Friday, July 8, 2011

Big Summer Feast!

Hi there, I finally went on holidays a couple of days ago and I must say that it was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. Not only because the weather was fabulous, and we met our friends and family, it was also a great food experience. Me and my fiancé Stefan went to Sweden, his home country. We had a fantastic road trip at first, starting from Oslo driving down the west coast to Gothenburg. On the way we stopped in one amazing town called Fjällbacka. The weather was gorgeous and so was the food at one of many small restaurants in the harbour. We ordered delicious Seafood Chowder that was served with steamed rice, bread and lovely aioli. The taste of fresh salmon, cod, prawns and mussels was indescribable.

Then later in the evening we ate amazing Beef Steak that was marinated in fresh herbs, garlic, balsamic vinegar, oil and probably some other secret ingredients that Annica added to her tasty marinade. Together with that we had vegetable skewers, summer salad, new potatoes (boiled with fresh dill, that is by the way very popular during the summer in Sweden), grilled corn cob and Béarnaise Sauce. Anders surprised us with refreshing Caipirinha that became my favourite drink of this summer, and we all enjoyed the wonderful dinner in central Gothenburg, overlooking the whole city.

The next day we went to visit Stefan’s auntie and uncle in Onsala. We didn’t know that we would be served such an awesome starter on top of a hill with a view over the sea and local houses! The delicacy was: toasted bread, homemade creamy dressing, avocado, red onions, tomatoes and fried bacon. OMG!

When we gathered in their house later on, they started preparing drinks and barbecue! We ate luxurious seafood skewer served with potato salad and fresh tomatoes. The meat of halibut and salmon was once again unbelievable. I’d never tasted such an amazing white fish before. I also got a great tip: it’s better to cook whole onions before putting them on the skewers. Cook them for about 10 minutes. I usually use sliced raw onion, but the ones we ate that day were much tastier.

It wouldn’t be a Swedish summer dinner without the most fabulous, extraordinary and delicious Strawberry Cake!!! It’s simple and so delicious that I’m drooling by just thinking of it. You’ll find the recipe in my comments.

Oh, we visited our dear friends, Geissler Sisters! We only had an hour so we had a lovely “fika” (coffee and cake) at their father’s house. There is something about coffee in Sweden, it’s so damn good! Look at those cute cookies :)

Right after our “fika” we headed to visit other relatives of Stefan. We sat in the garden, the sun was shining and we had a great summer lunch. Here it is: Omelette with smoked salmon and dill, served with salad and new potatoes. Amazing, I actually made it yesterday for dinner. Later on we had outstanding rhubarb crumble and vanilla ice cream.

The next day we met with our lovely friends in the city centre of Gothenburg, I noticed that many restaurants in Sweden are a little bit different to the ones in Ireland and the Czech Republic. We went to this building that was quite big, and inside were many small restaurants, buffets and bakeries. I ordered my favourite falafel salad, it was a big portion for a great value. I got about 3 different salads, tzatziki and 2 slices of water melon.

Thanks to our friend who works in one of the restaurants we got free cookies and coffee, lovely Italian sweets were super sweet and lovely!!

Since I’ve heard about a Seafood Cruise in Gothenburg I wanted to do it so much. And after about a year of waiting I did. And I am telling you, it was some experience. First we were served a welcome drink and then we were seated in the restaurant where we patiently waited for the feast to begin. Wow wow wow, crab claws, fresh prawns, langoustines, herring, mussels, eggs, bread and more! It was like a dream!If you ever go to Gothenburg you should definitely do it! The archipelago is so beautiful and the whole cruise is so much fun. There were entertaining performances and the food was really good quality. I will never forget that evening!

And as you can imagine, we all went crazy when they brought the food. I didn't eat one plate only, nobody did. I think :)

I can’t believe that I had never tasted stewed macaroni with meatballs before. I had been to Sweden a lot of times before and never ate it. It is probably a dish that every Swede knows. I am happy that I tasted it and I sure will have it again when I go there the next time.
When we got to a different part of Sweden, we were invited to another BBQ at Stefan’s brother’s house. He, his wife and Stefan’s sister made delicious chicken breasts, asparagus with Parma ham, potatoes, great creamy sweet chilli dressing and wonderful water melon & rocket salad.

I think it’s a great summer salad, you just slice up some water melon, add feta cheese, basil, rocket and a pinch of salt. Gorgeous.

Our last stop was in Enköping. Me and Stefan decided to cook something nice for dinner. With his help we managed to make lovely salmon that was marinated in oil, salt, pepper, fresh dill, lemon juice and sesame seeds. I also made Caprese salad with home-made paste (parsley, lemon balm, strong cheese and olive oil). We baked broccoli with some cheese and made a creamy caviar dressing. Then we once again cooked new potatoes with dill. I think we did a good job that evening. I only ended up with a burned hand, the usual. The day after we barbecued again, oh I will miss it, and I made beetroot tzatziki, if you never made it, go for it!!!

There are so many more dishes we ate that week. Like Mikaela’s amazing ice-cream, Jan’s fabulous grilled pork, and many more. Thank you all for cooking for us that week. Thank you! Now I’ll have to go to the gym at least 5 times a week, lol.

Look at that. Could this be more Swedish? Don’t think so.