All posts tagged “cream

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Irish coffee

Irish coffee with nutmeg

Velvety cream, hot coffee, whiskey and brown sugar – you’re always bound for a good place with these ingredients. The only “trick” there is for Irish coffee (if it can be called a trick), is to use full fat cream. Spray cream should not come near it, although that is how it’s often served in bars. If you follow the instructions below, you’ll find a dozen excuses to go out into the forest or on long rainy cycling treks just to come home and reward yourself with this autumnal comfort blanket. You need:

1 cup of hot, freshly brewed coffee
1 measure Irish whiskey
2 tbsp velvety cream
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
Sprinkle of nutmeg

Heat the glass by pouring hot water into it. Empty it and add a tablespoon of dark sugar. Pour the coffee in, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the whiskey and stir. Carefully pour about 2 tablespoons of softly whipped full cream into the glass to create a lid over the coffee. Finish off with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Enjoy immediately with some chocolate or purple plums.

Irish coffee and plums

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Flying Jakob – Swedish 70s curry

Flygande Jakob

Flygande Jakob (flying Jakob) is a modern Swedish classic, invented in the 70s by an airline freight man called Arne. I love its savoury weirdness, as it mixes whipped cream, ketchup, curry and banana. The original includes chicken and bacon, but I enjoy this one with quorn. In trying to become a half-veggie, recipes such as these are a good way of substituting chicken, telling no substantial difference whatsoever.

I tend to be skeptical of meat imitations, because vegetarian food holds it own very well without copying meat, and also because imitations rarely taste as good as the real thing. But this tastes marvellous, and I over-binge every time we make this at home.

Cream and ketchup

For four portions, you need:

  • 2 bags of defrosted quorn (or 500 grams of chicken)
  • Bacon (optional, for the meaties)
  • 4 dl cream
  • 1 tsp mild madras curry powder
  • 1 1/2 dl ketchup
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 handfuls peanuts or cashewnuts
  • Basmati rice and sriracha sauce to serve

Quorn, banana, and cream mix

Start by frying the quorn pieces in a little bit of the curry powder and oil. Once they’ve taken on some colour, let them cool while you whip the cream. Mix the ketchup into the the cream, and add the rest of the curry powder. Cut the banana up in fat, coin-sized pieces, and scatter it with the quorn in an oven-proof pan. Distribute the whipped cream evenly on top, and let it sit in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until it has  browned on top. About five minutes before you think it’s ready, scatter the nuts on top, and put it back into the oven.

Flygande Jakob out of the oven.

Take it out and let cool slightly while you open a cold beer and set the table. Serve it with basmati rice, and some sriracha chili sauce on top for those who want heat with the savoury sweetness. Needless to say, this really does taste better the day after, and makes for a perfect lunchbox. We’ve tried making it healthier by substituting cream with Turkish yoghurt, but I would not recommend it.

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Smoky sausage with dill creamed potatoes (Isterband med dillstuvad potatis)

Isterband med dillstuvad potatis

It is time for another post on traditional Swedish food – husmanskost – and this time one of my father’s absolute favourites. Isterband is a smoky, slightly acidous and grainy sausage made of heart and tongue, originally from the Småland region. It is typically served with stewed potato and pickled beetroot, and to me it tastes of autumn like few other things – it belongs with the smell of burning leaves and crisp air. It is hearty, warm and packed with flavour.

Isterband ingredienser

You need:

– 1 pack of Isterband (this will be difficult to get a hold of outside of Sweden, but could probably be substituted with some other kind of large smoked sausage).

– One heap of fresh dill, chopped

– A few tablespoons of flour

– About 100 grams of butter

– A few decilitres of milk

– 1/5 kg of potatoes, a firm variety.

– Nutmeg

– Salt and white pepper to taste

– A jar of sliced pickled beetroots

Stuvning

Dill stewed potatoes is a mild, standard side to any smoky Swedish food, and very easy to make. It relies on the usual suspects for flavouring (dill and white pepper) together with the creaminess of milk and butter. Start by peeling, slicing and boiling the potatoes. Make the slices thick so that they don’t break in the water, and be careful not to overcook them. Start frying the sausages on a low heat in a wide pan (they should fry for about 25 minutes). Then make a bechamel base by melting the butter in the pan, and carefully whisking in flour until you have a thick paste.

Stuvning

Add milk slowly to the paste, to make a thick, creamy sauce. You can choose how voluptuous you like the sauce to be – if you want the supreme, extend it with cream or a bit of creme fraiche. If you’re feeling frugal, go with milk, which is the classic way of making it.

Stuvning

One you’ve reached a thick, smooth consistency, add salt and white pepper (you can be rather generous). Add the chopped dill and some nutmeg, then pour the sauce over the potatoes. Take the sausages off the pan and serve immidiately. The heavy smokiness of the sausages is rather dominant, and the potatoes are there to provide a smooth, mild balance. By serving this with pickled beetroot you also get a sweet contrast to the rest. It’s a well-balanced, autumnal and most warming meal.

Stuvad potatis

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Swedish roast chicken (Djurrödskyckling med pressgurka)

Swedish roast chicken

This is my great grandmother Rut’s recipe, and perhaps my favourite recipe of all time. My grandmother, who would make this on Sundays, was born in a small unpronounceable village called Djurröd in Skåne. Only 84 people live in Djurröd. The centre of Djurröd looks like this, and perhaps the desolate nature of Djurröd explains why my family still eats chicken with plums and apples when other Swedes save it for medieval themed-feasts. But who cares – the sauce accompanying this chicken is superbly savoury, creamy and sweet, and the cucumber pickle goes beautifully with it.

Apples and prunes

You need:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 apple
  • 12 prunes
  • Chicken stock cube
  • 2 dl cream
  • Flour
  • 50 grams butter
  • Chinese soy
  • Sugar, salt and white pepper to taste
  • Boiled potatoes, to serve

Start by cleaning and preparing the chicken. Untangle the wings if they’ve been tucked into the back, cut off unnecessary fatty bits (by the neck and back), and remove any leftover feathers. Cut the chicken in half through the filets with a sharp knife, and rub it all over with the salt and white pepper. It’s handy to keep it in a mix on the table as you prepare the chicken.

Trimming chickenTrimming chicken

Cutting whole chickenRubbing chicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re done preparing the chicken, melt the butter and some tablespoons of oil in an oven-safe pan on the stove (it’s good if it has a lid, and can be put into to oven, but you can also start in a frying pan and move the chicken to an over-proof dish later). Add the chicken to the pan, and let it fry gently for about five minutes on each side. Brush it with chinese soy whilst it’s frying. Then add three decilitres of water, one cube of chicken stock, and put it into the oven on 200 degrees. In the meantime, peel the potatoes and let them rest in cold water until it’s time to boil. Start making the cucumber salad (recipe below).

Chicken with stock

After about 30 minutes, take out the pan, prick the chicken and pour the juices from the pan all over it (make sure the filets face upwards). Add the prunes and apples to the dish, and put it back into the oven. Try to push the apples and prunes towards the bottom of the dish, or below the chicken. After another 15 minutes, take it out again to again douse it in juice. Put the pan back into the oven, this time without the lid on. After about another ten minutes, the chicken should be ready to take out. Watch the chicken carefully if it’s smaller, as the cooking time may range from 40 minutes to over one hour depending on size.

Chicken with apples and prunes

Remove the chicken from the pan, leaving the juices inside. Let the chicken rest as you prepare the sauce, keeping it somewhere where it keeps its a moderate heat. Remove the potatoes and the prunes and put somewhere else (they’re not pretty, but you can serve them as condiments to the chicken later on). Sift the leftover juices if you prefer the sauce thin (I never minded random bits of chicken in it), and then carefully scoop out excess fat with a slotted spoon, holding the pan at an angle. Mix in some flour with a whisk, as well as sugar, and let it come to the boil and thicken. Then add two deciliters cream (or to taste, depends on how strong you want the sauce), and add more with salt, white pepper and soy according to taste. Remember that the sauce should be a little bit to strong in flavour on the tongue on its own, as it needs to liven up both the chicken and the potatoes. Serve the newly boiled potatoes with the pickled cucumber, chicken pieces and sauce right away.

Pressgurka is a classic component of Swedish traditional food (husmanskost) and can be served alongside most dishes where lingonberry jam would also feel at home. It is sweet and tangy, and contrasts perfectly to salty Swedish dishes such as roast chicken, fried herring, or even meatballs. You need:

  • Half a cucumber
  • 1 dl water
  • 1 tablespoon ättika. Ättika is a form of Swedish vinegar, you’ll be able to get it at any Nordic shop. I haven’t tried making pressgurka with other kinds of vinegar, but perhaps that would work too. The proportions would have to be different, though: ättika is 24% acetic acid, and is therefore very strong and inedible to use just as it is; malt vinegar has typically 3% acetic acid, and balsamic vinegar about 6,5%.
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • A small bunch curled leaf parsley (flat leaf is also fine, as the taste different isn’t huge: however the curled leaf smells more like fennel and dill to me, which is closer to the Nordic cooking tradition).

Making pressgurka is very easy. Slice the cucumber with a cheese-slicer, and squeeze it gently with your hands for about one minute. Mix together the ättika, water, salt, white pepper, and parsley, and put in the fridge for at least one hour. Serve alongside the chicken.