Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thai Curry Soup

From Timo Lehto

This is such an amazing soup. The flavors are brilliant and my mouth is watering just thinking about it. It is spicy and creamy and feels wonderfully exotic. Extra bonus, it takes about 10 minutes to put together.

Serves 4

2 onions
1 chili (or 1 tsp chili powder)
3 Tbsp curry paste (red or green)
7 dl fish stock
1 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp fish sauce
3 limes
linguine noodles
fresh cilantro

Saute onions, chili and curry paste until onions are soft. Add fish stock, coconut milk and boil for 2-3 minutes. Add noodles and fish sauce and just when the noodles are starting to soften, toss in the fish. Simmer until fish is cooked, then remove from heat and serve. Use lime juice and cilantro as a garnish.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Almond Tart

adapted from Bitchin' Camero

I have wanted to try this tart for a while now, and it was wonderful. Perfect for a brunch or light dessert, it was sweet and soft and looked very pretty coming out of the oven.

Serves 4-6

7 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup cream
1 cup sliced almonds, more for garnish
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 lemon, zest and juice
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2-3 Tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 400.
Place the butter in a baking dish, and set it in the warming oven to melt. While it is melting, grab a large bowl, and whisk together all of the remaining ingredients except the powdered sugar. Pour the batter into melted butter and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the eggs are totally set and the edges are browned. Dust with powdered sugar and remaining sliced almonds and allow time to cool completely before serving.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No Bake Cookies

These are so addicting, sweet and chocolatey and they can be thrown together in 15 minutes. Like the name says, these cookies aren't baked, but boiled! You have to be careful because if you let them boil for too long, they will harden in the pot and if you don't boil them enough, the wont set up properly. You can see that mine weren't boiled long enough so they were a little flat and gooey, but still delicious!

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
3 1/2 cups oatmeal

First, measure out oats, peanut butter, salt and vanilla in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cocoa, milk and butter. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, peanut butter and oats. While still warm, quickly drop by rounded spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Allow the cookies to cool completely (about an hour) to become hard enough.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kettle Corn

I LOVE kettle corn. It reminds me of my mom, who can't resist the stuff. Unfortunately I can't find it anywhere here, so I thought I would find a way to make it at home.

Let me warn you, this recipe took a few tries to get down. I burned the sugar a few times, and once was left with a lot of unpopped kernels. So be prepared for a learning curve. But it's a great recipe to learn and fun to experiment with. White sugar makes it taste like popcorn balls, brown sugar like caramel corn and powdered sugar is supposed to work as well, though I have never tried it. Also, I read that you can add food coloring to the oil to turn the popcorn different colors... So many possibilities!

Serves 4
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
4 Tbsp oil
1/4 cup sugar
salt to taste

1. Take a large pot with a lid. Cover the bottom of the pot with the oil and put it on the stove on medium-high heat.

2. Place 3 kernels of popcorn in the pot and wait until these kernels pop. Once they do, the oil is hot enough. Pour the sugar into the kettle and once it has melted (it only takes a few seconds) quickly add the kernels on top. Place the lid on the pot.

3. Begin shaking the popcorn. Leave the pot on the stove for three seconds and then pick it up and shake it for three seconds so the sugar doesn't burn. Repeat until the popping slows considerably, then take it off heat and continue shaking for 30 seconds. It is very easy to burn this popcorn, so err on the side of more unpopped kernels than burned sugar. Dump it in a bowl and immediately add salt. Watch out, the sugar will be hot.

4. Let cool and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Healthier Fried Rice

adapted from Bella Eats

I love fried rice, but always feel bad eating it at restaurants because it feels so greasy. This recipe uses a little drop of oil, but the rest is a bit of egg, colorful veggies and rice so it doesn't feel heavy going down. This is also a perfect dish to whip up if you ever have a lot of leftover rice to use.

Serves 4

2 Tbsp peanut oil (I used rapeseed oil)
1-2 large carrots, peeled and chopped finely
1 red bell pepper, chopped finely
1 cup peas
2 Tbsp fresh chive or scallions, minced
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups steamed brown rice, cold
3/4 tsp salt
1-2 tsp Asian sesame oil (optional)

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute the carrot and bell pepper and peas until tender, then remove to a separate bowl and set aside.

Wipe the skillet clean and put back on the stove with the heat on high until it is hot enough to vaporize water upon contact. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil, swirling to coat evenly and heat until hot and just starting to smoke.

Add eggs, tilting pan and swirling eggs to form a thin and even layer and cook for about 30 seconds. Add rice and stir-fry, breaking up the eggs and letting rice rest for several seconds between stirs, until rice is hot (about 2-3 minutes).

Add the vegetables, chives, salt and sesame oil to taste, stir-frying until well combined. Serve warm.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Timo's Asian Salad

From Timo Lehto

We had this salad at our friends house one night and were blown away by its simplicity and flavor. It pairs nicely with any asian dish and is cheap and easy to put together.

2-3 carrots
3-4 cups cabbage
2 Tbsp green onion (or red), chopped into small pieces
1 cup pineapple chunks
sunflower seeds

4 Tbsp oil
4 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 chili, minced (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 tsp sugar or honey
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the carrots in to matchsticks. Then chop the cabbage very finely to make about 3-4 cups. Mix together with onion, pineapple chunks and sunflower seeds. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Toss until evenly coated and serve.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Carrot Salad

From Kari and Emmi Koivisto

Ok, this recipe is so simple, but I thought it deserved a post.
I love carrots, but had never enjoyed them like this before:

Finely grated, with pineapple, raisins or great with salad dressing.
Grating the carrots really brings out their sweet, juicy flavor. It is a perfect side dish for those nights where you don't have time to put a lot of time into dinner, but still want something healthy and delicious.

serves 4

5-6 large carrots
pineapple (or raisins)

Peel the carrots and finely grate them into a bowl. Toss in the pineapple (or raisins. or both) and serve.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Maple Pecan and Apple Salad

Adapted from Christie's Corner

I love interesting salads. And when I spotted this one that combined maple syrup, apples and nuts, I knew I had to try it. It was amazing! We ate the whole bowl without effort. You really can't go wrong with fruit, nuts and cheese.

Serves 4-6

1 medium bowl full of mixed leafy greens
2-3 apples, cored and diced (toss in lemon juice to prevent browning)
1/2 cup maple glazed pecans (*see instructions below)
1/2 cup crumbled chevre or feta

Maple Vinegar Dressing
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp finely minced shallots
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

* Maple Glazed Pecans
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
dash os salt
dash or cayenne pepper
1 cup pecan halves

For the vinaigrette: Combine mustard, shallots, vinegar and maple syrup in a mall bowl. Whisk in oil until just combined, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the pecans:
Preheat the oven to 325 F (160 C). Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, salt and cayenne in a small bowl. Add pecans and toss until coated. Spread out nuts on a rimmed baking sheet lined with baking paper or foil. Toast for 10-15 minutes, or until nuts are golden and sugar is bubbling. Let cool completely, break apart and serve.

Place mixed greens and apples in a large serving bowl. Top with nuts and cheese and serve with dressing on the side.