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Strawberry, Mozzarella & Basil

February 20, 2011 10 comments
Mansikka-mozzarella-basilika

Strawberry, Mozzarella & Basil

I can’t wait for it to be summer again! This wonderful starter is so fresh and delicious and yet so easy to make. Also, even though it’s easy to make and has few ingredients, it really looks festive and like proper gourmet. Tastes like it too! So here’s a beautiful, healthy starter for the sunny days:

Ingredients (for 4):

  • 20 Fresh strawberries (ca. 5 per person)
  • 1 bundle of Fresh basil (let’s say ca. 10 leaves per person.. one bundle will do for 2-4 people)
  • 2 balls of Mozzarella (approximately half a mozzarella ball per person)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Chili

Preparation

  1. Begin by setting a couple of basil leaves on the plates. Add a slice of mozzarella on top of the leaves – it’s good to use the largest slices at the bottom.Then add a few slices of strawberry on top of the mozzarella slice. Now sprinkle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil or chili oil, grind a little bit of black pepper and a touch of chili powder and salt. You’re done with the first layer.
  2. Now start repeating the layers. Add a few basil leaves, then a mozzarella slice, then a couple of slices of strawberry. Season as on the first layer. Continue adding more layers until you’ve used half a ball of mozzarella for each portion. For the top layer, use strawberries and a couple of pretty basil leaves. You can also garnish the portion with chopped basil leaves and sprinkle them on the sides of the plate.

You can serve this dish with some good quality balsamic vinegar – it goes well with the strawberries and basil and gives a bit of an edge to the taste combo.

Enjoy!

Photo © Kalle Laine

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Zucchini-Spinach-Feta-Cheese Pie

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment

 

Kesäkurpitsa-pinaatti-fetapiiras

I love this pie!

I absolutely love this pie! I found the recipe by googling for recipe’s for a girls’ night at our place. After that one evening this became my favorite pie ever. It’s easy to make and tastes to delicious that I could eat half of it just by myself :) This is partially the reason I don’t have a better picture of it, it tends to disappear before I get a chance to capture it on film ;)

Spinach is healthy and tasty, zucchini guarantees a juicy pie and feta cheese adds flavor as well as makes the taste more creamy. You’ll love this too.

Crust

  • 3 dl spelt or wheat flour
  • 150 g butter
  • 2 tbsp water

Filling

  • 250 g zucchini
  • 1 leek
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • 200 g fresh spinach
  • 200 g feta cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 g fresh cheese
  • ½ dl milk
  • 1,5 tsp salt
  • black pepper

Preparation

  1. Put the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add cold butter in cubes. Mix until even – the dough will be crumbly. Quickly add water and kneed into an even dough.
  2. Press the dough into a loose bottom cake tin (∅ 24-26 cm). Stick holes into the bottom using a fork and let the crust cool in the fridge for at least one hour.
  3. Heat the oven to 200°C. Bake the crust in the middle of the oven for ca. 10 mins.
  4. Grate the zucchini. Put the grated zucchini in a sieve and mix 0,5 tsp of salt into it. After 15 mins, squeeze the extra moisture from the zucchini. Salt will help to make the zucchini “sweat” :)
  5. Rinse the leek throughly, you don’t want any dirt in the pie. Then slice the leek. Peel the garlic cloves, then press them flat using the wide edge of your knife. Finely chop the garlic and fry them with the chopped onion lightly, with a dash of olive oil. Don’t fry too much, the onions shouldn’t catch any color. Add zucchini and keep frying for a couple of minutes. Add spinach (remember to rinse it well) and keep frying until the spinach becomes soft.
  6. Mix the spinach-onion-zucchini with feta cheese cubes and pour the mixture into the cake tin, on the crust.
  7. Mix eggs, milk, fresh cheese, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the filling in the cake tin.
  8. Bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 40 mins.

Original recipe (the one above is my own version) Leva&Bo: Caroline Hofberg (I found the recipe on alltommat.se)

Categories: Pies Tags: , , , , ,

Crayfish salad

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment
Jokirapusalaatti

Crayfish salad

This crayfish salad is easy to make even though it contains quite a long list of ingredients. It’s a nice, healthy and beautiful dish to serve any time!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 250g Romanesco cauliflower (I just love how this veggie looks!)
  • 250 g Broccoli
  • 100 g Kidney beans (you can use more if you like)
  • salt
  • 4 mini pineapples (I bought regular sized pineapples. It all depends on how big portions you’d like to make. Mine was a lunch size)
  • 2 Oranges
  • 4 Mandarins
  • 150 g Celery
  • ½ bundle of fresh dragon
  • ½ bundle of dill
  • 1,25 dl olive oil
  • Juice of 0,5-1 lemon
  • 400 g crayfish
  • Black pepper
  • Worchestershire sauce

Preparation

  1. Clean and wash the broccoli and romanesco. Separate inflorescences. Clean and was the kidney beans and cut them in short pieces. Boil the vegetables in salted water for approximately 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water and strain.
  2. Slice off the “hats” of the pineapples and scrape the contents out. Peel the oranges and the mandarins. If you have time and energy – the salad is even better if you only use the pulp from the oranges and mandarins as fruit files of a sort. If you don’t feel like going through all the trouble, don’t worry – the salad will still taste gerat if you just dice the fruit.
  3. Clean and wash the celery, then cut it into small pieces. Mix the fruit, celery, romanesco and broccoli.
  4. Wash and dry the herbs, finely chop them and mix with lemon juice and olive oil. Add the crayfish into the salad. Season with salt, pepper and Worchestershire sauce. You can also add the lemon-oil-herb dressing or serve it separately.
  5. You can use the pineapple “hats” for decoration.

Photo @ Hanna Stolt

Original recipe from a book (a Finnish translation) called “Salaatteja” (Salads)

Seafood risotto and a delicious berry pie

February 13, 2011 Leave a comment
Äyriäisrisotto © Hanna Stolt

Seafood risotto

My sister Saara visited us this weekend and today I also invited my brother and his 8-year-old son over for lunch. In the morning we were trying to figure out what to eat for lunch and finally I found this Seafood Risotto recipe in a Swedish magazine called Elle mat & vin. Our freezer’s full of berries as Kalle’s (my boyfriend’s) parents are always giving us more when we visit them. For that we’re both very grateful of course :) In any case, with a freezer full of berries it felt like a good idea to make a berry pie for dessert.

This recipe is my own version of the original with some small changes.

Seafood Risotto

serves 4-6

  • 1 onion or 2 shallot onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 dl vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 dl avorio or arborio rice
  • 3 dl white wine
  • 2 dl grated parmesan
  • 250 g mascarpone cheese
  • 340 g crayfish tails
  • 180 g shrimps
  • 240 g mussels
  • juice of half a lemon
  • grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 – 1,5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • dill for garnishing

Preparation

  1. Finely chop the onion and garlic cloves.
  2. Bring the vegetable broth to boil and let simmer  lightly. It’s important to use warm broth throughout the preparation.
  3. Fry the onion and garlic cloves in a kettle with olive oil and butter. Don’t let them catch color, fry for approximately 3 mins.
  4. Add the rice and fry it with the onion and garlic cloves until it becomes translucent.
  5. Add about 2 dl’s of vegetable broth at a time while simultaneously stirring the risotto. Do the same with the white wine. Once you’ve added some liquid, stir and let the absorb it before adding more.  You can never stir a risotto too much!
  6. Cook the risotto for 20-25 mins. You can add even more vegetable broth if needed, just remember that it should be warm.
  7. Lift the kettle from the stove and add parmesan cheese. Mix well and add mascarpone cheese – mix carefully.
  8. Add the seafood and season with lemon juice, grated lemon peel, salt and pepper. Leave some of the lemon peel for garnishing.
  9. Garnish the risotto with lemon peel and fresh dill.

This risotto is rich and creamy thanks to the mascarpone and parmesan cheese. Lemon makes it fresh and gives a great little egde to the taste. Serve the risotto immediately and enjoy!

Vadelma-mansikkapiirakka © Hanna Stolt

Berry pie

As mentioned, we had berry pie for dessert. Spelt (a species of wheat) gives the crust a lovely “nutty” flavor and raw sugar makes it extra delicious.

Berry Pie with Raspberries and Strawberries

serves 4-6

  • 100 g butter
  • 2 dl (organic) wheat or spelt flour
  • 3/4 dl (organic) wheat or spelt flakes
  • 2,5 tbsp indian sugar or raw sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp maizena or potato flour
  • 1-2 dl raspberry
  • 1-2 dl strawberry

Mix butter, spelt flour and flakes and sugar in a bowl until the dough becomes even. Press the dough into a loose bottom cake tin (∅ 20 cm). Leave a little dough so you can some dough crumbles on top of the pie later on. Spread a thin layer of potato flour on the crust. The potato flour is crucial as without it, the berries (when melting in the oven) will make the crust wet. So the potato flour will soak up the juice from the berries and leave the crust nice and dry.

Add berries on top of the crust and potato flour layer. Crumble rest of the dough on top and bake the pie for 15-20 mins in 200°C.

You can serve the pie with some vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce.

Original recipe from: Elle mat & vin 6/2010 (Dec-Jan)

Sacher cake

February 9, 2011 7 comments
Sacherkakku ©Hanna Stolt

Sacher cake

I found this lovely, lovely recipe when planning for a dinner with friends. The recipe’s again from the finnish food magazine Glorian Ruoka & Viini (Issue 19, 6/2003) and it looked delicious! The recipe was called Tiina’s  juicy Sacher cake and the writer said that it’s different from a normal Sacher cake as it’s not dry at all (as they usually are) and instead it’s juicy, moistened with rhum. Around christmas time the apricot jam can be replaced with cherry jam to make it more festive and christmassy.

This was my first (self-made) Sacher cake ever and the cake stayed in a bit of a mud-cake mode as I didn’t (as I usually don’t) look at the watch when I put it in the oven – thus, I had no idea how long I actually kept it in the oven and used a stick to test it every now and then. So, if you don’t like mud cakes, check the time! :)

The cake was easy to do and soooo delicious that I could easily see myself using the same recipe for a number of different cakes. I used Bonne Maman’s apricot jam which is the next best thing to self-made jam around here. I love their fig jam – it’s great with cheese!

Then for the recipe. This will yield 20 slices or so:

Cake

  • 250 g dark chocolate
  • 250 g butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 2,5 dl sugar
  • 3 dl wheat flour
  • 1 tl baking powder

Moistening

  • 1 dl water
  • 0,5 dl sugar
  • 0,5 dl dark rhum (Stroh / Captain Morgan)

Filling

  • apricot or cherry jam

Frosting

  • 250 g dark chocolate
  • 50g butter

Cake: Melt the chocolate and butter in a hot water bath. Mix until smooth and let cool for a little while. Froth eggs and sugar. Mix baking powder with wheat flour. Add alternately chocolate mix and flour mix into the egg froth. Mix the dough gently until it’s smooth and pour into a buttered tin. You can use breadcrumb / almond flour on the sides of the tin so the cake won’t stick on the sides.

Bake in 175 °C for approximately 60 mins. I checked the cake using a wooden stick every now and then, having forgotten to check the time in the beginning.. Turn over the tin after the cake has cooled.

Moistening: Boil water and sugar, add rhum into the sugar water. Split the cake in half and moisten the bottom half with the rhum mixture. Spread a generous amount of apricot jam on top of the bottom half and lift the upper half on top. Moisten the top half with the remaining rhum mixture.

Frosting: Melt the chocolate in a warm water bath. Lift the bowl out of the bath and add room temperature butter in small cubes. Mix until the frosting is smooth and shiny. Spread the frosting on top of the cake. I poured all of the frosting in the middle of the cake and started spreading towards the edges using a palette knife -shaped spatula. I also used the tip of the spatula to create the decorative pattern on the frosting.

Let the cake cool in a fridge or other cold place until the frosting sets.

I made the cake the evening before our dinner so the cake became really moist and juicy and the taste just gets better with time! I love cakes and food like this – it saves so much energy and hassle on the day of the event. This cake became a huge success and I even made another one for the following day when more of our friends came over. Everyone loved it and not a crumb was left on either of the days :)

FoodPress.com
This recipe was featured on FoodPress.com on February 10, 2011.

Furikake chicken and espresso with raw chocolate

February 5, 2011 Leave a comment
Pikakana ja vihannekset © Hanna Stolt

Furikake Chicken and Veggies

This dish is definitely in the Quick and Easy category. I needed to make something quick and still keep it healthy. So my dinner today was Furikake Chicken with vegetables.  I have to say this was pretty good, especially when considering the minimal effort making it required.

Furikake Chicken for three:

  • 3 chicken breast fillets
  • Renée Voltaire’s Furikake spice mix, or if you don’t have any, use herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil or a ready provencale herb mix.
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • olive oil

Vegetables:

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 fennel
  • Furikake-spice mix or herbs (fresh or dried)
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 1-2 dl macadamia nuts

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 200°C.

Slice the bell pepper into quite large pieces. Dice the zucchini, again you can leave the cubes quite big so it doesn’t get too soft in the oven. I usually buy small zucchinis because they have less seeds in them and taste better. Slice the fennel. Mix the veggies in a bowl and add a little bit of olive oil and season with Furikake, salt and black pepper. Pour them into an ovenproof casserole.

Fry the chicken breast fillets on a pan, using 1-2 tbsp of olive oil until they become golden brown and crispy on the surface. Sprinkle Furikake, salt and black pepper on both sides of the fillets and lay them on top of the veggies in the casserole. Add macadamia nuts on top and bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the chicken fillets are well done.

You could serve this dish with some rice or salad – depending on what you prefer. For me the veggies and the chicken worked great without any additional sides.  This is a great low GI, Paleo dish as it is.

For dessert I had some raw chocolate and espresso. Yum :)

Raakasuklaata ja espressoa © Hanna Stolt

Raw chocolate + Espresso