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Pasta Bolognese

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Pasta Bolognese © Hanna Stolt

Pasta Bolognese

Earlier this week I visited a couple – both wonderful friends of mine. They’d asked me over for a cup of coffee but when I got there, they had a very pleasant surprise for me: a delicious bolognese sauce and some fresh pasta, ready to be eaten! That bolognese sauce was so yummy that I’ve been craving for more ever since so I just had to make some of my own today.

The bolognese sauce I made turned out really tasty. I let it stew in peace and quiet with mild heat. The portion is surprisingly big so I had to use plenty of spices as well and ended up using all of our remaining chili powder into it. This is such an easy recipe for anyone to do and I can guarantee delicious pasta bolognese for anyone who tries :)

Bolognese sauce

yields 4-6 portions

  • 1 can (500 g) tomato passata / tomato purée
  • 1 can (500 g) crushed tomatos
  • 3 shallot onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • dash of olive oil
  • 400 g minced meat
  • dash of water
  • Plenty of chili powder
  • Plenty of paprika powder
  • salt
  • Black pepper
  • White pepper

Preparation

Finely dice the onions and slice the garlic cloves into thin slices. Fry the onions and garlic cloves lightly with a dash of olive oil. Don’t let them catch any color. Add tomato passata. You can use a little bit of water to rinse out the rest of the tomato from the can. Let stew with mild heat. In the mean time,  fry the minced meat on a separate pan. Season with some chili powder and add to the sauce. Mix well. You can now also add the crushed tomatos. Again you can use a litte water to rinse out the rest of the tomato form the can. Let the sauce stew for ca. 20 mins and stir every now and then. You can’t cook this sauce too much – the flavor just gest better the more time you are willing to use. You can season the sauce while stewing. I usually add spices little by little until I’m happy with the result. This time I think I ended up using approximately 2 tsp of chili powder and 1 tsp of paprika powder and a little bit of salt and pepper.

Tomato is one of those veggies that is healthier when cooked! That already makes this a great dish, and the taste is of course a nice bonus :)

For the pasta I have only one tip which I’ve learned from my mom: After pouring out the water, I add a small amount of butter and mix well with the spaghetti. This way the spaghetti (or any other type of pasta) doesn’t get sticky and tastes really good!

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Restaurant Roux in Lahti, Finland

March 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Ravintola Roux

Roux, Lahti

Roux, Lahti

If ever you end up in the middle of nowhere, and that middle of nowhere happens to be a city called Lahti in Finland, here’s a suggestion for a restaurant to go to for a delicious dinner. A couple of weeks back I had dinner with my parents and sister in a restaurant called Roux in Lahti. We had blinis (a traditionally russian food) and some delicious desserts. The whole dinner was great and we got extremely good service throughout the dinner so I can warmly recommend the place.

We ordered a selection of toppings for our blinis so that we could taste a bit of everything. Before serving the main course, we received a small greeting from the kitchen.

Keittiön tervehdys

Greetings from kitchen

It was a beetroot puré soup with a horseradish foam on top and some sun dried tomato croquants.

Leipälajitelma

Different types of bread

We were also served three different types of bread, all baked in the restaurant. At least one of the breads was baked using an over 100 year-old surdough. Amazing and amazingly good. My absolute favorite was the one at the bottom – a spelt bread with rosemary. Yum!

One of the things I really enjoyed was how our waitress could tell us a story or two of the bread, the surdough, the wines they served, their new cook, etc. It’s these small things that, to me, make a place or a restaurant special.

Täytelajitelma

Topping selection

The toppings were served on two long plates so each of us got our own row of toppings.

Poroa, ankkaa, hunajaa ja omenamajoneesia

Reindeer, duck, honey and apple mayonnaise..

lohta, mätiä jne

Salmon, roe etc.

Perinteinen smetana, mäti ja sipuli

Maybe the most traditional toppings: roe, sour cream and onion

Unfortunately I don’t remember all of the toppings and as the restaurant has just updated menus, I have no way to cheat.

The blinis were huge – as the should be. Not those tiny little pancakes you often see but large, thick and moist blinis with a crispy surface. The waitress brought the blinis still frying on blini pans and served them straight away so that they were hot and ready to be eaten right away. She gave us a good piece of advice: 2-3 is a maximum we can eat. She was right too.

Blini ja täytteet

Blini with toppings

We drank a Riesling from Alsace with the food. Pino Humbrecht was a nice fresh combination with the greasy blinis and a great recommendation from our waitress.

Pino Humbrecht Alsace

Pino Humbrecht Alsace

As a dessert we had three different options.

My mother and sister tried the Roux special: triple chocolate.

My step dad tried a blood orange crème brûlée. It was ok, but the brûlée was quite bitter and we felt that it needed something sweet, or something to give it an edge instead of being Just Bitter. The dessert was still being fine tuned (the waitress told us this on before hand) and our greetings and comments were sent to the chef. I’m sure buy now this dessert has been fine tuned into perfection as well.

I chose a cardamom crème brûlée which was delicious. The strawberry fig salad is something I will definitely try to replicate in my home kitchen one day.

Rouxin kolmen suklaan jälkiruoka

Roux triple chocolate

Crème brûlée veriappelsiinista, mangomoussea ja vadelmia

Blood orange crème brûlée, mango mousse, raspberries

Kardemumma crème brûlée ja mansikka-viikunasalaatti

Cardamom crème brûlée and strawberry fig salad

Ihana mansikka-viikunasalaatti

The lovely, colorful strawberry fig salad

Ravintola Roux
Rautatienkatu 7, Lahti
FINLAND
www.roux.fi