Time for the final installment in my mission to better use my Signe Johansen cookbook in May- this is a little round up of a few other recipes I made and enjoyed last month but don’t really need a full post each.
Smørrebrød: Scandinavian open sandwiches. I tried two varieties, both served up on a crusty spelt loaf from our local Farmers’ Market. The toppings were lovely, but the bread was a bit of a let down. It was great toasted, but just too solid when served as bread. Such a shame as the loaf looked beautiful and we had treated ourselves to it. Lesson learnt…
So what were the toppings? Soft goats cheese with sliced radishes and smoked sea salt. The recipe also called for rosehip syrup (any ideas on where to track that down?!) and a sprinkling of chervil. I had parsley kicking about, so opted for that instead. This was a lovely combination, and I will definitely be going for the combination of goats cheese and smoked salt again- these complimented each other perfectly.
Smoked Mackerel and Fennel. This was again delicious. The mackerel is sitting on top of horseradish sauce (I didn’t have horseradish paste to hand) and topped with a little fresh dill. I discovered the combination of mackerel and horseradish a few years back, and I forget how perfect they are together all the time. Definitely one to try if you’ve not before. With both these recipes, it was unfortunate that the slightly dry bread wasn’t the perfect base. I’ll have to try these out with another bread base, but as toppings they were lovely. Plus, there is something about an open sandwich which just feels more sophisticated and more of a special occasion than a standard lunch. We enjoyed these on our balcony in the sun for another balcony picnic (my new favourite thing).
Spelt and Fennel Bread. Now, this would have made a much better base for the toppings above. This was a relatively easy, hassle free loaf to make, and although the end result is quite dense, it is in no way dry, and I think the addition of buttermilk in the recipe is what gives the loaf this texture. Also good toasted. If you’re not a fennel seed fan (like the boyfriend) then other seeds can be used. I’ve got a tub of poppy-seeds waiting to be used, so might give that a go this weekend. Looking back at these pictures is making me crave this bread again, it really was delicious (or should that be scandilicious?).
Jarlsberg and Fennel Seed Muffins. I think these win the award for weirdest ingredients list of anything I’ve ever cooked. I know not everyone enjoys a savoury muffin, but these were great for a late brunch or mid afternoon snack. I think on the whole I’m more of a savoury than sweet kinda gal. But seriously, just look at the ingredients:
The marmite, mustard and cayenne pepper combo gave these a definite kick and they are a more feisty version of any savoury muffins I’ve tried before. Plus who doesn’t like Jarlsberg?
Bircher muesli for Spring and Summer. If you’ve not tried Bircher muesli before and are a porridge or muesli fan, this is well worth a try. This version is quite humble, with just oats, milk, grated apple and natural yoghurt (plus a sprinkle of cinnamon to serve), but the first time I had Bircher was in Austria where it was packed full of nuts, other cereals and dried fruits. Yum.
The verdict? The recipes in this book are like nothing I’ve tried before, there is a really wholesome feel to them, as well as being quite clean, fresh recipes. Just the sort of food I love. There are a lot of recipes though, that I would love to try but the ingredients are really quite specialist and without having a Scandi style kitchen cupboard they are a little restrictive. In general, as much as I love cooking, I don’t like buying ingredients that I know I’ll hardly use. That aside though, a beautiful book. It has also well and truly cemented my desire for a Crown Devon Stockholm teapot. Beautiful.
Coming next? June’s recipe book that deserves more love is Leon: Ingredients and Recipes. I may just be cooking up a storm from this one tonight, so watch this space. Did someone say beef and Guinness?