Salmon from the grave (gravlax)

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Something that we Swedes eat for pretty much every holiday is cured salmon, or as we call it – gravlax (salmon from the grave). It got it name from the fact that fishermen used to ferment it by burying fish in the sand by the high-tide line for a while (probably flavoured by some brackish Baltic sea water) but I promise you, it works just as well to make it in a plastic bag in your fridge.

The taste is similar to smoked salmon but with a slightly different consistency (it kind of melts in your mouth!). It’s quite expensive to buy pre-made and believe it or not – dead easy to make at home! All you need is:

1 filet of pre-frozen salmon (buy it previously frozen or have it in the freezer and then de-frost before you make it)

1 large ziploc plastic bag

Per 1kg salmon:

  • 3 tbs salt
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1½ tsp white pepper corns
  • 150 ml chopped fresh dill

Mix the salt, sugar and ground pepper corns in a bowl.

spread the mix out evenly on two pieces of salmon filet (I kind of rubbed it in a little too).

Add the chopped dill on top and press the two filet pieces together.

Put the whole package in a sealed plastic bag and let sit in the fridge for 3 days. make sure to flip the package half way through so that everything gets evenly cured.

The picture below is from the original recipe where they did it between two plates instead of in a bag:

Gravad lax

Once the 3 days have passed, take your filets out and scrape off the dill & pepper (you could wash it lightly if you want to make it a little less salty). Finish by cutting thin slices along the fish like in the picture.

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Serve rolled up like little roses to get the perfect midsummer smörgåsbord:

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Prune-stuffed pork tenderloin

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When dark nights and the cold & wet outside is creeping up on you, this meal will keep make you warm inside out. It looks fancy and tastes yummy but is actually not that complicated to cook.

This is what you need:

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 200 ml cooking cream
  • 8-10 prunes (depending on how large the tenderloin is)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • A handful of mushrooms (we used frozen chanterelles from this year’s harvest)
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs mushroom soy sauce
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh parsley
  • a squirt of port wine (I have used lingonberry vinegar instead and I guess you could skip it if you want).

Sear the tenderloin on both sides in some butter in a frying pan. Then, take it out and put it in a glass or ceramic oven ware. Fry the mushrooms and onions in the butter+juices from the tenderloin, add the cream, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper to make a sauce. Let simmer on low heat for a few minutes. Make cuts in the tenderloin, approximately 3 cm apart, and stuff prunes into it. Pour the mushroom sauce over the tenderloin and roast in the oven at 200°C for 25 minutes (this might vary depending on the size, so make a cut to check that the meat is cooked through). Garnish with chopped parsely once it’s taken out of the oven.

Serve with some fresh mashed potatoes and red wine :)

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Fungal feast!

Since David and I went to Revelstoke to pick mushrooms, I have been eating chanterelles almost every day for almost a month! I have not documented all the different recipies that I’ve used the mushrooms for, but in my opinion you can for example add them to creamy pasta sauces, quiche, beef stroganoff, pizza, soup, or simply just serve them on a piece of toast.

A large part of the harvest is also stored in our miniscule freezer. Before you freeze the mushrooms though, you want to fry them in a bunch of butter with some salt and white pepper (it enhances the flavour of the chanterelles). I freeze them in old philadelphia cheese containers, it makes a perfect portion to defrost and use all year round.

The variery that commonly grows here in BC, Canada is the White chanterelle (Cantharellus subalbidus). It is said to be even more flavourful than the golden one that I am used to from back home.

When the chanterelles are just picked they still have that creamy white colour, but as soon as they get a little bruised they get yellow stains. Nothing that you need to cut off though.

Here’s a picture of some really big golden ones (the shoe is size 10) to compare with that I picked home in Sweden.

My own little red lentil lasagna

When it’s really hot outside, warm meals can feel a little too much, but I feel a good pasta dish still tastes great under the gazing sun, and here’s my recipe for a lighter version of lasagna  – without any meat!

All you need is:

Filling

  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbs vegetable stock
  • ~ 200 ml red lentils
  • corn kernels from a fresh corn cob
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • A handfull of kalamata olives.
  • fresh oregano
  • fresh basil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek

Fry the onions in some oil and then add the chopped tomatoes, lentils and stock. Let simmer until the lentils are soft, then add the rest of the vegetables and spices.

Bechamèl sauce

  • 100 g butter
  • 500 ml milk
  • 3 tbs flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

Melt the butter in a pot with a thick bottom, stir in the flour little by little. Then add the milk and wait for it to come to a boil while stirring continuously. Be creful so it doesn’t burn. Keep it at a low heat and once the sauce has thickened, take it off the element.

Once you have the filling and the sauce, layer it in a glass pan with lasagna plates. Finish with a layer of bechamèl sauce and some grated cheese.

Bake in the oven at 200°C for about 20-30 min. Take out when the lasagna has a nice colour and the plates are softened.

Fantastic foraging

Two weeks ago I had to go out on a field trip to collect some seeds for my experiments, and on our way, we found some delicious treats: Aspen boletes (mushrooms) and wild red gooseberries which turned into a delicious meal :)

With the boletes, I made a nice quiche. First I fried the mushrooms in some butter and then I used this recipie to make the quiche dough and egg-filling. I stuffed the quiche with onion, zucchini and mushrooms and used regular cheddar cheese.

 

With the gooseberries I decided to make a crumble, and since the harvest wasn’t quite enough for the glass baking pan, I added some frozen blueberries. For the crumble I mixed:

  • 125 g butter
  • 200 ml sugar (pour half on the berries and use half for the crumbles)
  • flour (add until the butter forms non-sticky crumbles
  • cinnamon
  • cardamom

Then I poured the crumbles on top of the berries and baked in the oven (200°C) for about 30 min (until it turns golden on top). Here’s the result: