Salmon with cheese
Lax med Västerbottensost
This is a really easy dish to cook requiring just a few ingredients, little preparation and it is a cinch to serve! It is also straightforward to adapt to make it for a for a large group.
Salmon is popular in Sweden. Most Swedes like fish and salmon is readily available all year as the vast majority is farmed over the border in Norway.
The recipe came from Caroline Stureson the owner of Onkel Enkels pensionat & café, a charming bed and breakfast near Tomelilla in Skåne. The rooms are simple, but attractively furnished. A two-course set-dinner is served in a child-friendly dining room at 7 pm and is warmly recommended. Onkel Enkels is extremely popular in the summer, so be sure to book in advance if you want a room.
The east coast of Skåne is a magnet for Swedes, Danes and Germans, especially those who like walking, cycling and beach holidays. There are so many lovely hamlets and fishing villages as well as some stunning beaches.
Ystad is the largest nearby town and these days it is best known as the stamping ground of the fictional detective Kurt Wallander, created by Henning Mankell. It is a more atttractive town than portrayed in Wallander, with pastel-coloured half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets and a picture-perfect historic centre. In August the town hosts an excellent jazz festival which attracts some of the world's top musicians. Further afield Malmö, the regional capital, and Lund, home to one of the largest and most prestigious universities in northern Europe, are well worth a visit.
Food is important in Skåne. It is known as the garden of Sweden, with a relatively mild climate and fertile soil worked by dedicated farmers. Attractive restaurants and cafés abound, run by passionate chefs keen to show-off skånska smakerna (the Scanian flavours). If you like Swedish food, be sure to visit Skåne! John Duxbury
• In the UK, Västerbottensost can be bought at Waitrose (but you might need to order it), at specialist shops or online.
• If you can’t find Västerbottensost use another mature hard cheese such as cheddar, parmesan or a mixture.
• Although this dish is best freshly made, it does reheat tolerably well the next day.
• If possible, use a digital thermometer when baking fish to avoid overcooking. Swedes often use thermometers when cooking meat or fish, however, if you’ve not got a digital thermometer cook the fish until it is no longer translucent.
• If you can’t find lemon pepper add some lemon zest to the seasoning instead.
• Swedes would normally use matlagningsgrädde (cooking cream), which contains 15% fat, but it is fine to use single cream (18% fat) or whipping cream (39%) instead.
|butter, for greasing|
|salt and lemon pepper|
|200 g||(7 oz)||spinach|
|600 g||(1¼ lb)||salmon fillet, cut into four pieces|
|100 g||(4 oz)||Västerbottensost, grated|
|300 ml||(1¼ cups)||cream|
1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF, gas 5, fan 175ºC).
2. Lightly butter a large ovenproof dish and sprinkle over some salt and lemon pepper.
3. Add the spinach and then place the salmon fillets on top.
4. Put the grated Västerbottensost on top of the salmon pieces and then pour the cream around the salmon, over the spinach.
5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 18-22 minutes, until the centre of the salmon reaches 52ºC (126ºF).
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