Recipe: Beef Rydberg (a Swedish classic)

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Typically when I buy fillet of beef to make a steak sandwich or a pizza with steak and bearnaise sauce, I get some steak leftover. A first world problem I know, but this is the best way I know to use up those bits of steak. (Please note that only fillet of steak will do here as you want small tender uniform pieces.)

Beef Rydberg is a real classic Swedish restaurant dish served with fried onions and potatoes, a dijon crème and plenty of grated horseradish. It’s both hearty and sophisticated somehow and very comforting during the colder months.

Beef Rydberg, serves 2

ca 300 g fillet of beef, cut into (not too small) cubes

1 yellow onion or banana shallot, finely chopped 

400 g firm potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

butter for frying (and a little oil) 

salt and black pepper

Dijon crème:

100 ml thick creme fraiche

2-3 tsp dijon mustard (to taste)

1 tsp runny honey

salt, white pepper

To serve:

fresh grated horseradish 

chopped parsley

Mix the dijon crème and keep it cold. Bring water to the boil in a saucepan, add salt and the potato cubes and boil for about 5 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, fry the onions until soft in plenty of butter on a low-medium heat, without browning. Remove the onions and fry the drained potatoes in butter. Add salt, pepper and a little sugar abd fry until golden on the outside and soft inside (pierce with a knife to check). 

Pour the sauce into a little bowl or an empty egg shell, chop the parsley and keep the the onions and potatoes warm in separate pans while you fry the steak on high heat in butter and oil for approx 2 minutes (you don’t want the meat well done and it cooks quickly when it’s cut up like this). Rest the meat for a few minutes, then plate up. Scatter with parsley and serve with plenty of grated horseradish. 

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Recipe: Toast Lingstrom

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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.

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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.  

Hot smoked salmon spread for crostinis

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The London crayfish party was a success and so much fun! There was only ten of us but we managed to demolish 5 kgs crayfish and drink two bottles of snaps (as well as beer and wine) and sing snaps songs. Thank you to everyone involved for embracing my country’s silly traditions and being such fun guests!

Before we started on the crayfish though, we had some prosecco and nibbles. I usually start a dinner party with nibbles as I think it’s such a nice informal way to start the evening and get people chatting. One of the nibbles I made was this hot smoked salmon spread. I just put it in a bowl and the guests assembled their own crostinis.

Hot smoked salmon spread, enough for 5 people as a nibble

Adapted after and translated from Arla’s recipe.

350 g hot smoked salmon fillets (no bones)

200 ml soured cream

2 tbsp freshly grated horseradish

1/2 bunch chives

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, black pepper

Check the salmon for bones and remove them and any skin. Place in a bowl and mush it with a fork. Add soured cream, horseradish (Ocado has the fresh stuff) and lemon juice. Add the lemon juice and season to taste. Keep refrigerated until serving. 

NYE 2012 – starter I

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I cooked us four courses on New Year’s Eve so we could enjoy a long and nice dinner. It was all traditional Swedish with snaps and snaps songs, and we also had a few interludes to cheer Happy New Year in places further east than us, so more or less the whole of Russia were celebrating midnight at one point during our supper.

This first starter, a lovely prawn mousse, was great to start off with, as it can all be prepared ahead, kept cold and decorated a bit ahead of time as well.

The texture is not as mousse-y as a chocolate mousse, the cream is there more to combine the other ingredients and bring them together. I served this with some homemade Toast Melba, just to add some crunch, and it worked really well. But bread or perhaps a side salad with avocado would work well too.

The recipe is courtesy of fellow Swedish blogger Annika. I followed it promptly but changed the method slightly as I used vege gel instead of gelatin and that requires a different approach. I also doubled it, and that was enough for nine, and even ten, people.

Prawn mousse, serves 4

Adapted from Annika’s recipe.

200 ml créme fraiche

150 ml double cream

2 tbsp chopped dill

2 tbsp chopped chives

2 tbsp finely grated fresh horseradish

1 jar lumpfish caviar (60-80 g)

salt and pepper

1 tbsp lemon juice

700 gram frozen shelled Icelandic prawns, defrosted and peeled

1 bag vege gel

dill, chives and horseradish to garnish

Peel the prawns. Set aside 5-6 per portion or the prettiest prawns. Chop the rest and add to a bowl. In a saucepan, mix creme fraiche, cream and the vege gel powder. Turn on the heat and bring to the boil while stirring. Cook for about 5 minutes as it thickens. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

Chop the herbs and add to the chopped prawns. Also add the horseradish, caviar and lemon juice. Mix it together. Add in the cream mixture and mix well. Season. Pour the mixture into 4 glasses or serving bowls. Place in fridge for at least two hours to set and cool. Decorate with the prawns, dill, chives and horseradish. (I added a lemon slice as well).