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The lazy (B|T|L) Maker

March 12, 2014

The lazy (B|T|L) Maker.

Stuffed Verningelund summer squash

August 10, 2011

Courgette, Squash and Zucchini – part I

Summer is the high season for (homegrown) squash and therefore I’m always looking for tasty recipes to use the Curcubita pepo.

As Appetizer, in soups, with meat, fried, in pancakes, grilled, in salads, poached, steamed, in cakes or in any other ways, there are a zillion possibilities to prepare the squash.

If it doesn’t exist yet I’m sure there is enough squash material for a whole book of gorgeous recipes.

Squash is one of the easiest fruits to cultivate in temperate climate. As such, it has a reputation among home gardeners for overwhelming production. One good way to control over-abundance is to harvest the flowers, which are an expensive delicacy in markets because of the difficulty in storing and transporting them. The male flower is borne on the end of a stalk and is longer lived.

So as a contribution to the overwhelming production I’ve decided to share some of the good ones here on the blog while I keep on trying different recipes.

This is one of those….

Ingredients (serves four)

  • 4 squash of good size (25cm) or 2 bigger ones
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 500 gr grounded beef , lamb, or pork according to your taste – I usually use biologic beef from Verningelund. One can eventually mix the meats to suit your taste or the content of your freezer / fridge !
  • Concentrated tomato paste or chopped tomatoes (from a can) depending on how strong the tomato taste you want to achieve
  • Dry oregano (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • grated cheese like emmental or cheddar
  • Warm the oven to 180 degrees (356 F)
  • Rinse but do not peel the squash and cut them in half in their length. with a tea spoon remove the seeds and flesh of the squash until it looks like a primitive squash boat !
  • In a pan add the oil, the onion and fry it until translucid. Add the squash flesh and fry at medium/high heat in 10 min.
  • Add the oregano or any herb of your choice, salt and pepper.
  • Pour the meat in the pan and stir regularly to obtain the smallest meat chunks as possible until all the meat is coloured.
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes and let it simmer for approx. 10 min.
  • Fill the halv squash with the mix and put in the oven for 30 to 40 min depending on the size of the fruit – make sure that they lay stable so they won’t tilt.
  • 5 min before the end add the grated cheese and let it smelt / gratinate

Enjoy !

Serve it warm with a salad, pasta or spelt corn.

My third Ossobucco memory

May 30, 2011

My first memory of Ossobucco – the hole in the bone –  is Kevin Kline in “A fish called Wanda” when he exhibits his cunning linguist skills and speaks Italian, French and Russian (I think)

Jamie Lee Curtis is aroused by the italian speaking ex-CIA agent who is so stupid that he doesn’t realise he’s stupid !

"È molto pericoloso, signorina.
Molto pericolo... 
- Carissima. 
- Oh, speak it. Speak it!
 
Un ossobuco milanese con piselli. 
Melanzane parmigiana con spinaci. 

- Dov'è la farmacia? 
- Yes, yes, yes!"

I was 18 when I saw the movie and I wished I knew how to make Ossobucco milanese con (or sin) piselli.

Ossobucco in a plate

The second memory occurs 12 years later when I prepared my first ossobucco. It was not to impress Wanda but to make a useful use of those juicy veal shanks on display in the former Grambogård butcher’s refrigerated shelves. I got really into Ossobucco preparing almost once a week. By the end of this period the butcher knew what I was going to ask him for from the moment I stepped in the shop : 5 slices of 4cm thick cross-cut veal shank cut in the upper thigh (where there is a higher proportion of meat to bone).

During this period I was very faithfull to a complicated recipe. I have then simplified and perfected it. This makes it my third ossobucco memory !

Ossobucco

  • 4 slices ossobucco (veal shank) with marrow
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 garlic cloves unpeeled
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small leach (not necessary but gives a nice touch and contributes to the consistence of the sauce)
  • 3 gorgeously ripe tomatoes or 1 can peeled / chopped tomatoes
  • The juice of 1 orange or a glass of good OJ
  • 1 celery (leaf celery, not root celery)
  • 4 tbsp tomato concentrate
  • 1 glass of salted anchovies (optional but tasty)
  • 2 glasses dry white wine – I use Muscadet sur lie or Sylvaner but any dry white wine will do
  • parsley
  • fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Flour to sprinkle over the shanks
  • 5 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground white pepper (black will work fine as well)

Serves 4

  • Peel, wash and rinse the vegetables
  • Make a few cuts on the side of each peace of shank. it will prevent them from curling when heated up (like bacon)

ossobucco

  • Finely slice the leach, slice the onion,the celery, the carrots and the tomatoes
  • Wash and chop the parsley
  • Mash the anchovies in their oil
  • Zest the orange and cut in fine strips (use a zester or a knife)
  • Press the orange.
  • Warm the oil up in a large pot – I use a large, older enameld cast iron   “Bouillabaisse”  pot   from le Creuset
  • Dip the shank in flour and brown them one by one in the pot until they have a nice golden colour. Add more oil if necessary.
  • Put all the shank slices back in the pot and add the onion until coloured.
  • Add the leach, the celery, and the tomatoes.
  • Add the OJ, the wine, the sugar and the zests.
  • Put all the cloves garlic in a tea bag and in the pot because we’ll need to fish them up later on…
  • Add  a pinch of salt
  • Cover and cook at low-heat for 60 mins.
  • after one hour take the garlic out and press the flesh out of the envelope – it will have a fantastic nutty taste – and mix it with the anchovies, the parsley and the tomato concentrate.
  • Stir in the mix and add salt if needed.
  • Cook at low-heat for 30 min.
  • Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve…
Enjoy !

Remarks :

There is mainly to types of ossobucco recipes. A modern one which has tomatoes and an original one that doesn’t. the older version : ossobucco in bianco is often flavored with cinnamonbay leaf and gremolata.

If the slices are too large for one person , make them serve two.

If you use a zester remember not to press to hard or you’ll zest the layer underneath – the pirth – which is very bitter !

A fantastic recipe which will yield a savoury and tender meat, almost “candied” vegetables and a sirup-like sauce without being too much !

feel free to adapt the recipe to the ingredients you have :  Anchovies, celery, carotts and leaches can all be omitted or replaced by what you have at hand !

Frittata

May 9, 2011

Frittata is an egg-based dish similar to an omelette or quiche which is enriched with different ingredients – meat, cheese, pasta, vegetables. It is flavoured with herbs.

Still getting a lot of eggs from those crazy chickens of ours I’m looking for recipes with a lot of eggs in it ! I’ve previously written about Ramequins as one of the means to get those eggs used.

Having over 25 fresh eggs in the fridge I decided to go looking for a delightful (which at this particular point in time meant  : easy, tasteful, and appreciated by all).

The choice fell on the Frittata which is a kind of omelette but with enough differences to get its own name !

1) There is always at least one optional ingredient i a Frittata. One can’t get Frittata nature !

2) The ingredients are mixed with the beaten egg mixture while it is raw.

3) The mixture is cooked on a very-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes until the underside is still but the top is still runny.

4) The Frittata is not fold to enclose the contents but is turned over in full and even briefly grilled to set the top layer.

As Delia Smith described it. The Frittata is Italy’s answer to an open-face omelette.
This is the recipe for a Frittata with potatoes, rosmarin, timian, peppermint and chives. But you can make it with i.e squash, scallions. Tomatoes and chicken lever or pecorino and salsiccia or asparagus, roquette and mushrooms…your imagination combined with the contents of you fridge being the limit….

Frittata

  • 6 frish eggs from ethically raised chickens.
  • 500 gr potatoes – We are in the high season for new potatoes so I picked those. But Bintje, Yukon or Vildmose will do depending on where in the world you prepare your Frittata ! Peeled and dices in 2 cm pieces.
  • 1 onion - peeled and sliced
  • Herbs – 2 branches rosemary, 2 branches thyme and 2 branches mint – chopped
  • 4 tablespoons grated emmentalcheddargruyere or mozarella. Depending on which cheese you have at hand.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • 10 gr butter.
  • A frying pan which can come into the oven (max 180 degrees) or a skillet
Serves 4
Warm up the oven at 180 degrees / 356 F
Come the olive oil in a pan and warm it up.
Come the potatoes and the onion in the warm oil and gently for 10 min or until golden.
Mix the eggs. Add the cheese. Mix. Add the potatoes and onion. Mix. add the herbs and Mix !
Put the butter in a frying pan on medium-high heat. When the butter starts foaming pour in the egg-mixture.
Fry until the egg mixture on the side of the frying pan gets coloured (yellow-eggish…)
Put the pan in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. the Frittata will become golden and raise, raise, raise in the oven (its not a soufflé though).
If you’re so lucky of having chives or timian flowers you can decorate the dish with them but anything else will do too….and serve right away….
Enjoy with a chilled Pinot noir !
Remarks :
Be generous on the herbs !

Salmon ramequins à la Carsten

April 26, 2011

Holding chickens is great!

They provide us with fresh eggs and occasionnally meat and they help getting rid of the most of the kitchen eatable “trash” and leftovers. But in the spring they lay many eggs and we’re having a hard time eating them all…and giving some away.

So I always try to come up with recipes where many eggs are necessary.

This is one of those.

During easter we paid my dear friend Carsten a visit at his sommer cabin in Lumsås and while we sat under a prune tree by is black tree cottage with white windows drinking rosé wine with ice cubes Carsten suggested this recipe, which I then adapted a bit.

Salmon ramequins à la Carsten

  • 6 frish eggs from ethitically raised chicken
  • 200 gr smoked salmon – we used the “ugly” pieces from the salmon like the ends or half slices which are sold much cheaper
  • 6 tablespoon sour cream
  • 4 scallions (or chives) - minced
  • Fresh grounded pepper

Serves 6

Warm up the oven to 180 degrees / 355 F

Come the salmon in 6 small ramequins. You can use the salmon pieces to grease the ramequin with. Break an egg in each ramequin.

Now I don’t want the egg to be totally cooked in the oven so I need to come the ramequin into a waterbath before putting them in the oven.

After 10 min in the oven the egg-withe should’nt be soft and transparent any longer but the yolk should still be runny (we are not cooking hardboiled eggs).

Cover the egg with a tablespoon of sourcream each and sprinkle with fresh scallions or chives.

Remove the waterbath from the oven and give the eggs 5 min more just to warm the sour cream and the scallions a bit.

Pepper the ramequin and serve right away.

Enjoy it with a chilly bottle of Beaujolais Villages or Saint-Amour

Sourdough – The genesis of a stable symbiotic culture

April 7, 2011

I am a stable symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast present in a mixture of flour and water. If conceived, born and raised in a clean environment I will be able to live for years…

This is the short story of my symbioze:

Day 1 : The Scission is created (apart from the light to separate day from night)

From the rye I get a wide variety of yeast and bacterial spores. Contact with the water breaks the starch into disaccharides (sucrose and maltrose). Maltase will convert these sugars into glucose and fructose that yeast can metabolize. The lactobacteria feed mostly on the metabolism products from the yeast. The mixture develops a balanced, symbiotic culture after repeated feedings[1].

Take a small, clean jar (max ½ liter) and add 40 ml water and 40 gr whole organic rye flour. Wash your hands, the jar and the spoon you’re gonna use thoroughly. Stir the flour into the water for 30 seconds and close the jar. Draw a line on the jar to mark the height of the mixture. This way you can check my growth….Store me at room temperature away from direct sunbeams

I’m alive and bubbling….

Day 2 : Bubbles are created (apart from the firmament to separate the waters)

On the second day, if you’re lucky some small bubbles will appear. I smell a tad funny but not off putting. A bit like wet malt. You need to feed me 20 ml fresh water and 20 gr rye flour and then stir (with a clean spoon) for 45 seconds. Draw a new line on the jar…….Store me at room temperature away from direct sunbeams…

Day 3-5 : Keep it alive

From this point on the starter only needs to be fed 20 gr rye flour and 20 ml fresh water everyday.

Day 6- : Using it

You can now use your sourdough to bake bread with any kind of flour you feel like baking. Remember to keep some of the starter in the jar this way you can continue the production of sourdough. If you keep the starter clean it can be kept alive and working for quite a long time…

[1]Source Wikipedia

Rye bread

April 4, 2011

I’ve often been complaining about the Danish’ habits of eating rye bread and openface sandwiches (smørrebrød) and of the aspect of the brick formed rye bread they always are having for lunch either in their lunch boxes or in the lunch restaurants they used to have across town.

There is a lot of culture around this Rye bread. They even call the women confecting the openface sandwiches for “openface sandwiches virgins” as if it will add an extra dimension to the taste of the sandwich ! Like the Cuban cigar rolled on the thigh of cuban women !

Then again may be it’s only a reference to the age of the women making the sandwiches. Anyway….

I’ve always told the children that in the middle age they used to build houses with rye bread bricks until they discovered they could eat then.

I saw once an exhibition from an old water mill – where they used to make different kind of flours – where they explained that they used the coarsest rye bread as plates. The sauce from the food were to soften the bread slices plates until they became chewable.

After reading a couple of tweets from Clotilde and Esterelle I realized that they shouldn’t be left alone disappointed with Ikea’s shake’n’bake-rye-bread-build-yourself-packages. So here is my version of a rye bread.

Ironically I’m now publishing a simple recipe for a simple rye bread that can be modified and adapted.

Simple rye bread

Ingredients

  • 3 dl sourdough (I write a post later on how to make sour dough with honning, some sour milk product and salt)
  • ½ l rye seeds, cut over or cracked
  • 7 – 8 dl water
  • ½ l wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 dl lin seeds
  • 1 ½ dl sunflower seeds
  • Butter for the form and/or the bread when baked
  • Eventually poppy seed / oat / sunflower seeds  to sprinkle on the top before baking.

Steps

  • Mix thoroughly all the ingredients together until all the flour lumps are gone.
  • You can take some of the dough to keep you sourdough going.
  • Put the dough in a large greased rectangular mold (or 2 small).  In stead of  greased you can covered the mold with a sheet of baking paper.
  • Cover and let stand for 12 hours (until the dough has reached the edge of the mold)
  • Prick holes in the bread with a needle (i.e a meat needle). At least 20 holes – allowing the bread to “breathe” letting out the damp. If you forget to prick holes, they will be air pockets between the bread and the crust
  • Bake 75 minutes at 200 c / 390 f
  • Once the bread is out of the oven, take it out of the mold and butter the crust – it will become smoother.
  • Allow it to cool down for 4 hours before eating

Remarks

  • If you want a softer crust you can come the bread in a plastic bag just before it’s cold. The moisture will then soften the bread.
  • Too little flour will make the bread fall together when baked
  • Too much flour will make it hard and dry.
  • You can try with different type of flour – but remember to adapt the quantity of water to the type of flour used.

You can enjoy the bread as is with butter, charcuterie, cheese….or toast it till it’s crispy.

(At the risk of paraphrasing Apocalypse Now) I love the odor of toasted rye bread in the morning !

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