Category Archives: Cook

Southern Skillet Cornbread

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
  • 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 not as bad for you if 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. If your 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…

Classic Macaroni & Cheese!

This is how you make a quick macaroni & cheese! This recipe is somewhere between the boxed macaroni & cheese and the old fashioned baked version… quick & easy but still gooey and delicious. The ultimate comfort food!

You’ll need:

  • 2 servings macaroni pasta (elbows, shells, cavatappi, or ziti)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup (2 dl.) milk
  • 1 cup+ (2 dl.) shredded cheese (I used cheddar, gräddost, feta, and Parmesan)
  • parsley (optional)
  • a little cornstarch (majsmjöl)

Tip: Having a hard time getting your cheese sauce to melt smoothly? This is often the case with cheddar cheese. A little trick is to mix in a sprinkle of cornstarch into the shredded cheese. This helps to keep the shreds from clumping together when they melt!

You can use nearly any kind of cheese, but if mixing different cheeses try to use something sharp (like cheddar or Monterrey jack), something that melts well (like Gruyere, provolone, or Gouda), and something salty (like feta or Parmesan).

New to cooking? Check out my kid-friendly cooking instructions in this blog post: “Happy Birthday Mac & Cheese!”

Thai Red Curry Chicken

Thai red curry might be the easiest and fastest dish I’ve ever cooked. Seriously. I was furious that never tried to do this before, and instead thought I needed secret take-out wok skills to pull this off with ease- I was wrong.

You’ll need:

  • Thai red curry paste
  • Coconut milk
  • Chicken breast meat, sliced
  • Veggies, fresh or frozen (green beans, baby corn, bell peppers,etc.)
  • (optional) sliced red chili
  • (optional) Some cilantro or coriander- see my blog header!

Baked Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños

These baked cheese stuffed jalapenos have extra flavor & a garlic twist so you don’t need a special dipping sauce. Jalapeños are the most used chili pepper in America, and jalapeño poppers are one of my favorite things to eat! Great snack for a party or with a nice beer on the weekend.

You’ll need:

  • 10 Jalapeño chili peppers
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • feta cheee
  • marinated garlic (or lightly cooked in oil)
  • crackers (about 2 handfuls, old are fine!)
  • Oil for hands
  • sour cream (optional)

Slow Cooked Chicken Tacos

I’m like always eating tacos, but these chili chicken tacos are kinda my specialty: Juicy slow-cooked chicken breast that just shreds apart. Plus! You could use this meat for a lot of different Mexican dishes!

You’ll need:

  • chicken breasts
  • onion
  • garlic
  • bay leaves (lagerblad)
  • tomato paste
  • beer or water or chicken broth
  • vinegar
  • smoked paprika!
  • cumin (spiskummin)
  • chili powder
  • oregano
  • whole dried chilies (New Mexico, red chili, chipotle, etc.)
  • salt

For the tacos:

  • corn or flour tortillas
  • ‘queso fresco’ cheese (or the feta hack)
  • quick pickled radish (splash of red wine vinegar & salt)
  • red onion
  • cilantro (which is coriander! See blog header)

Queso Fresco hack:

When you make a nice slow cooked meat, you want to use the good stuff: queso fresco. But it’s hard to find where I live… SO! here is a little food hack using feta cheese as a substitution: Easy Mexican Queso Fresco Food Hack

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*
  • 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: