My excellent new Swedish friend Anna brought home a bounteous pile of awesomeness from Stockholm last week: spisbröd, smörgåskaviar (smoked fish roe in a tube, above, really really addictively good, especially with butter on bread), Västerbottensost (great cheese, somewhat like Parmesan but softer), carrot marmelade, cloudberry jam...lingonberry chocolate...wow, a lot of stuff actually, no wonder she gets to be my excellent new friend.
One of the problems with writing about it is my keyboard's inability to do diacritics.
Ja. Still not blogging, this isn't blogging, this is just pre-coffee typing to document a couple of facts.
1) I have taken something out of the freezer that no one can identify, and I am thinking about eating it. It has many of the characteristics of pumpkin soup, and yet it smells strongly of fish and smoke. No one remembers making this, but it must have been made since December when we cleaned out the freezer. I know I made a smoked pumpkin soup in November, but this can't be that. I mention all of this in case I die from eating this. UPDATE: it seems to be a smoked mackerel and pumpkin soup. I remember talking about trying this, but I remember nothing about making it. It's pretty good, if it doesn't kill me.
2) In the past couple of weeks I've twice made a very good Mexican roasted chicken recipe from Zarela Martinez: basically rub the chicken with a mixture of black pepper, cumin, cloves, oregano, and thyme; stick a couple of cloves of sliced garlic under the skin in strategic places; give the whole thing a splash of apple cider vinegar and and salt liberally. Marinate for more than 1 and less than 6 hours. Roast as you would a regular old chicken. I served with basic black beans and a quick chile sauce from Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz's Book of Latin American Cooking, called salsa de chile ancho y almendra. Really good.
3) Yesterday, Korean food. Every single time we make Korean food I say something like "why don't we make this more often": it's fast, easy, healthy, and great. Last night was "salmon bulgogi" (based on a Rozanne Gold recipe) with a side of kim chi, perfectly good.
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
one 3/4-inch cube peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
3/4 tsp dochujang
four 125 gr salmon fillets
Process first eight ingredients in a food processor til smooth, pour over salmon (possibly reserving a little marinade to drizzle over at the end if you don't mind raw garlic), marinate for an hour. Bake salmon in the oven for 15 minutes at 200C. Serve with kim chi on the side maybe, or some kind of other milder pickle.
"Any ideas for dinner?"
"Jeez, what's with you?"
"Where do you want to go for dinner?"
"Eat your own self".
This is one of my most-frequently-made things, but I've apparently never written it down on this site, or if I have, I can't find it.
500gr dried black beans
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
1-2 tbsp dried epazote
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 liters water, or enough to cover beans by roughly 2 inches of water
Bring beans and water to a boil. Add bay leaves, epazote, thyme, and black pepper to water. Toast cumin, coriander, and oregano in a skillet for a minute or so, until smoking but not burning. Add to water, reduce to a simmer, and cook until beans are done, at least an hour, possibly as long as two hours. Remember to do smart things like make sure there's enough water covering the beans, and make sure you stir towards the end so they don't stick and burn. Salt to taste at the end.
Ze Moep and I needed some quality time, so we walked to the Zeedijk and had lunch at New King. Prices were much higher than the last time I was there, but what we ordered was good and yes we would do it again I think. Then we wandered over to Waterlooplein to look at the secondhand vinyl, and stopped by In de Wildeman for one last afternoon beer before naptime.
Duck and shiittake tofu skin rolls; ma-po tofu and oysters; In de Wildeman and Flying Dog Schwarz; secondhand vinyl.
So let's talk about something safe and cuddly, like cats, or lamb. I adapted ze master jalfrezi recipe for lamb this weekend, and aside from everything not being spicy/hot at all, it was pretty perfect.
Though it's probably not jalfrezi anymore. I really need to rewrite this whole recipe sometime because it's a barely-coherent, scattered mess right now, but I was able to decipher it Saturday, and, yeah, maybe that's enough. So below is just the additions/modifications.
500gr leg of lamb, cut into 2cm or smaller cubes (I bought 700gr, but the trimming process was significant)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup yogurt
4 cloves garlic, pressed
3 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or processed
This is the lamb marinade. Combine and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
Then, to the jalfrezi recipe, I added 1 tsp cinnamon to the other toasted spices at the beginning, and 1 small can of coconut milk at the end to thin things out a little bit. Serves 4 or so.