Monday, April 19, 2010

Strawberry Scones

I had a bunch of strawberries in the refrigerator so I have been trying to do different strawberry recipes lately.  I made strawberry pancakes the other day and today I did the strawberry scones from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.  The recipe calls for dried strawberries but I had fresh ones so I thought I would use them.  Also I added vanilla and lemon essence to mine.  I was thinking orange essence but I had just run out of it. These were very easy to make not lots of sugar and they came out delicious.  You can add other fruits too, blueberry or even nuts or chocolate chips, even dried fruit since the original recipe calls for it.  Let me know what you put in your scones.

Strawberry Scones

Adapted from: Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients
4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp lemon essence
2 tsp salt
3/4 pound (3 sticks of butter) cold unsalted butter, diced
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup small-diced strawberries
1 egg beaten for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 4 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the cold butter at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and quickly add them to the flour and butter mixture. Combine until just blended. Toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon of flour, set them aside.

The dough may be a bit sticky.

Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is well combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into squares with a 4-inch plain or fluted cutter, and then cut them in half diagonally to make triangles. Then put the strawberries in the triangle and fold the top piece over to the long side of the triangle. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outsides are crisp and the insides are fully baked.

Makes around 14 to 16 large scones.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Seattle Restaurant Week!

Picture from Seattle Restaurant Week Website

Here is another great opportunity for folks to take advantage of the great restaurants Seattle has to offer.    

Seattle Restaurant week is starting, from April 18-29 with over 106 restaurants that will offer $25 three course dinners or $15 lunches.   

This is a great time for Seattle restaurants to show what they can do for a reasonable price and get customers they would usually not get, but also this is a great time for us foodies to go to our favorite places and get a good 3-course meal for only $25.   

Since it is only from April 18-29, Sunday through Thursday, with over 106 restaurants to choose from that is a hard task to narrow down to the place one should go to.  If you would go out every night of the week during that time you would only have time for 10 restaurants.  So I have narrowed it down to 10 of my favorites and which ones I would go to.  On top of that I am telling you what I would order on the menu.    

You can view the full list of restaurant on the Seattle Restaurant week website but below is my top 10 list.   

Don’t miss this opportunity next Seattle Restaurant week will not happen until October 2010.   

Here is my top 10 restaurant list that I would go to between April 18-29:   

Anchovies & Olives – This is my favorite seafood restaurant these days after OceanAir closed.  It took me awhile to go here but I have been here 3 times since.  The menu is a little intimidating.  They change it daily or weekly and half of the things on the menu one has never heard of, but the food is always delicious and very fresh.  Here is what I would order:  For appetizer I would get the Escolar Crudo with Avocado, Red Onion, and Fennel; for main course I would get Lumache Mussels, with Currents, Capers, and Escarole; for dessert I would get Rhubarb Shortcake with Almond Whipped Cream.   

Anchovies & Olives
1550 15th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122-4008
(206) 838-8080
Anchovies & Olives on Urbanspoon  

Barking Frog – This restaurant is in Woodinville but a great place to go to on a Sunday night.  Not only is the food good but the atmosphere is really nice. Read my full Barking Frog review. Here is what I would order: For appetizer Sous Vide Pork Belly; for entrée Ginger Crusted Sea Scallops with Beluga Lentils, Apple Bacon, Pea Vines, Maitake Mushrooms, Cipollini Onions, Smoked Almonds, and Coconut Curry Sauce; for dessert Vanilla Raspberry Pot de Crème which is Vanilla Custard over fresh Raspberries   

Barking Frog
14580 NE 145th St
Woodinville, WA 98072
(425) 424-2999 
Barking Frog on Urbanspoon  

Brasa – I love the atmosphere at this place.  It is cozy and romantic and the food is great too.  It is a great date place.  Here is what I would order from the menu: For appetizer Pork Belly with Crispy fingerlings, marinated fiddlehead ferns, dill sauce;  for entrée I would order Hanger Steak Spring greens, cabrales butter, frites; for dessert the Spanish doughnuts with spiced chocolate dipping sauce.   

Brasa
2107 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121-2321
(206) 728-4220
Brasa on Urbanspoon  

Café Campagne – While you are at Pike Place market this is an excellent place to stop for some good food for brunch, lunch or dinner. Here is what I would order from the menu: For appetizer the Pâté de Campagne made from country-style pork and chicken liver pâte; for entrée, Boeuf Bourguignon, Red wine braised beef shoulder with button mushrooms, bacon lardons and pearl onions, served on spatzle; for dessert Cherry Clafoutis with Almond Ice Cream.   

Café Campagne
1600 Post Alley,
Seattle, WA
(206) 728-2233
Cafe Campagne on Urbanspoon  

Eva Restaurant – This place is in Greenlake and very cute.  The restaurant is cozy and warm, only a few tables, and the food is very good. I highly recommend you try this place out if you haven’t been. This is what I would order:  For appetizer Baby Beets with Cucumber, Feta, and a Roasted Garlic Skordalia; for Entrée I would get Carlton Farm Pork Tenderloin with a Warm Salad of Fingerling Potato, Chorizo, and Oil Cured Olives; for dessert Carrot Cake with Orange Marmalade Frosting and Candied Oranges.   

Eva Restaurant
2227 North 56th Street
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 633-3538 
Eva Restaurant on Urbanspoon  

Dahlia Lounge – You can’t go wrong at Dahlia Lounge.  Always a solid northwestern food experience from our famous Tom Douglas owner. This is what I would order from here: For appetizer Country style rabbit pate, pickled carrots, rhubarb mustard, rye toast; for entrée Rotisserie roasted five spice duck, mushroom fried rice, gai lan, pear jam, sesame; for dessert the Doughnuts, fried to order with huckleberry jam.   

Dahlia Lounge
2001 Fourth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 682-4142 
Dahlia Lounge on Urbanspoon  

Lark – This is one of my favorite places to go out and eat.  There is something on the menu for everyone and it is always good.  It is small plates and you get to try a few different things which I love.  This is what I would order: For appetizer I would get Pork rillettes with French Breakfast radish, butter and sea salt; for entrée I would get Braised Ninety Farm lamb with fregola, zucchini, mint and chiles; for dessert Theo chocolate pot de crème with almond croquant.   

Lark
926 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 323-5275 
Lark on Urbanspoon  

Quinn’s Pub – This is a Gastro pub and my favorite pub food in Seattle.  Not only do they have a fabulous beer menu but their food is delicious.  Read my full Quinn’s Pub review. Here is what I would order from their menu: For appetizer Braised pork belly, brussel sprouts, rutabaga, grain mustard; for entrée the Bar steak, potato confit, salsa verde; for dessert Quinn’s Ho-Ho.   

Quinn’s Pub
1001 East Pike Street
Seattle, WA
(206) 325-7711 
Quinn's on Urbanspoon  

Restaurant Zoe – Excellent food, also the same owner as Quinn’s. Here is what I would order from their menu: For appetizers I would get Fresh ricotta gnudi balsamic red onion puree, truffle salt, parmesan; for Entrée I would get Roasted veal with carrots, radish, chickpeas, and mizuna; for dessert I would get Malt sundae chocolate brownie, cocoa nibs   

Restaurant Zoe
2137 Second Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 256-2060 
Restaurant Zoe on Urbanspoon  

Taste Restaurant – This place is part of Seattle Art Museum, you wouldn’t know. The food is excellent and they just remodeled the whole place.  I wish they would make the room a little warmer, it is a little to cold of an atmosphere, better than it used to be but could be improved.  Here is what I would order from their menu: For appetizer I would get the Fresh thyme gnocchi with sweet cream nettles; as a main course I would get braised calrton farm pork with baby turnips and Yukon puree and fennel fronds;  for dessert I would get the double chocolate mint ice cream sandwich and peanut brittle.   

Taste Restaurant
1300 1st Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 903-5291
TASTE Restaurant on Urbanspoon  

Enjoy and let me know which places you are going to.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Swedish Chocolate Balls “Chokladbollar”

I don’t think there is one kid in Sweden that does not know what a chocolate ball is.  Now these days it has a few new names, chocolate ball, coconut ball, oat ball, it changed name probably in the 80’s to be more politically correct.  I am not going to say it but I grew up with it called The “N” word ball.

The reason it is so popular with kids is that it does not involve any knives or heat.  You just mix all the ingredients together and you can eat it right after.  What kid wouldn’t want that dessert?

And if you were lucky it passed the test for your parents of being eaten on other days than Saturdays, the only day eating candy was allowed. Yes, as a kid in Sweden eating candy was only allowed on Saturdays. They even make candy bags in the stores that are named, “Saturday Candy.”  Every week when our neighborhood kids got their Saturday allowance we used to run to the kiosk and get mixed candy for our allowance.

This Chocolate ball I enjoy even as an adult, and deep down it still doesn’t feel as sinful as eating candy.

I roll these balls in coconut flakes, but you can roll them in pearl sugar or not roll them at all.  Also it includes coffee, as a kid I used to use instant coffee and it worked just fine. These days I just make an espresso and use a tablespoon of that.

Enjoy!

Swedish Chocolate Balls “Chokladbollar”

1/4 lb or 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 tbsp strong coffee (cold)
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

Roll in coconut flakes or pearl sugar

Mix butter, sugar and coffee together first and then add all the other ingredients.  Make sure the butter is mixed in well.  The batter should be easy to roll and not too sticky, you can adjust consistency with oats or coffee.

Roll batter into about 25 small balls and roll them in pearl sugar or coconut flakes.

Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Raisin and Pine nut Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad is so simple to make but still hard to find a good one. My husband and I like different kinds of chicken salads.  He likes his simple: chicken, celery, salt and pepper and mayo.  And I like mine spicy and tangy.  I love to have pickles, sour cream, and capers in it, almost like a remoulade with chicken.  Today I had a bunch of left over chicken and was looking for a new kind of chicken salad we both would enjoy and I think I might have found a winner.  I came across a Cranberry and walnut chicken salad by Smitten Kitchen. However, my husband doesn’t like cranberries or walnuts in his salad so instead I used pine nuts and golden raisins; I also added Dijon mustard as well.  Turned out great!

Let me know your favorite chicken salad.

Raisin and Pine nut Chicken Salad

Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

4 cups cubed (1/2 inch) cooked chicken (about 1 3/4 lb)
1 cup pine nuts
1 celery rib, diced into small bits (1 cup)
2 or more tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 cup dried golden raisins
2/3 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tarragon or any herb of your choice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl until combined well.

You can add it to your sandwich, serve it on cracker on put it on top of some lettuce.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Swedish Brownie ”Kladdkaka”

Swedish brownies are called ”kladdkaka” in Swedish which means stickycake. So you wonder what is the difference between regular brownies and Swedish brownies. There are two big differences sugar and baking powder. Swedish brownies have more sugar and no baking powder, which causes a more dense and sticky brownie. This brownie is hard on the outside and sticky on the inside.

Also this brownie takes about 10 minutes to whip together it makes and excellent quick dessert that tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen.

Most Swedes eat this with whipped cream and sometimes sprinkled chopped almonds on top.

This recipe, as many of my Swedish dessert, asks for vanilla sugar. I have said in the past that you can get vanilla sugar at Ikea if you wish or just use vanilla extract But I did find out that that you can also make vanilla sugar at home. I found this excerpt from Wikipedia, ”Vanilla sugar is a commonly used ingredient of German, Polish, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Austrian, Czech, Slovakian, Slovenian and other European desserts. Vanilla sugar is made of Costa Rican granulated sugar, with vanilla beans or mixed with vanilla extract. It can be costly and difficult to obtain outside Europe but can be simply made at home. Sometimes it can be replaced with vanilla extract, where one teaspoon equals one package. However, when it is needed as a topping, vanilla extract is unsuitable. Vanilla sugar can be prepared at home by combining approximately 2 cups of white sugar with the scraped seeds of one vanilla bean.”

I have never tried it but if you do please let me know how it goes.

Enjoy!

Swedish Brownie ”Kladdkaka”

10 tbsp melted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ tbsp vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cups all purpose flour
Dash of salt

Do not use a mixer for this. You should hand stir all this together. First stir all the butter, sugar and eggs. Then add the cocoa, vanilla, flour and salt.

Butter and bread a 9” spring form pan and pour the mixture in there. It is ok that is doesn’t fill the full plan once it goes into the over it will spread out.

Bake in 400F for 25minutes. Do not over cook. It should be hard on the outside and sticky in the inside.

Let the cake cool and server with whipped cream.

 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Delishhh – Featured on Half Hour Meals!

Half Hour Meals

I have some really exciting news today. Recently I was contacted by Theresa Hall over at Half Hour Meals to do an interview about Delishhh!

I was really excited.  Half Hour Meals is a great site, if you have a busy life and still want time to cook a great meal, Half Hour Meals is an excellent resource. I am very happy to be featured there.

Read an excerpt from the interview below. Thank you, Theresa!

Please share with us how you developed your writing style. Did you have a difficult time creating your site or did everything fall into place as soon as you started posting your recipes?

I had so much information I wanted to share at the same time, but I know a food blog is a work in progress. I started with the recipes that I was cooking for the week.  Then I began digging into my unorganized cookbook with lots of handwritten notes, newspaper clippings and old printouts.  I wondered how I was going to organize this mess and just thought if I get through the binder one recipe at time it will all fall into place.

Your quiche looks marvelous, do you make any variations of this recipe and if so, what else do you add in the mix?

This is my Quiche at its best.  I have tried all kinds of Quiche recipes over the years and everyone seems to rave about this one. I think I found the secret ingredient–Dyson mustard, which you bake on top of your crust before you put in the egg mixture.  I always have meat and a vegetable; so those could vary from bacon, to sausage and the vegetable could really be anything you want.  This recipe is my favorite.

To continue reading head over to Half Hour Meals for the full interview!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Swedish Cinnamon Buns “Bullar”

I have to say Swedish Bullar is one of my favorite desserts.  It is very similar to a Cinnamon roll but not as sweet. The “bulle” is probably the most popular afternoon coffee snack in Sweden. We call these afternoon coffee breaks “fika.”  I like the definition of “fika” in Wikipedia “Fika, is both a verb and a noun in Swedish and has a broad definition. Essentially, it refers to a break from one’s activities in order to drink coffee or other drinks with friends, family or acquaintances. This tradition of a coffee break with a snack is central to Swedish culture, and Swedes are one of the world’s top coffee consumers.”  This is very true. Also while reading in Wikipedia I found out that the cinnamon roll is thought to have been invented in Sweden where it takes the name kanelbulle (literally: “cinnamon bun”).  And it is so popular that there is even a cinnamon roll day on October 4th in Sweden. Well you ask me how are these different from American cinnamon rolls?  I think American cinnamon rolls are a lot more sweet. We use cardamom and the buns are also baked in a very hot oven for just a few minutes. This makes them light and fluffy, with a nice brown surface yet not dry or over baked.  They are always baked in individual paper cups not muffin cups but bun cups that are slightly lower.  And last but not least there is no frosting or glaze.  Instead on Swedish bullar you use pearl sugar, which you can get in Ikea.

Let me know how it goes.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns “Bullar”

Dough

3 packages of dry yeast
1 cup of butter
2 cups of milk
½ tsp of salt
½ cup of sugar
5 -5 ½ cups of flour
2 tsp cardamom

Filling

Spreadable butter
Sugar
Cinnamon

Melt the butter and mix it with the milk in a pot.  Using a thermometer heat it until approx. 115 F and then pour it into a bowl. Add sugar and salt, stir. Mix the flour and the yeast together before pouring into the bowl and mix it with the rest.

Work the dough until it is smooth.  Put it aside and let it rise under cover in the bowl for 30-40 min.

After it has doubled in size divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll out each part until it is 1/4″ thick. Try to make it fairly square. Brush dough with the butter. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top of the butter to your taste. Roll up into a cylinder shape and cut each cylinder crosswise into 10-12 pieces. Put each piece into a muffin cup and place them in a warm place and let it rise again under cover for about 30 minutes. Brush the buns with an egg wash and then sprinkle with “pearl-sugar” (you can buy that at IKEA). Bake the buns in the middle of the oven for 7-10 minutes 475 F (225 C). Makes about 48 buns.  These freeze well and are great warm.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Passover Traditions, Kugel and Brisket

Photo from Paurian Photostream

Since I am Swedish I was raised with Swedish traditions, however, I am married to a man who grew up with Jewish traditions.  So in our family we do both traditions.

Passover which started we on the sunset of Monday the 20th of March and will continue for 7 days until Monday, the 5th of April.

Our Sedar is almost like this “Two-Minute Haggadah”  I think it is great and wanted to share it. I got it from http://www.slate.com/.

The Two-Minute Haggadah  

A Passover service for the impatient.

Opening prayers:
Thanks, someone, for creating wine. (Drink wine.)
Thanks for creating produce. (Eat parsley.)

Overview: Once we were slaves in Egypt. Now we’re free. That’s why we’re doing this.

Four Questions:
1. What’s up with the matzoh?
2. What’s the deal with horseradish?
3. What’s with the dipping of the herbs?
4. What’s this whole slouching at the table business?

Answers:
1. When we left Egypt, we were in a hurry. There was no time for making decent bread.
2. Life was bitter, like horseradish.
3. It’s called symbolism.
4. Free people get to slouch.

(Heat soup now.)

The four kinds of children and how to deal with them:
Wise child—explain Passover.
Simple child—explain Passover slowly.
Silent child—explain Passover loudly.
Wicked child—browbeat in front of the relatives.

Speaking of children: We hid some matzoh. Whoever finds it gets five bucks.

The story of Passover: It’s a long time ago. We’re slaves in Egypt. Pharaoh is a nightmare. We cry out for help. Someone brings plagues upon the Egyptians. We escape, bake some matzoh. Someone parts the Red Sea. We make it through; the Egyptians aren’t so lucky. We wander 40 years in the desert, eat manna, get the Torah, wind up in Israel, get a new temple, enjoy several years without being persecuted again.

(Let brisket cool now.)

The 10 Plagues: Blood, Frogs, Lice—you name it.

The singing of “Dayenu”:
If someone had gotten us out of Egypt and not punished our enemies, it would’ve been enough.
If he’d punished our enemies and not parted the Red Sea, if would’ve been enough.
If he’d parted the Red Sea—-you get the idea.

(Remove gefilte fish from refrigerator now.)

Eat matzoh.

Drink more wine.

Slouch.

Thanks again, Someone, for everything.

SERVE MEAL.

As always food is very important in our family gatherings and for Passover we usually serve the following: Matzo Balls Soup, Brisket, Kugel, and Haroset. Here I am sharing one of my favorite Kugel recipes from my mother in law and my favorite Brisket Recipe is from the The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook.

Enjoy!

Kugel  

16oz egg noodles
1 pint sour cream
1 lb cottage cheese
6 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar add 2-3 tablespoons more
1/2 butter melted

Additional Ingredients
2 eggs
2 cups milk
Sugar
Cinnamon

Cook the noodles per direction. Don’t overcook them. Mix all ingredients together except the additional ingredients in a bowl and place it all in 9×13 pan.

Then go into the additional ingredients. Beat 2 eggs, 2 cups milk.  And then pour over the top. Cover with sugar and cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees for at least one hour or until done on top.

Brisket

1 first-cut brisket of beef – 5-6 pounds
1 to 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 corn oil
8 onions, thickly sliced and separated into rings
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse (kosher) salt
2 cloves garlic, quartered
1 carrot, peeled

Preheat oven to 375 F

Trim the brisket of most of its fat, and dust it very lightly with the flour.  Sprinkle with pepper.
Heat the oil in a large heavy flameproof casserole. Add the brisket, and brown on both sides over medium-high heat until some crisp spots appear on the surface.

Transfer the brisket to a dish.  Keeping the heat medium high, add the onions to the casserole and stir, scraping up the brown particles left from the meat.  Cook until the onions have softened and developed a handsome brown color, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the heat, and place the brisket, along with any juices that have accumulated, on top of the onions.  Spread the tomato paste over the brisket as if you were icing a cake.  Sprinkle with pepper and the coarse salt.  Add the garlic and carrot, and cover tightly.  Place the casserole on the middle rack in the oven, and bake for 1-1/2 hours. 

Remove the casserole from the oven, and transfer the meat to a carving board.  Cut it into 1/8 – 1/4 inch-thick slices.  Return the slices to the pot, overlapping them at an angle so that you can see a bit of the top edge of each slice (in effect resembling the brisket, slightly slanted).  Correct the seasoning if necessary, and if absolutely necessary add 2 or 3 teaspoons of water to the casserole.

Cover, and return the casserole to the oven.  Cook until the meat is brown and fork-tender, 1-3/4 to 2 hours longer.

Slice the carrot, and transfer the roast, onions and carrot slices to a heated platter.  Serve at once.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Swedish Easter Traditions, Leg of Lamb and Gravy “Påsk”

Picture from Petrified in Pink

Easter in Sweden has a number of things in common with Christmas, even if it doesn’t involve the same amount of hype. Easter cards are sent, Easter decorations are hung up, and many houses and homes are decorated with little chicks, hens and roosters. The home glows with yellow, which is so typical for Easter.  There is no tree to decorate for Easter but people do put up Easter branches decorated with feathers in many colors. The type of branches varies, but the most common is birch. See an example from Monika on what she did at her home for Easter. Monika writes an excellent blog called Splendidwillow

Easter week is a movable holiday; whether it falls in March or April is dependent on the moon. Easter day is always celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 20. In Sweden we have many usual names for they days of Easter Week also known as Holy Week. In Swedish these were: Black Monday, White Tuesday, Damper Wednesday, Cleansing Thursday, and Long Friday 

As a kid there are two things I remember on Easter 1) Dressing up as a witch and 2) Chocolate Candy.  I know they are two very different things let me explain. 

In Sweden children are given eggs made of paper that can be opened and filled with candy. On the outside the eggs are either decorated with chickens and other Easter motifs or covered with metallic foils of different colors and tied with a bow.  This is where it gets a little different for every family.  In my house you left your shoes outside of your room the night before Easter Sunday and when you woke up in the morning you have this large paper egg filled with candy in your shoes. 

Not only are candy eggs a part of Easter, but we also eat a lot of real eggs, after painting the shells, of course.  We use to first boil the eggs and then paint them with watercolor, or make a little hole in them drain them, pain them and then hang them in your birch tree with your feathers. 

Now to the second part dressing up as a witch.  In Sweden on Thursday before Easter we dress up as witches, with brooms, coffee pots, cats, and scarves on our heads.  We make some cards and then head out knocking on doors.  You usually end up going to your neighbor’s house and tell them “Happy Easter” and give them one of the cards you made.  In replacement they will give you candy, fruit or cake.   The history surrounding Easter witches is pretty dark.  During the 1600s, women and men, were accused of being witches and burned at the stake. According to folklore, Cleansing Thursday was a dangerous night, when the witches traveled to Blue Hill for a banquet with the Devil himself as host. There, everything was done backwards. Everyone sat with their backs to the gigantic, long table without end, and ate with their left hands over their left shoulders. 

Food plays a central role in most Swedish festivities and Easter is no exception. Some of the common foods eaten on east are Lamb, Gravlax, herring, eggs and of course schnapps. I will provide future posting on Gravlax and herring but here is a great recipe of the Leg of Lamb, Gravy and a previous posting of Potato Gratin

Leg of Lamb

5 lb leg of lamb
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
black pepper
Pieces of rosemary stems 

Oven temperature: 350° F
Combine the olive oil, salt, black pepper and pressed garlic in a small bowl, Finely snip the rosemary into the bowl.  Butter an ovenproof roasting pan. Trim off any excess fat from the lamb and place in buttered roasting pan.  Rub the olive oil mixture on the lamb on all sides. Wrap the lamb with aluminum foil and insert a meat thermometer in the center of the leg. Make sure it doesn’t touch the bone.  Roast in the oven until the meat thermometer reaches 145° F for rare, 16o° F for medium or 170° F for well done. 

Gravy

Use the juices from the roast
1 tbsp. flour
a little whole milk
salt or soy sauce 

Drain off the pan juices from the roast into a saucepan.  Whisk in the flour to create a gravy; and heat up the gravy that is formed. Add milk and salt or soy sauce according to taste. 

Potato Gratin previously posted on March 12, 2010 

Glad Påsk!!  Happy Easter!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rösle Garlic Press

Rösle Garlic Press

Picture from Sur La Table

 

I don’t know about you but I use garlic for almost everything.  And the thing I hate about garlic presses is that it is a pain to clean, and you never quite get it clean or it ends up with left over garlic pieces in the garlic press, or your garlic press stars to rust etc.  Well one day I was in Sur la Table another one of my favorite kitchen store in Seattle and came across this garlic press.  I asked the sales person about it and she said it was the best garlic press in the world.  I thought it has to be better than what I have now so I got it.  Now I need to tell everyone else about it.  First it looks pretty cool, it is easy to use and IT IS EASY TO CLEAN.  You can’t really tell from the picture but the sieve opens up so you just wipe out the left over garlic pieces.  It is a great kitchen gadget.

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