Celebrating Valentine’s Day or “Alla hjärtans dag” (All Hearts’ Day) is a fairly new tradition in Sweden. It was slowly introduced for commercial reasons in the 1960s and peaked in the 1990s when more and more students, after spending a high school year in the U.S., brought this custom of Valentine’s Day with them when they returned home.
Commuting home from work on February 14, whether by train, bus or subway, it is a rather moving sight to see all these tired and half asleep men and women, all having a flower package resting on their knees, containing the day’s mandatory rose for their loved ones.
Fine dining, roses and heart-shaped jelly candy are the most common gifts this day, while Valentine cards are no bestsellers.
Our day started early this morning with breakfast in bed, served by Devoted Husband, and tonight it was payback time for me, which meant cooking and serving my beloved man a delicious meal accompanied by a glass or two of a great red wine.
I often try to avoid buying vegetables and fruit / berries that do not naturally exist in our country this time of year, but today I could not resist the temptation of a bundle of green asparagus from Spain. With asparagus, my dried autumn chanterelles and a couple of chicken fillets I was able to treat him with a dinner that rocks hard, despite its simplicity.
Spring chicken with asparagus and autumn chanterelle sauce
- 2 fillets of chicken
- Salt and pepper
- Butter and olive oil
- 5-10 cm leek, rinsed and shredded
- 2 cups dried chanterelles
- 2 tablespoons butter + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- 200 ml cream
- 1 tbsp black currant jelly
- 1 teaspoon bouillon powder
- 2 pinches of curry
- 2 pinches of smoked paprika
- black pepper, thyme and salt
Soak the chanterelles in water for 20 min. Drain and gently squeeze the excess water out.
Dry sauté chanterelles until remaining water has boiled away.
Add butter and oil together with spices and leek and stir fry for a few minutes.
Add cream, sherry, jelly and bouillon powder, reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Check the seasoning.
Meanwhile mix butter and olive oil in a frying pan, season the chicken fillets and fry them until the meat juice is clear. If the fillets are thick continue baking them in the oven at 175 degrees C.
Rinse asparagus under running water and snap the bottom part.
Fill a large pan with a little water, add salt and let come to the boil, then add asparagus and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Drain of excess water in a colander, then rinse in cold water to preserve crunchy texture.
Distribute asparagus stalks on warm plates, place the chicken fillets on top and spoon the sauce over.
Enjoy and have a Happy Valentine’s day!
Recipe: From Nyfiken Grå (Curious Gray) a blog that caters seniors and retirees.