I will admit, I went into Nordic Food Week with a huge dose of apprehension. When Deanna said ‘Norway’ for our country of the week, I had zero idea of where to start. What I found was a rich culture of food, not just in Norway, but rather a broader regional cuisine of Scandinavia. So this week expanded to be not only Norway, but also Sweden and Denmark.
As you would expect from a colder climate, many of the foods are rich and hardy, perfect for keeping you satisfied and full on a cold winter day. Dairy played a big part in almost every recipe. Most of what I cooked came from The Everything Nordic Cookbook. Considering the great reviews and the fact everything I made turned out wonderfully, I’d say it’s a keeper. I also had recommendations for The Nordic Cookbook. That recommendation comes from someone I know to be a great cook, so I’ll be adding it to my shelves some time in the future.
I started with breakfast. I’m a huge fan of the Dutch Baby, so I couldn’t resist making a Finnish variation, Pannakaku, the first thing I cooked for the week. Because Nordic food is very ‘local’ in nature, I didn’t see a problem in subbing out the lingonberry jam for marionberry jam. Served with fresh whipped cream.
Next, I made a mushroom and onion pie, with homemade spelt crust. I really like the nuttiness you get from spelt flour and found it really easy to work with. Clean up was much easier than I usually have with AP flour. I made a couple of mistakes on the crust with this one. First, I didn’t roll it thin enough, so the top of the crust came out really quite thick. I also put pie beads on the pie, but had a moment of stupidity and didn’t put it over parchment, so of course the pie beads stuck to the dough. I had to take them out and over bake the shell to get the center done, adding to the toughness of the top of the pie. Regardless, the end result was delicious.
One of the hardest things I find to keep fresh is breakfast. Maybe it’s the American mindset of what breakfast is (I’m breaking out of it, slowly), but eggs and bacon are always a winner. I made Aeggekage. Basically it is an egg souffle topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, onions, bacon, and parsley. This was seriously one of the best things I’ve had for breakfast in a while. The eggs and bacon are hardy while the veggies are refreshing. This one is going in the rotation for the future.
For dinner, I did my first stuffed chicken breast. I know, you think I would have at least done a Chicken Cordon Bleu in the past. This one was a beautiful blend of smoked salmon, onions, dill, and cream cheese. The mixture is added to a butterflied chicken breast, tied off (or staked with toothpicks), rolled in breading (I used panko), the baked. I served it with roasted asparagus and a sour cream dill sauce.
To wrap up the week, I made some of the best meatballs I’ve ever eaten. More interestingly, because Deanna doesn’t eat beef, I made a turkey version. They were amazing, especially served with a refreshing side of dilled carrots, which cut through the richness of the gravy.