We were at the Norwegian Aeropress Championship 2015 yesterday. The event was subtitled "Back to the Aeropress - a pun on the movies "Back to the Future" - and took place at Barista School in Oslo. We were rooting for Team Kaya, but in the end Øystein "Kaffelab" Berntsen won the whole shebang. Congratulations to him! The event inspired us to make a modification of the classic cocktail Espresso Martini. Since we don't have an espresso machine we used our aeropress in stead. Here's how you can make it yourself!
6 cl aeropressed coffee
2 cl Tia Maria
2 cl Absolut Vodka
1 cl vanilla infused sugar syrup
4 big ice cubes
Cinnamon for dusting
Back to the Aeropress!
Make a concentrated aeropress brew with 20 g finely grind coffee of high quality, and water to the 2nd mark. Water should be 90 degrees C. Remember to rinse the paper filter first. 1 minute steep time, 10-15 seconds press time. I'm sure the aeropress champion does not approve of this, and by all means feel free to tweak the pressing method to your liking. If you have an espresso machine, and no aeropress, you can just make a double espresso in stead.
Make a vanilla infused sugar syrup by boiling 4 tbsp water with 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp vanilla seeds or vanilla extract.
In your shaker add all the liquids. You can check if the sweetness is how you like it. Then add the ice cubes and start shaking as if you wanted the shaker to be a time traveling device. Hopefully you end up in the present with a rich, foamy Tia Maria Aeropress Martini. Finish it off with some cinnamon dust on top.
Today is "Steak & BJ day" and we're giving all you girls out there the perfect steak recipe for a successful celebration. The BJ you will have to sort out yourself, but check out VICE's 101 guide if you need some "hands-on" tips.
We got our meat from Anni's Pølsemakeri as usual. A premium entrecôte. By now our kitchen closets are filled to the rafters with spices from Il Buongustaio. We decided to make Hasselback potatoes and a ramson mayo to go with it. Simple. Perfect.
400g Premium Entrecôte. Look for that great fat marbling.
8 medium potatoes
100 g Røros butter
100 g cheddar cheese
8-10 champignon mushrooms
1 tbsp whole black pepper
Homemade ramson mayo:
2 egg yolks
3 dl rapeseed or other neutral oil
1 tsp Dijon
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp ramson paste
A squeeze of lemon juice
A knife edge of cayenna pepper
Salt & pepper
The job starts now (and finishes later)
Roast the whole black pepper in a pan until it starts "popping". Gently crush with a mortar and pestle. Make sure not to grind it too fine. Sift the pepper so you separate the larger pieces from the fine powder. You can use the powder for the mayo and the crushed pepper corns for the steak and potatoes. Dry the meat with a paper towel and line the steaks up on a cutting board. Rub with oil, then salt and pepper. Leave in room temperature while you ready the potatoes.
Hasselback potatoes is a special kind of oven roasted potatoe that originates from Sweden. Don't peel them, except for one straight cut underneath each potato that will help them stand. Now, cut thin slices all across the potatoes, making sure to leave about 1 cm which you don't cut through. Use a wooden kitchen spoon as a helper. Place them in an oven safe form. Melt the butter and brush the potatoes. Pop in the oven on 180 degrees C for about 20 minutes, then activate the hot air fan and increase the temperature to 230 degrees C for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are getting golden brown. However, you should reapply more butter every 10 minutes or so. When they are don take them out and sprinkle with Maldon salt and roasted pepper. Then grate cheddar all over, making sure to get in all the cracks. Finally activate the grill program in your oven and give them a final shock at 230 degrees C so they really get that crispy crust while the inside stays mushy. Pay attention so the potatoes or cheese doesn't burn.
While the potatoes are working their magic in the oven you prepare the steak. These are some steak cooking tricks that any good girlfriend/wife should know. Just as every gentleman should too. A mix of oil and clarified butter in the pan is ideal. Medium high temperature. Place the steaks in the pan. 2 minutes each side max. Never press or pinch the steaks, but you can move them around the pan to distribute the heat. You are looking to get a caramelized crust on each side. The wonders of the Maillard reaction!
Wrap in aluminum foil. Leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Then unwrap and pop in the oven on 180 degrees C for 4-8 minutes. The time in the oven completely depends on the thickness of the steaks. We had one steak that was 1,5 cm which got 4 minutes, the other piece was closer to 2,5 cm and we left it 6 minutes. This is if you want a medium rare steak. (Which you do!) If you only have one oven like us, try to time this to when the potatoes are still cooking at the same temperature. Meat goes out again and back in the aluminum foil. Let it rest at least 15 minutes this time, or until everything else is ready. Wrap in an additional kitchen towel if you need to keep it longer. If the garnish takes too long to finish you can pop the meat in together with the potatoes on 230 degrees C grill program for a final minute just before serving.
In the same fatty pan that you cooked the steaks at first, you now fry the thinly sliced mushrooms. While they soak up all the goodies and become ready you whip up a ramson mayo. Doing this by hand makes you feel like a real chef, and works out your lower arm which could come in handy later.
Making mayo by hand is all about good equipment and understanding how emulsion works. Wet a towel and place on the kitchen counter. Steady your best mayo mixing bowl on top. The wet towel will help to hold it still. The main equipment you want to invest in is a heavy whisk. Heavy tool means less work for your arm. Crack two eggs and remove the whites. Save for an omelette later if you don't like to waste food. The yolks goes in the bowl together with a tsp of Dijon. Start whisking until the mixture is a foamy cream. If you do this you almost cannot break the emulsion. Add a few drops of oil and keep whisking. As you see the mixture suck it up and thicken you can keep adding more oil. Flavor with vinegar, lemon, cayenna pepper, salt, pepper and the ramson paste. Taste to perfection.
Congrats! You are ready to celebrate steak & BJ day.
Bugs Bunny was screaming to us from the meat counter at Anni's Pølsemakeri in Mathallen. "What's Cookin' Doc!? This ain't wabbit huntin' season." And so it was that we ended up with a rabbit in our bag. Then, as we walked outside of Mathallen we discovered a brand new spice shop that had opened; Il Buongustaio. The wonderfully enthusiastic Janni made us a special spice blend perfect for the small jumping creature.
Feeds about 4 people after a long day of hunting
One rabbit (preferably shot during wabbit hunting season)
2 liters of buttermilk (you can use Kulturmelk or Kefir in Norway)
A spice mix consisting of at least some sage, thyme and juniper berries
1 large yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
6 small potatoes
1 glass of red wine
2 cans of good tomatoes
A small jar of extra virgin olive oil
Half a lemon
Salt & pepper
The preparations start the day before, when you soak the rabbit in two liters of buttermilk and let it marinate over night. The next day you wash it off and dry it with a paper towel.
What's Cookin' Doc?
Don't worry, the rabbit was already dead. It felt no pain We had to split up the carcass in smaller pieces, though. Cut out the legs. Separate the filets from the back. The filets are too tender and juicy to waste in a stew where they will get dry. We fried them in butter on the pan with just salt and pepper and whipped up a spicy aioli to dip in. Great food to nibble on while you wait for your rabbit stew to get ready. A stew takes many hours to cook, and usually it's even better the next day.
Give the rest of the meat, including the meatless bones, a good rub with some extra virgin olive oil and the spice mix. Leave it on the kitchen counter to allow the flavors to settle while you prepare the rest.
Peel the carrots. Roughly chop them together with unpeeled potatoes. Cut the onion and garlic in relatively rough pieces as well. It's all going to slow cook, so you don't want too small pieces as they will just make a mash.
In a big cast iron pot or similar, add some oil and fry the rabbit meat on medium high temperature. Make sure all sides gets a good caramelized crust, including the backbones. They will cook in the stew as well to give flavor. Remove the meat from the pot and wrap it in aluminum foil. Do not clean the pot, but add more oil and fry the onions and garlic on medium low heat. As they are starting to get transparent, add the carrots and give them a good fry as well. Finally the potatoes. Let the vegetable caramelize slightly before you add one glass of red wine. Once the wine is reduced to about half, add the two cans of tomatoes. The meat goes back in the pot. A squeeze of lemon, some salt and pepper and reduce the heat to a simmer. Lid on. Give it a good 3-4 hours.
Once the stew is done cooking you can remove the meatless bones. You might be able to scrape off some meat from these pieces as well, as it will all be very tender and soft by now. The rest of the meat you can either clear off the bones, or serve very rustic with a big piece of meat per person.
Sprinkle some freshly cut thyme over and serve!
That's all folks!
We were invited to the launch party of the Michelin Guide Nordic Cities 2015 by our good friend André Blomberg-Nygård. This is the first year Nordic cities get their own guide, as previosuly all the Nordic capitols in addition to Gothenburg have just been included in the Main Cities of Europe Guide. Expectations were... somewhat high, but a lot of food writers also had low expectations as the Michelin Guide has not prioritized the Nordics much so far.
The event took place at Fotografiska in Stockholm the 26th of February. The first hour was dedicated to mingling, bubbles and appetizers. Not many Norwegian chefs were present, but Espen from Maaemo was there and so was Bent from Statholdergaarden. In addition our friend Arve represented Noma, and he is Norwegian at least! If you aren't already following him on Instagram you should.
It was suspected that at least one restaurant would have to get a third star, as a guide without a three-star restaurant seemed kind of odd. There were also bets that restaurants at some odd locations like Fäviken Magasinet in Sweden and Henne Kirkeby Kro in Denmark would be featured. In Norway we hoped that cities like Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Trondheim would be added, with Måltid in Kristiansand as maybe the most anticipated star candidate.
However, the Michelin guide does not appear to care much about expectations. Maybe that is why they never awarded Noma, which is generally considered the best restaurant in the world, a third star before. Neither did they this year. In fact, no restaurants got a third star. The only new cities to be added was Malmö in Sweden, and Aarhus in Denmark. The restaurant we just visited a few weeks back, Restaurant Fredrikshøj, did actually get it's much awaited star, though! Oslo, sadly, lost a star since Bagatelle closed, and their sister restaurant even lost the Bib Gourmand title. Helsinki had no changes in their status either. One could wonder if the Michelin inspectors even visited.
Even Michael Ellis, the Michelin Guide international director, seemed embarrassed about their inadequate overview of what happens in the restaurant scene in Oslo and Helsinki. We suspect that the Michelin Guide simply does not have the means to cover the Nordic properly. Which is a pity, and to be honest they should never have launched a guide for the Nordic when it barely differs from the entries in the Main Cities of Europe anyway. We think the White Guide, which actually covers the entire Nordic in their latest edition, is a much better guide at the moment.
The full list of Stars and Bib Gourmands in the Nordic Cities Guide 2015.
Two stars: Maaemo
One star: Statholdergaarden, Ylajali & Fauna
Bib Gourmand: Restaurant Eik and Oro Bar & Grill
Two stars: Frantzén, Mathias Dahlgren-Matsalen & Oaxen Krog (NEW)
One star: Ekstedt, Esperanto, Gastrologik, Mathias Dahlgren-Matbaren, Operakällaren & Volt (NEW)
Bib Gourmand: Brasserie Bobonne, Den Gyldene Freden, EAT, Oaxen Slip, Proviant, Rolfs Kök, Ulla Winbladh & Lilla Ego (NEW)
One star: Thörnströms Kök, 28+, Sjömagasinet, Bhoga, Koka (NEW) and SK Mat & Människor (NEW)
Bib Gourmand: Familjen
One star: Ambiance à Vindåkra (NEW), Bloom in the Park (NEW) & Vollmers (NEW)
Bib Gourmand: Bastard (NEW) & Sture (NEW)
Two stars: Noma, Geranium & a|o|c (NEW)
One star: Clou, Den Røde Cottage, Era Ora, formel B, Grønbech and Churchill, Kadeau, Kiin Kiin, Kokkeriet, Marchal, Relæ, Søllerød Kro & Studio at the Standard
Bib Gourmand: L’Altro, Bror, Enomania, Famo, Frederiks Have, Kødbyens Fiskebar, Marv & Ben, Mêlée, Pluto & Rebel
One star: Frederikshøj (NEW), Gastromé (NEW) & Substans (NEW)
Bib Gourmand: Hærværk (NEW) & Pondus (NEW)
One star: Ask, Chef & Sommelier, Demo, Luomo & Olo
Bib Gourmand: Boulevard Social, Emo, Farang, Gaijin & Pure Bistro
It sounds like witchcraft, but it is actually possible to make Italian meringue without sugar. We love meringue a lot, but sometimes it's nice to make more healthy desserts. This was made during our paleo month of January.
2 egg whites
2,5 dl (1 cup) raw honey
1/4 tsp of salt
Busy bee get buzzin'!
Use a kitchen mixer and on high speed whisk the egg whites and salt until it reaches soft peaks. Stop before it gets airy and dry.
Boil the honey until it reaches 110 degrees C. Honey seems to reach the "hard ball" stage at a lower temperature than sugar. Remove the pot from the heat and start the mixer on medium/low speed and slowly pour the honey in, making sure the stream doesn't hit the whisk.
Let it mix until it cools and the consistency is like a regular Italian meringue. Normally that takes 10 minutes, but for honey it took longer for us. Keep mixing, and do not lose faith!
We served it on a lemon meringue pie. Full recipe for that will be posted later.
SALMA is one of the easiest ingredients to work with, and perfect for those evenings when you don't feel like cooking forever. That doesn't mean it can't look amazing! By combining orange SALMA with green avocado and yellow mango you get a visually appealing as well as tasty dish. All it needs is a classic ponzu sauce and you are ready to dine. If you can get the Thai or Pakistani mango you will get an even sweeter and better flavor to this meal.
400 g SALMA
1 mango (preferably Thai or Pakistani)
Fresh coriander and/or spring onions
For the ponzu sauce:
1 dl soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp acacia honey
1 lime, squeezed
1 red chili, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
a small piece of ginger, chopped
fresh coriander, chopped
Slice the salmon, avocado and mango in as equal slices as possible. Roughly 5 mm thick. Line them up in a circle. Chop some fresh coriander and/or spring onions and sprinkle over along with some sesame seeds.
For the ponzu sauce mix all ingredients except for coriander and sesame seeds. Use a stab mixer to make it a finer sauce. Strain to remove the larger pieces and the foam, or just keep all the goodies in there. Decorate with fresh coriander and sesame seeds.
Impress your friends!
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...