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American shrimp salad

April 24, 2011 Leave a comment
Amerikkalainen salaatti avocadosta, katkaravuista ja greipistä

American shrimp salad

My mother has been making this salad for years. She’s found the original recipe in a Finnish cook book by Aura Liimatainen and the book’s called Parasta kotiruokaa (the best home made dishes). The recipe’s called American shrimp salad but I don’t think the name does this salad justice. It’s a fresh salad with some unexpected taste combinations and one day I’ll come up with a decent name for it :)

We made this salad again a couple of weeks ago when we were on a family holiday in the Finnish Lapland. This is such an easy salad to make and great as a starter, great looking dish for a party and also low carb with some good fats from the avocado. The salad is served with a strawberry sauce with no added sugar. This sauce really brings the salad to life and is a nice, colorful splash on the salad.

Salad

  • 150 g frozen shrimp
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 ball of iceberg lettuce
Strawberry sauce
  • 3 dl strawberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • a touch of salt and black pepper
Preparation
  1. Melt and drain the shrimp in a sieve. Peel the grapefruit and remove the film of the fruit flesh. This way the grapefruit will taste better and it’s a lot easier to eat and looks nicer.
  2. Cut the avocados in half and remove the stones. Use a teaspoon to remove the fruit flesh from the shells. Slice the avocados or cut them in cubes.
  3. Slice the salad and spread evenly on a shallow serving dish.  Add the shrimp, grapefruit and avocado on top of the salad in separate sections.
  4. Mix the sauce ingredients and use a blender to create an even sauce. Serve the sauce from a separate serving dish.
Valmis salaattiannos

Ready salad

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

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

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)