893. Arroz con Pollo
Arroz con Pollo is a dish that I more-or-less made myself constantly at university without ever knowing it was a real, legitimate dish. The spicing was probably a little different (well, not probably, it was different, I sure as hell didn’t use saffron when I was on a university budget), but otherwise it was pretty much the same thing - a one pot dish of rice with chicken, onions, peas, tomatoes and spices. It suited uni eating perfectly - it was cheap, tasty, and only involved washing up one pan. That’s literally the great university food trifecta.
Now that I’m not in university any more (I say now like it was recently and not like I finished over 7 years ago *sob*), I can afford to buy saffron occasionally so I could actually make this is proper, authentic way. Saffron aside, it’s still a dish which is cheap, tasty, and only involves washing up one pan, which frankly is still the great food trifecta whether you’re in uni, or have been out of it for longer than you like to remember. 
893 down, 903 to go

893. Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo is a dish that I more-or-less made myself constantly at university without ever knowing it was a real, legitimate dish. The spicing was probably a little different (well, not probably, it was different, I sure as hell didn’t use saffron when I was on a university budget), but otherwise it was pretty much the same thing - a one pot dish of rice with chicken, onions, peas, tomatoes and spices. It suited uni eating perfectly - it was cheap, tasty, and only involved washing up one pan. That’s literally the great university food trifecta.

Now that I’m not in university any more (I say now like it was recently and not like I finished over 7 years ago *sob*), I can afford to buy saffron occasionally so I could actually make this is proper, authentic way. Saffron aside, it’s still a dish which is cheap, tasty, and only involves washing up one pan, which frankly is still the great food trifecta whether you’re in uni, or have been out of it for longer than you like to remember. 

893 down, 903 to go

891. Roast Pheasant with all the Trimmings including 892. Pheasant
On the whole, the Swedish supermarkets are really pretty good. They sell great fresh produce, they have these huge pick and mix candy sections in every store (I’m going to miss you candy), and for the most part, I’m able to get most of the things I’d want to buy in the UK there. 
There are a few exceptions though, and the items I miss the most are British sausages, and gravy. Gravy I was able to get at the British store here, on the occasions that I was able to go to the store and didn’t have a little cry about the imported prices, but British sausages have been tragically missing from my life since October 2013. I’m just going to gorge myself on sausage and mash when I’m back. I’ll have that for dinner every day please. 
This lack of sausages and gravy, has meant that I haven’t had nearly enough proper roast dinners since I’ve been here. (There was a point to all this rambling about the supermarket you see). I’ve made a few, but without stuffing they just aren’t the same, and the gravy was not as good as the usual brand I get in the UK, and my oven was terrible at making crispy chicken skin, and in general I just felt very woeful at not being able to make a good roast. 
(I should probably point out here that in general Sweden is awesome, and my inability to make a great roast dinner was really a pretty tiny problem in comparison to living in a beautiful country, but I’m just having a bit of a love-for-British-food moment here).
Pheasant is not something I’d usually pick for a roast. Typically I stick to something more classic - chicken or pork primarily - but I was able to get this pheasant at a local butcher and fancied a change. The ‘all the trimmings’ consisted of bacon on the skin, roast potatoes, roasted vegetables, peas, gravy, and SO MUCH BREAD SAUCE.
Bread sauce is the best. Somehow bread + milk + onion + cream + butter + spices just melds together to make something magical and delicious. Every time I make it I wonder why I don’t make it much more often. Also, if you have bread sauce leftover (and you should always make enough so that you have bread sauce leftover), it makes the best spread to put in a roast meat leftovers sandwich. With a bit of leftover gravy too. Seriously. The turkey, stuffing, gravy and bread sauce sandwich I make on the day or two after Christmas is arguably the best thing I eat during the whole of Christmas. I’m sure I say that about a dozen things I eat at Christmas. But for the sake of this post, it’s definitely the best.
The pheasant was delicious and gamey and went perfectly with the bacon and bread sauce, and this is something I should definitely make again soon.
892 down, 904 to go

891. Roast Pheasant with all the Trimmings including 892. Pheasant

On the whole, the Swedish supermarkets are really pretty good. They sell great fresh produce, they have these huge pick and mix candy sections in every store (I’m going to miss you candy), and for the most part, I’m able to get most of the things I’d want to buy in the UK there. 

There are a few exceptions though, and the items I miss the most are British sausages, and gravy. Gravy I was able to get at the British store here, on the occasions that I was able to go to the store and didn’t have a little cry about the imported prices, but British sausages have been tragically missing from my life since October 2013. I’m just going to gorge myself on sausage and mash when I’m back. I’ll have that for dinner every day please. 

This lack of sausages and gravy, has meant that I haven’t had nearly enough proper roast dinners since I’ve been here. (There was a point to all this rambling about the supermarket you see). I’ve made a few, but without stuffing they just aren’t the same, and the gravy was not as good as the usual brand I get in the UK, and my oven was terrible at making crispy chicken skin, and in general I just felt very woeful at not being able to make a good roast. 

(I should probably point out here that in general Sweden is awesome, and my inability to make a great roast dinner was really a pretty tiny problem in comparison to living in a beautiful country, but I’m just having a bit of a love-for-British-food moment here).

Pheasant is not something I’d usually pick for a roast. Typically I stick to something more classic - chicken or pork primarily - but I was able to get this pheasant at a local butcher and fancied a change. The ‘all the trimmings’ consisted of bacon on the skin, roast potatoes, roasted vegetables, peas, gravy, and SO MUCH BREAD SAUCE.

Bread sauce is the best. Somehow bread + milk + onion + cream + butter + spices just melds together to make something magical and delicious. Every time I make it I wonder why I don’t make it much more often. Also, if you have bread sauce leftover (and you should always make enough so that you have bread sauce leftover), it makes the best spread to put in a roast meat leftovers sandwich. With a bit of leftover gravy too. Seriously. The turkey, stuffing, gravy and bread sauce sandwich I make on the day or two after Christmas is arguably the best thing I eat during the whole of Christmas. I’m sure I say that about a dozen things I eat at Christmas. But for the sake of this post, it’s definitely the best.

The pheasant was delicious and gamey and went perfectly with the bacon and bread sauce, and this is something I should definitely make again soon.

892 down, 904 to go

890. Barberries
Looking at this has just made me realise how long it’s been since I last had couscous. I genuinely can’t even remember when it was. I think I might have had it sometime since being in Sweden, but I don’t know for sure. There’s not even a reason why. You can buy couscous here. I’m sorry for neglecting you couscous. 
This particular couscous had chicken, olives and barberries in it. Barberries are these dried tart little berries, that are generally used in Middle Eastern cuisine just like this - added to couscous or rice. They taste pretty similar to a dried cranberry but extra tart and less sweetened, and they provide a lovely bit of bite in the dish to give it that great range of flavours. 
890 down, 906 to go

890. Barberries

Looking at this has just made me realise how long it’s been since I last had couscous. I genuinely can’t even remember when it was. I think I might have had it sometime since being in Sweden, but I don’t know for sure. There’s not even a reason why. You can buy couscous here. I’m sorry for neglecting you couscous. 

This particular couscous had chicken, olives and barberries in it. Barberries are these dried tart little berries, that are generally used in Middle Eastern cuisine just like this - added to couscous or rice. They taste pretty similar to a dried cranberry but extra tart and less sweetened, and they provide a lovely bit of bite in the dish to give it that great range of flavours. 

890 down, 906 to go

889. Asafoetida
What even is this photo? Seriously, it’s terrible, I apologise profusely. There’s like, nothing in focus in this shot, at all. I don’t even have the excuse that I was using my phone or the light was bad because I used my camera and it was taken in my kitchen where many many other photos were taken before it. So, clearly I just sucked that day. 
In the last post, I said that you really didn’t need to see much more Indian food, so what am I showing you this time? Indian food! Yay for you. 
I made a tomato-based chicken curry, and then a split-pea dal. I added asafoetida to the dal, as it’s a traditional ingredient which is often included in dal recipes. It’s an odd spice, as it smells kinda gross, but it makes things taste nice. It adds a savoury, oniony kind of flavour which is perfect with the lentils.
889 down, 907 to go

889. Asafoetida

What even is this photo? Seriously, it’s terrible, I apologise profusely. There’s like, nothing in focus in this shot, at all. I don’t even have the excuse that I was using my phone or the light was bad because I used my camera and it was taken in my kitchen where many many other photos were taken before it. So, clearly I just sucked that day. 

In the last post, I said that you really didn’t need to see much more Indian food, so what am I showing you this time? Indian food! Yay for you. 

I made a tomato-based chicken curry, and then a split-pea dal. I added asafoetida to the dal, as it’s a traditional ingredient which is often included in dal recipes. It’s an odd spice, as it smells kinda gross, but it makes things taste nice. It adds a savoury, oniony kind of flavour which is perfect with the lentils.

889 down, 907 to go

888. Ajowan
So, I may have screwed up a little. You may notice this kitchen looks an awful lot like my kitchen in Cardiff, in my apartment that I moved out of, oh, 11 or so months ago. Well, that’s because it kind of is that apartment. I just found this folder of photos with a handful of old foods that I somehow totally forgot about and never posted until now. 
So, let’s just think of this as a little ode to my old lovely apartment that was awesome and wonderful and I still miss to this day. I miss you great kitchen that looked into the living room. I miss you beautiful balcony I ate my breakfast on. I miss you concierge who took in all our packages when we were out. Anyway, I digress, this is supposed to be about the food.
As these posts are a little on the old side *ahem*, I may have kind of forgotten exactly what the taste was like, but I’ll do my best and you can just work with me here. 
Ajowan is a seasoning that looks like a caraway or fennel seed, but tastes a lot more like a herb - something along the lines of a mix of oregano and thyme. It’s often used in Indian food, but really, you get enough of that on this blog, so I used it in a dish where I usually would have added thyme. This was pork braised with apple and onions, and I served some roasted new potatoes and carrots, and green beans on the side. 
Have I talked here before about how the combination of apples and onions is just about the best mix ever? No? Well I should have, because seriously, whoever was the first person to mix that fruit with that vegetable was a frickin genius and needs some kind of super-posthumous food innovation award. Apples and onions were basically made for each other. I always put onions in my apple sauce when I make it for roast pork (much to the chagrin of my brother who makes his own onion-less, and therefore vastly inferior version). 
I’ve kind of moved away from the point again haven’t I? So, in conclusion, ajowan - thumbs up, apples and onions - double thumbs up.
888 down, 908 to go

888. Ajowan

So, I may have screwed up a little. You may notice this kitchen looks an awful lot like my kitchen in Cardiff, in my apartment that I moved out of, oh, 11 or so months ago. Well, that’s because it kind of is that apartment. I just found this folder of photos with a handful of old foods that I somehow totally forgot about and never posted until now. 

So, let’s just think of this as a little ode to my old lovely apartment that was awesome and wonderful and I still miss to this day. I miss you great kitchen that looked into the living room. I miss you beautiful balcony I ate my breakfast on. I miss you concierge who took in all our packages when we were out. Anyway, I digress, this is supposed to be about the food.

As these posts are a little on the old side *ahem*, I may have kind of forgotten exactly what the taste was like, but I’ll do my best and you can just work with me here. 

Ajowan is a seasoning that looks like a caraway or fennel seed, but tastes a lot more like a herb - something along the lines of a mix of oregano and thyme. It’s often used in Indian food, but really, you get enough of that on this blog, so I used it in a dish where I usually would have added thyme. This was pork braised with apple and onions, and I served some roasted new potatoes and carrots, and green beans on the side. 

Have I talked here before about how the combination of apples and onions is just about the best mix ever? No? Well I should have, because seriously, whoever was the first person to mix that fruit with that vegetable was a frickin genius and needs some kind of super-posthumous food innovation award. Apples and onions were basically made for each other. I always put onions in my apple sauce when I make it for roast pork (much to the chagrin of my brother who makes his own onion-less, and therefore vastly inferior version). 

I’ve kind of moved away from the point again haven’t I? So, in conclusion, ajowan - thumbs up, apples and onions - double thumbs up.

888 down, 908 to go

887. Salmon Sashimi
Didn’t I post this before? Seriously, I legit swear that I posted this before. I am so totally utterly sure that I did. I can remember writing about how good the sushi is in Sweden. But it’s not on my blog. Sooo, either I had an utterly elaborate yet dull dream in which I did nothing but write a blog post, or, it somehow got deleted without me noticing. Either way I’m confused.
Anyway, let’s just all pretend that this is new (or actually just have this be new to you if I genuinely did make the whole thing up). 
One of the things that was both great and hard about living in Stockholm was getting used to the different types of cuisines that are a) readily available, b) not extortionate, and c) good. In the UK I’m used to there being countless Indian places that fit all 3 criteria. Here, not so much. The Indian food isn’t bad per se, it’s just not in the same league as British Indian, and it’s also pretty expensive compared to a lot of other choices here. 
Sushi on the other hand is something Stockholm excels at. You can go to basically any sushi place and you’ll get great food, usually at a pretty decent price. The small, tacky-looking place downstairs from our apartment serves better sushi than all but one or two sushi places I’ve been to in the UK. And there is a tiny hole-in-the-wall place next to the subway station that doesn’t even have a sign which serves mindblowingly good sushi too.
This was the fanciest sushi place we visited in our time here. It’s called Roppongi. We wanted a treat, so we got the sushi and sashimi sharing platter. It had so many kinds of fish we didn’t even know what some of them were, and had octopus salad and wakame as well. Salmon is by far the most popular sushi fish here, and it’s always good, but this was beyond excellent. The fish just melted in your mouth and it was subtle and sweet and fantastic. 
Hands down one of the best Swedish eating experiences we had.
887 down, 909 to go

887. Salmon Sashimi

Didn’t I post this before? Seriously, I legit swear that I posted this before. I am so totally utterly sure that I did. I can remember writing about how good the sushi is in Sweden. But it’s not on my blog. Sooo, either I had an utterly elaborate yet dull dream in which I did nothing but write a blog post, or, it somehow got deleted without me noticing. Either way I’m confused.

Anyway, let’s just all pretend that this is new (or actually just have this be new to you if I genuinely did make the whole thing up). 

One of the things that was both great and hard about living in Stockholm was getting used to the different types of cuisines that are a) readily available, b) not extortionate, and c) good. In the UK I’m used to there being countless Indian places that fit all 3 criteria. Here, not so much. The Indian food isn’t bad per se, it’s just not in the same league as British Indian, and it’s also pretty expensive compared to a lot of other choices here. 

Sushi on the other hand is something Stockholm excels at. You can go to basically any sushi place and you’ll get great food, usually at a pretty decent price. The small, tacky-looking place downstairs from our apartment serves better sushi than all but one or two sushi places I’ve been to in the UK. And there is a tiny hole-in-the-wall place next to the subway station that doesn’t even have a sign which serves mindblowingly good sushi too.

This was the fanciest sushi place we visited in our time here. It’s called Roppongi. We wanted a treat, so we got the sushi and sashimi sharing platter. It had so many kinds of fish we didn’t even know what some of them were, and had octopus salad and wakame as well. Salmon is by far the most popular sushi fish here, and it’s always good, but this was beyond excellent. The fish just melted in your mouth and it was subtle and sweet and fantastic. 

Hands down one of the best Swedish eating experiences we had.

887 down, 909 to go

LIFE UPDATE!!!

Hi all!

Contrary to how it may appear, I haven’t in fact disappeared off the face of the earth, I just disappeared from Tumblr for a while. Pie and I were running our conference for the second year, and that combined with a full-time job left no time for blogging at all :(

Now though, I’ve finished my job, and the conference won’t be for another 11 months, and in the meantime I’m going to be working for myself, so I finally have time to catch up and start blogging again and oh my god, I am so excited about it. 

First, news, I’m moving back to the UK! I’ve been in Sweden nearly a year now, and while I still love it, it was just the right time to go back for all kinds of reasons, so as of next Monday I’ll be back living in the South of England, and hopefully I’ll be taking a few trips too. 

I’ve spent the past couple of days having a bit of an overhaul of all my organisation for the blog. I’ve trello’ed all the things (literally, I’ve set up like 7 different boards for my whole life including one just for the blog and it already has like 10 lists on it), and I’ve totally updated my spreadsheet too. In doing so, I realised that past Laura was a massive doofus who couldn’t count and managed to have two foods both number 343. D’oh. So, I’m just gonna historically call one of those number 886 instead, and the next post will start again at 887. That cool with you? Ok, good. 

I have a little backlog of things I ate a while ago and never posted, so I’ll speed through those first, and then I can get back to cooking, eating and updating on the regular. 

Feels so good to be back!

This post is going to be kind of a do-over. I’ve already ticked off Danish Pastry, it was number 98 in fact, and I ticked it off 4 years and 2 months ago (seriously, how has it been that long already?!)
But, that first Danish pastry I had was in England, and this was a real actual Danish pastry in real actual Denmark, so let’s count this as post 98.1.
Real actual Danish pastries are quite different to the UK versions. The flavours they have are the same  - we had apple and raspberry here, and you can also get cinnamon, and cheese, and other typical flavours, but the pastry itself is kind of different. It’s less crisp, and more like a flaky bun. 

This post is going to be kind of a do-over. I’ve already ticked off Danish Pastry, it was number 98 in fact, and I ticked it off 4 years and 2 months ago (seriously, how has it been that long already?!)

But, that first Danish pastry I had was in England, and this was a real actual Danish pastry in real actual Denmark, so let’s count this as post 98.1.

Real actual Danish pastries are quite different to the UK versions. The flavours they have are the same  - we had apple and raspberry here, and you can also get cinnamon, and cheese, and other typical flavours, but the pastry itself is kind of different. It’s less crisp, and more like a flaky bun. 

885. Salsify
A few weeks back I went on a trip to Copenhagen. It was for my birthday and as well as exploring the city, I also got to spend lots of time in the Lego World Expo, which was amazing!
On the Saturday night, I got to go out for dinner with one of the Lego teams and we went to this awesome restaurant called Madklubben (which means ‘the food club’). As a really large group we got to choose between 2 starters and 2 main courses. For the main I went for the fish, which had pan-fried cod and lobster sauce and mashed potatoes and pancetta and apples and cabbage and walnut salad, and oh my goodness, it was absolutely one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten in my whole entire life.
This was my starter though, which was a carpaccio of beef with aioli and hazelnuts and pickled salsify. It was such a delicious combination of tastes and textures. The pickled salsify was really good. It was crunchy and light and perfect with this dish.
885 down, 911 to go

885. Salsify

A few weeks back I went on a trip to Copenhagen. It was for my birthday and as well as exploring the city, I also got to spend lots of time in the Lego World Expo, which was amazing!

On the Saturday night, I got to go out for dinner with one of the Lego teams and we went to this awesome restaurant called Madklubben (which means ‘the food club’). As a really large group we got to choose between 2 starters and 2 main courses. For the main I went for the fish, which had pan-fried cod and lobster sauce and mashed potatoes and pancetta and apples and cabbage and walnut salad, and oh my goodness, it was absolutely one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten in my whole entire life.

This was my starter though, which was a carpaccio of beef with aioli and hazelnuts and pickled salsify. It was such a delicious combination of tastes and textures. The pickled salsify was really good. It was crunchy and light and perfect with this dish.

885 down, 911 to go

884. Dry Martini
Back last year, before I moved to Sweden, we had a leaving party at this cocktail bar in London. It was only just the other day when I was sorting out my photos that I realised that we had these ridiculous giant martinis and I entirely forgot to post about them (perhaps because of the giant martinis!). 
A martini isn’t my usual choice of cocktail. Normally I go for something fruity, maybe a little sour too, like a margarita. But the menu boasted these crazy martinis so we had to try them.
Basically, it was a big bowl of pure alcohol. It was good for the occasion, but probably not something I’m going to start drinking every day!
884 down, 912 to go

884. Dry Martini

Back last year, before I moved to Sweden, we had a leaving party at this cocktail bar in London. It was only just the other day when I was sorting out my photos that I realised that we had these ridiculous giant martinis and I entirely forgot to post about them (perhaps because of the giant martinis!). 

A martini isn’t my usual choice of cocktail. Normally I go for something fruity, maybe a little sour too, like a margarita. But the menu boasted these crazy martinis so we had to try them.

Basically, it was a big bowl of pure alcohol. It was good for the occasion, but probably not something I’m going to start drinking every day!

884 down, 912 to go