Food

Gravad lax

22 December 2011 · 2 comments in Food

Gravad lax

Gravad lax

Gravad lax

Gravad lax

Gravad lax

My favourite thing about Christmas, apart from family, is food. And my favourite Christmas food is gravad lax (or ‘gravlax’ as it’s usually known in English). My mum has made it every Christmas, and on a few other occasions, for as long as I can remember. Once you’ve had homemade salmon, you just can’t go back to the vacuum-packed stuff, and since I won’t get to eat my mum’s salmon this year, I had to make my own. It’s really easy to make as long as you have time (it needs a few days to cure in the fridge) and good quality ingredients. Here’s my recipe, which is easily scaled up or down. I’ve made it with only a couple of portion-sized pieces before, and this year I made it with just over 2kg salmon. Yum!

Gravad lax
Adapted from Härliga Helger by Charlotta Malhotra and Jessica Staël von Holstein

1kg fresh salmon fillets
50 ml sugar
50 ml salt
1 tbs crushed (not ground) white peppercorns
1 bunch dill

Cut the salmon into two equal pieces and remove any bones. Rinse and dry with paper towels. Mix the white peppercorns with the salt and the sugar, then rub all over the fish, including the skin. Place the fillets against each other with the dill in between them, skin sides out. Place in a dish or plastic bag (make sure to seal it properly!) in the fridge with something heavy on top of it. Let it cure for at least two days (the longer you leave it, the more flavour it gets), turning once or twice a day. Cut into thin slices (as thin as possible) and garnish with fresh dill. Traditionally served with Hovmästarsås (which I don’t personally like). You can make your own or just buy it from Ikea.

Since my batch is still curing in the fridge, I’ll have to show you pictures after Christmas. I can’t wait to dig in!

Kanelbullar

1 May 2011 · 3 comments in Food

Kanelbullar

Cinnamon rolls are a big deal in Sweden. I mean, we even have a cinnamon roll day. It’s probably been a couple of years since I made them, but I’m pretty sure it’s in my DNA. This week, it’s my turn to bake for bake club at work, and I wanted to make something Swedish, so I whipped out my Swedish cookbooks.

Kanelbullar

Swedish cinnamon rolls (or kanelbullar) are not overly sweet or sticky, like the  rolls I’ve come across elsewhere. While cafes and stores will often sell giant buns, homemade cinnamon rolls are usually pretty small and baked in individual patty pans.

Kanelbullar

They’re delicious and standard in most Swedish homes. I can’t remember the number of times I’ve helped my mum make cinnamon rolls.

Kanelbullar

Anyway, here’s a recipe, adapted to work with the ingredients that are readily available in Australia. After all, I can’t get pärlsocker here and fresh yeast is hard to find.

Kanelbullar

Some recipes call for you to mix the filling together, but I prefer to layer it since that’s the way my mum always did it. This time around, I also mixed in some vanilla extract in the butter in place of sprinkling vanilla sugar together with the sugar and cinnamon. They turned out really well. I’m not sure they beat my mum’s version, but hopefully the people at work will like them! If not, I’m sure James will be happy to eat the leftovers.

Kanelbullar

Kanelbullar
(makes around 50)

100 g butter or margarine
500 ml milk
1 tbsp dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
150 ml white sugar
1 tsp cardamon
about 1300 ml plain flour

Filling
100 g butter or margarine
100 ml sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping
1 egg
slivered almonds (or pärlsocker)

Melt the butter, then add the milk and heat until warm. Mix the dry ingredients together, then pour the warm butter-milk into the bowl.Mix together, adding flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle some flour over it and cover with a tea towel, then let rise until doubled in size, around 1 hour.

Mix softened butter for filling with vanilla extract and set aside. When dough has risen, knead it, then divide in two and roll each half out into a big rectangle. Spread with vanilla butter, then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roll up, cut into individual pieces, roughly 2 cm wide. Place in patty pans, cover with a tea towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 200ºC. Brush rolls with lightly beaten egg, then sprinkle with slivered almonds. Bake for 810 minutes.

Pizza night

29 January 2011 · 2 comments in Food

Pizza night!

When I was growing up, my dad’s homemade pizzas were always an extra special treat. We used to experiment with different toppings and the results were always delicious. In James’s family, homemade pizzas go back to the first meal James’s dad ever cooked his mum.

Pizza night!

As a result, James and I have had a weekly pizza night for the past five years. The day of the week has moved around a few times, but for now it’s firmly settled on Sunday nights, and it’s a great way to end the week. I bought James a barbeque pizza stone for Christmas, which has made our homemade pizza even more delicious. Even though we use the same dough as usual, the result is much better: crisp on the bottom, and light and fluffy in the middle.

Pizza night!

We always make the dough from scratch. The recipe is from James’s family, and it’s a very loose, by-feel kind of thing. Just add more water or flour until you get the right consistency.

Pizza night!

Pizza dough (makes 2 pizzas)

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • almost 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable poil
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of sugar

Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Add the oil to the warm water, then slowly add to the dry ingredients, mixing until you get a nice, slightly sticky, dough. Tip onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is nice and smooth. Put the dough back into an oiled bowl and let rise in a warm place under a teatowel for 30-40 minutes. Roll out onto trays or baking paper and add toppings. Bake on a pizza stone or in the oven at 225°C. Enjoy!

The best part is that there’s always leftovers for lunch the next day.

Pizza night!

Baking

7 December 2009 · 3 comments in Food

I’ve really been getting into baking lately, which usually happens around this time of year. It all started last weekend, when James and I made gingerbread. I can’t remember the last time I made proper gingerbread. They’re a bit wonky, but I think that’s part of the charm with homemade gingerbread, especially sine I like mine as thin as possible.

Gingerbread

This weekend, I made choc chip cookies. Not as christmassy, but just as delicious. It’s been a while since I made those as well, and it’s been a really long time since I had them with milk.

Milk & Cookies

I’d link the recipes, but they’re both from my big collection of recipe books. Just trust me, everything was delicious!

I finished two socks for Project Spectrum.

Socks (16/365)

Too bad they don’t actually match. The second Sweetheart sock is already on the needles though, and the second Monkey will follow as soon as that’s done. I’m looking forward to finishing these because I have so much gorgeous sock yarn that’s waiting for me. {More}

Hobbies

26 January 2008 · 3 comments in Food,Other Crafts

Learning to spin

New: I’m teaching myself to spin. This is one of those things I never would have thought I’d do, but was drawn into by the blogosphere. If you’d told me a year ago I’d want to learn to spin, I would have laughed. I didn’t even knit then. If you’d told me six months ago, I would have been skeptical. I’m really loving the process though. Louet Spindle and Jade Corriedale fiber courtesy of Hello Yarn. {More}

Thanks for all the lovely comments about my cardigan. I’ve actually been wearing it around the house in the evenings even if it’s been way too hot for wool (and alpaca).

Today has been spent cleaning and baking and decorating. See, I love Christmas. It’s special to me in so many ways and I love all the preparations leading up to it. This year is the first year I’ve had my own apartment over the holidays so I’ve wanted to get a bit of holiday atmoshere going. Since I won’t actulally be here over Christmas itself, I thought I’d start early. I’m not a fan of tacky glitter and over-the-top decorations and I don’t have a Christmas tree, but I’ve been trying to do some (mostly) tasteful little things. Candles, an adventstjärna in the kitchen window, some beautiful gifted ornaments (I promise, they’re not the tacky kind) and a few homemade things. I knitted this tiny little sweater in an hour or so and I’m hoping to make more. The coat hanger is made from a paper clip! Please excuse the shoddy finishing.

Mini Sweater

{More}

Cupcakes

16 November 2007 · 2 comments in Food

I love baking. I have for years, but I’ve started doing much more often since I got a kitchen for myself. Usually I stick to rather minimalist recipes, most of which come from one of my two Swedish cookbooks. This is both because I’m rather lazy and because I make do with what I have at home which means that I pick recipes that use cocoa rather than chocolate (because there is no way I could keep cooking chocolate in the house without eating it) and limiting icing and other details. My friends know me for my baking because I often bring things along to “events”, even if it’s just a trip to the movies – mostly because if I ate everything I bake myself, I’d be rolling.

Today, I decided to make cupcakes with pink icing. The recipe is from Frankie’s Afternoon Tea. I halved the quantity, using plain flour and baking powder instead of self-raising flour. I actually never use self-raising flour because I don’t understand the point of it when you can just use baking powder and I grew up without it in the house. I don’t think it’s even available in Sweden. Because I’m a chocoholic, I also replaced some of the flour with cocoa. The icing really is that pink, I think I might have been a bit too liberal with the red food colouring. As I said, I don’t usually do icing. And the messy careless application of the icing? I was lazy. Totally a “design feature”.

Cupcakes

They’re very tasty though!

Ever since highschool, sundays have always meant the day that I finish all the homework that I left till the last minute. I also remember it as “family time”, most clearly the weeks before my grandma passed away in lung cancer and my mum spent most of her time in Sweden. I was thirteen, and my dad, sister and I would arrange family “tournaments” where we competed in games like Yahtzee, golf putting and darts. We rented movies and made pizza and tried to make the the very difficult time a little easier.

I don’t have my family here now, but I’ve been trying my best to make do. It’s a gorgeous spring day and having the day off to do exactly as I please is very refreshing after the last couple of weeks of study. I slept in, then went to the supermarket for a much needed shop. This afternoon has been spent with a good book and some great knitting.

Lazy Sunday

I’ve gotten quite far on the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, mostly because I just don’t want to put it down and have had lots of knitting time. After my post on Friday, I swatched several more times and decided on 2.75 mm needles. I liked the blocked fabric best and the gauge is just slightly tighter than the recommended 25 stitches over 4 inches, so I’m knitting the 38 for a finished measurement of 36. The math all works out. The current measurrements are currently closer to the 34 size, but I’m trusting my swatch, which relaxed considerably after blocking.

Sundays are also a day for baking. I haven’t baked anything yet, but I’m sorely tempted, especially since I picked up this little book today. It’s a little compilation cookbook released by Frankie magazine which contains afternoon tea recipes from the contributors’ childhoods. I love Frankie’s aesthetic and this cookbook is no different. I often find myself flipping through my back copies just because it’s just a beautiful magazine.

Frankie's