Archive for dinner

When In Doubt; Ramen

Posted in asian, eggs, japanese, noodles, pork, soup, stock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2016 by oskila

I think I might have triggered myself with the last post… Here’s an actual dish.

Went to seldom visited grocery store. Found soft ramen noodles and big bottle of inexpensive fish sauce. Cogs started turning again.

Fast forward a few days and found myself without dinner late at night after struggling considerably with putting the child to bed (and falling asleep myself)

A vision of Tonkotsu Ramen noodle soup appeared for my inner vision. Problem is, while it’s street food in Japan, the broth alone takes over 12 hours to prepare and the eggs at least four. So I had to wing it and cheat.


In a pot I combined finely sliced onion, carrot and ramsons (aka wild garlic), a handful of edamame beans and a small amount of ground up dried mushrooms. A cup of chicken stock followed, seasoned with soy sauce, mirin and fish sauce.

Broth brought to a simmer I added paper thin slices of brined pork neck that I had set aside while making pulled pork the night before.

In another pot an egg was boiled for six minutes and then fished out and peeled while the noodles cooked in the same water for two minutes.

Noodles transferred to bowl, broth poured over, egg sliced and plopped on top (without marinating for four hours), various condiments sprinkled.


While obviously a weak, adulterated shadow of the real thing, I found this bowl of food incredibly tasty. Further attempts to home in on the original are in pipeline.

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.

Moose Peposo

Posted in cabbage, discount, italian, moose, stew with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2015 by oskila

For some reason our local shop has started offering comparatively cheap game meat relatively regularly. This time they sold stewing bits of moose cheaper than beef.

Foodstuffs I don’t normally buy, like game, come with enough sense of occasion to also provoke a blog post, which is why this is the third installment of game meat in a short amount of time. Also, game is a bit more friendly to the environment (if not to the individual moose) than domesticated and factory-farmed meats.

I’ve had my eyes on the classic Tuscan dish Peposo for a few years now, but never actually cooked it. Legend has it the dish was invented by furnace workers who made terra-cotta tiles for the Florence cathedral. Cheap beef cooked in local Chianti wine in terra-cotta pots for hours on end. In other words, high foodie fashion some 500 years later.

It’s always fun when there’s a schism regarding original recipes. Modern recipes contain lots of tomatoes, but the dish would have originated in pre-columbian times, when tomatoes were only found in South America. I decided for something in between – adding a small spoon of tomato paste for deeper umami flavor.

Personally I also wonder about the amount of pepper. As far as I know pepper was very very expensive during the renaissance. Would labourers (albeit skilled) really be able to afford that amount of pepper just for an everyday stew with cheap cuts of beef? Will have to look into that…

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The ingredient list is very short: Meat, Chianti, black pepper, garlic (and tomato paste). Peposo isn’t a subtle dish. For a pound of moose I used half a head of garlic, a pint of wine and ten grams of pepper (substituting half the amount for long pepper which has more spicy notes that go well with game). In an embarrassing fit of illiteracy I ground the pepper up instead of using it whole like the recipe I used for reference said. The result was quite hot, but still enjoyable.

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Top-left image: Everything combined in cast iron pot and brought to a boil while the oven heats to 150° C. Top-right: Pot after an hour in the oven. Bottom-left: the two hour mark. Bottom-right: Decided to declare dinner after three and a half hours.

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According to the interwebs common side dishes for peposo are sautéed spinach and beans. I decided on a slightly more Swedish option and creamed some savoy cabbage. Grilled bread is also an important part of the peposo experience.

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Moose peposo smeared on bread, with creamed savoy cabbage and what was left of the wine.

Final thoughts on this moose peposo: The meat was very lean. A fattier cut would probably have done favours for the flavours. To accompany the moose I went for a quite robust type of Chianti. A lighter wine would probably have been better. Even though there seems to be quite a lot of garlic in this dish, it disappeared completely. (might not have done so if the pepper wasn’t ground)

Venison à la Nelson?

Posted in mushroom, potato, scandinavian, stew, vegetables, venison with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2015 by oskila

Already a new post? It never rains but it pours…

Venison again? Yes. The grocery store offered venison at a discount again, this time cuts best suited for boiling.

À la Nelson? Why? Well, it’s slightly complicated. There’s a classic Swedish dish, the name of which translates to ‘sailor’s beef’. It’s sliced beef, onions and potatoes, stewed in beer. The sailor connection is supposedly that it’s practical to cook everything in one pot on a ship and fresh water isn’t always readily available, hence beer. A bit of googling indicates that there’s an English (or Polish) version that adds mushrooms and trades beer for stock. It’s called Steak à la Nelson. Yes, after lord Nelson, of Trafalgar fame.

I bastardized my recipe further by not only using venison instead of beef, but also wine and stock instead of beer and adding mushrooms and parsnip.

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Frying a chopped portabello mushroom.

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Searing the meat for a more flavoursome stock.

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Thinly sliced potatoes, onions, browned venison and parsnip in a pot, together with mushrooms, various herbs, black pepper, a hint of garlic and a few juniper berries.

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Deglaced pan with wine, stock and bayleaf.

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After simmering everything for 45-60 minutes it’s not the prettiest of sights, but it’s how it’s supposed to look.

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Finished dish along with a dollop of crème fraîche and pickled Hokkaido pumpkin (Many slow-cooked meat dishes in Swedish cuisine are traditionally served with pickled beets. Pumpkin was the least sweet pickle I had in the house. And it’s halloween soon…)

Miraculously Noodle-Free Quick Dish (and 2-year anniversary)

Posted in beans, chicken, potato, scallion, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2013 by oskila

I’ve noticed that I most often go for the noodles when in a hurry these days. That is especially bad considering the fact that I often preach about the evils of instant noodles. (Not only are they made ‘instant’ by deep frying, they’re deep fried in palm oil, one of the least environment-friendly food products of today)

We’ll be having potatoes instead.

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Sliced potatoes go in the microwave oven for five or so minutes, just in order to soften them a bit. Much quicker than frying raw potatoes and uses less fat.

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Frying potatoes after nuking

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Added chopped scallion, some sort of ‘chicken’ ‘kebab’ and frozen green beans (fun fact: their french name, haricots verts, sounds a lot like the Swedish words for ‘Mister Envelope’. I’d say lots of Swedish children grow up believing that’s what they’re actually called.)

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Done! While those chicken kebabs aren’t all that appetizing to begin with, I think they can be spiced up to be more palatable. Also, isn’t it good in a way that they actually make use those small bits of chicken left on the carcasses after taking away the nicer parts? Thirdly, since they’re a prefab product that’s slightly odd, why not make it a vegetarian dish by using Quorn or similar instead?

Checking the archives, this post marks the 2nd anniversary of the wordpress incarnation of the Nerd Cuisine blog. (It was actually yesterday, but don’t tell anyone). I started the celebrations early by taking away the (in my opinion) least compelling header image and replaced it with a new nicer one. Thanks to all my followers and occasional passers-by. I couldn’t fathom two years ago that I’d still be at it by now. Let’s hope the next year gets just as good. Now I’ve better take care of that bucket of lobster shells on thhe balcony…

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.

Bacon and Eggs. And Mushrooms. And Rice Noodles and Ssamjang. And Kimchi?

Posted in asian, bacon, cabbage, condiments, eggs, korean, leeks, mushroom, noodles, preserve, salad, side dish with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2013 by oskila

OK. New food instead of backlog, because I want to, and I can do what I want with my blog. I started out by trying to figure out dinner and found eggs and bacon. Then I found a couple of mushrooms at the back, along with a leek. Reaching for the granulated garlic in the cupboard next to the fridge I saw the new rice noodles. While the kettle was on to make noodle water I checked the fridge again and found the trusty old ssamjang and the spanking new packet of kimchi. Behind the kimchi I found the cabbage I pickled myself some time ago (back in March).

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Fried all the fryable stuff and tossed it together, then put some proper kimchi next to my ko-jaeng-i stuff. I have to say my feeble attempt is rather good considering I hadn’t tried the real stuff before making it. For future reference, this real kimchi is a bit less sour, a lot less sweet and heaps, plenty, lots spicier. I hear Koreans eat kimchi for breakfast and I secretly hope the breakfast variety has a bit less chili in it. On that bombshell we end tonight’s post :)

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