It is almost the end of summer in the northern hemisphere, and feels a bit melancholy as children start preparing for school, and we feel the change in the smell of the air. We also enter the season of lingonberries in Sweden. I really appreciate the Swedish culture of Allemansrätten, the right of public access – gives everyone the right to enjoy Sweden’s outdoors. It allows the public to roam freely, even on private land, to camp overnight and to pick mushrooms and berries. you can read more about it in this article. Anyone can come home with a basket full of lingonberries and use them on… well, anything! In the article above, you can see that lingonberry sauce is a little bit like ketchup in the US, slightly sweet and tart, and goes with everything. The famous dish of “Swedish meatball” is often served with a cream sauce accompanied by lingonberry sauce, boiled potatoes and a side of hard-boiled egg. It can also be accompanied with any fish dish, great with salmon, or on Swedish pancakes. In my mind, it is a bit different from fruit jam.
The recipe for lingonberry sauce is quite simple, just wash the berries, drain them, cook on medium heat, add sugar, mix and pronto! Each family will have their preference of sweet/tart balance.
How about Swedish meatballs though? What makes them Swedish, and what is in the cream sauce? Well, here is an excellent recipe to try making them at home, instead of stopping by at the IKEA dining area…
Enjoy the last bit of summer, and get ready to welcome the crisp autumn weather with grace and a smile!
My first road trip into Canada was when I was around 12 with my family to the Canadian Rockies. It was such a long time ago, that the only things that I remember from the trip were how gentle and nice the Canadian people were, and Poutine!
Since then, every chance I get to cross into the Canadian border, I look for Poutine. Poutine is a dish from rural Quebec, consisting of Fried potatoes, cheese curds and light brown gravy-like sauce. The history of the dish is still in contention, and so is the etymology of the word “Poutine”. According to Wikipedia, one often-cited tale is that of Warwick restaurateur Fernand Lachance, who is said to have exclaimed, "ça va faire une maudite poutine" ("it will make a damn mess") when asked by restaurant regular Eddy Lainesse to put a handful of curds on some french fries, hence the name. The sauce was allegedly added later, to keep the fries warm longer. Over time, the dish's popularity spread across the province (and later throughout Canada), being served in small-town restaurants and bars, as well as becoming quite popular in ski resorts and arenas. Here is more information on all things poutine.
One key ingredient you don’t want to compromise on, is the white cheddar cheese curds that squeak when chewed -- or as they say in French, “le fromage qui fait ‘squick-squick.” If you can’t find a place to supply you with this cheese curd, here is a step-by-step on how to make the cheese curd, and the gravy as well.
If you are missing Canadian poutine and end up in Tokyo, you are in luck! Here is a restaurant dedicated to delivering the Canadian Poutine in its true authentic form, or at least he tries. On this article on CNN, it focuses on Robson Fries in Tokyo where a young man tries to recreate his experience living in Canada.
If you have a chance to make your way over to Canada, the beautiful country with snow-capped mountains, easy-going gentle mannered people and its French influenced culture, be sure to try out Poutine! You might end up trying to recreate it at home like this guy.
When we think of Spain, most people are familiar with the famous Paella, but we will go a step further and look into Soupy Rice with Lobster (Arroz Caldoso de Bogavante). This is one of the country’s most spectacular dishes and holds a prominent place in many seafood restaurants and in homes. It incorporates the best of the Spanish Mediterranean kitchen, from a sofrito and a picada to a bold fish stock and ñora peppers (similar to a dried ancho chile). There is a difference between the European lobster and the American one. The bogavante europeo has some bluish green to the body, sometimes speckled with browns and oranges while the bogavante americano, is redder and a bit larger.
This is a holiday dish, cook it for your friends and you’ll have them knocking on your door every Sunday for lunch! The combination of the rice, the lobster and the soupy seafood flavor is superb! Magnífico! The Best! The rice absorbs the seafood flavors; the lobster is tender and exquisite… Mmmmmm, we bet there will be no leftovers if you try it!
Here is a recipe from one of our Hansa One team members from Spain.
Recipe for Soupy Rice with Lobster
Ingredients for 4 people
320 g of rice bomba (round grain)
1.6 liters of fish stock (5 times the amount of rice)
2 lobsters of 500 g each
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ripe tomatoes, grated
1 cup dry white wine (or brandy)
1 c.c. paprika
Extra virgin olive oil
FOR THE “PICADA”
1 garlic clove
1 c.s. chopped parsley
6 toasted almonds
1 ñora pepper (or dried ancho chile)
HOW TO PREPARE:
-Put the ñora pepper or dried ancho chile with water to rehydrate it.
-In a tray where we can recover the juices and incorporate them into the rice, cut the lobsters into pieces, chop the heads off and then cut them in half, and also separate the claws.
-Sauté the pieces, the opened lobsters’ heads and claws in a pan with olive oil for a couple of minutes and then reserve.
-In the same pan, add a little olive oil and sauté the onion until golden, about 15-20 minutes.
-Add the 2 garlic cloves minced and sauté 5 minutes.
-Add grated tomato, season with salt and ground black pepper, add the paprika and let it cook until all the water has evaporated and the tomato sauce becomes homogenous and consistent.
-Add the white wine (or brandy) and let the alcohol reduce a couple of minutes.
-Incorporate the fish stock and bring it to boil. At this point, if you want to have a more uniform final broth, you can shred everything with an electric mixer.
-Add rice, heads and claws of the lobsters and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.
-Meanwhile, make the picada. Chop the garlic, parsley, almonds and the ñora pepper or dried ancho chile pulp in a mortar until you get a smooth paste. Dilute the picada with a little bit of the broth.
-After 8 minutes, taste and adjust the salt if necessary, and add the picada, the chopped lobster tails and the clams, and cook 4 minutes. Stir to prevent sticking.
-Turn off the heat and leave the rice with the lobsters 10 minutes for the flavors to settle before serving.
Unicultural team and trainers, sharing our views and experiences on everything cultural.