Blue shells or mussels, in English, is the only thing I order at Renaa. And although I was too busy eating them than taking pictures of them (obviously) all I can say is that they are amazing.
They're classic Moules Frites served with chips and majo, but that's not why I love them so much. The reason is that they grill them, and the smokey flavour seeps into the those little blue shells is to. die. for.
I'm developing a love for salads. Just making them up as I go. And when the ceasar salad craving came. I made my version.
I used romano lettuce, chicken breasts and bacon in a vinaigrette packed with parmeggiano reggiano. Yummy!
I have one of those pans that you can take the handle off, so I just plonk three-four well seasoned chicken breasts in the pan and brown them off on both sides. Then I add some strips of bacon into the same pan and put the whole thing it in the oven at 220 degrees. The chicken takes about 15-20 minutes depending on size, and the bacon will be done before then. Just remove it when crispy.
The salad dressing is my standard vinaigrette, and then I add loads of freshly grated parmesan cheeze. And yes I know in the original recipe you add ancovies and wostershire sauce.
I like that the chicken is not too hot when I put it in the salad so it doesn't wilt it. It gives me enough time to make some crutons from old bread. Use the same pan with the drippings in it. Add herbs and a couple chopped cloves of garlic and two good handfulls of diced bread. Turn the bread around the pan to soak up the herby/garlicy/bacony goodness.
Then I just tear up my washed romano lettuce. Mix it in the dressing and top it off with sliced chicken, bacon and crutons. Yum!
I couldn't really decide weather to put this under the classic category but decided on quickie. It is so easy and quick. And I made it the other night out of a beautiful seasonal Norwegian cauliflower.
Cauliflower soup brings up a lot of memories for me. At the cabin at Hogstad (doesn't exist any more), summer afternoon, Momo (my grandmother) in the kitchen. Mum and her singing "Fondor", boullion powdwer especially imported from Germany for maing the soup.
The way I learnt it from them is to lightly boil the cauliflower in boullion water and then make a rue, adding the cooking water and a splash of cream.
The other night when I was craving the soup but I didn't have cream.
Knob of butter
2-3 tablespoons of flour
1/2 litre milk
Water to thin to desired consistency
1 cube of chicken or vegetable boullion (I used a fond kind for the first time, worked well)
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a big pot and add the four to make a rue. Let it cook out a little to remove the rawness of the flour. Add your milk while wisking, let boil up and add hot water (from your kettle) to get your desired thickness. Add your stock, salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the greens off your cauliflower and make into smallish bouquets add them to the soup and just let steep for about five minutes untill the little cauli trees are tender.
You don't want the soup to boil too vigerously and burn on the bottom. Use a wooden spoon and stir regularily.
Serve with a fresh grinding of pepper. Maybe some sort of bread. Totally satisfying.
Spagetti bolognese must be one of the most common meals in the Western world. It is definitely a staple in this house.
A favourite among the boys. I make it lean, with whole grain pasta. And I hide in some ekstra veg. But when I say hide, I mean add flavour. I've managed to convince Big Brother that onion and green herbs in his food makes it taste better. He accepts this argument. Still.
This recipe goes on to being lasagna, but then I usually double it for the leftovers sake.
For a family of four:
400-600 grams lean ground beef (5% fat)
A couple of carrots depending on size
3 cloves of garlic
A handful of whatever herbs you have in the garden. I used flatleaf parsley, oregano, basil and thyme.
2 tins of tomatos
1 cube of boullion (organic without MSG)
Brown off the mince. I just put it in a dry pan. Once brown, add finely chopped onion, and grated carrot. While you have the grater out just grate those garlic cloves on the fine side. I add a little freshly ground pepper too at this stage.
While the beef and veg hang out, go on your steps (or wherever else you keep your fresh herbs) and just decide on using a mix of all your herbs. Add the herbs and buillion to the mix. Stir around and open the two tins of tomato.
I make a well in the center of my sautee pan and pour in the tomatos. Then I mash them with my potato masher. I don't like big bits of tomato in my spagbol.
Mix it in and add a huge dollop of ketchup, a little squeeze of chilli sauce (I use the kind with the green top from all Asian supermarkets). Add sugar to taste to round it all off. This combo really makes everything come together and not just taste of watery tomatos.
Serve with your favourite pasta. I like whole grain. Heating up your home made babyfood in with the pasta is optional.
There's no croud pleaser like meat, potatoes and a creamy sauce of some kind. And if I want to please Big Man, this is what I make (even though I wanted that beef salad).
As for greens, asparagus just does it for me. The texture, the colour the crunch. Coupled with some honey and butter. Ahhh.
There. Both happy.
Amandine potatoes or other small yummy ones
Herb of choice (I used thyme, Big Man hates rosemary)
S and P
Hot (250 degrees) oven on fan. 10 to 15 minutes depending on size.
Then brown some mushies and beef strips (as I had only really bought enough for salad) and as much creme frache as you like. Salt and pepper. My "secret" is to add a good glug of sweet chili sauce and ketchap manis (sweet soy sauce) at the end.
Clean up a bunch of asparagus. Break off the end where it snaps. Lay out in a sauté pan and add boiling water halfway up the stems. Let boil up briskly and add a knob of buter and a squeeze of honey.
Now try to put it all on a plate in an appetizing way. Looks a little like this.
Now put away the camera and eat while it's hot.