Friday, February 05, 2016

Corn Cookies

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What's your latest Netflix obsession? Ours is "The Mind of a  Chef", superbly narrated by Anthony Bourdain. The whole first season centres around David Chang, and I've never had such strong cravings for ramen before but now it's all I can think about. Well, and then last night one episode showed off his pastry chef Christina Tosi and all her excellent work. Case in point: the corn cookie. Since the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook holds a prominent space in my collection, I knew I could make this.. if I only had the ingredients. Most of them are very accessible, but then there's the star: freeze-dried corn powder. Well how lucky that I picked up a container of the stuff on my last trip to New York! I had pretty much forgotten about it and I think it might have been a tiny bit stale, but I don't care. The cookies are still delicious.

I made mine about half the size of the original, and I simply scooped and froze the balls, which is why my cookies are little higher than they should be. Well, I don't care about that either, because they still taste great.

Corn Cookies
about 30

225 g butter at room temperature (or slightly colder)
300 g sugar
1 egg
225 g flour
65 g freeze dried corn powder 
45 g corn flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1,5 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

Start by creming butter and sugar on medium speed for three minutes. Scrape down the sides, add the egg and cream for 7-8 minutes. Yes, it sounds long. Just do it. Momofuku Milk Bar uses a very specific creaming method for their cookies. For details on this, please see the actual book.

Fold in the dried ingredients and mix until the dough comes together.

Scoop - I use a 1 tbsp cookie scoop - on to a lined baking sheet, spacing them well apart. Press down a little. Chill for at least one hour or up to one week. Or do what I did and stick them in the freezer.

Bake at 175°C for about 12-14 minutes. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Thick and chewy Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I barely even have the energy to bake these days, but some times I try to make an effort. A minimal one, though. And always something that can be prepared once, eaten later - I love cookie recipes that allow me to freeze ready-scooped dough, to have my own bake-off cookies at hand when the cravings for something sweet strike. (And most cookie recipes work well for that, actually.) These yummy delights from Smitten Kitchen are among the easiest, ever. I think it took me about ten minutes of actual work. At the most. Highly recommended.

For the original post, please go here. She makes lots of suggestions for mix-ins, and talks about how she came across this recipe - me, I just made it. I used not a whole lot of raisins and instead, a lot of chocolate. That's the way I like it.

Thick and chewy Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
about 24 (at least, it all depends on your size...)

115 g butter, slightly softened
125 g brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (original uses extract)
95 g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
120 g rolled oats
60 g raisins
100 g dark chocolate, chopped

Cream the butter and sugar until well combined and slightly fluffy - about three minutes. Scrape down the sides, and add the egg and the vanilla. Combine and beat for a minute or two. Stir together all the dry ingredients, I included the mix-ins right away, and then add to the butter mixture. Mix until well combined. Scoop - I use a 1-tbsp cookie scoop - on  to a lined baking sheet, or on to a plastic-lined cutting board that you promptly freeze. When you want to bake these, do so at 175°C for 10-12 minutes.




Monday, January 25, 2016

13 courses, 2016

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Long-time readers of this blog know that we meet up with three other foodie-couples once a year for a huge feast - a 13-course dinner on Trettondagsafton which is what we call twelvth night in Sweden. This year, we celebrated this unique tradition (no one else is doing it, as far as I know) for the 10th year in a row. It was quite natural that we decided on "celebrations" as this year's theme. So the rules were that every couple should make three dishes - one starter, one main, one dessert - that were suitable (or customary, even) for celebrations. Any celebration would do, big or small. And speaking of small, the servings of each dish should be SMALL. Tre dishes per couple makes 12 in total, so I always make a tiny appetizer to serve with drinks while we look at the menu. Here's what we ate this year.

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First off, a rather traditional new year's canapé with a chili mushroom stew. And champagne, of course!

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Next came Erika and Micke´s sandwich cake, which they had named "Four baptisms and a funeral" - this is really super common to serve at those occasions. It was extremely good!

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Second starter was to celebrate our own victory in "Swedish home cook of the year" back in 2008. Me, Dagmar and Lena won, although Lena wasn't there at the finale. (You can read more about the whole thing here.) This was the starter we made from a surprise basket, on stage. It's basically serrano ham filled with a grilled red pepper-lemon-creme fraiche, and topped with deep fried capers.

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Third starter was to celebrate cinco de mayo, and what better way to do that than with carnitas? I made super delicious carnitas (must make sure to post the recipe) and served them with a spicy salsa verde, chicharrones, and some extra coriander. (Of course.)

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The last starter was a slightly weird seafood mosaic with scallops, which was actually part of the Nobel menu ten years ago. It came with a very nice salad, but the mosaic was a little salty.

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On to the mains. First out, a green pea soup with champagne - Creme Ninon - that was a highlight for New Year's Eve a bunch of years ago. It was rather strange, not our favorite of the night - but the champagne was good!

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Second, a bit of a long shot. We thought about when Sweden won the bronze medal in the world championship - soccer - back in 1994 and imagined everyone celebrating on the streets of Stockholm. The most classical Swedish street food is probably tunnbrödrulle - sausage served in a thin rye bread with mashed potatoes and a good helping of shrimp salad, so we wanted to make something like that. To make it more gourmet, we made our sausage from scallops and cod, and of course our own shrimp salad as well as deep fried shallots and some roe on top. It was pretty good but in all honesty mostly a fun concept.

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Third, Persian New Year, Nowruz. This was a traditional dish with saffron rice and baked salmon - delicious!

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Fourth main dish was a really delicious gumbo, made to celebrate Mardi Gras. Some even had seconds of this which should tell you how great it was since everyone was pretty full by now...

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On to desserts. First, my idea to celebrate St Patrick's Day. You'd have imagined something green perhaps but this was instead a riff on Irish Coffee - coffee ice cream with coffee crunch walnuts and a boozy caramel sauce with irish whiskey. Yummy!

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Lena wowed us with her rendition of a classical Wimbledon dessert - an Eton Mess with absolutely everything on it. I loved this, and hated that I couldn't finish it all.

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Dagmar had made miniature princess cakes, which is of course THE cake to serve on a Swedish birthday.

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And last, to celebrate a luau, a pineapple coconut cake. Really yummy, and it would be great with a strong cup of coffee.

Want to look at earlier years?

2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011 - Around the world theme
2012 - Movie and TV theme
2013 - Different main ingredients
2014 - Different flavors
2015 - no theme



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pork Belly Fried Rice

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So I promptly blew that post once per week New Years resolution, huh? Oh well. In apology, please share this wonderful dinner with me! It was mainly sprung from leftovers - lots of rice, a little bellpepper, some coriander starting to look wilted... and then some add-ins. This is truly my favorite style of cooking. Me and my husband loved it and my six-year old did as well. Little one, Dante, didn't really care for it but he's in a phase where he mostly lives on cucumber and rye crisp bread so ok, he's not the best judge.

As always, please feel free to make this in whatever way you want to. I like my food mild, but if you want spice, go right ahead - this is a dish that can definitely take it.

Pork Belly Fried Rice
enough for 2 adults, 2 kids

300 g pork belly, in small dice
1/2 tbsp cooking oil (optional)
2 carrots, coarsely grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
good piece of ginger, about the size of a thumb, grated
leftover cooked basmati rice - I had about 600 ml, which is about 2 1/4 cups
handful of frozen corn
2 eggs
salt
soy sauce
rice vinegar

To serve (or stir in by all means, if you don't have picky kids!)
-thinly sliced red onion
-picked coriander leaves
-diced red bellpepper
-quartered and dry-fried button mushrooms
-sriracha sauce

So, first get a large frying pan. Add your pork belly and put the pan on fairly low heat to render the fat. Let it cook for 15 minutes or so. You can add some oil to speed up this process, or not. The goal is to make the pork crispy so when most of the fat is rendered, turn up the heat for a little while to crisp everything. When it's lightly golden add the carrots, and the garlic and ginger. Fry for a few minutes, and then add the rice. Stir well to break up any clumps. Add the corn. Season everything with a little salt, soy sauce and rice vinegar and let it cook for a few more minutes.

Push everything to the side so you have a small corner for the eggs. Crack them in a bowl and beat fairly well, then pour into the pan. Let it cook like a small omelet, pushing the cooked sides towards the middle, until it's lightly cooked through. Mix with the rest of the ingredients.

And that's it. Serve with whatever toppings you'd like! Happy dinner!