Sunday, May 31, 2015

Beet- and tomato soup with cheese and olives - Rödbets- och tomatsoppa med ost och oliver

Rödbets- och tomatsoppa med ost och oliver

This soup is inspired by the famous Russian soup, the Borsjtj.

4 servings

3 to 4 beets, approx 400 g/14 oz
1 onion
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 can crushed tomatoes, 400 g/14 oz
1 litre (4 cups) water
2 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes
salt, pepper
150 g (5 oz) feta cheese
1 dl (good 1/3 cup) black olives
2 dl (good ¾ cup) crème fraîche

Peel and coarsely grate the beets. Peel and chop the onion. Sautée beets and onion in the fat in a pot without browning. Add tomatoes, water and bouillon cubes and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Flavour to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup with crumbled feta cheese, olives and crème fraîche.




Bubbly summer drinks - Porlande sommardrinkar

Porlande sommardrinkar

4 glasses of each

Strawberry drink:
1 litre (4 cups) strawberries
2 lemons
3 oranges
sugar to taste
2 to 3 bottles of club soda or other
sparkling water

Rinse and trim the strawberries (save some of the best) and push the rest through a sieve. (In Swedish, this procedure is called “passera” which means “pass” in English.) Add fresh lemon juice and orange juice and flavour to taste with sugar.

Don’t add the sparkling water until the moment you’re serving the drinks. Put ice cubes and whole strawberries in the glasses.




1 lemon
1 orange
1 bottle of red wine
½ dl (scant ¼ cup, 1½ fl oz) Cointreau (orange liqueur)
1 bottle of club soda, tonic or other sparkling water

Cut lemon and orange in very, very thin slices and put them in a large glass container together with many ice cubes. Pour on red wine and liqueur and add the sparkling water the moment you’re serving.




3 lemons
2 bottles of uncarbonated apple drink
a piece of fresh cucumber
1 bottle of club soda, tonic or other sparkling water

Squeeze 2 of the lemons and mix the juice with the well chilled apple drink. Cut the 3rd lemon in leafy-thin slices and put it in a glass decanter together with thin slices of cucumber and ice cubes. Add the apple drink and fill up with sparkling water the moment you’re serving.




Indian vegetable fry - Indisk grönsakspytt

Indisk grönsakspytt

The spice mix of cloves and ginger smells lovely!

4 servings

6 potatoes
2 carrots
½ head of cauliflower, approx 300 g/10 oz
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons butter or margarine for frying
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon fresh, chopped coriander or parsley

2 dl (good ¾ cup) cooking yogurt
1 crushed garlic clove
2 teaspoons fresh, chopped mint
or 1 teaspoon dried mint

Peel potatoes and carrots and cut them in rather large chunks. Divide the cauliflower into small florets. Sautée garam masala and turmeric in the fat in a large frying pan. Put in the veggies, flavour with salt and fry for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with coriander or parsley.

Flavour the yogurt with garlic and mint and serve the dish with this and a nice bread.



Crudité with creamy lentils - Crudité med krämig linsröra

Crudité med krämig linsröra

Raw, thinly sliced roots and vegetables in different colours with a flavourful lentil mix. Lots of green stuff in a fun way!

4 servings

3 carrots, different colours if possible
1 squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice from ½ lemon
½ teaspoon salt
2 oranges

Lentil mix:
1 can lentils, approx 400 g/14 oz
2 dl (good ¾ cup) cooking yogurt
1 crushed garlic clove
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sambal oelek

Start with the lentil mix. Rinse and drain them. Mix lentils, yogurt, garlic, salt and sambal. Peel the carrots and cut them and the squash in long, tin slices with a potato peeler or a cheese slicer. Mix the veggies with oil, lemon juice and salt.

Peel the oranges and cut them in pieces. Turn them into the salad and serve with the lentil mix.



Warm couscous salad with lime sauce - Varm couscoussallad med limesås

Varm couscoussallad med limesås

Couscous can really count as instant food. Try this crunchy version with cashews and broccoli. The sauce adds the finishing touch.

4 servings

4 dl (1 ¾ cups) couscous
4 dl (1 ¾ cups, 14 fl oz) vegetable bouillon
2 leeks
400 g (14 oz) broccoli
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon herbal salt
1 dl (good 1/3 cup) cashews (yum yum!)

Lime sauce:
2 dl (good ¾ cup) low-fat crème fraîche
grated zest and juice from 1 lime
salt, pepper

Bring the bouillon to a boil, stir in the couscous and let them only just boil up. Put a lid on, remove the saucepan from heat and let the couscous expand for 6 minutes.

Cut the leek and the broccoli in pieces. Sautée the veggies in the butter or margarine in a pot and pour on some water. Let boil for a few minutes. Add the veggies with their buttery “sauce” to the couscous and also add herbal salt and cashews.

Mix crème fraîche and lime zest and juice. Flavour with salt and pepper and serve the couscous with the sauce.



Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bean vegetable casserole - Bön- och grönsaksgryta

Bön- och grönsaksgryta

Cumin, fennel, parsley and sweet pepper give taste and colour to this dish. You can either serve the crème fraîche as an accompaniment or stir it into the casserole.

4 servings

2 onions
2 fennels, approx 400 g/14 oz
1 large red sweet pepper
200 g (7 oz) cabbage
1 can beans, approx 400 g/14 oz
1 tablespoon whole cumin
butter, margarine or oil
½ dl (scant ¼ cup) tomato purée
1 can crushed tomatoes, 400 g/14 oz
1 teaspoon salt
dash coarsely ground black pepper

For serving:
2 dl (good ¾ cup) crème fraîche
1 dl (good 1/3 cup) chopped parsley

Peel the onions. Cut onions and fennels in wedges. Shred the sweet pepper and cabbage roughly. Rinse the beans in cold water and drain them. Sautée cumin in the fat in a pot for about 30 seconds. Add tomato purée, onions, fennel, sweet pepper, cabbage. tomatoes, salt and black pepper and stir to make sure everything is well blended.

Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat until onions and fennels are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans and heat it all through. Add the crème fraîche or serve it separately, sprinkle with parsley and serve with bulgur, rice or pasta and bread.



Monday, May 25, 2015

Veggie casserole with gremolata - Vegogryta med gremolata

Vegogryta med gremolataröra

Just like a French ratatouille, but with chickpeas as well. A gremolata is a mix of garlic, lemon and parsley. We make it a little richer in this dish, using cottage cheese.

4 servings

1 onion
1 yellow sweet pepper
1 squash, approx 400 g/14 oz
butter or margarine
1 can chickpeas, 400 g/14 oz
1 can whole tomatoes, 400 g/14 oz
black pepper
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 tsp thyme

250 g (8 oz) cottage cheese
grated zest from ½ lemon
1 crushed garlic clove
½ dl (scant ¼ cup) chopped parsley

Blend the ingredients together for the gremolata. Peel and chop the onion. Trim the sweet pepper. Cut  sweet pepper and squash in pieces and sautée all the veggies in butter or margarine in a pot. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and stir them in, together with tomatoes and their juice. Flavour with black pepper, crumbled bouillon cube and thyme. Let it all boil together for about 10 minutes and serve with the gremolata.



Apricot almond cake - Aprikoskaka med mandel

Aprikoskaka med mandel

1 cake, approx 8 pieces

2 eggs
2 dl (3/4 cup) sugar
2½ dl (1 cup) flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
200 g (7 oz) almond paste
1 can apricots, 400 g (14 oz)
75 g (2½ oz) cold butter or margarine
¾ dl (1/3 cup) flaked almonds
2 tablespoons crushed loaf sugar

For serving:
whipping cream

Heat the oven to 175C/Gas 4 (or maybe 3½ if you have “half steps”).

Beat eggs and sugar until fluffy. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking powder and coarsely grated almond paste and stir this into the egg batter. Pour in a greased, floured springform pan, diameter approx 26 cm/10 inches.

Push the apricots slightly into the batter and slice the fat on top. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and crushed loaf sugar. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes – try with a skewer.

Serve with lightly whipped cream.




The lovely pork casserole - Den goda fläskgrytan

Den goda fläskgrytan

I don’t know which word is right to use for a dish like this, ”stew” or ”casserole” or something else – please enlighten me! It’s delicious, though, whatever you choose to call it.

4 servings

500 g (1 lb) shoulder of pork
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 onions
1 red sweet pepper
100 g (3½ oz) fresh mushrooms
or corresponding amount of canned
1 can small, whole carrots
salt, white pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
3 dl (1 ¼ cups, 10 fl oz) bouillon
2 apples

2 tablespoons flour
1 to 2 dl (good 1/3 to good ¾ cup) white
or red cooking wine

Cut the meat in small pieces or slice it, then brown in hot fat. Transfer to a pot, brown the onions lightly in the pan and also sautée the shredded sweet pepper, mushrooms and carrots before putting them in with the meat. Flavour with salt, pepper and thyme.

Add bouillon, cover and let simmer slowly until the meat is tender. Add the apples, peeled and cut in wedges, towards the end of the cooking time. Thicken the juice from the pot with some flour and flavour to taste with cooking wine.

Serve with boiled rice or potatoes and a salad.




Pink yogurt peach soup - Rosa persikosoppa med yoghurt

Rosa persikosoppa med yoghurt

I first got this recipe from one of the American food lists I was on at Yahoo about 15 years ago (OMG, is it really that long …). It looked so good I had to try it at once and since it was in the summer, out I went to buy peaches and strawberries and stuff that was needed. And we fell in love with this dessert soup here at home. I had to change the measurements to Swedish of course, but it turned out just perfect. And as it was very warm that summer, and the soup is filling and rich, we practically lived on it when we didn’t feel like cooking in the heat. I also remember taking two huge containers of it to the mail terminal (where I was working then) and served to my team colleagues for the long break on a very, very hot evening.

I’m afraid I haven’t got a picture of this, but I think you get it anyway. The peaches have to be fresh, it’s not the same glorious result at all with canned peaches, but the berries can be frozen and thawed. You can also substitute with nectarines and raspberries. Do whatever you like, but make sure you try this recipe!!!

Makes approx 2 litres (8 cups)

5 dl (2 cups) fresh strawberries or raspberries
(you can use frozen too, as I said above)
2 fresh peaches, peeled and pitted (must be fresh)
1 dl (good 1/3 cup, 3½ fl oz) fresh orange juice
1 dl (good 1/3 cup) plain yogurt, preferably 3% fat
and not too sharp
3 tablespoons sugar (if necessary, or sugar to taste –
sometimes you need more, sometimes less, and the
fruit and berries and juice are sweet themselves)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
some nutmeg if you like that (I don’t)

Rinse and trim the strawberries and slice or cut in pieces. Cut the peaches in pieces as well. When I make this soup, I make it in two steps. I put half of the strawberries and peaches in the mixer or food processor, pour in half the yogurt, and all of the orange and lemon juice. Then I process until everything is puréed and well blended. Try to avoid larger pieces of fruit in the soup.

I pour the soup in a suitable container, then I repeat the procedure with remaining fruit and berries and blend well. I sweeten the soup afterwards, when I’ve tasted it and see if it needs any sugar at all. If the peaches and strawberries are sweet enough, I don’t add any sugar.

Then the soup needs to be chilled for at least 3 hours before serving. It should be ice cold when you eat it and then it has also thickened slightly. I sometimes put it in the freezer for a while but not until it’s completely frozen, and then take it out when the food is served so it can be served at a perfect temperature.

Enjoy – oh, I hope you do!



Another strawberry punch - Jordgubbsbål

En annan jordgubbsbål

8 to 10 servings

1 litre (4 cups) whole or sliced strawberries
1 orange in extremely thin slices
powdered sugar to taste (but bear in mind the
sweetness of the berries and the wines)
1 bottle of Rhine wine (no, not Rhino!)
1 bottle of Mosel wine
2 bottles of neutral tasting, sugared
or 2 bottles of cheap champagne
ice cubes

Alternate strawberries and orange slices with sugar in a large bowl and leave in peace to draw for about 2 hours. Add the wines and the soda or champagne and put the ice cubes in the bowl when serving.





The ”kolijox” is a word that I’ve conveniently borrowed from the author of Pippi Långstrump, Astrid Lindgren. There is no proper name for this and so I thought that “kolijox” is as good a name as anything. It’s a sort of hotchpotch with a little of this, a little of that and it was served a lot during my childhood – it was quick, cheap and filling. Mum always had to think of that since we had to manage on her paycheck when we were children.

4 servings

300 g (10 oz) Falu sausage or the like
2 onions, finely chopped
10 potatoes
50 g (1 ¾ oz) butter or margarine
salt, white pepper
4 raw egg yolks
chopped parsley

Dice the potatoes evenly in size. Fry until crisp, golden and tender in the fat and flavour with salt and pepper. Sautée the onion in some fat, add the shredded sausage and brown. Spread out the raw-fried potatoes on a warm serving plate.

Serve as in the picture, with sausage and chopped parsley in “stripes” on the potato bed. Decorate with raw egg yolks in their shells. If you want an extra kick you can serve some chili sauce separately for each one to decide.

Retro, retro, retro! :-D




Italian mushroom patties - Italienska köttfärsbiffar med champinjoner

Italienska köttfärsbiffar med champinjoner

4 servings

500 g (1 lb) ground meat, 50/50
200 g (7 oz) mild cheese
175 g (6 oz) fresh mushrooms
2 eggs
2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
½ garlic clove
salt, white pepper, paprika
butter or margarine for frying
1 small can anchovies
2 dl (good ¾ cup, 7 fl oz) bouillon
1½ dl (2/3 cup, 5 fl oz) red wine

Work the ground meat with finely diced cheese, coarsely chopped mushrooms, beaten eggs, dried breadcrumbs, crushed garlic and spices. Shape into patties and fry until brown. Put them on a warm serving plate and decorate with anchovies.

Pour bouillon and wine in the pan and whisk around. Flavour to taste and pour some of this over the patties. Serve remaining gravy separately and also boiled potatoes sprinkled with parsley and a green salad or a tomato salad.

You can mix chopped green olives and shredded bacon in the ground meat instead of cheese and mushrooms.



Saturday, May 23, 2015

Marie's fish casserole - Maries fiskgryta

Maries fiskgryta

This is a truly delicious fish casserole, that I had for the first time at Marie’s place. Marie is the conductor of our chorus, the Gothia Show Chorus, and for a few years we sang in the same quartet. She knew, of course, about my allergy so she made mine on the side, in a separate saucepan, but I give you the complete, unchanged recipe. It was so good I didn’t even think of taking a picture … so you have to take my word for it.

4 servings

400 g (3/4 lb) fresh fillet of cod
300 g (10 oz) fresh fillet of salmon
½ leek
½ onion
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 garlic clove
1½ teaspoon tomato purée
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
2½ dl (1 cup, 8 fl oz) dry white wine
1½ fish bouillon cube
2½ dl (1 cup, 8 fl oz) cream, approx 15% fat
1 dl (good 1/3 cup) low-fat crème fraîche
(that can be boiled)
2 dl (good ¾ cup, 7 fl oz) water
300 g (10 oz) un-peeled shrimp
1 can mussels, 150 g (5 oz)

Use fresh fish. Rinse and trim the leek. Peel and slice the onion. Melt the fat in a large pot. Sautée the onion, crush the garlic clove therein and add tomato purée, salt, thyme and basil. Sautée for a little while. Add wine and bouillon cubes and boil for a couple of minutes.

Add cream, crème fraîche and water and simmer for about 15 minutes. Cut the fish in smaller pieces, approx 5 cm/2 inches. Put them in the pot – first the salmon, then the cod. Simmer for about 7 minutes.

Peel the shrimp and add them and the mussels. Quickly heat through and serve at once with a warm baguette and aioli.



Orange cheesecake - Apelsincheesecake


A festive dessert, where you can substitute orange with lemon.

1 cake, 8 pieces

15 g (½ oz) digestives
50 g (1 ¾ oz) butter or margarine

4 gelatin sheets
2 eggs
400 g (14 oz) cream cheese
2 dl (good ¾ cup) crème fraîche
1½ dl (2/3 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
grated zest and juice from 1 orange

orange slices

Crumble the digestives. Melt the fat and mix with the crumbles. Press out in the bottom of a greased, baking paper-lined springform pan, diameter approx 24 cm/10 inches. Store cold.

Soak the gelatin in cold water for about 10 minutes. Separate the eggs. Mix egg yolks, cream cheese, crème fraîche, sugar, vanilla sugar and orange zest and stir until smooth. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gently turn them into the batter.

Heat up the orange juice in a saucepan and remove from heat. Squeeze the gelatin and melt them in the juice, allow to slightly cool and the pour the gelatin in a narrow stream into the cheese batter. Pour in the pan and smoothen out the surface. Cover and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Take it out and loosen the pan. Decorate with fruit when serving.




Falu sausage au gratin with creamy cheese sauce - Falugratäng i krämig ostsås

Falugratäng i krämig ostsås

4 servings

250 g (8 oz) pasta of your choice
500 g (1 lb) Falu sausage if you can get it
1 leek
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
250 g (8 oz) broccoli
1 dl (good 1/3 cup) grated, ripe cheese
10 cherry tomatoes

Cheese sauce:
4 dl (1 ¾ cups, 14 fl oz) cream, approx 15% fat
1 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper
2 tablespoons Maizena or corn flour
1½ dl (2/3 cup) grated, ripe cheese
½ dl (scant ¼ cup) finely chopped parsley

chopped green herbs

Boil the pasta, rinse it in cold water and drain. Shred the sausage. Trim and shred the leek and brown in some fat until glossy. Trim the broccoli and divide into florets. Boil the florets for about 2 minutes in lightly salted water and drain. Split the tomatoes.

Sauce: Bring the cream to a boil and thicken with corn starch. Flavour with salt and pepper, add cheese and chopped parsley and let the cheese melt in the sauce while you stir it.

Heat the oven to 225C/Gas 7. Mix pasta, leek, sausage, broccoli and tomatoes and pour this in a greased, oven-proof dish. Pour the cheese sauce on top and bake this gratin in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the surface is nice and golden and the cheese sauce has set.

Decorate with chopped herbs and serve with a salad – never forget! :-D



Hot pineapple with crushed nuts and ice cream - Het ananas med nötkross och glass

Het ananas med nötkross och glass

In 10 minutes you make a scrumptious dessert – fried pineapple slices served with lightly caramelized nuts …
4 servings

Approx ¾ dl (1/4 cup) muscovado sugar
or other sugar of your choice
4 tablespoons coarsely chopped mixed nuts
1 fresh pineapple
5 dl (2 cups) vanilla ice cream
butter or margarine for frying

Melt approx ½ dl (scant ¼ cup) sugar in a pan, cast iron type. Add the nuts when the sugar has melted. Stir and immediately put on baking paper on a baking plate. Leave to set, then chop coarsely.

Peel and slice the pineapple. Heat up the fat in the pan and quickly fry the slices on both sides. Sprinkle with sugar.

Serve the slices warm with chopped nuts and vanilla ice cream. Decorate with mint.