Long-time readers of this blog know that we meet up with three other foodie-couples once a year for a huge feast – a 13-course dinner on Trettondagsafton which is what we call twelvth night in Sweden. This year, we celebrated this unique tradition (no one else is doing it, as far as I know) for the 10th year in a row. It was quite natural that we decided on “celebrations” as this year’s theme. So the rules were that every couple should make three dishes – one starter, one main, one dessert – that were suitable (or customary, even) for celebrations. Any celebration would do, big or small. And speaking of small, the servings of each dish should be SMALL. Tre dishes per couple makes 12 in total, so I always make a tiny appetizer to serve with drinks while we look at the menu. Here’s what we ate this year.
First off, a rather traditional new year’s canapé with a chili mushroom stew. And champagne, of course!
Next came Erika and Micke´s sandwich cake, which they had named “Four baptisms and a funeral” – this is really super common to serve at those occasions. It was extremely good!
Second starter was to celebrate our own victory in “Swedish home cook of the year” back in 2008. Me, Dagmar and Lena won, although Lena wasn’t there at the finale. (You can read more about the whole thing here.) This was the starter we made from a surprise basket, on stage. It’s basically serrano ham filled with a grilled red pepper-lemon-creme fraiche, and topped with deep fried capers.
Third starter was to celebrate cinco de mayo, and what better way to do that than with carnitas? I made super delicious carnitas (must make sure to post the recipe) and served them with a spicy salsa verde, chicharrones, and some extra coriander. (Of course.)
The last starter was a slightly weird seafood mosaic with scallops, which was actually part of the Nobel menu ten years ago. It came with a very nice salad, but the mosaic was a little salty.
On to the mains. First out, a green pea soup with champagne – Creme Ninon – that was a highlight for New Year’s Eve a bunch of years ago. It was rather strange, not our favorite of the night – but the champagne was good!
Second, a bit of a long shot. We thought about when Sweden won the bronze medal in the world championship – soccer – back in 1994 and imagined everyone celebrating on the streets of Stockholm. The most classical Swedish street food is probably tunnbrödrulle – sausage served in a thin rye bread with mashed potatoes and a good helping of shrimp salad, so we wanted to make something like that. To make it more gourmet, we made our sausage from scallops and cod, and of course our own shrimp salad as well as deep fried shallots and some roe on top. It was pretty good but in all honesty mostly a fun concept.
Third, Persian New Year, Nowruz. This was a traditional dish with saffron rice and baked salmon – delicious!
Fourth main dish was a really delicious gumbo, made to celebrate Mardi Gras. Some even had seconds of this which should tell you how great it was since everyone was pretty full by now…
On to desserts. First, my idea to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. You’d have imagined something green perhaps but this was instead a riff on Irish Coffee – coffee ice cream with coffee crunch walnuts and a boozy caramel sauce with irish whiskey. Yummy!
Lena wowed us with her rendition of a classical Wimbledon dessert – an Eton Mess with absolutely everything on it. I loved this, and hated that I couldn’t finish it all.
Dagmar had made miniature princess cakes, which is of course THE cake to serve on a Swedish birthday.
And last, to celebrate a luau, a pineapple coconut cake. Really yummy, and it would be great with a strong cup of coffee.
Want to look at earlier years?