Saturday 22 December 2007

Gone walkabout...

Back in a while...

Simma lugnt!

Food and drink from Cuba

These are some pictures from Cuba that I have meant to post for quite some time. It's just pictures of various dinners etc from my holiday to Cuba.

Wednesday 19 December 2007

Recipe - Japanese Inspired Pork Meatballs

This is what I cooked last night. The Japanese inspiration must be the soy sauce and the teriyaki marinade. Since I was going to use these in a bento just put them one and one on a tray. You could always put them on skewers to sex things up a bit.

Serve with rice and some kind of dipping sauce, Sweet Thai Chilli Sauce for example.

Japanese Inspired Pork Meatballs - makes about 20

250g pork mince
3 -5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium egg
A couple of splashes of soy sauce
A couple of splashes of teriyaki marinade
Bread crumbs

Preheat the grill (or broiler for our American friends).

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. Roll the mince mix into small meatballs. It makes it easier if you wet your hands with water.

Put the meatballs onto a baking tray or similar and put it under the grill. Let the meatballs get a nice and brown colour and then turn them over to the other side and repeat.

Once nicely browned and cooked through they are ready to eat.


Rice Cooker

No, I haven't bought a Japanese motorbike ; ) What I got is a proper 5 cup Zojirushi rice cooker from Mount Fuji. Complete with a very non-masculine flower decor. :) I used it for the first time last night and I must say that I'm well impressed with the result.

I followed all the rules and rinsed and re-rinsed the rice until the water was clear and then I put it in the rice cooker and let it do its magic.

Now I must learn (look up/find a demo of) how to stir in the sushi vinegar properly as well as get the fanning going.

I've got pictures of the rice cooker in action, as well as the dish I cooked last night. They'll be posted later tonight hopefully. There was a bit of turbulence last night including no sleep so things are lagging a bit.

But hey ho, onwards and upwards!

Monday 17 December 2007

Swedish style Bento again

This time I went for some Janssons Temptation in the main box. The three smaller boxes contains of a deviled egg, carrot sticks and some Derby Sage cheese.

I also got a Activia Kiwi Yoghurt and a Yoggi Strawberry/Lime drink. Tomorrows treat is a lemon filled licorice stick.

Recipe - Janssons Temptation

This is a classic Swedish dish that can be enjoyed hot or cold. It's a given on any self respecting Christmas smorgasbord. Lots of people react to the anchovies but they 'disappear' in the dish and don't get noticed at all.

Janssons Temptation (serves 4 or so)

40g butter plus some extra for greasing
14 anchovy fillets
600 - 800g potatoes, grated or made into matchsticks
2 - 3 onions, sliced
2 - 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
400 - 600 ml single cream

Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/Gas Mark 6. Generously grease a ovensafe dish with butter. Cut each anchovy fillet into four or more pieces.

Layer the potatoes, onions, garlic and anchovies in the dish, ending with a layer of potatoes. Make sure to season each layer with pepper. Pour half of the cream over the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 - 40 minutes, our until the potatoes are just colored. Then pour over the remaining cream and add the butter on top. Bake for a further 20 - 25 minutes, or until the topping is golden and tender.


All done and ready to go in to the oven

Half way there, more cream and butter added
Fully cooked

Plated, together with some Swedish meatballs. Delicious!

Recipe for disaster

Recipe for disaster

1 televised footie match, Arsenal v Chelsea
1 pub serving Cold Guinness
1 good friend
1 recently single Mikey
1 good win from Arsenal

Mix all of this and you'll get a disaster. Hence no cooking last night and no bento to report.

Will better myself for tomorrow. I promise. :) I'm thinking of making a classic Swedish dish for dinner, as well as using the leftovers for a bento.

Saturday 15 December 2007

Another Bento 'rule'

The 4-3-2-1 rule: 4 parts rice, 3 parts protein, 2 parts vegetable, and 1 part "treat" (Usually either pickled vegetables or something sweet.)

Yet another rule to break at will! ;)

Thursday 13 December 2007

Japanese Beef and Green Bean Roll Bento

The top tier consists of some cut pieces of the Japanese Beef and Green Bean Rolls that I made earlier which you can find the recipe for below. There are also some silver skin onions and carrot sticks together with the beef.

The lower tier has some rice, which has a circle of dried Goji berries to make it look like a Japanese flag. Which it doesn't do very much. ;) The strange blob to the right is scrambled egg. The scrambled egg is flavoured with some soy sauce, ground pepper and Tabasco.

Japanese Beef and Green Bean Rolls

To make these beef and green bean rolls you need some thin steaks. Since I didn't have that I used some sandwich steaks. I put them between some sheets of cling film and beat the shit out of them with my meat mallet.

I steamed some green beans and then I cut the steaks into smaller pieces, put the green beans onto these and rolled them tightly together.

Once they all were done I marinated the rolls in Teriyaki marinade for about an hour.

Once marinated I fried them on a medium heat until browned and cooked through.

One thing I'll change for next time is that I'll use some kitchen string to tie them up with so they don't unroll when I fry them.

Being clubbered...


Frying away...

Together with some rice in a bowl - dinner!

Bento colors

I found this information on Lena-san lagar japansk mat. It's quite interesting and informative so I thought I'd translate it into English for you who are challenged when it comes to understanding the Swedish language. :)

A properly composed Bento follows a color scheme:

White: Rice (no rice, no meal!)
Black: Sesame seeds or small flakes of seaweed (nori) that is spread on the rice
Yellow: Egg, pumpkin, sweet potato, corn, pickled daikon
Red: Shrimp, carrot, tomato, apple, strawberry, sausage, salmon
Green: Cucumber, green beans, lettuce, parsley, asparagus, green chili

But since this is Freestyle Cookery, I reserve the right to bend the rules as it suits me! ;)

I saw some rules/guidelines in regards to the proportions of rice to the other ingredients and so on. I'll try to find it and post it in a separate post.

Wednesday 12 December 2007

No post tonight

Too tired. Need sleep. Will cook tomorrow night instead. Sorry :(

Tuesday 11 December 2007

Pasta Bento

I got home late today and it is the Tuesday quiz down the pub so I didn't have much time to prepare tomorrows lunch.

Ok, lack of imagination and time hampered this effort. ;)

The main box has pasta and Swedish meatballs. Yes, the pasta are shaped after the Simpson's characters and the meatballs were arranged in a Union Jack pattern. ;)

The three tier fruit/veg box contains one Mini Babybel, dried banana crisps, one sliced Dolce Lino pepper and carrot sticks.

The smoothie from PJ's are there, and the drink is a Orange & Passionfruit offering from Minute Maid. Instead of some kind of nuts I've packed a soft licorice stick. Let's see if I got more time on my hands for Thursdays lunch.

Say hello to my little friend..

I think I've mentioned my little friend, Gordon the Gecko, here on the blog before so I thought it was time to post some pictures of him.

I'm sorry about the poor lighting in the pictures but I didn't want to use the flash in case it pissed him off. :)

I know this is a food blog so I have included a recipe for Iguana stew below the pictures. Not that I condone cooking and/or eating your pets in any way, shape or form. Unless it's a pig. Or a duck. Or a cow. Or.... ;)


1 iguana
2 onions
1 tsp salt
1/2 lb carrots
1 tsp culantro
1 small ball recardo
vinegar, lime
1 sweet pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb cabbage
2 cloves garlic
1/4 lb tomato
coconut oil


1. Skin and clean the iguana. Wash thoroughly in vinegar and lime.
2. Rub in seasonings - salt, black pepper, recardo, onions, garlic, culantro and sweet pepper. Leave to stand for about 20 mins.
3. Place enough coconut oil in pot to cover the bottom and heat it up. When hot, put in meat. Keep turning and adding a little water for about 30 mins.
4. Add cut up carrots, cabbage and tomato. Cook for another 30 mins.

Monday 10 December 2007

Swedish Bento

Let's continue on the 'international' Bento track. This time with a Bento that is inspired by Swedish cuisine.

The top tier consists of three different types of pickled herring. These are dill marinated, sweet & spicy marinated and soured cream marinated. With that I've got boiled baby new potatoes that are covered with soured cream and chives cut into small pieces.

The lower tier has sliced Dolce Lino pepper, one Mini Babybel Cheddar cheese, sliced cucumber, Pomodorino tomatoes and carrot sticks.

Like yesterday I've got a PJ's smoothie and a bag of peanuts. To drink I've got a Minute Maid Red Grape & Raspberry drink.

A note as for todays lunch. Be a bit careful, the refried beans may be a bit gas inducing... ;)

Sunday 9 December 2007

Mexican(ish) bento

I wish I could always have steaks like the one earlier today but that just won't happen...

Tomorrows lunch will be a Mexican(ish) bento.

The top tier consists of refried beans and Mexican chili cheese that has been chopped into smaller, bite-sized, pieces.

The bottom tier has half a sliced Dolce Lino pepper, Pomodorino tomatoes, sliced cucumber and some Hearts of Palm. I have no clue what Hearts of Palm is, or what it tastes like. I found it in a small Portuguese/Brazilian shop here in Reading and thought that I'd give it a go.

The treat for tomorrow is a small bag of Kasugai Beans. Whatever that is.

I'm also adding a small Tetra Pak of PJ's Strawberry and Blackcurrant smoothie.

Until tomorrow...

A manlier meal?!?

Some people might think that Bento's are too dainty and girlie but I must say that they are awesome for lunches. I'm surprised over how filling they are.

However, today is Sunday and I felt the need for some proper meat! ;) I wasn't in the mood for food at all yesterday so I was feeling well hungry earlier.

Todays dinner consisted of a fillet steak, baked potatoes with spice butter, sliced Dolce Lino peppers, steamed mange tout and string beans.

I normally make my baked potatoes the same way. Rinse them in water, dry them. Then put some oil in your hands and spread it all over the potatoes. Once they are covered in oil I put quite a bit of salt on top. They get to go in to a oven that's been heated to 200c/Gas Mark 6 for about 1 - 1.5 hours.

My dad used to make spice butter every time we had a barbecue when I was a kid and it is something I crave with baked potatoes. There are no rules when it comes to making spice butter. Just take some (unsalted) butter and let it soften in room temperature. Once it is soft enough to work with you just chuck in whatever spices you have to hand that you think will work. Easy! ;)

I prefer my steaks blue. Enough said.

Some potatoes waiting to get into the sauna...

The spice butter is done and are ready to go into the fridge until dinner time.

Nice and steaming veggies.

All cooked and plated. Ready to be eaten.

Taters with spice butter. Mouthwatering.

Perfect steak. If you wonder what is on top, it's Danish Blue Cheese. I find Norwegian Blue to be a bit dead. ;)