Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scandinavian Cuisine

Harrison Graden
Global Cuisine M/T
Chef Elkin

In all I read it seems Scandinavian Cuisine is in common that it has a commonality of primarily being smoked, dried, or pickled with a lot of it coming from the water, hunted, or grown in the ground and preserved or canned.

Scandinavian food is at its best in simplicity, with breakfast not seen as important and lunch being seen as a little more so, with dinner being the primary meal of the day and always served hot.  In the Scandinavian Peninsula they take tea as in England around 2-3pm with bread, biscuits, cookies, pastries, and coffee.  The primary beverages of the Scandinavian area are beer, snap (a strong alcoholic drink), or dry sherry.

The cuisines of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden are held somewhat in common due to the common leadership of Queen of 1389 who ruled over all three countries at the same time.  While this is no longer the case, this influences their cuisine.  That and their pride in ancestry of the Vikings, who were fond of oysters and mussels, along with mutton, cheese, cabbage, apples, onions, berries and nuts, and all these continue to be staples of the Scandinavian diet. 

While Scandinavian Cuisine may be considered bland by some, it was what was needed to survive the long, hard, dark winters.  It has been called salty with the curing and smoking of the meats.  Modern day chefs have taken creative measures to improve the taste and texture of the traditional foods.  One common tradition is the special or holiday meals which are enjoyed by all, young and old.  With the simplicity of the foods, it is important to present foods in an attractive manner.

Simplicity by nature and necessity.

Pork Loin Stuffed with Prunes and Apples

Yield: 5 servings
Serving Size: 6 oz
Cooking Method: Bake


            2 ½ lb              Pork loin, center cut, boned, fat trimmed
            3 oz                 Prunes, pitted
            4 oz                 Apple, tart, peeled, cored, diced into 1-inch cubes
            As needed       Lemon juice
            1 tblsp             Butter
            1 tblsp             Oil
            3 oz                 Dry white wine
            3 oz                 Heavy cream
            1 oz                 Red currant jelly
            To taste           Salt
            To taste           Black pepper, ground

  1. Place prunes in saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, let prunes soak in water for 30 minutes.  Drain well, cut prunes in half.
  2. Sprinkle apple with a little lemon juice to prevent discoloring, mix apples with prunes.
  3. With knife, make opening about ½- to 1- inch in diameter through center of pork.  Either make whole opening with knife or start with knife and then use sharpening steel to push through meat to form cavity.  Be careful not to break through meat.
  4. Stuff fruits tightly into cavity.  If meat must be held together, tie pork with string at 1- inch intervals to keep shape while cooking.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Melt butter and oil over moderate heat in pan just large enough to hold pork.  Sauté pork until brown on all sides.  Remove pork until brown on all sides.  Remove pork from pan.
  7. Remove fat from pan.  Deglaze with wine, then whisk in heavy cream, bring to simmer, then add pork.
  8. Cover pan, cook in center of the oven for 1 to 1 ¼ hours, until meat is correct internal temperature with meat thermometer.

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