A couple of weeks ago I was asked to do some recipe articles for EcoSalon. As the site belongs to one of my favorite sites I was beyond thrilled. EcoSalon has several interesting food columns, such as Foodie Underground by Anna Brones and The Green Plate by Vanessa Barrington. (BTW Anna Brones is also the woman behind the guest post Semlor for Fat Tuesday Tuesday that was posted earlier this year here on Kokblog). The site also has articles on fashion, culture, design and sex. EcoSalon, as the name shows, is about ecology and green.
My first article is about Apples in New York City followed by the recipe: Caramelized Apple Tart (see below). Read the whole story here.
Caramelized Apple Tart
1 ¼ cup (about 300 ml) regular flour
3.5 ounces (about 100 grams) butter
3 tablespoons sucanat*
1½ teaspoons finely crushed cardamom
splash of water
4 apples (preferably apples that are sour + firm inside, ex. Granny Smith)
4-5 tablespoons sucanat* (depending on how sour the apples are)
juice from one lemon
2½ ounces (70 grams) butter
½ cup (100 ml ) almonds, toasted and chopped
heavy cream, whipped with a little sugar
Start by mixing together butter, flour, cardamom and sucanat. When the butter is well divided add a splash of water. Work the dough together and let it rest in the fridge for at least one hour. Line a greased 9 inch (about 23 cm) spring form. Pre-bake at 400°F (200°C) the pie shell for about 10-15 minutes until it has got some color. Let cool.
Wash and peel the apples. Cut in half, take out the seeds and slice the rest of the apple in thin slices. Sprinkle the slices with sucanat and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat in a frying pan until they start to get juicy. Add ½ of the butter. Keep cooking the apples until they starts to caramelize. If you think the apples need more sugar you may add some now and let cook for a little bit more. The color should be golden and have some brown spots. Remove from heat and add the rest of the butter and toasted almonds. Let cool a little before arranging the apples inside the baked pie shell. Bake at 450°F (230C) for about 15 minutes until the apples have gotten some nice color. Serve with whipped cream.
*Sucanat is a brown sugar extracted from sugar cane. It’s perfect to bake with and gives cakes and cookies a richer taste. In the U.S. you can often find Sucanat in organic shops. If you can’t find sucanat you may use muscovado sugar or even regular brown sugar instead. When I’m in Sweden I use Farin sugar which works really well too.
The other day I made some illustrations for Steen Hanssen‘s article about White Asparagus, or Spargel as you call it in Germany. Steen is a food writer living in Berlin and a weekly contributor for Serious Eats. Like me, he also writes for Honest Cooking, where the current article was published.
Did you know that White Asparagus is dead when the cherries are red or that your pee smells funny after eating them? I always learn something new from Steen’s food stories and best of all they makes me hungry. Steen recommends to eat the asparagus with some cured Schinken, fresh new potatoes and Hollandaise sauce or just plain, simple and buttery!
Read the whole story about Germans culinary spring delicatess here and get hungry like me!
In the old days they used to add different kinds of herbs to vodka. Back then it was often for healing purposes but also as a way, I think, to take out some of the sharp taste in pure spirits. Wormwood was used to cure loss of appetite, both Caraway seeds and Fennel was used to treat digestive problems and St John’s wort was supposed to heal angst and depression.
Whether these cures are true or not my husband and I enjoy flavoring pure vodka with different kinds of herbs and plants. Some of the herbs we find during the summer in the woods (St John’s wort and Bog Myrtle) or in our own garden (black currant, wormwood and coriander). My husband has even engaged one of our friends, who has a backyard garden in Brooklyn, to grow wormwood (for Swedish Bäsk) and sweetgrass (to make Polish Zubrówka).
To make aquavit you don’t really have to go to the woods, you just need three simple spices that you may already have in your pantry: (one table spoon) coriander seeds, (one table spoon) fennel seeds and (one and half tablespoon) whole caraway seeds. Crush them roughly with a mortar and pestle and soak them in 200 ml pure vodka for a day or so. Let it soak longer for a stronger essence or less if you want a lighter taste. Strain and dilute with more vodka to the taste that you like. I recommend using the lightest pure vodka that you can find. For example, outside of Sweden I suggest Swedka or triple-distilled Smirnoff and in Sweden I recommend Renat.
Enjoy Snaps with different kinds of cured herrings, crayfish (Swedish style), caviar and oysters.
This recipe was first published on Honest Cooking, 28 April 2011.
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.
This diagram doesn’t really give you any measurements, its more a guide on what I like to feed my beef stew with. I have learnt that these ingredients work splendidly together and, by adding a small amount of cocoa at the end, really makes this dish into something complete. This Beef Stew can be served with rice or just a piece of bread and a salad. Sometimes I make it as a bolognese and use minced meat instead.
This Recipe Diagram is my submission for GOOD’s Redesign the Recipe project. If you like it you may vote for me. Thanks!
See more Recipe Diagrams here.
This image is also for sale in the SHOP.