Monthly Archives: December 2011

Pickled herring!

So christmas is coming along and I am every day more and more like Martha Stewart. It’s quite frightening but a better kind of psycho to be than say Breivik or that guy that threw grenades and started shooting people for no apparant reason. Those are the scariest ones. The ones with no reason. But let’s not get too upset in these times of happy consumerism and overindulgence. Let’s pickle some herring instead. This is indeed a must on the swedish christmas table as we call it. We usually never have it in my family, we’ve always had a half swedish christmas. No ham, no herrings. Maybe just one symbolic jar that my father would struggle to eat just for the sake of it. But now times have changed, the children have grown up to be confused by their eating habits and after having wandered through the paths of veganism and different stages of vegetarianism we have ended up on the adult side of life. Where you just shut up and eat. And being that I’m not only carnivora ultimata I am also swedish food local produce freak. So this “morning” I went down to the fishermen that are always so nice and bought some salted herring and asked a bit about pickeling it. It’s such a great place to be, not only because they sell fish from their own tiny fishing boats but the general atmosphere is great. Everyone exchanging recipes or just stopping by for a chat. There is almost none of that beautiful communtiy feeling left in todays supermarket ruled world so everytime I run into it I get ridiculously sentimental.

Now for the pickeling, it is one of those long ass processes that I love. And it starts with making a solution for the herring to pickle in and then putting your salted herring in water for 1 hour if you keep the water running over it, 4 hours if you change the water once, and 8 hours if you just put it in water. I’m using a recipe from this book, but this is just the chemical part that pickles the herring and gives it a bit of flavour but the real flavouring comes a week later.

PICKELED HERRING

1 ltr of water

7 dl sugar

3 1/2 dl vinegar (12%)

2 red onions

1 small leek

1 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp allspice

4 bay leaves

Slice the vegetables and boil it all up, let it cool overnight. I will let it cool over day. Then for the good stuff.

6 salted herring filets

1 carrot, finely sliced

1 leek, finely sliced

1 yellow onion, finely sliced

5 cloves

10 allspice seeds

4 bay leaves

Put the herring in stone or glass jar, layer the vegetables in between the herring and put the solution over it all so that is covered good. Let it sit for a week in the fridge. Cut it into fork sized pieces, that is the end of the fork. I will get back to you with the flavourings. I’m thinking a classical mustard one, then a juniper berry and red onion one, and the last one I’m not sure yet. Any ideas? I’m also gonna pickle beet roots with the same solution as the one above but I will get back to that another time. Until then, yeeeeey!

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Root loaf!

So yes this is indeed turning into a food blog! Dear god noooo! But don’t fret I will soon post something about the almighty plot! Meanwhile I’m going crazy in the kitchen making weird food and other stuff. Lots of glögg of course. I watched an episode of the very annoying guy at River Cottage‘s show and he made a gratin of salsify and some other similiar root. I love salsify and will grow the hell out of that next season! Being that half of the show consisted of him eating various delicious foods I got pretty hungry and since the only thing I had at home was roots I went ahead to make a gratin myself. But I didn’t want to wait for big chunks of stuff to get cooked in the oven and I didn’t want to cheat and boil them first so I grated all of it. A nice arm workout. While mixing it all together, looking at the red colour and feeling the consistency I thought of meat loaf and how I could turn this into a loaf.

When I was vegetarian I used to look longingly at the picture of the nut steak that looked suspiciously much like a meat loaf in the good old Crank’s cook book (AKA the vegetarian bible). I made it one day and was disgusted by that dry log on my plate. This is a much better alternative, it is so much cheaper, much juicier and it’s bright red! Looks like christmas on your plate with some rice and yoghurt. Try it out bitches!

ROOT LOAF WITH BAKED LEEKS

4 beet root

2 carrots

1 piece of root sellery

1 parsnip

3 cloves of garlic

1 dl white wine

1 dl bread crums

1 dl cream (optional)

2 twigs of fresh rosemary, chopped

a pinch or two of cayenne

salt and pepper

sesame seeds (optional)

2 whole leeks

Heat the oven to about 200-250 degrees. Grate all the roots and mix in the other ingridients. Form a loaf in an oiled ovenproof thing spread sesame seeds over it and place the leeks beside them. Bake for about 45 minutes. The leeks will get burnt but just peel of the burnt parts. I have never baked leek before but I will again and again cus that was of the chaaiiin! Of course you can use any old root to make this. Just stay away from potatoes and you’re good to go! Good luck!

Rachid rates this 5 Selmas out of 5! A top score earned by creativity he says.

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Meaty stew!

So now that I am carnivora ultimata mega plus I am eating all sorts of meat! The other day my beloved made moroccan meatballs and right this second I am making a stew. Moroccan meatballs are beautiful, cooked in a sweet cinnamon smelling tomatoe sauce. I didn’t like these ones though, they were, as they should, made out of lamb meat. I have a childhood trauma with minced lamb meat, my grandmother would always buy real nice organic lamb mince and make traditional swedish meatballs with it. If you know what traditional swedish entails you might shiver yourself, it means absolutely no flavour. I tried to kill the sharp flavour of lamb with black currant jelly. The other thing about lamb is that it really taste of lamb, the animal. And since I’m a newbie on the meat eating scene I can’t eat it. Another reason is that the lamb tastes like the smell of the meat shop were the man in a bloody apron slams down your change with meatstained fingers. Don’t want store tasting meatballs, no not me. I can eat grilled lamb no prob.

So anyway now I’m making a stew using beef, good old boring beef. I couldn’t decide what kind of stew to make, I have never made a stew out of actual meat before. I have only made copy stews out of fake meat and chickpeas. They are also nice but without the bloooood it’s not the same. First I thought I’d make a french stew with wine, then a traditional swede one but both french and swedish have a no taste profile so I thought I’d make an ethiopian, like one I tried in Uppsala at the ethiopian restaurant. After about five hours of indecisivness I chose Selma style! (I am Selma). Selma style usually means cumin and cayenne (such a nice title for a food blog or my own restaurant!) and this is no exception, or it means copying what you once have eaten and adding cumin and cayenne and most probably lemon or its the ladder but with many different dishes. The stew I made today belongs in the that category, it’s basically fusion. It’s has swedish touches such as whole black pepper, bay leaves and carrots, and then a spicemix that is like the moroccan, the ethiopian and the sudanese cuisine all together! Here’s how that turned out:

SELMA’S STEW

1 kg beef

1/2 dl vegetable oil

2 big red onions

3-4 big tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic, sliced

2 big carrots

4 bay leaves

10 black peppar seeds

SPICEMIX

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ginger

1 tbsp paprika

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Slice the onions into thin slices, cut the carrots in three and slice the garlic. Cut the meat into pieces about 3 cm big. Heat the oil, fry the meat until it gets brown around the edges. Add the onions, garlic and carrots. Stir every now and again. Add the bay leaves, the pepper and the spicemix. Chop the tomatoes very finely and add them too. Let it simmer for a while and then add boiling water that just covers the meat. Let the stew simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring and adding more water on occasion. Salt after preference.

I have no camera so I took very, very bad photos with the webcam. They are a disgrace to humankind so if you want to know how the dish looks, make it!

Rachid, the husband, has rated the dish to 4 Selmas out of 5! Right on!

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The worlds cheapest and healthiest ice-cream!

Heeeello!

This blog is my positive side, where I use lots of exlamation marks and sound real chipper all the time! Throw in a recipe and Martha Stewart can go **** herself!

I don’t dumpster dive, but guess who has done that for me? Yes, that’s right. In the dumpster of the supermarket there is always a shitload of bananas. When I was living with a dumpster diver she always used to make an ice-cream using bananas and cocoa. I didn’t really appreciate it because I was back in Sweden after having lived in Morocco where there is no edible icecream and Sweden is the land of dairy so I was just eating regular ice-cream (and loving it!). But today I made it out of desperation, I don’t have any chocolate in the house!!! And it was great, almost free and healthy! (Martha Stewart…you cow…)

BANANA ICE-CREAM

frozen bananas

cocoa

Put the bananas in some hot water for a few minutes so that you can peel them. Cut them into pieces, mix them with a blender add cocoa and voila! You can also not add anything and have a banana ice cream. Or just add your favourtie berry. I’m gonna try raspberry next time.

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