Thursday, 30 August 2007

Day Five: Preparation Always Pays Off

Another way to have an easy and yet satisfying dinner is to cook something in advance. Luckily I had caught a glimpse of Camilla Plum, the Danish kitchen-mamacita per excellence, while she was making preserved tomatoes on telly. The idea was so brilliant and easy that I simply had to try it out. Here's how you do it:

Take two big jars with tight-fitting lids (just no patent lids with those rubber thingies) and fill
them up with sliced tomatoes and herbs or, as I did, add sliced red peppers and roughly chopped garlic. Make sure you stuff the glasses as much as possible, as the mixture will reduce quite a lot (see picture). Add a splash of olive oil, whole pepper corns and salt and finally close the lids tight, but then un-screw the lid slightly so the heated air can leave the glass during the cooking time. Leave it in the oven on 110 degrees for four hours [sic!] or until the content has reduced approximately 30% and you can see it bubbling slightly. Then close the lid completely. These last steps ensure the preservation because the boiling kills off the germs and the lid seals it all in (well, duh!). So far, my glasses have survived on the shelf for 10 days without showing
any signs of old age (Mrs. Plum says she keeps hers all winter, though the sheer attractivity of them makes them last for a much shorter while). Must admit though, that I'm so much of a disbeliever, that I simply have to check the status from time to time anyway...which takes us back to day five of my food journal. I just heated the preserve in a saucepan and didn't have to change a thing. The tomatojuice in the sauce had such a deep and sunny flavour and the red
peppers almost tasted slightly smoked, so all the work was done. I recommend just serving it as it is with pasta and a bit of parmesan cheese. Nothing else to ruin the sweet simplicity of slow-cooked vegetables in season.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Day Four: Ready-Made Food Art

Yup, Wednesday was another lazy day where curiosity was the only thing stirring in me besides hunger, of course), which made me want to try these sort of ready-made entrees from Irma
(Danish quality supermarket): Carpaccio and vitello tonnato. You get the meat packaged and sliced with the parmesan cheese and tuna sauce on the side and then you just have to arrange it
innocently on a nice platter. Naturally I'm too proud to actually do that with visitors, so we just had it on our own, with virtually no guests (or rather, only virtual guests). We both agreed that the "tonnato" part was done a bit too creamy and we therefore voted for miss Carpaccio 2007. I mean, all she wanted was World peace and who can resist that kind of selflessness dressed in olive oil?

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Day Three: No Time For Cooking

Please don't get too excited by this bagel -it's stolen goods! Tuesday evening way so busy that
I simply had to have take-out and if I hadn't stuffed the real bagel into my face with such greedy (and, I dare say dangerous) speed, I could have taken a real picture of it. Instead you will have to settle with this random photo. Will try to be a good girl tonight, I promise.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Day Two: Pulling a Copy-Cat

Though I quite like Jamie Oliver and his whole rescue action towards the pasty English youth raised on baked beans, I've never really used any of his recipes. But somehow, today was
different. I had seen him doing this irresistible zucchini alla carbonara on telly the other day and I simply had to try it. This is how it turned out. After having followed my own notes from tv, I finally found the recipe on the web - only to discover that it's someone else's tv-notes. See recipe above under the post: "Recipe for Zucchini alla Carbonara" from September 5th.

Day One: Catering to the Needy

These days my poor boyfriend is looking more and more exhausted as he is toiling over the final bits of his thesis. I did the same thing exactly a year ago, but certainly haven't forgotten the very draining experience. That's why I decided to give his usual serving of cup noodles a day off last night, and deliver a real home cooked meal to his reading-room in town. Since most shops are closed on Sundays, I just tried to make the best of the leftovers I had and what better way to dress up all but stale food, than to turn it into a beautiful Frittata? Here's how to do it:

Set your oven to 250 degrees. Then fry 200 grams of sliced mushrooms in olive oil spiced with crushed garlic, fresh thyme and sage. Add salt and pepper (S&P) to suit your taste and set the pan aside. Meanwhile take about two handfuls of frozen spinach and heat them up in a saucepan with grated nutmeg, white pepper and salt. Set that aside too. Then mix up four whole eggs, a splash of milk, S&P and half a teaspoon of baking powder. Put a cast iron pan onto the heat, melt a knob of butter, then pour the egg mixture into it. Arrange the mushrooms, spinach and two freshly sliced spring onions in the eggs and leave to cook until it's slightly firm along the sides. Then sprinkle grated Emmenthaler cheese over it and leave it in the oven until the colour is nice and appetizing and the whole Frittata is firm. NOTE: only use a pan, that can definitely stand the heat. When it's done, leave it to cool and serve a slice with buttered rye bread (not in the pic above). Needless to say, my boyfriend was very pleased, but then again, I was only up against cup noodles...

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Dear Diary,...

As of today, I'm responding to a challenge I was given by a somewhat patronizing guy, who thought he had all the answers, didn't quite and yet managed to come up with a good idea: why not make a food journal? Some of you may think that's what I'm already doing, but really, so far this blog has been more of a résumé than an actual honest account of all the food I eat, trashy as well as delicious. If you too like to browse food blogs and feel in awe of their high standards of eating, don't for one moment think they never experience moments of weakness or laziness. I for one am pretty darn sure it won't all be pretty what I'll be reporting to you during the next week. In the beginning I will restrict myself to dinner and see how I go. Then, if I find the time and nerve, I might even branch out to breakfast and lunch (oh the horror!). Will return later when I've had dinner and tell you all the gory details of me cutting culinary corners or cooking cutting edge food.

Friday, 17 August 2007


I recently had a request for the recipe for that apple-macaroon cake from my "Heureka"-post (12th of August) and so I finally convinced my lazy behind to get started with the translation bit.
If you also experienced some serious saliva-action when looking at that photo, here's your chance to spend it all on a real life cake. The recipe can be found in the "Heureka"-post and it's surprisingly simple.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Blog 'n Roll

To all of you hesitant cooks out there who prefer the comfort of a well known recipe, here's a way to renew the safe bet. I just tried to foccaccia-up my basic roll recipe (that I've already aired in my "Roll Over Beethoven" post) and it worked like a charm. Here's how you do it:

Make the basic roll dough and add a teaspoon of lightly roasted herbes de Provence. After it has risen properly, put a small tablespoon of the mixture into each muffin cup. Then take half a tin of preserved tomatoes and add the spices you like. I just used the pre-spiced kind and added one clove of garlic and a bit of salt. Squash it up until you get an even sauce and pour half a tablespoon onto each blob of dough. Top it off with grated Emmenthaler cheese and gently press the topping into the dough. When that's done just sprinkle some olive oil and oregano over them
and bake for 20 mins. at 225 degrees Celcius. And voilà, there are your old rolls in a new disguise!

Monday, 13 August 2007

Foodblogging for Dummies

Reading over other foodie blogs and sites, I've come to realize that it's a common problem for all of us to talk about ourselves (you've gotta wonder why we do this "meme" to ourselves). And seeing that so many others have experienced the same hesitation that I do, only they first experienced it years ago, I really feel like a total sophomore in the school of blogging. And on top of that all of those self-acclaimed "amateur" chefs in the foodie-blog-site-business never miss
an opportunity to advertise for their top selling cook books. Now that's high treason in my book. First they lull you into this false comfort with words like "amateur" and sentences such as "oh I
try to cook and learn from my mistakes" (yada yada...). When it's painfully obvious that they are pros. Equally painfully obvious is the fact that I'm just jealous and feel terribly alone in the realm of gastronomic midgets, so let me get this straight once and for all: I AM a real bona fide amateur
cook, so to all of you like-minded foodies whose abilities in the kitchen don't quite match your ambition (yet) feel welcome and understood on Eye Candy. Join me in deflating soufflées, oversalting stews and cooking fancy meat dry as a bone. Just look at my silly picture - I'm one of the real, if only slightly nutty, people.

The Gospel of Novi

In today's sermon I would like to talk to you about a slice of heavenly sin. It goes by the name of Novi and it's an Italian delight from the first surprising nougat sensation to the melancholy parting with the last piece. So if you're passing an Irma (Danish supermarket) and don't mind spending 25 kroner (~3,5 Euros) on 130 grams, I suggest that you treat yourself to this gianduia chocolate with hazelnuts. You won't regret it!

Sunday, 12 August 2007


I wish this recipe were my invention, I really do, but sadly this stroke of genius happened to someone else. Apple and macaroon cake with almond slices. The crushed macaroons in the mixture render the cake perfectly chewy and the surface lovely and golden. Here are ten (a nice number however incorrect it may turn out to be) easy steps to making this delight:

4 egg whites
50 grams sugar
250 grams macaroons (in Denmark: the Karen Wolf type)
75 grams flour
125 grams melted butter
2-3 thinly sliced apples
Sliced almonds for the topping

Beat the egg whites and add the sugar just before they become completely stiff (merengue texture). Crush the macaroons, add flour & melted butter and mix it with the apple slices. Fold the merengue gently into the apple mixture and pour the whole lot into a greased regular size tin (22 cm * 6,5 cm) lined with paper BOTH in the bottom and on the sides as the mixture turns really sticky in the oven. Sprinkle with the almonds and bake at 160 degrees for an hour or until it turns golden and doesn't stick. Leave to cool and serve with a mixture of creme fraiche, whipped cream and a bit of cinnamon.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Roll Over Beethoven

[Drumroll and a couple of other noises, meant to build up an atmosphere of expectancy]: Finally the moment has arrived for you to re-create some of my food in the safety of your own homes. I hereby give you the very first recipe on "Eye Candy", one for The World's Easiest Rolls. And let
me warn you that everything is measured by the metric system, no "cups" or "ounces" here! The basic recipe originates from some ladies' mag, but this version includes my own alterations:

25 grams fresh yeast
500 ml lukewarm water
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
350 grams regular flour
200 grams corn flour

Stir the yeast into the water in any old bowl until it has dissolved completely, add salt & oil, stir again and then add both kinds of flower. By then the mixture should be quite sticky and fluffy, not like a regular bread dough. Now cower the bowl with Vita Wrap (cling film) and leave it to rise in the fridge for at least an hour -or preferably over night. When it starts pushing up the Vita Wrap, you know it's done. Then put 1-2 tablespoons of the dough into each cup in a muffin tray (I prefer the silicone kind), add a tiny splash of olive oil, sprinkle some coarse salt and fresh rosemary over each of them. Then bake in the oven (225 degrees) for 15-20 mins. Depending on the size of your muffin tray the recipe should make about 18 rolls. Enjoy!

Sunday, 5 August 2007

This One Goes Out to You, AunTea

Admittedly, I didn't have much trouble writing yesterday's post, so maybe you'll soon find me blabbering on endlessly about more or less lethal topics, perish the thought! However this post actually has a purpose, as I am celebrating my first day at work in the charming tea place,
Tante T (~Aunt T) in Copenhagen. There I'll be testing my baking skills on a weekly basis as well as broadening my culinary horizons. So, this French chocolate and pear tart is dedicated to that quaint little oasis on Vesterbro, where it might even end up on the menu some day. Until then I'll refer to "Chocolate and Zucchini", from whence the recipe came.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

The Mad Woman in the Pantry

When I first started this blog, I thought it would be the perfect outlet for my daily ramblings about food. Among friends I am known for talking with borderline crazy enthusiasm about everything from heartwarming red wine stews to fluffy mousses that evaporate all too soon from the tongue. But sadly, I have found it quite difficult translating this particular language into an
equally powerful text. Maybe there just aren't any satisfying written substitutes for those wild gesticulations and that certain twinkle of excitement in the eyes...? Or am I really more like Miranda in "Sex & the City" (sorry if I'm losing you with this one, guys!), in that episode where she suddenly learns to talk fluent dirty after a rather hesitant start? I sense a breakthrough around the corner... Anyway, today's slightly unfocused photo depicts the brilliant Danish invention: The Sarah Bernhardt cake. According to my favourite food magazine Mad & Venner
(March 2007), it was made by a Danish pâtissier for the famous actress' visit to Copenhagen in 1911. Since then, this beautiful combination of the crunchy-chewy macaroon and the luxurious chocolate truffle dipped in pure chocolate, has graced many a coffee table. These particular Sarah
Bernhardts were made on commission for a confirmation in May - with the added twist of fresh lime juice and lemon zest on top to spice up the truffle. Must admit though, that I had to buy the macaroons, because the recipe (or yours truly) seemed faulty somehow.

Friday, 3 August 2007

The Book of Revelation

In the spirit of openness (am trying to get this pen a-flowin') I decided to let today's visual kick in the groin be done by my alter ego: Gal Capone... Yup, it's official, I love to cross dress whenever I'm bored. (Please, no racy comments from you Rhonda, I told you, it's NOT a dating site!)

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

An Itching Pen

Ever since I started this blog, I've had this terrible itch in my pen, that I simply couldn't scratch.
Even my childhood diaries were always written with the utmost discretion. In the unlikely event
that anyone should want to peek in and discover which nondescript boy I fancied that week, I made extensive use of a kind of WW2 spy telegram-style with pseudonyms and secret abbreviations for all the parties concerned. So, I guess that's why I haven't managed to allow the ink to flow freely on this blog so far. I just have this strange feeling I'm being watched... Maybe this serving of blinis with sea weed salad, fresh herb dressing and lumpsucker roe will help. Will report back on that subject later...