Tomato bruschetta with Parmesan cheese and dried kalamata olives #184

A good tasting bruschetta is a great go-to dish when you run out of ideas, usually you´ll even find some stuff left over in the fridge that will work which is exactly how this one was made. I had a few tomatoes, a piece of cheese, some salad, dried olives and luckily some fresh bread.

There are only two things that are a bit complicated about this dish, first if you haven´t boiled and peeled tomatoes before that could be a bit tricky if it is your first time and then the olives that I have dried in my oven, it will take a day or two so if you don´t want to spend that much time simply use some good chopped olives instead.

This is how the olives are made, it is also described in my recipe for Burnt cod with grated kalamata olives (link, new window).

The drying of olives is not difficult but it will take a few days, I use fresh Kalamata olives, that is only fermented olives which is way higher in taste and quality so see if you can get your hands on some of those in a good grocery store. Then I simply put them on a plate and let them dry in the oven on low heat (about 50°C / 120F). If you have a dehydrator I´m sure this will work fine to but since I don´t have one myself I really don´t know. This took me four days to dry but I only turned on the oven whenever I was at home and awake. 

Also the olives should not get dried all the way through but only enough to be able to be grated. What I did was to simply grate an olive now and then until they were dry enough. Also if I forgot to mention it, the taste is simply amazing.

Now on with this recipe, and remember get great tomatoes, tasteless ones will give a tasteless dish.

Tomato bruschetta with Parmesan cheese and dried kalamata olives

tomatoes, small
fresh basil
olive oil
dried kalamata olives
a few leafs of salad, arugula or similar
balsamic vinegar
salt, pepper
Parmesan cheese
bread, white

Bring water to a boil and keep it boiling at the highest temperature, bring out a big bowl of ice cold water and add some ice to the water if you have it at hand. Cut a small cross at the tip of every tomato, add the tomatoes a few at a time to the boiling water. Let them cook for only a few seconds, once the skin of the tomato loosens immediately remove the tomato and cool them in the ice water. 

Repeat until all tomatoes are done. Then gently peel the tomatoes and put the in a oven proof tray, season them with a few leafs of chopped basil, olive oil, salt and pepper and let them dry out in the oven on low heat (about 100°C / 212 F), this will give the tomato a more intense flavor and infuse the oil and tomato with the basil.

Slice the bread and roast in a pan with olive oil, remove and place the salad on the toast, then the tomatoes and add some of the oil as well. Grate the Parmesan cheese and the olives on top, serve.


Coffee granita with Kahlua liqueur #183

This is not a tapas at all and it probably would feel weird to serve it like one, but it is great to serve right after some delicious tapas! It is very easy to make, all you will need is some good strong coffee, a bit of sugar and your freezer. In my recipe I added a little bit of Kahlua liqueur to make your party be just a tiny bit more entertaining, if you´re not a fan of alcohol then simply just exclude it, it will still taste great. Also, if you taste the granita before it is frozen don´t be afraid if it seems to strong or sweet, you won´t feel the flavors that way once it is frozen. Good luck.

Coffee granita with Kahlua liqueur 

4 parts strong brewed coffee or espresso, warm
1 part sugar
1/3 part Kahlua liqueur

This recipe is made in parts, so simply change to however much you´ll need, like cups, tablespoons, liters.

Combine the coffee with the sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved, add the liqueur. Pour the liquid into a wide container that will fit in your freezer, use something plastic and check if it fits before filling it with the liquid. Let it sit in the freezer for about one hour, then remove and scrape the ice that has formed using a metal spoon. Return to the freezer and repeat the same process a few more times. Once completely frozen, serve in glasses.

If you want to prepare this for another night you can freeze the whole thing right away and once it´s time to serve scrape and then serve, it requires some extra muscles but it will work fine.


Calamari salad with sesame seeds, fennel, cucumber & chili #182

Hello, it´s time for some calamari, this time I am serving it in a salad with Asian flavors. It is fairly simple to make, the base is chopped cucumber, fennel and seared calamari and then I added toasted sesame seeds, cilantro, sesame oil, chili and some seaweed. 

The salad keeps for a few hours in the fridge so it is a good dish to have prepared beforehand, also if you´re serving guests who are not big fans of calamari it is a great way to learn to like it since it´s not the dominant flavor of the dish. Some people don´t like the texture of calamari either and since it´s chopped and seared it is not so noticeable.

Calamari salad with sesame seeds, fennel, cucumber & chili

calamari, fresh or frozen
sesame seeds
fresh red chili
sesame oil
dried wakame seaweed (can be found in most Asian food stores)
olive oil
salt, pepper
fresh cilantro
fresh lime

Chop the calamari into cubes and sear in a frying pan with some vegetable oil, season with salt and pepper. Once cooked add the calamari to a bowl and dice the cucumber and slice the fennel and add to the bowl. Dice the chili and cilantro and add together with some olive oil, sesame oil and lime juice.

Bring water to the boil in a pot and add some dried wakame seaweed, let it simmer for one minute, discard the water and rinse the wakame in cold water, then chop the seaweed and add to the salad.

In a dry pan roast the sesame seeds until they are golden, once done add to the bowl and combine all ingredients, adjust flavors using oil, salt, pepper and lime if necessary. Be a bit careful with the chili since it takes a while for the flavors to come forward.