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This years Easter celebration was a smaller version of anything I usually would do.

We were taking it very easy and slow. It is actually not bad at all to just roll up to the table without any fuss.

The good thing with being “my mothers child” is that I had everything in my fridge, freezer and cabinets and didn’t really have to go to the store.

 

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The table is set ready to go. We are doing a cold-smoked salmon, salmon baked in the oven with just some pesto on top, colored eggs with white caviar, pickled herring, scalloped potatoes, salad and veggies.

 

 

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Delicious!

 

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And to finish it off, I improvised an orange cake. A simple cake served with heavy whipped cream and fresh berries.  There is not much that can top that.

Simple Orange cake

1 cup sugar

2 cups of flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 small eggs ( or one large egg)

1 organic orange (or 1 well scrubbed regular orange)

1 tbs good oil

3 tbs heavy cream

 

Cut the orange into wedges. Take off any seeds and add the orange pieces into a food processor. Grind/pulse the orange pieces into a smooth paste.

Add all the ingredients and mix until it becomes a smooth (relatively thick) batter.

Grease and flour a spring pan. Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake in a 325F (175C) degree oven until golden brown and until a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean without any sticky batter on it.

I love serving a simple cake like this with some whipped heavy cream and fresh berries.

 

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I love having fresh flowers in the house. And what screams Easter more than tulips?

Can’t wait for my tulips in the garden to bloom by the way.

 

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Thanks to my sister my house has a little bit more of an Easter feeling.

Enjoy your Easter and what little is left of the weekend.

 

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It is nice to know that the domestic shrimp fishing is back to what it was before the tragedy in the gulf with oil spills and all, many years ago. I try to support them by always buying Gulf shrimp. When I do, I make sure I keep it nice and “clean” and just use a few ingredients.

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gulf shrimp

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Gulf Shrimp with Pineapple/Mango/Jicama salsa.

Serves 4.

1-1.2 lb of Gulf shrimp.

3 Spring onions or 1 baby leek.

1 Mango.

2-3 Rings of fresh (or canned) pineapple.

1/2 Jicama.

2 tbsp finely cubes red pepper.

Zest from 1 lime.

Juice from half a lime.

2 tbsp. of concentrated shrimp or shellfish stock (or use vegetable stock for a lighter taste).

1-2 tbsp. soy sauce.

1-2 tbsp. Mango (or other fruit) vinegar.

1 tbsp. of grated ginger.

1 sprig of fresh Mint.

Good oil for frying the onions and shrimp.

A splash of hot sauce (optional).

Directions;

Peel and mince the fruit into small cubes or sticks. Mix with the cubed red pepper. Mix together with a pinch of the cut up onion, half of the mint (cut into smaller pieces) a splash of the vinegar and a splash of the lime juice. Let sit and “marry”.

Clean and cut up the onion into 1″ pieces. Add the oil to a medium hot frying pan.

Add the onion. Let cook down until slighty translucent. Add the vinegar, soy and stock. Mix well. Add the shrimp. Cook for a few minutes until the shrimp is nice and pink. Add the hot-sauce at the end if you like it to have a little “bite”. Add the rest of the lime juice to give the shrimp a “clean” taste.

Plate with the little dollops of the salsa. Top with a little fresh mint. Sprinkle over the left over zest from the lime.

I t could easily be served like this, but you could also serve it over rice.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Valentine’s day…

When I think back on our wedding, it feels as if it was just a few years ago. But it has been so many years that we get amazed every time we count. I don’t care what people say, it does make a difference to be married. I love it.

We have had so many big celebrations lately that we are a little low-key this Valentine’s. A little partied out, you could say. It could also be because we are expecting the worst and coldest weather in history, here in New York. Well, at least that is what they say.

So we cancelled our plans and are staying local. But, since we actually eloped and got married in Vegas, our revised plan is to go to the casino in New York/Queens, and have dinner there. Same same but different.

We already had our first Valentine’s dinner since we celebrate this for a few days since it actually is both our anniversary and Valentine’s.

This dinner was what we love to eat the most. Salmon. And lot’s of berries with some quinoa. Sweet dinner for my sweet & I.

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Sweet Salmon cubes with Berry & Fruit Quinoa.

Serves 2.

A mid-piece salmon, enough for two people. Cut into aprx. 1 1/2″ cubes.

1/2 cup. mixed fresh fruit & berries.

2 pineapple rings. Preferable fresh (canned is ok as well).

A couple of strawberries, cut in small pieces.

1 lime. Use the zest and the juice.

1 cup boiled quinoa.

2-4 tbsp. Thai chili (Hot & sweet)

1-2 spring onions, the semi green part cut in thin strips on a diagonal.

Salt pepper to taste.

Directions;

Let the pineapple rings dry of slightly. Cut into little cubes. Fry in a “dry” frying pan for a few minutes letting the pineapple get a little color. Add the boiled quinoa into a bowl. Squeeze over the lemon juice &  1-2 of the Thai chili sauce. Mix & let sit and “marry”.

Fry the salmon cubes in a medium hot pan in a little good oil. Just a few minutes on each side. Don’t over cook them.

If you are using larger fruits or berries, cut them into smaller pieces.

Just before serving, mix most but not all, of the berries, the lime zest & spring onions with the quinoa. Plate with the salmon cubes. sprinkle over more of the berries and the spring onions. Place little drops of the Thai chili sauce over the salmon and on the plate.

I used blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, dragon fruit and a little of a kiwi. I took a piece of the dragon fruit and cut out a heart and placed it on the plate.

You could of course use a cookie cutter if you want a perfectly cut heart.

You can squeeze over a little bit more lime juice if you want. Before you plate, taste and make sure it is balanced and to your liking. If you want it more hot and spicy add a dab of hot sauce (optional).

I also added a passion fruit on top of it all. I just love that fruit. A little expensive but so delicious.

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valentines salad

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What can be better than waking up to flowers and cards from your hubby?

Followed by a typical and favorite Swedish breakfast. Pancakes with whipped heavy cream and fresh berries, smoothie and some Swedish tea. I am really fortunate…

Happy Valentine’s!!!

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We would not have known where playing the Super Bowl finals unless my brother-in-law was here visiting us a few weeks ago. Because he wanted to watch some American football, we actually watched the game with the “potentially” deflated balls (one of the teams in the semi-finals has been accused of deflating the footballs for a better grip). What can one say? Wouldn’t both teams playing benefit from that in that case?? Anyway, so this year I can actually say that we saw a game (even though I honestly only can say I was somewhat paying attention) before the actual final Super Bowl. But our discussions at home has not been around who will win, it has, as always been, “what are we going to eat”? My husband wanted to eat crawfish. We still have some in the freezer, but we forgot to defrost them, so plan B would had to be something with shrimp instead. Neither one of us likes chicken wings, but we like the idea of some kind of finger food. But less messy though. I always make sure to have some shrimp in the freezer. I would prefer to have had some fresh domestic shrimp, but sometimes one doesn’t have a choice. So this time I used frozen shrimp, deveined and peeled. * super bowl *III Some fantastic boiled shrimp & fried potato wrapped shrimp. They were served with a Asian/Caribbean dipping sauce and some hot salsa. * frying the shrimp * Potato wrapped Shrimp; serves 4. a couple of baking potatoes. About 20 Shrimp, larger version (about 5 per person). Directions; Peel some baking potatoes. Make shoestrings out of the potatoes either with a zester (that is what I used) or if you have a the little gadget that makes shoestrings out of vegetables you are the lucky one. It is a little tedious to make the shoestrings but it is worth it. Wrap the shoestring potatoes around the dried off and peeled shrimp. Heat some oil in a skillet. Fry the shrimp on a medium hot heat. Make sure not to burn them. Turn after a few minutes. Let them sit on a little paper towels to get rid of access oil. Salt to taste. * potato nest shrimp *   broth * For the boiled shrimp, first make a good tasting broth for boiling the shrimp. Boil some water together with stalks & leaves of different kind of herbs. Garlic cloves, fresh ginger, lemon or lime or just about any kind of herbs and good tasting vegetables that you have at home. I let this boil for about 20 minutes or so just to make sure it gets to me a full body and taste on the broth. You can make this ahead of time. Even a day before. When you are ready to boil the shrimp, drop them into the boiling broth. Boil for a couple of minutes until they are just about to turn pink. Turn off the water and let them cool down slightly in the broth. * boiled shrimp * For the dipping sauces, you can use any of your favorite sauces. Perhaps a salsa, hot or mild, a tartar sauce, cocktail sauce or an asian dipping sauce. Asian/Caribbean inspired dipping sauce;  4 tbsp. Soy sauce 4 tbsp. Mirin. 3  tbsp. freshly pressed lime juice. 2 tbsp. mango salsa or mango sauce (or even mango vinegar). If you don’t have any, you could use a little freshly ground fruit such as pineapple (use 1 ring of pineapple and puree it down, or use some apple sauce even). A pinch of Chile flakes. Mix all together. Add a little chopped cilantro at the end. This is just one of those improvised sauces that really is made according to what you have at home. The base, soy & mirin is the regular teriyaki sauce so if you rather use that, it is also ok. Just add some heat, some freshness with citrus and some sweetness from mango for example. The chili flakes makes the whole thing come together with a little bit of a kick. This is a really delightful dipping sauce. Just experiment with the tastes and make it your own favorite sauce. Enjoy, and let’s hope the best team wins!!!! Happy Super Bowl!!!   4vt0A_SH_400x400

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A New year. I am happy for that. A New Year brings new possibilities and expectations.

We all try to start off being better & healthier. I want to make better choices for myself this year. On all levels. With that said, now it is up to me to execute it. Oh boy… I better stick to it all this year.

We decided to just take it easy on new years eve. A pajama party of sorts. A tradition that my husband grew up with, is to hold rice and some money in your hand when the clock strikes midnight. I wanted to “up the odds” so I was holding a couple of extra bills and as much rice as my hand could hold. Now we just have to wait and see.

The new year is showing its nice side. The sun is shining and it is nice and fresh outside. The morning has been slow and gentle. How could you start the new year better than this?

We had the usual lobster meal on for new years, but this time we didn’t even finish it all. That is unusual. That gave me an opportunity to make a nice individual Lobster Omelette with some vegetables for breakfast. Delicious and the first healthy meal of the year.

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Individual Omelette’s with left over Lobster.

Serves 2.

4 large eggs.

4 tbsp. milk.

6 mini peppers or 2 x 1/2 bell peppers, different colors. Finely cut.

6 asparagus. Finely cut.

1/4 – 1/2 cup left over Lobster or any other seafood. Cut in semi big pieces.

1 tbsp. shredded basil leaves or any other fresh herbs.

Salt & pepper to taste.

1 Lemon or lime.

Hot 450 F/ 225 C oven.

Directions;

Whisk the eggs well, together with the milk, salt & pepper.

Heat up mini frying pans or if you only have a regular sized pans, do one big omelette.

Pour in the egg/milk mixture. Fry for a couple of minutes, scraping the edges into the center so that it cooks evenly.

Fry the finely chopped vegetables. Turn off the heat. Let sit in the pan.

Put the mini omelettes into the oven. Add the seafood into a oven-proof bowl and warm slightly.

Finish off the omelets and make them “dry” on the top. It will only take a couple of minutes.

Take them out, you will see that they have puffed up a little bit, just like a soufflé.

Add the vegetables and the seafood on top. Shred over the basil or fresh herbs.

Squeeze a few drops of lemon or lime over the omelette.

Serve with some fresh fruit.

Enjoy the New Year!!!

 

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We are coming to the end of the Midsummer weekend. What a wonderful weekend we have had. Lot’s of food, rest, friends and family. That is just the way I like it.

Midsummer is the second most important holiday for us Swedes (christmas being the most important one). We just love to celebrate the longest days of the year.

It is very common for families or groups of friends to go out to someones house in the country. If you have a garden at home, that would be a given place for a midsummers party as well. We don’t care if it’s cold out. We just bundle up and drink another “snaps”.

It is very important to have a traditional dinner (or lunch). Most of the time, a long table is set up in the middle of the garden with white table cloths, wild flowers picked earlier that day and lot’s of food.

We would not cook many intricate dishes as much as we would assemble food on plates. This is really a true “smörgåsbord” opportunity. It is a day of fish (typically salmon), shrimp, all kinds of pickled herring and many more things.

I must have warm smoked and cold smoked salmon, caviar & herring on my midsummer buffet. It really isn’t midsummer without it.

Of course we would traditionally have our “snaps” as well, but this year we took it a little easy. The summer is still young though… There are more chances for some “snaps”.

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“Gubbröra” (Matjes herring mixture).

Makes about 1 1/2 cup.

3 hardboiled eggs.

3-4 oz. Matjes herring. (or anjovis if you can’t find mates herring).

1/3 of a nice tasting apple, finely cubed/chopped.

2 tbsp. chopped chives.

1 tbsp. chopped dill.

Pepper to taste.

Cut all into very fine pieces. Mix well.

Spoon onto bread or into egg halves. You could also fill a wrap with the mixture. Roll it up (very tight) and cut into 1 1/2″ pieces.

Enjoy, and Happy Midsummer.

 

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Warm smoked salmon or warm smoked Whiting would be a regular on the midsummer table. Little "crusader" (pastry cups) with herring mixtures or cold smoked salmon mixture.

Warm smoked salmon or warm smoked Whiting would be a regular on the midsummer table.
Little “crusader” (pastry cups) with herring mixtures or cold smoked salmon mixture.

Pickled Herring, Canadian sweet shrimp.

Pickled Herring, Canadian sweet shrimp.

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My husband sets the tone in the garden. The swedish flag goes up.

 

Happy midsummer!!!!

 

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A record cold Arctic blizzard blasting winter has been playing with us in the US. Here in NY we have had a really cold and long winter. Down to -14-15C/8F almost every time a cold spell hit us. And it has been snowing off and on all through the winter. We still have snow in the garden and now they warned for yet one more little snowfall. But this time I think it will be very minor and it will not stick to the ground.

The really strange thing is that back in Sweden, it has been a more warm winter, not too much snow & not too cold. Actually no winter at all for the longest time. Some people said they missed the winter others didn’t.

I just reminded a friend, that the good thing with a super deep freeze is that all mosquitos, tics and other horrible little creeps all dies. They have to start from scratch with their colonies.

So all is well with the deep freeze during the winter for me. But one does not have to overdo it. All over the US temperature records are broken. They said that we in NY have had the 7 coldest winter since they started keeping track of temperatures. Now that is crazy.

And all this really has made us “drink soup” as they call it in the West Indies. And lot’s of it, all through the winter.

I make sure to always have a few different kinds in the fridge & freezer, because it really is one of the best ways to defrost after being outside.

I usually make some pumpkin soup, potato & leek soup, some clear broth for noodles, my favorite simple and classic vegetable soup, corn chowder or some other soups.

But come the weekend, we do a little bit of a fancy soup or chowder.
Here is an easy seafood chowder. Super good, tasting and fragrant.

 

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Seafood chowder.

Serves 4.

About 1/2 lb. of fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined.

6oz. of fresh salmon cut into 1″ cubes.

1/2 c. of finely cut leek or 4 medium shallots, chopped.

4 c. of fish stock or vegetable stock.

1- 1 1/2 c. of heavy cream (if you do not want cream use more stock).

A handful of corn kernels & shelled edamame..

1/4c. white port or good white wine.

1.8 oz-2 oz. saffron.

Fresh herbs like thyme, basil or chives as decoration.

1/2 tbs. butter for frying (you could use olive oil if you only have that).

Salt & pepper to taste.

Directions;

Start with melting the butter in a soup pot on medium heat. Fry the shallots to a translucent color. Add the saffron, corn & edamamde. Fry for a few minutes.

If the shrimp is really big, you can split them lengthwise.

Add the white port or white wine. Let boil for one more minute before you add the peeled and deveined shrimp & the salmon. Let come to a boil and add the cream and let come to a boil again and simmer for a few minutes. The seafood chowder is done when the shrimp is turning pink. You can add either salt & pepper to taste or just stick to the fresh herb that you chop up and sprinkle over the chowder. You can of course also add hot sauce if you like just as well as any other of your favorite ingredient that you feel is missing in your version of the seafood chowder.

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Stay warm and enjoy!

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