Tag Archives: apple

A Swedish Meal and a German Meal

 

The Swedish Meal

Mom’s on this health craze so we are going through a wide range of salads at the moment. This salad is simple and nom.

Toast some whole almonds in a pan and then drizzle with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Once a bubbly thick caramel, make sure all the almonds are covered, pull aside and let cool. In the meantime, prepare a salad bowl full of kale and carrots, grated if you’re a normal person, sliced if you’re my mom! With the kale and carrot in a bowel, chop up the almonds in to fine toasty-crunchy-sweet bits and throw on top of the salad. Finally grab 2-3 apples and chop into small cubes and pop on top of the salad. Serve with a balsamic dressing made with walnut oil.

With the salad we had swedish meatballs made from a pork-veal combo (made sure to get good quality pork and veal mince from a nice butchers. Serve meatballs with lingonberry jelly and horseradish cream. Om nom nom.

Kale, carrot and apple salad

Kale salad and swedish meatballs

 

 

A German Dinner

This was genuinely eaten so quickly I couldn’t snap a proper picture of it.

Sweat 2-3 chopped onions in a little bit of butter until browning and then add in 300-400grams of chopped bacon (or if you can get your hands on it some delicious smoked German speck!). Then add 500g of chopped button mushrooms and cook until soft and brown and there is a lovely juice sweating out of it all. Add 750g of German spatzle (funny shaped noodles) and stir well into meat, mushrooms and onion. Add 250ml of creme fraiche (half fat stuff if you feel a little guilty) and 75g of cheddar or emmental grated. Stir well and bung it all into a casserole dish. Top off again with some cheddar or emmental. Serve hot with a salad.

Spatzle Ready to go

Spatzle Nom

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Chicken Calvados

We were having people over and wanted to make a hearty nommy dish, given the cold Spring it is. We threw some butter in a pan and seared seasoned chicken breast until browned, but not cooked inside. We placed them in to a casserole dish.

Seared chicken

Then in the butter left of the pan we glazed and softened shallots (use as much as you want, we used 450grams), but we were feeding 10 people.

Sweat the shallots until glassy

Add shallots on top of chicken in casserole dish.

Stock

Then in a pan heat 6 tablespoons of calvados, set alight and pour over chicken and shallots.

Calvados

flaming calvados

Pour 2 litres of chicken stock and 500mL of cider into the casserole dish and heat in oven for 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

Stir

Cider

In a separate dish cut 8 cooking apples in to edible chunks and leave them in water until needed. With a small amount of oil in the pan heat the apple chunks and toss them in oil. Then remove the casserole dish and add the apples stirring them in.  Return to the oven until the apples have softened. 

Apples tossed in oil

Ready for the oven

Serve with bread and a green salad. Nom

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Red Cabbage, Like the In-Law German Granny Does

Red cabbage nom

There was this odd head of red-cabbage sitting in the fridge for a good while, so I decided I had to do something with it. We happened to have a ham too and what’s better than a glazed ham (Neven Maguire’s recipe is amazing, we used this at Christmas!), mash potatoes and some red cabbage. So I gave it a bash.

80g of butter into the bottom of the casserole dish, with the head of red cabbage chopped into small strips/slices. Soften the cabbage, stirring every so often, until the blue-ish red colouring is staining all the cabbage. Then add three chopped apples, (we genuinely had no apples in the house), so I added a small bottle of apple puree I had made ages ago (for pork!).

Butter and a Head of Red Cabbage

Sweat it out, add wine, cider vinegar and stock

Then add 500ml of red wine, 75ml of cider vinegar, 400ml of stock (I used ham stock, but stock of your choice works too!) and 200ml of red current jelly.

Delicous

Cook under tender. Then add another 75ml of cider vinegar.

Spices at the ready

Finally sprinkle a teaspoon of ground cloves, half a teaspoon of nutmeg, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and three juniper berries into the pot. Stir well to get the spice everywhere. Then add 6 tablespoons of sugar and stir well.

Add the caster sugar

Cook until sauce is reduced and all the cabbage is soft and looks like it would just go SO well with a small bowel of steaming mashed potatoe.

Reduce the sauce

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A Mixed Berry Pie

Somehow, you always end up with some kind of fruit just about to turn, nobody wants to eat it and you need to find something to make out of it. I whipped up a simple batch of Delia’s Quick Flaky Pastry and popped it in the fridge to cool.

I grabbed about 4 old apples, 250g of blueberries and 125g of blackberries from the fridge and heated them up in a saucepan with a tablespoon of brown demerara sugar (it really doesn’t need the sugar, but its nice to caramelize it all a little). Although the mixture to cool a little.

I then popped in 300g of raspberries and just gently stirred them in. I prefer not to cook the raspberries as they are so delicate they just turn into seedy mush (I worry less about the black and blue berries). Its nice to stumble across a whole raspberry!

Line a flan dish with the pastry, rolled to about 5mm thick, stab some little holes in the bottom to let some air out and blind bake it for 10 minutes.Fill the pastry case with the fruit filling.

Practicing the Weaving

I had a little pastry spare to make a weave for the top. Brush the weave with milk and sprinkle a little sugar on it too.

Mastering the Weaving

Bang into a preheated oven (180 degrees celcius, 350 fahrenheit) and leave for 30 minutes or so, until the edges of the pastry are golden brown!

Ready to Bake Berry Pie

Serve hot, with some cream or custard.

Ready to Nom Berry Pie

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Easy Crunchy Nommy Crumble

I’m tired and have a cold, what’s the easiest warming comfort food dessert that you can whip up? Crumble. There’s always some fruit floating around the house going brown, so grab all the fruit you have and let’s start from there.

We usually have lots of crumble, my daddy is the King of the Crumbles, both at making and eating them – so a big batch usually wins.

For the fruit compote, grab several apples and several pears and chop them up into small-ish cubes. Pop them in a pan with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg and a handful or two of sultanas or currants. I chop up a couple teaspoons of crystallized ginger here and add that to the fruit OR I add a couple handfuls of blackberries. (The ginger version is lovely and warming and remind me that christmas is on it’s way, the blackberry version is a more decadent velvety nom – it usually comes down to what you have in the house) I have ginger and I’ve also found a couple plums floating around. Get the fruit softening with a little water over heat. I don’t add sugar at this point, because there is usually enough sugar in the fruit, but that’s just me.

The crumble topping works like this:

12 ounzes of flour/seeds/dry goods

6 ounces of unsalted butter

5 ounces of brown sugar

The flour mix, can be just flour if you so wish, then you’ll end up with a very shortbread style crumble on top. I prefer a seedier munch to the crumble so my 12 ounces of mix goes as follows:

6 ounces Plain flour

2 ounces Porridge Oats

2 ounces Oat bran

1 ounce of Linseeds

1 ounce of dessicated coconut

[Feel free of course to use pumpkin seeds, or ground almond or whatever tickles your fancy.]

Add just the flour to a bowl and using your fingertips rub the butter in to the mixture until light and crumbly. Add the other dry goods, including the sugar. If you feel its not sticking together well enough, feel free to add some more butter (i’d melt it first at this point though.

Grab a dish, spread the now nice and soft fruit in to the bottom of the dish. Pour the crumble topping on top of it and spread around with the back of a table spoon. Bang it in the oven at 180 from anything from 20 minutes to 35 minutes, until its browning or caramelised fruit juices is pushing through the crumble.


Serve with some vanilla ice cream. Om. Nom. Crumble with a Crunch.

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