Saturday, March 05, 2011

Green Overload

Just like last weekend, our Scandinavian Saturday supper tonight was preceded by a day full of errands and followed by a trip to the university for an arts performance.  Unlike last weekend, however, we managed to make several dishes for the meal.  Suzanna was my helper today, and she ended up making most of the meal!

Looks good, doesn't it?  I know you want to know what it all is, so I'll tell you:

Bottom left: Swedish skåskpotatis; middle: Norwegian fisk til en prins; right: Norwegian stekt gulrøtter med dill.

The main dish was fisk til en prins ["fish for a prince"], a recipe from the Sons of Norway.  There's a lot of garnish, so it's pretty hard to see here that it's a platter of seafood in a creamy sauce.  Suzanna poached cod fillets in fish stock.  When they were cooked, she removed them and set them aside.  Then she made a roux by stirring flour into melted butter, into which she then whisked the stock.  She simmered it until thickened and then whisked in a mixture of egg yolk and heavy cream to finish the sauce.

She had already parboiled some fresh asparagus and removed the tails from some cooked shrimp.  She plated the cod, laid the shrimp over the fish, and poured the sauce over the top.  Then she put the asparagus atop the platter of seafood and garnished the whole thing with chopped parsley.  It was a really mild but nice fish dish, made better by the addition of bright, fresh vegetables and herbs.

One of the side dishes was stekt gulrøtter med dill ["roasted carrots with dill"], a recipe from Ina Garten.  Suzanna cleaned a bunch of carrots and sliced them diagonally into thick chunks.  She tossed them with olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper and then roasted them on a baking sheet in the oven.  When they were done, she tossed them with chopped fresh dill and parsley.  They were delicious.  The roasting brought out the carrots' natural sweetness, which served as a tasty contrast to the savory salt and dill flavors.

The other side dish was the reason that Suzanna made most of the other two dishes by herself: I had to keep a close eye on the skåskpotatis, a Swedish recipe from Beatrice Ojakangas that she translates as "creamy fried potatoes."  I cut several potatoes in a small dice and one onion in the same size dice and then added them to a pan of melted butter and sautéed them until brown.  Everything wanted to stick to the bottom of the frying pan, so I had to move the potatoes around all the time--and still a brown crust formed on the bottom of the pan.  Then I added chicken stock to boil the browned-but-raw potatoes until the liquid had been absorbed (but first I used it to loosen the tasty brown bits from the pan).  Then I added heavy cream, salt, and pepper, stirring it as it simmered until the cream had thickened to a smooth sauce.  The result was an unusual combination: crunchy fried potatoes in a thick, creamy sauce that tasted a little salty and a little like browned butter, all topped with fresh parsley.

After the delicious meal, we attended a performance of Hilltop Holiday.  It's an annual variety show that has been going on for years (Susan even performed in it when she was an upperclassman in high school) as a fundraiser for a student organization in the Music Department.  It was good to support the students and to see their various talents on display in ways that we don't normally get to see them in the classroom or on stage for traditional concerts and recitals.


  1. This meal looks very good too! I love the look of the potatos and the sauce. Mmm....

  2. I'm fairly certain that I did not know what a roux WAS, let alone how to make one, when I was a 7th grader. Nicely done, Suzanna & Kevin!