Made one of my favourite comfort foods for dinner tonight: fried falukorv (pork sausage from the city of Falun) with milk-stewed macaronies flavoured with nutmeg. I served it traditionally with a side of ketchup and untraditionally with a sprinkle of chopped fresh chives, which I think adds a nice-yet-subtle hint of fresh onionness to the generally sweet-salty-fatty dish.
Anyway, here’s how you cook Swedish milk-stewed macaronies or as they are locally known stuvade makaroner.
You need uncooked macaronies and you need milk. I use milk with 1,5 percent fat content.
Nutmeg, salt, black pepper.
Ketchup and falukorv (substitute with any pork, beef or veggie sausage, or bacon).
1. Slowy heat milk in a cooking pot until it is about to boil, eg. hot steam is leaving the milk. For four portions, add about 5 deciliters of macaronies to roughly 8-10 deciliters of milk.
2. Then pretty much stirr until the milk has cooked into the macaronies. Keep the cooking temperature to a gentle simmer. It’s similar to making a risotto actually. Slowly stirr, making sure the milk won’t burn into the bottom of the pot. That happens easy by the way, so no cheating with the stirring.
3. When most milk has reduced into the macaronies, add some grated nutmeg, salt and blackpepper. Remove from heat and serve immediately – as soon as the macaronies are getting cold they get about 50 percent less nice. So pre-cook your sausage.
Enjoy with ketchup, possibly chives and a glass of milk or a beer. If you want to have some vitamins, Swedes (me?) tend to eat a Swedish carrot salad with raw, grated carrots with a splash of oil & vinegar and salt on the side.
Just got back from a visit to Kvarnen, a classic Stockholm beerhall and restaurant situated on Södermalm. My expectations weren’t that high, but I actually got pleasantly surprised with my meatballs.
Swedish meatballs with cream sauce, mashed potatoes, pickled cucumbers and lingonberries. Four out of five meatballs were juicy and tasty, one was dry. Still probably the best meatballs I’ve had in a Stockholm restaurant. Tasted like homemade. A solid four out of five, to quote my cousin who also had the meatballs.
Isterband. A Swedish sausage made of pork, barley groats and potato. This one was quite good too. Served with beetroots, dijon mustard and mustard from Skåne, parsley and chives creamed potatoes, according to the menu.
(Excuse the bad lightning phone shot pics.)
Above: non-traditional crayfish party spread with the addition of moules frites and garlic bread.
August in Sweden means (hopefully) dark but warm summer evenings, usually the first chanterelles (at least for me), and first and foremost: kräftor, meaning crayfish.
The crayfish season is mainly in August with a couple of jumpstarters in July and then a late season continuing into September. What happens in August is the kräftskiva which pretty much is a crayfish party. You eat crayfish, a few condiments and sidedishes. You also drink beer, schnaps, sing songs and, at least according to tradition, you wear silly pointy hats.
Being slightly allergic to shellfish I usually focus on a couple of crayfish tails as well as on the sidedishes. My favourite is the Västerbottens cheese pie, a high calorie delight comprising of aged cheese from Västerbotten in Northern Sweden not surprisingly called “Västerbottens cheese”. The pie also include onions, dough and eggs. Here is a recipe I wrote a couple of years ago.
Apart from pie you usually also find bread, I usuallt serve good quality baguettes. There should also be butter, more aged cheese (go for the Västerbottens cheese if available) and perhaps some kind of sauce. We usually make lemon mayo which goes well with the crayfish meat.
Kräftskiva is definitely one of my favourite Swedish festivities. So if you find yourself in Sweden in August, try to join one. Skål!
August is here, meaning autumn in Sweden is approaching. Fortunately, being in the final month of summer isn’t all sad, as we are able to sample autumn delicacies such as chanterelles. Today we had this delicious little mushroom in a soup and on a sandwich.
The soup is actually a mushroom soup topped with fried chanterelles since we were too cheap to buy only chanterelles (the price is approximately $30 a kilo). Anyway, here is the recipe. Serves about two persons.
What you need
About 500 grams of button mushrooms
1 garlic clove
about 5 cls of Whiskey (or white wine, or just leave it out)
3 stock cubes, I used chicken
100 grams of Celeriac
Olive oil for frying
1 deciliter of cream
How to do it
This soup is supposed to be mixed, so no need to fancy it up with nice little cubes or similar. Just peel everything and then roughly chop it.
1. As mentioned above, peel and roughly slice mushrooms, the onion, garlic and celeriac. Fry the vegetables until browned. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and stirr well.
2. Add tomato pure to an empty spot in the pan and let it roast for a little while (maybe 30 secs). Then add the whiskey/wine and use it to de-glaze the pan, eg. get all the burnt stuff in the bottom to let go. Stirr everything well once more.
3. Add water and stock cubes until it covers the vegetables. Then let simmer for about 30 minutes before you add the cream. Let reduce for a couple of minutes. Taste, and season if needed. Then remove from the heat.
4. Mix the soup in a blender or with a hand blender. Serve topped with butter-fried chanterelles, finely chopped parsley and a few drips of olive oil.
The above chanterelle toast is great as a side with the soup. It’s made with more butter-fried chanterelles on top of a grilled slice of sourdough bread.