Monthly Archives: August 2014

WIN a walk-on part in Wallander. Yes, really.

August 22, 2014 | 4 Comments

wallander1

It’s the competition of the year and it is open to our Newsletter readers. Fancy winning a walk-on part in the last ever Wallander, filming in Sweden?

The British Wallander (the one with Kenneth Brannagh) is filming in Ystad, Sweden, this autumn. We’re honoured to have been given the unique and totally unusual opportunity of giving two people a walk-on part in one of the last episodes.

To be in with a chance to win this, you need to tell us, in no more than 50 words, why you think you should win this. How will it make a difference to you and who’d you bring and why? Be creative here. The winner will be picked by us and the Wallander people.

E-mail your less-than-50-words to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk no later than 1st September 2014.

Here comes the terms:

Winner will be selected from all entries and decided by SK and the Director and producer of Wallander (last series). A selection of filming dates will be offered to the winner, all will be during the filming months Oct-Dec 2014. All filming will take place in Ystad, Sweden or on other locations in Southern Sweden or Copenhagen, Denmark. Winners will need to be available to film on one of the dates offered in the location they choose from the list provided. Director makes decision on the type of walk-in parts offered and his decision is final. Judges decision is final on the winner. We reserve the right to remove the prize offer at any time. No cash alternative of prize. No spending money offered. Further legal terms and conditions will apply at point of filming on set.

How to host a Crayfish Party

August 16, 2014 | 2 Comments

Rebekka Williams8

How to host a crayfish party

Want to host the most Scandi of Scandi parties? Try a traditional Crayfish party – or ‘Kräftskiva’ as they are also known in Sweden.

Always held during crayfish season (August and part of September), a Crayfish party is surprisingly easy to arrange. Follow these guidelines and you will be ready to go.

Crayfish. The star of the show.

Unless you have a lake full of crayfish nearby you may want to opt for the method that 95% of Swedes also opt for: Buy them. Ready to eat. They come frozen in one kilo boxes (usually imported from Turkey or China because there is just not enough crayfish in Scandinavia to satisfy us all) – each box contains around 18-20 little crustaceans.  All you need to do is thaw and serve (thaw overnight).  How much to budget for? About 500g per person if your guests are mainly non-Swedes. If Scandies and skilled in the art of crayfish parties, plan around 700-800g per person. Some greedy Swedes have been known to get through over a kilo each.

Buy your crayfish here 

Arrange the crayfish in big bowls or trays on the big table where everybody’s sitting. Decorate with a few sprigs of dill.

Fran 2

How to peel a crayfish

Surprisingly easy if you have ever had the pleasure of peeling a prawn or langoustine – it’s similar. Break off the head, then tail. Crack the shell open and remove the crayfish. You can crack the claws with your fingers or a nut cracker – they are not hard shells. Or simply open to reveal the leg meat by pulling the claws apart with your fingers.  Some Swedes love to ‘slurp’ the brine juices out of the crayfish heads and belly. Most other people don’t, so do not feel obliged.  Swedes tend to enjoy slurping loudly. It’s normal. After a while, you learn not to notice.

Bibs and hats.

Crayfish parties are messy. You will need hats and bibs. The bibs are functional, the hats less so, but they look good. Well, they don’t, actually, but after a few aquavit, Björn will be wearing one and so should you.

The man in the moon

Decorate your house with lanterns and crayfish bunting of all kinds. You can make your own or buy them here. If you are brave enough to do the party outside in your garden, by all means pop the lanterns around light bulbs for maximum festivity feelings.

Other foods

The crayfish is the star, but you also need to serve a block of Västerbotten cheese (a lovely mature crumbly Swedish cheese) – just pop it on the table with a cheese slicer and a basket of bread (Crispbread and crusty breads).

The cheese and bread is simply to have something to mop up the aquavit seeing as nobody got full on eating crayfish, ever.

If you want to elaborate a bit, you can serve Västerbotten Paj, a cheese quiche made from the above cheese – serve it cold with a dressing made from red lumpfish roe caviar and 100ml crème fraiche. Surprisingly easy and utterly delicious combination.

Add to this a few bowls of pickled herring of your preferred variety, some new potato salad.  Maybe some slices of gravlax. Remember, the crayfish are still the star, this is not a Smörgåsbord and you don’t need to make 117 little dishes.  Keep it simple.

Drinks

This is important: You need Aquavit. This is our traditional ‘schnapps’ distilled from grains and herbs and you can get a lot of different varieties.  We recommend OP Andersson for this event or the Dill flavoured Aalborg variety – but anything goes.  If you cannot get hold of aquavit, use a super-chilled vodka.

A word of warning: Aquavit makes you intoxicated from the waist down. It is tradition to drink a shot ‘to each claw’ but maybe choose a shot to every second crayfish instead?

The singing

It is no secret that we like to sing at every get-together. Crayfish parties are a great opportunity to learn Swedish. You need a bunch of ‘snaps-visor’, literally, Snaps songs. Most are in Swedish, but there are a few in English. The most important is this one here – the Swedish version and then the ‘How to sing it in English so you sound almost Swedish’ phonetic version.

Helan går

Sjung hopp faderallan lallan lej

Helan går

Sjung hopp faderallan lej

Och den som inte helan tar

Han heller inte halvan får

Helan går

Sjung hopp faderallan lej

Sing along version:

Hell and gore

Chung Hop father Allan Ley

Hell and gore Chung Hop father Allan Ley

Oh handsome in the hell and tar

and hell are in a half and four

Hell and goooooore …

Chung Hop father Allan Ley

First time you sing it, you will be feeling a bit weird. Then you’ll have a shot of aquavit. By the second time, you’re wearing your hat and winking at Björn. By the third time, you will be fluent in Swedish.

The other drinks

A good selection of lagers. You can of course drink wine, but be aware that wine and Aquavit have a habit of not agreeing if overdone, so we recommend beers like Tuborg and Carlsberg. Or just go easy on the wine.

The cheering

This is important. You must cheer the correct way – whether beer or aquavit.  Everybody raises their glasses at the same time, say SKÅL, then you look around and make eye contact with your fellow guests. This is a must, every time. No sneaking in shots on your own. We cheer together. Always.

Friends

You will need some friends for this. If you don’t have any, ask some random ex-pat Swedes you meet down the pub if they want to come round yours for a “kreft-HWEE-va” in your Hackney studio flat. Do all of the above. They will most likely turn up.

Have a great party.

Lovely photos thanks to Fran at StoryPr and Bex Williams. Thank you.

RebekkaCrayfish

 

Rebekka Williams10

Berry Nice

August 15, 2014 | Leave a comment

autumn2

When most people think of the Scandinavian seasons, they either think of the bitter cold and round the clock dark winter days – or the vibrantly colourful summer season with its rolling green hills and sparkling silvery lakes (although, some, admittedly, think only of blonde women, Ace of Base and meatballs, but these have little to do with this post).  However, the often forgotten thing about autumn in Scandinavia is that it is certainly also a time to cherish and a time of exceptional beauty – as well as being full of some of the most amazing foodie treasures known to man.

With all the hoo-haa of Midsummer Parties and dancing around maypoles well and truly over, summer in the Nordic countries comes along in fleeting bursts and before we know it, the days are once again getting shorter and the nights colder.  By the middle of September, the whole of Scandinavia has changed its green summer coat for the rustling, golden comforting blanket of fallen leaves, and it is time for long walks in the forest, for slowing down and fattening up for winter time.

Back in the Viking times, autumn signalled the time for preparing for the days when hardly any daylight at all shone through.  From the summer with its abundance of fruit and vegetables, winter proved always to be a testing time and our forefathers hunted and gathered everything they could for easy storage.   In the Northern countries they hunted for game which they salted and dried.  In the south they fished, preserving what they could by drying and curing – as well as slaughtering a good proportion of their farmed animals.  Everywhere, the Vikings harvested and milled – and stored grain and oats for the long months.  Yep, it was porridge for everyone, all year long, even back then.

Autumn nowadays in Scandinavia is first signalled by the arrival of the crayfish season in August, which carries on well into September.  Mainly in Sweden and Finland is this season a big celebration, with most people spending many a weekends enjoying the fruits of the sea along with the jolly company of some amazing aquavit and some good friends (whilst being attacked by the last hungry mosquitoes of the year).  Plenty of “snapsvisor” – aquavit songs – are sung during the crayfish season and many a horrific hangover endured.

The game hunting season is another big autumn signal in Scandinavia.  In all of the Northern countries, the moose hunting season starts and eager hunters stalk out in the forest, hoping to get the catch of the season – and that all important moose-head to stuff and display on the wall at home.   Roe deer, wild ducks and red grouse, to name but a few, are also hunted.  Game in Scandinavia today is not intensively farmed at all and is of the highest of quality in the world, giving it a seriously hefty price tag – but well worth a taste if you’re ever lucky enough to be offered it.  Lately, the much publicised Nordic Diet has claimed that wild game is the meat we should all be eating for health reasons, likely ensuring even heftier price tags in years to come.

Scandinavia also harbours a vast amount of incredible treasures when it comes to late summer berries.  From wild raspberries, the plumpest, juiciest blackberries and blueberries imaginable, you can find them all here.  Of course, not forgetting the all important lingonberry either, an essential jam served with Swedish and Norwegian meatballs.

Towards the end of July to beginning of August, the much sought after cloudberry blooms across the colder areas.  The cloudberry is an orange berry that looks a bit like a plump, overgrown fat raspberry but which grows on stalks instead of bushes – and the plant itself can withstand temperatures of down to -40 C.  It is very difficult to cultivate and is most often found only in the wild; it is very hard to pick as the fragile berries burst instantly in the hands of unseasoned pickers.  Most cloudberry is therefore made into jam and sold across the world, but nowhere is it more popular than in Sweden, where this jam is often heated and served with vanilla ice cream.  Cloudberry is expensive – even during harvest season locally, prices often top £12 a litre – but the tart, unusual taste of this wonderful berry is certainly worth splashing out for.

In Finland, cloudberry is often made into an exceptional liquor called Lakkalikööri – and you can also find cloudberry yoghurt and cakes in certain shops.  Lately, the humble cloudberry has also enjoyed quite a bit of press attention, which has hailed it as one of the best berries to eat if you want to follow a Nordic Diet because of its high vitamin content.

In the UK, cloudberry jam is available in a few different brands, the best, and the one that has the highest fruit content, is the Felix version – which is also less sugary than others.  Fresh cloudberries or even frozen ones are pretty much impossible to get hold of outside Scandinavia.

But even if you can’t make it to the Nordic countries to collect your own fresh berries this autumn, it is easy to sample some of the other the treasured goods from the comfort of London.  Arrange a bit of a crayfish and aquavit party for a fantastic, traditional Scandinavian feast.  Get hold of some of the amazing autumn berries on offer – either in fresh or jam form – and get cooking and inventing for both savoury and sweet dishes.  All you need then is a good bunch of mates and an autumn evening and you’re all set.  Hold off on the moose hunting, though, even after the 4th glass of aquavit when it all seems like such a good idea (even in Hackney):  it’s usually not.

Three easy-peasy ways with Cloudberry:

Cloudberry Jam and Vanilla ice cream

The ultimate Swedish dessert.  Get hold of some good quality vanilla ice cream and heat a few spoonfuls of cloudberry jam – pour over the ice cream just before serving.  Alternatively, make it a bit more exciting by adding some crushed meringue and whipped cream and gently fold in – a sort of “Swedish Mess” (inspired by the British dessert “Eton Mess”).

Cloudberry layer cake

Three sponge layer cakes (we recommend Karen Wolf “Lagkage”, which comes in three pre-made thin layers, easy to assemble, or make your own Victoria style sponge and split to three).  Pop a layer on the serving tray, add a thin layer of cloudberry jam, add a thick layer of patisserie cream.  Add sponge layer 2, repeat over.  Cover cake with a nice layer of whipped cream all round and on top and decorate with a light dusting of chocolate shavings.  Leave to set for a bit in the fridge before serving.

Cloudberry baked cheesecake

200g ‘NICE’ biscuits or other plain biscuits – most can be used, even plain Hobnobs.

75 g melted butter

800g full fat cream cheese

180 g Caster sugar

4 eggs plus 3 egg yolks

3 tsp vanilla sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

300 ml sour cream

1 jar of cloudberry jam (use as much as you need/like to – most likely just over half a jar)

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C degrees.  Grease a 23cm spring form tin.  Sit the tin in foil – and wrap the foil all around the side to prevent water from seeping in (the best way to bake a cheese cake is to bake it in a bain marie).

Crush the biscuits and combine with the melted butter.  Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the tin.

In a mixer, put the cream cheese, 160g of the sugar, the eggs, yolks and 2 tsp vanilla sugar as well as lemon juice and mix really well.  When smooth, pour over the biscuit base.

Put the cake tin, which is tightly wrapped in the foil, in a larger tin or roasting tin and pour boiling water all around it, till about half way.  Bake for 1 hour exactly.

Beat the sour cream, the rest of the sugar and vanilla, pour over the cake and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and roasting tin (discard water).  Heat the jam gently and very carefully pour/smooth it over the top of the cake (you can also do this when the cake is cold).  Leave the cake alone for at least 4 hours – ideally longer – to set properly- before opening the spring form (or else the cake may well crack).

Bronte Aurell is the owner of Scandinavian Kitchen in London, a place that stocks everything you need to feel truly Scandinavian (except flat packed furniture: you’ll have to go elsewhere for that).

All recipes by ScandiKitchen

Secure Shopping with

Free shipping on orders over £60(*exclusions apply)

Payment types accepted

£0.000 items