Posts Tagged ‘fish’

kitchen gadgets of doom

October 19, 2009

My flat in the UK, a new temporary post-doc-studies accommodating asset, is furnished, which includes pots and pans and things in the kitchen. Most of these are new or at least clean. Only the oven, split into a baking and a grilling compartment, has seen way too many moons and could apparently not be cleaned any more. I am looking forward to a 19th century-style ur-British day of coal mining one day. For now, I’m happy to consider here the various things I am renting.

First, there is the scooper. This is a bent slotted spoon made from heat-resistant black plastic, apparently, or hopefully, used for scooping up sausages from their greasy bath. The plumber, who came after a week to fix a leaking tap, forgot his keys behind the wooden panel in front of the bathtub and used the scooper to retrieve them. (more…)


parcel experiments with savoy cabbage

October 17, 2009

Somewhere in my archives there is a recipe with Savoy cabbage and salmon. I am sneakily not giving the link. Otherwise people would never have to leaf through my accumulated postings which would be sad.

I keep being interested in the possibilities of savoy cabbage –  it should be a marvelous vegetable, the queen of leaf cabbages. We might, for example, attempt to braise the cut-up cabbage in white wine and give it a creamy lift at the end. We’ll likely end up with a soggy and squishy heap that tastes quite nice but looks like what, when I was little, the farmers gave to the pig. Alternatively, we might try out some kitchen-wiz oven treatment with shredded savoy and minced lamb, which could result in dried-out, brown and bitter strands between the sizzling fragments of meat.


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…)

on the lack of variety in great recipes

June 7, 2008

Look (again…) in Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cookbook. The text looks like she has been sponsored by the garlic and parsley industry. No wonder. Chopped garlic and chopped parsley is good in almost anything.

Why do I mention this? Well, a check-through of the recipes on this site revealed that, most of the time, I seem to be using spinach, salmon, chickpeas, lemon juice and not very much else. Many of the very best recipes are too easy for words: (more…)

fish and soy sauce

April 20, 2008

Some friends had lovingly introduced us to Swedish surströmming (see this story). As a matter of returning a favor, we exposed them a little later to our experiments in Indonesian cooking. One of the recipes that I tried on one of these occasions was Bandeng bumbu ketjap, according to the Dutch-Indonesian Keijner cookbook (I have also posted here about this book).

Bandeng is Milkfish. I must admit that I do not know its taste. Everyone says that mackerel is a good substitute for Bandeng. On the other hand, it seems rather unlikely to me that mackerel works as a substitute for anything else than mackerel.

In any case, there was no Bandeng in Borås at the time, so I did take mackerel for this recipe. (more…)

small improvements

February 26, 2008

Someone on ask metafilter is asking for new hamburger recipes. Funny that people actually know what to answer. I mean, we’re talking about hamburgers. What I would find interesting with hamburgers is how they are cooked, technique-wise. This is much more important than what happens in terms of authenticity if I mix another teaspoon full of this, that or the other into the burger mix. Spices and combinations can be improvised, cooking techniques much less so. A spoiled burger remains spoiled, no matter whether we’ve added thyme or not.

The small good things that happen in the kitchen have little to do with recipes. They are about spending tiny bits of time on actions that make all the difference. Reducing watery matter is one such example. (more…)

tahini chicken – tahini fish

February 21, 2008

Chicken fillets normally turn out best when prepared like I have described elsewhere: you separate the small and the big muscles of one fillet, and you slice the big one into two (or in big specimens several) horizontal layers. A really sharp knife is a Must in this operation, or you will get sloppy fillet bits and minced fingertips. The problem is now that in order to turn these fillets-of-fillets into something edible, you actually have to stand there, watch them, turn them in time, stop the cooking in time, and let the house elf or kitchen troll do everything else in the meantime.

I tried to solve this by creating an oven dish, which was inspired by ground lamb in sesame sauce, as served in a restaurant in Abu Gosh west of Jerusalem. (more…)

spanish pub-style mackerel

February 7, 2008

The story of this recipe starts with a pile of fresh octopus, an abundancy of chopped garlic, much white wine and an excess of olive oil in this restaurant in Cadiz:


Needless to say, this experience was followed by a sleepless night in the hotel, but the basic concept nevertheless struck me as so successful that I wanted to try it at home, using fresh fillets of mackerel, skin on. (more…)

cooking for swedish teenagers

February 5, 2008

It is spring vacation, or sports vacation as it’s called here – a tradition from the days when we had snow in early February. This year, one might call it mud-week. Most parents have no mud-week, and so our newspaper printed this large article with “easy-to-make and good-to-eat” things that teenagers can prepare alone using what’s already at home – food that takes little time to prepare so that the kids can devote themselves to “computer games, their friends and skating” (Borås Tidning, 2 February, p 18-21).

Let’s have a look. (more…)

leftover mangement

January 14, 2008

Johannes Mario Simmel’s Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein is a juicy WWII spy novel that, in every other paragraph, features a new and unexpected turn (followed by a bold-face cliff hanger), and supplies cooking recipes throughout. On p. 333 (in the Knaur pocket edition), we learn how, in Paris, Thomas Lieven (the cooking hero) saves a perch that Therese (the clumsy kitchen maid in the service of the banker Ferroud [a crook]), had dropped so it broke apart: He makes a gratin.

“Cook a whole fish, drain it well, discard the skin and the bones and divide it into pieces,” the recipe begins. Then, a lot of other cooking goes on, while the bits of fish get cold – finally they are incorporated into a sauce (white sauce, white mushrooms, capers, white wine, crème fraiche and parmesan) and the whole is put into the oven. Check the finest recipes in your favorite cookbook. They almost always require some preparation on top of another, or the process must be very simple indeed:

Fry the chicken livers in olive oil with the onion rings, add white wine, sage and pepper, mince them using the biggest chef’s knife you have, add breadcrumbs, chopped garlic and parsley etc. etc.;

Slice the turkey breasts in thin layers, bread them thoroughly, fry them in oil, and slice these slivers diagonally as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Put these on top of the salad;

Quickly sear the cubes of tuna and immerse them in a mix of soy sauce with chopped garlic and ginger, while the other preparations go on;

Roast the hippopotamus and set aside to cool. (more…)