Recipe: Smashed Potatoes with Gruyère and Spring Onions

We’ve been eating these delicious smashed potatoes all spring and summer long, for good reason. They are very easy to throw together, and yet they elevate any supper or lunch while still keeping it casual.

The soft melted cheese combined with the sharp hints of spring onions and the crispy edged, yet soft inside potatoes, is just heaven! And they pair particularly well with barbecued steak or charred barbecue chicken and the most versatile sauce.

Smashed potatoes with Gruyère and spring onions, serves 4

800g-1kg baby new potatoes

3 tbsp mild olive oil

salt and pepper

4 tbsp grated gruyére

4 spring onions, washed, trimmed and finely sliced

Pre-heat the oven to 200C fan. Drizzle about 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a large ovenproof dish and add the potatoes. Season well and push them around with a spatula so that they are evenly coated with oil.

Place in the oven for approx 20 minutes or until golden brown and soft (larger potatoes take a little longer). Press down on each potato with a potato masher until flattened and “smashed”. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil (this will crisp up the edges as they continue to cook), scatter over the grated cheese and sliced spring onions. Add a little more salt and pepper and return to the oven for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are crispy and the cheese had melted.

Hello from Norfolk!

Every summer I have the intention of keeping up with the blog and yet I never manage to. It’s already August and I have absolutely no idea what happened to June and July.

Well, I have some idea. There was a lot of the Euros and Olympics, trips to Norfolk and summery days in London as well as some rainy ones.

Now we’re in Norfolk once again and it’s absolutely lovely! We had friends staying at the weekend so did little outings to the beach, to the golf club for lunch, to Holkham and did some shopping in Burnham Market. I’ve also done a lot of cooking, utilising the barbecue at every opportunity.

I go to the farm shops as soon as we need fruit or vegetables and to the fishmonger for weekend shellfish. Love it here!

Hope you’re all having a lovely summer!

Recipe: Chicken Wings Two Ways (barbecue + creamy wild garlic)

Isn’t it funny how restaurant visits from years ago can inspire your home cooking now, several years later?!

During one of my many trips to Copenhagen with my friends Daniel and Maria we had dinner at Bæst and I remember we ordered the most gorgeous chicken wings, slathered with a creamy herb sauce and topped with fresh herbs. At the time, I loved them, but their wonderful pizzas stole all the attention. But then earlier this year when I was plotting cooking chicken wings at home, I could almost recall the taste of those ones and so decided to make my own version, as I had no idea what was actually in the creamy herb sauce.

These definitely don’t taste exactly the same, but they are still similar in ways and just as delicious! A perfect homage and the best I could do years later. Maybe it’s because restaurants have been closed so much this past year and a half but I do dream of past dinners out a lot, and hope to visit Bæst again soon.

The other kind of chicken wings are more traditional; slathered in a mixture of barbecue sauce (a store-bought one, but it’s an American one and the real deal). They were both delicious but what made me so very happy is that I’ve finally cracked how to make perfectly crispy chicken wings at home! Hurrah!

Chicken wings two ways, serves 2-3

400-500 g chicken wings (each wing cut into two)

150 ml barbecue sauce

2 tbsp salted butter, melted

3 tbsp wild garlic pesto

120 ml soured cream

500 ml – 1 litre vegetable oil

Place the chicken wings in a colander and rinse thoroughly with boiling water (this will help to crisp up the skin). Leave to drain. Then place on a rack with a tin foil covered baking tray underneath. Cook for 35-40 minutes in 180C, turning halfway. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare the two sauces in large bowls so you have room to coat the chicken wings. Mix barbecue sauce with melted butter. Mix soured cream with wild garlic pesto.

Heat up the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan or saucepan and heat to 180C. Deep-fry the chicken wings in batches until golden, for approx 5 minutes, then drain on kitchen towel before tossing in the two sauces. Serve straight away.

Recipe: Wild Garlic Hummus with Crispy Za’atar Mince, Vegetables and Pitta

While browsing my fellow food blogger Charlotta’s site I came upon a recipe of crispy mince with hummus that immediately brought me back to my trip to Syria ten years ago. Hummus is often served with toppings in the Middle East, rather than on its own.

So without even glancing at her instructions, I decided to make my own version. I usually make my dill hummus, but this time I substituted the dill with wild garlic (I’ve put it in everything this spring!) and it was so good!

I fried beef mince really crispy in oil and seasoned it with za’atar, salt and pepper and added cucumber, tomatoes and pickled red onions. And pitta bread to scoop it all up, of course!

Loved this! And know I will make it often for supper as it’s quick but delicious!

Wild garlic hummus with crispy za’atar mince, vegetables and pitta, serves 2

1 batch wild garlic hummus (recipe below)

250 g beef mince

2 tbsp mild olive oil

2 tsp za’atar

salt and pepper

a squeeze of lemon

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

10 cm cucumber, sliced in 1,5 cm slices and cut into four

pickled red onions

5 large mint leaves, thinly sliced

small bunch of parsley, chopped

2 toasted pitta breads to serve

Fry the mince on high heat in the oil until brown and crispy. Add more oil it it seems dry. Add za’atar, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Place a large dollop of hummus in a bowl and spread it out. Top with the mince, cucumber, tomatoes, pickled red onions and herbs. Serve with toasted pittas.

Wild garlic hummus

1/2 can (200 g) good quality chickpeas, drained and rinsed

50-75 ml mild olive oil

1 tbsp tahini

1/2 lemon, the juice only

small bunch (5-6 large leaves) wild garlic

plenty of salt and black pepper

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a food processor, mix the chickpeas with tahini, olive oil and wild garlic until smooth. Add lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Keeps for 5 days in the fridge.  

Recipe: Broccoli, Pepper and Cheddar Quiche

This quiche has become my new favourite! It’s vegetarian but so yummy carnivores don’t even notice the absence of meat. I first made it because I was in the mood for quiche but wanted a healthier option than my delicious puff pastry quiche Lorraine. So I skipped the puff pastry crust (but I would add it if I made it for a more special lunch or picnic because puff pastry quiches are so lovely and decadent) and made sure to pack it full with lovely nutritious vegetables, as well as cheese and cream (and milk) of course. Served with a nice salad it really is a delicious lunch or supper!

Broccoli, pepper and cheddar quiche, serves 6

Crust:

300 ml plain flour

a pinch of salt

1/2 beaten egg

Filling:

2 peppers, sliced, seeds removed

2 tbsp mild olive oil

1 large broccoli brown, cut into florets, stem discarded

2 handfuls grated mature cheddar

3 eggs + 1/2 egg leftover from the crust

300 ml double cream

100 ml whole milk

salt and pepper

In a large frying pan, fry the sliced peppers in the oil until they start to brown around the edges, approx 5-8 minutes. Season and transfer to a bowl. Rinse the pan and add the broccoli florets, salt and cover with water. Bring to the boil and let it cook for 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.

Make the crust by kneading the ingredients together. Push it out to cover the bottom and sides or a pie dish or springform. Prick with a fork and pre-bake for 10 minutes in 180C.

Remove the pre-baked crust and add the peppers and broccoli. Add the cheese. Add eggs, cream and milk to a bowl, mix with a whisk and season well. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust and bake until golden brown and just set (I prefer a little wobble in the middle to over cooked) for 35 minutes on 180C. If it gets too brown before it’s done cover with tin foil towards the end.

Let it cool (uncovered) for at least 10 minutes before eating. Serve with a green salad. It can be eaten warm (it can be reheated), at room temperature or cold.

Recipe: Salmon Burgers with Creamy Herb Dressing

As you probably know by now I love burgers and recently I’ve explored a lot of different things within that category, like fried chicken burgers, Sloppy Joes and, this delicious salmon burger.

I wanted something satisfying but a little fresher (healthier?) on a Friday night, but with a little indulgence in the shape of a brioche bun (because they are delicious!) and I really liked how this burger turned out. It’s mostly fish, but a little egg and breadcrumbs to bind it together, but I will warn you, it’s soft and juicy – not firm and bready.

So if you’re looking for a salmon burger that isn’t messy to eat, I’m afraid this is not the one. But if you instead want a salmon burger that tastes of fish (not breadcrumbs) and that’s messy and juicy and a delight to eat, then this is for you!

Salmon burgers with creamy herb dressing, serves 2

The burgers:

260-300 g salmon fillet

small bunch dill

1 tsp lemon zest

1 egg

50 ml breadcrumbs

salt and pepper

oil and butter for frying

Dressing:

100 ml creme fraiche

3 tbsp mayonnaise

1/4 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp lemon zest

small bunch dill, finely chopped

small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

5 basil leaves, chopped

salt and pepper

To serve:

2 brioche buns

2-4 lettuce leaves, such as little gem

pickled cucumber

Add the burger ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Mix until quite smooth but with a bit of texture (best to pulse until happy with the result). Shape the mixture into two burgers with wet hands. Fry the burgers in oil and butter on medium-high heat until nice and golden and cooked through, approx 5 minutes on each side. Leave to rest on a plate and fry the cut sides of the brioche buns in the frying pan on medium-low heat. If the butter is burnt, wipe the pan clean and add a little knob of butter before frying the bread.

In the meantime, prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste. Serve the burgers with the toasted brioche buns, lettuce, pickled cucumber and plenty of the herb dressing.

Recipe: Langos with Two Toppings

I’ve featured langos on the blog before, but I recently discovered a new combination of toppings that I want to share with you.

To recap, langos are Hungarian breads with potato and flour, that are deep-fried into pillowy golden discs, brushed with butter (I used wild garlic butter this time and it was divine) and topped with things like grated cheese, smetana or creme fraiche, prawns etc. They are utterly delicious and deceivingly filling!

Langos with wild garlic butter, creme fraiche, prawns, red onions and lumpfish roe

Langos are present at any Swedish festival so my go to toppings have always been very Scandinavian with creme fraiche, prawns, smoked salmon and lumpfish roe. But as I was making these for our Friday night supper at home I thought I’d better have an alternative to prawns so my dear boyfriend doesn’t get bored of them (they’re my Friday night go-to food as they’re delicious, quick and easy and can be prepared in a multitude of ways). But I must say I really liked the alternative topping of crispy prosciutto crumbs, grated cheddar and creme fraiche myself, so from now on, that will be part of my spread!

Langos with wild garlic butter, creme fraiche, crispy prosciutto and grated cheddar

I highly recommend having friends over for a langos night (when that’s allowed in your area) with all the different toppings, maybe a nice side salad and a Hungarian themed pudding. And why not go all in with Hungarian wines too?! (Can you tell I miss dinner parties and love a themed evening?!)

Langos with two toppings, serves 2

1/2 batch of langos (I made the full batch but froze half)

Toppings:

50 g melted wild garlic or garlic butter for brushing

150 ml creme fraiche

150 ml grated cheddar

1 packet prosciutto (70-80 g)

200 g peeled cold water prawns

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 jar lumpfish roe

Prepare the toppings in little bowls. Place the prosciutto on a baking parchment covered baking tray in a 200C oven until the ham is crispy, approx 5-10 minutes. Drain on kitchen towel and chop into small pieces and place in a bowl.

Deep-fry the langos according to the recipe and drain on kitchen towel. While still warm, brush one side generously with wild garlic or garlic butter. Add various toppings to the langos and dig in. Either deep-fry the langos in batches as you eat them or keep them warm and crispy in the oven on 150C or so.

Recipe: Chipotle Broccoli and Pepper Pasta Bake

When it comes to pasta bakes I usually only have one goal; to mix pasta with cheese, something creamy and whatever needs to be eaten from the fridge. A great way to make them, absolutely, but recently I have been craving the same pasta bake again and again so it’s worth writing down the recipe.

I find that the combination of broccoli and fried sweet peppers work really well together in many different settings, like in a quiche, or in a salad, so maybe that’s why it works so well in this dish too.

Chipotle broccoli and pepper pasta bake, serves 3-4

As I’m of the philosophy that a pasta bake should include anything that needs using up, I highly recommend using up different dairy products and cheese. I’ve been known to mix creme fraîche with cream and even milk! Anything works.

200 g short pasta

1 head of broccoli, stem removed and cut into florets

1-2 peppers, seeds removed and cut into thin strips

1 tbsp mild olive oil

200 ml creme fraiche

2 tsp chipotle paste

salt and pepper

2 handfuls of grated cheddar

salad to serve

Cook the pastan al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and set aside. In the same pan, blanch the broccoli (place the broccoli in boiling water, bring to the boil and drain quickly) and set aside. Heat up a frying pan and add the oil. Fry the peppers on medium heat until a little brown around the edges. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix creme fraiche with chipotle, salt and pepper. Add the pasta and drained vegetables and mix well. Pour into a buttered gratin dish and top with cheese. Bake in 200 C for approx 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve with a crunchy salad.

Recipe: Creamy Potato Salad with Wild Garlic Pesto

The best recipes are sometimes the really simple ones! And this delicious spring time potato salad could not be easier to make!

It’s lovely and creamy, but because of the wild garlic pesto it still has a little bite and it goes with literally anything. Pork! Chicken! BBQ! Fish! Steak! You name it.

Creamy potato salad with wild garlic pesto, serves 4

600 g new potatoes

approx 5 tbsp wild garlic pesto

200 ml creme fraiche

salt, black pepper

Make the pesto. Cut the potatoes into equally sized pieces and boil in salted water for approx 15 mins. Drain and leave to cool. The potatoes shouldn’t be warm, but lukewarm or cold works well. Mix creme fraiche with wild garlic pesto in a bowl, add the potatoes, salt and pepper and toss until the potatoes are nicely coated. Drizzle with a little extra pesto to decorate.

Recipe: Fried Greens with Crispy Fried Egg and Avocado

In one of my twice-monthly oddboxes I came across a new to me vegetable. Kalettes. A cross between brussel sprouts and kale. They looked like leafy broccoli florets and tasted delightful. And my silly tummy could handle them (at least in small quantities). Yay!

We had them blanched instead of broccoli with roast chicken and although nice they weren’t amazing. But another night I fried them in oil with some onions and served it with a crispy fried egg, avocado and a cold sauce and they were SO good. So if you see them in a shop, I highly recommend buying a bag of kalettes and try this dish. I cannot wait to make it again! I think it would work really well with tender stem or purple sprouting broccoli or a mix of broccoli, brussels and kale, if you can’t find kalettes.

Fried greens with crispy fried egg and avocado, serves 2

1 small onion or large shallot, finely chopped

200 g kalettes, trimmed and cut in half

2 tbsp mild olive oil

salt and pepper

lemon juice

2 eggs

2 tbsp mild olive oil

Toppings:

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 avocado, sliced

cress

Sauce:

100 ml creme fraiche

1 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp dijon with basil

salt and pepper

a little squeeze of lemon

Mix the ingredients for the sauce and set aside. Heat up the oil in a medium frying pan on medium heat. Add the onions and fry until they just start to brown. Add the kalettes and fry until they also start to brown. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. In another frying pan (large enough for two eggs), heat up the olive oil on medium-high heat and crack in the two eggs. Fry until the white is set (cover with a lid for half a minute or so for the top of the white to set), the yolk is runny and the bottom is browned. Remove the eggs to a cold plate. Reheat the kalettes and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add a little lemon juice and divide between plates or large bowls. Add the eggs, tomatoes, avocado and cress. Serve with the sauce.