Food: freestyle experiences

A Blog about Food you truly want to read!

Those Icelandic are crazy! © January 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 8:05 pm

Brian’s comment in one of my last post made me think… Indeed, my friend had to learn Icelandic at Paris IV-Sorbonne as part of his Master! He told me that it was not easy many times but he never alluded to the Icelandic food before yesterday, on this precise blog!

Brian named different dishes Icelandic people use to eat, and I was very curious and at the same time intrigued by those weird names, referring to special ingredients…

Actually, I found out that they have a traditional dark and sweet rye bread in Iceland, and they cook a round and thin sort of bread for Christmas… Then so far, nothing seems strange in this country…

The names we are introduced to are really funny, I agree with Brian on this. Nevertheless, those words do not psychologically prepare you to the ‘appearance’, the ‘aspect’ of the food, and the ingredients that those dishes are made of. If we want to be strictly pragmatic, it is only meat, but really it is heads, testicles and whale’s fat… Do not get me wrong, I do not judge and I have lived in Reunion Island for fourteen years, where people eat pig’s feet and tail or chicken’s feet, but I never said I could eat that 😀 Perhaps if I am challenged… 😀

Let’s have a look on the dishes Brian talked about:
Svið: it is a whole grilled or boiled ram head, sometimes cured in lactic acid.

Súrsaðir hrútspungar: the testicles of rams pressed in blocks, boiled and cured in lactic acid.

Lifrarpylsa: Icelandic sheep liver sausage, it is a pudding made from liver and suet of sheep kneaded with rye flour and oats.

Yummyyyy!!

Don’t worry if you go to Iceland guys, the types of yoghurts you can find (like Skyr) seem perfectly edible! I am myself planning on going to Iceland on a trek and I know now that my food will be exclusively composed of bread and yoghurt 😀

Enjoy your meal!

 

Cheesecake January 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 4:55 pm

Dear reader,

I quote: ‘I don’t know about you guys but to me cheesecake is something good, right? Providing you like it, I hear you, but I mean it’s usually made of nice ingredients (and by that I mean chocolate, vanilla, chocolate, strawberries, chocolate or chocolate :p). Now, some people out there, for some reason, decided that this wasn’t enough and they ruined it all (the cheesecake spirit that is) by getting rid of all these lovely ingredients and replacing them with salmon, courgettes, and so on…’ This interesting comment was written on 29th November 2009 by Kevin – it has been two months today already. I did not put this post aside and I wanted to find a way to convince Kevin in fact! Indeed, like everybody, we have different points of view and I cannot defend the ‘cheesecake spirit’, as Kevin names it, because I am not a real big fan of cheesecakes… Anyway, I wanted to show him that I could create a cheesecake that would not be a chocolate, lemon or strawberry flavoured cheesecake, but a savoury one! Kevin’s comment made me react and I did not forget it. That is why I promised myself to invent a savoury cheesecake, in order to prove that with great ingredients, everything can be good!

I confess that I made a little ‘investigation’ before gathering the ideas I had and it appeared that people created strange cheesecakes: Smoked Salmon and Boursin, Pumpkin and Spices, Zucchini and Sesame… Puzzling… Indeed, if we look closely, the dictionary says that a cheesecake is a ‘dessert consisting of a topping made of soft, fresh cheese on a base made from biscuit, pastry or sponge’. Thus, it implies that a cheesecake is supposed to be sweet. I mean, cheesecakes are normally desserts but cakes are also supposed to be desserts and nevertheless, consumers can taste Zucchini and Chocolate Cake or savoury cakes now; the one I enjoy to cook and taste is Mozzarella, Basil and Tomatoes Cake! We have to call our ideas and definitions into question.

The recipe I made to convince Kevin is for four persons and as soon as you will have tasted it, you will change your mind about desserts that are turned into savoury dishes!

PESTO AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES CHEESECAKE

200g fresh goat milk cheese

1 big egg

Juice from half a lemon

Salt and pepper

Some sun-dried tomatoes

15 TUC paprika (crackers)

4 teaspoons red pesto

Preheat the oven 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Using a wooden spoon, beat the fresh goat milk cheese, the egg and the lemon juice in a bowl. Add some sun-dried tomatoes you first cut to pieces, and salt and pepper: it gives great flavour! Beat until well combined.

In another bowl, crush the Paprika crackers with red pesto until smooth. Grease the moulds and press the pesto mixture into the bottom of each little mould – if they are silicone moulds, no need to grease. Then, pour the batter into the moulds. Advice of the chef: For this peculiar recipe, use little moulds, like muffin moulds in silicone, or little rum baba moulds.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. It is difficult to judge when it is done cooking however… Let them cool and refrigerate for two hours at least, without turning them out of their moulds. Turn the cheesecakes out and serve.

Tadaaammm, you have baby cheesecakes! And at the first bite, you understand that it is not sweet at all 😀 As you see, I used funny little moulds! They are meant to cook rum baba normally, but what the heck, we are here to experiment, even moulds! I thought it was less funny to have an original cheesecake in a normal 9 inch springform mould…

Last but not least, this article was also the opportunity to link two classes. Did you notice the pictures illustrating my recipe? This is the first article in which I put pictures I modified thanks to Paint and I would like to thank my Multimedia teacher – she reads this blog and I think she will recognize herself – for the numerous things she already taught me 🙂

I truly hope you will try these cheesecakes, and appreciate them like I did! I am reconciled with the cheesecake spirit 😀 Anyway, don’t we say that it takes all sorts to make a world?

 

A Weakness For Chocolate January 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 5:59 pm

 

First, thank you to my dear friend Brian! Thanks to him, I discovered something he tasted and this is leading to this worthwhile article. Indeed, when he was younger, Brian’s English teacher told the class that she had eaten some weird food in the United States of America and she brought back some Chocolate Cheese for the class: the pupils actually tasted it without hesitating. Without a doubt, those are  courageous teenagers 😀 And to my mind, this is truly disgusting (once again, this is only my humble point of view 😀 )

I admit I regularly write about strange food and peculiar food associations and my everyday life is a taste challenge… But even if I created weird recipes and I ate grasshoppers – don’t forget that I also ate chocolate and gherkin – I have to admit I am not inclined to try what Brian ate.

Yes, I am talking about eating chocolate cheese! Indeed, you are not dreaming, this is coming from the United States… Nevertheless, who had the crazy idea to mix those two ingredients in the first place?

Chocolate cheese is something I probably wouldn’t have thought of 😀 I know that chocolate has been paired with many other foodstuffs over the centuries, fruits, cakes or even meat! But chocolate and cheese? Come on! Cheese is made of milk and most chocolates are made mostly made of milk too. Then, chocolate flavoured cheese is not such a weird concept if you want to find elements in favours of this idea…

Brian ate chocolate cheese but in reality it was chocolate fudge made with cheese (cream cheese and cheddar). They also use Velveeta cheese to make this fudge, this same cheese we use to cook Macaroni and Cheese (my favourite!) or Meat and Cheese Loaf for instance.

When searching on the Internet, I discovered that Chocolate Cheese Fudge is said to be ‘savoury with an unmistakable bite of cheddar, not too sweet, and verges on a pleasant tartness nestled in creamy cocoa.’ Do you think we can really believe them? 😀

Do you think you could gather your courage and try it? At least, can you imagine recipes with Chocolate Cheese?

This article is simply the beginning of a huge investigation to discover weird food from all around the world… And believe me, hundreds of articles will never be enough to tell you everything and enlighten you, dear reader.

 

Living like a Lord January 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 5:07 pm

 

Have you already heard those two simple words: ‘Kobe Beef’?

I discovered this animal in a documentary and could not believe my own eyes and ears. It was hard for me to believe that somewhere in the world, some animals were pampered that much, if I may put it that way. Indeed, I knew that cows are sacred and venerated in India but this truly boggled me! It is a new sophisticated food. I am not alluding to oyster, or foie gras, or caviar but to a famous ox, famous for its meat! This animal can be found in Kobe and their way of life – or, if I may say so, the ‘method’ to rear them – is quite peculiar. Indeed, those oxen do not know stress, at all! They listen to classical music and only drink beer. Moreover, they are rubbed with sake! Can you believe it? Kobe Oxen have a curious diet and way of life! I can definitely say that they have a real nice life – even though it is a short one and they end up in our plates 😀

I have 159 friends on Facebook and even more in the ‘real life’, but my friend Aya is the only one who ever tried this meat; she was born in Japan and is now living in New Caledonia … She told me that she ate this expensive beef once, and that her ideas regarding beef and meat are not quite the same now. She also told me that it definitely is something that you want to try at least once in your life!

I know that their meat will be bought at an indecent price and will be eaten, but do you imagine such a life? A life with no stress…

I thought a lot about this subject before writing my article and I cannot understand how Japanese people came up with this flabbergasting way of taking care of an animal (who will be eaten I mean, the special ways of taking care of a pet is another debate 😀 )? Indeed, they do not only give great food and a nice barn to their cattle, they also give them massages and use expensive things as well – sake for the massages, beer as a beverage…

At one point, you will ask me ‘Where can I find Kobe Beef in France?’, and I don’t know – I can search and find this piece of information for you if you insist dear reader, just keep in mind that it is expensive 😀

Nevertheless French people borrowed this idea and ‘created’ their own Kobe Beef during those last years. Indeed, French people have Coutancie Beef! Those oxen are reared in Perigord and here again, beer, massages and a huge barn are the key, the fundamental elements in order to get this tasty and special meat. Needless to say that Coutancie Beef is less expansive than Kobe Beef.

I don’t know if I will taste Kobe Beef even once in my life but in my case, I already pinpoint a real difference between the Charal steaks and beefsteaks I usually buy and the steaks I bought in a butcher’s shop in Haute-Savoie 😀 But this Kobe meat is said to be unique!

I am sorry for the people who do not eat meat like Vegetarians, Vegans and others, who will be disgusted and/or surprised when reading my first post of this semester perhaps…