Toast Skagen (Swedish Shrimp Salad) in Sweden is an appetizer that means “party.” The sprig of dill on the top serves as a fanfare, making it a perfect celebration appetizer.
This month’s LA Food Bloggers Meet Up is dedicated to ethnic heritage, and we are to bring a dish that relates to ours. Since I am Swedish, I set out to find a yummy dish to showcase my cultural background and make my Swedish Grandma proud.
Growing up in Iowa – which is full of Scandinavians – my Grandma Nelson led the pack when she made krumkake, fattigman, and rosettes. I wanted to make one of these specialties, but I realized they all require
scary special equipment.
(If you haven’t seen these before, there a good chance your not Scandinavian)
The Swedes are among the world’s top coffee consumers (only 2nd to Finland). They love sweets with their good, strong coffee, so I thought I would start with something simple like Swedish Nut Cookies.
Swedish Food I Would Never Brag Blog About
After baking the Swedish Nut Cookies I was disappointed. They tasted good but were dry and crumbly. I wrote this off to a problem of conversion ratios, as it couldn’t possibly be my baking skills.
I moved on to a Sockerkaka med Applen (Swedish Apple Cake). Every good Swede has a great apple cake recipe in their arsenal. This recipe had all the makings of a wonderful treat until…. I cut into the cake and was horrified, to find it filled with worms. And it tasted bland like I imagine worms would. This experiment ended up in the trash. My baking skills were beginning to be called into question.
I was determined to get an apple cake down because it is so popular in Sweden, and I tried another recipe that didn’t involve shredding apples. It was much prettier, but my husband and I thought it was average at best as we ate half of it while we were criticizing critiquing it. The rest is sitting in my refrigerator, as my ego can’t throw away another dish …. yet. (I am now thinking about researching my genealogy, as I would prefer to be French).
Swedish Successes… Finally
My next attempt at not disgracing my Swedish heritage came with Ärtsoppa (Swedish Yellow Pea Soup). This turned out well and I will blog about it later because it’s a great story. But it just wouldn’t have worked for a potluck, as it doesn’t taste very good at room temperature.
So back to the drawing board I went. My grandmother made the best Sandbakkels (Swedish sugar cookie) so I pulled out my molds to relive this wonderful childhood memory. They were a success, but I had too few tins and not enough patience to make this for the blog event.
Time was running out and I needed inspiration, as was feeling like a Swedish misslyckande (failure). I knew what was needed: a trip to IKEA to reconnect me to my roots. After wandering around the warehouse maze, I left with things I really didn’t need, but I found my Swedish inspiration, in the form of beautiful herring roe. These would influence my final, and best-loved, Swedish creation.
Today’s Swedish Winner Recipe: Toast Skagen (Swedish Shrimp Salad)
Toast Skagen (shrimp salad on rye toast with herring roe) was a winner! I served it on a homemade Quick Rye Bread that was super easy to make.
Click here for the recipe.
A few simple ingredients make this recipe an easy appetizer for your next party. You can cut the recipe in half and put it on a full piece of toast to serve two.
Makes 40 hors d’ oeuvres.
Toast Skagen (Shrimp Salad on Rye Toast)
- 2 1/2 cups medium shrimp cooked
- 1/2 cup shallots chopped
- 1/2 cup pickled cucumbers medium dice
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 1/3 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Rye bread sliced, toasted and cut into small squares
- 2 teaspoons fresh chives chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons white fish roe or any type of caviar
- Pinch sea salt
In a bowl, mix together shrimp, shallots, pickled cucumbers, crème fraiche, dill, salt, and pepper.
Taste and add more salt if necessary.
Cover the rye toast with a healthy portion of shrimp salad, and top with chives, caviar, a sprig of dill and sea salt.
If you are short on time, buy rye cocktail bread for your Skagen.
For a great Swedish Cucumber Salad with Dill and Parsley recipe check out Dorothy’s at ShockinglyDelicious.com.
I no longer feel like a Swedish failure, but I still think there is a French relative lurking around in my background. Somebody, please come forward!
…and then, she paused for a French thought.