Year: 2014

An Unconventional Norwegian Christmas Dinner for Two

A traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner consists of surkål (sourkraut), kålrabistappe (rutabaga purée), and Ribbe (a side of pork, from the rib meat to the skin). The meat is slow roasted and the rind gradually cooks and crisps into a nice crunchy crackling. Living in Sweden, I couldn’t find this cut anywhere, so I went for a leg, hoping to get the same effect with the crackling. Since I was already going a different route, I decided to mix up the sides as well, and made Hasselback Rutabagas and rødkål (spiced red cabbage) instead of surkål. Pork Leg with Crackling Ingredients -1.5-2kg (3.3-4.4lbs) pork leg, including bone and skin -1 tablespoon whole cloves -salt and pepper Directions Score the rind, through the skin and into the fat, with a sharp knife into 1.5 cm (.6 inch) diamonds. Rub completely with salt and pepper, working it into the grooves. Put one clove into each intersection of grooves. Bake right away, or leave overnight in the fridge, tightly covered. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F. In your baking dish, …

Scandinavian Rice Porridge Three Ways

I slowly roll the porridge around my mouth, feeling carefully for the prized almond before biting down. Cautious bite after cautious bite, I wryly think that this is one way to force someone to eat slowly. Whoever finds the single blanched almond hidden in the porridge receives a reward of a marzipan pig. And I want it. Tor doesn’t even like marzipan all that much. I’m nearing the end of my bowl, and no almond presents itself. I really don’t want to take seconds, but am considering it when I notice a slight smile stealing onto Tor’s face. He holds up the almond, which, as it turns out, he found early on and had been squirreling away, silently and joyously observing my slow, vigilant eating. Christmas Porridge This recipe for Christmas Porridge should make enough to serve two for dinner, with enough leftovers for both the baked pudding and the rice cream. If you’re only making the porridge, it serves six. Ingredients 300g (3.5 dl or 1 1/2 cups) Grötris (porridge rice); substitute short or …

Cumin Roasted Avocados and Mango with Massaged Kale

So, I finally got around to making Yummy Supper’s Massaged Kale with Pomegranate, Persimmon, and Pistachio. And boy am I glad I did! It was so delicious and inspiring, I decided to go ahead and try a version that’s been swirling around in my head ever since I first read Erin’s post. So I had two lunches, and didn’t regret it at all! I had never eaten raw kale before trying this, and now I don’t know if I’ll ever cook it again. You can almost feel the energy flowing into your body when you eat this massaged kale. Since I’m usually a bit partial to lime, I decided to pair it with honey for my dressing, deviating from the original maple lemon. Then, I wanted a warmer, earthier feeling, so I took a note from Jamie Oliver’s Mad Dog Salad from his book, Jamie’s America, and roasted some avocados with cumin seeds. Topped with some pine nuts and, for a brighter element, both in color and taste, some mango, it ended up being a …

The Rugelach That Won Over France & Provençal Butternut Squash Rugelach

This week, the group Tuesdays with Dorie is baking The Rugelach That Won Over France from Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. A light, flaky pastry contains a nutty chocolate coconut cherry filling and is baked in little upended pinwheels. I slightly modified the filling for my tastes: raspberry flavored dark chocolate and no cinnamon or cherries. Wow! It was good. It was my first time making rugelach, and I was quite pleased. So pleased that I decided to make my own savory version with a more traditional crescent shape. I also altered the dough a bit for a richer taste and more dense texture. I added crème fraîche and an egg yolk, and adjusted the flour accordingly. Filled with roasted and mashed butternut squash and shallots, flavored with Herbes de Provence, and sprinkled with flakes of sea salt, this savory variant provides a nice warming snack on a cold winter afternoon. Ingredients Directions Put the flour in a mixing bowl and add the butter and cream cheese in small chunks. Pinch the butter and …

Squashed Quinoa Corn Fritters

When I get a new cookbook, usually I go through and bookmark every recipe I want to try first. Sometimes I color code: red for “cook immediately!”; pink for ones I’ll like but Tor won’t; blue for everything else; etc., etc. When I started through Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi, I had to force myself to stop using red, so the Fritter Roulette, towards the end of the book, got a blue label, instead of red, and thus was overlooked until I leafed through the whole thing again. The spices and butternut squash inspired me, so I played around with the spice ratios, used fresh instead of powdered turmeric, omitted the red chilli and padrón peppers, and added some quinoa to make it a bit more filling. I was quite delighted with the result. This recipe makes about six fritters, which is plenty for two lunches. Serve alongside a simple salad of arugula, tomatoes, and your vinaigrette of choice. Ingredients 1 egg 60 ml (1/4 cup) coconut milk 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornflour 2 heaping …

Holiday Pull-Apart Dressing

So, I know Thanksgiving is over, but this Pull-Apart Dressing turned out too good for me not to post it. I think it would be delicious and complementary with Christmas dinner as well—whether turkey or ham—so if you consider it that way, I’m posting three weeks early! A couple weeks ago, I was inspired by a Fig & Anise Pull-Apart Bread over on Happyolks. It was the first time I had seen layered pull-apart bread, rather than rolls or knots. So I put that in my file of things to try. Then, last week, Two Red Bowls posted Thanksgiving Stuffing Dinner Rolls, inspired by J. Kenji López-Alt over at Serious Eats. And I thought, that’s what I want to do with the layered method! So I whipped up my own tried-and-true sauté of celery, red pepper, mushrooms, and shallots, along with a huge gob of butter and some Herbes de Provence and made a Holiday Pull-Apart Dressing loaf! Though I’ve lived both north and south of the Mason-Dixon line, I decided to give a nod …

Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie with a Gingersnap Crust

I’ve always loved a good pumpkin pie. It never occurred to me that it could be considered weird until I had several Scandinavians and Europeans look at me funny when I mentioned pumpkin as a dessert. But, then they’re doubly impressed after tasting it. I even sent home a can of pumpkin and some pumpkin pie spice with one of our Swedish friends one year, who in turn made one for her friends! Tor loves cheesecake: any time, anywhere, any kind. So, I thought, why not combine the two? A layer of creamy vanilla cheesecake sandwiched between a top layer of spicy pumpkin and a gingersnap crust. Yum. Ingredients Directions Preheat oven to 180C/355F. Combine crumbs and ground nuts. Add melted butter and stir until the mixture is evenly moistened. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate or spring form. Bake for about 8 minutes, then remove from oven to cool. Tip: After removing the crust from the oven, if it has melted down the sides, use some baking …

Cranberry Crackle Tart

I’ve just joined Tuesday’s with Dorie, a group that bakes their way through Dorie Greenspan’s new book, Baking Chez Moi. Every once in a while on a Tuesday, I’ll be posting the results of a recipe the group votes on baking. This week it’s a Cranberry Crackle Tart! The group is asked not to post the full recipe online, so you will just see pictures of the final result plus any recommendation I have. The Cranberry Crackle Tart has a thin layer of jam topped with cranberry studded meringue. Mine didn’t puff up as much as I would have hoped, but it was still delicious. A much lighter alternative to the traditional rich Thanksgiving pies, or a fresh dessert for any time of year! Follow Tasty Joy with Bloglovin

Minty Tuna Persimmon Salad

This is a follow-up post to my Pink Peppercorn Crusted Tuna with Lemony Mixed Greens and Avocado Aioli. It’s a great way to use up that extra aioli and the tuna that was leftover after cutting nice, neat, presentable strips! This is perfect for a light lunch. In case you want to make this first—not with leftovers—I’ve written full instructions for every step. As with the previous salad, I’ve separated the garlic and oil instead of using prepared aioli as an ingredient. The aioli dressing for this salad is more like a vinaigrette. Ingredients Tip: Double the amount of tuna and use the leftovers for Pink Peppercorn Crusted Tuna with Lemony Mixed Greens and Avocado Aioli. Directions Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk, or in a small jar and shake. Coarsely crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle and press them into all sides of the tuna. Add a bit of freshly ground salt too, if desired. Heat a heavy iron skillet on med-high heat until very hot. Add the oil …

Pink Peppercorn Crusted Tuna with Lemony Mixed Greens and Avocado Aioli

Usually I try to plan my cooking projects ahead of time; in fact, I’m often planning several—way too many, actually—projects at the same time. Sometimes the elements collide fortuitously, however, and an idea is formulated and brought to fruition in just a few hours. I turned into the fish market on a whim, peeked into the little fridge that contains the discounts of the day, and spotted huge fresh tuna steaks. Immediately a delicious salad I had a few weeks ago came to mind: medium rare tuna, crisp salad, and avocado aioli. I snatched up the tuna and headed home. Aioli. Thick. Heavy. Artery-hardening. Generally, whether good or bad, these are the adjectives that usually come to mind when I try aioli. But when it’s good, it also addictive. Until I did a bit a research, I was under the impression that mayonnaise was intended to be the main component in aioli. And raw egg yolks. While egg yolks do show up in traditional aioli from Provence, traditional Catalan aioli, or allioli, has only salt, …