Thursday, 4 April 2013


I got a call at work from home, and the little voice on the phone said “I'm from Sweden.....we're eating Sweden....”and then the phone hung up.
OK, so bedtime/bathtime hour made us forget our pick the other night. So they picked without me. All is good, we're dining on Swedish fare!
After searching for a few different ideas, I settled on Swedish meatballs. Partly because that's the first thing anyone thought of when I asked for inspiration, and partly becuase I could make a bg batch and we'd have leftovers! To accompany them, I made Jansson Frestelse, a potato dish not unlike scalloped potaoes, but with sardines in it....weird idea, but quite tasty really!
For dessert, I settled on Ostkaka, a Sewdish cheese cake. It was ok, the texture was different from our cheese cake, I will leave the recipe, I don't think we would make it again...let me know if you try it!

For an appetizer,  I really wanted to make Gravlox; Swedish cured salmon, but I didn't have the time, or fresh salmon. So, I compromised with Canadian Smoked Salmon .

Fin with his Finn Crisp!
But served it on rye crackers (I know, Finncrisps are from Finland, not Sweden.....but come on, they're called FINncrisps, and don't contain wheat, so Shawn would eat them) and made the traditional hovmästarsås (hohv-mestar-sohs) to serve with them. And to keep the Canadian-Swedish fusion happening, we had Ceaser's made with Absolut Vodka!
I also picked up a small dish of pickled herring from The Golden Rooster, a great deli downtown.

¼ cup dijon mustard
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
fresh dill
salt & pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients, and serve with Gravlox

These were gobbled down by all, quickly. 

There were countless Swedish meatball recipes on is the one I followed:

1/3 cup oats
½ cup cream
1 tbsp potato flour (or regular flour if you prefer)
½ lb lean ground beef (I used venison)
½ lb ground pork
1 egg
1 tbsp grated onion
2 tbsp minced parsley
salt pepper
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger

¾ cup water
1 tbsp potato flour
½ cup cream
1-2 beef bullion cubes

In small bowl, mix cream with potato starch until dissolves, add oats and mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Combine remaining ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Add oat mixture and mix everything together gently by hand; don't overwork it.
Using your hands, shape meatballs into ping pong ball size (one generous tablespoon of meat worked well) Rinse your hands in cold water to prevent stickiness
Place the meatballs in a large baking dish, leaving a bit of space between them. Broil them about 4” from the heat until tops are browned and well crusted, about 5-10 minutes, watch so they don't burn!
Set oven to bake and reduce heat to 350F and bake until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Make the sauce while they are baking.

To make sauce:
In a small saucepan, combine water and starch, stirring until starch is dissolved. Stir in cream and stock.
Heat over medium heat, stirring until thickens. Think sauce, not gravy. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve meatballs hot, offering the sauce on the side, and lingonberry sauce.

I was going to just use cranberry sauce, but I found some frozen, Canadian grown lingonberries at Tara's, a great health food/bulk store downtown, and made my own!

5 eggs
2 cups half & half cream
½ tsp almond extract
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups cottage cheese (not reduced fat)
strawberries and whipped cream to garnish

Preheat oven to 350F
Place cottage cheese into a colander and rinse until milky juice is gone. Let stand until the rest of the water runs out.
Whisk eggs, cream, sugar and extracts in a large bowl until well blended. Add cottage cheese and mix well. Pour into an ovenproof baking dish and bake in centre of oven for 1 – 1 ½ hours, until knife comes out clean. Serve warm, or at room temperature with berries and whipped cream.

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