Monday, May 4, 2009

Catching Up

Even though it was calling to me, I took a break from my computer over the weekend.  Here are some highlights since last Thursday:
  • Kaj kage
  • Danish pastry (I don't remember the Danish name of this particular one)
  • Easy pasta
  • Marinated broccoli
  • Do-it-yourself sushi
  • Carrot cake from 101 Cookbooks
  • Golden Spit Pea Soup from Rachael Ray Magazine
I picked up two treats at my supermarket's bakery:  Kaj kage and a light pastry with jam filling. The Kaj kage had caught my eye so many times before, but I had the urge to finally try it.  It is a basic yellow cupcake with Guf frosting, and a marzipan topping.  Even though the cake was dry and not very tasty, I had fun eating this cupcake.  I mean, just look at the picture.  After you peel the marzipan face off the cupcake, you are greeted with a mound of fluffy strawberry Guf (a Danish ice cream topping that is airy, creamy, and very sweet).  

I expected the second treat to taste sort of like the oatmeal bars filled with jam that you find in the U.S.  But it was much, much lighter and the meringue top was chewy.  

Pasta and Broccoli Salad

I made my friend Andrea's marinated broccoli salad and served it along side penne mixed with crispy prosciutto, toasted, chopped walnuts, olive oil, and a little grated Parmesan.  

Marinated Broccoli

3 bunches fresh broccoli
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. dill (fresh or dried)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Wash broccoli and use flowerets. Mix rest of ingreds.  Marinate in a covered container with tight lid.  Refrigerate 24 hours.  Shake and invert now and then.

Andrea added that she marinates for a much shorter time - anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.  She also drains off all the oil before serving.  My notes:  The only sugar I had in the house was a wrapped cube that I had picked up when I had coffee somewhere.  It worked fine.  I also omitted the dill because I didn't have any in the house.  Finally, I mixed in some chopped red bell pepper.  I marinated for approximately 4 hours, and it turned out to be plenty of time for the juices to soak into the veggies.  I believe that sesame oil would be a great substitute for the vegetable oil (but maybe reduce the quantity a bit since it's a heavier oil), and some toasted sesame seeds could be added.  Andrea said that she never uses olive oil in this recipe because it congeals.  I'd have to test whether sesame oil would do the same thing.

Do-It-Yourself Sushi Rolls

Our Japanese friend Natsuko had us over for Sushi rolls a couple of years ago, and we learned something new about Japanese "fast food."  We expected the kind of sushi found in restaurants and at the grocery store, but she prepared it differently.  On the dining table was a big bowl of sushi rice, a plate of Nori, and all sorts of fillings and condiments.  In addition to a few pieces of fish, she served bacon, sliced meats, various chopped vegetables, egg, soy sauce, mayonnaise, and wasabi.  Then we all started rolling our own - putting rice in the middle and adding in whatever we fancied.  I'm telling you, it was one of the most delicious and fun meals ever.  Ever since that day, we have tried to duplicate our own version.  It's not quite the same, but it's close, and I gathered as many ingredients as I could find in my local supermarket to make... sushi in Denmark.

A New Carrot Cake

The carrot cake from 101 Cookbooks is very different from the typical carrot cake.  The only thing they share is similar ingredients and the moisture factor.  Other than that, it's a much heavier texture and, because bananas and dates are the only sweeteners, it's much less sweet than traditional carrot cake.  I loved it, but I do have a comment regarding the icing, or I guess I should say the icing as applied to the cake.  It's made with cream cheese and maple syrup and is a wonderfully delicious combination.  Here is where it literally got sticky:  I frosted the cooled cake and then realized that I would have to refrigerate it because you typically don't leave something as perishable as cream cheese frosting out over you?  I didn't think so. That's when I stuck it in the fridge and cut off a slice later that day.  As much as I liked this cake cooled from the oven, I did not care for it as much refrigerated.  It was even heavier than before and slightly sticky.  I decided that if I made it again, unless I would be serving the whole thing at once, I would skip the icing (or keep a dish of it in the fridge to add as necessary) and leave it as is, stored on the counter.  

Give me Soup

I cannot adequately describe my love for Golden Split Pea Soup from Rachael Ray.  It is warm and comforting, easy to make, and good for you.  The flavor of the leeks mixed with the split peas is incredibly good.  Since I make this recipe over and over, I thought I would include it in case anyone else wants to try it.  This weekend I made it without the carrots because I had just used the last of my carrots in the carrot cake.  It was just as good without them.

Can't wait for tomorrow -  our weekly box of fruits and veggies will arrive!

No comments:

Post a Comment