This one is not a regular recipe just an idea, how you do it is up to you. It is an amazing way to spice up a very mundane dish that normally helps us start the day, OATMEAL. This will be vibrant. Use grated purple carrots in your favourite oatmeal recipe, with some carrot cake spice mix (cardamom, vanilla and cinnamon) and you will have something astonishing.
A while back, while still eating cheese, eggs and those things, I found a recipe of a corn, cheese and beer soup. Sounding like a real oddity from Wisconsin I had to try it. Some things just work together, like chocolate in a chili but this one, damn it was awful. Its very rare that I have to throw something away, but now it went right to the compost. Thrown away and never to be remembered. End of story.
How wrong I was. Since I harvested all those hops in the late summer I have thought to make some use to them. And hops, being the main flavor of beer with that bitterness the ideas started to sprout: how about using them instead of the actual beer? The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Corn being very sweet, it needs something to balance that sweetness with, so it becomes something different and more complex. I decided to try this on, omit the cheese, and make a corn and hops soup. This was better, much better. Sweet, salt and a bit bitter, yum.
But please do one thing. Skip the hop as decoration. Trying to be cleaver and taking a good photo I sprinkled a hop over the soup. Indeed, it does look good right? Yellow, purple, green and those small leaves. But the taste gets to intense, just skip them, go for the green and purple only.
- 400 g corn kernels, fresh, canned of frozen
- 2 medium white potatoes, cut into dices
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 cups water
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 4-7 hops (bitterness varies)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 medium purple potatoes, cut into really small dices
- Some thyme
- Oil, salt and pepper
- Heat the oil, add the onion and garlic, heat gently for 15 min, till soft and golden.
- Add the potatoes and fry for another 5 min.
- Pour the water over the fried veggies, and get the boiling started. Add the hops, one by one, just to make sure the bitterness doesn't get to strong. You should just notice it, not more. Trust your taste buds.
- Add the salt, pepper and vinegar. Use a hand blender to make it smooth. I used a regular blender with a glass jar once, that was a bad idea.
- To make the garnish, heat a frying pan, add the oil, and the potatoes. Fry/sauté until soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
- Serve the soup while warm, garnish with the potatoes and some parsley.
Last weekend some people told me that this monday (the one that just passed) was Canadian thanksgiving. Well, we don’t celebrate it here in Sweden but I really enjoy some harvest food. And since I have been living in Canada it feel quite natural go for some thanksgiving hearty food. This one is for my Canadian heart.
Also I have been talking a lot about mushrooms but with out actually making anything from them. Besides those taste testings. I went for a run yesterday, and since runnings isn’t always the most motivating thing to get down to I have made it into a bit of a treasure hunt. I always bring a bag, and go for a route where I know there might be some goodness to bring home. Yesterday I ran through a big meadow with old viking settlements. You see the remains of all that activity that went on there long long ago. AND those grounds are great for some of those shroooms. Found some button mushrooms but they are quite scary, gotta be careful not to mix them with the european destroying angel that can be deadly, they are pretty similar. But for this recipe I’m going to use the parasol mushrooms I found. Huge ones, the Swedish name would translate into something like “proud grilled mushroom” and they truly look very proud.
I guess this dish comes down to using pretty much everything the autumn has, and most of the things come from my own garden, besides the purple potatoes, and another things that I’m a bit ashamed of admitting: vegan cheese. I have always been against those substitute products, but last weekend I got insane cravings for the first time. Might have something to do with a little to much wine. Anyway found this cheese that wasn’t THAT awful in ingredients and based on coconut oil. I could at least count the additives on my hands (still terrible I know). Tasted fantastic and even melted. Well I decided to include some in the risotto, but you can just emit if, or substitute with some nutritional yeast instead.
Let’s make a mushroom plate with pumpkin risotto and some purple baked potato chips.
- 2 cups rice, I went for a blend of brown, read and wild rice, looks beautiful.
- 1 red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp oil of choice
- 5-6 cups stock
- 0.5 cup white wine
- ⅓ cup toasted walnuts
- 2 cups winter squash
- 1 bunch of dinosaur kale
- 2 tbsp sage
- Some vegan cheese, or nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper
- Soak the rice for 12 hours.
- Mince the onion and garlic. Heat the oil on medium and fry until soft and a bit brown, about 15 min.
- Heat the stock on a different burner, it doesn't have to be boiling, just warm.
- Add the rice to the pot with onion. While stirring, add enough stock to cover the rice. Continue to add stock when it boils of. It will take about 45-60 min for the rice to get soft. Stirring will help the rice get more sticky.
- Halfway through the rice cooking, add some oil to a frying pan and lightly fry the pumpkins (half-inch sized cubes) until soft and with a nice browned surface.
- When the rice is almost ready, add the wine to it with the dinosaur kale. Allow the moisture to boil off.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, walnuts, cheese, sage, salt and pepper, and finally the pumpkin.
- 4 parasol mushrooms, or portabello since parasols might be really hard to find.
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbps tomato paste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Mix the tamari, tomato paste, olive oil and pepper.
- Cover the mushroom caps with marinade and let it sit for 30 min.
- Heat a frying pan to medium, add some oil, and gently fry the caps whole
- 5 medium purple potatoes like Blue Congo. I used one called Violetta. Go for white ones if you can't find.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sea salt
- Heat the oven to 170C or 340F
- Thinly slice them, evenly, like ⅛ of an inch or even thinner.
- Place them on a baking plate with a parchment paper. Add the oil and salt. Mix.
- Then arrange them on the plate so that they don't sit on top of each other.
- Bake for 10-20 min, until crisp. Check them regularly, once they start to get crisp everything will burn in a sec.
Add the mushroom to the plate, add the risotto on to, and finish of with some potato chips. I went for some pickled green tomatoes too. Something sour will be great to this one.
Hope you like those autumn flavors.
Sure you can feel pretty damp this time of the year. Waking up frozen cause the heater doesn’t realise quick enough that the temp has dropped heavily during night. And when you get dropped of by the main road with the realisation that it’s dark outside and you didn’t bring a flashlight, there are no street lights what so ever here. Or you hear a college dropping the line, “well its just going to be darker so quick now, no light after work, just dark dark dark“, then you really don’t have any enthusiasm left.
But I love it. Totally, it can be harsh but when you wake up and everything is covered in a big mist but how beautiful isn’t it? Or when the apples start to fall from the trees. On top of it all, harvest season. Purple corn, pumpkins, oyster plant (ever tried it? my friend brought some yesterday, like a very mild parsnip), yeah everything is riper then ever and the fridge is full till the rim. And in the afternoon the sun goes lover and creates insane shadow and light plays. Here you have some photos, photos, photos!
Just got a bag of hops from my neighbor. They are fresh and the smell and fumes almost made me dizzy. Also pretty nice that they are of a local variety from Sörmland where iIgrew up. I know that you normally would use them for that bitter taste in beer and its preservative effects. BUT since I know absolutely nothing about beer brewing, that is not going to happen (one day maybe).
One thing they are used in though is Swedish Christmas Must, Julmust, or are my English cousins say, Christmas coke. It’s a bottled soda, looking like coke with a bitter aftertaste. Only drunken at Christmas. If you haven’t tried any, I believe they stock it up at the ikea food store. You gotta try it! Last year I thought about making it myself, turned out OK, had to little hops on my hands and it didn’t get bitter enough, the sweetness just took over. It’s quite a complex mix with farm mulling spices and berries, hops and caramelized sugar so I guess I will make some more experimentation this year with them as well. I’m going for another round this year. Meanwhile I will keep those small babies in the freezer. Pretty fabulous to have them fresh. Love!