27/02/2014

SWEDE RISOTTO


Since I'm not writing with my native language here, every now & then I get the a bit insecure and need to double-check a word's spelling. I've always known lanttu to be swede in English, but still I started to hesitate. The dictionary told me however, that the Brits are the ones to use that name for the ugly duckling of a root vegetable. The Scots name it neep. And what do they say in the US? Rutabaga. That sounds more like some weird small European country language. In Ireland and Atlantic Canada they're supposed to call it turnip.

But what do they call the turnip then?

If I'm a bit unsure with my English, my German seems fluent. At least in reading. A German food blog, Kleiner Kuriositätenladen, posted a celeriac risotto recipe and I replaced the celeriac with swede.

Or neep/rutabaga/turnip/whateveryouwannacallit.


SWEDE RISOTTO

30g butter
1 shallot
300g risotto rice
ca. 1 l vegetable stock
350g swede, diced small
1,5 dl white wine
1 tbsp mascarpone
30g parmesan, grated
salt & pepper

  1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add the finely chopped shallot & diced swede and sauté until the shallot gets slightly translucent.
  2. Add the rice and sauté for another 2 minutes. Remember stirring so the rice won’t turn brown. At the same time heat up the vegetable stock.
  3. Add the wine to the rice and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed.
  4. Add the hot vegetable stock little by little to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another round of stock and repeat the process. And again.
  5. Continue adding stock until the grains are al dente. Then stir in the mascarpone and grated parmesan and season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve right away.

24/02/2014

POMPIER


The owners of the Michelin starred Postres opened another restaurant in the beginning of the year. The newcomer Pompier (firefighter in French), is something totally different from the fine dining big bro.

Pompier’s predecessor was Restaurant VPK, named after the Helsinki Voluntary Fire Department, which still operates in the same building. The new owner didn’t do much for the fifties deco, just some small scale pimping, like re-painting. And perfectly good so. Makes it definitely unique: Walls are covered with glass cabinets full of VFD trophies and portraits of the brigade’s fire marshals from their past history of 150 years.

Pompier is open for lunch on weekdays and for private events for the rest of the time. Well prepared food, points for the salads in the buffet especially. Surely not just an average lunch buffet, but still for lunchy prices a bit under and a bit over 10 €.







POMPIER
Albertinkatu 29


21/02/2014

KALE & SPINACH CANNELLONI


What is it with human beings and learning to appreciate the good things in life?

Like sleeping. Why does it take decades, until you realize that sleeping is one of the coolest things around? In the last eight years, how many hours have I spent soothing my three kids for a nap? And during the same eight years, how many hours have I spent daydreaming of the possibility to take a nap myself?

Or eating green things.

Our three year old ate these cannelloni with great appetite, until he noticed that the filling is green. All of a sudden he didn't like them anymore.


KALE & SPINACH CANNELLONI

ca. 200g cannelloni tubes

Tomatosauce:
5 garlic cloves
2 shallots
1 onion
3 tbsp olive oil
1000g canned chopped tomatoes
2 tsp brown sugar
1 bunch fresh basil
salt & pepper to taste

Green filling:
200g kale
300g frozen spinach
500g ricotta cheese
75g parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste

Finishing:
75g grated parmesan
  1. Finely slice the garlic cloves and onions.
  2. Heat the olive oil, add all garlics and onions and sauté on low temp for few minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes and sugar and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste + some fresh basil.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  6. Remove the stems of the kale leaves, chop the leaves finely and cook for about 10 minutes.
  7. Drain kale leaves and let cool.
  8. When cooled, squeeze all excess water of the leaves and then chop up once again.
  9. Do the same squeezing with the defrosted spinach as well and chop it up finely.
  10. In a bowl mix the ricotta cheese, kale and spinach, one egg and 75g grated parmesan cheese. Mix them together well and then add salt and pepper. 
  11. Preheat the oven to 225°C.
  12. Oil an oven tray. With help of a knife or a small spoon, stuff the filling into the cannelloni tubes and place them tightly to each other in the oven tray.
  13. After all the filled tubes are placed in the oven tray, spread over the tomato sauce.
  14. On top, sprinkle the grated parmesan.
  15. Make sure, all the pasta tubes are well covered with the sauce.
  16. Put it in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

19/02/2014

KAARTIN HODARI & HUMMERI


To be or not to be? To have a lobster or a hot dog?

One or the other, or perhaps combined as a lobster dog?

Besides the impossible-to-make-up-your-mind list of hot dogs, Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri also serves gratinated lobster, which you can enjoy either 1/1 or 1/2. As a side order you can go for a salad or coleslaw and/or parmesan or black chanterelle seasoned fries.

Internationally maybe not the most unique idea, but a very welcomed add-on to the city's street food repertoire. Especially on this side of town.





KAARTIN HODARI & HUMMERI
Pieni Roobertinkatu 2
www.hodari-hummeri.fi

13/02/2014

STREAT HELSINKI

Photo: Streat Helsinki / Hanna Tyrväinen

You probably wouldn't name Helsinki as one of world's street food meccas. But in March things are gonna change, big time. Streat Helsinki, taking place 21-22 March, consists of three different events in three different locations:

Streat Helsinki TALKS at Messukeskus (Expo & Convention Centre Helsinki) on Friday 21 March as a part of Gastro 2014 Fair. TALKS is a conference that will bring together street food ambassadors, doers and supporters. Chairman of the conference is the Finnish food journalist and writer Kenneth Nars. During the day we will learn lessons from business incubators, get inspired by street food revolutions around the world, and enjoy success stories from the field. Their stories will be sharing editor-in-chief Chris Ying of the highly acclaimed food journal Lucky Peach, Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg co-founder Eric Demby from New York, Roskilde Festival's food strategist Mikkel Sander, founder of London's first kitchen incubator Kitchenette, Cynthia Shanmugalingam and many, many more.

Streat Helsinki PARTIES at the Abattoir at restaurant Kellohalli on the Fri 21 March. Friday night at Kellohalli is a celebration of local street food complemented by Streat Helsinki's international guests, good music and a drink or two. Heading the culinary revelry are Helsinki-based chefs and food culture promoters Sasu Laukkonen and Richard McCormick.

Streat Helsinki EATS at the Tori Quarters, in the Heart of Helsinki on Sat 22 March. EATS invites everyone to try out pioneering street food at the Tori Quarters, the historical centre of Helsinki where the heart of the old town meets the new buzz of the city. Dozens of Finnish and international vendors gather to set an example of what street food is all about in 2014. A collective meal in fresh air is already an urban adventure in itself.


FACTS STRAIGHT:

Streat Helsinki TALKS conference held at the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre on Friday 21 March at 9AM - 4PM. The pre-registration is now open at www.streathelsinki.com. The conference is free of charge, but there is a limited capacity, so take care of your registration now!

Streat Helsinki PARTIES party takes place on Friday 21 March at 6PM - 2AM in restaurant Kellohalli at Abattoir. Party tickets are on sale at Tiketti (www.tiketti.fi). Ticket price is 38 € (incl. handling fees) and in addition to the night's programme also a street food menu designed by Laukkonen and McCormick is included.

Streat Helsinki EATS festival is held at the Tori Quarters on Sat 22 March at 11AM - 7PM. The festival area is open for all and free of charge. In addition to food, and a festive atmosphere, EATS also features performances and other programming.

FOR WHOM? Quoting Ville Relander, project manager of Helsinki's Food Culture Strategy:
"I recommend Streat Helsinki to food professionals, amateurs and foodies alike, as well as anyone interested in urban development, trends, start ups, and service design. In fact, anyone who enjoys life!"

BY WHOM? The main force behind Streat Helsinki is the City of Helsinki's Food Culture Strategy team, joined by several local and international partners. The event production by the Tori Quarters, the Abattoir and the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre is supported by ministries and small businesses alike. In practice, the events are a collaboration of a big group of communities, food activists, professionals, amateurs, entrepreneurs, and other hungry street foodies.
 

11/02/2014

LINGONBERRY SPELT BREAD


Lingonberry, the noted superfood, has always been my least favourite berry. I'll just blame the grown-ups who served me lingonberry juice, lingonberry filled bun or lingonberry pie as a kid, for not putting enough of sugar into them and there by leaving me with no happy lingonberry-related childhood memories. The berry's tangy and bittery taste requires plenty of added sweetness to make a lingonberry pastry work as a dessert.

Being a grown-up now myself, I won't make the same mistake. When serving my kids lingonberries in a dessert, they're surely going to be sweet. Other option is to serve them not sweet at all, i.e. in a bread. They loved it! Happy lingonberry-related childhood memory, check.


LINGONBERRY SPELT BREAD
3 breads

1. day:
200g water
250g whole-wheat flour
5g yeast (fresh)
  1. Mix all the ingredients, cover with plastic and place in refrigerator over night.
2. day:
the pre-dough from yesterday
500g water
10g yeast (fresh)
450g spelt flour
300g wheat flour
30g olive oil
30g honey
30g sea salt
100g lingonberries (frozen or fresh)
  1. Put the pre-dough together with all other ingredients but salt and berries in a large bowl and knead 10 minutes at low speed (double the time when kneading by hand).
  2. Add salt and knead for further 5 minutes.
  3. Mix in the berries and let the dough rest covered for 30 minutes.
  4. On a floured surface dived the dough and shape into three loaves.
  5. Place the loaves in floured proofing baskets and let rise for 2 hours in room temperature.
  6. Preheat the oven to 250°C.
  7. Place the breads in the oven and lower the heat to 200°C.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes.
TIPS:
- If you don’t have a proofing basket, use a round plastic bowl lined with a floured kitchen towel.
- Preheat the baking tray as well or use a baking stone.
- Instead of rising the loaves for 2 hrs in room temp, you can also put them in refrigerator and let them rise over night. In the morning just take them out, bake and try to have some patience and while waiting for the bread to cool.
- For more crispier crust set another baking tray underneath and pour a cup of water on it. Let the steam out after 15 minutes of baking.

05/02/2014

ANGRY BIRDS CAKES

How do you know that a brand has succeeded in becoming a true phenomenon?

That's when your 4 year old, who can't even pronounce the brand name correctly yet, asks for that specific thing to be on her next birthday cake. Couple of years ago I made this angry little birdie cake:


The phenomenon must still be going strong, because the same theme was asked again for last weekend's birthday festivities. This time I changed over to the opposite camp and made a green piggie:


Since many are hoping for the emerging Finnish game industry to do the trick and be our "next Nokia", I think I should just be glad, if still in couple of years from now another mobile game character from Rovio, Supercell or one of the many not-found-our-superhit-yet-enterprises would be asked to be on a cake.

It's good for the Finnish economy. And it tastes good too.