Results tagged “butter”

Beetroot crispbreads

Add dried spices to the dough for more flavours.  To stay within the flavours of Nordic cuisine, try caraway seeds, dried dill, dried lemon balm or even small pieces of roasted bacon.  Serve these crispbreads with an assortment of cheeses, a fresh herb pesto or with pickled herring, like they do in Sweden.  

IMG_0352.JPGRecipe from Mia Kristensen of CPH Good Food.

Salmon baked in fig leaves with nasturtium butter

This recipe is based on one from the Chez Panisse Café cookbook, a restaurant where I did a stint and learnt a tonne.  I was inspired to make it for a dinner in honour of Chez Panisse’s 40th birthday by the astounding number of nasturtium flowers and fig leaves in my garden in early September this year. 

smnasturtiums0003.jpgI served it with some braised Umbrian lentils and bright rainbow chard. You could add some fresh pink peppercorns and/or capers (both drained and rinsed well) to the butter if you like for extra zing.

I can't believe it's butter

Smbarnabysmen0001.jpgToday Barnaby went up into the High Atlas mountains - way up into the hills, past the Todra Gorge and everything.  He found his way to the village of Aït Hani, where he met some very knowledgeable women, Rabha and Hadda, who taught him all sorts of interesting things about vegetables and couscous and lots lots more.

But the most exciting part was when he came across an old earthenware pot.  By the smell, he could tell it was cheese - and quite strong, old cheese at that.  It reminded him a bit of his adventures back in Munster, in fact.

So he was quite taken aback when the women assured him that it wasn't cheese at all: it was butter.  No ordinary butter, though - this was the famous aged rancid butter they call smen.  It's kneaded (sometimes with herbs and spices), cooked (although not always), salted and then kept for years until it gets just the right taste.  They gave him some with some couscous to try, and he thought it was very interesting.

Four hours later, he still thought it was quite interesting, although he also still thought it tasted quite like he'd been sick in the back of his mouth.

Refusing to be cowed

Smbarnabycow0001.jpgToday Barnaby challenged Malina to a staring contest.  They both claim to have won but we couldn't really tell.

Malina (Polish for 'Raspberry') was enjoying some free time between morning and evening milkings.  She provides the entire Łatka family, and us today, with organic milk. 

Mrs Łatka cleverly transforms the milk into sour cream, butter and cottage cheese, using not much other than a warm room and a food processor.  The whey and buttermilk don't go to waste - not only do they make delicious drinks on their own, but they also go into a number of Mrs Łatka's homemade treats, including her żurek soup and linseed bread.  Go and stay with them in Barcice Dolne and you'll see what I mean. 

Scallops with orange-tarragon beurre blanc

california, france
This one sounds a bit fancy, and it is.  I think it makes a very elegant starter and will make your dinner guests think they're in a posh restaurant.  However, we had it in a flimsy bungalow that looked more like a rough pub from the 70s than the 'redwood cabin' it was marketed as, and it still tasted great.  And it only takes around 40 mins from start to finish.  [Matt adds - but then the main course took more like 5 hours and we didn't eat it til after midnight, by which time we'd drunk more Manhattans than is strictly sensible.]

Smscallops0004.jpgThis recipe is an adaptation of one from the Girl and the Fig cookbook.  The Girl and the Fig is a really sweet restaurant in Sonoma where we have eaten a couple of times after spending the day wine tasting in Sonoma Valley.  However, I’d drink a white Burgundy (chardonnay) with this dish.

Beurre blanc can seem a little tricky to make the first time, but it’s worth learning as it goes really well with a range of fish, vegetable and egg dishes.  You can experiment with different flavours in the reduction by using different herbs and fruit juices.  The reduction should also contain vinegar and/or wine.


Culinary Anthropologist