Post-holiday Cobb salad with ranch dressing

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Hello dear readers, are you still there?

Sorry about my unplanned break; before the summer I just didn’t have time to update the blog, and then I was away for three weeks and have now been back in London for two weeks. I feel more rested and obviously have lots to tell you about, but I will start easy and share a yummy salad recipe and the best dressing recipe ever with you.

After having seen Cobb salads on almost every single  menu when I was in America, but never felt like it would satisfy my hunger after walking around all day, I couldn’t wait to make it when I got back to Blighty.  It’s a perfect salad to go for if you want something substantial; not just a few lettuce leaves. Make sure you enjoy it while the Indian summer is still here.

 

Cobb salad, serves 2

2 little gem, sliced

10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 avocado, cut into pieces

2 tbsp blue cheese of your choice (jag chose my favourite – Saint Agur)

2 chicken thigh fillets

4 slices streaky bacon

2 eggs

Trim the chicken thigh fillets, brown in butter in a frying pan, add salt and pepper and cook in the oven (15-20 minutes). Fry the bacon until crisp and drain on kitchen towel. Cook the eggs how you like them. Hardboiled are best for salads but I personally prefer a looser yolk (6-7 minutes). 

Slice the chicken, bacon and cube the (cool) eggs. 

Divide the salad between two plates or bowls. Add the toppings (it doesn’t have to be in neat rows but I quite like that). Serve with the dressing of your choice. Maybe ranch dressing? Recipe below. 

Ranch dressing, serves 6

Adapted from The Huffington Post recipe.

120 – 180 ml (1/2 – 3/4 cup) buttermilk

2-3 tbsp sour cream

1-2 tbsp mayonnaise (Hellman’s)

1 tsp finely chopped herbs (tarragon, dill, parsley and chives)

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

a few dashes Tabasco

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Or add all the ingredients to a jar and shake until smooth. 

Baked cod loin with new potatoes and brown butter hollandaise

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With my parents in town for a few days we had some dinners out planned but also wanted a more chilled out dinner at mine, and this is what I cooked. We decided together in Whole Foods that cod loin was a good way to go and it most certainly was, with new potatoes, carrots and samphire. And generous helpings of the most amazing brown butter hollandaise sauce ever.

Cod loin with new potatoes and brown butter hollandaise, serve 3

450 g cod loin

500 g new potatoes

2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into batons

100 g samphire

butter 

salt and black pepper

Boil the potatoes in one pan and the carrots in another. Place the cod (cut into portions) in an oven tray and season. Bake in 100C oven until the inner temp is 43C. Leave to rest under tin foil. Cook the samphire in a little water with a knob of butter added for a few minutes until a little soft. Drain. Keep the vegetables warm while making the sauce. 

Brown butter hollandaise, serves 4

4 egg yolks

100 g cold butter, cut into cubes

100 g browned butter

1 lemon, juice only

salt, pepper

chives, chopped 

Gently heat the egg yolks in a non-stick pan while whisking. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice and stir until the yolks starts to thicken. Add the butter cubes a few at the time, stirring as they melt. Repeat until all the butter cubes have melted. Add the brown butter little by little while the sauce thickens. Season to taste and add more lemon juice if needed. Continue stirring with the whisk until pouring the sauce into a cold serving bowl. Add the chives and serve. 

Fake Shack sauce

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I cooked (and ate!) a lot of nice food when I was back home in Sweden in August. But my family and I have a tendency to get a bit overboard sometimes. So one day we decided to not make an elaborate three course meal. Instead we had these yummy homemade burgers with a homemade version of the Shake Shack sauce. So good!

I first saw the Fake Shack sauce recipe on Smitten Kitchen’s wonderful blog and knew I just had to make it. And it hit the spot just as I thought it would. My parents liked it too and from now on this is definitely my go-to burger sauce.

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Fake Shack sauce, serves 4

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

60 ml mayonnaise (homemade or Hellman’s)

1 1/2 tsp juice from a pickle jar

1 1/2 tsp ketchup

1 tsp yellow mustard 

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

Mix the ingredients, taste and adjust the flavour until you’re happy with the balance. Serve with burgers. 

Seafood feast!

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No, this is not what we eat every day in Sweden but I so wish it was! My first evening at the summer house (a Saturday) my parents and I had a proper seafood feast to celebrate being together again and my birthday the week before.

We love girolles almost as much as we love seafood and as they’re in season we started off with a proper girolle toast (fry the bread in butter, fry the girolles in more butter with garlic, add parsley) and bubbly and then got serious about the seafood. We had langoustines with garlic butter, fresh Swedish crayfish (such a treat!), crab claws and smoked prawns. Smoked prawns may sound weird but they are oh so delicious!

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It was such a wonderful meal with amazing seafood, great company and the accompaniment of bread, cheese and home made mayonnaise.

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Mayonnaise

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

1/2 – 1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

ca 200 ml neutral oil (I used rapeseed oil) 

1 lemon, juice only

salt, white pepper

Mix the egg yolk with mustard and vinegar. Beat the egg mixture while adding the oil drop by drop. When the mixture has thickened you can add the oil in a thin spurt. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Wild garlic pesto

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When I was in Sweden last my mother gave me a large bag of wild garlic she picked for me, so back in London I made a batch of lovely pesto that I’ve been eating lately. The same day I made it I just had it with spaghetti and (more) grated parmesan as a light lunch. Delicious!

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Wild garlic pesto, approx 250 ml pesto

ca 50-70 g wild garlic (about a bunch as stick as a small banana)

30 g almonds

40 g parmesan

1/2 lemon, juice only 

mild oil, approx 100-150 ml 

salt & pepper

Mix wild garlic, almonds, lemon juice and parmesan with a bit of oil to a paste in a food processor or with a stick blender. Keep adding oil until you have the consistency you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keeps in the fridge for 5-7 days. 

Dill mayonnaise

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Crayfish season is typically in August and it’s fine to stretch it to September too, but the end of October is a completely different season, which is why I decided to serve my crayfish as a starter instead of the full spread with Västerbotten cheese quiche, caraway cheese, snaps etc, the other day.

As dill is traditionally used in the brine for the crayfish I chose to enhanced that element further by serving a dill mayonnaise together with the crayfish (still to peel at the table) as well as a nice crusty bread and butter. Simple yet lovely.

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Dill mayonnaise, serves 2-4

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

150-200 ml dill oil (I used a Swedish one from Gunnarshögs gård, pictured)

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, white pepper

1-2 tbsp chopped dill

Place the egg yolk in a mixing bowl and start whisking while adding the oil drop by drop at first and then in a thin stream while whisking continuously until you have a thick mayonnaise. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the chopped dill. 

Cold water prawns with black garlic dip

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Most Fridays of my childhood life before I moved to London we would have prawns for supper. When I grew up it was an easy supper to prepare for my mother who worked full time and we never grew tired of it. Even at university we had prawns for supper regularly and I do miss it at times.

Of course there are prawns in the shops here too, but often peeled and therefore less tasty. But when I was shopping at Waitrose for this Friday’s little dinner party they had plenty in the fish counter.

I admit it was a bit alien for my friends to peel prawns for dinner, but they all got into it. And the black garlic dip I served them with was such a nice change from mayonnaise or aioli. Much more depth in flavour I will definitely make this again.

Describing the flavour of the fermented garlic is near impossible as it is rather complex. But compared to regular garlic it is much milder, sweeter and rounder in flavour.

Black garlic-dipp, serves 5-6

Translated and adapted from Pytte’s recipe.

4 cloves black garlic

300 ml full fat creme fraiche

1 lemon wedge, juice only

salt and pepper

Press the black garlic and mix with the creme fraiche. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and b beat with a stick blender for a few minutes for a fluffy dip.