Friday, 24 February 2017

Meat District Porvoo - carnivore's wet dream

Dying for a proper steak and some serious wine? Then Meat District Porvoo is a place for you.

* * * 

Crisis has been averted. I'm done crying (for now, anyway) and looking forward to the future.

The reason for my sudden burst of happiness? I spent the last weekend in Porvoo.

On a date.

With the Gothenburger.

My feet are finally almost touching the ground and my fingers are ready to type stuff other than lovey-dovey heart-eyed-emojis.

But let me just tell you this: he. Is. Amazing. 

As I was busy putting the itinerary together for the weekend I asked my date if he'd be more into fine dining or carnivore's wet dream. The answer came quicker than a rocket from Gaza: "meat". 

And when in Porvoo, that can only mean one thing: Meat District.

Porvoo is bustling with intriguing restaurants but it didn't take Meat District long to make its mark. The restaurant doesn't flirt with what ever trend is sweeping through foodie world and doesn't apologize for it either. 

They are unashamedly good at what they do and that is meat. Locally produced, organic kind. 

When you're greeted with a steak knife that size, you just know you're in for good stuff.

According to their website the menus are available for vegetarians, too, but meat is what keeps people flocking here.

And I can't really imagine any ethereal vegan activist would be too thrilled about the focal point of the restaurant's decor: the meat aging cabinet that takes up an entire wall.

We on the other hand couldn't stop admiring it. It is a thing of beauty.

We kicked off our second first date with Hendrick's G&T (€11.50). 

And, if at all possible, kept staring each other even more enchanted than during the original first date. My cheeks still hurt from all the smiling...!

There's an 8-course-menu MD All In (€79)  and a 4-course-menu Half In (€59). Both also come with wine packages paired by the sommelier combining both natural and classic wines (€32/ €46).

By the time we discovered dry aged beef for two (€84) was entrecôte, we knew we just had to have some. 

We started our carnivorous carnage with cold cuts (€19) and Bosgård's beef tartare (€14.90).

So very good. That Pata Negra practically melted in one's mouth.

As the main made its grand entrance at the table it became increasingly evident tonight wasn't going to be the night we do anything in moderation. 

Just look at the size of that slab!

The entrecôte was served with grilled lettuce, baked potatos, Bearnaise and marinated red cabbage, the acidity of which nicely balanced the richness of the meat and sauce.

Just looking at the entrecôte and its glorious crust and smokey aroma (courtesy of Mibrasa charcoal grill) still makes me a bit emotional. 

You'd think that by the time you wobble back to the hotel with your stomach holding half a dead cow, romance would be the last thing on your mind. You'd be wrong. 

You'd also think that after a meat feast like that, you wouldn't be in the mood for meat for a while, but you'd be wrong - again. The whiff of a barbecue flowing on the streets of Porvoo the following day made me want to dig into that all over again.

Good stuff.

Much like at the owners' other restaurant Sicapelle, they're awfully keen on natural wines over here.

We're not though, so we went for Taurasi de Falco from Southern Italy (€69). It's full-bodied voluptiousness and aromatic character bordering on smoky was a very good choice indeed.

Located in one of Old Porvoo's wooden houses Meat District has a relaxed ambiance where it's impossible not to feel at ease. Even the thought of dessert was too much for our stomachs, but instead we stayed behind devouring each others' company, some coffees and post-dinner cocktails until we realized we were the only customers left. 

Pretty damn good second first date, if you ask me.

The total came to €262. 

Seeing Gothenburger sit across the table, being able to hold his hand and seeing that smile I'd been missing for months - priceless. For everything else there's Mastercard...

* * * 

Meat District
Gabriel Hagertin kuja
06100 Porvoo

+358 (0)20 7705 390

* * * 



SMAKU Taste of Porvoo Sinne   Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_SK Mat och Människor      


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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Tunnbrödsrulle - best of Swedish street food (gluten-free)

Tunnbrödsrulle, Swedish flatbread wrap with hot dogs, mash and the works is a Swedish street food classic and easy to make at home, too.

* * * 

Though I love to eat well and in nice places, in I have my guilty pleasures, too. 

In Stockholm there's one thing I always make time for: a stop at one of their street food kiosks and tunnbrödsrulle.

Andalusian auringossa_ruokablogi_tunnbrödsrulle_gluteeniton

Tunnbrödsrulle is a peculiarity the Swedes devour especially in the wee hours of the morning after a night spent devouring alcoholic beverages.

It consists of a Nordic flatbread called tunnbröd (literally flatbread), stuffed with mash (two ice cream scoops), hot dog or two (ether grilled or boiled) and all the usual accompaniments: cucumber relish, ketchup and mustard.

Andalusian auringossa_ruokablogi_tunnbrödsrulle_gluteeniton

Mine isn't perfect unless it also features shrimp salad (rrrrrrräksallad) crunchy roasted onion flakes (rrrrrrostad lök) - both pronounced with a at least five very prominent, semi-Skoneish "r's".

(That is proably the reason why the Swedes systematically mistake me for a Norwegian? Or maybe it's just an euphemism echoing their Social Democratic kindness to the fact that they all think I'm a bit of a... well, retard?)

Aaaanyway, in case you ever find yourself in Stockholm, a great place for anthropologic observations of the locals in their most natural habitat is Valhallagrillen.

Andalusian auringossa_ruokablogi_tunnbrödsrulle_gluteeniton

As much as Gotheburg has going for them, I've yet to find a decent tunnbrödsrulle. One I tried had been wrapped inside an Arab laffa. And he even tried to smuggle in some salad (?!). 


One is quite simply appalled. 

The Gothenburger just shrugged at my dismay like it was no big deal. Perhaps they've yet to discover the greatness of tunnbrödsrulle? Perhaps it's just a little too... Stockholm for them? 

In which case I will most certainly have to think twice before even entertaining the idea of ever relocating there.

Andalusian auringossa_ruokablogi_tunnbrödsrulle_gluteeniton

Serves 4

Tunnbrödsrulle - Swedish street food classic:

4 flatbreads (glutenfree if needed)
4-8 large hot dogs
mashed potatos (for my favourite recipe see here)
sweet relish
shrimp salad (for recipe see here
crunchy roasted onion flakes

Grill or boil the hot dogs. Warm the flatbread.

Spoon mash on the flatbreads, top with hot dog(s) and add the desired trimmings. 

Wrap into a cone-like shape and feast away.

Damn, it's good. Even in broad day light. And sober!

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You guys ever been to Sweden? Familiar with tunnbrödsrulle? Or do you have another local guilty pleasure there?



Andalusian Auringossa_ruokablogi_räksallad_skagenröra_katkarapusalaatti_katkaraputahna_gluteeniton  Andalusian auringossa_ruokablogi_aamiaispizza Florentine_kylmäsavulohi_pinaatti_kananmuna_gluteniton_kosher  


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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Skagenröra - Swedish creamy shrimp salad (gluten-free)

Räksallad, skagenröra... this Swedish creamy shrimp salad has as many names as it has uses. 

* * * 

It would be impossible to even try and imagine Swedish cuisine without räksallad, shrimp and mayo salad. 

(Salad with no veg? Salad with just mayo and shrimp? I'm in!)

Also called Skagenröra or West Coast salad (Västkustsallad), these creamy shrimp salads are more like spreads or dressings and are loved by Swedish, no matter what the occasion. 

They make an appearance in the Midsummer's celebrations, Christmas buffets, at brunches and, well, everything and anything in between. 

While West Coast Salad usually contains other ingredients (mussles, fish and yes, occasionally even them veg...) , too, Skagenröra is an unapologetic ode to the good life and archipelago's endless summer days and featurs nothing but shrimp and some mayo. 

Andalusian Auringossa_ruokablogi_räksallad_skagenröra_katkarapusalaatti_katkaraputahna_gluteeniton

For Asian twist you could substitute some of crème fraîche with sweet chili sauce and use coriander instead of dill.

Another way to jazz things up a bit would be to add some vendace roe (in which case do not add any salt) or a sprinkling of chilli powder. You could also substitute chives with half of a finely minced small red onion or by switching Dijon mustard to horseradish.

Fresh dill on the other hand is something you need to have. Lots of. There's something about its scent alone that immediately transports one to summery days and al fresco lunches with all your friends (all disgustingly tall, willowy and blonde, of course...) around the table. 

Skål, everyone!

Andalusian Auringossa_ruokablogi_räksallad_skagenröra_katkarapusalaatti_katkaraputahna_gluteeniton

It's also insanely versatile: spoon some of it on halved hard-boiled eggs for easy starter, use it to top slices of malty archipelago bread, serve it as a dressing for fish or have it with jacket potatos. 

Skagenröra is also an essential condiment in the fast food kiosks (I'll be introducing you guys to my absolute Swedish street food favourite on the next blog post!) and people shovel this on their hot dogs, burgers and grilled sausages and fries.

The easiest way out is, of course, using frozen, peeled shrimp, but trust me - you don't need to be a fussy Gothenburger to tell the difference between those and the whole ones you've peeled yourself. 

For 200 grams of peeled shrimp you need (depending on their size) a little more than half a kilo of the whole ones.

Andalusian Auringossa_ruokablogi_räksallad_skagenröra_katkarapusalaatti_katkaraputahna_gluteeniton

For 4-6 persons

Räksallad (Skagenröra) - Swedish creamy shrimp salad:

200 g (freshly) peeled shrimp
1 dl mayo
1 dl crème fraîche
1/2 tsp (Dijon) mustard
1 tsp lemon juice (if using Dijon, this can be omitted)
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
3  tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
3  tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Peel the shrimp (if using whole ones) or thaw and drain the frozen ones. Pat dry and, if they're very big, chop roughly.

Combine remaining ingredients, check the taste and season as needed. Fold in the shrimp and let chill for a couple of hours before serving. 

Andalusian Auringossa_ruokablogi_räksallad_skagenröra_katkarapusalaatti_katkaraputahna_gluteeniton_PINTEREST

Räksallad, skagenröra, how ever you want to call it - what's your favourite use for this Scandinavian delicacy?



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Monday, 13 February 2017

Breakfast pizza with spinach, smoked salmon, eggs and foolproof Hollandaise sauce (gluten-free, kosher)

Pizza for breakfast? Pizza brunch? Hell yes! This breakfast pizza with spinach, cold smoked salmon, eggs and fool-proof Hollandaise is perfect for lazy weekend mornings!

* * * 

In my blog post about foodie traveller's Gothenburg I probably should have also included Brewers Beer Bar, another Tredje Långgatan gem which is pretty much as close to heaven as it gets for those (oh, so individual) lumberjack shirt-wearing, bushy beard-sporting hipsters.

It's not just their selection of craft beers (anybody else getting soooooo tired of that word?) that keeps the hipsters flocking here, it's also their sourdough pizzas. Let's all take a moment to let that really sink in. 



Mmmmm..... (anybody else salivating like a senile rottweiler right about now?)

During weekends they serve a brunch, which consists of exactly one dish: that sourdough pizza. As a breakfast version. Yes. Pizza. For breakfast. I'm going to start growing my beard right now. 

There are two choices. Either English Breakfast (yes, with all those accoutrements guaranteed to repair any damage you might have done to yourself the night before) and Florentine; pizza with spinach, ricotta, artichoke and stuff - all topped off with a dollop of Hollandaise. 

Andalusian auringossa_ruokablogi_aamiaispizza Florentine_kylmäsavulohi_pinaatti_kananmuna_gluteniton_kosher

Pizza brunch! Genius!

Sure, I've had pizza for breakfast several times in my life. And sure, mostly on Sunday mornings and those endless days following New Year and First of May celebrations. 

But there's something about crawling to the door to receive the delivery guy with the make-up from night before running down your cheeks that somehow makes the whole operation decidedly less... glamorous.

Andalusian auringossa_ruokablogi_aamiaispizza Florentine_kylmäsavulohi_pinaatti_kananmuna_gluteniton_kosher

But enough of that visual!

I can't think of a better way to kick off a lazy weekend day than this. Have frinds over, put on some music, pour everybody a round of Mimosas and whack these babies onto the table. Oh, yes. I can tell you as soon as I put a photo of this on my Instagram, next Sunday was booked in seconds. 

They are so rich that 2 pizzas easily feed up to 8 people. Another great thing? You'll make the pizza dough in just minutes the night before. More great things? That Hollandaise really is fool-proof and is ready in matter of minutes. But, in case you don't have an immersion blender and one of those accompanying tall beakers, cheat away and use a ready-made one. 

Oh, and if you prefer it that way, you can add the cold smoked salmon slices into the pizza after it comes out of the oven, too.  

You'll find my trusty pizza dough recipe on the blog over here.

Andalusian auringossa_ruokablogi_aamiaispizza Florentine_kylmäsavulohi_pinaatti_kananmuna_gluteniton_kosher

2 pizzas (serves 4-8 people)

Breakfast pizza Florentine with spinach, smoked salmon and eggs:

1 portion of pizza dough (mine's over here)


200 g spinach
1 tbsp crème fraîche/ sour cream/ cream cheese/ Turkish yogurt
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
a little bit of butter / oil for frying

100 g cold smoked salmon
4 eggs

Pre-heat oven to 275°. In case you own a pizza stone, put it in the oven now. If you don't, use a tray. Or a cast iron pan. Once the oven has reached the temperature, leave the pizza stone/ equivalent in the oven for another 45 minutes. 

Heat a little butter or oil in a pan and wilt the spinach. Add lemon zest, crème fraîche and season. Go easy on the salt, as salmon has quite a bit of it. Stir well.

Roll the risen pizza dough into 2 similar-sized bases and tansfer them onto the pizza stones. Spoon the spinach mixture on the pizza base, top with slivers of cold smoked salmon and break 2 eggs on top of each pizza.

Bake for 6-10 minutes (depending on the oven) until the eggs have set and the crust has a bit of colour on them. 

In the meanwhile prepare the Hollandaise.

Fool-proof lemony Hollandaise:

2 egg yolks
1 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp lemon juice
(3/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest) 
pinch of salt
pinch of white pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

110 g butter, melted
(1/2 tbsp finely chopped chives)

Measure the ingredients (apart fro butter and chives) into the blender's beaker. Melt the butter in a small pan. Blizz the yolks with rest of the ingredients and then, with the blender continuously running, add the hot butter in a thin stream. Voilà - you've got yourself a billowy Hollandaise! In no time!

Fold in chives (if using), check the taste and season as needed. 

Drizzle on top of the pizzas and serve.

Andalusian auringossa_ruokablogi_aamiaispizza Florentine_kylmäsavulohi_pinaatti_kananmuna_gluteniton_kosher_PIN ME

Pizza for breakfast - yay or nay? What would be your favourite toppings - smoked salmon, spinach and eggs or something else entirely?





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Friday, 10 February 2017

Potato, potatoe - affordable potato recipes around the world (gluten-free, vegan, kosher)

Stuck in a spud rut? Check out my tips  for affordable potato recipes around the world!

* * * 

If there's something I've recently realized it is this. Unlike, say, UN or common sense in this world, there really isn't much the humble potato can't do.

My recent cooking sessions have shown just how versatile a veggie it truly is. Mind you - the spud, originally from Peru, was not an instant hit upon its arrival in Europe back in 16th century. Originally it wasn't even deemed fit for human consumption and was only fed to pigs.

But eventually the gutsy crop broke through with its resilience even in our Arctic conditions where nothing survives. Back in 1950's the annual consumption per person was something as insane as nearly 190 kilos per year. As dietary diversity grew and Atkins instilled in us the fatal fear of carbs, the number has gone down to about one third of that. 

In my opinion the humble potato deserves to have its moment in the limelight though: it is cheap, it is good, it is ecological and actually the star ingredient of so many of my favourite dishes.

Such as this so-good-it'll-make-you-cry mash. Can't think of anything as comforting as this!

Proper mash is also what makes this Reindeer shepherd's pie so yummy.

For classically British taste buds there's also the traditional English shepherd's pie...

... and the slightly fancier fish pie I used to woo over my English mother-in-law.

And since no British Sunday Roast is perfect without the proper roasties, here's a twist that will take their Britishness up a dozen notches: Salt & Vinegar potatos!

But Finns are not alone with their love of all things potato - our Western neighbours Swedes are every bit as crazy about them. 

Hasselback potatos for instance swiftly became one of my most popular recipes ever. 

Sweden is also home to this delight: Hanna's herring and potato bake.

Herring, potato and eggs for somewhat of a holy trinity in Sweden and that's a combo that is celebrated both in this recipe for smoked herring spread...

... and in this peculiarly named recipe for  gubbröra. Which I'd like to emphasize was not made using old men. 

And is there a dish more classic (and suited for every hour of the clock!) than Jansson's temptation?

But potato is widely used elsewhere in the world, too, as my culinary crusades have taught me. From Greece I brought back recipe for skordalia, a garlicky potato dip...

...and from Bulgaria my souvenir recipes featured patatnik, Bulgarian mint and potato omelette.

And you don't need to look far for patatnik's European cousins - one can be found in a nother country that's become very familiar from this blog: Spain. 

Tortilla Española, por favor!

And while its name would bizzarely point to Russia, the recipe for Ensalada Rusa, one of my favourite potato salads ever, is firmly from Spain, too.  

And hey - there's also a recipe on the blog for German potato salad

With bacon! Jawohl!

Potato gives salads lovely richness and seeing how I don't see the point of those wispy-waspy leafy salads, it's one of my favourite ways to use potatos. 

Salad Nicoise is a classic for a reason. Mon Dieu, how good it is!

And this Mediterranean potato salad is one of our picnic staples year after year - it's gluten-free,vegan and kosher. 

Oh, and you know what else? Pizza. Oh, yes. Potato in a pizza.

As long as you choose the right kind of potato, there isn't much you couldn't do with it. Such as soups. Such as Vichyssoise, which is every bit as divine served cold or hot.

Oddly  enugh,  while consumption of potatos is decreasing in the Western world, it's on the rise in regions such as Far East.
And once you've tried my Massaman curry with chicken, I think you'll reach for seconds, too.

Poatoalso help with textures, allowing many dishes to be made gluten-free. Secret to these Tunisian fish keftas? You guessed it: potato. 

Let's hear from you guys! What's your potato favourite? Have you tried any of these recipes?



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