Recipe: Mini Rösti with Smetana, Bleak Roe and Chopped Red Onions

In Sweden we love our own version of caviar; the bleak roe. It’s orange instead of black and the eggs are a lot smaller, and although quite different in taste than sturgeon caviar it’s just as delicious! And it’s native, so not as expensive and easier to get hold of.

But it’s still very much a special occasion type of food (even if that occasion is just a Friday night); we typically don’t eat it for breakfast on a Tuesday. As I (and I think every single Swede) love it so much, I often eat it when I’m home in Sweden, and always on New Year’s Eve. It’s perfect for nibbles and I love it on a little toast or on pizza (!) but this time I put it on little crispy röstis to avoid having too much bread (we also had the girolle toast so that was enough bread).

Rösti might seem daunting to make but it couldn’t be easier. All you need is a firm potato variety like Maris Piper, a grater and plenty of butter. And you know, salt and pepper and a nice topping.

Mini rösti with smetana, bleak roe and chopped red onions, serves 4 as a canapé

3-4 medium sized firm potatoes, peeled

3 tbsp salted butter

1 msk neutral oil for cooking

salt and pepper

To serve:

1 tub smetana or French full fat creme fraiche

1 tub bleak roe

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 bunch dill, finely chopped

1/4 lemon, the juice

Grate the potatoes on the coarse side of a grater. Gather the grated potatoes into little rounds, approx 1,5 inches in diameter. Heat up half the butter in a (preferably non-stick) frying pan on medium-high heat. Add a splash of oil to the pan. Once the butter has melted and the pan is hot, place the little röstis in the pan with some space in between (you will need to fry a second and maybe a third batch depending on the size of the frying pan). Flatten the potato rounds with a spatula and let it sit undisturbed until golden underneath. Add salt and pepper and turn over, fry undisturbed until golden on both sides. Season on top and remove to a plate covered with kitchen towel to drain. Repeat with another batch or two.

Put some of the rösti on a plate or platter and top with smetana, bleak roe, chopped onions and dill. Add a little squeeze of lemon and serve straight away.

Back in London, Birthday Celebrations and Some Cooking!

The second week of January – and the first week back in London for me – was back to business straight away. I was back at work on Monday, unpacked and tidied up in the evening, made myself some noodles and read a good book.

Tuesday was pretty much the same, while also doing errands, buying gifts and getting organised.

On the Wednesday it was my darling boyfriend’s birthday, so I took him out for a night on the town! First champagne (and a cheeky G&T!) at Sky Pod Bar, taking in the lovely view!

Followed by dinner (and more drinks) at Sushi Samba with more amazing views. Can you sense the theme?!

Thursday was head down working and putting things away at home. I always stock up on everything from cheese to body lotion to mouth wash when I’m in Sweden and it takes me a while to find space for all these extra items.

Friday night we had our usual burger before going to the cinema to see Cats. Not that we expected it to be good (it wasn’t!) but we wanted to make up our own mind. A little bit entertaining, but a total car crash of a film, but mostly it was just REALLY WEIRD! If you’ve seen it you’ll appreciate this little video – it’s spot on!

We stayed in on Saturday night and I cooked. Prawn cocktail in lettuce leaves (this recipe + avocado) followed by…

…homemade Dover sole a’la meunière which was absolutely delicious and so much fun to make! Will post the recipe soon.

For pudding we had Gino with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

On Sunday we had a lie-in and our favourite breakfast and then we decided to go for a refreshing walk on Wimbledon Common.

It was lovely to be outside and get some fresh air and check out the swans and the ducks in the pond. Little pleasures!

Absolutely starving we had a late lunch at The Ivy Café in Wimbledon Village before heading back.

For supper I made us a really nice chicken curry (will post the recipe soon) and we watched some TV before hitting the hay. Such a lovely weekend (and week)!

Updated: Peanut Butter Noodles with Cucumber!

I’ve made Nigella’s peanut butter noodles a lot (A LOT!!) through the years. It’s the easiest ‘instead of takeaway meal’ you can make at home and sooo satisfying. It’s lovely as it is, but when I saw that Deb at Smitten Kitchen added thinly sliced cucumber to her peanut butter noodles I thought I better try that and make sure I’m not missing out on something.

Since I already love Nigella’s noodle recipe and the Smitten Kitchen one seemed more cumbersome to make (the whole point here is ease) I thought I could just add the sliced cucumber to the noodles I usually make and see how that works out. And wow! It’s amazing how the addition of a thinly sliced watery vegetable without that much flavour to it, can take this dish to a whole other level!

When I make the peanut butter noodles I usually omit the vegetables in Nigella’s recipe and I’ve never cared for the sesame seeds, so I just top the noodles with coriander, lime and chopped salted peanuts. So without really trying to, I have changed the recipe enough to warrant an update of it here.

The addition of thinly sliced cucumber (best made using a cheese slicer – not a knife) is now my go-to version to eat it as it adds a freshness to it that’s just amazing together with coriander and lime. But sometimes I also add crispy chillies in oil to the mix as it’s good on practically everything!

Nigella’s peanut butter noodles my way – with sliced cucumber, serves 4

Heavily adapted from Nigella’s recipe.

Dressing:

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

100 g peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

2 tbsp lime juice

salt and pepper

Noodles:

550 g cooked and cooled egg noodles

To serve:

a handful toasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

a bunch coriander, chopped

1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced

4 lime wedges

In a large bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Add the noodles and mix well. Divide between bowls and top with chopped peanuts and coriander. Place the sliced cucumber on the side of the bowl and serve with a lime wedge.

Recipe: Bruschetta Bar Winter Edition

When we were tired of heavy Christmas food on Christmas Day (we celebrate on Christmas Eve in Sweden) I threw together this Winter Edition Bruschetta Bar with various goodies we had at home.

A mix of reinvented leftovers, charcuterie and cheese. We had thinly sliced venison with remoulade and crispy onions, sun blush tomato cream cheese spread, olives, pata negra ham, homemade mayonnaise, saucisson, cured salmon and dill cream cheese. As well as cheeses, crackers and sliced pear.

It was the perfect antidote to heavy Christmas food as well as a really good way of using up leftovers. In summer I love tomatoes and burrata for the bruschetta bar, but in winter I think a spread such as this is better (tomatoes are a bit dull in winter), so I hope this could serve as some inspiration.

New Year’s Eve, pizza and dinner parties!

The first week of January actually started in December. That Monday we had a lie-in and after a bit of NYE prep we went to see some friends for dinner.

We had a lovely time playing with the children, eating lots of good food and catching up with the adults. To start we had charcuteries and nibbles in the kitchen while the chef prepared our main course.

Which was pizza! With lots of cheese and mushrooms. Delicious!

And for pudding we had the most luxurious saffron ice cream with crunchy oats on top. Yum!

Next day was New Year’s Eve and I spent the day with my best friend and my god daughter playing and chatting (but also working so didn’t get as much quality time as I would have liked) while the boys were out playing golf. Once they were back we opened up the champagne and gathered around the kitchen island eating canapés and chatting while I occasionally stirred a pot prepping the rest of our dinner.

We had three nibbles, quite substantial as we started early and had dinner late, to accommodate a little lady’s bed time. The girolle toasts were requested by all and will probably be a firm NYE nibble from now on, but we also had the fried rice paper with salmon and mini rosti with bleak roe. So yummy!

The starter was of course lobster, but prepared a bit differently so will post the recipe later.

The main course was also classic with fillet of beef, mushroom and cognac sauce, pommes Anna, broccoli and charred spring onions. Really nice, if I may say so myself!

The pudding was a new version of baked Alaska, with dulce de leche ice cream inside. Recipe to come!

The next morning we had a lie-in and then I cooked us all poached eggs with pancetta, basically forcing our favourite couple onto our hosts, but they loved it (as we thought they would).

When we got back home we unpacked (I basically brought half of mum’s kitchen with me), settled in for a film and hang out with my parents. Then we had some bubbles and Jamon Iberico by the fire before dinner.

Which was pizza! It’s basically tradition to eat pizza on New Year’s Day but I prefer to make my own instead of buying it. I made four different ones and we were so full afterwards we postponed pudding until an hour or so later.

Pudding was homemade ice cream, crispy oat biscuits and chocolate sauce. So yummy!

The following day we hosted a dinner party, and mum and I both cooked making it so easy. I had prepared the crostini we had with some bubbly when our guests arrived. We had the Finnish-Russian mushroom spread and the Öjeby toast – both delicious!

Mamma made the main course, we had wild duck with all the trimmings, which was delicious as usual but I forgot to take any pictures of it. I did photograph the crème brûlée I made for pudding though. We served some saucy raspberries with it. Love this pudding so much!

The next day it was time for my boyfriend to go back to London so we made the most of the day; going for a walk in the woods, playing with the cats and had a late lunch with my parents. Mamma had made her famous (they are seriously the best!!) meatballs and we ate so much it was nice we had a drive ahead of us to digest the food.

When I got back we had some leftover pizza for supper while watching our favourite Swedish game show!

On the Saturday I had a full day with just my parents. We went to the cinema and saw A Piece of My Heart which was actually quite sweet. And quite good!

Then we had alll the seafood for dinner. Oysters au gratin, smoked salmon, langoustines, smoked prawns, homemade mayo, garlic bread. All delicious!

My last day in Sweden I hang out with my parents, packed my bags and just tried to get stuff done. Then we had roast chicken for dinner, before going to the airport. Two weeks just flew by! But I have all the memories.

Recipe: White Chocolate Crème with Raspberries and Biscuit Crumbs

This pudding is probably the easiest there is. Consisting of only two (!) ingredients this white chocolate crème is a breeze to make but also a total joy to eat. The acidity in the soured cream makes the crème feel less rich and the raspberries serve the same purpose while also adding a fruity freshness. The biscuit crumbs can be omitted but add a nice crunch.

White chocolate crème with raspberries and biscuit crumbs, serves 4

Adapted from and translated from Klas Lindberg’s recipe.

200 g good-quality white chocolate

300 ml soured cream

To serve: 

4 crunchy biscuits of your choice

20 raspberries

fresh mint to decorate

Melt the chocolate (over a Bain Marie or in the microwave), mix in the soured cream and stir until glossy and smooth. Pour into a cold bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Shape to quenelles and place in bowls. Decorate with raspberries, biscuit crumbs and mint.

Malmö, Sweden: Seafood Brunch at Johan P

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The Sunday before Christmas my best friend and I have each other the greatest gift; time. Almost a whole day together to just talk, laugh and hang out together. And eat of course. Because without food neither of us are particularly nice to be around.

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Too busy in the lead up to Christmas we hadn’t made a firm plan for where to eat, so when we walked past Johan P and saw that they a) were open on a Sunday (insert dance emoji) and b) were serving brunch, we thought it was meant to be.

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We settled in at our table and ordered some champagne to celebrate being together. Cheers, bestie!

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And then we started on the seafood. It was a lovely spread of fresh prawns, langoustines, king crab legs, prawns and crayfish in mayonnaise, sauces, herring, seafood paté, boiled eggs, hot and cold smoked salmon, cheese and bread.

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We sat there eating, chatting and drinking for hours and were so full of the cold stuff we didn’t have room for the warm fish and chips that was also included in the brunch.

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Everything was really nice and we loved to sample a bit of this and a bit of that as chatting away. We ordered more wine and the staff let us take our time.

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We took a little break to enjoy the wine and digest all the seafood and so enjoyed having a whole day together!

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It soon got dark and we were still there, having a jolly good time. And after our little breather we thoroughly enjoyed the pudding: a light as air deconstructed cheesecake.

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It was the perfect ending to our perfect day. Thanks, bestie!

Johan P, Hjulhamnsgatan 5, 211 34 Malmö, Sweden