Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Last year we had a wonderful summer and I have been using my Crazy Water Pickled Lemons a lot. This summer it has been raining five weeks in a row (I don´t have to tell you guys, especially you from UK will know, unfortunately) with only two days when the sun peeked out from behind the clouds for a few hours. That meant that Ms Henry has been neglected big time...Anyway, in my the quicker it goes the cooking the better mood I remembered her filled sweet potatoes that I have been preparing a few times last year. On the Traveller´s Lunchbox there is a variation on this with onions and chopped capsicum, but after trying it that way, I decided to keep the capsicums and dismiss the onions. I felt that it killed the fennel and coriander and I loved that taste as it was. The capsicum on the other hand made the dish a bit more filling, crunchy, colorful and ...do I dare saying healthy (with all that vitamin C in it) ?
Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin E without containing lots of fat, that other foods rich in vitamin E tend to have, so it´s very good food. Also I have noticed, that although I don´t tolerate "normal" potatoes, I don´t have any problems with sweet potatoes.
Oh, too much talk and the dish is not really a dish, it´s very simple and you can turn it into a quick lunch if you "boil" the potatoes in the micro oven. (Takes about 10 minutes, of course this could be the start of another discussion about how healthy is using a micro... ;) but...let´s turn it into something positive and say that we are very conscious of nature and our resources and to save some energy we use the micro instead of the oven...)
I didn´t take a picture as I "microed" it at work for lunch and only had the filling with me that I prepared the evening before, so I am using a pic that I had taken last year... I see that I only had green olives than, but use nice black olives, it´s both more aesthetic and of course tastes much better.
Baked Sweet Potato w Marinated Feta and Black Olives
1 medium sweet potato
a little olive oil
1 large tbs or 2 black Kalamata olives
a few leaves of coriander, chopped
1/4-1/2 (depending on the size and your taste) red capsicum, chopped
for the feta:
75g feta cheese, in cubes
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 red chilli, cut into fine slivers
1/4 garlic clove, crushed
a good pinch of coriander seeds, crushed
EV olive oil
Mix the feta with the other ingredients and set in a cool place.
Bake the sweet potato in it´s skin in a preheated oven on 180 C (350F) for about 50 minutes, but check with a skewer.
When the potatoes are cooked, split them open lengthways, sprinkle with oil and pepper and fill with the marinated feta. Garnish with olives, chopped capsicum and coriander.
Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche, sour creme or creamy yogurt if you like. Last summer I tried it with the tzatziki recommended on Traveller´s Lunchbox but it was a bit too much of a mix of tastes for me...
Monday, August 27, 2007
I found these sexy Ramiro paprikas and just couldn´t leave them in the shop. AnnaAUS, you were absolutely right! Wonderful ingredients do give inspiration! :)
Before going into oven
I tried to do my best and blog about my holidays but there were too many other things and too little food in them. It´s about how my holiday was, really, this time it wasn´t about food but more about people. Old friends and their children, old boyfriends and their new OH´s, relatives, my dad, teahouses, music festivals. Altogether a very nice holiday but not many foodpics.
I´m still in don´t-want-to-cook mode, but I hope it has something to do with the weather. I want to do other things, be outdoors as much as possible, so the cooking I have done were real quickies.
I started to feel a bit ashamed about not using my "latest" books (the Bill Granger one and Tessa Kiros´ Apples for Jam) so I tried to find very simple recipes.
The Bill Granger´s Caramel Chicken I´m sure many of you will recognize, it has been mentioned several times on n.com . I don´t know if it´s only me, but I didn´t think it was anything extraordinary. I mean you don´t need a recipe to throw together something that would taste like this dish. It was a bit sweet, a bit spicy, a bit of everything and nothing. I might have done something wrong, but this is such a simple recipe, that not even I could mess it up. Or could I? ;)
Apples for Jam I have been browsing through many times and I enjoyed the pictures that presented a somewhat idealised, simple, country life of Tessa Kiros and her family, but I have never felt inspired to try anything from that book. Honestly I was surprised to see the amount of fried food (mostly chips in different shapes) and cakes and ice-cream she was feeding her daughters! Isn´t she supposed to be a chef with a basic knowledge in nutrition?
Anyway, I had a chicken breast pulled out from the freezer and didn´t know what to do with it so I chose Tessa´s Chicken Escalopes with Tomatoes and Capers. I didn´t have any expectations at all and guess what? I was surprised by the juicy, tasty result! This is a dish I will most definitely cook again. I didn´t make any potatoes that she suggests, as I can´t eat potatoes (still), so I used two large tomatoes instead of plum tomatoes and served it with a small portion of bread. Yummy! Now I feel more tempted to try other things from this book, because although the dishes look simple, I have a feeling that there are quite a few hidden treasures to be discovered here.
Another Tessa recipe I tried these last weeks was the Cinnamon Buns from the Finnish section of her Falling Cloudberries. I found the finished buns a bit crispy and that´s not what I wanted. I want my buns to be soft, moist and comforting. I put a few in the freezer and when I took them out I found them tough.... Oh well, I think I´ll just go back to the Cinnamon buns that you find on the back of every flour package in Sweden.
Another thing I tried was inspired by my Greece-holiday. As I am avoiding potatoes and rice, I had to order starters as side dishes. Poor me :) I had such feasts this time in Greece as never before. Anyway, one of the starters/side dishes that I just loooved, was grilled paprika filled with feta. Don´t have any recipe, so I just mixed the feta with some greek (or should I say hellenic?) oregano, filled these gorgeous paprikas with it and grilled them in the oven with a few drops of olive oil. It tasted wonderful, served with oregano-seasoned lambchops. The only "problem" with it was that a lot of fat oozed out during the grilling...don´t know what I should do the next time to avoid this. Because it will certainly be a next time ;) Any ideas please? AnnaUK perhaps?
Before going into oven
Not quite as gorgeous after coming out of the oven, but very tasty...
Didn´t have the time to type in any recipes, but is there any intereset, just let me know. Also ,most of you guys from n.com do have these books :)