Traditional Finnish crayfish party

6 09 2013

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

Short introduction to traditional Finnish crayfish party secrets especially for nonresidents.

Crayfish season in Finland is always between 21st of July and 31st of October. There are two species available, crayfish and signal crayfish. Origins of crayfish are in Finland but signal crayfish was imported from U.S.A in 1960’s. Crayfish is less common than signal crayfish and therefore more expensive. You can of course dine at restaurants offering crayfish menu’s but more convenient is to enjoy them at home and hopefully outdoors.

1) DRINKS

First thing; make sure there is sufficient amount of drinks for the whole meal. You must have schnapps available which can be Finnish vodka or Swedish aquavit. Then you must decide if champagne, white wine (recommend riesling) or beer suits best depending on your taste. And of course mineral or mountain spring waters must be available. But remember that all bottles on the table and in the fridge are not meant to drink in hurry. As crayfish dnner takes about 3-5 hours, be careful!

Drinks - reijosfood.comDrinks - reijosfood.com

2) TABLE-SETTING AND OTHER CRAYFISH TAT

Pictures of crayfish must be everywhere; in serviettes, tablecloth, plates, crayfis bib…etc . Even lanterns must include crayfish figures.

Eating crayfish requires specific knife in order to deal with claws. Otherwise they are eaten with the hands.

Crayfish tat - reijosfood.com

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

3) PROTECTION FROM SPLASHES

Crayfish bibs are usually made from disposable material but you can of course make long-term investment or get them as a gift. And make sure bib is enough long to extend up to the knees. If it is too short, you will notice it afterwards.

Essu - reijosfood.com

4) AMOUNT OF CRAYFISH

To eat only crayfish the entire course of the meal is rare. It takes so long time to eat them that you become hungry again during the dinner, so it is usual to eat crayfish as a starter. Thefore reserve about 7-10 crayfish for each diner and you are ready to float in the atmosphere. But if you decide to eat only crayfish, 20 is the minimum amount.

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

5) CRAYFISH SONGS

If you do not like to sing, after couple of vodka’s you might be the loudest singer. Songs are short but funny, most famous is Swedish song: “Helan går”

If you are not sure how to eat crayfish, just google How to eat crayfish and you find several videos. Then, it is crayfish party time!

Crayfish with Finlandia vodka - reijosfood.com





Wine review: Villa Maria Cellar Selection Riesling

2 09 2013

Villa Maria Riesling - reijosfood.com

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Riesling, a real bargain from Alko! And again riesling, now from New Zealand.

Villa Maria wineyards was founded 1961 in Auckland, New Zealand. Today, although it is not the biggest in the area, company exports wines to over 50 countries Finland being one of them. Vineyard is in Marlborough region which is mainly known from it’s Savignon Bland wines, but after tasting this riesling would say it is now known from riesling wines.

THE LOOK

Color of the wine was pale yellow with quantum of green.

Riesling - reijofood.com

THE NOSE

The wine displays youthful dry riesling characters of citrus fruit, lemon and lime. Some minerals and acids, but they do not interfere with the overall flavor.

THE TASTE

Taste was one of the best for riesling wines ever. Flavor was balanced including all elements of riesling; some minerals, acidity, lime/lemon and fruits.

Facts and figures:

Alcohol:             12,50

Extract :             26 g/l

Acidity:              7,4 g/l

Sugar:                8 g/l

Energy :             80 kcal / 100 ml (320 kJ / 100 ml)

Closure:            metal screw cap

Recommend this wine for aperitif and it matches with all types of fish, chicken, shell fish and escpecially with crayfish and even with Vorschmack. For pasta and pizza…, why not, but this wine is too noble for them.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUG +++/+++

http://www.villamaria.co.nz/





Vorschmack – traditional Finnish dish

19 08 2013

Vorschmack - reijosfood.com

There are several stories regarding the origin of Vorschmack but it has become a traditional, but not so widespread Finnish dish as it was one of the favourite appetizers of the Finnish statesman, war hero and gourmand Marshall C.G.E. Mannerheim.

For main course Vorschmack is too heavy due to salty, quite “interesting” taste and combination of side dishes.

Vorschmack is prepared mainly out of minced meat (lamb and pork), anchovises and/or herring, onions and spices. The dish is usually garnished with beetroot, pickles, sour cream and eaten with baked potato. Made one change to original recipe of side dishes, had oven baked beetroots instead of pickled ones. Bought Russian pickles but they were too salty and therefore suggest those ones which are in small glass jars. And to be honest, Vorschmack itself was canned. And in this can anchovises dominant flavor flavour too much.

Root vegetables - reijosfood.comPickles - reijosfood.com

Vorschmack - reijosfood.com

You can enjoy Vorschmack for instance at restaurants Savoy and Lasipalatsi in Helsinki. Had last year Vorschmack (picturebelow) as a starter in restaurant Lasipalatsi and it was delicious.

Lasipalatsi Vorschmack - reijosfood.com





Wine review: Bouchard Bourgogne Pinot Noir

18 05 2013

Bouchard Bourgogne Pinot Noir

Noticed that I have not tasted French red wine for ages.

This time chose from Alko Bouchard Bourgogne Pinot Noir (100 % Pinot Noir) which comes from Vineyard Bouchard Père & Fils.

Created in 1731, the Maison Bouchard Père & Fils has assembled, over several generations, one of the finest domaines in Burgundy. Moreover, installed since 1820 at the Château de Beaune, it benefits, on this site classed “Monument Historique”, from ideal natural conditions for leaving its precious bottles to age.

THE LOOK

Brilliant cherry red. Reminds of really dark rose or Beaujolais Nouveau.

Pinot Noir

THE NOSE

Red fruit aromas, cherry and kirsch. As wine is quite young aroma is also light.

THE TASTE

Obvious Pinot Noir, quite light with some acidity. Red berries, but again dark rose would not be far.

Red wine

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 12,5% by volume
Extract: 23 g/l
Acidity: 5,5 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml (330 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

Bouchard Bourgogne Pinot Noir is suitable for almost every food because it is quite light for red wine. However, for red meat you might want to choose more full-bodied wine. As we had file or beef fried with butter and rosemary, wine was a little bit too thin. Can recommend this wine also as aperitif.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++ / +++

http://www.bouchard-pereetfils.com/home/

Steak





King prawns with Asian flavour

9 05 2013

For shellfish lovers easy and quick portion to prepare for lunch or dinner. But also really tasty and healthy!

King prawnsKing Prawns

Recipe

King prawns (enough for each person)

4 garlic cloves

1 chilli

1/2 -1 fresh ginger (depending on size)

Oil to fry

Asian mint

Baby salad or similar

Lime slices

Low fat Yoghurt

Whole-grain rice  for side dish

(Soy sauce)

Cooking instructions:

If king prawns are frozen defrost them in cold water and dry on paper. If you have shells on prawns, take them away.

1) Chop garlic, chilli and ginger in small pieces and cut 2 lime pieces for each person

2) Put the water to boil for rice and rice to pot when water is hot (takes 10 minutes to cook, ready cooking instructions from package)

3) Pour youghurt in small scoop and set salad leaves, lime pieces and scoop on the plate

4) Put oil on frying pan, heat it and add garlic, chilli and ginger in order to glaze them

5) Add king prawns and fry 1-2 min from both sides (depends on the size of prawns)

6) Take rice out of water and set it on the plate and add some soy sauce (if you like it)

7) Set king prawns on salad leaves which are already on the plate

8) Garnish with Asian mint

9) Enjoy with good white wine!

Ingredientsking prawns

Perfect wine due to Asian spices is KungFu Girl Riesling which was reviewed 12.1.2013.

Bon Appetit! Hyvää Ruokahalua!





Wine review: Champagne Henriot, Brut Souverain

4 05 2013

Henriot Champagne

Since 1808, Champagne Henriot, one of the last independent and family-owned houses in Champagne, has pursued a tradition of excellence – a fragile balance between delicacy, intensity, and purity. For seven generations, the family has selected only the very best vineyards, concentrated on the purity of chardonnay and has upheld the utmost respect for time in order to ensure the cuvee has an opportunity to reach its full expression.

On May Day Eve you have to have bubbles, so we tasted Champagne Henriot, Brut Souverain which consists of two grapes; Chardonnay (40%) and Pinot Noir (60%), not so typical ratio to non-vintage champagnes. Brut Souverin is “basic” champagne from Champagne Henriot.

Henriot

THE LOOK

The colour of this champagne is a light-straw gold. Lacked almost all bubbles which made wonder if this wine lacks also acidity or if it was bad wine

Henriot

THE NOSE

Fruits like apple and pear but also some citrus

THE TASTE

First feeling, fills your mouth which means that acidity is quite strong and bubbles were hidden.  To be honest a little bit stale taste.

Henriot Brut Souverain is not available at Alko’s, so you need to purchase it from cruise ships between Helsinki – Stockholm or Helsinki – Tallinn. Champagne suits best with  fishes and white meats. Must be really cold if you like to enjoy it for aperitif. Not exactly our favourite; should invest a little bit more for Henriot Champagnes…

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 2+/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK + / +++

http://www.champagne-henriot.com/actus.php





Wine review: Lind Gewürztraminer Trocken Spätlese

27 04 2013

Tasted wine was Lind Gewürztraminer Trocken Spätlese with 100% of  Gewürztraminer grape from Weingut Lind. (winegut = winery)

The wine growing estate Ökonomierat Lind is situated in the South of the wine growing area of the Palatinate, in the area known as the “Südliche Weinstraße” (the southern wine road). The eco-wine guide-lines of Weingut Lind go much further than the European guide-lines for bio- logical agriculture. Using the rare “sur lie” method ensures that wines remain on the fineyeast until bottling and through this absorb more minerals, vitamins and bioactive substances. This long “mother-child contact” and a biological reduction of the acidity guarantee that the wine is harmoniously and well-balanced.

Wine

For

THE LOOK

Deep yellow with some green apple and raisin, no visible acidity.

white wine

THE NOSE

Aroma of grape comes up strongly. Even some noble rot which is typical to some sweet wines. Spices and raisin.

THE TASTE

Dry, tastes of typical gewürztraminer grapes. Used menthod has reduced the acidity. Some spices and flowers.

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 12,5% by volume
Extract: 31 g/l
Acidity: 5,3 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml (340 kJ/100 ml)
Sugar: 5 g/l
Closure: natural cork

This wine is suitable with white fishes and white meats. Because typical taste of grape is quite strong I would not recommend this wine for aperitif.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 3/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++ / +++

http://www.weingut-oekonomierat-lind.de/en/





Wine review: “Von Unserm” Rheingau Riesling Trocken

17 04 2013

What, again riesling….?! Yes, because at the moment think it is THE best white wine grape.

With a vineyard area of ca. 3,000 ha (7,400 acres) the Rheingau numbers among the smallest, but most important, wine-growing regions of Germany.

For more than 130 years, Weingut Balthasar Ress has been in the middle of this wine-growing region, in Hattenheim. Unique feature is that wineyard offers opportunity for leasing of grapewines. 3, 5, 10 and 25 year leases are available. Each grapevine that is leased is identified by an engraved tag bearing the new owner’s name, and the new owner has the right to visit the vineyard at any time to monitor the development and care of his/her grapevine. Those with a lease in the Hattenheimer Englemannsberg site can also take part in the grape harvest in autumn. Must consider!

Tasted white wine “Von Unserm” Rheingau Riesling Trocken comes from above mentioned Balthasar Ress wineyard. Grapes used are 100% Riesling, of course. BTW, “Von Unserm” means “Ours” in english.

Riesling von Unserem

THE LOOK

Pale yellow with some green apple, no visible acidity.

Riesling

THE NOSE

Mild flavor of aroma, riesling grape does not feel so strongly. Some honey can be found.

THE TASTE

Dry, some minerals but not so much as usually in German rieslings.

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 12% by volume
Extract: 23 g/l
Acidity: 8,2 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml (320 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: metal screw cap

This wine is suitable with white fishes and white meats but also good choice for aperitif.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++ / +++

http://www.balthasar-ress.de/en/





Wine review: Museum

5 04 2013

Again Spanish red wine?! Sorry, but somehow like them a lot…but this wine was a little bit dissappointing.

The Cigales wine region is situated in the province of Valladolid and Palencia and covers an area of 2,600 hectares. The Cigales wine region consists of 37 vineyards (Bodegas), which produce 5 millon liter of wine annually. Finca Museum is one of the biggest bodegas in the region and part of Grupo Baron De Ley.

Tasted red wine Museum from Finca Museum which is 100% TINTA DEL PAÍS grape. Tempranillo, more known spanish red wine grape, is known under a number of local synonyms in different regions of Spain, Cencibel and Tinto Fino are used in several regions, and it is also known as Tinta del País.

Museum

THE LOOK

Label is printed with golden letters, makes wine look precious. At the bottom of the bottle there is also picture of one sculpture wineyard has in their collection

Vintage Crianza 2008 was dark red with a hint of brown color

Museum

THE NOSE

Bouquet was rich, but difficult to recognize tempranillo due to tannins. Some black berries and hint of fennel. Aroma was quite strong.

THE TASTE

Museum was aged at least 6 months (Crianza) in French and American oak barrels. Would say full-bodied and spicy but strong due to tannins. Took some time get familiar with taste.

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 13,5% by volume
Extract: 29 g/l
Acidity: 5,1 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (380 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

Museum wine is suitable for red meats. Because of the tannins, it is not aperitif. Not the best Spanish tempranillo (Tinta del Pais) I have tasted. Better invest for reservas or gran reservas, tannins might be milder. Anyway, with over cooked lamb shank the wine was ok.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 2,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK + / +++

http://www.bodegasmuseum.com/index_ing.html

Lamb





Easter lamb shank

1 04 2013

As friend of confits and tender meats tried first time to prepare lamb shank. It takes about 5+ hours to cook in the oven at 150C degrees but it is worth of it. Meat becomes really crisp and comes off the bone easily. And it is delicious!

Lamb shankLamb

Recipe for 4 person

1 lamb shank per person

1 Carrot

 1/2 Celery

1/2 Swede

1 Onion

1 Garlic (4-6 cloves of garlic)

Rosemary

Sage (4 leaves)

1/2 liter dark beer (e.g. Velkopopovicky Kozel)

1+ liter meat stock

Maizena

Salt, pepper

Mashed potatoes

Cooking instructions:

1) Remove meat slides and extra fat (in picture below not yet done). Fry the meats in a pan for few seconds just to get some color. Place meets on pot or casserole dish.

2) Chop the roots and place them on the pot. Add also garlic, rosemary and sage leaves + salt and pepper

3) Pour beer (must be dark!) and meat stock on food materials so that they are covered

4) Bake in the oven for 5+ hours at 150C degrees in order to soften the meat. Be patient, 6 hours will be even better

5) Prepare sauce from broth by adding some Maizena

6) Put some vegetables on another pan, add some honey and bake in the oven at 225C degrees about 15 minutes

7) You can prepare mashed potatoes meanwhile pot prepares in the oven. No cooking instructions, just prepare it how you are used to

8) Place goodies on the plate, add some rosemary and finger salt.

9) ENJOY THE DISH

10) WITH RED WINE (review coming later)

LambVegetablesMuseum





Mämmi – traditional Finnish Easter pudding

29 03 2013

Mämmi is traditional Finnish Easter dessert which might make you to hesitate when you see the appearance of it. Any thoughts?

Mämmi

Mämmi, also sometimes called “Easter Surprise” (in Swedish Memma) is made of water, rye flour and powdered malted rye. Generally Mämmi is eaten cold with either milk or cream and sugar, and less commonly with vanilla sauce. To be honest I am not the fan of this dessert but like to maintain the traditions of Finnish cooking and dining. But you can encourage to try dessert by serving it a little bit more attractive way than Finns are used to.

Mämmi w creamMämmi with cream

Nowadays you can purchase Mämmi all year around as frozen but years ago it was only available at Easter time. I have not seen Mämmi anywhere else than in Finland but propably you could get it in Sweden because of quite similar food cultures. Wait, of course you can get it in those places where Finns have moved for instance in Fuengirola, Spain from Finnish owned shops.

If you want to know more about this dessert, just click links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A4mmi

http://www.kymppi-maukkaat.fi/en





Wine review: Taittinger Cuvee Prestige Brut

16 03 2013

Taittinger Cuvee Prestige

International Women’s Day has been celebrated and it is time for actual review for Champagne Taittinger Cuvee Prestige Brut.

Taittinger remains one of the few Champagne Houses to remain owned and actively managed by the family named on the label. The hallmark of the Taittinger Champagnes is the high percentage of Chardonnay used in their winemaking which can be anything from 40% in the Brut Réserve Non Vintage to 100% in the prestigious Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs.

Taittinger Brut Prestige is a blend of around fifty different vineyards, consisting of Chardonnays (40%) and Pinots (60%) from various vintages matured to perfection. Such a high proportion of Chardonnay is seldom found in fine non-vintage champagnes.

Taittinger

THE LOOK

The brilliant body is golden yellow in colour. The bubbles are fine, while the foam is discreet yet lingering.

Taittinger

THE NOSE

Very open and expressive, delivers aromas of fruit and toast. It also gives off the fragrance of fruits.

THE TASTE

The entry onto the palate is lively, fresh and in total harmony. Feels first that it filled the mouth due to bubbles. Aftertaste is dry with minerals.

Taittinger Cuvee Prestige is not available at Alko’s, so you need to purchase it from cruise ships between Helsinki – Stockholm or Helsinki – Tallinn. Champagne suits well for aperitif and with white meated fishes and meats. But also with grilled tuna fish and noodles.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4+/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++ / +++

http://www.taittinger.fr/#/en/Accueil

http://www.taittinger.fr/#/en/TheChampagnes/CuveesGallery/CuveePrestige





Wine review: Petit Chablis le Donjon des Eschofiers

9 03 2013

The main Chablis Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée was designated on January 13, 1938, but the junior appellation of Petit Chablis was not designated until January 5, 1944. Petit Chablis is the lowest end of the classification, which includes the outlying land. As of 2004, 1,380 acres (560 ha) of a permitted 4,448 acres (1,800 ha) in the Petit Chablis appellation was planted. (Wikipedia)

Grapes are of course 100% Chardonnay, typical to Chablis.

You might sometimes expect from Petit Chablis wines same features  (full-bodied, rich) as from  genuine Chablis, but Petit Chablis le Donjon des Eschofiers did not meet expectations. Would say it was Minuscule Chablis….

Petit Chablis

THE LOOK

Pale yellow with some green apple, no visible acidity.

Petit Chablis

THE NOSE

Mild flavor of aroma, difficult to sense anything. Maybe some apples and minerals, but only maybe….

THE TASTE

First experience was dull and bland, however aftertaste felt better than first impression.

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 12% by volume
Extract: 20 g/l
Acidity: 5,8 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml (310 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: metal screw cap

This wine is suitable with white fishes and meats. Greasy fishes and spiced foods would not pair. Would prefer also real Chablis for aperetif and pay some extra.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 2/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK – / +++

Petit Chablis

Coming reviews: Taittinger Cuvee Prestige Brut and Val de los Frailes Vendimia Seleccionada…





Wine review: Taittinger Cuvee Prestige Brut

8 03 2013

Celebrating International Women’s Day with champagne Taittinger, but review is coming later…..

TaittingerTaittinger

Good food is part of celebrating….recipe coming later….Tuna fish with noodles

Tuna fish

Have a nice weekend!





Asian style whitefish and whole-grain rice

3 03 2013

This ASIAN STYLE WHITEFISH WITH WHOLE-GRAIN RICE is propably easiest and quickest to prepare, least messy, really healthy and on top of all one of the most delicious fish foods ever! Two important things to succeed; tasty marinad and right baking time in oven. Whitefish (lavaret) is popular fish in Finland, fish meat looks like Sea bass but usually size of the fish is smaller. This time we were able to find quite nice pieces from Stockmann Helsinki department store.

WhitefishWhitefish and rice

Recipe (2 portions)

400 g whitefish (scaled and fish bones blucked out)

Thai basilica

1 Red chili

1 Lemon

Salt, sugar and pepper

Teriayki soy sauce

Vegetable oil

Instruction: Prepare marinade by mixing squeezed lemon juice, vegetable oil and teriayki soy sauce. Chop chili and thai basilica and add them to marinade. Add salt, pepper and enough sugar to marinade so that it is not too bitter due to fresh lemon. Pour 3/4 of marinade in baking dish, put fish slices on marinade skin side up and pour rest of the marinade on top of fish.

Bake fish in the oven for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of fish pieces. Remember not to over cook! If fish lays on marinade a littke bit longer it has begun to mature due acids in lemon.

Cook rice in a pot according cooking instructions on the package while fish is in the oven.

WhitefishCitron and chili

Preparing time for portion is less than 30 minutes if you can get whitefish, which is already scaled and even bones plucked out. No fat, not too much salt because of other spices.








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