Aug 11, 2010

pasta with zucchini & tomatoes

after the second day back to work last week i decided that i really need to start making lunch to go as there is no canteen and sometimes it's hard to go and get something. there is a deli-type counter in a grocery store near by, but that requires getting out.

i dug the cupboards at the apartment and found these

i had these sad looking plum-tomatoes in the fridge, but run across the street for the zucchini and chives

sliced the zucchini quite thinly, heated up some olive oil on high heat and browned the zucchini a bit before adding the cubed tomatoes and turning off the heat. the tomatoes don't really need to cook, just get warmish.

(you do know that you're supposed to remove the core and tough white fiberous part inside the tomato? well, you should 'cause that's where the amoeba least that's what a nurse told to my group before going to croatia in -97, among other things. she said washing the tomatoes wasn't enough to get rid of the amoeba, if there was one. ever since, and every time and i mean every time, i've handled tomatoes i have removed the core and the white fibrous part, also from the occasional tomatoes i have managed to grow myself. i so don't want a pet amoeba)

to the pan i added the cooked penne, minced chives and some tarragon and mixed well

plated one portion and ground plenty of black pepper on top

although it smelled and looked good enough to eat as was, i remembered that i had some mozzarella in the fridge, sliced some of it on top (and ate also the second portion that was supposed to be my lunch the next day...)

Aug 9, 2010

onion tarts

these are friday's concoctions as i mentioned earlier i was browsing thru the binder where i store martha stewart living recipes and spotted a recipe for caramelized onion tart with olives and decided to go with it.

i had originally thought of making "suzanna's onion tart" (suzanna being my landlady in another life many many years ago. she was from argentina and a very sweet lady. occasionally, when i had been doing what i shouldn't have been doing way too late (or early) and was suffering the next morning (ok, being very hung-over). she spotted that, made me drink a little fernet branka, sent me sleeping it off and told me to come and clean the next day)

her onion tart calls for these big sweet onions. so why did i end up using martha's recipe? well, the book where i started collecting recipes (writing them down by hand) all those years ago has gone missing!

i think i should say i used martha's recipe more as an inspiration rather than in any attempt to follow it to the letter (do i ever do that?)

halved and sliced the onion and started sauteeing them...that took approx 40 mins on low heat

i had these buff pastry sheets from xmas (eeks!) in the freezer. slowly but surely the freezer is starting look emptier...

the onions at around 25 mins

took out a cookie cutter and made impressions on the sheet in an attempt to allow the edges to raise higher

tried to make the cuts only half way thru

kalamata olives, pitted and halved

egg-washed the pastry sheets before placing a tbsp of the onions and 2 olive halves on top

one thing i forgot and would have made a difference, was was in the recipe and i had it out on the counter...well, can't win them all

this batch made 20 and they disappeared frightfully fast

Aug 8, 2010

salmon, whacked potatoes & crunchy salad with asian dressing

i spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen on friday, and why not, it was too hot to spend all day on the deck (and luring another migraine attack).

teriyaki salmon

i started this one already in the morning, cut the salmon filee into pieces...

...took out the favourite marinade ingredients, teriyaki & sesame oil

perfect size dish for this bunch. put the cover on and placed in the fridge for a few hours (even overnight is good)

i was tempted to taste it already after few minutes in marinade

placed them on a very hot pan few a couple on minutes on the flesh side, then flipped them over (carefully) and turned off the heat

crunchy salad

inspiration for this is from one of jamie oliver's naked chef cookbooks. i used cabbage, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, zucchini, onions, daikon radish (valkoinen retikka in finnish), chili and chinese cabbage

by now, you all know how this is done...

nest, the chinese got same treatment

for the zucchini and daikon i got my mandoline out (no chipped fingernails, this time)

onions went in next

for the chili i wear a glove, have to, my eyes would suffer if i didn't

drained the bean sprouts and water chestnuts, added them and mixed well and placed in the fridge while...

...i started the

asian dressing

this one is very close to jamie oliver's recipe i posted some time ago. starts with very thinly sliced glove of garlic

and ginger (what did you think this was?!?)

grated some of the ginger and then went rachel ray on rest of it. placed it in a resealable plastic bag and stored it in the freezer (it will keep for longer and is easy to grate)

used part of the chili for the dressing, all the aromatics in a jar

other ingredients were brown sugar, soya sauce, sesame oil, rapeseed oil and lime juice

measuring the soya sauce last

the dressing is done and into the fridge it went

whacked potatoes

i had thought of cooking some rice with the salmon but as i had some boiled potatoes laying around in the fridge i decided to use them before they went bad. gave them a good whack with the knife

cooked them on a medium hot pan in rapeseed oil, with loads of crushed black pepper and some parsley. PW makes potatoes in a similar fashion but in the oven

my dinner

iceberg vedgies with buttermilk dressing

so, yesterday was a hot, humid and busy day (at work). when i got home around midnight, the weather was balmy and very unlike finland, i had to sit on my balcony for a while and not bother to blog, sorry.

but here comes, one of friday's dishes, from martha stewart living, iceberg vedgies with buttermilk dressing. i only took small liberties with the recipe and as i sometimes don't like tomatoes, i left them out, and replaced the shallot with a very small white onion

not sure if other people collect the recipe cards, however, i find them useful as inspiration

the ingredients

this being a martha recipe, i made sure the measurements were accurate, sort of

the chives in the garden are gone (hot & dry summer) so i used the green part of green onion instead

measuring the lemon juice

the amount of salt made me gasp, almost couldn't add all that (on hindsight, i shouldn't have, but if you normally use salt in cooking, maybe this much is ok)

celery salt (yep, salt in here as well)

all mixed in a jar

had to add some nutritional value with low fat cottage cheese

dried rye bread to go with

i never drink buttermilk (we buy it for the dog!) so i wasn't sure this dressing was going to taste "nice". i did, and i will make it again, just with a lot less salt