Salmon. Probably the most popular fish in Sweden, but not my first choice to be honest. I blame all the baked (over-cooked) salmon fillets when I was at Uni for that. Although I love the oily fish raw, cured and cold-smoked. And, after trying this recipe, like this; baked in a very low oven and still raw in the middle.
Slow-roasted salmon with fennel, lemon and chilli, serves 6
Adapted from Bon Appetit’s recipe.
1/2 fennel, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 red or green chili, sliced
4 sprigs dill + more for serving
salt and black pepper
900 g salmon fillet without skin
Pre-heat the oven to 135C. Pour a little oil into a baking dish. Place fennel, lemon, chilli and till in the dish and place the salmon on top. Add plenty of salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or longer if you want it cooked through.
Shred the fish into smaller pieces. Remove the dill (and substitute with fresh dill) and serve with the baked vegetables. I also had new potatoes and a cold sauce with lumpfish roe with mine.
Savoury muffins are great as a snack in between meals or for breakfast on the go, and these lovely ones with sweet potato (the best vegetable there is according to Jamie Oliver!), spring onions, chilli and feta are absolutely delicious!
The recipe is courtesy of Jamie’s latest cookbook, but I have substituted feta for parmesan and white flour for wholemeal. Obviously, the picture above is before they went into the oven; I was so mesmerised by the smell when they were done I just dove straight in and forgot all about photographs. Sorry, but if you make them you’ll understand.
Sweet potato muffins with feta, serves 12
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe.
600 g sweet potatoes
4 spring onions
1-2 red chillies
3 tbsp cottage cheese
250 g self-raising flour
1/2 packet of feta
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Lightly wipe each one with oiled kitchen paper. Peel the sweet potatoes and coarsely grate into a large bowl. Trim the spring onions, then finely slice with the chilli and add to the bowl, reserving half the chilli to one side. Crack in the eggs, add the cottage cheese and flour, then finely grate in most of the Parmesan and season with sea salt and black pepper. Mix until nicely combined.
Divide the muffin mixture between the cases. Add a slice of chilli to each one. Bake at the bottom of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. They freeze well.
I have quite a large cookbook collection in London (too big for my book case anyhow) so I have to keep some cookbooks in Sweden as well. The ones with easy, summery recipes I keep in the summer house and I just love flicking through Summer by Nigella every time I’m there. This summer I finally tried these lovely aubergine rolls with feta, chilli and mint. They are incredibly easy to make, and utterly delicious to eat.
Griddled aubergine with feta, chilli and mint, serves 4
Adapted from Nigella’s recipe.
2 large aubergines (each cut thinly lengthwise into about 10 slices)
4 tablespoons olive oil
250 grams feta cheese
1 large red chilli (finely chopped & deseeded or not depending how hot you require it)
1 bunch fresh mint (finely chopped – save some for sprinkling over)
juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the barbecue or griddle to a high heat.
Brush both sides of the aubergine slices with the oil, and cook them for about 2 minutes each side until golden and tender.
Crumble the feta into a bowl and stir in the chilli, mint and lemon juice and grind in some black pepper. You don’t need salt, as the feta is salty enough. Pile the end third of each warm aubergine slice with a heaped teaspoon of the feta mixture and roll each slice up as you go to form a soft, stuffed bundle.
Place join side down on a plate, and sprinkle with a little more mint.
This couscous salad is divine. I know, the recipe sounds too simple to create a divine dish but trust me, and my friend Gaby, when we say it is delicious.
I whipped this up one night when I was tired, hot and bothered and had no energy to cook and it turned out great. I just served it with some fried halloumi and a glass of white wine and it turned out to the an amazing supper.
Couscous salad with chilli and mint, serves 2
2 portions coucous
3 spring onions
1/2 red chilli
a handful mint
Cook the couscous according to the packet, but add some stock to the water. Takes max 5 mins. Meanwhile chop/slice the chilli, tomato, spring onion and mint.
Use a fork to puff up the couscous and add some olive oil. Heat up some more oil in a non-stick pan and fry the chilli for a minute or two without browning. Mix the chilli and hot oil into the couscous and add the tomato and spring onions. Add some lemon juice and salt. Adjust the seasoning and add the mint. Serve with fried halloumi, barbecues chicken or what else you fancy.
Sometimes I can really crave crab and when I do I find the packets of fresh crab meat in the super market especially handy. Of course a freshly cooked whole crab is nicer but it takes quite a lot of time to pick out the meat, so for a weekday I really like the packets.
This dish with vermicelli rice noodles, crab and butter to carry the flavours of chilli, lime and coriander turned out really well and feels light and fresh. Perfect summer grub if you ask me!
Rice noodles with crab, lime and coriander, serves 1-2
2 nests of vermicelli rice noodles
50 g salted butter
5 cm leek, the white part
1/2 red chilli
1 lime, zest and juice
1 handfull coriander, chopped
100 g white and brown crab meat
Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Slice the leek and finely chop the chilli. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add leek, chilli and lime zest and fry for a few minutes without browning. Add the coriander and crab meat and stir. Season. Drain the noodles and add to the pan. Turn off the heat, stir and add the lime juice.
I ♥ fritters. They work as a snack, lunch or light supper and you can use whatever is lying about in the fridge. This particular recipe is from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery School; a new edition to my cookbook shelf.
More fritters recipes:
Broccoli parmesan fritters
Black salsify and feta fritters ( a favourite!)
Corn fritters, serves 3-4
Adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course.
100 g plain flour
1/2 tsk baking powder
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp milk
2 spring onions, chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped coriander
250 g tinned corn, drained and dried on kitchen towel
salt and pepper
250 g natural yoghurt
1/2 – 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 lime, the juice
3 tbsp chopped coriander
Start by combining all the ingredients for the dip and set aside.
Next mix flour and baking powder in a bowl, add salt and pepper. Make a well in the middle and add the milk and beaten egg. Incorporate the flour with the egg and milk until all combined. Add 1 tbsp oil and more milk if the batter is too thick. Add spring onions, chilli, coriander and corn. Combine.
Heat up a frying pan on medium heat and add a glug of olive oil. Place tablespoon sized dollops of batter in the pan and fry a few fritters at the time, for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with the yoghurt dip and maybe a wedge of lime.
I adore comfort food, and I love when eating something makes you feel better. Sometimes you notice the physical effects straight away; your belly feels full, you get energy again and you stop feeling dizzy. But it almost always, at least if it is well cooked food, makes you happier. If I am down it helps to eat. Not for the sake of eating, but everything feels a bit better after you have eaten something warming and your belly is full.
With the autumn, or nearly winter, hitting London, I feel I need something comforting for supper almost everyday. That warm embrace of hearty food is difficult to beat and for me a few things hits the bull’s eye. Creamy dishes and casseroles or soup. This is from the latter category and really does the trick. With a bit of a kick to it as well as the melted cheese on top and the bread to soak up the juices in the bowl this qualifies as one of the best autumnal comfort dishes out there, don’t you think?!
My everyday chilli, serves 6
1 kg beef mince
2 cans á 400 g chopped tomatoes (of good quality), one with chilli if available
100 ml water
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
3 tsp cumin
3-4 tsp chipotle paste
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
6-7 drops tabasco
2 tbsp mild chilli sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée
a pinch of brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
400 g kidney beans, canned – rinsed and drained
Fry the meat in a large pan. Add salt and pepper. Remove the meat and pour out the meat juices. Fry the onions and garlic until soft but not browned in olive oil. Add the meat, chopped tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil. Add everything but the beans. Season and add more spices if needed. Let it boil until the sauce has thickened. Add the beans and cook for another few minutes to warm up the beans.
Serve with grated cheese, sourcream and bread. And perhaps some salad.