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Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle Kitchen and Garden. Please leave any comments there.

Here is another canned delight from Sweden that brought I back from our trip this past December. Given, this one came straight from the grocery store’s prepared foods aisle and not from a gourmet food boutique. The first picture is slightly misleading, since I mixed a bowl of rice into the can o’ stuff. That disk-shaped lump of white matter on the spoon should be a clue, though.

If it helps, here’s what the stuff looks like in the can, prior to being served. Any clearer?

Alright, then. If you’re still stumped, click to go behind the cut…

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pierydys: (Default)

Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle Kitchen and Garden. Please leave any comments there.

Back in the late 90′s, I was fortunate enough to visit New Orleans a couple of times (I don’t really count the times my family visited back when we lived in Houston because I was far too young to have a vote in what we did there) for lavish masquerade balls. If there are two things they know how to do down there, it’s dress well and eat well. My friends and I made sure to explore both avenues as much as possible during our brief visits.

It’s been more than a decade since I’ve been there, but the memories of fancy gowns, copious alcohol and excellent food are not the least bit dulled. With any luck, I will be able to visit there with the boy in the near future. Having grown up in SoCal, which was always poised on the edge of one natural (or manmade) disaster or another, you learn that sometimes imminent doom makes the will to create and shine all the stronger. Time and circumstances might have changed the New Orleans I experienced back then, but I know that the spirit and beauty still remain, and I very much want to see that again.

In the meantime, here’s a classic recipe from thereabouts that I like to break out whenever I can get my hands on a decent batch of crawfish. August just happens to be crawfish season in Scandinavia, so it’s much easier to get tubs of tail meat now than at any other time of year.

Crawfish étouffée, using the AR Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffe recipe.

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Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle Kitchen and Garden. Please leave any comments there.

I made a discovery the other day when I was buying ingredients for my weekly family dinner — alfredo sauce as we know it, typically available on grocery store shelves alongside the tomato sauces? Not really a thing here. When I asked around, I found out that Italian restaurants served it, but it wasn’t so much something that was done at home. Even when white sauce is made at home for pasta, it usually isn’t the sort with copious quantities of butter and cream that I’ve come to associate with the concept of white sauce. That is purely a North American thing, along with the name “fettucine alfredo“. Go figure.

On a side note, I once knew a guy who would only ever order chicken fettuccine alfredo or fried chicken tenders when going to a restaurant, because they were the two things he could always be sure were “safe bets”. Wasn’t so much of an adventurer when it came to food. He’d probably starve here.

Funny thing? I’ve only ever attempted alfredo sauce once before, back when I was younger and had a lot less experience cooking for myself. I don’t even remember what I did wrong, but the sauce simply would not emulsify despite using the right ingredients and stirring copiously. I finally had to dump it and use a jar of sauce for that night’s dinner. It was a rather traumatic experience. This recipe? Despite having more ingredients, steps and preparation than that older recipe, it worked so much better. A lot more flavor and personality, too. Tweaked from AR’s Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.

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Mirrored from Velvet Kerfuffle Kitchen and Garden.

You might have noticed that I go through a lot of shellfish in my day-to-day preparations. In quite a few of the previous posts, I’ve also mentioned that you want to save the shells and/or carcass remnants of consumed critters for stock. I suppose now would be as good a time as any to show how I usually make that stock.

Shellfish stock is awesome. It’s great as a soup and sauce base, it adds flavor to rice and pasta, and can be used in place of water to give anything you’re cooking a quick boost. I always have a supply of frozen stock — chicken, vegetable, and shellfish — on hand in the fridge for last-minute recipe tweaking. You could buy the powdered bouillion cubes or canned/boxed stuff at the grocery store, but the fresh stuff is so easy to make and so much tastier (less preservatives, yo) that I really don’t see the point. It also makes you feel good about not letting anything go to waste in your kitchen. Try it out, you’ll never go back to the supermarket stuff!

Here’s a big pot of newly made shellfish stock (lobster, crawfish and shrimp), strained and cooling off. You won’t get that dark, rich color out of a box. Making stock doesn’t rely too much on set recipes — it developed as a way to use up what was in the kitchen and get the most out of it before it was binned. There are a few things you should do to get the best results, but the rest is all up to personal creativity and taste. My ingredients list varies every time I make a pot, so no batch ever turns out the same, but it always falls into the same realm of distilled seafoody goodness.

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pierydys: (Default)

Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle Kitchen and Garden. Please leave any comments there.

I call this a “westernized” recipe because I have watched my mother make real teriyaki sauce before and the ingredients list looked NOTHING like this. However, we’ll do that recipe (which is equally easy, but requires a pantry with more Asian ingredients than I have at the moment) some other day, if only for the sake of comparison. The version I give you now is fairly good at achieving something similar-looking to classic teriyaki (which by definition just means “stuff to make your grilled meat shiny” anyway) and is made from stuff that’s easier to pick up at any old supermarket. It also has a sweeter taste that appeals to kids and people who are used to eating Asian cuisine from fast food courts at the mall ;-) Hey, I joke. Mostly.

Used the AR Baked Teriyaki Chicken recipe with a few slight tweaks.

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pierydys: (Default)

Mirrored from Velvet Kerfuffle Kitchen and Garden.

I call this a “westernized” recipe because I have watched my mother make real teriyaki sauce before and the ingredients list looked NOTHING like this. However, we’ll do that recipe (which is equally easy, but requires a pantry with more Asian ingredients than I have at the moment) some other day, if only for the sake of comparison. The version I give you now is fairly good at achieving something similar-looking to classic teriyaki (which by definition just means “stuff to make your grilled meat shiny” anyway) and is made from stuff that’s easier to pick up at any old supermarket. It also has a sweeter taste that appeals to kids and people who are used to eating Asian cuisine from fast food courts at the mall ;-) Hey, I joke. Mostly.

Used the AR Baked Teriyaki Chicken recipe with a few slight tweaks.

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pierydys: (Default)

Mirrored from Velvet Kerfuffle Kitchen and Garden.

I picked up a packet of lemon pepper pappardelle pasta a couple weeks ago at Trader Joe’s, and have been looking for something to make with it. Lemon and pepper automatically suggest seafood or chicken, but I didn’t strike upon the exact one until I ended up with a bag of langostino tails this past weekend. At which point my shellfish obsession kicked in and I had to have a buttery lobster sauce to go with the lemony noodles. Hello, mornay.

Adapted from the highly rated Allrecipes Lobster Mornay Sauce, with piccies because cream sauces can be tricksy like that.

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