Monday, July 15, 2013

A lot of cooking, not enough blogging

Yearh - been cooking a lot but haven't really been taking enough pictures of the food lately.
Not really in the mood and not happy about the pictures.
Guess I need better equipment and more practise. 
But have a few recipes to share with you all and am still aiming for low on fat and high in taste.
Since we are not all in need of watching our weight, you really should add the extra fat when suggested in the recipe if you are so lucky.

Cod with parsnip mash, baby potatoes and ginger soy glaced brusselsprouts
Not my best presentation, but this tasted great! 

I really don't like brussels sprouts but know that they are SO good for you. So when I found a cheap bag of them in the grocery store I was up for the challenge. I found this recipe in a food magazine and made slight changes.
This actually turned out much much better than I anticipated.
The salt in the soy and the ginger really compliment the fish and the brussels sprouts.

Recipe for 2 persons

White fish - I think I used cod but I imagine that catfish would work really well

Baby potatoes

1 big or 2 small parsnips
8 brussels sprouts


Start out by peeling and chopping up the parsnip so it will boil quicker. Remember to salt the water well. Even though it is good to watch you salt intake, water for boiling any vegetable should always be as salty as the ocean to get the right flavor.
If you are thinking of making less dirty pots to wash - boil the potatoes and parsnips together and simply extract the potatoes when done.
Then turn your attention to the horrible task of getting the brussels sprouts ready - Hate that part as well.
Not a favorite vegetable as your can hear.
But it is important to peel all the outer layers of and cut some of the steam so you get a beautiful little gem.

In the original recipe, some of them were slices and some peel into petals. The petal part did not work out that well for me, but if you got the patience it looks really neat when serving.
If you don't like raw cabbage, blanch them shortly at this point.

When the parsnip is very very tender, drain the water and pure with some butter/oil and whatever water is left in the pan.
The amount of butter depends on your conscience and you would be surprised how big a difference just one tsp will make flavor wise - I used around 2 tsp.

Cook the fish to the instructions of your fish monger. Mine got around 10 minutes in the oven with just salt and pepper.

Heat some soy sauce, some finely minced ginger and perhaps some butter to a pan and simmer so that the flavors marry.
When you are happy with the taste, add the brussels sprouts and heat them through.

Arrange it all on hot plates.

This tasted so good that I even want to buy more brussels sprouts!
I might add some lemon juice to the soy glaze next time.

Chicken and fennel stew

Easy and fast stew with fennel, peppers and chicken

I have been craving anything licorice lately - probably a danish thing. We love licorice! In candy we like it strong, almost hot and with a taste of ammonia.
It sounds so weird when I write it - but if you are ever in Denmark or in the surrounding countries look for danish licorice and ask the store personal for the strongest variety!
You probably wont like it, but then you know what I am talking about.
I can't get anything like it over here - but I can get the taste of licorice and without the guilt and sugar in the form of fennel!


1 small fennel
1 onion
1 red pepper
Chicken breast
1 can of tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Oil for sautéing

Chop up all the ingredients into what ever size you like and sauté them in the the pan - starting with the onion and chicken.
When they all got a nice color add the tomato and cook until everything is tender.
Add salt and pepper to taste - perhabs some smoky hot paprika for a little kick.
If you are doing the "no carb" thing, then just serve as is but fluffy rice or fresh bread goes wonderfully with this.

Scallops, brown butter and celeriac in two ways

The butter really makes the diffferance here so I decided to make it a starter
Butter makes everything taste good, but browed butter is amazing. It makes it taste almost nutty.
There is apparently a whole science behind browning butter - as there are with most french cooking technique - but I don't have the patience.
So I simply just slowly heat up butter in a pan until it goes golden brown. But please feel free to look into more correct ways of approaching it.

For this lovely and very filling starter you will need:

1/2 a celeriac
3 big scallops per person
Browed butter

Peel the celeriac and slice it. One of the slices you cut into shapes - I used an apple corer to makes rounds - looking back squares might have been a nice contrast to the scallops.
These shapes can be baked in the oven or fried in a pan until they goes crisp to add a crontraste to all the soft ingredients in the dish.
The rest of the celeriac is boiled in salted water until very very tender.
Then purée with some brown butter - you actually don't need a lot to make it taste great but it will only make it better.
Once all of these elements are readdy to plate up, fry the scallops about 1 minute on each side with a bit of the butter in the pan.
If you have any butter left over, drizzle it on top of everything when you serve it.

White fish, baby potatoes, bacon, apple sauce and celeriac squares
It might sound strange but this combo is actually really good.

This recipe is actually from back when CT was still covered in snow this winter and for me it is a true winter dish, even-though is isn't all that heavy as most winter dishes.
Winter is the time to eat Cod and I just love the taste of Cod and bacon together. Another thing I love with bacon is apple! So I decided to try it all together.

Apple sauce
Apple - cored and peeled
A splash of water
Salt and sugar to taste

Basically you mix the ingredients together and cook it over low heat until you are able to much it. 
That's it!

Fry the bacon in a pan or in the oven with thyme until it is crisp. If you don't mind a bit more fat in you dish - save the bacon fat and roast the parsnips in them. If there is still more bacon fat left - add it to the apple sauce.

Cut the parsnips into small squares and fry them until they are nice and golden.

Boil the potatoes until the are al dente with lots of salt in the water.

White fish - skin on.
Make sure that your piece of fish is very dry before you add it to a hot pan with butter and oil.
Make sure that the skin is nice and crispy before you turn it over.

I can really recommend drinking a glass of very cold, not to dry, white wine with this.

Hopefully I will finally keep my promise about not waiting this long before I blog again - until then - keep cool :)