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A Swedish swede and a master mentor

Swedish recipe

I’ve got myself a mentor! And not just any mentor, but one of our greatest Swedish chefs who trained many of today’s top chefs, such as Daniel Berlin – Thomas Drejing.

Thomas ran the fine dining restaurant Peter Pumpa in the eighties and did then what EVERY moders chef does today – the produce in focus, creating according to supply and season and minimize the ingredients on the plate. Recognize this? Today it is the trendiest thing to do in any modern restaurant kitchens, and I knew that Thomas would, if he had the time and wanted to help me, boost my creativity and cooking skills.

We met over lunch in the newly renovated market hall in Lund and it was a great meeting for me. Thomas, with his passion and energy for cooking and local and ecological produce became a needed injection of culinary ideas for me and I could not have been more right when it comes to finding a mentor with knowledge and experience of nordic food and produce.

This is right out of TheDjungle Book – a real Baloo and Mowgli-feeling and I hope he can teach me everything he knows.

We talked for one and a half hours of visions, produce, Peter Pumpa, creativity, cooking, peasant and luxury-ingredients, the restaurant industry … it was not silent for a minute. And I was listening like a child listening to a fary tale. Awesome!  I am so grateful that Thomas, who dedicate his work to make food better for elderly people today, wanted to take the time to encourage me to further culinary challenges in my Nordic kitchen.

At the end of our conversation, I asked him to challenge me, and give me a produce to create something fore tonights dinner.
– SWEDE! He replied without blinking, with a “that´s a challagne for ya-kind of smile.
Swede ( very apropriate for a Nordic produce) Oops … thought he would give me fish or meat … Leg of pork, I thought right away … but realized that I was going down the wrong, safe, classical, boring cooking road…No! Should I impress master chef Drejing, I definatley had to think outside the box …and just after one meeting…my creative thinking has taken a new turn. Thank you Thomas!

Here you can watch Cooking school with Thomas.

So, go ahead!

4 people

1 swede
4 slices butter
Flake Salt
Juice of 2,5 lemons
1 tbsp sugar

0.5 small swede
200 g butter
fresh lemon juice
Flake Salt

A small piece of peeled swede

800 g pike-perch with skin side left I four pieces

Flake Salt
1 net of mussels
1 banana shallot
1 clove of garlic
0.5 fennel
4 cup white wine
A knob of butter
2 tablespoons concentrated fish stock
2 cups white wine
A bunch of dill
20 g trout roe

1 Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C/302 degrees F (convectionoven).
2 Peel swede and cut into four thick slices, about 2 cm.
3 Place on a baking tray and top with thin slices of butter. Sprinkle with salt flakes.
4 Bake until they are soft.
5 Boil lemon and sugar to a syrup. When the swede is soft, raise the heat to 250 degrees, brush the syrup on the swede and cook for a minute until you get a nice color and surface.

1.Peel and cut the swede into small pieces.
2. Melt the butter, add the swede and cook over medium heat until the turnip is soft. Strain but save the butter.
3. Mix swede with about five tablespoons of butter to a smooth puree. Season with sea salt and a little lemon.

1.Peel and slice swede paper thin nicely on mandolin. Place in ice water until serving.

1.Sprinkle salt flakes on the fish and let it sit in the fridge for an hour. Wipe.
2. Fry fish with skin side down in butter and a little olive oil for about 2-3 minutes. (Internal temperature should be 46 degrees C/ 114,8 F) turn it and fry quickly in a few seconds on the white surface.

1 Rinse the mussels in cold water anD throw away those that do not close.
2. Slice fennel and finely chop the shallots. Fry in butter in a large pan / pot.
3. Add the mussels and wine. Boil under lid for about 5-7 minutes. Strain and save the broth. Save the mussels for a good mussel pasta the next day.
4. Add the fish stock, 2 cups white wine and boil to half of the broth remains.
5. Add the butter and chopped dill before serving.

SERVE A slice of baked swede with a piece of pike pearch on each plate. Spoon over hot mussel and dill broth, pipe the swede cream and garnish with raw swede, trout roe and dill.


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Pernilla Elmquist

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