Monday, August 29, 2011

Spill the beans...

Did you know that there are produced almost 20 million metric tons of beans in the world each year? How amazing is that? Then, come to think of it, beans are actually eaten all over the world in one form or another...

I like beans, peas and lentils. They are good for so much, they are both nutritious and tasty. And ever so versatile.

I often use them in my Indian cooking. The red lentils (with the hull left on) with garlic, ginger and butter. The chickpeas pan roasted with any masala really, or in a biryani or vegetable curry.

A quick way to make a nice salad is to just toss in some fava beans or kidney beans. No need to ad neither meat or chicken since the beans will absolutely fill you up!

One of my favorite beans of all is the Japanese edamame bean. I buy it frozen and still in it's pod, cook it briefly in heavily salted water. After shelling the beans I just drizzle some lemon oil on and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt flakes.

Baked beans with fried "falu" sausage is a childhood favorite that I have passed on to my son.

Also the sprouts are exceptionally nice in a stir fry or a sukiyaki.

A little tip, if you boil your own beans, (the canned ones are terrific too), chuck in a piece of raw potato, it will make the hull soften...

Oh, and the red lentils you don't even have to boil, just put them in a bowl of water during the night and they will be superb to eat as they are or flavor to taste.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My top 5 Japanese dishes

I am a great fan of the Japanese kitchen, it's simplicity along with top grade products really speaks to me. I'm a long time patron of Stockholm's Japanese restaurants and some dishes I even manage myself these days... Here is my Top 5:

  • Sukiyaki - A meat and vegetable "fondue", prepared at the table. Perfect for a date or a family dinner.
  • Yakisoba - Fried noodles, with or (as I prefer it) with out meat and veggies. It's the special sauce that turns this into the ultimate comfort food.
  • Sushi - So light and fresh. One of those meals that leaves you perfectly content without feeling you have to lie down on the couch for a few hours. I think I love the tuna bits the most...
  • Okonomiyaki - A sort of cabbage filled pancake with sauce and mayo. Emma cooked this for us at the restaurant and it was a huge success. Bring it back Emma-san!
  • Gyoza - Pork and veggie filled dumplings. "Finger licking good"!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A lingonberry bonanza!

Last weekend I had the great fortune of having 10 liters of lingonberries appear on my door step. A wonderful gift from wonderful friends!

Since I'm everything but traditional in the kitchen I felt I needed to try out some new stuff.

First off, a tangy lingonberry chutney with star anise and cloves, sugar, salt and a bit of white vinegar.

Then I started the project of making lingonberry syrup... Never made flavored syrup before so working with all my fingers and toes crossed. First I cooked the berries with water, filtered it and proceeded in cooking the juice with a huge amount of sugar for the longest time... filtered it again and poured it on bottles... I can't even imagine how wonderful this syrup will be on a sundae or a brownie!

Last but not least I poured some berries in a bottle and filled it up with gin. I have no idea what it will taste like when it matures, but the bottle was oh so pretty! Have a look!