Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Did any of us in the American and Canadian branches of the family grow up being exposed to Swedish cuisine?  I know I didn't and there isn't anything available here in Houston in the way of Swedish restaurants, either, besides a certain global home furnishings chain.  But I've been getting into Swedish cuisine over the past year or so.  A couple of months before I heard from Maria Lundberg for the first time, I went to the Kräftskiva or summer crayfish party at the Houston IKEA and had a great time.  Swedish crayfish are served chilled, seasoned with lemon and dill.  I also went to the Julbord at IKEA last December and then staged a little Julbord of my own for Christmas dinner.  I've also been to the Kräftskiva put on by the Swedish Club of Houston last spring and just this past weekend, the Smörgåsbord they put on once a year.  It was held at a very nice country club just a stone's throw from where I live.  Here are some pictures.

This was the Breads and Cheeses table.

Deviled eggs, plain and with caviar (salmon roe, not Beluga!)

Salad table:  Gravad Lax at the far end, salad fixings in the middle, marinated cucumbers at the near end.

The warming trays on the table with the hot dishes were still closed up so I didn't get any pictures of them.

This was my 'cold plate' (actually, the potatoes were warm): two kinds of herring, in wine sauce and mustard sauce, breads and cheeses, boiled potatoes, deviled eggs and Gravad Lax.  The ladles provided for the herring made it impossible to get any fish without a lot of sauce.  I've become really fond of herring and gravad lax over the last year. 

This was my salad plate:  Marinated cucumber slices and salad greens (without any dressing)..

And my 'hot' plate: Mr. Jannson's Temptation, Swedish meat balls with lingonberries, ham and more Gravad Lax.  Mr. Jannson's Temptation (no, not our Mr. Jannson) is a casserole of shredded potatoes, onions, cream and, in this case, a hint of anchovy.  It was delicious.

And a Texas dessert:  Blueberry cobbler and Blue Bell Ice Cream.

Besides what I took there were also mashed potatoes, crisp breads, lots of salad fixings, and a brown gravy for the meat balls, which they could have used since they were over-cooked and dried out, unfortunately.  A server circulated throughout the room selling shots of schnapps and there was coffee and tea.  I was absolutely stuffed.

Do you have any Swedish restaurants where you live or do you cook Swedish dishes?  If you live where there is an IKEA, check with their cafe (not the snack bar).  Different IKEA's have different special days, I think.  They don't publicize them much here and you have to buy tickets in advance at the cafe.  In the past, the Houston IKEA has held an Easter Smörgåsbord and this year had a Midsommar Smörgåsbord.  The Kräftskiva has become very popular, apparently.  This year the enlarged the space for it, upped the price, and sold out two weeks in advance and I didn't get tickets in time.

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