Monday, June 21, 2010

Fresh Pasta


Last weekend Geoff and I were watching this TED video by William Li about cancer fighting foods, and it inspired me to cook something using tomatoes.

The video is well worth watching, and although it reiterates many of the foods that have been recommended for their health benefits over the years, it is good to be reminded that I should make an effort to cook some of them more often, and that they really do have a positive impact on your health.

Just to summarise, some of the things he highly recommends are: green tea, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, oranges, lemons, apples, red grapes, red wine, bok choy, soy beans, ginseng, artichoke, pumpkin, tuna, garlic, tomato and olive oil.

Rather than made the pasta myself, we decided to try pasta from a lovely store near our house called Donninis Pasta that we have been meaning to try for some time. We chose artichoke agnolotti.

The pasta was beautiful and fresh and had a lovely flavour. I am looking forward to trying the pumpkin and almond agnolotti very soon.

I decided to make a simple tomato sauce to go with it, which took no time at all to make, but tastes delicious.

You will need:
For two people
  • 6 large ripe tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Sugar
Simply cut the tomatoes in half and place onto a tray or into a largish dish. Chop up the garlic into slivers and stick them into the tomatoes, about 2 slivers each. Chop up some basil and stick this into the tomatoes as well. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle some salt over the top.


Place in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes.

Once cooked, I like to mash it together with a potato masher so it is a little more rustic in texture, however if you prefer it to be more smooth, then use an electric mixer. Sprinkle in half a teaspoon of sugar and a little more salt to taste.

Boil a pot of water, and then place the pasta in to cook for about 5 minutes. Drain and serve. Very easy and delicious!

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kanelbullar


Kanelbullar are delicious little Swedish cinnamon and cardamon rolls, traditionally eaten as a part of fika, which is basically Swedish for having a chat over coffee and little cakes like this. What a delightful word, it is things like this that made me love the Swedish language.

I made these for my last Swedish class of the semester a couple of weeks ago, and they were eaten very very quickly! I was actually surprised how easy these are to make, and how little time they took. I'll be making them regularly I think.

Geoff and I are off to Sweden in a couple of weeks for one of my best friend's wedding, so I am looking forward to having lots of delicious Swedish food there.

The recipe I used can be found here.

What you will need:

For the buns
  • 25g of yeast (I used dried yeast)
  • 75g of butter
  • 2 and a half dl of milk
  • Half a dl of white sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of cardamon
  • Around 7 dl of plain flour (you may need a little more, just see how sticky the dough is)
For the cinnamon sugar/filling
  • 50 g butter or margarine
  • Half a dl of white sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (The recipe says only 1, but the more the merrier I say)
Glaze
  • An egg
Melt the butter over the stove, and then add the milk until warm (around 37 degrees Celsius). Take off the stove and mix in the yeast allowing it to dissolve. Mix in the salt, cardamon and sugar.

Sift in the flour half a cup at a time - I ended up using a little more that 7 dl to ensure the dough was not too sticky.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise. While you are waiting, mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Take the dough out and on a lightly floured bench, roll it into a 20cm x 50 cm rectangle. Spread the butter or margarine over the top. Sprinkle your cinnamon sugar over the butter. Roll the dough from the bottom up and then cut into 1/2 cm slices and place into cupcake containers as shown in the photo below.


Leave these to rise for another 30 minutes.

Whisk your egg and brush this over the top of each kanelbullar, and then sprinkle with pearl sugar. I found pearl sugar in this shop in Melbourne, but it is quite a bit bigger than I would have liked.

Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.

Enjoy with some good friends over a cup of tea or coffee.

A nice variation might be to replace the cardamon in the dough with cinnamon, and to dice up apples to scatter with the cinnamon sugar to make apple scrolls instead.
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