31 August 2009

Salmon with Sour Cream and Dill Sauce Recipe

I have cooked this delicious meal for many many friends and it really is perfect to enjoy on a warm summer evening with some good friends and a glass of wine or three.

Now I realise this blog is called Dreaming of Winter, and this is a summery dish, however I'll write a little variation on the theme so you can enjoy this all year around.

This might sound a little complicated, but it is really worth it, and once you have made it a couple of times it is a piece of cake!

This recipe is based on one I found in my trusty Ikea cookbook - aka one of my best purchases yet.

What you will need:
  • 4 125g salmon fillet pieces (or more depending on how many people you are cooking for)
  • 2 1/2 dl sour cream
  • Fresh dill (none of that horrible dried stuff)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Potatoes
  • Salt, pepper
  • Lemon
  • (you can also include 1 50g jar of red Swedish caviar)
The bouillon:
  • 1 1/2 dl water
  • 1 dl white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 5 whole allspice
  • 2 whole white pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • Fresh Dill
Method - The day before in Summer:
  1. First of all, you will need to make the bouillon – simply add 1 1/2 dl water and 1 dl white wine vinegar to a saucepan.
  2. Add in the salt, allspice and white pepper.
  3. Dice the carrot and onion and add to the saucepan.
  4. Add in the fresh dill.
  5. Let this simmer for about 15 mins.
  6. Put the salmon into another saucepan and strain the bouillon over them.
  7. Bring to boil for 3-5 mins and then leave to cool.
  8. Place the salmon in the fridge over night still in the liquid.
Method - The day of in Winter:
Same as above for steps 1 - 6, obviously making this the night you wish to serve the meal rather than the day before and then serve the salmon while still hot.

Sauce - The day before:
  1. Add a large container of sour cream into a bowl
  2. Add in a good amount of chopped fresh dill
  3. Add in 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  4. Add in some salt and pepper to taste
  5. You can also add in 50g jar of red Swedish caviar – but I normally leave this out as I am not a big caviar fan
  6. Leave covered up in the fridge over night to allow the flavours to infuse
The day of happiness!
  1. Peel and boil the potatoes
  2. Strain and serve on plates
  3. Strain the salmon and serve cold in summer and warm in winter
  4. Add some sauce
  5. Enjoy!

23 August 2009

Lindt Café, Melbourne

Nothing says winter more than a hot chocolate. Melbourne, spoilt for chocolatiers, now has a Lindt Café on Collin Street. Located in beautiful surroundings, the atmosphere is relaxed and light.

After reading about macaroons in last month's Gourmet Traveller, both Michelle and I were eager to try Lindt's interpretation, the Delice range.

Macaroons, Lindt Cafe, Melbourne

Of our selection of strawberry, passionfruit, chocolate and hazelnut, we both loved passionfruit. Hazelnut, with high expectations, was good but not exceptional. Strawberry is quite sweet, but still delicious. Chocolate is a good entry point.

Lunch, or whatever we were calling this meal, needed something more substantive. Lindt's range of cakes was exactly what we needed.

White Chocolate Framboise, Lindt Cafe, Melbourne

White Chocolate Framboise caught Michelle's eye and did not disappoint. A delicate layering of flavor, it was the pick of the day.

Chocolat Cerise, Lindt Cafe, Melbourne

I chose the Black Forest cake, called a Chocolat Cerise. I am still undecided on this. The chocolate was wonderful, as expected. I was not so enthused by the cherries. Michelle was more of a fan.

Lindt's Café is well worth a visit. A great way to spoil yourself or someone close.

20 August 2009

Daal Moong


As a vegetarian, daal was my defense against hunger. It is almost the perfect food. Healthy, tasty, and rich in proteins.

At the Indian restaurant after tennis each week, I would devour a large bowl of rich daal. Every week. The same dish. I spent months trying to replicate it at home.

Daal is quite easy to make, and is in essence just boiled lentils. However, like a good Italian Bolognese, there are a few tricks to a great daal.

This recipe will get you started.

Best served over freshly cooked jasmine rice, with some papadums on the side.

Daal Moong
  • 1 cup Red Lentils
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 dessert spoon of Ghee, or butter (or good cooking oil for a non-dairy option)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon garam-masala
  • 2 tablespoons broken coriander (cilantro) or any other fresh herbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
  • a small piece of ginger (or 1 teaspoon crushed ginger)
  1. Soak the lentils for 30 minutes.
  2. Boil the water and add the drained lentils, salt, turmeric and chilli powder (if Michelle isn't home).
  3. Bring the lentils to the boil and then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes or when the lentils become soft and tender.
  4. Melt the ghee in a frying pan, then add the chopped onion and ginger.
  5. Mix in the coriander & garam-masala just before removing from the heat.
  6. Serve the daal topped with the onion mixture.
For everyday cooking, it is possible to use dried supermarket ingredients. These keep in the pantry for a long time. I also keep a jar of minced ginger in the fridge. The only fresh requirement is an onion.

The recipe works best with fresh coriander and fresh ginger. It makes the difference.

To vary, try different pulses. Red beans go well mixed in with the lentils.

19 August 2009

Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse

Sorry for my long absence. I have recently discovered that my masters thesis is due earlier than I had expected … if anyone happens to be an expert on the integration of immigrants into Swedish society, I’d be very happy to hear from you!

So on with the show…

This is possibly the easiest recipe in the history of humankind, and one of the most delicious too!

All you need is:
  • 1 200g block of hazelnut chocolate – now while I am a huge fan of chocolate with whole hazelnuts, and am completely up in arms about Cadbury’s decision to stop making this, I would for this recipe recommend you use chocolate with crushed hazelnuts. I still think Cadbury chocolate should be very ashamed of itself though.
  • 50g of dark chocolate – just to make the mousse a little more intense.
  • I large bottle of cream.

Simply whip the cream and pop it in the fridge. Now for the lazy part- break your chocolate bars up and pop them in a bowl and into the microwave.

Microwave in 25 second increments, stirring in between until melted. If it makes you feel better you are more than welcome to use a double boiler, however I have yet to see any negative side to using the microwave.

Let the chocolate stand for about 2 – 4 minutes to cool a little then simply stir gently into the whipped cream to combine.

Pipe or spoon the mixture into glasses, although I would not fill them as much as in the picture – I think we all severely regretted having that much chocolate mousse after we had finished.

To finish it off grate some left over chocolate onto the top and pop the glasses into the fridge until you are ready to serve.

This recipe would be perfect to make lovely layered mouses. I was thinking of a bottom layer of Lindt dark chocolate and chilli, with a layer of hazelnut chocolate mousse on top and finally a layer of white chocolate mousse. I also noticed that Lindt is selling dark chocolate and pear, which I think would make a beautiful mousse, perhaps with some slices of fresh or even poached pear on the top.

There must be unlimited variations on this theme, so if you are not a hazelnut chocolate fan, substitute in your chocolate of choice.

You will notice in the picture there is a layer of white chocolate mousse. I was not happy with how this turned out, so have not included the recipe here.

I realise all the recipes thus far have been desserts, so keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks for my schnitzel recipe, and also a delicious Swedish poached salmon recipe, with potatoes and sour cream and dill sauce. Geoff will also be posting his ridiculously delicious Daal recipe.

2 August 2009

Glühwein Recipe

A few of you have asked for my secret glühwein recipe. Passed down the generations of my family, from mother to daughter...in whispers late at night by the fireplace on the eve of our 18th birthday. It was first learnt from a wandering monk who stopped at the house of my great great great great grandmother in Amsterdam one frosty winters evening as thanks for a place to stay for the night... or perhaps I just made it up as I went along...

Really the beauty of glühwein is that you can tailor it to your own tastes. I like mine to be rich in spices, however if that is not your cup of tea, then just reduce amount of spices you add. Just take this recipe as a base and then go in the direction that best suites your tastes.

To 4 liters of red wine you'll need:
  • Caster sugar (amount proportional to quality of red wine, the worse the wine the more sugar you need, add it to taste, but start with about 2 cups)
  • 6 - 8 cinnamon sticks
  • Whole cloves
  • 2 oranges
  • Whole allspice
  • 2 cups of orange juice - recently I tried this with mandarin juice and it was also lovely
  • If you wish to get your friends and yourself tipsy even more quickly, or just to add a little extra kick, add brandy, sweet sherry or port to the mix (optional but rather tasty).
  1. Pour the red wine into a large pot and put it on the stove on a very low heat – you must not let the wine boil or the world could end… and that is not something you want to risk...
  2. I tend to cut the oranges into slices and then put about 4 cloves into each slice, then put them in with the wine.
  3. Break the cinnamon sticks in half or thirds and put them in with the wine as well as 10 of the whole all spice.
  4. Add in the sherry or port as well as 2 cups of orange juice.
  5. Add in 2 cups of sugar and stir.
  6. Stir on and off for about 30 minutes to give the spices time to infuse with the wine and for the magic to occur, then taste it, and add more sugar as needed (possible up to 4 or 5 cups more in the wine is really bad).
  7. Let it cook/infuse/whatever for about 30 minutes more (again, not letting it boil).
  8. Drink and be happy!
Sometimes I like to add berries, which soak up the alcohol quite nicely and add to the cuteness of the drink.

Also, in a more glögg-esque version (The Swedish version of glühwein/mulled wine), having this with gingerbread is quite yummy.

I have also tried some consisting of amaretto with white wine instead, and that was also delicious - I'll post this and other variations on the glühwein theme in the future, so keep an eye out!

If you'd like something warm and spicy, but without alcohol, then try this delicious mulled apple cider recipe.
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