Saturday, April 09, 2011

You Put WHAT in This Apple Pie?!

Suzanna was my helper for this week's Scandinavian Saturday supper.  I asked her what kind of food she thought we should make, and her only opinion was that it should be chicken.  We decided to consult Scandinavian Food, Kari Diehl's online compendium of Nordic recipes, to see what we could find there.  This is the meal we put together as a result:

As you continue reading to find out all the juicy details, recall that you can click any photo to enlarge it.

kylling danablu [chicken with Danish bleu cheese] -- We pounded butterflied chicken breasts until thin and seasoned them with salt and freshly ground pepper.  We had fried several strips of bacon until crisp so that we could crumble one piece of bacon over each chicken breast.  Then we scattered bleu cheese crumbles over that, rolled up each chicken breast tightly, and secured it with a toothpick.  We dunked each breast in an egg and milk wash and rolled it in a mixture of caraway seeds and seasoned bread crumbs.  While the stuffed chicken breasts baked in the oven, we made a roux from flour and butter, whisked in milk, and then melted more bleu cheese crumbles into that.  We passed the sauce around at the table for each diner to pour over a chicken breast.  We got a lot of positive feedback, both verbal and nonverbal, from our family members as they tasted the crunchy-on-the-outside, salty-and-cheesy-on-the-inside chicken with the savory, creamy sauce drizzled on top.

pastinakk pannekaker ["parsnip pancakes"] -- We grated red onion, parsnips, and a potato and let them drain in a colander in the sink.  When the excess liquid was gone, we put the mixture in a bowl and stirred in an egg, flour, baking powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.  I dropped spoonfuls of the mixture into a skillet of hot oil to fry up little parsnip cakes (that looked like round hashbrown patties) until crispy on both sides.  Suzanna, meanwhile, stirred minced shallot, chopped fresh dill, and capers into sour cream.  At the table, each person put a dollop of the sour cream mixture on a parsnip pancake, somewhat similar to how we put sour cream and chives on a baked potato.  It was a tasty combination, and the pancakes were an unusual and fun way to eat parsnips.  They had the crispy texture of a fried potato patty but the sweetness of parsnips, and they were a good accompaniment to the intense flavors of the chicken.

blandet salat med sitron vinaigrette [mixed greens "with lemon vinaigrette"] -- For a touch of fresh vegetables, we tossed mixed greens in a homemade dressing of olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, minced shallot, Dijon mustard, grated lemon zest, sugar, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.  The lemon flavor was distinct and made the dressing both tangy and refreshing.

kardemomme eplepai med gjetost ["cardamom apple pie with goat cheese"] -- We peeled, cored, and sliced Granny Smith apples and mixed them in a bowl with sugar, flour, ground cardamom, and cinnamon.  In a pie crust, we sprinkled some shredded gjetost (a caramel-y brown cheese made from the whey of goat's milk), spooned the apple mixture on top of that, and then sprinkled more gjetost on top before covering with the top crust, sealing it, and baking it.  The addition of cardamom was excellent, and we knew it would be as soon as we smelled it in the bowl.  The gjetost, however, had us both a little doubtful.  First of all, I know that some people like a slice of cheddar cheese on their apple pie, but we're not used to cheese as a pie ingredient in our family.  Second, gjetost is definitely an acquired taste, and Suzanna and I had visions of the whole pie's being ruined by the flavor of goat's whey cheese melted into an otherwise sweet and spicy apple-y sauce.  I must admit, though, that although we noted the aftertaste of gjetost with each bite, it wasn't unpleasant.  It just added depth to the caramel-y filling and balance to the sweetness of the pie (and of the Schwan's vanilla ice cream that we topped each piece with).


  1. I'd have to taste that pie to believe you.
    The rest looked yummy!

  2. 'Twas delicious! Thank you, Kevin and Suzanna!