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

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!


Clam chowder my way

This soup is a pleasant reminder of the years when the family lived as expats in Princeton, N.J.

It was Labour weekend and we were heading home after a camping holiday among wild horses on a Maryland beach. It was quite late and the children were tired and grumpy. Well, we were all rather tired and grumpy, but most of all very hungry and in a desperate need of food. So we stopped at one of all these more or less shabby truckstop diners along U.S. Route 1.

The smell of French fries, burgers and fried eggs hit us like a wall when we entered the room. A bored looking waitress with quite an attitude told us that all that were left on the menu at this late hour were burgers and clam chowder. So burgers (for the kids) and soup it had to be.

And was that soup delicious? To put it mildly, yes, the very best I have ever tasted. Since then I have tried to copy it many times over the years and I think I have come pretty close.

What’s there to learn from this? Well, maybe never to judge a shabby truckstop diner before you have tasted its clam chowder!

U.S. Route 1 Clam chowder
4-6 servings

Clam chowder

Here goes!

Ingredienser

Sorry, I forgot to display the saffron!

Ingredients

1 kg fresh blue mussels
2 finely chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, chopped
200 ml white wine
100 ml water
1/2 bunch chopped fresh thyme
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped

2 cans of clams à 400 gram
100 grams of diced salted pork
2 coarsely chopped yellow onions
5-6 potatoes, diced
Olive oil for the frying pan
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1-2 tsp smoked paprika powder
1 gram saffron
Juice from the canned mussels + water = 500 ml
200 ml white wine
3-4 tbsp Touch of Taste fish bouillon or 2 fish stock cubes
300 ml cream
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 bunch fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped (save some for garnish)
salt and pepper

Method

Oops, I did it again! Halfway through the cooking process, I realize that I have once again forgotten to photograph the various moments. But what the heck, everyone knows how chopped and fried onions and vegetables look like, and when it comes to pouring wine, water or cream there are so many much more elegant pouring shots than mine out there. Instead I hope the soup itself will tempt you.

Preparing the mussels

  • Clean and rinse the mussels under cold, running water and remove the beards sticking out.
  • Discard any broken shells or shells that do not close when tapped. Set aside the rest.

Cooking the soup

  • Pour some olive oil in a large saucepan, add parsley, thyme, chopped pork, onions and potatoes, smoked paprika powder and saffron and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Add wine, water, lemon juice and juice from the canned mussels, the Touch of taste bouillon and bring to a boil.
  • Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Cooking the mussels

  • Meanwhile fry shallots and garlic in a large pan, add parsley, thyme, wine  and water, and bring to a boil.
  • Add the mussels, cover with a lid and cook for 4-6 minutes while shaking the pan occasionally. The mussels are ready when the shells open.
  • Discard any mussel that hasn’t open.
  • Reserve and set aside three mussels in their shells / person for garnish. Remove the remainder from the shells and lift into a bowl and keep warm.
  • Add strained broth and cream to the soup and bring to a boil. Let simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Check and adjust the seasoning.
  • If you find the soup too thin, a small amount of corn starch slurry may be added.
  • Add canned and fresh mussels to the soup and heat gently for another minute. Don’t boil!
  • Ladle the soup into warm soup plates and garnish with the reserved mussels in shells and finely cut parsley. Serve with garlic bread.

Bon appétit!

Clam chowder 3

Clam chowder 4

Clam chowder 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

The noble art of making a classic Swedish Rose Hip Soup

Two years ago I wrote a post on my Swedish blog (JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE) about gathering rose hips (which can be a real painful business, so working gloves are recommended), drying them and finally turning them into a real classic Swedish dessert, a Rose Hip Soup.

Well, do people really take the trouble to pick these red, glowing bulbs and make their own rose hip soup from scratch, 2013? Besides myself, I haven’t heard of anyone who does. But still, there must be those doing it, at least thinking about doing it, judging by all the visits to this particular post. It is without doubt my most viewed one, and has skyrocketed my stats. Thanks! That’s why I’ve now decided to rerun the post in English.

Rose hip soup is not just a hot beverage in a thermos to keep you warm on outdoor activities or a tasty dessert, it is also a real vitamin C and antioxidant bomb. Making your own soup is easy and much tastier and healthier than the powder mix you might find in the supermarket. There’s no problem making the soup from fresh rose hips, but those who want to enjoy this delicacy throughout fall and winter have better dry them or make portions of purée and freeze for later use.

The best time to pick the rose hips is said to be right after the first frost. Don’t wait too long though and make sure the bulbs are red and firm. Avoid the soft, wrinkled and blackened ones.

Drying rose hips

Methods

  • Remove stalks and blossom ends.
  • Rinse in cold water, pat dry and cut the bulbs in halves.

Rose hips, halved

While doing this you can give a thought (with a smile) to those mischievous schoolboys back then who used hairy seeds from rose hips as itching powder, and tried to drop them down between shirt and back. So, to avoid too much itching – use a pair of thin plastic gloves while handling the rose hips.

  • Spread the rose hips on a baking tray and allow to dry in the oven at gentle 50º C until the shells are dry and hard. Shake the tray and stir now and then, and it’s a good idea to keep the oven door slightly ajar.

Drying rose hips

  • Let the rose hips cool and make sure that they are thoroughly dry before placing them in a glass jar and store in a dark place until it’s time to use them.

If I have the time and energy I sometimes poke the seeds out, but just as often I leave them as they contain beneficial essential fatty acids.

Rose hip purée

As mentioned above, if you don’t want to bother with the drying procedure you can just as well make a purée from fresh rose hips and store in the freezer.

Methods

  • Remove stalks and blossom ends, rinse and boil in plenty of water for about 20 minutes.
  • Drain and save some of the cooking water.
  • Press the hips through a strainer or sieve with a wooden spoon or spatula and dilute the paste with a some cooking water to a purée-like consistency and freeze in 400 ml containers.

1. Soup made of rose hip purée
4 servings

  • 400 ml rose hip purée
  • 1200 ml water
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch + 100 ml water
  • sugar to taste (50 – 150 ml)

Methods

  • Mix purée and water and boil vigorously for a few minutes.
  • Skim off the scum.
  • Dissolve potato starch in cold water and add the liquid to the soup in a fine stream, stirring constantly.
  • Allow the soup to get a quick boil (just enough for the first bubble to burst), then remove soup from the stove.
  • Add sugar to your own taste.

2. Traditional rose hip soup made from dried rose hips
4 servings

  • 500 ml dried rose hips
  • 1500 ml cold water
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • 50 – 150 ml sugar

Methods

  • Boil rose hips and water.

Boiling rose hips

  • When the hips are properly soft, drain and save the cooking water.
  • Press rose hips through a sieve.

Passed through a sieve

  • Dilute the purée with cooking water until it measures 1250 ml.
  • Boil the soup.
  • Dissolve potato starch in a little cold water and add the liquid in a fine stream, stirring constantly.
  • Add sugar according to your own taste and bring the soup to a quick boil.

3. Rose hip soup with a vanilla and honey twist
5-6 servings

  • 500 ml dried rose hips
  • 1500 ml water
  • half a vanilla pod
  • 3 tbsp liquid honey.

Methods

  • Let rose hips soak i the water for 4 hours.
  • Add the vanilla pod and mix everything in the food processor or with a hand blender.
  • Add the honey and boil for a few minutes.
  • Strain and serve.

A rose hip soup is often served warm with ice cream or lukewarm or cold with whipped cream or cardamom yoghurt and with mini macaroons or almond flakes on top.

Cardamom yoghurt
Mix 150 ml Turkish yoghurt, 1 tsp ground cardamom and 2 tbsp brown sugar.

Rose hip soup with cream