This is a simple and delicious recipe for a pickled cucumber salad. I remember sitting in my Grandmothers’ kitchen as a kid. Green and orange flowery wallpaper covering the walls and a matching round dining table set. Also green. We were about to devour her amazing meatballs, potatoes, creamy gravy and these perfectly matched pickled cucumbers. On a shelf next to the table was a hand cranked coffee grinder. Simple design, yet its leavers, slots and drawers fascinated me. A perfect distraction and entertainment at the table until food arrived. I wonder what happened to it…
2/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cucumber, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 pinches salt
2 pinches pepper
In a bowl add vinegar, water and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add the cucumber and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir well, then place in the fridge for 2-3 hours, stirring it once in a while. Serves 4
Pies and tarts are two things I will never grow tired of. The options for the filling are endless. Sweet or savoury, it doesn’t matter. This Swedish inspired Cheese Tart is more delicate than your regular quiche. There’s no ham, so vegetarians can rejoice and enjoy. A great option for a light week night dinner or to be served at a weekend luncheon. Would you feel the need for meat, prosciutto is a great side. I serve it with a dollop of sour cream, arugula lettuce and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze.
200 g sifted flour
100 g unsalted, cold butter.
pinch of salt
2 tbsp ice water
300g Shredded Cheese, such as Gruyère or other hard, nutty cheese.
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp finely chopped tarragon
Pinch of salt (not too much, the cheese will add saltiness as well)
Preheat oven to 400F.
Add the flour to a food processor. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour along with the egg. Pulse a few times and add one tablespoon of ice water at a time. Keep pulsing until it forms a ball of dough. It shouldn’t take more than 30 to 45 seconds. You may need a third table spoon of ice water.
Remove the dough and flatten the ball somewhat. Dust with flour, and place in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour to rest. It is important not to over manipulate the dough to ensure flakiness.
Roll the dough and line a pie shell, prick it with a fork then bake blind for 10-12 min.
Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the pie shell, and bake in the lower part of the oven for 30-35 min, or until tart is set and has a nice golden colour. Let it cool slightly before serving. Serves 6-8.
It doesn’t look like much at first, this soup. The palest green possible, almost white in colour. Poured into a white bowl you’ll hardly realize it’s there. So why am I making such a fuss over this soup you might wonder. Because it’s worth it. I want you to taste it. The velvety smooth texture and the subtle flavours of leeks, potato, cream and white pepper. You can’t help but think “This one of the best soups I’ve ever had”. It is one of the highlights from the french cuisine. Some people serve it warm, but cooled is the traditional French way. I decorate this simple, sumptuous classic with onion sprouts and a light grating of nutmeg.
6-8 medium sized potatoes, peeled and quartered.
4 tbsp butter
4 cups chicken broth
2 tsp salt
3 tsp ground white pepper
1.5 cups heavy cream
Green onion sprouts
Boil the diced potatoes in salted water until just tender. Drain and put aside.
Cut off the dark green part of the leeks. You can discard them, or save them if you are planning on making a broth. For this soup, you only need the white and light green parts. Slice the leeks in half, lengthwise. Rinse to remove any dirt. Cut the leeks in 1” pieces. Sauté them lightly in the butter in a sauce pan for a few minutes. Add the chicken broth.
Once the broth comes to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer until the leeks are soft, 10-15 minutes. Add the potatoes, salt and the freshly ground white pepper (it might seem like a lot, but it’s important to taste the white pepper). Let simmer for another 5 minutes before transferring the soup into a blender. Blend until smooth. You might need to do it in two parts. Pour the soup through a sieve, pushing it through with a soup spoon. It will give the soup the extra smooth, velvety texture. Taste it and add more salt or pepper if needed. Let it cool and keep it in the fridge. 30 min before serving, move it to the counter to warm up slightly and stir in the cream. Makes 6 appetizer size servings.