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Cover: Quick cuisine

Meal for 4 people

04Oct 12

Beef Stroganoff

Beef StroganoffBeef Stroganoff, the popular Russian a dish, is a classic that doesn’t take too much time and can be fun to make! There are many variations, but this recipe, with tender beef fillet strips in a sour cream, onion and mushroom sauce, involves flambéing the meat in brandy.

The first time I made it, my flatmate and I had some laughs at my attempt at flambéing. I was careful, though, and no accidents occurred! And I learned two important things. 1) The alcohol won’t ignite if it’s cold; it should be warmed slightly first. 2) The food shouldn’t be left with the liquor too long before lighting; otherwise it will absorb the alcohol and acquire a harsh taste.

Another good tip is to chill the meat in the freezer for about half an hour beforehand to help cut the beef into thin strips.

If you are really hungry, you could always pair this dish up with Russian rye bread, in keeping with the Russian theme.

Beef Stroganoff
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Beef Stroganoff is a classic and popular Russian dish of beef fillet strips in a sour cream, onion and mushroom sauce.
Ingredients
  • 650g beef fillet, seasoned with salt and pepper and cut into thin strips
  • 300g mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
  • 100g butter
  • 150ml brandy
  • 100ml sour cream
  • 100ml beef stock
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat a deep frying pan until hot and then add half of the butter.
  2. Lightly fry the beef strips in the frying pan until they are golden brown on the outside and pink on the inside.
  3. Warm the brandy in the microwave for 15 seconds until it is warm to the touch.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the brandy. Use a long lighter to light it, and flambé the beef (with caution!).
  5. When the flames have disappeared, cover the pan and put to one side.
  6. Warm the rest of the butter in a saucepan, add the chopped onion and mushrooms and fry until the onion is transparent.
  7. Add the mustard, beef stock and sour cream and cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened.
  8. Add the beef and its juice, season if necessary, and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  9. Serve with fresh pasta or rice.

 

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15Aug 12

Baked Halibut with mixed herbs

Baked Halibut with mixed herbs
Halibut
is quite a versatile and relatively inexpensive fish. It has a non-oily, but firm and mild-flavoured flesh. It is capable of absorbing other flavours well, making it great for experimenting with in the kitchen! And it can be substituted for other kinds of fish and sometimes chicken in many recipes. If you don’t like fishy tasting seafood but want to include fish in your diet, halibut is a good choice.

My first experience with halibut was when I was a young girl. Of course, my mum made sure that my piece didn’t contain any bones. She mixed together a simple butter sauce to drizzle over the tender fish, and I loved it! She and I like to experiment together with various dressings, and I owe part of the credit for this recipe to her. We have a lot of fun, and I appreciate that she instilled in me the importance of fish in a healthy balanced diet.

Of course, some of my favourite creamy toppings are not necessarily low-calorie…. But overall, fish has a lot of health benefits.

This Baked Halibut with mixed herbs is just lovely. As it’s cooked in lemon juice, garlic, parsley, chives and thyme, all those different flavours soak into the fish, making a really tasty meal. But be careful not to overcook the halibut, or it will dry out because of its low oil content.

For a spicier dinner, try this yellow thai fish curry.

Baked Halibut with mixed herbs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This Baked Halibut with mixed herbs is cooked in lemon juice, garlic, parsley, chives and thyme.
Ingredients
  • 650g halibut steak or fillet, cut into 8 pieces
  • 60ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  2. Crush the garlic using the back of a wide-bladed knife or in a pestle and mortar.
  3. In a bowl, mix the garlic, herbs and a couple of pinches of salt together until well-blended, then add the lemon juice and stock.
  4. Place the fish in a baking dish, pour over the herb mixture and cover with foil. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the meat is white, opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Serve immediately, pouring the juices from the baking dish over the fish and adding pepper to taste.
  6. Can be served with vegetables, rice or potatoes.

 

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31Jul 12

Tuna lasagna with goat’s cheese and ginger

Tuna lasagna with goat's cheese and gingerLast night I wanted to try out my new oven-safe form and thought that lasagna would be a good idea. I took the ingredients I had at home and, lo and behold, made a delicious tuna lasagna with goat’s cheese and ginger that turned out to be quite a success! At first, the ingredients may sound a bit odd, but why don’t you try it yourself? I think you’ll like it.

Lasagna is an ideal food for students  because you can often use basic ingredients that you have at home – such as tomato sauce, and then add the ingredients that you happen to have at hand. Top it off with some cheese, pop it in the oven, and voila!

What we need:

  • 150g of tinned tuna
  • 2 large mushrooms or many small ones (should fill a medium-size frying pan)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 350g of tomato sauce
  • 1 dl of milk
  • 100g of goat’s cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Lasagna noodles (about 10)
  • 100g of Cheddar cheese, grated

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a medium-size frying pan.
  3. Wash and chop the mushrooms into chunks.
  4. Place the mushrooms in the frying pan and let them fry for 10 minutes.
  5. Chop the onion into slices. Once the mushrooms are done, place them on a plate for later.
  6. Place the onion in the frying pan and let fry for 3 minutes. Add the garlic.
  7. Pour the tomato sauce into the frying pan. Add the mushrooms and the milk.
  8. Let it all simmer for 3 minutes.
  9. Add the tuna and the grated ginger. Mix it all properly and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  10. Add a small amount of the tomato and tuna sauce to the bottom of the oven-safe form.
  11. Now, alternate between lasagna noodles and the sauce.
  12. In one of the layers, add the sliced goat’s cheese.
  13. On top of the last layer, sprinkle the grated Cheddar cheese.
  14. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Note: There are several ways to bake pasta, and lasagna is just one of them. Another option is this baked penne with Dolcelatte and radicchio. Try it!

Time needed: 60 minutes
Serves: 4
Level: easy-intermediate

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18Jun 12

Pollock in caviar sauce with dill

Pollock in caviar sauce with dillA cheap kind of caviar or a caviar substitute can work wonders as flavouring in sauces, and adds a bit of excitement to dishes such as this healthy fish recipe made using Pollock in caviar sauce with dill. A creamed smoked roe, caviar paste or a similar caviar substitute can be used in this recipe, and dill adds an extra flavour to this light dish.

I like adding veggies to my recipes. With this sauce, I recommend corn and green beans. For extra substance, serve the fish alongside boiled potatoes, lightly salted. (Also try this broiled salmon with spicy bell pepper sauce.)

Corn is a superb source of fibre and vitamin C and is closely identified with the Americas, perhaps more so than any other food. Did you know that the Mayans revered maize? They expressed their respect and appreciation in everyday rituals and as well as in their religious ceremonies. Corn was equally highly valued by the Native Americans of North America. So there you have it – not only yummy and healthy, but with an interesting history too!

What we need:

  • 400g of Alaska Pollock
  • 1/2 a leek
  • a small tin of corn
  • 250ml of single cream
  • 4 tablespoons of caviar (add according to taste)
  • 200g of frozen green beans
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped dill
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 30g Parmesan cheese

How to make it:

  1. Defrost the fish. Once done, cut it into 4 pieces. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. While it’s heating up, wash and peel the leek. Cut into thin slices.
  3. Bring water to the boil in a pot and cook the frozen green beans for 10 minutes, per the instructions on the package.
  4. Place the pieces of fish in an oven-safe form and sprinkle over the salt and pepper. Place the form in the oven for around 15 minutes.
  5. As the fish is cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the leek for a few minutes.
  6. Add the cream to the pan and let it all boil together for 5 minutes. Add the caviar and more salt and pepper according to taste.
  7. Add the dill, corn and green beans, stirring it all together. When well-mixed, pour the sauce over the fish in the oven-safe form.
  8. Sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and place in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  9. Serve hot.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

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09Jun 12

Mushroom lasagna with mozzarella and tomatoes

Mushroom lasagnaI´m a big fan of Italian cooking, but usually I don´t have time for more than throwing a handful of macaroni and some vegetables into a saucepan and letting them boil together. Last Friday night I thought I´d try a more elaborate pasta dish and found this recipe for mushroom lasagna with mozzarella and tomatoes to be easy enough even for a busy student like me.

Although the preparation does take some time, after that the lasagna makes itself in the oven while I bury my head in the books. Half an hour later, the dish is ready and you can have yourself a well-deserved treat!

What we need:

  • 300g dry fusilli pasta
  • 450g of sliced mushrooms (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/2 a courgette
  • 400 grams of chopped tomatoes from a tin
  • 400 of crème fraîche
  • 400g of mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • a sprig of fresh basil (optional)

How we make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, boil the pasta, but not too much as it will later go in the oven as well.
  3. If you use frozen mushrooms, place them in a frying pan and fry until the liquid is gone. Place them on a plate for later use.
  4. Peel and chop the garlic, onion and courgettes.
  5. Fry them along with olive oil in a frying pan and then add the chopped tomatoes and the sugar. Let it boil for around 10 minutes.
  6. Heat the crème fraîche in a saucepan and take half of the mozzarella and place it in lumps in the crème fraîche. Let them melt together. Add the salt and pepper.
  7. Take an oven-safe form and put some of the tomato sauce in the bottom.
  8. Place a layer of the fusilli on top, covering the form.
  9. Now, alternate between the crème fraîche sauce, tomato sauce and fusilli pasta.
  10. On the top, place the rest of the crème fraîche sauce and add the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
  11. Place in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and sprinkle over the fresh basil.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 50 minutes (including oven time)
Level: easy – intermediate

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01Jun 12

Lamb with couscous and apricot salad

Lamb with couscous and Apricot saladI try not to eat a lot of meat, but recently I have taken a shining to finding lamb dishes, and the other day I went on a splurge to a Moroccan restaurant searching for something new and interesting. There I realised that couscous is a rice substitute that I had overlooked. After seeing that I could combine lamb and couscous together, I thought I’d try this lamb with couscous and apricot salad, which is a really light and fresh lunch that won’t leave you feeling heavy in any way.

If you are a vegetarian, you could also try this pistachio and cranberry couscous with goat’s cheese. Either way, couscous makes a satisfying salad!

As it is equally delicious served warm or cold, it is also ideal for a spring picnic. Just put the lamb in one container and the couscous and apricot salad in another and combine them on arrival!

What we need:

  • 600g lamb, cubed or cut into small pieces
  • 400g of couscous
  • 12 dried apricots
  • 1 tablespoon of pressed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 dl of cashew nuts
  • 30g raisins
  • a handful of chopped almonds
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 pinches of ground pepper
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 10 coriander leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (to garnish)

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Fry the lamb in a frying pan in the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the meat in an oven-safe form and place in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes until ready.
  4. In a sauce pan, boil the couscous according to the instructions on the package.
  5. Meanwhile, chop the apricots into small pieces.
  6. Mix the olive oil with the lemon juice and cinnamon.
  7. Add the apricots, cashew nuts, raisins and almonds with the lemon juice/olive oil mixture.
  8. Add the couscous when it is ready. Mix it all carefully. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
  9. Serve the couscous salad as the base on a plate and place the lamb on top.
  10. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and garnish with the cinnamon stick.

Time needed: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
Level: Easy

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17May 12

Potato au gratin with pesto and salmon steaks

Potato au gratin with pesto and salmon steaksDid you know that potatoes are delicious with green pesto? I find that making potato bakes (or potato au-gratin, if you want to sound sophisticated) is an easy and comfy way of making a proper dish if you are looking for more variety instead of always eating boiled or mashed potatoes.

Add some vegetables, such as mushrooms and red onion, and blend pesto with yoghurt or crème fraiche for a creamy sauce. Within the hour, you’ll have a dish that looks like a lot of work has gone into it, when really it was a doddle to make!

If you prefer chicken, use chicken breasts instead of salmon steaks in this meal. For more pesto and chicken recipes, I recommend this pesto chicken with caramelised aubergine, roast tomatoes, and olives.

What we need:

  • 4 small salmon steaks (500g)
  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 big mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of green pesto
  • 250g Greek natural yoghurt (for cooking) or crème fraîche
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese (about 6 slices)

How to make it:
1. Defrost the salmon steaks.
2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
3. Wash and peel the potatoes. Chop into thin slices. Place on a plate for later.
4. Wash and chop the mushrooms, onion and pepper into medium-size pieces.
6. Grate the garlic into a frying pan with some of the oil.
7. Add the onion and pepper and let it all become soft.
8. Add the mushrooms, mix it properly and let it all fry for 5 minutes.
9. Pour the yoghurt into a bowl and add the pesto. Mix it carefully.
10. Cover the bottom of an oven-safe form with some of the yoghurt /pesto mix.
11. On top, place slices of potatoes.
12. Next, alternate between yoghurt/pesto mix, vegetables and layers of potatoes.
13. On top of the last potato layer, sprinkle the grated cheese.
14. Place in oven for 60 minutes or until potatoes are ready.
15. 10 minutes before the potato au gratin is ready, and when the salmon is defrosted, place the steaks into a frying pan with some of the olive oil and fry until lightly brown.
16. Serve the salmon steaks with the potato au gratin and a rocket salad.

Serves: 4

Time needed: preparation 15 minutes + 60 mines in oven

Level: easy-intermediate

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03May 12

Time-saving sweet chilli fish

Time-saving sweet chilli fishAttention fish lovers: Sweet chilli fish with rice is a dish for those of you who like the taste of the delights from the sea but don´t really have the patience to cook dishes which use up a lot of your precious time.

You know who you are: you are always on the run, and your greatest wish is for food to cook itself, but you also want your food to be healthy. You are tired of ready-made microwaved food and of counting just how many E-numbers have been thrown in.
Here you will learn how cooking fish dishes need not be difficult or time-consuming, and your health will thank you.

This dish literally cooks itself; while the rice is simmering, you have time to tend to other things. All you have to do is chop an onion or garlic, mix the ingredients, and the rest takes care of itself.

This sweet and sour chilli fish dish is an easy, no-fuss, midweek dish. Just don’t forget to put the timer on!

What we need:
• 600g of cod
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1 garlic clove or 1/2 yellow onion
• 1 decilitre of parsley
• 50-75g of butter
• juice from 1/2 a lemon
• 1 tablespoon of honey
• 1 teaspoon of sambal oelek

Tip to save time: You can also use a ready-made sweet chilli sauce instead of lemon, honey and sambal. It can be found in most food shops. With the remaining sauce, try sweet chilli and lemongrass prawns!

How to make it:
1. Set the oven to 225 degrees Celsius.
2. Place the cleaned fish in an oven-safe form and sprinkle some salt over it.
3. Chop the garlic and parsley.
4. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Mix in the garlic, lemon juice, honey and sambal oelek.
5. Slowly pour the mixture over the fish.
6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes.
7. Serve with whole grain rice mixed with lightly cooked vegetables. (These can be defrosted frozen vegetables which are added at the last minute to the rice.)

Time needed: approximately 25 minutes
Serves: 4
Level: easy (especially when using the ready-made sauce)

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25Apr 12

Tagliatelle with salmon

Tagliatelle with salmon

 

This dish of Tagliatelle with salmon, horseradish and dill is not only easy to make, it is also tasty and healthy. Horseradish is thought to have both antibiotic and anti-inflammatory effects and can help boost the immune system. And lo and behold, some say it even has aphrodisiacal properties.

The more I research the benefits of horseradish, the more I find. This ingredient is similar to mustard and is a cheap substitute for the Japanese wasabi used in sushi. It seems to be a superfood that not only adds punch to a dish, but also can help fight everything from the common cold and flu to urinary tract infections. In traditional folk medicine, it is thought to be one of the best treatments against sinus problems as it clears them when they are congested.

Forget chicken noodle soup – this is what I usually make when I am feeling a bit under the weather. Just a few weeks ago, I got caught in a rainstorm and had the sniffles for several days. This hearty recipe warmed my belly, and the next day I was feeling much better. Whether it was the horseradish, the hot creamy sauce that soothed my sore throat or the long nap I took afterwards, somehow this recipe got me feeling revived and much more energetic!

There are a number of products in which you can find horseradish; the basic prepared horseradish, cream-style prepared horseradish, specialty mustards, dips, spreads, relishes and dressings can all contain this flavourful ingredient.

Since I am a huge fan of pasta in all its varieties, I thought I´d try this dish with tagliatelle, a broad flat pasta. I hope you enjoy this dish!

What we need:

  • 150g dried tagliatelle
  • 200g of gravadlax (dry-cured salmon)
  • 200ml of light creme fraiche
  • 1/2 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped dill

How to make it:

1. Boil the pasta according to instructions on the package.
2. Cut the salmon into a saucepan and add the crème fraiche, honey, lemon and horseradish. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for a few minutes.
4. Add the dill.
5. When the pasta is ready, drain it and add to the crème fraiche and salmon sauce.
6. Mix carefully and serve immediately.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: easy

Note: I also recommend this baked salmon with red pesto, red peppers and tomatoes.

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15Apr 12

Baked potatoes with leek and Mascarpone cheese

Baked Potato with Leeks and Mascarpone CheeseDuring the winter time, I have found that my body craves more starchy foods such as potatoes. Mmmm…. The best part is that there is a huge variety of potato dishes! They can be baked, cooked, fried, boiled, and sautéed. They can be served hot or cold; as an accompaniment, main ingredient or in a salad. I have tried elaborate crushed new potatoes with feta cheese or plain potatoes with just a pinch of salt. This veggie can be cooked in any way imaginable and still be delicious.

The best part is that potatoes are year-round and cheap. These types of meals definitely fit into my student budget.

One easy potato dish is the baked potato. I have always loved how versatile baked potatoes can be, with basically hundreds of different fillings to choose from. For me, crispy baked potatoes with leek and Mascarpone cheese has become one of my personal favourites, since I can add whatever I want to the basic recipe: crispy bacon, sliced ham, sliced and fried chicken, tuna, or why not pieces of fried salmon? It is so easy to make and perfect for a winter evening!

What we need:

  • 4 large potatoes for baking
  • 1/2 a leek
  • 1 red onion
  • 25g of Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 a red pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 a decilitre of chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 a decilitre of chopped green onion

How we make it:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 225 degrees.
2. Wash the potatoes and place them in the oven for 50-60 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, chop the pepper and onion into very fine pieces and chop the leek.
4. Fry the leek in the olive oil and add the red pepper, onion and thyme. Let it fry for 1-2 minutes and add salt and pepper according to taste.
5. Prepare the Mascarpone cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.
6. When the potatoes are ready, cut a cross on the top and make a hole by removing some of the inside of the potato.
7. Place a tablespoon of the cheese in the hole made in the potatoes.
8. Let it melt a little and then add a tablespoon of the leek, onion and pepper mix.

Voila! Sprinkle a bit of chopped green onion on top for presentation, and your baked potatoes are served!

Serves: 4
Time needed: 10 minutes + 50 minutes for the potatoes in the oven
Level: very easy

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