Archive for snack

Rounding Up the Leftovers: The Almost Tortilla

Posted in cheese, eggs, leftovers, mushroom, peppers, potato, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by oskila

Came home late. Needed something to eat. Noted the accumulated leftovers from recent cooking adventures. Sprung into action. A proper spanish tortilla, is, from what I’ve gathered, an omelet with maybe more potato than egg in it. I only had half a potato, which makes it an almost tortilla.

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Sautéed some onions and garlic, along with leftover green chili and enoki

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Next, adding sliced potatoes – the blue ones from yesterday. Only had half a very large one, but it added some color and carbs. For a proper tortilla one would fry a much larger amount of sliced potatoes for much longer, instead of a bit of old and boiled. Also sprinkled a bit of smoked paprika and French herbs.

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Adding lightly beaten eggs. I’ve always been taught that it’s best to use a fork, yet when Gordon Ramsay asks some chef to make an omelet to get an estimate on his skill level, they almost infallibly bring out the whisks – which, according to what I’ve learned, increases the risk of a crumbly texture.

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Flipped with the assistance of a pot lid. It’s somewhat amorphous in shape, but that’s something one often has to live with when making an omelet in a pan larger than precisely needed.

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A bit of cheese enhances the experience. The most common solution would probably be grating the cheese and mix it in with the eggs, but I decided to add cheese fairly late in the cooking process and went with sliced. Supposedly, the common Scandinavian cheese slicer is viewed with suspicion in many parts of the world. It’s a very handy tool actually – buying sliced cheese is just silly.

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Done!

Two Leftovers Enter, One Sandwich Leaves

Posted in leftovers, sandwich, scandinavian with tags , on August 14, 2012 by oskila

With a loaf of bread in the box, getting worse for wear by the minute, but with a texture that gets more awesome with toasting, and a batch of leftover meatballs in the fridge shrinking steadily because of a grazing geek with too many assignments to write, there’s one obvious course of action. Meatball sandwich.

When I was a kid I assumed meatball sandwiches were just a joke, since the meatballs would roll off. (In fact, I just remembered a Blondie strip where Dagwood has exactly that problem)

A Swedish meatball sandwich (now the sandwich is Swedish, not necessarily the meatballs) should also have beetroot salad, with chopped pickled beetroots and crème frâiche or mayo as the main ingredients. I didn’t make any, but it’s not very tricky if you want to.

Moules au Safran

Posted in bread, condiments, french, mediterranean, sauce, shellfish with tags , , , on August 5, 2012 by oskila

Hey hey hey! French title! That’s because I spent ten days in France and picked up a word or two. It says ‘mussels with saffron’. A fairly French (or Provençal)  dish. Originally, I had planned on trying razor clams since the grocery store happened to have them, but a combination of economic sense an a failure on the clams’ part to look attractive upon close inspection, steered us towards the trusty old blue mussels instead.

Ingredients for the main component of tonight’s dinner: Blue mussels, white wine, lemon, garlic, saffron, shallots.

Sweat shallot and garlic in a large pot, then add mussels, then saffron, lemon juice and wine.

Remove mussels and start reducing the broth. I strained the solids from the broth and then reduced the broth with the sieve partially submerged in it, to get more flavor from the shallots and garlic. Thicken the broth to sauce using a dairy product or two. I used crème frâiche and Greek yogurt to avoid the worst greasiness that can happen if one’s too generous with for example double cream.

Plate the mussels and drizzle some nice saffron sauce over. We had fries on the side, as in a classic moules frites, but the fries are prefab and therefore not shown.

I will, however, gladly show off the bread I baked. It’s pretty nice to have something to slosh around in the sauce after you’re out of mussels.

And it’s of course not a proper French dish if there’s no aïoli to add more fat to your fried stuff. It’s the first aïoli I’ve made (in excellent teamwork with my fiancée) and also probably the best I’ve eaten. The trick is apparently to skip the vinegar and add small amounts of lemon juice and slightly too much salt – which will turn out to be the perfect amount of salt if the fries are underseasoned.

To sum up, it was very good eating, but I think I still prefer my mussels cooked by someone else, to save me the trouble of scrubbing and checking for bad ones and so on. I’d happily provide the aïoli though.

 

Using harvested stuff – Pistou

Posted in cheese, condiments, french, herbs, italian, mediterranean, vegetarian with tags , on July 31, 2012 by oskila

Today it’s not about pak choi again, but about basil. Claiming that I’d be using freshly harvested homegrown basil would, however, be a slight lie. The basil wasn’t really harvested – more a matter of thinning out the leaves that looked a bit sad. And I didn’t really grow it; I bought a pot at the grocery store, split the root clump in four and repotted it. I did get it to grow quite a bit though, so it’s not all smoke and mirrors.

Pistou is what it sounds like – a French pesto (or, more correctly, a pesto from Provence) differing from its Italian counterpart by not containing nuts or seeds and that the cheese is optional. I opted cheese in, since one of the reasons I had for making this was to use up the Grana Padano in the fridge so we can start on the Parmigiano reggiano. Basil, cheese, garlic, salt, oil. All you need, but more salt and less oil than you will actually need.

Just as the names pistou and pesto indicate, it’s traditionally made using a mortar and pestle. Sometimes ‘traditional’ only means ‘the hand blender wasn’t yet invented’. If I was making a larger batch and in possession of a better mortar and pestle, I’d probably think differently.

Three minutes or so later, a small bowl of pistou. The bowl holds about three tablespoons.

In Provence pistou is often served with bread or with vegetable soup. We used it to liven up an otherwise potentially boring dish of pasta and bratwurst.

The Recycled Burger Brunch

Posted in bread, cheese, ground beef, leftovers, sandwich with tags , on July 9, 2012 by oskila

Yesterday my dear brother threw a barbecue at our parents’ house. He had a slice of marinated ham on the bone, the Swedish trade name for which translates as ‘Flintstone roast’ since it looks like a cartoon steak, which he suggested would suffice, but I had already thawed a kilo of ground beef to cook dinner with, so we had both. After a quick trip to the grocery store the four people attending ended up with enough food for 8-10 people. We left my brother with most of the leftover food for lunch boxes, but brought some grilled halloumi and one of the 200 gram cheeseburgers I had made back home with us. Those are the main ingredients for this post.

The burgers were probably the best I’ve ever made. Perfectly seasoned, beautifully slow-barbecued and with lovely flavors of smoke and charcoal.  A night in the fridge gave it a density that would make a meatloaf green with envy. Anyway – burger and halloumi sliced. Revolutionary idolatry optional.

Put burger and halloumi on bread. Add onion to taste and a sprinkle of grated cheese for good measure.  Grill in oven for a while.

Put sandwich on a plate on the balcony. Add potato chips, a squirt of ketchup, funny-looking tomatoes and a cool drink. Then call it brunch only because it’s past noon and the first meal of the day.

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.

Sandwich for Lunch

Posted in beef, bread, cabbage, potato, sandwich with tags , on March 27, 2012 by oskila

Happened to come across a fairly cheap piece of sirloin around lunchtime, so I decided to try my hand at a steak sandwich. Hardly anything worth posting on a blog? Well, I had to come up with something blogworthy, so the clever thing with my little sandwich is that everything – bread, steak and potato chips – are fried in the same grill pan in rapid succession.

1. Fry a slice of bread. Rub with garlic.

2. Put meat in pan. In the meantime, put onion on bread and whip up a bowl of coleslaw.

3. Remove meat and let rest.

4. Put sliced leftover potatoes in pan just to get a bit of searing. They were already boiled, see.

5. Slice meat and put everything together.

With a bit more thinking beforehand I could have added some more typical steak sandwich ingredients like cheese, mustard or horseradish, but I’m quite happy with the the result.

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