Tastes of Stockholm in February

We have a plan to make only short trips to close by areas this year and the first trip has just finished. We headed to Stockholm, the ever so beautiful capital of Sweden, like so many others during the winter holiday week. We quite enjoy visiting the city we know so well and like to stay in different parts of the town. This time we stayed in Östermalm, the West-End of Stockholm, one of the posh parts of the town. This was mostly due to an excellent hotel discount offer. We also loved the idea of us travel from Östermalm, Borgå to Östermalm, Stockholm.

Eating is and has always been the main attractions on our travels along with museum  visits. Eataly, the Italian gourmet shop and restaurant, had just been opened and was thus a main attraction. Yes, I know, why eat Italian in Sweden? We did not actually have a meal at Eataly but wanted to see how the concept was modified for the Scandinavian market. The location and premises are great, impressive – see their website for all the services and activities offered. Much to taste and see, much to enjoy in this luxurious former theatre.  We were certainly not the only tourists and foodies there inspecting the store. The experience was not quite the same as upon visiting Eataly in Italy but it is naturally because were not in Italy, it was not summer and there were no departments with wine shelves and tastings (as we were in Sweden with state monopoly over retail in alcoholic beverages just like in Finland).  Maybe we go and have a meal next time around when it is less crowded.

Östermalms saluhall, the food halls of Östermalm, was another attraction and this for lunch. The old food halls are being renovated and there was temporary set up for the stalls. Lisa Elmqvist Fish, Seafood, Delicatessen & Restaurant was the place for lunch – this restaurant dates back to a 1926 when Lisa bought a stand in the food halls. It is the fourth generation running the company today the food stalls, catering and restaurant. I enjoyed fried lemon sole with beet root and capers and by husband halibut with truffle-lobster sauce.

 

Some other places were stopped by were Wiener Caféet (Bibilioteksgatan), Fabrique (Humlegårdgatan) , Sally Voltaire & Systerar (Åhlens) with healthy meals and raw food. We also shared a delicious pizza at Jamie’s Italian (Scandic hotel Anglais). Quite a lot of fika, Swedish coffee with sweet treats all day long, and other goodies. Have a look at the pictures. We stayed only for a day and half yet experienced a lot. It was a trip with some 30,000 steps out and about the town plus a couple of metro (tunnebana) journeys.  Apart of the food we enjoyed sunny crisp winter, window shopping, people watching and a couple of museums. Interior decoration, cookery shops and book stores are always on our list on mini- and longer breaks.

 

 

The Stockholm Museum of Photography (Fotografiska) never lets me down. The exhibitions are ever so intriguing and statement taking like the ones on right now. What more is that the museum opening times are excellent as it stays open practically all night. I’ve once also participated an evening guided tour that started at 9 pm. The museum shop is excellent and the restaurant experience so fabulous. Their concept is of conscious food philosophy is based on organic and plant-based kitchen. The man behind the restaurant is Paul Svensson, a famous, chef of the year, TV and cookbook author to name just some of his merits. Once again, I had not book a table in advance and thus we could only enjoy the café-bar with the great view over to Skeppsholmen och Djurgården (islands of Stockholm).

The exhibitions on are Fearless & Fabulous by Chen Man, a talented young Chinese photographer and designer. She is a pioneer in Chinese fashion photography, very successful and known also in the western world. She mixes eastern and western traditions, techniques as per the museum introductions. I particularly liked the fashion portraits taken in Tibet.

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Somnyama Ngonyama/Hail, the Dark Lioness is a collection of portraits by Zanele Muholi a South-African photographer. The photos pose questions on social justice, human rights and contested representations of the black body, as stated in the museum home page introduction. The all black-and-white portraits were powerful. I felt they first opened on the surface – the image you saw – and then as you looked on in depth.

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Belated Valentines

20180217_163319This was meant to be a Valentines cake but baked it yesterday. I pimped a recipe of Finnish mocca  brownies on a cookbook site of a dairy produce company (Valio). This cake is not quite moist as brownies are but with the extra clicks of quark, it is certainly as filling and melt in the mouth.

This is a recipe for a small cake. Double the recipe to make a panful.

100 g butter, 1 dl coffee, 2,5 dl flour, 1/2 dl cocoa powder, 1/2 dl baking powder, 2 eggs, 1  1/2 dl sugar, 150 g quark (I used a flavoured one, Irish cream rahka).

Melt the butter and mix with coffee. Let cool. Mix the dry ingredients. Separate one egg and let the yolk wait for the quark. Beat the eggs and sugar.

Add the butter mix and the flour mix to the eggs. Pour into a greased pan. Mix the quark and the egg yolk and put small clicks of it in the cake. Even out the surface and make decorative patterns if you like. Bake in 200 C for 20 minutes.

Frosting: 50 butter, 1 tbsp Amaretto, 6 dl powdered sugar. Melt the butter and mix in the other ingredients. Pour over your cake. Decorate with dried or fresh berries. Enjoy!

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Fish soup Selyanka

Hot warming soup is what you need on a cold day and now we’ve finally seen proper winter temperatures. -7 C and very light snow this morning.

This soup is variation to the traditional salmon soup and now with a Russian twist. For a large bowl for 8 you need:

600 g salmon fillet, 6 potatoes, one large onion, 4 carrots, 1 l water,one pickled cucumber, 2 tsp capers, 400 g crushed tomato (or passata pomodori), 4 bay leaves, all spice, salt and pepper. For the topping you need: 2 dl sour cream (smetana) and a tablespoon of grated horseradish.

Clean the fish and cut it into small pieces. Peel and dice the vegetables. 

Start with the smetana and mix it with the grated horseradish. Put it in the fridge.

Boil the water and put in the vegetables. If you cleaned the fish yourself and have the head, fens, skin etc., save them and add them in the water. You dish these out before adding the fish. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomato, spices, pickle and capers and let the soup come to boil. Remove the head etc. Turn to medium heat and add the fish. Cook for 15 minutes. 

Enjoy with smetana. The taste intensifies to the next day so why not cook this the day before! I made this on Saturday morning and had it for a late lunch after taking a stroll with my sisters. 

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Confit de Canard

How well off am I to be working with a houseful of foodies? It is not rare that we share recipes and admiring each others’ lunch boxes is already a routine.

One of the real conoisseurs, gourmands and a real chef shared this duck recipe that I tried last Sunday. The beauty of it is that it is ready made canned food except for the vegetables.

Go to a grocery store with a good selection and find a large can of duck legs, confit de canard, approx. 1250 g and 4-5 in a can.

You will also need red cabbage (600 g) and a red onion or other vegetables. Chop the onion and shred the cabbage. Sauté  lightly in duck lard (5 min). You can add a star anise in the pan. Pour the cabbage in an oven pan and cook for 15 min in 180 C. Take out the pan and place the duck legs on the cabbage. Bake for 10-15 minutes and voila, dinner is ready! 

Enjoy in good company and with good wine. You might serve caramelised apples, black currant jelly and Brussels sprouts with the confit.

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Oatmeal Bake

One of my colleagues shared this cake recipe last week and I tried it out yesterday when my sisters were coming over. 

This is really tasty and so easy to make, takes only 15 minutes.

For a panful you need: 200 g butter, 8 dl oatmeal, 3 sugar (I put in 1/3 brown and 2/3 caster sugar, 3 tbsp syrup (I used a mix of agave and sugar cane syrup) and 3 tbsp milk. 

Start with melting the butter. Turn on the oven to 200 C. Mix the dry ingredients, add the syrup and milk, and last the butter. Cover an oven pan with a baking sheet and spread the cake mix on it. Bake for 10 minutes and cut into squares before it cools completely. 

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Gnocchi with Ricotta, Spinach and Gorgonzola

Tried a new recipe for gnocchi this Saturday – the gnocchi was actually with the same recipe as earlier but the company was new.

For a four small portions of gnocchi you need 300 g floury potatoes, 100 g flour and 1 egg. Peel and cook the potatoes. Mash them and let cool. Add the flour and egg. Knead until smooth and let rest. Bake into finger thick sticks and cut into 3 cm long pieces. Roll and press with a fork. Let rest until you are ready to cook them.

I baked the gnocchi in oven with cheese and spinach, and for this I needed a packet of Ricotta, 200 g baby spinach, nutmeg, salt and pepper, 2 tbsp sun flower seeds, 40 g Parmesan and 100 g Gorgonzola. 

Mix a packet of ricotta and 100 g of baby spinach. Add some freshly grated nutmeg and 40 g Parmesan. Take an oven form and brush it with oil. Place a bed of spinach leaves on the bottom. Add a layer of cheese mix and them baked gnocchi. Add another layer of cheese mix and gnocchi. Sprinkle on 2 tbsp sun flower seeds, add salt and pepper and 100 g Gorgonzola. Bake in 180 C for 20 minutes.

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Homemade Ravioli with Mozzarella and Truffle Oil

We have had a pasta machine for a couple of years but it was only recently I have started using it. My husband seems like a pro with tagliatelle already. Who would have thought of the emotions with the first turnings of the pasta machine wheel? I was moved and bop very happy over my self-made tagliatelle ever. This week it was time to try making ravioli. It was Monday and freezing, we had no winter tyres in the car and had to create a what’s-in-the-fridge-n-pantry dinner. Not much fuzz though and rather quick to make.

Vittoria, my dear Italian friend, has given me many recipes and the basic pasta recipe for two is one of them.

You need 100 g durum flour and one egg for the pasta. The filling is my invention and you need 100 g Mozarella, fresh oregano, 50 g butter and truffle oil.

Put the flour on a baking surface and make a well in the middle. Crack the egg in the well, and turn mix it first with a fork. Then work in the flour with fingers. Knead until smooth and fine. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes and voila!
Prepare the filling and mince 100 g of Mozzarella and 10 leaves of oregano. Add some olive oil.

Cut the pasta dough into two and flatten it first by hand. Then work it through the machine twice or three times making it thinner and thinner. Place the rectangular pasta sheets on a floured baking surface. Take half of the sheets, and place 2 tsp of the filling on each circle and brush the dough with water. Place the rest of the sheets on, press the dough together with fingers and cut with a roller or a glass. Press the creases tight. 

Cook in boiling water with lots of salt for 3-5 minutes. Melt 50 g of butter and place some more oregano in it. Dish the ravioli on plates. Pour on some melted butter and spray with truffle oil.

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Harvest Pie with Cabbage

harvest pie lippewalleniusThis is our Saturday dinner. We’d had burritos for lunch and thought a lighter dinner would do. Well, I do not know how light it turned in the end. I wanted to make a savory vegetarian pie with what I had in the fridge ,and not with any fancy foreign vegetables. The only foreign ingredient was feta cheese or ‘feta-like’ cheese.

First you need a pie crust. Make your own or get one in the store.  My pie crust recipe is here: 100 g butter, 2.5 dl flour, 2 tbsp cold water. Mix the cold butter and flour. Add the water little by little. Work into a smooth pastry dough.

Pin out the crust and place in a greased pie form and start making the filling. Turn the oven to 180 C.

Filling: one carrot, one onion, 1 one-clove garlic, one leaf of kale, some leaves of oregano, 2 dl shredded cabbage, 1.5 dl chopped swede (turnip), butter, salt and pepper; and 2 dl milk, 2 eggs and 100 g feta cheese.
Sauté all the vegetables in butter for 10 minutes, and pour them into the pie form. Crumble the cheese on top.  Beat the milk and eggs, and pour over the pie. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy with salad.

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Tea Cakes for Breakfast

The plan for this Sunday breakfast was to have fresh bread and thus I started baking around before 8 am. It was to be tea cakes from an old issue of Lantliv Mat & Vin but little did I know. From now on I know to read to the end of the recipe before starting. On the first count I figured it would take 3.5 hours to have these ready, and so I decided to cut a few corners. I put in a bit less butter and replaced it with olive oil. In the end the bread dough and the small cakes rested three times!

This is what you need for 12 small cakes: 25 g yeast, 2.5 full milk, 450 g flour (half white, half graham), 1 tl honey, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 50 g butter,  2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Dissolve the yeast into the milk. Add the honey and half of the flour. Let rest for 30 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the salt. Knead for 10 minutes. Add the salt. Let rest for 45 minutes.
Work the dough with hands and make 12 small buns. Let them rest for 5 minutes. Flatten the buns with a rolling-pin, place them on a baking sheet and pinch with a fork. Let rest under a cloth for 45 minutes. Turn the oven to 250 C during the last rest.

Spray some water in the hot oven. Put in the cakes and bake for 8 minutes. Place to cool on a baking rack.
Enjoy! Best still while warm and with butter.

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Breakfast Waffles with Chèvre and Avocado

Sunday it is and time for a waffle breakfast! This is a new experiment with the batter and it turned out ok. 

This recipe makes a small portion of four waffles, which is just perfect for two. 
1 dl skimmed milk, 2 free range eggs, 1 dl almond flour, 1.5 dl whole meal flour, 0.5 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp olive oil.

Mix the batter and refridgerate for 30 min. Use a waffle iron to make your waffles and brush on a little olive oil. 

Serve with sliced avocado topped with lemon juice and pumpkin seeds, and chèvre topped with agave syrup. Try also blue cheese and apple jam.

Happy Sunday!

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