Pai perdu, French toast

Pain perdu

Pain perdu, French toast, Poor Knights, Arme riddere are crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, lightly spiced and golden with a few local variations. This is a quick and easy recipe with no sugar in the main recipe.

My first encounter with french toast was from watching the movie Kramer vs Kramer a long long time ago, yes I am that old.  Mrs. Kramer had just left her husband and son, and the two left behind was going to make breakfast together. Mr. Kramer beat egg and milk in a mug and mashed a piece of white bread into the mixture. His son told him that his mom did it differently. I on the other hand could not understand why he did that at all, and specially after trying it myself. I remember beating egg and milk in a bowl about 50/50, then soaked a piece of white bread in it and then I fried it. The result was a mushy substance I did not care for at all. When my mom came home she showed me how to do it and used stale bread with a much better result. It was still not a huge success it did not become one of my favorites, it was to mushy. Today it is different, I love it and make it quite often and specially if I have stale bread lying around.

French toast, Pain oerdu, arme riddere.

I used brioche brought back from paris, but you can use any kind of bread. Since I am diabetic I do not use sugar in the batter. I rather use sweet condiments later. If you want you can add a bit of sugar into the mixture 1-3 teaspoons, but try without, the spices will give them a lot of flavour.

4 (1/2 inch) slices egg bread
2 egg
1 pinch salt, can be discarded
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 dl milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter for frying

 

Cut the bread the stale bread.

Whisk  all the ingredients except the bread in a bowl, place a piece of bread in a shallow pan and pour the mixture over the bread let it soak a bit(about 30 seconds) before frying it in a pan with a bit of butter on medium to high heat.

Repeat with the remaining slices. Cook until golden on one side and then flip to brown the other.

Serve immediately with the condiments you like, I used no added sugar raspberry jam with a drizzle og maple syrup and a few raspberries as garnish and to give this treat a little tartness.

Grilled cheese, French, Fried egg, Crock Madame

Crock Madame

Crunchy gooey French grilled cheese sandwich topped with an egg.

Crock Madame

In Norway they have a saying “A loved child has many names”, I guess it goes for this dish also, Grilled cheese sandwiches are loved by many and eaten around the world. Who is to say what is the right or the wrong way to make this sandwich. For the traditional Crock Monsieur you need bread, preferably brioche, cooked ham and cheese, some also use bechamel sauce.

Brioch, Poilâne

My version today is quite easy, I used brioche that I brought with me from MiniMe and my trip to Paris. I used Truffle Jack cheese, egg and I dropped the ham this time. If you scroll down, abow the last picture in this post there is a list of different crock sandwiches

For each sandwich I made I used:

2 slices of brioche(use any type of bread)
2 slices of truffle Jack(use your favoroite cheese)
1 egg
A little lettuce and tomatoes for garnish and added nutrients.

Grilled cheese sandwich

Pre heat oven to 200 C

Toast the bread in a pan with a little butter, sandwiched the cheese between the bread.

Place the sandwich on a baking paper lined baking tray and put the sandwich in the middle of the oven. The sandwich is done as soon as the cheese has melted.

While the sandwich is baking fry the egg in a pan with a little butter on medium heat. As soon as it is done, place the egg on top of your sandwich and enjoy.

Grilled cheese, French, Fried egg, Crock Madame

croque provençal (with tomato)
croque auvergnat (with bleu d’Auvergne cheese)
croque gagnet (with Gouda cheese and andouille sausage)
croque norvégien (with smoked salmon instead of ham)
croque tartiflette (with sliced potatoes and Reblochon cheese)
croque bolognese / croque Boum-Boum (with Bolognese sauce)
croque señor (with tomato salsa)
croque Hawaiian (with a slice of pineapple)

MiniMe and I lunching at Fauchon in Pais. I had risotto with truffles and she had crock monsieur made with only bread, ham and cheese.

 

Refreshing kiwi smoothie

Photo: Anastasia Khan

Nice and refreshing kiwi drink.

This fruit drink/smoothie used to be MiniMes favourite beverage when we  lived in South Korea. When we went to a cafe for coffee mornings with the baby or maternity groups she would get a kiwi drink as long as she had eaten her meal. To make this drink healthier I started to add spinach, banana, broccoli when I made it at home, see recipe HEREThis beverage though is just kiwi, water and sweetener.

For these two glasses I used:

5 kiwi
1-1,5 dl water
sugar or sweetener to taste

Peel and cut the kiwi into smaller pieces, put the fruit in a blender with the water and whizz until smooth.

Add sweetener to your liking, if the kiwis are sweet enough you do not need any sweetener. Sometimes when you add water to fruit drinks they tend to get a bit bland, so that is why I sometimes add a bit of sugar or soe other sweetener so it wont taste  watery.

Serve the drink cool and enjoy.

Chocolate shake, Milkl shake, Analiza Gonzales, MiniMe

Chocolate shake

MiniMe makes frothy, thick, creamy smooth chocolate shake.

I do not remember where I drunk my first chocolate shake, but I do remember it was when I was a little kid. To me a really nice shake must be thick, creamy and a little frothy like a smoothie. I have been to so many places and gotten shakes and smoothies that are runny like milk and juice and I must confess that I get disappointed, specially here in Norway where a regular shake costs from US$ 10,- and up. If I want a chocolate milk, I won’t order a chocolate shake, If I want a fruit juice, I won’t order a fruit smoothie. To me the main difference between a chocolate milk and a chocolate shake is the consistency.

I believe that being a food and drink blogger is that what you make is to inspire others, a guide line to how to and not necessarily to show the correct way to make the recipes, except when it comes to baking that is a little more chemistry mixed with cooking. We all have different reference points, what I think is too sweet, might be bland for others. What i think might have just enough heat might be to hot for someone else. It depends on what we are used too, what our reference points. Having said that I should also mention that our reference point is always changing. every bit of memory lingers with us, a memory that is helping us determine whether or not the next thing we taste is good or bad. I can remember my parents longing for a dish from the Philippines, but when they finally get it they are sort of disappointed, because it is not as good as they remember it. Their palate had changed and gotten used to ingredients in their new country, our point of reference is ever-changing. When it comes to a chocolate shake recipe I have one criteria and that is the consistency, thick and creamy, the rest is plain and easy.

You need:

3 parts chocolate ice cream
1 part Milk
Melted white chocolate, optional
Melted dark chocolate, optional
Whipped cream, optional
Sprinkles, optional

Decorate the inside of the glasses you want to use with melted white and dark chocolate.

Whip the cream, and when it is finished set it a side.

Add ice cream and milk in a blender and blend untill every thing is smooth and frothy.

Pour into the decorated glasses, add some whipped cream and garnish with some sprinkles.

Finally add the straws and enjoy.

 

Instant Phố Bò

Super quick Phố Bò a Vietnamese beef noodle soup

Sometimes time just flies and you do not have time to make dinner or you just do not feel like making anything. For occasions like these I always have a small stash of different kind of instant noodles in my cupboard. I had some thinly sliced roast beef in the fridge that I was going to use for sandwiches, red onion, some fresh coriander, fresh bean sprouts and chili. So my choise was easy I as it happened that I had some instant Phố Bò.

I could have saved my self a little dishwashing and used the paper containers the noodles came in, but since it is the dishwasher which has to do the work I thought proper bowls was best, and sitting  arround the table we would get the feel we wnjoyed a proper made meal.

For this 5 minute meal I used:

Instant Phố Bò
A few slices of red onion
Thinly slice roast beef
Fresh bean sprouts
Fresh coriander
A few slices of chili

Follow the instructions for the instant noodles and add some red onions before you add the water.

Arrange a plate with the rest of the ingredients and serve everything together at the table so that each and everyone get to add as much of the ingredients as they want.

It took a maximum of 5 minutes to prepare and make and a little bit longer to enjoy before we all headed out the door for other activities.

Watermelon and strawberry drink

Cooling and refreshing drink made with watermelon and strawberries.

I was six years old when my father took me on vacation to the Philippines for the first time and I was in watermelon heaven. Watermelon was not a common fruit in Norway in the seventies, even in season they were not in abundance. I can remember enjoying red watermelons and yellow watermelons, sitting outside in the sun with half a watermelon and a spoon or with a big tall glass with a watermelon drink.

There is a technique to find a nice ripe watermelon, my dad knew how, but I miss most of the time. When I unfortunately get a pinkish and not so tasty watermelon I usually make it drinkable or use it in salads. The watermelon as a refreshment has been so sacred that it is mostly eaten or drunk pure. But this watermelon was so pink that I thought it would look a little bland, so I added a little strawberries to make it a little brighter. I was a little skeptical trying this because I have not been very fond of watermelon blended with anything else, the flavour of the watermelon tends to be overpowered. To my surprise this was really good.

I used:

3 parts watermelon
1 part strawberries
1 part water
Sugar or some other sweetener
Mint for garnish.

Whizz everything in a blender, sweeten to taste and cool it in the fridge or serve it right away with some ice cubes.

Genki

Genki desu ka?元気ですか?Or Genki for short is the closest thing to “How are you?” in English.  But in Japanese it literally means, “Are you fine/healthy?”

One of the newest  addition to Oslo’s restaurant scene is Genki (元気). A japanese restaurant located at Vika terasse not far from the main street of Oslo Karl Johans gate and the Royal Palace. The restaurants head chef Vladimir Pak and his team mix the long and old nippon traditions smootly with Nordic flavours, giving you a taste voyage through traditional Kaiseki setting in a new and innovative way. They strive to use only Norwegian and Japanese produce that you can enjoy in a modern and pleasant environment.

Clock wise from top left: 1. Rice cracker with lemon and pepper, from the kaiseki menu. 2. Salmon tartar and wakame. 3. Maki with tuna tartar, ox tongue tartar and king crab. 4. Ceviche miso, from the kaiseki menu

At Genki you can lower your shoulders, relax and enjoy the staffs informal interaction with you, were they make sure that you will have and enjoy a wonderful and tasty experience. In Vladimir Pak hands you will surely get a quality meal, he secured a third place in the World Sushi Championship last year.

Kaiseki is a traditional multi course Japanese dinner. The term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow the preparation of such meals, and is analogous to Western haute cuisine. Genki offers three different menus for dinner, a fourteen course kaiseki menu, you can enjoy all fourteen or sample two or three. If you are vegan, you too can enjoy a few dishes too and if you are vegetarian you can enjoy a few more. They also serve a set three coarse meal and maki menu with a vegetarian option.

Price wise this place is decent. The fourteen course meal cost NOK 825,-  about US$ 98,-  or Euro 88,- in today’s currency exchange. You can see two of the dishes in the second picture from the top.

You can also go and enjoy lunch at Genki. The lunch menu is shorter and not so elaborate as the dinner menu, you have the choise of four meals to choose from. The bento box in picture above is from their lunch menu, crispy tonkatsu, ceviche miso with toasted pumpkin seeds, mixed salad with sesame dressing, vegetable maki, fried maki with salmon and steamed rice. As my bento box was placed in front of me, an older petite japanese lady came in the door. I could hear her say that she had just heard about the place and wanted to try it out, she happened to order the same as me. I could not help myself and as she was paying I popped by and asked her if she enjoyed her meal and how she would compare it to a traditional japanese meal. She said it was very tasty and she enjoyed it very much and it was a lot of food, she was not used to so much for lunch.

Vegetarian maki, Genki Vika terasse, Oslo, Analiza Gonzales, Japanese
Vegetarian maki

Genki shares a kitchen with Omakase by Alex Cabiao the newly opened Oslo version of the only Michelin stared sushi restaurant i Norway, Sabi Omakase in Stavanger wich is runned by Alex’s  previous apprentice Roger Askila Joya. The Oslo based Edomae style restaurant as the name suggests will be headed by Alex Cabiao the grand master of sushi here in Norway and among the top sushi chefs in the world. He has trained every renowned sushi chef in this Nordic country.

The team of chef at Genki right to left Jonathan Romano, Alex Cabiao, Mark Subia, Vladimir Pak

A not so known member of this Sushi family is Mark Jayson Subia who also is an apprentice of Alex. He won the Global Sushi Challenge in Oslo in 2015 and represented Norway in Tokyo. Praised by both Alex and Jonathan, they predict that we will hear more from this guy in the future.

I give this place a thumbs up and if you are in Oslo, Norway, I recommend that you come and visit these places.

Soft and fluffy Hokkaido milk bread

Milk bread recipe

Holy Moly, if I had just known about Tangzhong earlier, I would have used this method when baking sweet buns a long time ago, worst of all I lived in Asia during the 1990s when this japanese technique got popularized through the book The 65° Bread Doctor. Using this method allows bread to stay fresh longer without needing to use artificial preservatives. I used to enjoy savory filled milk bread while living in Hong kong and little did I know back then that the technique used was quite new, I learnt this method much later.

Tangzhong-water roux is usually one part flour to 5 parts water, but you can use milk or a combination of both. The best ratio for using this is, for every 100 g of flour you need 35 g of Tangzhong

These Hokkaido milk bread are the mother of all fluffy buns.

What is Tanzhong? Well it is just a simple paste made out of flour and milk that you heat up, it is similar to a roux when making sauce, but without the butter. The paste which is the starter, is then mixed into the dough and will produce the most soft and bouncy bread.

Why that happens, I do not know, but I experimented with something similar a little while ago, I made sour cream doughnuts and used a choux pastry base and got super fluffy drop doougnuts see recipe HERE

FLOUR PASTE
5 tbsp milk
1 tbsp flour
DOUGH
5 dl flour
0,6 dl sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1,25 dl warm whole milk
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and softened at room temperature, plus a little extra for buttering baking pan.

EGG WASH
1 egg
1 tbsp milk

 

First you make the starter, in a small pot, whisk flour and milk together until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often until it thickens. When it’s ready, the spoon will leave tracks on the bottom of the pot. Put the mixture in a cup and lightly cover the surface with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a baking bowl .

In a separate bowl mix the milk, egg and the Tangzhong and then pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix and knead until everything is combined for 5 minutes or so. (I used all of the tangzhong I made I did not weigh it, but I guess the amount was in the vicinity of 35%)

Add the soft butter and knead another until the butter is incorporated and then knead 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy and just a bit sticky.

Shape the dough into a ball and cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes.

Punch the dough down and knead lightly and reshape the dough into a ball, cover again and let rise 15 minutes.

Butter a cake tin.

Tip the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and roll it in to a sausage and divide into 9 equal parts.

Shape each part in to round balls. Loosely cup hand around dough and, without applying pressure to dough, move hand in small circular motions. Place the buns into the prepared pan. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and let the rolls rest for another 30-40 minutes, until puffy.

Japanese milk bread

Pre heat the oven to 180 C.

Brush the tops with the egg wash and bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown, 25-30 minutes

Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and let cool at least 1 hour, to let the crust soften and keep the crumb lofty. (If cut too soon, the air bubbles trapped in the bread will deflate.)

Hokkaido milk bread

 

 

Korean beef patty

Tteok galbi a tasty and delicious korean beef patty made from minced beef ribs and marinated  in a sweet, salty, and savory sauce before it is grilled. Tteok balbi is usually made with beef ribs, som chop and mince the meat on the bone. You can also cut the meat off the bone before mincing, then marinate and then pack the meat around the bone again.

This is a third of the recipe, for one person pluss:)

This time I made quick version and made it with ready-made minced beef and fried it a cast iron frying pan. This dish is really nice with my previous post, water kimchi and as I said in that post it is my favorite kimchi served at my favourite lunch place. Yes you guessed right this beef patty was one of the side dishes served. I eat this as I would eat galbi, wrapped in lettuce and with side dishes.


INGREDIENTS
1 pound ground beef, the more fat the better
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup  chopped green onions or regular onions
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
Optional: to taste black pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well, let the meat marinate for about 30 minutes.

Form into balls and flatten them then grill or pan-fry.

Serve the meat water kimchi and other side dishes.

Water kimchi

Fresh and crispy kimchi in a mild broth.


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In Korean cuisine there are many different kinds of kimchi. One of the types or styles of kimchi is called water kimchi, mul kimchi in Korean(동치미. This type of kimchi is milder and not made with any seafood flavouring. Water kimchi can also be made with many different vegetables, but this one is what I know best. This kimchi was served at my favorite lunch place when I lived in Pusan South Korea. They served a quartered napa cabbage in its brine and then they cut it up in to smaller pieces with a pair of scissors at the table.

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In this recipe I used regular radish instead of daikon and a firm crunchy pear instead of asian pear. The neighbourhood store does not have these two Items in stock, Besides the pink skin of the radish gives the brine a nice color.
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INGREDIENTS

Brine

5 cups water
1 Tbsp coarse salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 Tbsp gochugaru, red pepper flakes, you can skip this ingredients.

Vegetables

2 napa cabbage quartered
2 Tbsp coarse salt

Seasoning

10 red radishes
1 asian pear (2 cups), cut into cubes
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 inch ginger, thinly sliced
3 scallions, cut into 5 cm sticks
2 chili pepper, thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

Quarter  napa cabbage  and place in bowl cut side up.
Sprinkle 2 Tbsp salt and let sit for 30 minutes

In the mean time, make the brine by mixing salt and sugar in water and mix to dissolve. Then add gochugaru and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Cut remaining seasoning vegetables and fruit and combine together in large bowl.

Squeeze excess water from cabbage but DO NOT rinse. Then combine with seasoning vegetables.

Place into air tight container

You can strain gochugaru/chili flakes from the brine or leave it in,  pour the liquid over the vegetables

Seal air tight and let sit in room temperature for 1-2 days for fermentation

Transfer into refrigerator and enjoy for up to one month

We enjoyed this for lunch with korean style meat patty and a few extra side dishes.