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More Swedish dinners: "Gubbröra"

More Swedish dinners: "Gubbröra"
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  • More Swedish dinners: "Gubbröra"

    Post #1 - March 27th, 2007, 3:25 am
    Post #1 - March 27th, 2007, 3:25 am Post #1 - March 27th, 2007, 3:25 am
    Thought I'd start a new, short series of Swedish dinner posts with an easy dish: "Gubbröra".

    I suppose "gubbröra" would literally translate to "old-man mix (or "mash" or even "mess")". "Gubbe" is a flexible word that can be used in contexts ranging from endearing (our sons are occassionally "gubbar" in my wife's verbal lavishings) to degrading (i.e., dirty old men). I assume that this dish gets its name as it's something only an old man would enjoy: salty, fishy, easy to prepare and excellent with snaps and beer.

    "Gubbröra" is generally seen served as an appetizer these days but it also makes an excellent and quick dinner when one is alone, the clock is getting late and one generally feels like a "gubbe".

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    Ingredients (left to right, top to bottom): a few slices of sweet rye bread (for serving, really), creme fraiche, Swedish caviar, a red onion, one can of Swedish-style anchovies (see info about these at the bottom of this post), dill, chives and some Swedish hardbread (also for serving).

    A note on this hardbread: This is sort-of Wasa bread's (I believe Wasa is pretty widely available in the States) hillbilly cousin. It's handmade, uses a sourdough culture and is baked in an old, woodfired oven. This particular version is lightly seasoned with caraway.

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    Packed like sardines in a... Hey, wait a minute... These guys don't have it that bad in there!

    Finely chop the herbs, the red onion and add these to the roughly chopped anchovies and about one tablespoon of the Swedish caviar.

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    Chop your hardboiled eggs and add to the above mixture together with about a tablespoon of the creme fraiche. (I even added about a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.) Mix again and pile onto the bread.

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    Enjoy. And live it up a bit! This is food for stubborn old men so disparage today's youth, belch, crunch loudly and get crumbs all over the tablecloth.

    As far as liquid refreshment goes, I started with Gas-Jannes Golden Ale. This golden ale is, according to the label, a German-style Kölsch ale. Pilsner malt is combined with several types of caramel malt to produce the golden color. A moderate amount of Spalter Select and Hersbrucker hops have been added. It was surprisingly tasty – smelling of honey and with a buttery taste and a restrained bitterness. Brewed in Sigtuna, outside of Stockholm.

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    The Gas-Jannes was actually so good that it disappeared before dinner so, with dinner, I was “forced” to choose another combination.

    Being a dish that practically requires snaps, I chose a classic: O.P. Andersson. Introduced in 1891, O.P. tastes has a strong flavor of caraway and notes of anise and fennel seed.

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    I eventually moved on to a beer I’ve waited a while to try: “Tiotaggare” (or “Ten-pointer”) by my favorite widely available, Swedish microbrewery: Jämtlands Bryggeri). They formulated this beer to celebrate their 10th anniversary and it shows. Complex, heavy and layered, it’s a beer for sipping, contemplating and, unfortunately, NOT gubbröra… Gorgeous color, though:

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  • Post #2 - March 27th, 2007, 7:36 am
    Post #2 - March 27th, 2007, 7:36 am Post #2 - March 27th, 2007, 7:36 am
    HI,

    Enchanting!

    What constitutes Swedish caviar? Is it in the squeeze tube? What is the shelf life after opening?

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - March 27th, 2007, 7:50 am
    Post #3 - March 27th, 2007, 7:50 am Post #3 - March 27th, 2007, 7:50 am
    Good morning, Cathy2!

    Yes, the caviar is in the blue tube.

    I really should have written "Swedish sandwich caviar" because it's an important distinction. I thought that I'd seen a post of two mentioning that this product was available at IKEA and therefore thought it was familiar to many readers.

    Swedish sandwich caviar is a considerably more processed product than what many of us would consider caviar. It is made with cod eggs that have been processed with, among other things, salt, sugar, potatoes and tomato paste. It has a bracingly salty, fishy and sweet flavor which has taken me over ten years to even slightly appreciate (it's the sweetness that I have problems with). Lightly smoked versions are also available.

    It's very popular in Sweden served thinly spread on bread and/or served with/on hardboiled eggs.

    Strange? Sure. But, on the other hand, you should see the looks on Swedes' faces when I mention peanut butter...
  • Post #4 - June 6th, 2007, 10:16 pm
    Post #4 - June 6th, 2007, 10:16 pm Post #4 - June 6th, 2007, 10:16 pm
    Hi,

    I had to go through a bunch of your posts until I found the one I recalled. While you are well known for sharing your vast knowledge of Swedish food, you are really building quite an impressive library. By my count, we are up to nineteen threads including one rogue American steak dinner.

    This thread had the Swedish caviar, which you indicated is available at IKEA. I found another source at Hagen's Fish Market on the north side of Chicago.

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    In addition to the salmon paste pictured, they had the creamed smoke roe (same as pictured in your post) and Swedish herring. From a company named Abba a product called Matjes.

    Are there other uses for the salmon paste than on crackers?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - June 6th, 2007, 11:16 pm
    Post #5 - June 6th, 2007, 11:16 pm Post #5 - June 6th, 2007, 11:16 pm
    I'm glad this thread came up again, as I now know what to serve for my Midsommar dinner before the salmon. I find myself wondering where in Chicago to find a selection of aquavit. I particularly enjoy the caraway flavor and it reminds me of an encounter with a Danish "gubbe," a rather crusty retired Danish merchant seaman on the island of Aero (prounounced ay-roo) who insisted that my friend and I drink aquavit with him.

    Thanks, Bridgestone, for another interesting Swedish dish!
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #6 - June 7th, 2007, 8:17 am
    Post #6 - June 7th, 2007, 8:17 am Post #6 - June 7th, 2007, 8:17 am
    Cathy2 wrote:In addition to the salmon paste pictured, they had the creamed smoke roe (same as pictured in your post) and Swedish herring. From a company named Abba a product called Matjes.


    Wow! Now I know what I'm getting to take to Ravinia Thursday June 28!
  • Post #7 - June 7th, 2007, 9:54 am
    Post #7 - June 7th, 2007, 9:54 am Post #7 - June 7th, 2007, 9:54 am
    Josephine wrote:I find myself wondering where in Chicago to find a selection of aquavit. I particularly enjoy the caraway flavor and it reminds me of an encounter with a Danish "gubbe," a rather crusty retired Danish merchant seaman on the island of Aero (prounounced ay-roo) who insisted that my friend and I drink aquavit with him.


    I wish I had a romantic memory to make the aquavit go down. Alas, the bottle of caraway-heavy stuff I bought at Sam's five years ago remains. As with many, many things, Sam's has a decent selection (or did).
  • Post #8 - June 7th, 2007, 11:09 am
    Post #8 - June 7th, 2007, 11:09 am Post #8 - June 7th, 2007, 11:09 am
    nr706 wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:In addition to the salmon paste pictured, they had the creamed smoke roe (same as pictured in your post) and Swedish herring. From a company named Abba a product called Matjes.


    Wow! Now I know what I'm getting to take to Ravinia Thursday June 28!


    You will be totally in sync. Will you wear your polyester suit and nylon print shirt? I still have several relics from the 70's in my closet.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #9 - May 25th, 2008, 5:26 pm
    Post #9 - May 25th, 2008, 5:26 pm Post #9 - May 25th, 2008, 5:26 pm
    Bridgestone wrote:"Gubbröra" is generally seen served as an appetizer these days but it also makes an excellent and quick dinner when one is alone, the clock is getting late and one generally feels like a "gubbe".


    The clock was getting late, and I was feeling like a 'gubbe' today, so I made this sans caviar and hardtack*, and quite enjoyed it with a splash of gewurtz. I could eat this all day.

    Thanks, Bridgestone.

    -Nab

    *reminds me of a favourite Simpsons quote:

    Nelson: I'm considerable hungry. We got any food left?
    Bart: [checks his sack] Hmm, looks like we're out of corn pone,
    fatback, hard tack, fat pone, corn tack --
    Nelson: Any tack back?
    Bart: Tack back?!
    Nelson: I mean, fat tack.
    Bart: Plumb out.

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