Monday, September 29, 2008

Punch / Punsj / Poncz

A colleague of mine was to celebrate her birthday in a slighly unusual way and at some point during preparations someone (perhaps Ida Bebida?) came up with the idea of serving a punchbowl. I googled a few recipes and the choices were narrowed down to two only. One of these deserves to be mentioned here.

The picture below is a good illustration for the evening

You will need:
1 ananas, cut into pieces (yummy - much better that boxed)
1,5 litre of ginger ale
1 litre apple juice
1 dl lemon juice
1 dl orange juice
some brown rum (very much optional)

This was enough for two servings in a large bowl - and turned out pretty good. Memo to myself: ice cubes...

Incidentally Wikipedia has a few interesting remarks concerning punch and its origin. Read it here

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My favorite, your favorite

In order to generate a bit more activity in here I want each and every of you to post the name (and recipe if you'd like) of your favorite food thing: spice, ingredient, dish.

We begin with me: green curry. That's right, it is the dish of my life. The recipe to be posted soon, sice I will be preparing it this evening.

Now it's Your turn. Come on, I know you are there reading :)

Ruccola pesto / Pesto z ruccoli

I made it when stuck with too much ruccola and craving for something to garnish a very uncomplicated dinner.

You will need:
as much ruccola as you want
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 spoons of olive oil (I use Italian and extra vergine even though it is not that uncomplicated - read more here)
½ teaspoon of black truffle oil (this you can skip as it only enhances the sharpness of ruccola)
a pinch of salt

Blend well with a hand blender. Eat up on the same day!

Tom Kha Gai / Tajska kwaśna zupa z kurczaka

I have tried this one at Yaya's in Oslo - and possibly at Far East earlier this year. It's warming and it looks good and, as I hope to demonstrate here, it is also easy to make at home. All the Thai ingredients were supplied by Interfood at Brugata. Btw: I wish I knew what all the other things they have in refrigerators there were...

For the soup you will need:
2 cm bit of galangal (which is the kha in the name of the dish), peeled and sliced
2 whole small chillies
2-3 leaves of kaffir lime, broken along their stem to release the flavor
2 stems of lemon grass, cut in pieces 4-5 cm long
1 can of coconut milk (400ml; I use the light variant)
500ml vegetable stock (Vegeta was my choice here)
2-4 tablespoons of fish sauce (skip it if you find its smell/taste funny/revolting or if veggie)
juice of ½-1 lime
1 whole garlic clove
1 tablespoon of sugar
100g or more of button mushrooms cut into fours
1 chicken breast cut into pieces (more if it is a main course; if you are vegetarian, use more mushrooms instead – you are then making a tom kha het)
coriander or vårløk (what do you call it in English?), chopped and used as garnish

Prepare the stock in a large casserole. Make sure it is not too hot when you add coconut milk stirring gently. Heat while stirring and add galangal, chillies, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. Let it cook for a few minutes, then add garlic, fish sauce and sugar. You might want to check the taste now and see if it needs more of anything, before adding chicken and mushrooms. Boil until the chicken is done. As the last step add lime juice and stir. The soup should be creamy and yet sour. Pour into small bowls and garnish.


Now, the slight problem I have is that I am left with a few pieces of galangal, loads of kaffir lime leaves and too many small chillies to use. Any good ideas what to do with small red chillies? Should I make pickles? Or flavor a bottle of vodka with them? I will be preparing a green curry today but there is no chance I will use that much of everything. So, if anyone among my friends, acquaintances, or colleagues here in Oslo is interested, I can share. Just drop me a line. Beacuse if not, I will spawn a legion of devils here. Like this one:

And you wouldn't want that, would you now?

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The sun shines high above
The sounds of laughter
The birds swoop down upon
The crosses of old grey churches
We say that we're in love
While secretly wishing for rain
Sipping port and playing games

September's here again
September's here again

I have been rather uninspired lately - mostly foodwise. This does not mean, however, that this month has been totally uneventful in terms of food and beverages. I have tasted Pineau des Charentes (a French fortified wine) for the first time and liked it. I have made ruccola pesto twice and it turned out good at least the second time. I have eaten a delicious Tom Kha Gai with my colleagues, and then made it myself at home - the recipe and pictures will be posted this evening.

The lyrics above come form David Sylvian's opening song of "Secrets of the Beehive." album