Anchovies puff pastry rolls

The third nibble for the party was these anchovies puff pastry rolls that everybody raved about. Thank goodness!, as I hadn’t tested the recipe beforehand.The whole reason I made these was to honour the host who is a serious anchovy lover. Luckily the others liked them too.

The recipe is courtesy of Swedish chef Leila Lindholm, with a few changes; I used puff pastry instead of pizza dough to get a crispy flaky snack. And it really worked.

(Picture courtesy of TV4/Recept.nu; I was to slow to photograph these.)

Anchovies puff pastry rolls, makes about 40

2 rolls ready made butter puff pastry 

200 g softened salted butter

4 garlic cloves

4-6 anchovies fillets, finely chopped

2 tbsp honey

plenty of grated parmesan 

a large bunch of fresh oregano, chopped 

a large bunch of rosemary, chopped 

a little black pepper 

Mix all the ingredients apart from the puff in a bowl. Roll out the pastry and spread a thick even layer of butter on top. Roll into a tight roll from the long edge and cut into 1 cm thick rolls. Place on parchment paper on a tray and bake for 200C until golden and crisp, approx 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Crostini with goat’s cheese crème, pine nuts, honey and rosemary

cro1 Crostinis with different toppings are one of my go-to nibbles. You can prepare both toppings and the bread ahead of time and just assemble before serving, plus the flavour combinations are endless. These guys with goat’s cheese crème (so mild the goat’s cheese haters liked it too!), toasted pine nuts, Acacia honey and rosemary are so yummy and went down a treat at the party. Crostinis with goat’s cheese créme, toasted pine nuts, rosemary and honey, makes 70 2 really long baguettes mild olive oil 500 ml thick French crème fraiche (I used Waitrose’s French full fat crème fraiche)  250 g soft mild goat’s cheese  1 tbsp mild olive oil salt, white pepper 100 g pine nuts 1 bunch rosemary, finely chopped Acacia honey Slice the baguettes and place on trays. Drizzle with oil and toast in the oven (180-200C0 until golden brown, approx 12 minutes. Leave to cool. Add the creme fraiche to a large bowl. Add the crumbled cheese and whip with an electric whisk until combined. Add oil, salt and pepper and combine. Store in the fridge until assembly time.   Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan. Leave to cool.  Assemble: Pipe a dollop of cheese crème onto each crostini, top with toasted pine nuts, some chopped rosemary and a small dollop of honey. Serve immediately.  

Blini buffet

IMG_9128

As I’ve mentioned before, I set up a little blini station for the drinks party before Christmas, a concept I will definitely use again.

It was the first time ever I made blinis and although time-consuming (the batter need to rise twice and then you have the fry them all) it was so much fun and I love these little Russian pancakes.

IMG_9126

I also made some vegan pancakes and some glutenfree ones as well as vegan toppings (marinated beetroot with horseradish and aubergine caviar). The general toppings were very classic; gravadlax (cured salmon), creme fraiche, caviar (not the fancy kind) and chopped red onions.

IMG_9133

IMG_9132

This was all set up on a table so people could help themselves in between canapés as well as in the beginning when I was busy greeting the guests.

Blinis, makes about 80-90 (at least)

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe from the book The Hors D’oeuvres Handbook

2 tsp dry yeast

350 ml warm water

350 ml plain flour 

350 ml buckwheat flour

3 large eggs, separated into yolks and whites 

5 tbsp melted butter 

1 tsp salt

1 tsp caster sugar

350 ml warm milk

Mix yeast and water in a large mixing bowl. Place in a warm place until the mixture is creamy and foamy, about 10 minutes. 

Slowly add the flower to the mixture. Whisk to combine and remove any lumps. Cover the bowl with cling and put it in a warm place to rise, about 1 hour. 

In a separate bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, egg yolks, 4 tablespoons of the butter, salt, sugar and milk. Whisk to combine and remove lumps. Use a spatula to stir in the buckwheat mixture into the risen mixture. Combine well. Cover with cling and set in a warm place to rise by about half, and bubbly, about 1 hour. 

Beat the egg whites with a whisk until stiff but not dry. Fold gently into the batter. 

Heat a frying pan och blini pan over medium heat and brush with some of the butter. Pour 1 teaspoon of butter per blini into the pan; try to fit as many as your pan can fit, leaving space between them (I cooked four at the time). Cook until the bottom turns golden and bubbles appear on top, about 45 seconds. Flip and cook until golden and cooked through, about 30 seconds more. Repeat with the remaining batter.Stack the blinis as they’re ready.

They can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days but are best freshly prepared. They do not freeze well. 

Serve with creme fraiche, lumpfish caviar, chopped red onions. 

Gravadlax

300 g salmon fillet

1 tbsp sea salt

1/2 tbsp caster sugar 

1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Freeze the fish if fresh and defrost it (to remove any bacteria). Mix sugar, salt and dill and pat into the fish all over. Place in a shallow dish and cover with clingfilm. Place something heavy on top. Place in the fridge for 48 hours. 

Remove the liquid and pat the fish dry. Slice thinly and serve. 

Aubergine caviar 

Adapted from miscellaneous recipes (especially one by Gordon Ramsay) found on the web.

1 aubergine

1 garlic clove, sliced

olive oil

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

Cut the aubergine in half lenghtwise and make cuts in a check pattern into the ‘flesh’. Place the garlic pieces in the cuts and pat the aubergine with oil. Add the dried herbs and put the aubergine back together and wrap the whole thing in tin foil. Bake in 200C oven until soft all the way through, approx 30-40 minutes. 

Remove the foil and scrape out the inside of the aubergine onto a chopping board. Chop t up with a knife, transfer to a bowl, season and add more oil if needed. Serve cold.

Marinated raw beetroots with grated horseradish

4-5 fresh beetroots

1/2 lemon, the juice

2-3 tsp mild olive oil

salt, white pepper

fresh horseradish

Peel the beetroots (use plastic gloves) and slice thinly with a mandolin or cheese slicer. Place in a bowl and add the lemon juice and oil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and add grated horseradish before serving. 

Glutenfree pancakes

Adapted from Doves Farm’s recipe.

200 g glutenfritt mjöl från Doves Farm

2 eggs

1 tbsp sunflower oil

500 ml milk

Add flour and egg to a mixing bowl. Add the milk and whisk to combine. Leave to rest for a bit and whisk again before making the pancakes. Heat up some oil in a frying pan and pour in 1 tbsp batter per pancake. Fry until golden brown on the bottom, then flip and cook until golden on that side too. Repeat with the remaining batter. 

Vegan pancakes 

250 ml plain flour

2 tbsp baking powder 

1 pinch salt

250 ml soy milk

2 tbsp mild oil 

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add soy milk and oil and whisk to a smooth batter. Heat up a splash of oil in a frying pan, add a tbsp of the batter per pancake and fry until golden brown at the bottom. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown. 

Pre-Christmas drinks (and nibbles)

IMG_9132The month of December was busy to say the least. So much so that I didn’t have time to update you on the blog on what I was up to.

One Sunday I had a bunch of friends over for drinks and canapés, some Christmas themed, some not. Some of my friends have dietary requirements that I catered for and it was a bit of a challenge to cater for a vegan, a coeliac and pregnant ladies all at the same time, but I seemed to pull it off!

We started with prosecco (and alcohol free alternatives) and savoury canapés. One one table I had made a little blini buffet that my guests could help themselves to whenever they liked. That way I wasn’t too stressed sending out trays of canapés. At the blini station I had proper homemade blinis, glutenfree pancakes and vegan pancakes as well as lots of toppings (cured salmon, creme fraiche, caviar (not the fancy stuff), chopped onions, aubergine ‘caviar’ and marinated beetroot).

IMG_9141The first savoury canapé was these rolls with cream cheese, sunblush tomatoes and basil. So easy to make ahead of time.

IMG_9149

Next up was baked aubergine with saffron yoghurt and pomegranate seeds.

IMG_9148

Vegan truffled mushrooms on crostinis – recipe to follow later.

IMG_9152

And lastly, warming pots with Jansson’s temptation, a classic Swedish Christmas dish consisting of grated potatoes and onions, anchovies, cream and breadcrumbs on top. I love that all mu non-Swedish friends adore this. Most of my guests had two each!

IMG_9163In the transition from savoury to sweet I replaced the blini station with gingerbread (regular, vegan and gluten free ones) with Stilton, sweets, chewy chocolate cake (including a vegan and gluten free one that didn’t turn out very well). Jenny brought some vegan mince pies with filo pastry that were put out too, they were delicious! And of course, we had some homemade glögg (sweet mulled wine) with the gingerbread.

IMG_9168

Lastly I brought out rice pudding the way we eat it on Christmas Eve; cold and mixed with whipped cream. I served it with defrosted berries mixed with some icing sugar.

I had so much fun at this gathering, and I hope my friends did too! Preparing most of it ahead of time meant I could mingle and drink prosecco like every body else.

My bruschetta

brus2

When I fed the troops (well at least 17 people…) I thought it best to serve platters with nibbles instead of a sit down starter so people could still carry on playing football or swimming in the pool.

Apart from my (new and improved) recipe on bruschetta that I will share with you I also made some salmon rolls with horseradish that went down a treat and puff pastry sticks with blue cheese, walnuts and honey.

When it comes to bruschetta (and pan con tomato) I find it very disappointing when the bread is too wet and soggy. I know some people prefer this but I prefer my bread a bit crispier which is why my bruschetta is like a tomato-topped crostini. I don’t cook the tomato mixture either as I think nothing can beat fresh sweet tomatoes with a hint of garlic, olive oil and salt and fragrant basil.

Hanna’s bruschetta, serves 6-8 as nibbles or a starter

1 baguette

olive oil

1 garlic clove

4-5 vine tomatoes (get the best tomatoes you can find)

1 handful fresh basil

sea salt, black pepper

Slice the baguette thinly a bit on the diagonal. Place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub with the cut side down on all the bread slices infusing them with a mild garlic flavour. Bake on 200C oven until golden and crispy, approx 10 min.

Chop the tomatoes and place in a sieve on top of a bowl. Once all the liquid has disappeared transfer to a clean bowl and add the other half of the garlic clove, pressed. Chop the basil and add that too as well as some olive oil. Add sea salt and a little black pepper. Top the bread slices with the mixture once cool. Serve immediately. 

A nice get together in the summer house

Our summer house has survived many dinner parties and parties through the years, but the one we had during this holiday in Sweden was probably the best one so far. The weather was good, it was a nice group of friends and the perfect amount of people, and even the food seemed to be appreciated. 🙂

And it is so nice to have a party among old friends sometimes. Friends who without even asking just start helping you. All of a sudden Carina was doing the washing up, Linus carved the meat, Maria made coffee and Claes took charge of the camera. Thanks, guys!

I also had both Malin and Emma to help me in the kitchen with the canapés (and the gossip) and they did a great job (followed orders, I mean).

We started off with two canapés, both found on a lovely Swedish foodblog: Pyttes. We had fried halloumi with grilled peppers and crustades with girolles. Both adorable and extremely tasty!

As a starter I chose a dish I have made before and love; the salmon tartar with cream cheese topping. It is a great summery dish that looks more difficult to make than it is, plus you can prepare it in advance.

For the mains we had barbecued chicken with lemon and rosemary and barbecued leg of lamb marinated in red wine, garlic and rosemary. With this we served celeriac gratin, tomatoes provencale and small carrots.

The dessert was prepared in advance as well, the best way to do it for a large gathering I think. I had made an elderflower pannacotta with passionfruit on top, and it was really nice actually, made with mothers homemade elderflower cordial.

I poured the panna cotta into disposable plastic cups, not very sexy, but nice to skip the washing up, when there is 17 of you!

Thank you to all my great friends for coming!

Halloumi canapés with grilled peppers, serves 20 if combined with another canapé.

2 packets of halloumi

5 bell peppers

1 bunch of basil

crema di balsamico

olive oil for frying

cocktail sticks/small scewers

Cut the peppers into big chunks. Rinse and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Put the tray in the oven until the peppers are soft and has got some colour, about 25 minutes, 200C, this step you can do in advance.

Slice the hallomi and fry in olive oil until golden, just before serving. Place a piece of pepper and a piece of halloumi on a cocktail stick with a basil leaf in between. Place on platter and repeat until it is all used up. Drizzle crema di balsamico on the platter. Serve with napkins.

Crustades with girolles, serves 12-18 together with another canapé

2 packs (48 pieces) of crustades (you find them in Waitrose)

500 g girolles

butter for frying

150-200 g garlic and herb cream cheese

50 ml sourcream or creme fraiche

1 tsp honey

1 tsp dijon mustard

salt, white pepper

chives to decorate

Clean the mushrooms and chop them. Fry in butter on high heat. Remove from pan to a bowl and add the cream cheese, sour cream, mustard and honey. Season to taste. Fill the crustades with the mixture just before serving (otherwise the crustades go soggy). Cut the chives and sprinkle on top. Serve and enjoy!

Barbecued whole chicken with rosemary and lemon, 8-10 people at a buffet

2 medium chickens

50 g softened butter

rosmary

1 lemon

4 garlic cloves

Rinse the birds. Mix the butter with lemon peel and rosemary leaves. Season the birds and cut pockets in the skin above the breasts. Fill the pockets with butter and smear the rest of the butter around the birds. Cut the lemon in half and place each half the the bird’s cavarties. Place the chickens in a cooking bag each. Place 2 garlic cloves in each bag. Cut a small whole on the top of the bag (as a chimney) and place the chickens in the oven on 200C for about 45 minutes or until almost done. Remove from the bags and place on the barbecue and cook until done (clear juices at the joints).

Barbecued leg of lamb with red wine, rosemary and garlic, serves 12

2 legs of lamb

1 bottle red wine

1 bunch rosmary

garlic

Season the meat on all sides and place in a cooking bag each. Add rosemary sprigs and garlic to the bags and pour half the bottle in each bag. Let the meat marinate for 24 hours, make sure to turn the bag a few times so it marinated evenly. Cut a small whole on the top of the bags (as a chimney) and place the bags in the oven (200C) for about an hour. A meat thermometer is a great tool here, but unfortunately our old one in the summer house didn’t work. Take the meat out of the bags and barbecue at the end to get the crisp and sooty outside. Let the meat rest before carving.

Tomatoes provencale, serves 2-4

2 large tomatoes

3-4 tbsp grated parmesan

5 tbsp breadcrumbs

1 garlic clove

chopped parsley

olive oil

Cut the tomatoes in half (nicest if you cut vertically). Place with the cut side up and brush with oliv oil. Bake in 200 C for 15 minutes. Mix parmesan, breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley in a bowl. Add enough olive oil for the mixture to soak it up. Season the tomatoes and place a spoonful of the mixture on each halve. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.

Elderflower pannacotta, serves 6

700 ml cream (I mixed  single and double)

4 tbsp concentrated elderflower cordial (preferrably homemade)

40 g caster sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

3 gelatine leaves

Decoration: 2 passion fruits + 2 tsp icing sugar

It is best to make this dessert the day before serving so it has time to set properly. Cover the gelatine leaves with cold water in a bowl. Mix sugar, cream and vanilla in a non-stick saucepan. Bring to the boil and remove from heat. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves and add them to the cream mixture. Stir so they dissolve evenly. Add the elderflower cordial and leave the mixture for 30 minutes to cool down. Pour into plastic cups or small bowls. Leave to cool completely before putting them into the fridge. Leave them overnight to set.

On the same day, scoop out the passionfruit and mix with the icing sugar. Divide the mixture between the pannacottas and spread it out over the top. Serve and realise with the first spoonful that you have gone to heaven.