Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (March 17, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1 x 11.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #122,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #19 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > Scandinavian
Having a Danish heritage, I picked this book up and immediately turned to the index to find the author's Aebilskiver recipe. Would it resemble the one I have had every Christmas over the past MANY years? Alas, no Aebilskiver recipe is to be found in The Scandinavian Cookbook. As I read this book however, I am stunned by the photography of Lars Ranek. I am an armchair traveler as many of us are in this economic downturn, and the recipes and photographs transport me to the world of sea and ice instantly. It permeates the recipes and not only tempts the palate but also gives a "taste" of Scandinavia. Although it is the perfect cookbook to read, the true test lies in the success of the recipes. I couldn't choose which dishes to try first so used a common tactic I often resort to when perusing menus in a new restaurant. Someone told me years ago the quality of a restaurant is directly proportional to its ability to produce a good roast chicken. So the roast chicken made the cut along with the summer green salad and apple trifle. Ms. Hahnemann gives menu recommendations with many of the dishes and makes planning easy. Being a bit of an explorer, I added the pickled beets and rye bread to my list. Surprisingly, my grocery list was short as each recipe is straightforward with few ingredients, allowing the primary flavors of each dish to shine. The salad was light and flavorful, the chicken moist and tender. My family raved over the roast vegetables and they were a welcome change from the standard potatoes. I made the apple trifle in individual glasses and the vanilla added aroma and smoothness to the dish. The croutons were great but next time I make this (and I WILL make it again!) I will crumble palmiers from my local bakery to save time.
First of all, this is a beautifully photographed cookbook. The photographs, not only of the food, but of the Scandinavian landscapes, are breathtaking. The book is printed on heavy paper which gives it the appearance of a finely made volume. I am tempted to leave it out on my kitchen table for guests to read as one would display a coffee table book. I like the way the cookbook is arranged, by months of the year. This is quite practical and encourages you to use seasonal ingredients. You should have no problem finding the majority of the ingredients in this book. The recipes themselves are very organized and easy to read. The author precedes each one with a short background of the dish, which makes interesting reading. This is not a cookbook you will open to make only one or two dishes. This is a cookbook which will encourage you to cook. Not only are the recipes practical and simple enough to make for an informal family meal, but many are also appropriate to serve at a fancy dinner party. Your guests will be impressed. The recipes are not difficult to make and even the novice cook can prepare an extraordinary meal. The majority of the recipes are geared towards dinner, but there are many that could also be appropriate for a light lunch or brunch. Most of the desserts are also appropriate for an afternoon tea. I recently prepared a three course dinner for my husband using the recipes in this cookbook. For the first course I made the Cauliflower Soup with Grilled Scallops. The soup had a nice creamy consistency with hints of garlic and curry. The scallops had a nice lemon tang. For the second course I prepared the Lamb Shanks with Apricots and Spices and Parsley Mashed Potatoes.
Cross-Posted from LibraryThing.Trina Hahnemann's cookbook is visually stunning and a very diverse introduction to Scandinavian cooking as a whole. The book is designed to be a seasonal cookbook, so recipes are presented in a monthly format with attention paid to the shifting weather and moods.When Trina says in the introduction, "I still strongly believe that you should try to buy as much local produce as you can..." there should have been stress placed on the quality of ingredients as well as seasonality. In cooking through a few of these recipes, one thing became abundantly clear - Scandinavian cooking relies heavily on the base flavor of the ingredients. Seasoning was minimal and relied heavily on salt and pepper and little else. If a dish called for a side condiment or pickled something, this was generally a well-called for spark of flavor.Of the recipes, we tried in the book:Caraway Seed Bread: Easily made in an evening with quick-rise yeast (this cuts rise time in half). The superfine sugar is easy to locate in grocery stores. The buttermilk base helped create a dense, sweet loaf and the caraway flavor was prevalent.Wienerschnitzel with braised potatoes: It's admitted upfront that although this dish originated in Vienna, it's become a classic throughout Europe. This version took no time at all to put together and cooked easily on a weeknight. The seasoning is incredibly light, but when you serve with anchovies, capers and lemons, the flavor comes together.Captain's Stew: A comfort food that will become a staple. Best described as a mashed potatoes and chuck steak, this does have a healthy dose of black pepper, but is again, lightly seasoned.
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