Friday, April 25, 2014

ANZAC biscuits (recipe for coconut oat cookies)

ANZAC cookies / ANZAC biscuits / ANZAC küpsised 
From the recipe archives. Originally posted in 2013.

Did you know that it's ANZAC Day today? ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The Department of Veterans' Affairs of the Australian Government explains the Anzac day and tradition in detail. This being a food blog, it suffices to say that apparently these eggless crispy oatcakes were the cookies sent by the Australian and New Zealand women to the soldiers on the frontline during the WWI. And they're lovely - at least their modern equivalent!

The original recipe uses golden syrup, but honey works as well. I actually find the flavour very appealing, similar to the Estonian honey cake, and the chewy-crispy texture went down a treat with my family.

About 20 cookies
ANZAC cookies / ANZAC biscuits / ANZAC küpsised

125 g butter
2 Tbsp or 45 g golden syrup or runny honey
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 Tbsp water
150 g or 250 ml or 1 cup all-purpose flour
100 g rolled oats
60 g shredded coconut
150 g caster sugar

Line a large baking sheet (or two smaller ones) with a parchment paper. Heat the oven to 175 C/350 F.

Place butter and honey/syrup into a medium-sized saucepan, heat and stir until melted and combined.
Mix soda with water and pour into the saucepan. The mixture will sizzle and foam - this is exactly what should happen. Stir until combined and remove the saucepan from the heat.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, coconut and sugar. Pour in the butter-syrup-soda mixture and stir until combined.
Using your hands, roll the cookie mixture into golfball-sized balls. Place these on the baking tray, leaving plenty of room between the cookies. Press the cookie dough into thinner disks for especially crisp cookies (that's the way I like them).
Bake in a preheated 175 C oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked (the cookies will harden as they cool down; if you didn't pat the cookie dough down, they may need few more minutes in the oven).

Store in an air-tight cookie jar.

Heidi @ 101 Cookbooks (Heidi adds some orange zest)
Lottie + Doof
Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen (Tori toasts the coconut first)
Emily @ Chilli Marmalade
Jennifer @ Use Real Butter (nice step-by-step photos!)
Sneh @ Cook Republic
Martha Stewart
Laura @ Pies & Plots

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Nami-Nami Easter Brunch 2014

Nami-Nami Easter Brunch 2014. Kevadpühad 2014.

Last Sunday we had a full house again. 28 people, including the kids, celebrating the Spring and enjoying the traditional Nami-Nami Easter brunch. It was a gorgeously sunny and pleasant day, and we ate al fresco.


First, the eggs. To be honest, we only dyed them after the party, but they're still part of the Easter brunch in a way. We used the Estonian way of dyeing eggs with onion skins (read all about it here) for the yellow-brown eggs, and frozen blueberries for the blue eggs. I think they turned out gorgeous, and the kids loved them!

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: salmon roe appetizers
Small rye cups were filled with salmon roe and sour cream (also known as creamy caviar dressing, recipe here).

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Suitsukalasalat. Smoked fish salad.
Smoked fish salad, spiked with some horseradish (I used hot-smoked hake).

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Kurgisalat. Cucumber salad.
Ottolenghi's cucumber and poppyseed salad - always festive, yet simple to make. I omitted the sugar this time and didn't miss it at all!

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Ristemäe talu "presidendi kilud"
Marinated fresh sprats from the Ristemäe talu stand at my local farmers' market, Viimsi Taluturg.

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Makaronisalat. Pasta salad.
Pasta and sausage salad, very Estonian and always popular with older kids.

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Sun-dried tomato and olive nibbles
Puff pastry canapés with sun-dried tomato pesto and black olive filling.

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014
Another view of the table.

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Crostini with cured ham and wild garlic ricotta.
Wild garlic is in season, so I made some crostini with ricotta and wild garlic spread, served with Estonian cured pork filet.

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Pulled pork. Nyhtöpossu. Ribaliha.
I did all the prep work on Sunday morning (the kids make sure we wake up rather early :)). However, I did slow-cook a huge Boston butt (2,5 kg) on the previous day, serving the pulled pork at the brunch. The recipe was adapted from this Finnish magazine.

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Rosemary and garlic salmon.
Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Salmon a la In Sock Monkey Slippers. It was a huge salmon, so there was plenty for everybody.

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Kiwi and grape salad. Roheline puuviljasalat.
Green fruit salad looked inviting and spring-like. I omitted the maple syrup, as the kiwis and grapes were sweet enough, and sprinkled some almond slices on top for some extra bite.

Over the years I've got better in delegating. Some friends brought imported strawberries, some oranges for the freshly squeezed orange juice, some brought wine. Some friends volunteered to bring food. And they brought some wonderful dishes.

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Mutabak by Liina.
My friend Liina baked a fantastic mutabak.

Nami-Nami Easter Brunch 2014. Wild mushroom salad by Piret. Metsaseenesalat.
Piret brought along a typical Estonian mushroom salad (wild mushrooms, onion, sour cream, seasonings).

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Kristiina salat. Kristiina's salad.
Our friend Kristiina makes wonderful salads, here's what she brought along this year.

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Paavo kardemonirullid. Paavo's cardamom rolls.
And her husband Paavo baked a big batch of Swedish cardamom twists.

Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014: Buckwheat mocha hearts. Kohviglasuuriga tatrakook.
I had also made a small cake, namely gluten-free buckwheat hearts with mocha glaze. Our son Aksel is somewhat sensitive to wheat (and hazelnuts), so I try to make sure there's something on the table that doesn't make his skin all itchy. (If you need more buckwheat inspiration, then check out my buckwheat recipe board on Pinterest.)

Here's another look at the table: Nami-Nami Easter brunch 2014

We drank Prosecco and various wines, cold-brewed hibiscus water (the bottle on the left) and black aronia cordial (the jug on the right). Coffee and tea later.

What did you have for Easter? I'd love to hear more in the comments!

See overviews of our previous Easter brunches:

Easter brunch 2013, featuring blood orange Mimosas, avocado and smoked salmon salad, cucumber bites with cream cheese, small tattie scone rounds with smoked salmon mousse, deviled beet eggs,  chorizo meatballs, a great carrot and cream cheese cake, roasted cauliflower, and much more.
Easter brunch 2012, featuring crostini with dill-marinated pork tenderloin, Ms Marmite Lover's focaccia shots, marinated olives, Estonian mushroom salad, cold-smoked salmon, a delicious paskha, cardamon-scented apricot and curd cheese cake, and much more.

Easter brunch 2011, featuring a pretty (imitation) snow crab salad, beet quail eggs, two types of home-made Estonian cheese "sõir", smoked salmon with horseradish dip, wild garlic (ramp) pesto with almonds, crostini with white cheese and red onion jam, puff pastry rolls with feta, white bean salad with  chorizo, Limoncello, coconut and white chocolate tart.

Easter brunch 2010, featuring spinach and hot-smoked salmon salad with quail eggs, green beans and asparagus, Marika Blossfeldt's quinoa salad with beets and fennel, savory cheesecake with goat cheese and chives, Ottolenghi's cucumber salad with poppyseeds, bean salad with lemon and parsley, Baltic herring with cherry tomatoes and herbs, Estonian home-made cheese "sõir", paskha, traditional Simnel cake, and another cake with coconut, lemon curd, elderflower cream and lemon balm.

Easter brunch 2009, featuring bright green pea soup shots, zucchini rolls stuffed with goat cheese, hazelnuts, figs and mint, peppered beef fillet, marbled beetroot eggs and marbled turmeric eggs, layered surimi "crab" and egg salad, pineapple carpaccio with mint sugar, matcha madeleines, and two different paskhas.

We also hosted Easter brunches in 2007 and 2008, but somehow I didn't document their properly. I can see on Flickr what was on the table back in 2007, but that's about it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wild garlic pesto aka ramson pesto recipe

Wild garlic pesto / Ramson pesto / Karulaugupesto
(From the recipe archives - originally posted in April 2011. Three years on, this is still my favourite way of preparing wild garlic pesto. You can use either ramson or ramps).

Wild garlic has arrived! Wild garlic, also known as ramson or bear's garlic (Allium ursinum, 'karulauk' in Estonian), is a very close relative to the wild leek aka ramp (Allium tricoccum, 'grislilauk' in Estonian). I've been eagerly waiting for this spring green, as I love both the flavour and the versatily of it, and it's a good health-booster at this time of the year. Well, if it's good enough for big brown bears, it's good enough for us :D

Although I've been happily making a wild garlic pesto with pinenuts for a few years now, this one is a new favourite. There's more flavour, and somehow it's much more gutsier than the 'regular' wild garlic pesto. The idea to use almonds instead of pinenuts in a wild garlic pesto is from a German food magazine. I've upped the amount of almonds and cheese, and used regular almonds instead of blanched.

Let me tell you - this was a huge hit at my recent birthday brunch, where the guests were spreading it on thin slices of ciabatta. I'm heading to my secret wild garlic field later today, just so I could make this one again :)

You could definitely try this with ramps or even with garlic scapes. If you love garlic, you'll love this, I promise!

Other recipes using wild garlic/ramson @ Nami-Nami:
Wild garlic tzatziki
Wild garlic and potato mash
Wild garlic butter
Wild garlic pesto (with pinenuts)
Stuffed tomatoes with wild garlic salad

Wild garlic pesto / Ramson pesto
(Karulaugupesto mandlitega)
Makes about 200 ml

Wild garlic pesto / Ramson pesto / Karulaugupesto

a good bunch of wild garlic (about 125 g), rinsed and drained
50 g Parmesan cheese, roughly chopped
50 g whole almonds
75 ml (5 Tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place almonds and cheese into a food processor and blitz into fine crumbs. Add wild garlic, process again until you've got a coarse pesto. Now add the oil little by little, with the machine still running.
Season with salt and pepper.

If you want to keep your pesto for a few weeks, then place into cool sterilised jars and pour a layer of olive oil on top. Keep in the fridge.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Danish meatballs in curry sauce (boller i karry)

Boller i karry. Lihapallid karrikastmes. Danish meatballs in a curry sauce.

Aren't those meatballs cute and bright? It's a popular Danish family dish, boller i karry or meatballs in curry sauce. According to various sources, the dish was created already back in 1840s, when curry powder mixes were first introduced to Danish customers. The popular Danish meatballs were then served with a mildly (!!!) curry-flavoured sauce and rice instead of potatoes - a huge novelty and very exotic back then.

I remember the dish well from my year in Denmark as an exchange student back in 1992-1993, and I liked it. Since visiting Denmark - and my host family - last November, I've been cooking Danish food much more frequently again. With three small kids, it's inevitable that I'm also making so-called "family foods" more often, and boller i karry definitely qualifies as comfort food/family food. Adjust the amount of curry powder depending on the palate of your kids - and remember to use mild Indian-style curry powder, not a spicy or Thai style.

Danish meatballs with curried sauce
(Lihapallid karrikastmes)

Serves 4

Boller i karry. Lihapallid karrikastmes. Danish meatballs in a curry sauce.

500 g pork or mixed (pork + beef) mince
3 Tbsp flour
100 ml (7 Tbsp) milk
1 egg
1 small onion, finely chopped
salt and black pepper

Curry sauce:
2 Tbsp butter
2-4 tsp mild Indian-style curry powder
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 Tbsp flour
about 600 ml bouillon (= the water you boiled the meatballs in)
100 ml single or double cream
1 Granny Smith apple, coarsely grated
salt and black pepper

Start by making meatballs. Mix all ingredients, then form into large meatballs (I took heaped teaspoonfuls of the mixture).

Fill a medium-sized saucepan with water, bring into a boil and season with salt (you can throw in some bay leaves and allspice berries as well, if you wish). Gently drop the meatballs into the "bouillon" and cook for 7-8 minutes, until fully cooked. Remove from the stock with a slotted spoon and put aside on a plate.

Make the curried sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the curry powder. Stir, then add the onion and fry gently for 5-7 minutes. Stir in the flour, cook for a minute or two, then add about 2 or 2,5 cups of "meatball bouillon". Stir carefully, so no lumps remain. Add the cream, then the grated apple. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then return the meatballs to the sauce and cook until the meatballs are piping hot.

Serve with boiled long-grain rice and some vegetables of your choice.

Similar recipes elsewhere:
Meatballs in spicy curry sauce  (low-carb version) by Josephine Malene @ A Tasty Love Story
Beef meatballs with curried banana sauce by Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet
Danish Meatballs in Curry with Rice (video recipe) @ Scandinavian Today
Boller i karry or curried meatballs by Sandra @ Sandras Kitchen
Danish meatballs in curry @ Paul De Lancey

More Danish recipes here on Nami-Nami:
Brunsviger aka soft cinnamon butter bread
Koldskål aka Danish buttermilk soup
Risalamande aka Rice and Almond Pudding with Warm Cherry Compote
Danish potato salad
Kokosmakroner aka Danish coconut macaroons

More meatballs recipes here on Nami-Nami:
Saucy Asian meatballs
Swedish meatballs
Hakk-kotletid aka Estonian meatballs
Dagmar's spicy meatballs
Lovely Greek meatballs with chilli sauce, mustard and oregano
Zucchini meatballs
Chorizo meatballs