Archive for January, 2009

krauty fishy childhood flashback

January 23, 2009

One of the hardiest prejudices about sauerkraut cooking is that you only can use it with sausage or other heavy duty pork – nothing could be more wrong than this. Today I finally called my mom and asked how she did her oven dish with sauerkraut, fish and potato puree.

Why? Because I remember loving this dish from as long as I remember anything. And it is not my childish predilection for impossible food combinations that dictated this love: the original recipe comes from a hefty mid-fifties tome Seefisch – schmackhaft und pikant (sea-fish, tasty and savoury) by Rudolf Rösch. Its cover illustration depicts Fish and Ships. From the foreground, an unhappy vertical green Haddock stares at you with round, orange eyes, as if telling the reader: this is serious business.

seefischschmackhaftundpikant (more…)

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oven time II

January 14, 2009

And since we were using the oven anyway, Robin developed this Hot Salad:

You need zucchini, tomato, onion, all sliced very thinly;
crumbly goat cheese, salt, pepper, olive oil and oregano.

In a small open oven dish, layer the ingredients as follows:

zucchini-onion-salt-tomato-goat cheese-olive oil.
Repeat.
Sprinkle with pepper and oregano.

Bake in the pre-heated oven at 200C-392F until done, c. 20 minutes.

A salad, you ask? Yes!

oven time I

January 14, 2009

As usual, Swedish January brings us an inch closer to madness. So now we have this new fad: do everything in the oven. It becomes nice and warm in the kitchen in the process.

The whole thing started with Robin coming back from Virginia with a new oven-roasted cabbage chunks idea. There it’s an element of lean cooking (I hear) but over here, Robin chopped half a red cabbage in large big chunks, put them in a cast-iron pan with a lid (one of these nice ones with internal goosebumps to auto-baste the roast) (more…)

in search of “1888”

January 11, 2009

(Updated 13 03 2014) In my previous post, I have provided reviews of Bremen’s Hachez chocolate, or at least of some of their products. We are unfortunately left with a feeling of high-cocoa deprivation and turn, saddened, to other options. One of these, as I have written earlier, is the brand 1888 by the Malmö chocolate factory (link fixed 13 03 2014. English page here).

This is a small company that specializes in no-nonsense high-end chocolate making, and boasts of being the only Swedish chocolate manufacturer that make chocolate “all the way from the cocoa bean.” I have now tested a little over half of their assortment and have only noted highest points, even for the Christmas-flavored kind (julchoklad med glöggkryddor). Many of Malmö Chokladfabrik’s kinds have a cocoa content of 70% and are conched for a looong time. Their quality is consistently very high; smooth and balanced, and none of that coconut-fibre taste that seems to characterize some of the other fancy kinds of niche chocolate. So how does one get hold of this extraordinary stuff?

Here in Borås, there is Berg’s, of course, right in the center on Stora Brogatan:

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hachez chocolate – ups and downs

January 11, 2009

There are various ways for me to introduce the Bremen chocolate manufacturer Hachez here. Of course, I have mentioned their products before. Since I was born in Bremen, I am naturally partial to their chocolate and their philosophy, but there is more to their excellence. A production process that includes a conching time of 72 hours is a good starting point for an exceptional collection.

The ups

As a child, I was not really aware of Hachez being special – let’s say that a child’s perception of sweets is, well, different. Hachez was something on grandma’s coffee table, distributed in minimal quantities and accepted with a munching smile of regret (is there not more of it?) – it never really entered my world in the same massive way as the towers of Ritter squares that my other grandmother had assembled for me one Christmas, or the bite-size chocolate bits, called Schogetten, that were the accompaniment to our afternoon teas, as soon as the Ritter squares were gone. I achieved some virtuosity in snatching Schogetten from the plate – the trick was to reduce them before even being noticed.

Aided by the fact that it is not easily obtainable abroad, Hachez has now become my special favorite. Visits to Bremen result in my carrying back piles from their classic “Edel Chokoladen” collection, with a special emphasis on Edel-Bitter-Sahne, Edel-Zartbitter, Edel-Mokka-Sahne. There is nothing better in the world, I believe, than these. (more…)

tofu incognito

January 10, 2009

So here were my kids, visiting for Christmas, and my daughter has become a vegetarian. In lieu of the traditional heap of goose, I cooked my spinach salmon for her (the occasional bit of fish is okay with her), while my son and I hacked away at an over-sized and unfortunately somewhat too dry bit of ham in a bread crust (there’s no recipe needed for that one – only that I salted a fresh ham for a week together with herbs and spices, that I overdid the crushed juniper, that I half-cooked the ham and wrapped it in bread dough, which I baked in the oven until done).

But on New Year’s Eve, we had a problem. The Dutch tradition calls for huzarensla, a decorated heap of mashed potato salad with pickles, bits of meat and mayonnaise (all recipes I know are a bit boots-on and can easily be improved and refined, which I usually do on a trial and error basis – a little differently each time. Here’s one recipe. You’ll find more). I needed something that could stand in for the strips of pre-cooked pork that I usually put into my huzarensla – something to provide a certain chewiness. I decided that westernized tofu was my solution. (more…)