Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scandinavian Seafood Delights

For this Scandinavian Saturday, we had special guests: Susan's sister Cassie, her son Davis, and Susan and Cassie's dad Roger.  Because of the busy-ness with the funeral yesterday and the house guests this weekend, Susan wondered if I'd like to postpone today's Nordic meal.  Instead I took on the challenge of preparing an ethnic meal that would allow our family to try new Scandinavian recipes but that would not turn off our relatives with ingredients or flavor combinations that were too out-of-the ordinary.  Suzanna was my assistant this week, and here's what we came up with:

blomkål suppe med grillet kamskjell ["cauliflower soup with grilled scallops"]

We sautéed chopped onion, garlic, and curry powder in olive oil and then added chopped cauliflower and chicken stock to boil before turning it down to simmer.  After a half-hour, we used the immersion blender that I had gotten for Easter (remember?) to turn it into a thick but smooth soup to which we added cream, salt, and pepper.  Meanwhile we cooked the scallops on the stove top using olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Then we put them on skewers, poured freshly squeezed lemon juice over them, and placed a skewer across each bowl of soup before serving.

tomat krabbe risotto ["tomato-crab risotto"]

We combined tomato juice, coconut milk, and chicken stock in a pot and heated it.  In a separate pan, we sautéed shallots, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and tarragon in olive oil.  Then we added Arborio rice and white wine, stirring until the wine had been absorbed.  Then we started the time-consuming process of adding a half-cup of the tomato juice mixture to the rice mixture, stirring until it was absorbed, adding another half-cup, and so on until the big pot of liquid had been used.  Finally it was time to add egg yolks, soy sauce, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, cream, and crab meat to the risotto, and then it was ready to eat.

blåbær terte ["blueberry tart"]

We made a dough out of flour, powdered sugar, chilled butter, and egg.  We had to make it, chill it for an hour, roll it out, press it into a springform pan, chill it for another hour, line it with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans, bake it for 20 minutes, remove the beans and parchment paper, and bake it for another 10 minutes.  Then it was time to fill the crust with a mixture of sugar and fresh blueberries and return it to the oven for the last time.

The Verdict:

Delicious!  Everything was well received by our guests, too (well, except for Davis, who didn't care for the texture of the scallops and wasn't in the mood to eat too much of the risotto).  The curry gave the soup a kick, and the scallops were done just right and tasted great with only the salt, pepper, and lemon juice on them.  The risotto was thick and creamy and rich with crab in every bite.  The crust of the tart tasted like a shortbread, and the blueberries were juicy and sweet.  Although the recipe called for us to top the tart with sour cream (really?!), we opted for Schwan's vanilla ice cream instead, and it was a very good decision indeed.

I am sad to report, however, that there are no photos of this meal.  In the rush to get the meal done and on the table (mustn't keep the guests waiting, especially when one of them is a hungry baby), I forgot to grab the camera.  But if you came seeking the traditional Scandinavian Saturday photos, Faithful Reader, then you won't go away entirely disappointed.  Here's a photo for you:

Susan's cousin Todd's daughter Tatum (although I have no idea if she's at all Scandinavian)

Isn't she a doll?  Tatum was born just a couple weeks ago.  Because Cassie and Davis are in town, Susan's aunt and uncle Kathy and Pat invited us and other family members over to their house for coffee this morning so that everyone could visit, and Todd and his wife Trista brought Tatum and her older brother Trae.  We also saw Todd's sister Tina and her son Kylan; Kathy's sister Mary; and Mary's daughter Laura and her sons Kaden and Jordan.  Perhaps needless to say, the newborn baby was the star of the show.  However, Trae, Kaden, Jordan, Davis, and Kylan had a good time running around and playing with one another and were as cute as bugs, too.  It was fun to have an impromptu get-together to see the family.

P.S.  Suzanna and I went grocery shopping before walking to Pat and Kathy's (they now live just a few blocks away), and then we went home and ate dinner before stepping into the kitchen with our groceries to start supper.  From that point on through the eating of supper and then the washing of dishes, I spent eight continuous hours in the kitchen.  Why do these weekend ethnic meals take me so danged long to make?!  It's a mystery.

1 comment:

  1. It souds yummy! I watched Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network make a lemon tart so I know exactly why you needed the beans and parchment paper!
    But I've never made scallops.....might have to try that.