Category Archives: Cook

Simple Winter Salads

If you eat seasonally, the winter can be a little tough when it comes to vegetables. Here are two ideas for everyday salads that are also winter friendly. Some dark greens, hardy veggies, nuts or seeds  and a good vinaigrette will get you far!

You’ll need:

  • winter greens (I use baby spinach, arugula, and kale often.)
  • nuts (I often have walnuts and sliced almonds handy)
  • seeds (pine nuts are good)
  • croutons
  • cheese (I love goat cheese, feta, and Parmesan)
  • carrot (These keep in the fridge a long time!)
  • red cabbage (That is actually purple, go figure)
  • cranberries (Nice and tart!)

For the vinaigrette:

  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Dijon (optional)
  • Salt & pepper

Baked Potato Soup

Baked potato soup has a soft spot in my heart and for this version I came up with a unique trick to really get the ultimate baked potato flavor! It will surprise you!

You’ll need:

(Serves 4)

  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion (or leek)
  • 2 cups (5 dl.) cream* make a white sauce with milk and flour if you don’t have cream)
  • About 4 cups (9 dl.) milk
  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • White pepper
  • Salt
  • bacon (6-8 slices)
  • Cheddar cheese (about 8 tbs. shredded)
  • green onion or chives (about 4 tbs. chopped)

*No cream?: Make a white sauce with milk and flour.

American Rice Krispies Treats!

Rice Krispies Treats are a classic  American treat. It reminds me of my childhood: the first ‘recipe’ I ever made as a kid! So easy to make, yet tasty…

You need:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package (300g) Marshmallows
  • 200g Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal

How to:

Melt 3 tablespoons butter, then melt marshmallows on low heat.
Stir constantly so it doesn’t burn.

Turn off heat, and add Rice Krispies. Stir until blended.

Put into any form you like and let sit for 15 minutes, then cut up into squares. Enjoy!

How to Cook Steak

Here are my tips & tricks for cooking the perfect steak… with a little know-how, you can have a great steak right at home! And remember: any self respecting steak eater will not buy thin sliced single portion steaks. You need a double thick steak (at least 1.5 inches or 4 cm.) to get that sear right!

My Steak Tips:

#1: The most important thing to do when cooking a steak is allowing it to rest at room temperature before and after cooking. About 20 minutes before you are ready to cook, let the steak sit at room temperature.

#2: This is also a good time to season with salt & pepper since it will sink into the meat, provide a nice crust during the cooking, as well as draw away any extra moisture. Your steak must be dry in order to get a good sear.

#3: Flipping your steak once per minute promotes even cooking. This way you don’t have an over done outer ring on the meat.

#4: After cooking, let it rest for 10 min. this allows all the juices to settle within the meat, and stay inside when you cut into it: instead of just running out onto the plate!

Here’s a video showing a little trick you can use to figure out the doneness of your steak:

Leftover Glögg Sauce & Pork Loin

Glögg is a classic Swedish mulled wine, or wine sweetened and spiced with Christmas flavors. For some reason, after Christmas my kitchen is left with a ton of Glögg wine that was not drank… so I decided to start cooking with the leftovers. No glögg? Sherry, port, and a host of other wines work as well.

First thing that came to mind was pork loin or ‘fläskytterfile’ in Swedish. Pork goes well with a little sweetness: think pork chops & apple sauce…
So, I’m going to make a simple pork tenderloin, crusted with allspice and peppercorns… and then use the gulag to make a nice sauce for it.

Classic Christmas Eggnog

Don’t like store bought eggnog (äggtoddy) or can’t buy it to begin with? Then, perhaps you should make it yourself. It’s really easy, and you use things you likely already have on hand… PLUS you can make just what you need: no staring at a huge carton of leftover eggnog no one wants to drink after Christmas!

 

If you don’t already know ‘eggnog’ is ‘eggnog’ then it sounds a little nasty… let’s be honest. It’s a drink made with eggs. But it’s delicious and if you think of it as a custard drink, as it is basically an uncooked custard, it seems luxurious.

Note: Eggnog is also a family drink. Just don’t use the bourbon. Clearly.

You need:

Adapted from Alton Brown

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup/ .75 dl. sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 cups/ 5 dl. whole milk
  • 1 cup/ 2 dl. heavy cream
  • 3 oz./8 cl. bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (muskotnöt)

How to:

Pickled Herring Korean Style!

I know what you’re thinking… “I’m not a huge fan of herring” but this pickled herring is really good. Trust.

This Korean style marinated or pickled herring will add a lot more flavor & a little kick to your Swedish holiday buffet, for sure. I’m really proud of this marinated herring recipe: I get to respect local customs and still get flavor packed eats… win, win. The taste of garlic, ginger, and spicy yet sweet chili flakes is a great way to liven things up, and it is not too spicy despite the chili flakes, so don’t worry. This herring is great the traditional way as part of a holiday buffet or with steamed rice and fresh coriander. Visit your nearest Asian market for ingredients: they are worth buying since you can use them in many other dishes…

Korean Style Pickled Herring

Water (1 cup)
Rice Wine Vinegar (1/2 cup)
Rice Wine (3 Tbs.)
Sugar (2 Tbs.)
Korean Red Chili Flakes “Gochugaru” (3 Tbs.)
Ginger (1 Tsp.)
Garlic (1 Large Clove)
Radish (1/4 cup)
Green onion (1/4 cup)
Prepared herring (5 minuters sill)
Preserves Jar

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Taco night? There is no substitute for fresh corn tortillas! Whether you can’t find corn tortillas where you live or you simply want to add a little love to your tacos: it’s easy to make your own corn tortillas at home.

Ingredients: (2 servings)
- 1 cup/2 dl. masa harina
- ½ cup/1 dl. warm water (plus more)
- Salt (optional)

One Pot to Rule them All? Le Creuset

Le Creuset ‘fo ‘sho: The dutch oven to rule them all!


Photo from cookingequipment.about.com

My Le Creuset Dutch oven pot was the best kitchen tool investment I have made to date. I use it for everything: from deep-frying to tomato sauce to wonderful slow cooked stews and braises (gryta). If you cook, this item is essential. Forget the price: it has a lifetime guarantee.

Now that fall is upon us, slow cooking on Sundays is on the agenda. Not only is it easy to throw your ingredients into the pot to let it cook on low for hours while you get on with your day; but flavors are like none other.

PLUS: If you cook a lot of meat, you can use the leftovers in a couple of dishes during the week, making your weekday meals not only easier but also a lot more luxurious.

Basically, your braise will consist of protein + spices + liquid + vegetables. The trick is to brown your meat, bring all you ingredients to a light boil and then turn down the heat and cook on low for hours until the meat falls a part. If you cook with high heat the meat will be tough and chewy. I like to start on the stove top and then slow cook on low in the oven. Here is a good article on the basic tips for braising from my favorite magazine Bon Appetite: 4 Simple Rules For Braising Anything.

Here are some of my favorite ingredients to play with:

Meat: Chicken breast (Kycklingfilé)/ Pork shoulder (Fläskkarré)/ Oxtails

Base: Onions/garlic/shallots/Carrots/ Chipotlé chili/ Smoked paprika/ Bay leaves/ Lots of spices and herbs

Liquid: Chicken broth (bouillon)/ Wine/ Beer

Want some recipes for inspiration? Visit my slow cooking Pinterest page to see some glorious photos, recipes and resources!

Magasinet Hunger intervju: kökstång perfekt för fritering

Swedish food magazine “Hunger” interviewed me for this issue’s “The Favorite” column featuring my trusty tongs (kökstång)! From turning tortillas as a child in California to deep frying comfort foods in Stockholm, this American classic has served me well! Below the article, you can find the recipe for the “Panko Fried Eggplant” (“Panko Friterad Aubergine”) that I cooked for the magazine shoot: (In Swedish and English!)

Favoriten-Kendra-Valentine Hunger Magazine CROPPED

“Panko Friterad Aubergine”

Av Kendra Valentine

2 auberginer

3 ägg (blandat med lite vatten och chili peppar sås, om du vill)

1 dl vetemjöl

4 dl. Panko ströbröd (blandat med vitlök flingor)

1 l  rapsolja

Skär auberginen i ca. ¾ cm tjocka skivor och salta. Doppa skivorna i mjölet. Fortsätt därefter med ägg blandning, och tredje panko blandning. Lägg dem utspridda på en plåt eller bricka.

Låt dem ligga och torka medan du värma oljan i stekpanna eller kastrull. Värme till ca. 160 C eller level 7.  När en skärva panko fräser och flottör i oljan: kör.

Fritera tills de är gyllenbruna, ca. 2 minuter på varje sida.  Lägg upp på hushållspapper för avrinning.