Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grilled Cheese ...

... nothing else could ever take your place in my heart!

An L.A. friend tipped me off to The Grilled Cheese Truck, a mobile effort to bring grilled cheese into the world.

I have not been able to try it, being roughly half the world away from the City of Angels, but that oozing cheese logo gives me satisfying hits of homeyness, melty cheese, and the lovely crispness of buttered and grilled bread.

Did you know Swedes do *not* eat grilled cheese sandwiches? They are an open-faced sandwich culture. It's true.

There's definitely a panini or two around here. First, there was the steak houses, then the burger joints, and then the cascades of muffins (cupcakes), could it be that Swedes will soon adopt the ever so savory grilled cheese sandwich? One can only hope.

Last word is, whoever thought of Cheesy Mac with BBQ pork and carmelized onions is officially my hero.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Maple Delicious

Now that it's fall/almost winter (here in Sweden, at least), I'm a regular consumer of hot chocolate. Though it may be my favorite way to warm up after a chilly walk outside, I'm beginning to also become a fan of the maple steamer. Nothing could be simpler, nor yummier.

Maple Steamer

1 c warm milk
1-2 t B grade maple syrup
2 pinches of cinnamon

Combine, and drink in good health!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Buttery Crumbs

This recipe comes from a Swedish institution called Vedholm in Stockholm.

When I was first introduced to the dish, I was amazed at the simplicity and the individual flavors enhancing the others, along with the textures.

I was also introduced to the idea of cooking fish for 10 minutes at the highest heat my oven goes up to.

Pike-perch Beaulieu adapted from Vedholm.

2 lbs pike-perch filet, or other firm white flesh fish like cod
1 stick of butter
1 cup of dry white wine
1 shallot finely minced
2 T of finely chopped parsley
2 egg yolks
1 c/100 grams of bread crumbs
salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 F/275 C.

Place filets in an oven friendly dish. Melt the butter. In a bowl combine bread crumbs with the butter, shallot, parsley, egg yolk, and salt and pepper.

Cover the filets with the mixture and then pour the wine around the filets.

Bake for ten minutes. Serve with boiled or steamed potatoes.

Serves 4-6.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Craving Pumpkin

Some Swedes asked me if pumpkins taste good. The answer is, "Yes!"

I need some pumpkin intake pronto. All inspired from The Boston Globe.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Judie's of Amherst

Many of my friends went back to Amherst for homecoming. I am fiercely jealous, but the leaves are also turning in Stockholm. And I'm drinking real apple cider by the liter-load. And, and, and. Though I haven't quite ventured as far as making apple cider donuts, I have remade one of my favorite dishes from Judie's a restaurant run by Judie.

Though the popovers are divine, as well is the apple butter, my favorite ran toward the roasted garlic crusted salmon with leek and portobello mushroom pasta in a buttery lemon-wine sauce.

However, my boyfriend hates both penne and mushrooms (unhappiness), so my recent obsession with orzo was indulged instead.

Roasted Garlic Salmon with Leek Orzo

2 heads of garlic
2 t olive oil
500 g of salmon filet (1 lb of salmon)
salt & pepper to taste

1 c orzo
1 leek white and pale green parts only sliced thinly
1 sploosh of dry vermouth
1 lemon
2 T butter
salt and pepper to taste

On a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle the garlic with olive oil, and wrap the garlic in the foil and roast at 200 C/400 F for 20 minutes depending on your stove. The garlic is roasted when it is looking a rich yellow brown and looks slightly translucent.

Mash the garlic into a paste. Pat dry your salmon fillet and sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper on it. Then evenly spread the roasted garlic paste on the top. Roast for 15-20 minutes appropriate to how thick the filet is (check if the salmon is flaking) at 200 C/400 F.

Boil water for the orzo and prepare according to instructions. Melt 2 Tb of butter in a pan and saute the leek for five minutes. When the leek looks wilted add a sploosh of dry vermouth, and let the alcohol cook off.

Drain the orzo well and combine it with the wilted leeks and the juice of half a lemon. Serve alongside the roasted garlic crusted salmon with additional lemon slices on the side if desired.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Food rules!

Michael Pollan highlighted some rules for eating since he famously has been quoted for saying, "Eat food, not too much, mostly vegetables."

He welcomed suggestions for eating well. I'm particularly struck by the Japanese home cook's credo of the five colors, five preparations, and five flavors. I've recently added pickled vegetables to my Asian meals, and it does add another dimension.

I liked also ending with fruit. I didn't realize it was also an Italian habit, but in my family we always end with that light sweet note. It works as a signal that the meal is finished.