Sweet potato, savory waffles

We both love waffles (who doesn’t!), but in the middle of the pandemic, we have started a whole new lifestyle with healthy eating and working out, at least thrice a week. Junk or processed foods have been out of our diet completely. So, we had to think of incorporating waffles back into our menu in a healthy way, and then we found Food Pharmacy’s fantastic sweet potato waffles recipe. We followed their recipe pretty much ditto, but had small tweaks in the topping, which you can modify with any healthy additions as per palette.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium Sweet potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 4tbsp corn starch
  • 2 eggs

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 cup red cabbage shredded
  • 1 small fennel, shredded
  • 4 tbs lingonberry
  • 2 tsp honey (go easy, you don’t want it too sweet, we barely had a tiny bit)
  • 1/2 lemon or orange zest
  • green chilli
  • coriander
  • cottage cheese
  • salt and pepper

Method

First peel and chop the sweet potatoes and the onion and put in blender till it is a paste. Add two eggs and blend again. Mix this mixture with the corn starch. Let this “batter” rest for at least ten minutes.

The topping: grate cabbage and fennel, mix with lingonberries, little bit honey and lemon zest. Add salt pepper and keep the chili and coriander, cottage cheese ready to add on the side.

The beauty of a red cabbage

Tip: Keep the waffle maker heat to medium high (our scale was from 1-6 and we made the waffles at 4). Smear a tiny bit of butter on both sides of the grid. Add some batter to the grids and put the cover. It is very important not to open the waffle maker to check if the waffles are done, and leave it to cook for at least 7 minutes. If they are not cooked yet, leave them for some more minutes, and they come together nice and crispy.

Add the salad topping on top of the warm waffles, sprinkle some green chili and coriander and add desired amount of cottage cheese beside the salad. It’s a yum, savory waffle that you can enjoy without any guilt!

Special thanks to Food Pharmacy for this outstanding recipe!

Rum n Raisin ice cream

We had a really bland and off putting Rum and Raisin ice-cream on a trip to the west coast of Sweden. More than me, C was disappointed at how bad it was; the rum flavor was synthetic and we hardly found any raisins. So he decided to make his own rum and raisin ice cream that tastes like it. The raisins were soaked in rum over night and were plump and juicy and it was one of the best Rum and Raisin we have had, if we can say it ourselves. :- )

Ingredients

  • 200ml Cream
  • 300ml Whole milk
  • 20g Whole milk powder
  • 100g Sugar
  • 30g Glucose
  • 1/3 Cup of raisins
  • Rum

Method

Put raisins in a cup and pour rum over them until it covers all the raisins. Cover the cup and let it stand until the next day (in or outside the refrigerator). Mix the milk powder and sugar in a small bowl. Place the cream, milk and glucose in a saucepan over medium heat till it comes to a boil. Whisk in the sugar and milk powder and continue to simmer lightly for about 2 minutes. Continue whisking to prevent burning. Take it off the heat and submerge the saucepan 2/3 of the way in cold water and continue to whisk until the mixture cools down. Transfer the ice cream base to the refrigerator and let it sit for minimum 4 hours (preferably over night). Strain the raisins and mix the surplus rum with the ice cream base in the fridge. Churn the mixture in a cooled ice cream maker until it starts to freeze. Mix in the rum soaked raisins at this point and continue to churn until it hardens. Transfer the ice cream to a container with an air tight lid and put it in the freezer until it is freezes and is completely ready.

Weekend Neapolitan pizza

My fascination for pizza started after listening to an interview with two friends who wanted to learn how to make the perfect Neapolitan pizza at home. Their adventure that started with a passion for perfection eventually resulted in a restaurant and a 300+ page book about this narrow field of pizza.
I was inspired by them– Besmir Balaj and Ville Ilola who have a fantastic restaurant called Lilla Napoli in Falkenberg, Sweden.
This is my version of the Neapolitan pizza!

Ingredients

  • 500g Tipo 00 flour (a special super fine Italian flour)
  • 330g Water
  • 12g Salt
  • 0.2g dry yeast (trust me…)
  • 400g Can of San Marzano tomatoes crushed by hand. (or any good crushed tomatoes)
  • Italian Salami
  • 3 Mozzarella balls, cut in thin slices
  • Parmigiano cheese
  • Olive oil

Method

Mix the dry yeast with the water and stir until dissolved. In the bread kneader bowl put the flour and salt, and turn on the kneader. Pour in the dry yeast liquid and knead the dough for 15 minutes. Let it ferment until the next day. If you don’t have time, just increase the amount of yeast but ideally leave it to make the pizza next day. Divide the dough into 3 parts and form round balls by stretching the edges and pulling them underneath. Put them separate and let them ferment again. Now its time to turn on the oven as high as it goes! Just before the pizzas go into the oven, turn on the over head grill if you have any for the pizza top to get heat (this bakes the pizza in few minutes but keep an eye to not char it).

The traditional way of flattening a Neapolitan pizza is by slapping it back and forth but my way is just by taking one of the doughs and pressing my finger tips in the middle and leaving the edges as a thicker rim. (This will come by practice, or you can also watch some videos on how to flatten a Neapolitan pizza.) Then grab the pizza by the rim and let it stretch by gravity while turning it around as it becomes thinner and bigger. Put it on a parchment paper, add the crushed tomatoes on top, along with the salami and mozzarella spread uniformly. Sprinkle some olive oil on top and put it into the oven.
Bake for a few minutes until the bread turns golden brown with some darker spots on the sides. Just perfection and yum!

Elderflower gin soda

Sweden is absolutely spectacular this time of the year; lilacs and elderflowers are in full bloom and every corner suddenly wakes up to flashes of color with pink and purple rhododendrons and lupines emerging. Elderflowers are the rather unnoticed ones, gorgeous, small white flowers and the fragrance wafts through the air deliciously. The fragrance is unique, it’s sweet and floral but also has a splendid freshness to it. The elderflower syrup in this recipe can be enjoyed with plain water or in our case with this handcrafted gin distilled with botanicals handpicked locally on the island of Gotland hellstromgin.com

Ingredients Elderflower syrup

  • 500g Sugar
  • 500g Water
  • 10g Citric acid
  • Elderflowers

Method

Heat sugar, water and citric acid until it boils. Turn off heat and add a hefty bunch of elderflowers (I had maybe 10-15 small bunches) and set aside to cool down. Keep in the fridge until next day and strain of the flowers. The drink can simply be made by mixing a small amount syrup (or as much as you prefer but this is a concentrated syrup), gin and soda water.

Gyoza (Dumplings)

We are a bit picky with our food and dumplings need to be great, not just good. We have been able to find one nice place to get dumplings in our city and then we decided to make our own. This was our first attempt and we learned a thing or two in the process— dumplings need a bit of our soul in them, and some heavy patience in the laborious process. Also, the time taken to make them is not directly proportional to the time it takes to eat them!
ps: we made pork dumplings but these are as good with minced lamb or chicken. (Add some heat if you kick up the fire a bit)

Ingredients Wrappers & filling

  • 2 Cups of flour
  • 1/2 Cup of water
  • 1 lb Minced pork
  • 3 Leaves of napa cabbage
  • 1/2 Cup of spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1.5 Inch ginger piece, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbs Japanese soya sauce
  • 1 tbs Sesame oil

Ingredients Dipping sauce

  • 4 tbs Japanese soya sauce
  • 3 tbs Sugar
  • 4 tbs Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Grated ginger
  • 1 Finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp Sesame oil
  • Finely chopped chili

Method

Boil the cabbage for 2-3 minutes. Rinse with cold water and squeeze out the water. Then chop cabbage into small pieces. Mix the cabbage with the minced pork, spring onions, ginger, salt, soy, and sesame oil. 

Mix water and wheat flour. Roll out the dough, punch out rounds with the rim of cup turned upside down on the dough . Add the filling, fold and pinch to the edge so the dumpling becomes dense. You can also make the edge nicer with a dumpling shaper.

Boil the dumplings in water for 4-5 minutes and fry them in oil to get some nice color and crunch.

Mix all ingredients to the dipping sauce and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Season with finely chopped chilli and serve the sauce to your dumplings.

Waiting for KFC

We have been waiting for the local KFC to open in our city in Sweden, where we live. This was supposed to happen in March, but due to Coronavirus it’s still in the waiting. Meanwhile, I have been following the YouTube channel Glen & Friends for a while now, and they have a series of programs dedicated on cloning the original KFC recipe. My version of this recipe is loosly based on Earls version presented in episode 9 of the series. One of the ingredients of my version is probably only to be found in Sweden (MSG substitute) and I also used a French spice mix I already had at home instead of rosemary, thyme and summer savory. To this day KFC has not opened its doors in our town. But I did make a scrumptious meal of fried chicken that A said wasn’t far off from the KFC she has had in USA. Oh, and an impulse purchase of a fryer went a long way for this adventure!

Ingredients

  • 9g White pepper
  • 9g Black pepper
  • 1.5g Coriander Seeds
  • 1.5g Ginger
  • 0.75g Clove
  • 0.75g Allspice
  • 1g Red Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 5g French herb mix
  • 10g Aromat (exchange for MSG and some garlic salt)
  • 55g Salt
  • 200g Cake flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup of milk
  • 2-3 lb Chicken legs

Method

Grind all the whole spices and mix everything and add salt. Mix 37g of the spice mix with the flour in a big bowl and set aside.

Whisk the egg and milk together in a big bowl and dip the chicken legs. Here’s a trick to avoid getting both hands sticky in this process— With one hand (the wet one) dip one chicken leg at the time into the flour and spice mix and then with the other (the dry one) cover the chicken leg with the flour mix and shake of the excess and put aside. Fry the legs in hot oil 330F for about 13-15 min. Make sure they are not burnt; it’s done when the chicken turns a beautiful golden brown color.

Warm rolls

These pandemic times have really urged a bit of self suficiency into our life. Many a times, we have run out of bread after a grocery cycle and didn’t want to go out or start a small batch of grocery delivery. Hence the bread making at home. We have done a good rye so far, and some slider rolls (in recipe section), but this was a first. It’s wonderful as breakfast rolls, warmed in the oven and served with butter, or with just about anything you prefer!

Ingredients

  • 25g Fresh yeast
  • .5 qt Water
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbs Oil
  • 1.2 qt High protein flour

Method

In a pitcher, crumble the yeast in water and stir until everything is dissolved. In the bread kneader bowl put the rest of the ingredients, and turn on the kneader. Pour in the liquid and knead the dough for 15 minutes. Let it ferment for at least 45 min. Divide the dough into 16 parts and form round balls by stretching the edges and pulling them underneath. Put them on a baking sheet and let them ferment to double the size. You’ll be amazed how much they swell and rise up into perfect balls. Brush some water on top of each roll and then sprinkle some tiny bit of flour on the water part. (This creates a nice effect when the baking is done). Turn on the oven at 250C and when it’s ready, bake the rolls for 11-12 min. Eat at least one hot with lots of butter. Smacking good!

“Drink your Greens” Immunity Smoothie

It isn’t just the pandemic that made us start with crazy veggie smoothies. We have been having smoothies with fresh beetroot (to be posted another time), or this one, as we call it, “Drink your Greens”. It’s actually pretty tasty and the ginger honey combo can never go wrong! Plus, after a glass, you are satisfied that you had your greens for the day! Sometimes a second glass doesn’t hurt.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 qt Cold Water
  • 1 Whole apple
  • 1/2-1 Lemon
  • 1 in Ginger
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • Frozen Kale
  • Frozen Spinach

Method

Put it in a blender and mix the bazooka out of it (hate the auto correct on my Swedish phone but you’ll understand). Pour into glasses and drink up!

Memorial day sliders

Memorial day weekend in NJ for my partner used to be with friends and barbecue and she mentioned that they would often buy sliders as a side dish for the party. In Sweden, this past memorial day weekend, we were wondering what to do, as it is we have been social distancing here. But I surprised my Indian-American partner with homemade sliders from scratch. They turned out really well, and if you notice the recipe carefully — one of us has a meticulous measurement system going on in our cooking. The other throws things when it needs to be… not criticising, but as you will learn, we have a very eclectic household. Sliders, memorial day style!

Ingredients

  • Milk, 500ml (17oz)
  • Dry yeast, 15g (0.5oz)
  • Flour, 750g (26,5oz)
  • Butter, 50g (1.7oz) room temperature
  • Salt, 15g (0.5oz)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Prime rib, grinded (or other good meat)
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Slider method

Heat oven at 420 F. Heat the milk till lukewarm and rehydrate the yeast in it. That is, it should be mixed well in the milk and dissolved. In a mixer, or bread kneader, mix flour, salt and butter and our the milk with yeast into it. Let the kneader churn the mix for about ten minutes. Leave the dough to ferment for a while. Make small little rounds out of the dough to make small sliders of each round and lay on a baking tray. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of sliders. Cover the tray with a cloth and this should ferment for at least one and half hours. Put the baking tray in the oven for 10 minutes. Your sliders are done!

Burger method

Mix grinded beef or lamb with garlic, salt, pepper. Make small little rounds of the meat, put each little mound between a baking sheet and flatten with the back of a pan so a perfectly flat burger comes out. Fry the burger in a pan as per your meat preference. Cut open the slider halfway, putting the burger, and accompaniments to your choice. We had it with honey mustard, tomatoes and some onions. Cheese is good too, the American way!