Recipe: Lobster soup with toast

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For New Year’s Eve my assignment was to make a lobster soup with sherry, so that’s what I set out to do. But as I needed lobster shell for the stock I thought it best to incorporate the lobster meat as well and did so by serving a delicious lobster toast (on butter-fried bread!) along side it. So yummy!

Obviously one can make the soup sans toast the day after a lobster feast or freeze the shells and use them another day. Same goes for prawn shells; you find a great recipe for prawn soup here.

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Lobster soup, serves 8

4 cooked lobsters

2 carrots

1 onion with skin on 

1 fennel or celery 

a bunch dill stalks

1 tsp fennel seeds

300 ml double cream 

50 ml dry sherry

approx 2 tbsp maizena or corn starch to thicken the soup

concentrated lobster stock (to taste)

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1 tbsp butter

a splash of sherry

2 shallots, finely chopped 

1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped 

Remove the lobster meat from the shells and set aside. Chop the shells very coarsley (it’s only so they fit better in the pan later). Place the shell in a large cooking tray with a little oil. Also add large pieces of carrot, onion and celery/fennel. Roast for approx 20 minutes on 180/200C. Transfer the shells and vegetables to a large saucepan with a lid. Add plenty of water (3 litres) and bring to the boil. Add dill stalks and fennel seeds. Place the lid askew and cook for 30-45 minutes.

Sieve the stock and reduce (high heat, no lid) until approx 1 litre remains. Add salt and pepper and taste. Add some concentrated lobster stock if needed. Add the sherry to a clean non-stick pan and let it bubble for a minute. Add the stock and cream and let it thicken. Add the maizena/corn starch to thicken the soup further. Sieve if you see any lumps. Season to taste with concentrate, salt, pepper and sherry. 

From the lobster meat I used approx 1/4 of the meat, the smallest pieces, to place in the soup bowls. Melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped shallots. After a minute add the lobster meat and add the sherry. Add salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and add the dill. Divide between the bowls and pour in the soup. 

Lobster toast, serves 8

6 slices white bread

2 tbsp butter

remaining lobster meat from the 4 lobsters

1 batch homemade mayonnaise

1 tsp dijon

1 bunch, finely chopped

1 pinch cayenne pepper

salt, pepper

Chop the lobster meat (not too finely). Add 4 tbsp mayonnaise to a bowl and mix in the meat. Add more mayo if needed. Add mustard, dill and cayenne after taste. Season. Place cold until serving. 

Remove the crusts on the bread and cut into two diagonally. Fry the slices golden brown on both sides in butter on medium-low heat. Divide the lobster mayonnaise between the toasts and serve with the soup. 

New Years Eve 2015

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New Year’s Eve. A bit like Marmite – some people hate it, some people like it. I’m definitely in the latter category. I like all the cosiness Christmas brings, but I’m not a fan of the stodgy food that we traditionally eat in Scandinavia, so New Year’s is for me the perfect opportunity to cook and eat food I really like. Food worthy to end the year.

The last few years I’ve spent the evening with my closest friends and we have worked out the perfect New Year’s Eve menu, for us at least.

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We start off with champagne, Swedish Kalix (bleak) roe, butter-fried bread, creme fraiche and chopped red onion., with champagne. It’s the most simple thing – yet incredibly delicious (and very Scandi!).

Next we have lobster, usually with melted garlic butter, and this year I opted for caramelised garlic butter – another simple and delicious dish!

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For mains we usually have fillet of beef, with potatoes and greens. This year the beef fillet was served with mini Pommes Anna (made in a muffin tin), mange tout and a mushroom sauce with Dijon mustard.

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For pudding we had individual chocolate pavlovas with chocolate crème and creme fraiche (whipped cream would be better but I forgot it), decorated with daim and Noblesse chocolate thins. A jug of chocolate sauce was put on the table so everyone could help themselves.

Lobster with caramelized garlic butter, serve 4

2 lobsters, cooked 

1 whole garlic

100 g salted butter, at room temperature

a bunch of parsley 

1 slice of lemon, cut into 4

4 slices of baguette

The day before (or at least a few hours ahead of) serving: Wrap the garlic in tin foil and bake for 40 mins in 180C oven (until soft). Leave to cool.

Mix the butter with as much caramelized garlic you like. It’s sweeter and not as strong as fresh garlic, so I thought 5 cloves was a good amount. Chop the parsley and mix in. Add pepper too. Roll into a roll and cover with cling. Place in the fridge to set. 

To serve: Cut the lobsters in half lengthways, remove the gooey bits in the head and the bowel string. Rinse the shell with the meat still inside. Crack the claws and get the meat out. Place in the shells and place the shells in an ovenproof dish. Cut the butter into thick slices and distribute on the lobster halves. Place in 180C oven for approx 10 mins until the lobsters are hot and the butter has melted. Serve immediately with a piece of lemon and a slice of baguette. 

Mini Pommes Anna with thyme, serve 4

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s recipe.

850 g potato of a firm variety (Maris Piper works well)

100 g butter

a bunch of fresh thyme 

salt, black pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C . Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Brush 8-10 wholes in the muffin tin all over with butter. Line bottoms with parchment-paper rounds. Arrange 1-2 small thyme sprigs in center of each round. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon butter into bottom of each cup.

 

Add chopped thyme and garlic to remaining butter in saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

 

Using food processor, moulinex or mandoline, slice potatoes crosswise into very thin rounds , placing them in a large bowl as you work. Pour herb butter over and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat well.

 

Divide potato slices among muffin cups, layering overlapping slices to create a circular pattern. Lightly press center of each to make compact. Drizzle any remaining butter and seasoning from bowl over.

 

Cover muffin pan tightly with foil and place in the oven. Bake until potatoes can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife and are golden brown, about 35 minutes.
Remove foil; invert a rimmed baking sheet over pan. Turn, lightly tapping on counter, releasing potatoes onto sheet. Rearrange any slices that may have fallen out. Discard parchment.
Individual chocolate pavlovas, served 4

Translated from and Adapted after Roy Fares’ recipe.

Chocolate crème:

50 g dark chocolate

30 g (3) egg yolks

37,5 g caster sugar

15 g maizena corn starch

1/2 tsp vanilla

175 ml milk

10 g butter

Pavlovas:

37,5 g dark chocolate

70 g (2) egg whites

110 g caster sugar

4 g maizena corn starch

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar 

Chocolate sauce:

50 ml caster sugar

50 ml cocoa

50 ml cream

15 g butter

To decorate:

300 ml lightly whipped cream

1/2 packet daim balls (or a chocolate bar, chopped)

12 Noblesse chocolate thins or similar 

4 sparklers

Chocolate cream: Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Mix egg yolks, sugar, corn starch and vanilla in another bowl. Bring the milk to the boil in a saucepan and mix it into the egg yolk mixture (little by little as to not scramble the eggs). Pour the egg yolk milk mixture into the saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened. Cook for another 2 minutes, on low heat, to get rid of the corn starch flavour. Pour the custard over the chocolate, add the butter and mix until the chocolate has melted. Cover with cling and place in fridge until cold. 

Pavlovas: Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl, melt either over boiling water or in the microwave. Pre-heat oven to 150C. 

Beat the egg whites until foamy and add the sugar bit by it while beating until stiff and glossy. Add the corn flour and vinegar and mix carefully with a spatula. Drizzle with the melted chocolate and create a marbled effect by folding the mixture 2-3 times with a spatula. Divide the meringue mixture into four small rounds on a lined baking tray. 

Bake in the middle of the oven for 60 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven while cooling. Let the meringue discs cool completely. 

Chocolate sauce: Mix sugar, cocoa and cream in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes. Leave to cool completely. 

Assembling: Place a meringue disc on each plate. Fill up with the crème and top with whipped cream. Decorate with daim, noblesse and sparklers. Heat up the sauce and serve it in a jug on the side.  

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve 2014

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New Year’s Eve was just as great as we’d hoped. Our little gang (Emma, Claes, Linus and me) started with lunch at Marchal in Copenhagen (review to come), walked around the city and stopped for cava at a bar before taking the train back to Sweden. After a change of clothes we were ready for the evening festivities.

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We started with my favourite champagne (Pol Roger Brut Réserve), gougères (recipe to follow later) as well as butter-fried bread, Kalix caviar (Swedish bleak roe), creme fraiche and chopped red onions. A real Scandi classic that we never get tired of!

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We then continued on the ‘simple yet delicious’ theme with fresh lobsters with garlic and parsley butter and baguette and Les Sétilles, Bourgogne 2012 to drink.

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The main course was a bit more complex, but I had prepped most of it in advance. Fillet of beef with potato parcels, Jerusalem artichoke purée, oyster mushrooms, steamed carrots and red wine jusBrolio Chianti Classico 2012 to drink.

And here somewhere we lost track of time and realised 30 minutes before midnight that we would not have time for pudding beforehand, so instead we went outside to watch the fire work display organised by Malmö town, which was really nice! To toast in the new year we had Charles de Fère Brut Mérite; a nice French sprarkling.

IMG_9611Back in the flat again I made my way into the kitchen and made a baked Alaska with crispy oats, passionfruit and raspberries that went down really well around 1am! (Recipe to follow).

New Year’s Eve preparations

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f04/14000478/files/2014/12/img_4658.jpgAlthough I really like Christmas it is always a bit hectic to get everything done, so I just love that when it’s time for New Year’s Eve I have more time to plan and prepare for it. I’ve almost decided on a menu I will share with you, but there is also plenty to choose from in the archives; dinner parties are my forte.

After meeting up with a friend for some shopping and fika I started prepping for Wednesday’s dinner. I’ve made the jus, the ice cream batter, the gougéres and the biscuits for the pudding. I will prep some more tomorrow too so I only have the last minute cooking to do on the day so I have more time to hang out with my friends.

New Year’s Eve menu 2014

Gougéres
Swedish vendace caviar with butter-fried bread, creme fraiche and red onions
Pol Roger Brut Réserve

Lobster with garlic butter
Les Sétilles, Bourgogne 2012

Fillet of beef, potato nests and red wine jus
Brolio , Chianti Classico 2012

A take on baked Alaska with oat crisps and berries

NYE 2013

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My bestie Emma and I have always liked a good party and quite often organised New Year’s Eve parties ourselves. Although it has always been lots of fun it takes quite a lot of time and effort to do it well so, in lieu of a big NYE party to go to, we decided to go back to basics for once. Just a few people, four in fact. Easy but classic and very tasty food, champagne and nice wines to drink and just lots of fun because you’re among great friends.

I wouldn’t mind a repeat this year, guys!

After watching some ice hockey in the afternoon (the Junior World Championship was on in Malmö) we started our evening with Champagne and canapès consisting of crispy bread fried in butter topped with creme fraiche, Swedish caviar (löjrom), red onions, dill and lemon slices. It doesn’t require much cooking but it is so delicious it still impresses your guests!

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Our starter was lobster with melted garlic butter and puff pastry twists. Again very simple, but absolutely gorgeous!

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The even bigger hit was the main course with incredibly tender fillet of beef that I managed to buy in a regular (but very good) supermarket (where I also found bone marrow  – I was in heaven!). Served rare with a wonderful mushroom crème, tenderstem broccoli, caramelised shallots, Hasselback potatoes and creamy red wine sauce, I think this was everyone’s favourite dish. So so delicious!

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I made the same dessert as last year, as it was such a success! Fluffy parfait with chopped dark chocolate and caramelised hazelnuts served with honeycomb and butterscotch sauce. Delicious!

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Just before midnight we walked down to the Opera in Malmö where the fire work display was going to be, toasted in some more bubbly, watched the fireworks and went back inside to eat and drink some more. It was a great evening!

The Recipes

Swedish caviar with butter-fried bread, serves 4

4-6 slices of nice white bread

2 tbsp salted butter for frying 

1 packet Swedish caviar (löjrom – bleak roe)

200 ml creme fraiche

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

dill lemon slices to decorate

Heat up a frying pan on medium heat and melt half the butter but don’t let it burn. Fry the bread slowly first on one side and then on the other until crispy and golden brown. Add more butter when you turn the bread. Cut into smaller pieces. 

Chop the red onion and let it soak in icecold water a few minutes before serving to lose some of the sharpness. Drain before serving. 

Either place a dollop of creme fraiche, caviar and some red onion, dill and a small lemon segment on each bread piece or serve in bowls and let people assemble their own canapès. 

Lobster with garlic butter and puff pastry twists, serves 4

2 fresh lobsters

100 g salted butter, at room temperature 

1 medium garlic clove, pressed

1 handful fresh parsley, chopped

white pepper

1 roll all butter puff pastry 

sea salt flakes

lemon slices to serve

Start with the puff pastry twists. Cut the roll of puff pastry into 2 cm wide strips. Twist each strip a few times and place on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and bake in 225C oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Leave to cool. Keep in an airtight container. 

Mix the softened butter with garlic, parsley and some white pepper.

Cut the lobsters in half lengthways with a sharp yet sturdy knife. Remove the black vein and any roe. Rinse very carefully. Remove and open the claws and keep the claw meat on the side. Place the lobster halves on a baking tray, spread with butter and place in a 200C oven for about 10 minutes. Serve with a lemon wedge, a fresh claw each and the puff pastry twists. 

Fillet of beef with Hasselback potatoes, tenderstem broccoli, mushroom crème, caramelised shallots and creamy red wine sauce, serves 4

1 kg good quality beef fillet, trimmed of any tendons and cut into 3-4 cm thick medallions 

1 kg medium Maris Piper potatoes (or another firm type)

2-3 broccoli stems per person

1 batch red wine juswith approx 400 ml liquid

200 ml double cream

Start with the sauce, crème and onions (recipes below). Add the cream to the red wine jus, let it thicken and season to taste. Can be reheated before serving. 

Peel the potatoes and cut in half lengthways. Put them flat side down and make small incisions creating a ridged effect with a sharp knife. Don’t cut all the way through and leave 1-2 mm between the incisions. Place the potato halves on an oiled baking tray, drizzle with mild oil and add salt and pepper. Bake until crisp and golden brown, approx 30-40 minutes in 200C. 

Brown the meat on all sides. Season well with salt and black pepper. Place in oven on 150C until the inside temperature of the meat is 55C (for medium-rare). Rest the meat a few minutes before serving. 

Cook the broccoli in salted water until soft but not mushy. Drain and add some more salt. 

Plate with the mushroom crème underneath the meat. 

Mushroom crème, serves 4

125 g chestnut mushrooms

1 handful dried ceps (porcini) in pieces 

1 shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, pressed

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp Cognac

50 ml double cream

salt, white pepper

Soak the ceps for a few minutes then squeeze out the excess liquid. Chop all the mushrooms roughly. Heat up a knob of butter in a frying pan/sauteuse on mediun heat and add shallots, garli and mushrooms. Fry slowly adding more butter if needed. Once the mushrooms have browned, add the mustard and Cognac and let the liquid evaporate. Add the cream and let the mixture thicken. Blend to a smooth paste using a stick blender. Adjust the seasoning. Heat up again before serving.

Caramelised shallots, serves 4

10-12 shallots, peeled and cut in half

1 knob salted butter

200 ml red wine

100 ml beef stock

2 tsp Acacia honey

salt, pepper

Use a non-stick pan. Caramelise the onions in the butter on medium heat, it takes about 5 minutes. Add red wine, stock and honey and let the liquid evaporate (without a lid) until you have sticky dark brown onions. Add salt and pepper. 

NYE 2012 – the maincourse

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I was very pleased with the maincourse on New Year’s Eve, and I still am. I prepped as much as I could the day before, so I could have fun with the guests and not spend my whole evening in the kitchen on the night. It worked really well, so I am including this in the recipe below.

It is not really difficult, just a lot of different things to juggle. But follow my lead and it will turn out well. Promise.

Pan-fried fillet of veal with Pommes Duchesse, yellow beet, mushroom hash, red wine jus and thyme foam, serves 9

Everything apart from the meat you can prepare the day before and reheat before serving. If you prefer to cook it all at once, you have to make sure to time everything well.

DAY 1: 

Pommes Duchesse

1,8 kg King Edward potatoes 

50-100 g softened salted butter

salt, pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut into similar sized pieces (so they cook evenly). Place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add salt. Bring to the boil and boil on medium heat with the lid half on until soft. Drain and let the steam evaporate. Mush with a masher or an electric whisk. Add the butter in batches until a good consistency. It should be firm but smooth. Season. Leave to cool and put in the fridge until the next day. 

Yellow beets

1 kg yellow beets

Wash the beets and place in a saucepan. Cover with water, add salt and bring to the boil. Boil whole until soft. 

Drain and let cool a little. Once you can hold them with your hands without burning peel off the skin with your hands or scrape it off with a small knife. Trim them into rounds. Leave to cool and put in the fridge until the next day.

Mushroom hash

200 g chestnut mushrooms

150 g shiitake mushroooms

plenty of salted butter

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, pressed

salt, black pepper

1 handful chopped parsley

Brush/wash the shrooms and slice. Fry in batches in plenty of butter on a high heat. Lower the heat, add more butter and the pressed garlic. Return all the mushrooms to the pan and season well. Stir in the chopped parslet. Leave to cool and put in the fridge until the next day. 

Red wine jus

This is not a recipe, because I didn’t make notes, but a rough sketch you can work with. Just taste if often and adjust the flavours.

2 onions, whole with skin on

3 garlic cloves, whole with skin on

mild oil

1 part red wine 

1 part beef stock 

2 parsley stalks

1 bay leaf

salt, pepper

balsamic vinegar

brown sugar

1 tbsp Maizena if needed

Cut the onion into wedges, unpeeled. Place on a roasting tray with the garlic cloves. Add oil and roast for about 20 minutes in 180C. 

Place onion and garlic in a large saucepan. Add wine and stock, parsley and bay leaf,. Reduce until half. Then add to your taste: balsamic, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour it through a sieve. To thicken add Maizena and bring to the boil. Stir until thick enough. Leave to cool and put in the fridge until the next day. 

Thyme foam

300 ml cream (single or double)

1 large handful fresh thyme sprigs

salt, pepper

Bring the cream and thyme to the boil. Reduce until half. Season to taste. Leave to cool and put in the fridge until the next day (leave the thyme in). 

DAY 2:

Pommes Duchesse

Mash since the day before

4 egg yolks, at room temperature

Heat the mash covered in 160C oven. Then add one yolk at the time and fold/beat into the mash. Season. Either pipe (with a sturdy piping bag) or shape into eggs with two spoons. Place the shapes on parchment paper, 2 shapes per person at least. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes, 170C. 

Yellow beets

the cooked beets

butter

Slice the beets into 1cm thick slices. Fry them in butter until golden and warm throughout. Season. 

Mushrooms hash

Heat up the mushrooms

Red wine jus

Heat up in a saucepan. Adjust the seasoning if needed and check thickness. Add water or maizena to adjust.

Thyme foam

the thyme-infused cream

100 ml skimmed milk

salt, pepper

Remove the thyme by pouring through a sieve. Pour the cream into a saucepan and add milk. Bring to the boil to heat up. Adjust the seasoning. Beat the mixture foamy with an electric whisk or stick blender. 

The veal

1,8 kg trimmed fillet of veal, at room temperature, cut into two

butter for frying

salt, pepper

Heat up a frying pan until very hot. Add the butter and brown the meat on all sides, including the ends. Season well. Place in a roasting tin and pierce the thickest part of the meat with a meat thermometer. Roast in 160C oven until the inside temperature of the meat is 68C (for medium). Remove from oven and cover the meat with cling film. Add the meat juices to the jus. Leave to rest for at least 10 minutes. Then cut into 2 cm thick slices. 

Serving

Place two beet slices in the middle of the plate. Top with a spoonful of the mushroom hash. Place two Pommes Duchesse shapes on one side. Place one or two slices of meat on top of the beets and mushrooms. Spoon the jus around the plate. Pour the foam on top of the meat.  

NYE 2012 – starter I

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I cooked us four courses on New Year’s Eve so we could enjoy a long and nice dinner. It was all traditional Swedish with snaps and snaps songs, and we also had a few interludes to cheer Happy New Year in places further east than us, so more or less the whole of Russia were celebrating midnight at one point during our supper.

This first starter, a lovely prawn mousse, was great to start off with, as it can all be prepared ahead, kept cold and decorated a bit ahead of time as well.

The texture is not as mousse-y as a chocolate mousse, the cream is there more to combine the other ingredients and bring them together. I served this with some homemade Toast Melba, just to add some crunch, and it worked really well. But bread or perhaps a side salad with avocado would work well too.

The recipe is courtesy of fellow Swedish blogger Annika. I followed it promptly but changed the method slightly as I used vege gel instead of gelatin and that requires a different approach. I also doubled it, and that was enough for nine, and even ten, people.

Prawn mousse, serves 4

Adapted from Annika’s recipe.

200 ml créme fraiche

150 ml double cream

2 tbsp chopped dill

2 tbsp chopped chives

2 tbsp finely grated fresh horseradish

1 jar lumpfish caviar (60-80 g)

salt and pepper

1 tbsp lemon juice

700 gram frozen shelled Icelandic prawns, defrosted and peeled

1 bag vege gel

dill, chives and horseradish to garnish

Peel the prawns. Set aside 5-6 per portion or the prettiest prawns. Chop the rest and add to a bowl. In a saucepan, mix creme fraiche, cream and the vege gel powder. Turn on the heat and bring to the boil while stirring. Cook for about 5 minutes as it thickens. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

Chop the herbs and add to the chopped prawns. Also add the horseradish, caviar and lemon juice. Mix it together. Add in the cream mixture and mix well. Season. Pour the mixture into 4 glasses or serving bowls. Place in fridge for at least two hours to set and cool. Decorate with the prawns, dill, chives and horseradish. (I added a lemon slice as well).