Squid and king prawn linguine-Mustekala-rapupasta

I finally got this recipe here. I made super delicious seafood pasta last week and thought I’d share the recipe with you. Simple, quick and so tasty.

I have some weird pasta phase going on at the moment and we have had various delicious pastas for dinners for the past couple of weeks. I guess now when I am at home with our daughter I walk so much outdoors that I feel super hungry in the evenings! Pasta is the perfect cure for that kind of hunger.

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Cook and enjoy!

olive oil

1 onion

2-3 garlic cloves

180ml (one small bottle) dry white wine

400ml water

1 cube of chicken stock (I used Knorr)

150g squid rings

150g king prawns

2 tbsp choppend fresh parsley

linguine

1. Dice the onion finely. Add onion and crushed garlic to the wok with a bit of olive oil. Cook until golden brown.

2. Add wine and let it boil/simmer for five minutes to boil the alcohol away.

3. Add water and chicken stock cube. Cook in low heat such as the sauce simmers and reduces a bit.

4. Start cooking linguine in a separate sauce pan. You want to add squid and prawns to the sauce at the last minute so that they won’t become chewy!

5. When linguine is 3 minutes away to be ready add squid and prawns to the sauce and add parsley too. Let it simmer for those 3-4 minutes.

6. Drain the linguine.

7. Serve the pasta with the sauce.

Super good!

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  🙂

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!

French Onion Soup

It has taken ages for me to add any recipes on my blog. This time I cannot blame for myself, but one particular British Internet provider that wasn’t able to connect our internet after my dear Aussie man and I moved from our old place to this lovely new apartment near Oxford street.

Why I originally got an idea to try to cook some onion soup was when I went to this amazing French brasserie in Covent Garden in London. I couldn’t remember when I last time had had some onion soup so I ordered the soup and I remembered how mouthwatering it could be. When I searched for a recipe I ended up on a webpage that had an onion soup recipe from Julia Child’s cook book. I knew this would be the one worth trying, I cooked it one weekend for my dear Aussie man who ate two bowls and was craving for more. The soup is healthy but tasty. I tried the soup with Emmental cheese too, but French do know which cheese goes well with what. Onion soup with Emmental cannot be compared to one with some Gruyère on top. If you can find some very aged Gruyère you will get the best result. I believe the right cheese gives the magical touch for this soup!

Ingredients:

1 tbs olive oil

1tbs butter

750g onions

1 garlic clove

2,5dl (1 cup) dry white wine

7,5 dl (3 cups) beef stock (Knorr jelly one is really good)

1/2-1tsp black pepper

hint of salt

Topping:

Gruyère cheese

small cubes of white bread

1. Cut the onions into nice slices. Cook the onions and a pressed garlic clove in a frying pan until they turn into golden brown.

2. Add wine and let it simmer so that alcohol boils away.

3. Add the beef stock, salt and black pepper.

4. Let it cook without a lid at very low temperature for 90 minutes.

5. Heat up the oven into 180 celsius degrees. Pour the soup into small oven proof bowls, add some white bread  cubes on top and grate some Gruyère on the top of the bread. Let the soup cook in the oven for 10 minutes so that the cheese melts nicely.

Enjoy! This recipe is Julia Child’s and I can guarantee it is one of the best soups I have ever cooked, served or tasted.

Saag Paneer

My dear Aussie man surprised me with this meal one weekend. After that we have had this same dish once in a week for three weeks. It is delighful, I mean absolutely delicious! Try it and you get addicted.

  • 400-750g baby spinach, washed
  • 3 tbs polive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 onions chopped
  • thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp chilli paste
  • 2 tsp ground coriander (can add more)
  • 1 tsp Kecap Manis
  • 250g paneer cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1-2tbs yellow curry powder
  • 2dl double cream (in Finnish ”ruokakerma”)
  1. Cook the onions and garlic. Add spinach
  2. Add all the spices and cream.
  3. Add the paneer cheese.
  4. Cook it slowly in a casserole.
  5. Enjoy!

Pia’s Mediterranean Sandwiches

My boss took me to this amazing pub in Islington London called ”The Elk in the Woods”. It was a funny small cosy pub, didn’t look anything special, but when I saw the menu I was happily surprised -it looked fantastic! In fact, everything on the menu looked delicious. I ended up ordering the halloumi-hummus-carrot-beetrot-olive sandwich and to be honest it was probably one of the best sandiwiches I have ever eaten. A few days later I had to test and cook that kind of sandwich at home. It was excellent and my sweet Aussie man loved it too (we had it again for breakfast on the following day!). Here you can find the recipe, it asks a bit of work but is worth every minute spent in the kitchen!

Buns or baguette

1/2 onion

1 can of black olive slices

bunch of basil

2 carrots

1 cooked beetroot

1/2 packet of halloumi

1 packet hummus

salt and black pepper

good quality olive oil

1. Grate the carrot and beetroot and mix them together. Cook them in olive oil in the frying pan. (do not be careful with oil for it gives an amazing flavour, so use heaps), add salt and black pepper. After the mixture has been cooked, put it on a plate to wait.

2. Cut the onion, cook it slowly in the frying pan until golden, then add the olive slices, cook for a while (5min).  Add salt and pepper. Whilst cookin this, finely chop the basil. Take the onion-olive mixture away from the pan and mix it together with the chopped basil in the bowl and leave it wait for the sandwich building.

3. Cut the halloumi into small slices (3x3cm slices) and cook it in olive oil in the frying pan. After they have been cooked put them on a plate to wait.

4. Cut the baguette or buns  into halves (2 per person). Cook them in the olive oil in the frying pan.

5. Build sandwiches: First put hummus on the top of the cooked bread (on both of the halves). Then on the other half put the carrot-beetroot mixture, then halloumi slices on the top of that and then olive-onion-basil mixture on the top of that. On the other half put only hummus and a bit of the olive-onion-basil mixure.

6. Serve with wine or beer -these sandwiches are heavenly!

Shepherd’s Pie eli jauhelihaperunasoselaatikko

Dear readers, England is not only London as I try to tell myself every time when I find the streets full of people and I get anxious of this busy city. Oxford Street at Christmas time is a hell on earth I can tell. You feel like an ant climing the massive anthill that never ends.

London is full of contrasts. I think it is the city you hate and love at the same time. Nothing works, everything is broken all the time, but at the same time the city is vivid, it is always full of life, the exciting events never run out, there are always people keen for going out and party. I think the pubs capture the essence of London. There are multiple pubs, small and big, old fashioned, modern, oldemen pubs, yougsters’ pubs, fancy pubs, cozy pubs… We have been testing as many pubs as we have been able to. One dish you (almost) always find on the pub menus is the Shepherd’s Pie. English people love their pies, but for me this pie was a mystery. I haven’t ever actually ordered it because I wasn’t sure what kind of pie would be brought to my plate.

By googling the name, I finally found that Shepherd’s pie wasn’t actually a pie at all in the sense of an ordinary English pie. Shpeherd’s pie is what we Finnish people know as ”jauhelihaperunasoselaatikko” (a long word I know), which can be translated as ”mince meat potato mash pie”. This is a famous or should I say notorious Finnish school cantine dish. Every Finn has eaten this dish at school cantines. I have to admit that for me these memories are not the most pleasant ones. As much as Finnish school food is appreciated, the picture of this dish in my mind is some gluey potatomash floating with some greasy mince meat whilst having very watery consistency which means that the spoonful falls off from your fork and it never ends up to your mouth..

To face my bad memories of this dish I decided to cook it myself. I thought it must be even a little bit tasty if English people love it so much..or is the love of it simply explained by the bad British kitchen? To play a good and sweet English housewife, I wanted to test the recipe.

As Australians owe their cuisine mainly to British, my dear Aussie man knew immediately Shepherd’s Pie  and he almost smelled it from the corridor when entering home. He loved this dish and I have to say so did I. The home made Shepherd’s Pie was a totally different experience from the ones served in the school cantines back in the 90s. This is a cheap, good and healthy home food.

For the sauce

2 large onions finely chopped

2 tnsp olive oil

500g minced lamb or beef

2 tbsp plain flour

2-3 bay leaves (crushed)

1 tsp thyme

2 small slices of anchovy

1 big tin of chopped tomatoes

3tsp BBQ sauce

300-400ml beef or lamb stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pie:

6-8 potatoes

20-30g butter

1/2 dl milk

1 egg yolk

For the top:

cheese

1.Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. Cut the onions. Cook the onions in the frying pan until they turn to golden.  Add the mince meat. Cook until the meat is brown. Add teh flour and the spices. Add the stock, BBQ sauce and the chopped tomatoes. Cook it in a low heat for 1h so that the sauce gets lovely sweet flavour. The secret is slow cooking!

3. Peel the potatoes and cut them into halves if they are big. Cook them under the water for 15min until tender. Make the mash with the smoother stick or electric whisker. Add the butter and milk, egg yolk and a pinch of salt if needed.

4. Build the pie. Set the sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Set the mashed potatoes on the top of the sauce. Grate some cheese (Extra mature Cheddar or Parmesan) on the top. Cook in the oven for 20 min so that the top turns to nicely golden brown.