Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Risalamande - Rice Pudding with Almands and Cherry Sauce

Here's a typical Danish Christmas dessert called risalamande. I's a rice pudding mixed with whipped cream, almonds and served with a warm cherry sauce. It just happens to be red and white like the Danish flag. According to tradition, all the almonds except one are chopped. The person who finds the whole amond then gets a prize of some kind.
Ingredients (for 6 people):
80g of risotto rice
600ml full fat milk
200ml water
1 pod of fresh vanilla
100g almonds
400ml whipping cream
Sugar to taste
Cherry Sauce:
1/4 kg fresh cherries
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup of water
Fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp maizena

You need to make the rice pudding in advance as it needs to be cold. Make it the day before. Pour the rice and milk into a pot with a thick base. If the base is too thin you will burn the rice.

Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod and throw them with the pod itself into the milk. Bring it slowly to a boil. Cover with lid and boil slowly for around 50 minutes, and REMEMBER to stir ocasionally or it will burn. Especially towards the end.

After cooking, let it cool down, remove vanilla pod and place it in the fridge until the next day.

Now, to make the sauce, de-pit the cherries by cutting a circle around the centre, twist and remove pit.

Add the sugar and water and let it simmer slowly for 20 minutes until the berries are soft.

Squeeze some lemon in to the sauce.

Ad the maizena and stir. This will thicken the sauce.

Chop the almonds coarsely, add to the rice pudding. Don't forget to leave one almond whole and buy a present for the finder.

Whip the cream.

Stir in the rice pudding and almonds.

Add sugar to taste.

Pour the warm cherry sauce over the cold risalamande. Merry Christmas.

Tuna Mousse

Here's a little something inspired by a starter I had in a restaurant when I was back in Denmark recently. It's built around a basic tuna mousse, which has been pimped up with some salmon. You'll need:
2-3 cans of tuna
1 onion
1 tbsp freshly cut dill
1 tsp lemon juice
2 leafs of gelatine
1/2 dl whipping cream
1/4 l. crème fraîche
Fresh Dill
Smoked salmon
Mixed lettuce
Lemon Cubes (Lemon juice+gelatine, recipe at the end)

Start by softeing the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes.

Break up and crush the tuna. Shred the onion into the tuna.

Add salt (not too much, the tuna might be quie salt. You can always adjust later), white pepper and freshly chopped dill.

Whip the cream.

Mix the cream and crème fraîche into the tuna. Taste for salt.

Heat up the gelatine with a bit of the water in the microwave or over bain-marie. Stir it until it is completely disolved. Mix it into the tuna.

Pour it into individual, buttered ramekins or a bread tin. Place in fridge for minimum 4 hours or better, overnight. Once you are going to serve, place them in warm water for a few minutes which will help them slide out. Furthermore, you can losen them around the edges with a knife.

For making lemon squares, which basically is a lemon-jello cube instead of squeesing fresh lemon over the final dish, you take the juice from a lemon.

Pour it into some softened gelatine (see above). Heat it up carefully in a microwave and stir to disolve the gelatine. Pour in to a greased tray and cool off until it stiffens. Cut into to tiny squares.

Plate the dish with the mousse, salmon, some lettuce, capers, the lemon squares and sprinkle some fresh dill over it.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Ensaladilla Rusa - Another Spanish Tapa

Just time for a quick recipe for another Spanish tapa: Ensaladilla Rusa. As the name suggests it was actually a Russian invention from 1860's Moscow and is also know as Salade Olivier. It's a great way of getting rid of some of those old cans you have hidden away in your kitchen cupboards, and although the preparation takes some time (all the chopping), it's really simple to do. furthermore, this is not a definitive recipe and some people might argue that some ingredients are missing or too much, but it's really just a throw-together-whatever-you-have kind of recipe. For the same reason I haven't given any exact meassures. Apart from what you see here, you can also add, eggs, prawns, ham, peas and just about anything you like:

Chop some raw carrots into fine cubes.

Mix them with some sweetcorn, roasted (or raw) red pepper, also diced.

Dice some pickled gherkins, add them.

Add some chopped asparagus.

Some finely cubed, boiled potatoes.

Crush some tuna and add it.

Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Great fresh and even greater after 24 hours in the fridge.

Serve with a good dollop of mayonnaise. I prefer serving it with the mayo rather than mixing it all in from the beginning. this way it stores better.