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

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

Sweet chili baked salmon with cashew nuts

Does it sound familiar? Late home from work and you have barely closed the door behind you before the yelling starts. “What’s for dinner?”, “I’m hungry!”, “Ain’t dinner ready soon?” At times like these it’s great to have some quick and easy recipes up your sleeve. This sweet chili baked salmon with cashew nuts with mustard cream and a steamed broccoli and bean salad could be your savior, ready in 15 minutes.

Sweet chili baked salmon with cashew nuts

Plated salmon
 Ingredients

Ingredients

Besides the ingredients above you’ll need a package of creme fraiche, coarse-grained mustard and honey for the sauce and broccoli and kidney beans for the salad.

Methods

I won’t give any measures, just adjust according to the size of salmon.

  • Preheat oven to 200° C
  • Brush the salmon with some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
  • Mix sweet chili sauce with lemon juice (to your own taste) and 1-2 cloves minced garlic and spread over the salmon.

Sweet chili sauce

  • Add a couple of handfuls coarsely chop cashew nuts on top and optional some rose pepper corns if you happen to have some in your spice rack.

Cashew nuts

  • Bake in 200° C until inner temperature is 56°. Takes about 8, 9 minutes.

Baked salmon

While the salmon is baking steam broccoli and mix with kidney beans and a vinegar dressing of your own choice and mix crème fraîche with honey and mustard.

This far into the recipe / cooking I always seem to lose focus and forget to shoot the planned photos. So sorry, no picts of how to make the mustard sauce.

Plated salmon 2

Pasta Temptation anchovy style

Sometimes I can get rather obsessed with certain things, for instance all these food and chef programs that seem to run on different TV-channels around the clock. I  just love them and can’t stop watching. They are mostly British or Australian, and often re-runs of older programs, but who cares. There is always something new to learn or be inspired by whether it is Jamie Oliver, MasterChef, sweet Rachel Khoo and her little Paris kitchen or The Fabulous Baker Brothers, just to mention a few.

Recently I watched an episode of “Rhodes across Italy” where Gary Rhodes prepared a very simple anchovy sauce for a pasta dish. The dish sounded so delicious and with the few ingredients needed already in the house – pasta, onion, garlic, parsley and anchovy fillets – I decided right away to cook it for dinner that same day.

If you eat with your eyes first, and I guess most of us do, this dish probably won’t make your mouth waters just by the look of it. But do not despair, give it a try and you will love it …. or you will not.

Due to a linguistic misunderstanding, however, my recipe differs a little from Gary Rhodes’ when it comes to one vital ingredient. Without any intention one can say the dish got a Swedish twist by accident, but as it turned out so well, I’ll here give you my version of the dish. Sorry Garry!

The linguistic misunderstanding was not knowing that “anchovy” in the recipe meant those small, rolled salted fillets that we in Sweden use to call sardelles, while “anchovy” for us Swedes means sprats pickled in sugar, salt and spices. When Abba, which is the most popular brand (not to be confused with ABBA, the most popular band), exports its anchovies abroad it is done under the name of “anchovy style sprats fillets”. I haven’t tried doing the dish with sardelles, so choose whatever sounds most appealing / convenient to you, the European or the Swedish style anchovy. The Swedish fillets will add a bit of sweetness to the sauce.

I have named this dish Pasta Temptation to allude on the classic Swedish dish Jansson’s Temptation. The main ingredients are the same, anchovies and onions besides potatoes instead of pasta, and is very common on the Swedish Christmas table.

So here goes!

Pasta Temptation anchovy style

Ingredients

500 grams pasta

Anchovy sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 grams of yellow onion, finely sliced
  • 125 grams of anchovy fillets (for a saltier taste) or Abba’s anchovy style sprats fillets (for a sweeter taste)
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • coarsely grated black pepper

Directions

Anchovy sauce

  • Heat olive oil in a pan, add the onions and let soften before adding the garlic.
  • Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Fried onion

  • Add the anchovies to the pan together with 1-2 tablespoons of the anchovy liquor (if using the Swedish style), cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally

Onion and fillets

until the anchovies have puréed amongst the onions and created a rich, but sadly beige, sauce.

lÖK OCH ANSJOVIS

  • Add some of the chopped parsley to finish.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to directions.
  • Drain the pasta and add it straight into the pan with the sauce, add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water to loosen.

  • Mix through and season with black pepper and sprinkle the remaining parsley on top.

Pasta och persilja

  • Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Pasta närbild

Pasta på gaffel

Salmon and beetroot patties with parsley creme – and strawberries for dessert

For the last couple of weeks winter has taken a new, tight grip on Sweden with cold icy winds and night temperatures down to minus 20°C. Thus a perfect opportunity to check what’s actually in the freezer, clean and defrost it while the food can still keep cold outside on the balcony.

Was I amazed at what I found in there on the shelves? Yes, to say the least. Since long forgotten lunch boxes that could almost walk out of the freezer on its own, tiny bags of “handy-stuff” left overs as grated cheese, herbs, slices of frostbitten bread, a hot dog, a salmon, a bag of chicken drumsticks and last but not least lots and lots of berries; blueberries, strawberries, cloudberries, lingonberries, cranberries and raspberries. I pick and pick and fill the freezer up but can never bring myself to make something out of all those berries because I never know if I will find new ones next summer.

It is a quick fix to thaw a salmon fillet, so I decided to let that one become the backbone of the dinner together with shallots, capers and beets that I found in the fridge. And for dessert some of those strawberries with vanilla quark and crumbled Finn crisp.

Salmon and beetroot patties with parsley crème (Salmon à la Lindstrom)
4 servings

Ingredients

Ingredienser

  • 600 grams of salmon fillet
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100 ml finely diced pickled beets
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Salt and pepper

Methods

  • Cut the salmon fillet into smaller pieces and run in the food processor.
  • Mix with remaining ingredients and season.
  • Fry a piece of the mixture and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Shape into hamburger-sized patties and fry for a few minutes on each side.

Stekning
Parsley Creme

Gurka till sås

Ingredients

  • 100-200 ml finely chopped pickled cucumber
  • 1 bunch finely chopped parsley
  • 200 ml crème fraîche or quark

Mix all ingredients into a sauce and serve with salmon patties and a salad of kidney beans, broccoli and spinach and you will have a delicious and healthy meal rich in omega-3, iron and calcium.

Upplagt

Strawberries with vanilla quark and Finn crisp crumbles

Upplagt i glasIngredients

  • Fresh or frozen (but thawed) strawberries, sliced
  • 400 ml vanilla flavoured quark
  • 15 pieces of Finn crisp
  • A handful of roasted and coarsely chopped hazelnuts or almonds.

Methods

  • Crack the finn crisp in pieces and put in a plastic bag. Crush them finely with a rolling-pin and mix with the chopped hazelnuts.
  • Open the cabinet door and take out those beautiful glasses you inherited from Grandma but never use.
  • Layer the ingredients starting with crumbles, strawberries, quark and then start all over again.
  • Top with strawberries.

Dessert ovanifrån

Bon appetite!

Garlicky butternut squash pizza

Pizza is not really my cup of tea and I can’t even remember when I last had a one. It must have been when my sons were still living at home, which is quiet some time ago.

But as you know, we not only eat with our mouth, we also eat with our eyes. Our visual perception has a great impact on our choice of food or a certain dish. Beautifully set tables and nicely presented dishes help tickle our taste buds and make the mouth water. No wonder that cookbooks are selling like hot cakes. With their seductive photos of stunning plated dishes it’s close enough to “food porno”.

The other day I was seduced by such a picture in a monthly food magazine from one of our major food chains. An image of a pizza! Honestly, on a scale of 1-10, how tempting is actually a pizza if we just look at its appearance? A 2, perhaps a 3, not more. But this butternut squash pizza hit me right in my guts, both by the look of it and by its ingredients; heaps of green arugula and lots of garlic, which is heaven for garlic lovers like me.

However, making this pizza is a rather time-consuming task, and  a warning may be in its place. Don’t start baking it if your family is screaming of hunger behind you. Then, a tip is to simply use a prefabricated pizza dough.

Bara pizza

Butternut squash pizza
4 servings (2-4 pizzas)

Ingredients

Pizza dough

  • ½ package of fresh yeast (25 grams)
  • 200 ml water (37° C)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 300 ml of whole spelt (dinkel) flour
  • 200-300 ml of plain flour

Garlic purée

  • 3 whole garlics or about 35 cloves of garlic
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • 1 butternut squash, about 1 kg
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 mozzarella (200 g)
  • 200 ml grated Parmesan cheese + some to shave over the baked pizza.
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ bag of arugula (à 70 gr)
  • 100 g roughly chopped walnuts
  • Olive oil, sea salt, black pepper

Directions

Start with the garlic purée.

  • Peel the garlic cloves and put them in a frying pan.
  • Add olive oil and let the cloves simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes until golden.

  • Mix garlic cloves with olive oil and season with salt.

Pizza

Preheat oven to 225° C.

  • Crumble the yeast into a bowl, add water and stir until yeast dissolves.
  • Add salt, olive oil and flour and knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
  • Let the dough rise under a cloth for 30 minutes.
  • Peel the pumpkin, cut lengthwise in two halves and scoop out the seeds.
  • Slice the halves thinly and spread on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.
  • Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with paprika powder and 2 teaspoons of salt flakes.
  • Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden and stir halfway through.

Roasted butternut squash

  • Divide the dough into two or four equal parts and roll out to very thin bottoms and place on paper lined trays.
  • Fold up the edges and spread some garlic purée on each bottom.
  • Top with sliced mozzarella, shredded parmesan cheese, pumpkin slices and oregano.

  • Bake the pizzas until the crust is browned, about 15 minutes.
  • Top with arugula, chopped walnuts and slices of parmesan.

Recipe from ICA Buffé 2/2013

Why not kick start your cooking with some swinging Swedish pizza music!

Pea soup, punsch and saffron pancake

Over the past 20 years, Easter weekend has always been spent in our little summer cottage, our Paradise, in the north of Hälsingland. One of our Easter traditions is to invite friends and neighbors on Good Friday for a get together on the frozen lake and treat them with my homemade pea soup, punsch and saffron pancake.

This year was no exception and we enjoyed a seven hour joyful gathering in the sun with friends, food, drinks and music.

If you ask a Swede what’s for dinner on a Thursday the answer would most likely be “Pea soup and then pancakes for dessert”

Pea soup, or as we say ‘Ärtsoppa’, is a traditional Swedish dish you’ll find on almost every restaurant’s Thursday menu. It is also a popular dish when you invite a lot of friends for an informal party, simply because it is easy to make in large amounts, it doesn´t cost much and most people like it. At least if they have the punsch to go with it.

Punsch is a Swedish liqueur with the base ingredient of arrack that’s often served (then hot) with the pea soup. The peak of the Punsch consumption in Sweden occured during the nineteenth century when it became part of the cultural life and festivities in the universities’ student associations at the time and still is.

Saffron pancake (saffranspannkaka) is a traditional dish from the province of the island Gotland (the larges island in the Baltic Sea) that’s served with blue raspberry jam (salmbärssylt). Blue raspberry is a cross  between raspberries and blackberries and grows wild on Gotland.

Here are my homemade versions of pea soup and saffron pancake, so enjoy!

Pea soup

Serves 6

  • 500 grams of dried yellow peas
  • 2 liters of water
  • 2 + 2 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons marjoram
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock
  • 300-400 grams of salted pork
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons sweet (and coarse-grained) mustard (Swedish mustard is often sweetend)

Just double the ingredients if you want a larger amount. The soup is also perfect to store in the freezer for meals to come.

  1. Rinse and soak the peas along with 2 teaspoons salt for 6 – 12 hours.
  2. Boil fresh water with peas, pork, the remaining salt (don’t take all at once, remember the pork will add some salt too) and herbs.
  3. Let simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours
  4. Remove the pork when tender and add the onions, whole.
  5. Cut the pork into cubes and add at the end. Season with mustard (and salt) to taste. Let it simmer for 1,5 – 2 hours.
  6. Taste the peas to make sure they are completely cooked and soft.

Serve with mustard on the side and a shot of hot (or chilled punsch).

 

Saffron pancake

This is what you need to serve 10-12Preheat oven to 200 degrees

  • 4 x 500 gram rolls with rice porridge ( I make it easy for myself and buy rolls with ready-made rice porridge, but of course you can cook your own.
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 dl of single cream
  • 1 gram of saffron
  • 0.5 dl sugar
  • 1 tbs vanilla sugar
  • 100 grams of finely chopped almonds
  1. Whisk eggs, cream and almonds mixed with sugar and vanilla sugar together.
  2. Fold into the rice porridge and mix well.
  3. Pour batter into a greased dish and bake for about 1 hour. Check with a stick that the cake has set and the stick comes out dry.
  4. Cover with waxed paper or foil if the cake starts to get too much color.
  5. Serve lukewarm with “Queen’s jam” (drottningsylt – a mixture of blueberries and raspberries) and whipped cream.