Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Souvas with Mushroom Sauce Recipe

Suovas with Mushroom Sauce

Suovas is the Sami word for "smoked". And Sami’s are people who live in the Artic region, in northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

Souvas also refers to salted smoked reindeer meat. It is one of the most delicious meats I have eaten. The flavor is intense, gamey and smoky. Reindeer meat is quite lean but extremely tender when thinly sliced and cooked quickly.

Here is what the meat looks like (photo source:  Svantes)

Since the meat is gamey, mushrooms complement it very well. Generally Suovas is served with mashed potatoes but I opted for rice, because I was a bit lazy to make mashed potatoes. As you can imagine, Suovas and rice is not common in the Arctic.

Adopted from: Svantes

400 gram Suovas, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
120 gram mushrooms
1 tablespoon light soja
2 tablespoons cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-5 crushed juniper berries
Crushed black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon butter

1.      Heat butter in a pan over medium high heat
2.      Add onions, mushrooms and garlic and cook until onions start to brown. Set aside
3.      Add Suovas to the pan and cook until just done. This will take a few minutes only. Add more butter if necessary.
4.      Add onions, mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients to the pan and warm through. Add salt to taste

Suovas with Mushroom Sauce

Friday, May 16, 2014

Semolina Gnocchi (Gnocchi Alla Romana) Recipe

Semolina Gnocchi

Until recently I didn’t realize gnocchi’s can also be made from semolina. According to Wikipedia, “in Roman times, gnocchi were made from a semolina porridge-like dough mixed with eggs, and are still found in similar forms today, particularly the oven-baked gnocchi alla romana and Sardinia's malloreddus (although these do not contain eggs).”

The semolina gnocchi was baked, giving it a slight crunch. I made extra dough and froze it. It froze well, didn’t affect quality.

Adopted from Emeril Lagasse

1½ to 2 cups (00-grade) semolina flour
1 litre milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup grated Parmesan

1.      Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with butter.
2.      Grease a small baking sheet with butter
3.      Combine the milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a pot. Bring to a boil. Add ¼ cup of the semolina, and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Lower the heat to medium-low.
4.      Add the remaining semolina flour, ¼ cup at a time and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes.
5.      Remove from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
6.      Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add ½ cup of the semolina mixture to the eggs and whisk well to incorporate. Add the egg mixture to the remaining semolina mixture and mix well.
7.      Add ¼ cup of the cheese and mix well.
8.      Turn out the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Refrigerate until completely cooled, 20 to 25 minutes.
9.      Heat oven to 220°C/425°F
10.  Cut the batter into 24 equal pieces, about 1½ -inches square, dipping the knife in hot water as needed to cut cleanly.
11.  Place the pieces on the prepared 9-inch pan. Dot the top with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
12.  Bake until the top begins to brown and the gnocchi are puffed, about 25 minutes.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spicy Coca Cola Pulled Pork Recipe

Spicy Coca Cola Pulled Pork
If you have flat coke and don’t want to throw it away, this recipe is a good way to use it up, assuming that you are not a vegetarian. 

I looked at a number of coca cola pulled pork recipes. The amount of coke varied, ranging from 1 cup for 6 pounds of pork to as high as 1.2 litre of coke for 4-5 pounds of pork.  I decided to use ¾ cup for a pound of pork, which is little more than a litre for 5 pounds of pork. My thinking was that if I am making coca cola pulled pork I might as well use a lot of coke, to make sure the coke flavor is there. Plus I had lot of coke to use up.

The pulled pork turned out great. It was sweet, but I couldn’t taste the distinct coke flavor. I rarely drink coke so perhaps my taste buds could not detect it.

While the pulled pork was really nice, I would not make this recipe again unless I had some flat coke to use up. Coke added sweetness, however I could get almost the same result by adding sugar, hence avoid all the preservatives and other stuff that goes in coke. I prefer my other two pulled pork recipes:

1 pound pork chops or pork shoulder
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch salt and pepper
¾ cup Coca Cola
1/3 cup chili sauce (or BBQ sauce)
½ teaspoon minced chipotle chili in adobo
Tablespoon oil

1.      Heat oven to 160°C/325°F
2.      Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
3.      Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes
4.      Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook for another minute.
5.      Remove from the heat and stir in the chipotle chilies.
6.      Place pork on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, add sauce and coke and cover with aluminum foil
7.      Bake until a fork inserted in thickest part of pork can be twisted easily and meat shreds off with little resistance, about 3½-4 hours.
8.      Alternatively, instead of baking, you can cook the pork in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours
9.      Once the pork is done, transfer it to a cutting board and shred using two forks. Add the sauce and mix.

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