Recipe: Parma Ham-Wrapped Dates with Balsamic and Honey

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Here’s another winner of a canapé! Also from the Christmas party. These parma ham-wrapped dates with balsamic and honey are a more sophisticated version than the bacon-wrapped dates, and therefore so much better.

The idea is the same; sweet meets salty but with less punchy flavours (i.e. ham instead of bacon) and a little depth from the vinegar and honey. It truly is a winning flavour combination and one of the easiest nibbles you can make, so keep it in mind for the festive season of 2020!

Parma Ham-Wrapped dates with balsamic and honey, makes 20

With inspiration from Sophie Conran’s recipe.

10 dates, stones removed and cut in half lengthways

10 slices Parma Ham or prosciutto, cut in half lengthways 

20 cocktail sticks

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp runny honey

salt and pepper

Wrap each date halve in a thin slice of ham and secure with the cocktail sticks. Place in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with vinegar and honey. Add salt and pepper. Bake in 200C oven for approx 10 minutes. Leave to cool and serve at room temperature. 

Recipe: Puff Pastry Pizza with Browned Butter, Creme Fraiche, Red Onions, Salmon Roe and Herbs

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Puff pastry pizza seems to be trending in my native Sweden and inspired by Swedish foodie Tuvessonskan I thought I would give it a try too!

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A adapted her recipe slightly but kept the idea of spreading a browned butter mixture over store-bought puff pastry, scatter with grated cheddar and bake it before adding the rest of the (very Scandinavian) toppings.

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I love the classic combination of creme frachie, chopped red onions and fish roe and it works great on puff pastry too, especially when enhanced further with herbs and lemon.

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Puff pastry pizza with browned butter, creme fraiche, red onions, salmon roe and herbs, serves 4 as nibbles or a starter

Adapted fromTuvessonskan’s recipe.

1/2 roll all butter puff pastry 

50 g butter

50 g philadelphia

2 tbsp creme fraiche

approx 200 ml grated cheddar

salt and pepper

Topping:

100 ml creme fraiche

1 jar salmon (or other fish) roe

1/2 red onions, finely chopped

a bunch chives, finely chopped

a bunch dill, finely chopped

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

Brown the butter 30 minutes in advance. Leave to cool in room temperature. Mix the cooled butter with philadelphia and creme fraîche in a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Spread the mixture over the puff (leaving the edges bare if you like) and scatter with the cheddar. Bake in 200C fan or 220 C without fan until the puff is golden and the cheese has melted. Leave to cool. 

One the baked puff is cooled, spoon or pipe the creme fraîche onto it, then the salmon roe. Scatter with red onions and herbs. Season and finish by squeezing a bit of lemon juice over it. Cut into pieces (either cut in four and serve as a starter on plates or cut into small bites and serve on a tray or platter). 

 

Updated: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup 3.0 – with the Best Topping!

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Even though I obviously think about other things too (work, skincare, loved ones) food is on my mind a lot. I don’t actively think about it all the time but sometimes thoughts about food are idling in the background until they need my attention.

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And it was one of those idling thoughts that led to the discovery of the best topping for my favourite soup!

I have used prosciutto crumbs a lot lately (because they’re so so delicious!!) and suddenly it hit me that maybe they would work as topping for my creamy Jerusalem artichoke too? And yes, they did!

They’re not as salty as bacon (tried that but it didn’t work for me), yet offer a nice texture (unlike fried mushrooms – tried that too!) and they accompany my already favourite topping of chopped shallots perfectly.

Soooo, let me introduce you to my newly perfected Jerusalem soup recipe – with that wonderful new topping! Hope you like it too!

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Jerusalem artichoke soup 3.0, serves 4 as a starter

2 shallots, finely chopped 

1 tbsp butter

750 g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into similar sized pieces

water

1/2 good-quality stock cube (chicken or vegetable)

100 ml double cream

salt and pepper

Topping: 

3 slices prosciutto

1 shallots, finely chopped 

Fry the onions until soft in the butter without browning. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and fry for a minute. Cover with boiling water. Add salt and the stock cube and bring to the boil. Once the Jerusalem artichokes are soft, drain half the cooking liquid but keep it aside. Purée the Jerusalem artichokes and remaning water (adding more of the cooking water if needed) until you have a thick soup. Add the cream to the soup and bring it to the boil again. Season to taste. 

While the soup is underway, pre-heat the oven to 200C. Place the prosciutto slices on a baking parchment covered tray and let them crisp up in the oven for approx 5 minutes.  Leave to cool and chop it into crumbs.

Divide the soup between four bowls. Add chopped shallots and prosciutto crumbs. 

Recipe: Burrata with Girolles, Dill and Browned Butter

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As you may already know, I’m a HUGE burrata fan (which my archives can attest to!) and I eat it as often as possible during summer when there are plenty of tomatoes around because it pairs so well with the creamy pillowy cheese. But tomato season is sadly over and as a result there has definitely been less burrata in my life because I just haven’t found that perfect autumnal pairing for it. Until now.

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And it’s all thanks to Instagram and this post from Tuvessonskan! The slightly garlicky girolles and the nuttiness of the brown butter works so well with the creaminess of the burrata while the dill and lemon adds freshness. Do not forget the lemon; it balances the butter perfectly!

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Burrata with girolles, dill and browned butter, serves 2

1 small burrata

1 baguette (or crostini)

150 g fresh girolles

1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp oil for frying

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped 

50 g salted butter

1/2 lemon

plenty of fresh dill

salt and peppar 

Remove the burrata from the fridge at least 30 minutes before you need it. Fry the mushrooms in oil an butter. Add the garlic towards the end. Season and put aside.

Brown the butter in a medium-sized pan on medium-high heat. Wait for it to foam up a lot and turn brown (but not dark) and smell nutty. Remove from heat.

Place the burrata in a shallow bowl or something with an edge. Arrange the girolles around the burrata. Spoon over the browned butter. Squeeze some lemon over the whole thing. Scatter with plenty of chopped dill. Season one last time and serve with bread. 

 

Recipe: Danish Open-Faced Sandwiches Two Ways

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Although the Scandinavian countries are similar on the whole, there are lots of subtle differences. For example, the word for breakfast in Swedish; frukost, means lunch in Danish. Confusing!

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And when it comes to sandwiches, there are differences too! We’re all fairly passionate about good bread and our sandwiches are all open-faced so you get a good  ratio of topping to bread but in Sweden we prefer big sandwiches, like a good prawn sandwich that substitutes as a meal, but the Danish culture is all about smørrebrød; smaller open-faced sandwiches beautifully decorated with a lot of toppings. Most are on Danish rye bread (the dark one with whole kernels) but for some toppings like prawns, a white bread is better.

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My last day in Sweden in the summer we invited some friends over for a late fika before I needed to leave for the airport. I love having an activity planned the last day so it feels more lika a regular day than just a travel day, but at the same time I needed to pack and couldn’t do something too elaborate. So that’s why mamma and I decided on smørrebrød; they’re filling and easy to make, but because they look pretty it really looks like you’ve made an effort (even though you just assembled stuff). Afterwards we had cake and coffee and it was such a lovely afternoon.

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Open-faced sandwich with prawns, per sandwich

½ slice good quality white bread 

butter

1 little gem leaf 

½ boiled egg, sliced

1 tbsp Hellmann’s or homemade mayonnaise

ca 6 large cold water prawns, hand peeled

2 slices cucumber

1 slice lemon

1 sprig dill

Butter the bread and put the lettuce leaf on the bread. Spoon on half of the mayonnaise and place the egg slices on top. Add the rest of the mayo to the eggs and top with the prawns. Arrange the cucumber and lemon slices decoratively and finish with the dill. 

Open-faced sandwich with paté, per sandwich

½ or 1 small slice dark Danish rye bread

butter

1 little gem leaf

1 thick slice brussel’s paté or similar 

½ slice crispy fried bacon or pancetta 

1 tsp crispy onions 

pickled gherkins, sliced

1 tomato wedge

1 parsley sprig

Butter the bread and place the lettuce on the bread. Place the paté on top and add the bacon/pancetta nicely atop the paté, in the middle of the sandwich. On one side of the bacon add the crispy onions and on the other side the gherkins. Top with a tomato wedge and parsley. 

Updated: Gnocchi with Creamy Butternut Sauce, Browned Butter and Prosciutto Crumbs

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As I stated in my November post – I think this dish is perfect for this time of year. Obviously the pumpkin fits well as it’s in season, but the creamy sauce and fluffy gnocchi is also like a big autumnal hug in a bowl, that one most definitely need right now.

The original recipe is great for weeknight comfort, but cooking for my boyfriend on a Friday night I felt it could do with some jazzing up. So this is the elevated Friday night (or  dinner party) version for when you want to impress but still keep it fairly simple.

If you can’t be bothered with my whole ensemble of extras, and only want to jazz it up in a simple way then just add the prosciutto crumbs, because they have the biggest impact! And the thyme for some freshness!

And the sage is slightly redundant in itself, but it gives a subtle flavour to that glorious browned butter; you don’t need to put the sage on the plate.

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Gnocchi with creamy butternut sauce, browned butter and prosciutto crumbs, serves 2

1/2 butternut squash

olive oil

salt & pepper

approx 300 g gnocchi, cooked according to the instructions on the packet 

50-100 ml single cream

grated nutmeg

a few thyme sprigs

finely grated parmesan

a few sprigs of thyme 

4-6 sage leaves

50 g salted butter 

2 slices prosciutto

Peel the squash and remove the strings and seeds. Cut into even-sized pieces and place in a roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Stir to coat all the pieces with oil. Place in the oven and roast until the pumpkin is soft, approx 35 mins in 200C. 

Cook the gnocchi and keep it warm.  

Place the prosciutto slices on a parchment lined oven tray and bake until crispy for approx 5 mins in 200C. Let cool on kitchen towel. Chop coarsely and set aside. 

Purée the roasted squash with a stick blender. Add (cold) cream until you have a nice thick sauce. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and grated parmesan. Heat up the sauce in a non-stick saucepan while stirring, if needed.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the sage leaves. Remove from pan and drain on kitchen towel. Keep the butter on the hob until it’s browned. Remove from the hob when it smells nutty and has a brown (but not very dark brown) colour. 

Mix the gnocchi into the sauce and divide into bowls. Add the sage leaves (if using), drizzle with browned butter and scatter with prosciutto crumbs and thyme leaves. Serve with grated parmesan.   

Recipe: Puff Pastry Nibbles Two Ways

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Give me the choice of savoury and sweet and I will most often choose savoury. Starter over dessert and nibbles always. I love cocktail parties and its many canapés and it has happened that I on more than one occasion ordered a second starter when everybody else were having pudding.

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So it’s not that surprising that I am about to present not one but two different puff pastry snacks. They are a little large as a canapé but could be cut into smaller squares, but as an informal starter before a dinner party I think it works like this.

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The reason I made two different ones was because I wanted to play around a bit, and also, after having eaten the first very yummy version, I thought it might be easier to eat these if there were some kind of “glue” to hold the tomatoes in place. Enter the versatile parmesan créme.

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I actually thought one of these would outshine the other – but although similar the subtle differences matter and I cannot possibly choose. Try them both and see which is your favourite!

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Puff Pastry Slices with Speck, Tomatoes and Basil, makes 4-6

For the base:

1/2 roll all butter puff pastry

100 ml creme fraiche

a handful grated cheddar

salt and pepper

Topping:

2-3 slices speck or prosiutto

8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves

salt and pepper

Cut the puff pastry into slices, approx 2,5 cm wide and 10 cm long. Place on a parchment lined baking tray. 

Spread Creme Fraiche evenly onto the puff. Scatter with grated cheese and season. Bake until golden and crispy in 200 C for approx 10 minutes. Leave to cool. 

Mix the tomatoes with olive oil, lemon zest, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl. 

Once cool, place half a slice of speck on each puff pastry slice and top with the tomato mixture. Serve with napkins. 

Puff Pastry Slices with Prosciutto, Parmesan Crème and Tomatoes, makes 4-6

For the base:

1/2 roll all butter puff pastry

100 ml cream cheese

a handful grated cheddar

salt and pepper

Topping:

2-3 slices prosiutto

Parmesan crème:

100 ml creme fraiche

2 tbsp grated parmesan

1/4 lemon, the zest

salt and pepper

Tomato mixture:

8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves

salt and pepper

Cut the puff pastry into slices, approx 2,5 cm wide and 10 cm long. Place on a parchment lined baking tray. 

Spread cream cheese evenly onto the puff. Scatter with grated cheese and season. Bake until golden and crispy in 200 C for approx 10 minutes. Leave to cool. 

Mix the tomatoes with olive oil, lemon zest, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl. 

Mix the ingredients for the parmesan crème together in a separate bowl. Season to taste. 

Once cool, place half a slice of speck on each puff pastry slice. Place a dollop of parmesan crème on the ham and top with the tomato mixture. Serve with napkins.