New Layout!

So, we finally got too tired of the old brown layout, and decided to lighten things up. Hope you like it, we even got ourselves a little deer!



After a recent fit of innovation it dawned on me that if you could make pistachio macarons, you probably could use other kinds of nuts, and as peanuts aren't really nuts they should work as well (there's no logic there, just creative thinking). Since it's possible to make peanut macarons (by creative inference), and also chocolate ones, you could take one of each shell and stick caramel cream between them and have something that's kinda like a snickers bar. The natural name for this thing would of course be “snickerons” – hence the title of this post. I sincerely hope we do not offend the French nation by blatantly dragging the crown of French pastry mastering into the cheap filth of American mass consumerism. I mean, that's what we're doing, we're just hoping no one takes offense... :-)

So, the three components needed are peanut and chocolate macaron shells and caramel cream.

Macaron shells
100 g Egg whites
30 g Sugar
100 g Ground Almonds
200 g Confectioner's Sugar
dash of Lemon Juice

Mix the ground almonds and confectioner's sugar in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and lemon juice to a foam, add the sugar and whip it to a soft meringue. Fold the meringue into the dry mixture without overworking it. Pipe small rounds on a parchment covered baking sheet (use a round tip). Let them sit for at least 30 minutes before baking at 175°C for 7–8 minutes.

Chocolate macaron shells
Substitute 20 g of confectioner's sugar with 20 g powdered cocoa. Add a light touch of green food coloring to get a more chocolaty color to the finished shells.

Peanut macaron shells
Substitute half of the almonds with peanuts. Make sure they're roasted and unsalted. The only ones I could get that matched those criterion were unpeeled Raffles style peanuts (the Long bar at Raffles Hotel is home to the Singapore Sling, and the shells of the complimentary peanuts are supposed to be discarded on the floor – colonially decadent and barbaric, but fun), which makes for some gruesome peeling... the things we do for treats!

Peanut macaron shells fresh out off the oven

Caramel cream
120 g Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Juice
300 g Cream

Melt the sugar and lemon juice in a pan. Add the cream little by little and let it absorb. When all the cream is in the pan, give it a quick boil up and then strain it into something that you can cover up and put in the fridge. Cover up and put into the fridge. :-)

Put some caramel cream between two different kinds of shells. Enjoy!

The finished snickerons

It actually worked. They taste somewhat like a snickers bar, only better. I think it needs more peanut though, so I'll try adding some salt in between (to lift the peanut flavor), or add some chopped regular (roasted and salted) peanuts. I guess the salt could have been added to the caramel cream, that would probably have worked out beautiful.

Another thing about following fits of inspiration is that you rarely stop to think things through, which I've had time to do now, and I really don't know why I made two shells... could've just made chocolate flavored peanut shells and caramel cream.

Guess that's the next iteration of this insanity: salt caramel cream and chocolate flavored peanut macaron shells. Or do you need almonds to call it macarons? Never mind – we're calling them snickerons anyway!


Daring Bakers April: Cheesecake

Have you seen a load of cheesecake posts around the foodie blogosphere today? Yes, it's the Daring Bakers time of the month again:
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
The challenge was not only to make the cheesecake, but to make it special - play with flavors, toppings and decorations. My mind immediately went to work, and pretty soon I realized that it would be impossible to choose just one flavor. Hadn't I stopped myself I easily could have thought of more than ten different cheesecakes to make, but now we settled on "just" five.

We decided to make the cheesecakes in small porcelain tartelette pans that Markus got for his birthday. As they aren't springform pans, the problem on how to get the cakes out of the pans presented itself. My mind went to work again, and came up with this, quite genius if I may say so myself, solution.

We (ok, Markus did it) cut circles out of parchment paper to fit in the pans. Below those went two strips of paper, to act as "lifting devices" to get the cake out. It worked really well! To hold the papers in place, we buttered the bottom of the pan.

Ok, on to the cheesecakes. The original recipe can be found over at Jenny Bakes; we'll just tell you about the different flavorings we designed.

As our pans were tiny and very low, we halved the recipe. In order to get five different flavors, we then had to fifth that half. It made for some interesting mathematical acrobatics (and possibly also a decent rap expression - fifth that half, man!), especially since the recipe used non-metric measures. We only screwed up once, putting too much cream in one of the cheesecakes. The verdict is, the cake did not suffer from our mistake.

Rosemary & Raspberry
We infused the cream with rosemary by bringing it to a boil with a few rosemary sprigs thrown in, and then letting it cool before straining it and adding it to the batter. We also added a few raspberries to it. For topping we made a raspberry mirror out of raspberries, water, sugar and gelatin. Rosemary and raspberry went really well together and we'll definitely be making this one again!

"Vargtass" (wolf's paw) is a traditional Finnish drink made of vodka and lingonberries. We added whole lingonberries to the batter and made a mirror for topping: lingonberries, water, sugar, gelatin and then of course, Koskenkorva vodka. The harsh flavors of the lingonberries and vodka really played well with the sweetness of the cake. Not recommended if you have a severe sweet tooth, or for children. Being Scandinavian, we of course liked it!

Grand Marnier & Chocolate
More liquor! We added cacao to the crust, and Grand Marnier (an orange liqueur) to the batter. For decoration, we simply swirled some melted dark chocolate on top. This tasted like a luxurious chocolate praline, which was exactly what we wanted.

Coconut & Fiery Rum Pineapple
Continuing the tour of liquor cabinet! This cake features a rum flambéed pineapple topping. For the batter, we substituted the cream with coconut cream, and also added some flaked coconut to the crust, which somewhat compromised the structural integrity (the crust came apart when we smeared the filling on it). Overall: Piña Colada in cake form!

Saffron & Wine-poached Fig
We end the cake tour like the year ends: with Christmas. We used Swedish gingerbread thins (traditionally eaten for Christmas) instead of graham crackers in the crust, and added saffron (another typical Swedish Christmas flavor) to the batter. For topping, we poached a halved fig in red wine with sugar, star anise, a cinnamon stick and one black peppercorn. 'Tis the season to be jolly!

Thank you Jenny for a great challenge!

But wait! There's more!
After putting together the five small cheesecakelettes, there was still small amounts of batter from all five left. What to do? We mixed them all up in one big witch brew and made two "unwholy" cakes. Let's just say: sometimes the sum doesn't equal more than the parts...



The “räckmacka” holds a special place among the Swedish traditional dishes. It is frequently associated with the high-but-not-top life, and has of late slipped into the not-quite-every-day luxury segment of the middle class. The word “räckmacka” is decomposed into “räk-” and “macka” which means “shrimp“ (as first element in a compound, otherwise it's “räka”) and “open top sandwich” respectively. This pretty much says it all, without giving away the vast quantities of mayonnaise that's usually associated with it. There's also usually some egg on it, but since I don't like egg, we tend to keep it simple.

So, for this you need:
2 rounds of semi-sweet Wheat Bread
~750g Shrimp (unpeeled)
2 slices of Lemon
4 small paper-and-toothpick Swedish flags (optional)
6 twigs of Dill

Our rounds of bread were a bit to large, so we had to cut them down. They should be about the size of a side plate. Peel the shrimps (or buy them peeled, but since they are the main source of flavor, I went for the masochistic path). Use a pastry bag to cover the whole of the bread with mayonnaise, and then arrange the shrimps so that they form a mountain and hide the mayonnaise pastry bag work. Cut two slices of lemon and arrange them artistically on top of the shrimp mountain. decorate with the flags and the dill.

The beauty of a räkmacka is fairly well measured by the height, and no ones going to notice if there's some extra mayo in the middle (wink, wink)...

If the directions were unclear, just look at the picture... I haven't got time to write a thousand words... :-)

Two beautiful räckmackor (plural form). Probably the best way to enjoy shrimp!

P.S. Oh, this was really written by me (Markus), but Jenny started the post by uploading the pictures, so she's probably listed as author. D.S.


The World's Tastiest Salad

We've taken a Easter holiday from the blog the past week, which we've spent celebrating Markus' birthday, visiting the parents and eating way too much candy. Now it's time to get blogging and cooking again, and boy, do we have something special in store for you today: The World's Tastiest Salad! Yes, I believe this may be it.

This is our summer favourite, and is best eaten outside on a warm summer evening while the sun is slowly setting, together with a glass of cool rosé wine. Its perfect for those hot summer days, because it requires almost no work, just some cutting of very soft stuff.

It's not warm enough for outside eating yet (at least not in the evenings), and there was no rosé in the house, but the salad tasted just as good as we remembered it from last summer. I bought Spanish strawberries and they were surprisingly good, but I can't wait until the Swedish ones are ready because then: perfection. Just a month and a half or so left...

The World's Tastiest Salad

Two handfuls of mixed greens e.g. rocket, maché, baby spinach etc. (no iceberg lettuce, please)
Half a small galia melon
A handful of fresh strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
A few fresh figs, sliced
A chunk of chèvre (goat cheese), in small pieces
A couple of thin slices of parma ham

This salad requires no dressing, and should be served on a large plate, not in a bowl. Place the greens on the plate. Add the fresh fruits. Roll up the slices of ham and top with those and the chèvre. Devour.


Pasta Express

An easy and tasty pasta dish that let's you have dinner on the table in 15 minutes. The same ingredients, minus the pasta, also makes a mighty good sandwich. I guess you can make cold pasta salad out of this too, but then you probably want to use shorter pasta, like fusili or penne. I don't really like cold pasta so I've never tried it.

Pasta Express

Serves 2

2 portions fresh tagliatelle
A handful of arugula (rocket)
A couple of cherry tomatoes
2 avocados
75 g chévre (goat cheese)
½ dl pine nuts
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Roast the pine nuts in a hot, dry skillet. Watch closely so you don't burn them! Quarter the cherry tomatoes (or halve them if they are really small). Dice the avocado and the cheese.
Boil the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain it and toss in some olive oil. Add the veggies and cheese, season with black pepper and mix everything around. Top with the pine nuts before serving. Done!


Paper Chef 39: Salmon and bulgur falafel with artichokes and blackberry butter

This is our first time ever participating in the food blog event called Paper Chef! The rules are simple: you are given four ingredients, and out of those you have to create something delicious. Three ingredients are randomly chosen from a suggested ingredient list, and the fourth is picked by last month's winner. In addition to picking the ingredients, last month's winner also gets to be the judge of this month's Paper Chef. Sounds cool, huh?! For all the details, and to read up on past Paper Chef challenges, go to the Paper Chef blog.

I have looked at some past months' ingredient picks, and compared to some of them - fig, mint, anchovy, and polenta or dried chili pepper, barley, vanilla pod and beef, this month looked very easy to me! Last month's winner Adrienne of Hungry Bruno picked artichokes, blackberries, bulgur (bulgar) and salmon (the first three being random and the salmon being her pick).

It didn't take us long to figure out what to do with these four ingredients. Our recipe isn't the healthiest (it's deep fried stuff with a butter dipping sauce, people...!), but if we may say so ourselves it turned out really well. Yeah, we know it's not real falafel, but we had to call it something and it sounds better than "salmon balls", right?!

It has been great fun doing the Paper Chef challenge for the first time and I hope that we will participate often in the future!

Salmon and bulgur falafel with artichokes and blackberry butter

Makes about 15 "falafels"

For the salmon and bulgur falafel:

2 dl water
Pinch of salt
1 dl bulgur
500 g salmon
1 egg
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper

For deep frying:
Neutral cooking oil

For the blackberry butter:

4 dl frozen blackberries
½ dl water
1 tbsp sugar
100 g butter

For the artichokes:
Artichokes (one per person)
Water for boiling

Making it all:
  1. Bring the salted water for the bulgur to a boil. Add the bulgur, lower the heat and cook for approximately 8 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Clean and dice the salmon. Put it in a food processor and mix using the pulse button until it's coarsely chopped. Mix salmon, bulgur and egg in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and put it in the fridge.
  3. Bring salted water to a boil in a pot big enough for the artichokes. Boil for 40-50 minutes depending on size. Strain and rinse immediately with cold water. Set aside for later.
  4. Bring the blackberries, water and sugar to a boil. Let it reduce for 5-10 minutes. Pass it through a strainer and set the puré aside for later.
  5. Melt the butter and put it aside.
  6. Prepare three plates, one with flour, one with lighly whisked egg and one with breadcrumbs. Keep these ingredients at hand because you will probably run out before having done all the salmon falafels.
  7. Heat the oil to 190°C.
  8. Get the salmon-bulgar mix out of the fridge and roll it into meatball sized balls. Roll them first in flour, then in egg and last in breadcrumbs. Deep fry a couple at the time until they are golden brown.
  9. Clarify the butter. Put the blackberry puré in a bowl and layer the butter on top. This is purely for show - when you dip it will mix together anyway, but it looks nice!
  10. Serve the salmon-bulgur falafel and artichokes as finger food with the blackberry butter as dipping sauce.

Absolute(ly) Unique Visitor(s)

Yesterday, our all-time “Absolute Unique Visitors” counter over at Google Analytics passed the 200 mark! Our typical visitor is still living in Uppsala and uses Firefox on a Windows machine.

Also, yesterday was when our absolutely unique real life weekend guest left, leaving a larger void than we would have thought. We had the pleasure of watching this distinguished gentleman while his humans were away. His name's Whisky, and he's the kindest and sweetest cat I've ever met.

Breakfast whatchamacallit

Oatmeal porridge is a traditional Swedish breakfast, and something my mother eats almost every day, as did her parents. Personally I can't stand its weird consistency and mealy flavour. We had to make it in home ec class in school, and to "make it more appealing" we were allowed to put like one tiny spoon of jam or applesauce on top. Yeah, still not appealing, thanks. Or like when we made our own müesli, which mostly consisted of oats, but could be "sweetened" with one teaspoon of raisins. Do you know how many raisins you can fit in a teaspoon? The anwer is about three, which is not nearly enough to make "müesli" made of dry and flavourless oats any sweeter. Now I'm digressing into rants about the making-people-hate-cooking-disaster which was home ec, so let's get back on track.

My distaste for oatmeal porridge - and dry oat-based müesli - aside, I do like to put oats in other stuff, like bread and cookies. And when I found a recipe for oatmeal breakfast clafoutis over at Clotilde's Chocolate & Zucchini, I was very intrigued, especially since the recipe contained the stuff that goes so well with oats in cookies: brown sugar, raisins and cinnamon.

I have never eaten a real clafoutis (but I need to, since I hear they are traditionally made with my favourite berry: cherries), and I don't know how I would categorize this dish. It's not a chewy bar, it's not a cake. My first thought when taking a bite was that the consistency was similar to that of "ugnspannkaka" (which is a traditional Swedish thick pancake made in the oven), but I'll go along with Clotilde and call it clafoutis. It's a bit too sweet for me to be a breakfast dish, but it's great as part of a brunch or, as I ate it today, a late morning snack together with a cup of tea. You can use different fruits and berries, dried or fresh (Clotilde's recipe has apples), and also add unsalted nuts.

Oatmeal-raisin and banana clafoutis
Adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini

2 3/4 cups oats (not the quick-cooking kind)
2/3 cups brown sugar
3/4 cups raisins
1½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 banana, thinly sliced

Combine the oats, sugar, raisins and spices in a bowl. Whisk together the milk and eggs. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a lightly oiled baking dish, about 22*33 centimeters (9*13 inches). Place the banana slices on top. Bake in a 180°C oven for 55-60 minutes until the center is set and firm to the touch. Eat while still a bit warm.

I got 12 squares out of this. I saved one in the fridge for tomorrow morning, and wrapped the rest individually in foil and froze them. They can be thawed in the fridge overnight and then reheated carefully in the oven next morning.


Rhubarb and strawberry love

There was both rhubarb and strawberries left over from last night's main course and desert. Rhubarb and strawberries are a match made in heaven, but the question was how to marry them. I pondered making the usual crumble at first, but then remembered a blackberry tarte from my favourite Swedish food magazine, Allt Om Mat, that I made a few years ago. The original recipe in Swedish can be found here - do make it, it won't disappoint you. A crispy crust with a creamy almost cheesecake-y filling and then loads of plump blackberries, topped off with some almonds. Yum!

I decided to make that tarte using strawberries and rhubarb instead of blackberries. Problem was, the original recipe called for crème fraiche and quark, of which there was neither in the fridge. But there was plain yoghurt and cream cheese though, so that's what I used instead. I was a bit nervous about the outcome (as always when it comes to kitchen chemistry), but the result was great: a perfect non-soggy crust and a creamy, light and juicy filling where the rhubarb and strawberries had made sweet sweet love (there's a mental image for ya!).

Creamy rhubarb-strawberry tarte

Makes one round tart, approx. 22 cm in diameter

3 dl flour
2 tbsp powdered sugar
125 g butter, cold
1 egg yolk
1-2 tbsp ice cold water

3 eggs
1 dl cream cheese
1 dl plain yoghurt
1 dl sugar
80 g almond paste (if you use store bought you need to grate it first, I used home made which was very crumbly to begin with)
1,5 dl rhubarb, cut in ½ cm pieces
1,5 dl strawberries, cut in smaller pieces

Set the oven to 200°C. Mix the flour, powdered sugar and butter together quickly in a food processor. Add the water and the egg yolk, and work together into a dough. Start with one tablespoon water and add the other if the dough won't come together. Press the dough out into a springform with about 22 cm diameter.

Whisk the eggs, cream cheese, yoghurt, sugar and almond paste together into a lump-free batter. Pour it into the crust. Put the rhubarb and strawberry pieces into the batter, try sticking them in so they don't poke out too much. Bake for about 40 minutes until the filling is set. Allow to cool before serving.

Ginger fluff & Co

As promised in this post, desert is coming up! We finally got around to making one of my old favorites, couldn't give you a source though, because rather than finding this in a recipe somewhere, it wound itself into the crevices of my brain in a fit of creativity. Haven't seen it anywhere, but please tell me if you recognize it from somewhere!

So, to make this you need:
~4 lumps (sugar cube sized) Jellied Ginger
4 tbsp Syrup from the above
2 dl Crème Fraîche
some snack style Pistachios (the salted, roasted ones)
Vanilla ice cream

Combine the jellied ginger, the syrup and the Crème Fraîche in a blender and mix it. It usually ends up being somewhat runny and more like lightly whipped cream, but this time it turned into something more mousse-like. I know it's hell to peel and chop the pistachios, but well worth it, and you don't need that much anyway. For serving: scoop up some ice cream, top it with ginger fluff and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

The hot, sweet taste of the ginger is mellowed by the slight acidity of the Cremè Fraîche, the salt in the pistachios bring the tasted forward in a good way, and depending on which ice cream you use this can really be a cool experience. We, of course, used home made vanilla ice cream – which is the best way of making sure it's good... :-)

Not all that photogenic, but nonetheless delicious!

Berries in fizzy jelly

So after the full-of-spring-feelings pork tenderloin with rhubarb and sage, an equally "springy" desert was needed. I kept leafing through the Jamie Oliver cookbook and found a recipe for summer fruit, elderberry and prosecco jelly that seemed to do the trick. And suddenly it dawned on me what to do with the bottle of strawberry flavoured "cider" (aka alcopop) that a friend of mine left in our fridge after our housewarming party a long time ago. She didn't want to drink it then, no-one has wanted to drink it since (thanks, but no thanks!), but hey, why not put it in the jelly instead of prosecco?! It's sweet, fizzy and tastes (kind of) like strawberries, so it had to work, right?

I had some problems getting the jelly to set, so I actually had to add more gelatin. I will give you my original recipe first, but also give you instructions on how to add more gelatin if you're having the same problem I did. Also, of course you don't have to use some kind of weird strawberry flavoured alcopop called "Strawberry Desire". You want it to be a bit sweet and definitely fizzy, but do experiment. And remember that if you go down the sparkling wine or alcopop route, this dish will contain alcohol...

Berries in strawberry-elderflower jelly
(adapted from Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef)

Makes 3 rather large portions

2 leaves of gelatin
3/4 dl elderflower cordial (undiluted!)
1 bottle (33 cl) of strawberry-flavoured alcopop (or sparkling wine, or another fizzy drink)
One handful each of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

Divide the berries equally into three bowls. Put them in the fridge, where your chosen fizzy drink also should be waiting. Soak the gelatin in cold water for about 10 minutes. Pour the elderflower cordial into a bowl, and place that over a pot of simmering water. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatin and add it to the elderflower coridal. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved; it should be a syrupy consistency. Let it cool at room temperature for a few minutes. Pour the cold fizzy drink over the elderflower liquid and stir carefully so all the bubbles are kept. Get the bowls of berries out of the fridge, and pour the liquid over the berries. Some berries will float up to the surface, use your finger to poke them down. Let the jelly set in the fridge. According to Jamie it will take an hour. Mine still hadn't even begin to set after two hours (see rescue-plan below) so do make this well in advance - you don't want to serve half-set jelly... Actually this can be kept in the fridge for a few days so to be on the safe side you can make it days before serving it. To get the jelly out of the bowls, dip them in hot water, place the plate upside down over the bowl, turn quickly, and hopefully the jelly will slide out of the bowl and on to the plate. Ideally it will still be "bowl-shaped". On of ours collapsed, so be careful.

What to do if your jelly doesn't set at all:
Place one or two leaves of gelatin in cold water (I used two to be on the safe side, maybe one would have been enough). Heat up some elderflower cordial (I used a bit less than half a deciliter) in a water bath as explained above, add the gelatin and stir until dissolved. Pour all the contents of your unset jelly bowls into a pitcher (to allow for easy pouring back), add the extra elderflower+gelatin mixture and stir carefully. Pour the content back into the bowls, place them in the fridge, wait and keep your fingers crossed...
Mine set beautifully after this, but it took another two-three hours.

Also, I know some people are uncomfortable with gelatin (I'm a bit uncomfortable too to tell you the truth, but as long as I don't think about it, it works...). There are vegetarian substitutions like agar-agar, but I have never used it so I can't tell you how it would work in this desert.

First day of spring-dinner

It's spring, people! I was wearing my spring jacket for the first time this year while walking to the grocery store yesterday. I was also sneezing excessively from the pollen in my nose and the dust from the dry roads that flew around with every passing car and ended up in my throat. Kids were playing brännboll outside the school, crocus are peaking out between the dry leaves outside our front door, and the huge pile of snow left by the snowplough in what now seems like ages ago (in reality just a couple of weeks) is looking sad and lonely, being eaten by the warm spring sun. Such a lovely day!

So yesterday called for a dinner full of flavours like the spring - fresh and exciting. Leafing through my latest cookbook find - Jamie Oliver's Happy Days - I found the perfect recipe: marinated pork tenderloin with sage and rhubarb. There's no fresh rhubarb yet, but luckily there was one bag left in the freezer from last year. My dad always gets loads of rhubarb in his garden and every summer he gives me a couple of grocery bags full of them. I love rhubarb, and it's always exciting to find ways to use it in cooking, rather than in just pies, muffins and such.

I modified the recipe slightly, exchanging the prosciutto for bacon and using rhubarb cut in much smaller pieces (that's how I freeze it). I think bigger pieces of rhubarb would have been better cause now they got a bit too soggy. The flavours work really well together, especially the sage which I rarely use but definitely will pick up more often now. The pork tenderloin got really tender, almost as if cooked sous-vide. Maybe the wet grease-proof paper that it was cooked under for the first 15 minutes is the secret?

Bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with rhubarb and sage
(adapted from Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef)

One handful of fresh sage + a few extra leaves
2 garlic cloves
3 tbsp olive oil
Pork tenderloin, enough for two
Salt, black pepper
2-3 rhubarb stalks, cut in finger-sized pieces (smaller slices also works, but will be soggier)
Bacon, enough to wrap the pork tenderloin in

Bash up the sage using a mortar and pestle (or if you have one, like me, use the Jamie Oliver flavour shaker which is really convenient for this kind of stuff). Peel the garlic and cut it in larger pieces - no need for fine chopping - and add that together with the olive oil. Give it all a good bash/shake. Trim the pork tenderloin if needed, and rub the marinade on to the meat. Cover, and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so.

Set the oven to 225°C. Get the meat out of the fridge, but do not wipe off the marinade, except for any garlic that has gotten stuck to the meat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Wrap slices of bacon around the tenderloin so that it gets fully covered. Place the rhubarb in an oven-proof dish. NB! do not use one made of stain-less steel - the rhubarb contains acids which will make the steel oxidize! Place the bacon-wrapped meat on top, throw in the garlic from the marinade, and add a couple of extra leaves of sage.

Wrinkle up a sheet of grease-proof paper and moisten it. Tuck the wet paper around the meat. Put the meat in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the paper, and put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Let the meat rest for a couple of minutes before serving. Serve the meat cut in slices, together with the rhubarb-sauce, some fresh sage and oven-roasted potatoes.


Creamy seafood soup

I just love it when you have stuff sitting around in the freezer/fridge/pantry that needs to be used up, so you start experimenting, and the result is something as delicious as this evening's seafood soup. The base is the stock left over from making Moules à Marinière a while ago, so this recipe depends on that you have made that, strained the liquid and saved it in the freezer. If you have some other seafood-based stock (crayfish, lobster, shrimp) that would also work, I'm sure.

I feel kind of bad about the ridiculous amounts of cream that went into the soup, but the open carton had expired yesterday and needed to go into something, so it was either this or a desert (ok, desert is coming up in a later post). You can of course exchange the cream for a low fat equivalent. For the seafood part, we used shrimp and seithe, but feel free to play around. Just make sure to use a firm fish that won't fall apart when cooking, and please try to think of sustainability when choosing your fish! WWF (as in wildlife conservation, not wrestling!) has lists of which fish has healthy populations and can be eaten with a good conscience - for the US see here, in Swedish see here.

Hey, the soup kind of matches our kitchen cabinet doors!

Creamy seafood soup

1 small yellow onion
1 fennel
½ tbsp butter
3 dl blue mussel stock from this recipe
1 tbsp tomato puré
½ dl dry vermouth
2½ dl cream
Pinch of ancho chili powder
300 g saithe (coley)
750 g unpeeled shrimp (about 3 dl peeled)

Chop up the onion and fennel. Melt the butter in a big pot, throw in the vegetables and fry on rather low heat until they are getting soft but not any colour. Add the mussel stock, tomato puré and vermouth, bring to a boil and let it reduce for a little while. Whip the cream lightly and stir it in together with a pinch of ancho chili. Bring to a slow simmer. Add the saithe and let it simmer for a minute or two, then add the peeled shrimp. Cook for another 4-5 minutes (we cooked everything for about six minutes, then the saithe was perfect but the shrimp a slight bit overcooked so add those after the fish). We served with the green stuff from the fennel on top, it adds nice colour but no real taste. For colour and flavour, decorate with dill instead. We didn't think it needed any salt or pepper, but let your taste decide.