Dill stewed potatoes and gravlax (cured Salmon)

I love cured salmon and could easily eat it in various forms almost every day. A real Swedish classic is to serve it with dill creamed potatoes, and a perfect dish to cook if you have leftover potatoes from a previous meal.

Dill stewed potatoes

Dill stewed potatoes and gravlax 1

Ingredients

  • 10 firm potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 500 ml milk or half and half
  • 100 ml finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp sugar

Method

  1. Drain the boiled potatoes of water and let cool.
  2. Mix chopped dill with sugar.
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  4. Whisk in the flour and add milk to the paste, a little at a time during constant stirring until incorporated.
  5. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes on low to medium heat – and don’t stop stirring – until thickened into a cream sauce!
  6. Add the dill and season to your own taste with salt and black pepper.
  7. Slice the potatoes, not too thin, or cut it in cubes and gently fold into sauce. Cook until warmed through.

Serve with slices of gravlax (cured salmon), smoked salmon or mackerel, mixed salad and a wedge of lemon.

Dill stewed potatoes and gravlax 2

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Cabbage pudding (Kålpudding) – A Swedish classic

Every time I opened my fridge a big head of white cabbage, getting closer and closer to be on its last leg, glared at me, reminding me of this miserable so-called summer that had spoiled all our plans for an outdoor barbecue. The cabbage, that was supposed to be the shining star of my coleslaw and the perfect side dish to anything cooked on the grill.

Realizing that my supermarket had mince meat on special offer I saw a perfect opportunity to combine the two, cabbage and mince meat, into a classic Swedish home cooked meal, a kålpudding or cabbage pudding.

Cabbage pudding?! Oh no, don’t puke! Taken out of its context these two words might perhaps bring back unpleasant memories from the school canteen and probably won’t score high, but don’t judge the book by its cover. That was then, you’re a grown up now, so give it a go. You might be surprised.

Cabbage pudding
(5-6 servings)

Plated up 1

Ingredients

  • 1000 g white cabbage
  • 1 leek
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1000 ml water + 2 cubes vegetable stock
  • 800 – 1000 g mince beef
  • 75 ml bread crumbs + 300 ml of the strained cooking liquid
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsps HP-sauce
  • 1,5 tbsp Worcestersauce
  • 1-2 tsps dried chiliflakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  • Let water and vegetable stock come to a boil in a large saucepan.
  • Add shredded cabbage, finely sliced leek, and chopped onion and garlic to the water and boil for 5 minutes.

# 2

  • Strain the water, but save and set aside 300 ml (in a big bowl).
  • Drain the cabbage mixture carefully of excess water before frying in rapeseed oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium heat. It’ll take some time for the cabbage to get translucent and golden brown (not burnt).

# 3

  • Meanwhile, add the bread crumbs to the cooking liquid and let it swell and cool before adding mince meat, eggs and spices. I use to fry a piece of the meat mixture just to check the seasoning. Adjust if needed.

#4

  • Combine meat mixture with half of the cabbage and spread in a buttered oven proof dish. Cover with the remaining cabbage and bake for about an hour or until the inner temperature reaches 70 degrees C. Cover with waxed paper if the cabbage tend to burn.

#7

Serve with gravy, pickled cucumber and lingonberry jam. If the jam is hard to find, cranberry sauce will do just as well.

Plated up 2

MARGARETA – the name of the day

Smultrontårta 4

In the Swedish calendar, every day has a name or two, male or female, associated with it. The week that officially starts July 18 and ends with July 24 contains six women’s name in a row. First up is Fredrik though – I suppose he sees himself as the cock in the henhouse when followed by fabulous and honorable ladies like Sara, Margareta, Johanna, Magdalena, Emma and Kristina. The Swedes call it fruntimmersveckan or the ladies’ week. Or less nice, pee-week, as it is statistically proven to be one of the wettest weeks of the year.

This is also the week when weeklies are overflowing with delicious recipes dedicated to the cock and his hens.

Today MARGARETA was the name of the day, and Margareta, that’s me! So this is my treat, an ordinary sponge cake, nothing fancy, with raspberry and blueberry jam between the layers and covered with whipped cream. On top of that, freshly picked wild strawberries, and served with a nice cup of black coffee. Can’t be much better!

Smultrontårta 1_redigerad-2

Smultron 3_redigerad-1

So, if you have a Johanna, Magdalena, Emma or Kristina among your loved ones, why not surprise them with a homemade cake or tarte on their day.

Salmon pudding – A Swedish classic

Salmon pudding – or laxpudding as we say in Swedish – is a bright shining gem in the crown of culinary Swedish classic home cooked dishes.

While there was still a staff canteen at work, and salmon pudding was on the menu, I was often one of the first in line for a plate of this divine dish.

Due to cost reductions though, the canteen is now replaced by coffee machines and microwave ovens in some distant corner of the office together with a long list of what you can and cannot do in this area. For instance, you are not allowed to use the microwave during office hours. Four microwave ovens and you may not use them to heat your lunch?! So much for cutting expenses.

I once decided to ignore the ban and tried to sneak the lunchbox with my homemade salmon pudding into the microwave. Immediately our boss, who seemed to have an extra set of eyes in the back of her head, came running, waving her finger in a big NO, NO. It might cause odor!!!

If anyone want to taste (and smell) a Swedish laxpudding, please be my guest.

Salmon pudding
4 servings

a-plate-of-salmon-pudding

Ingredients Ingredients

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 300-400 grams salmon, cured, salted or smoked, or a mix of two or three
  • 1-2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch chopped dill

Filling Filling, ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 ml milk
  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and coarsely ground white pepper to season
  • Butter for greasing and sautéing + melted butter to serve on the side
  • Peas and grated carrots

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  • Peel and boil the potatoes. When tender, drain the water and let cool.
  • Melt butter and sauté onion until softened.
  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, salt and pepper.
  • Slice or cut the salmon in chunks.
  • Slice the potatoes and start layering the ingredients; potatoes, onion, salmon and dill. Continue layering untill the dish is full or there is nothing left. Season with pepper between the layers. Top layer should be potatoes.

Layering the ingredients

  • Pour the egg mixture over potatoes and salmon.
  • Dot some butter on top before baking. (I have drizzled the top layer with a mixture of butter and rapeseed oil from a squeeze bottle).

Ready to bake

  • Bake for 45 – 60 minutes until golden and the egg mixture has set.

Salmon pudding

  • Cut in squares and serve with green peas, grated carrots and melted butter.

Salmon pudding 2

PS It is quite easy to salt the salmon yourself, but you have to start 2-3 days in advance. 500 grams of salmon (mid section) 2 tablespoons of salt 2 tablespoons of sugar

Brine

  • 500 ml of water 25 ml salt
  • Rub salmon with salt and sugar and place in a  plastic bag and let rest in the refrigerator for 24 hrs.
  • Mix water and salt in a dish and add the salmon to the brine. Leave in the refrigerator for another 24 hrs. Check that the salmon is just enough salt. If not, leave it for still another day. If too salt, let it soak in milk or water for an hour or two.
  • Pour off the brine.
  • Salmon is sustainable about 1 week in the refrigerator.

Roasted chicken drumsticks with fennel and orange

Yes, I know, I haven’t been around much on the blog lately, but it’s not that I have been busy just doing nothing at all. No, I have cooked, tried new recipes or created my own, photographed my cooking and written posts, but as it seems seldom simultaneously.

Half way through the cooking, though, I suddenly realize that I have forgotten to take those alluring photos of my dishes, and just as often to scribble the recipe down while it’s still fresh in my mind.

Being that disorganized I more often than not end up empty-handed, or at least half empty-handed. Either recipes, or photographs.

For once though, I have finally managed to combine the two, images and recipe, in this chicken and orange dish.

Roasted chicken with fennel and orange

Orange wedges and chicken drumsticks

Ingredients
4 servings

  • 1 fennel
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 leek
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 oranges
  • 900 gr chicken drumstick
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme or 1-2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can of kidney beans

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200° C.
  • Toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan.
  • Cut fennel and onion into wedges and mix with vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes.

Fennel and onion mix 2

  • Cut the leeks into 2-3 cm pieces
  • Peel the oranges and cut out the fillets and save for garnish.
  • Fry the drumsticks in a little oil together with left over orange juice and fruit pulp.
  • Place the fennel seeds in a mortar and crush with the pestle and season the chicken pieces together with salt and pepper.
  • Mix the drumsticks with vegetables, thyme and olive oil and place over the roasting pan and roast in the oven for about 35 minutes.

Ready for oven

  • Rinse the kidney beans in cold water and add towards the end, just long enough to heat the beans.
  • Check that the juice runs clear by inserting a fork into the meat.
  • Garnish with orange wedges and sprigs of green herbes.

Garnished with orange wedges 1

Plated dish

 

 

Fried camembert with hot cloudberry jam and parsley

Long time no post, and to “celebrate” my comeback on the blog I’ll give you a highly prized and hard-to-find treat. A classic – and easy to make – Swedish dessert from the 70’s, but still going strong: Deep fried camembert with parsley and hot cloudberry jam.

The orange-yellow cloudberry resembles the raspberry and is commonly found in wet bogs and mashes in the northern parts of Scandinavia. This exclusive berry is often called the “Nordic gold” and makes an exquisite jam.

Hjortron_cloudberry

Those of you who, unlike me, don’t live in a cloudberry tight area, nor has a Scandinavian deli around the corner can always try IKEA in search for the jam.

Deep fried camembert with cloudberry jam and fried parsley

Fried camembert with cloudberry jam2

Ingredients

I won’t give any measures, just adjust to the numbers of servings.

  • Camembert cheese (or brie will do too)
  • Flour
  • Egg
  • Panko or breadcrumbs
  • Rapeseed oil
  • 1 bunch parsley/2-3 servings
  • Cloudberry jam (or jam of your own choice)

Method

Start by washing the parsley and shake it dry in a clean tea towel. Be sure there is no surface moisture left or it will spit nastily when later hitting the hot oil.

Cut the chilled camembert (or brie, as I am using this time) into equally sized wedges.

Camembert cheese

Pour flour into a plastic bag, add the cheese wedges and carefully shake until the pieces are coated all over.

Coated with flour

Beat the egg in a bowl and sprinkle the panko or breadcrumbs onto a plate.

Dip the wedges in the egg,

Dip in egg

and roll in panko or breadcrumbs until completely coated.

Coated in panko

Place the coated pieces  on a plate, cover with cling film and place in the fridge.

Heat the cloudberry jam (or jam of your own choice).

Heat the rapeseed oil in a deep-sided, heavy-based pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns golden-brown when dropped into it. The oil should come at least 2-3 cm up the sides of the pan.

Fry the camembert wedges (two at a time) until crisp and golden. If the oil isn’t deep enough to cover the pieces, turn them and make sure all five sides are fried.

Frying camembert

Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

Add the sprigs of parsley into the oil and fry until crisp and brittle. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Plate up.

Fried camembert with cloudberry jam_redigerad-2A bite

Enjoy!


Spring chicken with asparagus and autumn chanterelle sauce

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

IPlated dish 2

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 fillets of chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter and olive oil

Sauce

  • 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

Methods

Soak the chanterelles in water for 20 min. Drain and gently squeeze the excess water out.

Soaking chanterelles

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.

Frying chicken fillets

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.

Cooking asparagus

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.

Plated dish

Tuck in!

A bite

Enjoy and have a Happy Valentine’s day!

Recipe: From Nyfiken Grå (Curious Gray) a blog that caters seniors and retirees.