Larb gai recipe


Last year I visited Thailand, and for the first time I tried the dish larb, something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. Larb is a salad common in Northern Thailand as well as in Laos. It contains ground toasted rice and herbs and can be made with several proteins. Some use raw beef, some use pork mince, I had it with guinea fowl in a spectacular version at Nahm in Bangkok, and you could also, like me, use chicken for this fresh tasting flavour explosion of a dish. A salad in my taste.

What you need
Minced chicken/chicken chopped finely
Fresh mint leaves
Fresh coriander/cilantro
1 Green chilli (or use chilli flakes – or like I did, both)
3 stalks of spring onion (the green stuff)
2 shallots
3 deciliter of jasmine rice (get Thai long grain if possible)

For Thai salad dressing
2 limes
2-3 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
1-2 teaspoons of caster sugar

How to cook it
1. Start with the salad dressing. Roll the whole limes for a bit against the table, this will make it easier to squeeze out the juice. Then cut limes in half and press the juice into a bowl. Add fish sauce and caster sugar. Stirr with a spoon until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Time to toast the rice. Toast a deciliter of rice in a dry pan until it’s is quite brown but not burnt. When it smells toasty it’s probably about done. Ground the rice in a blender or by using a mortal and pestle.

3. Continue with the chicken. Fry the mince or the chopped chicken until done. Set aside.

4. Roughly chop mint leaves, coriander and spring onion stalks. Finely slice the green chilli if you’re using one. Then mix everything together and pour over the dressing. Let rest for a while and then served together with steamed rice and possibly a cold beer.

Creamed mushroom soup with fried chanterelles


August is here, meaning autumn in Sweden is approaching. Fortunately, being in the final month of summer isn’t all sad, as we are able to sample autumn delicacies such as chanterelles. Today we had this delicious little mushroom in a soup and on a sandwich.

The soup is actually a mushroom soup topped with fried chanterelles since we were too cheap to buy only chanterelles (the price is approximately $30 a kilo). Anyway, here is the recipe. Serves about two persons.

What you need
About 500 grams of button mushrooms
1 onion
1 garlic clove
about 5 cls of Whiskey (or white wine, or just leave it out)
3 stock cubes, I used chicken
100 grams of Celeriac
Olive oil for frying
1 deciliter of cream
Tomato pure
Thyme
Salt
Blackpepper

How to do it
This soup is supposed to be mixed, so no need to fancy it up with nice little cubes or similar. Just peel everything and then roughly chop it.

1. As mentioned above, peel and roughly slice mushrooms, the onion, garlic and celeriac. Fry the vegetables until browned. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and stirr well.

2. Add tomato pure to an empty spot in the pan and let it roast for a little while (maybe 30 secs). Then add the whiskey/wine and use it to de-glaze the pan, eg. get all the burnt stuff in the bottom to let go. Stirr everything well once more.

3. Add water and stock cubes until it covers the vegetables. Then let simmer for about 30 minutes before you add the cream. Let reduce for a couple of minutes. Taste, and season if needed. Then remove from the heat.

4. Mix the soup in a blender or with a hand blender. Serve topped with butter-fried chanterelles, finely chopped parsley and a few drips of olive oil.

The above chanterelle toast is great as a side with the soup. It’s made with more butter-fried chanterelles on top of a grilled slice of sourdough bread.

Sunday breakfast: ‘smashed avo’, feta and chorizo on grilled sourdough


One of my favourite breakfast dishes is the, at the moment (and for some time) quite trendy, ‘smashed avo’ sandwich.

In this weekend’s version I used fried chorizo “crumble” to add some fatty, spicy and meaty crunch to the dish.

What you need (for 2 persons)

1 fresh chorizo (remove the casings)

2 eggs

about 100 grams feta cheese

2 quite thick slices of good quality sourdough bread

1 avocado per person

Fresh Coriander/cilantro

Blackpepper

Salt

How to make it

Fry the de-cased chorizo in olive oil and use a wooden spoon to divide the sausage into small pieces like minced meat for the chorizo crumble. When it’s crisp, turn off the heat and set aside.

Use a griddle pan or an actual bbq to char the sourdough bread. It should have nice char marks but not be too crisp, so a minute or so per side depending on the heat should do the trick. Of course you could just toast the bread as well.

Poach the eggs by adding cracked eggs to just boiling water (with salt and vinegar in the cooking water). Let boil for a minute and a half, then pick them up with a slotted spoon or similar. Set aside while making the final preparations.

Take the pit out of the avocado and mash the flesh together with a little bit of salt. Put the mix on the grilled bread. Crumble feta cheese on top of the avocado and finally a poached egg. Top with the chorizo crumble, coriander and chives.

Serve with a cup of coffee, a bloody mary, or why not a glass of bubbly – it’s still weekend after all!

Weekend eating



Had a very nice weekend, especially eating wise, last week. Thought I’d share some pics from it.


Slow cooked Sunday Bolognese, probably my all time favourite dish. Made extra tasty with spaghetti from Italian company Martelli (found at Urban Deli if you’re in Sweden).

I had a slice of Nutella and strawberry pizza when we visited Brazil in January and I’ve been wanting to try to make it ever since. Basically bake a pizza crust without anything on it, when done smear on Nutella, and then add strawberries, whipped cream and icing sugar when it has cooled. So good.

A homemade pizza with shrimps, bacon, feta cheese, buffalo mozzarella and chilli flakes. We actually had this one from Dominos while living in Australia. Great combo of flavours. Washed down with rosé.

Probably the best burger I’ve ever made. Fresh ground chuck roll, cheese, my favourite burger dressing, brioche buns (from Garant if in Sweden), pickles, tomatoes and onion rings. So fatty the grill went crazy but turned out to be incredibly juicy and delicious. Served with kimchi slaw (kimchi mixed with mayo), fries and smoky Brazin Zinfandel.

Spaghetti cacio e pepe


Related to my last post, I decided it was time to have a proper cacio e pepe the other day. 

Cacio e pepe is probably one of the easiest to make dishes while still really delicious. Since I am kind of lazy but still need delicious food, it’s a perfect dish for me.

You need

Spaghetti (preferably good quality)

Pecorino cheese

Black pepper

Salt

How to cook it

Grate pecorino cheese.

Cook spaghetti in salted water until slightly under cooked. Reserve a couple of table spoons of the cooking water before draining the pasta.

Put the pasta back in the cooking pan together with almost all of cheese, the cooking water and pepper. Stirr on low heat until cheese and water has mixed into a velvety sauce around the spaghetti. Season with (plenty of) black pepper and sprinkle the last pecorino cheese on top.

Done! Enjoy!

Risotto cacio e pepe


Got a revelation the other day to try to combine one of my favourite pasta dishes ‘cacio e pepe’ with a risotto. Turned out really well. Below is how to do this cheesy, peppery and smooth risotto cacio e pepe.

Ingredients

Arborio rice or other prefered “risotto rice”

One onion

Garlic

Chicken stock (or vegetable)

Butter

Pecorino cheese

Chives

Cooking the risotto

The recipe is really simple. You make a standard risotto by first frying finely chopped onion and garlic in butter. When cooked till soft (but now browned), add uncooked arborio rice and “toast” for a couple of minutes. Poor in a glass of wine and let it reduce for a bit. Then just add stock (I use chicken stock) in portions (like with the wine let reduce, then add some more) until the rice is done. It should have some bite still in my mind and the risotto should be relatively runny.

Flavouring

Add finely grated pecorino cheese (you could use parmesan but it won’t really be the same), a knob of butter and lots of black pepper to the risotto. Stirr and taste. If taste’s good you’re ready to serve.

I added a layer of grated pecorino at the bottom, then the risotto on top, and then some extra pecorino, black pepper and finely chopped chives on top of the risotto. Enjoy!

A Swedish Midsummer

A good Swedish Midsummer is, in my mind, among the best things of the year. Usually it rains, and usually it’s a last minute option. But occassionally, there is this invite to one of your friend’s country houses for a proper traditional Swedish Midsummer bash with Midsummer’s pole, boozy herring lunch, childish games and partying till the sun goes back up at something like 3 a.m. This year was one of those rare pretty much perfect Swedish Midsummers. Pics below.

Midsummer party setting. No electricity, no heating and no running water. Lots of pretty little cabins, lots of beer, plenty of schnaps, sea access and a great sauna made up for any first world inconveniences though.

Pre-Midsummer dinner.

Picture perfect sauna.

Slightly crooked Midsummer’s pole which is what we circulate doing our pagan dances, such as the classic “tiny frogs”.

Traditional herring lunch with pickled herring, boiled new potatoes, Västerbottens cheese pie, egg halves, sour cream, chopped chives, salmon and crispbread.

Un-traditional but nevertheless delicious pavlova.

Sunset at 11 pm:ish.

Day two was spent on below jetty tanning/sweating out the Midsummer alcohol.


Sunset.

Eating in Monaco


Got back from our trip to Monaco last week, and though I’d share what we had, and what you too could eat in Monaco.

Although we only visited for four days, we did a fair bit of eating.

Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris

One of the “must dos” in Monaco if you are okay with spending €300-400 (minimum) on a dinner for two. I’ve wanted to go there for a long time, so we decided to splurge to, for the first time, visit a European three michelin starred restaurant.

Upon arriving, we were the first guests of the night, which was a little bit intimidating initially. Although staff were quite relaxed so we were too.

Prices are quite high as mentioned, but you do get quite a lot for your euros. We ordered five dishes in total – a shared starter (€45), two mains (approximately €100 each) and two desserts (€36 each). A bottle of red wine was €60 and a bottle of water €7. In addition to our five ordered dishes we received 9 various kinds of food items and dishes, each.

French fishes with Mediterranean herbs.

Stocafi, a Monegasque dish with salt-cured cod, fennel sausage, tomatoes and olives.

Milk-fed lamb, red leaves lettuce salad, tiny spelt and herb pesto.

Guinea fowl cooked in the fire place, green peas and morels.

Soft chocolate cake, cocoa/nib.


Coffee candy.

Rum baba, lightly whipped cream.

Apart from what is above we had two kinds of sorbet (green apple-rucola and yuzu), roasted almonds and homemade chocolates.

A fantastic experience both in terms of ambience, food and service.

Café de Paris

A Monaco classic, located just next to the casino and an exceptional place to people spot, watch the expensive cars (and their owners/renters). Because of this also sort of a tourist trap with steep prices, at least so I’ve heard. Fortunately it wasn’t all that bad and we had a really nice dinner at prices relatively close to a meal in for instance Stockholm.

Sirloin with fries and béarnaise sauce (that is much better than it looks) costed €31.


Steak tartare with fries, also €31.

Enjoyed with a bottle of wine and a shared dessert we paid slightly over €100 for two in probably the best location in one of the most expensive places in the world.

Amici Miei

Closer to our hotel, the Columbus we found Italian restaurant Amici Miei, meaning “my friend” as we learned from the friendly owner.

First up, delicious mussels.

Raviolis with truffle, porcini and ricotta in a creamy sauce. Really, really delicious.


Delicious grilled lamb with a few basic but well cooked condiments.

Again, prices were relatively high, although less so than Café de Paris. Two beers, a 50 cl bottle of local wine, a shared starter and two mains costed us around €100.

More food in Monaco

Honorable mentions goes to Le Comptoir at Place D’Armes were we had delicious sandwiches and coffee for breakfast. It is below the hill where the palace and the aquarium/Oceanographic Museum are located.


Mozzarella & ham sandwich at Le Comptoir.

Another recommendation is to visit Carrefour where you can buy snacks and drinks. They had bottles of Champagne (yes, actual) from €10.

Another quite nice place was Bilig Café which had decent food at decent prices. A crepe with lemon and sugar was €4 and a Salade Nicoise was €15.


Salade Nicoise and crepes at Bilig Café.

All in all, Monaco was a very nice destination for a four day getaway. The ultra luxury is mostly located around the casino, in the rest of the city/country you can find nice food and drink at relatively decent prices.

Time to travel to… Monaco

I have the somewhat odd but also quite fun hobby to try to visit all the countries in the world. Now it’s time for number 73, namely: Monaco!

Haven’t managed to get further than the Lufthansa Business Lounge in Frankfurt yet, but I’m working on it!

Looking forward to four days of nice views, lots of delicious food and possibly a glass of champagne or two.

Birthday weekend

Turned one year older last weekend, and chose, maybe not that surprisingly, to celebrate with a decent amount of food and drink. Below are a few pics from the birthday dinner.

Wine! The spectacularly tasty Charles “Champagne Charlie” Heidsieck, Juris (Austrian red) and a Brunello di Montalcino. Good stuff!

Steak tartare on grilled sourdough with dijon mayo, red onion, chives and capers.


Grilled lobster with chive butter. Oh so good. The smoke from the grill really worked well with the sweet lobster meat and the herb butter.

Grilled steak with marinated gem lettuce, fries, grilled vegetables and truffle mayonnaise.

Dessert: weed tarte tatin. No, not the weed some smoke, but weed as in stuff you pick from the side of the road. Well, actually my mother does that. And it resulted in this delicious weed tarte tatin.
The Sunday was my actual birthday, and it started nicely with nutella, cream and strawberry waffles for breakfast.

Moving on to Italian cold cuts in the sun.


And finally, my favourite dish in the entire world (sort of at least): Bolognese, served with garlic bread, Martelli spaghetti, parmesan cheese and red wine.