Recipe: gravadlax (cured salmon) with apple and dijon crème

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I served this lovely canapé at the crayfish party in September, but you can make it any time of year; in Sweden we eat gravad lax all year round. We have it at Christmas, for Easter, Midsummer and in between.

I liked the idea of serving a canapé on forks, especially as I knew the guests would mingle around the garden, but I just couldn’t bring myself to use plastic ones (they’re hideous, bad for the environment and usually break), and the wooden ones don’t taste nice. Instead I bought silver plated vintage forks on eBay and Etsy; much better quality and much more me.

I cured the salmon according to this recipe, but the mustard crème and the general recipe idea is courtesy of Pytte and her lovely (Swedish) book Bjud hem!

Cured salmon with apple and dijon crème, approx 30 canapés

400 g cured salmon

2 apples, cut into small cubes

Dijon crème:

100 ml creme fraiche

1 tbsp dijon

2 tsp runny honey

salt and pepper

To decorate:

extra dill, chopped

Mix the ingredients for the crème, season to taste and leave in a cool place until serving. Slice the salmon and put on forks. Place the forks on a serving tray or platter and top with apple cubes, dijon crème and maybe some extra dill. 

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Classic Swedish fare at Den Gyldene Freden, Stockholm

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Den Gyldene Freden in Stockholm is probably the most classic Swedish restaurant I have ever visited, and having dinner here was a very enjoyable experience.

The restaurant is located in Stockholm’s Old Town, Gamla Stan, and is several floors deep with cave-like vaulted ceilings. The ambiance is both cosy and a little formal.

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The food here is classic Swedish (this is where to go if you want proper meatballs), but still up to date enough to not feel stuffy.

For our starter my mum, dad and I all had the same; a traditional landgång sandwich. Yes, it’s a glorified open sandwich, but a seriously delicious one! It’s named after a gangway plank, probably because it’s longer than a regular sandwich, and has more toppings. This long slice of rye bread was adorned with eggs, prawns, cured salmon, hot smoked fish, asparagus, wild garlic crème and pickled onions.

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Dad also had a snaps with his starter – very traditional – and something not many restaurants serve nowadays. Mum and I were happy with our wine but dad was in good company as two tables nearby also had snaps and sang snaps songs.

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Dad and I chose the same main course as well; duck sausage with thinly sliced duck breast, seasonal vegetables and a deliciously smooth potato purée. This dish was a lovely mix of rustic and gourmet. Delicious!

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Mum chose the catch of the day; fried pike-perch with new potatoes tossed in butter and chives and it was also absolutely delicious. The portions were very generous here as you can see, and no, I couldn’t finish the whole sausage even if I made a good attempt.

We were too full for pudding but lingered with our wine for a while before I went on to meet a friend and my parents headed back to the hotel.

Dad had been to this place before and really liked it, so that was the reason for going, but we all really enjoyed it! Everything about this place is classic; the interior, the food, the service. And the snaps.

A little gem I hope can stay in its spot for many more years to come, looking after our culinary heritage. As a tourist I urge you to go. Try this and a place serving New Nordic cuisine to get the whole range of Swedish food. Because this is traditional, but done very well.

Den Gyldene Freden, Österlånggatan 51, 111 31 Stockholm, Sweden

Seafood toasts

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During the Christmas break we had plenty of Toast Skagen at home in Sweden as it is so easy to get hold of good cold water prawns. I love this toast and for one dinner party we made a cured salmon toast as well and served both (although smaller than usual) as a starter. So yummy!

Toast Skagen, serves 4

4 slices white bread

butter for frying

4 lettuce leaved (such as little gem)

 750g cold water prawns, preferably unpeeled

1 batch homemade mayo (without the chipotle paste)

1 tbsp chopped dill

salt, white pepper

lemon, dill and lumpfish roe to serve

Cut out a round of each bread slice using a glass or a cutter. Fry the bread golden brown in butter on both sides. Leave to cool. 

Peel the prawns. Make the mayonnaise. Chop the dill and mix it together. Season. Place a lettuce leaf on each bread round, top with the prawn mixture and decorate with a sliced lemon, roe and dill.

Salmon toast, serves 4

4 slices white bread

butter for frying

4 lettuce leaves (such as little gem)

4 larger slices homemade cured salmon (gravadlax)

100 g Philadelphia

1 tsp paprika

1 tbsp chopped chives

1 small pinch cayenne pepper

salt, white pepper

dill to decorate

Cut out a round of each bread slice using a glass or a cutter. Fry the bread golden brown in butter on both sides. Leave to cool. 

Mix the cream cheese with chives, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Spread the mixture onto the bread rounds. Add the lettuce leaves and roll the salmon slice into a rose and place on top of the lettuce. Decorate with dill and serve. 

 

 

 

 

Two types of crostini to start a dinner party

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Last Friday a few of my girl friends came over for dinner and while waiting for everyone to arrive we had some bubbly, this sparkling wine from Loire, and crisps. When most people had arrived I brought out two types of crostini, still casually sitting on the sofas.

One of the toppings were suppose to be the same as on Toast Öjeby, a mixture of crayfish, sharp cheese, dill, cumin and honey, but as Waitrose and Sainsbury’s both failed to deliver crayfish, I made the same mixture with coldwater prawns instead. And parsley instead of dill as I hadn’t bought enough (yep, it was one of those weeks). Substituting the crayfish with prawns worked well flavour wise but it didn’t look as pretty. As one of my friends is not that keen on shellfish I also served a bunch of crostini topped with homemade gravadlax (cured salmon) and dill cream cheese.

Crostini with gravadlax crostini and dill cream cheese, makes 30

500 g salmon fillet

2 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp chopped dill

1 large baguette

olive oil

150 g cream cheese

1 handful dill, finely chopped

1 tsp dijon mustard

a dash of honey

salt and pepper

Start 48 hours before serving. Remove the skin from the salmon. Mix sugar, salt and dill and pat it onto the fish. Place in a small dish and cover with cling. Refrigerate for 48 hours. 

Before serving, make the crostini by slicing the baguette thinly, placing the slices on parchment paper on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in 200C oven until crisp and golden, approx 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool.

Pat the salmon dry with kitchen towel and slice thinly. Mix cream cheese with dill, honey and mustard. Season. Divide the salmon slices on the crostini, place a teaspoon sized dollop of dilly cream cheese on top, season and serve.