Sunday, 30 November 2008

Red Wine Spaghetti

This is a great recipe to use when you have some leftover red wine in a bottle from the dinner party the night before like i did. I saw a similar recipe on an italian cooking show once but they didn´t use mushrooms, red peppers, schallots or bacon, but I just threw whatever i had in the fridge in there and it came out very nice. You don´t have to use exactly what I did and you can add whatever you like , but the star is the red wine which gives this amazing taste and color to the spaghetti.

450g Spaghetti
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 shallot onions, chopped
3-4 anchovy fillets
200g mushrooms, sliced
½ red pepper, sliced thinly
100g bacon, cubed
500ml red wine
handful fresh basil
handful fresh parsley
100g freshly grated pecorino cheese

Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water for about 7-8 minutes, until nearly cooked. The spaghetti should still be a little firm in the middle because it will continue cooking in the red wine.
Fry the garlic, shallots, anchovy fillets, mushrooms, red pepper and bacon in a hot pan. Cook for 4 minutes.

Drain the spaghetti and add to the pan and toss well. Add the red wine and let it simmer for 6 min. The wine should reduce and the pasta will be fully cooked. Add the fresh herbs and grated pecorino cheese and toss well together. Take off the heat and serve.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

The Dinner Party

Me and Rakel held a pretty unusual dinner party the other day for my classmates at the chiropractor collage. It all started when someone at class suggested that I should cook dinner for all of my friends and they would pinch in for the cost...........and I say´d " sure why not". It is my hobby to roam around in the kitchen to find new and exciting ideas for recipes and future dinner parties, so it would be absolutely perfect for me. I had 2 weeks to come up with a menu and I landed on a 6 course dinner. As some of my friends know, I tend to go a bit overboard when it comes to dinner parties, so the day before I finaly decited on a 10 course dinner with wine and everything.....úffff. We started with the first course at 8:00 in the evening and the last course was served at 2:00 at night.......and I didn´t sit down the entire time. It was fun decorating every plate as we served our 10 guests, but I will probably never do a 10 course dinner party ever again......too much work for one day. But it was all worth it becouse the guests where so happy with everything, even the icelandic rotten shark meat and the brennivín snaps that they also got to try . I really have to thank my dear friend and classmate Marius Johannesson who took all the beautiful photos of the food that night and also thank all my friends and classmates who came and where brave enough to be apart of that special evening.

1. Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Vodka Jelly and Caviar served with a Grapefruit Granita
2. Saffran Arancini with Parmesan Chips 3. Halloumi Salad with Parmaham and Balsamic Strawberries
4. Truffle Stuffed Bresaola tied with Black Spaghetti
5. Truffle infused Onion Soup 6. Pear and Blue cheese Stuffed Endive with Walnut and Honey 7. Monkfish with Pepper Sauce with Cauliflower purré 8. Stuffed Rack of Lamb with Cumin & Beef Wellington served with mashed potato, creamy portobello mushrooms and red wine chocolate sauce
9. Lemon Marangue Tart
10. Inspired by Coffie (Chocholate espresso truffles - Tiramisu - Chocolate espresso Mousse - Espresso Granita with Kahlúa)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

The Sunday Morning Blueberry Pancakes

These pancakes are great on a sunday morning, becouse they have no sugar added to the dough and are full of fiber. I use whole wheat flour instead of plain white flour to ensure I get as much good carbs as possible. These are not your regular thin pancakes, they are wondrfully thick and fluffy ......and really fill you up before you know it. Becouse of the high fiber and protein content you don´t eat as much as you would regular pancakes. You can decide your self what you serve them with, I think a little icing sugar and cinnamon goes a long way and to top it of a bit of blueberry butter really hits the spot.

Serves 8

8dl milk
3dl oatmeal
2dl flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g frozen blueberries

Add the dry ingredients in a bowl and blend together.

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and whisk together. Add the frozen blueberries and stir into the dough, do NOT over mix because the dough will turn blue. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Pour 1dl of the dough on a hot non-stick pan and bake on each side. You can use a little butter on the pan if you need to.

Serve with some icing sugar, cinnamon and blueberry butter.

For The Blueberry Butter:
200g unsalted butter
150g blueberries
2 tbsp icing sugar

Pulse the blueberries and butter in a food processor, adding the icing sugar 1 tbsp at a time until combined. Spoon onto a sheet of clingfilm and roll into a sausage. Twist the ends to enclose and freeze until you need to use it.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Super Healthy Chickpea Pasta

1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
250g mushrooms, sliced into quarters
2 carrots, sliced into 1cm chunks
fresh rosemary
olive oil
1 glass white wine
2 cans chickpeas
5dl chicken stock
100g pasta tortiglioni
fresh basil
fresh parsley
salt & pepper

Sweat the vegetables in some olive oil and fresh rosemary. Add the white wine and reduce the liquid.

Add the chick peas and chicken stock and let simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.

While it simmers, cook the pasta in salted water.

Remove half the chickpeas from the pan and set aside. Blitz the rest in a blender or with a staf-mixer until creamy and smooth. Then add the chickpeas and cooked pasta back to the pan. If the sauce is too thick add some of the pasta water to the pan.

Add some fresh basil and parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some bread and white wine.

Monday, 17 November 2008

A simple and healthy Pear & Apple Cake

This is my new favorite, and a big dollop of whipped cream or even better some cold vanilla custard makes this cake even better. I used both apple and pear becouse i had some that where soon to be going bad but you can use what ever fruit you like. I also used walnuts in this one but if you are not into walnuts then use pekans or hazelnuts if you like.

Try it out......... I know you are going to love it.
1 apple, peeled, core removed and diced into small pieces
1 pear, peeled, core removed and diced into small pieces
400g whole wheat flour
100g oatmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
100g brown sugar
100g walnuts
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs
300ml low fat yogurt
75g butter, melted
1 handful flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 180˚C and butter a regular cake or bread mould.

Place chopped apple and pear in a bowl of cold water and juice of 1 lemon.

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, nuts and salt in a large bowl and blend well together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt and melted butter. Pour the whet mixture over the dry mixture and stir until barely combined---do not over mix. Drain the fruit and fold into mixture.

Spoon the dough into the mould and push towards the edges. Sprinkle the almonds on top and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Beef Stew - that melts in your mouth

This is a excelent comfort food on these cold and wet autumn days. The great thing about this stew is that it gets put together very quickly, and while it cooks in the oven you can do something else with your time. You can off course add or remove any root vegetables you like and you could also use red wine instead of white, which makes for a deeper and richer flavor that goes really well with the cinnamon.

1kg stewing beef meat (nautagúllas)
1 red onion, chopped
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
200g mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper
2 tins chopped tomatoes
½ bottle white wine
1tbsp fresh rosemary
a knob of butter

Preheat your oven to 180C. In a thick bottomed ovenproof pot, heat a splash of oliveoil and gently fry the onions, carrots, garlic, rosemary, mushrooms amd cinnamon for 5 minutes until softened. Meanwhile toss the pieses of beef in a little seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Add the meat to the pot and stir everything together. Then add the tomatoes, whine and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover with a double-thickness piece of tinfoil and a lid on top, and place in the preheated oven and leave to cook for 3 1/2 hours. When cooked the beef will be so tender that it can be broken up with a spoon. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve with some potato mash.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Nutella & Banana Crépes

1 cup flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of salt
350ml milk
nutella, as much as you like
2-3 bananas, sliced
icing sugar to dust

4 servings

1. In a bowl, combine flour, egg, olive oil, salt and half the milk. Whisk the batter well, adding the remaining milk, a little at a time, until the batter is silky smooth in consistency.

2. Add a ladle of batter to a hot non-stick skillet. Evenly smooth out the batter. Cook until the batter sets and the underside is lightly browned. Run a spatula underneath the crepe and flip over. Cook until the other side is lightly browned. Remove from heat.

3. Smear nutella over the crepe and add the bananas to one side. Then fold over the crepe and sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve immediately with some vanilla ice cream.

4. Repeat the above process, to make the additional servings.