30 Jul 2016

Salmon Poke


A couple weeks ago I tasted salmon poke at a local restaurant. It was love straight away. The soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, yummy. And it was served on rice (I do love my rice). It had some macadamias sprinkled on and despite my previous experiences with them I still ended up tasting them. I thought I didn't like macadamias, I've found their taste quite bland and even a bit soapy at times but this time I got addicted. I still don't find their taste very intriguing but their magical crunchy yet chewy texture is so addicting. Immediately the next weekend I recreated the poke bowl and had to have macadamias in it.

(Btw, when I cooked this, it wouldn't have occurred to anyone, but now it seems funny to be posting a poke recipe as everyone is madly enthusiastic about pokémons haha)


Salmon Poke Bowl

serves 2

200 g fresh salmon
1 spring onion
1/2 sweet onion (or silver onion)
2 Tbsp light soy sauce (usukuchishoyu)
   or: 1 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce + 1 Tbsp water + 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds
a few macadamia nuts
hot rice, to serve

(If you’re serving the bowl with rice, start by washing and preparing it. Otherwise this is a quick dish to prepare). Put soy sauce (and water and salt), sesame oil and cut onions into a bowl. Leave to macerate while you prepare the other stuff. Cut the salmon into cubes (appr. size of a normal dice; D6 to elaborate). Toast sesame seeds. Mix everything together and let marinate for about 5-10 minutes (not too long).

*Usukuchishoyu is a light soy sauce variety. It’s more salty than regular soy sauce (despite the name). It's lighter in soy flavour and colour.

Recipe adapted from Glorian Ruoka&Viini.

19 Jul 2016

Tarragon Carrots - Rakuunaporkkanat


I was reminded of this fantastic (and fast = fastastic) side dish some time ago. It was a staple in my student kitchen (cheap, easy, fast and very tasty). The recipe was handwritten by my grandma to her old cookbook, so basically it's a family recipe (though I can't remember she ever cooking it, as she passed away when I was little).



Tarragon Carrots

serves 3-4 (or 2 hungry students, of course depending on what other food you're serving)

4-5 carrots
salt
1 Tbsp butter
1-2 Tbsp syrup
a dash of soy sauce
a couple of Tbsp cut fresh tarragon (or cilantro, parsley,...)
  or 1-2 tsp dried tarragon

Peel the carrots and cut them into coins. Cook them in salted water until cooked through. Pour the water away and add butter, syrup, soy sauce and the herb of choice. Mix and serve warm.

Rakuunaporkkanat

3-4:lle (tai kahdelle nälkäiselle opiskelijalle, tietenkin riippuen minkä kanssa tarjoat porkkanat)

4-5 porkkanaa
suolaa
1 rkl voita
1-2 rkl siirappia
tilkka soijakastiketta
pari rkl silputtua tuoretta ranskalaista rakuunaa (tai korianteria, lehtipersiljaa, ...)
  tai 1-2 tl kuivattua rakuunaa


Kuori porkkanat ja leikkaa ne kolikoiksi, Keitä suolatussa vedessä sopivan kypsiksi. Kaada keitinvesi pois ja lisää voi, siirappi, soija ja yrtit. Sekoita ja tarjoa lämpimänä lisäkkeenä.



16 Jul 2016

Cinnamon (Bun) Toast - Kaneli(puusti)paahtoleipä


It happens sometimes that I'm in acute need of a cinnamon bun. While the ones sold at nearby shops are bad, the ones made by Max's Cafe are very GOOD but the opening hours are a bit limited. Luckily I've already found a way to cure my acute cinnamon bun deficiency, but this one is even faster. I'm always wondering why the nice cafés close so early in Finland (actually I know the answer but the question lies beyond and beyond). After the day's work I'd love to spend time in a café, lazily drinking a coffee while reading, blogging, surfing the net. The only ones open late are usually dirty, pub-like and serving bad coffee and pastry.

Btw, did you notice the Finnish title: that is really a long word, right? :D (Resepti suomeksi sivun alalaidassa).



Cinnamon Bun Toast

1 slice of toast or brioche

Cinnamon butter:
1-2 tsp soft butter
2 tsp sugar
a dash of cinnamon
a small pinch of cardamom

Make cinnamon butter by mixing all ingredients and slather it onto your bread. Toast in a toaster oven or with the broiler function of your oven until the bread is golden brown and the butter has caramelized.

Adapted from the adorable and ever so invent-ious Steph of iamafoodblog.com.



Nopea apu akuuttiin korvapuustivajeeseen :)

Kanelipaahtis eli korvapuustipaahtoleipä

1 siivu (paahto)leipää tai pullapitkoa

Kanelivoi:
1-2 tl pehmeää voita
2 tl sokeria
kanelia
ripaus kardemummaa

Sekoita kanelivoin ainekset. Voitele sillä leipä- tai pullasiivu ja paahda uunissa grillivastusten alla (tai muussa paahtimessa jossa leipä voi olla horisontaalisesti), kunnes leipä on kullanruskea ja voi on karamellisoitunut.




Alkuperäinen resepti: iamafoodblogin ihana ja aina niin kekseliäs Steph.

11 Jul 2016

Buttermilk Chicken



I don't know why I always start to watch TV shows in the summer. Usually I don't do TV marathons in the winter but once it's summer, I just want to relax (and my way of relaxing apparently involves TV drama). I've been binge watching Game of Thrones (season 6), How I met your mother (from season 6, too) and Bunheads (which is like Gilmore Girls, but set in a dance studio :D).

The guys in HIMYM are always eating Chinese takeout (from cardboard boxes) so I needed to create something of the sorts to eat with my rice, preferably from chicken. I'd had my eye on this recipe for some time, so it was about time to test it (I made some alterations though).

Foxtail got his share of buttermilk too. He got so carried away with it while licking the buttermilk carton that he messed the whole kitchen floor (and his face too).

(Resepti alla myös suomeksi.)




Buttermilk Chicken


serves 3-4, depending if you're serving it with rice or other side dish
 

300 g chicken breast
1 lime (juice and zest)
A bunch of coriander
1 garlic clove
A piece of ginger

half a stalk of lemongrass
salt
200 ml buttermilk


oil for stir-frying
sesame seeds 

Optional wasabi dressing:
1 part Japanese soy sauce
1 part rice vinegar

wasabi paste (I use 1/2-1 tsp for every Tbsp of soy sauce)
2 parts toasted sesame oil
 

Make the marinade: Remove the leaves from coriander and put aside, chop the stalks. Grate garlic, ginger and lime zest. Slice the lemongrass. Stir grated ginger, garlic and lime zest, coriander stalk and lemongrass to buttermilk, along with the squeezed lime juice. Add salt. Cut the chicken to chopstick-eatable pieces (I'd cut the breast into 4-5 pieces, it's easier to get the marinade off, when not too may pieces). Place in fridge and let marinate in buttermilk overnight (or at least 4 hours).
 

Next day, pick the chicken pieces from the marinade (chopsticks work well here or tongs) and pat the meat almost dry, leaving a small amount of buttermilk on the meat, as it will give nice colour to otherwise pale chicken when cooked (it burns quite easily though). Heat up some vegetable oil in a frying pan. Saute the chicken pieces until brown and cooked. The marinade tends to stick to the pan, but be quick to move the chicken pieces on the pan, so that the browning marinade coats the chicken pieces. You can add sesame seeds at this point but don't let them burn. Finally add the coriander leaves and serve alongside some rice or salad.

Optional: Especially if you're serving the chicken with salad, I strongly recommend my favorite sesame wasabi dressing: Soften the wasabi paste with adding the soy sauce little by little. Add rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil and whisk. Check the taste.

Piimäbroileri

3-4:lle, riippuen lisukkeista

300 g broilerin rintafileitä
1 lime (mehu ja kuori)
nippu korianteria
puolikas sitruunaruohon varsi
1 valkosipulin kynsi
pala inkivääriä
1 tl suolaa
2 dl piimää

öljyä paistamiseen
seesaminsiemeniä viimeistelyyn 

Valinnainen wasabikastike
(tee tätä, etenkin, jos tarjoat broilerin salaatin kanssa, mutta kastike toimii myös riisin kera):
1 osa japanilaista soijakastiketta
wasabia maun mukaan (laitan n. 1/2-1 tl wasabia / 1 rkl soijaa)
1 osa riisiviinietikkaa
2 osaa paahdettua seesamiöljyä

 

Marinadi: Raasta valkosipuli, inkivääri ja limen kuori. Viipaloi sitruunaruoho ohuiksi kolikoiksi. Leikkaa korianterin varret (säästä lehdet viimeistelyyn). Lisää raasteet, sitruunaruoho, korianterin varret, puristettu limenmehu ja suola piimään. Leikkaa kananfileet noin 4-5 osaan, (jotta marinadin saa kätevämmin pois; itse leikkasin palat turhan pieniksi) ja laita ne marinadiin. Anna maustua jääkaapissa yön yli tai ainakin 4 tuntia.
 

Seuraavana päivänä nosta kananpalat pois marinadista ja taputtele suurin osa marinadista pois keittiöpaperilla (ei ihan kaikkea, sillä se antaa kanalle hyvän värin paistossa, mutta toisaalta palaa helposti). Paista kananpalat paistinpannulla öljyssä, kunnes ne ovat kypsiä ja kauniin ruskeita. Lisää halutessasi paiston loppuvaiheessa pannulla seesaminsiemeniä (varo etteivät ne pala). Lopuksi lisää korianterin lehdet ja tarjoile riisin tai salaatin kera.

Halutessasi, etenkin jos tarjoilet kanan salaatin kanssa, voit tehdä lisäksi wasabikastikkeen (joka toimii kylläkin myös riisin kanssa): Sekoita wasabitahnaan soijakastike pikkuhiljaa, jotta saat tasaisen tahnan, lisää riisiviinietikka ja seesamiöljy ja vispaa tasaiseksi.

 Adapted from Valio.

5 Jul 2016

Chicken and Noodle Soup



Last week I was experiencing what it would be like to live without a dog as Foxtail had fleed the city to the peace of the archipelago. It was an odd feeling not having a dog around. All the time I was expecting him to come around, sniffing, barking, whining or just being there, having a nap. Home didn't feel like a home, but like a very deserted one, and I felt very lonely (despite I usually want the solitude). I noticed alsohow I've arranged my daily life to suit the dog tending. Although I'm always whining how I have to go home straight from work to go walk and feed Foxtail, it's actually something I seem to crave. I tried going straight after work to the sales, but once I got to the center I started feeling tired and not wanting to do any shopping, so I just drank a coffee, watched people on the sunny terrace and then left home to cook this soup (I'm the only one to like coriander in this household).

I love the combination of lime, ginger, lemongrass and coriander. This soup is both easy and quick to make and is perfect for a cool summer day we often have here in Finland. I got the original recipe from a Finnish health magazine's cooking extra (Hyvä Terveys) years ago and have tweeked it here and there over the years. If you like spicy hot, you can add your choice of chili spice, either to the broth or to the chicken. I don't like very hot flavours, so didn't put any. (Scroll down for the recipe - löytyy myös suomenkielisenä.)




Chicken and Noodle Soup

serves 4

1,5 litres dashi stock (from instant dashi is ok)
2 garlic cloves
(1 cinnamon stick - I forgot it this time!)
a piece of ginger
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 stalk of lemongrass
300-400 g ground chicken

salt, pepper (and chili powder/flakes)
300 g wholewheat (or your favorite) noodles
150 g snow peas
juice from a lime
2 spring onions
fresh coriander
 

Bring dashi stock to a boil. Crush garlic cloves lightly with the flat of a knife and the heel of your hand. Prepare the lemongrass stalk by bashing it with the unsharp edge of a knife. Add garlic cloves, piece of ginger, cinnamon stick, soy sauce and lemongrass to the stock. Simmer for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the chicken, season with salt, pepper (and chili).
 

Remove the garlic, cinnamon, lemongrass and ginger from broth. Add noodles to the soup and simmer until they are almost cooked. Add snowpeas, sliced spring onions (save some green parts for garnish) and cook for a minute or so. Divide to bowls. Arrange the chicken on top, sprinkle with fresh lime juice and garnish with fresh coriander and the green part of spring onion.

Kana-nuudelikeitto

4:lle

1,5 litraa dashi-lientä (tai kanalientä) (kuutiosta/jauheesta ok myös)
2 valkosipulin kynttä
(1 kanelitanko - jonka kylläkin unohdin tällä kertaa)
pala tuoretta inkivääriä
3 rkl japanilaista soijakastiketta
1 varsi sitruunaruohoa
300-400 g kananjauhelihaa

suolaa, pippuria (ja chilijauhetta tai -lastuja) 
300 g täysjyvä (tai lempi-)nuudeleita
150 g sokeriherneitä
yhden limetin mehu

2 kevätsipulia
tuoretta korianteria
 

Kiehauta dashi-liemi. Murskaa valkosipulin kynnet veitsenlappeella. Hakkaa sitruunaruoho veitsen tylsällä puolella. Lisää valkosipulit, sitruunaruoho, kanelitanko, inkivääri ja soijakastike liemeen ja keitä ainakin 5 minuuttia. 

Paista kananjauheliha pannulla kypsäksi, mausta suolalla ja pippurilla sekä halutessasi chilijauheella.

Poista mausteet liemestä. Lisää nuudelit ja keitä, kunnes ne ovat lähes kypsiä. Lisää herneet, viipaloitu kevätsipulio (säästä hieman vihreää osaa koristeeksi) ja keitä n. minuutti. Jaa kulhoihin. Laita päälle paistettua kanaa, mausta tuoreella limenmehulla ja koristele tuoreella korianterilla ja kevätsipulilla.
 

4 Jul 2016

Rhubarb Tosca Bun Cake - Raparperi-toscapullakakku



Last week I learned something about custards. I don't remember having a problem like that before. I made a custard the usual way, though it seemed to get thick straightly after adding the hot milk. I still returned it back to the stove, but it was so thick I had to add more milk (maybe 50-75ml) to make it more stir-able. It remained thick still and once it had "burped" I took it from the stove, returned it to the plastic bowl and covered with a cling-film. The next morning it had turned into a liquid... I found out quickly that the problem might have been the enzymes in the egg (amylase mainly). You need to bring egg/starch mixes to a full boil to inactivate the amylase from the yolk, which will otherwise liquefy the custard eventually (the amylase enzyme breaks down amylose, present in starch giving the custard some of its structure and thickness). The custard should "burp" (=boil) and be kept there for a minute or two (not sure if potato starch can handle this, but corn starch will) stirring constantly with a whisk. This is important if you want the custard to stay firm for a few days, as the amylase will work on it over time and make it increasingly liquid.


But please remember: you don't want to coagulate the yolks any more than needed (80-82C when in liquid), starch to gelate (62-80C) and to inactivate the amylase in the yolks (takes a minute at the boil). Therefore, once everything coagulates and starts to burp, cook it only the minimum length of time so that the yolk doesn't overcook. If you are serving the custard immediately, I wouldn't care about the amylase, as not boiling the custard results in a more silky texture.


Then something about the cake itself: I've been planning ages to try making Bienenstich Cake aka Bee Sting Cake. It reminds me of Finnish Tosca Cake, which is a cake with an almond caramel topping. Though bienenstich is traditionally made with yeasted dough as opposed to tosca cake which is made with cake batter. This cake got its inspiration from Bienenstich, but I wanted it to have more cake versus filling, so I followed smitten kitchen's recipe loosely (made the yeasted dough with my own recipe, though).

Oh, and to return to my problem with the custard, all ended well, I mixed more potato starch with a small amount of custard and whisked that to the rest of the custard, then warmed it until thick and let it "burp" a minute. This time it remained thick.

And then a word on the tosca topping. In the Finnish tosca cake usually no honey is added. And it's never sticky while this one remained sticky. There is usually also a small amount of wheat flour, which might also take some of the stickiness away. Next time I would try either one. If you do, please tell me how it went.

Rhubarb & Tosca Yeasted Cake aka Rhubarb Bienenstich


Yeast dough:
200 ml milk
20 g fresh yeast or 5 g instant yeast
1/2 Tbsp cardamom
65 g sugar
n.1/4-1/2 tsp salt
n. 350 g bread flour
60 g butter

Tosca topping
40 g butter
50 g sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp milk
60 g almond flakes

Vanilla custard/Crème pâtissière:
350-400 ml milk (or a mixture of cream and milk)
1/2 vanilla pod
3 egg yolks (appr. 53 g)
30(-40) g potato starch
25 g sugar

For filling:
200-300 ml rhubarb compote (see recipe below)

Crumble the fresh yeast to a bowl (or if using dry yeast, mix it with appr. half of the flour). Warm up the milk to 37 C. Add it gradually to the fresh yeast to dissolve it completely before pouring on the rest. Add sugar, salt and cardamom. Add the bread flour little by little (if using dry yeast, use first the half containing the yeast). When the batter resembles thick pancake batter beat it for some time in order to get some air into the dough and to gain elasticity. Add more flour to obtain a smooth dough that starts to unstick from the bowl. Add soft butter and knead the dough until butter is well incorporated. Add more flour if needed. Cover the dough with a cling-film or cloth and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size (appr. 45 minutes depending heavily on the temperature).

Punch the dough down and knead it on a floured surface. Roll it into a slightly bigger disc than your cake pan (over 24 cm in diameter). Cut it to proper size (cutting ensures a more even result with the cake) and put to the cake pan. Let rise under a cloth appr. 20 minutes. While they are rising, warm the oven to 175 C.

Make tosca: Cook all ingredients for a few minutes. Let cool slightly before spreading on the risen cake. Bake in 175 C for 30 min. If the almonds start to get too dark, cover with a baking paper. Let cool completely.

Make vanilla custard (can be made in advance): Halve the half of the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds to a pot. Add milk and bring to a boil. Take off the heat, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Whisk egg yolks with sugar and potato starch. Remove the pod from milk and bring to a boil again. Pour it while whisking to the egg mixture. Pour it back to the pot, and warm it on medium-high heat while stirring until it thickens and "burps". Let cool. You can speed the cooling up by placing the pot to a cold water bath. Cover with cling-film placed directly on the surface to prevent a skin forming.

Halve the cake into two (the bottom part can be slightly thicker). Fill with rhubarb compote and vanilla custard. The vanilla custard should be so thick that it doesn't pour out when cutting the cake.

Rhubarb compote:
250 g rhubarb
50 g sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Cut the rhubarb into chunks and cook it in a pot with sugar and cardamom for 10 minutes. Let cool. (If it's very wet, you can try sieving some of the juice away and cooking it to thick syrup, which you can add back to compote.


Raparperi-toscapullakakku eli Raparperi-Bienenstich


Pullataikina:
2 dl täysmaitoa
n. 2/5 paketillista tuorehiivaa
1/2 rkl kardemummaa
0,75 dl sokeria
n.1/4-1/2 tl suolaa
n. 5 dl jauhoa
60 g voita

Toscakuorrutus:
40 g voita
60 ml sokeria
1 rkl hunajaa
1 rkl maitoa
1,75 dl mantelilastuja

Täytteeksi:
2-3 dl raparperihilloketta (ks. ohje alla)

Vaniljakiisseli eli crème patissière
3,5 dl täysmaitoa (tai kermamaitoa)
1/2 vaniljatanko
3 keltuaista (n. 53 g)
20 g perunatärkkelystä
25 g sokeria

Tee pullataikina, anna kohota kaksinkertaiseksi. Poista ilma, ja kaulitse levyksi. Leikkaa esim. kakkuvuoan reunoilla n. 24 cm ympyrä. Anna kohota.

Tee toscakuorrutus: Keitä kaikkia aineksia muutama minuutti. Anna jäähtyä hetki (ei liian kauan, koska se muuttuu hankalaksi kaataa. Kaada kohonneen kakun päälle toscakuorrutus ja paista n. 175 C n. 30 min. Jos kuorrutus uhkaa tummua liikaa, peitä pinta leivinpaperilla. Anna jäähtyä ennen halkaisemista.

Tee vaniljakiisseli: Halkaise vaniljatanko ja raaputa siemenet kattilaan. Kiehauta (kerma)maito vaniljatangon ja -siemenien kanssa, ota pois lämmöltä ja anna maustua 10-15 min. Poista tanko. Vaahdota keltuaiset, sokeri ja tärkkelys. Lämmitä maito uudelleen kiehuvaksi ja vatkaa keltuaisseoksen joukkoon. Kaada seos takaisin kattilaan, ja lämmitä varovasti samalla sekoittaen, kunnes se sakenee ja "pulpahtaa" kerran. Jäähdytä kylmässä vesihauteessa samalla sekoittaen.

Halkaise kahteen osaan. Täytä raparperihillokkeella ja vaniljakiisselillä. Anna makujen tasaantua muutama tunti ennen tarjoilua. Ohjeen vaniljakiisseli on niin paksua, että kakun leikkaamisen tulisi onnistua ilman täytteen suurempia pursuiluja välistä.

Raparperihilloke:
250 g raparperia
50 g sokeria
1/2 tl kardemummaa

Paloittele raparperi ja keitä sitä n. 10 minuuttia sokerin ja kardemumman kanssa. Anna jäähtyä. Jos hilloke on vetistä, siivilöi osa mehusta pois ja keitä sitä, kunnes siitä tulee siirappisen paksua. Sekoita takaisin hillokkeen joukkoon.


18 Jun 2016

Pumpkin Pesto Zucchini Noodles




I've fallen in love... with zucchini noodles aka zoodles! They are crunchy yet seem very pasta-like, a perfect food for a summer day. I don't know exactly is this a side dish, a main dish or a salad, but it passes as any :)

Pesto made with pumpkin seeds is extra yummy!!! Mmmm, I started already wondering what a sesame pesto would taste like :P

We are just about to go for a morning stroll with Foxtail. I was a bit worried about him previously, as he drank quite much, so we even visited a vet, but everything was ok with the lab tests. Now he's drinking normally (I'm blaming the fertilizer he had been eating ever since they put it for bushes here in the neighbourhood). Happy weekend!












Pumpkin Pesto Zucchini Noodles

serves 3-4 as a side
 
2 small zucchini
250 g cherry tomatoes
Salt
For garnish: Basil leaves
 
Pumpkin seed pesto*
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
3-4 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted (save some for garnishing)
3 Tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
1-2 tsp red wine vinegar, to taste
Salt, to taste
Start by halving the tomatoes and put them on a baking dish (cutting surface upwards), sprinkle some salt on them and bake them in a convection oven 200 C about 30 minutes until they've dried. Open the oven door every now and then to get rid of extra moisture.

Meanwhile, make the pesto: toast the pumpkin seeds on medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent them from burning. Once lightly browned and "popping", set aside to cool. Blend seeds, basil leaves, oil, vinegar and salt in a food processor or similar until smooth. Add more salt if needed.
Prepare the "zoodles": I made my "spaghetti" with a julienne peeler (or you could use a spiralizer or just a vegetable peeler to make long wide strips like tagliatelle). Sprinkle them with some salt and then toss the pesto until evenly distributed. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, some basil leaves and the rest of the pumpkin seeds.

*Note: You can feel free to change the amounts in pesto, what suits your liking. I didn't stir all pesto in "zoodles", but served the rest separately to be added, if needed.

 Recipe adapted from Pure Delicious by Heather Christo, via Cookie+Kate
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