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Posts Tagged ‘creme fraiche’

 

Fast pasta

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I was working on my computer all day and realized at 7.30pm that I had almost passed dinner time.
It is all about having things in the food pantry and in the fridge. And don’t let them see you sweat.

Just throw something together. A fast pasta does the trick.

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fast apsta 1*

Fast pasta with swiss chard, tomatoes and bacon.

Serves 4.

1 package of pasta, any kind (make sure it serves 4).

1/4 of a package of bacon. Finely chopped.

2-3 cups of cherry tomatoes.

1 medium size bundle of swiss chard (ab.out 6 cups)

1 cup of heavy cream or creme fraiche (you could also just use a stock if you don’t want the dairy)

3 garlic cloves.

1-2 tbsp. of soy sauce.

A splash of hot sauce.

1 tbsp. anchovy paste.

1/3 cup grated parmesan.

2 tbsp. of Dijon mustard (optional).

Pepper to taste.

Directions;

Fry the bacon bits until crispy. Lift them out and let drain on a paper towel.

Take out some of the rendered bacon fat, leave about 1 tbsp. Add the garlic and anchovy paste. Stir for 30 seconds.

Clean the Swiss chard and cut into bite size. Add to the bacon fat. Fry for about 3 minutes. Add the split cherry tomatoes. Let simmer for about 5-7 minutes.

Add the pasta to some boiling water. Boil until “al dente” (with a little bite not too soft).

Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

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fast pasta 2

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Plate the boiled pasta. Add the sauce over the top. Sprinkle over the bacon bits. Finish with some grated parmesan cheese and a little sprig of any herb you have at home.

Enjoy!

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fast pasta 5

 

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It has been so hot in New York.

We have had another heat wave. It was about 98F/36C degrees but  it felt like about 110F/38-40C.

How is it even possible to turn on the stove a day like that???

When it is too hot outside we turn to as much cold food as possible. Salads, sandwiches, cold soups…

A typical Swedish dish would be the Skagen sauce in a baked potato. The Skagen sauce can be changed up in so many ways. Traditionally, one is supposed to use cooked Greenland sweet shrimp, but I love switching out the shrimp for some smoked salmon.

You can add half a lobster tail on top, if you would like to make it a little more fancy. You could of course decorate with the salmon as well. Just as fancy and good.

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Smoked Salmon sauce on toast.

Serves 4.

6-8 slices of smoked salmon.

1 c. sour cream or creme fraiche.

2 lobster tails (optional). Cut in half,  length wise.

1/2 small red onion or white onion, finely chopped. You could also use 3 tbsp. chopped chives.

1 small jar of white or red caviar (optional).

Small salad leaves. Or salad mix.

2-3 tbsp. chopped fresh dill + 4 sprigs of fresh dill.

Small splash of hot sauce (optional).

Pepper to taste.

4 slices of a good hearty bread. Very lightly toasted.

1 lemon cut into quarters.

Directions;

Mix all of the ingredients together. Taste the mixture. If you need or want to add some other spice to do.

Toast the bread.

Place the salad on the toasted bread. Add the salmon mixture on top of the salad. Top with the lobster tail and a sprig of dill. Add a slice of lemon to the plate.

This is great together with a cold beer.

This is an ultimate summer dinner. I hope you will enjoy it.

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The flowers in the garden are blooming like crazy. The heat is beating them up but they are still hanging in there. This is such a nice time of the year.

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For me, a meatball should not be served with or in a tomato sauce it has to be a “brown” sauce. Cream or Creme fraiche based. The meatballs should be “clean” and served with potatoes or mashed potatoes or even with some kind of pasta or rice. Originally people would serve them with green peas and lingonberries. Lingonberries are similar to cranberries, just smaller and a little sweeter. You can find them in many stores. You could also serve the meatballs with pickled cucumbers.

Swedish meatballs.

Makes 45-50 meatballs

1 lb ground beef.

1/2 lb ground pork. (For a real Swedish meatball, you use 1/3rd pork and 2/3rd regular ground beef. If yo rather use 100 % Beef , that is fine)

1/4 onion. very finely chopped.

1 egg.

3 tbsp. bread crumbs.

3-4 tbsp. of milk.

1 tsp of mustard. Course if possible.

1 tbsp. of dried herbs- optional.

Butter & oil for frying.

Salt & pepper.

A few drops of hot sauce-optional.

Directions;

Add milk to breadcrumbs. Let soak until breadcrumbs are soggy.

Chop the onion very fine.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. You can add any other favorite spice. Meatballs has a tendency to soak up the spices, so rather add a little more than less.

Form little balls about 1″ in size. You can prepare this a day ahead and just cover them and put them in the fridge. When frying add both a dab of butter and some oil. The oil prevents the butter from burning. Do not crowd the pan with meatballs. They need space to “roll around” a little. Shake the pan rather than turning them with a fork or any other tool. Fry on a medium low heat.

When done, transfer to a serving container. Dont pour in the fat, just the meatballs. Fry the rest of the meatballs in the same fat.

You can prepare the meatballs ahead. Even the day before. Roll them into small balls about 1″ in size.

Dont pack the meatballs to full in the skillet. They need room to roll around. Rather shake the pan then turning them with a fork or something else. You do not want to break them.

A great sauce would be just to fry up some chopped onions in the meatball pan. Add cream to the pan. Let boil down some. Salt and pepper to taste.

My favorite sauce is a mushroom sauce. I got some dried chanterelle from my sister last time I was home. This is the “gold” in my pantry. I love using dried mushrooms in everything.

Soak the dried mushrooms in a little hot water. Let sit for a while.

Fry up some finely chopped onions or shallots. Add the mushrooms. Let the onion become golden brown. Add the soaking liquid from the mushrooms. Let boil down slightly. Add a few table spoons of creme fresh or heavy cream. Add as much as you feel is needed to make a thicker sauce. I would use about half a container of creme fraiche and about 1/4 cup of the soaking water.

Spice with salt and pepper. Some beef broth or soy sauce. Add some dried or fresh herbs. Well chopped. This is optional. You can really do anything you want. Don’t be afraid of improvising with your cooking. Just be careful not to over power with salt or heat.

                                                                                                   I hope you will like your Swedish meatballs. Remember that you can variate them in a million different ways.

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Spanish version- Add some sofrito (spanish spice mix) or just add chopped coriander or recao (also called mexican coriander).

Arabic version-  Add a little cinnamon, cumin, ground cloves, chopped parsley or chopped mint.

Sweet version- Add chopped or shredded apples or chopped mangoes into meat mixture. (This can be used in a chicken or turkey meatball too).

Indian version- Add some curry & garam masala, or ground cardamom.

West Indian version- Add some jerk seasoning. You can buy that ready done in the stores.

Greek version- Add a  little crumbled feta cheese and oregano into the meatballs.

See, you can make infinite variations. It is now up to you …

Enjoy.

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