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Everything posted by JMT

  1. A general recommendation for people who want good swedish food but at a lower price is to use the much lower lunch prices look for food called husmanskost. The food is also more likely to be close to what a normal swede would call swedish food than the fancier (although very good) meals at Michelin starred restaurants. I do agree with Ericthered, Summer is not a good time for visiting nice restaurants in Stockholm.
  2. Make sure to visit the Riga Central Market, they had a good selection of breads last time (which was years ago) I was there.
  3. Generally there are no good farmers markets in Stockholm. Östermalms saluhall is good but expensive. Hötorgshallen and Hötorget which is located at the intersection of Sveavägen and Kungsgatan have more reasonable prices though some things are outrageously expensive still. Outside on the square you can buy fruit and veggies and through the entrance to the right of the cinema entrance is Hötorgshallen. Don't go on a Sunday. If they are buying fish I'd recommend going into one of the larger supermarkets. They tend to use fresh fish (and smoked fish) as one of the products to get customers to the store. Deer, hare, moose, fowl etc has a crazy markup compared to what you can buy it for in other parts of Sweden though it might still be nice to try it. A nice a pretty cheap place to buy cheese (mainly french and italian) is Winjas at Bergsgatan 24 on Kungsholmen. It looks like the entrance to a garage but the have a good selection of cheese, and also some sausages, pasta etc. Prices are without 12% GST since they are wholesellers as well. Some nice places to have a pickninck is Djurgården, I'd recommend taking bus number 69 to the eastermost part of the island if they want less people around. Drottningholm is also a good place and so is Ulriksdal, which also have a nice café in the park. Bergianska trädgården (a botanical garden) is another good place. The old town is nice but do avoid Västerlångatan which is packed with tourists. If they are going to be staying for a while I'd recommend a trip out into the archipelago. If they will be visiting other places around the Baltic sea and like food markets the biggest one is probably the Riga Central Market, I wished we had a big market like that in Stockholm.
  4. Thanks for the tips, if I really get a craving maybey I'll have to settle for intensly flavoured and use less, the recipe using seems interesting, going to try that.
  5. Does anyone have any recipe of something that tastes like real Bearnaise but with less/no butter? I really like Bearnaise sauce and steak but I am aiming to loose a few kgs and therefore sauces with a bunch of butter/eggyolks or lots of cream etc will have to go for a while. If no one has any I guess I'll just have to experiment a bit.
  6. I used some 50/50 ground beef for burgers last week, well done and very juicy. I like putting minced union and some garlic in mine. Same for meatballs.
  7. JMT

    Ikea food

    I don't know what the meatballs at IKEA taste like, having gone to school in Sweden I have had some bad run inns with really nasty meatballs for school lunch which seem to contain anything but ground beef so I tend to avoid any premade meatballs, hopefully the ones at IKEA are good ones. The tubed roe is for eating on sandwiches, but the non smoked stuff taste better IMO. Best way to eat it is proabably to mash it up with boiled egg and eat it on flatbread. I wonder if they have Fjällbrynt messmör ( soft whey butter ) I used to love that stuff as a kid but don't really like it anymore. I believe it is rather nutritious though. The swedish mustard has a different profile than french mustard, it is not as sharp and it has a sweeter taste, I prefer it to french mustard for several things. The swedish mustard on big tubes isn't that much fun though. Another thing to check for ( no idea if they have it ) is peasoup, it tends to be packaged in something that looks like a plastic sausage and should be eaten with mustard. Traditionally you eat peasoup with pork bits and mustard on thursdays with pancakes for dessert. Peasoup tends to be a favourite in the swedish army. It is one of those dishes that tends to turn out better cooked for 100 people than in smaller batches. Of course you can make better stuff yourself but the premade stuff isn't that bad, it is really cheap to buy here in sweden but no idea what they charge at ikea if they have it..
  8. JMT

    Ikea food

    Maybe you have to start young, I more or less spent most of my allowence on hard salty licorice when I was young. Most kids tend to like it. Actually most ( or none ) of the salt isn't sodium chloride but ammonium chloride ( salmiak ), so it depends alot on if you like ammonium chloride.
  9. JMT

    Ikea food

    The dark syrup is used for all kinds of bread here, sweetened breads are pretty standard here. A common bread that uses it is Kavring. If you make any sweetened aspiced bread I'd recommend using it. The pearl sugar is used as decoration on pastries, especially on chocolate balls. The sprats are used in Janssons frestelse which is a traditional christmas table food. I don't like it so I don't know the recpie. Otherwise some people but them on eggsandwiches, or mix it with sourcrea and other things for baked potatoes etc. Another thing swedes like with eggs is the caviar ( not the expensive kind ) on tube, I prefer the kinds that are not as sweetened or smoked as Kalles kaviar is. Lots of people like Kalles though. I am not sure what the vinegars were but we do have rasberry vinegar etc, it can be used in sauces etc to meet a wine with a a tone of that fruit. Blueberry soup is really nice preferably warm. I have never made it from blueberries, usually you buy a powder that is quite heavy on sugar that you boil in water. During a 90 km skirace called Wasaloppet that is held each year in Dalarna in memory of Gustav Wasa that drove out Christian the Tyrant this is served. Another one of these powders that is very popular is rose hip soup, I like eating it with cottage cheese. The swedish ciders are usually very sweet and more like softdrinks than french or english cider. If they have any salty licorice you should buy that, it is really yummy.
  10. Sju sorters kakor ( seven kinds of cookies ( or cakes ) ) is probably the most typical swedish pastry book you can find, it's been published over 60 years I have the 88th ed. Most recipies are of the housewife kind, ie not fancy proffesional pastry chef cakes and cookies. I believe the first ed was a collection of the best out of 8000 recipies that people sent in a contest in 1945. Recipies have been changed several times since then from what I understand All recipies are not neccessarily swedish ( there is a brownie recipie for instance ) but many are typical swedish pastries. There seem to be an english version coming out in june, at $12 it's probalbly a good buy. http://www.amazon.com/Swedish-Cakes-Cookie...03782349&sr=1-1
  11. I have a glestain slicer with very large scallops, I like the fact that I have to push things of the blade a lot less. Don't know how their heavily scalloped chef's knives work out, I don't see scallops as bad in any way but probably they arn't that neccesary either, if your chef's knife double as a slicer I think they might be nice to have.
  12. Curry of some sort, or something similar to chicken marengo, if you are in hurry you can basicly just peel the onions, put them in whole and divide the chicken into pieces. Wine, stock ( supermarket stuff if your in a hurry ) lots of onions, some garlic, mushrooms salt and pepper and parsley and good canned tomatoes is really all you need and some meat, I have used it for both chicken and beef, both are good. Boiled potatoes or rice, and some bread on the side. Make the table while it boils slowly, or make it in advance and heat it up and boil some new potatoes.
  13. JMT

    The science of salting

    Question 1 and 2 go together. Lets say you cut 1 kg of meat into cubes and and put those in 1 litre of water salted with 50 g salt, then those pieces of meat should have the same saltiness as 2 kg of cubed meat ( same cubesize of course ) put in 2 litres of water with 100 g salt, assuming both have the same temp. If you salt on the outside of a steak however then I don't think there will be enough time for the salt to diffuse evenly through the meat and you will have a system with a concentration gradient of salt in the meat. Now if you take a steak that is double the mass but has the same shape the surface area will not be doubled but increased by a lower factor than 2. If you assume that the salt penetrates the meat with the same speed ( not really correct as I think the salt would diffuse quicker at higher concentrations ), the outer part of the big steak will be saltier. If you let the salt concentration equilibrate through the steak they will be equally salty however. The diffusion coefficient will most likely be different between different cuts and types of meat. Same for the equilibrium constant between meat and water if you have the meat in salt water. Salt would diffuse much slower through bone than through tissue. As to how large these differences are I can't really say. Looking at it from a practical point of view, trial and error with a bit of common sense will probably be most effective in getting you the saltiness you want.
  14. I don't think tipping a higher percentage in more expensive places necessarily has anything to do with the servers not being able to make a living otherwise. I think it is more along the lines that lots of well off people and people eating at the company expense etc fo to fancy place. My guess is lots of these people tip well so if you want to give a tip that is along the lines of what these people tip go higher than in a normal place, cheaper places don't have as many of these people so waiters are used to getting paid alot less for their work. At least I think that is the logic behind it. The second factor is proabably how much attention you get, in a really fancy place where the waiter is constantly getting you new small dishes, another guy is constantly making sure a few tables have their glasses filled etc, they might put in quite a bit of work divided on very few tables and they might have to share the tip with more people. If the restaurant is just expensive and the second factor don't come into play I see no reason to give a higher percentage tip. Most of the time I probably tip more in cheap places since the waitstaff there would get paid very badly otherwise.
  15. It isn't available from japanesechefsknife any more but you can get it from Korin, Tojiro decided to stop selling through jck because I think jck cut into their wholesellers in the rest of the world. http://www.korin.com/models.php?cat=54&sub...bcatname=Tojiro It seems Korin is now charging the same low shipping that jck does. $7 worldwide, no idea if it is permanent. I havn't bought anything from Korin, but from what I understand it is a very reputable dealer. Be advised the knife might get tax and duty charged on it. As Dougal said, shiny things are more likely to disappear, If you take the Tojiro to the kitchen you could always run it over with sandpaper on the sides, it makes it less shiny and pretty but won't hurt the cutting. Korin also has some stones, you can probably find cheaper places for that but as Korin won't charge you extra shipping for it, you might want to get one.
  16. For a chef'sknife I'd recommend a Tojiro dp 240 mm, you can find them on Korin, some people find the handles a bit square, I just use sandpaper to get it the way I want it. Korin and epicedge also has waterstones, I'd get one that was close to 3 inches broad. Globals might stay sharper for a bit longer than german knives, I think Globals are heattreated to be harder than germans, and a bit thinner. Tojiro, Hiromoto etc are harder than Globals however. I' don't think light is a bad thing in most cases, light and thin is perfect especially for veggieprep and cutting boneless meat. A heavy knife might stand up to more abuse against bones but every cut you make into say an union is going to be more work, then it is better to have 2 knives, one boning, one chef's knife. Some other options are: The TJ-20AS on http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/TenmiJyu...HEIGHT:%20184px is also very nice, the edge isn't stainless though in case that bothers you ( the G3 has a stainless edge but the AS edge will probably hold up longer. These I havn't tried but they look good for the money. http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KANETSUG...0HEIGHT:%2087px Or if you are willing to spend more. http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/RYUSEN.html Personally I'd just start out with a Tojiro dp from korin which shouldn't be that expensive or the Hiromoto AS from jck. This is one of my favourites though, the look is a bit nonstandard so don't know if it is for you. http://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=83472. Do get a good waterstone though, the one you have seems a bit narrow and no idea what grits it is. The guy you go to sharpen your knives at uses a slow wheel I suppose? Not one of those guys where sparks fly?
  17. What knives do you feel that you actually need? The way I cook the chef's knife should be a good veggie chopper so IMO you do not need both. A pairing knife might be nice to have especially if you make decoration cuts, I don't really feel the need for a utility knife, if you handle a lot of fish you might want to look into a fileting knife ( that also covers the narrow part ). A deboning knife only if you actually do deboning. A breadknife is good to have, if you get a tough one it can be used on frozen foods. I really like to have a slicer, but I suppose the chef's knife can handle that unless you do large roasts or such. If you want to save a buck you might want to consider getting a nice chefsknife as you'll be using that the most ( I guess ) and should spend the most on. For a breadknife, boning and pairingknife you might want to look into Victorinox knives or such they have really cheap pairing knives that work quite well and I think lots of butchers use their boning knives. You might want to take a look at these sites for some other knifeoptions than global. www.japanesechefsknife.com www.korin.com www.epicedge.com The first one is usually able to have the knives pass customs without getting taxes added and low shipping, of course it depends on luck though. If you like working with globals by all means get them, they are good knives, easy to keep clean but a little soft in the steel for my taste. Get a 1000 grit waterstone also to sharpen your knives on.
  18. Isn't "at least" 20% quite a bit? I think most europeans will tip much less than people from the US simply because we are used to waiters being paid a regular wage and tips are extra. To some extent I also think the view of good service varies at least between Sweden and the US. I think that many Swedes consider the service from both waiters and salesclerks in the US and Canada to be a bit too friendly and "pushy". When I lived in Canada I got used to it. Most good wait service seem to be able to balance the need for service, recommendations etc with privacy of course both here and in america but I think in america it is better to be a bit too helpful than to respect the need for privacy. Something I wonder is how important is the actual percentage? Say 2 people order the cheaper items from the menu, the drink softdrinks or beer ( glass of water on the side ) or some other cheap drink and have an espresso for dessert. They spend say $80 and leave a $20 tip which is 25% and I suppose a very good tip. Another party of 2 order the most expensive items from the menu, drink a bottle of good wine and have a nice dessert. They spend $300 and leave a $45 tip which is a 15% tip. Now lets say the waiter had to spend 30% more time on party number 2, can it really be that bad to recieve to recieve more than 100% extra money for 30% extra work? As I said me being european I am not completely familiar with tipping customs perhaps you just tip according to food and not wine costs. If I was a waiter I personally would care more about money/unit of time than percentages as I can't pay for anything with percentages. Do waiters feel stiffed even if a party paid them better for their time compared to other parties but the percentage of the bill was low compared to other parties? ( I do understand the frustration at small tips per person from huge parties )
  19. It seems strange to include it as an obligatory surcharge. It seems easier to just raise prices 5 percent and then say that the charge is included in that price. I have no problem with the restaurant saying that they pay their workers a decent wage, give health benefits or whatever. I just think that putting it as a surcharge and not included in the price makes it seem more like an afterthought. Personally I'd rather eat at a restaurant that charged a bit more but gave their workers a decent wage, such a restaurant would probably be able to get more competent workers so I would probably recieve better food and service anyhow. One of the reasons that servicecharges are included in europe or at least Sweden is because the tax authorities came up with this "great idea" of coming up with their own numbers of what they believed a worker had recieved in tips. Even if you had not recieved a nickel you were still taxed as if you had, so they added it to the bill so that personell could be "fairly" taxed. As for if wages are fair or not, our unions took care of that here. We don't have minimum wages but if you pay wages below a certain level ( that has been agreed upon in union employer negotiations centrally ) and the unoins get irritated they can pretty much shut down the restaurant with no deliveries, no garbage pickup, and naturally no unionised workers working for you ( they will be standing outside with leaflets informing people of your business practices ). This is even if none of your personel are unoinised ( exeption is family businesses ) and even if your personel are happy with their pays ( This has led to some quite bizarre situations ). It does bring higher unemployment since low efficiency people are just not profitable enough to be paid these salaries. As to whether this is right or not I can't really say.
  20. Soak it for 10 to 15 min before use, it will take a while before it needs to be flattened, and a stone that is a bit dished can still be used to sharpen. If you need to remove lots of steel or sharpen a really dull knife, start with something lower grit, like a 320 diamond stone. Diamond stones can also be used for flattening. You could also get a 4000/8000 stone and a standalone 1000, as you will use the 1000 side more than the 4000 side. If you are just getting one stone, that stone seems good though.
  21. St John's wort flower buds infused in alcohol ( enough to cover the buds ) make for a nice schnaps when the infusion is diluted further to taste. Nice red colour that might grow somewhat brown with time.
  22. To some extent I think it also depends on the alcohol base you use. I think some oak barrel rum would make it closer to the real thing than vodka which is what most good moonshine resembles closest. Also don't forget to put the stuff in the freezer, I think punch is best served cold. Carlshamn flaggpunch is 26% alcohol just so you know what to aim for if you get some essence.
  23. You might want to consider sending a email to the swedish consulates in the US and see if they know of a importer. http://www.swedenabroad.se/Consulates____7492.aspx No idea how helpful they will be. Otherwise Q&A at the maker of punsch says to ask systembolaget ( the state monopoly ) for questions regarding buying in the US, systembolagets Q&A naturally directs back towards the maker The major importer from vsgroup ( vin&sprit ) in the US is futurebrands. http://www.futurebrandsllc.com I doubt they import punsch though. Here is a place ( that I have never used that sells essences, might be good or they might not be, no idea ) It is not the saturnus essence. http://www.partyman.se/
  24. What I have mostly heard this is used for is for sharpening kukris ( those knives the ghurka soldiers have ) where you really want a convex edge and where the blade has the sort of curve that is hard to get to with waterstones etc. If I used sandpaper for kitchen knives, I'd personally put them on a harder surface as was suggested higher up in the thread.. It might be a good system for heavy meatcleavers and the like that might benefit from a more convex edge. Another use might be if you want to sharpen a beak shaped knife.
  25. I like semlor ( lenten buns ) as well, I adore them actually, I want to try your version with lingonberry in the cream it sound very nice, I suppose one could do all sorts of colour, blueberry might be good too. That pudding looks great too. I'll just post the modifications one can do to your semlor recipie to make them in a more more swedish style. Make the buns as in Pille's recipie. If you like cardamon you can increase the amount by a factor 2 ( I do ) and probably even more, I make them with less butter, probably 3/4 the amount of butter in Pille's recipie. Cut the top off completely at the same height as Pille's cut. For a marzipan filling take out as much of the insides of the bottom part of the bun as you like. Take as much marzipan as you like ( within reason or the marsipan flavour will dominate the rest, the filling should also roughly fit in the hole ) mix it with the part of the bun that you removed, and mix it with some cream or milk to give it a somewhat smother consistancy. Put the bread, marzipan and cream/milk mixture back in the hole. You can also make an almond filling: Take 2 to 3 parts almond depending on how you want to balance sweetness and almond taste, take 2 parts of sugar and 2 parts milk or cream. then either run everything in a mixer and the mix in the insides of the bun just as in the first recipie or grate the almond first and then mix it with everything else. After making a filling and putting it in put some cream on, naturally use freshly whipped cream and not something nasty out of a tube. Put the top back on sprinkle with flor sugar. If you make a sweet filling you might want to skipp the sugar in the cream. I tend to eat the lid of a semla first, then go to work on the rest of it. Lots of people also eat it in a bowl with some hot milk in it. My dad who doesn't like whipped cream pours the milk over his, making most of the cream go into the milk, I tried it that way but prefer to eat them in a normal fashion Semlor are fantastic to eat and the homemade ones tend to taste much better than most pastry shop ones. They taste best IMO when the bun is still a bit warm from the oven.
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