“Berries, goat milk yoghurt and spruce buds”
There’s nothing that compares to Finnish forest berries, they are the best in the world. As a child I used to pick bilberries and strawberries in a cup from the forest near our cottage. At home I would just add some milk in the cup. It’s a tradition that still continues with my own children. Berries and milk – what an excellent local food!
In this recipe the goat’s milk yoghurt adds a lively earthy flavour to the dish but normal plain yoghurt also works just fine.
Berry and cream pudding
1.5 dl cream
1.25 dl milk
1 tbsp Finnish berry powder (bilberry or lingonberry)
50 g sugar
2 gelatine sheets
120 g goat’s milk yoghurt
Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water. Heat the milk, cream, sugar and berry powder almost to the boil. Squeeze the softened gelatine sheets dry and add to the mixture. Let the mixture cool and add the goat’s milk yoghurt. Divide the mixture into serving dishes and place in the fridge to congeal.
Berry and spruce bud compote
200 g fresh berries (bilberries, lingonberries)
About 1 tbsp crushed spruce buds
0.25 dl Finnish bilberry wine or liqueur
Mix the berries, spruce buds and bilberry wine or liqueur. Leave to infuse for two hours in a cold place. Serve the berries with the pudding. Tip: you can also make the compote without the spruce buds if they are not available.
“Oatmeal and forest mushrooms”
Finnish oats work well in many different kinds of recipes. One of my own favourites is oatmeal bread. In this recipe I combine Finnish oatmeal and the best forest mushrooms in the world, creating a veritable symphony of flavours. This porridge makes a wonderful side dish or a meal in itself.
300 g cubed ceps (porcini)
3 garlic cloves
50 g butter
2 dl chicken stock
2 dl cream
2 tbsp sherry wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Chop the onions. Melt the butter and fry the cubed ceps and onion until they turn a nice colour. Add the chicken stock and cream. Boil for about 10 minutes and then blend in a food mixer. Season with the wine vinegar, salt and freshly ground pepper.
400 g ripe oatmeal
200 g cep puree
5 g dried chantarelles
5 g dried ceps
50 g French cream
50 g grated Finnish cheddar
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped chives
(1 g dried ramsons)
Soak and crush the dried mushrooms. Add the oatmeal, cep puree, mushrooms and some of the soaking liquid into a saucepan and heat until boiling. Add the French cream. Remove the saucepan from the heat add the grated cheese and herbs to the porridge. Season with salt, if required. Let the porridge stand for a moment before serving. Serve the mushroom porridge as a side dish to fish or meat, or as it is.
”Pork cheek stewed in porter with celeriac puree”
One of my earliest memories related to food is a brown hare roast served at my grandmother’s house. It was skillfully prepared in a baking oven and flavoured with porter beer and syrup. I wanted to create a similar experience using pork cheek which is absolutely the best part of the animal! As a side dish I’m serving a gentle puree made with celeriac which represents the very elite of Finnish root vegetables.
20 pieces of pork cheeks
200 g button mushrooms
1 bottle (0.33 dl) Finnish Porter or other strong-tasting dark beer
4 dl meat stock
4 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
Salt and crushed dill
Fry the pork cheeks and chopped button mushrooms. Place them in an oven dish and add all the other ingredients except the salt and dill. Cover with a lid and stew the pork cheeks in the oven for 10 hours at 80 degrees. Season with salt and dill when the cheeks are ripe and break easily.
600 g peeled celeriac
3 dl milk
3 dl cream
100 g butter
50 g smoked unripened cheese
Salt and lemon juice
Chop the celeriac into small cubes and place in a saucepan with the milk and cream. Heat and stew the celeriac until completely cooked. Drain the celeriac and keep the liquid. Puree the celeriac in a food mixer with the butter and unripened cheese. Add some of the leftover liquid if the puree is too thick. Season with salt and lemon juice. Serve with the stewed pork cheeks and roasted winter root vegetables.
“Whitefish and sour cream flavoured with gin and dill”
Finnish gin is a sterling spirit and also our new export success story. In this recipe the infallible combination of gin, dill and juniper berries transports the whitefish to a new dimension. The dish is perfect as the crowning glory of a May Day brunch or the star turn of a Spring soirée.
600 g boneless whitefish fillets with skins
0.25 dl sugar
0.25 dl salt
4 sprigs of dill
0.5 dl Finnish gin
10 crushed juniper berries
Mix the sugar, salt, chopped dill, gin and crushed juniper berries. Place the whitefish fillets in a dish and spread the salt mixture on top. Cover with baking paper and leave to stand for three hours. Wipe the fillets and cut into thin slices.
1 dl whipping cream
100 g smetana
1 tbsp spirit vinegar
Whisk the cream and smetana into a foam and season with the vinegar and ground black pepper. Serve the whitefish and sour cream with a good malt loaf.