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Swedish dinners: Kalmarlåda

Swedish dinners: Kalmarlåda
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  • Swedish dinners: Kalmarlåda

    Post #1 - March 17th, 2008, 3:06 pm
    Post #1 - March 17th, 2008, 3:06 pm Post #1 - March 17th, 2008, 3:06 pm
    Another "låda"...

    This time: Kalmarlåda - Kalmar being a city on the southwest coast of Sweden. There doesn't seem to be much of any reason for naming this dish after Kalmar, though. In fact, the potato preparation is widely known as "southern-style" potatoes while Kalmar is distinctly not a "southern" city. One way or another, Kalmarlåda always contains lamb chops, bacon or ham and "southern-style" potatoes.

    The ingredients:

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    1 cup of whole milk (or half-and-half), 1/3 cup veal broth (I ended up using close to a cup total), one pound of potatoes, chives (about 1/2 cup, chopped), 1 tsp worchestire sauce, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp flour, a few drops of lemon juice, a few dill pickles, one rack of lamb (or 3-4 thick lamb chops), 1/4 pound excellent-quality bacon or ham, 3 oz butter (plus butter for frying)

    Start by making the (optional) chive butter. Mix the rooms temperature butter with the worshestire sauce, the lemon juice, cayenne, chopped chives and salt and peppar.

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    Place the mixed butter on a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll and form into a cylinder or other shape. Place in refridgerator and let harden.

    If using a rack of lamb, divide into (double-cut) chops.

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    Salt and peppar:

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    Peel and cut the potatoes into roughly 1/2-inch square pieces.

    Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a frying pan...

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    ... and add the potatoes:

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    Saute over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

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    Finely chop the onion. Lower the heat and add to the potatoes.

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    Saute for about 3 minutes. When soft, add the flour...

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    ... saute for a few minutes more and add the stock plus the milk/half-and-half.

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    Let boil until thickened, lower the heat and simmer.

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    Add small amounts of stock until served if the potatoes get too thick.

    Fry or grill the lamb chops:

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    As the chops cook, saute the ham or bacon. I chose to slice my ham although ham "steaks" would be fine. The ham I used is an incredible, farm-made ham from an island in the northern Stockholm archipelago ("Väddö"). It's been smoked with juniper and adler.

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    Finally, serve by placing the lamb chops on a serving of "southern-style" potatoes and adding the ham, some sliced pickles and a few pats of the chive butter:

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    While lager, snaps and water would be traditional, I found an excellent bottle of red to accompany this treat:

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    Last edited by Bridgestone on March 17th, 2008, 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - March 17th, 2008, 3:12 pm
    Post #2 - March 17th, 2008, 3:12 pm Post #2 - March 17th, 2008, 3:12 pm
    For the recipe index:

    Kalmarlåda

    1 cup of whole milk (or half-and-half)
    1/3 cup veal broth (close to one cup total)
    1 pound of potatoes
    chives (about 1/2 cup, chopped)
    1 tsp worchestire sauce
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tsp flour
    a few drops of lemon juice
    a few dill pickles
    one rack of lamb (or 3-4 thick lamb chops)
    1/4 pound excellent-quality bacon or ham
    3 oz butter (plus butter for frying)

    Start by making the (optional) chive butter. Mix the rooms temperature butter with the worshestire sauce, the lemon juice, cayenne, chopped chives and salt and peppar. Roll into a cylinder and chill.

    Peel and cut potatoes into roughly 1/2 inch squares. Saute the chopped potatoes over medium-high heat until browned. Lower heat, chop onion and add to the potatoes. Saute the potatoes and onion until the onion is soft (about 3 minutes). Add the flour and saute a for a few more minutes. Add the stock and milk. Simmer until thickened. Lower heat and keep warm. Add stock as needed if the potatoes get too thick.

    Grill or sear the lamb chops.

    As the lamb cooks, saute the bacon or ham. Slice the pickles into spears.

    Serve the lamb chops and bacon/ham on top of a serving of potatoes. Serve together with the pickle spears and a few pats of the chive butter.
  • Post #3 - March 17th, 2008, 3:23 pm
    Post #3 - March 17th, 2008, 3:23 pm Post #3 - March 17th, 2008, 3:23 pm
    Do you deliver to Oak Park, by any chance? I'll pay for airfare, honest.

    Beautiful post, as usual.
  • Post #4 - March 17th, 2008, 5:28 pm
    Post #4 - March 17th, 2008, 5:28 pm Post #4 - March 17th, 2008, 5:28 pm
    Santander wrote:I'll pay for airfare, honest.


    I'll split it with you.

    On second thought...it's 5:25 pm at the Gypsy Boy household and I'm sitting here wondering what a ticket to Stockholm would cost; we could spend, oh, a week or so chez Bridgestone (:shock:) ...waddya think? (We'd even pick up after ourselves. Hell, I'll get the mise in place and I'll clean up afterwards. I'll take out the garbage, shine your shoes, paint the hallway...any other chores you need handled?)

    Thanks for sharing (I think).
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #5 - March 17th, 2008, 6:58 pm
    Post #5 - March 17th, 2008, 6:58 pm Post #5 - March 17th, 2008, 6:58 pm
    Sigh....
    (gorgeous as usual...you should make sure you make up a Tastebook for your family at least, Bridgestone - unless you plan to publish this, which you ought)
  • Post #6 - March 17th, 2008, 10:25 pm
    Post #6 - March 17th, 2008, 10:25 pm Post #6 - March 17th, 2008, 10:25 pm
    My god i nearly licked the screen.
  • Post #7 - March 17th, 2008, 10:42 pm
    Post #7 - March 17th, 2008, 10:42 pm Post #7 - March 17th, 2008, 10:42 pm
    Awesome stuff yet again, Mr. Bridgestone! I'm nearly speechless, other than to say 'thank you' for the highly informative and beautifully composed tutorial.

    Your posts are better produced and more compelling than the Richard Olney-edited Time-Life Good Cook series, which has always been my personal benchmark for photo-tutorials on cooking. How truly fortunate we are to have your contributions here for our use and reference. :)

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #8 - March 18th, 2008, 12:33 am
    Post #8 - March 18th, 2008, 12:33 am Post #8 - March 18th, 2008, 12:33 am
    Thank you everyone!
  • Post #9 - March 19th, 2008, 9:26 am
    Post #9 - March 19th, 2008, 9:26 am Post #9 - March 19th, 2008, 9:26 am
    I will second Michelle; I would buy that book in a heartbeat. The Swedish cookbooks I have seen do not come close to your style and presentation.

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