Wholemal products such as rye, barley and oats and berries such as blueberries, ligonberries, cloudberries and sea buckthorn are used in the cuisine of Finland. In the western part of the country fish and meat play a prominent role while in the east dishes include various vegetables and mushrooms. In the new Finnish kitchen, dishes are lighter and contain several different vegetables. This type of cooking is influenced by European and American cuisine.
Appetizers: Cabbage Rolls (Kaalikaaryleet) 1 large white cabbage, the filling consists of minced pork or beef, onion, chopped cabbage, boiled rice. The filling is rolled into the cabbage leaves and baked. Usually served with boiled potatoes and lingonberry preserves.
Meatballs Lihapullat made with minced beef mixed with breadcrumbs, onion, cream, egg and spices. Rolled into balls and fried. Served with gravy.
Mushroom-omelet roll Sienimunakas-kaaryle made with eggs, milk, flour the filling consists of mushrooms (chantarelles, hedgehog mushrooms, ceps). The filling is prepared and rolled into an omelet. Grated cheese is sprinkled on top and heated in the oven.
Soups: Finnish Creamy Pea Soup dried split green peas are boiled until tender then the soup is pureed and butter, salt, pepper and prepared hot mustard are added. This is cooked for 10 minutes and served with whipping cream.
Finnish Summer Soup – cauliflower, potatoes, onions, baby carrots, fresh green beans, fresh shelled tiny peas, light cream. When the soup is ready flour and light cream are stirred together and mixed into the simmering vegetable soup.
Fish soup a la Kainuu Kainuulainen kalakeitto – the fish stock is made of filleted fish salmon, whitefish, pike, perch, dills, chives, parsley and onion. The fish and potatoes and cut into small pieces. The soup is then served with melted butter and chopped raw onions.
Salads: Bittersweet Salad Dressing made of mayonnaise, whipping cream and vinegar. The mayonnaise and heavy whipping cream are mixed together and vinegar is added according to taste.
Finnish Beet Salad – potatoes, apples, carrots, onions, pickle, white pepper and pickled or salted herring or minced sardines or anchovies (if using them) are combined, the dressing consists of sour cream, lemon juice, beet juice, salt and sugar. Cooked peeled and sliced beets are added just before serving. Crumbled bacon may be put over the top.
Finnish Cucumber Salad –sliced cucumber are mixed with a dressing of sour cream, dill, garlic, pepper and sugar. Tomato paste, vinegar and oil are added while mixing. Then the dressing is poured over the cucumbers and chilled.
Finnish Fish Salad – boiled diced potatoes, cooked diced carrots, onion, diced pickled beets, herring or any poached firm fish in small pieces are combined. Salt and pepper are added and the salad is passed at the table with vinegar.
Ham-Cheese-Sallad – slice ham, Kilta or Oltemanni cheese grated, add fresh cucumber, pickles and apples. Slice tomatoes. Boil and drain macaroni. Run under cold water. Mix sauce with sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, sugar and black pepper. Mix all the ingredients with the sauce and decorate with tomato slices and chopped parsley.
Vegetarian: Black Eyed Bean Pie consists of black eyed beans cooked tender, chop onion, carrots, celery and minced garlic. The vegetables are sautéed in oil until just tender. Add pureed beans and herbs. Mix together. This mixture is placed in a baking dish and topped with sliced, boiled potatoes and baked.
Meat: Finnish Three-Meat Ragout – lean lamb, pork and beef and cut into cubes and layered with spices. Then it is covered and baked for 5 hours or until the meat is very tender. Sprinkled with chopped parsley and served over mashed potatoes.
Karelian Hot Pot Karjalanpaisti – chuck steak, pork shoulder, stewing lamb are cut into cubes. The meat is layered in a casserole with coarsely chopped onion. Water is added to almost cover the meat. Baked for 2 – 3 hours. Served with mashed potatoes, boiled swedes and lingonberry puree.
Fried Mushrooms In Sour Cream
1. In a heavy 10- to 12-inch stainless-steel or enameled skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat.
2. When the foam subsides, add the chopped onions and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent but not brown.
3. Now add the mushroom slices and cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Shake the pan from time to time so that the mushrooms do not stick.
4. When the mushrooms are a light, delicate brown, sprinkle in the bread crumbs and toss the contents of the pan gently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Remove the pan from the heat.
5. In a small bowl, beat the sour cream with a wooden spoon or whisk for a minute or two, then stir it into the skillet. Toss lightly until the mushrooms are well coated with the cream.
6. Serve as a vegetable accompaniment to meat or fish dishes.
Finnish Fish Salad
3 med boiled potatoes diced
3 x carrots cooked and diced
1 med Onion diced
3 x pickled beets diced to 4 pickled beets
Herring or any poached firm fish broken into small pieces
salt and pepper
Stir to mix ingredients, add salt and pepper, refrigerate for flavors to blend and passed at the table with vinegar. By Rasma Raisters
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