Happy New Year and all the best for 2017!
I hope to post more frequently this year and first up is this lovely recipe for oysters au gratin. This creamy topping and a few slices of baguette is all you need to start off a meal, and it was also the starter I made on Saturday, for my last dinner back in Sweden with my parents. They prefer cooked oysters to au natural and loved these!
Oysters au gratin with parmesan and creme fraiche, serves 3 as a starter
With a heavy main course two oysters were enough as a starter, but with a lighter main I would recommend three per person.
6 fresh oysters
3 tbsp creme fraiche
3 tbsp finely grated parmesan
1 tsp lemon juice
a pinch of cayenne
salt, white pepper
6 slices of baguette
Open the oysters with an oyster knife and discard the top shell. Cut loose the oysters but keep on the shells and place in an ovenproof dish,. Mix creme fraiche, parmesan, lemon juice and spices in a bowl and spoon over the oysters, Place under the hot grill or in a very hot oven (225C) until bubbly and a little brown, approx 3-5 minutes. Serve with baguette and tabasco.
In Sweden, coming up with new yummy ways to serve bleak roe, is almost a sport. And when I saw this genius idea on Foodetc’s instagram; serving bleak roe and it’s best friends creme fraiche and finely chopped red onions on crisps I just had to try it.
And it turns out crisps are a great vehicle for the bleak roe. They’re crispy and light and has the same effect as rösti and butter-fried bread. So good!
Crisps with bleak roe, creme fraiche and red onions, serves 6 as a canapé
1/2 bag lightly salted good quality crisps
1/2 jar bleak roe
100 ml fat creme fraiche
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Find the prettiest crisps in the bag and put them on a nice plate/platter. Top with small dollops of creme fraiche, add bleak roe and lastly finely chopped red onions.
You’re probably familiar with Toast Skagen; the iconic Scandinavian starter consisting of butter-fried bread (oh yeah!) topped with a mixture of prawns and dill in mayonnaise?! It’s a true classic that will never go out of style. And so very delicious. My mother serves it at dinner parties and so do I, and sometimes I make one for myself just because I feel like it.
But this thing of placing things on top of butter-fried bread is bigger than just this one dish. It’s a whole food category. And I’m pleased to say I have discovered yet another recipe to add to my repertoire; this wonderful Toast Lingström with ham, named after its inventor, chef Christer Lingström.
The combination of smoked (or cooked) ham, creamy mayonnaise and a little tartness from the creme fraiche really works with the heat from the horseradish. It’s such a great little starter. Or nibble, in which case the recipe below is enough for 8 nibbles. Just cut the bread slices in half.
Toast Lingström, serves 4
Adapted from Christer Lingström’s recipe.
150 g cooked or smoked ham
100 ml crème fraiche
50 ml mayonnaise
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
1 tbsp grated horseradish
salt and pepper
4 slices white tin loaf
3 tbsp butter
Slice or dice the ham and mix with creme fraiche, mayo, chives and horseradish. Season to taste. Cut the crusts off the bread slices and fry in butter until golden. Drain the excess fat on kitchen towel. Divide the mixture between the four bread slices, garnish with some more chopped chives, if you like, and serve.
The combination of caviar, red onions and creme fraiche is a real classic for us Scandis, so much so it features in two subsequent posts here on the blog. The cheaper lumpfish roe or salmon roe can be found in most supermarkets in the UK but my favourite roe is the bleak roe from Kalix in Sweden. It’s just delicious and I import a few packs to keep in the freezer on most trips to Sweden.
It’s best served in a simple way to enjoy the produce the most, like with rösti, red onions and creme fraiche. Last time I had this was just a regular Friday when I was staying in and felt like treating myself both to the roe and a glass of bubbly (since it’s such a wonderful combination).
Happy Friday all!
The newest foodie to join the BBC is Rache Khoo in The Little Paris Kitchen. på BBC. She trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, opened up her small flat as a restaurant and is now cooking away in this series where she focusses on Parisian food, often with a little twist.
In one episode she made oeuf en cocotte, which I have made before too, but she used creme fraiche instead of cream. I had to try this because I adore creme fraiche and always have some at hand in the fridge. However, you do need to like creme fraiche a lot I think to appreciate this recipe as it is a little sour. Instead of serving the cocottes with salmon roe and dill I used truffle oil to flavour mine.
Oeuf en cocotte with creme fraiche and truffle oil, 1 portion
50-100 ml creme fraiche (full fat)
salt & pepper
a few drops truffle oil
Spoon most of the creme fraiche into a ramekin and season it with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Crack the egg on top and place another dollop of creme fraiche on top. Add the truffle oil and place in a roasting tray. Pour lukewarm water into the roasting tray so it reaches half way up the sides of the ramekin. Place in 160C oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Longer if you want your eggs more set. Serve with soldiers.