Search

Foodbysophie

Min mat, min trädgård, mitt hotellprojekt

Month

February 2014

Carrot fritters and balance in life

Carrot Fritters with Iceberg lettuce and Mango chutney

Time for a meat free day again, I try to get at least three of them a week as well as always keeping gluten to a minimum. According to some, gluten starts inflammations in your body and has an impact on how your brain ages. My own experience is that If you have pain in your joints, try two weeks without and you might notice a difference.
—————————————————————————-

To make those delicious golden crispy carrot fritters you will need 6 peeled and grated carrots, 2 tbsp. regular flour ( or gluten free flour) 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, 1 handful of chopped parsley 2 finely chopped green spring onions, 4 eggs, 1 cup grated parmesan, 1 tsp. salt, black pepper. This will be good for around 4 persons.

Mix the flour with the garlic, spring onions, parsley, salt and some black pepper. Add the carrots – Make sure that you squeeze out excess moisture after you grated then and before adding here. Add the eggs and the grated parmesan and stir it all around to a nice batter.

For serving I put 2 leaves of iceberg lettuce, a tbsp. of mango chutney and one with Greek yoghurt and a piece of lime on the plates.

Heat some vegetable oil in a non stick pan to medium heat, put about ¼ of a cup of the batter for each little fritter, fry on medium heat in around 3 minutes on each side. They should be golden brown and crispy. Keep warm on low heat in the oven if you need but try to serve as quick as possible.

————————————————————————————

I find every meal better with a glass of wine, but since I am over 40 I don’t think it is always god for me and life is about balance, right? So I limit it and skip today

Enjoy

S

Another restaurant in East Hampton

Sunday night at Fresno

Ok, I have been here two years ago and at that point thought it was just as most restaurants out here – Not very exciting. If you are into reading reviews before choosing a restaurant you will see that it seems like everyone loves Fresno and that the food is consistent. Top burgers, innovative food and more. Fresno is also a restaurant our guests often make reservations at and that some members of our staff recommend.

The other day someone told me that the burgers really are the best out east. Since it was Sunday night after hectic weekend with soccer games in Smithtown and tennis tournament it seemed like a great idea – Burgers and a glass of Pinot to end a mostly vegetarian week.

The Bar is nice, the dining room is nice and cozy, and a lot of people for a Sunday night dropped in as the evening went by. No risk of being alone in the dining room if you don’t like that. The food? Sorry to say, but my first impression is still valid, the food is nothing to write home about. We tried a chicken liver pate in a jar, with red beets and bread on the side – Chicken liver had a nice texture but a strange metallic taste and the beets tasted soil from not being peeled to 100%.

We also tried one of the specials of the night. Presented as a cauliflower and coconut soup. Out came a creamy soup with an unidentifiable taste. The fried calamari’s (why do you find them almost everywhere?) was just “nothing”
What about the burgers? Good size, perfect medium rare, burnt on the surface, served on a bun with a thick tomato slice, a thick red onion slice and a big pickle on top of it all. Second bun on the side along with a huge pile of fries that had been fried in a well to used oil.
Summary – I won’t go back for the food, and I won’t recommend it for the food, (If the two servers had smiled once that evening I might have gone back anyway) and it will be very long before I try a burger again. If you want a burger – go to Cuddy in Sag Harbor or the local joint Rowdy Hall

S

Spring, sausages and and a River cafe dish

Spring, sausages and and a River cafe dish.

Spring, sausages and and a River cafe dish

Just simply a lovely day in the Hamptons, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the beach is fantastic and everyone you meet has a smile on their face and I long for my vegetable garden in Sweden – Just do be on my knees, get my hands dirty and do the early spring preparations. Maybe lunch outside by “our” lake….
The easiest way for an outdoor lunch is to light the grill and put on a pair of sausages bought at Korvkultur, (if you happen to be in Kristianstad, out here I go to Red Horse Market for sausages) Bring a good mustard, ketchup and bread and enjoy the simple things in life.

—————————————————————————-
There is so many things to do with sausage and how to serve it. We will probably start to have a variation on the “sausage with bread” here in our bar after the reopening. Is there a better way to end an evening with a lot of good food and wine than with this?

Actually the renovation of the kitchen is coming together nicely and we will be having a soft opening starting next Friday. No sausage yet but good food.
———————————————————————————-

To continue with the sausage theme for dinner there is always this Italian Salciccia pasta sauced. Originally from River Café in London. This is my sisters version of it
You will need 1 big yellow onion chopped, 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped, 5 Salsiccia or other Italian pork sausage with the meat removed from the skin. (if you are lucky you can by the sausages meat, if not you just have some work to do) fresh parsley, dried chili flakes, 1 big (or 2 small) of plum tomatoes, chopped, 1 cup of heavy cream, salt, 1 piece of parmesan cheese, 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese and the kind of Pasta you prefer (Penne is my choice)

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan fry the onion and the garlic until it light brown. Add the sausage meat and the chili flakes. Stir over high medium heat and use a wooden spoon or similar, to disintegrate the meat that should get brown (not burnt) before you add the tomatoes, some salt and the piece of Parmesan. Let it boil for around 15 minutes before adding the cream and ½ cup of the grated parmesan. Need more salt, more chili?
Cook the pasta and serve with the sauce and ad some roughly chopped parsley (regular not curly ) on top

Enjoy
S

Meat free Thursday with a French classic

For this Ratatouille you will need 2 big yellow onions, 1 aubergine, 1 zucchini, 2 red peppers, 1 can of plum tomatoes or 5 fresh and peeled ones. 3 cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried thyme, some oregano, fresh basil and about 1/2 cup of dry white wine, salt and some dried chili flakes.
Start by roughly chopping the vegetables and the garlic, let them all fry in olive oil on medium heat. Add the plum tomatoes, chili, bay leaves, chili flakes, thyme and oregano. Add half a cup of water and let simmer under lid for around 30 minutes. Take the lid off and add the wine and salt to your liking.
When done the ratatouille should be thick rather than “saucy”
_____________________________________

Remember the movie Ratatouille? When the absolutely fantastic character, the food critic, came to the restaurant and all he was served was a simple Ratatouille but it was enough to make him fall in love, because sometimes something simple like a vegetable dish is all you need.
_________________________________________

Just before serving stir in a handful of roughly chopped fresh basil. After plating the hot Ratatouille crack an egg into each one and add parmesan flakes.
Enjoy

Monday, food memories and Tom Ka Gai

This is an extremely easy dish to do, perfect for a Monday! For a dinner for 5 You will need 3 cans of coconut milk, chicken breasts (take one per person) lemon grass, lime leaves, shallots, chicken stock, garlic, cilantro, fish sauce and eventually some shiitake mushroom, (your choice) and Jasmine rice.

I promise you, it wont disappoint you (unless you just returned from Thailand having this soup for lunch everyday for a month)

Start by heating up a 3 table spoons vegetable oil in a sauce pan. Sweat a couple of roughly chopped shallots (or a regular yellow onion if that is what you have home, it won’t have a major impact here..) 1 or 2 garlic cloves, 2 sliced lemon grass and the shiitake, if you liked that idea, for a couple of minutes.
Add 2 cans of coconut milk and 3 cups of chicken stock (8 dl) Let simmer for 30 minutes on medium heat.

—————————————————-
It is funny, certain dishes that you have eaten a lot, kind of gotten tired of and erased from your “go to” food bank in the brain – suddenly pops up again and then you exactly know how it is going to taste and how good it is going to be. Tom Ka Gai was to me a dish like this, suddenly popping up Friday morning
For a friend of mine it was another food memory, popping up when we ate this soup together in our kitchen Friday evening. “I remember this restaurant on Östermalm (Like upper east side but in Stockholm) where me and my parents always had Sukiyaki. I know exactly how it tastes, the smell in the restaurant, the thinly sliced entrecote the sweet sauce you cook it in, the egg…. And suddenly we all remembered Sukiyaki.
—————————————————

Boil the Jasmine rice (Around 2 cups should be enough for this amount of soup).Take the chicken breast, cut it in squares (Twice as big as a sugar cube should be fine) Ad chicken to the soup and one more can of coconut milk. Season with some fish sauce, this works like salt as well as it gives the right flavor to the dish. (If you’re not a fan of fish sauce, just take a few drops and then some regular salt instead) Leave to slowly simmer for around 15 minutes. In the meantime you chop some cilantro roughly. Just before serving, try to pick up the lemon grass. (Only if you can, otherwise just put them a side when eating, they are really not very chewable…) Squeeze the the juice from 2 limes into the soup as well as adding a handful of the cilantro.

Put rice in the middle of a soup plate add the soup and some extra cilantro – close your eyes and start eat
Enjoy

Valentines day and Chuck roll with gremolata

 

2 pounds of Chuck roll ( 1 kg Högrev) cut in a nice “eatable size”. Before cutting, take away the most seen fat.

Put in a casserole ad a roughly sliced big yellow onion, 5 cups (I l) of heavy beef stock and 2 cups (5.5 dl) of red wine. Add some salt and a couple of bay leaves. Put the lid on and let simmer for around 3 hours.

—————————————————

(In the meantime the bar at the hotel is filling up with teachers from the nearby schools. They usually come here every Friday afternoon, it really is so nice to see kind of the same faces every week, it builds in a warm and welcoming feeling in the walls.

Warm and welcoming is really the key when it comes to the hospitality business and in my mind the feeling comes from both staff and guests. The base is to have a good team and never underestimate the value of this. Your team is your greatest asset – There are tons of leaders and business owners talking about how important the staff is but few live up to their words)

—————————————————–

 Gremolata – Grate the lemon on the fine side of the grater, mix with very finely chopped curly parsley. I usually ad some finely chopped basil. Do a lot!  This is actually what makes this dish climb to the higher food heights.

After 2 hours you should try the meat, does it more or less fall apart? If so – good. If not – let simmer some more. Need some salt? Pepper? As always, you are the chef, your taste is king here.

Put 3.5 cups of whole milk (9 dl) 0 .3 cups ( ½ dl)  of Polenta ad one tsp. of salt  in a sauce pan. Let simmer under (almost) constant stirring on low heat for about 30 minutes. When you have the feeling of a loose porridge it is ready.  Add a chunk of butter and 1 cup of grated parmesan, stir until solved and smooth.  ( if you want add some heavy cream, cream makes almost everything better, sorry) Finnish it off with 5 to 10 drops of truffle oil,  (or to your liking) Put aside for a short while under lid.

Try the meat, does it more or less fall apart? If so – good. If not – let simmer some more. Need some salt? Want pepper? As always, you are the Chef and your taste is king, not the recipes!

Right before serving ad like 20 green olives (no pits!) and one can of large white beans to the meat.

Serve in a deep plate with the creamy truffle polenta on the side and sprinkle the gremolata over the meat or as we do tonight, in the middle of renovation, inviting all our coworkers with families to an early Valentine celebration.  We open the bar and have a long table for everyone and a small buffet as well as a good Pinot Noir, some beers and freshly pressed juices from the juicer we have in the bar.

One of the favorite ones is made of 2 raw beets, 2 carrots, 1 orange, piece of ginger and some fresh mint leaves –  Could actually replace the Pinot – Just serve it in a red wine glass

Enjoy

Seasonal town, red curry and good people

Slowly but surely the renovation of the kitchen is seeing an end.  In just two weeks we will have a super kitchen if we compare to before.  It is so boring to be shut down, feels like having lost a part of your identity. All of you working at a seasonal place knows that even if you are open it is certainly not much to do – Imagine now….

Menu is being worked on, checking prices from vendors. This is really worth it and you certainly feel completely fooled when realizing your big “go to for almost everything” vendor has charged you 45% more than the small guy in the next door family store – Bye Bye you big dragon! In my world you I always try to do business with fair, kind and honest people and companies, people who do good things and make a difference for others. If you do good, you will receive good  or if you prefer, what goes around comes around. 

This afternoon has also been spent in various brainstorming sessions to come up with new fun ideas for next season. What about a Beach Butler on a bike delivering you lunch to the beach? Hmm, Maybe a Thai Green curry and a ice cold bear could be fun.

Cauliflower, Broccoli, red peppers, chili, yellow onion, garlic, red Thai curry paste, lemon grass, lime,  cilantro and coconut milk..

Just sweat the onions and the chili.  Add curry paste, lemon grass, coconut milk and let simmer for 20 minutes, add the cauliflower and broccoli in small bouquet’s . Let simmer 10 minutes more. Add a dash of fish sauce or salt. Serve with jasmine rice, lime and chopped cilantro and eventually some roasted garlic cloves finely chopped on top.

 

Enjoy!

Minestrone, Tuscany and worlds best Panna Cotta

Minestrone della Nonna – Just saying it makes you  happy, doesn’t it?   Once we rented a house in Tuscany with friends. We were 5 couples and some kids, sharing a big Tuscan villa in Chianti. It was just so much Tuscany –Rolling fields with durum wheat, pine trees around the pool and house, and a big country style kitchen.

Every morning the local baker came in his little white car (of course an old Renault 4L), stopped on the yard and honked the horn and all  the kids ran out and bought the daily bread. Days where spent with excursion’s, restaurants, vineyards and of course the local market and the local butcher.

We were all very disciplined ( As needed when you are house sharing!)  everyone had his task. I did all of the food, our friend Michael did all dishes after dinner, Maud and Camilla, Roger vacuumed,  and so on….  

We did for example go through house made gnocchi, white bean soup with truffles, and Minestone della Nonna. during this week

Soak 1 1/5 pound (around 700 grams) mixed beans, (Borlotti, Cannellini or others you like) over night.

Heat olive oil in a cast iron pan and sauté 1 roughly chopped big yellow onion and 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic. Add the beans as well as 1 cup of green or red lentils and let these sauté for a while also.

Ad one glass of white wine and 8 cups of chicken broth ( around 2 liters) and a  piece of Parmesan cheese, preferably with the edge left    if you want you can  also ad some finely chopped fresh thyme or a teaspoon of dried. Let simmer under lid.

After 3o minutes ad a can of plum or crushed tomatoes and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. Taste, ad some salt and ground pepper.  I like it thick and hearty, if you prefer a thinner soup you can just ad some broth a little water.

Serve with roughly grated parmesan and chopped parsley on top. If I want it extra festive I top I slide in a newly poached organic egg.

 

This weekend I was at Il Bucco Alimentaria e Vineria, where you can have a very good Zuppa and the best panna cotta there is in the world. Just remember to say that you don’t want to sit upstairs, that ruins it all…..

Enjoy

S

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: