Oct 30, 2010

martha's november menu

i get martha stewart living delivered, there is one these cards inclosed every month.

as you can see, i have saved them all, since 2000 (i think). yesterday was actually the first time i cooked (almost) the whole menu from these recipes

spicy carrot soup

stuffed pork chops and couscous with brussels sprouts

i tried to find the recipes online, no luck. if they get posted, i'll edit the links later. for now, you'll need to go with my approximites.

carrot soup, obviously, calls for carrots, then leek, chicked stock (i used vegetable) and harissa, which i didn't have and used sriracha instead.

mince the leek, sautee in some olive oil, add carrots, sriracha and stock, cook until carrots are tender, puree half of the soup in a blender, combine and serve. i did add some of my "herb of the month" tarragon, i think tarragon goes very well with carrots (among other things)

toast some (rye) bread, cut into stick and garnish the soup

the couscous and sprouts then, certain someone doesn't eat couscous so i used pearl barley instead.

the recipe called for lemon juice and peel, but all i had in the fridge was this tiny lime, that ended up working great

the recipe also called for peeling the sprouts in order to get leaves, but i was too lazy to do that. i just washed and quartered the sprouts and browned them in some olive oil...

...before adding to the cooked barley, then added juice and peel of the lime, so easy

the chops were next. i had hard time trying to find dried apricots that didn't have any additives in them, namely sulfur oxide. fortunately i found this brand sundried acricots, not the bright yellowish orange you normally associate with them, however, nothing but apricots in that bag.

the recipe for the stuffing also called for almonds, but as i had this half empty bag of pinenuts, i used them, and loads of parsley

mixed these in a bowl with some olive oil...

...before making cuts on the sides of the chops for the stuffing

browned the chops on medium heat on both sides, before adding some vegetable stock and red wine vinegar to further cook (with the lid on) the chops. i then took the chops out and poured the sauce thru a sieve before pouring it on the chops. i had forgotten how good pork chops are, but, please, do pay attention to how and were the meat was produced...

we did have something sweet with coffee, but is tomorrow's post...

Oct 29, 2010

apple (oven) pancake - omenapannari

still trying to figure out what to do with all the apples. there is a limit as to how much apple sauce one can make, and store. also, as yesterday was certain someone's birthday, i wanted to make something different.

here's what you need:

7dl / 3 cups milk, i used no-fat, any will do
2,5dl / 1 cup sour cream /kermaviili, buttermilk can be used instead
2 eggs
2 tbsps sugar, divided
1dl / ½ cup whole wheat semolina
4dl / 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp salt (or more, up to 1 tsp)
3 tbsp liquid oivariini, or melted butter. here's where you can splurge...more butter, more taste...
½ tsp cinnamon
3 apples, cored and sliced (3mm, i have no idea what that is in inches, thin?)

start by mixing the eggs and sour cream in a smallish bowl, set aside. into a bigger bowl, add the semolina, half the flour and half the milk and mix well with a ballon whisk. pour the egg/sour cream mixture into bigger bowl, mix well. add 1 tbsp sugar, the salt and rest of the flour, mix, then add rest of the milk and mix vigorously. set a side while preparing the apples.

the batter can sit up to an hour in room temperature, or overnight in the fridge.

wash the apples well. now would be a good time to put the oven on, 225C / 430F.

core and slice the apples, discard the top and bottom ends, i ended up needing 20 slices on my 40X30cm (16x12", with 2" rim) oven pan. you could also divide the batter between 2 smaller oven pans bake in batches in a cast iron pan

into a medium bowl, add 1 tbsp sugar and the cinnamon and the apple slices, mix carefully with your hands trying not to break the slices.

place the oven pan into the hot oven for 5 mins, take out and pour 2 tbsps of oivariini / butter onto the hot pan. then place the apple slices on pan, place in the oven for another 5 mins

after 5 mins, take out the pan and carefully pour the batter onto the apples, and with even more care, place the pan back into the oven for 25 mins, or until golden / darkish brown (i like mine barely brown, some people want their's darker...)

if you've done everything approximitely right, this is what you'll take out of the oven. sometimes the batter puffs up even more...

let the pancake cool for 5 mins before cutting it into 12 pieces (i'll let you do the math as to how...) with the help of a spatula, pick up the slices and place them upside down (to show the apple slices) on a serving plate, or any dish to store them. this particular dish has a plastic cover so i put mine there, saves on the washing up...

now, to serve this you could go spartan and eat as is, or go my way and get your maple syrup out. ice cream works well, too...

also, you could serve this for breakfast by frying up some bacon as a side kick... or bake the pancake with bacon sans apples, sugar and cinnamon, or use breakfast sausages, or any veggies for that matter!

Oct 28, 2010

lemony salmon zucchini pasta

went to see my wrist surgeon on monday and this week's been a bit dark and gloomy as the wrist needs another surgery. i'll need another MRI after which the surgeon will decide whether the wrist can be fixed with a relatively small operation, or whether a prosthesis is needed. yippii, so not!!

neverheless, i need to feed myself, and certain someone. this was our dinner tonight, lemony cold smoked salmon zucchini tarragon rye pasta (phew!)

i've made variations of this a few times before and i think i got this thing down to a recipe by now:

150 gr cold smoked salmon, sliced and cut into strips
150 gr zucchini, quartered lenghtwise and sliced
juice and peel of half a lemon
2 tbsp parsley minced finely
½ tsp dried tarragon
2 dl cooking cream, i used 4% fat
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
300 gr rye pasta

start by getting the pasta water boiling, because this dinner gets ready fast

you do save the parsley stems? hmm, i do and freeze them and use in soups (i do remove them before serving the soup...)

i happened to see martha do this "upside down". usually i've had the grater above the bowl and everything just fell right in there. when you keep the grater in this position you can actually see how much you've got and get a more accurate seasoning. now, why didn't i think of that!

on a hot pan, slightly brown the zucchini in the oil, for a couple of minutes

add the cream and turn off the heat

add the tarragon...

...and lemon juice and peel. see how it still keeps boiling, it will keep cooking the zucchini further

the pasta takes 6 mins to cook. certain someone thinks it's not cooked when there is still a bit bite to it (the famous al dente), but if you cook any whole wheat pasta into a mush...well, you might as well bought white pasta sice the good stuff cooks away

then add the salmon...

...and parsley and mix...

...and bon appetit! seriously, this barely takes 10 mins. you could easily leave out the fish and double (or even triple) the zucchini. no salt added...the only salt is in the fish

ps. silly me! i forgot liisamarja's second anniversary was yesterday...what is it that i forget next, my name?!