Just want to announce that I was the winner of the Foodie Underground competition over at Ecosalon last week. It was part of the one year celebration of Anna Brones’s column Foodie Underground. Happy Birthday! This was the winning entry (I’m deeply flattered)!
What can be more foodie underground than making potato pancakes while house squatting in London? The fact is that next door to the Rolling Stones in Chelsea my husband M learned how to make Potato Pancakes. It was during the punk era and M had just been thrown out from home. House squatting was just one way to survive while struggling with his studies at AA.
The recipe is simple: (for two people) Peel two potatoes. Cut them in smaller pieces and mash them in a blender. If the potatoes are to watery you need to squeeze out some of the liquid before adding two small eggs. When the mixture are well blended add some flour and season with salt. Pour about five – six small amounts of batter into a standard frying pan on medium heat. Fry them with some olive oil or butter until they are golden brown, turning once only.
The pancakes can be served with many different things. Back in Chelsea M ate them with just butter and sugar. Today we serve them with a variety of small sides, for example lingonberry jam, freshly grated carrots, sautéed bacon pieces, goat cheese mixed with sour cream and caviar.
I have some non-vegetarian friends who don’t eat bacon. I have no problem with that, I have my own principals. For example I try not to eat any meat that has been fed hormones or antibiotics (tough here in the US). Anyway, I didn’t know about their attitude to bacon when I recently served them my nutty Bacon Quinoa. The funny part was they kept eating even when I told them that it contained bacon. I guess they liked my standpoint in cooking!
This recipe is perfect when you have some left-over Quinoa.
8 slices of bacon
¼ – ½ fennel root
one cup brown quinoa (dried)
one teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and ground
one teaspoon coriander seeds, roasted and ground
one teaspoon mustard seeds, roasted and ground
Chop the onion finely and slice the fennel into thin strips. Sauté on low heat with butter until soft and almost transparent. If you want you can add some of the left-over bacon fat to the onion mixture. Slice the bacon and sauté in a separate pan until a little crisp. When ready add the bacon to the onion mixture. Feed the mixture with chili, cumin, coriander and mustard seed. Raise the heat and let cook for about 2 minutes and then add the garlic, oregano and finally the cooked quinoa (see below). You may need to add some olive oil or a splash of water if it gets too dry. Season with salt. Top with fresh cilantro and toasted walnuts.
I have also made this with other vegetables such as: celery, kale, spinach and cabbage
my way of making quinoa
I cook quinoa a little bit like I cook rice by using a 1:2 ratio (one cup quinoa gets two cups of water). Rinse the quinoa and put into a pot together with water and some salt. Cover and bring to a boil and then let the covered quinoa simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. The quinoa should start to “sprout” (not really but you should see their curly germs). Turn off the heat and let stand covered until all the water has dissolved. With this method your quinoa will not be over-boiled and can be sauted with the recipe above.
I feel more and more secure about using our pressure cooker even if I sometimes still think its going to explode. In this dish it may look like it actually happened, as it’s not a particularity attractive meal! However this hearty stew is perfect for lazy evenings when its freezing cold outside. It’s warm and delicious and shamelessly easy to make…
(for two people)
6-7 slices of bacon
1 medium onion
fresh or dried thyme
one small parsnip
one medium potatoe
a small piece of celery
1 cup (240 ml) dried split peas
2 ¾ cups (650 ml) of stock (preferable your own home made: veg., meat or chicken)
1-2 bay leaves
1 clove garlic
(salt and pepper)
Cut the bacon into thin slices and fry in a pan on medium heat until it starts to get a little crisp. Chop the onions and sauté in butter or with remaining bacon fat on very low heat until soft and almost transparent. At the end add some thyme (if using dried). Place onion, bacon, split peas (rinsed), chopped potato and parsnip in the pressure cooker. Add stock, bay leaves and press in some garlic. (If necessary season w/ salt and pepper). Stir everything and bring the mixture to a boil. Close the lid and bring pressure to high until the steamer begins to steam. Lower the heat and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Remove the cooker from heat and let cool. When the pressure has completely gone open the lid.
Serve the stew with a nice ale.
We use both yellow or green spit peas for this dish. However I have noticed that the yellow split peas gets mushier and at the same time drier. Therefore I cook them for only 13 minutes and use just a little bit more stock. You can also use other vegetables such as: turnip, carrot and celery. This recipe came originally from a soup recipe at cd kitchen.
In the beginning of the eighties M was house squatting in the fancy neighborhood of Chelsea in London. Next door to the Rolling Stones he learned how to make Potatoe Pancakes. He was studying Architecture and this was a great way to live cheaply as he had a hard time with his parents. At that time he had the pancakes with butter and sugar. Today we have them with goat cheese and caviar!
for one person you need
one large potatoe
one tablespoon flour
one small egg
pinch of salt
Peel the potatoes. Cut them in smaller pieces and mash them in a blender. Squeeze out some of the water and mix together with the flour, salt and egg in a bowl. Pour small amounts of batter to make about five pancakes in a standard frying pan on medium heat. Fry them with some olive oil or butter until they are golden brown, turning once only. The pancakes can be served with many different things: lingonberries or cranberries, freshly grated carrots, sautéed bacon pieces, goat cheese mixed with sour cream and lastly caviar.
By the way, I just came from London and I am now posting from a lovely cottage in Sweden. Where I am planning to stay until the end of October.
My sister dances tango wherever she goes. Barcelona, Berlin, Manhattan, Buenos Aires or the Pyrenees Mountains. Once she danced with a man who got so happy that he gave her a bottle of Bordeaux. Mushroom picking is also a thing my sister does well, and in her kitchen you will find glass jars of dried ‘funnel chanterelles’ (tratt kantareller), ‘king bolete’ (karl-johan) and ‘horn of plenty’ (trumpet svamp). My sister often crumbles some dried funnel chanterelles into her bacon sauce.
6-8 slices of bacon
½ or one onion
one clove garlic
tiny amount of chili
200 ml (0.80 cups) cream (or half and half)
150-200 ml (0.6-0.8 cups) cheddar cheese
(dried funnel chanterelles)
salt and pepper
Shred the bacon into thin slices. Chop the onion and the garlic thin and sauté them together with chili in some olive oil. When they are starting to get soft add the bacon and sauté them together until the bacon gets a little crispy. Add the cream and let it boil slowly for one minute. Lower the heat and add the grated cheese. When the cheese is melted, season the sauce with salt and pepper. Last night I served it over fresh pasta topped with fresh grated parmesan and a tomato salad with fresh cilantro balsamic vinaigrette. An earthy Bordeaux will probably work well whether it comes from a tango dancer or not!