Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gourmet Swedish Steak 'n' Potatoes

Susan was my helper today for our weekly Scandinavian Saturday supper. For inspiration, we turned to a cookbook that I bought late last year: Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine by chef Marcus Samuelsson. Years ago we'd watch him cook on a television program that he used to have; so when I found this cookbook, I was pretty confident that I could trust recipes from him. And I was not wrong! This was one of the best Nordic meals we have had since starting this weekly experiment last March.

sparris och potatis "risotto" ["asparagus and potato" prepared risotto-style] and karamelliserad biff ["caramelized steak"--specifically rib-eye]

Susan prepared the vegetables by peeling and dicing asparagus and potatoes while I chopped shallots and garlic. She sautéed the aromatics and potatoes before adding asparagus and white wine to simmer. When the white wine had cooked away, she added chicken stock. When that had been absorbed, she added more, continuing the process until the stock was gone and the potatoes were tender. I whipped some cream and folded in Neufchâtel cheese and some basil leaves cut in a chiffonade. I combined that with the potatoes and asparagus, and the result was one of the best vegetable dishes I have had.

For the meat, I trimmed several rib-eye steaks while Susan made a cooking liquid of chile sauce, soy sauce, fresh lime juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, and horseradish. I seared each steak in olive oil in a hot pan and then transferred all the steaks to a baking dish, immersed them in the cooking liquid, and roasted them in the oven. Our daughters have never ooh-ed and aah-ed over steaks the way they did over these steaks tonight. The sauce was so sweet/salty/savory/spicy and the meat so tender and flavorful. Again, a very big hit with our family.

mandeltårta med citron ["almond cake with lemon"--that's a lemon curd/cream cheese frosting]

Many a Scandinavian dessert features almond flavoring, so we felt safe not following a recipe for our dessert but still counting it for the theme of our meal. I had some frosting left over from having made Susan's birthday cake (remember?), so Susan baked an almond pound cake from Tastefully Simple and topped each slice with a generous dollop of the icing that I had made. With it Susan and I drank Moscato Allegro, a dessert wine that we both loved.

The entire meal, start to finish, was just terrific. It's always a good sign when one of the daughters places a morsel of food in her mouth, closes her eyes, and says, "Mmm, I love Scandinavian Saturdays so much!" (I think we'll keep doing this.)

1 comment:

  1. I liked Suzanna's suggestion at supper that we revisit some of our favorite dishes to end the year -- and this meal would be on the list!