Saturday, April 18, 2009

Improvisation with Ethnic Food

Scandinavian Saturday is upon us once more, and today was Abigail's turn to be my sous-chef again (remember?). The past many weeks, I have been looking up Norwegian recipes to prepare for supper each Saturday; but today I decided to wing it, just making up some dishes that seemed Norske to me. Abigail was a great helper in the grocery store and at home, chopping nearly everything that needed to be chopped and providing feedback on the amount of seasonings that I was adding to each dish. Here is what we made:

shrimp and seafood salad on rye and caraway crackers

We peeled a few hard-boiled Easter eggs, chopped up the whites, and added that plus chopped dill pickle to our standard crab/shrimp salad. We added mayonnaise to the egg yolks; added dill, cracked pepper, and Old Bay seasoning; and stirred it into the salad. It was a tasty treat, thanks in no small part to the savory crackers.

main course
mixed greens and vegetables salad
baked cod with creamy ham-and-potato side dish

Abigail spent a lot of time dicing and chopping and grating the items for the salad. I washed and ripped up the leafy lettuce, and Abigail added mushroom, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, radish, carrot, and tomato. We served it with cucumber Ranch dressing and croutons seasoned with sea salt and black pepper.

I seasoned the cod with Old Bay and baked it. Meanwhile, I fried potatoes and onion, added sweet peas and cubed ham (left over from Easter), made a cream sauce for it, topped it with grated Jarlsberg cheese, and served it alongside the fish. We got very, very full and still have plenty of seafood salad left, a good amount of the potatoes/peas/ham, and a gigantic bowl of vegetable salad to finish up tomorrow.

almond cookies

I baked sugar cookies with honey roasted almond slices pressed into them. After they had cooled, I made a powdered sugar frosting with almond extract in it and drizzled it over the cookies, sprinkling more almonds atop the frosting before it dried. These were a big hit. Even though our tummies were over-stuffed, we all had room for almond cookies.

The Norwegian elements were all the fish, the rye and caraway, the creamed vegetables, and the almond flavoring. It was kind of fun to invent this time instead of to follow a recipe. Stay tuned to see how adventurous I become for upcoming Scandinavian Saturdays!


  1. Everything was SOOOO yummy! Your Scandinavian ancestors would be proud.

  2. are you coming back to Omaha anytime soon??? Hmm???