Archive for dessert

Three year celebration

Posted in dairy, eggs, italian with tags , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by oskila

The little wordpress notification gnome just told me it’s three years since I registered nerdcuisine.wordpress.com! How time flies… Regular readers (if any are left) have noticed a decline in activity over the last year or so. Baby Olivia says hi :)

There’s an obvious need for some kind of celebratory action, but I don’t have any material for a proper recipe post, so here’s just a pretty nice picture from last week of panna cotta with home made strawberry jam.

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The picture is also available from my all new instagram page

That’s it for this time. Hopefully the next year will have more regular posting. Thanks for hanging around!

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Cheating at Pie

Posted in cereal, fruit, pie, vegetarian with tags on July 10, 2012 by oskila

The English language has a whole lot of words for different kinds of pie-related desserts, like cobbler, crumble, grunt and slump, while Swedish lumps everything together as pie or crumble pie (but one gets away with calling crumble pie just pie too). Most home-made pies I’ve encountered are definitely of a crumble persuasion though, which makes the British and American pie tradition intriguing to an inquisitive geek.

The reasons that I don’t make a lot of desserts or any sweet baking is that it usually requires lots of exact measuring and takes quite some time. So, I wanted to make a pie-type dish for once and needed to cut every possible corner. What I ended up with could be described as something somewhere in between a crumble and a pandowdy (I guess, because I’m not entirely clear about similarities and differences). Here’s what I did.

Half a lime (for the juice), an apple and a nectarine.

Slice fruit and arrange in a dainty manner in a greased skillet (this one I think was once owned by my grandmother. Built to last.) Squeeze the lime in and drizzle some treacle over the whole thing. Put in hot oven for a while to soften and infuse.

Meanwhile, crumble up some cereal – in this case special flakes, and mix with liquid margarine. Melted butter is probably even nicer.

Add lemon cake mix and stir like there’s no tomorrow. I borrowed the idea of using cake mix for crumble from my girlfriend, who in turn got it from her sister.

Spread the mix on top of the fruit and add another drizzle of treacle just for the hell of it. Put back in oven and bake until it looks nice.

In order to get a proper crunch it needs to cool for a bit.

Despite being made with lime juice and lemon cake mix, the final product was surprisingly sweet (in proportion to the amount of treacle), so I ate it with crème fraîche and some unsweetened berries to get some freshness in there. Ice cream or custard will of course be good too. Total cooking time, about 25 minutes depending on oven temperature.

The Hollandaise Hassle

Posted in baking, cheese, eggs, french, sauce, vegetarian with tags , on June 28, 2012 by oskila

I’ve been watching a lot of cooking shows lately and looking especially at the competitive ones, it’s obvious that making Hollandaise sauce is considered a basic skill. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a hollandaise made from scratch. In fact, I think I’ve only eaten Hollandaise when at my parents’ and while I’m pretty sure my mom is fully able to make a real one, we’ve only had powder sauce as far as I know. Since emulsified sauces seem to often be a hurdle for amateurs in competition shows I figured it was best to do some research before starting to separate eggs.

While the Internet is good for many a thing, the scores upon scores of foodie blogs (calling the kettle black here, yes) can be more hindrance than help sometimes. I turned instead to mrs. Child. The Hollandaise recipe in the Swedish paperback edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking covers a page and a half, which meant it was going to be too meticulous. I figured Ginette Mathiot’s Je sais Cuisiner  would be more down to business, and indeed, the recipe was only 14 lines long. With the combined wisdom of the two grande dames of French cuisine under my belt I got cracking.

Since Hollandaise is pretty labor intensive, I wasn’t able to pause for photographs, but I can tell you that, while I was a bit nervous at times, it certainly wasn’t as tricky as expected. Or I’m just a natural, who knows…

After completing a lovely lovely sauce (or as Gordon Ramsay would say – ‘THE most amazing’) I turned to a small container of egg whites that was surplus to requirements. I don’t like to waste perfectly fine food, so I did the only thing I could think of; meringues.

To be honest I don’t like meringues  very much and have therefore not made any in the last 20 years. Since they didn’t turn out all that great, either because of insufficient beating, too much beating or not enough sugar, I shall not linger on the subject, but will still insert a picture of when they were still looking good. (Time to clean the oven door though)

Moving on, I needed something to serve the sauce with. It’s very good on its own of course, but doesn’t really constitute a proper meal. In my experience, Hollandaise is, in Sweden that is, pretty much only served with poached fish, but the scripture indicated that it goes well with other stuff. Vegetables for example.

In reality I had already planned to serve the sauce with vegetables and decided on mushrooms and zucchini. Since the mushrooms in the store were such pretty ones I made quite a large batch.

While the mushrooms sauteeeeeeee away in their pan I turned my attention to the zucchini, which had already been sitting in brine for a couple of hours, the reason being that I find zucchini quite hard to season properly – everything you throw at it more or less bounces off.

The zucchini were poached using the pot that I used to melt the butter for the sauce, hoping for a subtle glaze and butter flavour. After poaching for a little while, the zucchini too went into the sauté pan to get a bit of a sear. Now, zucchini, mushrooms and Hollandaise sauce isn’t really the ideal meal either, so I ended up serving it like this:

Sautéed mushrooms and zucchini with Hollandaise sauce, rotini with mozzarella, salad of cucumber, tomato and fresh basil and garlic bread. Nice, light summer eating at its best.

The Leftover Peppers Cheese Spread

Posted in cheese, discount, leftovers, sandwich with tags , on June 18, 2012 by oskila

After making the taco fish cakes and pico de gallo for the last post, I still had a large chunk of green bell pepper and half the chili pepper left, as well as half an orange bell pepper from when I fixed sandwiches for a board meeting. Then, last night at the grocery store I found an intriguing cheese in the discount bin. Marquis; Danish orange-rinded little thing with a very buttery texture. Supposedly it’s quite similar to Saint Albray.

So, top to bottom, diced orange bell pepper, diced green bell pepper, a pre-tasted cheese, a small amount of finely chopped green chili pepper. Using slightly wilted vegetables like these means they won’t add as much moisture in the next step, which is a good thing.

Cut the cheese into more manageable pieces and mix everything in a suitable container. One could probably go on all sorts of seasoning adventures – I only added a pinch of black pepper.

Put the mixture on bread and look happy. If I’d had any red wine I’d probably have some.

The Rice Pancake Experiment

Posted in eggs, leftovers, rice with tags , , , , , on February 8, 2012 by oskila

The preparation and consumption of the dish for my last blog post about beef stew yielded a certain amount of left over rice which I decided to have for lunch the next day. As noon drew nearer I pondered on the matter of making yesterday’s rice more fun. Pancakes are usually fun. I went with the idea.

Since most people know how to make pancakes, there’s no real need for a lot of photos in this post. I mixed (with a hand blender) about two cups of cooked jasmine rice with a cup of milk, three eggs and about half a cup of wheat flour. Add salt, pepper and such. Let the batter rest for some time, then fry as usual.

I added the flour because I suspected that without it the pancakes wouldn’t hold together well enough. I don’t know if I was correct but I probably was. Blending more thoroughly than I did would of course make the batter smoother, allowing for thinner pancakes – which in turn means shorter cooking time. I’m thinking that the whiteness of these pancakes when not browned compared to common flour pancakes is rather striking and an interesting visual feature .

Rice pancakes, served with sliced mushroom, a leaf of red cabbage, sour cream and black pepper. As with regular pancakes, adding different stuff enables serving as either first course, dessert or anything else basically.

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