Recipe: classic Moules Marinère my way (with or without potato)

APC_0429.jpeg

APC_0431.jpeg

If I lived closer to a good fishmonger or a supermarket with a good fish counter, this could easily become a Friday tradition; buying a net of juicy mussels, cooking them the classic way with wine and cream, open a nice bottle of white wine to go with them and eat them with some nice crusty bread.

And if I wanted to make the supper a bit more substantial – I would just add potato. I know the potato part isn’t all that classic, but it’s a really nice way to make the mussels more into a main course. And since I use the same recipe I’m basically giving you a two for one here.

APC_0437.jpeg

 

Classic Moules Marinère, serves 2

1 kg fresh mussels

2 small shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped 

1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp oil 

100 ml dry white wine

300 ml double cream

(3 firm potatoes, peeled and diced)

chopped parsley for serving

Rinse the mussels to get rid of any grit. Remove the beards and throw away any mussels that are broken or don’t close if tapping them. 

Add butter and oil to a large pan and put on medium heat. Fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes without browning. Add the wine and let it bubble a little. Add the cream and stir. Add the mussels and cook with the lid on for a few minutes until the mussels have opened their shells. Season to taste. Scatter with freshly chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread for dipping. 

If you want to add the potato; cook the diced potato in salted water until soft when piercing with a knife. Drain and add to the mussels before serving.

 

Cinema and a lot of cooking (yes!)

APC_2327.jpeg

The first week in February was not too busy for me, and that was great since I had to battle a cold. But apart from resting a bit to get rid of said cold and working of course, I also managed to get back into the cooking groove.

APC_2353.jpeg

When I’m out a few nights a week I feel it tricky to figure out what to cook the nights I stay in. But when I stay in more I really get into it. I made a nice omelet one day, my go to poke bowl (same ingredients as in this recipe) and pulled pork in brioche buns with aioli.

APC_2362.jpeg

I also got a bunch of tulips that lasted surprisingly long and I just love the fact that spring is here and with it TULIP SEASON!

On the Wednesday we went to the cinema to see Can You Ever Forgive Me and although it wasn’t amazing I liked it. Interesting true story and great acting.

IMG_9457.jpeg

 

I cooked even more at the weekend. We stayed in every night so I planned it all in advance and ordered everything from Ocado. Much more inspiring than just popping into the small neighbourhood supermarket only to find out that they’re out of stock of the chicken you wanted.

 

IMG_4827.jpeg

 

If you want to follow my day to day life a bit more you can follow @scandelights on Instagram as well. As blogging takes a lot of time, I find my instagram account a great compliment of what I eat and do on a more daily basis. Hope to see you there too!

 

 

Recipe: broccoli cheddar soup

IMG_9377.JPG

I love broccoli! Which you can see in the archives here at Scandelights. And luckily broccoli is one of those rare vegetables that both taste nice AND is good for you. Hurrah!

This soup, however, might be more good for the soul than the waist, as it has a hefty amount of cheese in it. But, isn’t that what we need this time of year?! Something warm and comforting in a bowl, that’s both delicious and nutritious (thanks to the broccoli).

IMG_9356.JPG

Broccoli cheddar soup, serves 4-6

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

4 tbsp butter

1 small onion, finely chopped 

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

60 ml plain flour

120 ml milk

120 ml cream

950 ml vegetable or chicken stock (from a good quality cube is fine) 

1 bay leaf

salt and black pepper

565 g broccoli, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

225 g grated mature cheddar + extra for garnish

Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the milk and cream until smooth. Add the stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add the broccoli and carrot to the pan and simmer until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning if needed, but keep in mind the cheese will add some salt as well. Mix the soup with a stick blender to your desired texture. Back on the stove, add cheese and whisk until melted, about 1 minute.

Serve in bowls, garnished with grated cheddar. Serve with crusty bread. 

Taking it easy

APC_0422.jpg

I was ill again last week. So typical. So I stayed in bed Monday and Tuesday but felt better on Wednesday and could go to work. So the rest of the week I just took it easy after work, to rest as much as possible. I really don’t want to get ill again between now and Christmas (or on my Christmas break!), too much to do!

APC_0417.jpg

The weekend was quiet as well, which was nice. On my lunch break on Friday I went to Whole Foods to buy some nice things for the weekend. Love it there and it’s a treat to go now when I don’t have one close to me anymore.

APC_0428.jpgAPC_0434.jpg

I bought mussels that I cooked that night with white wine, cream and potatoes. So yummy!

IMG_9352.jpg

On Saturday we slept until noon, had poached eggs for breakfast and then went for a walk around Wimbledon Common. It air was crisp but the sun was out and it was perfect weather for an autumnal walk.

APC_0487.jpg

When we got backed we watched a bit of the tennis and some rugby before going for a drink at the local pub followed by dinner nearby.

APC_0545.jpg

Sunday treated me to another lie-in and then I pottered around, making pudding for supper and prepping ahead. For dinner I made a lovely pasta dish I will post about later, and lemon posset for pudding. Then we cuddled up on the sofa watching The Handmaid’s Tale and when I couldn’t take it anymore, an episode of Stan Lee’s Lucky Man.

The next month will be busy, but I hope I can squeeze in another cosy weekend without plans. Sleeping until one wake up naturally is just the best!

Recipe: tagliatelle with prawns, tomatoes and mushrooms

IMG_2735.jpg

I made this pasta with prawns, mushrooms and tomatoes back in Sweden in August for my parents and I for supper and we all really enjoyed it.

It feels fresh and light although it has cream in it and the prawns work so well with both tomatoes and mushrooms.

And it’s actually the tomatoes that steal the show for me! Look out for those little bursts of juicy sweet tomato that comes with almost every bite. I had the luxury of using my mother’s homegrown cherry tomatoes in different colours (they were delicious!) but any small tomatoes in season will work just as well (I’ve made this dish a few times since August using store-bought on-the-vine British cherry tomatoes).

IMG_2742.jpg

Tagliatelle with prawns, tomatoes and button mushrooms, serves 3-4

500 g fresh tagliatelle

1-2 shallots, finely chopped 

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

plenty of butter and neutral oil for frying

200 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

50 ml dry white wine

150 g cherry tomatoes, cut in half

300 ml double cream

1/2 stock cube (fish or vegetable) 

400 g frozen Atlantic shell-on prawns, defrosted and peeled (or approx 250 g fresh ones) 

approx 2 tsp caster sugar

salt and pepper

chopped parsley

Fry onions and garlic in butter and oil on medium heat without browning. Remove from pan. Add more butter and oil to the pan and fry the mushrooms on medium-high heat until golden brown. Season and remove from pan. Add a little more oil to the pan and add the tomatoes and let them cook on medium geat for a few minutes. Add the wine and let some evaporate before adding cream and stock cube (no water). Stir and let the sauce thicken. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms and season to taste with sugar, salt and pepper (the sugar will balance the acidity from the tomatoes). You want the sauce to have depth and taste a lot as the pasta will dilute the flavours. Cook the pasta in a large pot and drain.  

Take the sauce off the heat and add the prawns. Stir and add the pasta. Mix properly so every strand of pasta is coated with sauce. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately.  

Cooking, series and a lovely weekend!

Hello,

And sorry for the silence. I’ve spent most of this week in bed being poorly but am finally on the mend. And since I’m behind with my weekly “report” I thought it best to write it up straight away. So, here’s what I got up to last week…

I had a quiet week without too much socialising and I noticed how much more energy I had in the evenings when I just went home to cook (which I did every night) and watched a few episodes of a series or read my book, than when I’m out for dinner and drinks several times a week.

w3.jpg?w=640

Cooking wise it was quite simple meals, proper weekday grub, which was nice. I made a batch of tomato sauce on Monday for supper that same evening and the night after (love planning ahead like that!). Half of the tomato sauce was used for shakshuka (isn’t it just the best supper dish?!) with onions and carrots and topped with creme fraiche and feta. Similar recipe here.

w5.jpg?w=640

On Tuesday I spiced up the rest of the tomato sauce and used it to make enchiladas. Yum! Wednesday I cooked a new recipe but I want to photograph it again before I put it on the blog, so stay tuned.

w6.jpg?w=640

Thursday I had a sudden craving for dauphinoise potatoes and so made a small gratin and ate it with some roasted chicken from the freezer and steamed broccoli.

I continued to watch The Truth of the Harry Quebert Affair (not many episodes left now!) but also started watching Killing Eve on the BBC which is really good!

Friday night we went out for a pub supper before seeing First Man at the cinema. Great film – highly recommend it!

w9.jpg?w=640

On Saturday I met up with my foodie friend Anna and her daughter, visiting from Sweden, for some shopping and a lovely afternoon tea at Zetter Townhouse in Marylebone. In the evening I went for drinks before cooking a late pasta supper at home.

w12.jpg

Sunday we had a lie-in and a nice cooked breakfast at home before going for a pub lunch and a walk by the river. It was freezing so afterwards we cosied up on the sofa watching Murder on the Orient Express (which wasn’t that great but had an amazing cast) followed by some more of  The Handmaid’s Tale. For dinner I made this chicken gratin and for pudding we had vanilla ice cream, homemade raspberry coulis and  crushed biscuits, for a bit of crunch.

Apart from the sudden cold weather it was a good week!

Recipe: garlic and herb sauce

IMG_7474.jpg

Growing up in the countryside in the south of Sweden I didn’t realise how lucky I was to grow up in such an idyllic place. Fast forward to present time living in a big city, where getting fresh herbs and locally grown vegetables can be quite tricky at times.

So my first night in Sweden this summer I cooked us a fairly standard summer meal of pork fillet, salad and potatoes. Normally I would cook the meat on the barbecue to get that charred flavour, but due to the first barbecue ban in my life time (even in your own garden – it was that dry) I had to make do with the stove and oven. And sitting outside in the sunshine it was still a lovely meal.

Mainly because of the sauce I literally threw together on the spot. It’s a simple cold sauce with mainly creme fraiche and a little mayonnaise as a base (us Swedes make sauces like this ALL the time), but what made it so nice was the mix (and quantity) of fresh herbs from the garden. An absolute treat for this city girl and something I used to take for granted when I lived at home.

IMG_7476.jpg

Garlic and herb sauce, serves 3-4

300 ml creme fraiche

2 tbsp mayonnaise (preferably Hellman’s)

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp Acacia honey

3/4 small garlic clove, finely chopped

approx 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley 

salt and pepper

Mix creme fraiche and mayonnaise. Then add mustard, honey, garlic and herbs and leave for a while for the flavours to develop before serving. Season to taste.