Fish pasta -Kalapastaa

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I am terribly sorry about this huge blog silence. I have been extremely busy with all sort of things. This has been a tough week in many ways my baby has had cold for 6 weeks now and on the top of that she got her first ear infection this week. Bad sleeping and an unwell baby have definitely kept me busy night and day this week!  Today I also got sad news that my dear grandma passed away. So sad but that is what life is like it starts and it ends. The most important thing is that we make most of the time we have. I am happy that I had her in my life for all this time and lucky to be able to bring back all the amazing memories of her -she really made my childhood special. I think to respect her memory I will share one Eastern Finnish recipe soon as that is where she comes from and Eastern Finland has its own very strong food culture.

Bad night after bad night I have finally recovered from the sleep deprivation and able to share a lovely fish pasta recipe with you. Simple but tasty. This is done Bill Granger style. It is super healthy and good.  I am such a big fan of seafood and chicken these days that don’t even need any red meat. Cannot remember when I have bought some..I love how many amazing dishes you can cook with fish! Anyway, I try to share my next post a lot sooner! Hope you all are having a lovely weekend! It has been incredibly sunny here in England. Unfortunately I have been lying in bed recovering from my cold and fever so have only been able to enjoy the sunshine by looking out of the window. Light, sun and spring time make miracles anyway!

100g pasta ( I used corn and rice pasta)

2 cod fillets

1 red chilli (seeds removed)

3 garlic cloves

200ml dry white wine

handful of fresh flat leaf parsley

black pepper

white pepper

onion granules

squeeze of lemon

salt

1. Cook pasta.

2. Fry crushed garlic and chopped chilli in a frying pan until golden brown.

3. Add white wine to garlic-chilli mix and bring it to boil and let it boil for a couple of minutes.

4. Add cod fillet cubes into the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes. Do not over cook the fish otherwise it gets flavourless and dry!

5. Add cooked pasta into the frying pan. Mix well.

6. Add chopped parsley and hint of back pepper, white pepper and onion granules and a bit of salt too.

7. Squeeze half a lemon in.

Serve with lovely white wine and enjoy!

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  🙂

Lemon cake -Sitruunakakku

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Sorry for this long lasting silence. I have no other excuse than that I have been super busy. So many changes in one week (will tell you later all the exciting news 🙂 ). I was supposed to post this recipe ages ago, in fact, right after the Finnish Independence Day but oh well it has taken almost two weeks to get this blog post written. Here it is, my tasty lemon cake with white chocolate cream cheese icing. It was super tasty. The cake recipe is a slightly modified version of Humming Bird Bakery’s lemon cake recipe. I hope you enjoy it. I love lemon cakes, they are refreshing and well..I have to make a confession, I ate lemon drizzle cake right after one of the most  amazing moments of my life this year -when our baby girl was born- and therefore the lemon cake flavour has such a unique meaning to me.

300g caster sugar

3 eggs

grated zest of 3 lemons

350g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

250ml whole milk (I used rice milk)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

200g unsalted butter (I used sunflower dairy free margarin)

Icing:

50g butter (or dairy free margarin)

150g white chocolate (dairy free white chocolate if needed a dairy free option)

150g cream cheese (soya fresh cheese if hoping for dairy free option)

1. Preheat the oven  to 170 celsius degrees.

2. Beat sugar, eggs and lemon zest with electronic whisker.

3. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl and milk (rice milk)  and vanilla extract in another. Add flour mix and milk mix to the sugar-egg mix alternating the two. Mix well until the dough is fluffy.

4. Add melted butter (dairy free margarin) in and mix well.

5. Pour to an oiled cake tin and bake in the oven for 1h 15 minutes.

Icing preparation:

1. Melt the butter (or dairy free margarin) and chocolate in a sauce pan.

2. Let the mix cool down and add the cream cheese.

3. Spread the icing on the cool cake base, put the cake to the fridge and let the icing set.

The cake is at its best on the following day!

Anteeksi blogihiljaisuus. On ollut valtava kiire ja uskomaton määrä jännittäviä uusia asioita tapahtunut viime viikon aikana (kerron lisää pian!).Tässä siis sitruunakakkuohjeeni. Leivoin kakun itsenäisyyspäiväksi, mutta kuten mainitsinkin postauksen kirjoittaminen viivästyi odottomattoman paljon. Toivottavasti nautitte kakusta. Sitruunakakku liittyy elämäni yhteen tärkeimpään hetkeen, mutustelin sitruunakakkua viimeksi tyttäremme syntymän jälkeen, itse asiassa heti synnytyksen jälkeen ja siksi sitruunakakun maulla on minulle jotenkin aivan hämmentävän suuri merkitys ja tuo maku tuo muistoja mieleen. Yritän postata seuraavan reseptin pian! Tässä tämä.

300g sokeria

3 munaa

kolmen sitruunan raastettu kuori

350g vehnäjauhoja

1 1/2 tl leivinjauhetta

1 tl suolaa

250ml maitoa (käytin riisimaitoa)

1/2 tl vaniljauutetta

200g voita (käytin maidotontra margariinia)

Kuorrutus:

50 g voita (tai maidotonta margariinia)

150g valkosuklaata (maidotonta valkosuklaata)

150g tuorejuusto (soijatuorejuusto maidottomaan versioon)

1. Lämmita uuni 170 asteeseen.

2. Vatkaa sokeri, munat ja sitruunankuori vaahdoksi.

3. Sekoita jauhot, leivinjauhe ja suola yhdessä kulhossa ja maito ja vaniljauute toisessa kulhossa. Lisää jauhoseos ja maitovaniljaseos sokeri-munavaahtoon vuorotellen. Sekoita kunnen taikina on tasaista.

4. Lisää sulatettu voi (margariini) taikinaan.

5. Kaada taikina voideltuun kakkuvuokaan ja paista 1h 15min.

Kuorrutuksen valmistus:

1. Sulata voi (margariini) ja valkosuklaa kattilassa.

2.Jäähdytä voisuklaa seos ja sekoita tuorejuusto siihen.

3. Levitä kuorrute jäähtyneen kakun päälle, laita jääkaappiin, jotta kuorrute asettuu. Tarjoile!

Parhaimmillaan kakku on seuraavana päivänä kun maut tulevat esiin.

Quick lemon cupcakes -Nopeat sitruunamuffinit

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Busy, busy, busy..that is what I am these days. My slow enjoyable cooking has turned to quick and easy meals and desserts (unfortunately). I feel like days pass and I have finished hardly anything. I wait until my baby goes to bed which luckily is at 6.30pm every day. As she does not know a joy of day time naps she falls asleep like a log early in the evening. After 6.30pm my life starts. I cook dinner, I have my glass of wine and I enjoy for example these tasty quick lemon cupcakes and take breaths and collect strength (and calories) for the following day.

Kiire, kiire, kiire..tämä sana kuvaa parhaiten elämääni tällä hetkellä. Pitkät kokkaussessiot ovat vaihtuneet helppoihin ja nopeisiin ruokiin ja leivonnaisiin (valitettavasti). Päivät vierivät ja tuntuu etten ole ehtinyt tehdä mitään. Odotan kunnes vauvani menee nukkumaan 18.30, joka päivä. Koska tyttäreni ei ymmärrä päiväunien nautintoa, hän on hereillä koko päivän ja sammuu kuin pieni possu uneen aikaisin illalla. Puoli seitsemän jälkeen elämäni alkaa. Kokkaan illallisen, nautin lasin viiniä ja maiskuttelen esimerkiksi näitä nopeita, mutta ihania sitruunamuffineita, hengähdän ja keraan voimia (ja kaloreita) seuraavaan päivään.

Makes 6-8 cupcakes:

150g butter (or dairy free margarin)

150g (1 3/4 dl so just under 1 cup) sugar

150g (2dl so 1 cup) self-raising flour ( I used gluten free one. If you don’t have self-raising flour just add 2tsp baking powder into the flour mix)

1/2dl (so 1/4 cup) oat flour or any other special flour you fancy add in

3 tbs ground almond

1/2 pot of pear puree (65g)

1 tsp baking powder

3 eggs (or 3 tsp Orgran No-Egg powder+6 tsp water)

zest and juice of one lemon

1. Whisk all the ingredients together with the electric whisker.

2. Put into the cupcake tins and bake for 20-25minutes in 180 celsius degrees.

Annos 6-8 muffinia:

150g voita (tai maidoton margariini)

150g (1 3/4 dl) sokeria

150g jauhoja (englantilaisessa ohjeessa on itsekohottuvaa jauhoa, mutta tätä ei tietääkseni saa Suomesta)

3 tl leivinjauhe

1/2 dl kaurajauho (tai muu erikoisjauho)

3 rkl jauhettu manteli

puoli purkkia päärynäsosetta (65g)

3 munaa (tai 3 tl Orgran No-Egg jauhetta + 6 tl vettä)

raastettu sitruunan kuori ja yhden sitruunan mehu

1. Vatkaa ainekset käsivatkaimella.

2. Asettele muffinivuokiin ja paista 180 asteessa 20-25 minuuttia.

ENJOY -NAUTI

Fawlty Towers Walfdorf Salad

Anyone who has ever watched a lovely British TV-series called Fawlty Towers will remember the episode called Waldorf Salad. In this episode a fancy American comes to stay in the hotel and Basil seems to blow everything -like usually-. When eating in the hotel restaurant this American snob wants to have Waldorf salad, nothing else suits for him than this particular salad. He comes from New York and there ”one can find it anywhere”. But Basil is silly and not aware of this American side dish and keeps on asking: ”What is a Waldorf anyway, a walnut that’s gone off?”

Whilst being only an entertaining British sitcom this Fawlty Towers episode includes a small piece of history anyway. Waldorf salad is a legendary salad created between 1893 and 1896 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City. The American is right, in New York you can find it anywhere since the end of 19th century. It landed a bit later in Europe.

Encouraged by this hilarious Fawlty Towers episode I had to try this famous salad. I made it last summer when our American friend was visiting us from New York. I thought it would be a funny thing to do. There are different variations of this salad, but the main ingerdients stay the same. I searched for the recipes and one that seemed to look good to me I tested. This salad is an extremely nice side dish for BBQ. We ate it at the summer cottage and liked it. It tastes quite mayonnaisy, even though it isn’t. Actually it is a very refreshing salad because of pineapples and youghurt. Maybe try it next time when having some BBQ?

Four portions:

1 celeriac ( in some recipes you find sliced celeri sticks)

2 apples

4 tbs cream

3 tbs mayonnaise

4 tbs youghurt

2 tbs lemon juice

4 tbs walnuts

1 dl pineapple slices

salt, white pepper, sugar

1. Combine cream, mayonnaise, yoghurt and lemon juice.

2. Cut the apple into small cubes and grate the celeriac.

3. Mix apple, grated celeri, pineapples and walnuts together. Add the mayonnaise mixture in it. Spice the salad with salt and pepper. Finish the taste with some sugar.

Serve it with a good steak!  You can get some variation in flavour by using celeri instead of celeriac!

Vol Au Vent -Feuilletés Aux Fruits De Mer

Vol au vents are one of my specialities. If I know that someone who really appreciates good food is coming for a visit, these vol au vents are what I serve. I experienced these lovely seafood treasures during my time in France. One can modify the recipe by using different fillings and sauces. In Strasbourg where I did my student exchange, these seafood vol au vents were served as starters at the STUDENT RESTAURANT! Believe it or not but these kind of delicious treats were only considered starters in there then came the main course and dessert too…by only 3,5 euros. A little bit different from Finland if I’d say so.

The first time I promised to cook for my dear Aussie man, I made these seafood vol au vents. He said that I tricked him by serving these kinds of delicious small gourmet snacks. I reckon one could say that the pleasant and delectable flavour of vol au vents really does put a spell on its eater. My dear Aussie man keeps on asking me to cook this starter again and again. They are one of his favourite of all (even though he has many many other favourites). The nice texture of puff pastry goes so well with seafood that it surprises me every time. These are best served as starters or nice snacks with drinks. They also look fancier than they actually are, but this is the thing that you never tell your friends and guests!

VOL AU VENTS

Cut puff pastry into squares. Take half of them and cut a round circle in the middle of the squares. You can use for example small espresso cup to make the round hole in the middle of the squares. Set the squares with the holes as hats on the rest of the squares. Seal them by squeezing them well together. Brush them with egg to make them shiny in the oven. Cook them for 20 min in 175-200 degrees.

SEAFOOD SAUCE for vol au vent

2 onions

2 1/2 dl chicken/fish stock

2 dl white wine

200g seafood mixture (mussels, prawns, squids, surimi=crab sticks)

1-2 dl cream (depending on how creamy flavour you want)

1-2 tbs lemon zest

2-4 tbs white flour or Maizena

salt and black pepper

1. Cook the onions at first.

2. Add the chicken stock and white wine and bring it to boil.

3.Add seafood mixture, then cream and lemon.

4. Don’t cook the sauce for too long otherwise seafood comes chewy. Add salt and pepper in the end and if you want the sauce to become thicker add a few spoonfull of flour or Maizena to get it thicker. Pour the sauce in the middle of vol au vents! ENJOY! White wine is the bomb with this dish!