With all this new room and an area that offers amazing local produce, cooking is fast becoming my favorite hobby. James also seems to be OK with my new found excitement...
Cooking is also fun because we've been given the right tools. On our last trip to Sweden Gizmo handed us a set of knives he had sitting around, and he is the biggest utensil snob I know... It also made for some amusing situations... traveling around Europe with a full set of kitchen knives. "I'm sorry officer, I can see how these would give you the wrong idea..."
And Rosemary has furnished us we her own set of All-clads. Aaaaahhhhhhll-clad...
I love soups and have determined to become a soup master. Right now there is a split pea soup simmering on the stove. Found a recipe on line and tweeked it a bit. I went with:
1 1/2 cups of dry yellow split peas
2 smoked ham hocks
1 white onion
2 garlic cloves
twigs of fresh thyme
8 cups water
I let the peas soak for about 2 hours. Then I sauteed the onion which I shredded, the garlic, shallot and thyme in olive oil. Then threw the peas in and added 8 cups of water and the ham hocks.
Still don't know what it will taste like but it sure smells good already!
It ended up simmering for almost 1 1/2 hours. We fished the thyme twigs and ham hocks out and cut some of the good pieces and put them back in.
The other old fave is a spinach soup my mom makes and I made it last weekend.
I used fresh spinach and I put a whole bag through the cuisinart.
Made a (redning? someone help me out with this word!) of butter and flour.
Added 1 liter of milk
Let it cook to the right consistency and then added spinach. Next time I'm thinking of adding nutmeg. Does that sound right?
Anyway, the way we eat it at home on Flugis is with hard boiled egg halves. Yummy and it looks very handsome in a white bowl.
When it was still summery in the air I made gazpacho and used tomatoes from the area purchased at Robin's Market on Route 32.
Let's see, I think I started with a recipe from The Black Dog Cookbook. And I made it right in the blender.
About 5 tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 red onion
2 garlic cloves
red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Next time, if I get a chance to serve it to guests I will garnish with avocado and creme fraiche.
I guess we were feeling in a Spanish mood that day cause we made Sangria to go with it. I make it with red wine, bubbly water and raw sugar. I cut in some oranges and local Minard apples.
When my sister and I were teenagers we were both train-a-holics, she with running and me with basketball and we would often come home from practice and make 3 minute macaroni, crack an egg in it, heave in a ton of shredded cheese and eat it straight out of the pot, to our mother's horror and bewilderment. I've now learned that that is Carbonara and it's still delicious.
Last weekend I made it with prosciutto, parmesan and green peas.
I tossed the spaghetti with the cheese, prosciutto and 2 raw eggs. And topped it off with tons of fresh ground black pepper!
We try to do a lot of Swedish stuff around the house and the one thing I've gotten James the most hooked on is Skagen. On just about anything. We usually do it on a baked potato and the ingredients vary depending on what's in the fridge.
But ideally we use:
lump crab meat
lots of fresh dill
shredded red onion
2 parts sourcream
1 part mayo
salt and pepper
Just stir it all together and chill it for an hour or so. After our last big food run to IKEA we've been topping off our potatoes with tiny shrimp and red roe. The left overs are super tasty in a wrap with hard boiled egg.
Tomorrow I'm making 2 quiches. Spinach/mushroom and prosciutto/gruyere cheese. I prepared the dough for the crust today because it always bakes nicer after a day in the fridge. Another mom recipe:
1 stick of butter
3 dl flour
3 table spoons of cold water
I bake the crust alone for a about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Then take it out and put the rest of the stuff in. I found some horseradish cheddar that Rosemary must have bought during her last stay and I'm wondering if that would be tasty for the mushroom/spinach quiche...