Nov 7, 2009

noodles w. shrimp & broccoli

it was dark already when i left work, it had been dark when i went there in the morning... weather wasn't doing anything to brighten things up and then i get sms from canary island's saying the sun is shining, it's almost 30C by the pool, drinks are nice and cool...c'mon, that's not fair!

was kinda hungry when i finally got to the shack. no one had boiled any potatoes while i was gone... so i needed to figure out what to whip up quickly. there were some noodles in the pantry, shrimp and broccoli in the freezer and some ginger in the fridge, so i thought i'd go east...suppose this isn't thai nor chinese but something from around that part of the world

started with regular noodles. you could use any type you have, according to package directions this serves 2 (these were almost the last "white" noodles left, will buy only soba or other whole wheat from now on)

broccoli & shrimp thawing

needed some zen so i minced the ginger (yes, something needs to be done with the cutting board, any ideas?)

julienned one carrot, that's one minced glove of garlic with the minced ginger

ingredients: 2 dl broccoli, 1½ dl shrimp, 1 carrot, 1 glove of garlic, 4 cm piece of ginger

sauce: 1 tbsp soya sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp pad thai sauce (hoisin sauce would work equally well) and 1 tsp chili oil (or none at all, if spicy isn't your thing)

first cooked the noodles (in the wok i prepared the rest of the dish), save some of the cooking water to thin out the sauce

measured (hmm, i never do that!) 1 tbsp rapeseed oil to wok, sauteed garlic and ginger in it for a minute, added julienned carrots for another minute, used my hackman wok (the one in the link is newer version of mine)

added broccolli

then shrimp

cooked noodles and sauce

all mixed


this took 20 mins to prepare, that's only because i used knife to mince and julienne, you could get that done faster with a box grater or microplane. i like my veggies with some bite so they really don't need to cook longer than a minute or two. the sauce then, happened to have those bottles in the fridge, you could use lemongrass paste, green or red curry paste, sweet chili sauce, you could go all veggie (those frozen wok mixes are nice) or use chicken/beef/pork instead of shrimp.

heidi has asked for proper recipes, sorry, i seldom use a recipe, most often just freefall with what i happen to have around...

Nov 5, 2009

quick salad

looks like winter finally came to southern finland, luckily i already have winter tyres on my car. looks like we'll be getting more snow during the night, oh well, it's only winter.

got a craving for pasta salad this morning. used torino rye pasta, that has loads of fiber in it and takes only 6 mins to cook. other ingredients were: 10cm of leek chopped quite fine, one coarsly grated carrot, half an iceberg lettuce chopped roughly, 10cm of cucumber chopped to 1cm cubes, 1½ dl sweet corn from can and salami-type sausage (mine was ultra-light at 9% fat, which is not light per se...) but you could use chicken, cheese, beans, ham, shrimps, etc, or nothing else!

dressing was made of 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil and 2 tbsp of apple vinegar. this will be enough for dinner, and snack at work (another evening shift today)

have you ever noticed that full moon does funny things to some people?

Nov 4, 2009

omelett, pie & pasta

tried to out-do myself today and almost, well, i was late for work (don't tell the boss). was still feeling like baking a pie in the morning, but as it was cold outside (and i was only a tiny bit lazy right that moment and didn't feel like going out to get apples) and we do have plenty of blueberries in the freezer, so apple pie became blueberry pie.

thanks mom for these blueberries

used store bought dough, had one in the freezer (have to use it some day anyway and will make dough myself for next pie). don't know why the dough is rectangular, though, don't most people bake round pies?

thought of using klingfilm in order not to get my hands in the dough, but you know what? don't do this, it's too fussy and the old "get your hands dirty" works much better

did use my silicon pastry roller (used a drinking glass before i absolutely had to have this roller)

there is approx 3 dl blueberries, 3 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of cornstarch, all in a merry mix

baked it in 200C for 30 mins, at 20 mins the edges started to get dark so i wrapped foil around the edge for the last 10 mins

wished i had some vanilla ice-cream or custard to go with it

in the middle of pie baking i got super-hungry, fortunately there was some ham in the fridge so i quickly whipped up an omelett

started by slightly browning the ham and then pouring in the eggs

perhaps not martha-perfect but i was hungry, and i always have chili powder on my omelett

after i dealt with the hunger, i started on my dinner (and lunch for tomorrow to take to work). had this pappardelle pasta that needed to be used, would have preferred whole wheat...

i know, i know, i make this pasta all the time, but i like it! (and it's easy...)you'll need cold smoked salmon, cream (as light or heavy as you prefer) and leeks

this is the reason why you should always wash your leeks

salmon came sliced so i just chopped it roughly, leeks got a more thorough chopping

start by sauteing leeks in 2 tbsp of oil (i had rapeseed) for a minute on medium heat, then add some all purpose flour, continue sauteeing for a couple of minutes more before adding the cream, mix well

cook on medium for approx 5 mins to thicken the sauce and to get rid of that raw flour taste (you might have to add some hot water from the pasta kettle if the sauce gets too thick)

turn off the heat but leave pan on stove, mix in the salmon

at this point i added about 1 dl of pasta water

ladleling the pappardelle into sauce

season generously with black pepper

mix again... if i'd eaten this right away, the sauce would have been fine, but as i was taking it to work, i added another dl of pasta water knowing that pappardelle would soak up all excess liquid (and it did)

my dinner tonight at work. as usual, there was no salt at any point (salmon has salt in it), but i did season my portion with 1 tbsp of soya-sauce (just love salmon with soya-sauce)

Nov 3, 2009

slow day

for some strange reason it was particularly difficult to get up this morning. in my opinion, getting up in the morning is the most difficult task of the day. has been that way all my life, my parents will attest to that and i'm sure that if i'm ever in old folks home, nurses will have hard time getting me up for lunch.

so, as it was so hard to get up, it was kinda late when i finally managed to get it done, certain someone wanted lunch at that time. lucky for me, there was still plenty of pea soup and because of the soup, there really was no reason to cook, therefore, there really wasn't anything to do for today (garden screams of neglect, firewood needs to be chopped, you name it... =boring) and as i had promised a soup delivery to certain someone's mom, i possibly couldn't start anything before that...

and, look at the dog, if he's feeling that lazy, why can't i?

after delivering the soup, i went to a new supermarket for grocery shopping (remember the onion incident?). it's one of the main chain stores and basically all stores are identical, but not quite. don't like it when i have to look for things (not that i was in a hurry), first to see what they have and where, then figure out what to get. in a familiar store i know where my things are and i (usually) don't come home with too many "extras".

further! why is it that milk is always in the furthest corner?? oh, i know, i went to a school where they tought me that! that's because they want you to buy more than just the milk you needed...

did take the dog out for a walk, today he got 8+ for his behaviour. that's amazing considering he only got 4+ yesterday. it's not that the dog is stupid, but behaviourally challenged. like, he's been ringing the doorbell for the last half hour (and making me mad) wanting to come in. i will let him in, eventually, when he stops ringing it...

hmm, somehow i just started feeling like baking an apple pie... it's too dark outside to go and get the few apples we got this fall... maybe, if i still have this feeling in the morning, i'll bake a pie tomorrow before work

Nov 2, 2009

pea soup II

we put the lamb to freezer yesterday. no pics, you ask? well, this thing has been an issue with me lately... plain forgot, again. promise this wasn't the last time.

you might remember from my june 1st entry that i put some smoked deer in the freezer specifically to make pea soup. took it out yesterday to thaw for making soup today.

started last night by taking my almost biggest kettle, measuring 4 liters of water and 1 kg of dried peas into the kettle to soak overnight. peas are sold (usually) in 500 gr bags that have recipe for pea soup in the back. more or less doubled the recipe (and ended up with quite enough soup)

peas last night

all soaked up this morning

this morning put kettle with peas and water they soaked in onto stove, brought to a boil and simmered for an hour

was looking to use 2 medium size onions for the soup but, low and behold, there weren't any in the pantry! instead, there was something that used to be onions. fortunately these shallots were in fairly good condition. but... who uses shallots for pea soup... (need to start paying more attention to onions, among other things)

could have used some zen by chopping the shallots with knife, but my bamix has been very lazy lately so made it work some. usually don't like what "choppers" do to onions (=make them mushy) but for this soup mushy was perfect

after and hour of simmering added chopped shallots and smoked deer bones with some meat on them

after the hour of simmer with bones, white stuff on top is pea skins, quite harmless, just mix it in. at this point bones were fished out, let cool a bit...

...meat came off the bone easily with fork

thought that deer might nor be enough so added some smoked ham. took the nasty outer layer off, might have left it on for smoky flavor had been all pork

approx 2 cups / 5 dl of cubed meat, left: deer, right:pork

after this, mix well, simmer for another 20 to 30 mins before seasoning with 2 tsps of dried marjoram. as usual, didn't add any salt as there is some in deer and ham, but feel free to add salt to your taste

traditional accompaniments to pea soup are crisp bread and cheese- some add mustard, chopped onions, know someone who adds ketchup...

you could make this all vegetarian by adding carrots, or any other root vegetable, instead of meat. cooking time will be more or less the 2 hours since peas do take that long to cook. we ate huge bowls today and there is plenty more. will bring some to certain someone's mom tomorrow