This week, I’m craving…

This week I’m craving… simplicity and style with some traditional Scandinavian fare.

It’s only Monday and I already feel that this week can only get better. After a candlelight dinner of fish shop chips listening to the sounds of water dripping thought the ceiling on Sunday evening (we had a water leak and there was no electricity…), I can safely say that all good intentions for the week (culinary, productivity and health-wise) have been rapidly tossed out of the window. I guess it’s going to be one of those weeks where I can dream about all the amazing food I feel like eating and could make if our house wasn’t in a state (will it never end?). With my favourite Scandinavian cookbook (Scandilicious by Signe Johansen) being in the attic and some major comfort food needed, I’ve decided to get my inspiration from the web and have found some cracking recipes that will brighten your winter no end and bring smiles to faces in the toughest of circumstances, leaky ceilings notwithstanding.

My culinary inspiration for the week ahead:

Meatballs and gravy

Swedish meatballs
Image from The Londoner

Everyone always goes on about IKEA’s meatballs and it’s usually the first thing people think of when you ask them about Scandinavian cuisine. I’ve never actually had IKEA meatballs. Tell me if I’m missing out! Regardless whether you’re using the homemade, pre-packaged or frozen kind, I believe that the secret of good Scandinavian meatballs lies in the gravy. There’s nothing more comforting on a horrible winter’s day! Follow this recipe for saucy heaven.

Eat more hake

Smoked hake with prawns creamy sauce scandinavian
Image from London Unattached

I’m always trying to eat more fish. Hake is one of my favourites. It’s not as overfished as cod but still retains a firm texture when cooked and is just about good with anything, whether you feel like a spicy Spanish stew or a simple lemony pan fried fillet. My dad always used to poach hake in a creamy sauce with prawns. It’s one of my favourite comfort meals (especially if accompanied by mashed potatoes) and takes me right back to my teenage Sunday afternoons. This recipe would emulate that delightful meal perfectly.

Crispbread sandwiches

crispbread open sandwiches scandinavian
Image via Pink Patisserie

Forget Ryvita, there are so many other crispbreads in town to try! I have a soft spot for the Finncrisp kind. Ever since childhood, it’s been a staple in my diet. I’d have it with jam for breakfast, with cheese and radish for lunch, and with banana and Nutella for dessert. There are so many combinations to try and you can really let your imagination run riot. Why not have a crispbread party in work for lunch with potluck toppings?! This post has some great ideas to get you started.

A humble herring

Rollmops herring pickled fish
Image from NorthSouthFood

As a child, herring was my hate-food (that and Brussel sprouts). Most evenings I’d watch my dad wolf rollmops down with slices of dark rye bread for his dinner and remember feeling fascinated at how someone could eat so much of something so disgusting. Inexplicably, in the last two months I’ve had cravings for herring (no, I’m not pregnant)! This must mean that I now like all of the foods I hated as a child…the strange things that adulthood will do to you. Anyway, I plan on celebrating this new found taste for herring (before I go off it again) by eating all the delicious sweet and sour rollmops I can! This recipe will show you how to make your own. But if fish and a slice of bread isn’t enough for you, this recipe is a genius way of using up your rollmops (homemade or pre-bought) in a warm potato salad.

What’s on your menu this week? Are any of these dishes making your mouth water?

 Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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