Pasta Shaping Workshop

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
egg,pasta — by Johanna

kokblog-busiati

A couple of weeks ago I decided to arrange a pasta shaping workshop with a couple of friends. The workshop was a good excuse to get loads of pasta done and at the same time have some wine with friends. When it comes to pasta shaping, I’m a total beginner.

kokblog-cavatelli-2

We made three different types, casarecce, cavatelli and busiati. The cavatelli was our favorite. It was fun and easy to do. And we made them on top of a sushi mat to created a striped pretty patterns (not shown in the illustration but you can watch this video). I also enjoyed making the casarecce, especially when they came out really small and thin. The busiati shape was the hardest and honestly we only made a few.
It was trickier than I thought especially when you want the pasta to be thin and not too thick. However I think in the end we did really well, but to master it, I will need loads of practice!

kokblog-casarecce

My friends brought an excellent Sicilian pesto with roasted eggplants. It worked really well with the cavatelli and busiati. For the cararecce I had prepared a spinach cheese sauce. To the meal we also made a tomato salad with roasted peppers. For dessert we had local (Brooklyn) Italian style ice cream topped with my homemade chocolate sauce. It was an excellent dinner.

To arrange your own pasta shaping workshop you will need…

• a pasta dough (that you can prepare in advance)*
• extra flour (all-purpose or semolina)
• a few bbq sticks (or something similar, they can even be a little thicker)
• a sushi mat (if you want the cavatelli or other shapes to have a pattern)
• rolling pin (we didn’t need to use it but can be handy for other shapes)
• something to drink while shaping (i suggest Prosecco)
• some antipasti to nibble while working: e.g salami, prosciutto, olives, pecorino, bread
• 1 – 2 different pasta sauces that can be prepared before hand
• suitable wine to serve to the final meal (or what you would like to drink)
• a salad
• something sweet to end the meal

*The pasta dough recipe I use is by Clotilde Dusoulier. Its very clever and easy to make. You just measure the eggs, take the same weight in flour and add 1/2 the weight in semolina (plus a little salt). I love it an it tastes exactly how I want it.  Clotilde’s recipe is based on Michael Ruhlman’s 2 parts egg to 3 parts flour pasta dough ratio.

*

links
The Geometry of Pasta, the site & the book
Pasta Shapes Dictionary

recipes
Four-Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Sauce by Stephane Lemagnen
Spinach Lasagna by kokblog
Chicken Gnocchi by Emiko Davis
Spaghetti Carbonara recipe (with white wine) by Amateur Gourmet
Pasta - story by Jamie Schler and recipe & photographs by Ilva Beretta

movies
How to shape casarecce by Michela De Filio
Shaping busiati
Hand-Pulled Chinese Noodles by New York Times
Rolling out pasta with a rolling pin video by Michael Ruhlman

Guest Post: How to Turn Your Desk Into a Cheese Board

Saturday, February 15th, 2014
cheese — by Johanna

kindvall-MF-cheese-desk

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Tenaya Darlington, aka Madame Fromage. We instantly connected and started to email back and forward, sharing thoughts and ideas around cheese. Compared to most cheese lovers (including me), she is an expert and has for the last 5 years kept records of cheeses that she tastes & eats, smells or just overheard when visiting a cheese shop.

In 2011 she started her website Madame Fromage where she shares her thoughts and stories about cheese. For example it can be a post about specific cheeses with pairings, study visits,  traveling reports or even tips on how to talk to a cheesemonger etc.

Tenaya knows how to tell a story, so for me its not a surprise that she also is an associate professor in English and teaches writing classes at the Department of English at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

In May 2013 her cheese book, Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes and Pairings was published by Running Press. I think this book, with 170 cheese profiles, 30 recipes, and 10 themed cheese boards, is a mouth watering treasure. Tenaya’s storytelling skills really comes out in the book. It is well written and inspiring. It makes me smile and I want to draw everything. Di Bruno Bros. is a well known cheese shop in Philadelphia, opened in 1939 by the two brothers  Danny and Joe. The book is tastefully photographed by Jason Varney. House of Cheese is Tenaya’s third book, she has published poetry and one novel before.

So when I heard that Tenaya had a cheese cave at her office desk I instantly wanted to draw it. And to draw all the different kinds of cheeses was great fun… so now I can’t stop!

The cheeses and the desk are available as posters in the SHOP.

kindvall-MF-cheeseknife3

How to Turn Your Desk Into a Cheese Board
By Madame Fromage

At work, it can be nice to break for a spot of cheese. Clear the clutter, spread a tea towel, and set out a cutting board. Then reach into your secret desk drawer that is stocked with crackers and preserves, and set out an array of snacks. You can surprise your office mates with a spontaneous party (on someone’s birthday, say) or make it a private affair while you read a book over the lunch hour.
After all, there is nothing lovelier than kicking off your shoes, putting your feet up on the radiator, and enjoying a hunk of Cheddar with almonds and honey on a rainy afternoon. A cheese board makes a perfect lunch, and if you stock your desk pantry well, you’ll never have to remember to pack leftovers.

What To Stock in A Desk Pantry

• Small wood cutting board
• Set of cheese knives or a paring knife + small spoon
• Tea towel+cloth napkin(s)
• Nuts: almonds, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, or walnuts
• Dried fruit: apricots, figs, dates, or cranberries
• Petit toasts and pretzels for triple crèmes
• Oat biscuits, wheat crackers, or flatbread for firm cheeses
• Savory things in jars: cornichons, olives, dilly beans, grainy mustard
• Sweet things in jars: sour cherry jam, fig spread, apple chutney, honey
• 1 bar dark chocolate (for blue cheese)

In a mini fridge: celery, radishes, 2-3 cheeses,
1 stick mild salami, a bag of fresh thyme (optional, nice with chèvre),
grapes, apples, pears, sparkling water

kindvall-MF-cheeses-progress

Good desk cheeses
(read: not too stinky)

• Cheddar
• Gouda
• Pantaleo (firm goat)
• Petit Basque (sheep)
• Stilton or Chiriboga Blue

kindvall-MF-cheeses-02

Good cheeses for one person

• A tub of quark or chèvre
• Saint Marcellin (creamy, comes in its own crock)
• Banon (small, wrapped in edible leaves)
• Purple Haze (small goat round dusted in fennel pollen)
• Vermont Creamery Bijou (picture: goat gumdrops)

*

You can also follow Tenaya on twitter, instagram and facebook (I do).

*

More by Madame Fromage and me…
Your Spring Goat Cheese Primer

Drink: Pomegranate Molasses & Gin

Friday, December 27th, 2013
diagrams,drinks — by Johanna

kokblog-drinkdiagram

I can’t believe this year is almost over. Time goes quickly when you are busy having fun. 2013 has been great in many many ways.

At the beginning of the year Anna Brones and I started to work and develop recipes for our first illustrated cook book together. The book is scheduled to be published by Ten Speed Press, Spring 2015.

For the second year in a row I made illustrations for LRF, Lantbrukarnas Riksförbund (a major Agriculture organisation in Sweden) for their yearly brochure. This summer,  my illustrations were seen in both Art of Eating (no. 91) and The Foodie Bugle (2nd issue). In July The Culinary Cyclist, with illustrations by me, was published. The book is written by Anna Brones.

In July I was part of arranging the 2nd triennial exhibition Instrument at the old mill in Lövestad, Sweden. Over 30 artists from around the world participated. One of my tasks was to bake 20 loaves of breads for the grand opening of the exhibition and to sew the cover for the catalog.

In the Autumn I illustrated the future of public transportation for SL (public transportation company in Stockholm). And just a few weeks ago I created graphics and illustrated icons for Courtney Carver’s site A Simple Year that launched earlier this month. Another exciting job was to draw an illustrated ginger cookie recipe as a Holiday Card for Tara K. Reddi, vice president of Marlborough Gallery. The card was printed in letterpress.

On top of everything else I have been in the middle of renovating our new place, with periods of times without a proper kitchen and drawing space. I’m quite amazed that I have been able to create and work on so many projects and recipes with all the dust of a  major renovation project going on around me. I have to say at times it has been quite extreme, especially when I had to take a more active part in the renovation (e.g. tiling, plastering, sanding, painting, laying and sanding oak floors or just holding the other end of a tape measure etc etc).

After all this I now feel like having a drink. The above illustrated drink recipe is at the moment my absolute favorite drink.

I wish you all a Happy New Year.
Cheers!

Some Pomegranate Molasses links

Muhammara – a spicy walnut dip by Anissa Helou
Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Eggplant by Olga Massov
Homemade Pomegranate Molasses by Cafe Fernando in Istanbul

also check out Walczak&Heiss’ illustrated Cocktails

Hazelnut & Cinnamon Cookies

Friday, October 11th, 2013
sweet — by Johanna

kokblog_hazelnutcoockie-2

As you’ve probably noticed I haven’t been posting articles for a bit – which is a good sign I’ve been drawing other projects. Anna Brones and I have now almost finished our first draft for our book (scheduled to be published in Spring 2015). So if I haven’t been in the kitchen developing recipes I’ve been at my drawing table drawing them (or on a ladder patching and painting walls for my new home). In late July the book ”The Culinary Cyclist” by Anna Brones was published. The book is illustrated by me and it’s for sale here in my SHOP. I also have many other drawing projects that I will share with you when the time is right.

Autumn is here and I don’t know about you but I think its a perfect time to crawl up on the couch with some cookies and a book.

Hazelnut & Cinnamon Cookies
35 cookies
5 oz (140 gram) butter
1/3 cup (67 g) brown sugar
2/3 cup (95 g) raw hazelnuts
1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Turn the oven on to 350°F (175°C).
Toast the hazelnuts in a skillet. Blend them roughly in a food processor (or chop them into tiny pieces).
Mix together hazelnuts, sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon in a wide large bowl or directly on top of the counter. Work all quickly together with your fingertips (or with a knife) into a dough. Form two separate 7″ long rolls, about 1″ in diameter. Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
With a sharp knife, cut about 18-20 slices to each roll. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are a nice color. Let the cookies cool separately from each other on a flat surface before storing them in sealed containers. The cookies can also be stored in the freezer.

Want more cookies… Coconut Macaroons

Slow Roasted Pork with Caraway Seeds, Prunes & Chili

Thursday, August 8th, 2013
diagrams,meat — by Johanna

My favorite meat this summer is this simple slow cooked pork shoulder. Its perfect as there is almost no work to it. In the oven the meat takes care of itself while I work in the garden, draw or just enjoy the sunshine (in the shade).

Rub about 1 kilo (enough to feed 4-6 people) with caraway seeds, salt & pepper. Mix together prunes, dark sugar, a little water and chili in a food processor (I use dried chilies such as ancho or pasilla, pre-soak in hot water until soft). Spread the paste all over the meat. Bake the meat at 125°C (just above 250°F). After 1 hour you can place onion wedges and whole cloves of garlic to the side of the meat. Add some water to the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t get stuck. Baste the meat now and again. After about 5-6 hours the meat is probably ready, it should feel soft and almost fall apart if you poke a fork in it. The onions by this time are gorgeously caramelized.

Slice or just pull the meat apart with a fork. Serve together with the caramelized onions, a tomato sauce*, salad and bread (such as homemade tunnbröd, soft Swedish flatbread).

* I make a simple sauce by roasting fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion and chili. Mix in a blender together with herbs, such as oregano or sage. Season with salt & pepper and a little sugar. See also  Kinna Jonsson’s article about tomato sauce (in Swedish).

You may also like this post, Akvavit Cured Pork Belly