Archive for April, 2013

Garlic-studded Pork Neck

Posted in american, condiments, corn, crossover, discount, french, mediterranean, pork, roast, yogurt with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by oskila

Went to the store to catch up on vegetables a bit. Not a lot of those at home lately. Stumbled upon an almost suspiciously good offer on pork neck for members of the cooperative.  Took one home, studded it with garlic.

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I didn’t bother with tying it this time. There’s a limit to how fancy one manages to be on a Monday afternoon. Apart from (fresh) garlic it’s been brushed with dark soy sauce and sprinkled with crushed black pepper and thyme. If you have the time, do brine your pork neck before roasting. It just gets so much better.

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Here’s the pork neck after perhaps an hour in the oven. I relied solely on the meat thermometer’s alarm (which was a bit off this time. Had to microwave the sliced meat a bit since I don’t trust even slightly pink pork.)

While the roast was roasting, some corn on the cob got prepared, along with a simple but effective tzatziki.

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Those three elements are seldom seen on the same plate, but they were all good!

 

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Moussaka, sort of.

Posted in cheese, discount, eggplant, ground pork, mediterranean, zucchini with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by oskila

Minced pork, button mushrooms and fresh garlic at great discounts and the refrigerator runneth over with eggplant and half-zucchinis (OK, one of each, but you get the idea). In my book that spells moussaka or something pretty similar.

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Fresh onions and garlic and a bag of shrooms.

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Frying stuff. Also making sure the seasoning has a rather strong Mediterranean feel to it.

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Slicing eggplant lengthways with the assistance of a Scandinavian cheese-slicer. Other similar tools are probably just as good. I had a nagging feeling that eggplant and zucchini often are pre-cooked in some fashion to reduce the liquid content, but didn’t bother to (which resulted in a very wet final product. Be warned!)

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Since I’ve written papers concerning both digital imaging and how the hiker should dress, I’m pretty good at working with layers. A lasagna-like structure, but without the béchamel.

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Putting a cheese sauce on top. Should have had more and thicker sauce (in conjunction with dryer sliced veg) for the best result.

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After a bit of oven time dinner is ready (but somewhat wet)

 

Non-opulent Green Pea Soup

Posted in french, soup, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2013 by oskila

The classic green pea soup, or Crème Nignon, is an exercise in slightly restrained luxury with its whipped cream and champagne garnish.

But what if one simply wants a green pea soup, without bells and whistles? That’s fine too.  (we only decided to have soup for dinner since it’s quick and cheap and Star Wars was going to be on in ten minutes)

Mine contains onions, green peas, vegetable cube stock, milk and a dash of lemon. Put the hand blender to it for as long as you can be bothered to and then add some more whole peas.

Soup made from about 2 lb of frozen peas and two pints of fluids is enough for two large helpings or four small.

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Croûtons and/or a dollop of some reasonably thick dairy product is nice garnish. Omit dairy products altogether for a vegan dish.

My Big Fat Swedish Pancake

Posted in bacon, eggs, pancakes, scandinavian, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2013 by oskila

After a bit of surfing around I came to the conclusion that baking pancakes in the oven is a quite local Swedish/Finnish thing, with oven pancakes more often being served as a main dish and ‘normal’ pancakes for dessert. This only came up because we had one for dinner yesterday and I’d be interested to know whether similar dishes occur in other parts of the world. Also, since I’m given to understand that pancake batters are different in different places I’m going to include an actual list of ingredients, with measurements, which is pretty close to a first.

I’ve always been a bit skeptic about oven pancakes, probably because of the ones served in school cafeterias (commonly known as wrestling mats) but homemade ones are clearly much better (ooh, surprise…)

Oven pancake batter (serves 2-3)

600 ml milk

300 ml wheat flour

½ teaspoon of salt

3 eggs

A standard recipe contains just the above (and can also be used for pan-fried Swedish pancakes) but I have to be different of course, so I’d suggest adding a small amount of fat, like oil or butter, and half a teaspoon or so of baking soda.

Mix everything together thoroughly and pour into a greased baking tray or ample size dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 225 C. Serve with jam.

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This particular pancake has some bacon in it and is served with a sprinkle of leeks and blueberry jam. I would have wanted the leeks in the batter as well, but the oven pancake aficionado of the household vetoed that. You can put all kinds of stuff in the batter though. Carrots, apples or berries would probably be nice.

Mongolian Style Pork Loin

Posted in asian, discount, eggs, pork, rice, sauce, squash with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2013 by oskila

Read about Mongolian food in the newspaper and became a bit interested. Thought about the article for a couple of days and then decided to try cooking something that more or less resembled that particular cuisine. A bit of googling around hints that this dish may or may not actually be authentic, but could be a Chinese impression of what Mongolians eat or a westernized version. The recipe in the paper was intended for beef – i have no idea whether just substituting beef for pork will be odd or not.

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The marinade, which is the significant part of this type of food, I’d say. It contains dark soy sauce, sugar, an egg, rice vinegar, oil, powdered chili peppers, baking soda and tapioca starch. The recipe also called for hoisin sauce, but I made my own instead combining ssamjang, Worcestershire sauce and powdered garlic. I have no idea what the baking soda is for, possibly something about crunchiness. The original recipe also called for grated ginger, which I didn’t have.

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Strips of pork go in marinade. Longer is better, preferrably at least an hour.

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These three are the rest of the dish, apart from rice. Carrots are nearly always cheap and the spring onions and zucchinis were this week.

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While the meat is marinating, fry the vegetables for a bit. Mushrooms would probably be good too. Mixing everything together in the same pan could end up chaotic and ugly-looking since the marinade contains egg and starch and would likely stick to everything.

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Put vegetables aside and stir-fry the meat. This is too much meat for one pan really. It’d been better to use two pans or fry twice. The recipe said to fry quickly over high heat, but they used beef and not pork, so I had to be a bit more careful.

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A bowl of supposedly Mongolian pork, some vegetables and rice. Had the meat and marinade been prepared say the day before, the cooking part had been really quick, which lunch-box improvisers like me appreciate.

Shrimp Soup and Pão de Queijo

Posted in brazilian, bread, cheese, leeks, potato, shellfish, soup, stock, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2013 by oskila

We were invited to a potluck dinner on Easter Monday and my mother had kindly donated a pound of shrimps, which, combined with the shellfish stock made last Easter provided a good base for a most excellent soup.

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Leeks and carrots to begin with, along with some potatoes to give a bit of body.

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The haphazardly shelled shrimp keeping the defrosting stock company.

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Stock, water, shrimp and seasoning added. Classic bisque recipes call for brandy and/or sherry, but I don’t keep those in the house. Nothing wrong with a bit of white wine though.

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Ten minutes of blending and a pint of cream later the soup is done, if a bit on the lumpy side. For a proper bisque the shrimp shells would have been along for the whole ride, but one doesn’t want to attempt a smooth creamy soup with shells and only a hand blender.

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This has to be the most horrible phone pic I’ve ever voluntarily put on the web. It’s a plate of soup accompanied by a pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) which we also made. The process mostly involves stirring tapioca starch into liquids and adding cheese, so I’m skipping that part. There are a lot of fine recipes online though, so try it! If you’re in a country where tapioca flour isn’t readily available in most supermarkets (such as Sweden) try the Asian grocery stores.

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