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Category Archives: Sweden

This pudding couldn’t give a damn what you think…

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I haven’t made any posts for a while, so I apologise about that. Found this really tasty looking recipe for Laxpudding, or salmon pudding. Well I guess this could be described as a Swedish take on potato dauphinoise, or maybe the French stole the idea from the Swedes. Well I must take a diplomatic stance on that one, butl I really like potato dauphinoise, and I like salmon too, so I know Im gonna like this one straight away.

Laxpudding

Here goes…

Ingredients

  • A bunch of display lemons
  • Dill for decorative purposes
  • A cloth of Gingham persuasion
  • Rustic wooden board
  • 10 potatoes
  • 250 g of salmon
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dill
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
  • some butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 0.5 ml cream
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions…

First Boil you’re going to have to boil those potatoes in lightly salted water. Give the little dudes time to cool down. Make sure you use a relatively deep oven proof dish or tin. Before adding anything ensure that it is greased well, so your pudding will turn out in its entirety
Start layering the sliced potatoes, onion, dill and salmon in tiers. Make sure you add  salt and pepper between each layer.
I would also suggest smoked salmon or any other smoked fish as an interesting alternative. In such circumstances I would not add any more salt.
The next step is to whisk eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper together in a container of your choosing. and turn it over. Now add this newly whisked mixture to you’re layered dish of loveliness. It is advisable to leave the whole thing to stand in the fridge for around 2 hours or even overnight. This will let all the flavours infuse throughout the dish. I imagine using smoked salmon may allow you to leave out this step, so I good idea if your short of time.
After this step…
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Spread the breadcrumbs over the form and add a little butter. Bake Salmon for about 25 minutes, until surface is golden.
Once slightly cooled turn out dish on a plate and hope for the best.


Anyways like I was sayin’…

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la muerte de Bubba

…shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp,coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it…

I am afraid Bubba forgot to mention  Skagenröra med pepparrot, and damn this ones simple, but good.

For those of you not versed in the Swedish mother tongue (me) This is Horseradish Shrimp, or prawns if your from the UK (me)… Its perfect on Ryebread, Crisp bread, or even in a sandwich and is most certainly perfect for lunch.

1 lb. fresh shrimp, cooked and peeled 
3/4 c. (12 Tbsp) mayonnaise 
1 Tbsp. horseradish 
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill weed 
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper 
Dash of lemon juice

Mix shrimp, mayonnaise, horseradish, dill, cayenne, and lemon pepper. Let stand in the refrigerator 3 hours or overnight. Serve with salad leaves, tomatoes, and cucumber or whatever suits you

Tune in again tomorrow for more recipes

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Rest In Peace Young Salmon. May your impossible dream be realised one day soon…

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How to Prepare Gravlax

Gravlax…

The word gravlax comes from the Scandinavian word grav, which literally means “grave” or “to dig” (in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch and Estonian), and lax (or laks), which means “salmon”, thus gravlax means “buried salmon”.

So why exactly would I want to eat this?

Well no other reason than it is meant to be really nice. Its really not as alarming as it sounds. Traditionally the Salmon would be buried under the sand at high-tide level and would in turn be cured. However we are going to cure the fish with salt and serve it on crisp bread, or Rye bread if you so choose. Not as adventurous but definitely more middle-class. 

Now salmon is rather expensive so a cheaper oily fish would do as a substitute. Something like mackerel or herring would do nicely

Ingredients:

  • one 3lb  to 4lb salmon fillet
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tsp. dill seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 bunches of fresh dill (use generously, as this is the main flavouring).

Now it is important to stress that unless you can be sure that your fish is really fresh, as in “sushi-grade” fresh then frozen salmon should be used.

This is because of micro-organisms which could make you ill if present.

First prepare your fillets, or buy pre-prepared

Combine the sugar and salt, then cover both sides of each fillet half with the mixture

Wash and chop the bunches of dill. Don’t throw any dill away! Sprinkle with dill seeds and ground pepper on the flesh side of each fillet.

Next, place one fillet half, flesh side up, in a dish. Make sure dish is a cosy fit. Place the chopped dill on top of this fillet, then cover with the second half, flesh side down. It should look like an ominous pink sandwich.

Cover the dish lightly with cling-film and leave at room temperature for no more than 6 hours, or until the sugar-salt mixture has melted into the fillet.

Now for the next step your going to have to find some kind of weight to put the required pressure on your little Gravlax. Some heavy stones will do the trick. Im thinking of using a brick, but only so my house-mates wonder why on god’s earth a brick has happened to materialise in our fridge. This is were the traditional sand-burial came into play.

Any how use a flat surface to spread the weight (Maybe a small chopping board or smaller glass dish) and place surface and brick on top of salmon. Refrigerate for at least two days. Turn salmon over every 12 hours.

After two days remove the gravlax from the refrigerator. Scrape off most of the dill and seasonings; pat dry with paper towels

If you are still unsure about micro-organisms then the Gravlax may be frozen at this point and then thawed. Then continue as normal. If you want to give those little dudes a chance or believe your cards have already been dealt pray continue good sirs

Using a sharp knife, cut the cured gravlax into paper-thin slices, pulling each slice away from the skin.

Layer the gravlax slices on crispbread or rye bread. Finally masticate thoroughly and hopefully your dish will taste good enough to swallow.
Gravlax is often served with a dill and mustard sauce so give that a go too…
Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp. sweet honey mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp. plain or white wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill

Mix together the mustards, sugar, salt, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in 2/3 cup canola oil until well incorporated into a smooth sauce. Stir in chopped dill. Chill until serving. Will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

I really hope you enjoyed this recipe. I know I cant wait to give it a go. Let me know how you get on. I’ll let you know how I get on tomorrow.

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Requiem for a meatball…

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Great Meatballs, and Purple Potatoes?!

The Meatballs turned out to be a great success. I hope you tried them out and I hope you found them equally as delicious. If not give them a go. My housemate’s certainly didn’t complain. I made slightly more than the recipe, because we’ve all got big appetites.

Since I couldn’t find enough cranberries at my local store I couldn’t make the Cowberry Compote, but I would definitely have given it a go otherwise. Instead I chose to make a traditional style gravy, as described in the previous post. I added two beef stock cubes to a mug of boiling water and used this to de-glaze the pan after I had browned the meatballs. After allowing this to absorb all the lovely meat juices for a few minutes I then transferred the stock to a milk pan. I brought this to the boil and allowed the stock to reduce while the meatballs were in the oven. I then gradually sieved in some plain flour to thicken the sauce, and finally added a dash of milk to the mixture. The recipe suggested cream but I felt this to be a healthier alternative.

I was going to serve the meatballs with small potatoes, but came across a more unusual choice so decided to use this instead. Purple Potatoes! Initially dubious I though what the hell and shoved them in the basket. After boiling them for 20 minutes the water surrounding these

tuberous fellows turned dark green. Upon dissection they are surprisingly, purple all the way through, which would make for some interesting mash. Anyway’s they taste just like any other potato, no doubt some potato aficionado will be disgusted at this disregard for any potato nuances, but I care not.

According to the BBC news website the “purple majesty” variety of potato “…contains up to 10 times the level of antioxidant, anthocyanins, compared with white potatoes.”

There is also nothing to worry about as they have been developed from a traditional variety grown high in the Andes. So GM fears can be put to rest. They are selling for £1 a bag at Sainsbury’s at the moment and are well worth a try in my opinion.

I also sliced up some cabbage and lightly fried this in the same pan I used for the meatballs. Seasoned the cabbage with salt and pepper.

Well I don’t think there is much else to say. It was a really tasty meal and I would most certainly try it again. If you haven’t tried the recipe already, give it a go and let me know how you got on.

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A world devoured… Month 1, and its Sweden to the stage.

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Devour the world…

10 countries 10 tasty months

Ever wondered why other countries are so much Healthier than your own?

There are of course many different factors to consider here, but you cant deny that there’s a lot to be said about the food we eat.

Recently I read a few articles about the countries which are said to have the healthiest diets and was interested to find that much of the cuisine enjoyed by those special few actually sounds really tasty.

This got me thinking…

Hey I like tasty food, and I could stand to eat more healthily

What if I were to eat the food from each of these countries for 1 month?

Drawing some kind of top 10 list and focussing on each country for a month.

That’s 10 months of healthy eating not to mention the experience gained from cooking so many different national dishes.

So hang on, am I going on some kind of diet?!

err we’ll call it an experiment…

Well that’s exactly what I’m going to do and I hope you’ll Join me

Month 1 – Sweden

Despite the fact that traditionally Sweden does not enjoy the range of fruits and vegetables widely available in some of the other countries featured Sweden does well With an average life expectancy of 81%

The native diet is lean with low-salt and low-fat levels. Swedish food has a simplistic quality, but is by no means bland. Dishes are bold and extremely tasty with great quality ingredients, championing the philosophy that it is quality and not quantity which wins the day. Ingredients like Dill, berries, mackerel, and dark unrefined breads take centre stage.

Rye and pumpernickel breads are awash with loads of fiber; and berries are extremely nutritious with high levels of antioxidants. The calcium in dairy can help the body burn fat; and oily fish is great for the heart, containing lots of Omega.

Day 1

and I think we’ll start with an old favourite to ease everyone in gently

Meatballs with thyme, summer cabbage and lingonsylt

Serves 4

Ingredients:

700g of minced pork 
1 small onion, finely chopped 
3 tablespoons of thyme leaves, finely chopped 
2 eggs 
75g fresh breadcrumbs 
2 tablespoons plain wheat flour 
100ml sparkling water 
salt and pepper 
700g new baby potatoes 
olive oil 
about 40g butter 
1 pointed cabbage, quartered lengthways

Cowberry compote:

1kg fresh or frozen lingon (cowberries) or cranberries
200ml water
600g sugar

Mix the minced meats, onion, thyme and eggs together and beat well. Stir in the breadcrumbs and flour and beat again. Mix in the sparkling water and season. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Cut the potatoes in half lengthways. Put them in an ovenproof dish and mix them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 1 hour.

Shape the meat mixture into small balls. Heat 10g of the butter and olive oil together in a frying pan and cook the meatballs until golden brown. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and fry the cabbage for a couple of minutes on each side. Sprinkle with pepper.

To make cowberry compote, combine the fruit and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Pour the hot compote into a sterilised preserving jar. As soon as it is cold it is ready to eat, but stored in the refrigerator it will last for up to 3 months

An alternative to the Cowberry compote if you simply don’t have the time could be the traditional creamy sauce that usually accompanies meatballs. However since we’re trying to be healthy here I imagine a rich Pork or beef gravy would suffice.

Meatball sauce

Ingredients:

1/8 pint cream
1/4 pint beef stock
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, to taste
1 tablespoon white flour
1 tablespoon water
salt
white pepper

After cooking the meatballs in the pan as described in the previous recipe:

Swirl out the pan with boiling beef stock.
Add the cream.
Add the flour mixed with approx 1 tablepoons of water.
Add the seasonings.
Simmer until the sauce thickens.
Serve with Swedish meatballs.

Adding half the cream or not adding it at all is also a good option.

Thanks for reading folks and I hope that you’ll join me tomorrow were I will be reflecting on this first venture into healthy eating. Feedback is appreciated, and I welcome any ideas for the next step in this project

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