Saturday, 4 July 2009

Finnish style oat & chocolate cookies

Here's a recipe for cookies including dark chocolate, hazelnuts and lots of oats. They even made me think of how great it would be to eat them along with some hot chocolate, having a view on the lake at sunset. Maybe I am getting Finland-nostalgic.

Ingredients (12-14 cookies):
100 g dark chocolate
50 g hazelnuts
2 dl wheat flour
2 dl oats
1 teaspoon vanilline sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
100 g margarine or butter
1 dl sugar
1 egg

Cut the chocolate and the hazelnuts into small pieces. Mix together in a bowl the dry ingredients. Mix the soft butter with sugar. Add the egg and mix intensely. Finally add the dry ingredients and mix the dough until it becomes uniform. Form a bar 20 cm long and 6 cm wide out of the dough. Cut the bar into 1 cm wide pieces and place the pieces of dough on baking paper on an oven plate. Bake them in the oven heated to 175 c for around 12 minutes (they are ready when they have got some colour).

Potato gnocchi with beetroot sauce

This was really good, even if I first had no idea what to expect from it! It is a bit agrodolce, both sweet and sour. If you're looking for ideas on what to serve your potato gnocchi with, I warmly recommend this sauce!

Ingredients (x2):

For the gnocchi:
600 g potatoes
100 g flour
½ egg
1 tablespoon parmesan
a pinch of salt
(bread crumbs)

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
250 g beetroots
1 small onion
1 small clove garlic
150 g grated cheese (for example Edam)
a pinch of salvia and thyme

Peel the potatoes and cook them in a pan. When they're ready, mash them and let them cool down for a while. Add the egg, salt, parmesan and bread crumbs into the mashes potatoes. Start adding flour and mixing the dough. Add more flour until the dough is easily manageable in your hands and you manage to make balls out of it. When you have transformed all the dough into small balls (2-3 cm of diameter), fill a pan with water and make the water boil on the cooker. Add the potato balls into the pan and wait until they come to the surface and then take them out of the water.

Chop the onion and grind the garlic and fry them on a pan with olive oil. When they have gained some colour, add the beetroots that you have previously cooked and cut into small spieces (or use readily cooked ones). Add salt and pepper. Let the sauce flavour for 5 minutes on rather low heat.

Apply a light layer of butter on the surface of an oven mould. Place a part of the gnocchi in the mould, and cover them with a part of the sauce and grated cheese. Repeat this procedure two or three times. When you're done with the last layer, pour some olive oil all over the dish and dust the surface with a bit of thyme and powder salvia.

Cook the food in an oven pre-heated to 180 c for 7 minutes.

Vegetable&soy macaroni pot

This is a vegetarian version of the Finnish and Swedish dish macaroni pot (makaronilaatikko or makaronilåda in Finland, makaronipudding in Sweden). It's great that this way even vegetarians can enjoy this dish where meat is normally considered pretty central.

Ingredients (x5):
400 g dark macaroni
2 carrots
1 big onion
1 clove garlic
1 vegetarian bouillon cube
½ dl ketchup
1 ½ dl grinded soy
2 ½ dl water
1 ½ dl cheese
black pepper

For the egg-milk:
3 eggs
7 dl milk
salt, grinded paprica, black pepper

Boil the macaroni. Grate the carrots and chop the onion. Fry them in a pan and add the boullon cube, water, grinded soy, ketchup and the spices. Pour the water off the maraconi and add the soy-vegetable mix and grated cheese into the macaroni. Mix and spread it evenly into an oven mould. Mix the ingredients of the egg-milk well and pour the egg-milk on the food in the mould.

You may dust some bread crumbs on top if you want.
Bake in the oven heated to 200 c for about an hour.

Ideally served with ketchup.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Beetroot steaks with cottage cheese sauce

Here's the recipe for a traditional Finnish vegetarian main course, beetroot steaks, served with a lightly spiced cottage cheese - sour cream sauce. In Finland nowadays you can get cottage cheese (fi: raejuusto) in different flavours, but since here we only have plain cottage cheese, I spiced it up myself with some garlic and cayenne pepper.

Ingredients (for some 10 steaks):
3-4 potatoes
2 beetroots
1 carrot
100 g white celery or rutabaga
1 onion
2 eggs
½ dl water
½ dl potato flour
½ dl wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme or salvia (or mixed)

The sauce:
2 dl unflavoured yoghurt
1 dl cottage cheese
1 small clove garlic
a pinch of cayenne pepper or some other similar spice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar

Mix the ingredients of the sauce, check that it tastes good and put it into the fridge to for the steaks being ready. Peel the potatoes and the other vegetables and grate them. Mix the eggs, water, potato flour, wheat flour and the spices in a large bowl. Finally add the grated vegetables into the mix.

Put some butter or olive oil on a frying pan and fry steaks out of the dough on medium heat.

When each steak is ready, keep it warm by wrapping it into aluminium foil.
Serve with the sauce you previously prepared and with cooked potatoes or mashed potatoes.

Banana-chocolate muffins with a shade of lemon

Here's a recipe for muffins of sophisticated taste characterised by the richness of dark chocolate (although I don't use the darkest one possible), the sweetness of banana and the freshness of lemon.

Ingredients (x12 muffins):
150g butter or margarine
2 dl sour cream
zest of one lemon
2 eggs
1 ½ dl sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
3 dl wheat flour
1 dl cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
3 bananas
200 g dark chocolate

Heat up the oven to 175 c. Melt the butter and add into it the sour cream and the lemon zest. Mix together the eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar so that the final result is light and airy. Mix the sourcream-butter mix into it. Mix in another bowl the wheat flour, cacao powder, baking powder and salt and add this flour mix into the dough. Slice the bananas and cut the chocolate into pieces and add them into the dough. You can however set aside some pieces of clocolate in order to decorate the surface of the muffins with them.

Fill cake cups with the dough. Bake in the middle level of the oven for 15-20 minutes.