I love visiting bookstores, especially the Academic Bookstore in downtown Helsinki. When visiting the AB I usually head first to the English new releases, then browse through the rest of the fiction section. I might then continue to the next floor for history or the uppermost floor for cook-, travel- and artbooks, but almost always I end my visit walking through the magazine section to see if there is any intresting interior decorating or food magazines that I would like to buy. And more often than not I leave the store with a glossy magazine -and very often also with a book or two in my bag! :) There are plenty of different food magazines in number of languages in addition of the local Finnish and Swedish available in most Helsinki bookstores and even kiosks, so often it is quite hard to choose which one to buy. Lately I've really liked Cuisine et Vins de France. Great recipes -and it is in French! :) Now, let me tell you, I am not fluent in French. I have studied French a little on my own and would love to be able to speak the language, but the truth is that even if I might be able to say a few simple lines in French, I more often than not would not understand more than one or two words of any response, if even that. The strange thing is I am quite capable of reading -and understanding- many recipes written in French! With the help of other languages that I know better than French my reading comprehention skills are much better than my command of the spoken language. It's a bit irritating, truth to be told. Well, I guess it is also a good reason to return to Paris again and again... :)
The June-July edition of CVF included an intriguing recipe for a mortadella and herbs bread that I wanted to try. It was the usual story, however! The recipe (obviously) called for some mortadella (I did not have any), some rocket (nope, did not have any of that either), pine seeds (neither did I have those), parmesan (no, no parmesan in my fridge) and persil (well... you guessed it already). There were so many of the required ingredients missing that this called for a pause. A moment was taken, the insides of the fridge and the cupboards were examined and a decicion was made. Mortadella and herbs bread it was not going to be, but maybe a Spanish salami bread with olives and pumpkin seeds and...well, the only green I had was some ice lettuce, so that had to do. And guess what? It worked out beautifully! The bread was absolutely delicious! :) If you want to try my weird and wonderful "what ever there is in the fridge will go into this bread" version of the original recipe, here it is:
Recipe modified by myself from the original recipe "Cake aux herbes à la mortadelle" published in June-July issue of Cuisine et Vins de France
180 g flour
50 g Spanish salami slices
70 g something green:) (I used ice lettuce)
50 g pitted black olives
55 g cheese (I used a combination of cottage cheese and Rahmlaib)
1 dl olive oil
1 dl milk
1 sachet (11 g) dry yeast
25 g pumpkin seeds
20 g butter for the mould
a pinch of nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.
2. Cover a bread mould with two pieces of buttered baking paper. See the photo above.
3. Wash the salad and cut it with a sharp knife or with scissors into thin stripes. Cut the salami slices likewise.
Cut each olive into four. Cut the cheese into small pieces (well, not the cottage cheese, obviously :) that's fine as it is.)
4. In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast, cheese and olive oli. Add the eggs one by one. Then add the milk. When all these are mixed add the salami, lettuce, pumpkin seeds and olives. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix well.
5. Pour the batter into the papered mould.
6. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick pressed into the bread comes out clean.
7. Let cool before removing from the mould. You may also want to serve the bread from the mould as it will look quite nice that way.
8. Enjoy warm or cold.