We’ve had a sudden cold snap, and for this part of the world it’s been really cold.
Our house doesn’t do well in this weather so we’ve been keeping snug in the living room, the one room with heating. The kitchen gets warmed by using the stove, so standing over a hot stove is definitely and attractive proposition at the moment – assuming we want to eat.
After the success using tvp to make the Swedish meatless balls, I decided to try my hand at a Danish Notmeatloaf. The main ingredients were tvp, mushrooms and breadcrumbs, which mixed together to make a very nice ‘dough’. What I really liked about this one was that you cooked onion and capsicum and put that it the bottom of the loaf pan, so that when you turned the loaf out it was on top. We had it with mashed potato, peas, corn and gravy. Fabulous winter comfort food!
Toasted barley pilaf
Barley is a common grain in Scandinavian cooking. Toasted in the pan before adding the stock gives it a lovely colour. The vegetable component is cooked separately and then they’re mixed together at the end. So really you could make this as simple or as packed with vegetables as you like, depending on whether you want it as a side or more of a main dish. The additional of some toasted walnuts gave it a lovely crunch.
Swede (rutabaga) ‘ham’
I was intrigued to try this dish. Swede (also known as rutabaga or yellow turnip) is something more likely to be used in a soup that as a feature vegetable here. I’d used some swede in the roast vegetables I made last week, so I knew the flavour was ok, but I had no idea how it was going to turn out done this way. The swede is peeled and left whole, studded with cloves and then simmered in water with other flavours until just tender. Then it’s coated in breadcrumbs and roasted in the oven for a short time. The flavours are quite subtle, and it tastes nothing like ham. The only reason I can think it’s been given that name is because it can sliced and used instead of meat.
Scandinavian pumpkin and potato soup
The last of the pumpkins I was given by my parents needed to be used, and given the cold snap, some warming soup was very appealing. This soup is really creamy with lemon, thyme and garlic flavours. I made a decent amount so we could have it for lunch during the week. Topped with some toasted pumpkin seeds and fried shallots is made a very warming meal.
I’ll have to find some other recipes to use up the rest of the pumpkin. I’m open to suggestions!
Swedish puy lentils
This a lentil version of a side dish made with Swedish brown beans, a bean I’ve never some across. I could have used pinto beans instead, but decided to try it with lentils, partly because I didn’t have time to soak any pinto beans, but mostly because I felt like lentils. It’s a strange dish, it has molasses, sugar and vinegar which gives it a kind of sweet and sour taste. It’s really quite moreish, and definitely gets better over time.