Potato and Leek soup

This is a classic French soup which can be served either cold or warm. Ultimate comfort food.

For the potatoes I prefer floury potatoes like King Edward. You can use chicken stock instead of water if you wan’t more depth to the soup.

You will need

  • 6 larges floury potatoes. Peeled, cut into thick slices and put in cold water.
  • Onions. About 4 fresh or 1 big yellow onion. Peeled and sliced.
  • 2 large leeks. Washed and sliced.
  • Butter.
  • Olive oil.
  • Cream or Crème fraîche. About 1 dl.
  • Water.
  • Salt.
  • Black pepper.
  • Scallions or chives. Thinly sliced.

Do like this.

  1. Put half butter and half olive oil in a pot that can hold the soup.
  2. Add the onions and some salt. Stir, cover and let it gently fry until it softens. About 5 minutes.
  3. Add the leeks, stir and continue to fry covered until the leeks and onions are very soft. About 15 minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes and stir. Cover with water. The water should reach a couple of cm above the vegetables. Add some more salt, cover and simmer.
  5.  Let the soup simmer until the potatoes are really soft, about 15 minutes.
  6. Mix the soup until it’s smooth.
  7. Mix in the cream or Crème fraîche. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve the soup topped with scallions/chives, extra black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Oven baked radicchio

Radicchio is a somewhat acquired taste. Here I cut the bitterness with balsamic vinegar, sweet cured ham and young, creamy pecorino.

You will need.

  • 2 heads of radicchio.
  • Olive oil.
  • 4-5 tsp dried thyme.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Balsamic vinegar.
  • Young pecorino. Roughly grated.
  • 4 – 6 slices of cured ham. Serrano or Parma style.
  • Hazelnuts. About 1 dl Roughly cut.

Do like this.

  1. Put away a few of the outer leaves of each radicchio for garnish. Tear them into strips lengthwise.  Cut the rest of each radicchio in half.
  2. Put the halved radicchios in an oven proof dish.
  3. Add some olive oil and make that it is applied everywhere. Season all over with salt, pepper and thyme.
  4. Put the radicchio in a hot oven, about 200 – 225 C, until they have collapsed and the edges is blistered. About 15 minutes.
  5. Serve each half of radicchio topped with hazelnuts, cured ham, the raw radicchio and balsamic vinegar.

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24h Short Ribs Confit

I bought some really good marbled Short Ribs and got the idea to confit them low and slow. Because the temperature was so low, I could use olive oil, fresh herbs and garlic without burning them. The meat turned out really good and the olive oil took a really good flavour, excellent for a salad dressing.

I served the meat together with a salad with onions and tomatoes. First grill roughly cut fresh onions in a dry hot skillet until they are charred. Add the onions (which should have a lot of crunch left) to some vinegar and salt. I used a mix of champagne, sherry and balsamic vinegar. Then grill sherry tomatoes, cut in half, in the dry skillet cut side down. Add them to the onions. Take the garlic and some olive oil from the short rib confit, crush the garlic, add some dijon mustard and add to the salad. Taste for salt and pepper.

You will need.

  • Short ribs. One per person.
  • Olive oil. Enough to cover the short ribs.
  • Chilli flakes. I used some mild Turkish chili flakes. About 1 tsp per rib.
  • A couple of sprigs fresh thyme.
  • A couple of sprigs fresh rosemary.
  • 2-3 garlic cloves. Peeled and roughly cut.
  • Salt. At least 1 to 2 tsp per rib.

Do like this.

  1. Put a liberal amount of salt and chili flakes on the short ribs.
  2. Add the short ribs, thyme, rosemary and garlic to a oven proof dish. Cover with olive oil.
  3. Cover the dish with foil and put in low heat oven, about 50 C.
  4. Let the meat be in the oven for about 24 hours, turning the meat a couple of times.
  5. Pick up the meat, strain the olive oil and pick out the garlic. Use the olive oil and garlic to make the salad.
  6. Serve.

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Pasta with cauliflower

This is inspired by the excellent Babbo cookbook by Mario Batali. Creamy sweet onion and soft fried cauliflower. A bite from the chili that is cut off by savory pecorino.

You will need.

  • 3 to 4 fresh onions. Sliced.
  • A couple of fresh garlic cloves. Sliced
  • One small to medium head of cauliflower. Cut into pieces.
  • Olive oil.
  • 1 tsp chiliflakes or to taste.
  • Chopped fresh mint.
  • 500 g dried pasta. I used penne.
  • About 1 dl grated Pecorino.

Do like this.

  1. Fry the onion and garlic slowly in olive oil seasoned with salt. Raise the temperature when the onion is soft and fry for a few minutes so you get a good colour.
  2. Add the chiliflakes and mint and let it blend for a minute.
  3. Add the cauliflower and fry until it is soft and have a good colour.
  4. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water.
  5. When the pasta is slightly undercooked, add it to the cauliflower. Add a ladle of pasta water. Cook under high heat, constantly stirring, until the sauce is incorporated with the pasta.
  6. Off the heat, stir in the pecorino and some more fresh mint. Serve with more pecorino on the side.

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Jerk Marinated Grilled Chicken

Jerk is one of my favourite summer seasonings. It’s an awesome way to marinate anything from chicken or pork to salmon.

The Jerk is quite easy to make. First you grind the dry spices. Allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and salt. Then you mix them with, spring onion, habanero, fresh thyme, brown sugar, vinegar and olive oil. The amount of habanero determines how spicy it will get. Take into consideration that the jerk will get milder when it’s cooked.

With the grilled chicken I served oven baked sweet potatoes, new potatoes, and carrots. I baked them in a fairly hot oven in olive oil until they were soft and had a good colour. I salted them when they were half done. The last couple of minutes I added a mix of honey, olive oil, lime juice, finely chopped garlic and dried thyme.

I also had a salad with steamed, crunchy green beans with a dressing of lime juice, honey, dijon mustard, finely sliced fresh onion, garlic (crushed to a mash), lime zest, salt and olive oil.

You will need

  • Chicken. Cut into pieces.
  • Jerk.
  • Vinegar.
  • Dijon mustard.
  • Lime juice.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.

Do like this.

  1. Make a marinade with jerk, vinegar, dijon mustard, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Let the chicken pieces marinade for a couple of hours.
  3. Grill the chicken. Baste with the marinade.
  4. While the grilled chicken is resting, boil and reduce the rest of the marinade into a  sauce.
  5. Serve the chicken topped with sauce. Potatoes and green beans on the side.

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Lamb and Pork Ragu with pasta

For lamb I prefer to do a ragu with shredded meat. This time I combined lamb and pork. It turned out really good.

You will need

  • Lamb. Suitable for braising, like shoulder. Cut into pieces. Bone in.
  • Pork. I used neck. Cut into pieces.
  • Onion. Finely chopped.
  • Celery. Finely chopped.
  • Carrots. Finely chopped.
  • Garlic. Finely chopped.
  • Dried thyme.
  • Dried rosemary.
  • Canned tomatoes. Roughly chopped.
  • White wine.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
  • Dried chili, preferable peperoncino.
  • Pecorino romana
  • Pasta. Penne Rigate is a good choice.

Do like this.

  1. Season the pork and lamb with salt and pepper.
  2. Braise the pork and lamb in a dutch oven until they have good colour. Put them aside.
  3. Lower the heat and add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic. Season with salt. Braise util the vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the thyme, rosemary, chili and the meat.
  5. Pour in the wine and let it reduce.
  6. Add the tomatoes and some water if it’s to dry. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Put the pot in a low heat oven (125 C) and let it simmer for a couple of hours until the meat is fork tender.
  8. Pick up the meat from the pot, remove bones and shred it with two forks. Add the meat back to the ragu.
  9. Add ragu to a big sauce pan.
  10. Cook the pasta until it’s slightly undercooked.
  11. Add the pasta and some pasta water to the sauce pan with the ragu.
  12. Cook on a high heat constantly stirring until the the liquid is reduced.
  13. Take the pasta from heat and stir in pecorino off the heat.
  14. Serve with more pecorino on the side.

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Potatoes with Chorizo

Potatoes and Spanish chorizo is a really good combination. I prefer to oven bake mine with sliced onion and finish with green beans.

I wanted a simple sauce also. I made something like a ketchup with Spanish flavours. I oven baked halved cherry tomatoes, white wine, sherry vinegar, sherry, smoked paprika, dried thyme, sliced onion, sliced garlic, honey, little olive oil and a whole dried smoked Serrano chili. I then mixed everything, including the chili.

I also wanted something crunchy. I fried roughly cut almonds, olive oil, honey, smoked paprika and salt.

You will need

  • Potatoes
  • Fresh Spanish chorizo. Sliced.
  • Sliced onion
  • Sliced garlic
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Green beans

Do like this

  1. Put potatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil and salt in a oven proof dish.
  2. Bake the potatoes in a 200C oven until soft and have good colour.
  3. Add the chorizo and cook until they are almost done.
  4. Add the green beans the last couple of minutes.
  5. Serve with the sauce and nuts.

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Pasta with Pesto

Pasta with Pesto is one of my favourite pasta dishes. I like to do mine both with thinly sliced potatoes and crunchy green beans. The potatoes will melt, add texture and help the pesto stick to the pasta.

For the pesto I always make it by hand in a mortar. It’s quick, easy and you get a lovely texture.

You will need

  • Fresh Basil.
  • Pine nuts.
  • Garlic. Not to much.
  • Coarse salt.
  • Grated parmesan.
  • Olive oil.
  • Pasta. I prefer Linguine.
  • French beans.
  • Potatoes. Peeled and cut into thin slices.

Do like this.

  1. Put the basil, pine nuts, garlic and salt in a mortar. Grind until you get a coarse paste.
  2. Add olive oil and parmesan to the pesto.
  3. Boil the pasta and potatoes. A few minutes before the pasta is done, add the green beans.
  4. Add some hot pasta water to the pesto.
  5. Mix the pesto with the pasta and green beans.
  6. Serve.

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Wine marinated pork roast

This is a very tasty way of cooking a whole piece of pork. I prefer pork neck and I cook it until its slightly pink in the middle.

This time I served whole wheat mixed with kale that I cooked a bit like risotto. A base with fresh onion, half a glass of red whine, some sauce from the roast and finished with pre-cooked kale.

The real star though, and one of my favourites, is oven baked cauliflower. Bake cauliflower in olive oil. Finish with finely shopped garlic and lemon juice.

 You will need.

  • A pork roast. I used neck.
  • Red wine.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
  • Fresh thyme.
  • Whole cloves of garlic. Lightly smashed.
  • Olive oil.

Do like this.

  1. Make a marinade with red wine, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic and olive oil.
  2. Marinate the roast a couple of hours.
  3. Put the roast in an oven proof dish together with the marinade.
  4. Put the dish in a 125 C oven until it’s done. About three to four hours.
  5. Serve slices of roast with whole wheat and cauliflower.

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Pea And Lettuce Soup

This is a refreshing light soup. Perfect for the summer.

For the cheese, I think that a fairly fresh cheese works best. I used a young Tuscan Pecorino and that worked beautiful.

You will need

  • Peas.
  • Lettuce. Cut in fine strips. I used sweet gem.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
  • Dried marjoram
  • Olive oil.
  • Butter.
  • Honey.
  • Water
  • Lemon juice.
  • Hard, young cheese. Crumbled.

Do like this

  1. Saute the lettuce and the peas in olive oil and butter until they soften. Season with salt, pepper, honey and marjoram.
  2. Add water and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix the soup and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  4. Serve, topped with the cheese.

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