Tag Archives: swedish food

10 Culinary Delights From Our Scandi Childhoods

September 21, 2017 | Leave a comment

10 Culinary Delights From Our Scandi Childhoods

 

Sometimes, when we were little, this is all we wanted to eat. (Still is, sometimes). Recognise any of these, for yourself or your children? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Meatballs with macaroni and ketchup (your token vegetable).
    kottbullar makaroni

  2. Mince fried and served with macaroni. And ketchup.
    makaroni med kjottdeig
  3. Lompe with nugatti (Norwegian Nutella)
    lompe nugatti
  4. Cheese toastie made in the waffle iron with lots of piffikrydd and some ketchup. Yum.
    cheese toastie waffle iron
  5. Just meatballs, for the picky ones.

  6. Falukorv with mash. Sliced, fired sausage mixed into the mash. Served with, you guessed it, ketchup.

  7. Hot dogs. Sausages in lompe or hot dog buns –your staple childhood birthday party dish.
    polse i brod
  8. Brown cheese. Just brown cheese, somtimes rolled into little balls. Mmmmm.
    brown cheese
  9. Fiskeboller fish dumplings with potatoes and a sprinkling of mild curry powder. All mashed together to a gloopy, yellow, mess. Boiled carrots or broccoli carefully shoved to the side of the plate.
    fiskeboller med karri

    Pre mashing.

  10. Rye bread with chocolate, slightly toasted so the chocolate melts. YUM.
    paleagschoklad

Remember these or have anything to add? Let us know and we’ll update the list.

We know what we’re having for dinner today!

Bacon & Mushroom Pizza

September 9, 2017 | Leave a comment

Crispbread Pizza With Bacon & Mushroom

Autumn in Scandinavia means foraging – for berries, fruits and mushrooms – so seasonal dishes often centre, or include, around these ingredients. Mushrooms are a favourite – especially the more elusive girolles (chantarelles). The following recipe is adapted for supermarket foraging – but feel free to use any mushroom you like.

  • 1 round Leksands crispbread
  • 100ml tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion + butter/oil for frying
  • 75g oyster mushroom
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g bacon or pancetta, fried until crispy
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 60g mozzarella + big handful grated cheddar
  • rocket salad to serve
  • Seasalt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees celsius.
2. Finely chop onion and fry in a bit of butter until soft – add pinch of sugar and let caramelise. Season with salt & pepper.
3. Chop the mushroom and fry until golden.
4. Spread the tomato sauce over the base. Add the onion, mushroom and your meat – finish with the mozzarella and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 10 mins or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden. Top with whisked egg yolk and rocket salad – serve immediately.

Enjoy!

—–

Bacon & Mushroom Pizza

Thanks to our friends at Leksands for the recipe – just mildly adapted for a UK kitchen.

7 Random Crispy Facts

September 7, 2017 | Leave a comment

7 Random Facts About Crispbread

  1. Crispbread is common across Scandinavia, but especially so in Sweden, followed closely by Norway. 85% of all Swedish households have it at all times.
  2. Crispbread is Sweden’s second largest export – second only to Absolut vodka.
  3. Your average Swedish munches through 5.5 kg of crispbread every year – and crispbread is amongst the most missed food products for Swedes abroad. It may not sound much, but considering an average crispbread weighs about 12 grams, this equates to 458 slices every year. A crispbread a day keeps the doctor away.
  4. What.. IS crispbread? Crispbread is traditionally made with only wholegrain rye, yeast, salt and water, although these days you have a wide range of variety ranging from all-wheat to all nut and seed (to purist, these don’t count). However, when you say crispbread, most people will still think of your classic rye crispbread.
  5. In Scandinavia, crispbread is treated as any other type of bread. It can be topped with almost anything, and is a common part of breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks in between.
  6. Super versatile, you can have crispbread at every meal. Crushed over a bowl of yoghurt, maybe with some berries, for a naturally low sugar, high fibre and delicious granola for breakfast; topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese for lunch; used as pizza base for dinner (oh yes, crispbread pizza is a thing and it’s delicious. In Sweden you can even buy ready made frozen crispbread pizzas).
  7. In the UK, crispbread is often thought about in one of two ways; 1; as a cracker for cheese or 2; diet food. This saddens our crispy Scandi hearts and tummies. Because; crispbread is absolutely great with cheese, and is definitely much better for you than mass produced wonderbread – but Scandis eat crispbread because it is tasty (and you can top it with anything you like), convenient (it keeps forever) and good for you. You could eat 4 triangles of crispbread for every slice of white bread – and thanks to the high fibre content you will stay fuller for a lot longer. Meaning you may be able to resist that cinnamon bun later. Or not. But that’s ok. Balancing your crispbread with cinnamon buns is what the Swedes would call ‘lagom’.

Now, pass us the crispbread someone. Fancy some? Find our crispbreads here.

Crispbread as base = pizza in 10 minutes.

Crispbread Pizza With Pulled Pork and Guacamole

August 24, 2017 | Leave a comment

Crispbread Pizza With Pulled Pork and Guacamole

Another lovely version of crispbread pizza – this time with pulled pork and avocado cream. Oh yes. Guaranteed to make you popular. We like the original Leksands (blue packaging) for this, but any big round will work as the toppings are so flavoursome.

  • 1 round of Leksands crispbread
  • 100ml tomato sauce
  • 75g pulled pork (leftovers or ready bought)
  • 1 tomato
  • 60g mozzarella
  • 2 handfuls grated Vasterbotten– (or Cheddar)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado
  • Fresh chili, finely chopped
  • Fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees celsius.
2. Prep the pickled onion; place thinly sliced onion in a bowl and cover with lime juice, squeezing it together with a spoon or your hand.
3. Spread the tomato sauce over the base. Add the sliced fresh tomato and chunks of pulled pork. Season with salt and pepper, then finish with the cheese.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden. Meanwhile, mash the avocado with the chili, coriander and lime juice – serve with a dollop of guacamole.

Enjoy!

—–

Thanks to our friends at Leksands for the recipe – just mildly adapted for a UK kitchen.

Crispbread Pizza With Chicken

August 22, 2017 | Leave a comment

Crispbread Pizza With Chicken

We are big fans of using crispbread as a quick and easy pizza base. By using a round of Leksands as your base you can have pizza in 12 minutes – the mild rye flavour complements these toppings really well.

  • 1 round of Leksands crispbread
  • 100ml tomato sauce
  • 3 slices roast chicken
  • 1 small onion, chopped – plus butter or oil for frying
  • clove of garlic
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 60g mozzarella
  • Good handful grated cheddar (or try it with Vasterbotten)
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard and a squeeze of lemon – stirred together
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees celsius.
2. Finely chop onion and fry in  a bit of butter until soft – add a pinch of sugar and the garlic and let caramelise. Season with salt & pepper.
3. Spread the tomato sauce over the base. Add the onion mixture, sliced fresh tomato, chicken chunks and apple – finish with the cheese.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden. Scatter with fresh rocket and serve with the sauce.

Enjoy!

—–

Chicken Crispbread Pizza

Thanks to our friends at Leksands for the recipe – just mildly adapted for a UK kitchen.

7 Random Facts About Surströmming

August 16, 2017 | Leave a comment

7 Random Facts About Surströmming

  1. Surströmming is made by preserving the raw herring with just enough salt to prevent it from rotting, then left to ferment for at least 6 months. A Japanese study ranks it as one of the most putrid food smells on the planet.
  2. Surströmming day is the 3rd Thursday in August – in 2017 this falls on the 17th August.
  3. Surströmming translated to sour Baltic herring. Tempting, ey?
  4. How to eat it? A common way is to have it in a ‘klämma’ – a ‘squeeze’. Take two pieces of (crunchy) flatbread and spread with sliced or crushed boiled potato, add the surströmming, squeeze and enjoy. Alternatively, place on a soft flatbread with potato, sour cream and some raw onion. Eat as a wrap. Think of it as the Swedish burrito.
  5. Whatever you do – NEVER open the tin inside. To say the smell is strong is an understatement. And it lingers.
  6. Beer and aquavit are commonly served along with it – but milk, too, is a common drink.
  7. Surströmming is so smelly it is forbidden on most airlines.

Despite (or because of – we don’t know) the smell – surströmming is very popular in Sweden, and many await the season with anticipation, dreaming about the first taste of this speciality.

Our Jonas had a chat with a lovely chap from the Telegraph a few years ago – to find out what he thought have a look at the resulting video here, or click here to read about it.

Have you tried it? What did you think? Share in comments please – we’d love to hear your thoughts on this smelly subject.

 

Easy Västerbotten Cheese Quiche

August 10, 2017 | Leave a comment

Easy Västerbotten Cheese Quiche

A great side dish for a crayfish party – this traditional cheese tart is really lovely served with caviar dressing.

For the pastry:
125g cold butter
200g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg (plus water, if needed – add a few drops if dough is not coming together)

For the filling:
250g Västerbotten cheese, grated
3 eggs
100ml whole milk
250ml double cream
½ tsp paprika, salt and pepper

You’ll need a tart tin (25-28cm diameter) with a loose base.

Method:

  1. Blitz your pastry ingredients in a food processor (egg and water at the end only) to form a dough, then leave to chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Heat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Roll out the chilled dough and line the pastry tin. Prick the base with a fork and blind bake using baking beans for 10-12 minutes. Remove the beans and bake for a further 5-6 minutes.
  4. For the filling, mix together everything except the Västerbotten cheese.
  5. Scatter the cheese on the base of the pastry, evenly all over – then pour over the egg mixture.
  6. Return it to the oven for about 15-20 minutes. It’ll puff up quite a bit towards the end, but will turn golden on top. It’s done when it is ‘set’ so do keep an eye on it.

Leave it to cool before slicing. Serve cold or lukewarm.

Västerbottenpaj goes well with romsås, a caviar sauce. Alternatively, if you can get real bleak roe (Löjrom), serve the tart with a spoonful of this, some crème fraîche and finely chopped red onion.

Romsås Caivar Sauce:

In a bowl, mix together 3 large tbsp. crème fraiche and one jar of red lumpfish roe (80g). Leave to set in the fridge, then stir again just before serving.

The Crayfish Season

July 16, 2017 | Leave a comment

Crayfish Season

Picture this: a little, red wooden house set by a calm, blue lake that sparkles silver from the rays of the summer sun. Rolling green hills and never ending meadows full of wild flowers and berries, surrounding everything and everyone on pure postcard bliss.  Welcome to the picture perfect Swedish late summer evening and welcome to the Crayfish Season: it’s time for Kräftskiva (or, if you’d rather: a somewhat messy event involving lots of crustaceans and hard liquor).

Every year in August, Finnish and Swedish people all over the world get excited by the start of the crayfish season. The timing of the season is founded in local law which dictates that Scandinavian freshwater crayfish must only be fished in late summer and early autumn. Although in this time of easy imports where crayfish is available all year round, tradition still holds strong and the season is very much part of the Swedish and Finnish calendar of events, thirdly only to Midsummer and Eurovision.

Crayfish was first mentioned by Aristotle back in the really old days but as a delicacy its big break came in the 1800’s when Monsieur Napoleon developed a thing for the ‘écrevisses’ and got the whole of France hooked as a result. Initially crayfish were plentiful in rivers and lakes all across central and northern Europe, but as this gastronomic trend spread across the continent, the crayfish stock was in steep decline. A lethal pest almost wiped out the entire stock in the early 1900’s and local laws were quickly introduced to limit the availability of the delicacy thus saving it from extinction.

Today most crayfish in the world is farmed, although the ultimate delicacy for a crayfish party is still locally sourced Swedish or Finnish beauties. These are seriously pricey, though, so most people settle for the almost-just-as-good imported, cooked and quickly frozen type, usually imported from China, Turkey or other fancy far-away places. Alternatively, if you happen to have your own Swedish lake handy, you can opt for some night time fishing with wire traps – these buggers are nocturnal and will do much to avoid your dinner plate.

The difference between crayfish you buy at your local fishmonger outside Sweden is that the Scandinavian kind is cooked in a brine sauce of dill, then some dill and a bit more dill thrown in for good measure. Crayfish is, like lobster, cooked alive (sorry if you are vegetarian and reading this) which is why most people who do not have access to live crustaceans tend to buy the frozen kind – these have been cooked to the Scandinavian recipe already and all you need to do is remove from freezer and wait a while.

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So, how do you go about celebrating the humble crayfish, Scandinavian style? A traditional Kräftskiva, or Rapujuhlat as it is called in Finland, typically starts late afternoon or early evening. A long table, which is usually outside in the garden or park, is decorated with colourful tablecloths; there are silly special crayfish party hats and bibs available for all guests to wear (surprisingly, with pictures of crayfish on them), lanterns depicting the Man in the Moon as well as festive crayfish cut-out garlands.

The crayfish is served cold in a big bowl on the table, lovingly decorated with some more dill. Eating crayfish is a long process: a crayfish party can last well into the night, so mountains of toasted, white bread is also served to ensure the aquavit is soaked up along the way. It’s always preferable that the guests don’t end up too wobbly too quick and get ideas about skinny dipping and sing-songs before time.

Blocks of the infamous Västerbotten cheese (a 12 months aged Swedish cheese from the Västerbotten area, not unlike parmesan in consistency but without the smell of feet) is also served. Along with this is an abundance of cold beers and, of course, no Scandinavian party is complete without the presence of the old Aquavit – a grain based, flavoured strong liquor that is served ice cold.  Some people practice “one shot for every claw” but as you’ll eat your way through a good dozen crayfish during the course of an evening, pacing yourself below this is recommended – at least until someone starts singing.  Singing is a good sign that you may as well just give in and join the fun – and there’s no drinking without any singing, according to Swedish law (nor is there any singing without drinking, or any time for silence, according to most local ‘Crayffectionados’).  A few of those aquavit and you’ll automatically be able to sing all the songs in fluent Swedish.

Crayfish is eaten with the hands and it is a lovely, messy affair.  If you are invited to one of these special parties during the season, do remember that it is absolutely a requirement to slurp noisily as you suck up the dill juices from the claws and belly of the “kräft” as well – a sign that you are truly initiated into this wonderful tradition.  Before you know it, all the people around the table will be your best friends, you’ll be planning next year’s holidays with Björn and Agneta in Uppsala and maybe even having a cheeky footsie session with Lars under the table.  Suddenly, after you’ve thrown in a swarm of evil mosquitoes, that little red house by the lake doesn’t feel that far away after all.

    Hedlund Festlykta Dragspel – Crayfish Party Lantern 2-pack
    £4.29
    - +
    Hedlund Festlykta Måne – Crayfish Party Decoration (medium – 44cm)
    £4.49
    Hedlund Kraftgirland – Crayfish Garland 4m
    £3.49
    - +
    Brondums Snaps 40% – Aquavit 700ml
    £29.49
    - +
    Hedlund Kräftservietter – Crayfish Party Napkins (20 pack)
    £2.99
    - +
    Kräfthattar – Crayfish Party Hats (4 pack) – White
    £2.29

Scandinavian Cheese: A Handy Guide

March 9, 2017 | Leave a comment

The Essential Guide to Scandi Cheese – Part 1

We first posted this no less than four years ago, and considering how much we love cheese it is due a re-visit – we consider it our duty to share the with you the wonders of Scandinavian cheese. Over the next two weeks we’ll introduce six of our favourite cheeses.

To kick off we will give you a brief introduction to the many faces of Scandinavian cheese – because let’s be frank – Scandinavian cheese doesn’t have a very sexy reputation (with names like ‘Old Ole and ‘Old Cheese’ we really don’t get why).

Many of us have memories of sitting in a field on a summer’s day eating crusty French bread and sharing a kilo of creamy Brie (also French). In fact, some of us would like nothing more than to spend most of our days doing just that, had it not been for the eventual need to be moved around by a pick-up truck.

Fewer people have such glorious thoughts when thinking about Scandinavian cheese – in fact, most people associate Scandinavian cheese with Eurovision. The exception is those – very few – of us who know just how many amazing cheeses actually come from our northern corner of the world.

Cheese has been made in Scandinavia since the days of old Harold Bluetooth, and the vikings reportedly had a diet rich in milk, butter and cheese – and it was thought to be a sexual stimulant.

Here’s a brief introduction to some of the more famous Scandinavian cheeses.

Gamalost Scandinavian Cheese

1. Gammelost (Old cheese)
A recipe dating back to the Viking times, ‘Old cheese’ needed very little help to mature. Most people say both taste and smell resembles something that has spent a few months inside a sweaty old sock. As you know, nothing pleases a true tyrophile more than a slice of stinky old sock. Admittedly, perhaps due to the taste, younger Norwegians are falling out of love with it, even if it is does have the nickname of Norwegian Viagra.

Danablu Scandinavian Cheese

2. Danablu (Danish Blue)
We had to include this as it is the most popular Danish export cheese and it is a darn fine cheese. Invented originally to emulate Roquefort, and quickly making its own mark on the cheese scene, Danablu has a sharp, salty note and is excellent served on just about any kind of bread. Swedes tend to love blue cheese on ginger biscuits (we say don’t argue with anyone who invented Billy bookcases, Volvos and the zipper) – and the rest of us agree. A match made in cheese-heaven.

Brown cheese - Scandinavian Cheese

3. Brunost (Brown cheese)
Comes in many different varieties: the two best known are the Gudbrandsdalen (cow and goat) and Ekte Gjeitost (pure goat); the latter is the connoisseur’s choice

Okay, so it’s an acquired taste, but, vasterbottenon average, Norwegians eat about 4 kilos each of this stuff a year so there must be something to it. It’s as Norwegian as trolls and fjords. It looks a bit like a block of plasticine, tastes a bit like caramel and is enjoyed on its own, on open sandwiches or with freshly baked waffles: all you need then is a patterned jumper and people will soon start calling you Håkon.

4. Rygeost (smoked cheese)
A very Danish invention that is never exported due to its very short shelf life. Unmatured, smoked cheese made from buttermilk and milk and turned in less than 24 hours, after which it is smoked very quickly over a mixture of straw and nettle and topped with caraway seeds. This cheese is simply amazing, light and divine eaten on a piece of rye bread. Resembles a firm ricotta in texture.

Vasterbottensost Scandinavian Cheese (1)

5. Västerbotten
If ABBA is the queen of cheese, Västerbotten is the king. A firm, kinda crumbly, aged Swedish cheese not unlike parmesan in smell but with immense flavour and character. This cheese is a welcome addition to any cheeseboard and is also a partner to any crayfish party. Can also be used to make the excellent Västerbotten pie.

hushallsost - scandinavian cheese

6. Hushållsost
A cheese that has a name that translates as “household cheese” sounds like it belongs on a value shelf in a corner shop in Hackney, but it is actually an excellent cheese. Mild, creamy and full of small holes, this cheese is usually a big hit with the younger generation. Hushållsost is one of six Swedish food products with a so-called TSG protection (only one other cheese, Svecia, also holds this distinction). Taste wise it is unoffensive and buttery – a good all-rounder.

Gamle Ole Scandinavian cheese (2)

7. Gamle Ole (Old Ole)
A sliceable mature Danish cheese, this baby stinks. Oh yes. Don’t touch it too much or your fingers will honk all day. The taste, however, is mellower and really lush. Also known in Denmark as Danbo 45, there are many varieties in the same vein: ‘Sorte Sara’ is another good version, popular in Norway.

Prastost Scandinavian cheese (1)

8. Prästost (Priest cheese)
Sweden’s most popular cheese. It was given its name because the farmers at the time it was invented could pay their church taxes in dairy products. Prästost comes in many varieties, from the mild to the mature and flavoured with anything from vodka to whisky.

Squeaky Cheese Scandianvian Cheese

9. Leipäjuusto (also known as “squeaky cheese”)
This is a fresh young cheese from Finland. The milk is curdled and set into a flat round shape, then baked. In the olden days it was dried for months and people put it on the fire to re-activate it. The name comes from the sound it makes when you bite into it. The taste is not unlike feta. Hugely popular – very difficult to export due to its fragile nature.

Prawn cheese - Scandinavian cheese

10. Rejeost (Prawn cheese)
For some reason, spreadable prawn cheese (ideally in a tube) is immensely popular across all of Scandinavia. Not really a great cheese from a connoisseur’s point of view, but surely any product that manages to combine cheese and prawns and make it taste good needs a mention. If cheese and prawn can be coupled in peaceful harmony, then there’s hope for world peace.

For all our cheeses, click here.

WIN a Mega Scandi Easter Egg

March 7, 2017 | Leave a comment

WIN a Mega Scandi Easter Egg

As we find ourselves in the deepest, lagom-est lent – we dream about all the sweets we’ll be eating once Easter is here (by Easter, we mean this Saturday.  We have to quality check the sweets well ahead of time, you know).

Scandis are big on Easter. It is a reason to get together, be merry, enjoy some outdoors – or indoors – activities, and gather round a big table filled to the brim with all things nice and decorated with little deformed bright yellow chickens. And of course, munch away on your well deserved Easter egg after lent.

Easter egg chicken decorations

We think our Easter eggs are pretty epic – and so we introduce our annual ‘win a massive Easter egg competition‘. Yay! That’s right, you can win a 23cm diameter Easter egg chock full of our favourite Easter sweets and treats.

Fancy winning? Simply answer the easy question below;

Which colour is usually associated with Easter?

A.) Bright green

B.) Pink

C.) Yellow

Send your answer by email to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Tuesday 28th March 2017 at midday. One main winner, getting a big ScandiKitchen Easter egg, will be drawn from all correct entries.

The usual rules apply. UK residents only. No cheating. One main winner. No alternative prize and no cash alternative.

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