When Hugh Collins from Chilterns Food Magazine approached me to ask if I’d like to contribute to the summer issue in their ‘Season Spectacular’ feature, I jumped at the chance. I love this publication, it’s teaming with information about local producers, chefs, restaurants and pubs. Naturally my feature is about Scandinavian food, in fact Swedish, if you follow me you’ll know my mother is from Sweden. If you get a chance pick up a copy, available at The Royal Oak, Marlow, The Goring Grocer, Goring and Lacey’s Farm shop, Lane End, High Wycombe. Here is one of the recipes from the Summer issue.
Midsummer is upon us and Swedes are fairly well tuned into the rhythms of nature. At Midsummer, many begin their long annual summer break and everyone is in a hurry to get things done and prepared during the relatively short summer season. Midsummer’s Eve is celebrated in the countryside and on the day before, everyone leaves town, everything shuts and the city streets are suddenly eerily deserted.
Known as “Laxpudding” in Sweden, this dish is considered to be one of the best examples of humanskost (home cooking). It is mouth-wateringly delicious and perfect too serve a crowd at a midsummer party. Melted butter and lots of dill gives it a sumptuous taste and appearance. Any kind of sliced salmon, such as salted salmon, smoked salmon or gravad lax can be used provided the amount of salt is varied. I like to use salmon and cod, brined before hand.
Laxpudding Salmon & Potato Pudding
Brine for the fish
- 1 Litre cold Water
- 90 g Sea Salt
- 45 g Caster Sugar
- 300 g Cod
- 300 g Salmon
- 300 g Brined Salmon
- 300 g Brined Cod
- 900 g Waxy Potatoes
- 2 Onions peeled and thinly sliced
- 25 g finely chopped Dill
- 5 Medium Eggs
- 500 mls Whole Milk
- 125 ml Whipping Cream
- 75 g Butter for greasing and serving
- Lemon Wedges
- Finely chopped red Onion and melted butter
- Green Salad
- Begin by mixing the water, salt and sugar, stir occasionally until dissolved. Place the salmon and cod in a glass dish and pour over the brine, cover and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
- Remove the fish from the brine and rinse briefly with cold water. Slice.
- Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are just cooked through. Drain and cool, then remove the skins and cut the potatoes into ½-cm-thick slices.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add ½ tbsp of butter. Fry the onion with a pinch of salt until translucent and remove from the pan.Heat the oven to 190°C Fan. Grease or line a 20cm baking dish with a little butter or baking parchment. Layer a third of the potatoes at the bottom. Cover with a layer of half the onion, then a layer of both cod and salmon. Season very lightly with salt and pepper, scatter half the dill on top, then repeat with layers of potato, onion, cod, salmon and dill. Top with the remaining third of the potatoes. Mix the eggs, milk and cream.Pour over the assembled pudding and bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden and the eggs are set. cool for 30-40 minutes.
- Add the remaining butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the butter starts to foam. Pour a little butter over a slice of pudding and scatter chopped red onion on the melted butter. Serve with lemon wedges and a green salad.