My mother used to have a wall full of copper pans and moulds in the kitchen when I was younger, which looked great in a country kitchen. And when she cooked paradise prawns on Fridays she always used a copper sauté pan. Unfortunately that pan can’t be used anymore as the tin has worn off and it is not easy to find someone who does re-tinning anymore as people in general have stopped using copper pans. A shame, because they are both pretty and very good to use.
When I was back home last time I found an unused copper pan in a charity shop for less than £4, which of course made me very happy. My mum has also managed to spare a few copper things for me. For me it is happiness to melt butter in a teeny tiny copperpan with a spout, on my gas hob instead of using a microwave (that we don’t even have).
When people ask me which country I prefer out of Sweden and England, I can never give anyone a straight answer – I love both countries! The conservative part of me loves England and all its old buildings and the fact that you don’t change anything unless there is a strong reason for it while the efficient part of me never will understans why people still have two taps on a basin instead of a mixing tap in England and why triple glazing is so rare. The old-fashioned part of me is appalled by the ‘out with the old, in with the new’ mentality Swedish people sometimes have while English people appreciate most old things. There are always two sides of things and I happen to like them both.
Back to copper pans. On Monday when I got home from work and was really tired it made me happy to cook a pasta sauce in my £4 copper pan.
Pasta with mussels and sambal oelek, serves 2
250 g pasta
1 large schallots or 1 small regular onion
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
10 cm leek, cut lengthwise and sliced
400 g chopped tomatoes
50 ml water
4 tbsp creme fraiche
2 tbsp or more sambal oelek
a pinch of sugar
2 dashes concentrated vegetable or fish stock
chopped parsley or Gourmet Garden parsley
180 g mussels in brine
perhaps some lemon/garlic or truffle oil for serving
Cook the pasta according to the packet. Heat up some olive oil in a pan and cook the onions soft on low heat for a few minutes. Add the garlic and leek and let it cook for a few more minutes. Add everything but the mussels and let it reduce a littl. Season to your taste. When the pasta is nearly cookes, add the mussels to the sauce to warm up. Drain the pasta. Serve with oil of your choice.