Hi, I am Rikke and I am a cookbook addict.
I just can’t stop buying them. My collection is a mix of Danish cookbooks that I’ve either bought or inherited from my mum, and English cookbooks I bought while I lived in England. The inherited cookbooks are more a source of endless hilarity than inspiration, and deserve their own blog feature one day. They are literally filled with the most bizarre, old-fashioned recipes and ‘entertainment-tips’ I have ever experienced, and that I shockingly recognize from my old childhood. However, my 2 favorite chefs and cook book writers feature heavily on my bookshelf as well as in my cooking; Jamie Oliver – needs to further introduction. And Claus Meyer – the Danish chef who made ‘New Nordic cuisine’ a thing, and who co-founded the worlds best restaurant, Noma.
I keep my most used cook-books in a plate-rack in the kitchen. That way they are always at hand, and all it takes is for me to turn around and have a look at the front-pages to feel inspired and remember recipes from the various books. I love this installment! It’s quirky and add a little bit of country happiness to my kitchen.
However, I must also admit that I rarely cook a recipe in its entirety from any these books. My boyfriend Pete, can throw together awesome meals by following the recipes from start to finish, but I guess the confident cook in me is only trying to make dishes my own. These books do however inspire me in a lot of my cooking, and I always turn to them in time of need. Not only do they help me think of new things to cook, but they also teach me a lot about flavor combinations. And that’s really what this post is about.
When having to think up a flavor combination, for example for a spice mix or a dressing, I always think of the different cuisines and what flavors fit in. Greece is about garlic, lemon and mint. Thailand loves ginger, lime and chili. England is real good friends with vinegar, mustard and black pepper. When I’ve settled on my country and its cuisine, it’s much easier to combine the flavors and end up with a complete and coherent dish, and though people might not think of these combinations themselves, they instantly start associating when they taste them.
Therefore – The pumpkin seeds should not be forgotten! They are great roasted up with spices and can feature in both sweet and savory meals or just as a snack. So – here are some ideas for various combinations I enjoy – all inspired by my cookbook selection.
All recipes are for the seeds of 1 medium sized pumpkin. Remove as much of the pulp as you can, but don’t wash the seeds. The pumpkin-leftovers give flavour!
Drizzle the seeds with a little bit of olive oil, a teaspoon of smokey paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt. Roast at 200C for approximately 15 min. Great on their own, or as a crunchy topping on pumpkin soup or pumpkin risotto.
Roast and grind 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds. Distribute on the seeds together with a little bit of olive oil. Roast in the oven at 200C for approximately 15 min. Drizzle with a little bit of seasalt and freshly grated lemon peel. Serve as a snack with cold beer.
Drizzle a tablespoon of maple syrup on the seeds and roast at 180C for 15 min, turning halfway through. While they are warm, cover the seeds in a thin layer of cinnamon sugar and serve as a sweet snack or as dessert topping.