Monday, 24 September 2007

Because Apples Aren't Everything

Even though I've been busy getting to the bottom of my pile of apples, there's also been time for cooking real food, in this case: Spaghetti Speziale. Granted, that's not it's real name, but who can resist a reference to Disney's "Lady and the Tramp", when looking at this dish? The original inspiration though, came from a much less palatable corner of popular culture; the American day time show host Rachel Ray. Not that I mind the woman, no she's doing a great job trying to educate regular Americans in the kitchen. But it's kinda embarassing to admit that I've actually survived watching this type of housewife-entertainment. Anyway, I jotted down a few things but the sauce is the result of my own trial-and-error (this recipe serves 3 people):
Tomato sauce
2-3 red peppers (depending on the size) or 5 fresh tomatoes (very ripe)
1 can of tomatoes
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/3 decilitre balsamic vinegar
2 sardines
Some veal stock if you like
Assorted spices (I like to try different kinds: sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, chili...)
Olive oil, salt & pepper (s&p)
If you decide to use the red peppers, start by boiling them until the skin begins to loosen from the flesh, then put them in a plastic bag and leave them in there for 10 mins. By then the skin should come off very easily. Remove the seeds and blend the flesh into a light red paste with salt, one clove of garlic and some sage. Put a lid on the paste and set it aside. Then chop up the onion and the other clove of garlic and put them in an oiled and hot saucepan. Fry them lightly with the spices of your choice and add the balsamic vinegar, let it seduce, no sorry, reduce. Add either the fresh, diced tomatoes OR the red pepper paste as well as the can of tomatoes. Stir it, turn down the heat a bit, pop in the happy sardines and leave it to bubble away for 20 mins. In the meantime you can start preparing the meatballs (see below) and when you're done - return and finish the last few steps of this recipe=> Have a taste and see if the sardines have done their job or if you need a bit of stock and s&p. It might need a bit of extra salt to balance the sweetness of the red pepper paste.
400 grams minced organic beef
2 eggs
1 decilitre grated parmesan cheese
2 handfuls of fresh parsley or basil, finely chopped
3/4 decilitre of roasted pine nuts, roughly chopped
1 bread roll made into small crumbs
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Mix the whole lot and shape it into little meatballs with a tablespoon. Fry them up in a very hot, oiled pan while constantly shaking and moving it, so the meatballs don't settle for too long on one side, thus making them more round. When they're evenly brownish, put them carefully into the slowly simmering tomatosauce and make sure they're covered properly. Leave in the saucepan on low heat while you cook the spaghetti with plenty of salt. Serve on a platter with fresh parmesan cheese and basil, and make sure that Luigi plays "Bella Notte" on a banged-up old mandolin when you take your first bite...
Btw, sorry 'bout the not-so-homemade-pasta...

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Bless Me Readers For I Have Sinned...'s been nine days since my last confession and that's a long time to go without food. Sorry. Since I didn't have much luck gathering apple-advice in my former post, I had to dust through my archives and find this ancient recipe book known to Danes as Karoline's Køkken (~kitchen).
Underneath a heavy layer of spider webs and those greasy spots that make windows on every page, I actually discovered a recipe that wasn't half bad. A perfect way to finish off apples that are ready for the nursing home:
Apple Pie with an Almond Lid
1 kilo sliced apples
A bit of sugar and lemon juice
150 grams butter
1 decilitre sugar
1 decilitre plain flour
2 decilitres ground almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon or cardamom
Turn on the oven and set it at 200 degrees. Place the sliced apples in your round baking tin, sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice. Stir the remaining ingredients together and spread the
mixture over the apples. It's perfectly okay to let them peep through the lid here and there - it just looks kinda homely. Cook for 30 mins. & serve with whipped cream and a board game.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007


"Now we have apples galore" my boyfriend said the other day, when his sweet parents brought us heaps of home-grown ones. Now, apart from being a lovely gesture towards a food-loving couple, this was definitely a huge challenge: How does one dispense of such lovely and plentiful goods before they perish? So far we've had a whole lot of freshly made apple juice, desserts with
apple sauce and one round of oven-baked apples as a side dish for a pork roast. But there are still some left. What shall I do, my dear readers? Do I stuff my pillows with them or do you have some more respectful ideas that will also please my taste buds?

The lines are open!

(btw, the pic was taken at a bountiful apple plantation on Fynen called Nybro. Just look at how the red delights are practically bursting with juice -what a wonderful sight!)

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

The Recipe for Zucchini alla Carbonara

Ever since leaving out the recipe for Jamie Oliver's zucchini alla carbonara in my 20th August post, a nasty guilt has been nagging me like crazy. So I finally found a link for the recipe , which was soon removed from Jamie's site. Luckily I had copied it to my computer before posting
the link so here goes the text that was conscientiously jotted down during "Jamie at Home" by "the bikeman":

I have posted this recipe on another thread, but justin case you have problems finding them, I havetranscribed the recipe below. 4oD is great, I downloaded the episode and took notes, pausing Jamie in mid stream. Bon appetit. The bikeman.
Zucchini alla Carbonara - Jamie at Home; Episode 2
The recipe is for 2 very generous portions
5 slices of Pancetta or thickly cut bacon - chunkilysliced
200 gm of Penne
4 small courgettes (2 yellow if you can get them).
Lemon Thyme
Mottled Thyme
Ground Pepper
Olive Oil
Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Egg yolks (one egg yolk per person)
50ml Full Cream (25ml per person)

Splash olive oil in the pan, drop in thePancetta/bacon and let the fat render out. Toss it every now and then. Whilst the Pancetta is cooking put the Penne into a pan of boiling water and season with salt. Cut the courgettes into quarters lengthways and then remove the seed core (the bit that is in the middle of the courgette). Then slice the courgette at an angle.The pieces should resemble the Penne when cut. Add the sliced courgette when the Pancetta has gone golden and crisp. Give it all a good toss (if you're able to like Jamie, but for mere mortals a spatula would do equally), add a large pinch of pepper and then the Thyme. Toss and then
leave to cook whilst making the Carbonara sauce. Put the two egg yolks in a bowl and then the cream. Add a large handful of freshly grated Parmesan. Mix using a spoon. Now drain the pasta and pour straight onto the courgette/pancetta and toss. Allow to cool a little before pouring in the Carbonara sauce, toss (or mix) continuously whilst pouring. (Wait for the frying sound to subside, failing to wait will mean the eggs cooking, making it look like scrambled eggs!). Spoon some water from your pasta water, again tossing, to get a silky sauce, perfectly covering the pasta. Garnish with fresh thyme and then a glug of olive oil and serve on a large plate.
Happy Days!

Monday, 3 September 2007

Do Try This at Home

I was making a cake for a party in our apartment building and decided to do a remake-over of the popular Victoria Sandwich, I've already shown you (see post from the 24th of July). Here's the good stuff I stuffed into it: stewed pear and cinnamon whip (for the lack of a better word).
The "how-to":
Dice up four pears (it's okay if they're rather hard) & one apple and boil 'em up in three decilitres (dl.) of water, about 1/4 dl. of brown sugar and 1/2 dl. of regular sugar (or more, if you like it sweeter). Add one star anis, the rind of 1/4 lemon and the juice of 1/2 lemon. When it
starts boiling turn it down slightly and let it simmer for about an hour or until the fruit is transparent and the juice is nice and thick. The star anis and the brown sugar are absolutely essential if you want that velvety caramel flavour and a distinct pear taste. Uhmm, and then a dollop of crème fraiche gently folded into some whipped cream mixed with cinnamon and a tiny bit of icing sugar. It's pure happiness in a silver spoon.

Day Six: Lamb Chop Chop

If you too enjoy a good lamb chop now and then, I can really recommend getting it at a Hallal butcher. It's very fresh and you definitely get a lot more run for your money. This little lamb chop was dolled up with the classic accesories: garlic and herbes de Provence. Always works for me. Here I served it up with creme fraiche&mustard potatoes and a no frills salad. Nothing much, but certainly enough for me!