Chilepepper and spice

Hot food can be really cool.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Taco time!

This Saturday Matli didn't feel like cooking something advanced, and I (as always) didn't feel like cooking at all. But I could go to the store and buy whatever we could need, so all we had to do was to come up with a good idea... and so I thought of tacos! That's probably the first mexican food we made, many years ago, and to be honest - there's not much mexican over tacos the swedish way. Whatever. Tacos in Sweden are popular and they look pretty much like something you could get at Taco Bell or Del Taco (our favourite fast food chain) . It's almost always something you build at the table at your own choice of minced meat, lettuce, diced tomato, diced cucumber, diced onions, pickled jalapeños, some red salsa and some white sauce (sour cream or something similar) and finally grated cheese and almost obvious - taco shells. In some families I've seen corn and olives also, and sometime we have olives, but not always. I don't like corn, so we never have that for tacos. We usually have mayo also, but I haven't seen that anywhere else. And we always add garlic to our white sauce.

Tacos are always great, messy and absolutely unhealthy. Well, all the reds and greens are fine, but as I said, we even add mayo to ours... Lucky for us we don't eat tacos so often anymore, so when we do we can have all the extras that we like. Yum!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Little Bangkok, Linköping, Sweden

Little Bangkok in Linköping Sweden is a great place for thai food, but they don't have a web site or the menu online, as far as I know. What I do know is that people searching for them have ended up in this blog! Greetings, Linköping! Anyway, I have scanned the menu and here it is. I wish it was this easy with the lunch menu also, but no, have to take a chance there but everything tastes great so it's not really a problem. Just enjoy!

Vegetable, map and opening hours
Appetizers, beef
Noodles, seafood, wild things

A little disappointment...

By now we have very high expectations on the Rafi curries since they've all been absolutely delicious so far. I guess that's why this friday dinner was a bit of a disappointment.

This curry called Moghlai Masala cooked the day before smelled yummy, but it said that cream should be added when served, and so we did. We also added almonds (should have been nuts, but we didn't have any) and saffron. Maybe this kind of curry is just not our favourite, but it just tasted boring. It wasn't supposed to be hot, but we expected it to at least have a lot of mild spices in it. It really didn't. Maybe we added to much cream, but without the cream it would have been very dry and very much just chicken. We won't be ordering this one again. Though, the leftovers will make a perfect mid-week dinner I'm sure, but as a rewarding Friday dinner after a busy week at work it just didn't do it for us.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Some lunch shopping

Today at my lunch break I took a little shopping tour to take care of some things I needed. Now I realize that I forgot half of them, but at least I got the most important ones done. Anyway, I ended it by walking into a book sale at Åhlens. I should really NOT spend money right now, but there were so many wonderful books about wine and food. I can't make it without buying something! So, I bought a very thick book about wine. Looks pretty much like something for a beginner, but I needed to buy it anyway. There were great pictures and... well, I guess you understand. Have to have it. And so I bought it. Sadly I can't find it online, but it's called "Vin" and I think it's called "Wine" in other countries, and "Le Vin" in some other, other countries. It's written buy an André Dominé, and it's about 3 inches thick. I payed 169 SEK (~$21).

My other bargain is a book about choclate. I love choclate and this book was almost too much. Now I can't concentrate at my work at all. This book is called "Chokladpassion" and is written by a Swede, Jan Hedh. So I don't know if it could be found in other countries than Sweden. Anyway, I found a link about this book and there you'll find some pictures from it. I have to make something from it this weekend. I really must...

I payed 179 SEK for this (~$22) but I actually payed too much. The sales price was only 139 SEK (~$17) but the cashier must have made a mistake. Though, it's no great loss. I joined the club and today was some kind of club day so you got a 50 SEK check for every 300 SEK you payed. And if I would have payed the lower price I would have gotten one check less, and the 50 SEK check was for more than the 40 SEK I lost on the mistake. So, I don't care about all that mess!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bombay Potato and Do Piyaza Pork

This is our first Rafi dinner from the lot we got last week. The Bombay Potato wasn't like the one we had earlier when we read the instructions, so we didn't follow them entirely. We did it like last time, a bit more dry with no tomatoes added. The Do Piyaza isn't very hot, but has a lot of interesting indian spices in it.

This.... was..... GREAT! So lovely. Have to stop now, or else I'll start to drool.

Definitly a favourite.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Curry packs from Rafi's!

Late Monday night we finally got to it and placed an order for curry packs from Rafi's. We had asked our friends to join us and share the expenses. Altogether we ordered 14 curry packs!

On Tuesday afternoon I got an e-mail from Rafi telling me that she had decreased the total number of packs with one, since the shipping would have been the double for the weight of 14 curry packs. Fine! One less is no big deal. And yesterday the packet had arrived in our mailbox when we got home from work!

Our part of the order was 8 packs.

1x Balti
1x Vindaloo extra hot
1x Do piyaza
1x Moghlai
1x Dhansak
1x Xacutti
2x Bombay Aloo

Now we've put everything in the freezer except for one Bombay Aloo that we'll make gorgeous Bombay Potato from and the Do piyaza (Twice as much onion) pack that we'll make this weekend. Ah, we can hardly wait! A pity we didn't have the rest of the ingredients at home yesterday, so we could have tasted it tonight...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The last of phaal

This is a picture of Phaal. We had the last portions from the freezer last week, and now we're totally out of Rafi's curries. It's really time to make an order. The big question is which curry packs we'll choose...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hot Sauces

First row from the left:
Dave's Insanity Sauce, Dave's Roasted Garlic Sauce, Tiger Sauce (is this really a hot sauce? Really?), Tabasco Chipotle, Tabasco Habanero, Cholula Hot Sauce, Blair's Sudden Death Sauce, Blair's Possible Side Effects Sauce, Jump Up and Kiss Me Sauce, Jamaican Hell Fire Sauce
Back row from the left:
Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce, Lucullus Sweet Chili Sauce, Heinz Chili Sauce, Unknown Sriracha Sauce

There is something special about hot sauces. Normally the ones we use the most in all kind of ways are the fairly mild chile sauces, like Heinz or the Sriracha sauce from Huy Fong or the Sweet Chili Sauce that is great with almost everything, especially everything woked. But still we tend to buy other hot sauces when we get the chance. Really hot sauces. Amazingly hot sauces. These are the sauces I found in our kitchen... A favourite is the Jump up and kiss me-sauce. Great with omelette! Try it!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Slow Food Fast

In Linköping there is a place called Matkällaren ("the food cellar") with the device "slow food fast". It's a takeaway for lunches, gourmet dinners and delicatessen. This Friday we thought we should buy some food there, for no special reason at all. We have only tried it once before when we had an anniversery. It was great then, and it was great now.

This time I started with the main course. Some meat and some potato. They had fillet of lamb and fillet of beef. We had beef the last time, so I went for the lamb. To this I picked out a potato cake with blue cheese and spinach and a red wine sauce. Then I picked out some small rolls of chorizo and some red meat (I have forgotten the name) for a starter. And as a dessert I had to take the pyramid of choclate mousse with crushed nougat. I just couldn't resist it.

For this food I payed a total of SEK 275 (US$ 35). What I had to do at home was to put the lamb and the potato in the oven. The lamb for 8 minutes and the potato for 15 minutes. And of course to put everything on platters, and for the starter I added some decorational stuff to make it look less dull. We had a bottle of Faustino I with this. It was a perfect choice.

The food was great, and we fell in love with the dessert. We would have been happy if we had been served this food at a star restaurant. The quality is so high and the price is less than one portion would have cost if eating out. The concept is great and we'll be buing food there again.

Though, it was no chile or any spices in this except for garlic and some sweet chili sauce for decoration, but hey, you can't eat hot every day.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Lovely Red Savina Salmon

We had been taking a bit lately about a favourite dish of ours containing lots and lots of Habañero Red Savina, but still, surprisingly enough, not so very hot. Well, if we say something is not so very hot you should probably think of the fact that we are a bit crazy. But anyway, with the amount of Red Savina ("the world's hottest chile" according to the commonly used Scoville scale) it should turn out really burning and impossible to enjoy, but it's the opposite in this case. It has the burning taste, but also lovely lime taste. When we got a question recently about Habañero dishes, we decided that it was time to make this salmon once again.

We had a bottle of Chablis Premier Cru Côte de Jouan from Jean-Marc Brocard, and this was a good choice! Not only is this a wonderful wine, but it could also stand up against the food and not be beaten by the capsicum of the chile. That's cool.

Another great thing about this dish is that we serve it with our favourite pasta, Risoni. If you haven't tried Risoni, do! It's not even like other pasta, because it's a bit slimy and... well that didn't sount to good, did it? Just try it. It's hard to describe.

And here is Matli with the recipe:

OK. This dish is quite simple. You start by marinating some salmon filets. Then you prepare a habanero-lime butter which you serve together with the grilled or fried salmon and the pasta (or whatever you like).

For the marinade you will need (for two servings):

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp tequila
1/2 tbsp grated lime zest
1 medium habañero pepper, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

Stir together these ingredients in a small bowl. Marinate two salmon steaks or filets for 2-4 hours, turning frequently. You may want to reserve some marinade to use as a basting sauce.

For the habañero-lime butter you will need the following:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1-2 medium habañero peppers, finely chopped
2 tsp grated lime zest

Mix together, cover and refrigerate.

Prepare two servings of risoni (or other pasta, or potatoes, or rice or whatever you like) as directed. You may add a dash of turmeric and some of the marinade to the cooking water for the risoni if you want a less dull appearance of the dish.

Lightly oil a grate for the grill or your favorite frying pan. Cook the salmon for 5 to 8 minutes per side (you shouldn't make it as black as I did this time). Serve with the risoni and butter.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Special spice cake

Today I had to bring some kind om cake to work, for a project meeting. It was my turn, and I wanted to do something special, as always. I did a choclate-jalapeño-kahlua cake, made of fine choclate, but... it didn't turn out very special or spicy. It tasted good, but ho heat whatsoever. I should have put more spice in it, but I didn't want to overdo it since I don't know how much my co-workers can take. Probably not so much. I would have given you the recipe if I would have thought it was worth it. Just add some chile and some kahlua to your favourite choclate cake instead. I bet it'll turn out at least as good as this one.

Anyway, I also gave the cake a little decoration. Some years ago some bloke served a cheesecake spiced up with some drug (marijuana?) at his last day of work. Everyone that ate of it went crazy, ill or just tired, and it was big news in national press. Since then we've been joking about "special spices" almost everytime someone brings something home baked to work, or at least if it looks a bit strange.

Since my cake had some special spice in it (though capsicum is legal!) I gave it a little decorational hint...

(Sorry about the lousy picture. I did the decoration at work and the only camera I had was the one in my cell phone)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A little harvest

The lice had taken over the only chile plant, a small jalapeño plant, that I had put in the kitchen. It was either a lot of toxic or to let it go. I choose the latter not to risk any of my other non chile plants. But still, now I have to keep an eye on the orchids, my hoya and my minature orange tree. I dont want them to be infected.

Though I had to harvest (and kill the plant :-( ) earlier than I would have wanted I got a good harvest, but mostly green. Jalapeño is great green AND it's also great red! It's probably most common green I'd guess, since the only pickled ones you can buy at least in Sweden are green, but red has a nice and more mature taste. We still have our large plant in the livingroom/greenhouse, so if we don't get any lice invation there we could maybe harvest som red ones there later. Anyway, here is the kitchen harvest.