An illustrated cookbook on the classic breads and savory foods of a Swedish smörgåsbord that can be enjoyed for parties and holidays as well as for snacking and small meals. Includes traditional and contemporary Swedish recipes for dishes such as Rye Bread, Chicken Liver Pate, Elderflower Cured Trout, Fresh Cheese, Swedish Deviled Eggs, Buttery Red Cabbage, and infused aquavit liqueurs.
|Publisher:||Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed|
|Product dimensions:||6.60(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
the meaning of smörgåsbord
Cultured butter shaped into roses sitting next to breads that smell of rye, fennel, and caraway seeds. Different kinds of herring lined up in separate ceramic jars next to a glorious Cheddar wrapped in cotton. A platter of salmon, mildly sweet with a smooth texture that melts in your mouth. Generous mounds of pink shrimp, piled up in a crystal bowl, just waiting to be dipped into a creamy sauce or eaten just as they are, salty and fresh. Strong flavors like mustard and horseradish—faithful companions to the spread of charcuteries like pate, smoked goose breast, and wrinkled juniper-smoked sausages. This table, with its light and well-balanced flavors of sweet, sour, and salty, is the ultimate display of Nordic cuisine. In Sweden, we call it a smörgåsbord.
The word smörgåsbord is composed of two words: smörgås (open sandwich) and bord (table). A smörgåsbord is a buffet set up with many small dishes, including bread, butter, and cheese. The foods, which range from cured fish to small meatballs, are almost always set up at a separate table where all the dishes are beautifully arranged, sometimes at different levels to make room for every dish. It’s not unusual for a table like this to have up to 100 different dishes. Obviously, it takes time to eat a whole sm.rg.sbord, and that is the beauty of it. It encourages you to slow down, focus on the food, and munch on favorite foods (and discover new ones), while you have a good time with your friends and family.
To experience the variety of dishes, a smörgåsbord is traditionally eaten in a specific order: the first round offers pickled herring, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, and aged hard cheese. On the second round you have fish and seafood dishes like gravlax, pike pate, caviar, and crayfish. The third round provides a variety of charcuteries, pickles, and salads. The fourth round belongs to the warmer dishes like meatballs, sausages, and gratins. The final round is the sweet table, which is often set up separately after the meal and includes fruit, whipped cream, and an assortment of cookies and cakes.
The best way to conquer a smörgåsbord is simple: take small portions and eat slowly. You are encouraged to go to the table several times and switch out your plate when there is a risk of mismatching flavors from other rounds. Overloading your plate will just make you unhappy. Treat the dishes as appetizers and you will go to bed with the satisfaction that you had room for an extra round of pate and pickles.
Though many of the dishes on a traditional smörgåsbord are enjoyed year-round, some dishes follow the season. The julbord (Christmas table) will feature rich and warm dishes, like fatty ribs and spiced cabbage, while a summer table will have an abundance of fresh seafood, salads, dill, and buttery young vegetables. The table also varies slightly from region to region, so you will most likely find elk and reindeer dishes in northern Sweden; in the south, the table will offer traditional dishes of eel.
Table of Contentscontents
the meaning of smörgåsbord / 1
swedish breads / 25
the everyday smörgås / 61
outdoor seasonal spreads / 89
smörgåsbord celebrations / 111
condiments & sides / 137