15 March 2011

Teriyaki Chicken with Noodle Rösti

Last week-end Lundulph came to visit and in addition to the surprise Valentine's Day dinner that I'd booked at a nice French Restaurant, I thought we could do with a fancy lunch. I sadly still don't know how to plate food.


My Mum had bought a food magazine on easy recipes and flicking through it, this recipe caught my eye.


6 boned chicken thighs with the skin removed
2 chicken breasts
2 dl teriyaki sauce
2 large cloves of garlic
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp lime juice
400 g dried thin rice noodles
2 l water
1 chopped red chili of desired heat level
1.5 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 dl chopped fresh coriander
1 dl sesame seeds
butter for frying, about 1 dl
2 dl teriyaki sauce for serving

  1. Cut the chicken into similar sized chunks and place in a bowl.

  2. Add the teriyaki sauce, press in the garlic and add the sesame oil and lime juice.

  3. Stir in well, cover and let stand in the fridge for at least 1 h.

  4. When marinating time is nearly up, pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees C.

  5. Bring 2 l of water to the boil, then add the noodles and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes.

  6. Drain most of the water, then add the chili, ginger, coriander and sesame seeds and stir in as well as possible.

  7. Heat up a frying pan on medium, then brown the chicken and place in an oven safe dish and finish cooking in the oven for about 20 minutes.

  8. In the mean time, heat up some butter in the pan, then take out about 1 dl worth of noodles and place in the frying pan in a pile. Then flatten with a spatula and let it go a bit crispy. Turn over and fry on the other side, then take out and place on kitchen paper to remove some of the fat.

  9. Repeat with the remainder of the noodles, adding butter as needed.

  10. Serve immediately.

This turned out to be a very good recipe. My Mum was worried that the spices weren't correctly balanced and tried to persuade me not to put in the full amount of sesame oil. Luckily I didn't listen to her this time, because it was yummy just the way it was.

We had enough for 5 people and there was a little left over, so 6 portions all in all.

The noodle rösti were an even better surprise - I call them rösti because that's what they ended looking like. Fabulously tasty, even my Dad had some, despite declaring from the outstart that he wouldn't eat anything silly like that.

My Sister on the other hand is now a teriyaki sauce convert and has declared to be the new ketchup and favourite dipping sauce.

I struggled with my timings and the chicken was ready well before the noodles and I had to keep it in the oven longer than needed and the breast pieces were a bit on the dry side.

We had a salad with this meal - romaine lettuce, radishes, cucumber and avocado, which worked rather well. Though I think a mixed baby leaf salad would be better.

As for our Valentine's Day dinner, we went to Brasserie Le Rouge. It was pricey, but very good and very nice atmosphere and very suitable for Valentine's Day. We didn't get a chance to celebrate it this year, so this was our opportunity to catch up.

7 March 2011

Cheaty Pizza

Due to my escapade in the world of mazarins the other day, I ended up with an alarming surplus of thawed puff pastry.


Well, I wouldn't have if I had followed my original plan and made a second batch to take to work, but the usual combo of laziness and far too much to do at work and generally not feeling like it, meant that I skipped that second batch.

So, what to do, because despite everything, I cannot bring myself to throw things away. But a nagging hankering for pizza and the newly discovered fact that pressing two sheets of puff pastry together and rolling out thinly results in something thin, yet crispy forced my steps towards the local deli for pizza supplies.

And what I ended up with was so tasty, I had to make it a second time.

2 sheets of puff pastry (~170 g)
250 g ready tomato sauce for pasta
200 g sliced cheese
200 g sliced canned mushrooms
125 g thinly sliced chorizo
15 olives

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C (regular heat, not fan assisted).

  2. Press the sheets of puff pastry together, then roll out on a well floured surface. It should be a couple of mm thick. Let rest for a few minutes, then place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

  3. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the base, taking care to leave about a cm or two around the edge free.

  4. Line the cheese slices on top, followed by the mushrooms and chorizo.

  5. Place the olives on top and place in the middle of the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.


The pasta sauce I used was the Dolmio extra spicy Bolognese, not that there was any discernible difference between it and their regular stuff. And it felt a bit too runny for my liking, better do a proper thick sauce and freeze for emergencies next time. I was worried that the dough would go soggy before I'd finished stacking everything on top and putting it in the oven, so to be on the safe side, I put first tomato sauce and then cheese on one half of the pizza, then started with the cheese and then tomato sauce on top of that on the other half. I couldn't tell any difference - it was crispy straight from the oven and then in wasn't when re-heated.

I also wanted to use pepperoni, like usual, but the deli was limited and had only chorizo, so that's what it had to be and frankly it worked just as well.

The great thing was that the pizza was thin and crispy and impossible to eat with your hands, but it was good for my Dad, since he's not too keen on food that requires strength of teeth and a lot of chewing, meaning regular pizzas have not been an option for years.

The cheese and chorizo were both fairly salty, so if making the sauce, make sure not to put any salt in it.

I think capers would have been nice in there somewhere and possibly some chilli for extra kick.

This pizza definitely worked best fresh out of the oven, but is also edible, albeit a bit soggy, after a good whizz in the microwave. In fact, for the second round I invited my Sister Bip over and she liked the pizza so much, she had seconds and also wanted to take the left-over home. However, I'd already set it aside for my lunch box, so I didn't let her have it.

The second round I also timed - 50 minutes from taking out the ingredients from the fridge to serving it on the table and it was enough for 4 people. So Bip should be able to make one herself, it's dead easy.

1 March 2011


Just before Christmas, my Mum dug out a food magazine - "Allt om mat" - which translates to all about food and I believe is comparable to "Good Food" in the UK. It was the November edition of 1992 and had a lot of Christmas related articles in it.


But that's not what caught my attention. Well, the date did, obviously, but mostly the front page picture of a mazarin and some other similar pieces of pastry.

The article was about the Swedish tradition of kaffebröd (literally: coffee breads) and in particular the mazarin and its cousins.

Now, as you know, Lundulph is very partial to things containing marzipan and the mazarin is actually filled with it. The shell is made of short crust pastry and it's glazed with icing on top. So I thought, he'd like the mazarin cousins as well and flicking through the pages, I decided on what seemed the easiest of them all - kongresser.


This does indeed mean congresses and there was no information as to why they are called this.

It also felt very cheaty to do them - using ready made puff pastry. So here goes, without further ado. This recipe makes 20 - 25. It also requires aluminium foil cup cakes, as they are sturdier and will force the pastry to keep its shape.

340 g puff pastry, thoroughly thawed, but cold
400 g hazelnuts or walnuts
300 g granary sugar
5 medium eggs

  1. Put together two sheets of puff pastry and squeeze together. Then on a floured surface roll out as thinly as possible, about a couple of mm thick.

  2. Let the dough rest a couple of minutes, so it doesn't shrink. Then with a round cutter, cut out as many circles as possible.

  3. Any off-cuts can be piled together and rolled out again.

  4. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C (fan assisted to 175).

  5. Fit the circles in the aluminium cup cakes. Press in if necessary.

  6. Whizz the nuts in a blender for a minute or so, there should be a good mix of coarse and fine pieces.

  7. In a bowl, mix the nuts with the sugar and stir in the eggs.

  8. Distribute the mixture in the cup cakes, filling up as much as possible.

  9. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, until they stop swelling.

The rolled puff pastry doesn't swell up like unrolled one does, but still goes a bit crispy. The filling has a good crunch to it thanks to the nuts, but at the same time it is a bit sticky in the middle.

The original recipe says hazelnuts, but we seem to have an excess of walnuts at the moment, so I used them instead. Plus my Sister Bip can't eat hazelnuts either, so this way she could have some too.

I made this batch last Friday. Today is Tuesday and they still taste rather nice. I can't wait to try out the other mazarin cousins.

(If you search on google images for mazarin, you'll get a lot of portraits of a man in a red dress, this would be Cardinal Mazarin, who apparently was fond of the mazarin cakes and they are named after him).