Flying Jakob – Swedish cult curry

Flygande Jakob

Flygande Jakob (flying Jakob) is a modern Swedish classic, invented in the 70s by an airline freight man called Arne. I love its savoury weirdness, as it mixes whipped cream, ketchup, curry and banana. The original includes chicken and bacon, but I enjoy this one with quorn. In trying to become a half-veggie, recipes such as these are a good way of substituting chicken, telling no substantial difference whatsoever.

I tend to be skeptical of meat imitations, because vegetarian food holds it own very well without copying meat, and also because imitations rarely taste as good as the real thing. But this tastes marvellous, and I over-binge every time we make this at home.

Cream and ketchup

For four portions, you need:

  • 2 bags of defrosted quorn (or 500 grams of chicken)
  • Bacon (optional, for the meaties)
  • 4 dl cream
  • 1 tsp mild madras curry powder
  • 1 1/2 dl ketchup
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 handfuls peanuts or cashewnuts
  • Basmati rice and sriracha sauce to serve

Quorn, banana, and cream mix

Start by frying the quorn pieces in a little bit of the curry powder and oil. Once they’ve taken on some colour, let them cool while you whip the cream. Mix the ketchup into the the cream, and add the rest of the curry powder. Cut the banana up in fat, coin-sized pieces, and scatter it with the quorn in an oven-proof pan. Distribute the whipped cream evenly on top, and let it sit in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until it has  browned on top. About five minutes before you think it’s ready, scatter the nuts on top, and put it back into the oven.

Flygande Jakob out of the oven.

Take it out and let cool slightly while you prepare a cold beer and set the table. Serve it with basmati rice, and some sriracha chili sauce on top for those who want to some heat with the savoury sweetness. Needless to say, this really does taste better the day after, and makes for a perfect lunchbox. We’ve tried making it healthier by substituting cream with Turkish yoghurt, but I would not recommend it.


Lunchbox extravaganza pt. 5: cheddar, cream cheese and celery sandwich

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This week I’ve been skint and busy, so less time for cooking than normal. But such sad weeks can be saved by simple yet delicious lunchbox stuff like this saviour-sandwich. This humble creation is a admittedly not as healthy, thick and filling as the first lunchbox extravaganza sandwich, but the ingredients that go with it – cheddar, cream cheese, celery and newly milled pepper – get married in your mouth (as the Swedish saying goes). In other words, it is surprising how good this tastes. The combination is actually stolen from M&S, but I suppose theirs is a cheap bestseller for a reason. The cost of making it at home is difficult to calculate. It is very cheap. Making 10 of them would probably cost £5,50.
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This one is a quickie and you don’t need to prepare anything in advance.
You need:
  • Cream cheese
  • Strong cheddar (and preferably one of these to slice it with)
  • Generous amounts of newly milled pepper
  • Very thinly sliced celery
  • Crispy lettuce
  • Thick slices of bread (nice granary from the bakery section of your local supermarket, or an actual bakery, is the nicest, but granary slice works perfectly fine too)
  • Optional: you can go crazy and add all kinds of salad. I tend to make it when i’ve got nothing else at home, but I’m sure fresh spinach and crushed walnuts would sneak in very easily.

Slice up your bread, spread on a layer of cream cheese on each side and mill lots of pepper on both sides too (it’s important to get the pepper in at this point as it flavours are drawn out in the cream cheese a little, especially if it will be sitting in your bag for lunch, and that tastes very nice). Add a generous layer of celery on one side, put your cheese on top and finish off with crunchy salad. Since there aren’t many ingredients for this one, the key is to think generously for all of them. Press together, slice up to a door stop (or whatever shape you prefer) and pack up in your lunchbox. Easy as that. Enjoy!


Lunchbox extravaganza pt. 4: Wasabi and crabstick wrap

Crabstick is one of those ingredients I’ve always been a bit sceptical to, but still eaten in great amounts. I don’t really want to think much about what goes in them, so I won’t elaborate more on it here. What is clear is that they are a cheap, easy and tasty way of getting a bit of omega 3 in your diet, and I quite like their sweet, mild flavour. Since they are cooked they are also safe for sandwiches. What’s more, when they are mixed into a wrap together with a dollop of creme fraiche, some wasabi, peanuts, avocado, coriander and cucumber, topped off with crispy lettuce, they become like a hybrid sushi/Skagen sandwich, and are delicious. Also very healthy. So for my latest lunchbox revelation, you’ll need:

  • Crabstick (around 8 should suffice)
  • 1 dollop Creme fraiche
  • Fresh, chopped coriander
  • Cucumber, cut into long strips
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Wasabi paste (to taste)
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Wraps
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Start by cutting the crabstick into thin slices. This is easily done by pressing each stick between your fingers, and then pulling them apart one by one. Put into a bowl, and mix together with the avocado, creme fraiche, wasabi (but be careful and don’t add too much!), lemon juice and cucumber. When mixed, put a large tablespoon onto a wrap, top off with crushed peanuts, some lettuce and cucumber, a bit of salt and pepper, and an extra squirt lime/lemon juice. Fold tightly together like an envelope roll, and place in a well-sealed food container which will hold it in place until you need to eat it. If it is hot and your avocado is on the brink of over-maturing, don’t let the wrap sit in your bag and wait all day, for it can become a bit funny in the sun. Else you will have a filling and tasty treat waiting for you.
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Lunchbox extravaganza pt. 3: Swedish pizza rolls (Pizzabullar)

London has been miserably rainy lately, but it feels like we might finally be moving towards picnic time! So I’m going to attempt (but hopelessly fail) to revise stuff for exams in parks whilst stuffing my face with nibbles and pretend it’s already summer. Pizzabullar are perfect for this: uncomplicated, unsophisticated food from the 90s. When I was about 7 and a half, we’d eat them on days out in the forest with school (or my friends would; they always had way cooler snacks than I did). My friend Natalie’s mum used to make her these and I was really very jealous. They aren’t particularly healthy, or cheap but lovely nonetheless so they are getting a blog post dedicated to them. The technique of making them is identical to that of Kanelbullar, you just change the dough slightly and the stuff that goes in it. You can mix content around wildly, but the classic involves smoked ham, cheese, tomato sauce and oregano. I added finely chopped and fried mushrooms with fresh thyme to mine.

For the dough you need:

  • 12-14 deciliters plain flour
  • 50g fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 5 deciliters milk
  • 1 tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 200 g smoked ham (cooked is also alright and can be found cheaply in many basics ranges in the supermarkets)
  • 300 g cheese (grated or sliced)
  • 1 tube of tomato puree
  • 7 finely chopped mushrooms
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme

Rub the yeast into small pieces in a bowl, heat up the milk and butter together on the stove and pour it into the bowl to dissolve the yeast when it’s finger-warm. Mix in 9 deciliters of flour, the salt and the baking powder, and stir until you have a dough. Knead it for a while, adding only so much flour you need to keep it from sticking to your hands too badly. Leave the dough to rest in the bowl under a kitchen towel for 40 minutes. If you haven’t baked with fresh yeast before, it will shock you how much it grows:

After 40 minutes, wake it up by kneading it and adding more flour as you go (but be careful not to overdo it, you only want as much flour as you need to keep it from sticking). Split the dough in two, and roll out one half on a floured surface. Roll it into a sausage and then shape it into a rectangular piece, roughly 25×40 cm. Spread tomato puree smoothly on top of it like a pizza, and then top off with the cheese/ham/mushroom mix.

Roll it up and cut into 12 pieces

Place with the cut side up on a baking tray with baking paper underneath, brush the top and all sides with a whisked egg and place some grated cheese on top.

Bake in an oven at 250 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until they have browned. Done!

If your pizza buns go a bit stale after a few days (although they keep rather well because of the cheese melting into the dough and sort of preserving them) you can cut them up into small pieces and put in the oven for 15 minutes for little luxury crutons. It looks a bit weird but they taste lovely on soup.

Kanelbulle and pizzabulle, socialising.


Smoked salmon pie (Sveas laxpaj) with beetroot & blue cheese salad

This is perfect summery picnic food as it’s almost more delicious cold than hot. Smoked salmon pie is my farming gran Svea’s recipe, but it’s been quite changed here to adapt for what’s available in England. It is still delicious, though. Large cubes of gravad lax is too expensive in London to make pie out of – or to be eaten by students full stop – so we made it with sainsbury’s smoked salmon trimmings instead. The pie crust was the same Read the rest of this entry »


Grape, halloumi and pomegranate salad

It’s basically summer in London! So me and Miss Salted Cod had a stroll around Ridley Road market (bit more info about that market in the middle of this post if you fancy going) and enjoyed the sunshine bashing down on Hackney’s back alleys. The result of our little shop is this delicious salad Read the rest of this entry »


Lunchbox Extravaganza Pt. 2 – Mini Quiche

Today the Meatball and Salted Cod bring you bacon mini quiches and another episode of our Lunchbox Extravaganza! This looks a lot more complicated than it is, but is actually quite easy and is so worth it. You can have it as a normal quiche or as mini quiches to take for lunch.

Start by making the dough, Gordon Ramsay style. It’s really easy and only takes a few minutes actually working on it (although be prepared for a lot of rolling), the rest is resting time.

Yep the dough does stretch that long...

While your dough is rising in the fridge prepare the filling. We used fried bacon, mushrooms, cheddar and thyme but you can make any combination – salmon and ricotta is really good, as well as mediterranean grilled vegetables. You then combine these ingredients with a milk and egg mixture. You can also use cream instead of milk (or half and half) but after the crazy amount of butter going into that pastry we decided to save our growing stomachs from any more grease. We didn’t really use any measurements, but you should use a minimum of two eggs and make sure the mixture is not too liquid, otherwise it won’t settle properly.

All the butter that went into the pastry...

Cut the pastry in the shape of the tin you are using (we cut in in small circles for our mini quiches) and fill them up. Put them in a preheated oven at 180 for 15mins, but keep checking to make sure the pastry is not burning.

These quiches are great served hot or cold, so you can make a big batch and eat them throughout the week. They can also be frozen and reheated later.