for the base. 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Yields: 4-6 people | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

 2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion – chopped
1 large carrot chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 parsnip
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 lbs ground pork or veal
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup milk or cream
14 oz can tomatoes – chopped without the juice
1 cup beef broth
3 tbsp tomato paste

For Serving:
1 lbs Spaghetti
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a 12?noncorrosive skillet over medium heat.

Chop all the vegetable to your desired size, I prefer them small cubed.  Add vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, parsnip, and garlic) and sauté for at least 10 minutes until all vegetables are sweating. 

Add all spices (nutmeg, salt, pepper, basil, thyme, allspice, paprika, bay leaves.  Cook for 2 minutes.

Add all the meat, breaking up meat into fine pieces, just until meat loses its raw color, about 6 minutes.  Do NOT brown meat.

Stir in wine. Cook until wine is evaporated, 4 – 6 minutes.  Stir in milk and reduce heat to medium and cook until meat is evaporated, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Press tomatoes and their liquid through a sieve into a bowl. Discard seeds.  Stir sieved tomatoes, beef broth, tomato paste into meat mixture.

Heat to boiling, and then reduce heat to low.  Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is evaporated and the sauce is thick, about 1 1/2 hours.  Remove and discard bay leafs.

Taste for more of any of the spices, especially salt. 

Just before serving time cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water just until al dente by following the instructions on the packaging. 

Ladle meat sauce over spaghetti in a bowl and sprinkle with cheese.

Don’t forget to sign up for the Giveaway!

Other Similar Recipes:

Greek Lamb Sliders with Yogurt Sauce
Rack of Lamb
Bulgogi Korean BBQ

One Year ago: Square Ladle

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Roasted Beet Salad

I don’t know about you but in the last few years I have become a beet lover. I never used to be but if there are beets on the menu I order them. And I always have beets at home for my cravings.  This is a very simple recipe but my favorite beet recipe.  I love picked beets too but this one is slightly higher on the list.

You can use the beet greens for this salad as well but I am not a beet green person.  The greens kind of tastes like lettuce but I like it much better without.

There are many ways to prepare your beats. You can microwave them quickly, that is the easy way. You can boil them in a pot of water, 2nd easiest way. Or the best way and the tastiest way is to bake your beets, that is what I always do, unless I am in a hurry.

Roasted Beet Salad

Yields: 4 servings | Prep: 10 Min | Cook Time: 1 hour

1 bunch beets (6 beets)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp chopped shallots (1 shallot)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Oven 350 F

First bake your beats by putting foil around your beets and put them on a cookie sheet, make sure you have something under the beets in the oven because juices will come out and you do not want to ruin your oven. Leave them in the oven for about 1 hour for medium sized beets. If your beets are larger or smaller your time may differ, it is easy to check just poke a fork in them and make sure they are soft.

Take them out and let them cool.

Once you have baked them in the oven the skin is really easy to peel off, just make sure you wash your hands right afterwards or they will stay red for while.

While you are waiting for your beets to cool you can prepare you dressing with olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and onion.

Once the beets have cooled and you have removed the skin chopped them up into ½” cubes and toss into your dressing.  Stir and add the feta cheese on top.

Don’t forget to sign up for the Giveaway!

Other Similar Recipes:

Pickled Red Beets
Swedish Meatballs
Red Cabbage
Cured Salmon

One Year ago: Square Ladle

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Anniversary and Giveaway!

Today is my one year blog anniversary!  It’s a party today!

I can’t believe that is has been one full year already and I have had a blast with this blog.

First I want to say thank you to all of you, I love hearing from you and without you this would not be as fun.

Before we start the celebration here is a summary some of my favorite recipes from last year, one from each month:

The View from the Beach House Restaurant

My favorite none-recipe post from last year was:

Also i really enjoyed sharing with you all about Swedish Christmas Traditions as well:

To celebrate I am giving away a 2-year subscription to Cooking Light Magazine.

To enter the giveaway you need to do 3 things:

1. Subscribe to Delishhh in an RSS feed or by Email!
2. Become a fan of my Facebook page
3. Leave a comment telling me you did 1 & 2.

For additional entries:
4. Tweet about this giveaway.
5. Leave an additional comment telling me you tweeted about it.

The giveaway ends on Friday, 1/18 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Winner will be selected from

What’s happening next year?  I would love to hear from you.  What do you want to see more of?

**** UPDATE ****

And the winner is. . . .



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine’s Gifts for Foodies

Valentine’s is coming up and we all need a few ideas of what to give to our friends, family and loved ones.  My lists are always related to Food and Kitchen.  Everything on my list(s) are things I truly like and can see myself getting.

Here are my top 10 gifts for Valentine’s, something for everyone in every price range.

  1. DIY Chocolate Dessert – $0 – Make a chocolate dessert and put it into a nice little container.  Who doesn’t like home made gifts?
  2. J’taime Kitchen Towel – $3.95 – Adorable cute kitchen towels for your loved one from Sur la Table.
  3. Create your own chocolate bar from Create My Chocolate – $8.00 – How fun is this choose your chocolate, your toping, your grain, you have all kinds of choices.
  4. Heart-Shaped Egg Fry Rings – $8.05 – Why not make eggs in the morning in the shape of hearts.  Why not do this all the time?
  5. Spice and Ice – $11.37 – Written by expert mixologist Kara Newman, this is a cocktail book with a kick, containing 60 tongue tingling cocktails. Favorites include the Wasabi-tinis, Peppered Poire and Sangria Scorcher. Her Hot Lips Chocotini is the perfect treat to sweeten up your evening.
  6. Prodyne Fruit Infusion Pitcher – $19.03 – Enjoy flavor-infused beverages made naturally at home.
  7. Large Chocolate Dipping Adventure – $33.50 – Have your own chocolate dipping party.  Just heat the chocolate and throw yourselves into pure seduction for all the senses
  8. Nickname Snack Bowls – $34.50 – Adorable little bowls that you can add your own text too.
  9. Olive Oil gift set from Olive Oil Press – $39 – Mission Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar paired together is always a hit.
  10. Vosges Exotic Truffle Heart Collection – $45 – Vosges’ exotic truffles are made from the finest ingredients offered around the world.  Vosges truffles have exotic influences of an “East meets West” theme. The infusions of rare spices and flowers combined with premium chocolate give a delicate balance of flavor, leaving you with a layered and lingering sensation of spice and chocolate, a true haut-chocolate experience.

Need more?  Here is a link to all my Gift Ideas from previous posts.

Have other great ideas that are related to Food and Kitchen?  I would love to hear about them in the comment section.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Greek Lamb Sliders “Biftekia” with Yogurt Sauce

If you like Greek food you will love these lamb sliders.  If you like garlic, mint, cilantro flavors you will love these.  Every time I just talk about these sliders I start to droll.

Imagine a warm patty, with mint, cilantro, garlic and yogurt sauce on top. This is one of my favorite “burgers” on top of the turkey burger.

These Greek sliders are great for appetizers or main course, and just perfect for entertaining – a fun, sophisticated alternative to your standard cookout fare.

You will need ground lamb for the recipe, your regular grocery store may not carry it but you can always find it at Whole Foods or your local butcher.

I found this recipe on Once Upon A Chef and adjusted a little to my own taste.  These sliders are incredible tender and juicy and that is due to the bread and milk paste that is mixed into the ground meat. You can’t taste it but it guarantees perfect burgers every time, especially if you like your meat a little more well-done or if you accidentally overcook them.

Greek Lamb Sliders “Biftekia” with Yogurt Sauce

Yields: 12 sliders enough for 4-6 people

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 5 minutes

Greek Lamb Sliders “Biftekia”

1 slice white bread, crust removed and cut into ¼” pieces
2 tbsp milk
¼ cup finely chopped shallots (1 shallot)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp dried oregano
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ lbs ground lamb

Yogurt Sauce

½ cup of plain yogurt, preferable Greek style yogurt
1 tsp of dried dill
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp of olive oil
1tsp of lemon juice
White pepper

Be sure grill is clean and preheat to high.

Combine bread pieces and milk in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork until paste forms. Add shallots, garlic, mint, cilantro, oregano, salt, pepper and mix well. Add lamb, then use your hand to mix ingredients together until well combined. Do not over mix. Form mixture into 12 patties about ½-inch thick.

Place sliders on patties and put some yogurt sauce in between.

Grease grill. Grill patties, covered, for 2 minutes. Turn, cover again, and cook for about 2 minutes more.

Other Similar Recipe:

Rack of Lamb
Chicklen Wings
Turkey Burgers
Bulgogi – Korean BBQ

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hard Meringues

I don’t know about you but after a weekend of baking I always end up with a bowl of egg whites laying around.  I try to find recipes that use egg whites but at the end I make my childhood favorite – Hard Meringues!

Did you know the name meringue came from a pastry chef named Gasparini in the Swiss town of Merhrinyghen. In 1720, he created a small pastry of dried egg foam and sugar from which the simplified meringue evolved.

I don’t know why but it seems really hard to find hard meringues in the stores here, only certain stores carry it and I don’t understand why.  When I was a kid in Sweden hard meringues were huge. Some of my favorite desserts have hard meringue in them.  When I moved to the US I was introduced to soft meringues and I don’t like it at all, and never have a baked Alaskan due to this.

The most critical factor in making meringue is humidity. Because of its high sugar content, meringue can absorb moisture from the air and become limp and sticky.

Be sure that beaters and bowls are clean and completely free of fat or oil because the least bit of fat will prevent beaten egg whites from reaching their full volume. Use only metal or glass bowls. Plastic bowls tend to absorb fat.

Meringues only take about 5 minutes to make but it has to stay in the oven at least for 2 hours to get dry and hard.  Sometimes even longer, again depends on the oven and the humidity.

Some folks add cream of tartar on vinegar to get them stiffer but I usually leave that out and get the perfect consistency anyways.

What about you, are you a hard or soft meringue person, and what do you usually do with left over egg whites? Give me some ideas.  And please don’t say egg white omelet.

Hard Meringues

Yields: 12 meringue | Prep: 5 minutes | Bake: About 2 hours

3 egg whites
¾ cups sugar

Set oven to 225F.  In a mixer add your egg whites and the sugar.  And mix about 2-3 minutes until the eggs show high peaks.  Place the eggs to your desired shape onto a cookie sheet and into the middle of the oven.

It will take about 2 hours for your meringues to harden.  If they are not hard keep them in the oven until they are.   The longer they are in the oven the harder and dryer they get.  After about two hours they should be hard on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Meringues may be stored for several months in a tightly sealed container with waxed paper between the layers.

Recipes that will leave you with leftover egg whites:

Brioche Cinnabun
Cranberry and White Chocolate Streusel Bars
Ice Cream Petit Fours
Cream Puffs

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Broccoli Shots

I love broccoli, usually I will sauté it with some bread crumbs and butter, the same way i like my cauliflower prepared.  Many times I just add some broccoli to my stir fry but I don’t really like steamed broccoli by itself, it pretty boring.

I was trying this broccoli soup and when I tasted this cold, I thought it was delicious.  This soup in my opinion is better cold than hot.  And on top of that it makes a great and refreshing appetizer.   Adding some cool refreshing and healthy shots to your party food table is always fun.  While people are eating some chicken wings, having some roquamole dip, this is a great addition to your table for something different.

You can server this soup hot or cold, I prefer it cold, it is more refreshing.

Any other soups that you like to serve in shot glasse?

Broccoli Shots

Yields: About 12 shot glasses | Prep: 20 minutes

7 oz broccoli chopped (about medium sized broccoli)
1 leek chopped
2 tbsp butter
½ vegetable stock
½ cup cream
1 cup milk
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp salt

In a pot sauté the leek and broccoli with the butter till everything softens, about 5 minutes.  Add the vegetable stock, cream, milk, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until the broccoli is soft.

Using a mixer make the soup smooth.  Add salt or pepper to taste.

Serve hot or cold in shot glasses.

Great Party Food:

Chicken Wings
Quiche Tartlettes
White Bean Puree

Sunday, January 30, 2011

White Bean Puree

All of us are always looking for good dips and appetizers, for parties or, Super Bowl, or just a snack for yourself.  This recipe is one of my favorites just to have as a snack in the afternoon.

Awhile ago I got addicted to this white bean puree at Whole Foods and every time I go I always pick it up but decided it was time to make it myself.  I have been trying a few different versions but found a similar recipe on the William’s Sonoma site and adjusted it to my liking.

I eat this dip with vegetables, crackers or even just spread it on bread.  The consistency is very similar to hummus and if you like hummus you will love this.

What is one of your favorite healthy snacks?

White Bean Puree

Yields: 24 servings | Prep: 15 minutes

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups cooked white beans, or drained and rinsed canned beans
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved into strips with a vegetable peeler, for garnish
Paprika for sprinkle

In a small fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and pour into a liquid measuring cup.

In a food processor, combine the white beans, rosemary and lemon juice. Pulse until the beans are partially pureed, 5 to 10 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the garlic oil and process until a smooth puree forms, 5 to 10 seconds more. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve as a dip with vegetables or crackers.  Or spread the puree on crackers or slices of baquette and garnish with a shaving of the cheese and sprinkle with paprika.

Great Party Food:
Chicken Wings
Asparagus Dip

Thursday, January 27, 2011

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies (Cow Patties)

I am a huge fan of no bake cookies, the first one I mentioned were the Swedish Chocolate Balls that I used to make as a kid.  This batch I got from The Brown Eyed Baker who recommended this for those moments when you are desperately craving something sweet and chocolaty but don’t have a lot of patience.  I can tell you that this will solve that craving and warning these are addictive.

I even had a few spoonfuls before they could set, so that is a warning to you, you will eat some out of the bowl.

And if you have kids I am sure they will love to make this with you, just like the Swedish Chocolate balls.

These could not be easier to make and the original name of these are Cow Patties, I don’t think I have to tell you why.

What kind of no-bake cookies do you make?

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies (Cow Patties)

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooling Time: 30 minutes

½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
4 tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned cooking oats

Add the first four ingredients, butter, sugar, milk and coco powder to a 4-quart saucepan.

Bring to a rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth, then stir in the oats.

Drop by heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.

Let cool until set.

Other Similar Recipes:
Swedish Chocolate Balls
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Bars
Oatmeal Wafers “Havreflarn” with Nutella
Swedish Brownie “Kladdkaka”

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Asparagus Dip

Superbowl is almost here and everyone is looking for party food. Even if you are not interested in American Football this is a great dip.

I am a huge fan of warm dips, especially warm artichoke dips.  But I feel that I needed a new vegetable and I was really surprised how good this was, I enjoyed this much better than artichoke.

Hot dips are great for parties just add some crackers or baguette next to it and you will see big smiles of people’s faces.

This dip is warm, savory and creamy and the best part is it is simple to make.

This recipe can be heated in the microwave or baked in the oven.

I prefer the oven baked method because the browned top is nice and crisp with the warm runny dip below.

Either way works well so choose the method that works for you.

What are some of your warm vegetable dips that are not asparagus or artichoke, I would love to hear about it.

Asparagus Dip

Serves: 4-6 people | Prep: 20 minutes

1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
14 ounces of asparagus
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

First clean the end of the asparagus and then boil the asparagus in water for 3 minutes.  After tree minutes, drain the asparagus and put into a cold water bath.

Using a food processor put the Parmesan cheese, garlic and cream cheese into the mixer and pulse a few times until everything is mixed.  Then add the asparagus and pulse a few times again.  Do you like it smooth keep mixing otherwise stop while it is chunky

Put this mixture into a microwave and oven save dish; sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese on top.

Microwave on high for 1 minute or until heated through or in the oven for 350F for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and bubbly and the top is browned.

Great Party Food:
Chicken Wings
Quiche Tartlettes


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