Although it’s been some time since this get-together took place, I haven’t had the opportunity to work on a blog post in a while. Being inactive on my blog does make me unhappy but well, keeping a full time job has taken a toll on me too. Nevertheless, I’m back with a post on one of the most unusual food experiences I’ve had.
A select few of us had the opportunity to visit the Swedish Consul General’s home for a brief but personalised insight into Swedish cuisine. Ms. Fredrika Ornbrant – the Consul General herself, cooked up a lovely meal consisting of a couple of Swedish dishes and let us in on some of the family’s traditional recipes.
As we waited for everyone to arrive, I noticed a bowl of beef jerky-like chips doing the rounds. Intrigued, I went up to check and wondered what it could be. When asked, I was extremely amused to learn that they were Elk and Reindeer Chips. Who would’ve guessed?! Now my bucket list of unusual foods tried and tested just got a lot more quirky.
The evening soon began with some fantastic Smoked Salmon with Flatbread – An easy on the palate appetiser, we loved the way the taste of salmon remained intact with no overpowering ingredients to sabotage it. The vegetarians got a taste of Cream Cheese with Flatbread which was equally interesting and a lovely alternative.
For those of you who don’t know what a flatbread is, it’s a simple bread made with flour, water, and salt, and then thoroughly rolled into flattened dough. Many flatbreads are unleavened and made without yeast, although some are slightly leavened, such as pita bread. Tunnbröd is the Swedish version of flatbread and properly belongs to northern Swedish cuisine.
If you ever plan to experiment, here’s the recipe for you! 🙂
- 2 rectangular flatbreads
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) Philadelphia Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese
- 10 oz (280 g) smoked salmon, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper
- Heat flatbread directly on centre rack of 400°F/200°C oven until bottoms are crisp and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool slightly on plate, about 2 minutes.
- Spread the Philadelphia Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese over flatbread; top with salmon.
- Slice bread into wedges. Squeeze lemon and add salt and pepper overtop before serving.
|Feta and Beetroot Salad|
Next, we saw a live presentation of how the Feta and Beetroot Salad was made by the Consul General herself. Simple and passionate are two words to describe the way she put herself across and I must say that the salad was quite something – this coming from a girl who isn’t really into salads. A burst of textures and colours, the Feta and Beetroot Salad is extremely simple to make and can be replicated without any fuss.
Want the recipe? Here you go! 🙂
- 6 small beetroot
- 6 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp for the dressing
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 red onion, very finely sliced
- 100g feta cheese, cubed
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (for dressing)
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard (for dressing)
- Handful of walnuts
- Boil the beetroots and let it cool.
- Peel and cut the beetroot into large cubes.
- Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Put the beetroot and onion in a bowl and toss them in the dressing and then scatter walnuts over them.
- Top with feta cubes and serve.
Up next, it was time for us to greet and eat Jansson’s Temptation. A traditional Swedish casserole made of potatoes, onions, pickled sprats, bread crumbs and cream, it is commonly included in a Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord, but can be eaten on other festive occasions such as Easter. We on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of it. A lovely preparation that I would love to go back to!
Although the ingredients aren’t really available in Mumbai, I believe that all you passionate cooks out there will surely find an alternative and make an attempt at preparing these one-of-a-kind Swedish dishes. Here’s the recipe of Jansson’s Temptation for all the experimental cooks!
- 1.2 kg potatoes
- 400 g onions
- 375 g spice-cured sprat filets
- 600 ml heavy whipping cream
- white pepper
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into strips.
- Peel and cut the onions into thin slices, sautéing them gently in a little butter without browning. Grease an ovenproof baking dish and cover the bottom with a layer of potatoes, then add half the onions and half the sprat (‘anchovy’) filets.
- Another layer of potatoes, then the rest of the onion and sprats.
- Finish with a layer of potatoes.
- Flatten the surface, apply a few turns of pepper fresh from the mill and sprinkle on a little salt.
- Pour the cream on until it is almost visible through the potatoes.
- Place a few pats of butter on top and, if desired, sprinkle with some breadcrumbs.
- Bake in the oven (250°C/475°F) for about an hour.
Being the very charming and warm hostess that she is Ms. Fredrika Ornbrant made sure the evening ended on a sweet note and what better way than a simply stunning Swedish Apple Pie Crumble with Vanilla Custard! The crumble was made up of freshly baked apples and topped with a crisp crust. A dessert as warm as this was served with a healthy dollop of cold vanilla custard that I personally couldn’t get enough of and specially went back for a second serving.
|Swedish Apple Pie Crumble with Vanilla Custard|
I don’t usually put across recipes, but the exclusivity of these traditional Swedish delicacies made me want to share it with all of you. I hope you’re secretly blessing me for this. 😛
Ingredients for the pie:
- 4 apples
- ¾ deciliters of sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla sugar
- 70 gram butter
- 1 ½ deciliters of maida
- 1/2 deciliters of oats
- 1/2 deciliters of almonds finely chopped
Ingredients for the custard:
- 100 ml of whipped cream
- 1 vanilla string
- ½ deciliter of sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- One teaspoon of corn flour
Preparation for the apple pie:
- Pre heat the oven to 225 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Peel and slice apples.
- Brush the pyrex with butter and place the chopped apples in it.
- Take another bowl with all the other ingredients and mix well.
- Once the batter is mixed well add it to the apples.
- Put it to bake.
Preparation for the vanilla custard:
- Take a pan and heat it on low flame.
- Break the vanilla string into smaller portions and empty the vanilla powder from the string.
- Add the vanilla string and the powder on to the pan.
- Add the whipped cream and sugar.
- Stir it on a low flame just till you get the vanilla fragrance.
- Remove the vanilla string.
- Add 2 egg yolks to the batter and whisk till it is frothy.
- Cook on a low flame and stir it gently.
- Add corn flour to the batter and keep whisking on a low flame till thick.
- Leave it for cooling.
- Once reached room temperature put it in the refrigerator to cool.
Like I said, this was indeed one of the most unusual food tasting experiences I’ve had ever since I started blogging. A personalised touch is always a welcome change and being invited to the Swedish Consul General’s home for a home-cooked dinner consisting of traditional family recipes was definitely the highlight. Mumbai currently has no Swedish cuisine-based restaurants, so here’s me hoping one crops up very soon so everyone get’s an authentic and delectable slice of Sweden to taste!