Sunday, September 21, 2014

The 3-Week Plan: All of the last week

It has been a bad week for plans, with lots of unexpected changes this way and that, and the husband, who is entering a period of extensive travelling (he will be away more than he will be at home for the next couple of months) has been in a restaurant mood, eager to spoil me a bit before he goes, which is nice of him.

He took me to a very fancy place, Hemmagastronomi (= home gastronomy), which is a combination restaurant-delicatessen store. We shared three medium size dishes: vendace roe with blini, smoked shrimp with aioli, and a plate with dried hams, salami, cheese, pickles, and tapenade. They served a delicious sour dough bread with that. Beer for me and a lemonade for him. I wouldn´t mind going back there!

One evening, the sister-in-law (who has been visiting the mum-in-law) treated us to her home-graved salmon, spiced with elderflower saft and gin. I have the recipe, and here it is:
Take a 900 g (2 pounds) salmon filet, with the skin still on, take out any remaining bones and cut it in half. Mix 4 tablespoons of sugar, 4 teaspoons of salt, 1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper, and zest from one lemon; rub this into the salmon. Put one filet on top of the other, skinside out and one thick end against one thin end. Put a double layer of plastic bags around it and add 4 tablespoons of concentrated elderflower saft and 3 tablespoons of gin. Put this on a plate in the fridge for 2-3 days, turn the bag over a couple of times during that time. Then scrape off the spices, cut the fish into thin slices (discard the skin!) and serve with lemon, ground black pepper, boiled potatoes, and mustard-dill sauce. 
I didn´t take a photo of it, but it had the nicest pink colour ever. There is a blogger who has a good recipe for the entire dish, sauce and all, here.

One of the days I made some more cornbread and let the husband taste Dave´s black eye peas, which he liked a lot. "I imagine this is what the cowboys ate," he said and he might be right, I guess. I intend to bring some to the mum-in-law eventually, as I have much left in the freezer.

Mash, fried salmon, tunnbröd, mango chutney. 
One day this week I fried some salmon and mashed some potatoes. That is a favourite dish of ours, fast food (half an hour plus however long it takes to peel the potatoes - I favour buying large ones!), but properly cooked. It´s so easy it isn´t even a recipe.

Our personal quirk is perhaps that we accompany fried salmon with creme fraiche and mango chutney, which makes for a very good blend of tastes. The idea came from a friend who said that mixing creme fraiche and cloudberry jam makes a very good salmon sauce. We prefer blending it on the plate - if nothing else, it´s frugal.

Today, we had leftover köttsoppa (= meat soup) built on bits and pieces from a kalops (meat stew), Dave´s black eye peas, and green peas from the freezer. I baked a fresh loaf on rye and whole wheat flour. Nothing fancy, but good all the same.

Next week, I will be alone and do a pantry cleaning menu. It´s a personal sport of mine which I do when the husband is away for a whole week - the challenge being not going to the store at all, but making due with what´s available. The eating equivalent of "shopping one´s closet", I suppose. But first, the husband is taking me out for Italian!


  1. I love pantry cleaning menus! It reminds me of my love for bargain hunting at thrift shops and flea markets. Sometimes feels like getting something for nothing!

    So interesting to see what you all eat--very different than our diet which is largely meatless and breadless. Mostly because of the way food is grown and dealt with in the US, and I can not digest most flours....

    1. Yes, I see just what you mean, it´s a challenge, can be a bit of work, but in the end it feels like a gift! (I just found trousers for the winter, by the way, for the equivalent of 4 dollars each at the local thrift store, and one pair was new, with the tags still on!)

      I used to be a vegetarian, and even tried gluten-free and vegan diets while I used to have a bit of a digestion problem. I healed it by eating less often (which goes against everything the diet people told us all those years, but even they are changing their minds now), most days only twice. And yes, I suppose we eat much meat and bread (and potatoes), but that is the way of the traditional Swedish diet - particularly here in the north vegetables are hard to grow. We try to be mindful of adding that, though, but I am finding it hard to pay good money for avocados that have traveled across half the globe and are either hard as nails or black and mushy inside, as much as I love a good avocado.

      It´s always interesting to wander around in foreign supermarkets: you can walk through a large store and still not find anything that looks familiar enough for you to cook from it! I tried to make some Swedish food when I was in the US in 1983/84, and some things were simply not available. Grains are mixed and ground differently, dairy treated differently, fresh yeast can be very tricky to find, and so on. We eat a lot of oats and rye, and in the south of Europe, that is only fit for animals...