Sep 11, 2009

quick b'day lunch

i had bought some cold smoked salmon the other day, thinking i would use it in sandwitches. after eating all that "raw" fish in the sushi last night, i needed another way to use that salmon. i took the short way out and made my favourite salmon dish (that still doesn't have a name) with cream and black pepper. salmon (in which ever kind you might have, i find that cold smoked works best), cream and freshly ground black pepper is really all you need. however, this time i wanted to twist my recipe a bit.

i had a 10cm piece of leek and some sour cream (or rather smetana) in the fridge, i figured those were going make the twist. yes, i do know smetana isn't for everyday cooking, but there wasn't anything else i was going to use that smetana for. i chopped the leek and sliced the salmon, right tools make slicing the salmon easy

i started by quickly wilting the leeks in a teaspoon of oliveoil on a very hot pan, added the smetana (approx 1 dl) and brought that to a boil. removed the pan from stove and added the sliced salmon. by doing this the salmon isn't cooked thru, but just warmed in the hot smetana. i season this right before eating with black pepper and mix the sauce. i've done this so many times and i always eyeball the measures. usually i'll have 2.5dl 5% cream and approx 200gr of salmon. if you think you can't bring yourself to eat raw fish, it's ok to sear the salmon first on a hot pan and then add cream (and leek, if using). chopped leeks and sliced salmon here

usually i eat this with pasta, but there were some potatoes waiting to be cooked, equally tasty with potatoes. with smetana the sauce was rather thick, had i wanted i could have thinned it with some water or milk. had some leftover dill that got used as garnish

cold smoked salmon isn't that hard to make yourself, provided. like the link says cold smoking requires patience, knowledge and some special equipment. coincidentally, my dad uses an old fridge for cold smoking salmon. we were quite skeptical at first when he started talking about cold smoking in a fridge, as smoke usually involves fire... (no fire in his fridge, though). after tasting the first batch of his cold smoked salmon we were converted, his was better than store bought. hmm, i should photograph the process one of these days. only hindsight is that he usually starts the process around 5am and i ain't never gonna be able to get up that early...

i keep telling people i didn't have time to bake a cake, half true, maybe i'm getting lazy, 'cause older i feel not! i did have this celebratory icecream before work...

Sep 10, 2009


we went out to dinner! this has not happened in finland since... i do not remember. tomorrow would have been the right day for this occasion but i have the evening shift so we had my b'day dinner tonight.

we played tourist and took the train to town, i even had a bottle (a very small one) of sake. we went to koto in downtown helsinki. we've been there once earlier, like 10 yrs ago. i liked the decor better then, the restaurant does look very japanese now but plain instead of simply styled.

wasn't sure what i was going to have, other than the sake. here is starter miso with leeks and tofu

there were many warm dishes on the menu that i wanted to try but sushi won. sushi seems to win always... this was my plate and is called sakura

drinks, sake and kirin beer

thank you for dinner!

Sep 9, 2009

another pie, actually 2

certain someone had his cousin from canada visiting. they went ahead to the shack, i detoured by the store. i was tired after a busy day at the office and took the easy way out by buying some frozen pie dough. i thought savory pies and nice salad of leafy greens would do for light dinner. i made 2 pies, one topped with veggies and cottage cheese, the other with smoked ham and leeks. both pies got 1 egg mixed with 2dl sour cream on top, seasoned with white pepper for veggies, black for ham.

the veggie version's vegetables came frozen from the store, i'm shamed to admit. to my defence i'll state that i just couldn't remember what i had at the shack, i was too tired and deciding what to put on the pies at the store made everything so much simpler, so there. i think that particular mix of veggies was for a wok-type dish, but after defrosting them in a hot pan for a few minutes, they worked well in a pie. there were baby carrots, button mushrooms, onions, asparagus and green beans in the mix

the veggie version was garnished with dill and didn't slice up as nicely as the ham version did

for the meaty version i used 200gr of smoked ham that i chopped ½cm pieces. i sliced one medium size leek and sauteed it quickly in a hot pan with some oliveoil to wilt it

ham version sliced much better and was topped with parsley

both took about 40mins in 180C oven with convection on. if i was baking just one, i'd use 220C without the convection for slightly shorter time. this time i wanted to get them both ready at the same time so the first option worked better. i'm glad i made 2 pies 'cause there was some left over for my lunch today...

Sep 6, 2009

bear with me...

i am no tech wizzkid, i use the trial and error method, sometimes i get it, sometimes i don't. like, with the header, i really don't like the orangy box. i know how i want it to look but so far the options i've tried aren't making it any better... however, i will get there one of these days. also, i need to prop up my kitchen (that's mine in the new header) and get nicer picture, this was for "experinmental purposes", just that you know. or, i might get all my gadgets out at the shack and take a picture there. hmm, now that might work better

no food today. i thought i'd get something from the shop across the street but i feel lazy. so you'll only get a picture of the dog instead as he hasn't made an appearance in a long time