Posts Tagged With: Swedes

Grandma Anna’s Spritz Cookies

Swedish Dessert

GRANDMA ANNA’S SPRITZ COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (2 sticks) butter*
⅔ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2½ cups flour
1 tsp almond extract (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater**
cookie gun, aka cookie press
2 cookie pans

* = This was also made with NucoaTM. It’s hard to imagine how fiercely devoted some people were to this margarine.

** = Grandma didn’t use an electric beater. She used a hand-held one. However, those beaters are mighty hard to find these days.

Makes 80 cookies. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 360 degrees.  Add butter to large mixing bowl. Use beater set on high until butter is light and fluffy. Add sugar. Mix with beater until butter and sugar are well blended. Add 1 egg yolk at a time, blending each instance. Gradually add flour, mixing all the time. Add almond extract, if desired, and mix briefly with electric beater.

Grease cookie pan lightly with paper from butter. Choose a disk for the cookie gun. Add dough to cookie gun. (Follow instructions that come with cookie gun.) Use cookie gun to press out dough onto cookie pan. Be creative. Make whatever shape you want. (My grandma favored the letter s.) Bake at 360 degrees for 10 minutes or until cookies start to brown. You might have to cook in batches. Gently remove cookies from cookie pans using fork. Gently, gently, as some cookie shapes crumble easier than others.

TIDBITS

1) Why are there so many towns in the western America named after Sweden? Culinary historians hold it is because of the wondrously sturdy wheels the immigrant Swedes used in their covered wagons. While others used wooden spokes in their wagon wheels, the Swedes made theirs from spritz cookie dough. Egg yolks were much stronger back then, making for more durable spokes than ones made from wood. Indeed, chickens were buffer in the 1800s, being able to bench press a 200-pound man.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Swedish Saffransbröd

Swedish Dessert

SAFFRANSBRÖD

INGREDIENTSSaffranBrod-

2¼ teaspoons yeast
⅓ cup warm water
1 cup milk
½ cup butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (½ cup more later)
½ teaspoon (1 gram) saffron threads
⅓ cup raisins
½ cup sugar
2 eggs (1 more egg later)
4 cups flour (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

tin foil
cookie sheet

Makes 4 6″ buns. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Add yeast and water to large mixing bowl. While yeast dissolves, add milk to small pot. Heat milk at high heat until scalding hot (almost boiling). Stir constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Add butter, salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar to pot. Stir constantly until butter melts. Remove from heat.

Add saffron to tin foil. Bake at 250 for 5 minutes or until saffron is toasted. Add toasted saffron to cup. Crush saffron with fingers. Add 1 teaspoon sugar to cup. Mix with fork. Add crushed saffron/sugar to mixing bowl with dissolved yeast. Add 2 eggs, raisins, ½ cup sugar, and buttery milk to mixing bowl. Stir in 4 cups flour, one cup a time. Mix with whisk or fork.

Dust cutting board with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough to cutting board. Let dough stand for 10 minutes. Knead with hands until dough stiffens. Add oil and dough to large bowl. Turn dough until it is coated with oil. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Use hands to turn each piece into a 12″ rope. Put 3 ropes side by side. Braid the 3 ropes together by crossing the left rope and then the right rope over the center rope until there is one long braid. Join ends of long braid to make a circle or crown. Repeat to make three more crowns. Beat one egg. Brush egg over crowns.
Spray cookie sheet with no-stick spray. Place crowns on parchment-covered cookie sheet. Let crowns rise for 15 minutes or until they puff up into a bun. Bake for 15-to-25 minutes or until golden brown and when a toothpick inserted into buns comes out clean. Let cool on rack.

TIDBITS

1) Böard is Swedish for surfboard. Yes, surfboards were invented by the Swedish baker, Franf. For in 1618, Franf found a large tree trunk washed up on shore. The tree was of a sort unknown to Europe. Franf reasoned it must have come from a large continent to the west.

2) He announced his discovery to the Swedish court and asked royal packing for a proposed voyage of discovery. The Swedish king said Franf was an idiot, noting Christopher Columbus had discovered the New World in 1492, in addition to Basque fishermen, Viking explorers, the third-grade class of Stockholm’s very own Lutefisk academy, Chinese traders, and the people of the great migration across the land bridge from Siberia to Alaska.

3) Franf wondered why entire tribes would assemble in frozen Siberia and then trek eastward into howling blizzards to an unknown land. Perhaps they really had a hankering for a White CastleTM burger. Those tiny delights with their minced onions are really tasty. Perhaps the ancient trekkers honestly thought there be a White Castle in the new land, just like the Spanish conquistadors and their Seven Cities of Gold. We’ll never know. Researchers are still waiting for the Cliff NotesTM to come out.

4) Franf waited patiently for the above long tidbit to end, before he could go home.

5) He moped for countless seconds–there were no stopwatches in 1618–before rebounding with the boundless optimism of all Post-Renaissance Swedish bakers.

6) Fraf went to a dock, sat down, pulled out his pipe, lit a match, and commenced to day dreaming. His long reddish beard burst into a fireball of flame; not applying the burning match to the pipe was a mistake. Howling with pain, Franf dove into the bay to put out the fire.

7) Flame extinguished, Franf immediately inventoried certain gaps in his education and there were many. However, the one that consistently came to the forefront was not learning to swim. Thank goodness, the tree trunk from the first tidbit, by now worn down to a thin board, was right next to him. (Notice the neat foreshadowing?)

8) Franf climbed onto the board and sat down to think. Here he was sitting in Sweden, the top of world, when suddenly, in geological terms, he caught a wave. “Häftig,” he shouted, “this is totally awesome!” People gathered on the shore as Franf rode one rörformig wave after another. They joined in. Surfing totally rocked Sweden. It was totally tubular, man.

11) Then the Thirty Years war broke out. Thousands and thousands of surfing Swedes lost their lives in the battlefields of Germany, never again to catch that perfect Baltic Sea wave. Surfing died out in that no longer care free Nordic land.

12) But Franf is still remembered in the vibrant culinary, surfing world. This recipe is called Saffransbröd, in anagrammic remembrance, of Franf’s böard.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yellow Pea Soup With Pork (Ärter med fläsk)

Swedish Soup

YELLOW PEA SOUP WITH PORK
(Ärter med fläsk)

INGREDIENTSYellowPeaSoup-

1¼ pounds yellow split peas
6½ cups water
8 ounces salt pork
1 carrot
1 large yellow onion
¾ teaspoon fresh ginger (about ⅔”)
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon marjoram
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon white pepper

Makes 8 bowls. Takes 3 hours in addition to the time spent soaking peas overnight.

PREPARATION

Rinse peas in colander to remove grit. Add peas to large pot. Add enough water to cover with 1″ to spare. Let peas soak overnight.

Drain and rinse peas. Add peas and 6½ cups water back to large pot. Add pork to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Let boil for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally, enough to keep peas from sticking to bottom of pot. Reduce heat to warm, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Stir gently and occasionally. Skim off any form and pea skins.

While peas and pork simmer, dice carrot. Mince ginger. Divide onion in three. Stick cloves into each onion third. Add carrot, onion, ginger, bay leaf, and cloves. Let soup simmer for another 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Add bay leaf, marjoram, salt, thyme, and white pepper. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes more or until peas are completely soft. Stir occasionally.

Remove pork and onion from pot using slotted spoon. Dice about ¼th of the pork. Cut remaining pork into slices ¼” thick. Remove cloves from onion. Mince onion. Return diced pork and minced onion back to pot.. Stir with whisk until well blended. Remove bay leaf.

Add ⅛th of the pork slices to each serving bowl. Ladle soup from pot into serving bowls. This soup goes well with potatoes and Swedish mustard.

TIDBITS

1) The light emitted from stars appears to be red. That means they are moving away from us. Scientists used this knowledge to formulate the Big Bang Theory.

2) The Big Bang Theory holds that everything in the universe started from a teeny, tiny point, then pow! it exploded like an egg in the microwave.

3) Or like popping popular popcorn in a popcorn popper without the popcorn popper’s lid on.

4) I did that experiment in my college dorm. While I found that the kernels did indeed pop outward, they did not travel far and certainly not fast enough to exhibit a red shift.

5) Which would have been cool, although I wonder about the damage to the dorm walls caused by popcorn traveling at 100,000 miles per second. Probably would have gotten me kicked out of college.

6) On the other hand, NASA certainly would have contacted me. I mean they spend billions and billions on launch rockets that can only achieve about 7 miles per second.

7) Of course, sending a manned space station to the outer reaches of our galaxy at such a terrifying speed would require a really big popcorn popper.

8) But America is a land of ingenuity, and a relentless dedication to innovation. If we want to build a popcorn popper that can fling a space station into outer space at 100,000 miles, we will do so. After all, we have invented sliced peanut butter.

9) Sweden, however, is certainly way ahead of America in the race to invent the near-light speed popcorn popper.

10) Look at the title of this recipe. Look at the above picture. The Swedes like yellow split peas. This means they prefer this color of split peas over green ones. Or . . .

11) Swedish have discovered a way to hurl their split peas at such a prodigious rate that the light emanating from their legumes appears yellow. That’s not quite as impressive as a red shift sure, but it’s some million times faster than the speediest military jet.

12) Sweden has not been at war for 200 years, even though two world wars raged all around it in the twentieth century. Why?

13) Sure Germany and Russia built impressive tanks, fighter planes and bombers. But no country’s military stands a chance against a nation that can fling hot, nearly molten split-pea soup toward it at over 100,000 miles an second.

14) Or even 50,000 miles a second. And Kaiser Wilhelm II, Hitler, and Stalin knew it. So they left it alone, even though that happy Nordic land has such wonderful pastries.

15) You can order this tasty soup when visiting Sweden, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Soup that travels that fast is impossible to eat. Best try making yellow pea soup from this recipe. Just be sure to buy yellow split peas that are stationary. Doing so isn’t always obvious. You might have to read the packaging for the peas.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bruna Boner (Swedish beans)

Swedish Entree

BRUNA BÖNER
(Swedish beans)

INGREDIENTSBrunerB-

1 pound bag pink beans
6 cups water
4 teaspoons, or half-stick, butter
8 ounces brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons corn starch

PREPARATION

Put beans in large pot. Add enough water to cover beans with a few inches to spare. Let soak overnight or at least 10 hours. The beans will be crunchy if not sufficiently soaked. (You do not want to wake up, twenty years later, in the middle of the night screaming, “Why? Why did I not soak the beans long enough?”)

Drain the water. (This gets rid of any dirt on the beans.) Add 6 cups water. Cook on medium heat for 40 minutes. Stir every few minutes. Add more water if the water no longer covers the beans. Covering the pot with a lid also keeps water from evaporating.

Add butter. Cook on low-to-medium heat for 40 minutes. Stir every few minutes to avoid burning. Add more water if the water no longer covers the beans.

Add sugar. (If the brown sugar comes out of the box as a brick, saw it in half.) Cook on low-to-medium heat for 40 minutes. Stir every few minutes to avoid burning. Add more water if the water no longer covers the beans. (Engrave this advice in your memory.)

Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar, teaspoon by teaspoon, according to taste. If needed, thicken beans by adding cornstarch.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe comes from my grandmother Anna Erickson who was born in Murrum, Sweden, in 1889. I miss her.

2) Her family came to America through Boston, having heard of the hardships of Ellis Island in New York.

3) She grew up in Shickley, Nebraska. She later went back with my mother to visit. The whole town went to an outdoor movie, but was distracted by a rather lengthy meteor shower.

4) I grew up with this sort of Swedish food. Where the weird, modern Swedish pizzas came from I don’t know. It’s also strange that Bruna Bonër, or Brown Beans, uses pink beans. Wacky Swedes.

– Chef Paul
cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kung Pao Recipe From Forthcoming Cookbook

This is what the inside of my soon-to-be published cookbook looks like.

kungpao

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swedish Sliders

Swedish Entree

SWEDISH SLIDERS

INGREDIENTS

1 onion
1 parsnip
1 beet
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon capers
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

8 slices potato bread

PREPARATION

(Sweden is at peace with the world, but not with the culinary community as you will see.)

Mince onion, parsnip, and beet in food processor. Melt butter. Add olive oil. Saute onion, parsnip, and beet in frying pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Put sauteed onion, parsnip, and beet in large mixing bowl. Add beef, pork, yolks, heavy cream, capers (diced), mustard, salt, pepper, and allspice. Mix thoroughly with fork.

Make patties about 1 1/2-inch to 2-inches wide. Melt butter in large frying pan. Add olive oil and cider vinegar. Cook on medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until done. Turn over every 90- to-120 seconds. (Be sure to use a spatula bigger than the patties as they are more “liquidy” in the first few minutes than a traditional American burger patty.)

Toast 8 slices of potato bread. Put a patty on one side of the bread, fold over the bread, and voilà, you have a Swedish Slider.

TIDBITS
1) How did the Swedes come up with idea of putting beets and heavy cream in hamburgers? I don’t know.

2) As far as I know the first Swede to put a beet in a hamburger patty did so in 1862.

3) Sweden has been at peace since 1862.

4) America’s first known hamburger was served sans beets in 1826 and has been beet free ever since. We’ve also had the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, Spanish-American War, two World Wars, Korean War, Vietnam, and two Gulf Wars. We are currently fighting in Afghanistan.

5) Might we not try making our hamburgers like the Swedes? All I am saying is give beets a chance.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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