Showing posts from May, 2009

Cookbook review: The Scandinavian Cookbook by Trina Hahnemann

While there are no specifically Icelandic recipes in this book, there are enough dishes in it that have passed into traditional Icelandic cookery (taken from Danish and Norwegian cookbooks of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries) to include it here. Author Trina Hahnemann has, in co-operation with photographer Lars Ranek, produced a gorgeous tribute to Scandinavian cookery. The book is divided into chapters by month, and each month includes recipes made from local ingredients that are fresh at the given time of year. The recipes, when they aren't pan-Scandinavian, are mostly Danish and Swedish, with some Norwegian ones. My native Iceland isn‘t included, as while the culinary tradition is firmly Scandinavian, the country isn‘t actually a geographical part of Scandinavia. I did find several recipes that are very familiar to me, like fish cakes, gravlax, pickled cucumbers, marinated herring and Christmas pudding, to name a few. The recipes are a mixture of familiar traditional

Quick and easy bread casserole

Hot bread-based dishes like this one are a popular party food in Iceland. I have rarely attended a birthday party, graduation, or other get-together in the last 10 years or so where the hosts didn’t serve at least one hot bread dish, either a stuffed bread roll or a casserole. These dishes generally contain cheese, usually either mushrooms or asparagus (often both), and sometimes chopped bell peppers or crushed pineapple. In the beginning the sauce was usually a can of Campbell’s condensed mushroom or asparagus soup mixed with cream, and the dish was topped with cheese, but these days the sauce is usually made from scratch, using some combination of: melted white or blue mould cheese (e.g. Camembert or Brie), or melted flavoured block cheese, or cream cheese, or cheese spread mixed with cream and/or mayonnaise and the liquid from the mushrooms and/or asparagus. Protein is usually provided in the form of ham or shrimp, but chicken can be used as well. The spices vary. I have seen re