Category Archives: Recipes

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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Slånbärssaftglögg – the recipe

Hello everybody! I am currently visiting my grandmother in the capital of christ, Uppsala north of Stockholm. Living in Malmö is great for its multiculturalism but it’s good to see the “real” Sweden, especially in winter time. Lots of old traditions here. And today the sun is shining bright and the wind is biting my cheeks with fresh winter cold. Will it snow? Haha I’m at the library and there’s a man having a speach about how Uppsala is such a great town. But that is beside the very important point of the slånbärssaftglögg! The final outcome was a marvel and here is the recipe:

SLÅNBÄRSSAFTGLÖGG (Sloe berrie mulled qwine, or sloe sangria if you will)

For about a litre you need

5 dl concentrated sloe berry juice

7 dl water

2 tablespoon sugar (this depends on how sweet you want it and how sweet the juice is, mine was quite sour)

2 cinnamon sticks

7 cloves

5-10 cardamom seeds

3 pieces of dried bitter orange peel (pomeransskal)

Boil the ingredients for about 10-15 minutes. Enjoy with raisins and almonds!

Now my internet time is running out, I’m such a dedicated blogger I can’t believe it!

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Mission completed! (Well kinda…not really…but hey!)

The saft is done! I looooove loooooong ass processes, like making sprouts or of course grow plants. To watch the seed pop up from the soil and every step of everyday of its tiny little  life. I want kids! They are so small. I had this baby, the saft and it wasn’t at all as hard to make as I thought it would be. It felt like we bounded during the days the berries were soaking. So I present to you

SLÅNBÄRSSAFT

for about a liter you need

1 kg sloe berries

1.5 liters of water

5-6 dl sugar

Thats it! Now the first thing to do if there has been no frost is to freeze the berries for 24 hours. Then boil the water and cover the berries, let them sit for another 24 hours. Repeat, using the same water, three times. The fourth time you add the sugar to the water and boil it, skim it and bottle it. Voila! Delicious homemade saft! To make the glögg you just add spices, but I’m gonna get back to you with the perfect formula! Until then, cheers!

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My first ever chicken!

Hello everybody! I haven’t posted as rabidly as I usually do, the main reason is that I had to return the camera I had borrowed and since I am opposed to the idea of taking a job (I’m just too much of a diva) I haven’t bought my own. Nothing that isn’t edible seems worth my money, that’s why it will take a long time for me to get used to the idea of how much a crappy digital camera costs and how many great old non digital cameras I could get for the same price and not feel bad about it. Give me at least another month (and some cash!). Anywho blogging without pictures, how utterly boring. But hey, it’s better than nothing. Rule number one of blogging, however meaningless or boring your post is, it’s better than nothing. Unless you are one of those plastic surgered bloggers who ruin the lives of millions of insecure teenage girls by showing your ugly plastic self in various poses everyday, you should ALWAYS refrain from posting. You know, help save the world. In your on little way.

While the shallow bloggers save the world I make it just a little bit worse by buying my first ever chicken. Not a live one, a dead one. I’ve been “vegetarian”  (a period I ate fish, and for a while I was vegan) for about ten years until a year ago and I have never, until this day bought a chicken. It is now laying comfortable in my oven, surrounded by potatoes, carrots and an onion. Carefully rubbed in an

LEMON AND HERB RUB

use your favourite herbs or the ones at hand, I used

fresh sage, thyme and oregano

two big cloves of garlic

salt n pepa

olive oil

the peel of one lemon

For you who have beared with me for my short time in the blog world, know by now that I’m not very fond of measurments. I just freestyle and you should too! But be reasonable. I used, like I always do when an opportunity shows itself, a mortar to mash it all up in to a perfect rub. First I mashed the herbs, salt and garlic together. The salt helps drive out the moist of the herbs and makes it easier to mash together to a nice paste. Then I added the peel of one lemon and the juice of half the very same lemon. The other part I stuck into the chicken with some more fresh herbs. Add olive oil until it covers the mash and plenty of black pepper. Now carefully use a knife to open up the skin of the chicken and take the rub and rub the inside of the skin, leaving chunks of it in there. This makes the meat get a bit of the action as opposed to only the skin have a great rubbed time. I popped the chicken in the oven and prepared some potatoes,  carrots and one red onion to go with the it. I just cut them all in half, rubbed them too in some olive oil and salt and pepper and then let them keep the chicken company for about one and half hour in 175 degrees or a bit more. I will get back to you with the result!

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An autumny recipe as winter closes in on us

Hello dear five readers! The beautiful colors of autumns are being swept away by park workers and the more and more persistent mist that make the days grey. We are also in wintertime which means that shortly after getting up in the “morning” it’s getting dark. Ayayay! What to do? Well I light candles and bake cakes! So nice to be inside with the warm smell of homebaked when the world is dying outside. My last piece of pumpkin was starting to mold so a made a

 

PUMPKIN SOUP WITH CHESTNUT TOPPING

Pumpkin soup must be the easiest and most delicious soup in the world, when you mix it it gets so creamy and yummy! Best vegan soup you could ever find! (Apart from maybe also tom yum). For my soup I used

A piece of pumpkin (about 500 g but you could use as much as you want)

4 small onions (meaning if you have big ones, use 2!)

3 cloves of garlic

a cup of white wine (can be left out)

a few branches of thyme

salt n pepa

 

Fry the chopped onions in oil or butter or a mix of both (never use margarin for anything ever!) until soft. Add garlic and shortly after the pumpkin, that you have cut into medium size pieces and the thyme. Fry for a few minutes and mix it well. Then add white wine and let it boil away the alcohol. Add water until it covers the pumpkin. Let it boil about 30 minutes. Season it as you please. I usually put a tiny bit of cayenne to contrast the sweetness of the pumpkin but if you have wine it is not necessary. Mix it carefully with a blender or a similar device, don’t ever lift the blender while you mix or you’ll get burned! (Happened to me once, hurt like hell.)

While the soup is boiling you prepare the chestnuts. Chestnut is actually called sweet chestnut or spanish chestnut and is a beautiful seed inside a very very thorned ball. Here in Sweden we have horse chestnut, it’s a completely different species than the sweet chestnut and the seeds are not edible! But there are some sweet chestnut trees here and there in Sweden, I picked these chestnuts from a tree in the park. Well not off the tree but from the ground under the tree, it’s impossible to get them out of their thorny ball protection when they are on the tree. To spot a “real” chestnut tree look at the leaves. They are slim, pointy with a darker green color and a bit shiny in comparison to the broad, flat and roundish leaves of the horse chestnut.

To prepare them you can roast them or parboil them as I did. You have to make a cross on the top so you can peel them and so they get cooked. Boil them in salted water for about as long as the soup. Peel them and chop em up real nice and sprinkle them over your soup! They have such a wonderful sweet and nutty taste in the most earthy of senses I truly recommend getting out looking for a sweet chestnut tree! Enjoy! Tomorrow we make a Malmö classic, what could it be?

 

 

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Autumn’s gifts

Sweet lord of jesus it is laaaate! And yet here I am writing a blog entry in very poor english while listening to the same songs over and over again. I feel a slight regression….

So! Today was an exciting day! Me and my beloved husband went to the beach to get some mulch material in the form of seaweed! In the spring we also made a crappy sheet mulch with a bit of seaweed but because it was spring and people starting showing up at the beach a big ass tractor came and removed it all. Now in the fall there is a ton of seaweed, so go get some for your compost or your garden beds!

When we got to the alotment the lawnmowing man (I’m presumptously assuming it’s a man) had mown all of the lawn on the outside of our plot, which meant even more mulch material in the form of grassclippings (a very good mulch material)! Plus leaves are falling like crazy so you just say thank you and gather it all in a pile. We don’t have a rake but luckily for us there is a golf course right beside our plot and there they have these pits of sand with rakes in every single one of them! Plus a huge mountain of old trees and boards and other useful stuff that they probably use for burning witches. Yeah cus they burn it all down and then we are left with a bunch of ashes to get, which is great to mix into the soil. So many gifts!

So in the amazingly beautiful autumn mist we finished the sheetmulching we had started, we still have alot left but next week we are both “free” and now that the good lord is sending us mulch materials in all kinds of forms we might just have mulched the whole thing next week. What is sheet mulching and why does it seem so important you ask? Sheet mulching is a way of getting great soil withouth disrupting the soil and dig it to pieces. It’s basically putting a bunch of organic material like compost and manure under (or over, depends on the technique) newspapers that will prevent any weeds from growing and at the same time create a soft humid compost soil underneath. You usually top it with straw and then you just sit back, relax and have a smoothie while nature does all the work!

Rachid thought I should bend over a bit so that mulching looks like work, which it's not.

Our plot is in dyer need of this treatment, when we got it in April this year it was an abandoned plot that no one lasted very long on. It was a meadow of weed, it still is. Very beautiful, but the soil was so compact and had a greyish layer once we got to see it. A bit like cement. We made two keyhole beds in the spring with horse manure, but thats about all the improvment we could manage since we spent all summer in Spain. Now the whole plot is covered in grass and other evil plants. They shall all crumble under the sheet of mulch!

Then we planted garlic! Yeeey! Planting garlic is very easy, you just put it in the ground. That’s pretty much what we did. We covered it with grassclippings as an indication to the grass that we will mulch there so there is no point in growing. We’ll se how that goes.

And of course, I made a delicious meal when we got home. On the alotment I have alot of time to think about what to eat later. I got nostalgic and made a dish I used to make as a vegetarian teen, with mock chicken and microwaved potatoes. Now I’m a grown up, a woman, a wife. So I made

BAKED POTATOES WITH CURRIED PUMPKIN AND TUNA FILLING

We picked a pumpkin from the plot in the park about two weeks ago and I have already made 5 dishes with it and I can make at least two more with it. It was a Dill’s Atlantic Giant pumpkin, they can get as big as 600 kg, so this one was a teeny little baby in comparison.

For this dish you need baked potatoes, DON’T buy special big potatoes for baking, like I did, they are just big potatoes that cost four times more than normal potatoes. Just get the biggest ones of the regukar cheap ones instead.  Bake them in the oven 220 degrees for about an hour if they are big and 45 minutes if they are ordinary.

For the filling you grate a piece of pumpkin (about 300-400 g), slice one onion and one clove of garlic. Fry the onion in oil until soft, add garlic and currypowder, fry for a minute or two and then add a can of tuna (can be excluded of course or replaced by chicken which makes much more sense than tuna) fry another minute and add the pumpkin. Now for the pumpkin needs to fry for quite a while to get that soft, sweet flavour. It will give up juice that it will boil in. Only after about 20 minutes does the sweetness come out (this is the case with this yellow pumpkin anyway). When the pumpkin melts when you put it in your mouth it is done. Add cream fraiche and voila! Serve with sallad and go to bed happy!

Tomorrow I’m gonna talk about chickory!

Gonatt!

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And now, the first mandatory recipe of the blog!

Good evening dear readers!

I have not made an herb spiral as of yet but I have however retreived the plants required for it from another plot in a park here in Malmö. While there I also got a bunch of kale! I love kale and it grows really well in this godforsaken climate and tastes even better as the cold bites harder. So being that today was the first real autumny day with grey sky, icy wind you know the works, I decided to make a delicious meal. And a delicious meal I made, I present to you:

POTATOE AND KALE GRATIN WITH TURKEY FILET AND APPLE SAUCE!

For the potatoe and kale gratin you need:

A bunch of potatoes

Kale

cream

onion

garlic

salt n pepa (s here and we’re in effect want you to push it babe…..)

cheese!

You slice and boil the kale in salt water for a while, about 15 minutes. Slice potatoes, garlic onions and put a layer of this in an ovenproof thing, spread over some kale and repeat. Cover it all with cream and cheese. In the oven for about 45 minutes?

Now you make apple sauce, which is like äppelmos but I made it savory. For this you need:

a bunch of apples

some lemon peel

lemon juice

cinnamon

a bit of sugar (I had some white sugar and a smidget of clayed sugar (farin socker))

salt n pepa (s here and we’re in effect want you to pusch it babe…..)

peel the apples and dice em, put them with all the other ingredients in a pot to boil for about 15 minutes or until soft and gewy. Add a bit of water for more saucelike character.

And the turkey you fry on all sides and then pop it in the oven with a thermometer until it says 70 degrees then it is done. Salt n pepa (you know the drill!) and slice and serve with the other goodies! Enjoy!