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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

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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 !

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

March 30, 2011

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well this causality dilemna has been answered at The Lovefarm. The first was of course the hatching machine !

First of all I want to apologize to my dedicated readers because this post is neither about food nor recipes. But fodd it’ll become in some weeks. And I certainly will post a couple of poultry recipes on the blog…

In a constant effort of partial selfsustainment and products og higher quality we have been hatching our own eggs. Well actually we had the chickens and the ducsk hatching their eggs for us !

A couple of years ago I decided to buy a used hatching machine so we wouldn’t depend on the chicken’s nurturing mood any longer…

The machine is called Amerika and it’s from a company in the northern Denmark

Actually ours is of older fabric and has a flat lid instead of a round one. It has room enough for 48 eggs and it can even turn the eggs itself twice a day !

The egg laying

We collected a couple of egg from our own chicken. Hopefully from the Australops which is the biggest one of the chicken we own.

Today I’m going to get 15 eggs from someone who’s raising Faverolles . They should become quite big without being enormous (like the sickly gigantic Plymouth Rock)…and 6 eggs from Jersey Giant

Those 21 eggs as well as mines are going into the machine which is set to 37.8 degrees centigrades and 55% humidity for the next 18 days then 3 days at 36.7 degrees and 60 % humidity…and voila! I shall become a mother !

Brioche

March 30, 2011

For my first post I would like to introduce you to a classical recipe from my childhood.

In best Marcel Proust style its buttery perfume reminds me unmistakeably of running in the kitchen with the aroma of this airy, mellow bread feeling the air.There is so much pleasure associated to a homemade Brioche. Taking a bite of the first slice invites you the the second slice !

Homemade brioche

Homemade brioche

I often try recipes I find on different blogs and sites. Like Marmiton – one of my favourite source of culinary inspiration – or different blogs. But this one I got from my father.
My parents are actually paying us a visit at the Lovefarm and a few days ago my father began talking about his Brioche (meaning a top belly in French it can easily be misunderstood).So here he went….baking in my kitchen for the greatest pleasure of the family. The Brioche has to be prepared over 2 days.

Ingredients

  • 250 gr all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 125 gr butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 teaspoons milk (whole or half)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dose dry baker yeast (or 1 tbsp)
Steps

Day 1

  • Combine the flour, the salt and the sugar in a mixing bowl and add the eggs,  Stirring them one at a time.
  • Warm up the milk a bit and stir in the yeast.
  • Pour the milk in the mixing bowl with the flour. Stir.
  • Smelt the butter and pour in the mixing bowl. Stir
  • Put the bowl in the fridge for the night.

Day 2

  • Pour the dough on a lightly floured board and knead a couple of minutes.
  • Form a rectangle with the dough about 2 cm thick.
  • Fold the lower end ovf the rectangle over the middle.
  • Do the same with the upper end of the rectangle
  • Repeat the 3 last steps 5 or 6 times.
  • Make a rectangle about 10 cm wide and 1 cm thick and cut it in 2.5 cm wide “ribbons”.
  • Roll the ribbons and put them in a greased recantgular mold
  • Preheat the oven at 250 c / 480 f
  • Brush the brioche with milk and come into the oven
  • Lower the temperature to 200 c / 390 f and bake 5 to 10 min.
  • Unmold and let cool on a rack.