Nov 28, 2009

cheesy sandwiches & pancakes, again

since we ate ever so light lunch yesterday, i thought dinner could be on heavier side. we had some day old rustic baguette at the shack, some cheese, cherry tomatoes and olives.

i started by halving the baguette, poured 1 tbsp of olive oil on the cut sides, topped one bread with cherry tomatoes, basil, black pepper and grated emmental

lots of grated emmental (almost took half of it off...)

the other half with roughly chopped green and black olives and grated appenzeller cheese

lots of appenzeller

while i was preparing these, i remembered that we used to make sandwiches like these when i was a kid. we had one of those table-top grills that look like little ovens. (i'm sure mom still has that hidden somewhere). yes, for a second i thought that there was too much cheese on top

but look how pretty they look after 5 mins under the broiler in oven!

so simple to make, so tasty. green salad might have made a nice companion, and perhaps a glass of red wine. will definitely not make these any time soon, not because i didn't like them but because the amount of cheese... the amount of fat... right now i'm repeating to myself "it's not what you eat, it's how much and often you eat it" yeah, right. the march session of rehab is approaching, slowly but surely, i should be loosing fat, not eating it!

today i only made spinach-nettle pancakes as there was some soup enough for lunch. this batter is easy to make, just mix 5 dl milk, 1 egg, 2,5 dl all-purpose flour, ½ tsp salt (you might want to use more if you're used to salt in your food), white pepper and grated nutmeg (to your taste) into a smooth batter, and let sit for 20 mins. then add 1 package (= 1 dl) defrosted spinach and 2 tbsp melted butter, mix well again. i found some frozen nettles in the freezer so i used those with spinach. the batter looks like this

i happen to have a very good old cast iron pancake pan, i used it, but a non-stick pan works equally well (and you don't need as much butter). i like my pancakes only lightly colored

i made a double patch and got approx 70 pancakes out of it. plenty for certain someone to nibble while i'm gone... i eat mine with lingonberry jam

this is persimmon and castello white with balsamic glaze on top. i first tasted this combination at my aunt's house years ago, it's so good! if you want to hitch it up a notch, place first some arugula on a plate, top it with chunks of really nice brie, persimmon slices, then pour just a tiny bit of good olive oil and balsamic glaze on top, salt and black pepper are optional. makes a nice starter, or a side salad for dinner

i picked up mom from bus earlier in the evening, tomorrow i'm taking her across the sea to estonia for a few days of pampering and good food. see you on dec 3rd!

Nov 27, 2009

yet another veggie soup, or not

rain, rain and some more rain. if all this rain had come down as snow there'd be at least 1 meter of it by now, but i guess nowadays late november isn't yet winter in southern finland. go figure.

well, rainy day is perfect for soup. yes, i made another soup. you are excused from reading further if soup isn't your thing today, or at all.

had carrots, root parsley, leeks, root celery, potatoes, chili in the fridge, and from the freezer the bundle of parsley sprigs on low left corner. i usually buy a big bunch of parsley, snip the leaves off and tie the sprigs with kitchen twine into bundles like this and freeze them to use later in stocks or soups

chopped them all up, poured 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil to non-stick kettle and made the veggies (except potatoes) and chili sweat for a minute or two

then added boiling water to barely cover the veggies, plus 1 tsp of dried lovage, some vegetable buillion from bottle and the parsley bundle. cooked these for 5 mins before adding the potatoes, then cooked until potatoes were done (approx 15 mins)

took out the parsley bundle and had great all veggie soup. ok, confession time...

... i had started by browning some frankfurters (light) and added them to the soup for the last 5 mins, added some minced parsley as garnish.

in case you didn't notice, there is no added salt in this "recipe". obviously, there is some salt in buillion and frankfurters, so this is not totally salt-free, rather very low sodium. lovage and chili give nice punch so that we don't miss the salt. all you need with the soup is rye bread with a slice of emmental on top

Nov 24, 2009

minced beef puff pastries & another set of cabbage rolls

i seem to get cravings a lot lately, this time it was for puff pastry anything. also, certain someone mentioned some time ago that his mom used to make these pastries that had minced meet and rice in them. at my apartment, the shop is literally across the street, so yesterday before driving to the shack i got a package of puff pastry and 400 gr minced beef (the lean, 10% fat kind) at that shop. i had no recipe for this, but i thought i had all covered...

at the shack i browned the beef, minced and sauteed one medium size onion and cooked some rice, 2 dl went in here along with some white pepper and chili powder

the pastry had thawed nicely by the time i was at the shack. i found it easier to brush eggwash all over the dough, instead of just the edges. got 10 of these 10 cm by 10 cm squares out of the one package

by the time i had stuffed all 10 of them, i found out that i had loads of stuffing left over...

these here are eggwashed and ready for 225 C oven (12 mins) with sesame seeds on top

seems like someone slacked on sealing this one...

rest of them were rather pretty

pastries got done yesterday, it was kinda late when i finished so i decided that i would deal with leftover stuffing today.

i had bought a small savoy cabbage for the weekend and somehow "forgot" that i had it. whilst trying to figure out how to use the stuffing, i remembered that i had seen savoy cabbage rolls on cooks and bakes. my savoy cabbage was quite small but i decided to try anyway.

don't you love how the leaves look?

i figured 10 of the outer leaves would work for rolling, smaller leaves were chopped and added to stuffing

these got 2 dl of stock and 2 tbsp of dark syrup on them before going into 200 C oven for an hour. after 15 mins it looked like they were going to get too dark so i put some foil on top. all fine and dandy, but i still had some stuffing left!

took out another (tiny) oven dish and put rest of the stuffing in it. poured in 3 dl of stock and put it in the oven next to my rolls and this goodness came out an hour later

this was dinner tonight, both versions with lingonberries. i don't think i had tasted savoy before, quite nice, although not very much different from white cabbage. certain someone said he liked the savoy rolls better than the white cabbage ones. savoy certainly handles better than white, perhaps i need to make a proper effort with savoy one of these days and maybe do that with a recipe that tells me what and how much to use...

ps. happy birthday mom!