One day last week when we needed a quick supper I tried this marinaded beans recipe I found on the wonderful blog Smaskens.
To flavour beans this way is genius and the marinade was so so good. It didn’t take long to prepare either and turned out a perfect Monday supper paired with Toulouse sausages and some nice bread to soak up the juices with.
Marinaded butter beans, serves 2
Translated and adapted from this recipe.
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
50 ml olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 shallot, finely chopped
400 g tinned butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp acacia honey
Warm the oil in a large pan. Add paprika, shallots, garlic and chilli flakes. Stir while the onion cooks without browning. Add the beans and heat them up. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool. Add parsley and honey just before serving.
Crackling. One of my favourite English words actually. I just think it describes exactly what a crackling is. You totally get that it is something crispy that cracks, but it still sounds appealing.
And crackling certainly is appealing. I LOVE that British people in general fight over the crakling when they eat pork belly for Sunday lunch. In Sweden animal fat has been taboo for a while, but it is coming back now. And in Denmark you can buy cracklings in bags, just like crisps, with different seasonings. Love it!
I have cooked pork belly a few times now, as it was totally new to me when I moved here, it has been a bit trial an error. I have learnt though, that the key is to cook the meat slowly on low heat for a few hours, then turn the heat up to crisp up the crackling even further. Then it helps to let the meat rest for a while before serving and fighting over the crackling.
- Porkbelly with roasted root vegetables, broccoli and a creamy sauce.
The perfect porkbelly, serves 2
ca 400 g porkbelly
salt, herb salt or ground herbs (like sage, oregano, parsley)
Heat up the oven to 125C. Cut lines in the fat in a check pattern if this is not done already. Rub with plenty of salt and the herbs. Make sure it goes down in the cracks. Season the meat all around. Cover a roasting tin with tin foil and place the meat, fat up in it. Place in oven and cook for 2-3 hours. When the meat is really tender, turn the heat up to 180C for 10 minutes to crisp up the crackling even more. Let the meat rest, covered in tin foil, for a few minutes before serving.
I had the intention on Sunday to try Thomas Keller’s recipe for duck leg confit from the book Ad Hoc At Home. But when I read the recipe it was like a two-day project, so I willsave that until later. I still wanted to make a confit though, so this is my own version. At turned out really good too!
I served it with simple yet wonderful compliments; roast new potatoes with thyme, crunchy tenderstem broccoli and dijonnaise with wholegrain mustard. I faked the sauce this time though, mixing Hellman’s with wholegrain Maille, but it is easily done to make your own mayonnaise.
Duck leg confit, serves 2
2 duck legs
300 ml goose fat
salt, black pepper
Season the legs. Place in an oven proof dish and cover the legs with the fat. Place in 125C oven for abour 3 hours. Turn the legs around a few times while cooking. Remove from the oven when the meat is tender. Place the legs in a clean dish and let them cool down. Refridgerate for an hour or over night. Place in 200C oven covered with tin foil to heat them up while serving. about 20 minutes in 200C. (Chilling the meat makes it even tender.)
Roasted new potatoes, serves 2
500 g new potatoes
salt, black pepper
5 sprigs fresh thyme
Place the potatoes in an oven tray and pour over 1-2 tbsp of oil, mix to coat evenly. Season and add the thyme. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes in 200C.
Cheat dijonnaise, 2 portioner
150 ml hellman’s mayonnaise
1-2 tbsp wholegrain dijon mustard
Mix. Leave for a few minutes for the flavours to marry. Serve.
Ok, the name Robert Wells might not sound very Scandinavian, but this guy is one of the biggest stars in Sweden. He is an extraordinary talented pianist and started off playing mainly classical music, but with his love for rock music, he started touring with a few other singers/muscians and calls the shows Rhadsody in rock. I went to one of these performances once with my parents aaages ago, and although most people were middle aged and I was 19-20 at the time I really enjoyed it.
In exactly one month’s time; on the 28th November, Robert Wells is coming to London to perform at the Royal Albert Hall, with his Rhapsody in Rock – China Edition tour, combining his trademark sound with Chinese music.
I of course took the opportunity to book tickets. From only £25, how can you not…?
Note: Image from The Royal Albert Hall website
I found this recipe in River Cottage Everyday, one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s cookcooks.
Pork mince seasoned with paprika and fennel, then shaped into meatballs and together with cream, egg yolks and spaghetti, this is a fab pasta dish. Especially when served with heaps of freshly grated parmesan.
The Swedish way to make meatballs is to add breadcrumbs and an egg to the mixture, which makes the meatballs less compact and juicer, and I think I will apply this next time as these meatballs turned out a bit compact, but the seasoning was spot on.
Chorizo meatballs, makes 15-20
Adapted after Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe.
500 g pork mince
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1,5 tsp hot smoked paprika
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/8 tsp cayennepepper
30 ml red wine
olja for frying
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. This is easily done using your hands or a wooden spoon. Roll into small meatballs. Fry in oil.
Carbonara, serves 2
300 g spaghetti
2 egg yolks
50 ml double cream
salt, black pepper
Cook the spaghetti al dente. Drain. Mix egg yolks with cream. Add the pasta, salt and pepper. Serve with the meatballs and parmesan.
I have made pulled pork a few times now and I am, to say the least, addicted to it. And it works best to do it in the slowcooker. Just load it in the morning, turn it on low and you will have the most tender meat by the time you get home from work. When home in the evening, I removed the meat from the sauce and reduced the sauce, pulled the meat apart with forks and mixed it with the sauce. That took five minutes so I could concentrate on the trimmings instead. We had Nick over for dinner when I cooked this last so I might have gone a bit crazy with the trimmings. But this is what I like to serve it with every time:
- homemade salsa
- grated cheese, like Monterey Jack
- greens; little gem, cucumber, tomatoes, red bell peppers
- nice bread
- wheat tortilla triangles fried in butter – yum yum!
- sour cream
We were so full afterwards we didn’t even contemplated the dessert I had lined up. So DO try this if you haven’t already. It is so so good! för guds skull det. Så grymt gott!
This soup is not Scandinavian at all, but something I have embraced in my new country. The combination of sweet broccoli and tangy stilton is lovely and makes this soup both filling and comforting (no wonder considering the amout of cheese…)
Although containing a lot of cheese, there is just a hint of Stilton in the flavour, and that is exactly how I like it, and this way you can serve it to non-Stilton lovers too.
Broccoli and Stilton soup, serves 4
750 g broccoli, including the stem, cut in small pieces
600-700 ml homemade chicken stock, hot
50 ml water
150 ml single cream
75 g Stilton
salt, white pepper
Cook the broccoli until very soft in salted water. Drain. Add the stock and blend until smooth. Add water and cream and bring to the boil. Add the cheese (crumbled) and let it melt while stirring. Season with salt and pepper.
Chicken breast. Probably the most commonly bought item in the Swedish meat counters. And no wonder, the meat is lean, contains no bone and can be seasoned with almost anything.
The only problem I have with chicken breasts is that a lot of people don’t know how to cook it, so they end up dry.
My besy tip to avoid the dryness is to brown it in a skillet and then fry it until just done in the oven. Having the heat from all around the meat than just below is a more tender cooking process, which gives you juicy meat. Providing you don’t over cook it.
This recipe is very simple, and basically just thrown together, but still nice enough to cook for friends. I served the chicken breasts with potato wedges, fried courgettes, carrots and leek and a simple creamy sauce.
Chicken breasts with smoked ham and mozzarella, serves 4
4 chicken fillets
2-4 slices of nice smoked ham (depending on size)
2 tsp dijon mustard
4 basil leaves
1 buffalo mozzarella, sliced
salt, black pepper
butter for frying
Start by flattening the chicken breasts. I do this by placing them one at the time on a (plastic) chopping board, cover it with clingfilm and bash at it with a wooden rolling pin. A great way to take out your anger btw. Then make a little incision to create a pocket where you can put the ham. Place 1/2 to a whole slice of ham, rolled up or folded, in each pocket. Fry the fillets in butter until golden brown. Season. Place ‘ham side’ up in a greased ovenproof dish. Spread dijon on top and place a basil leaf on top. Cover with mozzarella and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes on 200C until clear juices.
I adore comfort food, and I love when eating something makes you feel better. Sometimes you notice the physical effects straight away; your belly feels full, you get energy again and you stop feeling dizzy. But it almost always, at least if it is well cooked food, makes you happier. If I am down it helps to eat. Not for the sake of eating, but everything feels a bit better after you have eaten something warming and your belly is full.
With the autumn, or nearly winter, hitting London, I feel I need something comforting for supper almost everyday. That warm embrace of hearty food is difficult to beat and for me a few things hits the bull’s eye. Creamy dishes and casseroles or soup. This is from the latter category and really does the trick. With a bit of a kick to it as well as the melted cheese on top and the bread to soak up the juices in the bowl this qualifies as one of the best autumnal comfort dishes out there, don’t you think?!
My everyday chilli, serves 6
1 kg beef mince
2 cans á 400 g chopped tomatoes (of good quality), one with chilli if available
100 ml water
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
3 tsp cumin
3-4 tsp chipotle paste
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
6-7 drops tabasco
2 tbsp mild chilli sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée
a pinch of brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
400 g kidney beans, canned – rinsed and drained
Fry the meat in a large pan. Add salt and pepper. Remove the meat and pour out the meat juices. Fry the onions and garlic until soft but not browned in olive oil. Add the meat, chopped tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil. Add everything but the beans. Season and add more spices if needed. Let it boil until the sauce has thickened. Add the beans and cook for another few minutes to warm up the beans.
Serve with grated cheese, sourcream and bread. And perhaps some salad.
Since this from now on is more of a Scandi food blog than just a food blog, I will introduce a new series of posts. Once a week I will tell you about something wonderful from Scandinavia, may it be a book, a film, food, a shop, a restaurant or anything in between. Maybe even something news related if I feel like it.
First up is one of my favourote authors: Jo Nesbø. He is claimed to be the next Stieg Larsson and many of you have discovered him already. For those of you who haven’t – read one of his books! You will soon be hooked and read the whole series about Harry Hole; the unconventional cop solving murder mysteries. In the books you really get to now Norway and its capital Oslo, where the book is set. There will be lots of snow, WWII politics, the Royal Family and of course awful murders to read about.
The first book in the series about Harry Hole translated to English is The Redbreast.
Note: The pictured is borrowed from here.