Saturday, March 4, 2017

Scandanavian Dishes For Lent

Scandanavian, cuisine whether Icelandic  Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or Finnish has the perfect seafood dishes ready for Lent. The countries share a passion for all sorts of fish , from cod to salmon from herring to shrimp. The recipes are just right for these meatless days.

Salmon is a big dish in Scandinavian cooking, namely in the dish known as gravlax. It's basically curing the salmon for four to five days. It requires both salt and sugar to cure it along with dill and cognac for flavor.. It's an elegant main meal for pescatarians too as well as those who are temporarily off meat. A  humbler recipe is the fish pie, filled with whitefish  and potato, Unlike other fish pies that are usually loaded with onions, this one has the mild ,sweet taste of cucumber to counteract the sharpness of  radishes which also add color. There's also the Scandanavian must have dill in it too for a spark of green and flavor. It's a nice dish to make on a Friday night when the family is gathered. Another cozy recipe is fish soup made with the Norwegian standard - cod. The fish's mildness matches up well with the carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms. Crushed tomatoes are also added to give it a vibe similar to the Portuguese soup, cioppino. It's served with warm crusty bread and butter.Norway also has a great flounder soup, from the seacoast town of  Bergen.Like the other it's a cream soup, but also has flour to thicken it. Julienned carrots give it color. Shrimp can be added to it as well.

Flounder is also used in many other Norwegian and Swedish dishes. Try it baked with shrimp for an elegant spin. It's a casserole, with fish filets layered with shrimp ,  tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese, then topped with pats of butter. Another flounder dish is fish cakes, made with flour and tarragon leaves. Cod and haddock can be used too instead of the flounder. Serve with crispy potatoes as a great Friday night dinner. Not surprisingly Scandinavians  also turn seafood into a pudding called fiskepudding. It's ground haddock mixed with milk and eggs to create a kind of custard. It's served with a shrimp and lobster sauce, heightened with a good  slug of sherry. Herring is a big deal in all the northernmost countries. One of the easiest is a salad made with salted fillets mixed with sour cream, chopped dill and the dill's bulb also chopped. Lemon juice is spritzed in for some tang. Serve on rye crackers or with a  dark bread such as kavring.

Scandinavian cooking is in perfect harmony with Lenten eating. The fish dishes are perfect for meatless Wednesdays and Fridays Try them in any way, from a savory pudding to .fishcakes for tasty dining.

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