An autumn affair! Oh, I am in love. He is fresh, sensuous, healthy, and playful.
He is simultaneously familiar and exotic; simple and complex.
His diverse tastes always reflect the season. And he is absolutely gorgeous.
He is New Nordic Cuisine.
wild carrot flowers
We are experimenting with New Nordic for the first time. My fellow passionate cooks, Lauren and Gail, join me in the kitchen to create this titillating dinner. Ingredients for the six-course meal include Norwegian goat cheese, wild herbs and flowers, berries and seeds, smoked fish, quail, grainy breads, root vegetables, and fresh fruits from the farmers’ market. Each dish is inspired by nature. We’ve attempted to present and garnish the plates in the sensual & earthy New Nordic style.
The setting is natural-organic-minimalist. White china, set on a large mahogany table sans cloth. The centerpiece and decoration is created from foraging…sticks, twigs, fruit from the vine in our gardens, and rocks and driftwood from the beach.
Our goal was to transport our dinner group of five, as well as Taste With The Eyes’ readers, to experience the essence of Fall in Scandinavia, Finland, and Iceland via my home in Los Angeles. We were inspired by the beauty of New Nordic Cuisine, by the distant land’s cutting-edge chefs’ pure artistry and commitment to local, seasonal, and sustainable.
In keeping with our New Nordic Style concept, we purchased most of the ingredients at our local farmers’ market. Both the scallops and sturgeon on our menu are sustainably rated “best alternative” by Monterey Bay Seafood Watch. We found imported Norwegian cheese, Icelandic butter, and Swedish vodka. We pickled our own onions and wild blueberries, and incorporated unique seasonal ingredients including matsutake mushrooms and fresh jujubes into the menu.
herring & beet
scallop & seaweed
gjetost & wild greens
sturgeon & blue potato
quail & matsutake
panna cotta & plum
homemade caraway infused svedka vodka
handley 2010 gewürztraminer, anderson valley
paul hobbs 2008 pinot noir, russian river valley
merryvale antigua dessert wine, napa valley
welcome to an autumn affair, new nordic style!
*infuse 375ml svedka vodka with 2 T. coarse ground caraway seed,
2 T. whole brined green peppercorn, one thick lemon peel
for 20 minutes then strain, pour back into the bottle and freeze
scallop & seaweed: sliced smoked sea scallop, wakame,
sesame oil, soy sauce, seasoned rice wine vinegar, black & white sesame seeds,
shiso gremolata with preserved meyer lemon zest and garlic, red pineapple sage blossom
*the wakame has a silky texture and tooth similar to fresh pasta
gjetost & wild greens: mixed wild greens tossed with olive oil sea salt & pepper,
shaved gjetost, toasted pumpernickel crouton,
dried cranberry, sprouted pumpkin seed, cranberry vinaigrette, chive flower
*gjetost is a sweet, brown, firm cheese, made from goat’s milk
which is boiled under pressure until caramelization occurs
sturgeon & blue potato
sturgeon & blue potato pancake: smoked sturgeon fillet over dressed wild greens,
crispy fried blue potato & onion pancake, fried egg,
yu choy flowers & mustard green garnish
*place the egg on the pancake, puncture the yolk and taste a bite of all three elements together
quail & matsutake
quail & matsutake: herb stuffed roast quail,
spelt berries tossed with icelandic butter, salt and pepper, thyme,
pickled wild blueberries
*try combining spelt with pickled blueberries, feel free to use fingers to enjoy the whole quail
matsutake (pine mushroom) en papillote:
butter, fresh rosemary leaves, sake, sea salt, cinnamon
*the aroma is intoxicating/upcoming post on this recipe later in the week
update: matsutake en papillote recipe now posted here
panna cotta & plum: cardamom-yuzu panna cotta,
poached plum and jujube with kaffir lime, red currant jelly glaze,
apricot jam, plum balsamic vinegar reduction, toffee “soil”
new nordic dinner scenes
Extending a very special thank you to my friends Lauren, Gail, Barry, and Steve for your enthusiasm with the New Nordic adventure! And to the folks at Foodbuzz for choosing An Autumn Affair, New Nordic Style as a participant in October’s 24×24 event. Foodbuzz 24×24 showcases posts from 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publisher bloggers, the monthly Foodbuzz 24 highlights unique meals occurring around the globe during a 24-hour period.
lastly, a few recipes
8 oz. frozen whole cranberries
1/2 c. olive oil
2 t. salt
fresh ground pepper
2 T. sugar/brown sugar
1/2 c. seasoned rice wine vinegar
Purée in food processor until smooth.
*try this vinaigrette for thanksgiving/recipe compliments of chef shafer
smoked scallop & seaweed
Rehydrate cut dried wakame seaweed in water for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the moisture (I use a salad spinner). Place wakame in a bowl and season with a splash each of soy sauce, seasoned rice wine vinegar, and mirin. Toss with a sprinkling of white sesame seed. Slice smoked scallop into thirds. We got these marvelous smoked sea scallops from Petrossian. To make the gremolata: mince shiso leaves, garlic, and preserved meyer lemon rind then combine. Top scallop with gremolata.
herbed roast quail
Season the inside of the birds with salt and pepper. Stuff with a pat of butter and a mixture of fresh herbs. Tie the legs together with string. Brush melted butter on skin then season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 500° oven over a bed of rosemary for 15 minutes, or until the quail is cooked through. Be careful not to overcook.
poached late-season plum and jujube
Bring 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. sugar, and 1 T. balsamic vinegar to a boil. Add quartered plums, halved jujubes, one yuzu – crushed and quartered, two whole kaffir lime leaves and the scraping from 1/2 vanilla bean. When soft, about 3 minutes, lift out the fruits and chill. To serve, arrange fruit and drizzle with warm red currant jelly.
þakka þér! (icelandic)