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24 posts categorized "Sweden"

June 22, 2014

WIN the last ever Wallander series on DVD

Wallander

The last episodes of Wallander, ever, are out on DVD Monday 23rd June (Arrow Films).

We've got a copy to give away to one lucky person.

To be in with a chance to win, simply answer this question:

Wallander's dog is called:

a) Mussi

b) Jussi

c) Frank

Answer to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Wednesday 25th June 2014 at noon. Winner will be drawn at random from correct entries. Usual competition rules apply. No cheating and no alternative prize and so on.

Get your hands on the DVD series in all good stores or online - it's a really really good one!

 

June 19, 2014

"Jordgubbstårta" Midsummer Layer Cake - the recipe

Cake

Ahhhh.... This is such a nice cake. It tastes of summer. Pure summer. We re-tested the recipe last night and the result lasted only for as long as it took us to eat it. With second helpings. 

For us, no Midsummer is complete without strawberrry layercakes, also known as "Jordgubbsstårta".

If you want to cheat and make it easy for yourself, cheat's notes are at the bottom of the post. We do feel that it is worth the effort, though, to make everything from scratch.

For the Strawberry layers

700g strawberries, washed, trimmed and sliced

75g raspberry jam

For the vanilla patisserie cream

NOTE: Needs to be cooled before using in the cake or the cream will split.

1 vanilla pod

500ml whole milk

6 egg yolks

140g caster sugar

45g corn flour

Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds and add to a saucepan with the milk. Bring to the boil. Take care not to burn and turn off heat as soon as boiling point is reached.

Whisk egg yolk and sugar until it goes almost white, then turn off the whisk and add the corn flour.  Turn the whisk back on medium and slowly add the hot milk to the bowl, whisking continuously.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring back to the boil and cook for 1 minute to thicken. Turn off, sieve the mixture into a bowl, cling film and cool down completely in the fridge before using.

For the cake layers

5 eggs

150g caster sugar

130g plain flour

1 tsp. vanilla sugar

How to:

Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

Trace 3 identical circles onto baking paper – approximately 20-22 cm diameter.  Place baking paper onto flat baking trays.

Whisk egg and sugar until white and fluffy. The key here, is to whisk for a long time to incorporate as much air as possible as there are not raising agents in the mixture.

Sift flour and vanilla sugar into the egg mixture and fold, very carefully, until completely incorporated. Preserve as much air as possible, so fold carefully but thoroughly.

Carefully divide the batter between the three circles and ensure batter fills the circles all the way around, neatly.

Bake in the oven until just golden brown and done – this will depend on your oven, but 5-6 minutes is usually fine.

Remove from and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.  Very carefully remove the baking paper – if it sticks, wet the back of the paper a little bit and it should come off with more ease.

For the Whipped Cream

700ml whipping cream

2 tbs icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla sugar

On high speed, whisk all ingredients until stiff peaks form. The cream needs to be quite firm to hold when decorating the cake - but take care not to over whip.

Divide the cream into two equal portions.  Fold one half of the whipped cream together with the cold vanilla patisserie cream until completely incorporated (The other half is used to decorate the final cake).

Place the first layer cake on the plate you wish to serve on. Spread a nice layer of raspberry jam, follow by a 1cm thick layer of the patisserie cream / whipped cream mixture. Add a good handful of sliced strawberries evenly spread out. Add another cake layer and repeat over again and then add the final cake layer on top (You may have a bit of excess custard cream left).

Using a palette knife, spread a thin layer of the whipped cream on the top of the cake. Using a piping bag with a star nozzle, add the rest of the whipped cream and pipe carefully around the edge of the cake in an up-and-down motion until the sides are completely covered. If you do not have a piping bag, you can use the palette knife for this and just make smooth edges.  If you prefer less cream and a more rustic look you can omit the cream around the edges all together.

Finish by adding the remaining strawberries on the top of the cake. It doesn’t have to look too arranged – just scatter them so the cake is evenly covered.

This cake greatly improves after a few hours in the fridge so all the flavours are soaked into the cake layers.

Cheat Notes:

Cake layers – in speciality shop, you can buy sponge layers already baked. (Scandi Kitchen sells ‘Lagkage bunde’ – already come split into three layers). 

Crème patisserie: We stock a product called 'Kagecreme' from Maizana which is sachet of instant creme patisserie. Mix one sachet with 500ml cold milk, wait ten minutes and it is ready to use.

Substituting with custard will not give you the exact same result, but you CAN do it at a push – but don’t use half and half, use ¼ custard to ¾ whipped cream volume. Omit the sugar in the whipped cream as custard is really sweet.

 

June 12, 2014

How to celebrate midsummer the Swedish way

Sommar

Wherever you are in the world at midsummer time, you will be able to find gatherings of lost-looking Swedes to celebrate with. Follow our lead and you’ll be able to infiltrate the groups inconspicuously.

Choose the day

Midsummer is the longest day of the year and falls around 23rd June. Swedes always move it to the closest Friday afternoon and evening, which is 20th June this year. In Sweden, celebrations are on the Friday evening. Here in London, we can't persuade our bosses to let us drink aquavit on a Friday afternoon, so things get going on Saturday. Check to see what's happening in your local area.

If you are in London, maybe just happen to be passing by Hyde Park. Nothing official, you know, but we gather there is a chance a few Swedes will be meeting up and dancing and singing for a bit. Around midday. Near Speaker's Corner. They have been doing that for years and years, so there's a good chance they'll be doing it again. 

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Get outside

It's midsummer, and you're celebrating nature. Go to the park, a lake, or a field.

Don't forget your umbrella.

Lena+granefelt-midsummer+celebration-10471

Wear a garland in your hair

Essential attire for women. You can make a floral garland from wire and flowers and staple it onto your ears - learn how to HERE. Alternatively, H&M do a nice range, being Swedish. Men can wear the garland too, and most do after a few drinks.

Clothing

White and floral is the style for women - but not so much that you appear to be going to a meeting of Chintz Anonymous. Paired with the garland, it will make you look amazing and a bit pagan. Wear your hair down like Freya. Or Loreen.

Gentlemen, it's all about pastels. Tight trousers (white, yellow), pointy shoes, a pink shirt and Ray Bans. You want to make it seem like all this is a bit beneath you. Sport a fashionable beard or moustache. Google 'Stureplan fashion' for an idea of how actual Swedish metrosexuals achieve this look. 

Food

You need to get yourself a Swedish Midsummer picnic (can be ordered here) or make your own – here’s an easy guide: CLICK HERE FOR MIDSUMMER RECIPES

Smorgas

Smörgastårta

Means Sandwich Cake. It’s a thing. A cake that is not a cake but a massive sandwich. If you make a Sandwich Cake every Swede in the vicinity will love you forever. Seriously.

Nubbe

A nubbe (the plural is 'nubbar') is a little shot of aquavit and it’s essential to get hold of these. Make sure you bring cold ones to the park. Recommended dose is two beers to one nubbe. Take care, it’s strong stuff - and if you can’t do it properly, Swedes will see through you. Keep your head in one piece until you can speak fluent Swedish (three nubbar or more) and nobody will notice you’re an imposter. 

Buy aquavit at our place - we stock many kinds, both online and in the shop in London 

Snapsvisor

Drinking songs you need to learn for when you drink your nubbar. Just learn this one (see below) and you’ll be fine.

If you are stuck, sing Euphoria.  

Maypole

Our maypole is used in June, which technically makes it a Junepole. Like here, it's also decorated with lovely flowers, as well as two circular garlands either side at the top. Just to reinforce the symbolism of what it means (think about it...). We raise the pole around lunch time. If you end up celebrating in Hyde Park in London, you may have to pretend there is a maypole because health and safety means no pole is officially allowed, so we dance around our handbags instead.

Little Frogs

Every Swede sings this song. Everyone. And does the actions, which involve jumping about like a frog.

Games

After the dancing and the cake and a bit more drinking, we get physical.  Games of kubb (a tactical, skittles-like game that has its roots in Viking times), tug of war, arm wrestling and naked mud slinging.

Okay, so we don’t do the last one. Except when we do.

 

Inge

What next?

Dancing. If you are cool and dressed like someone from Stockholm's Stureplan (and, frankly, still standing), you may want to head to a club for some dancing and more drinking. 

Here's a link to the hottest ticket in London town this year 

Here's a really great place to go if you just want to be with Swedes and friends and drink great cocktails More here

If you're up for something more traditional, dust off a CD player and pop on some dansband CDs (and ABBA, obv). Pay a visit to the ScandiKitchen toilets for dansband suggestions. You'll see what we mean.

Midsommarblomster-med-kudde

Seven flowers

If you don’t have a partner, pick seven different kinds of flowers and put them under your pillow and you will dream of the person you'll marry. If you’re not willing to put all your eggs in one basket, head to a bar and revel in the fact that this is the one time of year where Swedes are not at all reserved. The birth rate always spikes in Sweden about nine months after midsummer. 

Welcome-to-2013-these-are-the-25-most-hungover-cities-in-america

The next day

You will wake, having dreamt about the person you will marry. There may be images flashing before your eyes of people wearing yellow trousers. Flashes of blue and yellow flags and memories of having an arm-wrestle with a lamp post. Midsummer comes but once a year. Thank goodness. 

Glad Midsommar!

June 05, 2014

How to create a midsummer picnic - the easy way

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How to create a midsummer picnic - the easy way

Midsummer occurs at exactly the same time as the summer solstice. It’s a wonderful time of year where we have almost round-the-clock daylight and try to tap into as much of it as we can, preparing ourselves for the long dark winter days ahead.

In Sweden, 'midsommar' sort of means picnics. It also means midsummer maypoles, aquavit, dancing, fun and frolics, and maybe a sing-song or two. It means flowers in your hair, and it definitely means local food eating outdoors with friends and family.

If you want to try your hand at a typically Scandi midsummer picnic, here’s our easy guide to doing it yourself. And don't worry if you think you'll have problems getting some of the trickier ingredients - we've suggested alternatives throughout.

What to make and pack

The emphasis is on seasonality and authentic produce.

Herring

It’s just not Scandi unless there's herring, so don't be squeamish and give it a try. At midsummer, we enjoy Matjes herring in particular. A lot more delicate than the usual pickled herring, it goes very well with the season's new potatoes.

We usually have at least two types of herring, so try one with Swedish mustard dressing – ABBA’s Senaps Sill is great.

Some UK supermarkets do have Scandi brands of pickled herring, so go for those if you can as they have a sweeter brine. Matjes herring is available online from ScandiKitchen.co.uk and you can also get it at Ocado. Rollmop herring is easy to find, but it is rather sourer than what we have in Scandinavia, and we have it in chunks rather than rolled lengths - avoid unless there's nothing else.

New potatoes

A must-have. Get really good quality new potatoes, boil and cool down to bring along to the picnic. Some people like them very plain, some like them tossed in dill. We prefer them in a light dill dressing as follows:

Cook the potatoes as described above. You can use slightly warm potatoes for this, or cooled ones straight out of the fridge. The most important part is to dress them just before serving.

Prepare the dressing:

• 75ml sunflower oil or other light oil

• 25ml white wine vinegar

• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

• 1 tbsp caster sugar

• 1 medium shallot, very finely chopped

• 1 bunch of dill, finely chopped

• Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk the liquids, mustard and sugar until the sugar has dissolved, then fold in the chopped shallot and dill. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and make sure each potato is coated.

Gräddfill 

Swedish sour cream. There's no direct British equivalent (due to the fat content), but if you mix half natural yoghurt to half crème fraîche, you'll get something very close. Make a small batch so you have enough to pour over the potatoes and Matjes herring as a dip or dressing. Add a handful of finely chopped chives to the mixture.  

We do sell Gräddfil at ScandiKitchen if you want to get hold of the real thing.

Beetroot salad

This makes an appearance at every festive season. It’s delicious and simple to make, but you can easily buy our own from ScandiKitchen or Ocado.

To make it yourself, drain a jar of Scandi pickled beetroot and lightly chop them. Mix with one chopped tart apple. Add enough crème fraîche and mayonnaise to create a light pink hue, then season with salt, pepper, a dash of balsamic and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice if needed. Leave to set. 

If you use British pickled beetroot, you may need to add sugar for a more authentically sweeter taste.

Meatballs

Of course. Did you think we could have a picnic with no meatballs? 

Make or buy. If you decide to make, do so a day in advance, as it takes quite a while to make a full batch. If you buy, we highly recommend either Per i Viken or Mamma Scans. Either way, eat them cold.

Salmon

We love salmon, but it can be a bit difficult to sit and eat on a picnic. We suggest making a cured salmon salad with new potatoes. You can omit the potatoes if you don’t want to double up on spuds for your picnic.

  • 300g cooked, cooled new potatoes, halved
  • 200g cured salmon (or smoked salmon, if you prefer)
  • 100g green beans, blanched, cut into 3-4 cm pieces
  • 150g green asparagus, blanched, cooled, cut into 3-4 cm pieces
  • 100g green peas, blanched, cooled
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • A handful of crunchy green leaves (from iceberg to frisée – whatever you prefer)
  • 1/3 cucumber, cubed
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives 
  • Sprigs of dill to decorate

Fold together and dress lightly with gravlax sauce, which is a dill and mustard dressing. We stock it, as do some supermarkets. 

Green salad

Nobody will eat it, but it’s pretty and looks like you've make a massive effort. Optional, of course.

Cheeses

Go for a lump of lovely Swedish Västerbotten or Prast. Don’t forget the cheese slicer.

If you want to show off, make a Väststerbottenpaj. It's a cheese quiche made with Västerbotten and full-fat cream. The dressing for the quiche is easy: a small jar of red lumpfish roe mixed with 100ml of crème fraîche. Or just buy a cheese quiche and smile sweetly.

Bread

This bit is important. You have to have crispbread, of course. Go for Leksands or Pyramid, both are very nice. Crusty bread is also common - get a baguette or some seeded rolls, whatever you fancy. Just don't forget the butter. 

Sweet stuff

Midsummer is all about the humble strawberry, and you’ll need to incorporate strawberries into your picnic somehow. If you're having it in your garden, you could make a jordgubbstårta – a strawberry layer cake – but that would be hard to bring along to a picnic. Instead, we suggest a few punnets of strawberries with a bit of cream and you’re done. If you want to bake, make a delicious Swedish sticky chocolate cake called a kladdkaka the day before. Chill it and slice before you leave (it's slightly under-baked and sticky, so you can only cut it while cold).

Serve with the cream and strawberries. Here's the recipe for kladdkaka.

Booze

Aquavit, cider and beers. You can add wine or champagne, but be careful of mixing aquavit and wine. We recommend a bottle of Skåne aquavit or Hallands Fläder, both are nice and summery. Only ever drink very cold, and as shots. For beers, go for Tuborg or Pistonhead. Rekordelig or Kopperberg are good cider options and probably the easiest thing on your shopping list to obtain. 

If you can't get aquavit, try flavouring a bottle of vodka. Google "make your own Swedish aquavit" for ideas.

Singing

Once you crack open the aquavit, the desire to sing will become evident. Prepare some good old Swedish ‘snapsvisor’, aka drinking songs. If you don’t speak Swedish, just pretend to be the Swedish Chef from The Muppets for a few minutes. More aquavit helps with that. Please be aware that after two shots of the strong stuff, you are likely to be fluent in Swedish, just by default.

Midsummer maypole etiquette

If there is a maypole, you need to dance around it. Not on your own, but with other people. Let them take the lead if you are unsure (and you will be unsure, so let them take the lead). If you find yourself pretending to be a little frog, this is quite normal. More aquavit helps with that.

Dress code

Well, there's not a dress code as such (although UK midsummer celebrations probably should include an anorak and umbrella). Women tend to wear white clothing, with wild flowers in their hair. This is of course optional, especially when it comes to keeping tidy during a picnic, although the floral hair arrangements can get quite competitive. Men tend to wear stuff that makes them look even more Swedish. Like tight trousers, maybe even yellow ones. We don't really advise either, if we're honest.

And that's it. Just have a lovely day whatever you do. Glad Midsommar!

 

April 17, 2014

Easy Easter Smorgasbord - a guide

Smörgasbord-0-10_original (1)


A traditional smörgåsbord doesn’t have to be complicated. It is, in essence, the Nordic version of a buffet, so as long as you follow a few traditional rules and know when to eat which bit, you won’t go wrong. We basically have the same smörgåsbord for every high season, with a few seasonal dish changes.

This version is designed so that you can shop and put it together in a morning, provided you’re organised about the whole thing. For this reason, we have provided UK supermarket equivalents for some ingredients, but if you do have time, pop by our shop and pick up the authentic Nordic essentials or make everything from scratch if you want to impress.

The basics

How to serve and arrange a smörgåsbord.

Laying the table: Arrange in the middle of the table or, if serving for many people, at a side serving table. Served as a lunch and should take around 2-3 hours to eat. The focus here is on slow eating and drinking, with much talking and being together.

Drinks: Lagers such as Tuborg and Carlsberg will provide authenticity – but any good bottled lager is fine. Wine is fine, but less traditional (wine really doesn’t go with herring and shots of aquavit).

Aquavit (aka snaps): We recommend shots of a good, super-chilled OP Andersson or Ålborg. Crisp and strong, they’re perfect partners for pickled herring. If you can’t get hold of aquavit, you can use chilled Absolut Vodka. Leave the bottle in the freezer for a good few hours before serving in shot glasses.

How to arrange the dishes

If arranging on a separate buffet table (recommended for 15 people or more), always arrange the fish at one end, starting with the herring, followed by any other fish dishes. Follow it with cold meats, then warm meats, side dishes and finally bread and butter. Cheese can be placed by the bread section or served separately at the end as a cheese board. Dessert is not brought out until the main smörgåsbord has been eaten. If arranging the food where people are sitting around a table, add all fish dishes first, then cold meats. Bring out any warm dishes as needed. The main thing is to let your guests know that they have to:

1) Always start with herring and aquavit (butter some rye bread or crisp bread, add a few slices of herring on top, eat with a knife and fork, drink a shot of aquavit, and everybody cheers together).

2) Once the herring is eaten, enjoy any other cold fish dishes – from prawns to salmon, egg with roe, and so on. Make your own little open sandwiches on the plate, but always use knife and fork. Never hands!

3) Sliced meats are next, and so on. Then repeat.

4) Warm dishes come next!

5) Replenish as you see fit throughout. We graze for hours, going back to our favourite sections again and again.

Plate arrangement

Arrange each seating with a large plate for main part of the meal and one small plate on top, for herring only. Herring has a very strong flavour, so once everybody’s done with it, the first plates are usually collected so the rest of the meal isn’t herring-flavoured. If you hate washing up or simply just love meatballs that taste of herring, knock yourself out.

Singing

We do like to sing a few songs as we drink our snaps. These are called ‘Snaps-visor’. After a couple of shots of aquavit, it is generally accepted that most people speak fluent Danish, even if they come from Middlesbrough and the closest they have been to Copenhagen is watching The Killing. Plenty of songs to be found on the internet. If you don’t fancy trying real Nordic songs, just pretend to be the Swedish Chef from the Muppets.

Every family has they own version and way to make a smörgåsbord. This is our version – make changes as you see fit. There is no smörgåsbord police (there might be smörgåsbord police in Sweden, actually).

ScandiKitchen’s Easy Easter Smörgåsbord for six people

Two kinds of herring

  • 1 jar of ABBA Mustard herring
  • 1 jar of ABBA Onion herring

Waitrose and Ocado have good versions of pickled herring, but don’t go for rollmops, as those are too sour.

Prawns and boiled eggs

6 hard boiled eggs, halved, placed on a serving dish. Add a bit of mayonnaise on each egg half and top with good quality prawns

Smoked salmon with lemon

Arrange about 60-70g of smoked salmon per person on a serving tray. Decorate with lemon wedges and a bit of fresh dill

Gravadlax Salad

Fold together in a bowl the following:

  • 200g gravlax cured salmon cut into bite size pieces
  • 150g cooked, cooled, sliced new potatoes
  • 100g blanched asparagus cut in pieces
  • A handful of green peas
  • 100g cooked, cooled green beans
  • 8-10 halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dill and mustard sauce

Arranged on a serving tray, top with chopped chives

Dill & mustard sauce:

You can make your own or get it at our place.

Most UK supermarkets have some form of it too these days.

Sliced and cold meats tray

6 slices of good quality ham

12 slices of Danish salami (or whichever you prefer)

Pork liver pâté – we love Stryhn’s or Per I Viken, but you can go for a good quality UK version too – just keep it smooth.

Warm dishes

Meatballs. Always meatballs.

Make your own, or use a ‘Swedish Meatball’ variety from the supermarket to keep it simple

In Sweden, we also eat a lot of ‘prinskorv’ mini sausages (heated).

We stock these, but you can get frankfurters in supermarket and cut to smaller pieces and serve alongside the meatballs

Where’s the lamb?

We actually don’t eat much lamb on the Easter buffet table. We agree that this does seem like a bit of an oversight. If you want lamb, have lamb. Make a small lamb roast and serve alongside the warm dishes. Lamb goes well with Jansson’s Temptation

Additional Side dishes

Choose as many of these to make as you fancy… (you do not need to make them all)

Beetroot Salad

  • 300g jar of drained beetroot, chopped
  • Mix with mayonnaise and crème fraîche until you have a pink creamy mixture.
  • Add salt, pepper, lemon juice (and sugar, if too tart). Leave to set.

Cheat: Ocado sells real ScandiKitchen Beetroot Salad. As do we in the shop

New potato salad

  • 500g of new potatoes, cooked and cooled.
  • Mix with a simple vinaigrette and chopped red onion.

Cheat: Buy a potato salad, but not the type drenched in mayonnaise

Jansson’s Temptation (warm)

A potato and cream gratin made with Swedish Grebbestads Ansjovis

(NEVER anchovies - this is one dish where no alternatives will suffice) and cream

(approx. 1 hour prep time)

Cheat: Get a potato gratin at the supermarket. Add small amount of chopped Grebbestads Ansjovis before baking

Västerbotten Paj (warm)

Swedish cheese quiche (1 hour prep time plus pasty making)

Cheat: Buy a good quality cheese quiche

Skagenröra (Swedish seafood salad)

  • 200g prawns and 200g crayfish trails, mix with chopped chives and chopped dill
  • Add a gentle helping of mayonnaise
  • Salt, pepper, finely chopped shallot. Combine.
  • Cheat: Add some chives and seasoning to a prawn mayonnaise.

Gubbröra (Egg and fish salad)

  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • Finely chopped shallot onion
  • 6 chopped fillets of Swedish Grebbestads Ansjovis
  • OR chopped matjes herring (as preferred)
  • Chopped chives, pepper.

Mix together. Serve in a bowl.

If you prefer a creamier version, add a dollop of crème fraîche.

Egg & Roe 

Arranged sliced, boiled eggs on a serving tray. Top with either Kalle’s Kaviar (creamed cod roe, in a tube, available in the shop or at Ocado)

or

Dollops of lumpfish roe kaviar and finely chopped shallot onion.

Sauces, pickles, dressings (As needed).

Bowls of pickled cucumber, sliced pickled beetroot, Mustards, mayonnaises, remoulade. And whatever condiments you fancy.

Bread

  • Selection of crisp bread (we love Leksands and Pyramid from the shop)
  • Selection of sliced rye bread
  • Crusty white bread
  • Butter
  •  

Cheese selection

Our ideal cheese selection would be:

  • Västerbotten cheese (Our place, Waitrose, Ocado)
  • Norwegian Brown Cheese (our place, Ocado)
  • Riberhus Danish cheese (our place)

A good quality blue cheese

Cheat: Get whatever cheese you like.

Dessert (optional)

Cloudberry Mess

Arrange in each serving glass:

  • 1 lightly crushed meringue nest
  • 1 dollop of whipped cream
  • 1 scoop of good vanilla ice cream
  • Heat up some cloudberry jam – and pour 1 tbsp. hot jam on top just before serving.

February 27, 2014

WIN a box of SEMLOR for the office

Semlor-2_original

Ahhhh.... Imagine if there was a way to make friends with Shirley from HR in one clean swoop? Or get Brian from accounts to notice you?

Try giving them a tray of freshly baked semlor. Oh, and now you can maybe even get your hands on a whole tray of these lovely buns for free.

To be in with a chance to be Mr or Ms popular in the office (or indeed, take them all home and eat them all to yourself), just answer this easy question:

Eighties Swedish band Europe had a hit with which song:

a) All That She Wants (is another baby)

b) The Final Countdown

c) Saturday Night

Answer to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Monday noon (3rd March).

No cash alternative, prize must be picked up from the cafe (date by arrangement - please book in the pick up so we know), one tray of semlor is 10 buns. No cheating. Winner picked at random. Usual rules apply.

 

February 26, 2014

Show us your big, fat buns and WIN Lunch for Two at ScandiKitchen

Fettisdagen2014

It's Fat Tuesday on Tuesday 4th March 2014 - also known as Fettisdagen, fastelavn, Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras.

On this day across Scandinavia we celebrate the start of Lent. The faste is not observed that often anymore, however, the tradition of stuffing ourselves with cream buns the day before Ash Wednesday still prevails.

In Sweden, these buns are known as Semlor (plural of the word 'Semla'). They are yeast buns flavoured with cardamon, baked and then stuffed with marzipan and whipped cream.

Semlor are only served around this time of year.  Once Lent is in full swing, the buns are not baked again until the following year - it really is a huge seasonal tradition and you should definitely make sure you get your hands on one of these buns before the season is over.

We bake and serve these at the cafe - however, it is not hard ot make your own.  You can find the recipe right HERE.

WE WANT TO SEE YOUR BIG BUNS: Your own creations and variations.  Send us a snapshot of your Fat Tuesday buns and we'll post the pictures online - and we'll pick a winner who gets Lunch for Two People at the cafe in London (if you live too far away, we'll send you a voucher for the webshop instead).

Mail your photos to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before 4th March 2014. Usual competition rules apply.

First entry - from Isabelle in Brighton who made her first ever batch of Semlor, having never tasted them before. Verdict: "Amazing - and my flatmate had 3 of them, I'm not sure how she managed!".

IsabelleEva_Semlor

 

 

 

 

February 13, 2014

WIN: 'The Almost Nearly Perfect People' - by Michael Booth

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Did you read the article that got everybody talking a few weeks back? (if not, read it HERE) Are we Nordics not all we're cracked up to be? Who decided to put us on a pedestal in the first place and how do we get down from there without ruining everything? Are we really obsessed with Midsomer Murders? (Ed: Yes).

Michael Booth, writer and journalist, currently living in Denmark (and, we can vouch, speak Danish pretty well) is not sure all is as it is cracked up to be. Well, actually, that is if you only read the article (so don't be offended just yet). In the book, you see, Booth goes deeper into the psyche of what makes us Scandinavians special and finds that, in fact, we might just be almost perfect...

Confused? Don't be. It's a good book and it is worth a read. You can buy it here

We've got a copy of the book to give away - fancy being in with a chance of winning it?

Just answer this easy question:

The statue of the Little Mermaid is in which Nordic town:

a) Stockholm

b) Copenhagen

c) Skagen

Answers by e-mail, please, to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Monday at noon (17/2). Winner will be drawn at random from correct entries. No cheating, no cash alternative, no non-sense and all usual terms apply. 

December 11, 2013

Sankta Lucia - the festival of light

Swedish Lucia For Dummies from Sweden on Vimeo.

This Friday the 13th December is the day of St Lucia and the festival of light. On this day across Scandinavia you will find processions of boys and girls dressed all in white bearing candles and singing carols. This is usually done in the morning darkness, welcoming the light. 

At the front of each procession is a Lucia Bride, wearing a wreath or crown on her head with four or five candles.

On this day, we drink ‘Glögg’ mulled wine and eat either saffron buns (Lussebullar) or little pancake balls called ‘Æbleskiver’. We also over-do the ginger biscuits. Really, way too many ginger biscuits...

The history of St Lucia can be traced back to St Lucia of Syracuse, a martyr who died in 304 – however, the date of St Lucia is also a pagan date.  It was the darkest night where spirits were free to roam and animals begin to talk. So, light was needed to ward of spirits. today's tradition is a bit of a blend of the two.

On Friday we will be serving Glögg and Saffron buns all day and playing carols on repeat.  

Lucia_i_Tivoli_805340a

November 29, 2013

Recipe: Lussebullar (Lucia Saffron buns)

No December in Sweden and Norway is complete without the delicious Lussebullar - a soft saffron bun. Perfect with Glogg mulled wine.

There are many, many different ways to make these buns. Some people add Kesella or quark to the mixture (it makes a more moist bun) - if you choose to do this, replace half the milk with quark or Kesella and follow the recipe as normal, except you add the quark when adding the soft butter.

Note: Our recipe uses ground saffron powder. It can be hard to get hold of in the UK - so if you use strands, gently grind them in a pestle & mortar and infuse them in the warm milk before using. 

Click here to download the pdf of the recipe 

1311_lussebullar1-1

 

November 21, 2013

Nordic Christmas Markets 2013 - this weekend 22, 23, 24 November

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This week and weekend is on of the biggest in the Nordic ex-pat calendar. It’s the week of the Christmas Fairs.

We support these fairs wholeheartedly and we absolutely love going along and help if we can. The different organisation and Churches play a very important role to all Nordic ex-pats both for general support, religious support, as a meeting point, cultural centres and just simply nice places to be and visit.

Here’s the low down for this weekend’s markets in London:

Swedish Church Christmas Fair - Marylebone

A really wonderful and warm welcome to all at the Swedish Church in Harcourt Street. Open Thursday till 20:00 and all day Saturday and Sunday. We specifically recommend the traditional Glögg mulled wine, a secret recipe by The Reverend Mikael Persson, the Swedish Priest. Heavenly (Excuse the pun). We went to the pre-view yesterday and got our hands on Pippi Longstocking umbrellas and fancy knitted kid's strawberry hats!

Swedish Church is on Harcourt Street W1 - directions here www.swedishchurch.com

Norwegian Church Christmas Fair - Rotherhide

Everything from waffles to lompe, mulled wine and a lot of Norwegian ‘Jule’ cheer. The Norwegian Church in Rotherhide is a huge cultural centre for all things Norwegian – and Norwegian people and friends of Norway. The food market is huge and bulging with goodies.

ScandiKitchen will have a stand right outside the Norwegian Church where we will be serving hot mulled wine.

Sjømannskirkens Julebasar is on 22-24 November 10:00-18:00

How to get to the Norwegian Church (nearest tube Rotherhide) click here

Danish KFUK YMCA Christmas Bazaar – Hampstead

This event is a pilgrimage for a lot of ex pat Danes every year. It’s extremely busy and packed but worth a trip – they have everything from hotdogs to Christmas beers and real Danish ‘hygge’ feelings. They do a lot of decorations too – from calendar advent candles to ceramics so you can pick up a few prezzie.

Dansk KFUK’s Julebazar is on 23/24 November 10-17.  Find the Danish Bazar here

The Finnish Church in London Christmas Market

A warm welcome and genuine Christmas cheer awaits you at the Finnish Church in Rotherhide – everything from ‘squeaky cheese’ and Rye pastries with egg (Karelian Pies) and cinnamon buns as well as a huge food market. Open all this week until Sunday at 17:00.

ScandiKitchen will be there as we are part of the Scandi Christmas Market taking place between the Norwegian and Finnish church – so pop over and see us.

Nearest tube is Rotherhide; here’s a map Click here

Scandinavian Christmas Market 2013

Scan Events are doing the Scandi Christmas Market again this year in Rotherhide, outside the Finnish and Norwegian Churches.  Open Fri, Sat and Sun all day – pop by and say hello to us, we’ll also be there, selling hotdogs and warm mulled wine. Say hi to our team: Marte, Linnea, Jonas, Little Jonas, Torben and Kaisla.

More about Scandinavian Christmas Market here

Scandianavian_christmas_images

 

October 02, 2013

Recipe: Swedish Cinnamon Buns 'Kanelbullar'

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There are as many recipes for cinnamon buns as there are people who bake them. 

This is a great recipe to start from because it is simple and it works. It doesn't faff around with gimmicks or fancy proving; it is simply a good base and you will, if you follow the recipe, end up with a few baskets full of lovely 'kanelbullar'.

Friday 4th October is The Day of the Cinnamon Bun in Sweden. A perfect day to get your baking mode on and show the office what you're made of - or simply treat your family to a good spot of homebaking that will also make your house smell like a Swedish country cottage as you bake.

Download the recipe here http://www.scandikitchen.co.uk/menus/1308_cinnamonbuns.pdf 

A few points to note:

Ground cardamom is essential.  Get hold of it is speciality Asian stores our at our place.  If you can only get pods, you'll need to empty the pods and really grind the seeds well before you use it.

Fresh yeast: Try to get hold of fresh yeast. We do stock it, but if you live in a place without a ScandiKitchen, try going to a local bakery and ask them nicely. Some of the big superstores have instore bakeries. Also, any Italian deli that make their own pizza dough is a good bet to try. 

Failing all of the above, use the active dry yeast - follow instructions on the packet as to how much to use to equal 50g fresh yeast.

Flour - we always use Swedish Vetemjöl flour for our breads, but if you need to buy a UK flour, use a bread flour.

Do some shopping ingredients right here - we deliver UK wide next weekday. 

We'd LOVE to hear from anyone who have used this recipe - and we'd love to see photographs so feel free to send us snaps of your creations by email to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk 

Love,

The Kitchen Team

x

October 01, 2013

FREE buns for 'Kanelbullens Dag' - Day of the Cinnamon Bun 4th October 2013

Friday 4th October is the day of the cinnamon bun all across Sweden.

We're celebrating all day in the cafe with freshly baked buns, tasters, recipe cards and much more.

Use the voucher below to get your hands on a freshly baked bun when you pop by for your morning coffee - valid from 8 am until 11 am in store.

Print the voucher or simply show it to us on your fancy smart phone. To save, right click the image and save onto your computer. To save on your phone, save the picture into your camera roll.

Please see terms and conditions on the voucher.

See you Friday x

Ps - if you are thinking of ordering a large amount of buns for Friday to treat your colleagues or just stuff your face, please mail us in advance to book as we expect to be quite busy

1310_Kanelbullesdag

September 10, 2013

Sweet dreams are made of cheese (a mini-guide to Scandinavian cheeses)

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Many of us have memories of sitting in a field on a summer’s day eating crusty French bread and sharing a kilo of creamy brie.  In fact, some of us would like to spend most of our days doing just that, if it was not for the eventual need to then be moved around by a pick-up truck.

Less people have such glorious thoughts when thinking about Scandinavian cheese – in fact, most people associate Scandinavian cheese with Eurovision.  Except those of us who know just how many amazing cheeses actually come from our northern corner of the world.

Even back in the days when old Harold Bluetooth was a nipper and busy taking over the world, the Scandinavians made cheese.  In fact, the old Vikings had a diet rich in milk, butter and cheese and are even said to have found cheese to be a sexual stimulant.

Here’s a guide to some of the top Scandinavian cheeses

1.  Gammelost (Old cheese)
A recipe dating back to the Viking times, “Old cheese” needed very little help to mature.  Most people say both taste and smell resembles something that has spent a few months inside a sweaty old sock.  As you know, nothing pleases a true tyrophile more than a slice of stinky old sock. Admittedly, perhaps due to the taste, younger Norwegians are falling out of love with it, even if it is does have the nickname of Norwegian Viagra.

2.  Danablu (Danish Blue)
We had to include this as it is the most popular export and it is a darn fine cheese.  Invented originally to emulate Roquefort, and quickly making its own mark on the cheese scene, Danablu has a sharp, salty note and is excellent served on just about any kind of bread. Mash it with a bit of syrup to change its character and use it to spread on crisp bread, topped with some sunflower seeds – it really works.  Swedes tend to love blue cheese on ginger biscuits (we say don’t argue with anyone who invented Billy bookcases, Volvos and the zipper).

3.  Brunost (Brown cheese) 
Comes in many different varieties: the two best known are the Gudbrandsdalen (cow and goat) and Ekte Gjeitost (pure goat); the latter is the connoisseur’s choice

Okay, so it’s an acquired taste, but, on average, Norwegians eat about 4 kilos each of this stuff a year so there must be something to it.  It’s as Norwegian as trolls and fjords.  It looks a bit like a block of plasticine, tastes a bit like caramel and is enjoyed on its own, on open sandwiches or with freshly baked waffles:  all you need then is a patterned jumper and people will soon start calling you Haakon.

4.  Rygeost (smoked cheese)
A very Danish invention that is never exported due to its very short shelf life.  Unmatured, smoked cheese made from buttermilk and milk and turned in less than 24 hours, after which it is smoked very quickly over a mixture of straw and nettle and topped with caraway seeds.  This cheese is simply amazing, light and divine eaten on a piece of rye bread.  Resembles a firm ricotta in texture.

5. Vasterbotten
If ABBA is the queen of cheese, Vasterbotten is the king.  A firm, crumbly, aged Swedish cheese not unlike parmesan in smell but with immense flavour and character.  This cheese is a welcome addition to any cheeseboard and is also a partner to any crayfish party.  Can also be used to make the excellent Vasterbotten pie.

6. Hushallsost 
A cheese that has a name that translates as “household cheese” sounds like it belongs on a value shelf in a corner shop in Hackney, but it is actually an excellent cheese.  Mild, creamy, full of holes, this cheese is usually a big hit with the younger generation.  Hushallsost is one of six Swedish food products with a so-called TSG protection (one other cheese, Svecia, also holds this distinction).  Taste-wise it is a bit like the Danish Havarti cheese in texture (the Danes’ favourite and widely available in the UK), although less creamy.  Produced by Arla, Havarti is called Aseda Graddost in Sweden.  In Finland, the Turunmaa cheese is what is closest to Havarti in taste.

7.  Gamle Ole (Old Ole)
A sliceable mature Danish cheese, this baby stinks.  Don’t touch it too much or your fingers will honk all day.  The taste, however, is really lush.  Also known in Denmark as Danbo 45, there are many varieties in the same vein:  ‘Sorte Sara’ is a good version too.  A superb finish to any smorgasbord, eat a slice or two on sourdough bread topped with some lingon jam.  Other excellent strong Danes include Esrom 45 as well as Viggo Mortensen (he’s not a cheese, but he sure looks very strong).

8.  Präst ost (Priest cheese)
Sweden’s most popular cheese.  It was given its name because the farmers at the time it was invented could pay their church taxes in dairy products.   Präst ost comes in many varieties, from the mild to the mature and flavoured with anything from vodka to whisky.

9. Leipäjuusto (also known as “squeaky cheese”)
This is a fresh young cheese from Finland.  The milk is curdled and set into a flat round shape, then baked.  In the olden days it was dried for months and people put it on the fire to re-activate it.  The name comes from the sound it makes when you bite into it.  The taste is not unlike feta.

10. Rejeost (Prawn cheese)
For some reason, spreadable prawn cheese is immensely popular across all of Scandinavia.  Not really a great cheese from a connoisseur’s point of view, but surely any product that manages to combine cheese and prawns and make it taste good needs a mention.  If cheese and prawn can be coupled in peaceful harmony, then there’s hope for world peace.

Shop for cheese here 

September 06, 2013

Recipe: Korv Stroganoff (Sweden: Sausage casserole)

1308_KorvStroganof-upl

Recipe - easier print format here  Download 1308_KorvStroganof
Buy Falukorv sausage here 

July 30, 2013

Kräftskiva 2013 - Crayfish Party at home

Cray2
A crayfish party by the river. We found this photo on t'internet, sorry, it had no credit. If it is yours, let us know and we'll credit your photo. Thanks. 


We love this time of year. Time to seek out some friends and invite them round your gaff for some serious crayfish eating - and probably enough schnapps drinking to keep you wobbly until Christmas (we recommend any of these babies to keep you merry CLICK HERE).

If you want to host a crayfish party at your house, you can order the entire menu from us and just pick it up on the day. Then all you have to do is call your friends and find someone who doesn't mind clearing up afterwards while you yourself spend time dancing on your coffee table (on one leg) whilst singing "Helan går".

Crayfish buffet

at your house

Freshwater crayfish (around 600 grams per person)   

Romsås, Dillsås and mayonnaise  

Selection of pickled mustard herring and onion pickled herrings  

Västerbotten paj (Swedish mature cheese quiche)

New Potato salad with dill vinaigrette

Vine tomato, baby spinach and feta cheese salad

A selection of Scandinavian cheeses (Västerbotten and Greve)

Freshly baked crusty bread & crispbread

Sticky Swedish chocolate cake (Kladdkaka) with Daim Cream

Price per person only

£27 

See the whole menu here and download it CLICK HERE
Cray1

July 18, 2013

Crayfish Season 2013 has begun at Scandi Kitchen - reserve now

Cray-banner

Over the next few months, it is all going to be about Crayfish ('Kräftor" here as we enter the Nordic Crayfish season.

You can pre-book your stash of crayfish here on our online store and choose delivery at a date of your choice (we ship across the UK) - or pick up in our London store. Just click right here

Hats and bibs will be added later - and we'll also have a crayfish-party (Kräftskiva) catering option for you coming up.

Our crayfish are 1kg boxes (note: a full 1kg, not 700g).  They come frozen and ready cooked, so just defrost and serve.

Price per 1 kg £12.95 - buget 600g per person for a real crayfish party.

Cray4



May 08, 2013

Swedish Hotdog Weekend 10-12 May 2013

Oh yes - Swedish hotdog weekend. Tell all the London Swedes!

Get yourself a Swedish sausage topped with mustard, ketchup and prawn salad.

Yes, prawn salad. Crazy Swedes.

This Fri, Sat and Sun from midday till close - enjoy with a cold beer or Pucko chocolate milk for just £5.

Hotswede

February 15, 2013

WIN tickets to see Doktor Glas in London

DrGlass

Doktor Glas, the great play by Hjalmer Söderberg, is coming to London's West End in April and May 2013.

Krister Henriksson, who is best known as Wallander in Henning Mankell’s widely praised Swedish TV series is making his West End debut in Doktor Glas, which transfers to London following its acclaimed run in Sweden.  

Doktor Glas tells the story of a 19th century physician who falls madly in love with the beautiful young wife of a corrupt clergyman. When she confides in him that her marriage is making her miserable, he agrees to help in whatever way he can. Soon Doktor Glas finds himself torn between his passion and his morality, and drives the play towards its shocking climax.

Doktor Glas will run at Wyndhams Theatre, a Delfont Macintosh Theatre, from 16 April to 11 May 2013.

We've got a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky winner.  These tickets will be valid on 16th April until 21st April (excluding the 18th), so you need to be available to go on one of those days.

Here's the question to answer:

Kurt Wallander has a pet dog.  What is it's name?

a)    Jussi

b)    Bussi

c)    Frank

Answer to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Thursday 21st Feb 2013. Winner will be drawn at random from correct entries.

One winner. One prize. No cash alternative. No alternative dates. No cheating. No nonsense. All usual competition rules apply. 

December 09, 2012

Christmas Recipe: Jansson's Temptation (Potato gratin with anchovy sprats)

Janssons frestelse-0128 sml

This dish is a funny one.  Why?  because so many people have tried to translate the recipe to English and failed on one significant point:  the anchovies used are not really anchovies at all, they are sprats.

So why do the Swedes call them anchovies?  Well, we're not sure but we do know it stems right back to the 18th century.  It kinda stuck.  We don't use the proper achovy fillets but instead a fish called Sprattus Sprattus (so good they named him twice?).  The way we can it and pickle it is also different to that of anchovies normally found in jars in the UK and other places.

So, if you're going to make this dish, you're going to need some Sprattus Sprattus - here's what a common tin will look like:

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Here's the recipe - super easy and so very delicious.

Janssons frestelse - Jansson’s Temptation

This is a gratin-style dish that everyone in Sweden knows well. Never make the mistake of using anchovies, as many English-language recipes suggest. The Swedish word ‘ansjovis’ actually means sprats, not anchovies. Whoever originally translated it that way condemned many a poor person to a very salty dish! This recipe should be enough for six people.

Ingredients:

- 9-10 medium-sized potatoes

- 1 whole onion

- 1½ tins of Grebbestads Ansjovis, to give you about 20 sprat fillets (these are the real deal, and you need them for the best results)

- 150ml single cream

- 150ml whole milk

- 2 tbsp butter

- 1 tbsp dried breadcrumbs

Method:

- Preheat the oven to around 200°C.

- Peel the potatoes and chop them into small ½cm piece sticks - a bit thinner than French fries.

- Slice the onion finely.

- Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until soft. Take care not to burn the onion - it should be cooked, but not turning black.

- Add the potatoes and cook for a few minutes to kick off the cooking process.

- Layer half of the onion and potato mixture in the bottom of an ovenproof dish, then top with 10 sprat fillets evenly across. Season with salt and pepper.  

- Add another layer of onion and potato, then another 10 sprats on top. Pour the remaining sprat juice over the dish.

- Pour two-thirds of the milk and cream (mix together) over the dish, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Season again.

- Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked. Halfway through the cooking time, add the rest of the milk/cream. If the dish is looking dry, you can add more milk and cream - the aim is to get a creamy consistency.

- Serve as part of a traditional Swedish smörgåsbord.

 

November 23, 2012

Scandinavian Christmas Markets 2012 - (23,24,25 Nov 2012)

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It's the weeked for ALL the Scandi Christmas Markets in London

(23rd, 24th and 25th November 2012)

Swedish Church, Harcourt Street, London - Sat and Sun 11-6 (sat), 12-5 (sun) LINK HERE

Norwegian Church, St Olav's Square, Rotherhide 11-5 (Fri), 10-6 (Sat), 12-4 (Sun) LINK HERE

Finnish Church in London LONTOON SUOMALAINEN MERIMIESKIRKKO, Rotherhide 12-8 (Fri), 10-6 (Sat), 11-5 (Sun) - also continues through out next week LINK HERE

Danish YMCA Julemarked 43 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, 11-5 (Sat), 10-4 (Sun) LINK HERE

The Scandinavian Christmas Market - Outdoor market with loads of Scandi stalls, foods, presents, krims krams and nice hyggelige people  - Rotherhide, outside Finnish and Norwegian Church (yes, we're there, selling mulled wine and gingrbread dough, biscuits, delicato and more) LINK HERE

All a bit too much?  Pop by our shop. We'll put the coffee on, save you a piece of cake and always have time for a few hugs.  We're open as normal 10-18 Saturday and 10-17 Sunday.

God Jul x

Swedi

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November 07, 2012

What exactly IS Falukorv? And a recipe for Korv Stroganoff

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Mention falukorv to a Swede and you're likely to evoke warm feelings about home cooking.

A staple of the Swedish cuisine, this sausage is very versatile and can be used in many different dishes. Falukorv ('Sausage from Falu') is a smooth sausage made with pork and beef.  

At Scandi Kitchen we stock a really nice Falukorv by the maker Per i Viken, a slow-food producer from Sweden.  Per i Viken's Falukorv is really smokey and meaty and works extremely well on its own, fried on the pan in butter - or as the main ingredient in the Swedish dish affectionaly known as 'Korv Stroganoff'.

The dish is a hit with most kids as it is quite mild in taste.  A very quick family meal to prepare, you can have the dish ready in 5 minutes - and then all you need to do is boil the rice to serve with it.

Here's our favourite Korv Stroganoff recipe - do try it.  All you need from Scandi Kitchen is a Falukorv Sausage per 4 people you serve - and right now, we have a special offer of 50% off.  This is all part of our plan to get those amazing every day Swedish dishes to be part of your dinner table over here too.

Korv Stroganof (Swedish Sausage Stroganoff)

Serves 4 people

1  Falukorv sausage (from Scandinavian delicatessens) - we absolutely prefer Per i Viken.  Buy it here 

1  Chopped onion

A good squeeze of tomato puree

1 tin of 400g chopped tomatoes

150 ml crème fraiche (of for less fatty version, half milk, half crème fraiche).

In a thick bottomed saucepan, add a dash of oil.  Add chopped onion and roughly chopped sausage and cook until the onion is soft (Falukorv is already cooked so just needs heating).  Add the puree, stir, then add the tin of tomatoes.  Season well to taste (we usually add a pinch of paprika to ours – and a bayleaf) and leave to simmer for a few minutes, then stir in the crème fraiche.

Serve with boiled rice.

Yes, it is THAT easy.

Love

The Kitchen People x

 

June 19, 2012

19th June GLAD MIDSOMMAR special newsletter

Here you go, a special Midsummer Newsletter for you to read.

Go on, have a read. Just click right here 

Krans


May 14, 2012

Do you care enough to free someone you've never met?

We adore this experiment / advert from the Swedish Armed Forces.   Here, explained in English.

OUR NEWSLETTER


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