Feathered Friends with the Gamekeeper’s Daughter at the Mistley Kitchen

carpacciomaking

Another day, another great workshop; this time, with the gamekeeper’s daughter, Jessica Noy, focusing on various wild birds and game with pheasant, pigeon and venison. My family and I actually had dinner planned that evening, and I’m surprised I managed to eat anything considering I had lunch plus a three course meal (plus a delicious pâté to take home) at the workshop…my poor, overworked stomach! So, once more, I thought I’d share some of my photos from the day.

patee

After making a mess plucking the pheasants and the pigeons, and creating a tornado of feathers everywhere, we got to work on making this delicious pâté made from pheasant livers (picture taken later at home, served with some toasted mixed seed sourdough (not home-made sadly sadly)). I never knew making pâté would be that easy! I’m considering changing my plans for the chicken livers in the fridge right now….

pigeonsalad

A lunch of sliced pigeon breast on mixed leaves, topped with pickled blackberries, blackberry vinaigrette, crispy bacon pieces and chopped toasted hazelnuts–definitely making this again!

venisonloin

Marinating a venison loin with garlic, olive oil, and crushed juniper berries.

raspberryvinager

Going through the steps to make a raspberry vinegar.

pheasant

Browning pheasants in an oven tray on the hob, before popping them into the oven.

pearprep

Prepping for our dessert; individual tarte tatins–I thought this was a great idea; a simpler way by wrapping the pears in puff pastry, before browning them in the pan with sugar and butter that’s melted into caramel, before putting them into the oven for ten minutes or so.

dauphinoise

I also thought this was a great way of making a lighter potato dauphinoise; alternating the layers of potato with celeriac slices. Delicious.

carpaccio

Our final creation; a (giant) starter of venison carpaccio (seared super quickly, and then bundled in clingfilm before put into the freezer, then sliced) with a lemon dressing, capers, rocket & parmesan.

pheasantmain

And for main course (I’m starting to expand like a balloon by this point); roast pheasant, celeriac & potato dauphinoise, kale in a whiskey spiced gravy. Not everyone was convinced by the kale, but I was converted long ago so I had no problems whatsoever here…and I was definitely thankful that the celeriac made the dauphinoise lighter. As for the main star, the pheasant? Wonderful, definitely will be experimenting to twist this around–that sauce, man.

peartartetatin

And finally, a wonderful twist on the pear tarte-tartin, served with vanilla crème fraîche. The pear with the thinner pastry meant a crispier base, so I’ll bear that in mind for the next time I come to this recipe, since I’m eyeing up the apples we picked from our apple tree a few days ago…

Although I’d argue I didn’t learn as much new stuff as I have in some previous workshops (though I know far more about game than I know about, say, bread so that’s pretty much a moot point anyway), but I had such a good day, and by the end of the evening with having gone to dinner with my parents, I’d eaten more food than I thought humanly possible!

tiana

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Lunch at Hotel Ta’ Cenc

maltatacencfishplatter

This year, like we have for a while now, my parents and I went on our yearly visit to Malta for a week. This time we spent a little more time on the island, Gozo, and as usual, ate loads of good food. So much in fact, that I don’t think I could have the heart to post every single picture from our time there. However, this lunch I have to post, because it was that good.

It was merely meant to be a light lunch at the hotel during a lazy day spent by the pool. Above, we have the sharing platter of fish carpaccio–swordfish, salmon and tuna, and the quality was fantastic. The swordfish was meaty and textured, the salmon smooth, and the tuna exquisite.

maltatacenccourgetteflowers

On top of that, we were cheeky and ordered the two other side dishes made for the platter–and in this way, I finally got to try deep fried stuffed squash blossoms (these with cheese and anchovies). Oh my goodness, if there was ever any more reason for me wanting to find some squash blossoms….I totally understand the hype now!

maltatacenccaponato

And a delicious caponata. Yummy!

Review; Lunch at Tokyo Diner at the högtorgshallen plus Bonus Snails

suuushi

I’ve walked past this place a few times. I’ve seen the gorgeous plates of sushi served to guests at this small little booth-type place, tucked into one corner of the Högtorgshallen at the top floor. There’s about maybe eight high tables with bar stools, and some more seating right at the bar in front of the chefs. Because it was sushi, and it was in the centre of Stockholm–not to mention in the Högtorgshallen, a fancy type of saluhall (a food hall for non-Swedes).

However, this time, my friends and I went for lunch after a hot morning of shopping in town, deciding what the heck, we didn’t need a lot — we were just craving some good, light fish and we thought this place looked so good. Turns out, it wasn’t that expensive–not cheap, but for the quality and the portions (plus bearing in mind, you know, the cost of Sweden) it was fine with us.

TDpulledporktacos

One friend chose these wonderful pulled pork tacos, with spiced mayo and fennel salad, for about 150 SEK. The pulled pork was amaaazing, us two others snuck a bite each, and ended up in taco heaven. The spice was pretty strong, but it suited the overall dish. Not for the faint-hearted, but it was honestly delicious. For meat lovers ending up at a sushi place! 😛

TDchirashi

My other friend chose Chirashi sushi (about 156 SEK, I think?) — bites of fish, like sashimi, over a bed of sushi rice, served with squid salad and seaweed salad. There was white fish pieces (monkfish and seabass, I believe), salmon, tuna, prawns, scallop, and lojrom. It was so beautiful, and seemed to taste pretty good too, because it was gone quickly. He and I were both served miso soup first for our choice.

TDsashimiiii

And mine? I chose the sashimi platter, something I usually don’t do, but I’m glad I made the exception. I chose the small plate for 165 SEK, but next time, I’ll choose the big one, even if it is 265 SEK (we saw one couple order it, I’m pretty sure I was catching flies!)–nonetheless, I was super pleased with my choice. Beautiful morsels of fish; tuna with a thick soy dress, slightly smoked salmon, normal salmon fillet pieces with mashed ginger, monkfish with black salt, thin slivers of sea bass, sweet prawn tails, and a cut scallop stuffed with lojrom. Mine also came with squid salad, and seaweed salad, as well as some thin strands of beetroot. Seriously, all of it was so good.

TDsashimiii

It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I’ll dither between the thick chunks of monkfish with the salt, and the scallop stuffed with lojrom. Both were so tender and fresh. If you’re looking for sushi, and don’t want to have the fanciness of RaKultur in Stockholm, but want something a bit better than the average Chinese-Japanese-Thai-Indian-Sushi mess of a place (I kind of love them, but they have their place 😛 ), try Tokyo Diner. Just a note; the food places upstairs close at 6pm, so lunch here is best, unless you embrace being a Swede and eat super early!

When I got back home, I was still comfortably full from our lunch, and decided to buy some snails for a quick and easy dinner.

snaaaails

A shed load of parsley-garlic butter, and we’re good to go. Happy weekend, everyone!

French Bread Making Course with Leon Pearson at the Mistley Kitchen.

Gosh, I was supposed to post this SO long ago. Whoopsies. And yes, I returned to the lovely Mistley Kitchen for yet another course, again with Leon Pearson–this time, for French Bread Making.

1pissaldiere

So, I thought I’d post a little again about what we made. We spent most of the day there, learning and creating and generally just making a bit of a mess (with me in the corner, frantically trying to scrap off bits of sticky flour on my hands). Above we have the delicious French classic Pissaladière, like the French cross between a pizza and a focaccia, topped with olives, onions, anchovies and thyme. SO GOOD. I need to make it again, I want it all over again now!

1baguette

We also learned the absolute French bread — the baguette, as well as the rustic pan de campagne, an earthy, filling bread. But it wasn’t just a game of making your everyday loaves–oh no, no, we squeezed something sweet in there too, with some lovely chocolate chip brioche. So as we nibbled on some brioche the kitchen had already prepared as a snack, we learnt from Leon how to make it ourselves.

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This was my third time to return to the Mistley Kitchen, and I had just a good time as the last!

Review; Dinner at Boqueria, Stockholm

boqueriatheplaceitself

Food, like most things in Sweden, is expensive, as I’ve said before. However, dad, I and my friend decided to treat ourselves for one night, and me, being the organised neurotic leader when it comes to all things food, knew where we were going. Sorry, guys, you can choose next time.

boqueriatapascocktails

First up, some cockatils; the Boqueria mocktail with lime and mint (like a mock mojito, my fav!) because I was a numpty and forgot my ID, though non-alcoholic is my preferred drink…and my friend with her Sangria. I wrinkle my nose because I don’t like wine, but I guess that makes me biased…

Anyway, to more pressing matters. The place is a tapas bar, something I’d hunted out on the internet as being a popular place for locals. We arrived early when it opened for dinner at 5, taking a drink in the bar before the kitchens properly opened and we could be seated. The heat made us sit inside, though the locals seemed to prefer inside, at least when we were there. The place is large inside, and also includes a torg market, a type of coffee place inside the shopping centre the restaurant opens up into. They serve lunch too, from a smaller, more compact menu. The menu consists of tapas, or a few dishes such as paella at a much higher price, though for larger groups.

The place is so huge, and when we walked past the next day at around seven, people were queuing and the place was noisy as heck. We hadn’t booked, but because we arrived so early, we were allowed a small table at the window for an hour and a half. At 7 when we walked past, the place was mobbed, so depending on the time you want to eat, booking is advisable!

The dishes come as they’re made, in quite a quick succession, so at some points, you have four dishes on the table, and then, all of a sudden, only one. I guess it’s made for sharing, really.

We chose 3 tapas each, intending to share, but to start, a charcuterie board between us.

boqueriacharkboard

So, a board of pata negra, Cecine de leon, Chorizo, Salchichon, and a selection of olives (225 SEK). The two first meats were my favourites, though all of the meats were fantastic in their own rights.

boqueriatunattartar Read More

Kangaroo for Dinner?

1kangaroo

Back to normal schedules, guys! Hence why it’s been a bit quiet all of a sudden… So I’m back to the usual post each week. Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Another quick post; about a dinner we had in Sweden. ICA, the main food store found across Sweden, has a few freezer-fridges in certain shops full of slightly more unusual frozen meats. Some, such as moose and reindeer are part and parcel of life in Sweden. But, when we were browsing at the start of our holiday, we stopped to stare. They were selling…kangaroo? We left puzzled but rather interested, and a quick google search back home revealed it wasn’t all that uncommon, at least in Australia. Agreeing that we would buy some when we returned to the Stockholm area, we flash fried it in a pan to brown the meat before popping it in the oven for a bit, serving it with chimichurri sauce (oh-so-good, and it went really well with the kangaroo actually!) and skillet-browned potatoes.

kangaroooo

I have to say, kangaroo was pretty good. Tender, and full of flavour, and like I said, paired nicely with the heat of the chimichurri sauce. I’d totally have it again sometime. Dessert was something a bit closer to home, with a blueberry mousse cake with coconut. De-lici-ous!

tarta

Cake! Cake Everywhere, in Sweden

bakelser2

Fika. It’s an important part of any Swede’s life, nearly enough a vital part of every single day (if you’re strong enough to handle it!) It’s both a verb and a noun, so you can take fika, but you can also fika itself, and it basically (usually) comprises of a coffee break (or less traditionally, some sort of drink) alongside something sweet, whether a light biscuit or few, or to go all the way, a bakelse–a slice of cake. Sometimes, even a small meal can be included as fika. It’s a little bit of what you want goes as you take fika.

Since the cakes-and-coffee tradition is so important in Sweden, and rather different from what you have elsewhere apart from the other Scandinavian countries, I thought I’d document these descents into a sugar coma.

Above are some of the most famous and most popular bakelse around–to the left, green Prinsesstårta, and a Napoleon bakelse to the right. The Prinsesstårta is one of the most easily recognised cakes of Sweden, sometimes found in small frozen versions in various branches of IKEA across the world! But from the konditori (the Swedish equivalent of a French patisserie, because Swedes take their bakelse quite seriously, like with fika) is best, so that you get the perfect alternating layers of sponge, crème patisserie, jam and fluffy whipped cream (the latter always at the top, usually in a dome), topped with a layer of green marzipan, something else the Swedes adore but I understand is not always so popular abroad.

A Napoleon bakelse is basically a whipped cream monster sandwiched between a type of Mille-feuille, with a berry glacé on the top layer. It’s yummy, but I recommend sharing — the cream can get a bit much, even for a Swede like me! 😀

chkladbsikvi

Here’s a little biscuit-cream thing, called a choklad biskvi; a meringue-like bottom, like a coconut macaroon without the coconut, with a fluffy meringue chocolate interior, dipped in dark chocolate that makes a hard shell when cooled. It’s so sinful, and if I didn’t buy them one at at time, they’d be gone instantly!

bakelser

Here is a classic staple to the fika. A vetelängd–this versions pretty fancy with cardamom and crème patisserie in the middle; some are simpler with only the traditional cardamom and pearl sugar, with almond paste inside. Others have as above, or even runny icing drizzled across. They’re cut up and served alongside coffee usually, as a perfect sweet treat that only lasts about two-three bites, unless you take a few more slices! 😛

berrycake] blabarspaj cheesecakepink

These pictures aren’t essentials to fika, but are what I’ve had (or rather, a small sampling of the fika I’ve had this summer) for fika this year; two instances of berry cheesecake, and in the middle, a good old blueberry pie with vanilla sauce (the Swedish answer to custard, but is much runnier and quite often uses real vanilla pods, rather than essence) in the cup. Hears to many more fika-pauses to come!