Archive Page 2
I bought a can of Libby’s pumpkin pur? more or less a year ago, but never quite remembered to use it. Finnish Father’s Day was a little while ago, and I wanted to bring something easy yet tasty for the Sunday meal’s dessert. I remembered the pumpkin can, and read the back label which had a pie recipe on it. Since I happened to have all the ingredients at hand, and didn’t have the energy to google for the ultimate pumpkin pie recipe that takes forever to make and requires three trips to specialty stores for exotic spices, I decided to give the can’s recipe a go.
“This is the traditional holiday pumpkin pie. This classic recipe has been on LIBBY’S® Pumpkin labels since 1950. This pie is easy to prepare and even easier to enjoy. Just mix, pour, bake for a delicious homemade tradition.”
And sure enough, the outcome was delicious. For all non-Americans, the taste is really close to gingerbread, yet the consistency is soft and luscious, just like when you soak a handful of gingerbread to a glass of milk and spoon them as a soggy mess – one of my favorite childhood memories…
So here you go, LIBBY’S® Famous Pumpkin Pie, straight from the can’s label.
LIBBY’S® Famous Pumpkin Pie
1.75 dl (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (425 g / 15 oz.) LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (3.5 dl / 12 fl. oz.) condensed milk
1 unbaked 23 cm / 9-inch (0.9 l / 4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)
MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
POUR into pie shell.
BAKE in preheated 220°C (425°F) oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 175°C (350°F); bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.
Some months ago I was looking for an easy and light dinner, and ended up buying a box of premium brand ready-to-eat Jerusalem artichoke soup. Before heating the soup I googled its manufacturer, and found their recipe site, which suggested a bacon-tomato topping for the soup. Both S and I were positively surprised by the smooth texture and exquisite taste, but being the foodie I am, the thought of eating canned soup felt wrong.
Our first encounter with Jerusalem artichokes happened in the middle of the summer, and I assumed it would be trivial to buy them from any market. I did immediately find a few plastic bags full of semi-rotten tubers in the nearby supermarket, but I wasn’t ready to settle for anything but perfect. Soon my trusty greengrocer explained that Jerusalem artichokes are a fall species, and that fresh tubers start to appear in stores in late October.
A couple of weeks ago I found a small bag of tiny fresh tubers, and made my first batch of Jerusalem artichoke soup. Peeling the tubers was a pain, as they are quite similar in appearance to fresh ginger. Peeled tubers also brown quickly if exposed to air, so they need to be put in water as soon as possible. The small, gnarly and uneven tubers took a lot of time to peel, and I actually made a mental note not to make the soup from scratch ever again. Because the soup ended up being really good, I decided to give the Jerusalem artichokes an another go when I saw a batch of big tubers at the greengrocer’s. This time I only washed them carefully, and scrubbed the worst parts off, leaving the skin. This saved a lot of time and effort, and unless a glutton for punishment, I suggest doing the same.
I haven’t bought sun dried tomatoes since I first made oven dried tomatoes some two years ago. They’re cheaper, have less oil and taste every bit as good as store bought ones – if not much better. The recipe is in Finnish, but basically you halve the tomatoes, brush them lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, coriander and balsamico, and bake in an oven for 4-9 hours using the lowest temperature setting, and the door slightly cracked open allowing the steam to escape.
Jerusalem artichoke soup with sun dried tomatoes and bacon topping
1 kg (2.2 lbs) Jerusalem artichokes
1 medium-to-big parsnip
2 dl (a scant cup) cream
salt, pepper to taste
egg yolks for thickening (optional)
150 g (5 oz) bacon
2 dl (a scan cup) of sun dried tomatoes, or a couple of fresh tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic
Scrub the Jerusalem artichokes carefully, or peel them. Peel the parsnip and potatoes, and cut in large cubes to speed up cooking. Cover the vegetables with chicken broth and cook until soft, about 10-20 minutes. Keep the cooking liquid.
Pur? the vegetables with the cream, and add cooking liquid until the soup runs smoothly. Season with salt and pepper. Use egg yolks if you need to thicken the soup. Add finely cut parsley.
Cut the bacon into strips, and fry with crushed garlic until nicely browned. Add the tomatoes. Spoon the bacon-tomato mixture on top of the soup and add croutons. Decorate with parsley leaves.
Some time ago I promised to cook a Sunday lunch at my parents’ for the family and S. I was completely out of ideas and had no vision whatsoever. Such times call for a visit to my favourite butcher, Reinin Liha, at the Hakaniemi Market Hall in Helsinki. The market hall was opened in1916, and has been an excellent source of meat, fish and produce ever since. Reinin Liha is considered one of the best, if not the best, butcher in Finland. They have been in business for 56 years, and their experience really shows in the service.
I was supposed to serve the meal at 3 pm, so I decided to buy the meat the day before. I know few better ways to look for an inspiration than browse the meat-filled counters at a butcher store. It didn’t take for long when I went to Reinin Liha to find beautiful lambkin shanks. When I saw them I immediately knew they’d make the perfect dish to be prepared in my brand-spanking-new Emile Henry earthenware round casserole.
I prepared the lamb shanks with the recipe I got with the shanks. They were marinated in garlic, thyme and rosemary spiced olive oil over the night.
On Sunday morning I did the unthinkable and woke up before nine so that the shanks would have plenty of time to simmer in low temperature. The longer you cook them, the more tender the shanks will be, and ultimately will fall of the bone. Yummy! I cooked mine for 5 hours.
Braised Lamb Shanks
6 organically grown lamb shanks (about 2 kg / 4.5 lbs)
virgin olive oil
plenty of coarsly crushed garlic
4 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 bottle of red wine, for example Señorío de los Llanos Reserva
Prepare the marinade by mixing the oil and spices. Let the shanks marinade in a fridge overnight.
Heat the oven to 150 C / 300 F.
Put the shanks close to each others in a deep pot, the bone facing up. Pour the marinade over the shanks. Pour the wine, about half a bottle, until the shanks are covered up to half their height.
Cover the pot with a lid and lower the temperature to 100 C / 225 F after 30 minutes. Let cook for about 5 hours until tender enough to be eaten without a knife.
Sieve the jus, cook together, and serve as a sauce. Mashed potatoes go well with the shanks. Try mixing a few tablespoons of pesto with the mash.
Not long ago I spent a few days in Barcelona. Although my work schedule was pretty hectic, we managed to squeeze in a memorable dinner at Cata 1.81 in Eixample. Great wine, countless miniature courses of delicious morsels, and effortlessly stylish surroundings that put to shame New York”?s wannabe Barcelonas [insert your favorite recently opened Lower East Side eatery here].
A great fast food solution in Barcelona was lunch at a humble Equadoran joint (c/ Calabria, near Gran Via, also in Eixample). They served wonderfully fresh avocado salads and ceviches. In fact, I”?m totally obsessed with ceviches. The perfect summer food, they are a staple at Ecuadoran and Peruvian restaurants. My last week in New York was devoted to eating food I’ll miss the most, so one of my last meals there naturally involved a Peruvian salmon ceviche.
Peruvian food belongs among my all-time favorite cuisines, but I”?m not counting on finding too many Peruvian restaurants in Northern Europe. Hence, I”?m seriously contemplating buying this cookbook. When leaving New York a month ago, my bags were bursting with pisco, ají amarillo, mote blanco, and maiz de tostar from the Trade Fair supermarkets in Queens. Luckily, a lovely check-in guy at JFK waived the excess weight charges (30kg/ 66lbs “? a fortune) when he realized how terribly I will miss all the great food I used to be able to get so easily in Astoria and Jackson Heights. (Now that I read about the week-long ConEd power failure that affected one of my favorite haunts in NYC, I’m of course totally horrified, but also smugly happy that I barely managed to escape).
Let’s hope the power stays on as I make this batch! A ceviche involves raw fish or shellfish chemically “cooked” by citric acid. I keep it in the fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours. Ceviche is usually served on a leaf on lettuce, with a cold sweet potato and an ear of corn (or a few tasty, oversize kernels). A few weeks ago I prepared a shortcut version of all this to my husband and a friend “? tasty, light, wonderful, highly recommended. Yesterday, I had another ceviche for lunch at work. Somehow I managed to spill ceviche juices all over the place during my bike ride to work, so I smelled strongly of fish for the rest of the day.
1 lb white-fleshed fish (eg, sea bass fillets)
juice of 2-3 limes
juice of 2-3 lemons
2 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1/4 dl white wine vinegar
1-2 onions, sliced very thin
1 red or yellow hot pepper, deveined, deseeded, and slivered
fresh cilantro by the handful
Cut the fish into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. Pile onions on top of it, and pour citrus juice all over it. Season with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Let rest about 6 hours in refrigerator.
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
1 medium-large sweet potato
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
Heat oven to 200 C (425 F). Halve the potato lengthwise, then cut each half into 7 slices. Place them on a baking dish, toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and bake for another 10 minutes, or until tender.
Everyday Corn on the Cob
Wrap one ear of corn in parchment paper (the husks can stay on), microwave high for 3 minutes (5 minutes if you make two at the same time). Peel, serve hot with a knob of butter.
Pasha is a traditional Finnish Easter dish, especially in the eastern parts of the country. It was brought here by the Russian Orthodox church hundreds of years ago, and is eaten to celebrate the end of the lent. You may know pasha with a little different name – pascha, pashka, or something similar. Pasha or ????? is a Russian word for Easter, originally from a Hebrew word pesah. The transliteration from Cyrillic alphabets explains the small variations in the name.
Pasha is really energy rich food – its main ingredients are quark (milk curd), cream, butter, eggs and sugar. Dairy animals produce milk fats whether you use them or not, so after the lent you had a surplus of cream. It was then used to make pasha. I’m referring to the days when agriculture was the predominating livelihood :)
Traditionally pasha is made in wooden, pyramid-shaped molds. Since Easter is the biggest holy day of the Russian Orthodox church, the molds are often carved with religious symbols such as XB, short for Hristos voskrese (??????? ????????) – Christ is Risen. The pyramid shape reminds of the Jews’ slavery in Egypt.
250 g quark / curd cheese (in US, look for tvorog in Russian stores)
50 g butter
3 tbsp sugar
1 dl raisins
1/2 dl candied lemon zest (sukaatti, suckat)
1/2 dl crushed almonds
3 tbsp orange marmalade
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
2 dl whipping cream
Unless you use Russian tvorog, put the quark or curd cheese in a coffee filter for 12 hours. During that time the liquid will separate which makes for a denser Pasha.
Mix sugar and butter until airy and smooth. In a separate bowl whip the cream. Add all the rest ingredients to the sugar and butter mixture, mix until smooth, and finally carefully add the whipped cream.
Pour the mixture in a double-layered coffee filter, and let stand in a fridge for 24 hours.
When 1-2 dl of liquid has dripped from the pasha in the fridge, tip it over on a plate and decorate with candied lemon zest and raisins.
Kulitsa is also a Russian Easter dish, which is often eaten with pasha. It is a sweet, buttery, and incredibly tasty loaf, which is sliced like bread and and topped with heaps of pasha.
I urge you to try this, it is absolutely delicious!
(1 huge loaf or 2 smaller)
2 dl milk
25 g fresh yeast or equivalent amount of dry yeast
1/8 g saffron
1 tbsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1 dl sugar
2 tbsp candied lemon zest (sukaatti)
1 dl raisins
1/2 dl crushed almonds
7 dl all purpose flour
125 g butter
Make a dough (as you would for any bread/roll), and let it rise for 30 minutes. Make one or two round loaves on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Decorate with dough strips, candied lemon and raisins (make e.g. letters XB).
Heat the oven to 180 C (355 F), but don’t let the loaves rise for longer than it takes for the oven to heat, otherwise they will loose their shape.
Bake for 30 minutes.
This is Anna’s version of the same recipe – the kulitsa is on the background but it’s really the star attraction here. Perfect for an artery-clogging Easter breakfast!
250 g maitorahkaa
50 g voita
3 rkl sokeria
1 dl rusinoita
1/2 dl mantelirouhetta
3 rkl appelsiinimarmeladia
1 tl vaniljasokeria
puolen sitruunan mehu (1 rkl)
2 dl kuohukermaa vaahtona
Jos et k?yt? ven?l?ist? maitorahkaa, valuta rahkaa suodatinpaperilla vuoratussa kahvinsuodattimessa noin 12 h j??kaapissa.
Vaahdota voi ja sokeri. Lis?? kaikki muut ainekset, lopuksi vaahdotettu kerma, ja sekoita huolella.
Painele massa kahdella suodatinpussilla verhottuun kahvinsuodattimeen, j?t? keskelt? v?h?n koholle sill? pasha painaa valuessaan. Anna valua j??kaapissa vuorokauden verran.
Kumoa tarjoilulautaselle, koristele rusinoin ja sukaatein.
(1 valtavan iso tai 2 pienehk??)
2 dl maitoa
25 g (1/2 palaa) hiivaa
1/8 g sahramia
1 rkl kardemummaa
1/2 tl suolaa
1 dl sokeria
2 rkl sukaattia
1 dl rusinoita
1/2 dl mantelirouhetta
n. 7 dl vehn?jauhoja
125 g voita tai margariinia
Tee hiivataikina, anna sen kohota 30 minuuttia. Leivo nousseesta taikinasta py?re? leip? tai kaksi leivinpaperilla, koristele taikinasuikeroin ja -kirjaimin sek? rusinoin ja sukaatein. ?l? kohota en?? pitemp??n kuin mit? uunin esil?mmitys 180 asteeseen kest??, muuten leip? menett?? muotonsa. Paista 180 asteessa 30 minuuttia. Tarjoa viipaleina, sivele paksulti pashaa p??lle.
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