September 27, 2010
Suppilovahvero ( Cantharellus tubaeformis ) is one of my favorite Autumn mushrooms. It is called “yellow foot” / “funnel chanterelle” in English and belongs to the same family of the golden chanterelle. ( update: some don’t consider them as so, but only as trumpet-like mushrooms resembling chanterelles )
I had been looking for this mushroom for some time and it was a pleasant surprise to find it at the market last weekend. Mr. mies explained why I couldn’t get it before ( since golden chanterelles were widely available in the end of Summer ): suppilovahvero is a late Autumn type of mushroom, survives well when the weather is cold and even when covered by snow. Isn’t it amazing?
In Finland you can go to the forest and pick your own berries and mushrooms, as long as they are not protected or are endangered species. The concept is called “Everyman’s Rights” and it also gives you freedom to roam in forests and enjoy the peace there.
Anyways, I don’t really go to pick mushrooms myself because I am not good at recognizing the edible ones. I admire my mother-in-law, she knows berries and mushrooms a lot , so well she can fill all her stocks by picking them in late Summer and Autumn.
Suppilovahveropiirakka – Funnel Chanterelle pie
yield a 35×11 cm rectangular tart pan
- 10 dl Cantharellus tubaeformis mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped (use your hands to split them carefully)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 150 g bacon, diced
- 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 tbp of chopped parsley
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 400 g ready pastry ( I used a mixed grain store bought, with wheat and rye flour )
- 150 g of grated cheese ( Emmental the best )
- 150 ml cream ( I used reduced fat )
- 2 eggs, beaten
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a pie tin with the pastry. Prick the bottom with a fork, cover with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights. Take to oven and bake for about 10 minutes until the crust is set. Remove and let cool.
Make the filling. Fry the bacon in a skillet until it gets golden and release own fat. Add the onion and cook until soft . Toss the thyme and reserve.
Without cleaning the pan, fry the mushrooms. If necessary, you can add a knob of butter to help the process. Allow to simmer until the water evaporates. Carefully taste with salt and pepper ( keeping in mind how salty the other ingredients are ) and toss the parsley. Let the mixture cool a bit.
Combine the eggs and cream in a bowl. Spread the bacon-onion mixture over the pastry, the fried mushrooms and sprinkle the grated cheese.
Pour the egg mixture over and sprinkle the chopped spring onion.
Bake the pie for approximately 25-30 minutes, until top is golden.
Allow to set for a while and serve with salad.
My notes about the recipe:
I was afraid to hide the nice mushroom flavor by adding too much salt but I ended up with a very “tasteless” result. Besides more salt into the mushroom mixture, I suggest to use a stronger cheese and smoked bacon to enhance all the flavors.
For a quiche, use regular pastry dough (pâte brisée).
September 24, 2010
It was very difficult to come up with a nice way to show you my last felt food creation without making it look a bit weird. Let me explain.. what if I would have just thrown the photo of it here and said ” It is a cucumber” . I don’t know about you all, but I would probably laugh about the solitary cucumber there. :D
To make its life easier and less embarassing, I put the cucumber together with the other previously crafted felt food vegetables. Doesn’t it look good now?
My daughters asked it to be “cuttable” in at least three pieces. But hey, mom here sometimes gets a little tired too and I promised to make them separate slices later. Hah! Just waiting for the day they start telling me to keep my promise ^_^.
September 23, 2010
Thursday is the pea soup day in Finland, habit inherited from our neighbor Sweden when the country still belonged to the Swedish Realm. The tradition might have come in the Christian era, as a preparation for fasting on Friday.
I wanted to make pea soup today but I wasn’t feeling so well ( I am having this upset stomach since yesterday night ). Due to the heaviness of the pea soup meal I thought it is a better idea to skip it and have a lighter soup instead.
This soup I made today was a success. Mr. mies liked a lot and the girls gobbled two portions of it. Pure vegetables only ^_^ ( score! )
Red lentils and carrots soup
Finnish ingredients I used in parentheses.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 5 medium carrots, chopped
- one big onion, chopped
- one garlic clove, peeled
- 1 l vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 dl dried red lentils ( dl is the standard measure used in Finland. About 3/4 cup )
- salt and white pepper – as per taste
- 2 dl cream ( ruokakerma ) – 1 dl for the soup and 1 dl to serve
- few drops of lemon juice
- chopped parsley to serve
Soak the lentils before chopping the vegetables. Heat oil in a big pan, add the carrots, onion and cook until lightly browned and tender. Drain the lentils and let dry in a sieve.
Add the vegetable broth, the garlic ( yes, the whole garlic, it will be removed in the end ) and let the carrots cook , about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and cook 10 minutes until soft.
Remove the garlic and discard. Puree the soup using a blender ( I used a hand blender straight to the pan ), add 1 dl of cream and let heat (but not boil ). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add few drops of lemon juice to the remaining cream ( it won’t curd, just get a bit tangy ).
Before serving , pour a swirl of the lemon cream and sprinkle parsley on top. ( I used dried parsley but the fresher the better )
My notes about the recipe:
Since my stomach is sensitive at the moment, I didn’t add much of any spices. I suggest to add grated ginger or cumin for a flavor kick. Plain yogurt is a good substitute for the cream on top but I didn’t have it home.
You can omit the cream from the whole recipe. I added because I had it in fridge and I wanted to “smooth” the taste to make the soup appealing to the kids too.
September 22, 2010
Luonnonvoima ( my oldest daughter ) has been complaining that the old toy carrots I crafted many years ago had gone bad. One was thrown away, the other, pieces went missing. The fact I used a thin type of felt might have aggravated the deterioration from use.
I remember I sewed them to my first daughter when she was still very small and when I got my second daughter, one of those carrots was her favorite teething toy. You can imagine now how bad looking they were. ^_^
This week their favorite play has been “let’s pretend to have a restaurant”. They wrote menus in papers and ask all the time what we would like to have. And of course, I was sent to make a new toy carrot XD.
I had few problems sewing the velcro circles, even if they had a sticky self-adhesive side I reinforced the bond by sewing with thread. The worse was still to come… When I showed the carrot to Luonnonvoima, she simply smiled and said that it wasn’t complete since it didn’t have the leaf stalk part to be cut away too.. O_o
Eh, kids are really into details aren’t they?
Fish stew anyone? :)
September 21, 2010
Continuing my baking saga, this time I had to figure out a way to use some bananas that were turning black. I don’t like fruits going to waste specially when they are very expensive where I live.
I’ve learned from vegan cooking ( no, no! I am not vegan! But I like to go vegetarian sometimes ^_^ ) you can substitute one egg in baking for a half mashed banana… not an option to me, since I had two super ripe ones :P.
The recipe I used calls for exactly two bananas. A match ;).
Chocolate & banana cake
Yield 2 loaf tins ( 450 g capacity ). I used an 1,0 l tin and the cake became a bit “flat” but still very good! :D
From Olive mag, June 2005. What I adapted in parentheses.
- 100 g plain chocolate ( plus extra crumbs or morsels )
- 150 g unsalted butter , softened
- 175 g golden caster sugar ( I used 100 g caster sugar and 50 g demerara sugar )
- 3 eggs , beaten
- 175 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 25 g cocoa
- 2 large bananas, mashed
Heat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate and leave it to cool.
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually, beating nicely between each addition. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa and fold in using a spatula. Add the mashed banana and chocolate and mix well (at this point I added the extra chocolate crumbs. Chopped nuts work too)
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for about 45 minutes ( or check with a skewer, if it comes out clean when inserted in the middle, cake is done ). Let cool on a rack and wrap in parchment paper .
My notes about the recipe:
The cake was very tasty one day after baking it. Although a bit crumbly the flavors intensified. A good pairing for green tea =).
September 20, 2010
I have a weakness for any food that contains corn. I don’t know from where it comes (maybe from living in South America?) but I really enjoy to eat anything made with this golden yellow grain.
Fresh corn is not that common here in Finland neither cornmeal. Cornmeal belong to the category of “special” flours, found in supermarkets standing on shelves nearby its fellow gluten-free flours.
To use the rest of a buttermilk carton I had in fridge, I baked these cornbread muffins. They are very moist and are a good option for an afternoon snack or to be put in a bento box for the next day.
From Good Food mag, Aug 2010. What I adapted in parentheses.
- 85 g melted butter ( and a little bit for frying )
- 1 large sweetcorn , kernels sliced off (I used half can of corn kernels )
- 1 small onion , finely chopped
- ½ red chilli , deseeded, finely chopped (I omitted it and added 1/2 tsp paprika )
- 140 g plain flour
- 140 g cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 50g strong cheddar , grated ( I increased to 80 g )
- 2 eggs
- 284ml pot buttermilk ( I used 300 ml and 84 ml milk instead )
- 100ml milk
Heat oven to 180°C and prepare a 12 hole muffin tray ( I used paper muffin cups ). Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan and gently fry the corn kernels with the onion, until golden and the onion soft. Reserve.
Mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and cheddar with 1/4 tsp salt (adjust according to the cheese ) in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and milk, then stir into the dry ingredients with the remaining melted butter and corn mixture. Divide between the muffin cups and bake for 25-30 mins, until golden brown and cooked through (check with a skewer).
Serve it warm.
My notes about the recipe:
I found it difficult to release the muffins from my paper cups and I suggest to grease the muffin pan and use it without a lining. Another option would be baking them straight into silicone cups ^_^.
September 19, 2010
Sunday afternoon, cold and rainy outside. Strawberries in the fridge, hungry little girls. Afternoon tea… pancakes!
From Fine Cooking mag #102
Yields about 17
- 3 tbs. unsalted melted butter (plus more to serve )
- 2 cups ( 9 oz ) all purpose flour ( you can substitute 1/2 cup for whole wheat or wheat germ )
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups buttermilk ( I used Finnish “piimä”)
- 2 large eggs
Vegetable oil for frying, maple syrup and fresh fruits for serving.
In a large bowl , mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl , whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently, until the batter is evenly moistened. Mix the cooled melted butter in the end. There should still be lumps . Let the batter rest while you heat up your skillet.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. The right temperature would be when drops of water “dance” on surface before evaporating. Lightly oil the skillet and working in batches, pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet for each pancake. Let cook until bubbles rise to surface and edges look a bit “dry” (1-2 minutes ). Check the bottom, if golden enough, flip. Cook until the other side gets nicely browned and transfer to a plate , keeping it warm till you are done with all the batter.
Serve hot with butter, a generous drizzle of maple syrup and fresh fruits. Luonnonvoima likes it with jam and syrup, I don’t blame her ^_^.
Notes for those who don’t have buttermilk:
You could substitute it for a mixture of yoghurt and milk ( 1 cup plain yoghurt and 1 cup of milk ) or make your own “sour milk” ( add 2 tbs lemon juice to 2 cups of whole milk and let stand for 10 minutes till it gets thick ) .
September 18, 2010
When it comes for asking help , good friends in the social media can be amazing. The other day I couldn’t decide if I should buy tartlet molds/pans with loose bottoms and I asked in twitter what friends would suggest. Lovely Patricia ( who also helped me with a question concerning the pie weights, thank you dear! Check out her blog , it is mouthwatering! ) and old friend VH-san came to my rescue =).
So now I present you the first baking in my brand new (or not so new anymore ^_^ ) loose bottoms tartlet pans!
I decided for something simple.. and cheering up as chocolate ( not to get depressed… XD) . The original idea was to use raspberries but Summer is gone from this cold land and the only local berry I found was strawberry.
Chocolate ganache tartelette with strawberries
Pastry or Pâte Sucrée adapted from this book
Ganache filling adapted from here
Yield 6 ∅10 cm tartelettes
- 110 g of cold unsalted butter chopped
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar ( I used my own vanilla sugar )
- 1 egg, beaten
Sift the flour, sugar and salt through a sieve into a large bowl. Rub together the butter and the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Pour the beaten egg and work the dough till it starts holding together. Add cold water if necessary ( I didn’t need ). Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 min.
Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
Roll out the dough and line 6 ∅10 cm tartlet molds. You will need to bake the pastry without the filling ( “blind-baking” ). Prick the bottom of tartlets with a fork, line with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights ( I used dried green peas ). Take to oven and bake for about 10 minutes till the crust is set ( rim is golden). Remove the paper and weights and bake for further 5 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
1 basket fresh strawberries (250 g ) , rinsed, stem end cut flat
- 200 ml double cream ( kuohukerma )
- 180 g dark chocolate ( I used 100g Valrhona Manjari 64% and 80g of “normal” 70% dark chocolate)
- 20 g unsalted butter
Melt the chocolate, heat the cream in a small pan and pour over the chocolate. Stir the ingredients together using a spatula till they are evenly combined, beating to get a smooth and glossy mixture. Add the butter.
To assemble the tartlets:
Pour the chocolate ganache into the baked shells and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (or until almost firm) . Place the strawberries on top of each tart and serve. If you want to keep the ready tartelettes in the fridge for a while , I suggest to glaze the strawberries with melted jam to keep them fresh and moist.
My notes about the recipe:
The tartelettes became very good but I think they had too strong chocolate taste. I believe it would work better if making very tiny bite-size tartelettes. Anyways, I could definitely make these again , substituting half the amount of dark chocolate for milk chocolate to smooth the taste a bit :).
If using fresh raspberries instead of strawberries, try mixing a bit of raspberry jam in the ganache to give a flavor boost to the chocolate mix.
September 18, 2010
Making my girls eat spicy food is a bit tricky. I am trying to introduce stronger tastes to them, experimenting little by little to see how it goes.
I made this teriyaki chicken for hubs ( Mr mies ) and I thought it was a good idea to offer the same for the girls. I was tempted to omit the grated ginger from the marinade but I bravely carried on with the normal recipe :).
Surprise, surprise! They ate everything ( mostly because they liked the bamboo skewer ) ^_^.
Contents of the boxes: Zakkokumai (rice with mixed grains), furikake, chicken teriyaki skewer, mini corns, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and fruit salad. Polar bear made with rice, nori and steamed cauliflower “ears”.
Showing the bento for hubz too ( in an ugly food container! ;):
Slightly different content: zakkokumai, toasted black sesame seeds, chicken teriyaki skewers, cherry tomato, mini corns, cucumber, beni shōga, homemade chinese cabbage pickles ( hakusai tsukemono) and steamed cauliflower with miso dressing ( my summer favorite! )
September 16, 2010
My girls haven´t been so hungry lately and the reason might be they are still recovering from being sick this week. Pikkusiili ( that means “little hedgehog”, our 3 yo ) didn’t sleep well last night and today I am very tired too.
I wanted to make something easy and light with vegetables. Luonnonvoima (that means “nature force”, our oldest daughter ) asked me to have strawberries and I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to carry out her wishes.
Contents of the boxes: bow-tie pasta with vegetables (zucchini, carrot, tomatoes, onion and sun-dried tomatoes) , basil and parmesan cheese, carrot sticks, grapes and strawberries. HK head made with bocconcini mozzarella , nori and a cheddar flower.
Hello Kitty is always a good option to uplift little girls isn’t she?