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Archive for the ‘potatoes’ Category

Bento #357

Simple soup bento, made in the morning:
Sweet potato, potato and carrot curry “soup” with cress on top, homemade scone, sundried tomatoes, raisins, chocolate, and butter in a kitty container.

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Bento #196

Mostly to show off the new picks I got in Austria :) Falafel, croquette balls, broccoli, ajvar and mayo in the cup, half a hardboiled egg, lettuce and sliced carrots with a fishy of vinegar dressing, a cherry tomato, grapes and a chocolate.

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Leftovers from the weekend’s festivities *waves to Mom*:
Vegetarian zucchini quiche Lorraine on mixed leaf salad, cherry tomatoes, carrot flowers and purple potato salad (the potatoes are purple, not the salad!).

This is my own box, and the cutter which I used for the carrots. I’m sure you can figure out how I did it!
It just goes to show that you can do quite a lot with “ordinary” cutters if you can’t get the special veggie cutters.

And some bonus photos from the dinners:

Vegetarian mediterranean-themed dinner. Quiche, Muhammara (Arabic: محمرة – that’s the name of that walnut dip! I found out!), lots of pickled garlic, chilies and olives, salad, freshly baked foccacia, real buffalo mozarella caprese and a big round cheese. :)

The second dinner was more Swedish Christmas-themed and definitely not vegetarian: Gravad salmon, eggs with caviar, various pickled herrings, lots of cheese, the potato salad, grapes, and the foccacia, muhammara and quiche are making an appearance again – and I definitely am going to eat quiche in many bentos in the near future! It was good but there was just too much other food.

And a close-up of the purple potato salad. The purple made a nice contrast but it doesn’t really show up on the photo, nor does it actually enhance the taste any. :)

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Homemade potato salad garnished with red onion, crisp lettuce and a baby plum tomato in the smaller box.
Wholewheat-breaded fishsticks on brown rice, a yellow tomato slice, broccoli tossed in sesame oil and a slice of pomegrenade in the bigger box.

There’s another reason for the title than just the fishsticks, I wonder if anyone can spot it… (hint: I was rather tired when I made this bento x.x)

BF gets the same in a square HK box:

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OK, when I said I was going to post a complete recipe I lied – I still haven’t gotten over my respect for making gnocchi myself, so those are of the storebought “fresh” variant. But the final dish is so infused with the delicious flavour of chanterelles I didn’t want to keep it from you!
It’s just to my taste – simple and lazy, but with a fantastic final result.

Here are the mushrooms in their glorious yellow goodness. I cleaned them – you shouldn’t really clean mushrooms under running water, but those were full of moss and pine needles and associated things, and needed to be cleaned. Since I was going to use them immediately, I didn’t bother about it too much. There’s also a red onion, already chopped, a clove of garlic and about half a cup of chopped parsley.

I started by frying the onion and garlic in some chili oil (you can also use butter) until it was soft and translucent. Taking some time seems to really be worth a lot in this dish – I am usually all about getting things done quick but the flavour gets better here if you really get everything timed correctly.
The next step was to fry the parsley a little, and then add the chanterelles, salt and pepper.

At this point, I started to warm the lazy gnocchi: I emptied the bag into a sieve, hung the sieve in a pot on the warm stove, and poured boiling water on it, leaving them to steam for another minute.
I also added 1/2-1 cup of cream to the pan to infuse it with the mushroom taste.

I love gnocchi for their ability to really soak up sauces and flavours, much better than pasta. Therefore, just pouring the sauce over them would be wrong. They have to go in the pan and finish cooking with the sauce! Since they’re pre-made it takes about 2 more minutes, just enough to set the table and pour the wine. Perfect!
Aah… it’s good to be lazy…

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Why do so many people complain that when they’re home alone or cooking just for themselves, they never make anything good?
My mom never did that, and neither do I. After all, I count myself as the person who appreciates good food in the household (so does she), and why shouldn’t we make good food for just ourselves?

These days, when I’m home alone, I make things I don’t usually make. The BF can be somewhat picky about food (boiled carrots? Beans? Nah.) and sometimes I do crave the stuff, or want to try out a new recipe I’m not sure he will like. So instead of doing double cooking, I put those on days where I cook alone – if it’s too much, I can always freeze single portions for later!

There has been one dish that I’ve been particularly itching to make recently. My grandma sent me dried porcini mushrooms that a friend of hers has been picking in the forest – a little treasure! (Did you see how much those cost in the supermarket?) I’ve remembered that she used to make a potato and mushroom soup with them, and wanted to try my hand at tweaking the recipe somewhat more in favour of my tastes.

The result? Quite good, so far.

5 big potatoes (they should be of the “floury”, not fastcooking sort), peeled
1 onion, diced
1 handful of dried porcini mushrooms
1 handful of chopped leek
2 Tbsp. butter and/or olive oil
Vegetable or chicken stock (I use an organic bouillon cube)
Salt, pepper, spices (traditionally: cumin and marjoram. To fit my tastes: rosemary and thyme)
Optional: Cream or sourcream

Rehydrate the porcini in boiling water, keep the liquid. Grate or cube the potatoes. Heat some butter and/or olive oil in a pot and saute the onion and leek in it. Add the raw potatoes, stir a few times and add the mushrooms with the water used to rehydrate them. Add stock (how much depends on how thick you want the soup to be in the end). Cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through.
Puree everything in a mixer, or leave some of the potatoes and mushrooms out for a bit more bite to the soup (that’s what I did, because I like to have something crunchy in my soup!).
Optional: Add cream or sourcream on top.
Serve and enjoy a nice quiet cup of soup for yourself :)

It’s easy and tasty, just the right stuff for the returning winter here. I also added a grated carrot to my soup, but I didn’t find it did anything great for the taste. In fact, it distracts a bit from the goodness that is leek, potatoes and porcini.

I did take photos (even if the soup isn’t very photogenic, just good), but I can’t find the connector cable for my camera among all the moving boxes. Meh. That also means I’ll have a bento backlog to post soon… and I promptly forgot my bentobox at home! What a great start in the week…

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The recipe for today is courtesy of my mom. You rock, mom.

Top: Potato latkes on salad, bear container with ketchup (latkes are pretty much the only thinkg I WILL order ketchup with), tsatsiki and a cherry tomato/basil deco.
Bottom: More fritters on peas, salad and frozen strawberries.

Latkes or as I know them “Kartoffelpuffer” are one of those “poor man’s steak” foods you find all over the world. This is my mom’s family recipe for them, which is really easy:
Peel raw potatoes, grate them and press out the liquid. Mix with egg, flour, chopped onion, parsley salt and pepper to taste. Heat neutral oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan thinly, it’s sadly not too healthy) and drip spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, flatten them out really thinly with a ladle and flip them once you can see the edges become slightly brown from the top.

I prefer ketchup with them but they also go well with tsatsiki, applesauce or cranberry preserve, and some places in Germany even serve them with sugar and cinnamon!

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