10.20.2014

Roasted carrots with goat cheese, chives and lime #186


Here in Sweden it is a great season for carrots, they are cheap, tasty and beautiful and come in all shapes and colors, at least if you visit a good vegetable shop. I really like to serve vegetables almost on their own and let they play the main part of a dish. That approach might not work so well if you are serving a main dish but for a starter or in this case tapas it´s absolutely perfect.

I also felt while making this dish that I´ve probably been making something similar before, so I checked and for a trip down memory lane you can check out my previous recipe with roasted carrots, then served with Greek feta cheese instead.

Roasted carrots with goat cheese, chives and lime

carrots, any size, color or shape you like
butter
lime
soft goat cheese
chives
olive oil
salt, pepper

What to do

Trim and rinse the carrots, if the skin is thick then peel them as well, fry in a pan in a combination of butter and olive oil on medium heat until they are golden and almost cooked through. Check using a small knife while they are cooking so they don´t get to soft, adjust the heat if necessary. When done season with salt and pepper. 

Cut a lime into wedges and add to the pan, roast the lime with the flesh side down until it´s browned, almost burnt. Remove from the pan. Slice the chives.

Plating

Spread a spoonful of goat cheese on the bottom of each plate, add the carrots on top and squeeze a wedge of lime on the carrots, leave each wedge on the plate. Sprinkle the chives on top with a bit of salt, pepper and a few drops of olive oil, serve.





10.09.2014

Egg with truffle caramelized onion and beef broth #185


Eggs and truffles always go good together, to make that into a complete dish I added some caramelized onions, fresh herbs and a flavorful but still mild beef broth. Only tricky thing about this dish is getting a good beef broth, sometimes you can find good broths or stocks at good supermarkets, if you don´t want to cook your own then look for one or ask around if there are any to be bought near where you live.

Egg with truffle caramelized onion and beef broth

eggs
beef bones with a bit of meat left on
onion
mixed fresh herbs, for example chives, parsley, chervil
truffles, fresh or oil (I used summer truffles in truffle oil in this recipe)
carrot
garlic
bay leaf
salt, pepper
butter

The beef broth

In a frying pan roast the bones and meat until golden, season with a bit of salt and pepper, add a chopped carrot, a clove of garlic, a bay leaf and cook for a few minutes. Add water until it´s covered and let simmer on low heat for at least 6 hours, this is usually best to prepare a day or two ahead and then keep refrigerated until serving, then just heat and check the taste before serving.

Keep adding water as it will evaporate during cooking, once time is up strain the stock and discard the bones and vegetables, check the flavor and reduce if necessary.

The onion

Peel and slice the onion, add to a frying pan with a little bit of butter and some salt and pepper, cook on low heat until it starts to brown and the onion is completely cooked through, check the taste and add a bit of sugar if it´s not sweet enough.

The egg

In a small frying pan cook the egg with a little bit of butter on low heat until the egg white are done, season with salt.

Final steps and plating

Chop the herbs, heat the beef stock, add the fried egg in the middle of a bowl or soup plate, put the onions on top and add the truffle and herbs. Pour the warm beef broth on top, serve.







9.24.2014

Tomato bruschetta with Parmesan cheese and dried kalamata olives #184


A good tasting bruschetta is a great go-to dish when you run out of ideas, usually you´ll even find some stuff left over in the fridge that will work which is exactly how this one was made. I had a few tomatoes, a piece of cheese, some salad, dried olives and luckily some fresh bread.

There are only two things that are a bit complicated about this dish, first if you haven´t boiled and peeled tomatoes before that could be a bit tricky if it is your first time and then the olives that I have dried in my oven, it will take a day or two so if you don´t want to spend that much time simply use some good chopped olives instead.

This is how the olives are made, it is also described in my recipe for Burnt cod with grated kalamata olives (link, new window).

The drying of olives is not difficult but it will take a few days, I use fresh Kalamata olives, that is only fermented olives which is way higher in taste and quality so see if you can get your hands on some of those in a good grocery store. Then I simply put them on a plate and let them dry in the oven on low heat (about 50°C / 120F). If you have a dehydrator I´m sure this will work fine to but since I don´t have one myself I really don´t know. This took me four days to dry but I only turned on the oven whenever I was at home and awake. 

Also the olives should not get dried all the way through but only enough to be able to be grated. What I did was to simply grate an olive now and then until they were dry enough. Also if I forgot to mention it, the taste is simply amazing.

Now on with this recipe, and remember get great tomatoes, tasteless ones will give a tasteless dish.

Tomato bruschetta with Parmesan cheese and dried kalamata olives

tomatoes, small
fresh basil
olive oil
dried kalamata olives
a few leafs of salad, arugula or similar
balsamic vinegar
salt, pepper
Parmesan cheese
bread, white

Bring water to a boil and keep it boiling at the highest temperature, bring out a big bowl of ice cold water and add some ice to the water if you have it at hand. Cut a small cross at the tip of every tomato, add the tomatoes a few at a time to the boiling water. Let them cook for only a few seconds, once the skin of the tomato loosens immediately remove the tomato and cool them in the ice water. 

Repeat until all tomatoes are done. Then gently peel the tomatoes and put the in a oven proof tray, season them with a few leafs of chopped basil, olive oil, salt and pepper and let them dry out in the oven on low heat (about 100°C / 212 F), this will give the tomato a more intense flavor and infuse the oil and tomato with the basil.

Slice the bread and roast in a pan with olive oil, remove and place the salad on the toast, then the tomatoes and add some of the oil as well. Grate the Parmesan cheese and the olives on top, serve.






9.17.2014

Coffee granita with Kahlua liqueur #183


This is not a tapas at all and it probably would feel weird to serve it like one, but it is great to serve right after some delicious tapas! It is very easy to make, all you will need is some good strong coffee, a bit of sugar and your freezer. In my recipe I added a little bit of Kahlua liqueur to make your party be just a tiny bit more entertaining, if you´re not a fan of alcohol then simply just exclude it, it will still taste great. Also, if you taste the granita before it is frozen don´t be afraid if it seems to strong or sweet, you won´t feel the flavors that way once it is frozen. Good luck.

Coffee granita with Kahlua liqueur 

4 parts strong brewed coffee or espresso, warm
1 part sugar
1/3 part Kahlua liqueur

This recipe is made in parts, so simply change to however much you´ll need, like cups, tablespoons, liters.

Combine the coffee with the sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved, add the liqueur. Pour the liquid into a wide container that will fit in your freezer, use something plastic and check if it fits before filling it with the liquid. Let it sit in the freezer for about one hour, then remove and scrape the ice that has formed using a metal spoon. Return to the freezer and repeat the same process a few more times. Once completely frozen, serve in glasses.

If you want to prepare this for another night you can freeze the whole thing right away and once it´s time to serve scrape and then serve, it requires some extra muscles but it will work fine.




9.07.2014

Calamari salad with sesame seeds, fennel, cucumber & chili #182


Hello, it´s time for some calamari, this time I am serving it in a salad with Asian flavors. It is fairly simple to make, the base is chopped cucumber, fennel and seared calamari and then I added toasted sesame seeds, cilantro, sesame oil, chili and some seaweed. 

The salad keeps for a few hours in the fridge so it is a good dish to have prepared beforehand, also if you´re serving guests who are not big fans of calamari it is a great way to learn to like it since it´s not the dominant flavor of the dish. Some people don´t like the texture of calamari either and since it´s chopped and seared it is not so noticeable.

Calamari salad with sesame seeds, fennel, cucumber & chili

calamari, fresh or frozen
sesame seeds
fresh red chili
cucumber
fennel
sesame oil
dried wakame seaweed (can be found in most Asian food stores)
olive oil
salt, pepper
fresh cilantro
fresh lime

Chop the calamari into cubes and sear in a frying pan with some vegetable oil, season with salt and pepper. Once cooked add the calamari to a bowl and dice the cucumber and slice the fennel and add to the bowl. Dice the chili and cilantro and add together with some olive oil, sesame oil and lime juice.

Bring water to the boil in a pot and add some dried wakame seaweed, let it simmer for one minute, discard the water and rinse the wakame in cold water, then chop the seaweed and add to the salad.

In a dry pan roast the sesame seeds until they are golden, once done add to the bowl and combine all ingredients, adjust flavors using oil, salt, pepper and lime if necessary. Be a bit careful with the chili since it takes a while for the flavors to come forward.