Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guacamole Spaghetti Recipe

Guacamole spaghetti

If you have some guacamole sitting in your fridge and need ideas for a quick lunch or dinner, try guacamole spaghetti. Just mix guacamole and spaghetti and your meal is ready to rock and roll.

Until very recently I was not a big fan of avocado but guacamole prepared using the recipe below is nice. The recipe may not be authentic. For example it uses oil whereas I think no oil is used in the authentic recipe. Also cilantro is missing. Even though this may not be authentic guacamole, it is still delicious. If you prefer, you can even use authentic guacamole with spaghetti.

2 avocados, pitted
½ red onion, minced
1-2 chilies, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
1 tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ tomato, chopped (optional)
½ kg spaghetti or any other pasta

1.      Prepare pasta as directed on package
2.      In a food processor add all the ingredients except the tomatoes. Blend until creamy. Add tomatoes and mix well.
3.      Mix the sauce with hot pasta.

Guacamole spaghetti

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Watermelon Milkshake Recipe

Watermelon Milkshake
This is really easy, requires two ingredients and has no added sugar. Blend frozen watermelon and milk and you have delicious watermelon milkshake. That’s all there is to it. 

There are recipes that use unfrozen water melon, ice cube and milk/yogurt. That sounds good too but my recipe skips ice cubes. As such the milkshake has a stronger watermelon flavor and more nutrients. On the other hand it is less economical since ice cubes are free! So my recipe is suitable for personal consumption. For serving guests or selling, use a recipe that has ice cubes, the more the better.

I made extra milkshake and left it in the refrigerator. The texture changed a bit due to melting but it was just as good, maybe even better.

Frozen watermelon
Milk (or cream/yogurt if you prefer it creamier)

1.      Blend watermelon and milk until smooth. You can start off with less milk and add more until it gets the desired consistency. Add sugar if you prefer it sweeter.
2.      Pour in a glass
3.      Drink, straw optional

Watermelon Milkshake

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Gnocchi Recipe

It is amazing how so few ingredients produce something quite delicious, if done right. Aristotle was right when he said “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” However I have a slight suspicion that he did not have gnocchi in mind when he came up with the saying. But stranger things have happened. After all apparently an apple inspired Newton to formulate his theory of gravity.

Anyway, I’ve made gnocchi a number of times, sometimes not strictly following the recipe, but the result always turns out to be edible. So if you are afraid of trying it, don't. And the shape does not really matter.  

I haven’t given the recipe for tomato sauce. I made it without a recipe, its tomato paste, garlic and oil cooked together. Doesn’t get any simpler than this.

Recipe Source: Martha Steward

2½ pounds russet potatoes
1¾ cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons salt

1.      Bring potatoes to a boil in salted water, then simmer until potatoes are tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.
2.      Lightly dust two baking sheets with flour. Set aside
3.      Drain potatoes and peel while still hot. Immediately pass potatoes through a ricer onto a work surface. Let cool completely.
4.      Sprinkle potatoes with flour and 2 teaspoons salt, then top with egg. With your hands, work flour and egg into a dough.
5.      Knead dough until smooth but not elastic, dusting with flour if it becomes too sticky, about 4 minutes. Do not overwork dough.
6.      Divide dough into 8 portions. Roll each portion into a rope (1/2 inch thick and 24 inches long). Cut each rope into 1/2-inch pieces.
7.      Gently roll each dough piece against the back tines of a fork to make ridges, then arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheets.
8.      Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In batches, add a few handfuls gnocchi and cook until most have floated to top, 2 minutes. With a wire-mesh spider or a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi immediately to a sauce.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Light No Bake Cheesecake Recipe

Light No Bake Cheesecake

I don't want to mislead you so I will make a disclosure upfront. This cheesecake has no cheese, and it is not cake. But its called a cheesecake. Calling it cheesecake sounds far better than 'set quark' or 'jellied quark'. I used quark which some people don't consider to be cheese. If you think quark is cheese, then its cheesecake, without the cake.

Technicalities aside, this thing has the same texture and similar taste to real cheesecake, minus fat, cheese and cake. The base is also missing. Its really easy to prepare, especially if you set it in glasses or cups.

This cheesecake is not suitable for vegetarians and non-pork eaters since it contains gelatine which is made from pork, unless you find other alternatives.

The recipe comes from With a Glass where you will find many different versions of cheesecake recipes, with and without cheese. 

300 grams quark, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt 
1 tablespoon gelatin (or enough gelatin leaves to set 500 ml)
200 grams strawberries or nectarine or bananas or dates or other fruit of your choice
4 tablespoons sugar

1.      In a saucepan dissolve gelatin in 4 tablespoons warm water. If the gelatine is not completely dissolved, warm the saucepan and stir until dissolved
2.      Blend the cheese, fruits and sugar in a food processor
3.      Add the gelatin mixture a little at a time and mix well
4.      Pour the mixture into serving glasses and chill for at least 2 hours

Light No Bake Cheesecake

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Caramelised Banana Coconut Cake Recipe

Caramelised Banana Coconut Cake Recipe
Caramelised Banana Coconut Cake 

In my mind banana and coconut is a great combination because they both grow in the same climate. Most (or all) countries that grow coconut also grow bananas, and therefore it must go well together. I realise this logic is flawed, pineapple and banana may not go well together, but banana coconut cake is delicious. 

Caramelised sugar and bananas deepens the flavour.

1¼ cups sugar
1 cup flour
½ cup desiccated coconut
1 large banana, chopped into small pieces (should be about 1-1½ cups)
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
½ cup neutral oil
100ml milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.      Grease a 20cm square baking tin. Line base with baking paper.
2.      Add ¾ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water to a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook on high heat until the sugar turns dark red. Don't let it burn!
3.      Add the banana pieces, butter and vanilla and cook over low heat until the bananas break down into the caramel. Add coconut and let the mixture cool completely
4.      Beat ½ cup sugar with eggs and oil until the sugar dissolves and the mixture turns pale. Add the banana mixture and milk and beat well.
5.      Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture.
6.      Pour the mixture into the tin. Bake at 180°C / 355°F for about 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. I baked in a loaf tin and it was ready in about 30 minutes.

Caramelised Banana Coconut Cake 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Swedish Pea Soup (Ärtsoppa) Recipe

Swedish Pea Soup (Ärtsoppa)

I’ve read somewhere that Swedish pea soup started being served even before the Vikings came into existence. It became the traditional Thursday meal when Sweden converted to Catholicism. Around 1530 Sweden converted to Lutheranism but the soup remained a Thursday meal. Even today restaurants serve this on Thursdays, along with pancake.

Small confession. I didn’t completely follow the recipe below. I added some harissa, which is very un-Swedish, and I left out pork, which is very un-Swedish. It still turned out nice.

Source: delishhh

500g of dried yellow or green peas
300g of boneless cured ham or pork cut into ½ inch cubes
6 -7 cups water
2 yellow onions finely chopped
1 leek finely chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon of finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
Salt to taste (depending on your cured meat)

1.      Soak peas in water over night. Next day rinse them and add to a pot with about 6 cups of water. Bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes and then remove from heat and let stand covered for 1 hour. If there is foam on top remove that.
2.      Dice meat, onion and leek and simmer in a pot for 15 minutes. Add the peas and the rest of the ingredients to the meat and onion mixture, cover and simmer for about 2 hours. After 2 hours add salt to taste.
3.      Serve with mustard.

Swedish Pea Soup (Ärtsoppa)

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