Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gravlax with sea-buckthorn berries



Sea-buckthorn is a popular autumn berry here in Estonia. I'm afraid it's not so widely known in the US where most of my blog readers are based. However, given that Doctor Oz has been touting sea-buckthorn as one of the superberries, this may change :) 

Sea-buckthorn berries have a pleasant, but very tart flavour. They can be used instead of lemons - and here sea-buckthorn juice is used as a replacement for lemon juice in curing some nice salmon. 

Use highest quality fresh fish to make this dish. 

Gravlax with sea-buckthorn
Serves four to six

500 g fresh salmon filet
2 Tbsp natural/unsweetened sea-buckthorn juice
2 Tbsp kosher salt or Maldon sea salt flakes
1 Tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp freshly ground black or white peppercorns
handful of sea-buckthorn berries

Remove any bones with pliers. Brush with sea-buckthorn juice. 
Combine salt, sugar and pepper, spread the curing mixture over the fish and rub it gently in. Cut the filet into two even chunks, place them together, flesh sides touching. 

Wrap the salmon tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours. 

Unwrap salmon, discarding the curing mixture (rinse quickly, if necessary, and pat thoroughly dry). 

Tp serve, place gravlax skin side down on a cutting board. Cut the gravlax into thin slices with a fileting-knife (a long, narrow-bladed knife), cutting against the grain, and slightly diagonally. 

Other sea-buckthorn recipes:
Mulled sea-buckthorn drink @ Nami-Nami
Sea-buckthorn jelly with kama mascarpone mousse @ Nami-Nami
Sea-buckthorn and Amaretto cheesecake @ Nami-Nami
Sea-buckthorn and apple tart @ Nami-Nami
Sea-buckthorn sorbet @ Nami-Nami
Cardamom panna-cotta with sea-buckthorn and apricot compote @ Nami-Nami
Sea-buckthorn juice @ Russian Season
Sea-buckthorn @ Real Epicurean
Gelbe grütze @ Küchenlatein
Coconut cream custard on sanddorn mirror @ Vegalicious Recipes
Sea buckthorn curd with raspberries @ Swedish Food
Sea-buckthorn cheesecake @ Bumpkin Mag
Sea-buckthorn mousse @ Andie's Veggies
Sea-buckthorn kissel with Greek yoghurt @ Suvi sur le vif

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

    ApfelSTROHdel - a hot apple toddy with Austrian Stroh rum

    ApfelSTROHdel. ÕunaSTROHdel.

    I've been testing various recipes using the spiced Austrian rum, Stroh, and this autumn/winter drink was quite popular. The ApfelSTROHdel recipe is adapted from the Stroh's website (see here), and it's a witty play of words - think of the famous Viennese apple strudel or Apfelstrudel.  I've still got some Stroh left, I'll be making this again and again. The nights are getting darker and cooler here, and this is a nice recipe to have on a cold and rainy autumn night :)

    ApfelSTROHdel
    (ÕunaSTROHdel)
    Serves 2

    400 ml apple juice (you can use apple cider or unfiltered apple juice)
    2 cinnamon sticks
    2 tsp dark brown sugar (or more, to taste)
    60 ml Stroh rum (I used Stroh 40)

    Heat the apple juice, cinnamon sticks and sugar gently in a small bowl, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Do not boil!
    Remove from the heat, let cool for a moment. Stir in the Stroh, pour into glasses and garnish with a thin apple slice (optional).

    Enjoy, preferably in front of a flickering fireplace.

    ApfelSTROHdel. ÕunaSTROHdel.

    Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post as such, but I have received remuneration for sharing this recipe with my Estonian readers on my Estonian-language site.

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Swiss Chard Gratin with Cheese

    LehtPeet 05

    Recipe by Pille @ Nami-NamiAll photos by Juta Kübarsepp for the September 2014 issue of Kodu ja Aed ("Home and Garden"), an Estonian monthly magazine. I've been their food writer since October 2012. 

    There's this wonderful cauliflower cheese recipe that I make pretty regularly, as it's super easy, quick, tasty and flavoursome. It's also gluten-free and low-carb, and I always have some cheese and mustard and cream in the fridge. Early this summer I realised that exactly the same cheese-cream-mustard topping works spectacularly well with Swiss chard stems and leaves. I grow around three or four varieties of Swiss chard in my garden, and they thrive well, so I've got a steady supply of those nutritious leafy greens.

    This dish looks especially pretty when you use bright and colourful Swiss chard (also known as mangold, silverbeet, rainbow chard). Here's the selection from my garden:

    Swiss chard. Lehtpeet ehk mangold.

    Swiss chard with cheese and cream
    (Juustu-lehtpeedivorm)
    Serves 4

     LehtPeet 04

    a good bunch of Swiss chard (about 400-450 grams)
    200 ml double cream
    1 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
    150 g cheese, shredded
    salt and black pepper

    Separate the ribs/stems from the greens. Cut the ribs into 5 cm/2 inch pieces. Blanch the ribs in lightly salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes, until they soften. Then add the leaves, and cook for another minute. Drain thoroughly.

    Mix the cream and mustard, fold in most of the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add the Swiss chard stems and leaves.

    Transfer the mixture into a buttered oven dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

    Bake in the middle of a preheated 200 C/400 F oven for about 30 minutes, until the gratin is lovely golden and crisp on top.

    Serve and enjoy.

    Swiss chard. Lehtpeet ehk mangold.

    More Swiss chard gratin recipes:
    Swiss chard gratin by Alanna @ A Veggie Venture
    Baked Swiss chard stems with olive oil and Parmesan by Kalyn @ Kalyn's Kitchen
    Swiss chard gratin with vegan bechamel by Clotilde @ Chocolate and Zucchini
    Swiss chard gratin @ Whole Foods
    Swiss chard gratin by Phoebe @ Feed Me Phoebe
    Swiss chard au gratin @ Rachel Ray
    Alice Waters' Swiss chard gratin @ Serious Eats