Malmö: tapas at Escama

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That Friday night in Malmö was lovely and balmy and when we arrived to Escama for dinner the outside area was of course packed. I had booked a table but the outside area was first come first serve. A shame, but I get it. So we put our names on the list and and sat down at the bar.

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And we divided our dinner into two sittings; nibbles inside at the bar and more substantial dishes outside once we got our table.

We started with some excellent jamon iberico (tapa negra) and Monte Enebro cheese. Real classics. Especially the cheese section was a little unimaginative. Nice cheeses but a very standard selection. Luckily the ham made up for it!

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It took a good while until we got seated outside, but we nibbled, drank cold Albarino and talked.

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When we sat down outside we got a different waiter, and it was like somebody had forgotten to “hand us over”. We got no attention and had to flag waiters down several times to order, ask for side plates and so on. Really not fun when we were finally going to order the main part of the meal.

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We had the tuna tartar which I was a little disappointed with. It was literally just chopped tuna with a little seasoning. Some crunch, more flavour and a nice emulsion would have been nice!

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But the entrecôte steak that we’d seen our table neighbours inside enjoy was amazing! I would come back to have one of those to myself. Easy! We both enjoyed that VERY much, so they do know their meat here. The patatas bravas were also nice, although on the spicy side, but I quite like that.

All in all, we had a nice but very long (due to the lack of service at the end) dinner with some varied service. But the jamon iberico and the steak were so good that all is forgiven!

Escama, Fersens väg 4, 211 42 Malmö, Sweden

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Recipe: pizza bianco with prosciutto, figs and Cambozola

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Another pizza from our pizza making evening in Sweden and another hit all around. The combination of sweet and salty and creamy always works and this pizza with (mother’s homegrown!) figs, prosciutto and blue cheese was no exception!

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I realise blue cheese is sometimes an acquired taste, BUT don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I used cambozola here which is rather mild, and only a little of it as I didn’t want it to overpower the sweet and juicy figs – merely complement them!

Pizza bianco with prosciutto, figs and Cambozola, makes 1 pizza

1/4 pizza dough 

flour for rolling

2-3 tbsp creme fraiche

1/4 buffalo mozzarella, torn into smaller pieces

100 ml grated Präst cheese (mature cheddar works too) 

3 slices prosciutto, torn into a few smaller pieces

2-3 figs, sliced lenghtways

40 g Cambozola, broken into smaller pieces

sea salt and black pepper

Roll out the dough with the help of a rolling pin on a floured surface. Place the rolled out pizza base on a parchment paper covered baking tray. Spread out the creme fraiche on the pizza base. Divide the mozzarella and the grated Präst cheese. Add the ham and figs and distribute the Cambozola. Season. Bake in a 220C (200C fan) oven for 8-10 minutes, until the base is crisp, the cheese has melted and the whole thing is golden brown. Remove from oven and cut into slices. 

 

 

Malmö: pre-dinner drink at L’Enoteca

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A summer’s evening in Malmö. It’s a Friday and that holiday feeling is everywhere. We’re walking around town so my visitor can get an overview of this, Sweden’s third largest city, and as we walk past the cosy courtyard at L’Enoteca we decide to stop for a drink.

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The service was good and efficient and the prosecco excellent. We didn’t even have to queue for a table! So we sat there, enjoying life and each other’s company while people-watching (a favourite hobby of mine) before heading to dinner. I have a complicated relationship with Malmö, but this night I fell back in love with the city again.

L’Enoteca, Västergatan 6C, 211 21 Malmö, Sweden

Quiet weeknights and a weekend away!

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Last week was just what the doctor ordered; quiet evenings followed by a weekend by the seaside.

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I can’t remember the last time I had four days in a row without plans in the evenings, and I fully enjoyed it. And realised I need to do less during the weeks. I was too tired to cook most days but made a big batch of pasta one night that lasted a few days.

Other than packing my bag for the weekend (not an easy task with a weather forecast promising everything from sunshine to rain and cold temperatures) I just watched TV, had early nights and took it easy.

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Then on Friday I finished work early and took the train to Norfolk. The weekend consisted of walks along the beach (we saw seals!!), some outings in the rain, nice food, some baking and just hanging out. So lovely and nice! And with Monday being a bank holiday the work week this week is a short one! 🙂

Recipe: burrata with figs and prosciutto

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Fresh figs everyday. A Mediterranean dream or reality in the south of Sweden? The latter. I know people think we have polar bears walking the streets (not true!) but Sweden in the summer is often warmer (and less humid) than the UK, at least in the south where I’m from. And in my parents’ garden we have peach trees and fig trees bearing fruit each year.

The two weeks I was in Sweden earlier this month we had fresh figs every day. So many in face we had to come up with various ideas of how to eat them. This starter was one of the winners and it’s a simple assembly job with no actual cooking required. Perfect for a summer lunch or to start off a more casual dinner party. (Yes, it goes perfectly with rosé.).

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Burrata with figs and prosciutto, serves 2-3 as a starter

1 burrata

4-6 fresh figs, washed and cut into quarters

6 slices prosciutto or other cured ham

2 handfuls rocket or mixed salad leaves

nice olive oil

balsamic vinegar

salt & black pepper

Take the burrata out o the fridge a good hour before you need it so it’s not fridge cold. Take a serving plate and cover the base with rocket leaves. Place the burrata whole in the middle of the plate and arrange the ham sliced and fig quarters around it. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season well. 

Recipe: pizza bianco with potatoes, rosemary and pickled red onions

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One night in Sweden this happened; pizza night. With the BBQ ban in full swing mamma and I find it so hard to think of summery things to cook, so one night we settled on pizza. Mainly because of one GREAT idea for topping (I promise I will blog about it soon!), and that spiralled into four lovely pizzas.

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This one with a white base (bianco), potatoes, rosemary and pickled red onions was amazing. The combination of flavours really work and the smell that filled the house was delicious too. A must try, despite double carbs. It’s SO worth it!

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Pizza bianco with potatoes, rosemary and pickled red onions, makes 1 pizza

1/4 pizza dough 

flour for rolling

2-3 tbsp creme fraiche

1/4 buffalo mozzarella, torn into smaller pieces

100 ml grated Präst cheese (mature cheddar works too) 

4-5 boiled but not overdone potatoes, cooled and cut into 1-2 mm slices

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

sea salt and black pepper

pickled red onions (using the below recipe) for serving

Roll out the dough with the help of a rolling pin on a floured surface. Place the rolled out pizza base on a parchment paper covered baking tray. Spread out the creme fraiche on the pizza base. Divide the mozzarella and the grated Präst cheese. Add the potato slices and scatter with rosemary. Bake in a 220C (200C fan) oven for 8-10 minutes, until the base is crisp, the cheese has melted and the whole thing is golden brown. Remove from oven, add the pickled red onions and cut into slices. 

Pickled red onions, a small jar

2 red onions, peeled, cut into half and sliced thinly into half moons 

1 part matättika (already diluted acetic acid)  to 4 parts water 

3 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp salt

Mix one part matättika with 4 parts water so you have enough to cover the onions (approx 200 ml depending on the size of the jar). Add 2-3 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt and stir util it has dissolved. Leave for at least 30 minutes before serving. Keeps for five days in the fridge if covered. 

 

Best burgers in London – updated!

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It’s National Burger Day today (apparently) and a good opportunity, I thought, to update this old post about the best burgers in London.

I’m sticking to my division of thin and coarse/thick patties. I like both, but at different times.

Reading this post made me realise that Soho Diner still hasn’t opened its doors since the refurbishment (?) and I miss their burgers terribly… Sob.

Thin patties:

  1. Shake Shack – This is burger perfection in my world. Thin crispy but not overdone patties, the best burger sauce and those lovely soft but almost chewy buns.
  2. Bleecker Burgers – A very close second to Shake Shack. The patty is nice and thin and pink in the middle, the buns good and the dressing lovely, only thing I don’t love is the fries.
  3. Sophie’s Steakhouse – Great burger, tired fries.
  4. Meat Liquor and Meat Market – This used to be favourite before I discovered Soho Diner and before both Shake Shack and Bleecker had opened (in London). Oldie but a goodie.

Coarser and thicker patties:

  1. Dirty Bones – Really nice burger, but would have preferred a slice of cheese instead of the cheesy sauce.
  2. Tom’s Kitchen – Close second! Great burger, well seasoned, perfectly nice chunky chips and plus points for making their own ketchup!
  3. Bar Boulud – Also very good, but a bit crumbly.
  4. Opera Tavern – The mini burgers with pork and foie gras are still phenomenal!

Note: I haven’t yet been, but I could bet money on that Dip & Flip would make this list.