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What to serve with gravlax for dinner?

keech6 Jun 8, 2008 06:58 PM

My boyfriend and I scored a lovely piece of Alaskan salmon and plan to make it into gravlax for a small dinner party this week. But we need some guidance, lacking any swedish background, in what to serve with it....This is as a main course, not an appetizer.

I saw some suggestions of a cucumber salad, dark bread, a mustard dill sauce and deviled eggs. But seemed like not enough? Maybe a warm red potato salad? Other suggestions?

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  1. Cheese Boy RE: keech6 Jun 8, 2008 09:02 PM

    Here's an interesting menu --> http://www.samcooks.com/flavor/Scandi...

    1. carswell RE: keech6 Jun 8, 2008 09:42 PM

      In Sweden, it's usually served as an appetizer. In fact, I don't recall ever seeing it as a main.

      Potato salad would be fine. Or you could make another staple of the Swedish smörgåsbord, Janssons Frestelse (Jansson's temptation), a casserole of potatoes, onions, anchovies and cream.

      1 Reply
      1. re: carswell
        diva360 RE: carswell Jun 9, 2008 12:04 AM

        I think cheese boy's and carswell's suggestions are good. I'd also consider some kind of vinegar-dressed red cabbage salad/slaw, and if you go with the beet salad on cheese boy's link, I'd definitely sub roasted fresh beets for the canned. I think you want acidic/pickled type vegetable sides to serve as foils for the richness of the salmon and dairy items typical of a Scandinavian spread. Small Swedish meatballs would also be good, and these could be held in a slow cooker or pot with a sterno, and don't forget the lingonberries. For desert, there's a simple roux-based Norwegian pudding called rommegrot that is very good. It's traditionally served at Christmas sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, but I think it would be easy to put a summer twist on it by serving it layered parfait-style with fresh berries and mint.

      2. j
        Joebob RE: keech6 Jun 9, 2008 01:05 AM

        When we could dig/obtain really new potatoes, them (boiled), gravlax, and butter for the spuds made a fine, fine meal.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Joebob
          Passadumkeg RE: Joebob Jun 9, 2008 02:46 AM

          I agree, Joebob, but don't forget the fresh dill on the potatoes!

          1. re: Passadumkeg
            Joebob RE: Passadumkeg Jun 9, 2008 02:03 PM


        2. h
          hungry_pangolin RE: keech6 Jun 9, 2008 07:24 AM

          As a demi-Finn, I've never encountered this as a main. That said, I'd say boiled new potatoes dressed with salt, pepper, butter, but especially dill, as passadumkeg notes. (I always think of dill as Finnish parsley.)

          I like Jansson's Temptation, but I think that it might be a bit heavy now that the weather is turning quite warm. I'd prefer something lighter, like marinated cucumber, beets, or mushrooms (more a Karelian thing, I think), or shredded carrots marinated in orange juice, or radishes (parboil, cool, thinly slice, marinade in a vinaigrette). Actually, if you put a bit of each on the plate, it would be quite colourful.

          To drink: lager (Finnish or Swedish, if you can get it... Danish, in a pinch, I suppose), or a simple dry German wine.

          2 Replies
          1. re: hungry_pangolin
            Passadumkeg RE: hungry_pangolin Jun 9, 2008 07:43 AM

            Cuke and onion sour cream salad, rapu or crayfish and dependant on the group icy Akkovit or vodka. Peasant bread. Muustaleippa or black bread.

            1. re: hungry_pangolin
              Joebob RE: hungry_pangolin Jun 9, 2008 02:04 PM

              Hej! Tuborg's not that bad!

            2. Richard 16 RE: keech6 Jun 9, 2008 07:53 AM

              Not at all Swedish:

              Thinly sliced for nigiri.

              As a layer in oshizushi; "pressed" sushi. You don't need a special box - you can do the same thing in a plastic lined bread or casserole pan. Easy to do.

              In a roll, commonly with cream cheese. Chives and/or avocado are great in them as well. Do an inside-out roll and roll around toasted sesame seeds.

              Sandwiches on pumpernickel or seeded rye bread, with cream cheese and fresh dill.

              Fancy: Rossetes of thinly sliced smoked salmon with a tiny dollop of caviar in the middle of each one, with a thin yogurt, creme fraiche, or sour cream based sauce with fresh dill in it, with pumpernickel, rye, or sourdough bread.

              There's more, but I have to go...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Richard 16
                keech6 RE: Richard 16 Jun 9, 2008 10:26 AM

                Thanks all for the good suggestions!

              2. Megiac RE: keech6 Jun 9, 2008 02:45 PM

                I'm married to a Swede and have never seen it as a main. In fact, given the flavor and texture, I think it's best as in starter quantities and not as a main.

                I'd reconsider serving it as a main, and serve it as a starter. My mother in law will create open face sandwiches with rye bread covered with creme fraiche with a bit of mustard, then the sliced gravlax and sprigs of dill. I'd serve it with a traditional Swedish main course, like Beef Rydberg and boiled new potatoes. Or serve it as a part of a smorgasbord with some ham and Swedish meatballs (I really love Marcus Samuelsson's nontraditional version that you can find on foodtv.com).

                1. j
                  jenn RE: keech6 Jun 9, 2008 02:56 PM

                  Well, in our house, we would have it with new potatoes [don't forget the dill and the butter], crisp bread, cheese, beet salad, TONS of pickled herring, a bit of liver pate, maybe a green salad and mazarine for dessert. oh and cucumber salad is nice too but I am way too lazy to do the eggs. Okay maybe NOT the way its done in Stockholm but hey, we live[d] in Seattle [LA] and thats the way we do it here. Makes a darn fine buffet dinner party meal if you ask me.

                  Rommegot is good with berries. You might also try some pound cake with berries?

                  Seriously, do it in a way that you and your friends will enjoy it.

                  1. vvvindaloo RE: keech6 Jun 9, 2008 07:06 PM

                    smoked gravlax is typically served on its own, or with toast. grilled gravlax, on the other hand, comes with senapssill (mustard sauce) and dill-potatis (dill potatoes). other frequent accompaniments: creamed spinach (w/grilled) or creme fraiche with caviar on toast points (w/smoked).

                    1. b
                      barulia RE: keech6 Aug 18, 2009 04:53 PM

                      Straying from the traditional use of gravlax, I used the salmon in a more traditional english/asian fusion dish and it worked really well. I simply sliced the fillet into max 1 inch slices along the length of the fillet and then lightly seared skin side down so it cooks less than 2-4mm depth. This gives the skin a lovely crispiness and also slightly warms the fish through. We then ate this with creamy mashed potatoes and a red cabbage salad. If you like sashimi salmon u will love this

                      1. Passadumkeg RE: keech6 Aug 18, 2009 06:05 PM

                        Gravlax omelet or scrambled eggs on toast.

                        1. Phurstluv RE: keech6 Aug 18, 2009 06:09 PM

                          ICE COLD GREY GOOSE.

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