The good point of living in Finland is that it it always easy and pretty cheap to get your hands on salmon. It is one of the cheapest and most abundant fish here, not to mention how delicious it is. We have it quite often as a midweek dinner, simply baked with pesto and served with a seasonal salad. Nowadays, one can buy here pestos of a really good quality, and it is extremely fast to prepare salmon this way. As much as both of us love red pesto, Mr. No Onion Please complains that the green basil pesto has too strong herby taste for him. Therefore, I tried to create a kind of herby paste that wouldn’t have such a strong taste, but would compliment salmon nicely. I decided to incorporate some citrus flavour as well. The outcome was pretty good and both of us liked it. The salmon was served on a salad bed made of wild rucola, goat cheese and cherry tomatoes confit.
500g salmon filet
3 toast breads (skin cut off)
zest from 1 lemon
juice from half a lemon
half a glass of basil leaves
half a glass of thyme leaves
2-3 tbsp of olive oil
1. Wash the salmon filet and put it into greased ovenproof dish.
2. Put the bread, lemon zest and juice, basil and thyme into a bowl and blend it well to a paste
3. Add olive oil and salt to your liking. My paste was pretty thick, I wanted it to create a nice layer of it on the salmon. If you wish you may add a bit more of olive oil to make it more pesto like. Spread the paste on top of the filet.
4. Bake in 200C for 25 min of until ready. I put the aluminium foil after 15 min of baking to avoid browning of the paste.
This is a second dish I have prepared for previously mentioned South-East Asian festival. I’ve recently noticed we definitely don’t eat enough fish. We buy smoked salmon quite frequently, but fish as a main dish appears on our table maybe 4-5 times a month what is definitely too few. Finland is plentiful in salmon and trout and I’ve decided from now on to incorporate them more frequently to our menu. Let’s hope this is a good start and I’ll keep to my resolution This recipe comes from the book “The food and cooking of Vietnam and Cambodia”.
200ml coconut cream
2 tsp raw cane sugar
1 tbsp oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 chili, finely chopped
4cm piece of ginger, grated
1 star anise, grated on powder
a handful of fresh Thai basil leaves
a handful of cashew nuts, chopped
salt and pepper
1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry garlic, chili and ginger. Turn down the heat, add coconut cream and sugar. Stir till sugar dissolves, take out from the heat.
2. Place the fish on a wide piece of foil and tuck up the sides to form a boat shape container. Cut several slashes into the meat and rub them as well as the inside of fish with salt, pepper and star anise. Scatter half of the Thai basil leaves on top. Spoon the coconut cream into the container and close it firmly.
3. Steam or put to the oven (180C) for about 20 min.
4. Roast the cashew nuts in the frying pan. Once the fish is ready transfer it to a plate, drizzle with cooking juices and sprinkle with nuts and remaining Thai basil leaves
I guess you all know the food mood change kind of thingy. You shop thinking of what would please your palate the most for several next days, come back happily home with a bunch of goodies and next day you realize that you actually would prefer to eat something else. Well…. that’s what happened last week to my cannelloni plan… Was supposed to stuff them with a mixture of ricotta, rucola, capers and smoked fish and ended up having creamy spaghetti containing those things but yeah…. ricotta was still left out in my fridge. Nothing particularly worrying in that, just that the “best before” date was approaching quite fast. I “foodgawkered” for desserts with ricotta and found this amazingly fast and simple recipe from Lucullian delights. The original called for classic dark chocolate and mint combo, I decided to try out also less orthodox version – basil, white chocolate and strawberries mixture. Mr. No Onion Please and I had quite different opinion on the dessert variations – he loved the mint version, I went fully for basil option, each of us munching happily upon our own bowls, not having to share with the other one And who said that disagreements ruin relationships?
1. Press the ricotta through a finely meshed sieve into a bowl and stir very well.
2. Whip the cream with sugar until it is stiff and delicately fold in ricotta.
3. Mix with strawberries and preferred chocolate-herb combo
We are really lucky with weather this week. Ok, it’s not exactly Canary Islands here, but we have pretty decent Finnish summer with temperatures round +20. It feels somehow so “too early” for that. Just 3 weeks ago, when I was leaving to USA ,there were still no leaves on the trees. And now suddenly the summer is here! Somehow we missed spring this year, the winter was long and believe it or not it’s green around from less than a month! I believe that’s why when I recently spotted strawberries and cherries on the market I was pretty much in shock, it just didn’t feel like it’s already time for those! There should be spring before! Well now I just feel I have to rush and buy all the seasonal produce before the winter comes back…. a big shopping is definitely awaiting us in the weekend Anyway with such a nice weather, I like to enjoy a light vegetarian dish. So I decided to make light lemony spaghetti that was elevated with bursting with flavor tomatoes confit (oh I love so much those little jewels ) Ahh lazy summer lunch, nothing can beat you….
300g cherry tomatoes
provencal herbs, salt, pepper, spicy paprika
handful of basil leaves
1 mozzarella shredded in pieces
zest from half a lemon
juice from half a lemon
4 tbsp of small capers
olive oil, salt, pepper
1. Prepare tomatoes confit. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Pour olive oil into an oven proof dish (there should be 1-2mm layer of oil in the dish). Dip the tomatoes with their cut side in the oil and then face them up in the dish. Sprinkle them with dried mixture of Provencal herbs, salt, pepper and a pinch of spicy paprika or chili. Heat the oven to 100C and leave them for several hours in, till they are wrinkled and a bit dried up (or heat it up till 50C and leave overnight).
2. Boil spaghetti. Mix all the ingredients together.