Monthly Archives: April 2010

Eva-Lena Soderberg’s Swedish Choklad Bollar

200 gram Butter
1 1/2 deciliter Sugar
4 teaspoons Vanilla Sugar
6 tablespoons Chocolate Powder
6 deciliter Oat Flakes
1 teaspoon cold Coffee

Mix together and roll into small balls, cover in coconut flakes, then chill.
(If you do not have Vanilla Sugar, use a couple of drops of Vanilla Extract…)

Dave Knapik’s Eurovision Song Contest 2009


This cocktail needs to be sweet and trashy, with a thin veneer of pseudo-sophistication, as well as slightly embarrassing to admit to liking. Eastern Europe should dominate this drink as much as it dominates the contest, though the west should make an appearance as well, just to give the proceedings a surface appearance of fairness.

* 2 parts vodka
* 1 part Pálinka (Hungarian flavoured brandy) … maybe some other potent Eastern European spirit as a substitute (credit to Kai Hoffman)
* a dash of Angostura Bitters “to represent the dashed hopes of anyone not from east of the Danube” (credit to Jo Tacon)

Eastern Dominance
2 parts vodka
1 part slivovica (Slovakian plum brandy)
Shake with ice and serve in a martini glass

Western Ruin
1 part dry London gin, preferably Bombay Sapphire or Gordon’s
1 part French brandy
Shake with ice and serve in a martini glass

The Terry Wogan
This drink must taste bitter and bitchy but be ultimately endearing.
1 part dry London gin, preferably Bombay Sapphire or Gordon’s
1 part Jameson Irish Whiskey
a dash of Angostura Bitters
Essentially it’s a Smoky Martini with Irish whiskey instead of Scotch and a dash of bitters thrown in.

Wake Up With Wogan

Because some days you require alcohol earlier than others, this is same as The Terry Wogan, but mixed with orange juice to taste to lend it a pre-evening air of respectability. Although generally this should be made with anywhere from four to six parts orange juice, it can be made with as much or as little as you’d like. You can even make it with no orange juice. Yes, I know that would leave you with simply a Terry Wogan, but here’s the best bit: you can still call it a Wake Up With Wogan. You’re not an alcoholic, you just prefer your Wake Up With Wogan dry.

Douze Points
1 generous glass of your favourite 12 year old Scotch whisky
1 Gauloises cigarette
Smoke this classic French cigarette whilst drinking a fine glass of whisky. If you must speak whilst enjoying your twelve points, you are required to do so in English with a fake, vaguely Continental accent.
Irelande Douze Pointe
1 pint of Guinness
1 shot of Ouzo 12
Sink the shot in the Guinness and it’s 2008 with turkeys all over again!

A Hidden Place – vinyl & download release


Sohrab – A Hidden Place

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Daniela Cascella’s Grandmother’s pasta (nonna Maria)

For two people:

150 grams fusilli pasta
1 big onion (or 2 small)
400 grams ripe plum tomatoes (or, a can of chopped tomatoes)
100 grams black olives
a spoonful of raisins
½ spoonful of capers
a spoonful of pine nuts
two spoonfuls extra virgin olive oil

Chop the onion finely, put in a pan with the olive oil and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Add the raisins, capers, olives and pine nuts and let it cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, put the lid on the pan and keep on a low flame for 15 minutes.
Cook the pasta separately and then mix the sauce.

Best served with Italian red wine! Philologically, I would recommend a bottle of Taurasi or Rubrato, which are from the same region this recipe comes from. Away from the region, Valpolicella Ripasso or Montefalco would do, too.

Carl Michael von Hausswolff’s Meatballs

Minced beaf
Minced lamb
Yellow onion
Black pepper
White bread crumbs

Get the ingredients, chop up the onions in small pieces and mix with the rest.

Roll small balls.
Eat with mashed potatoes, lingon berry jam and a sauce made from the rests in the pan… just add some milk.
A nice red wine from Bourgogne would suit well.

Brian Morton’s Beetroot Cured Salmon

(Saumon Tchernakova – but as yet untasted (here at least) by the dedicatee!)

Need: salmon tail, or thinnish (not too) pieces;
vinegar and/or lemon juice;
a shallot;
clove of garlic;
vodka (optional but very good);
salt/pepper; to serve: dill;
sour cream/creme fraiche

Boil the beetroots whole and then mash them down in the cooking water, which should have a drop of vinegar, chopped shallot, smashed garlic, vodka, half the dill (or just the stalks) 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper added.
Strain the juice off, taste and add lemon/salt/pepper to taste.
Then when still warm but not hot, immerse the salmon tail or pieces in.
Refrigerate when cool for two hours.
To serve: remove and drain, then slice through each piece at an acute angle, revealing pink centre and red exterior.
Serve with sour cream, chopped dill, raw red onion or shallot; frisee salad

Salmon confit

Need: fillets of salmon (NOT darnes on the bone) or trout;
olive oil or flavoured oil (lemon/chili);
bunch of tarragon, or dill, salt, lemon juice;
thermometer or guesswork

Put all the tarragon and plenty oil in a blender and whiz till fine.
Meantime, lightly salt the salmon pieces (still with skin on bottom) and sprinkle them with lemon juice.
Then, while salmon sits, strain the oil, ideally through a bit of muslin or fine sieve.
Shake excess salt and lemon juice from each piece of salmon and immerse in strained oil for two hours, or a bit more.
When ready, take out salmon and WARM oil to 43 C.
When temperature reached put salmon back in oil and keep temperature steady for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Take out, drain on paper and serve as required; fish is neither ‘raw’ nor ‘cooked’ – looks the former, but tastes closer to the latter, and it should have the aroma of the oil in it.
ALTERNATIVELY, if no kitchen thermometer, warm the oil in a pan till you can feel it with a finger tip get hotter than blood heat.
Then pour over the fish in a bowl which is standing in larger bowl of boiling water, but off the heat – works just as well.
If the fish goes opaque very quickly, it’s too hot. It should ideally look ‘different’ but not cooked – the marinade makes the connective tissue break down and changes the texture, which is soft AND flaky.
We’re addicted to it at the moment, which given that Loch Striven salmon is cheaper than mince, is a mercy.

(I once made it ‘three ways’, with a portion of confit, a portion of minced raw salmon and a little piece deep fried in tempura batter, plus trimmings)