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Swedish dinners: Laxpudding

Swedish dinners: Laxpudding
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  • Swedish dinners: Laxpudding

    Post #1 - January 30th, 2008, 2:50 am
    Post #1 - January 30th, 2008, 2:50 am Post #1 - January 30th, 2008, 2:50 am
    ”Pudding” is a term that in Swedish refers to baked dishes that use an egg/milk/cream mixture as a binder. "Lax", perhaps obviously, means salmon. Therefore, I suppose that this dish could be translated to “salmon strata” or “crustless salmon quiche”. This dish originated along the coasts of Sweden as a cheap way of making a smallish piece of salmon stretch for a large family meal.

    You’ll need a large piece of cured salmon for this recipe. This (even in Sweden) is pretty hard to find for sale these days so you’ll probably need to make your own. I was in a hurry so instead of curing the entire chunk for a few days, I sliced thinly and did a quick, 2-hour cure.

    There’s even a variation of this recipe that uses cold-smoked salmon which I’m sure would be nice and should be easier to find in the U.S.

    But, perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself…

    The ingredients:

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    A few tablespoons butter, a bunch of dill, 1 ¾ pounds waxy potatoes, about the same amount (1 ¾ pounds) fresh salmon, a vegetable for garnish (asparagus, peas or even spring onions would work, too), 4 eggs, ½ cup cream, 1 ¼ cups milk, 2 onions

    I started by quick-curing my salmon. Slice the salmon thinly (but perhaps not as paper-thin as has become traditional for gravad or cold-smoked salmon). The slices can be irregular – it won’t make a difference. Sprinkle with a mixture (4:1) of salt and sugar:

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    Let stand, cool, for a few hours.

    Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until just tender. Let cool, peel and slice in ¼-inch slices.

    Slice the onions thinly. Place in a skillet together with the butter…

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    … and turn the burner on to medium. Fry gently until soft and golden (about 20 minutes).

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    When everything is ready, finely chop the dill (save a few sprigs for garnish, though) and assemble the “pudding”.

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    Choose a few of your best pieces of cured salmon and reserve them for garnish. Line the bottom of a springform* pan with a layer of salmon. Layer with potatoes, onions and dill until you run out of ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste but remember that the salmon should be a little salty!

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    When done, fold any slices of salmon back over the top of the casserole.

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    Next, make the egg mixture by whisking together the eggs, cream and milk. This step gives yet another chance to add salt (alternatively, oversalt!) to the dish. I only added a grind of pepper.

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    Pour the egg mixture into the form…

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    … while praying that you don’t spring any leaks. I did which is why I don’t have any pictures of the filled form…

    Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and set.

    (Even though we are slowly getting daylight back up at these latitudes, the “pudding” wasn’t finished in time for more natural-light shots. Sorry for the poor lighting!)

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    Garnish with the reserved cured salmon slices, your vegetable of choice and a few sprigs of dill.

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    This dish is traditionally served with a ladlefull of clarified butter. I skipped that, though and served with a small salad instead.

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    This is a tasty dish that isn’t too rich and could be made even lighter by adjusting the cream/milk amounts in the egg mixture and/or frying the onions differently. I don’t see any reason, either, why this dish couldn’t be served as a breakfast strata or for brunch.


    *I had serious problems with a leak in my pan. Check yours for leaks before proceeding! (I ended up pinching a roll of flour/water paste between the sides and bottom to make it tight enough.)
    Last edited by Bridgestone on January 30th, 2008, 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - January 30th, 2008, 2:58 am
    Post #2 - January 30th, 2008, 2:58 am Post #2 - January 30th, 2008, 2:58 am
    For the recipe index:

    Laxpudding

    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 cup chopped dill + a few sprigs for garnish
    1 ¾ pounds waxy potatoes
    1 ¾ pounds fresh salmon*
    4 teaspoons salt*
    1 teaspoon sugar*
    a vegetable for garnish (sugar snap peas, asparagus, regular peas or even spring onions would work)
    4 eggs
    ½ cup cream
    1 ¼ cups milk
    2 onions

    * this is if you will be curing your own salmon. Alternatively use cold-smoked or pre-cured salmon

    If curing your own salmon, start by thinly slicing the salmon and laying it flat on a clean surface. Mix the salt and sugar together and sprinkle the salmon with it. Let sit, cool, for 2 hours. If necessary, pat dry.

    Boil the potatoes, let cool, peel and slice in 1/4-inch slices. Slice the onions and saute on low heat until golden (about 20 minutes). Assemble the "pudding" in a springform pan by first lining the pan with salmon and then alternating potatoes, onions, dill and salmon. Reserve a little cured salmon for garnish. Add salt and peppar carefully (remember that the salmon should be a little salty). Fold any flaps of salmon back over the top of the "pudding".

    Whisk together the eggs, milk and cream. Pour the egg mixture over the assembled "pudding". Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until the mixture has set and the top is golden brown. Garnish the baked "pudding" with the reserved cured salmon, dill sprigs and your vegetable of choice.

    Traditionally, this is served with a ladlefull of clarified butter.
  • Post #3 - January 30th, 2008, 6:07 am
    Post #3 - January 30th, 2008, 6:07 am Post #3 - January 30th, 2008, 6:07 am
    Bridgestone wrote:There’s even a variation of this recipe that uses cold-smoked salmon which I’m sure would be nice and should be easier to find in the U.S.

    Bridgestone,

    Laxpudding speaks to me, it's actually sitting on my right shoulder at the moment telling me an off color joke, and amongst the surprisingly upbeat patter, I thought Swedes a moody lot during seasons of low natural light, is the recurring theme.....make me for dinner, make me for dinner.

    It's pleasant coincidence actually, as I have smoked salmon on hand and was thinking of making Penne with Vodka and Smoked Salmon, though I am not one to go against the wishes of a talking Laxpudding.

    Amazing recipe tutorial, thank you.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - January 30th, 2008, 6:26 am
    Post #4 - January 30th, 2008, 6:26 am Post #4 - January 30th, 2008, 6:26 am
    Thanks kindly, Gary!
  • Post #5 - January 30th, 2008, 6:41 am
    Post #5 - January 30th, 2008, 6:41 am Post #5 - January 30th, 2008, 6:41 am
    I don't even like salmon and already I am envisioning preparing this soon. It looks too good to pass up. (Besides, the Lovely Dining Companion loves salmon and what am I, if not a thoughtful, caring, loving, generous, kind-hearted husband?)

    Thanks, yet again, for a remarkably clear, concise, and mouth-watering set of instructions.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #6 - January 30th, 2008, 9:03 am
    Post #6 - January 30th, 2008, 9:03 am Post #6 - January 30th, 2008, 9:03 am
    Image How much is a ticket to Sweden?
  • Post #7 - January 30th, 2008, 9:06 am
    Post #7 - January 30th, 2008, 9:06 am Post #7 - January 30th, 2008, 9:06 am
    Thank you!
  • Post #8 - January 30th, 2008, 9:48 am
    Post #8 - January 30th, 2008, 9:48 am Post #8 - January 30th, 2008, 9:48 am
    Great stuff and beautiful photos! Thanks again, for the truly enlightening post. That salmon looks absolutely gorgeous, as does the finished Laxpudding.

    I think I know what I'm serving on Super Bowl Sunday.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #9 - January 30th, 2008, 12:07 pm
    Post #9 - January 30th, 2008, 12:07 pm Post #9 - January 30th, 2008, 12:07 pm
    Holy Cow! That is one fabulous looking dish! There seems to be a talking Laxpudding sitting here in my office as well. Thank you.
  • Post #10 - January 30th, 2008, 12:30 pm
    Post #10 - January 30th, 2008, 12:30 pm Post #10 - January 30th, 2008, 12:30 pm
    Hi,

    What an outstanding dish from components to visual impact to my mind's eye evaluation to how it likely tastes.

    Do all your neighbors cook these dishes like you do? I wonder if you are the enthusiastic immigrant who outdoes the locals in pursuing their regional cooking. Did you cook this for a special occasion or is this an occasional weeknight meal? Answer in generalities, because I'm just trying to understand where this type of meal might fit in.

    Again, thank you for the narrative and a variant for the index; not necessary though very helpful in the long run. :)

    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 #11 - January 30th, 2008, 10:00 pm
    Post #11 - January 30th, 2008, 10:00 pm Post #11 - January 30th, 2008, 10:00 pm
    Likely there'll be a spike in salmon consumption in Chicago and other places where LTH is followed, thanks to your gorgeous post!

    Quick question - any particular reason you use a springform pan? Would a round baking dish do - if deep enough? I'm guessing that the oiliness of the salmon should not make release difficult.

    "Hmm? Fancy yourself in a bundt pan, salmon? (That's all I can find now.)
    What's that you said? Shhh! Don't speak, don't speak!"
  • Post #12 - January 30th, 2008, 11:32 pm
    Post #12 - January 30th, 2008, 11:32 pm Post #12 - January 30th, 2008, 11:32 pm
    sazerac wrote:Likely there'll be a spike in salmon consumption in Chicago and other places where LTH is followed, thanks to your gorgeous post!


    Exactly my thought this morning when I read this post.

    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 #13 - January 31st, 2008, 1:08 am
    Post #13 - January 31st, 2008, 1:08 am Post #13 - January 31st, 2008, 1:08 am
    I couldn't be happier or more flattered with all of the kind responses this post has generated. Thank you!

    sazerac: Any pan will do. I used the springform as I thought it would make for a nicer presentation. Undoubtedly, a casserole dish is the most traditional choice. A bundt pan earns 10 extra originality points and guarantees healthy doses of omega-3 in subsequent coffee cakes baked in it!

    Cathy2: I seem to be a little more ambitious in regards to home cooking than the majority of my neighbors.

    Regarding when "laxpudding" is made: I mentioned in opening this post that this dish originated as a way to stretch a small piece of salmon for a large family. What I left out is that this poor-man's dish has experienced a lift in status over the past decades. It's festive enough to be served on the weekends although, apart from the brining, fast enough to make for a nice weeknight dinner.
  • Post #14 - January 31st, 2008, 5:14 pm
    Post #14 - January 31st, 2008, 5:14 pm Post #14 - January 31st, 2008, 5:14 pm
    You've done it again, Bridgestone. I'll be nominating one of the photos from this thread for next year's photo contest. But which one? Hard to say right now.

    As for the feared leaks in the springform pan, I have lined a leaky springform with aluminum foil in the past, with good results. Maybe parchment would be a healthier choice, though.
    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 #15 - February 1st, 2008, 1:20 am
    Post #15 - February 1st, 2008, 1:20 am Post #15 - February 1st, 2008, 1:20 am
    Thank you Josephine!

    I thought long and hard about how I would fix my leaking springform problem as I only had enough eggs on hand to make one new batch of egg mixture. The thought of lining the pan with something did, in fact, cross my mind. But I decided against it as that solution seemed to detract from the initial reasons I chose a springform to begin with: ease of removal, lack of having something cling to the baked "pudding", etc.

    What I finally did was make a thick, clay-like paste of flour and water. I then rolled this into a thin (1/4 inch) "snake" and squeezed it into the indentation on the inside of the springform bottom. When I put the ring on and locked it in place, the paste formed a barrier. I still had a small leak but that stopped a few minutes into the baking as the filling set.

    My springform is pretty new and I was suprised and disappointed that it leaked. Is this a universal problem with wet batters/liquids and springforms or are there springform pans that are truly leakproof?
  • Post #16 - February 1st, 2008, 4:47 am
    Post #16 - February 1st, 2008, 4:47 am Post #16 - February 1st, 2008, 4:47 am
    I've always had problems with my springform pans after using them the first time. Though it's hard to say if rough storage conditions might be at fault. For awile, I just got new pans, then stopped using them altogether in favor of lots of grease and parchment lining. But this dish seems worth giving the springform another try. By the way, your flour and water snake is a brilliant solution.
    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 #17 - February 1st, 2008, 6:46 am
    Post #17 - February 1st, 2008, 6:46 am Post #17 - February 1st, 2008, 6:46 am
    My luck has always been good. I probably have three or four different springform pans of different sizes and from different makers. Not a single leak in all the years I've had them. Occasionally, they need a little help not jumping the "track" (particularly the thinner ones), but so long as they're on track and the spring lock mechanism is tight, no leaking.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #18 - February 1st, 2008, 10:02 am
    Post #18 - February 1st, 2008, 10:02 am Post #18 - February 1st, 2008, 10:02 am
    Gypsy Boy wrote:My luck has always been good. I probably have three or four different springform pans of different sizes and from different makers. Not a single leak in all the years I've had them. Occasionally, they need a little help not jumping the "track" (particularly the thinner ones), but so long as they're on track and the spring lock mechanism is tight, no leaking.

    I've never had a leaker, either. I use Kaiser brand springforms, which seem pretty darned reliable. Of course, it could just be luck, too.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #19 - February 1st, 2008, 10:06 am
    Post #19 - February 1st, 2008, 10:06 am Post #19 - February 1st, 2008, 10:06 am
    I've found it also depends on your batter: I've had pans that leak when I'm doing something custardy like this pudding, but hold up like champs for cake batter. I think, Bridgestone, I saw a pro like Alton Brown or Jacques Pepin or somebody use your idea...you should call them and get credit!
  • Post #20 - February 1st, 2008, 10:21 am
    Post #20 - February 1st, 2008, 10:21 am Post #20 - February 1st, 2008, 10:21 am
    Who is going to start up the Official Bridgestone fan club?

    I also do not like Salmon, but that looks so good.
  • Post #21 - February 2nd, 2008, 5:43 am
    Post #21 - February 2nd, 2008, 5:43 am Post #21 - February 2nd, 2008, 5:43 am
    Bridgestone,

    I've realized why this dish speaks to me so clearly, aside from the gorgeous striated salmon in your first picture. One of my favorite holiday, or anytime for that matter, dishes my grandmother made was Luchen Kugel, a Jewish style set noodle casserole, and though the ingredients and effect are quite different I am somehow reminded of her by the recipe, a good thing.

    I used an 8-inch tart pan, as the larger spring form pan did not seem a wise choice for two. No worries, the tart pan worked fine.

    Sheet pan, parchment paper, Bridgestone patented 'glue'.

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    Layer Laxpudding with lox (Kirkland smoked salmon)
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    Layer as per Bridgestone's clear concise recipe
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    Tart pan did not leak, excess liquid is from overfilling
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    Approximately 30-minutes at 400°
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    Upthread there is mention of a Bridgestone Fan Club, please sign me up.

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    The only improvement, from my standpoint not Bridgestones, would be to use freshly cured salmon, preferably as beautifully striated with fat as Bridgestone pictures. I find when cooked cold smoked salmon takes on a dry papery texture that distracts from the overall dish. Not just Laxpudding, I don't order lox and eggs in a restaurant for this very reason.

    I plan on making Laxpudding again next week for a party with fresh cured salmon as the overall dish is a real winner. My only problem will be not eating all the freshly cured salmon before it makes it way into the Laxpudding.

    Thanks again Bridgestone.

    A few additional pictures may be found here

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - February 2nd, 2008, 2:58 pm
    Post #22 - February 2nd, 2008, 2:58 pm Post #22 - February 2nd, 2008, 2:58 pm
    Wow! A first for me: someone actually posted a follow-up attempt on one of "my" dishes. Thank you and fantastic, Gary! I'm extremely flattered.

    I understand what you are describing in the texture of cooked, cold-smoked salmon, Gary and think that you'll find that the light cure of the "quick cure" I used upthread does help out. In fact, an even shorter cure may help matters for you even more. It'll also be interesting to hear of any preferences between smoked and cured/non-smoked salmon.

    I'm truly tickled to see the follow-up! Again, thank you.
  • Post #23 - February 3rd, 2008, 11:18 pm
    Post #23 - February 3rd, 2008, 11:18 pm Post #23 - February 3rd, 2008, 11:18 pm
    Bridgestone wrote:Wow! A first for me: someone actually posted a follow-up attempt on one of "my" dishes. Thank you and fantastic, Gary! I'm extremely flattered.

    Make that 2 of us . . .

    Image


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    Thanks again, Bridgestone. I really enjoyed making this and eating it, too. :)

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #24 - February 4th, 2008, 12:47 am
    Post #24 - February 4th, 2008, 12:47 am Post #24 - February 4th, 2008, 12:47 am
    First flattered and now humbled.

    Gorgeous stuff, ronnie!
  • Post #25 - February 5th, 2008, 8:39 am
    Post #25 - February 5th, 2008, 8:39 am Post #25 - February 5th, 2008, 8:39 am
    Make that three!

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    A few notes: My springform pan has never sprung a leak, but I didn't want to have to worry about it on my first attempt at laxpudding, so I just used a regular deep circular pan which worked out well, even if it was a little more challenging to lift out slices. I got a little heavy handed when pouring the milk directly from the carton (says she-who-does-not-measure), so the finished product was a bit runny but overall not a problem. I thought the flavors balanced each other beautifully--I'm glad I used good butter to cook the onions, and I was very pleased with how the smoked salmon worked in the recipe. I didn't salt at all, just used a few enthusiastic turns of black pepper, and it was perfect. Finally, I was worried that I had over-boiled the potatoes given that they would then spend 40 minutes in the oven, but they didn't soften much more after the boiling and were just the right tenderness in the final pudding.

    Bridgestone, thank you so much for this tutorial! This is the kind of dish that is absolutely decadent in its simplicity. We finished off our Monday night dinner with an equally simple (even if more roughly hewn, by she-who-never-learned-how-to-slice-a-pear) pear tart.

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    Now, if I only had the gorgeous natural light of Bridgestone's kitchen...
  • Post #26 - February 6th, 2008, 11:55 am
    Post #26 - February 6th, 2008, 11:55 am Post #26 - February 6th, 2008, 11:55 am
    I'm so sorry that I missed this when you first posted it, happy_stomach! Wonderful work and thanks for reporting back.

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