King prawn-red pepper pasta – Katkarapu-paprika pasta

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As I have mentioned several times I absolutely love seafood. That is why I feel very lucky of my husband coming from Queensland Australia as when we travel there I can always enjoy the most amazing seafood that the Great Barrier Reef and Australian tropics can offer. I cannot believe how big king prawns and scallops are over there, they are huge, flavoursome and so fresh that I could not imagine anything better. I have also tried to educate myself to become familiar with the different type of fish they have over there. As funny as it is some of the fish have European names but are totally different fish.. I guess the first Europeans who immigrated in Australia run out of names and thought they would name the fish with the familiar names they used to grow up with :)! So do not get confused if the fish you order over there whilst having the same name is something totally different! Anyway I hope you enjoy this simple prawn pasta recipe, it is a perfect dish to cook after the working day as it won’t take much time or effort but still tastes good.

For 2-3 people:
1 onion
1-2 garlic cloves
1 spring onion
150-200g king prawns
50ml white wine
1-2tbsp chopped dill
3tbsp eggplant pepper paste (see the recipe below)
100ml soy cream
150-200g pasta ( I used corn-rice pasta to make it gluten free)
3tbsp olive oil
juice of half of the lemon
black pepper, salt, paprika

Eggplant-red pepper paste:

1 eggplant

1 big red pepper

1. Bake the eggplant and red pepper cubes in the oven in 200 celsius degrees for half an hour until soft and a bit brownish.

2. Blend the cubes to get the smooth paste.

3. Use in any cooking or spice it up with some salt and black pepper and use on the top of the bread.

Prawn pasta instructions:

1. Cook pasta.

2. Cook the onions until golden, add king prawns and white wine and let it boil for a couple of minutes (not too long as otherwise prawns become chewy!).

3. Add eggplant-rep pepper paste. dill and soy cream.

4. Add the pasta, spices, juice of half of the lemon and olive oil.

Serve and enjoy! Home made, fresh and so irresistibly  good!

White wine always compliments this dish. For those who live in England I can recommend a good every day wine that is -I think- rather exceptional price -quality wine: Calvet Prestige Sauvignon Semillon. Be aware of not getting ripped off. In Ocado this wine is £11.99 but for example Morrisons has it quite often reduced to £6-8 and so does Sainsbury’s. I quite often hunt these offers and buy many bottles at once as this wine is definitely worth that £11.99 in flavour and good to serve in casual house parties when friends are visiting:)

white wine

Scandinavian salmon pasta- Lohipasta skandityyliin

ImageSince the pregnancy I have been obsessed with fish and seafood. A person who loved medium rare steaks and flavour of meat seemed to have disappeared. I cannot even think about the steak without feeling shivers. Having said that lamb and game meet are fine for some reason, it is only beef and pork that seem not to go down as they used to. I guess nothing wrong with that. London offers a huge range of different tasty fish and seafood to eat. In addition to local fishmongers and supermarkets, there are couple of fantastic fresh seafood markets in London! Any day I can go to our local store and buy fresh squid, scallops, prawns and variety of fish. It is just wonderful!

Last night I felt like salmon (again!) and my husband was begging to have salmon pasta (has been actually begging for some time) so I thought why not, let’s go for it. For me it is a huge step as I have these horror images (and memories) in my head of Finnish primary school food that so often was soggy, greasy and flavourless salmon pasta. I was a tricky child, I refused to eat any school food all my life. I was lucky enough to go at that time privately run sport high school that invested in amazing school food provided my Fazer (Amica). I guess I was pampered at home my parents were cooking extremely flavoursome and tasty meals and school food just didn’t reach that level.

In order to make great salmon pasta you need fresh ingredients and fresh herbs. I think seafood in general is very demanding as you do need fresh ingredients, jars and dried spices just don’t do it. This salmon pasta is extremely simple and quick but I have to say it was tasty even though I made up the ingredients in my head. This is a dairy free but ”creamy” pasta, it is super healthy and far from greasy! I warmly recommend to try it.

For two:

2 salmon fillets

approximately 200g pasta (I used spaghetti for two but you can choose tagliatelle, fusilli.. anything) I used corn and rice pasta, it is my new favourite! It seems to digest easier than normal wheat pasta and does not make me feel bloated.

3 spring onions

1-2 tbsp chopped dill

1-2 tbsp olive oil

(squeeze of lemon always good!)

100ml soy cream (or normal single cream if you want to use dairy)

3 tbsp wholegrain mustard

hint of white pepper

hint of black pepper

hint of lemon pepper

1. Cook the salmon fillets in the oven. Usually 200 Celsius degrees and 17 minutes is perfect.

2. Cook the pasta until al dente.

3. Pour the water away from pasta but leave a little bit in the bottom of the saucepan.

4. Add the spring onions, dill, olive oil and soy cream and cook for a little while.

3. Add the cooked salmon and mix.

4. Add the wholegrain mustard and spices and mix well.

Serve and enjoy! White wine -particularly Riesling – goes well with this but as we do clean eating in our household now we did not have any wine with the dinner.

PS. I will start writing in Finnish again as soon as I find more time (the other challenge is my British keyboard, I need to install the Finnish one in order to get the right alphabet  🙂

Dairy free pizza – Maidoton pizza

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I love cheese but sometimes I feel that pizza is a bit too heavy with a huge layer of cheese in it. My dear Aussie husband loves my pizzas, for some reason he thinks they are one of the best things I cook. Being so, we never order take away pizza. Due to the dairy free diet this year I guess both my husband and I noticed that we feel slightly better without dairy. We won’t give up from it altogether but we have definitely cut down our dairy consumption. Other reason why I try to keep this household still reasonably dairy free is that soon our baby girl will be one year old and if her milk allergy continues but we want to eat same food I have no other option than prepare dairy free meals. Last weekend I made this tasty dairy free -in other words cheeseless- pizza.

Pizza dough:

1dl (1/2 cup) warm water

2 tsp dry yeast

2 1/2 dl(1 1/4 cup) white flour (can use gluten free if needed)

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix yeast in a small amount of flour and mix it with warm water.

2. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.

3. Let rise for 15-30minutes.

4. Knead the dough and make the pizza base.

Toppings that get cooked with pizza dough:

half a tube of tomato puree

ham

olives

1. Add the cut topping son the pizza base and cook in 250 celsius degrees for 10-15minutes. Check the pizza regularly so that it does not burn.

Toppings after the pizza has been taken out from the oven:

rocket salad

sun dried tomato pieces

crushed walnuts

1. Add the rest of the toppings on the cooked pizza.

YUMMY! So good and healthier! If you want to make a vegan version just replace the ham with anything you fancy.

Rakastan pizzaa, mutta joskus paksu kerros juustoa pizzan päällä on liian tuhtia illalliseksi (ainakin minulle!). Tämänvuotisen maidottoman imetysdieetin aikana niin minä kuin rakas aussimieheni huomasimme, että maidoton dieetti on vatsaystävällisempi ja kaiken kaikkiaan koimme voivamme kokonaisvaltaisesti paremmin. Aussiemieheni rakastaa pizzojani ja jostain syystä hänen mielestään pizza on yksi parhaita kokkailusaavutuksiani. Näin ollen emme juuri koskaan tilaa take away pizzaa. Koska suloinen tyttäremme lähestyy yksivuotissyntymäpäiväänsä ja mikäli maitoallergia jatkuu sen jälkeenkin yritän vielä pitää taloutemme suhteellisen maidottomana, jotta voimma mutkattomasti syödä samaa ruokaa. Alla siis maidoton -toisin sanoen juustoton- pizzareseptini.

Pizzatakina:

1dl lämmin vesi

2 tl kuivahiivaa

2 1/2 dl vehnäjauhoja (tai gluteiiniton jauhoseos)

2 rkl oliiviöljy

1/2 tl suola

1. Sekoita hiiva pieneen määrään jauhoja ja sitten sekoita tämä desilitraan lämmintä vettä .

2. Lisää muut aineet aj sekoita hyvin.

3. Anna kohota 15-30 minuuttia.

4. Vaivaa taikinaa ja muovaile pizzapohja.

Täytteet ennen uuniin menoa:

puoli tuubia tomaattopyrettä

kinkkua

oliiveja

1. Pilko täyteainekset, levitä tomaattopyre pohjan päälle ja ripottele täytteet pizzan päälle. Paista 250 asteessa 10-15 minuuttia. Valvo koko ajan, ettei pizza pala.

Täytteet pizzan paiston jälkeen:

rucolasalaattia

aurinkokuivattuja tomaatinpaloja

murskattua saksanpähkinää

1. Lisää muut täytteet paistetun pizzan päälle.

NAUTI! Mikäli haluat vegaanipizzan korvaa kinkku mieleiselläsi täytteellä 🙂

Easy Minestrone soup- Helppo Minestrone keitto

WP_20131101_005This is one of Rachel Khoo’s recipes. As usual I did not follow the recipe religiously but decided to add something and leave something out, but I would say this minestrone soup was inspired by Rachel’s Khoo’s soup that can be found in her book ”The Little Paris Kitchen”.  This soup belongs to the Provençal cuisine and is perfect now when the winter is approaching and houses are cooler (at least here in England). The secret of this delicious soup is the ”pistou”, it gives such a wonderful touch for it and of course you need  a proper loaf of French country style bread on side! My dear Aussie husband almost licked her soup bowl last night as the soup was so tasty, so you should try to make it too! By the way I love the small Creuset soup bowls that you can see in the picture. They are fantastic. The soup stays warm for ages and also you can put them to the oven and cook small portions of soup like onion soup in them. They are visually gorgeous too, don’t you think?

Soup:

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

500ml chicken stock

500ml vegetable stock

3 tbs tomato puree

1-2 tbs sugar

sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 red capsicum

1 carrot

1 zucchini

1 can of Green giant beans in tomato sauce (or white beans in tomato sauce)

1 portion of pasta (1cm bunch of dry pasta) -I used corn and rice pasta to keep it gluten free.

50ml dry white wine

1. Cut the onions and garlic. Fry them until golden brown.

2. Add chicken and vegetable stock.

3. Add tomato puree, sugar, thyme and bay leaf.

4. Add the cut carrot, capsicum and zucchini and let it simmer.

5. Add gigantic beans and their sauce. Add the wine.

6. Finally add the pasta (fold the long ones to smaller pieces) and cook until Al dente.

Pistou:

bunch of basil

3 tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1. Puree until it is pesto like consistency.

Serve the soup with the small bit of ”pistou” on top -yum! Bon Appétit!

Tämä resepti on Rachel Khoon. Kuten yleensä, en seurannut ohjetta orjallisesti vaan sovelsin lisäämällä jotakin ja jättämällä jotakin pois. Toisin sanoen, tämä resepti on Rachel Khoon innoittama ja antoi minulle inspiraation luovasti soveltaa hänen mainiota minestrone keiton ohjettaan. Koko ohjeen salaisuus piilee mielestäni ”pistou” pureessa (hieman kuten pesto), joka tarjoillaan keiton silmänä ja antaa viimeisen silauksen herkulliseen reseptiin. Ohje on helppo ja nopea, juuri sopiva työpäivän jälkeiseen kiireiseen kokkailuun tai kotiäidin minuuttiaikatauluun. Tämä ihanainen keitto tulee luonnollisesti tarjoilla ranskalaisen maalaisleivän kanssa! Kuvassa näkyvät Creuset keittokulhot ovat ehdottomia suosikkejani. Keitto pysyy niissä lämpimänä pitkään ja  kulhot voi myös laittaa uuniin ja niissä voi kypsentää esimerkiksi yksittäisiä sipulikeittoannoksia.  Kulhot ovat visuaalisesti myös kauniita, eikö?

Keitto:

1 sipuli

2 valkosipulin kynttä

500ml kanalientä

500ml kasvislientä

3 rkl tomaattipuretta

1-2 rkl sokeria

muutama oksa timjamia

1 laakerinlehti

1 punainen paprika

1 porkkana

1 kesäkurpitsa

1 purkki kreikkalaisia giganttipapuja (voipapuja) tomaattikastikkeessa tai sitten vaaleita papuja tomaattikastikkeessa

1 annos pastaa (1cm nippu kuivaa spagettia) Voit käyttää maissi tai riisipastaa gluteiinittomaan ohjeeseen.

50ml kuivaa valkoviiniä

1. Pilko sipuli ja valkosipuli. Ruskista sipulit pannulla.

2. Lisää kana- ja kasvisliemet.

3. Lisää tomaattipure, sokeri, timjami ja laakerinlehti.

4. Lisää pilkotut porkkanan, paprikan ja kesäkurpitsan palat.

5. Lisää pavut ja viini.

6. Viimeiseksi lisää pasta ja keitä siten, että pasta on juuri al dente.

Pistou:

nippu basilikaa

3 rkl oliiviöljyä

2 valkosipulin kynttä

1. Soseuta kunnes on sileää sosetta.

Tarjoile keitto pienen pistou silmäkkeen kanssa -herkullista! Bon Appétit

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Slow cooker Chicken -Slow Cooker Kanaa

I promised I would post a recipe for you if my whole chicken slow cooker dish was even a decent one. In fact it was super tasty even though I threw all the ingredients in without any recipe. You can obviously apply the recipe depending what suits for you and whatever you happen to have in your pantry at the moment. The whole point of using a slow cooker is just leave the ingredients cooking for hours and hours.

Lupailin reseptiä slow cooker kanastani, siis kokonaisesta kanasta, jonka valmistin lauantaina. Minulla ei ollut lainkaan reseptia vaan heittelin sekaan ainesosia sitä mukaan kuin mieleeni juolahti ja kuinka ollakaan, kanasta tuli varsin herkullista. Luulen tosin, että syynä tähän lienee pikemminkin ihanainen slow cooker kuin kokkailutaitoni! Voitte soveltaa reseptiä oman mielihalunne mukaan. Onhan koko slow cookerin idea harras ja pitkä kypsentäminen. Voitte valita esimerkiksi yhden yrtin, jota suositte ja rakentaa aterian sen ympärille. Minulle tämä yrtti oli timjami.

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For 4-5 people:

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

500ml chicken stock

100ml dry white wine

700g parsnips

1 whole free range chicken

2-3 tbs chopped thyme

3 tbs BBQ sauce

3-4 tbs jerk chicken spice

1 tsp onion granules

1 tsp black pepper

1. Cut the parsnips and slice the onion.

2. Rub the BBQ sauce on the chicken skin and cover it with the jerk chicken spice.

3. Put the parsnips and the onion slices in the bottom of the slow cooker, pour the chicken stock and wine on top, add the spices.

4. Set the chicken on the top of the parsnips. Crush the garlic on top and into the sauce.

5. Cook in the slow cooker at least 5 hours.

Remember to reuse the chicken stock that you have left after this meal. The stock will be perfect for risottos, soups or paellas.

Enjoy!

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Neljälle tai viidelle hengelle:

1 sipuli

3 valkosipulin kynttä

500ml kanalientä

100ml kuivaa valkoviiniä

700g palsternakkaa

1 kokonainen vapaa kana

2-3 rkl timjamia

3 rkl BBQ-kastiketta/grillikastiketta

3-4 rkl jerk chicken maustetta (tai jotakin tulista maustemixiä!)

1tl sipulijauhetta

1 tl mustapippuria

1. Pilko palsternakka ja sipuli.

2. Hiero grillikastike kanan nahan päälle ja ripottele paksu kerros jerk chicken maustejauhetta.

3. Laita palsternakka, sipuli, valkoviini, kanaliemi ja mausteet slow cookeriin.

4. Asettele kana palsternakkojen päälle ja musrkaa valkosipulin kynnet kanan päälle ja liemen joukkoon.

5. Anna kypsyä vähintään viisi tuntia, mitä pidempään sen parempi!!

Muista uudelleenkäyttää kanaliemi, joka jää yli tästä ateriasta. Liemi on ideaalia juuri risottoihin, keittoihin tai paellaan!

Nauti!

Butternut squash soup -Myskikurpitsa keitto

squashMy oven is still broken so I am cooking everything on hobs. Have to say that British Gas is the worst service provider I have ever faced and am not surprised why everything is always broken here. As a tip if you are planning to move to the UK consider all the other service providers before signing a contract with them! Anyway, my life has been a bit of roller coaster lately and I know some of you may think that it is normal when you have a baby and see me being just a complete whinger. I think only a person who has gone through this craziness will understand how stressful it is when you cannot eat anything, you fear to introduce new foods as you are afraid of severe allergic reaction, your baby has woken up every hour for months and months to scratch herself or to comfort herself by eating and during the daytime she has hardly slept. No downtime at all. I guess there will be a turning point but we haven’t reached it yet. My dinners have become quicker and quicker as the only thing I can think about after putting my baby to sleep is to go to bed. Here you are my quick butternut squash soup. Very tasty but ideal for a busy life!

For four people:

1 butternut squash

4 tbs olive oil

hint of blackpepper, salt and sage

2 onions

1 tsp sage (or 1 tbs of finely chopped fresh sage)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

500ml chicken stock

1. Roast the butternut squash cubes and sliced onions in the oven in 200 celsius degrees for 30-35min after mixing them with olive oil and the hint of salt, blackpepper and sage .

2. Bring the chicken stock into boil, add the squash and onions and let it simmer for 5min.

3. Puree with the stick or in a food processor.

Enjoy!

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Päätin kaiken pohdinnan jälkeen kirjoittaa blogiini myös suomeksi. Onhan se rakas äidinkieleni. Puhun tyttärelleni suomea, mutta viime aikoina on tuntunut, että suomenkieleni on ruosteessa, etenkin kirjallinen ilmaisukykyni. Blogini kirjoittaminen ja kirjallisesti suomen tuottaminen toivottavasti parantaa tilanteen. En voi luvata jokaista postausta suomeksi, mutta yritän parhaani!

Uunimme, joka reilu viikko sitten rikkoi sopimuksensa irti on yhä hajalla. British Gas, joka täällä Britanniassa hallinnoi lämmitysjärjestelmien ja kodinkoneiden huoltoa on ollut aivan mahdoton. Insinöörit tekivät sovituista ajankohdista huolimatta kolmesti oharit. Toiminta on ollut niin hidasta ja leväperäistä, että selittää miksi tässä maassa niin usein kaikki hajoilee. Se, ettei kyseinen korjaaja saapunut paikalle, vaikka istuin neljän seinän sisällä odottamassa vauvan kanssa (kaikkea muuta kuin ideaalia!), ei ole parantanut tätä hullunmyllyä. Viimeiset neljä kuukautta ovat olleet todella rankkoja. Täytyy rehellisyyden nimissä myöntää, että vaikka kuinka yritän psyykata itseäni positiiviseen ajatteluun, masentaa tämä äärimmäisyyksiin viety tiukka imetysdieetti, jonka vuoksi en voi syödä lähestulkoon mitäään. Sen lisäksi huolettaa jokaisen uuden ruoka-aineen antaminen vauvalleni pahan allergisen reaktion pelossa. Han ei hyväksy pulloa eikä ole kiinnostunut mistään ruoista (rajoitettu valikoima, ei kiinostaisi minuakaan!), joten olen täysin häneen sidottuna kohta kahdeksannetta kuukautta.. Rakas tyttäreni on myös ollut hyvin itkuinen, vaativa, heräillyt joka tunti öisin jo kuukausia, joten univajeeni on jo huolestuttavissa mittasuhteissa. On suorastaan ihme että muistan laittaa housut jalkaan aamuisin. Lohduttaudun sillä, että jossain vaiheessa käänne tapahtuu. Vielä ei sitä olen näkynyt. Odotan ensi helmikuuta, jolloin toivottavasti saan lopettaa tämän dieetin. Kokkaus, leivonta ja blogin pitäminen piristävät minua tällä hetkellä enemmän kuin koskaan -jotain omaa tuttua vanhaa minua!

Hullumyllyn vuoksi koetan kokkailla illalliset nopeasti, jotta pääsen aikaisin nukkumaan. Tässä varsin mainion, yksinkertaisen, mutta huippuherkullisen myskikurpitsakeiton ohje. Kokeile!

Neljälle:

1 myskikurpitsa

4rkl oliiviöljyä

ripaus mustapippuria, suolaa ja kuivaa salviaa

2 sipulia

500ml kanalientä

1tl salviaa (kuiva käy, jos tuoretta voi laittaa 2rkl silputtuna)

1tl suolaa

1/2 tl mustapippuria

1. Kuutioi myskikurpitsa  ja sekoita olliviöljy sekä ripaus mustapippuria, suolaa ja salviaa. Paista 200 asteessa n. 30-35 minuuttia.

2. Kiehauta kanaliemi, lisää kesäkurpitsa ja sipulit. Keitä miedolla lämmöllä n. 5 minuuttia. Mausta.

3. Soseuta ja nauti!

Caribbean feast- Karibialainen ruokafesti

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Last weekend I had an amazing Caribbean influenced meal for lunch. I got so excited about those flavours that yesterday I decided to make my own version of this delicious meal. I was amazed how good our local supermarket was when I went to hunt some Caribbean ingredients, they had everything I needed for the jerk sauce and even a ready Jamaican jerk spice too. The supermarket had fresh pawpaws and mangoes and even plantains (cooking bananas!!!). Unbelievable!  Have to give points to English supermarkets after that! By the way, don’t get too worried if you cannot find cooking bananas, use regular ones.

My mum always keeps on telling me how different my taste buds are from hers as I love sweet meals and particularly I love mixing sweet and savoury flavours together. I know this is the case. If my dear Aussie husband goes and orders an English breakfast I choose always sweet continental breakfast for myself. I rather pass the savoury English breakfast and drink only coffee instead if I cannot get my muesli or croissant with some jam.

Caribbean cuisine is something I highly admire and adore. The flavours are fresh, sweet and unusual for Western palate. I have been quite hesitant to try to cook any Caribbean at home as I am not very  familiar with cooking it, only eating it. After last night’s feast I realised that in fact it is not hard at all. Some research online needs to be carried out but after that you can combine your own Caribbean meal. Here is mine: Jerk chicken, fried plantains, mango pawpaw salsa and chunky chips. I hope you enjoy it. My dear Aussie husband certainly did as I got requested to cook another one tonight!

Serving for two:

2 chicken thighs

Jerk Sauce:

3 spring onions roughly chopped

1cm size of fresh ginger

1 garlic clove

1/2 onion

1 red chilli deseeded

1/2 lime (juice)

2-3 tbs vegetable oil

1-2 tbs BBQ sauce

1 tbs dark sugar

1 tbs fresh thyme chopped

1/2 tsp all spice mix

1. Put all the chopped sauce ingredients into the food processor or blender and mix well.

2. Rub the sauce on chicken thighs and let marinade for 1-2 hours.

3. Cook in the oven in 180 celsius degrees in a baking dish on the top of the foil for 30min or less if cooked through. The last 5min raise the baking dish higher so that the skin gets crispier.

Mango Pawpaw Salsa:

1/2 pawpaw cut into tiny cubes

1 small mango cut into small cubes

1 red onion chopped

2-3 tbs balsamico

1 tbs sugar

1. Chop the ingredients and mix well together. Let sit in the fridge for 1 hour or so. The salsa gets sweeter!

Chunky chips:

3-4 big potatoes sliced to chip shape with skin on

4 tbs vegetable oil

1 tbs paprika

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp white pepper

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp onion granules

1. Mix together in a bowl and bake on a baking tray in 180 celsius degrees in grill section for 15-20min. The last 5min raise the temperature to the highest available degree (for me 240 celsius degrees) and cook for an extra 3-5 min to get really crunchy chips.

Plantains:

1 plantain

1. Slice the plantain and fry in oil on frying pan.

See the difference between ripe and unripe plantain. The darker the plantain and the more you see black spots the better and sweeter it will be!

plaintain ripeness

Serve the Caribbean feast by setting chicken thighs, chips, salsa and plantains on the plate.

ENJOY!