Recipe: Beetroot Cured Salmon Toasts with Dill Cream Cheese and Prawns

This was our starter on Christmas Eve. Not traditional but still with a nod to Christmas. And most important of all; it was so yummy!

It was my first time curing salmon with beetroot but I love the ombre effect and will definitely do it again. The beetroot doesn’t add any flavour – only the intense and lovely colour! But do wear gloves when handling it as the colour can stain your hands easily. And of course, cover your clothes with an apron.

Beetroot cured salmon toast with dill cream cheese and prawns, per toast

1 slice soft white bread

1 tbsp salted butter

2 slices beetroot cured salmon (recipe below)

5 peeled Atlantic prawns 

1 tbsp dill cream cheese (recipe below)

1 slice lemon

1 dill sprig

To serve:

honey mustard sauce mixed with creme fraiche

Fry the bread slice in butter on low-medium meat until golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen towel. Cut off the crusts with a serrated bread knife. Place 1 msk dill cream cheese on the bread and arrange the salmon slices around it. Add the prawns and decorate with a lemon slice and dill. Serve with the sauce on the side.

Beetroot cured salmon

600 g salmon fillet

3 tbsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

3 beetroots, peeled and coarsely grated (use gloves)

Cure the salmon 48 hours before you intend to eat it. Place the salmon in a deep glass or china dish. Mix salt, sugar, grated beetroot and dill in a bowl and pat into the top of the fish. Cover with clingfilm and place something heavy on top of the salmon and place in the fridge for 48 hours.

Once cured, pour away the water and scrape off the beetroot. Rinse quickly in cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Cut into thin slices.

Dill cream cheese

180 g (small packet) full fat Philadelphia

3-4 tbsp chopped fresh dill

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

Mix Philadelphia with dill and lemon juice in a bowl. Add salt and pepper and mix again.

Christmas in Sweden, food galore and catching up with friends!

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The last week in December was quite a sociable one! I was home in Sweden trying to relax a bit, celebrate Christmas and catchup up with friends.

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The day before Christmas Eve is our “mini Christmas” at home. We decorated the tree, wrapped the last gifts and had Christmas food for dinner. But first a G&T and some crisps by the fire.

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For dinner we had a small selection of traditional Christmas dishes, basically our favourites. Meatballs, cooked ham, rye bread, Jansson’s temptation and “brown” (caramelised) cabbage.

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Look at our pretty tree!

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On Christmas Eve we had leftovers for lunch (and herring for my parents).

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But in the evening we prefer more regular dinner party food (but still with a nod towards tradition). Christmas food is so heavy once is enough for us.

Our starter was my homemade beetroot cured salmon with prawns, dill cream cheese and a honey mustard sauce on butter-fried bread. Delicious!

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Followed by slow cooked venison tjälknöl (cooked from frozen) with dauphinoise potatoes, red wine sauce and cooked vegetables.

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For pudding we had both a cheeseboard and traditional rice pudding with lightly whipped cream folded in and berry sauce.

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And after that we had fruits and sweets. This day is all about eating…

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On Christmas Day we wanted something lighter and I assembled a little bruschetta bar with charcuterie, cured salmon, venison from the night before, cheeses and spreads.

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Boxing Day was a social day with fika at one set of friends, completely with homemade saffron buns, gingerbread and games with the kids.

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That was followed by dinner at another set of friends. We had prawns, eggs, quiches, salad and more.

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And ice cream for pudding! My friends are really spoiling me!

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The next day I hung out with my parents and in the evening we had leftovers. But first of course a G&T.

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Cured salmon toast with homemade mayonnaise.

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Venison, dauphinoise potatoes, red wine sauce and cooked vegetables.

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On the Saturday I met some friends for fika at Slättarps Gård (how pretty?!)…

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…and in the evening I had dinner with friends. Once again being spoilt!

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Sunday was spent at home with my parents and we had pork fillet with potato wedges and homemade bearnaise sauce for dinner. Afterwards I went food shopping for new year’s eve and picked up the boy from the airport. Can’t believe how quickly a week went past!

Recipe: Parma Ham-Wrapped Dates with Balsamic and Honey

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Here’s another winner of a canapé! Also from the Christmas party. These parma ham-wrapped dates with balsamic and honey are a more sophisticated version than the bacon-wrapped dates, and therefore so much better.

The idea is the same; sweet meets salty but with less punchy flavours (i.e. ham instead of bacon) and a little depth from the vinegar and honey. It truly is a winning flavour combination and one of the easiest nibbles you can make, so keep it in mind for the festive season of 2020!

Parma Ham-Wrapped dates with balsamic and honey, makes 20

With inspiration from Sophie Conran’s recipe.

10 dates, stones removed and cut in half lengthways

10 slices Parma Ham or prosciutto, cut in half lengthways 

20 cocktail sticks

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp runny honey

salt and pepper

Wrap each date halve in a thin slice of ham and secure with the cocktail sticks. Place in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with vinegar and honey. Add salt and pepper. Bake in 200C oven for approx 10 minutes. Leave to cool and serve at room temperature. 

Welcoming December!

It’s December! I don’t know how we got here so quickly but although this month is pretty exhausting I do love everything it has to offer. Christmas lights, Christmas parties, all the sparkle and festive cheer and of course the food. So I thought I’d share my best December recipes with you, in case you want to add a little Scandi twist to your celebrations. We have glögg (Swedish mulled wine), two recipes for gingerbread, lots of recipes with saffron, the best rocky road and so much more!

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But let’s start with a little cocktail! I made this clementine prosecco drink with rosemary last year for the book club Christmas dinner and it was a real hit! It’s festive and in my opinon the best way to start a Christmas drinks party!

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Another favourite are these mini Jansson’s temptationsIt’s a classic Swedish Christmas dish with grated potatoes and onion, cream and anchovies. I know it sounds weird but you got to try it if you even remotely like dauphinoise potatoes. It’s compulsory (in a big dish) at every Christmas smorgasbord and every family have their own version of it. This is how my mamma makes it and it is of course the BEST!

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Does making your own gingerbread seem daunting? Then this recipe is for you! It’s quick to mix together in a pan and after it’s chilled in the fridge over night all you do is cut it and bake it. No rolling, no cookie cutters needed. And they’re so so yummy! And highly addictive!

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But if you’re itching to use your cookie cutters (I am, love my little collection of traditional – and other – shapes!) then this is the best recipe to use. They’re quite subtle in flavour but absolutely delicious and the dough holds up really well. I have noticed though that it’s easier to use on some surfaces than others so try your way. And make sure you chill it in the fridge overnight!

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Another super traditional Swedish Christmas biscuit are these crispy almond biscuits that we fill with cream and jam. Again I have the best recipe for you (thanks to mamma again!) that never fails or sticks to the mould. They’re called mandelmussla (almond mussle or clam) in Swedish which is just the cutest name!

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Next I’m going to share some saffron recipes! It’s probably because of the saffron buns we eat at Lucia that makes us associate this lovely spice with the festive season, but I love anything saffron, like this cake with white chocolate for example! So nice (and easy to make!)!

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I also love this saffron cheesecake, which you can either serve whole or in little bites like I’ve done here!

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And of course this lovely golden saffron pannacotta!

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Moving on to the proper sweets, this rocky road with honeycomb is one of the best you can make. It’s super easy (just be careful with the honeycomb – or use a Crunchie bar or store-bought honeycomb) and really fun to make!

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And these toffees are amazing too! You need a good thermometer but other than that’s it’s super easy! And the toffees are silky and yummy; definitely worth making and they make lovely little gifts too!

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If you want to make your own mulled cider or Swedish glögg, you’ll find the recipes here!

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I thought I’d give you my favourite weeknight supper recipe too, while we’re at it. And it’s this kale soup with frikadeller (pork quenelles). It’s warming, wintery and obviously good for you with all that kale!

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But let’s finish this little peek into the archives with a lovely Christmas dessert; my Winter pavlova with clementine curd, clementines and pomegranate! It’s absolutely delicious and a lovely way to finish off any festive meal!

Christmas celebrations and catching up with friends!

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After a hectic month with late evenings at work and a lot of social engagements I really enjoyed slowing down for Christmas. In Sweden we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and this year we went to my uncle’s house for a big Christmas dinner.

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Christmas Day was a quiet one at home; reading cookbooks and eating sweets. We had cod and the best sauce for fish for dinner, followed by ice cream with caramel sauce.

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I spent Boxing Day with my best friend. We met up around lunch time for some sale shopping followed by fika and in the evening we had fish tacos for supper. The next day I met another friend for dinner in Malmö (review to come) and we had a lovely time.

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On the Friday I met up with another friend, in Höllviken this time, at our favourite place. After a prawn sandwich and a nice catch-up I went to the hairdresser and did some food shopping for New Year’s Eve.

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Saturday was full on with three social visits after each other. But I got quality time with everyone and for that I’m so grateful. It’s quite tricky to get to see everybody because of different work schedules, family engagements and of course, flu season throwing a few spanners in the works. But I managed quite well this time. Didn’t get to see everyone but I will be back in the summer again.

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The last day of the week I spent at home, but not so leisurely as I had a lot to get done before my guest from London was arriving in the evening. Lots of tidying and preparations for New Year’s eve. Mamma and I also made a really nice dinner; venison (will post the recipe) followed by tarte tatin. So yummy!

 

Recipe: saffron cake with white chocolate

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In Sweden anything with saffron is considered Christnassy and festive, and that’s the reasoning for making this chewy saffron and white chocolate cake for the book club Christmas dinner.

It’s very yummy without being too sweet and although quite pretty it would have been even prettier with the intended icing. I was convinced I had icing sugar at home but there was none in the cupboard, so I served it plain and that worked well too. I had creme fraiche on the side (that was intended for the frosting) but lightly whipped cream works well too.

Saffron and white chocolate cake, serves 10

Translated from and adapted after Ica’s recipe.

150 g white chocolate
150 g butter
1/2 g saffran
160 g caster sugar
60 g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
Frosting:
200 ml crème fraiche
50 ml icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Garnish:
pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to 175°C. Butter and flour a 24 diameter springform. Melt chocolate and butter in a Bain Marie or in the microwave. Add the saffron and leave to cool/dissolve a for a few minutes. 
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowla and add to the melted chocolate. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the springform and place in the middle of the oven. Bake for 23-25 minutes. Leave to cool. 
Beat crème fraiche, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth and quite set and spread ut onto the cake. Add pomegranate seeds.

 

 

Recipe: Clementine prosecco drink with rosemary

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Merry Christmas, dear readers! I hope you’re all having a wonderful time celebrating with dear ones.

We celebrated yesterday (as is customary in Sweden) and I will tell you all about it later, but thought I would post a quick cocktail recipe – perfect to make any leftovers feel a bit more festive!

I made this for the book club Christmas dinner, and we all loved it! It feels wintery and festive without being to sweet. I also made star-shaped canape’s with puff pastry, blue cheese, walnuts and honey and they always go down a treat.

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Clementine prosecco drink with rosemary, makes 6

Adapted from Ica’s recipe.

2 sprigs rosemary

3 tbsp caster sugar

400 ml freshly squeezed clementine juice

400 ml tonic water

1 bottle prosecco

rosemary sprigs to garnish (optional) 

In a pestle and mortar, mix together the rosemary and sugar. Mix the rosemary sugar with the juice. Divide between glasses. Fill up with prosecco and add some tonic to finish. Serve straight away.