Recipe: shrimp rolls

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I sometimes wish I could summer in Cape Cod every year, partly because it’s a gorgeous part of the world, but mainly because of the seafood.

When I was there three years ago I had lobster rolls and baked oysters and clam bakes galore!

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And although I LOVE lobster rolls, it somehow feels a bit frivolous making them in Northern Europe where it isn’t as abundant as on the East Coast of the US. So I usually save lobster for special occasions, either just served with garlic butter or perhaps a’la Thermidor.

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Instead I prefer to use prawns* (cold-water ones) that we do have in abundance in the seas around us prepared the same way (which is actually also common in the States, lobster isn’t readily available everywhere there either) – which is my new weekend favourite. I made it one Saturday night as an easy to prepare supper after a day out and about, because it really is speedy and easy to make, but still elevated enough for the weekend.

*But the term shrimp roll sounds better somehow. 

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Shrimp rolls, serves 2 as a main course

I’m not a fan of celery, which is often an ingredient in lobster and shrimp rolls, so here I have substituted it with small pieces of cucumber for crunch.

4 brioche hotdog buns

1-2 tbsp butter

300 g peeled cold water prawns, peeled

1 batch mayonnaise

1 tbsp chives, finely chopped

1 tbsp dill, finely chopped

1-2 tsp paprika powder

1/4 lemon, the juice

5 cm cucumber, peeled and diced small

To serve:

1 tbsp chives, finely chopped 

1 tsk paprika powder

2 lemon wedges

potato wedges

ketchup and mayonnaise for the potatoes (or another dip of your choice) 

Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Drain the prawns in a colander or sieve. Make the mayonnaise and add paprika powder and lemon juice. Mix in the cucumber, prawns, chives and dill. Add salt and pepper. 

Divide the butter between the hotdog buns and spread it out in the cut. Toast the buns in the oven until golden, approx ca 3-5 minuter. 

Fill the buns with the prawn mixture. Top with paprika powder and chopped chives. Serve with potato wedges, lemon wedges, ketchup and mayonnaise.

 

London: vegetarian lunch at The Gate

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A Sunday in April when the rain was hanging over London like a thick grey blanket, we were meeting up with friends for lunch and to watch The Boat Race. It seemed like all of London was out this day to cheer on the rowers, despite the weather, so the pubs where we thought we would meet were all full and certainly not appropriate for our friend’s baby.

But somebody thought of this vegetarian place nearby, that I hadn’t even heard of, and that’s where they were gathered when we arrived, a bit late. It wasn’t really were we (five carnivores and a baby) expected to have lunch; I think we were all thinking about a nice meaty pub roast, but we were all very happy with the choice in the end.

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Personally I like vegetarian food, and cook it quite a lot at home (without even continuously thinking about that the food I sometimes cook IS vegetarian, I just like nice food) but I am a little bit limited to what vegetables I can eat, due to my stomach condition, so I was a little worried before I had browsed the menu. But luckily The Gate is all about nice upscale vegetarian food instead of super healthy vegetarian food (that’s the category I struggle with) so there was plenty I could have.

I really liked the starters, and ended up having three of them! Two to share with my boyfriend as we couldn’t decide which starters to have, and then a third as my main course because I can never resist aubergine at a restaurant!

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The first two starters; onion quite (top photo) and the mushroom Wellington (middle photo) were both great. Nice pastry, nice filling and certainly not too healthy!

The aubergine (above) was just as sticky and gooey as I had hoped so I was very content with my choices and too full for pudding. Instead we headed to the river and shared some rosé in the rain.

I think was my first visit to a completely vegetarian restaurant, and I really enjoyed it! It was a nice restaurant in general (i.e. nice atmosphere, staff etc.) that just happened to be vegetarian. And I’m sure my veggie friends would love it here, where they can have EVERYTHING on the menu!

The Gate, 51 Queen Caroline St, Hammersmith, London W6 9QL

Recipe: bruschetta with burrata

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I hardly think I’m the first person to think of this combination, but since I like to pair burrata with everything tomato-y here we are. And it’s a winner! I love the classic bruschetta but the burrata adds another dimension with its creaminess and makes the dish a little more sophisticated (but also more difficult to eat with dignity).

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I could start every dinner party, luncheon and gathering with this and some rosé from now until August and have happy guests – I’m sure of it. Or if you want to skip the bread, make a classic caprese salad (basically the same ingredients) but with burrata instead of mozzarella. That’s what I did with the leftovers and it was delicious too! But bruschetta is great for a crowd as you don’t need plates (although they are quite handy), just serve these with plenty of napkins!

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Hanna’s bruschetta with  burrata, serves 4-6 as a starter or as nibbles

1 large baguette

olive oil

1 garlic clove, cut in half 

4-5 vine tomatoes

1 handful fresh basil, finely chopped 

sea salt, black pepper 

2 small burrata or 1 large, at room temperature

Slice the baguette thinly on the diagonal. Place on a parchment covered baking tray. Drizzle with oil and rub the bread with the garlic. Toast the bread in a 200C oven until golden, approx 8-10 minutes. 

Meanwhile chop the tomatoes and place in a sieve or colander to remove the excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl. Chop the garlic used for rubbing the bread and mix that in as well as the basil. Add oil, salt and pepper.

Remove the toasted bread from the oven and leave to cool slightly. Place on a plate or platter, top with the tomato mixture. Tear the burrata into smaller pieces and put some on each bruschetta. Drizzle with olive oil and top with black pepper. Serve immediately with plenty of napkins. 

Nights in, cinema and concert!

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Monday last week was a bank holiday, so lovely! I started the day with a lie-in and toast with Nutella for breakfast while somebody was away playing golf. So indulgent with Nutella, but that’s what weekends (and ball holidays) are for, right?!

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For lunch we had leftover pancakes with whipped cream and blueberries before going to the park to play with my boyfriend’s nieces.

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Back home I made roast chicken, roasted vegetables, Greek-is salad and tzatziki for dinner and we saw the last ever episode of Big Bang Theory (sob) – can’t believe it’s been going for 12 years! And an episode of Billions.

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The next day I was in complete denial about the work week and made a cooked breakfast before work!

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In the evening I had a quiet evening in front of Now TV (Sky’s streaming service) with Chernobyl (great series!!) and The Rookie. For dinner I made an almost-poke-bowl, which I often cook if it’s just me for dinner.

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On Wednesday evening I had leftovers for dinner; tzatziki, feta and salad from the weekend, meatballs from the freezer and some freshly made potato wedges. Instead of watching TV I caught up on some of my favourite podcasts (Swedish Säker Stil and Bad on Paper) and read.

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Thursday evening was book club night at Anna’s who was a terrific hostess feeding us lovely vegetarian food!

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Even though it was a short work week it felt really long, so on Friday we celebrated with burgers and cinema. We saw Rocketman which I really enjoyed, apart from maybe the ending which was a bit meh.

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We had a lovely lie-in on Saturday followed by a cooked breakfast. Then I went shopping for a baby present before heading across town (literally) to the Olympic Park for a concert with Muse.

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We had burgers (again) in the sun at Shake Shack before heading into the stadium, but they actually had lots of food options there too.

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The concert was amazing (my first time seeing Muse) and we had such a fun evening. But it was a long day as it took us ages to get back to our side of London.

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Sunday we had another cooked breakfast (needed after the night before – we walked so much!) before we went to visit my boyfriend’s sister and her family. We played with the children and cuddled their new baby girl!

 

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In the evening I made an easy chicken gratin with rice and before that we had a burrata salad with tomatoes and basil (can’t get enough of that right now!) and watched the latest episode of Billions before heading to bed.

Recipe: rösti with avocado, creme fraîche and lumpfish roe

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This recipe might be the best Scandi brunch recipe yet. Rösti with creme fraîche and lumpfish roe (or bleak roe) is a retro starter from the 1970s that I grew up with in the 1980s and I still eat it regularly now too, but for supper.

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By adding avocado the dish feels more current (thanks avocado toast, for that!) than retro even though half an avocado topped with creme fraîche and lumpfish roe was another popular starter back in the day, so all I’ve really done here is to combine the two.

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Rösti with avocado, creme fraiche, lumpfish roe and red onion, serves 2

2 large potatoes

1 avocado, sliced

2 large spoonfuls creme fraiche

2 topped tsp lumpfish roe 

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

butter and oil for frying

Peel and grate the potatoes on a coarse setting. Shape into two rounds and fry in butter and oil until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Season well. Plate the rösti and top with avocado, creme fraîche and lumpfish roe. Scatter with chopped red onions.

 

 

Recipe: molten chocolate cake 2.0

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This classic of a pudding is still a favourite of mine. There is something so comforting about a warm and gooey chocolate pudding that it makes me really happy. I already have a recipe for this on the blog, but I must say that this recipe is even better hence why I’m blogging about it again!

I prefer to serve my molten chocolate cakes with vanilla ice cream as I love the contrast between the warm cake and the cold ice cream but you whipped cream and berries works just as well.

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Molten chocolate cake 2.0, serves 2

Adapted from  Smitten Kitchenäs recipe.

55 g unsalted butter

2 tsp cocoa (and more to decorate)

85 g dark chocolate

a pinch of sea salt 

1-2 tbsp sugar

1 egg +1 egg yolk

Pre-heat the oven to 230C. Butter two regular sized ramekins and cover with a think coating of cocoa. 

Break the chocolate in smaller pieces and place in a bowl together with the butter. Melt the chocolate and butter until 2/3 melted either over a Bain Marie or in a microwave. Beat until it has all melted. Add sugar and salt. Lastly add the egg and egg yolk and beat an extra 20-30 times extra (important) until a glossy mixture. Add the cocoa and mix it in. 

Divide the batter between the ramekins. Bake for 7-9 minutes and leave to cool for a minute. Turn onto plates (use pot holders!) and powder with cocoa. Serve with vanilla ice cream and eat immediately.  

 

 

 

 

Quiet week, date night and a Sunday walk

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Last week was nice weather-wise and it finally felt like late spring, early summer. So lovely to walk around in a skirt without being cold!

I started the week with a night in on Monday. I watched Station 19 (a new discovery for me) and went to bed early.

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The next night I was too tired to cook properly so made my favourite spinach dip and called that dinner.

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On the Wednesday night I was supposed to have dinner with two girl friends but it got cancelled so I did some errands and made myself fish tacos instead.

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The next day I took the train down to the New Forest for work and stayed for the day. Back in London again that evening I made my favourite fast food: rösti with creme fraîche, lumpfish roe and chopped red onions. It’s really speedy and perfect after a whole day away with trains, delays and traffic jams.

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On the Friday I did some errands and stayed in with Shake Shack and Netflix. A whole (work) week at home is rather rare for me, but it was a real treat and definitely needed!

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Despite the quiet week I thoroughly enjoyed my lie-in on Saturday and a morning of taking it easy. I had breakfast and chatted to my best friend for a good hour – such a treat! In the evening we had date night at Trinity and ate so many yummy things that we could have rolled all the way home.

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Sunday lie-in followed by tea in bed and brunch at home with American pancakes, crispy pancetta, blueberries and obscene amounts of butter and maple syrup. YUM!

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Then we went for a walk on Wimbledon Common and made friends with several goslings, a heron and some squirrels. It’s amazing how close to nature you are in London.

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After our walk we did the most of the weather (it wasn’t raining) and had a glass of rosé  in a cosy beer garden before we went back home and watched an amazing wild life documentary in 3D.

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I made delicious shrimp rolls for dinner and afterwards we watched the super tense film A Quiet Place. Brilliant film!