21 March 2023

19 March 2023

And the Iberico goes on

We have been in love with Iberico pork ever since our first stay in Spain, years ago. 
For the spanish people, pork is more than a culinary tradition. It's a quasi religious devotion. No wonder the Iberico pork, mainly "pata negra" has no equivalent in the world. It is simply the best meat money can buy. And since a few years now, one can find this highly sought-after pork in Helsinki. We did grill last year different cuts like the "Secreto" and the "Pluma". Now we have found a new cut: the "Presa". This cut is located  slightly below the tenderloin, in the shoulder area. Because it is well marbled, this pork cut is incredibly tender and melt in the mouth. The meat itself is presented thinly sliced, almost like korean bbq style.

Because the slices only need seconds to cook, we opted against the the coal grill in part due to laziness, but also because of the weather outside, the meat would have been cold in a matter of seconds. Instead, we used our multi-functions Lagrange waffler that can can be fitted with grilling plates, and thus becoming a "parilla".

The slices need roughly 15 to 20sec. to cook, as the meat should be pinky and moist inside.

Once cooked, the meat is brushed with a mixture of organic spanish olive oil and "Pimentón de la Vera" powder

To go along are the usual suspects, roasted Pimientos de Padron & baby peppers, as well as garlic potatoes

To stick to the evening theme, we did have pieces of Iberico sheep cheeses, one being with black truffles.

A bottle of "Hacienda Monasterio Reserva Especial 2013" completes the dinner.
(bought in a spanish webshop)

17 March 2023

Les Petits Plaisirs De La Vie

... or "the small pleasures in life". Like having a glass of Prosecco and a few appetizers under the late winter sun. It's not much, but every opportunity to turn a moment into something joyful should be grabbed with both arms.

12 March 2023

Like professionals

Some time ago, we bought this french waffler "Lagrange Premium" on Amazon because we were not satisfied with what's on offer in the local shops. The great thing with this device is that it has been built based on professional wafflers. Let us explain: with wafflers sold in Finland, you just put the waffle dough, close the waffler, let it cook for a few min. and that's it. With Lagrange, you do the same BUT, in mid-cooking, you flip the waffler upside down. By doing this, the dough cook evenly, which is the all important when you do thick waffles. Another difference is that you can cook a multitude of different stuffs by switching the cast iron cooking plates, like the real french or belgian waffles (the rectangular ones 2cm thick) paninis, bagels from scratch, croques-monsieur, even pieces of meat like entrecôtes, etc... The waffler's price depends on the bundle you buy (how many different sets of cooking plates are included) from roughly 130€ to 180€. A user's manual with lots of recipes and tips (also in english & german) is provided with. You can buy extra plates (cast iron coated with teflon) at a cost of around 45€/set. It's not precisely cheap, but because of its versatility, the super easy way to use it and its all round top quality, to buy a Lagrange Premium Waffler is a no brainer. At least it wasn't for us.

11 March 2023

Home vs Restaurant

It's not because it's still snowy outside that we can't grill things. And because we have kilos of premium beef cuts in our freezer, we keep grilling in the cold finnish evenings like maniacs. With the grilled meat, we decided to skip potatoes altogether, and make a celeriac mash, as well as a wine sauce, or as we call it in France "sauce marchand de vin" (wine merchant sauce). For the mash, we cut a kg of celeriac in cubes. Then the cubes were placed in a sealed vacuumed bag, and cook in hot water until tender. When the celeriac was cooked, the bag was opened, and the cubes were mashed with a bit of cream (crème fraiche or even sour cream are good options here), butter, white pepper and salt. As for the sauce, we peeled, cut, and gently fried until soft 1/2 kg of shallots. Then 1 bottle of red wine (spanish Tempranillo) was added (when reaching boiling point, the wine was flamed to remove the acrity), as well as some fresh thyme. Once the wine was reduced by half in a gentle boiling, all the bits were removed and a small bottle of veal stock was added. Then we let reduce the liquid further until it became like a syrup. At that point cubes of fridge cold butter were gently added, as well as black pepper and salt. And voila! Can't even begin to imagine the price in a restaurant for a dinner like this. Hopefully we don't have to!

Almost a kg of Atria's Premium Entrecote - winner of the World's Best Steak Challenge 2019 - cooked 11min. each face for rare (14min. for medium rare)

Without the sauce

With the sauce

05 March 2023

Turkish breakfast delight

Back in october 2022, we ventured in Kontula to try a Syrian restaurant (see message below "Real Deal"). After that lunch, while strolling among the many ethnic restaurants, cafe and shops in the subway area, we did notice a turkish cafe -  "Cafe Sabich", who looked particulary interesting because 1. it was full of customers, which is always a good sign, and 2. because it does turkish breakfast. So, a few weeks ago, we decided to have a go and try it. For 9,50€ you get an omelette with turkish spicy sausage, turkish yogurt seasoned with spices, 3 different kind of cheeses, boiled egg, turkish cold cuts (beef salami & chicken kinda mortadella), tomatoes, cucumber, olives, butter, jams, turkish bread and tea. We did finnish the breakfast with a strong turkish coffee. At that price, you get an incredible value for money as the meal was full of flavors with fresh ingredients, a very friendly service and a super clean place. Easily on par with most breakfast you can find in city center and/or hotels, and at a fraction of a price. One last thing, they do breakfast all day long!

04 March 2023


We went last weekend to Puhos shopping center to refill our stock of turkish/middle eastern spices, breads, and all kind of exotic things we can't find elsewhere. On our way back to Itis subway, we stumbled upon Cafe Moors. Now let me stop for a second. To my knowledge, there isn't a single moroccan or tunisian cafe or restaurant in Helsinki. Some time ago, there was one in Espoo who has now changed ownership, and has been transformed into a turkish restaurant, and there's another one in Herttoniemi, although this one is a mix of different cuisines, including pizzas!
Now back to Moors, this little joint has been open for about 3 months, the owners coming straight from Morocco. The great thing with moroccans (and generaly with people from North Africa) is that most of them speak french. So the contact was easy and after 5min. we were chating like old friends. Beside different beverages like traditional mint tea, you can enjoy pasties or even breakfasts (which look fab, at least on photos) . But the real treat is that you can order in advance real moroccan dishes like tagines or couscous (and by couscous I mean the real thing with semolina, veggies, meat, broth and sauce). And this exactly what we did. We came yesterday evening to have a moroccan diner with a chicken couscous and mint tea. And boy, that was great. The people are super friendly (they do speak english but not so much finnish), and 100% of the customers were moroccans, which in my book is sure sign of quality and authenticity. 
Because of a near total lack of north african restaurants in Helsinki, only when in France can we eat this kind of cuisine (couscous is the No1 prefered dish in France, like the curry being in the top spot in England). 
Anyway, if you want to try/taste something really different and almost unique in this city, have a go and try Moors (50m. away from subway entrance/exit - they have an Instagram page as well).

23 December 2022

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...