Archive for the sauce Category

Baconated Dumplings

Posted in asian, cabbage, chinese, condiments, mushroom, pork, sauce, scallion, wheat with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2015 by oskila

The local grocery store suddenly started selling bamboo steamers, so I decided to try my hand at wonton dumplings, which are commonly steamed.

The dough is easy enough. According to the recipe I looked at, one should combine wheat flour with boiling water to produce a soft dough that doesn’t stick too much.

Traditional wonton filling usually includes pork. I had recently landed a considerable amount of bacon, which is technically pork. Also used were savoy cabbage, spring onions, wood ear mushroom and Chinese five-spice.

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The resulting dumplings might not be the prettiest ones you’ve seen, but not too shabby for a rushed first attempt.

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While the dumplings steamed away I attempted some kind of sweet and sour sauce based on rice vinegar and canned pineapple without looking too closely at actual recipes.

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Dumplings post steam. While they turned out quite nice, it’s entirely possible that I failed with the dough on account of them sticking to the steamer like if glued.

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Finished dumplings and sauce along with store-bought tamarind/date sauce that is more of an Indian persuasion than Chinese (but tasty) and a sprinkle of chopped spring onions.

Jammed Onions

Posted in condiments, leftovers, peppers, preserve, sauce, side dish with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2014 by oskila

It’s finally time for a proper post about food again! This time it’s about a cold sauce that goes well with pâté rustique and similar dishes. The need for such a sauce arose when we got some pâté (and other awesome food) left over from my brother’s 30th birthday party, which me and mrs NerdCuisine missed on account of being busy fussing over NerdCuisine jr. (also known as Olivia) in a maternity ward.

Now, the pâtés I’ve eaten have usually been accompanied by Cumberland sauce, which consists mainly of red wine, black currant jelly and orange rind. I possessed neither and had to improvise something of a similar sweetness and acidity. Also, there’s an unprecedented amount of pictures, just because. These things happen.

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This was the first batch of ingredients I decided on – red onion, tomatoes, raspberry syrup, lime, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and red bell pepper. Since this is a highly improvised affair, more stuff will be added along the way.

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A bit of chopping later, the vegetables are sizzling in a pot, along with some unannounced red currants I realized were in the freezer. A small pinch of salt gets the sweating going.

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With the liquids added, a slow simmer for as long as one can stand waiting is in order.

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Another late addition; a squeeze of pomegranate juice (and probably quite a few seeds)

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Adding some lime zest. The whole thing has started to thicken somewhat and it’s also probably time to add what else in the way of spices one would like to have.

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Acidity was a tad high, so a bit of palm sugar was  added to balance it out (and make the ingredient list complicated)

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And now it’s time to squeeze the whole thing through a sieve. Mainly because we’re still attempting to mimic some aspects of real cumberland, which means a smooth texture without any bits.

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That taken care of, we put the pot to a simmer again, with some gelling sugar and very thinly sliced red onions added in. I used raw onions, but I’d hazard that onions with a bit of sear on them would render the result sweeter and less sharp.

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Simmer just long enough for the gelling agent to kick in. A couple of juniper berries also found their way in, and since I overdid it slightly with the sugar, I compensated with a couple of splashes raspberry-flavored balsamico. As the title suggests, the end result is something ranging from rather sweet and sour sauce to comparatively tart jam.

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And so – cold, red, sweet sauce accompanying pâté, like nature intended. Long time readers might wonder what the deal is with me and making sweet condiments out of onions around NYE, but it’s pure coincidence actually.

It’s great to be back in business! Next time I think we’ll look into a bit of Swedish and Finnish Christmas food, only some 50 weeks in advance. Take care until then!

Feral Fall Food

Posted in cabbage, chestnut, discount, leftovers, mushroom, parsnip, pork, potato, sauce, scandinavian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2013 by oskila

Autumn is truly upon us and almost automatically, the food gets stouter and earthier, at least in my kitchen (well not ALWAYS, but what few salads we had during summer have definitely given way to soups, stews and casseroles). One of the returning, short-seasoned ingredients that tend to sneak in is chestnuts. For many years, I bought a few out of interest, then saved them for a more festive meal, until they dried up unsalvageably and had to be thrown out. Over time I’ve learned to get my chestnuts early in the season and use them the same day.

The post title refers to the mix of domesticated and ‘wild’ ingredients of today’s dish, which is a bit of a stretch really, since only the mushrooms are actually harvested in the actual wild.

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These chestnuts (already roasted in the picture) were picked up at a grocery store closer to work than home, which I visit only occasionally, mainly for the differences in product range (such as early chestnuts). A short walk down the vegetable aisle also resulted in good looking parsnips, fresh brussel sprouts and some yellowfoot mushrooms.

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Mushrooms, having been fried in a dry pan with some salt beforehand, sizzling away with onion and garlic.

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Diced potatoes, parsnips and carrots added. The different dice-size was decided upon in order to cook them fairly evenly as they were nuked in the microwave for five minutes before frying.

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It’s also time to fry up some salt pork. I had originally decided to use pork loin in this dish, but as I went shopping at the local store for hand soap, potatoes and an apple, I came by short date salt pork at 50% off. I sprinkled some of my dry rub on it, but I think most of the rub stuck to the pan, on account of containing lots of sugar.

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To the vegetable pan, add finely diced apple (I use Granny Smith), chopped roasted chestnuts and brussel sprout leaves. (Separating them is a tedious task, but a lot more elegant than chucking whole or chopped sprouts in)

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For the plating I made use of the bottle of red wine sauce my brother left last week. It goes rather well with the pork and the apple and the parsnip and so on.

Yellowfoot Lunch

Posted in italian, mushroom, pasta, pork, sauce, stew with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2013 by oskila

It would seem this year doesn’t offer a lot of time to go mushroom hunting. Apart from the stuff happening at home, having to work an actual job five days a week is unexpectedly tiring. In years like this, it’s always nice to know when yellowfoot season starts. That is, store-bought yellowfoot.

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The yellowfoot mushroom is one of my favourites. It’s abundant (if you know where to look), easy to dry, flavorful and texturally pleasing. If bought it’s also usually cheaper than the other non-farmed mushrooms. (We usually get farmed button, portobello, shiitake and oyster mushrooms and golden chanterelle and sometimes yellowfoot and trumpet of death when they’re in season)

The other principal ingredients of today’s dish are pork loin, cut into strips, creme fraiche and chopped onions and leeks.

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Dry frying the mushrooms for a bit before adding fat.

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Sweating onions and leeks together with mushrooms, while the meat sears in a separate vessel.

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Meat and a whiff of flour goes into the pot. Add a liquid of choice if the pot starts to go dry. I added a bit of stock and then some milk.

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With the stew in a more agreeable mood, season and add the creme fraiche. I often use creme fraiche because, while as fat as double cream, its acidity makes it a bit lighter than heavy, cream-based sauces. Simmer for a while, the longer the better. In hindsight a bay leaf would have been nice.

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In the meantime, some friendly friend has prepared pasta and a salad (actually, it was me, but hey). Slightly fancier than the average saturday lunch, but we had a friend (who was also our wedding photographer) over for lunch and were in the mood for a bit of fancy.

Summer Memories: Charbroiled Beef Patties

Posted in eggplant, ground beef, mushroom, potato, sauce, stew with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by oskila

I mentioned in the last post that there’s a substantial backlog of unpublished material. Now would be as good a time as any to start sorting that out.

The first dish up is one with only one photograph, and a rather horrible one at that. I’m thinking that it’s probably taken with an iPad. The image file EXIF thingy informed me this meal was photographed, and thereby probably also eaten at the 11th of July.

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Charbroiled beef patties, sparsely seasoned but rather smoky. Served with likewise charbroiled eggplants and button mushrooms, caramelized onions, new potatoes and a chanterelle stew.

The real hero of the day is the stew, which is really in undefined stew/gravy/sauce-country. It’s important to first dry-fry the mushrooms with a pinch of salt to remove some liquid and then add a slightly too large knob of butter, a small amount of finely chopped shallots, a bit of pepper and perhaps a sprinkle of thyme. Add as much cream as you like, bring to a boil and reduce to desired thickness. If you’re not in a hurry it’s advisable to simmer the stew very gently for an hour or so to let the flavors develop properly.

More Pulled Pork

Posted in american, beer, condiments, pork, sandwich, sauce with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2013 by oskila

Sometimes us food bloggers get a bit single-minded about something. I’ve done Japanese noodles, cabbage and bacon, to mention a few. Now it’s apparently pulled pork. In my defense I have to say that pulled pork is very modern and I’m only going with the times.

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Last time I simply roasted a pork neck at fairly low temp. This time it’s been allowed to wallow in its dry rub overnight and the cooking method will be a bit more elaborate.  A few years back I was given my parents’ spaghetti pot, because it didn’t work with their new induction stove. The pot comes with its own colander, which I’ve often thought should be usable for large scale steaming. And since the whole pulled pork thing has a bit of a macho air about it we’ll be using beer for steam (More specifically a pale ale from Denmark) Some kind of semi-moist pot roast I guess.

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Aforementioned meat (one of many pork neck chunks residing in the freezer) in colander/steamer thingy. Beer goes in pot, followed by colander. Lid applied and the whole thing goes into the oven. In my oven it’s a rather snug fit, so one could probably use the stove too, but oven temp is so much more exact. 212 F in this case.

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Meat after one hour. It’s showing signs of being cooked, but there’s not a lot of steam going on – more a faint smell of beer going flat.

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Meat after two and a half hours. Applied a sprinkle of rub just in case. The smell of simmering beer is becoming rather tangible.

We decided to go have barbecue dinner with my brother, so I left the beer steaming contraption to its own devices

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‘Flintstone roast’ – marinated slice of ham on the bone – is standard bbq fare for Swedes.

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Meat after seven hours. Opening the oven door revealed a considerable amount of steam and the meat has visibly shrunk and is really starting to lose its structural integrity. Satisfied with the level of tenderness I applied another sprinkle of rub and increased temp to 250 F and left the lid off for an hour to get a bit of a bark.

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Mission accomplished.

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I decided to try this batch of pork in hot dog buns, which works quite well.

It’s also worth mentioning that I took my ‘secret’ sauce from the last post and improved it with a bit more mustard, a darker treacle, plenty of dark muscovado sugar and a dash of liquid smoke.

Midnight Pork

Posted in american, condiments, discount, pork, roast, sandwich, sauce with tags , , , , , , on June 18, 2013 by oskila

With pulled pork being all the rage over here (probably because of American cooking shows) and me having recently eaten some in NY and also the pork necks at the neighborhood grocery being ridiculously cheap this little project more or less came together on its own.

I’m sure there are many established ways to cook pork for pulling, but I prefer to not look things up unless absolutely necessary. My cooking method of choice is the ordinary oven, set to 100 degrees C (212 F) with a dish of water sitting at the bottom to provide some steam.

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A two pound piece of pork neck, cut in half to reduce cooking time, brined and then covered in a dry rub consisting of mostly equal parts salt and sugar, half-parts smoked paprika and garlic powder and quarter-parts black pepper, onion powder, rosemary and ginger.

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With the pork in the oven it’s time to improvise some sauce. In NY I encountered two types of barbecue sauce; The sweet, gooey sort and the thinner vinegary sort. I liked both and went somewhere in between. The piece de resistance of my concoction, though, is the Danish æblegløgg. (Gløgg (or glögg in Swedish) is the Scandinavian type of mulled wine, in this case non-alcoholic and made from unfiltered apple juice, lemon, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves). For those bad at reading Swedish or guessing what stuff is, the other ingredients are ketchup, honey, smoked paprika, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, mango vinegar and treacle.

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Boiling the sauce down to a more syrupy texture.

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A sauce that sticks to the inside of a dispenser bottle is pretty sticky indeed…

The reason for the post title being ‘Midnight Pork’ is that that’s about the time when it was done, since I put it in the oven at around 7 PM. I raised the temp to 150 C (300 F) for the last 20 minutes to get a more defined crust.

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Let the pulling begin!

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Since I hadn’t planned on going out in search of suitable buns around midnight (and we just don’t get those namby-pamby…I mean delicate… buns they have in the US anyway) I put my pulled pork on toast and was very very happy.

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