A year ago I received a mail from my friend in California. He was planning his 40’s birthday and wondered if I would help in the kitchen. The dinner was going to take place in Sweden this autumn. I hesitated until I read the prerequisites. Since he is a true wine nerd and his birth year is 71 he had, over a longer time period, collected rarities from the great wine year 1971. Those bottles were going to be consumed together with a the food we came up with. The hesitation was gone and I was in.
When planning a tasting menu I normally come up with the dishes and then find the wines. This was the first time the wines were given and I needed to find the suitable dishes. My friend had already set up three courses and I added another three. The food was great and together with the fantastic wines the courses tasted even better. However for me, the most important thing apart from making my friend satisfied was to enjoy the one in a life time wine menu. If you know your way around wines, start drooling.
Some of the wines we had
This was what we had
- Appetizers – Dom Perignon 1971
- Parsnip soup with tender smoked whitefish (we had a special Swedish sweet water fish) – Schloss Eltz Riesling Auslese Rauenthaler Baiken 1971
- Goose liver creme brulee – Château d’Yquem 1971
- Frozen Gazpacho – water
- Ravioli stuffed with eggplant and truffles, brown butter and fried sage – Borgogno Barolo Riserva 1971
- Cheeks of beef, red wine sauce, potato puree flavored with truffles – Château La Mission Haut-Brion 1971 and Beaulieu Vineyard George de la Tour Private Reserve 1971
- Pear- and almond tarte with cardamom cream – Moulin Touchais 1971
Some comments. We were extremely lucky. All wines but one had survived the years and tasted wonderful. The one that had oxidized was the Dom Perignon that tasted more like sherry. In all, this matched my high expectations and I have never had such good and interesting wines in one evening. My two favorites were Ch. d’Yquem and Ch. La Mission Haut-Brion. To make sure we didn’t run out of wine if the 71 had oxidized, we had at least one back-up wine for each course. The back up wines we had normally play the leading role…
Or culinary trip to Sardinia, it depends on who you ask. We hope you readers will have patience with us, and like us look forward to all the lovely Italian dishes we will present when we return at the end of October.
The germans eat 720 millions Döner each year. 720 Millions! We help keep up this number. The Döner is the perfect fast food. The dish is said to be invented in Berlin in the early 70s by a turkish emigrant. It contains everything that you need; veal, different vegetables, bread and sauce. It would probably be exaggerated to state it is healthy, but it must be healthier than a McD meal or a pizza.
Döner is the king of the night when heading home from the party, but in contrary to most other “party-food” it is even more tasty when your sober. One of my friends had 9 döners in 3 days when he visited Berlin. That is impressive but yesterday on the Döner Fair (!) people had 6-7 Döners in 20 min. The fact that Berlin has a Döner Fair show how serious they are about this meal. On the fair you could have a chat with different producers of Döner caravans, clothes, motors for the meat, cutting tools and of course producers of meat, bread and Ayram. All food was for free and that was probably the main reason for the huge crowd.
If you have no clue why all this fuzz about Döner. Visit Berlin and order a “Kalbsdöner mit scharfer Sauce” at Schlemmerbuffet and you will understand.
Music: On the fair all döners were accompanied by Tarkan
I am one of those guys who prefer my cocktails short and really strong. My favorite drinks all contain strong alcohol mixed with…strong alcohol. Manhattan, Sazerac and Old fashioned are on the top 5 list. All of them lack juices, mixed fruits and lemonade. And it is good so. However, now when the summer arrives I get a craving for Margaritas. This was the most ordered drink by me the last summer and it will, most likely also be the case this summer. In my Margarita I add a pinch of sugar to get a smoother taste. A perfect Margarita out of a salted glass is the perfect company on the balcony.
- 3 parts Tequila (6 cl)
- 1 part Cointreau (2 cl)
- 2 parts lime (4 cl)
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
Start with the glass. Rim the glass by rubbing the rim with a lime wedge and dipping it into a saucer of salt. Combine all other ingredients in a cocktail shaker with loads of cracked ice. Shake well and strain into the salted cocktail glass. Enjoy!
Music: Enjoyed on the balcony listening to The tallest man on earth
Update – we are sold out. If you want to be on the waiting list or if you like to get an Email alert for upcoming events, just send us a mail.
Thanks to 40 fantastic guests our BetaDinner on the 5th of March was a success. Strengthened by the feedback, we are excited to host a new dinner.
The dinner will take place in downtown Berlin on Saturday the 7th of May. We like to have you as our guest but you need to fulfill two conditions; to begin with, you look forward to spend an evening with great people and excellent food and second, you will bring a friend. Not just any friend, but a friend with another nationality than yourself. For example if you’re German you bring an Italian friend, if you’re Norwegian you bring a Brazilian friend and so on.
What can you expect from the evening? Well, we can assure you we aim high with our three course dinner. Apart from the food, we are sure the mix of 40 food lovers with different background sitting at one large table will guarantee a fabulous evening.
If you want to join us on Saturday the 7th of May at 19.30 please do the following:
1. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The first 20 with friends are in.
2. Wait for the confirmation email & transfer 30 Euro per person.
3. On Friday the 6th of May you will get an email with the three course menu and the address to the dinner location.
Drinks are not included in the price but at the location you can buy beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks at reasonable prices.
By the way, the dinner is for you who love food and eat everything. We’re not serving vegetarian food or other alternatives. We are looking forward to serve you and your friends!
You will also find this invitation in German on Paul’s blog.
P.S. If you would like to come, but your friends from abroad can’t make it, just post that in a comment and check out the comments on Paul’s Blog– maybe someone is there without a partner as well, and you guys can go together!
Here follows the 10 most goggled recipes in Sweden. Surprisingly, not much has happened since the 80’s…
1. Tzatziki, greek yoghurt dish
2. Ugnspannkaka, a thick pancake made in the oven often with bacon
3. Flygande Jacob, a dish/ stew with chicken, bananas, peanuts, cream, bacon and chili sauce.
4. Kladdkakemuffins, mud cake cup cakes
5. Kycklingfilé i ugn, chicken fillet made in the oven
6. Kalopps, a Swedish beef stew served with beetroot
7. Korv Stroganoff, as beef Stroganoff but made with sausage instead
8. Morotskaka, carrot cake
9. Pizzadeg, pizza dough
10. Kladdig kladdkaka, sticky/ pasty mud cake
Despite all of our star chefs in Sweden this is apparently what we Swedes prefer on a daily basis.
The blog has had a two weeks vacation. We headed for Sicily (north and east coast) to enjoy Indian summer, good food and sightseeing. As a fanatic fan of ”The Godfather” a dream came true. We visited Corleone and I saw members of the mafia in each corner and found hideouts for padrones on each mountain.
To summarize the trip it was very positive and we strongly recommend Sicily. The climate is great (25⁰C in the air and 22⁰C in the water) and the island is more beautiful than we expected. It is really hilly which gives you very beautiful views when travelling through the country. The mountains are perfect if you are into sport – for trekking and cycling enthusiasts it is very challenging.
What about the most important subject – the food. The Sicilians eat a lot of fish and their closeness to Africa has influenced the cuisine. You find a lot of couscous dishes and raisins are a common ingredients in many dishes. The fish and vegetables are of highest quality in Sicily. Every village has a at least one fish store with a huge supply that is sold out at 11 am. Along the roads you find trucks selling fresh veggies and in the supermarket you’ll find more than 10 different kinds of tomatoes.
We had very high expectations on the restaurants and must admit we are a bit disappointed. The last trip to Italy went to Tuscany and the food there is more elegant. They use more herbs, mushrooms and different kind of meat in their dishes. Sicily serves what they produce (which is very sympathetic) and therefore at this time of the year you do not get a lot of herbs or delicacies such as truffles or wild boar. We tried the local dishes such spaghetti with sword fish roes, spaghetti with sardines, spaghetti with eggplant and swordfish, calamari and veal roulades filled with raisins, pine nuts and ricotta. As Sopranofans we also ate the sweet cannolis. Don’t try it. The filling, made of ricotta and icing sugar was not my cup of tea.
We rented an apartment and could not keep out of the kitchen. These are the top 5 of the week.
- Swordfish with bread salad
- Veal with grilled artichokes, onion butter and capers
- Spaghetti Vongole
- Grilled chicken with braised fennel
- Tuna, olives and potatoes braised in wine, lemon and oregano
Our holiday was not all about food. Here are our tops to dos.
- Isola Bella – close to Taormina
- Scopello including Zingaro National Park
Music: The theme of the roadtrip was Gente di Mare
Scientists at Uppsala University recently started a study wanting to examine the old an the new Nordic food in comparison to the Greek food, since Greek food is proven to have a positive effect on blood pressure, lipoproteins and weight.
The Mediterranean food contains a lot of vitamins, antioxidants and fibers. Healthy fat in the form of olive oil and focus on fish and chicken.
The translation of Mediterranean food into Nordic food would be something like this.
- rye bread
- wheat bran
- oats and barley
- root vegetables
- rape oil
- fish; salmon, mackerel
- chicken, turkey and other birds
It remains to be seen if the Nordic food has the same effect on health as the Mediterranean food, but looking at this list sure makes you believe in the health value of our Nordic provisions.