Dec 18, 2010

salmon risotto

another dish that came about the ways of what do i have in the fridge/pantry...there was a package of cold smoked salmon that needed to be used, too much rice in the pantry, still some dried wild mushrooms (they seem to last forever!), some parmesan that was almost too hard to there a recipe in this? hmm, sort of. if fish isn't your thing, just omit it, recipe will work without it

i used risella-brand risotto rice and followed (loosely) the package instructions on how to cook it. other than the rice i used:

½ dl dried mushrooms (any will do), soaked in ½ dl boiling water for 20 mins
1 clove garlic, grated
15 cm leek, white part, minced (or, medium white onion, minced)
1 liter (or so) low-sodium vegetable stock (i used herbamare)
2 dl 5% cooking cream
1 dl parmesan, grated
200 gr broccoli (from freezer, fresh will work too)
150 gr cold smoked salmon (very roughly chopped)
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
black pepper to taste (a lot!)

started by sauteeing the rice in oil until opaque, then added the leek, garlic, mushrooms with the water they soaked in (full of flavor) and 2 dl of the stock (kept it hot during cooking), mixed and let cook until most of the stock had absorbed, kept addind stock as need until most of it was used

by the time the rice was almost cooked (time depends on what kind of rice you use) i added the semi-thawed broccoli and cream...

...grated parmesan...

...and the salmon. i find the easier (and tidiest) way to chop is to just remove the top plastic of the package, leave the fish on the bottom part of package and chop on it. i buy my salmon sliced so very roughly chopping it to pieces will suffice. the fish will flake further once mixed into the other ingredients.

now, if you want you salmon fully cooked leave it on the warm stove for a few minutes. i like mine a bit rare, also, i didn't want to cook the broccoli any further, it had time to thaw completely int eh pan, cooking it any further would have made it mushy, and that's yacky (at least i think so). i took the pan off the stove and gave the pepper-mill a serious workout.

did i forget the salt? nope, like always and even with rice, i very seldom use salt when cooking. i find it's easier to add saltiness later, each according to their own taste, whether it be maldon salt, soya- or fish-sauce. and let's not forget, there is plenty of salt in the salmon...

like i mentioned above, this works well without the fish. you might want to add more leek and maybe an onion for more flavor.

Dec 17, 2010

slightly asian hot dog soup & the dog in the snow

cold winter days are made for eating soup, i think so anyway. this was one of those "is there anything in the fridge or will i need to make some instant-noodles"-soups...

here is what i had:

200 gr white cabbage, shredded (used a cheese slicer to get really thin shreds)
10 cm piece of dark green part of leek, minced
100 gr celeriac, cubed (from the freezer)
4 medium carrots, cubed
1 medium parsnip, cubed
2 tbsp grated frozen ginger (had in it the freezer, keeps it longer and is easy to grate), if using freshly grated 1 tsp will be enough (unles you love ginger!)
1 liter low sodium vegetable stock (or what ever you have)
10 hot dogs (or any sausage, or optional), sliced
sesame oil to serve

had taken out some potatoes but felt lazy (didn't want to peel such small potatoes) and saved them for another use...

in a soup pot, first sauteed the cabbage and leeks in rapeseed oil on medium heat until cabbage wilted, then added the ginger, semi-frozen celeriac, half of the stock and brought to a boil.

then added the carrots, parsnip, rest of the stock and cooked for 15 mins on medium low. then added the sliced hot dogs and cooked for another 5 mins, turned off the heat but left the pot on the hot stove for another 10 mins. just before serving added a few drops of sesame oil for the slightly asian taste...

then it was time to take the dog for a walk...i have decided that i will not complain about the weather, it is what it is. i'm not a janitor anymore so i don't have to get my butt out of bed at 4.30 am, first to check if there is more snow, second go out and do something about it. but i will say that dressing for the walks is challenging, when it's -20C outside, you want dress warm but then you also need to take into concideration that walking in the knee-deep snow might make you sweat...

the dog loves snow

you never know what there is under all that white stuff

unless you take a nose-dive in to explore

you might even get lucky and find a fozen blob of horse manure, a cricetidae

the shadows are really long already in the early afternoon (i think the dog's shadow looks just like wile e coyote...)

me a coyote? c'mon...

Dec 15, 2010

warm salmon & sprout salad

had some brussels sprouts in the fridge, they were on the brink of going south so i needed to figure out how to cook them. i've become dead set on starting to like brussels sprouts...

halved and rinsed the sprouts, minced the leek

then sauteed the sprouts in rapeseed oil on a hot pan for a few minutes, turned the heat off and added about ½ dl pinenuts to the hot pan until slightly browned...

then added the minced leek just to wilt it on the warm pan. meanwhile, i had cooked some rice

mixed all the sprouts, leek, pinenuts and rice in the pan, placed some of the mixture on a plate and flaked hot smoked salmon (that dad smoked at the cottage) on top, garnished the portion with a splash of olive oil and a pinch of maldon salt.

took a bite and noticed that the salad was screaming for some balsamico, so added about 1 tbsp of it. not sure if it was the combo of flavours but i think i'm starting to like the sprouts...

other than the salad, my day wasn't a very good one. went to see the surgeon about my wrist in the morning. the doctor was a nice guy, very blunt in a good way, but i was close to tears when i came out. it seems that my wrist is now as good as it will ever get, what the doctors can do is try and keep the wrist pain-free. this surgeon thought a total druj prosthesis is what is needed...(if you want to gross out yourself click the upper download under the picture of the device in the link). i was also told that as my wrist is a very complex matter a joint meeting with several of the hospitals hand surgeons is needed, that is scheduled for mid january. oh, i'm also invited...

Dec 14, 2010

tiikerikakku, marble cake

every cakes starts with preparing the pans. i used pan-spray and coarse cornmeal for that. for some strange reason the dog licked and licked my hands later that day, something i found out of the ordinary. later in the evening i figured that as i was spraying the pans, some of the spray (=vegetable oil) must have landed on my hands, and that rather than showing his affection to me, the dog was more interested in the oil on my hands. oh, well...

the recipe called for:

200 gr butter
2½ dl sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 dl cake flour
2 dl potato flour

for the "stripes"

2 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp cream

those who paid any attention to the list of ingredients and the picture...yes, i made some changes. i doubled the recipe (two pans fit into the oven...), swapped the vanilla sugar for pure vanilla and added one 1 dl of coconut flakes for the "white" batter.

i so love my kitchen aid, and my new long-handle spatula from broadway panhandler

first mixed the first 7 ingredients, then scooped out one third of the batter and mixed the cocoa powder and cream to it

this was one of those occasions that perhaps required some thinking before doing anything...the other caked got a lot of white batter...the other quite a lot of darker batter. then again, it looked like the double recipe wouldn't fill the pans. i had decided to make two cakes so i filled the two prepared pans...thinking i'd get flat rounds of two-toned mess

after the cakes had spent half of the required 60 mins in 175C oven, i was glad that the pans were only half full...and i remembered a banana cake disasters some years ago...the cake ended up volcanoing in the oven and spitting the gooey batter onto the bottom of oven creating...well, you get the picture

the bloder cake looks, well, quite blond

the other does look pretty as well...

...but isn't exactly "marbled" when cut...

for some reason i don't seem to be able to post comments on my own blog...must be a tick or a tack someplace that isn't were it should be...but...

hi anonymous!

DL means deciliter. liters are the common measurement in finland. i use US, UK and finnish measurements in my recipes, sorry if it confused you.

you can find conversions here

happy bakings!

Dec 13, 2010

aladdin on ice

on sunday i went to see the little niece perform in aladdin on ice. almost 2 years ago somebody revived the ice skating club in my hometown. little niece was sold almost instantly and she now eats and sleeps skating, making her way from point A to point B by way of pirouettes and jumps, not forgetting to pose on the way...

the show was quite charming as everyone from the club got to skate in it. the youngest can barely stand on their skates, but these two were rather skillful. the local newspaper has more (and better) pictures.

the little niece played fire

i didn't think the tiny arena would be filled to the last seat, bearing in mind that outside temp was -18C when they started, it wasn't much "warmer" inside the hall. my nephew dared to make comments on how i looked ready for a polar excursion. i did wear quite many layers of clothing...

Dec 12, 2010

winter & winter food

certain someone and i took the icy roads to the cottage to visit with my parents, we left the dog home to keep company to certain someone's mom.

the ice-lanterns light the path to the little cottage where we sleep. it took my parents a good 2 days to warm up the little cottage, it was -10C inside when they started...

the sauna, a must even in the freezing -12C weather

the lake is almost frozen, very early for it to happen

the low sun made everything georgeously sparkly

everything is frozen a round the shoreline

just don't go walking on the ice...

my dad and i went to get some smoked ham from a guy who does it at his house (in almost middle of nowhere)

the guy's father had originally built this smoking house/hut decades ago. i was warned that the buckets contain the fat the drips from the hams...there was plenty of it! he uses freshly cut alder for maximum smoke

he also had these cute calves in the byre

what would a farmhouse be without a farmhouse dog? he was a very puffy

back at the cottage we had to taste the gooood!

this fatty (although i think fatty doesn't apply to him, he's too thin) came to feast with the sunflower seeds and peanuts my dad puts out for the birds

the sun just makes everything so much prettier