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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!

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

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

Smoked reindeer pies

January 29, 2011 3 comments
Savuporopiiras

Smoked reindeer pies

These pies are almost too good to be true! They’re perfect as a starter, a snack, for parties and for just about any reason or occasion you can come up with. The recipe’s from my mom.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Crust:

  • 125 g butter
  • 2 dl wheat flour
  • 1 dl strained rye flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 dl grated cheese
  • 1/2 dl water

Filling:

  • 100 g smoked reindeer
  • 1 small leek
  • 2 dl grated cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 jar sour cream
  • 1 tbsp wheat flour
  • 1 dl chopped parsley
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cherry tomatoes and/or olive slices for decoration

Preparation:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (of crust) with softened butter.
  2. Add water and mix just so that you get an even dough.
  3. Divide the dough in two. Roll it into a bar and divide into 12 pieces.
  4. Roll the pieces into small balls and press them into a muffin tin. You can dip your thumb in flour so the dough doesn’t stick so much. Press the dough up to 1-1,5 cm height, so not all the way up the muffin tin walls.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other half of the dough. You should end up with 24 pcs.
  6. Then for the filling. Cut the leek in half (longitudinally), wash the halves and cut them into three parts (again, longitudinally) and then slice the parts into thin slices. Soften in a microwave oven with full power for 1-2 mins.
  7. Mix the filling ingredients.
  8. Add the filling into the forms but only to the same height as the crust on the edges.
  9. Bake in 200°C on the lower level for approximately 20 minutes.

Enjoy.

FoodPress.com
This recipe was featured on FoodPress.com on February 9, 2011.
Categories: Party, Starters Tags: , , ,

Cold avocado soup

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Kylmä avocadokeitto

Cold avocado soup

We made this fresh soup from last weekend’s leftovers. It turned out just perfect!

Soup for two:

  • 4 avocados
  • 50 g natural fresh cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ l veggie broth
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • tabasco
  • white pepper
  • salt

Salsa:

  • 1 tomato
  • ½ onion (or shallot)
  • chervil / chives
  • black pepper
  • ½ (mild) chili
  • salt

This soup is so easy to make it’s almost embarrassing. Puré the avocado, fresh cheese, garlic cloves veggie broth and lime juice. Season with tabasco, white pepper and salt. Let it cool in the fridge before serving.

Salsa: Chop the tomato, onion and chili. Mix ans season with chervil (or chives), black pepper and salt.

Serve the soup with some salsa. You can make the soup a day before, the taste just gets better :)

Mini tarte tatin

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Tarte tatin

Mini tarte tatin

In a household of two you start re-inventing cakes and pies and creating all kinds of miniature delicacies. Otherwise you’ll just end up eating  huge quantities of sugar and fat just the two of you. Or at least that’s how we are with my boyfriend. A little while ago I decided to make tiny Tarte Tatins. I got the recipe from my friend Boris. Boris is French so you can consider this recipe original french cuisine :) Well.. almost anyways. The crust is different. Boris uses puff paste for the crust. I like both versions.

You’ll need tiny ovenproof casseroles.

Ingredients

  • 1 apple /person
  • plenty of butter for caramelizing the apples
  • sugar (1-2 tbsp per serving)
  • vanilla sugar (½-1 tsp per serving)

Crust (from the book Team Kitchen):

  • 4dl wheat flour
  • 125 g butter
  • 1 egg
  • (zest of 1 lemon)
  • 1½ dl sugar
  • 2 tbsp cold water

This recipe for crust is for a whole normal sized pie but since I don’t know how to properly split an egg, I’ve made a full portion and left the part I don’t need in the fridge and used it later. I put the lemon zest in parenthesis as personally I like my crust without it and also because the flavor intensifies in the fridge) but feel free to use it if you like the flavor. Making the crust is incredibly easy:

1) mix the ingredients (I add the water at the end) and leave the dough to cool in the fridge.
2) Roll the dough between two layers of plastic film.

Preparation

  1. Slice the apples.
  2. Caramelize the sliced apples in plenty of butter. Use butter, no margarine. slowly you should see the butter becoming more and more golden brown and then the apples too.
  3. Sprinkle some sugar at the bottom of the casseroles (use enough of sugar! 1-2 tbsp per serving should do it). Then add a bit of vanilla sugar in each casserole (0,5-1 tsp each).  I even added a bit of it between the apple layers to add taste. You could also use vanilla powder to add taste between the apples.
  4. Set the caramelized apples tightly into the casseroles until the apple layer is about 2-3 cm high.
  5. Cover the apples tightly with a layer of crust. Tap the crust down with your fingers so that it sits close to the apple layer.
  6. Bake in 200°C until the crust becomes golden brown and done. Let the pies cool for a little while, then flip them upside down onto the serving plates.

Tarte Tatin is heavenly with some vanilla ice cream.