Swedish Crayfish Sandwich

Kräftstjärtar smörgås (crayfish sandwich) is one of the best Swedish food you have to try. You can make this in 5 minutes and finish it in 3 minutes. Yum!

kräftstjärtar mörgås (crayfish sandwich)

kräftstjärtar smörgås (crayfish sandwich)

 

 

The Stove Top Hambo

On a warm quiet evening, I went into the kitchen to get some water. And there she was, Grandma Glasses digging into the pantry shelves like a treasure hunter.

She turned around to me and said, “I have to be quick Drake. I need to prepare the ingredients. The Swedish Chef is cooking tonight.”

“But this is not the first time he will be cooking dinner,” I muttered while I take a sip of my cold water.

“But tonight it’s going to be different. You will see him do the Swedish Hambo-Polka steps,” said Grandma Glasses in a voice that sounded like a burble.

“The what?” I turned to her as she speak. Most of the time I hear the Swedish Chef speak and he sounds as Swedish as a Swedish should be. But everytime Grandma Glasses says it herself it confuses me.

“The hambo is a traditional dance that originated in Sweden in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, has three-count step, with one step movement on each beat of the measure, danced smoothly and easily, not tense but floating with the music,” explained Grandma Glasses.

“The steps should be smooth and relaxed, never jerky.” as she flipped her feet to do a turn.

“It requires coordination and control to become a graceful Hambo dancer,” I sneered in silence as I watch her. As if she heard my thoughts, she stopped.

She turned to me and said, “Oh yes he can dance! Pirouetting back and forth, he moves with grace. And with extreme precision, he makes a hambo turn so graceful even Gene Kelly would approve. The best timing I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

“From what you just did, that fancy footwork in the kitchen is The Stove Top Hambo.” I said loudly with a sniff.

“Oh Drake don’t be silly. You’ll see what I mean.. Here he comes now. Out of his way, and stay in the corner.”

*****

   “Today it is Stir Fried Chicken Liver in Bacon and Mushroom Sauce I will cook,” said the     Swedish Chef .

   “We need 300g chicken liver,strips of veal bacon,1/2 cup of chopped mushroom,1/2 cup     of diced onions, fried potatoes, 4 tbsp of butter, 1 tsp of dark soy sauce, 1/4 cup of           cooking cream, salt, pepper and sprinkle of dried oregano.”

Grandma Glasses and I listened carefully while he gives cooking instructions.

   “First I marinate chicken liver in soy sauce, salt, roasted garlic and herb seasoning and      set aside.”

Then suddenly he did a hambo turn as he puts a pan on the stove. Grandma Glasses looked at me and smiled.

   “Heat the pan, and when it is warm enough put the butter to melt until bubbly.”

Another hambo turn as reaches for the other ingredients. I am surprised to see him move without bumping into anything, so perfectly in such a small space for a big guy like the Swedish Chef.

    “Saute onions, bacon and mushroom and let it cook for 3 minutes.”

I was quick to notice another hambo turn as he takes the next ingredient.

     “Add the chicken liver and soy sauce. Sprinkle dried oregano and continue cooking in         medium heat for 3 minutes.”

He looked at us to check if we are listening. He did another hambo turn to reach for the cream.

    “Pour cream and let simmer for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper        to  taste.”

Another hambo turn and he has salt and pepper in his hand.

“Oh I know good food when I smell one,” I whispered to Grandma Glasses.

“Quiet now Drake, this is the best part,” Grandma Glasses whispered back.

We stood still, only our eyes following the Swedish Chef as he makes his finale. This is like watching a movie on the big screen with the popcorn box almost empty.

    “Aha! Time to remove from heat and serve with fried potatoes or rice.”

The Swedish Chef said it in a loud voice I almost jumped. He takes a plate and scooped a big serving on it. And for his finale, he did a last hambo turn as he exits the kitchen and walked to the dining table with the plate.

Grandma Glasses smiled at me and gave me a pat on the head.

“Yes Drake, that is what we call The Stove Top Hambo.” I wagged my tail to agree as she walked away to follow the Swedish Chef.

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marinade chicken liver

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Saute onions, bacon and mushroom

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Add the chicken liver and soy sauce

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Pour cream and let simmer until sauce thickens

 

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Plate and serve

Plate and Serve_Pork Kidney and Bacon in Cream Sauce

Today I went to the local market to buy fresh pork kidney. Let’s make this clear. I am on a diet. But no matter how I stick with my rules, the temptation of tasting good food still rules.

I was told by the Swedish Chef, this is one of his favorite offal recipes. You can also use other variety meats (beef,veal,lamb,pork,ox). Today I am tasked to execute and deliver the same quality of cooking to the table in twenty minutes. So with a sharp knife, a bowl and kitchen scissors I went through the preparation very carefully. No this is not for an episode of a MasterChef cooking show. It’s for tonight’s dinner and I only have twenty minutes to plate and serve Pork Kidney and Bacon in Cream Sauce

“Clean kidney” was the first instruction I was told. I used two pieces pork kidney, approximately 300 gms. It may sound simple, but requires accuracy and skill with the kitchen tools. It’s like doodling with a pen, but this time I used a knife. I peeled the white membrane on the outside, sliced and removed the white membrane inside. I gently poked using kitchen scissors to make sure every white tendon is cut and cleaned. Then I soaked the slices in salted water for thirty minutes, changed water and soaked again until water became clear. Next step is soaking the kidney slices in milk for two to three hours. The Swedish Chef said this will remove the remaining residue and kidney scent. I wondered how much patience is required of me with this recipe?

After three hours, I took the kidney out of the fridge. The slices looked pampered soaking in milk.  “Wash and drain again before slicing them into smaller pieces,”  said the Swedish Chef. ” But not too small or they become gummy, not unless you will cook them in lesser time.”

I stopped chopping the meat and stared in mid air trying to calculate in my mind  how cooking smaller pieces of meat makes them gummy and not tender. Now that is quite opposite with the method of cooking I am used to. But as good as a sous chef should be, I followed his advice.

“Score in crisscross pattern the smooth side of kidney slices and dice into smaller 1 inch pieces,” he called out his instructions from his side of the kitchen. Finally after the crisscrossing and slicing I have about 1 cup of prepared fresh kidney.

“Set aside kidney and let us prepare other ingredients. ” the Swedish Chef calling out the ingredients like we are checking a military roster.

“2 tbsp butter?” he asked.

“Yes Chef!”

“1 medium onion, finely chopped?” he checked.

“Yes Chef!”

“1/2 cup chopped bacon?” he bellowed.

“Yes Chef!”

“Salt and pepper to taste, half teaspoon of tarragon leaves, and half cup of cooking cream?” he echoed as I handed the last ingredients.

“Yes Chef!” I answered. Sheepishly I looked at the clock as I set my mind into my twenty minute task. “And my time starts..now.”

              “Heat skillet and melt butter. Saute onion and bacon for 3-5 min. Add the kidney                    and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour                cream and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.                          Sprinkle tarragon leaves. Simmer over low heat for last 5 minutes, stirring                            occasionally to prevent curdling or overcooking. Turn off heat and plate. Do not                  overcook.Serve with rice, fried potatoes or toast.”

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I thought I heard myself giving a twenty-minute monologue to the stove. After the cooking, the Swedish Chef suggested, “Next time we cook sweetbread.”

“Trust the kitchen expert. He knows what he is talking about,” I said to myself.

And then a funny thought just hit me. “I wonder if free range herbivore dinosaur was also a good variety meat for the cavemen.”  Yep, Grandma Glasses and her bizarre ideas strikes again.

Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon

Normally he’s quiet, but today he burst out and said, “I will make another perfect dish!”

I don’t think I remember a day when there is not a perfect dish at all from the Swedish Chef. And from all the dishes we’ve plated, I have come to notice something– it’s all delicious. I wonder what he is cooking today?

” Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon! And I put parsley into the mix, with onions, breadcrumbs, egg and cream..” he continued savoring the thoughts of his well prepared dish. While I have not even started with the ingredients, he already has a vivid image of how it is going to look and taste.

“Then I will form the loaf of minced meat, and wrap it into the bacon, and then into the ugn* ( translation oven )”

I looked around to see if he was talking to someone else. There is no one around but me. So those unbounded thoughts on the next perfect dish must have been directed to me.

“Okay I need to pay attention here or I miss a thing,” said I to myself. Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon is Meatloaf wrapped in bacon.

“So make the mix, then add to the minced beef and make a loaf,” said the Swedish Chef quite contentedly.

From his kitchen I can almost hear everything coming alive. Those ingredients started transforming as soon as they touch each other in the mixing bowl. It has become an animated kitchen once again. I see Steely Knife chopping on the board,  Shiny Pan sliding on the stove, the Humongous Fridge welcoming the hand, Mincely New Zealand beef ready to be wrapped, and Strippy Bacon awaiting fusion with Earthy Mushroom slices. IMAG0166 IMAG0165

“Put mushrooms on top, then cover by bacon and put in 200 degrees oven for 45 min. Got that? ” said the Swedish Chef. I gave him a quick nod that I understood.IMAG0167

Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon

Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon

Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon

Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon

“Do I tie it or cover it with foil?” I asked.

“No no no! Use your hands and dump it in a baking dish.”

“Place it in a baking dish and bake in the oven, you mean?” I have to be very sure of the next step and not confuse dump into throwing out as refuse.

“No no no! Not in this kitchen. Dump in the bowl and into the oven. Humpf,” explained the Swedish Chef as he left the kitchen.

“Seasoning?” I called out.

“Salt and pepper. Nothing more. The parsley, bacon and mushrooms gives taste. Forty five minutes and it should be ready by midnight,”  he echoed back.

Forty five minutes? Did I hear him right this time? That’s almost an hour. Patience is another ingredient I will have to add to this dish.

I am not really mindful of time when the Swedish Chef is cooking. Everything goes too fast I don’t even notice time except the aroma of what is cooking. I think  it was after thirty minutes or so I think it was.

“Let me go and check how it looks. And I will make the mashed potatoes as potato burgers I think,” said the Swedish Chef.

“Ohhh the smell..I am hungrig!” I heard him say.

“Ten more minutes,” he said as he takes a last check in the oven. Now we are getting close to plating the perfect dish. I stood up and went to the kitchen to see how it’s going. That’s just enough time for me to go help and set the table too.

Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon

Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon

“Food done . With my new invention Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon, potato burgers and Tartare Cheese that is worth a big burp. Perfect!”

Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon

Köttfärslimpan lindad i Bacon

Now ain’t that something! I think I will call this the Swedish Chef’s Big Burp Meatloaf. A big serving for a very hungrig Swedish Chef.  

For now I park my pen and take my fork instead. Now do I still need to rewrite the recipe? Let me know and I’ll get back to my task. 

Moelleux au Chocolat

Up north from the Swedish Chef’s Kitchen, turn left. Then right.  Then go up the hill until you see the village tower. Next to it you will find the Jonsson Bageri. You will never miss it, they have Swedish-speaking Buddy Rabbits and Buddha dogs waiting at the bageri’s main door.

With only the best ingredients used, one can expect the highest quality baked goods from the Jonsson Bageri. It is known for its  Swedish Kanebullar, Jordgubbstårta, homemade bread, sandwiches, and other specialty pastries. Usually  during weekends, business hours start at two o’clock in the afternoon and closes at eight o’clock in the evening.

Today I was lucky to sit next to the Swedish Chef’s table who was having his afternoon fika. Looking over my shoulder towards his table, I can’t help but notice the dessert plate next to his coffee cup. It’s  a French dessert consisting of a chocolate cake with a liquid center.

” Aha!  My name is not Francoise. Wouldn’t it be nice to try something French other than French Fries, ” I mused as I enjoyed the aroma of freshly baked bread filling the air . On today’s list is Moelleux Au Chocolat and Swedish Kanebullar.  Am I daydreaming or is it the sugar rush making me giddy?

Moelleux au Chocolat

Moelleux au Chocolat

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As I finished my Moelleux Au Chocolat, I pulled out  a bill from my purse for the tip jar. Life is good and I feel it is worth to share a good day to the bageri girl named  Charmaine.

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How to Make Moelleux Au Chocolat

You will need
100g  dark chocolate (a bar of dark chocolate)
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup powder sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to around 180C. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie. In a separate bowl, mix together the powder sugar and flour.Then add eggs. Mix well. Butter two ramekin dishes. When the chocolate/butter is truly melted, pour the mixture into the flour-sugar-egg bowl and mix completely. When it looks gooey, pour mixture into the ramekins about 3/4s full. Cook for 7-8 minutes, or until they have risen about an inch. Serve in ramekin dish or invert on dessert plate and sprinkle with powder sugar, whipped cream or ice cream.

Svenska köttbullar (Swedish Meatballs)

After a big game with his Aussie friends, the Swedish Chef decided to take a break and ambush the kitchen. Nothing beats a nice warm plate of Swedish meatballs.photos from home jan 2013 002 008

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Svenska köttbullar with shrimp omelet

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Potato gratin (3)

Svenska köttbullar with lignonberry jam and potato gratin

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Svenska köttbullar or Swedish meatballs are made with ground beef and pork, butter, cream, bread crumbs, and other ingredients. I know they have good, real meat in Sweden. Should I ask The Swedish Chef if they make it with moose meat, reindeer, elk, venison, bison, veal or any other furry-haired animal bigger than five foot three? I guess not today or discussion will go to squirrels and rabbits which I couldn’t imagine being served on my plate.

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Svenska köttbullar

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Svenska köttbullar, fried potatoes and lignonberry jam

Svenska köttbullar

Svenska köttbullar with homemade pasta

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Svenska köttbullar (makes 3 dozens)

1kg meat mince (500g pork 500 g beef)
2 egg
2 onions, finely grated
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs mixed with 1/2 cup cream
4-5 Tbsp butter

Combine onion, meat, eggs, salt and spices. Pour breadcrumb mixture and mix well.
Shape into your preferred serving size round balls and fry them in plenty of butter over medium heat.In 2 batches if necessary, cook the meatballs, turning frequently, for 10 minutes or until lightly browned all over and almost cooked through. Remove meatballs and serve warm with lignonberry jam, potatoes or cream sauce.

 

Fläskpannkaka

Fläskpannkaka recipe, Swedish oven pancake with bacon and lingonberry-jam.

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1 c Wheat Flour
2 c Milk
pinch of Salt
3 tbs Butter
3 Eggs
1 c Bacon

1. Start with the batter, mix the flour and the salt. Add the milk, pour it over the mixture slowly to avoid lumps. Finally whisk down the eggs.

2. Preheat oven to 175 celcius. Line the bottom of an oven tray with strips of bacon and teaspoon of butter. Put in oven for 5 minutes of until bacon turns golden brown.

3. Carefully pour over the batter and make it sure it’s evenly divided over the tray.

4. Continue baking in the oven for approximately 25 minutes at 225 celcius or 437 fahrenheit until firm and golden.

I like this best served with my favorite lignonberry jam and a glass of red grape juice.

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Meat Pie à la Alice

Oh me, Oh my! The Swedish Chef is making a pie!SwedishChef is in the House jan2013 012SwedishChef is in the House jan2013 011 SwedishChef is in the House jan2013 014 If this is called a calorie-count challenge, I don’t mind. I can still do onions. And what a better way to celebrate the New Year but with pots, pans and a rolling pin. Pat the dough, roll and pinch it. Fold in meat  and bake. “Now I go for coffee break”, said the Swedish Chef as he walked away from the kitchen.

After a few minutes , he’s back checking the pie in the oven.

“Hmm, a few more minutes then in goes the second pie.”  Then he is gone again to play with Angie and Drake, while I continue shaping pie shells for the minimie meat tarts.

Walk, check. Walk, check. Walk, check.  “Boring,” grumbles the Swedish Chef.

Says who? I’m still on my minimie tarts and he’s almost done with his second pie.

Finally, second pie came out of the oven. “Let cool and serve,” says the Swedish Chef. And off he goes sending warm greetings to everyone.

And here’s the Swedish Chef is in the House recipe for Meat Pie à la Alice

We used 250g mushroom (diced), 500g minced pork, 500g minced beef,3 medium onions(grated),1 cup cheese (grated),1/2 cup butter,1 1/2 cup cooking cream, 1/2 cup tomato puree, salt and pepper and basic pie crust (see Grandma Glasses pie crust recipe) Prepare ingredients and preheat oven to 400F. Brown meat in butter. SwedishChef is in the House jan2013 001Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a medium pot, mix meat, onion, cream and tomato puree until blended. SwedishChef is in the House jan2013 002 SwedishChef is in the House jan2013 008Let simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced. Pour meat mixture into 9-inch pie shell. Top with grated cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. SwedishChef is in the House jan2013 015Let cool and serve.

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Happy New Year from The Swedish Chef is the House.