Jan 28, 2011

second take on the steak

spent the last few days at the cottage visiting my parents, certain someone and the dog got to go with this time. i had decided to try the cognac coffee marinated steaks another time, just to make sure the first time's success wasn't accidental.

the picture isn't that great, bad lighting, i was hungry, and what not...

i thought that there must be some sort of bbq-sauce at the cottage, but no. to solve that problem i mixed some dijon mustard, ketchup (oh yes...), crushed black pepper, oil and white vinegar to stand in for the bbq-sauce, then added some cognac and coffee. exact measures? nope, some of this, some of that...

placed the steaks into the plastic bag and left to marinate overnight

next day, mom peeled and cubed some veggies to be roasted in the oven

the oven of a wood-burning stove to be exact. the veggies turned out great...

...the steaks were a tab bit more challenging on that stove...but they turned out perfect, if possible, even better that the first time. after browning the steaks on the hot pan on both sides, i placed them on a plate and kept warm while i made the sauce. poured some of the marinade and generous amount of cream to the pan, brought to a boil, added some sugar and the steaks for a few more minutes before serving. blissful, if you're carnivore, that is.

a fair warning, after this picture it's just about the dog and snow...

the dog loves it at the cottage. the reason is very simple, it's the only place where he can run free, in the winter that is. and boy, did he run. he also tried to escape at night but we had smartened up and locked the door (he had learned to push the door open during previous visits...)

a sunrise at approx 9am on jan 26

it's been a weird winter. there's been so much snow that the freezing temperatures haven't been able to freeze the lake like usual. there is some ice, then slush, then a lot of snow. the dog is light enough to be able to walk/run on it. mom and dad haven't been able to put the nets under the ice this winter...therefore no fresh fish.

he was almost too fast for me...

we have no idea why the dog loves playing lumberjack...he dug this birch from under the snow and tried to bite it to pieces...

Jan 24, 2011

plenty of the white stuff

i did say i won't complain about the amount of snow, but i will complain about how hard it is to walk in almost hip-deep snow. good exercise, for the dog, as well, but hard. buster commented about snowing in finland, he was right, it mostly snows here, at least this winter. i wish it stops snowing by midsummer...

snow does make everything look pretty

even at night. that's the almost full moon lurking behind the trees...

ps. i've found out the that surgeons i met on friday are actually quite accomplished doctors in their field...i still wish they'd operate on me rather sooner than later.

Jan 23, 2011

mac and chicken casserole

this dish feeds a crowd, is ridiculously simple and easy to make and only uses 5 ingredients: cooking cream (i used 7%), curry paste (mild or hot), chicken tenderloins (or fillets), pasta (torino rye pasta) and leek.

not sure what i was thinking making such a huge patch of this...but this halves easily. anyways, started by mixing 5 dl of cream (go as light or fatty as you like, or change it to any stock) with 2 heaping tbsp of mild curry paste (i like rajah). put that aside and cook the pasta (500gr) according to package instructions, leave slightly under-cooked.

brown 600 gr of chicken tenderloins (the tiny muscle in the chicken breast), i wanted to have the tenderloins in big chunks to give texture.

mince and sautee a leek (25 cm)

place half of the cooked pasta on a oven dish...

arrange the chicken and leeks on top, add the rest of pasta, and pour the cream and curry mixture on top, place in 200C oven for 30 mins (or until cream is bubbly).

technically, you really don't have to cook this in the oven to finish it. the pasta and tenderloins are almost cooked, if you put them in a huge pot, add the cream and bring the mixture to a boil on the stove while mixing it occasionally, you could skip the oven part all together.

i had some cheese in the fridge but opted not to add any to this, don't let that stop you!

i happen to like the whole wheat/rye pastas, nothing stopping you from using all white, if that is what you like (remember to get your fiber somewhere else, though!)