Friday, 19 June 2009

Summer soup

Today it is Midsummer and yesterday I prepared Summer soup (fi: kesäkeitto), a traditional soup for this season in Finland (even though my boyfriend thought it was pretty Thai). Ideally it is prepared with new, fresh vegetables of the summer. It is sweet and has milk, which makes it a bit controversial to some people. But it isn't good to judge it by that! It is very good with rye bread or crispy rye bread.

Ingredients (x2):
2 carrots
½ small cauliflower
2,5 dl water
½ teaspoon salt
1 dl peas
2 ½ dl milk
65 g soft cheese (in Finland, Koskenlaskija)
a pinch of sugar

Peel and slice the carrots. Cut the cauliflower into smaller pieces. Cut the well-washed potatoes into cubes.
Put the vegeables to boil in salted water. Cook them for some 10 minutes until they are done. Add the peas and milk. Cut the cheese into small cubes and mix it into the soup. Heat it so that it starts boiling and take it off the cooker. Spice the soup with a bit of sugar and add abundant chopped parsley.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Finnish-style oat bread

I'm totally a sucker for such bread that you can get in Finland - partly or completely full-grain stuff, with not much yeast or none at all, firm, and so charming of taste that you prefer to eat it without anything on it so that the bread itself is the centre of attention. I couldn't find the right flour here though so I had to use white wheat flour. But anyway the bread came out so beloved that both of them were eaten in less than 10 minutes. Oats are very popular in Finland, and it is a common conviction there that you should eat some oats every day to be friendly to your heart and to reduce LDL cholesterol.

Ingredients (for 2 breads 20 cm of diameter):
3 dl dark wheat flour (hiivaleipäjauhoja/jästbrödsmjöl)
1 dl oats
½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 dl grated cheese
50 g margarine
2 ½ dl milk

Mix the flour, oats, salt and baking powder in a bowl with a wooden fork. Add the grated cheese, the milk and the margarine that you've previously melted. Mix quickly, don't mix a lot! It is normal that the dough is very loose. Put baking paper on an oven plate. Pour half of the dough on the baking paper and pat it with floured hands into the shape of a bread of 20cmx20cm. Form another bread next to it (or after the first one has been baked). Bake in the oven in 225 c for 15 minutes.

Tagliatelle with pistachio-zucchini cream

Here's an excellent tagliatelle recipe where I make use of pistachios, those that you usually associate with snacking. Pappardelle are just as fine as tagliatelle.

Ingredients (x3):
200 g tagliatelle
2 small cloves garlic
½ onion
1 zucchina
4 tablespoons crème fraîche
3/4 dl milk
(instead of these last two you can use just plain cooking cream instead, or only milk if you want a lighter version)
black pepper
olive oil
25 pistachios

Put the pasta to cook in a pan with salted water. Grind the garlic and chop the onion and heat them on a pan with olive oil. Grate the zucchina and add it on the pan. Fry it on pretty high heat for three minutes. Mash 12 pistachios and add them on the pan. Add salt and pepper. Lower the heat considerably. Add the crème fraîche and milk into the vegetables and mix. Let the sauce cook on low heat for some 3-4 minutes. When the tagliatelle are al dente, remove the water. Mix the pasta with the sauce and mash the rest of the pistachios and dust them on the portions along with grated parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Spaghetti with parsley cream

This dish is very easy to make and the result tastes soft, charming and fresh. With the short preparation time of some 15 minutes it's a good one to make even if you're in a hurry. Capellini are just as suitable as the good old spaghetti.

Ingredients (x2:)
175 g spaghetti or capellini
15 g parmesan
60 g crème fraîche
1 medium-sized onion
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
black pepper

Chop the onion and put it into a pan with along with a bit of water. Add the cream on the pan and mix to form a crema out of it and add salt and black pepper. Heat up the crema. Chop the parsley and add it into the crema. Cook the pasta in salted water and when ready, pour the water off and serve it with the parsley cream and grated parmesan.