Monday, December 19, 2016

Traditional Christmas roast (oven-baked pork shoulder with honey, mustard and rosemary)

From the recipe archives (originally posted in December 2012. Still my favourite Christmas roast). My traditional Christmas roast / Traditsiooniline jõulupraad
Photo by Juta Kübarsepp for the December issue of Kodu ja Aed magazine, 2012 

What's your traditional Christmas roast (assuming you're eating meat)? Turkey? Goose? Duck?

In Estonia it's definitely pork, though roast poultry has become more popular during recent years. I've been flirting with roast goose and actually served duck leg confit on Christmas Eve this year. It was delicious.

However, for years I've been serving pork roast - a pork shoulder (kaelakarbonaad in Estonian) in a mustard-honey-garlic-rosemary marinade, to be more precise. I love that it's a pretty fool-proof recipe, simple to make, with lots of flavour. And - as an added bonus - any leftovers are excellent on top of rye bread on the days after the party, or as part of a salad. So if you're not making it for a big family feast, you can still make the same amount and simply make several meals out of it.

So here you go. Nami-Nami's traditional Christmas roast. On the photo above, it's accompanied by black pudding ('blood sausages') - another traditional Christmas dish.

Wish you all a lovely festive season!!!

Traditional Christmas roast
(Ahjupraad karbonaadist)
Serves about 10

2 kg boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
3-4 Tbsp honey
3-4 Tbsp Dijon mustard or Estonian Põltsamaa mustard
2-3 fresh rosemary sprigs (leaves only)
3 large garlic cloves
2 tsp sea salt

Finely chop garlic cloves and rosemary leaves, then mix with honey and mustard until combined.
Season the meat generously with salt, then spread the mustard-honey mixture all over the pork shoulder and massage into the meat.
Place the pork shoulder into a large ovenproof dish, cover with foil and place into a fridge or cold larder for 1-2 days.
Bring back to the room temperature about an hour before you plan to cook the meat.
If you have a meat thermometer, then stick it into the thickest part of the meat (you can do this through the kitchen foil).
Roast the meat in a pre-heated 160 C / 320 F oven for about 2,5 hours or until the meat thermometer has reached 82-85 C/ 180-185 F.
If you plan to serve gravy with your meat, then pour a cup of hot water into the baking tray half-way through the cooking. 
When the meat is cooked, remove the foil, season the meat once more lightly with salt and then bake for another 10-15 minutes at about 200-220 C/ 390-425 F, just to brown the meat  a little.

Remove the roast pork from the oven, cover again with a kitchen foil and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving into thin slices.

This recipe was also included in my latest cookbook, Jõulud kodus ("Christmas at Home"), published in Estonian in November 2011. 
I also included the recipe in the December 2012 issue of Kodu & Aed magazine. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Exploring the Fish Market in Jimbaran, Bali

Our little family of five spent three weeks exploring the beautiful Island of the Gods aka Bali earlier this year. We began our family vacation in Jimbaran, then stayed in the quaint artists' village of Penestanan just outside Ubud, then explored Northern Bali from Dencarik on Lovina beach and ended our holiday with a short stay in Canggu on the West coast again. Although the kids - then 3, 5 and 7 - were the one setting the pace and nature of our vacation, we did cram in quite a few food-related activities as well.

Visiting the famous fish market in Jimbaran was one of them.

We relied on local taxis to get around on Bali, as the local traffic was somewhat intimidating to a Northern European like me. So I'm unable to give you exact instructions re: how to get to the market - just ask your cab driver. But do get there early - the market opens around dawn at 6 am - for the best selection of fish and liveliest action, even if you are there just for window-shopping.

Traditional fish baskets drying in the sun:
Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Balinese jukung, below, is a small wooden outrigger canoe, and they are always very colourful and highly decorated. These are traditional fishing boats on the island, though modern uses include transporting scuba-divers and whale-spotters as well :)

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

One of the many fish restaurants at the market:


Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

While we did manage to identify all the fruit we ate while on the island and put an English and an Estonian name to all of them (post coming soon), we quickly gave up any hope of identifying the seafood. Just look at the selection - the colours are like I've only seen in a goldfish tank, not at your local fishmonger.

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Although a lot of the trading takes place outside, just next to the incoming fishing boats, there is a large covered area, which is packed with vendors. There's no room to swing a cat in there - or "Kilud karbis," we'd say in Estonian - but there were plenty of transactions taking place. Unfortunately it was way too dark to take proper photos, and the kids felt somewhat uneasy in there - the noise, the smells, the sheer amount of funky-coloured fish and a number of people can seem intimidating when you're just three or five, I imagine :)

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Jimbaran Fish Market, Bali

Have you been to Bali? Did you have a chance to enjoy some local seafood?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Persimmon with honeyed yoghurt

Hurmaa jogurtiga. Persimmon with honeyed yogurt.

How do you enjoy the persimmons, in season right now?

Here in Estonia we can by mostly the heart-shaped hachiya variety, which is astringent when raw, but meltingly sweet when ripe. We usually just wash them and cut into wedges, but there's also this super-easy and lovely way of serving them, adapted from the Australian Persimmon Inc page here.

Remember, only try this with perfectly rip persimmons unless you want to be utterly disappointed.

Persimmon with honeyed yoghurt
(Hurmaa mesise jogurtiga)
Serves 4

400 grams Greek yogurt
1 large hachiya persimmon
4 tsp of runny honey
fresh thyme leaves

Divide yoghurt between four small dessert bowls or glasses.
Wash and dry the persimmon (no need to peel!), cut into thin wedges. Top the yoghurt with 2-3 persimmon slices. Drizzle some honey on top, garnish with fresh thyme leaves and serve.

Previously on Nami-Nami:



Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Genius Apple Rollups aka Crispy Apple Bread Cigars

Baked Apple Pie Roll Ups. Krõbedad moositäidisega saiarullid.

Those baked apple pie roll ups by Spend With Pennies turned up on social media last week and I decided to give them a go. It's a very good year for apples in Estonia this year, we're inundated with them! A good reason to try out as many new and old apple recipes out there :)

For the original recipe, see Spend With Pennies blog. Here's what I did, using homemade apple jam of course :)

Crispy Apple Roll-Ups
(Moositäidisega saiarullid)
18 "cigars"

18 sliced of white bread
thick and chunky apple jam
50 g butter, melted
cinnamon
demerara sugar or golden caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 C/370 F. Take a medium-sized shallow oven dish and brush lightly with melted butter.

Pour the melted butter onto a small shallow dish.

Remove the crusts off the sliced bread, then roll each slice with a rolling pin until flattened thin. Put a heaped tablespoonful of apple jam alongside one end of the flattened bread (see this pic on my Instagram), then roll tighly. Roll the rolled bread quickly in the melted butter, then place into the oven dish, "seam" underneath.

Repeat with the rest of the bread slices and apple jam. When all "cigars" are done and neatly tucked into the oven dish, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (go easy on the sugar, be generous with the cinnamon).

Place the dish into the preheated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the bread cigars are golden and crispy.

Remove from the oven, let cool a little. Enjoy - eating either with your fingers, or nicely plated with some vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

It's cinnamon bun day (kanelbullens dag)!

Korvapuustit / Finnish cinnamon rolls / Soome kaneelisaiad

It's Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden today. Cinnamon Bun Day was established in 1999, or 17 years ago, when Swedish Home Baking Council (Hembakningsrådet) came up with the idea when looking for a way to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Many Swedes rush to their favourite bakery today and buy some kanelbullar - or bake their own. You'll find a good recipe for Swedish kanelbullar over on Sweden.se site (written by Anne).

I've previously given you recipe for my traditional cinnamon rolls (with step-by-step photos), as well as the hugely popular cinnamon pull-apart bread. Today's recipe is for Finnish korvapuustit ('Slapped ears') - more or less the same thing, just shaped and braided slightly differently.

Korvapuustit/Finnish cinnamon buns
(Soomlaste kaneelisaiad)
Makes about 16 large buns

Korvapuustit / Finnish cinnamon rolls / Soome kaneelisaiad

450 g all-purpose flour (about 750 ml or 3 cups)
85 g caster sugar (100 ml)
1.5 tsp ground cardamom pods
0.5 tsp salt
1 packet of fast-action dried yeast (about 11 g)
250 ml lukewarm milk (1 cup)
1 egg (divided)
75 g butter, softened

Filling:
50 g butter, softened
4 Tbsp caster sugar
cinnamon

Topping:
pearl sugar (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, mix most of the flour, sugar, cardamom, salt and yeast. Stir in the milk and about half of the egg (leave some for brushing the buns before baking). Knead in the softened butter and the rest of the flour, if necessary. Knead until you've got a soft and pliable dough that releases from the sides of the bowl. Cover with clingfilm or a clean towel and leave to prove for about 45-60 minutes, until doubled in size. (The place for proving should be warm and draught-free).
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured table, knead gently couple of times. Roll into a reclangle sized 30x60 cm. Spread soft butter over the dough, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up tightly, starting from the long side, leaving the "seam" under the roll.

Now use a sharp knife to cut into buns, following the scheme here. The buns should be about 2 cm wide on the narrow end and 5 cm on the wide end.

Korvapuustit / Finnish cinnamon rolls / Soome kaneelisaiad

Transfer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, placing them upright. Using your thumbs or a large pencil, press a dent into the middle of each bun, just like this:

Korvapuustit / Finnish cinnamon rolls / Soome kaneelisaiad

Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to raise for another 30 minutes in a warm place. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 225 C/450 F.

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until the buns and golden brown.

Take the baking sheet out of the oven, and cover the buns with a kitchen towel and let them cool (a little) - this way they remain nice and soft.

Korvapuustit / Finnish cinnamon rolls / Soome kaneelisaiad

Monday, August 08, 2016

Berry muffins, fit for the Queen

Kuningannamuffinid ehk vaarika-mustikamuffinid. Raspberry and blueberry muffins.

For some reason, our northern neighbours, the Finns, call dishes containing raspberries and blueberries (well, actually bilberries) kuningatar-this and kuningatar-that, the prefix kuningatar- meaning the queen. I'm yet to conduct research why this is so (any Finnish readers out there who know? Ritva, perhaps?), but here are some delicious summer muffins containing blueberries and raspberries - and would hence be called kuningatarmuffinsit or "queen's muffins" in Finland :)

I call them simply:

Summer Berry Muffins
(Kuningannamuffinid)
Yields 12 regular muffins

100 g butter, at room temperature
125 g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
2 eggs (L)
50-100 ml (about 4-7 Tbsp) milk, buttermilk or kefir
120 g all-purpose flour or fine white spelt flour
60 g wholemeal flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
200 g blueberries and raspberries
pearl sugar (optional)

Cream the butter and sugars until white and soft (I use the paddle attachment of my standing mixer). Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisking thoroughly after adding each egg. Pour in the milk.

Mix the dry ingredients (flours and baking powder), fold into the egg, butter and sugar mixture.

Finally, gently fold in the berries.

Line the muffin pan with paper muffin liners, then divide the muffin mixture into the muffin cups. Sprinkle with pearl sugar, if you feel like.

Bake at pre-heated 200 C (390 F) for 15-20 minutes, until the muffins have risen and are lovely golden brown.

Let cool a little and serve.

These are best on the day they are baked. Here's a sneak peek to the inside of the muffin: my instagram muffin-pic


Kuningannamuffinid ehk vaarika-mustikamuffinid. Raspberry and blueberry muffins.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Anne's shrimp and mango salad

Kreveti-mangosalat. Shrimp and mango salad.

We had some friends over today and I needed something bright and yummy (and without gluten) to be served on this sunny day. I was browsing my to-do(-again) lists, and opted for a refreshing mango and shrimp salad that I've made before. It's light, it's easy, and it's quite an eye-catcher, so perfect for a summer get-together. As I suspected, it was very well received - though you might hold back with the chilli when catering for kids as well ;)

The original recipe is from Anne's blog, and she's actually blogged about it a couple of times (see here and here)

Shrimp and Mango Salad
(Kreveti-mangosalat)
Serves four

300 g peeled cooked shrimp
300 g mango cubes
1 red chilli
1 small red onion
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
a small handful of fresh coriander leaves/cilantro
a generous pinch of pink peppercorns

If you use frozen shrimp, then defrost them overnight in the fridge or put into a bowl of lukewarm water for a few hours. Drain thoroughly.

Defrost the mango cubes or cut to the fresh mango into small cubes.

Thinly slice the chilli (discard the seeds). Peel the onion, cut either into a small dice or cut into two lengthwise and then into thin slices.

Mix mango, shrimps, chilli, onions and coriander leaves in a bowl. Drizzle with lime juice and sprinkle some crushed pink peppercorns on top.

Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Vegan delights of Tallinn 2016 (guest post)

As the tourist season approaches, I get many emails asking for dining recommendations in Tallinn specifically and in Estonia more generally, some asking about special diets. I asked my friend and colleague Kadri and her partner Luke, both vegans, to share their favourite recommendations. 

Kadri is the host of veganmaailm.com, the oldest Estonian vegan food blog and her partner Luke is an Australian coffee snob. 

100% vegan:


V (Rataskaevu 12)

V is just awesome: food and atmosphere are second to none... We thinks. Nestled in Old Town, it's just a three-minute walk from the central square. Its medieval digs create a wondrous ambience that is relaxed and cosy. Far from ostentatious. Great al fresco deck for the warmer months too. Trip Advisor rates V as second best in all of Tallinn. Popular with all and sundry, we suggest booking a table in advance. If you can't get a table, you can get something to take away and enjoy as you meander through the cobblestones of Old Town. Prices are very reasonable - especially for Old Town: with mains between €7-10.

The place is run by Mikk, the first professional vegan chef in Estonia and Loore, a vegan foodie and activist. The talented pair started out as a catering business - the first in Estonia to be 100% vegan. Due to popular demand, Restoran V was born. Two fantabulous cook books have since been published by the duo. 

While beautifully presented, it is the delicious food that keeps us making up excuses to come back, week in, week out. Everything is good, but our favourite is the spicy tofu with quinoa and vegetables in tomato-coconut sauce. Yum! Daily specials are always worth checking out. Portions are good, but you must make room for cake! ... At least a cupcake! Keep an eye for new cakes that come in. V's snack platter works well for larger groups. Kadri is particularly fond of the beetroot ravioli with cashew cream, although it rather small as an entrée. Good selection of vegan wines. They do serve coffee, but it is perhaps not their forte. 

Mahemarket (Lootsi 8)

The largest organic store in Tallinn, recently relocated to the port-area close to the city centre. A great all vegan and organic buffet! We have had some of the best meals there. However, we have yet to visit the new joint. We loved being able to sample so many scrumptious salads and hot foods. Potato salad usually takes up half of our plates, though! It is hard for Luke to resist piling his plate high. As it's priced according to weight, it can quickly add up!  

Inspiratsioon (Lai 44)


A vegan café located in the Old Town of Tallinn. A good selection of dishes with reasonable prices. Gluten-free folk are particularly well served. Menu has improved considerably of late. With a lovely outdoor seating in the summer, it's great for breakfast and lunch. In fact, it's the only place for a vegan breakfast, opening at 8 am. Kadri is keen to try their new coffee smoothie and chickpea omelet with vegan cheese. Luke really enjoys their falafels and veggie wraps. Not the best place for coffee and cake, although Kadri has had the odd good latte there. Luke's attempts at ordering a ristretto have not gone well... Cakes have not been on the same level as V: they tend to be be smallish and overpriced. Quality of food and speed of service however varies, as the place is often understaffed or has inexperienced staff. We haven't ever needed to book a table, but take-away is also an option. This may change with the refurbished menu. Watch this space!

Vegetarian, with vegan options:


Bliss (Mustamäe tee 17)


As the largest veggie buffet in Tallinn, it has plenty of vegan options. Kadri is particularly enthusiastic. Luke, more lukewarm. The varied menus includes salads, hot foods and desserts that Kadri can't get enough of. She also appreciates their range of Indian and Chinese dishes. There is a small organic store above. For a somewhat austere cafeteria setting, prices are what you might pay at a restaurant. Located outside the centre, at the beginning of the Mustamäe suburb.

GreenBakery (Maakri 19/21)

A tiny bakery/veggie café tucked away on a small street in the new centre of Tallinn. Good vegan options. It's an interesting little bakery that Luke thinks is well worth a visit. It's growing selection of cakes makes them another place to keep an eye on.


Serves meat, but vegan options:


Burger Box (Kopli 4)

A tiny hole in the wall place in the Kalamaja hipster neighbourhood, right next to Balti Jaam, the main train station of Tallinn. Not entirely vegan, but with vegan-friendly options. Limited selection and cash only. Their falafel burger & fries are among the best in town. The vegan laksa is a must-have! (probably the only place that serves laksa in Tallinn).

F-Hoone (Telliskivi 60a)


An old warehouse tastefully converted into a cosy café/restaurant, retro style. This place is very popular among Tallinners and gets very busy at weekends. Menu features some vegan items. Their falafels are great. They make decent soy latte (still not something to be taken for granted in Tallinn). A trip to the hipsterish Kalamaja district is definitely worth making.

Aed (Rataskaevu 8)


Located right next to V. This restaurant features organic options, with at least a few vegan dishes in the menu, clearly marked, including at least one vegan dessert. The restaurant offers a different vegan lunch dish every day, at a very reasonable price. Kadri has not been there for quite a while and Luke has never set his snobby coffee foot inside :)

Papa Joe (Sadama 25-4)


A small Lebanese falafel and kebab place at the Harbour Markets (Sadamaturg). The best falafel in town, reasonably priced. The dream of a vegan fast foodie! Mostly good for take-away, has only 1-2 tables to sit at.

Elevant (Vene 5)

A cosy and stylish Indian restaurant located right in the Old Town. Most vegetarian dishes include dairy, with a few vegan options and the option to veganise some vegetarian dishes. Kadri’s favourites: Channa masala and Vegetable curry.  

Luke’s favourite coffee in Tallinn

(soy milk available in all those places)

The Living Room (Pärnu maantee 9) 


This became Luke's second home whilst in Tallinn. Their Monkey Blend ristretto is sublime! If you drink ristrettos, don't leave Tallinn without a visit to this joint. With good wifi, it's a great place to work or hold meetings. It really is a lounge room: complete with couches, chilled music and friendly folk - none as delightful as Triin herself. Triin made most of my ristrettos, but thought other baristas were great too. Kadri often goes to the Living Room to enjoy her afternoon latte over her laptop.

August (Väike-Karja 5)


Tucked amongst the cobbled streets of Old Town, August is treat for coffee lovers. I had a few great ristrettos in this chic cafe. However, the quality did depend on who was making it. We loved sitting by the window to watch people going by. Highly recommended. 

Coffee Angels (Telliskivi Loomelinnak) 

Down in the trendy Telliskivi district, the Angel Café was a great find. I enjoyed a very tasty organic ristretto. The barista graciously pulled another once when I was served a double espresso. Kadri cringes every time I do this. While not often, I do politely check with the barista when served an espresso. I appreciate there is little demand for ristrettos. 

Epic (Vabaduse väljak 9, in the tunnel)


Peeter co-runs a little coffee shop in the tunnel to Vabaduse Väljak (Freedom Square). It's all about the coffee here at Epic. He has this fabulous wall which showcases how coffees are made - like ristretto shots being between 15-20 mLs! Peeter uses Italian beans with 20% robusta. It's not bad, but it's no Monkey Blend. After making coffee for the snobs in Melbourne, he enjoys the more tolerant clientele of Tallinn.

All photos from the restaurants' Facebook pages.

Check out Kadri's wonderfully inspirational blog VeganMaailm.com here: 


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dyeing Easter Eggs with Onion Skins, Estonian style

This was originally posted in 2011. You'll find all my Easter recipes here

Easter eggs / Lihavõttemunad

We don't really 'do' chocolate eggs for Easter here in Estonia, but real, chicken eggs. Dyeing eggs for Easter is very popular, and using onion skins is probably the most popular method. Using onion peels gives you most beautiful dyed eggs, each one unique and special. Here are some photos of the process that I took few years ago.

Pille, onion skins

Here's what you need to do:

* Few weeks before Easter start collecting onion peels. Yellow ones are better than red onion skins, as they give a nice colour.

* You need white eggs for doing this (this gives the shops a chance to sell specially packaged white eggs for a much higher price before the festivities).

Dyeing Easter eggs

* Take an egg and neatly put few onion peels around it:

Dyeing Easter eggs

* Take a piece of mesh/muslin/kitchen foil or even an old nylon stocking and wrap it around the egg to keep the onion peels on place. I used foil here:

Dyeing Easter eggs

* Boil as usual. Cool, then unwrap and unpeel.

Here's the result - each egg is unique and gorgeous:

Easter eggs / Lihavõttemunad

Natasha describes a similar, though less complicated way of dyeing eggs with onion peels that's popular in Russia and Ukraine: Russian Easter Eggs. My 91-year old grandmother uses the same method - she says she's too old to "play around" with the onion peels too much :)