Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bordoo @ Tallinn

I am being an extraordinarily lazy blogger, then again I have been doing this from 2007, so perhaps it's understandable. Writing out recipes and to-do's or every nuance of every meal I've had at a good restaurant just doesn't seem to do it for me. Or I've been ruined by micro-format social media tools. It so much more fun to instagram and tweet your food. No? But I have all these pretty, pretty pictures of uber-snooty-falutey food at the restaurant Bordoo in the hotel of Three Sister's in Tallinn, crafted by the ever so talented chef T├Ánis Siigur, so I thought it'd be a sin not to upload them here. Most of them came with ashes in one format or another. I kid you not. Very ... post apocalyptic. This was my main, venison in beetroot glaze with ... stuff ... I can't remember all of it, but the wild berry sauce was extraordinary
One of our many chef's compliments, he was totally experimenting on us (nom). Cheddar ravioli on a radish salad. I loved it.
Asparagus tartlette
A very pretty twist on an Estonian classic, salted herring with dill-ice cream.
My starter, I can almost never say 'no' to boeuf a la tartar and my god was it good. Also the lightly heated egg yolk stripe on the plate was a most impressive way of serving it up
Cod with milk skin. I was too revolted by the notion of milk skin to order this, but my Chinese friend did as milk skin is apparently used a lot in chinese cooking. and it was delicious.
Steak. Was good.
Dessert, the most boring and uninspired thing of the night, strawberry soup with a spongey .... sponge that tasted of oranges. Did I say sponge. Yeah. *shakes head* I have no idea what went through the chef's head when he came up with that.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quackaliscious

I made duck confit (again) for New Year's Eve. I'm kind of playing around with the idea of flexitarianism or at least ethical omnivorism (the book is waiting to be read on my kindle, but my schoolrelated reading list is kind of snuffing out all else). Anyhow, the duck is from that friend's farm, you know, the one I get the goat meat and cheese from, so I'm thinking it counts.

No tricks about the whole confiting process, salt, leave overnight, wipe clean, cover with duck and goose fat and cook for about 5 hours on low heat. Lately we've taken to using the slow cooker, as it holds the temperature and you don't have to babysit it. It's just important to transfer the duck into an oven pan for about 15-20 minutes for a quick tan ;).
Respecting the global tradition, we were, of course, totally over eaten from the holidays, so the duck got accompanied by a nice, light green bean and lettuce salad with French dressing.

This being my family, we had if course already had duck confit at a point between Christmas and NY, when my sister and her bf were over. That time we made a glorious potato gratin with nutmeg, and let me tell you, that was a killer combo (quit literally, it was hard to breathe after). I think I'll make that gratin as Asian some time soon. It was a good network recipe, the first on I pulled up in my phone.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hunter

... sadly not S. Thompson but the '... or gatherer' type. Although ... there is strong liquor involved so perhaps there is a way for me to weave some light fear and loathing into this post.


sorry, had to be done, that is just too funny.

So as you see, I am not dead. I am not even starving myself or my family. I am just a very lazy foodblogger. *repents*

But I had to share this with you because it was a first for me. I've never made pate before and a friend of mine sent me a wild boar liver, so I, of course, decided that now was as good a time as any to try.



Under the scornful gaze of my husband ('why are you making this giant amount of pate, who will eat this?') I chopped said ginormous liver up, soaked it in milk for about two hours, while quickly nipping to the store to get some very fatty meat and a bottle of brandy. I never drink brandy so I spent quite some time staring at the bottles, hugging my large lump of bacon until I finally left with a bottle that claimed oak aging and when I unscrewed the cap at home, filled the kitchen with an odd, fruity, flowery scent

Oh well.
As for the recipe, I kind of did my usual 'shaken, not stirred' thing and just took bits and pieces from various recipes. I browned equal amounts of chopped, fatty pig's meat and wild boar liver with some chopped onion, then transferred the meat to a large pot and covered with home made chicken stock. I added salt, garlic, some bay leaves, black peppercorns, cumin seeds and ground coriander seeds, orange pepper, chopped carrots and about 100 g of soaked raisins.
I let it simmer for about an hour and a half (I had about a kg of both, if not more, so it was a large pot). Basically until it was all tender.
I then let it cool a bit (although not enough as I still nearly shorted my handheld blender thingie) and blitzed it, adding a generous glug of brandy and a about a 150 grams of butter (could have gone with more). I then let it cool and scooped it into grip-packets (you have to try taking a 'mini-grip' of pate to your friend's, their expression is priceless) and jars, stuffed some in the fridge, took some for friends (and as gifts to my kid's day-care teachers at the Christmas party) and dumped the rest in the freezer.

For those cold winter days when one just needs some pate.
You know.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Yes, we are very healthy ...

... when we're not gorging on disgusting fast food. And we do, sometimes. We really do. Usually at 1 a.m on Friday nights for example, there's this kebab place in my hometown *drifts off into drooly dreams*.

But then we're very healthy again - you know low fat, high fiber, vitamins, folic acids and whatnot. And tasty too. Nom, yes. Snappy, zappy, flavorful.

So during one of those healthy impulses I found this recipe via this blog and pretty much followed it. I boiled my own lentils, didn't use canned ones and I was out of Puy so it was ordinary green ones. And I used fresh cilantro not parsley. I think my dressing was also a 'lazy man's version' of the suggested one, it contained honey, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, cumin (not ground), ground coriander, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and paprika powder. It had plenty of zing in that version.

And I topped it off with the uber-delicious local halloumi I get from my goat-herding (tee-hee) friend. I 'virgin' fried it - just some oil, no flour, no spices, no honey.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The lazy foodie strikes again - a KISS salad

My husband very rarely has any requests about food, the only thing he occasionally asks for is to make less food or not to make 'anything special' this week (for waistline purposes). So whenever he actually asks for something I get all excited (apart from when he moans about the overall lack of cake in our house on Sundays, then I skillfully ignore him).

I've mentioned that a friend has an organic goat-farm, right? Well, I buy goat cheese and halloumi from him, among other things, and S really loves that cheese. And one day he asked for a salad with the goat cheese: 'you know, with tomatoes and stuff'.


And instead of going all culinary maniac on him, I let the lazy foodie out to play and made him a Keep It Simple, Stupid type of a salad. You know, with tomatoes and stuff.

Also with goat cheese, Sicilian green olives, frillice lettuce, baby basil, onion, extraordinarily good Ladron de Guevara extra virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper and salt, of course.

I was asked to KISS it again later that day and the entire 250 g chunk of cheese was gone by the evening.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Best restaurant of the summer

Yes ... I am aware that it is no longer summer. Sadly. But I've been lazy and cooked some stuff I've wanted to post, so this wonderful food has been kind of left behind.
There were a couple of nice new restaurants that opened their doors this summer in Tallinn, but Leib Resto & Aed (Leib Restaurand and Garden) seems to be the overall favorite, especially in the foodie / foodblogger community.
And I have no choice but to join the choir. I think it's all about the produce (now here's an original statement), theirs just seems so ... so ... fresh. And, although I have no evidence to back up my claims, I do think that this is one of those restaurants who make their own 'basics'. For example they have this finger-licking-good red wine mayonnaise and I swear they make it from scratch. They just have to.




So yes, long story short. I had grilled lamb liver with red wine mayo and almost had a 'special moment' right there at the table. It was unforgettable. S had salmon and loved it. He also made the wise choice as far as desserts go, picking the rye bread creme brulee whereas I went for the kindergarten classic - caramel pudding - and it was ... well, quite like it was in the kindergarten ... slimy and not too impressive. But the lamb liver, the liver, the liver *fade out*

Yes... good. Go there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beer ... now there's a temporary solution! (Homer Simpson)



It's been a while since I've roasted a whole chicken and I am fairly certain that I've never held one as big as the one my organic-farm-keeping-freerange-hapy-chiken-and-goat-keeping friend sent me. It was over 2.5 kg ( 5.5 lb) and all meat, almost no fat. Giant, strong legs, fed and bred on potato mash, as I've heard.
Anyway, yes, large chicken.
And of course I decided it was time to try something new, so I decided to stick it on a beer bottle, was unable to remove it's neck, so all in all I was lucky it fit in the oven.

Whole roasted chicken with dark beer and sage butter:


1 whole chicken
a large knob of butter (25 - 50 g)
a glug of vegetable oil (1-2 tbsp)
a generous bunch of fresh sage
salt and black pepper
a bottle of dark beer ( I used Latvian Zelta, because for some, very unpatriotic reason, that's what I had in my fridge)

Wash the chicken inside and out, pat dry, rub with salt and pepper (also inside and out).
Preheat the oven to 200 (400 F) C.
Pour the oil into a skillet placed over medium heat, add the butter and when it's melted the sage leaves. Lightly brown the sage leaves and set aside to cool a bit.
When the butter has cooled enough rub it and the sage leaves all over the chicken. If you feel like it, make small cuts into the skin and get some of the butter and the leaves under the skin.
Wash the beer bottle and remove the lables.
Pour out about 1/3 of the beer (don't drink it).
Set the beer bottle on an oven tray and the chicken upright on the bottle so it stands on it's feet and the bottle like on a tripod.
Cover with tinfoil and roast for about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to about 180 C (375 F) and roast for an hour.
Pour the beer your saved before into the bottom of the oven tray (makes good sauce).
Remove the foil and turn on the top grill and the fan and let it roast for 10 more minutes. Stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken's thigh, it should be at around 70 C (165 F), if you don't have a meat thermometer, stab the chicken and see if the juices that run out are clear. If they are you should be good.

Let it rest for 2o minutes. Carve and serve.

Oh and ... would you have loved me less if I had used that other good Homer Simpson beer quote for the title, you know the 'I like my beer cold, my tv loud and my homosexuals flaming?' :D But since I'm fine with flaming or not, I thought it would be just wrong. Or was it because this is, after all, merely a food blog.