Again, I’ve been neglecting my fine food blog. I think my main issue is how time consuming it is to translate and write recipes, especially when, for the most part, I don’t even have one! But tonight I made an awesomesauce drink, so I just have to share it. Also drink recipes are way easier than a complete meal 🙂
Anyways, two weeks ago I went on a happy hour with a group of new colleagues. We celebrated that out three day face-to-face training was completed. Ofc I took the initiative to find an appropriate locaton for this event. I turned to one of my favorite friends in restaurant life – Yelp! Found a bar two minutes away, called the Blind Goat. Great happy hour, and I was excited to try the majority of the cocktails on the menu. But the one that really caught my attention was the Jalapeño Cilantro Margarita. I love Margaritas, and cilantro, and jalapeños – it was the perfect combination for me. So I ordered it, with two other girls. And it was freakin’ amazing. It was almost like enjoying an entire meal right there, in that tiny little glass. So I had to make it myself!
Tonight I didn’t have fresh jalapeños in the fridge, but I had a red hatch chili (I think that’s what it was called), so I figured that should do the trick. Holy moly it sure did do the trick, spicylicious is definitely the correct description. It made my lips swell, LOL! So for the recipe – I will only recommend you guys to muddle ONE sliced ring of chili, not two. Or if you’re sensitive, maybe don’t muddle it at all.
Spicylicious Cilantro Chili Margarita (1 glass)
1,25 oz Tequila
0,75 oz Cointreau
1 sliced ring of fresh chili pepper or preferrably jalapeño
2 spigs of fresh cilantro
1,5-2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
Salt for glass rim
Pour the Tequila into a shaker. Add the cilantro + chili, muddle gently. Fill up with ice and add all other ingredients. Shake it all up and strain into a glass. If needed, adjust the amount of lime juice and simply syrup to taste. Also make sure to add extra salt to the rim!! For anyone who never decorated the rim with salt; drag a piece of lime around the rim, then dip in course salt. Enjoy & decorate with a cilantro leaf. Yum!
So as always I spend less time with my blog than I think I will the moment I pick it back up again. But there has been a lot going on lately! Irma came and really shook up reality for a week, we went on a mini vacay to Saint Augustine AND I got a promotion! So many exciting things 🙂 But before all of that, we did the Grand Finally of Game of Thrones! We were hosting this final meal, and I spent two weeks researching to put together a fun, delicious and awesome dinner. I picked a French bistro theme! So while listening to a Spotify list called French bistro – I prepped a 5 course meal for our framily. I had so many ideas and I had the drinks picked out, so I wasn’t able to do less than that. On the menu we had Coquilles St-Jacques with Champagne, Steak Tartar with Cognac, Chevre Chaud with a French red blend, Bouillabaisse with Alsace Riesling and finally Deep fried Brie cheese with cloudberry jam & vanilla ice cream.
Today, I will try to remember exactly how I made the Steak Tartar. My biggest issue whenever cooking is that I take five different recipes and combine them together so it will fit my original idea, then I spend a lot of time adjusting everything according to my own taste. So by the time I am done with a meal, 1 teaspoon of a certain ingredient may have turned into a tablespoon. I would still encourage anyone who attempts to make my recipes to adjust everything to taste, because I may love dijon mustard and you might not. So here comes a recipe for 4 appetizer sized steak tartars:
12 oz beef tenderloin
1 finely chopped schallot
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped cornichons
4 tablespoons chopped capers
1 small garlic clove finely minced
red wine vinegar
salt & pepper
4 quail eggs
beet sprouts or watercress
root vegetable chips
Start by chopping all the condiments for the tartar. Leave to the side and prepare the truffle mayo. It’s easy peasy: mix Hellman’s mayo with black truffle oil and add salt and pepper. Done! Then start prepping the meat: freeze the raw piece of meat for about 20 minutes, this makes it easier to chop. Chop it as fine as you like it. Some people use grinders, I think it works just fine with a knife! That way you can pick how fine you want the meat. Mix half the schallot, half the dijon mustard (or start with 1 tablespoon!), half the cornichons, half the capers and the galic clove with the chopped meat. Add olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste. I probably did 1 tablespoon of olive oil and about 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Add salt & pepper. Once you’re satisfied with the taste of the tartar, leave in the frigde until ready for plating. Do this as close to serving as possible! At time of serving:
Brush a small round container with olive oil, use it to make a pretty shape of the tartar. Add the condiments on the side of the tartar. Dig a tiny hole with a spoon to make room for the quail egg yolk. Separate the egg whites from the yolk, and put the yolk back into the shell. It’s pretty! Decorate the plate with beet sprouts, the truffle mayo and grind fresh black pepper on top of the plate. Add some root vegetable chips for crisp and to make it look beauiful. This instruction may be a little confusing, but you can really contruct this lovely thing however you want! See picture below for reference. YUM! 🙂
Alright everyone, finally I have taken the time to translate my Swedish Langos recipe to English!!!! So whoever wants to fry up their own dough European style, keep scrolling down!
Now again, since I am soo slow in posting on my blog two Sunday dinners have already passed, and I have so many lovely pictures to post. Last weekend I went a little nuts with my GOT dinner plans.. I like going nuts with food. So I made a really cute looking menu, the theme for the night was “Celebrating the Life of Babe” aka PORK NIGHT! We did bacon wrapped pickles, sous vide pork tenderloin with a delicious smokey whiskey sauce and bacon cannolis!! Yess, that’s right – Bacon Cannoli. I am probably going to have to post the recipe of the dessert some other day, because they turned out really cute & delish. Especially with an adult floater = Vanilla Gelato in Sparkling wine. Yum. This past Sunday we got to explore another theme at Casa de Guarino Busquet: They took us to Dorne!!! For all of you none GOT geeks out there, Dorne is an awesome place to be. At least when you’re exploring Dorne in Brandon. Spanish influenced Cuisine. We got sangria with tapas: Manchego Cheese, Really awesome lemon/olive oil/chili olives that we’re just a tiny bit warm & heated smoked paprika almonds. Main course was Paella with giant shrimps, chorizo and mussels. Dessert was Crema Catalana which is smilar to a Creme Brulée. It was all very awesome and I will be posting pictures. But for today; it’s langos time! This recipe is enough for about 4 people.
Langos Recipe (about 12 pieces)
25 g of yeast, 1 and 2/3 package of Instant Yeast
3 dl water (1 + 1/4 cup)
1 tsp salt
1 boiled potato
7 dl flour (about 3 cups)
Make the dough:
Mix the yeast in room tempered water. Add salt once yeast is dissolved. Mash the potato with a fork. Add potato and flour to the water. Work the dough smooth by hand, or use a kitchen aid if you have it. Let the dough rest for 40 minutes. Then work the dough smooth on a floured table, split into 12 pieces. Shape into oval bread looking pieces then let them rest for another 10-15 minutes. Fry until golden in 180.C (356 degrees fahrenheit). Flip once to make sure both sides look good.
Then you serve them up with some garlic butter, sour cream, shrimp, red onion and cheese. Delish!!!
So I feel like it has been forever since I updated my blog, which it has! It is crazy how fast a whole year goes by. I have always enjoyed writing and I love to cook, none of that has changed, so I’m making a promise to myself to spend some more time with my blog and keep you guys updated on the life in America and the food I am cooking. I haven’t even posted anything about the fact that we bought a house. We are officially homeowners in the US of f-ing A! Which feels pretty awesome, and a little bit scary because we’re now officially live-living here. We did enjoy our year and a half with our Italian son George, and honestly I had a little separation anxiety when we were ready to move out. I don’t like to move around, and whenever I settle down somewhere it becomes my home. I couldn’t wait to get out of our overprized rental apartment in Noho because the management sucked, and we spent way too much money on a one bedroom apartment. But we had so many nice memories from that place, so it was still sad to move out when we finally ended our lease. So as much as I was dying to have my own house, my own kitchen, filled with only my stuff, my own yard, and being able to walk around butt naked if I want to without taking anyone else into consideration, it was still kind of sad to leave Brandon and George behind.
Now luckily George got himself a really nice girlfriend who we also love to hang out with, so we’re continuing our previous Game of Thrones tradition – dinner and GOT Sundays! And this time we are alternating locations on a regular basis: one week at Grace (our house) and the next in Brandon. I totally love it! This means I get to plan a dinner every other week and that makes me very excited J Last Sunday I made Vietnamese Spring rolls for appetizer, hubby made the dough for the Langos as an entrée and we sampled 4 different beers to that. Because we’re trying to not go all over board with our munchies there was only a banana bread beer for dessert – which was pretty delish! Also I made an Aperol Sprits as an aperitif, which is a delicious and simple drink – I will write the recipe below!
Because I’ve completely lost my blogging inspiration I didn’t even remember to take a picture of the spring rolls…. But I do have an old recipe with old pictures right Here!! And for those who doesn’t know what Langos is: it is basically a fried dough, which you load up with garlic butter, red onions, sour cream, cheese and shrimp. I wasn’t sure about the recipe because we had never used it before but it really turned out great! Except for that one dough ball that was smashed aggressively on the kitchen counter which resulted in a dough explosion all over a kitchen cabinet and onto the floor. This is a risk you’ll have to calculate when attempting to make Langos. Dough will be sticky and not always your friend. I am going to translate the recipe and post it in a couple of days. For now I just kind of wanted let you know that I will be posting more often now. Because I like it and it keeps me inspired. Have a good weekend everyone, and make yourself an Aperol Sprits!
Aperol Sprits (1 glass)
¼ cup (60 ml) Aperol (liquor)
¼ cup (60ml) Orange Juice
¾ cup Prosecco; basically a quarter of a bottle
Fill a large wine glass with lots of ice, add Aperol & OJ and mix. Top it with Prosecco and stir carefully. Serve with our without straw depending on your mood!
Since, again, I’ve forgotten about the life as a blogger I didn’t take a picture of the Aperol Sprits. Instead I’ll share a picture of one of the Champagne nights we had in Sweden.
I’m enjoying my last day of this six week break from reality. I’ve done some laundry, worked on my tan, prepped some food for the rest of the week and of course relaxed in the couch waching Grey’s Anatomy. I think the worst part will be having to face morning traffic again, every day, for a longer distance than I’m used to. I used to have 30 minutes to work and now it’s 45 minutes, not that big of a difference – but I love my sleep. Fifteen to twenty minutes in the morning is a lot to me. But I am excited to get a new fresh start with more capacity than before. Yesterday I passed my final exam so I’m officially licensed! Yaay! To celebrate we drank champagne and had shrimp tacos – perfect timing for Taco Tuesday! I love tacos – both the ”Swedish” and Mexican kind 😉 We’ve learned that tacos can be so more than just ground beef spiced up with Santa Maria Taco Seasoning. You can basically make a tacos with anything topped with everything. We made the most amazing ones’ yesterday.
I marinated shrimp in garlic, parsley, olive oil, salt, pepper & cajun seasoning. Fried them up really quick. Then we build the tacos with shrimp, refried black beans, thinly shredded red cabbage, salsa verde, pickled red onion, mango salsa, sour cream, melted cheese dip, pico de gallo with diced tomatoes, cilantro and scallions, jalapeños and finally some fresh pressed lime.
Pickled red onions are so good and it’s really simple to make. You need:
1 medium red onion
1 teaspoon sugar (or more if you want them sweeter)
0,5 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1,8 dl) white wine vinegar
How to make it:
Slice the onion thinly. Mix salt and sugar in the vinegar in the container you will use to store the onions. Stir to dissolve. Place the onions in a sieve and place the sieve in the sink. Slowly pour boiling water over the onions and let them drain. Add the onions to the jar and stir jently to make sure every slice is covered. Store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before use (the longer the better!). They will keep for several weeks.
My last full week of this study program just passed and it feels kind of bitter sweet to get back to reality on Thursday. I know that the whole purpose of my studies has been to get a license and then put my new knowledge to practice, but I like studying and learning new things. And also I had the freedom to study from home, take breaks whenever I needed to or take a run in the middle of the day to clear my brain. So it’s been kind of relaxing. Some people don’t have the self disciplin to actually focus on what they’re supposed to do if they work from home, but I have honestly never had that issue. I’ve always thought that school was pretty easy and I don’t know how old I was when I started to see good grades as some kind of competition. Of course I have older brothers that did great in school, so I guess I didn’t want to be that last little slacker, but nobody told me that I had to accomplish a certain grade or score on an exam to be considered a good student or a good person. Still I have always felt like I have to do great and be that ”good girl” or ”good student” that somehow people expect of me. Or maybe it was just always in my head. I probably put the highest expectations on myself. But so far in this training it has paid off, two out of three exams done and I have my final one on Tuesday. I just have to surpress those anxiety issues in the process and focus on what I am doing instead of what would happen if I actually failed 😀 And to cheer me up most people say but heeey you would never fail!!! Making it even worse 😉 End of therapy session – let’s focus on what you all visit this blog for. Food!
This weekend has been very relaxing and we’ve had so much good food! I just didn’t feel like cooking on Friday night and I’ve been wanting to go to a Sushi place here in Brandon that has 5/5 stars on Yelp. So we decided to go and ignore the fact that sushi is very expensive. I used to think that sushi is expensive in Sweden, but hey – if you want to get actual sushi and not just rolls in the US, you pay at least $4 for two small pieces of salmon sushi. It is ridiculous! The only sane way to eat a couple of sushi bites is to buy some kind of combo. And those combos are usually around $18-20. So with our money-spending-boots on we drove to Sushi Ushi. A small little place, doesn’t look too fancy and the service wasn’t great. But holy moly how much fresh fish we got on our plates!! We all did a sushi and sashimi combo – $23. For that you get 6 pieces of sushi, 9 pieces of sashimi and a california roll. And those slices of fish were thick! I don’t know how many pounds (grams!!!) of fish we ate. We also had BBQ squid for appetizer and the chef came out with a free sample of tuna poke – which was equally amazing. I had a giant sushi baby growing in my belly for hours, because nothing on that plate could go to waste! I even ate the orchid – dipped in wasabi soy.
Now some of you might think that after that experience, you guys weren’t hungry for two days. But no, we had Swedish Pancakes for brunch Saturday morning! And then we started planning for our Saturday night dinner. We decided for grilled pizza. Our supermarket has a really good pizza dough that is made fresh in the bakery – which makes home made pizza really easy. We have struggled before with making our own dough, but it’s just not as good. We might take up the challenge again now that we share house with an Italian (born in the USA with a heavy Alabama accent), but to be honest the best part is to figure out great pizza toppings! If you add garlic butter on the crust almost any dough will due 😉 So we spent fifteen minutes in the deli trying different smoked meats for our pizzas. I bought prosciutto for mine, Niklas had pepperoni and pancetta and George mixed pancetta and salami. Of course we all had mozzarella cheese, and then as we walked by the fresh seafood section I just had to buy some giant shrimp too – that I marinated in garlic, lime and chili. Mmmh it was all so good! We skipped marinara sauce – it’s way too heavy, garlic butter is the best base. And to top it all off you add some fresh arugula salad on top when the pizza is done (fresh arugula with some olive oil, lime, salt & pepper). Delish!
So I figured I should update you guys about our meal last night. Just like the first time – it was amazing. Yes, I am talking about the salmon. And since we had lots of arugula in the fridge, I figured I’ll try to make a type of sauce/spread that my aunt and cousin frequently makes. Why on earth have I not done this before? It is soooo good. So I had it with the salmon for dinner yesterday and also for lunch today. I made the best crisp bread sandwich ever.
Step One: Smoke your own salmon! (I’m sure store bought will work too)
Step Two: Make the amazing arugula spread – which I’ll give you some type of recipe for below.
Step Three: Pick your favorite cracker/crisp bread and top it with arugula spread and salmon. Yum!
So how did I make this Awesomesauce Spread. I really don’t know the proportions. As usual I just mix things together, taste it and it turns out great 😉 But it goes something like this:
1 bag of arugula (2-3 cups)
1/2 cup (1,2 dl) fresh basil (more to taste)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup cream cheese
3-5 tablespoons of sour cream
Salt & pepper
Mix arugula and basil in a mixer until it’s roughly chopped. Add cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, salt & pepper. Mix until evenly blended and you have a spread looking like a dairy infused pesto. Taste and add more salt, pepper, sour cream or cream cheese if necessary. And indulge! This spread is especially wonderful on fresh baked bread and goes really well with chicken.