Visiting my cousin in Stockholm years ago, I was in awe of the quantity of smoked salmon he and his wife had stocked in their two door freezer. Later, I was to learn that he had not only caught the fish at their favourite lakeside camping ground, but had also smoked it himself.
With about 100,000 lakes, numerous major river systems and a u-shaped coastline that stretches 7,000 km east, south and west, fishing is hugely popular in Sweden and salmon is a regular catch. According to author, Paula Ahlsén Söder, salmon is Sweden's 'king of fish ... flavourful, adaptable and beautifully coloured ... once seen as an exclusive party food, now much more affordable as a delicious everyday supper'.
Paula Ahlsén Söder has gathered a collection of her favourite recipes in a book titled simply Salmon Cookbook. She explains the health benefits of salmon; the difference between farmed and wild salmon (farmed being 'an orange colour while wild salmon is significantly paler ... farmed salmon is relatively high in fat, at about 20%'); and details the best cold storage methods.
In terms of recipes, we have (of course) Gravalax, and the basics of curing, baking, poaching, grilling and barbecuing. And then Starters and Snacks (such as the salmon hors d'oeuvre shown below, salmon pinwheels, and blinis with salmon and caviar), Lunches and Salads (like salmon wraps, and green pea puree with smoked salmon), and Main Courses (including salmon with pomegranate, on the cover, and oven baked salmon with teriyaki sauce). The recipes are concise and uncomplicated, and there is a diverse selection to choose from. With Susanne Hallman's delicious accompanying photographs, Salmon Cookbook will ensure that salmon takes centre stage on the menu at your place.
Salmon Cookbook by Paula Ahlsen Söder (New Holland, $29.95). Many thanks to New Holland for giving me the opportunity to review (and enjoy) this title.
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