Recipe: spaghetti carbonara with girolles

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As we’re bang in the middle of the mushroom season (and it looks like a great mushroom year this year, judging from the bounty my foraging friends present) I thought it appropriate with a little homage to the lovely girolle. Which also happens to be one of my favourite mushrooms!

I think mushrooms and pasta go well together, and I have several great recipes on the blog already, but as I learned to perfect a proper carbonara I couldn’t help but experiment with it too. You see, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head that the addition of girolles to the creaminess and saltiness of a carbonara would work really well, and so I tried it out on my favourite guinea pigs; my best friend, her husband and my boyfriend.

As I really wanted the girolles to take center stage I was afraid the salty pancetta would take over, but with the double amount of girolles compared to pancetta in weight, it worked really well. I also fried the mushrooms separately to the pancetta, adding plenty of butter, garlic and seasoning to really make them hold their own.

Hope you like my little experiment as much as I do. For me, this is just the perfect Friday night pasta, especially in autumn, obviously paired with a large glass of smooth red wine and great company.

Spaghetti carbonara with girolles, serve 4

6 egg yolks 

80 g parmesan + extra for serving

175 g good quality pancetta, diced

350 g fresh girolles, washed and patted dry

2 tbsp butter

400 g dried good quality spaghetti 

2 garlic cloves

olive oil

salt and black pepper

Put the egg yolks. in a bowl and grate the parmesan into the bowl. Add some pepper and mix thoroughly with a fork. Put to the side. Cook the spaghetti in salted water according to the instructions on the packet, until al dente. 

Fry the mushrooms in butter and a little oil on medium-high heat. Finely chop a garlic clove and add it to the pan. Season well. Pour the mushrooms into a bowl and leave to cool a little. Fry the pancetta in oil on medium-high heat. Peel a garlic clove, crush it with the palm of your hand and add to the pan – remove it if it browns or when the pancetta is cooked. Drain the cooked pancetta on kitchen towel. 

Fill a mug or small jug with pasta cooking  water and drain the pasta. Mix the spaghetti with the pancetta and mushrooms and remove from heat. Pour everything back into the pasta pan, add some pepper and some of the pasta cooking water. Add the egg and parmesan mixture and mix well. Add more pasta water if the mixture is too dry. Divide into bowls and serve with grated parmesan and black pepper. 

Hello October!

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To welcome October (and autumn) I thought I would look back at some great recipes that I’ve posted through the years here on Scandelights.

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As I’m usually behind with my posts (as in I write and publish them a while after they happened) I thought this would be a good way to highlight some more seasonal recipes each month.

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Although I’m a summer person I also love this time of year; the beginning of fall (before I get depressed mid-November) when the air is crisp, it feels cosy to stay in and cook and drink red wine (rosé, you’re retired until April!) and binge box sets. I love lighting candles and curling up on the sofa with a soft blanket.

The recipes I have selected definitely reflect this cosy feeling October gives me. We have warming soups, a comforting stew, lots of lovely mushroom recipes (as it’s their peak season right now) and of course APPLES!

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And that’s where I’d like to start; with the apples! And this lovely apple cake to be precise. I don’t love the gooey kind much, but this one is different. It’s more cake-y and it has a crunchy top which really makes it stand out!

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Staying on sweets, I think the best autumnal pudding is a really good crumble, and this Delia recipe is the best I’ve tried. It warms you from the inside out and is the best way to use up any autumnal fruits. It works with plums, apples, pears or a mixture of them all. Serve with this fluffy raw custard and you’ll really impress your guests!

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Moving on to soups, I’ve started with a selection of easy to make soups that are sort of autumnal light, let’s save the heavier ones for November when we really need it! First up is this British classic: carrot and coriander soup. It’s perfect for a weeknight supper with a cheese toastie on the side, or do as us Swedes and have pancakes after.

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Next we have a really lovely and filling cream of corn soup with lovely toppings (don’t skip these). Use fresh corn while it’s still in season!

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Moving on to my favourite category: mushrooms, what’s better than starting with a mushroom soup – a recipe that fits in two camps and probably makes it the most October appropriate of them all! The addition of sherry it what really makes it stand out (in a good way) and also makes it totally dinner party worthy as a starter.

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Next we have this open lasagne with mushrooms, thyme and truffle ricotta. It’s just as lovely as it sounds and very easy to make! Definitely qualifies for a dinner party or date night!

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As I love love love girolles there are a fair amount of lovely recipes here featuring them already, so I thought I’d highlight two of my favourites. This delicious pizza bianco with butter-fried girolles and Vasterbotten cheese (available at Ocado, or can be substituted for a sharp cheddar or comté)…

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…and this girolle cannelloni. So delicious! And albeit a little fiddly it’s quite therapeutic to  make and totally worth the labour!

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The last mushroom recipe features black trumpet and is a lovely dish with crispy pork belly, Jerusalem artichoke purée and a creamy black trumpets. Such a lovely dish!

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Moving on to stews, like with the soups I think it best to save the heavy artillery for next month, but this aubergine and chorizo stew to have with creamy delicious polenta is a good one for October!

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Lastly, I’m sharing a tomato recipe. I know, the season is almost over, but only almost. So let’s make the best of the last few locally grown tomatoes we can find and make this pappa al pomodoro with burrata. You can thank me later.

If you have any favourite October recipes you’d like to share, please leave a comment below! ❤️

 

 

Recipe: mushroom toast with brie and rosemary

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Mushrooms. Is there anything better than mushrooms fried in butter?! With garlic of course. Well, this sourdough toast with both mushrooms and gooey melted brie is certainly a contender.

It’s definitely for the colder parts of the year, but it’s sooo good! The perfect little evening indulgence on a cold and windy day.

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Mushroom toast with brie and rosemary, serves 1

1 slice white sourdough bread

1 tbsp salted butter for frying

6 chestnut mushrooms, sliced

a small handful dried forest mushroom (I had a mixture of black trumpet, porcini and chantarelles)

1 tbsp butter + 1 msk oil for frying

1/2 (or 1 small) garlic clove, finely chopped

1-2 tsp chopped rosemary

1 large slice ripe brie (I used Sainsbury’s Somerset brie which is surprisingly good and ripe) 

Garnish:

1 sprig rosemary

Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with warm water. Fry the sourdough in butter on medium heat until golden on both sides. Drain on kitchen towel.

Squeeze the excess water out of the no-longer-dry mushrooms. Fry together with the fresh mushrooms in butter and oil on medium-high heat until nicely browned. Add the garlic and rosemary. Fry for a minute or so. Add salt and pepper. 

Place the fried sourdough on a parchment paper covered oven tray. Top with the fried mushrooms and put the slice of brie on top. Place in the top of the oven in 200C, until the cheese has melted, approx 5 mins.  

Plate and garnish with a sprig of rosemary. 

 

Recipe: tagliatelle with prawns, tomatoes and mushrooms

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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).

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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.  

Recipe: Girolle toast 2.0

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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE mushrooms, and especially girolles! They’re coming into season at the same time as my beloved crayfish, so to start off the little crayfish party we had in Sweden (a must when you have a London visitor in August!), we had these absolutely delicious little girolle toasts with cognac and cream. (I’ve made similar ones before but this version is even better, I promise!)

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They went down a treat and I got praise like “I could eat these EVERY day!”, and I must agree that they were divine. The combination of mustard and cognac with the smooth cream is just delicious and the grated cheese to finish adds an extra layer of flavour.

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You simply must try them, either as little canapés (in which case I would cut each bread slice into four instead of two) or like this; as a little starter with a glass of pink champagne.

With the crayfish we had some more girolles, because why not?!, on top of the Västerbotten cheese quiche. If you’re planning a crayfish party you simply must try it!

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Kantarelltoast 2.0, serves 4 as a starter

5 slices regular white bread, crusts removed and the slices cut on the diagonal into triangels

2 tbsp butter + a splash of oil for frying the bread

150 g girolle mushrooms, rinsed

1 large shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

4 tbsp butter + a splash of oil for frying onions, garlic and mushrooms

2 tbsp cognac

100 ml double cream

1-2 tsp Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

chopped parsley

To garnish:

finely grated Västerbotten cheese (parmesan would work too)

Fry the bread in butter and a little oil on medium-low heat until golden brown on both sides. Leave to drain on kitchen towel. 

Fry the onions and garlic in some of the butter and oil ton medium heat until golden. Remove from the pan and fry the mushrooms with more butter and oil on medium-high heat. When the mushrooms are cooked, turn the temperature down to medium and add the garlic and onions to the pan. Season. Add the cognac and let some of it evaporate before adding the cream. Add the mustard and taste until you’re happy with the flavour. Adjust the seasoning and add a little more cognac if needed. Stir with a whisk while the sauce thickens. It should be thick but still a touch runny when it’s done (and full of flavour). Add the parsley and spoon the mushroom mixture onto the fried bread slices and top with grated cheese.

Reminder: Västerbotten cheese quiche

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In Sweden crayfish season is in full swing, and I wanted to remind you all that one of the most important things for a crayfish party (apart from the crayfish and snaps) is this Västerbotten cheese quiche. You can buy the cheese from Ocado (love their Swedish shop!) but you could also substitute it for a sharp cheddar if you prefer.

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We had a little crayfish party when I was home in Sweden and I love this non-holiday more than some actual holidays. The crayfish are just delicious, but we went all out with both fresh and smoked prawns (they’re delicious!) as well.

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And yes, we had snaps (Linie Aquavit, pictured above) and silly hats.

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Bread and cheese is also needed to soak up the alcohol (snaps is strong!) and maybe some homemade mayonnaise for dipping.  And don’t forget the finger bowls – this is a very messy (but really fun!) affair!

Skål!

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Västerbotten cheese quiche, serves 6

Dough:

120 g softened butter

300 ml plain flour

1/2 beaten egg

Filling:

250 g grated Västerbotten cheese (or a sharp cheddar will do)

2 egg yolks

2 eggs

200 ml cream

salt

Topping:

100 g girolles

2 tbsp salted butter

1 shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

salt, pepper

chopped parsley

Mix the ingredients together for the dough and press it out in a quiche dish. Use a fork to pierce the dough all over. Pre-bake the dough for 10 mins at 175 C.

Mix the grated cheese with the cream, eggs and yolks and pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake for another 20 mins.

Fry the girolles in butter on medium-high heat until almost done. Add the shallots and garlic and fry until golden. Season well and add the parsley. Place on top of the quiche just before serving. 

London: brilliant Bao

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I’m a bit behind on updating this blog, and have been since probably the beginning of the year. My life seems to just speedily whirl by, and I’m left with lots of things to write about but haven’t got enough time to actually write. But sometimes I have a little window, and I try to really grab it with both hands and put these posts together. Wish me luck!

Anyway, I went to Bao  sometime in the spring, i.e. a very long time ago, but I still want to tell you about this great little place.

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Gaby and I queued for a little more than an hour, which is a very long time if you’re hungry, but passes quite quickly if you’re chatting away with a friend. Either way, it’s totally worth the wait.

We started off with trotter nuggets (brilliant idea!) with a tonkatsu type sauce that really cut through the pork flavour. Delicious!

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We then moved on the the baos (filled steamed Korean buns). Their ‘classic’ with braised pork and peanuts was utterly divine and my favourite. I actually ordered one more; it was that good!

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The confit pork bao sounded promising (I love any confit) but it wasn’t as good as the classic. Still nice, but I would skip this next time and go straight for the classic.

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We then had the fried chicken bao with mayonnaise, which actually came in a different type of bun, but it was also really nice!

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We didn’t have just buns though; we also sampled some of the small dishes on the menu, like the mushrooms and century egg. It was a real umami bomb and quite different. I liked it.

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But the scallop with yellow bean and garlic was even better. The powder was just delicious and the bean paste just worked so well together with the sweetness of the scallop.

Since we were here, Bao has opened up another restaurant, but the queues seem to remain at the Soho branch. But go with a friend, chat away in the queue and before you know it you can bite into these delicious baos. Yep. Worth it.

Bao Soho, 53 Lexington St, London W1F 9AS