A dinner with Nordic flavours, Cod, Foraged chantarelles and lingonberry beurre blanc
September is a lovely month, autumn is arriving and it is time to head out in to the woods and pick everything that is ready to be harvested. I was in Sweden for the weekend and wanted to cook a dinner with Nordic seasonal flavours. I love to eat fish and seafood when I am home as it is so fresh it is a treat. Gothenburg has a big fish market and when you buy fresh fish it is caught the night before. We got some fish for dinner and it was my turn to cook.
It is prime time for picking lingonberries. They were on sale everywhere and most of my Swedish friends make their own jam.
We went out to see if we could find any but we found more mushrooms than lingonberries. I did find a few but not enough for dinner. They are sometimes called red gold, they grow in an abundance and can be eaten with sweet as well as savoury. On the porridge for breakfast, with the meatballs at lunch or with fish for dinner! As they are in season I was inspired to cook with them.
These were the first chanterelles of the day that we saw. Foraging for mushrooms is one of my favourite things to do. Sadly I don’t know enough about mushrooms in the UK to pick them here but I could spend a whole day picking mushrooms, no problems! There is something soothing to walk around in the woods concentrating on nothing but the mushrooms, shouting every now and then to make sure I haven’t lost my friends and pick a bag full for dinner. If I had more time I would pick mushrooms to dry and some to freeze as well but today we picked for dinner.
If the Lingonberries are called red god the chanterelle are called yellow gold. You can buy them everywhere but they are expensive and the woods are full of them!
We also found funnel chanterelles. There were so many of them and they are so easy to pick but a hassle to clean! The stem is hollow so not only do they all need to be brushed but also halved to check inside the stems. Saying that it is always worth while as they taste gorgeous.
A big bowl of cleaned chanterelles cooked down to almost nothing, they have a distinct flavour so a little goes a long way but more, in this case is better!
The pot was overflowing with chanterelles but once the water is being cooked out they shrunk and shrunk but it was still a lot.
To get all the flavours in there I decided to make poached cod (line caught) with a lingonberry beurre blanc and chanterelles served with boiled potato and broccoli. I poached the cod with tarragon and bayleaf in salted water. I love beurre blanc but it is a very rare treat (due to the large butter content), of course it makes it taste wonderful! I added the lingonberry jam just before serving and the slight acidity gave the beurre blanc a lift to go with the cod and the mushrooms.
Once I had cooked off the water from the mushrooms I pan fried them in a little butter with garlic and parsley, delicious. If I had only the mushrooms and not the other food I would have simply placed them on some toast but this time we ate the cod with boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli with chilli and garlic.
A very Nordic influenced dinner with very seasonal flavours.