Prawns in garlic butter sauce

Yesterday I read in the news, that we are enjoying righ now the most beautiful summer for the last 23 years! That was quite a shock for me. True, the summer is really lovely this year, with few occasional showers and temperature often in it’s mid 20s, but still for me it’s a kind of “average” summer, the one I was used to enjoy as a kid in Poland. Though the weather is definitely better in my homecountry, I much prefere the summer time here in Finland. I really adore how much it is able to transform throughout the year. While in the winter time it looks as if everything has frozen and died for good, now the land is thriving with vibrant green colour, spotted with blue lakes all around. Summer means for me lot’s of dishes with seasonal fruits, vegetables, fish and seafood. This lovely, fast, slightly changed recipe comes from Bajaderka. I’ve made a small mistake and was close to burn the garlic, fortunately nothing really happened apart from the colour change 😉 I’ve figured out I’ll fry the garlic first and once it is ready I’ll fish it out and throw the prawns in. Unfortunately the butter started to foam and I couldn’t do that, I just quickly threw the prawns in. Phew. No more modifications, next time I’ll follow the recipe straight 😀

INGREDIENTS

25 large prawns
3 tbsp good quality virgin olive oil
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp chilli flakes
6 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
50 ml white wine
2 tbsp provencal herbs
salt and pepper
lemon juice

1. Wash and clean your prawns. Rub them with a bit of salt.

2. Heat up oil and butter on the pan. Add pepper flakes and garlic, fry for 1-2 minutes.

3. Add the prawns, saute for 2 minutes. Add the wine and provencal herbs, turn the prawns on the other side and saute for 1-2  minutes more.

4. Remove the prawns from the pan. Heat up the sauce till it boils. Season with pepper, salt and lemon juice. Serve with baguette.

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Mulled white wine with raspberries

A much as I always loved Christmas, the nowadays commercialised version of it just gets on my nerves. Year by year, shops are decorated with Christmas stuff even earlier, pervasive commercials make you feel as if the nuclear war is coming and you just HAVE TO buy all the presents NOW, at least a month in advance (not to mention omnipresent, nerve-wracking “Laaaaast Christmas” song putting it’s final touch to spoil the mood). Yes, it is somehow uplifting to see all of this beautiful decorations, and yes,  it is nice to feel that soon you’ll get several days off your work, but for God’s sake why to start with all of it already in November? By early December I’m sooo fed up with all the “ho ho ho”, buy presents thingy, that I try to avoid shopping at the malls at all costs.  However, I do like Christmas time as such, the time of anticipation for something special to happen. Nowadays, it doesn’t have much of a religious meaning to me but it is all about the family gathering, slowing down the pace, going back to the basics.

The Christmas time has a scent, a beautiful smell of cinnamon, cardamom and orange peel. Making mulled wine is one of those great  Christmas traditions. In every country it is made differently and called differently, but the point is the same – to combine the wonderful  aroma of Christmas with a delicious soul-warming beverage. Glögi, as it is called here in Finland, is THE thing that makes me feel like Christmas time has come. There’s nothing better than a warm cup of glögi in the evening. We usually are fine with a non-alcoholic version of it that is extremely popular here, but once the temperatures dropped below -15C we decided it’s time to make it “real” and spice it up with some booze 😉 The recipe comes from a finnish magazine Kotivinkki and it’s absolutely addictive 😉

INGREDIENTS

400g frozen raspberries
1/2 dl sugar
5 dl apple juice
2 star anise
1 piece of cinnamon bark, broken in half
10 green cardamoms, crushed delicately

5 dl white wine

1. Add raspberries, sugar, juice and spices to a saucepan. Boil on a small heat for about 10 min.
2. Use a sieve to separate the spices and berries from the liquid.
3. Add the wine and heat it up (do not boil!).

Luscious dessert – Berries poached in wine with mascarpone cheese

It’s been a while since I was preparing any dessert. I basically don’t enjoy baking that much when it’s hot, and I’m sure this summer hit the record in Finnish history – the temperatures were skyrocketing for this latitude! It was simply amazing how hot it was. Ok, if I say that the record temperature was +37C you’ll just laugh, but well here in the far North it is a serious thing when scale reaches over 30C 😉 Actually I don’t remember a single day last summer that had a temperature over 30C… so you see, we don’t get much heat here in general. Well, I don’t complain actually, I’m not a fan of hot weather, my organism starts to go on strike above 25C, so Nordic countries are in a way perfect for me. There is another great plus of living so far North. We get here wonderful berries, the forests right now are full of billberries, cranberries, lingonberries and if you’re lucky you may find some cloudberries as well. This time of  the year is perfect to get most of the nature goods, also the mushrooms starts to appear. That makes me additionally thrilled as Mr. No Onion Please is also Mr. No Mushrooms Please, however this year he has promised to try some mushroom dishes (YAY 😉 that’s another story though). Ok, so back to the recipe. I wanted so much to make a dessert with mixed berries and must say that as usual when it comes to fruit desserts Gordon Ramsay is unbeatable. I’ve found this recipe when I was looking through his “Fast food” book. The original calls for blackberries and figs (extremely difficult to be found here in a good quality), but a mixture of strawberries, billberries and raspberries fits amazingly well! I really loved it. The berries poached in wine are a bit syrupy and sweet, however as soon as they are paired with heavy, creamy mascarpone one just realises how perfectly everything fits together. Mmmm…. I want to eat it againnnn


INGREDIENTS:

1 vanilla pod

250ml red wine (eg. Merlot)

1 cinnamon stick

4 cloves

2 star anise

100g sugar

400g mixture of various berries

250g mascarpone

2 tbsp icing sugar

1. Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds, reserve both the pod and seeds.

2. Pour the wine into the pot, add the vanilla pod, cinnamon stick, cloves, anise and sugar and slowly bring to the boil. Lower the heat to simmer, add the fruits and poach gently for 5-7 min. Let it cool down completely

3. Mix the mascarpone together with vanilla seeds and icing sugar.

4. Divide mascarpone and poached fruits. It will be enough for 4 portions.