Friday, May 13, 2011

Six recipes to cook from . . . Scandilicious

OK, I have a bit of a problem here. I’ve known Sig (aka Signe Johansen) for about 4 years. She came to me as an intern, contributed recipes to my website, was one of the co-authors of The Ultimate Student Cookbook and has subsequently collaborated with me on a number of other projects. She’s clever, funny and a loyal friend so I can hardly be objective about her new book Scandilicious: Secrets of Scandinavian cooking. I think it’s brilliant but then I would, wouldn’t I?

So I was trying to think of a way of drawing your attention to it that didn’t involve gushing along in this vein for several more paragraphs and then I hit on it: just pick out the recipes I most want to cook because that’s what you buy a book for really, isn’t it? So here they are:

Goat’s cheese smørbrød with radish and rosehip p 80
I recognise the inspiration for this from the girls’ outing we had to Copenhagen last summer along with two fellow food writers - an absolute blast. The whole section on smørbrød (open sandwiches) is good but this is a particularly stylish version - and an imaginative substitution of smoked sea salt and goats cheese for the Danish smoked cheese rygeost

Jarlsberg and fennel muffins p63
Sig has serial enthusiasms when it comes to ingredients and this incorporates two of them, Marmite and spelt flour. A really moreish savoury muffin topped with cheese - another Sig passion, come to that.

Janssons frestelse aka Jansson’s temptation p163
An outrageously indulgent dish of potatoes, pickled anchovies (or rather sprats, as Sig rightly points out) and cream. One of the world’s best potato dishes

Norwegian meatballs p 168
I’ve actually made these myself and they’re awesome. The secret is the seasoning - dominated by allspice - and soaking the bread in milk and yoghurt which gives them a light-as-air texture. Don’t forget the meatball gravy (even though I wouldn’t necessarily use brown cheese - a regular bone of contention between Sig and myself)

Vanilla and sour cream waffles p 53
I’ve heard Sig waffle on about waffles many a time but at last she’s been persuaded to reveal the time-honoured family recipe. I’m afraid you may have to buy a waffle iron as a result. Incidentally don’t miss her tips for making vanilla-infused honey - a must-have in every storecupboard.

Lemon and nutmeg krumkaker (ice cream cornets) p 188
I remember being immensely impressed that Sig also made her own ice cream cornets - and her own ice cream without using a freezer - a trick she learnt from her stage at Heston Blumenthal’s food lab. I think I’d fill them with the banana and cardamom ice cream (p 187) but then it might have to be the blackcurrant . . .

I could have picked out many more recipes but in a nutshell the great thing about this book is that it manages to be both healthy and indulgent and introduces you to Scandinavian cooking, and especially baking, in a totally unintimidating way.

So what are you waiting for? Just buy it.


  1. That is an excellent way to review it - I hope I come across a copy soon of the book - it does look most enticing.

  2. Hoping to twist the publisher's arm to offer one for a comp ;-)

  3. Sold! This book sounds delicious. I'll be checking it out.