Recipe: Creamy Langoustine Pasta with Garlic Butter Langoustines on the Shell

This summer, which I mainly spent in Norfolk, was heaven. Apart from the weather. But we had lots of barbecues and ate a lot of lovely local seafood.

But one day at the fishmongers, while also buying local crab, I couldn’t resist the beautiful looking Scottish langoustines. And that night I turned them into this stunning pasta dish with wine, tomatoes, cream and of course lots of langoustine meat.

I was quite generous with three each; half of the meat went into the sauce and the other half I kept in their shells, covered with garlic and parsley butter and put under the grill before placing them on top of the silky pasta. It was creamy, buttery and pure heaven to eat.

If I had had more time I would have made a quick stock from the shells to use in the pasta sauce but it wasn’t actually needed. Instead I put them in the freezer and made langoustine soup a few days later using a quick stock, a splash of wine and cream. Delicious!

Creamy langoustine pasta with garlic butter langoustines on the shell, serves 2

6 langoustines

1/2 shallot, finely chopped

1 tbsp butter

100 g cherry tomatoes, washed and halved

a small pinch of sugar

3 tbsp dry white wine

150 ml cream

salt and pepper

250 g spaghetti

4 tbsp salted butter, softened

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

Start with the langoustines. Cut them all in half lengthways and get rid of the vein. Keep six halves in their shells but take the meat out of two of the claws, keep four as they are. Pick all the meat out of the remaining six half and cut into 1 cm pieces. Set aside.

Cook the pasta al dente according to the packet. Then start the sauce by placing a large frying pan on medium heat and add the butter. Cook the onions for a few minutes until soft and translucent. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until soft. Add the wine and let it bubble away. Add sugar. Then add the cream and let it thicken slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Mix together the butter with garlic and parsley. Place the six langoustines halves shell on in an oven-proof dish. Spread with plenty of butter and place under a hot grill (250C) until bubbling and hot, it only takes a minute or two.

Heat up the sauce, add the langoustine meat, the drained pasta and a splash of pasta water and cook for a minute or so in the sauce while moving the pasta around the whole time. Once it is coating every strand of pasta in a satisfying manner, divide the pasta between two bowls. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then place the shell on langoustine halves on top, three in each bowl. Add two claws to each bowl and serve.

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: Prawn Sandwich on Butter-Fried Bread

When I was quarantining in our summer house by the beach in Sweden one of the little pleasures (apart from walks along the beach, Netflix and rediscovering the vinyl collection) was of course the food. I had given mamma a shopping list beforehand so she could order the food and stock up before I got there. One of the things I was longing for (alongside Swedish sweets and my favourite cheese) were prawns in abundance. In my family we’ve had prawns pretty much every single Friday night. My parents still do. In London that feels like a real indulgence as you only buy prawns in small quantities, so I made sure to make myself a proper prawn sandwich while at home.

But with the heating on high, snuggled up under blankets and with warm socks on a cold sandwich wasn’t all that tempting. So I made sure the egg wasn’t fridge cold and cooked it just before assembling the sandwich, AND I fried the bread in butter. Frying bread in butter, if you haven’t tried it, is genius and so delicious I promise you will become obsessed and it was so the right decision for a winter version of my beloved Scandi prawn sandwich!

Prawn sandwich on butter-fried bread, serves 1

1 large egg, boiled to your preference (I like mine runny so I’m a 5-6 minute gal), cooled, peeled and sliced

1 slice of white good quality bread

2 tbsp salted butter

1-2 lettuce leafs such as little gem

plenty (approx 4 tbsp) good quality mayonnaise (i.e. Hellmann’s or homemade)

250-300 g large shell-on cold water prawns, peeled (shell on prawns have more flavour so I prefer to peel my own)

2 slices cucumber

1 slice of lemon

sprig of dill

Fry the bread in butter, 1 tbsp per side, on medium-low heat until golden brown. Drain on kitchen roll. Place the fried bread on a plate and add a thin layer of mayo (to hold the lettuce in place). Place the lettuce on top and then distribute the sliced egg. Top with a very generous amount of mayonnaise. Then place the prawns on top. Decorate with lemon, cucumber and a sprig of dill.

Recipe: Rösti with Prawns, Creme Fraiche, Lemon and Dill

Friday night supper.

For me, it’s in a category all of its own. In between weeknight food that I want to be healthy, nutritious, quick(ish) to cook and relatively cheap. And weekend food that I like to be more elaborate and interesting, and a celebration of time off from work.

As Friday night sits between those two categories; after a work day (and week!) but before a long Saturday lie-in, I definitely want something quick and easy, but also something nicer and more exciting than weeknight food. Enter this classic Scandi dish: crispy rösti with prawns, creme fraiche, lemon and dill.

All you need to do is grate potatoes and fry them until crispy in plenty of butter, drain some prawns and assemble with some creme fraiche, lemon and fresh dill on plates. Preferably with a glass of wine in hand already!

Rösti with prawns, creme fraiche, lemon and dill, serves 2

4 medium sized firm potatoes, such as Maris Piper, peeled

2-4 tbsp salted butter

2 tbsp mild olive oil

salt and pepper

approx 100 ml full fat creme fraiche

1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

200 g fresh Atlantic prawns, drained

bunch of dill, chopped

Start by adding some butter and a little oil to a frying pan and heat it to medium-high. Grate two potatoes (using a regular grater, rotary grater or Moulinex or a food processor. Add the grated potatoes to the pan shaping it like a thick pancake. Pat down with a spatula, season generously and wait for it to brown. Fry until golden brown on both sides, adding butter and oil as needed, and the potatoes are cooked through, approx 8-12 minutes. Keep warm on a plate or in the oven while you repeat the process with a second rösti.

Place the röstis on a plate each. Add creme fraiche, and prawns. Season well and and scatter with dill. Place a lemon wedge on each plate and squeeze some lemon over before serving with the remaning wedges.

Recipe: Lobster with Beurre Blanc and Cucumber

When we sat down for our three course dinner on New Year’s Eve we enjoyed all the classics. Starting with lobster. As I could only find already cooked lobsters (and they were slightly overcooked in my opinion) the last thing I wanted was to heat it up again and cook it further, so instead I made a beurre blanc with cucumber and chives which I poured over the lobster. We also had some bleak roe left from the nibbles so I added that as a final touch.

It was really delicious and definitely a good way of making an already cooked lobster a bit more exciting without cooking it further! Now that I’ve learned how to make beurre blanc (it was so much easier than I thought) I will definitely make it often.

Lobster with beurre blanc and cucumber, serves 4

2 lobsters, already cooked, halved and prepared

1/2 cucumber

1 1/2 shallots, chopped 

200 ml white wine

200g salted butter, cut into cubes

1/4-1/2 lemon, the juice only 

black pepper

1 bunch chives, finely chopped

To serve:

4 spoonfuls bleak roe

Peel the cucumber roughly. Cut in half lengthways and remove the seeds with a spoon or knife. Cut in half again lengthways and chop into 4 mm wide pieces. Set aside.

Put the onion and wine in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and boil until the liquid has reduced to half. Remove from the heat and add the butter cubes and whisk until you have a silky sauce. Add some lemon juice and black pepper. Pour the sauce through a sieve and add the chives and cucumber. 

Place the lobster halves on plates and spoon the sauce over and around the lobster. Top with the bleak roe.

Recipe: Beetroot Cured Salmon Toasts with Dill Cream Cheese and Prawns

This was our starter on Christmas Eve. Not traditional but still with a nod to Christmas. And most important of all; it was so yummy!

It was my first time curing salmon with beetroot but I love the ombre effect and will definitely do it again. The beetroot doesn’t add any flavour – only the intense and lovely colour! But do wear gloves when handling it as the colour can stain your hands easily. And of course, cover your clothes with an apron.

Beetroot cured salmon toast with dill cream cheese and prawns, per toast

1 slice soft white bread

1 tbsp salted butter

2 slices beetroot cured salmon (recipe below)

5 peeled Atlantic prawns 

1 tbsp dill cream cheese (recipe below)

1 slice lemon

1 dill sprig

To serve:

honey mustard sauce mixed with creme fraiche

Fry the bread slice in butter on low-medium meat until golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen towel. Cut off the crusts with a serrated bread knife. Place 1 msk dill cream cheese on the bread and arrange the salmon slices around it. Add the prawns and decorate with a lemon slice and dill. Serve with the sauce on the side.

Beetroot cured salmon

600 g salmon fillet

3 tbsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

3 beetroots, peeled and coarsely grated (use gloves)

Cure the salmon 48 hours before you intend to eat it. Place the salmon in a deep glass or china dish. Mix salt, sugar, grated beetroot and dill in a bowl and pat into the top of the fish. Cover with clingfilm and place something heavy on top of the salmon and place in the fridge for 48 hours.

Once cured, pour away the water and scrape off the beetroot. Rinse quickly in cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Cut into thin slices.

Dill cream cheese

180 g (small packet) full fat Philadelphia

3-4 tbsp chopped fresh dill

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

Mix Philadelphia with dill and lemon juice in a bowl. Add salt and pepper and mix again.

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.

Recipe: Oven-Baked Cod with Beurre Blanc and Salmon Roe

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I wish I had known earlier how easy it is to make beurre blanc. I mean, I’ve been making bearnaise and hollandaise sauce for years and that’s difficult in comparison.

To me, beurre blanc seemed like such a chef-y thing to do, I never gave it a go. Until recently. It was really easy to make and such a lovely companion with fish, potatoes and peas. And to make the dish a little extra I added some salmon roe. Despite it containing a lot of butter it actually feels really light, so don’t let that put you off.

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Oven-baked cod loin , serves 2

ca 300 g cod loin

butter for frying 

salt and pepper

Melt a knob of butter in an oven-proof frying pan (no plastic) on medium heat. Cut the fish in half and pat dry with kitchen towel. Season well. Fry the fish until it’s browned a little, approx 3 minutes on each side. Place the frying pan in a 200C oven for approx 5 minutes. The fish should be slightly raw (opaque) in the middle and soft. Let it rest for a few minutes. 

Beurre blanc, serves 2

1 shallots, chopped 

100 ml white wine

100 g salted butter, cut into cubes

1/4 lemon, the juice only 

black pepper

1 bunch chives, finely chopped

To serve:

2 tbsp salmon roe

Put the onion and wine in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and boil until the liquid has reduced to half. Remove from the heat and add the butter cubes and whisk until you have a silky sauce. Add some lemon juice and black pepper. Pour the sauce through a sieve and add the chives.

Can be made in advance (but put the chives in just before serving) and reheated before serving.

Serve with the baked cod, boiled new potatoes, cooked peas and and a heaped spoon of salmon roe. 

 

Recipe: Puff Pastry Pizza with Browned Butter, Creme Fraiche, Red Onions, Salmon Roe and Herbs

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Puff pastry pizza seems to be trending in my native Sweden and inspired by Swedish foodie Tuvessonskan I thought I would give it a try too!

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A adapted her recipe slightly but kept the idea of spreading a browned butter mixture over store-bought puff pastry, scatter with grated cheddar and bake it before adding the rest of the (very Scandinavian) toppings.

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I love the classic combination of creme frachie, chopped red onions and fish roe and it works great on puff pastry too, especially when enhanced further with herbs and lemon.

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Puff pastry pizza with browned butter, creme fraiche, red onions, salmon roe and herbs, serves 4 as nibbles or a starter

Adapted fromTuvessonskan’s recipe.

1/2 roll all butter puff pastry 

50 g butter

50 g philadelphia

2 tbsp creme fraiche

approx 200 ml grated cheddar

salt and pepper

Topping:

100 ml creme fraiche

1 jar salmon (or other fish) roe

1/2 red onions, finely chopped

a bunch chives, finely chopped

a bunch dill, finely chopped

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

Brown the butter 30 minutes in advance. Leave to cool in room temperature. Mix the cooled butter with philadelphia and creme fraîche in a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Spread the mixture over the puff (leaving the edges bare if you like) and scatter with the cheddar. Bake in 200C fan or 220 C without fan until the puff is golden and the cheese has melted. Leave to cool. 

One the baked puff is cooled, spoon or pipe the creme fraîche onto it, then the salmon roe. Scatter with red onions and herbs. Season and finish by squeezing a bit of lemon juice over it. Cut into pieces (either cut in four and serve as a starter on plates or cut into small bites and serve on a tray or platter).