Archives for posts with tag: food

It was meant to be a low-key Christmas. And then ALL THE FOOD happened.

Boerewors, baked and fresh veggies with feta and sprouts, wine, more wine, and the richest cheesecake in the world. And that was only Christmas eve.


Part One: boerewors

Being a foreign orphan at Christmas means you get to toy with your traditions from home and make new ones. This time it turned into making South African boerewors for the first time. Traditional braai (barbecue) food, but not so much for Christmas dinner.

A friend and I decided we will try our hand(-s) at it. And… It is surprisingly easy! Playing with real intestines didn’t turn out nearly as slippery and gross as expected. It was actually fascinating working with them and feeling the strength and texture. Amazing stuff.

We learned some things that we “knew” before, but now we definitely know. Boerewors is all about the right spices and the texture. We used beef and pork mince, but next time we will be grinding our own. The texture needs to be rough enough so that you see bits of meat and fat in the sausage. Not giant globules though.

We used this recipe for our first attempt at wors:

South African Sausage (Boerewors)
I’m a bit of a boerewors snob. At home I almost exclusively have “Stilbaai Wors”. If you’ve had it, you’ll understand…  But, since their recipe is staatsgeheim, a state secret, this recipe will do just fine. We were very happy and shocked at how easy it was to make wors. I’ve spent the last 5+ years suffering crap sausages needlessly!

*I will post a separate boerewors recipe once we perfect our craft… We’ve already made more, but haven’t cooked and taste-tested yet. Watch this space.


Part Two: salmon and spinach roulade

Food for friends.

Christmas day was a big chill with friends and drink and food and movies. Everyone made and brought some food and we grazed all day. Perfect for a very rainy day in Scandinavia.

This salmon and spinach roulade is very easy to make, especially after you’ve made it once. I use a lot more spinach than the recipes I googled, partly because it’s not expensive and partly because I like it.

I based my own rolls on this recipe:

Spinach and egg rolls with smoked salmon and cream cheese,

but I googled around for a few recipes and used a combination. There really is no right or wrong with this kind of recipe, other than separating your eggs properly.


Part Three: brownie cheesecake

Wowsers. This cheesecake is incredibly rich and creamy and chocolatey. It is actually almost impossible to overeat because it is just so rich.

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Brownie cheesecake in its naked, natural form.

I used this amazing recipe from the All Day I Dream About Food blog, of course:

Brownie cheesecake – low carb and gluten free.

This is my first time ever making a baked cheesecake, so I’m very happy that it turned out (a) round and (b) edible. Point is, if you’re scared of f-ing up, don’t be! Follow the recipe above word for word and you’ll be fine. 🙂

I added the raspberries and I cannot imagine not having them there. They bring a zing that both breaks and compliments the creamy richness. Next time I’ll also use much less erythritol – I don’t think quite so much is necessary.

I keep looking at this post as a useful reference for ganache:

How To Make Chocolate Ganache for Any Dessert.
I don’t make it often and the ingredients aren’t exactly cheap (crap or fake dark chocolate is not worth it), so definitely don’t want to mess this up.

This cheesecake is beautiful with a strong cup of coffee. 🙂

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Brownie cheesecake clothed in ganache and raspberries.

This was my first “orphan” Christmas, and it was wonderful. Good friends and good food is all one can ask for. 🙂

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Completely flourless egg muffins, this time with bacon, pork mince, red bell pepper, onion and kale.


Flourless breakfast muffins, the pork mince version (18)

What
18 eggs
220g bacon, chopped
220g pork mince, break apart in pan
1 white onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
100g kale, finely chopped
salt, pepper and other spices that you think will make this interesting…

How
1. All eggs in giant mixing bowl.
2. Chop everything else.
3. Pre-heat oven to… 180° C, or even 200° C (350 – 400° F).
3. Cook bacon and onions in pan. (Bacon first, add onions once there is lots of bacon fat all over.)
4. Cook mince and kale in pan. (Mince first, add kale once mince is cooked. Mix up with spatula.)
5. Add everything to giant mixing bowl and mix very well.
6. Divide into 18 muffin cups. I use (and love) silicone forms.
7. Bake at 180° C – 200° C (350 – 400° F) for 10-15min until the egg muffins rise well. My oven is old an creative with temperature, hence vague temperature and time guideline…

Stats
*Note: these are very rough numbers with a lot of “let’s just round this up” going on.

Total for 18 muffins:
2 627kCal
194g fat
36g net cho
189g protein

Per muffin:
146 kCal
11g fat
2g net cho
10,5g protein


 

These egg muffins are easy to make, I promise, even if you suck at making food. Making so many at once will save you a lot of time and sweat throughout the rest of the week, so the effort really is worth it.

I added pork mince this time, purely because there was a sale and I couldn’t ignore the price, especially considering I live in Norwegia where good food hardly ever comes at a good price.

Process, in pictures

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As  always, you live and learn… Once I had added all the ingredients into the mixing bowl, I realised the mixture was a bit too solid and not eggy enough. I started with a dozen eggs, so I decided to add half a dozen more. Random decision, I think four would have been enough.

Cooking time was a very approximate 15min. I’ve made these before a long time ago in a better oven far, far away. That time it took 10 minutes to get delicious egg muffins, this time I had to experiment. My mom was telling the absolute truth when she told me that you always have to get to know your oven first… It’s a long-term relationship that shouldn’t be based on false expectations.

A note about using silicone pans: put them on the oven rack before you add any ingredients! They are soft and you will spill all the raw ‘dough’ out if you try to pick it up like a normal, rigid pan. Other than that, they are awesome, the best thing being the  almost non-existent cleaning time. 🙂

 

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And, done!

I was freaking hungry while making these,  so it was great to finally to dig into a hot, fresh egg muffin! I added some avocado that needed to be eaten asap. AND a great surprise from my not-so-great oven was that there was still a little bit of hot runny egg yolk in the middle.

I used to hate egg yolks when I was little. I have no idea what was wrong with me.

I added rosemary and basil to this recipe and I’m very happy with the result. Will repeat.

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Take a look at this blog and this blog post, specifically:
Dropping My Cholesterol At Record Speeds – Part 1.

 

This is just one man’s journey into the [real] science of cholesterols, but it is a fascinating process to watch (or read, rather) unfold!

Blogger Dave is kind enough to share all of his body data online. He is truly “putting himself out there” for everyone to see and showing what food input does to all your inner data.

Have a look!

Lol.
Dinner today: kale, alfalfa sprouts, 3 cherry tomatoes and mince (ground beef) that was in the form of meatballs until shortly prior to hitting the plate.

Halfway through: o shit I forgot to wash the kale and found some extra protein wandering around. Well, I hope he didn’t have any friends…


Aubergine (eggplant) Pizza: the minced meat version

  • Slice an aubergine into slices about 1cm thick. Long slices, round slices, whatever you want.
  • Sprinkle coarse salt over aubergine slices and let them sit for about 30min. The salt should draw some of the moisture out.
  • Pre-heat oven to 180deg celsius.
  • Lightly press slices with a paper towel, place slices in an oven dish or baking paper, sprinkle with a little olive oil.
  • Bake for about 30min (time depends on thickness of slices).
  • Smear a little tomato paste on each and cover with a thin layer of minced meat (ground beef).
  • Bake for 15min.
  • Take out and cover with spices (eg. salt, pepper, garlic, oregano), cheese and red peppers.
  • Bake for 5-10min, until cheese is melted and as crispy as you want it.

 

No, I’m obviously not a precise-recipe person. I generally just open the fridge and figure it out from there.

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Eggplant pizza! Yes, the red pepper slices rolled off a bit… I was impatient.

 

This recipe is thanks to a great friend who went out of her way to make me a keto-friendly dinner! How awesome is that. Supportive friends are absolute gold in a world where judgement can be quick and brutal.

And now I have found my new Friday-night food! I can also confirm that it tastes good cold the next morning, too. (Or maybe I was just really hungry…)

This recipe is a billion times easier, and cheaper, than making any of the low-carb pizza doughs. I love those, but I’m so excited about these that it’ll be a while before I make cauliflower or mozzarella dough again.

Eggplant ftw!

 

Take that, 1984 Time Magazine cover of doom!

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Most people just don’t have the time to figure everything out from scratch. And that is where a simple graphic, understandable-at-a-glance, can make all the difference!

Thanks to physician Ted Naiman for putting together this simple gem:

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REAL FOOD.

(The original image can be found here. Give the blog a visit, too. )

Print, laminate and stick this one on the fridge!

 

This post is a good two months overdue, which is crazy considering how much I love these two things!

I’ve made chocolate torte a few times now. Traditionally a type of layer cake with minimal flour, it’s a winner when you get it just right.

The basis of this torte is butter, chocolate and eggs. That’s it.

The tricksy bit is in the making and baking of. Overbaking the batter is fine, you will just end up with drier and more cake-y torte. Erring the other way is actually better. Underbake it a little and… oh my, it is beautifully dense and moist (yes) after warming it up a little the next day. I don’t care if it’s meant to be eaten warmed up or not, that’s the way I want it.

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Heated torte with cream cheese frosting!

Optional, and highly recommended, toppings include a simple cream cheese frosting, chocolate ganache for even more chocolate, or even just whipped cream with strawberries.

The mother of all partners for a warm bite of torte is, however, a fresh batch of cold, rich, creamy ice cream! Yes please!

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Freshly made ice cream with a hot piece of torte in the middle! Life is peaking.

My sister has an ice cream maker, which is a dangerously awesome kitchen appliance to have standing around. We’ve been making mostly vanilla ice cream (it’s fantastic), but we decided to go for broke and try adding green tea after receiving a giant bag as a gift.

And, green tea ice cream is amazing! The flavour isn’t overpowering at all, it blends just right with the mixture of creamy vanilla. And it definitely makes a great partner with dark, dark chocolate.

Real ice cream is very energy dense, so humble portions are the order of the day:

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Yum and yummo.

 

Okay, recipes!


Chocolate torte

*Recipe adapted from here, credit where credit is very much due.

  • 200g dark chocolate (preferably 85% + cocoa)
  • 200g butter  (can also experiment with coconut oil)
  • 5 large eggs
  • erythritol to taste (I add about 3 tablespoons, not more, but I like bitterness. I also cannot stand the aftertaste of stevia, so use it if you prefer it!)
  1.  Brown butter in a saucepan.
  2. Once the butter is nice and brown, add the chocolate in pieces and melt slowly. Don’t burn anything.
  3. Add sweetener to taste.
  4. Turn off heat, pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool in the fridge for a little while or until your patience runs out.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 celsius.
  6. Whisk in one egg at a time. Keep an eye on how the texture is changing as each egg is whisked in! It’s pretty cool to watch.
  7. Pour into a pan (recommended size is roughly 20x20cm). The larger the pan, the thinner the batter will be and the shorter the baking time. For a smaller pan and thicker batter, try baking a little longer.
  8. Bake for around 20min. *This is where experiment helps. If it is very underbaked (i.e. very jiggly like unset jelly), bake for another 2 minutes at a time. I recommend baking it until it still jiggles a little. If it is completely firm, the cake will end up a little drier, but it’s not a disaster at all! If it’s too dry, just add some good cream cheese frosting!
  9.  Eat now, OR keep in fridge. Warm up a piece in the microwave (gasp) for about 20 seconds the next day. 

Cream cheese frosting

  • 100g butter
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons cream or almond milk
  • erythritol/sweetener to taste
  1.  Brown the butter.
  2. Add cream cheese and melt.
  3. Add cream/almond milk and sweetener to taste.
  4.  Mix everything well until smooth, let it cool for at least two hours. Spread on torte OR, if you are going to heat up the torte in the future, spread on after heating.

 

Ice Cream

Real, real ice cream!

We play around with the recipe, but we’ve decided that for now we like a very rich ratio of 3 large egg yolks per 1 cup of heavy creamAdd some vanilla and erythritol (we like about 3 tablespoons in a full batch of ice cream with 6+ eggs) for a good vanilla base.

(And now you see why good ice cream really should be a treat: it’s very energy dense, quite a bit of effort if made properly, and not at all cheap to make tons of.)

We, um, operate a bit on the sacrilegious side of life here: we don’t cook the egg custard like you are traditionally meant to. Yikes. I recommend that you do, as you want to make sure you don’t end up with some funky Salmonella inside of you: FDA recommendation. Or you can just use already pasteurised eggs.

Once you have your (preferably cooked and bug-free) custard, put it in the ice cream maker and follow the instructions.

Usually you need to place the finished ice cream in the freezer for another twenty minutes or so until it is a little more firm, but, sometimes you just cannot wait that long:

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Green tea ice cream! With bonus torte floater.


 

Edit: shucks, forgot to add a photo of the green tea we got! A lovely gift from really great neighbours. I have no idea what it says on the packet (I hope not: “do not use in ice cream”), but we love it:

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I’ve been getting to know American supermarkets while visiting Oahu. It’s like learning how to shop all over again.

Some aspects are wonderful (there seems to be ever-growing support for organic products and happy farm animals) and some, well, not so much. Where on earth can I find ghee and haloumi, when there are plenty of cows and goats on the islands? Okay, I realise these are not standard products, but I figured that if I can easily find them in Norway, then surely it wouldn’t be a problem here or anywhere else…

The up-side: this has finally gotten me to be less lazy and make my own ghee/clarified butter. And sheesh, no excuses anymore, because it is really easy:

– melt butter on medium heat,
– once melted, continue simmering on low heat, the butter will bubble for a while and the solids will start to form a white frothy layer on top,
– after about 10 minutes the bubbles will get smaller and some of the solids will turn brown and sink.

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Once the some of the solids turn brown and sink, take the butter off the heat and strain it into a bowl through a few (I used 4) layers of cheese cloth.

Useful tip: if you are new to using cheese cloths like I am, be careful when removing the cloth after straining… Accidentally drop a corner into the ghee and it will soak a ton up immediately! Oops.

You live and learn.

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You can google some recipes on how to use the leftover milk solids, but I think I’ll just cool them and see if the chickens in the backyard approve.

Keep the ghee itself in a glass jar with a lid. Once it cools it will harden and the colour will resemble butter again:

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Ghee is fabulous to cook with and it makes almost everything taste better. It doesn’t go bad if you keep it outside the fridge, which makes it perfect for taking on hiking or camping trips.

All the casein is removed when you strain the liquid through the cheese cloth, making ghee the perfect cooking fat for anyone with a serious intolerance.

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Yaayy! Ordering coffee with cream doesn’t result in death stares!

A couple of these should get me through a layover at Portland, which looks like the larger, American version of Trondheim.

And the food in this photo is breakfast, although technically dinner, Norwegian time. Eggs benedict on smoked salmon, spinach and kale. Holy yum yes please!

After nearly 40 hours with no sleep and swollen legs from a long-haul flight, I almost feel like a new person.

More coffee, please. 🙂