Wednesday, January 13, 2016

purple passion fruit pavlovas

It was December when I saw it for the first time. They were 'pushing' each other in blue cardboard box, covered with plastic foil. Although the box was deep it was fully packed with these little purple creatures and some of them were able to 'swim to the surface' and attract a curious buyer. By then I only saw it in cookbooks, and on internet. I was surprised and excited at the same time.
'I know you. You are suppose to be acidic. But this is the first time we meet in live and I am not sure if you should look like this.'
I once again reached for the label where it was printed in capitals PASSION FRUIT.
I took only six. They were so light, these six purple fruits weighted something under two hundred grams. And when I got home I only observed them for some time. Day after, I cut one in half and  sour-sweet pulp vibrant in color attacked me. Since that very moment I've been infected with exotic passion, tender passion barely controllable.

Purple Passion Fruit Pavlovas
for 10-12 mini pavlovas
3 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of salt
175g white sugar
1tsp starch (cornflour), sifted
1tsp lemon juice

250ml double cream ; 6 purple passion fruits

Preheat the oven to 140ºC. Whisk the egg whites with the salt until firm peaks are formed. Add sugar in additions, slowly, and continue beating until you've got a bowl of snowy meringue. Sift in starch (cornflour) and add lemon juice. Gently and patiently fold until everything is mixed in.
Draw 10-12 circles of approximately 8cm on baking paper. 
Spoon the meringue, 2 tablespoons, onto the baking paper into the each circle smoothing the sides and the top using back of the spoon or spatula.
Place them into the oven, turn the temperature down to 110ºC and bake for about one hour. Turn the oven off and leave them in to cool.
Once they are ready for assembling, whisk the cream and dollop it on top of the each meringue. Smooth the cream with the back of the spoon and place passion fruit pulp on top.
Play Martin Denny Exotica on repeat for unique and exiting pleasure!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

hearty winter pasta

I woke up that morning and wanted so badly to continue the dream I had. I kept my eyes closed. And for few more minutes I was able to keep some memory of it. Then, as you might guess, I needed to go to bathroom and when I got back to bed I closed my eyes even harder. Nothing happened, I was not able to recall it. Sometimes I am not even able to remember the things from a daily routine but I was curious what happened to that rabbit..
I stayed in bed for a bit longer, stretching and thinking what I might cook for that day and enjoyed the feeling of a pleasant dream that by far fade away completely. I've focused my thoughts to crowd pleasing. I didn’t have many ideas of what to cook that very day. I was a bit lazy for going to the market. It was pretty cold which is no surprise for January but a fine excuse for me not to leave the house and stay by the blurred window observing people rushing in different directions.
Around noon I somehow knew it would be one pot dish and thought that in that case I should have all ingredients I might need.
Before I started to cook I actually listed things I would put in a pot, and before I made a list I checked ingredients in a fridge and in a pantry. Carrots, onions, tomato juice, fresh dates, dried apricots, candied orange peel, sausages from the freezer, bay leaves, aromatized wine – Vinglogg.  
I ended with two pots but only one had some aromatics going on and it was the aromatics worth of having a recipe. 

Hearty Winter Pasta
serves 4-6 
2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 carrots (about 285g when peeled)
2 medium onions
2 fresh medjool dates, pitted
2 dried apricots (only two were left)
1tsp candied orange peel 
400g pork sausages (I used homemade sausages, basically minced pork meat seasoned with salt and sweet paprika and slightly smoked before frozen)
2 bay leaves
2 cups tomato juice (I used homemade tomato juice which includes only a bit of salt and sugar plus homegrown tomatoes)
1,5 cups sweet aromatized wine (I used IKEA Vinglogg)
2 cups of water
pinch of coarse sea salt
grated Parmesan

Chop onions and carrots and place them in a pot where you already warmed the oil. Let the vegetables soften for just few minutes and add bay leaves and chopped sausages. Stir for about 10 minutes on medium heat, later on add sliced apricots, pitted dates and orange peel and stir for minute or two before adding wine. After you add the wine let cook uncovered for about 15 minutes. Add tomato juice and water and once it boils let cook for about one hour (covered) on a law heat. Check the seasoning and add salt if needed.
Serve with flat pasta or gnocchi and add grated Parmesan on top of each portion.  

With this dish life really gets a little bit sweeter. And it wasn’t just a dream, it was a meal that made me happy that day.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

open-faced sandwich

Open-faced rye sandwich is Danish 'tradition'. Here, where I live, we use to eat them on birthday parties. Essential dish for hungry children. Inevitable white bread, boiled eggs, pickles, mayo and cheese, grated cheese, lot of grated cheese sometimes mixed with grated eggs. Pile of sandwiches, usually made with same ingredients tasted differently in each house. They would be patiently lined on the table while waiting quietly for your hand to grab them.
Calmly, I observe that today they are a bit forgotten. They disappear from the face of the earth.
Uncovered, honest, sincere, simple and satisfying dish of the day – open-faced sandwich.

Open-Faced Sandwich for Tuesday Afternoon
slice of baguette 
goat cheese, cut into slices
sun dried tomatoes in olive oil and herbs
drained capers, caperberries

Arrange cheese slices in a single layer over baguette slice. Top with tomatoes and capers and drizzle with olive oil. Serve.