The most famous of all Swedish dishes is probably meatballs and potatoes (boiled or mashed) with a cream sauce and lingonberry jam. Every IKEA serve it as standard food. But homemade is the best!!! Especially if it is made from moose😉
There is no standard recipe, everyone has their own way of making meatballs, but the most common ingredients are:
Minced meat (beef), chopped onions, breadcrumbs (half a cup or so, some also add half a cup of full cream), an egg to bind it together, salt and pepper. Mix it and form small balls, fry them in butter and put them in a bowl. Pour half a cup of water into the frying pan (don’t clean it), add a cup of full cream, a few drops of soy sauce and let it simmer for a while. Taste it and add salt/pepper. Put the meatballs in the sauce to warm them up. Serve with boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam.
“Janssons frestelse” Jansson’s temptation is a very common dish on any buffet and especially during Christmas. The history behind the dish is said to be the Swedish opera singer Per Adolf “Pelle” Janzon (1844-1889) who had invited people home but realized that he only had potatoes, onions, Swedish anchovies and cream to give them.
To make a Jansson’s you slice one or two onions grate about eight to twelve potatoes and you need one can of Swedish anchovies (which actually aren’t anchovies at all, they aren’t so salty and have a different brine *). Breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup cream and some butter. Put everything layered in a tin (pota, onion, anchovies…. end with a potato layer. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs over the top.
Mix the cream and milk, pour the liquid over (save 1/2 cup for later), put thin slices of butter on top. Preheat the oven to 437F (225C), and bake it approximately 30 minutes, pour the last of the liquid on and bake it for another 20-30 minutes.
* A good brand is: Abba I’ve read that when they export it they call it “anchovy style sprats fillets”.
Time flies sometimes…. This is one of those times, waiting for Christmas. The season starts off small with decorated stores and windows, but from this weekend and onwards it goes fast, too fast 😊
Every town has put up lights and Christmas trees, by Sunday ready to turn the lights on. And so am I!!
Normally these electric advent candleholders have seven lights, but now they can be found with any number of lights. The first was made in Sweden 1934, and year 1937 about 3000 were sold, 1938 about 6000 (according to Wikipedia), and except form the Second World War years I think more and more have been sold. Now you can find them in almost every Swedish home, and in many other countries as well 😊
I’ve also read that the seven lights originally comes from the Jewish Menorah.
As I’ve mentioned before, mid August means crayfish/crawfish season in Sweden. And last year about that time I wrote how to prepare the star of those parties (the crayfish/crawfish). Now it’s time for one very common side dish the “Västerbotten” cheese pie. It can be done with any type of strong hard cheese, but here Västerbotten is preferred. 🎉
Make a pie crust (not sweetened) and bake it (if you make very small pies you can take a shortcut by using puff paste).
Grate the cheese (approx. 1 + 1/3 cup) mix it with 6 eggs, 1+1/2 cup milk, 1 cup full cream (the milk and cream should be brought Tova boil and then put the cheese in and at the end the eggs) and season it with pepper and maybe some salt.
Bake the pie 45 minutes in 302 F
I also like to fry some leek and sprinkle over or put in the pie or sprinkle chives on top.
Other great sides are mushroom pies, salads, cold sour cream sauces and garlic bread.
Yes it is true, it is a Swedish tradition to eat fermented herring… Sounds weird but it is good (a very special taste though). Most are put off by the smell when the can is opened, however it smells worse than it tastes.
The “surströmming” (fermented herring) party is always in the early fall/autumn. And from what I’ve heard it all started a long time ago with a barrel of herring not being salted enough. That barrel started to ferment while being stored, and since people were poor they couldn’t just throw it out, they ate it. And those who liked it started to produce it every year when they fished the herring. And still the year’s new “surströmming” comes in August. I have also heard that fewer seem to eat the delicacy, but I can’t understand why… Also I saw on YouTube a clip with some Americans trying this fish, and their reaction was hilarious to say the least…. I guess it’s an acquired taste 😊👍 and for most it’s also an opportunity to drink a bit / or lot…..
To the “surströmming” you eat boiled potatoes, raw chopped onions, flat bread (the type I baked in a previous post this summer) with butter. Some like a bit of sour cream on as well (I think that’s just weird though).
If you ever have the chance, try it!
4,2 cups (1 l) milk
3,5 oz (100g) butter
1,8 oz (50g) yeast
2-5 tbsp light brown syrup (depending how sweet you want the bread)
0,5 tbsp salt
2/4 cup oatmeal
0,6 oz (17g) hartshorn salt (powdered ammonium carbonate) / can be exchanged for baking soda the same amount or double the amount with baking powder)
35,2 oz (1 kg) sifted rye flour (add some and then stir then add some more etc.)
I don’t like to but you can always spice the bread a bit with cumin.
Heat milk, butter, syrup and salt to 98F (almost 37 C). Stir the yeast in and then add the oatmeal and the hartshorn salt, start adding the rye flour.
Let it rise for a while (at least 40 min), then pour the dough onto a table and work some wheat flour into the dough. Don’t overwork it! Divide the dough into the amount of flatbreads you want (all depending on size).
Roll them out (preferably with a striped rolling pin) about 0,04 inches (3 mm), and then pick them with a fork, bread pick (or the type of rolling pin with picks or squares on). This will prevent them from “poofing”.
You can bake them in the oven for a short while or on the grill (preferably on a pizza stone). If you want soft bread just until you get small bubbles and it’s still white but not raw, if you want hard bread let it bake a little bit longer. It bakes really fast so it’s easier if you are two, one doing the rolling and one in charge of the baking 😊
Enjoy with some butter or the spread of your choice. (You can freeze the soft bread, just make sure it thaws slowly and the hard can be stored for a long time in a breadbox).
Filet of beef
A traditional Swedish cake (made with whipped cream and strawberries)
At 12 we look at TV and see the traditional New Year’s toast from Skansen (an outdoor museum for folk history in Stockholm) and we toast in the new year with champagne. After that we have some fireworks and as the first thing we eat in the new year we have lobster (I guess that is just my family’s tradition).
Tomorrow we have an other tradition in my family to eat roast turkey 🙂 but I know that very few Swedes have that particular tradition.
In Sweden Christmas Eve is the day of celebration, today families and close friends gather to eat, watch Disney at three pm, eat, drink, unwrap gifts and eat some more;-)
Three o’clock is a magic time 🙂 then everyone (all ages) sit around the television for an hour to watch a medley of Disney clips (i.e. Snow White, Ferdinand, Robin Hood, Micky mouse, Cinderella etc.)
For dinner most people eat a buffet with pickled herring, egg, ham, many types of cold meat and salmon, meatballs, potato gratin with anchovies, salads etc (many of the dishes are the same as on Midsummer).
Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!!