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Foodbysophie

Min mat, min trädgård, mitt hotellprojekt

Month

January 2014

Green pea soup with roasted cauliflower

Woke up this morning, did my yoga, pressed my green juice and what pops up? Thoughts about what to have for dinner of course. It really is like that, food is such a big part of my life, both in my daily job and private. So much time is spent on thinking, planning, making, doing dishes, eating, doing dishes again….

Food is actually love and with no doubt, for me, one of life’s great pleasures . It does not mean it has to be fancy all the time. Just good food, as simple as that.

Today I for example have had thoughts about  a breakfast dish I would like to have on our menu, Chia pudding with yoghurt, vanilla and a crunch of apricots, roasted hazelnuts and oat. Served in a glass with long spoon. Maybe bottomed with a spoonful of ecological strawberry jam, mmm, doesn’t it sound so soft and summery?  If we were in the middle of the summer  I would top it off  with fresh berries. Will try that one tomorrow.

I have also been thinking about “swirled” Zucchini pasta with a light sate’ sauce and mint…. and food for Super bowl. That definitely will take place in front of the TV – Might as well give up any other thoughts.

Today it will be a quick fix – Green pea soup with roasted cauliflower and organic salmon

1 lb/500g of frozen (preferably organic) green peas to be put in 2 cups of boiling vegetable stock. Let simmer for 2 minutes. Put it all in a blender an run until smooth. Pour back in sauce pan, add some more vegetable stock if you feel it’s to thick ( If you want a puree it is probably perfect without!) add some salt. As for now it is completely green, now you choose – Do You want to put in some heavy creamm? Do You want to pour in a glass of Champagne like in the classic crème Ninon? Named after a famous courtesan, Ninon de Leclos, who lived in Paris on 1600’s. The soup was for long a classic at the famous restaurant Operakällaren in Stockholm.

For this dinner, I keep it green and serve it with grated horse radish, a spoon of crème Fraiche and small cauliflower florets that I have roasted in a cast iron pan

Enjoy
S

 

 

Food in Hamptons and Friday night out

Eating out in the Hamptons is in many ways a weird thing. Food wise there is no understatement to say that in general it is way behind the city or for example Sweden. It is actually quite hard to get a really good meal out here.(with a few exceptions) It is kind of strange since most of the summer crowd, the ones with houses of their own or renting as well as the regular tourist, are from the city or other places in the world with a similar range as there. Maybe it’s just the fact that food hasn’t been the main purpose of being here at all ? – It is so much more about the beaches, the art, the casual summer life, the farm stands and just spend time with your loved ones and kind of nice to not have to go to fancy places and think about what and where you eat. This is of course a good thing. But just as the world around us is constantly changing and part of the food scene out here needs some changes also.

I sense a feeling that the restaurants actually try to please the guests in a wrong way, if you understand what I mean, with having way to big menus and a very “spread” concept. Almost every chef I have met out here (or server) seems to think they have to satisfy every ones taste buds. This is not a good foundation for a culinary dining experience. A menu should come from the heart of the chef, his thoughts, his creative side and not from a general idea that “everyone in the Hamptons wants chicken on a menu” or “we have to have salmon on the dinner menu” No you really don’t, you just have to make good food from your heart.

And everyone chef, restaurant manager or owner should choose to ignore the kind of reviews saying for example (yes it is true) “I wanted to have something with chocolate for dessert so I ordered the chocolate pudding with soft peanut filling. I don’t like peanuts, so therefore I only give the food a 2” – Seriously? stay home

A fairly new restaurant (was open summer 2013) Fresh Hamptons, with a clear concept, communicated on their is very appealing to me so I decided to try it out Friday night.

On the positive side:
Lovely super comfy room with a very relaxed atmosphere, almost like a ski lodge (yes the snow outside helped up that feeling) Rustic, wooden tables, nice bar. Lots of greens, gluten free options, (like a side of gluten free Mac & Cheese) fun and inspiring cocktails with or without alcohol. A perfect duck confit with plum sauce, very well balanced Ginger an Kaffir lime beurre blanc to wasabi dusted skate, nice option of choosing sizes of protein, very nice and simple elegant presentations and on top a friendly waitress.

On the negative side:
Host not welcoming at all, hardly look at guests, staff needs training, menu is to big, 5 soups, 5 salads, 7 small plates, icec shellfish dishes, 15 sides plus entrees. With a kitchen staffed for low season it takes way to long for food to arrive (1 hour between first course and second) And as above, with to many dishes everything don’t get the attention needed. shows for example in the chicken soup with noodles that has no flavor at all.
4
Price: 2 adults, 3 teens drinking 1 cocktail with no alcohol, 1 child drinking 2 sodas, 1 bottle of Perrier (strange choice for a place with their approach) 3 glasses of wine, 5 appetizers, 5 main courses, 2 sides $303 plus tip.

Will I go back? yes

Restaurant closing day and how to eat for your heart

Today is the day we are closing the restaurant to do a major renovation of floor, walls and plumbing. I month ahead of us with just planning for the upcoming season, new menus, hire summer staff, re do manuals and try to come up with new ideas how to make the experience of our restaurant better. I want our guests to feel that what we do, we do it with our heart. If the heart isn’t in what you are doing you can just as well quit.

On another note, the heart is our most important organ to take care if. The same here – there is no you without the heart functioning.  How do we combine good food with keeping a healthy body?

We simply have to choose and we need to be balanced in what we eat and drink. At home we can choose organic dairy products, fruit and greens, grass feed beef, organic and “safe” fishes and drink organic wine, cut out sugar and so on . The problem is that we are

 

 

Dahl, mango chutney and snow

 

Dreaming away to warmer countries…. I want to go to India and sign up for three weeks at Soukya, Ayurvedic health center in Bangalore. one of the most famous with the wonderful Dr Matai. Maybe I will set my January 20 cleanse (I don’t like the word cleanse, it sounds so extremely boring ) 2015 there instead of doing it here in a in the middle of what in Sweden is called the  “Ox weeks”. Meaning the “heavy and slow weeks from after New Year and until end of February.

I imagine I can get a good Dahl at Soukya as my dinner after a long day of yoga, meditation, walks around the gardens, my daily treatments and just relaxing…..

A Dahl is one of my go to favorites, you can vary it so much, eat it as is or with chicken or a piece of fish, it is gluten and fat free, cheap, warming and simply food –  just good food

You will need 1 big yellow onion, 4 cloves of garlic, olive oil, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, curry, 8 oz /3 dl green or red lentils, 4 potatoes, ½ a head of cauliflower,  4 cups of vegetable stock, tomatoes and  cilantro. Yoghurt, Naan bread and Mango chutney if you like (and yes they do make the difference!)

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan or cast iron pot, add chopped onions , garlic and 1 tbsp. of for example Hot Madras curry powder,  let it sweat on low heat until it softens. Add grated fresh ginger (a piece as big as  thumb) 1 tsp. grounded cardamom, 1 tsp. grounded cinnamon, 1 tbsp. Add the lentils and the vegetable stock and some salt. Let simmer under lid for around 10 minutes.

Peel the potatoes, chop in rough pieces and ad it to the simmering lentils, let simmer for additional 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower in small bouquets, add some water if too thick, and let simmer until cauliflower is tender.

Taste, more salt? More curry?  you decide, not the recipe!  

Plate and sprinkle chopped cilantro over, add a spoonful of mango chutney on the side. As well as a spoonful of yoghurt. Eat with or without Naan bread

 

Enjoy

Sophie

Kitchen closing, heart problems and chocolate cake

Today is the day we are closing the restaurant for renovation of the floor and some updates on appliance’s. I am looking forward to it since it gives us a lot of time to plan for the upcoming season, menus to come, hire summer staff in addition to our fixed co workers. We will also have the time to come up with new ideas to make the dining experience higher. The goal is to have our guests to always feel that what we do – we do with our heart.

When you don’t feel you have your heart with you –  it is time for a  change.

Same goes with the “real” heart – When it’s not with you – time for a change… In my closest family we have just discovered a heart problem that needs to be taken care of. It’s really so scary, different kinds of deceases hiding in your body and  you are completely unaware of it until something happens. The last couple of years has been a hard lesson learnt with everything from different kinds of cancer to Alzheimer and heart problems. I know, this is life and it will continue to happen and we just have to embrace it and go from where we are right now.

What we can do, is to think about what and how we eat,  and of course minimize the things that are bad for us, cut down on sugar, salt, red meat, by organic, add more greens and fruit, minimize gluten……. But we also have to feed the soul with good things -we need to enjoy life and sometimes we need to just indulge in something soul feeding – cuddle up on the couch with a blanket, candles (always in my home every evening) and this absolutely fabulous chocolate cake. To use real chocolate instead of cocoa powder makes all the difference

Not pretty but so good

Put oven to  392 F/ 200 C

Melt 200 g/ 7 oz of butter together with 200 g/ 7oc dark chocolate of high quality together, put aside

Beat 3 egg yolks with 2.5 dl/ 1 cup sugar until thick and white

Fold in the butter/chocolate mixture,  0.75 dl/ 0.3 cup flour, 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder carefully.

Pour the batter in to a well greased springform. Put in oven until the top has “stabilized” I would say max 10-15 minutes

Let cool for 30 minutes and take out of form. If eating it now it will be VERY creamy, wait until next day and it will be more like a fudge. Your choice

I will have mine now with some light whipped cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday and full house

Martin Luther King weekend gives a nice change to a very slow wintery town, full hotel and full restaurant. Saturdays are just lovely, all rooms checked and in good shape, candles burning as they should, a sense of lemongrass in the air,  lot of repeat guests and some new ones. Busy brunch and a lot of eggs benedict being ordered

I love Eggs Benedict and consider it my Saturday treat. The bread I can skip but the perfect poached egg’s and the hollandaise just made together with golden fried potatoes tossed with spinach, tomatoes, parsley… I am in heaven

But since it still is January I stick to my healthy path (seems like everyone in Sweden and US in detoxing my friend from Thailand said this morning) and have the following juice for lunch:

2 apples

1/2 cucumber

1 handful of spinach leaves

2 stalks of celery

3 Green kale leaves

Piece of ginger

10 Mint leaves if you like the taste

Put it in a juicer if you have or in a good blender. If blender chop the apples and celery small and toss up the kale and add some water.

It is good I promise ( But do I want a glass of Chablis? )

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soup Wednesday

Soup is one of the things I whish I did more often. They can really be everything from light and fresh springy to full bodied heart warming winter ones. If I was to have meat today I would have made a Hungarian goulash. Hungarian Goulash is THE best soup to have outside fro lunch after some hours of for example ice skating on a lake. Dig up your best cook book and make it. Don’t forget to top it off with sour cream with garlic….

Since I am in a healthy mood right now I will do a clear vegetable soup, just as warming and cozy. For the ones eating more normal I have made a Sourdough wheat Levain to go with it.

Take vegetable stock, as much as you think you will eat, and heat it up.( I buy ready made organic stock, but you can use whatever you have) Chop potatoes, carrots, root seller if you like and let it simmer for around 10 minutes. Ad leaks chopped in rough pieces and simmer a bit more. This can be done in advance. When time to eat you just heat it up, ad parsley (not curly) when in the plates and eventual sour cream (garlic works here also) 

Enjoy

(good for the wallet also)   

 

Monday and quinoa

Today is a fabulous day, the sun is shining and I almost get the feeling of spring. On top of this we are planning a winter make over in the kitchen at the restaurant (well needed to say the least) The working days (are there any other in this business?) are filled with research for new ovens, fridges and other fun stuff as well as planning for new menus, new items on the breakfast buffet, juice shots, new hires for the summer and more

My own food thoughts right now are very limited and I do anything I can to keep my thoughts of eating. After a long holiday in my other home country filled with a lot of food and good wines (as should) it is time for a cut back period. I usually do this once or twice a year. As the Ayurveda teaches us – you need to prepare the body for each upcoming season.

I  just start the day with a green juice, have a Greek yoghurt for lunch, nuts as snack, and a light dinner. Part of the dinner can for example be a quinoa salad – combine with fish or chicken unless you are a vegetarian.

I do it like this

Prepare the quinoa as it says on the package. Put in a bowl and ad pressed lemon juice and olive oil. This is the base, now you just ad what vegetables you like. Today I took chopped green kale, sugar snaps,  1/2 fine sliced red onion, 1 mango in pieces and cashews that I first roast quickly in a pan. End with some chopped parsley and eventually more lemon juice and some sea salt 

Enjoy

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