My most recent food interest has cast me far away into the land of the Nordic countries of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. I never imagined I would find such an incredibly clean and tasty way of cooking and choosing ingredients from lands far colder than Chicago.
I’ve learned by watching cooking shows such as New Scandinavian Cooking and A Perfect Day (website is not working), that chefs like Tina Nordstrom and Andreas Viestad really appreciate good, seasonal and local food as well as incorporating the spices and methods brought into their respective Sweden and Norway via conquest and travel of the Vikings and others.
When I was asked to write a monthly recipe column for MB Muslima Magazine, an online magazine for Muslim women, I was given the freedom to select the type of cuisine that would be featured each month. For some reason, I chose to feature Scandinavian food for the month of December- I figured the cold we experience in the Midwest would give rise to some creativity on my part to seek out traditional dishes from traditionally very cold places such as those.
Here’s a peek at just one of the dishes I selected as being part of the Scandinavian cuisine featured in MB Muslima last month. If there’s a good response, I may just post more of the recipes I’ve developed myself or created by other chefs…from Scandinavia.
Norwegian Veal Scallops in Cream Sauce
If you haven’t had veal this way before, it’s worth every effort to give it a try. It’s not a very time consuming recipe if you plan ahead to get the ingredients and ask your butcher to be sure to cut the bones out of the meat for you. The creamy sauce seems to silken the meat in your mouth, satisfying the palate with every delicious bite.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped scallions
4 large boneless veal steaks, cut to ½ in. thickness
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 cup whole milk sour cream
½ cup goat cheese (I prefer using the Montchevre brand because it is one of the least expensive brands and is also made using vegetable rennet)
- Preheat oven to 220°
- Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to a large, deep sauté or saucepan over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Once olive oil has been warmed, add the scallions and cook until they just become translucent. Remove them from pan and set aside, keeping any remaining butter/oil in the pan.
- Add the rest of the butter and olive oil to the pan. Once the foam from the butter begins to subside, add the veal steaks. Allow enough room for each one to cook- do not overcrowd the pan.
- Fry the veal over medium heat, about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until each side has begun to brown nicely.
- Remove veal from pan and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Keep the veal warm in the preheated oven.
- Return the cooked scallions to the sauté pan. Fry over medium-high heat until they begin to brown. Once they brown, lower the heat and add the sour cream and cheese. Add salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon, immediately begin to stir all lumps out of the mixture. Do not let the mixture bubble or burn. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary.
- Return the warmed veal to the sauté pan. Lower heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, uncovered. Best when served immediately, but if you cannot serve immediately, keep an eye on the sauce.