Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

This is quick and easy and can be made with left-over turkey or rotisserie
chicken.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups turkey or chicken – cooked & shredded
  • 1 (4.3 oz) box Long Grain and Wild Rice (Roasted Chicken flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup milk
Directions
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and saute for 7-8 minutes.
  2. Add  broth, water and shredded turkey. Bring to a boil and add rice (save seasoning packet!). Cover pot and remove from heat.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the seasoning packet and stir to combine. Slowly add the flour (in 1/4 cup increments) to form a roux and continue to stir.
  4. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Whisk in heavy cream and milk, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Cook and continue to stir until thickened – about 5 minutes.
  6. Return to broth/rice mixture to the heat and add cream mixture. Cook over medium heat until rice is softened and soup is thickened and heated through, about 10-15 minutes
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Cooking Club – Gourmet Apple Workshop

In the second installment of the Life at the Table Cooking Club, I’ll be hosting a Gourmet Apple Workshop on Sunday December 4, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in my apartment in Malmö.

This is a hands on workshop where we will step up the basic approach to the traditional carmel dipped apple and create gourmet works of art  which are great and unique for Holiday Gifting as well as  Wedding and Shower Favors. In addition we will cover other fun things to dip, decorate and gift as well as gift wrapping ideas.

Each participant is asked to bring 6 large apples of their choice ( Washed and Dried prior to workshop ) , an apron and a shallow box to carry your creations home in.

All other necessary items will be provided.

Children are welcome to participate !

Coffee, Juice and Sweets will be served so come ready to dip, swirl and create.


Here are the details:

  • Sunday December 4 ,2011
  • 11:00 – 14:00
  • Life At The Table Kitchen, Malmö Sweden
  • 100 kr per person for MEMBERS // 150 kr per person NON MEMBERS
  • Limited to 12 participants
  • The workshop will be conducted in English
  • Confirmation of attendance by November 28, 2011
  • Payment Due upon arrival at Workshop December 4, 2011

​Please RSVP Promptly
Be sure to dress up for the camera as I’ll post photos from the event in a future blog post here on Life at The Table. Be sure to RSVP immediately LifeAtTheTable@hotmail.com to secure your seat at the table.​

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Padma Says it Best – Cloche

It was all in the way she said it “Cloche“, Padma Lakshmi of Bravo TV’s Top Chef that is. Her soft delicate tone of a word I have never heard before provoked me to know more of this thing she called the Cloche . . .

The more I researched the more I found of cloches that are  unique, whimsical, functional and in some cases environmentally necessary.

I see a Cloche of the Month blog coming . . . Send me your Cloche finds and lets all be in praise.

cloche

[klohsh, klawsh]

noun

1.

a bell-shaped metal or glass cover placed over a plate to keep food warm or fresh.

2.
a woman’s close-fitting hat with a deep, bell-shaped crown and often a narrow, turned-down brim.
3.

a bell-shaped glass cover placed over a plant to protect it from frost and to force its growth.
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bacon, Apple & Thyme Risotto with Fried Leeks

I asked my friend Deniz to bring me a cup of white wine for this Risotto Recipe. She was happy to do so and had only one question for me ” How much is a cup ? “. I guess I do speak with an accent in Sweden !

  • 2 Cups ( 380 g) Arborio Rice
  • 6 Cups ( 1400 mL ) Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup ( 240 mL )White Wine
  • 1  Heaping Tablespoon ( 15 mL ) of Garlic minced
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon ( 15 mL ) of Shallot minced
  • 3 Heaping Tablespoons ( 45 mL ) of fresh Thyme cleaned off the stem
  • 1/2 medium Onion chopped
  • 1 Large Leek washed, drained and sliced into 1/4 inch ( 6 mm ) rounds
  • Oil Oil
  • 4 Ounces ( 150 g ) Bacon or Pancetta sliced into 1/4 inch ( 6 mm ) pieces
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2  ( 13 mm ) cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. In a medium size sauce pan heat up stock.
  2. In a shallow saute pan heat up 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil on medium high heat. Fry the Leek pieces until golden brown, apprx 4 minutes. Remove and allow to drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot or deep frying pan on medium high heat add  the Bacon, Onion and Shallot. Fry until Bacon has rendered it’s fat and crisps up slightly.
  4. Add Apples and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add Arborio Rice to pot and stir.
  6. Add Wine to rice mixture,stir until wine has reduced by half.
  7. Reduce heat to medium.
  8. Slowly add a ladle full of stock to the rice pot and stir constantly.Continue to add a ladle full of stock at a time allowing the liquid to be absorbed by the rice for exactly 22 minutes. Tastes the rice to check for doneness. Should be smooth and creamy in texture and have a small bite to the rice.
  9. Stir in Thyme
  10. Serve in bowl and top with Fried Leeks.
Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Cooking Club – Pasta Workshop, Sunday November 20, 2011

As the first installment of the Life at the Table Cooking Club, I’ll be hosting a Pasta Workshop for a select group of friends and colleagues on Sunday November 20, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in my apartment in Malmö.

This is a hands on workshop where you will learn basic pasta dough recipe and ravioli making techniques. Each participant is asked to bring an apron, 2 dish towels and a sheet pan. Each participant will be taking home the raviolis they make as well as tasting a few other pasta dishes that are prepared during the workshop.

Wine, beverages and tapenades will be served so come ready to learn and have fun.


Here are the details:

  • Sunday November 20,2011
  • 11:00 – 16:00
  • Life At The Table Kitchen, Malmö Sweden
  • 275kr per person
  • Limited to 6 participants
  • The workshop will be conducted in English and Italian
  • Confirmation of attendance and full payment due by November 11, 2011

We will cover basic techniques for making pasta dough using both the well method and food processor method. The workshop’s agenda will include:

  1. Techniques for rolling, cutting and shaping pastas such as tagliatelle, tortellini, ravioli, bowties
  2. Recipe and preparation for Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli.
  3. Recipe and preparation for Thyme Chicken and Mushroom Ravioli.
  4. Recipe and preparation for a Tagliatelle in an Autumn Tomato Sauce.
  5. Recipe and preparation for an amazing Sage and Butter sauce a perfect accompaniment to the Ricotta and Spinach Raviolis.

​Please RSVP Promptly
For those of you who received your personal invitation, be sure to dress up for the camera as I’ll post photos from the event in a December blog post here on Life at The Table. Be sure to RSVP immediately LifeAtTheTable@hotmail.com to secure your seat at the table.​

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Kitchen – London National Theatre, a Foodie’s Review

I recently had the opportunity to experience London National Theater’s production, The Kitchen —  a believable glimpse into a 1950 London restaurant kitchen that produces over 1,500 covers in 1 lunch seating. A multi European staff of over 30 characters who are intertwined in workplace frolics, drama and intense discussions all the while preparing for the days lunch service.

Superb choreography allows the audience to sense the emotions of the characters as they interact with each other.

Your eyes never question the believability that the characters are baking bread, dredging fish in flour, mixing pastry cream or sautéing non-imaginary imaginary food. Great care was taken by the director to have his company undergo culinary training courses. You will be delighted to see that fish can still burn and soup can still sour even if it’s not real.

The lunch service ends and the second half shifts your attention to an intimate look into a troubled German cook named Peter who lacks in the ability to be understood by others due to fighting his own demons on a constant basis. His playful facade is ripped away and he is left exposed leaving us with many unanswered questions as well as questioning several of his own answers.

Whether you’re a foodie or not, this 1959 reproduction of Arnold Weskar’s play is well worth seeing.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Cooking for One Club

Cooking for one is great if you like leftovers, have a dog, entertain often, have another single friend who loves to eat and who loves your cooking or, in the worst case scenario, you like eating large portions.

Otherwise it sucks.

Having recently found myself a new member in the Cooking for One Club, I find myself in the category of liking leftovers. My friends are scattered about the globe and my neighbor is an outstanding cook in her own right and needn’t be intruded on by my culinary creations . . . well, at least not yet.

My family origin is Eastern European and we live to cook and feed others. Our recipes do not serve 4 or 6, they serve the masses. Imagine a large pot of heaven for all who stop by with plenty of leftovers for the week.

I remember asking my mother for her stuffed cabbage recipe and she began with “four heads of cabbage, six pounds of ground chuck” etc., etc. I had to laugh out loud as I was simply trying to make enough for two people. She had no idea how to make it for two people and I had to take the recipe, as she knew it, and get a calculator out to reduce the amounts accordingly. All in all, it was a wonderful mother-daughter moment and certainly an insight into the remainder of her recipes I would eventually obtain.

If I don’t join the Cooking for One Club I will be forced to join the Eating Out To Much Club or worse, the Eating Out Alone Club. This will be evident to all as in a short time I will have to ask for a table for two (me and my big ass) and only then will it ultimately lead to the My Clothes Are Too Tight Club.

Cooking for one is a test of my ability to buy and cook the right ratio of food without making waste. It also tests my love of cooking and the amount of time, effort and worth involved. Not to mention I always enjoy being observed by others while I cook, that includes my dog Lulu who never misses a chance to act as a faithful sous-chef (and floor cleaner). She is enamored by skills. Oh how I loved to be watched in my kitchen displaying my knife skills with a handicap of nine fingers (see now you want to watch) and the ability to execute a meal with ease.

My menus as of late have confused my friends who cannot believe I would possibly take the time to prepare chicken chili over rice with creme fraisch and cilantro, entrecote with a mushroom wine reduction sauce or linguine with pancetta and peas tossed in a lemon butter sauce. They themselves are not cooking such creations for their households of two or more.

Fortunately, I don’t anticipate a lifetime membership in the Cooking for One Club. For the time being, I’ll embrace it to ensure my culinary skills don’t dwindle to dangerous zones which could result in an over-abundance of oven burns, shredded knuckles on a micro-plane or worse, chopping off a finger tip with my chef’s knife all because I refused membership.

So, as much as cooking for one sucks, it does test my innate urge to produce for the masses, sharpens my math skills to reduce recipes to single serving portions (with some leftovers) and keeps me from eating out too frequently. Not to mention, preparation of small portions should also keep me from joining the dreaded My Clothes Are Too Tight Club.

I’d love to hear advice and experience from others. What cooking and food storage techniques do you use? What recipes work best? Do share.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Corn and Thyme Risotto Recipe

An amazing marriage of Corn and Thyme makes this a perfect and cozy companion to poultry on a cold Autumn evening.

  • 2 cups uncooked corn cut of the cob (from 4 medium cobs)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 T fresh thyme leaves
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 

  1. Puree 1 cup of the uncooked corn in a food processor until smooth.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the chicken broth to a simmer.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Add the shallot and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the rice and sauté, stirring, 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth and the pureed corn and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed, 5-7 minutes.
  7. Continue adding the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently and waiting until the previous addition has been absorbed before adding more.
  8. After the last cup of broth has been absorbed, let the risotto cook 3 minutes more, stirring.
  9. Add the remaining corn and thyme leaves and cook 2 minutes more.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.
Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Last Box of Mac and Cheese

Ok so it’s not the last box of Mac and Cheese in the world, but, it is the last one in our home that we brought to Sweden from the US.

It pains me to prepare this without my husband Mark here. Most husbands are great at the grill and a few are great in the kitchen. Mark is neither. Don’t get me wrong he is amazingly creative in his business and one would think he could easily create some culinary masterpieces in the kitchen if he applied himself. NOT Happening. however he can make a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese like no one’s business. Whether he doctors it up with canned corn, hot pepper flakes or simply serves it plain. Hands down he is a Top Chef Master in his own right.

I never measure the ingredients and sometimes don’t use milk and this is exactly why I can never reproduce a Mac and Cheese as wonderful as his. He once tried to show me with much frustration how he made it. I questioned his every move ” You really put all 4 Tablespoons of butter in there ?”, “You really use 1/4 cup milk?” . My days of making the household’s future Mac and Cheese were slimming down with each question.

So why am I making it now in his absence ? Simple. Mark is away on a business trip and I’m hungry. And to take it a little deeper it makes me appreciate the small things in life we enjoy and look forward to. So as usual I make a sub par Mac and Cheese and now I look quite forward to my next Mac and Cheese that obviously he will be preparing.

Tagged , , ,

My Journey to a Great Spaetzle Recipe

My search for a good Spaetzle recipe has taken some time, patience and applied food science.

I have tried over 15 different recipes only to find that what works one day may not work exactly the same on another.

Egg size, Flour type and weather easily play a role in the end product.

Something so simple has endless complexities. The reward is worth the effort and matched with a great entree can have you singing your own praises.

2 1/2 Cups Flour

4 Large Eggs at room temperature

1/2  – 3/4 Cup of Whole Milk depending on the weather

1 Tablespoon of Salt

*Yields 4 large servings.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, eggs and salt until well combined.

At this point and depending on egg size, yolk size, etc you slowly add some of the milk until you get a consistency of  a medium firm paste. It should hold together well but not be stiff. You may need to add more flour if too thin or more milk if too thick. The good thing is you can adjust it as you see needed.

Have a large pot of boiling water ready and afix your spaetzle maker to the top. Once the compartment is filled you can adjust the size of the spaetzle with the time you allow it to drop into the water. Another good thing is no matter what the sizes are they will look great and taste great.

Stir often.

When the last of the batter has been dropped. Shut off heat. Stir and leave no longer then a few minutes.

Drain in colander and use immediately.

I served this batch with meatballs and sour creme sauce. Outrageously good.

Tagged , , ,