Category Archives: Cook

Magic Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe for chocolate chip cookies has all the goodness of classic chocolate chip cookies but with a magic weapon… ground OATMEAL! The oatmeal doesn’t make the cookies taste like oatmeal cookies, it does something else magical to the cookies and elevates the entire situation: you’ll just have to try it to understand what I mean!

You’ll need:

    Makes about 3 dozen small cookies (4 cm. diameter)

  • 1 cup (225 grams) butter
  • 1 cup sugar (2 dl)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (2 dl)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chunks
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. real vanilla extract (or 1 tsp. vanilla sugar)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups oatmeal or Harvregryn (This is measured before it is blended into powder)
  • *½ tsp. salt (if your butter has no salt)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (Bicarbonat in Swedish)

Tip: Don’t have chocolate chips? Just chop up a milk chocolate bar!

Taco Bell Mild Sauce Copycat Recipe!

There’s no Taco Bell in Sweden, so I started making a homemade version of the mild hot sauce that comes in those little packets. Don’t judge me: Taco bell is my vice, my love, my old friend… and that mild sauce is golden.

  • 3 cups (7 dl.) water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 6-ounce can (175 ml. tube) tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Tip: You can of course use this sauce on tacos, but also makes a good enchirito (enchilada + burrito) or wet burrito.The sauce is a little thick for a hot sauce, so it works well. You could also use a bit in chili con carne or in a soup base. It’s totally worth the effort!

Garlic Fries!

If you haven’t had garlic fries already, then get ready for something spiritual! I use a whole head of garlic for these fries and if I’m going to eat fries at home, I’m going to make it count: Deep frying is the only way to go.

You’ll need:

  • 1 head garlic, minced or pressed
  • parsley, chopped
  • frozen french fries
  • frying oil
  • salt

Tip: Always deep-fry to get the best fries! Since I started making fries this way I don’t crave fast food fries. These are as fresh and crisp as can be: at home. Practice safety and use a splatter guard or be sure the fries are not covered in ice crystals or the oil will pop in yo’ face! Stand back!

Louisiana Räkmacka (Shrimp Sandwich)

I’m taking the classic Swedish räkmacka or open-faced shrimp sandwich, and putting a Louisiana twist on it! The key is the remoulade inspired mayo which is as creole as can be: classic french flavors like tarragon and Dijon are combined with Tabasco and smoked paprika! Some razz-matazzz you might say if you’re that corny New Orleans Zatarain’s dude.

You’ll need:

  • Shrimp
  • Boiled egg, sliced
  • Dark green lettuce
  • Thick toast
  • Dill sprigs for garnish (optional)

For the Louisiana Mayo:

(Enough for 2. Doesn’t need to be exact: as always, make it your own!)

  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon (dragon)
  • Few drops white-wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Tips!: In a separate bowl, mix the tarragon with the vinagar, and let set for 30 seconds (I do this to “wake-up” the tarragon so the flavor incorporates better.)

Another reason to go Louisiana style räkmacka, instead of traditional, is you’d have to make the mayonnaise from scratch for the right taste in a regular shrimp sandwich. Pre-made mayonnaise is sub-par eaten in large amounts. Doing this spiced mayo allows you to get a delicious result without the work!

Finalist in the 2015 SAVEUR Blog Awards!

 

Americulinariska is a Savuer Blog Awards 2015 Finalist!

Americulinariska is a Finalist for “Best Use of Video” in the 6th Annual SAVEUR Blog Awards!

 

We are one of six finalists (out of 50,000 submission overall!) in the “Best Use of Video” category, which will have two winners: the finalist with the most votes will be named Readers’ Choice winner and a team of SAVEUR editors will  select an equally weighted Editors’ Choice winner. Although we are newer to the game, and still building our community, we want to make a solid go at this opportunity.

 

So, now until  April 30, 2015 voting will be open at saveur.com/blogawards

So tell all your friends and vote! We really need your support!

Wasabi Ranch Dressing

A classic fresh buttermilk ranch dressing with a twist: wasabi! the wasabi gives a peppery kick to the dressing, perfect to use as a dip or nearly anything else! Salads, onion rings, fries, fresh veggies…  plus it’s a good way to use that wasabi it the fridge leftover from that one time you tried to make sushi :)

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup (2 dl.) buttermilk (filmjölk)
  • 1 cup (2 dl.) sour cream (gräddfil)
  • 1/2 cup (1 dl.) mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons wasabi
  • 3 tablespoons yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, fresh, minced
  • 1/2 cup (1 dl.) fresh parsley, minced or chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 dl.) fresh chives, minced or chopped (graslök)
  • salt

Tip: Let the wasabi ranch dressing marinate for a few hours to get the best flavor. Avoid adding the usual black pepper or vinegar since it might mask the nice peppery flavor of the wasabi.

10 facts about Soul Food

When you live abroad, you often think about your heritage in new ways. Thus I’ve been doing a lot of research on “Soul Food” and found some interesting stuff. I figured I’d share it in a fun video!

1. Soul food is niche within American southern cuisine.

Let’s start with figuring out, what the heck soul is to begin with since the distinction between soul and southern cuisine are hard to make. In the 1969 Soul Food Cookbook, Bob Jeffries summed it up well by saying: “While all soul food is southern food, not all southern food is ‘soul.’ Soul food cooking is an example of how really good southern Negro cooks cooked with what they had available to them.”

2. The term soul food didn’t even exist before the 60s.

With the rise of the civil rights and Black Nationalism movements during that era, many African Americans sought to establish their cultural legacy. So terms like “soul music” made way for “soul food” to describe the food that their ancestors had been cooking for generations.

3. The traditional West African diet was mostly vegetarian!

If you think soul food came from a tradition of cooking a bunch of hog maws and piles of fried chicken, think again! For thousands of years, the traditional West African diet was mostly vegetarian, centered on things like millet, rice, okra, hot peppers, and yams. Big portions of meat were for special occasions!

4. The transatlantic slave trade brought many foods to the Americas from BOTH Africa and Europe.

Rice, sorghum and okra were West African staples while foods like cabbage came from Portugal. Read more about the slave diet here.

5. Only around 4% of all African slaves traded during colonial times went to North America.

Did you know that the largest population of African blood outside of Africa is Brazil? Depending on who you ask, as little as 4% of African slaves went to North America… Brazil absorbed by far the most future soul brothers and sisters. By the way , ‘collard greens’ are called ‘couve’ in Brazil and in Portugal.

Classic Beef Stew!

A classic old-fashioned beef stew is an easy and inexpensive way to get a simple comforting Sunday meal. You can vary this beef stew to what you have on hand: I’ve used beef chuck (grytbitar), potatoes, carrots, green beans, and leek. I also share a few tips on making a flavor base for cooking.

 

You’ll need:

  • Beef (Grytbitar)
  • Tomato paste
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Organic beef bullion
  • Flavor base veggies (I used onions, celery, and garlic)
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Seasoning (I used bay leaves (lagerblad), Thyme, and salt)

What’s a flavor base?
These are the ingredients you start your dish with to get deeper more complex flavor, and when you are talking about comfort food this is mandatory! In many cuisines, starting off with garlic and onion is very common, however there are trends according to where in the world (or even your country) you learn to cook. For example, I have memories of my mother and grandmother starting with onions, bell peppers, and celery. If you’d like to learn more about classic flavor bases, I recommend looking up Soffritto, Mirepiox, and Cajun Holy Trinity… it’s really interesting!

Cornbread: Southern Skillet Recipe

Cornbread is classic Southern (U.S) eats! It goes with everything from soup, to stewed greens, to rice & beans: the prefect compliment to any dish with a little juice! Jiffy boxed mixed is popular, but you pay extra for a premix using low-quality ingredients, and a long list of preservatives: this is the upgrade!

 

You’ll need:

  • 2/3 cup (1.5 dl.) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (1.5 dl.) yellow corn meal (polenta)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cream or milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat (optional)

Tip: What’s that nice flavor Jiffy flavor come from?
Jiffy has HYDROGENATED LARD. A low grade way to get good flavor. Lard is rendered pig fat, and is not as bad for you if it’s unprocessed… unlike shortening or hydrogenated oil. I use bacon fat (plus butter.) It’s like lard but with a salty smokey flavor: this is a plus in my book.  However, if you’re not a fiend like me and don’t save bacon fat, then just stick with the butter.

Faux Pho: Fast Vietnamese Noodle Soup!

When I was younger, I used to eat pho up to 3 times a week! Now, when I’m craving pho, I want it fast! So I came up with a solution and call it “faux pho” GET IT??? Actually the flavors are right on! The most important part of the recipe: use beef consommé or stock: NOT BROTH! Watch the video to learn why…

You’ll need:

Makes 2-3 Bowls

  • 5 cups (1 L.) Beef consommé or beef stock
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon allspice (kryddpeppar)
  • 1 chunk ginger sliced in half (ingefära)
  • 4 thin slices of yellow onion
  • 200g or (1) medium sized steak (I like entrecote/ribeye) or sirloin or lövbiff
  • 200g rice noodles

Toppings (All optional, take your pick! For me, bean sprouts and coriander are mandatory):

  • Bean sprouts
  • Coriander (or cilantro: see the bog header!)
  • Spring onion
  • Sweet Thai Basil
  • Lime
  • Red chili

Sriracha on the side!

Tip: The difference between beef broth, stock, and consommé… told simply:

These terms are somewhat, but not completely, interchangeable. I keep track this way…..

Broth is the liquid that remains after meat, seafood, or vegetables have been cooked in water. It may be served alone or used as the base for a light soup. You can also call this bouillon… bullion cubes are condensed & dried broth. And not nearly as rich and delightful as a liquid broth.

Stock is more intense than broth, cooked slowly to extract as much flavor as usually from BONES. A stock is used as an ingredient or base, not served alone….

Beef consommé is if you take stock one step further, and get fancy. Beef consommé is a clear and deep flavored and you get it by clarifying homemade stock.

For our soup, we want deep beef flavor to start and then we will add the specific flavors we want, so stock or consommé is best. Beef broth would not have a much beef flavor and would already have spices in it that don’t match the flavors we want…