March 31, 2010

Brown rice, pine nut and sultana salad

Sticking to healthy food, this salad is still full of flavour. The recipe is adapted from the Gourmet Traveller.

Brown rice, pine nut and sultana salad

250 g brown rice, cooked and cooled
50 g pine nuts
1/2 Spanish onion, finely sliced
50 ml red wine vinegar
30 ml lemon juice
80 ml fruity olive oil
20 g sultanas, coarsely chopped
handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt, pepper

Dry-roast the pine nuts until golden. Combine onion, red wine vinegar and lemon juice in a glass bowl and let soak for a few minutes. Place rice, pine nuts, sultanas and parsley in a bowl, add the soaked onion along with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve with fish or chicken or as a light lunch with feta or halloumi cheese.

March 29, 2010

Lunch at the Burnt Orange Cafe, Mosman

Back to my favourite spot for lunch on a sunny afternoon. This Cafe is always a nice experience!

I was very pleased with my Lime-cured tuna ceviche salad with confit cherry tomatoes, Alto ligurian olives, fresh green beans and crushed chats (pictured above).

And there were agreeable "mmm's" from my fellow luncheon companion for her Fish of the day (Ocean Trout) served on a salad of shaved fennel, sugar snap peas and preserved lemon, dressed with an Orange Mountain verjus.

A little treat for Easter: Kennedy & Wilson's Dark Chocolate Egg. The smell of the chocolate is almost intoxicating. I will have to hide this until the end of the week.

March 28, 2010

Hot Cross Buns - The Australian Easter Treat

Now I must admit I've never been a big fan of the spicy buns Australians like to eat at Easter time, and I finally realised why! It's because I've never had home made ones before. I don't mean to brag, but these buns were so so yummy and so much better than any shop bought ones I've ever tasted! Why oh why don't more people make them themselves? The best thing, besides the taste of course, is that these ones are not filled with preservatives and whatnot. I highly recommend you to try these at home!


Hot Cross Buns (makes 12 big buns)

4 cups plain flour
14 g dry yeast
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup sultanas
40 g unsalted butter
300 ml milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Flour paste

1/2 cup plain flour
4 to 5 tbs water

Sugar Glace

1/3 cup water
2 tbs caster sugar

Combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt, spices and sultanas in a large bowl. Melt butter in a pan and add in milk. Heat until about 42 C. Add the warm milk mixture and eggs to the dry ingredients and stir well. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth. If the dough feels too hard, water your hands with warm water and knead the dough (this incorporates just enough water to make the dough softer). Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Knead the risen dough until smooth and divide into 12 equal sized portions. Roll each portion into a ball and place on the tray. Cover the tray with cling wrap or tea towel and let the buns rise for another half an hour. In the mean while, preheat the over to 190 C.

To make the flour paste combine the flour with water and mix into a smooth paste. Pipe the flour paste onto the risen buns to form crosses. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes (turn the tray half way to ensure even baking) or until nicely browned.

Make the glace: place sugar and water in a pan and let boil for 5 minutes stirring every now and then. Brush the warm buns with the glace. Serve warm with butter.



March 27, 2010

Lusikkaleivät - Finnish Spoon Biscuits

When I was making these this hot and humid morning I realised that these biscuits are actually perfect for a warm climate; there's no rolling and cutting and no chilling the dough over and over again, just spooning. How simple is that? My mum always used to make these and she still does, but unfortunately mailing them to me would take too long, thus I needed to make them myself.
These take me right back to childhood!

Lusikkaleivät - Finnish Spoon Biscuits

200 g butter
1 1/2 dl sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tsp bicarb soda
4 dl plain flour

raspberry conserve
caster sugar

Melt butter in a pan and let bubble for a few minutes, but don't let it brown. Transfer the hot butter in a bowl and add sugar. Let cool, then stir. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Use a small deep spoon to take spoonfuls of the dough and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in 175C for 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool, then spread some raspberry conserve on half of the biscuits and place the other halves on top. Roll in caster sugar.

March 26, 2010

Stuffed Sardines

I have mentioned my love for sardines, and when I saw the latest episode of the Italian Food Safari it was all I needed to cook sardines again! I only have one request: do not even THINK of using other than fresh breadcrumbs in the stuffing, it simply wouldn't work any other way.

Stuffed Sardines

16 sardines, filleted

1 cup parsley, finely chopped

1/2 cup parmesan
, finely grated
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

1 garlic clove, grated

salt, pepper

1 egg, beaten

some plain flour

Mix together the parsley, parmesan, breadcrumbs and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the egg to make a soft, sticky mixture. Place a small amount of the mixture in the centre of the sardine and place another fillet on top. Dust the sardines lightly in some plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper and fry in olive oil in a hot pan for about 3 minutes each side.

March 25, 2010

Swedish Kladdkaka

The Swedes are well known for their sweet tooth and this cake makes no exception: it is rich, gooey and incredibly sweet. So if you're after a real chocolate hit, then this definitely is the cake for you!

Chocolate Kladdkaka

100 g butter (if you want the cake extra gooey, use 50 g butter and 50 ml vegetable oil)
2 eggs
2 dl granulated sugar
1 dl light brown sugar
2,5 dl plain flour (or cake flour if you can find it)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla sugar
tiny pinch of salt
4 tbs unsweetened Dutch cocoa
50 g dark 70% chocolate roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 150 C (or slightly hotter depending on your oven). Melt the butter and let cool slightly. Whisk the eggs and the sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in melted butter. Mix the dry ingredients together and fold into the batter. Fold in the chocolate. Pour the batter into a prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until set, but remember that the cake is supposed to be gooey! Serve with whipped cream.

March 21, 2010

Wedding and the Chinese Banquet!

Mr Kangaroo and I were privileged to attend a wedding of our dear friends Miss B and Mr J. And what a wedding it was! The ceremony was absolute beautiful, everything went so smoothly, everyone was so happy (hey, it was a wedding after all!) and the weather was gorgeous. The reception was held at the Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant in Chatswood (a suburb in Sydney). I was so excited; this was to be my first ever full on Chinese Banquet!

And here's what we had!

First course: Roast suckling pig with jellyfish and octopus

Second course: Fried Golden Stuffed Crab Claw

Dish no. 3: Steamed vegetables

Dish no. 4:Shark's fin soup

5: Noodles with crab

6: Abalone and spinach

7: Steamed Perch

And the head and the tail which according to the tradition should be facing the most honored guest.

8: Chinese style chicken with crispy skin

And Desserts!

Red bean pudding with lotus seeds

The wedding cake

And the sliced up wedding cake

Small Chinese cakes served with fruit

And here's the bridal bouquet I caught! This was my third time in a row! Now you too can learn how to master this art.


March 19, 2010

Kalapuikot ja hernemuusi - Fishcakes and Pea Crush

Tällainen ruoka tekee onnelliseksi; kullanruskeat, päältä rapeat, mutta sisältä pehmeät kalapuikot sekä kauniin vihreä ja ah niin herkullinen hernemuusi.

This is real Happy Food; golden brown fish cakes, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and the deliciously green buttery pea crush.

Kalapuikot

410 g tlk lohta valutettuna (nahaton, luuton)
1 pieni sipuli
1 valkosipulinkynsi
pieni kourallinen tuoretta lehtipersiljaa
yhden sitruunan raastettu kuori
1 rkl Dijon sinappia
reilu pari desiä perunamuusia
suolaa, pippuria

vehnäjauhoja
1 kanamuna
tilkka maitoa
Panko korppujauhoja

öljyä paistamiseen

Hienonna sipuli, valkosipuli ja persilja ja lisää lohen joukkoon. Lisää mukaan perunamuusi, sinappi, sitruunankuori ja mausta suolalla ja pippurilla. Sekoita tasaiseksi taikinaksi ja muotoile taikinasta noin 10 patukkaa. Siirrä kalapatukat jääkaappiin vajaaksi puoleksi tunniksi. Aseta yhteen kulhoon suolalla ja pippurilla maustettu vehnäjauho, toiseen kananmuna ja maito (vatkaa sekaisin) ja kolmanteen Panko korppujauhot. Kasta kalapuikot ensin jauhoissa, sitten muna-maidossa ja lopuksi korppujauhoissa ja paista kuumassa öljyssä kullanruskeaksi.

Hernemuusi

noin 4 dl pakasteherneitä
reilu nokare suolatonta voita
suolaa, pippuria

Kypsennä herneet suolalla maustetussa vedessä, laske siivilän läpi ja sekoita mukaan voi ja mausteet. Muusaa hieman, mutta ei aivan tasaiseksi.

Fishcakes

410 g can of pink salmon (drained, boneless, skinless)
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
1 tbs Dijon mustard
grated zest of 1 lemon
some fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup mashed potato
salt, pepper

plain flour
1 egg
dash of milk
Panko breadcrumbs

oil for frying

Combine the potato, salmon, finely chopped onion, garlic, parsley, mustard and lemon zest in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 10 small logs and transfer into the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up. Place plain flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Beat the egg with some milk in another bowl and place the breadcrumbs in a separate dish. Dip the fishcakes first in the flour, then the egg mixture and then in breadcrumbs to coat. Shallow-fry until golden.

Pea crush

3 cups frozen peas
30 g unsalted butter
salt, pepper

Cook the peas in a boiling water seasoned with salt, drain and return to the pan with butter. Season with salt and pepper and crush lightly.

March 18, 2010

Suklaa-kaneli tuilet - Chocolate Cinnamon Tuiles

Rakastan kokeilla uusia tekniikoita ja nämä hauraat ranskalaiset "pikkuleivät" ovat olleet kokeilulistallani jo pitkään. Ne sopivat mitä parhaiten jäätelön tai muun pehmeän jälkiruoan kanssa tarjottavaksi. Tuileja voi tehdä niin makeita kuin suolaisiakin, kokeile esimerkiksi parmesaania! En muuten usko ikinä voivani kyllästyä ihastelemaan kuinka valkuainen muuttuu vatkatessa ensin pehmeäksi vaahdoksi ja sokeria lisätessä niin kauniin kiiltävän valkoiseksi...

I love trying out new techniques and these fragile French cookies have been on my "to try" list for a long time. They really are the best companion for ice cream or any other soft dessert. Tuiles are so versatile, they can be sweet or savoury; try parmesan for example!
By the way, I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching how an egg white can get whipped into soft peaks and attaining the prettiest white gloss after adding sugar.

Suklaa-kaneli tuilet

1 valkuainen
50 g hienoasokeria
2 rkl vehn
äjauhoja
40 g sulatettua voita
1 rkl makeuttamatonta kaakaojauhetta
1/2 tl jauhettua kanelia

Vatkaa valkuainen pehme
äksi vaahdoksi, lisää sokeri ja vatkaa kiiltäväksi. Siivilöi jauhot valkuaisen joukkoon ja sekoita tasaiseksi. Sekoita mukaan sulatettu voi. Siirrä 3 rkl seosta toiseen kulhoon marmorointia varten. Siivilöi kaakao ja kaneli pieneen kulhoon, sekoita keskenään ja sekoita sitten isomman taikinan joukkoon. Levitä leivinpaperilla päällystetylle uunipellille ohuita pyöreitä leipäsiä ja lisää pieni määrä kaakaotonta seosta päälle. Paista 200 asteessa muutaman minuutin kunnes leivät ovat juuri asettuneet. Aseta kuumat tuilet kaulimen tai muun pyöreän esineen päälle ja anna jäähtyä. Tarjoile esimerkiksi jäätelön kanssa.

Chocolate Cinnamon Tuiles

1 egg white
50 g caster sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
40 g melted butter
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Whisk the egg white into soft peaks, add the sugar and whisk until smooth and glossy. Sift in the flour and fold in. Stir in the butter. Transfer about 3 tbsp of the mixture into another bowl and set aside. Sift in the cocoa and ground cinnamon in another bowl and stir into the larger quantity of the mixture. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking sheet covered with baking paper, then spread evenly to make a thin cookie. Drop some of the unflavoured mixture over. Bake in 200C for a few minutes until just set. Transfer hot tuiles over a rolling pin and leave to cool. Serve with ice cream.

March 17, 2010

Linssilätyt - Lentil Fritters

Rakastan kasvislättyjä; pinaatti- ja porkkanalätyt ovat ikisuosikkejani, mutta vaihtelun vuoksi linssitkin kelpaavat hyvin. Reseptin nappasin uunituoreesta Delicious lehdestä, inspiroivaa luettavaa!

I love veggie fritters; spinach and carrot ones are my all time favourites, but lentils are a welcome change. I got this recipe from the latest Delicious magazine which is always a great source of inspiration!

Linssilätyt

100 g vehnäjauhoja
1 tl leivinjauhetta
ripaus cayennepippuria
1 tl jauhettua korianteria
1 tl jauhettua kuminaa
2 kananmunaa valkuaiset ja keltuaiset eroteltuina
150 ml maitoa
400 g tlk linssejä huuhdottuina ja valutettuina
tuoretta persiljaa
suolaa, mustapippuria

Siivilöi jauhot, leivinjauhe ja mausteet kulhoon. Lisää keltuaiset ja maito ja sekoita tasaiseksi. Lisää linssit ja hienonnettu persilja, mausta suolalla ja pippurilla ja sekoita hyvin. Vatkaa valkuaiset pehmeäksi vaahdoksi ja sekoita varovasti taitellen muun taikinan joukkoon. Kuumenna hieman rasvaa pannulla ja paista taikinasta pieniä lättyjä. Tarjoile jugurttikastikkeen ja tomaattien kera.

Lentil Fritters

100 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 eggs, separated
150 ml milk
400 g lentils, rinsed and drained
some flat-leaf parsley
salt, black pepper

Sift flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl. Whisk in yolks and milk until smooth. Stir in lentils and roughly chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks, then gently fold it into the batter. Heat some oil in a pan, spoon small fritters into the pan and cook on both sides until golden. Serve with yoghurt dressing and fresh chopped tomatoes.

Ps. My first attempt to write in both languages... Phew! If there are any old recipes you would like to get translated, please let me know!

March 16, 2010

Lohi-purjopiirakka

Mukavaa vaihtelua lohelle ja suolaisia piirakoita vain tekee aina silloin tällöin niin mieli :-)

Lohi-purjopiirakka

noin 300-400 g lohifile
1-1,5 purjoa (valkoiset osat)
suolaa, pippuria
3 kananmunaa
2,5 dl hapankermaa

Piirakkataikina

150 g suolatonta voita
2,5 dl vehnäjauhoja
ripaus suolaa
2,5 rkl kylmää vettä

Murusta voi ja jauhot keskenään ja mausta suolalla. Lisää vesi ja kokoa taikina palloksi. Taputtele taikina piirakkavuoan pohjalle ja reunoille tasaisesti.

Viipaloi purjo ja kuullota voissa pehmeäksi (noin 15 minuuttia). Mausta suolalla ja pippurilla.

Upota lohifile kiehuvaan veteen ja keitä kymmenisen minuuttia tai kunnes juuri kypsä. Haarukoi ohuiksi siivuiksi ja sekoita purjon joukkoon. Sekoita kananmunat ja hapankerma keskenään ja mausta suolalla ja pippurilla. Kaada sitten muna-kerma seos purjon ja lohen joukkoon ja sekoita varovaisesti sekaisin. Kaada seos vuokaan taikinan päälle ja paista 200 asteessa reilu puoli tuntia. Anna jäähtyä ja tarjoile tuoreen salaatin kanssa.

March 15, 2010

Kirjahyllyssäni

Rakastan ruokakirjoja! Tässä muutamia viime aikojen ostoksiani.

Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone (Curtis Stone) on täynnä käyttökelpoisia arkireseptejä pienin lisäyksin. Kirjan tyyli on nimen mukaisesti rento ja resepteistä paistaa huolettomuus ja ruoanlaitosta nauttiminen, ei stressaaminen. Ihanaa kesäluettavaa!

Bowl Food mahduttaa näennäisesti pieneen kokoonsa nähden mahdottoman paljon reseptejä. Reseptejä on niin salaateille, pastoille, riiseille, wokattaville kuin curreille ja yhden padan ruoillekin. Todellinen ruokaraamattu!

Chocolate Ecstasy (Christine France) "75 most dangerous recipes ever". Need I say more?

Marie Claire Comfort- Real Simple Food (Michele Cranston) on muiden Marie Claire ja Donna Hay kirjojen tapaan visuaalisesti upea opus. Reseptit ovat lisäksi erittäin toimivia ja kokonaisuutena kirja toimii loputtoman inspiraation lähteenä niin ruokastailaukselle, sisustamiselle kuin ruoanlaitollekin.

Home Style Japanese Cooking in Pictures (by Sadako Kohno). Tämän ihanan vanhan kirjan sain Hra Kengurun äidiltä. Rakastan vanhojen ruokakirjojen viattomuutta; kuvat ja stailaus ilman turhia kikkailuja ja fotoshoppailuja.

March 13, 2010

Taste of Sydney 2010

What an enjoyable day! Taste of Sydney really is my kind of event: FOOD, FOOD and more FOOD! It was a perfect day, nice weather, nice company (I was joined by Mr Kangaroo of course) and did I mention amazing food?

The best (and the most expensive) restaurants in Sydney were showcasing their signature dishes. The complete list of restaurants can be seen here. Isn't that great??

I was really looking forward to this one: Guillaume at Bennelong's Wagyu beef daube with Paris mash. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth, butter like, amazingly tender with the mash and the gravy complimenting the meat. I would've preferred more salt, but that's just me :-) Definitely worth 12 crowns (=$12)!

Next up more meat: 12 hour slow cooked lamb shoulder, minted crushed peas and feta dressing by Four in Hand. I personally prefer lamb over beef, but this still didn't beat the wagyu above. All in all nice combination and again worth the price (12 crowns).

Personal favorite, but I just love cured fish: Aria's Cured ocean trout with cucumber and horseradish. The trout had so much flavour and just the right consistency (not too soft, but with texture), and the horseradish and the dill was really a winner with the fish!

Finally desserts! This one the "Saucy tart" with chocolate mousse and liquid raspberry centre was by Danks Street Depot. It had so much going on: you crack open the chocolate topping to discover the velvety smooth mousse followed by oozing raspberry sauce surrounded by a crispy pastry. Delish!

Another dish I was really looking forward to was this wacky looking vanilla pacca cotta with lavender honey and fresh pomegranate by Jonah's at Whale Beach. I love panna cotta and this one was such a pleasure. It had just the right consistency and the lavender honey was possibly the best honey I have ever tasted. This was both mine and Mr Kangaroo's favourite dessert of the day.

One more dessert, but we just had to! Becasse's Chocolate souffle. Gosh, I wish my souffle could turn out like this! Beautiful, good quality dark chocolate (always a winner) made this dessert not too sweet, but just right. Smooth soft souffle was just a perfect way to end a wonderful day!

What else did we have? Creme al Caffe

Some tastings from Gourmet Dinner Service

Gorgeous macarons by Guillaume at Bennelong.

Bush spices, dukkah and vinegars

Cute cupcakes by Planet Cake

Richard Ptacnik from Otto at the Chefs table

My favourite butcher Victor Churchill's stall had some mouth watering meat on offer.

Oh if only I could go back tomorrow and try everything I missed out on today!

Aurinkoista viikonloppua!

Vielä vuosien jälkeenkin Sydneyn eksoottisuus yllättää! Ehkä jonain päivänä saan omalle pihallenikin greippi- tai banaanipuun :-)

March 10, 2010

Maukas lohi ja nuudeli stir fry

Sydneyssä voi jo tuntea syksyä ilmassa. Tänään oli "vain" 19 astetta ja sateen kanssa se tuntuu jo kovin vilpoisalta. Niinpä mieli teki jotain täyttävää ja lämmittävää.

Lohi ja nuudeli stir fry

1 lohifilee
1 rkl soijakastiketta
1 rkl miriniä
1 rkl seesamiöljyä
pieni pala raastettua tuoretta inkivääriä
500 g tuoreita hokkien nuudeleita
reilu rkl seesaminsiemeniä
baby pinaatinlehtiä


Sekoita soija, mirin, seesamiöljy sekä raastettu inkivääri keskenään ja sivele lohi seoksella. Grillaa tai kypsennä file uunissa kypsäksi. Upota nuudelit kiehuvaan veteen ja irrottele haarukalla. Kuumenna paistinpannu kuumaksi ja lorauta pannulle seesamiöljyä. Valuta nuudelit siivilän läpi ja kumoa paistinpannulle, mausta soijakastikkeella ja japanilaisella pippurimausteseoksella (tai mustapippurilla) ja kuumenna pari minuuttia. Nostele sekaan kypsennetty ja viipaloitu lohi, pinaatinlehdet ja seesaminsiemenet ja sekoita hyvin. Kuumenna pari minuuttia ja tarjoile samantien.

March 09, 2010

Burnt Orange Cafe, Iltapäiväkahvittelu

Kun vain minulle tarjotaan mahdollisuutta päättää minne mennä brunssille, lounaalle, iltapäiväkahville tai vaikka vain ostoksille, ehdotan samantien Burnt Orange kahvilaa.
Lounaalla ravintola on pullollaan täynnä alueen hienostorouvia, mutta iltapäiväksi paikka yleensä hiljenee ja silloin saa nauttia niin tarjoilijoiden jakamattomasta huomiosta kuin luonnon helmassa sijaitsevan rakennuksen kauneudesta ja rauhallisuudesta.

Ihanien ostosten lisäksi kahvila tarjoilee iltapäivämenullaan mitä herkullisempia leivonnaisia. Meidän kahvittelu sujui tällä kertaa maltillisesti suklaakakun ja skonssin kera, mutta ensi kerralla saa taas maistella lisää!

Belgian chocolate tart with a burnt orange glaze and whipped cream

Cheese & sun-dried tomato scone with cream cheese