Monday, January 27, 2014

Bread and sourdough!

To be honest, I have never been the baker. I´ve worked at a bakery, and seen how bakers work long nights, fuck up their breads by forgetting ingredients, but still manage to redo everything and finish up after a 12 hour shift. Unfortunately, good, cheap and tasteful bread is really hard to come by. And being the man that I am, I wanted to challenge that by making my own.
6 months ago, I wanted to create a sourdough starter. Searching on the web, you find all kinds of recipes for starters telling you to mix several ingredients and making it a 100% hydrated. I tried once with the regular bread flour, it didn´t work out that great. Then I tried mixing several flours and added salt, the salt killed the sourdough bacterias (not a good idea). At that time, the adventure ended and I actually quit for while.
During christmas, I had a lot of good bread! the upside of family dinners and restaurants amongst other things of course... therefor I set out on a new sourdough journey after new years. This time using 75g ecological wheat flour (bought at sunkost) and 25g "ecological sammalt hvete" mixing it with 68g of tempered water in a plastic container with plastic film on top to keep moisture. Getting rid of half and feeding it with the same initial amount every day for the first week was easy! Stored in my heated bathroom to accelerate the process, bubbles started to show! I took the water test, and the sourdough floated! Boom, I was finally ready to bake bread. It was DELISH. From now on, I only need to keep the sourdough alive with 1/4 of the feeding amount respecting the ratios every 48 hours or so... If you want to use the starter, double the "initial feeding amount", leave it for 12 hours and its going to be quite bubbly I tell you. A bread now cost me 16 Nok instead of 50, the amount it costs for a good sourdough bread in town.
Dear I say that it tastes better? yes, because I baked it, and it looks awesome! But I guess that´s a normal reaction...
PS: storing sourdough in the bathroom, a way to a womans heart? try to find another warm place to store it, not the most popular thing I´ve done ;)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mayonnaise heaven

It´s been a while since last post! but with a new year comes new possibilities and new posts. During christmas and new years, I have come to experience several family traditions! and with those traditions, peoples thoughts around food. I find it incredible that people think its a hassle to make good healthy food. Some even don´t think about what it does with life! As a student and foodie, I like finding new, cheaper and healthier ways of making my own daily necessities. Therefor, my first posts will be about simple things that people can make instead of buying.
Mayonnaise, you may think that its extremely unhealthy, and you´re right! supermarket mayonnaise is unhealthy, but the reason is: bad oils, chemicals and no fresh produces. What if I told you that you could make you own mayo, flavour it as you like and pack it in just about 4 minutes.

All you need is:
- A mixer
- egg yolks
- mustard
- groundnut oil (or any other oil you´d like the mayo to taste like)
- fresh lemon
- white wine vinegar
- salt, pepper and any spice you´d like to flavour it with! smoked paprika, basil, white pepper, moroccan spice, an endless list of things. Experiment and share!

Start up with 2-3 egg yolks and mustard in a mixer. When its properly liquified, add oil little by little until you get a pale yellow and firm mayonnaise. Add a tablespoon of sifted lemon juice, a teaspoon of vinegar and fresh spice, dried spice or no spice!
In Norway we have something called "riskli olje", a tasteless and relatively healthy oil (in contrary of sunflower or palm oil) that lets you choose flavouring for later. Peanut oil creates a peanut taste and quality olive oil, well you get the picture...
The mustard will still get it to taste absolutely fabulous! and the price? cheap I tell you. If, of course, you don´t make a fresh black truffle mayonnaise. In that case, very expensive!

Up next, mission sourdough!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Avocado fries & Brussel Sprouts

I usually use avocado in simple salads but I have never actually cooked it. In this recipe, I am making avocado fries, a recipe I got from this website. My girlfriend actually showed me the recipe from another blog, but the website linked is the one I used and the article is very funny and very well written.

I made long slices with the avocados and prepared 3 bowls as explained in the recipe. One with flour, one with egg yolk, and one with panko (mixed with salt and pepper). Then, you just need to deep the slices in the bowls following this order and in the oven at 200°c for about 15min until the panko is golden brown. I served the fries with a chili sauce. Delicious! Great recipe.

To continue the dinner in a good note, I cooked Brussel Sprouts with bacon. Cut the bacon in small pieces and toss it in a hot pan. When the bacon is cooked, take it off the pan, add butter to deglaze it and put the brussel sprouts (cut in half) in it. Cook them at medium heat until they are soft with a nice colour. When finished, just add the bacon and few pine nuts. Healthy and so good.

Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Healthy Scampi Taco

Good evening!

I guess just like me you had a lot to eat during the Christmas and New Year holidays. And these meals have the reputation to be the heaviest of all year, so for a lot of people the new year resolutions tend to be "more sport" and "healthier food".

If you want to stay fit in 2014, or your girlfriend does, here is a veeery simple dish but very tasteful. It can also be served as an appetizer for a full menu of course.

The Scampi and Mango Taco

First, drizzle olive oil in a hot pan and toss the scampis (just the meat, no shell/head/tail) and cook it until you obtain firm scampi with a nice color. While cooking the scampis, you can slice the mango into thin layers. You don't want more mango than scampi or it ill be too sweet. 
To add a crunch to your "taco", toss pine nuts in a hot pan and move them until you obtain a golden skin. Be very careful as it just takes few seconds and it can be burned very easily.

Then, dispose everything in a lettuce leaf, drizzle with soy sauce and lime juice. 

Enjoy your healthy taco! If you want more healthy recipes, just tell me in the comments. ;-)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Back to Blogging with a Roast Lamb

It has been way too long since my last post on this blog. I'm not quite sure why as my passion for cooking actually became stronger through 2013. I learned many new recipes, tasted a lot of new meals and had the time to cook everyday. But time and motivation for blogging was hard to find unfortunately.

It's a new year now, and in 2014 I want to take this blog back to life!

Here is a new recipe which can look a lot more complicated than it actually is : a roast lamb. I chose to accompany the lamb with a sweet potatoes purée and asparagus.

First, place the lamb in a hot pan and just cook it on each side for 40 seconds to give it a nice colour. Then place it in a plate with olive oil and dispose thin layers of garlic under the strings.

Place the plate in a preheated oven at 150°c for one hour / kilo (mine was 1,300kg so I left it for about 1 hour and 20 minutes). Once the lamb is cooked place it in foil for 20 minutes before slicing it. If you have a meat thermometer, the center should be at 70°c (or 65°c if you like it pink).

While the meat is cooking, you can prepare the purée. Just peal and slice the sweet potatoes and place them in boiling water with a pinch of salt. Cook it until you can easily cut through the potatoes. Add them into a mixer with few spoons of the water you cooked them in (which is now a stock) and about 15cl of liquid cream. Mix it all until you have a nice homogenous purée. You can add more stock and more cream if you want it a bit more liquid and soft.

For the asparagus, just toss them in a hot pan with olive oil. Move them a lot in the pan so they don't burn and at the end, add soy sauce in the hot pan. It works perfectly with the asparagus. 

For the sauce, I used the juice from the meat which I put in a pan to reduce with butter and few centiliters of red wine.

I hope you enjoy this first post of 2014! It feels good to be back here ;-)