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.
Chicken breast. Probably the most commonly bought item in the Swedish meat counters. And no wonder, the meat is lean, contains no bone and can be seasoned with almost anything.
The only problem I have with chicken breasts is that a lot of people don’t know how to cook it, so they end up dry.
My besy tip to avoid the dryness is to brown it in a skillet and then fry it until just done in the oven. Having the heat from all around the meat than just below is a more tender cooking process, which gives you juicy meat. Providing you don’t over cook it.
This recipe is very simple, and basically just thrown together, but still nice enough to cook for friends. I served the chicken breasts with potato wedges, fried courgettes, carrots and leek and a simple creamy sauce.
Chicken breasts with smoked ham and mozzarella, serves 4
4 chicken fillets
2-4 slices of nice smoked ham (depending on size)
2 tsp dijon mustard
4 basil leaves
1 buffalo mozzarella, sliced
salt, black pepper
butter for frying
Start by flattening the chicken breasts. I do this by placing them one at the time on a (plastic) chopping board, cover it with clingfilm and bash at it with a wooden rolling pin. A great way to take out your anger btw. Then make a little incision to create a pocket where you can put the ham. Place 1/2 to a whole slice of ham, rolled up or folded, in each pocket. Fry the fillets in butter until golden brown. Season. Place ‘ham side’ up in a greased ovenproof dish. Spread dijon on top and place a basil leaf on top. Cover with mozzarella and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes on 200C until clear juices.