Finland cooks up special menu for centenary celebration

One hundred years after achieving independence, Finland serves up a celebratory menu. The accompanying recipes and how-to videos mean you can also replicate the delectable dishes.

Chefs Kim Palhus and Arto Rastas designed the menu so that the dishes can be prepared around the world in a range of cultural environments and in different countries where availability of ingredients may vary.

The Finland 100 celebratory menu brings people together to make and enjoy food and drink that will introduce them to or remind them of taste experiences that have long been favourites of the Finns but are accessible to food-lovers wherever they may happen to live. The recipes form a base for professional and amateur chefs alike to create variations according to the season and the situation. The dishes also inspire conversation at the dining table.

Finland’s centenary celebration menu

Wild-mushroom salad
Smoked vendace with horseradish-cheese mousse
Cured beef sirloin with sea-buckthorn berry jam
Lingonberry bun

Tar-marinated, slightly salted salmon with dill cucumbers, green potato salad and beet puree

Lamb tenderloin with allspice sauce, cabbage rolls with oats and pine sprouts

Brita cake

And here are the recipes!

Photo: Petri Krook

Wild-mushroom salad (10 portions)

150 g salted Finnish wild mushrooms, parboiled and soaked
6 ml  white vinegar
80 g mayonnaise
50 g  diced onion
20 Linkosuo Original ry crispbread
Ground white pepper powder to taste
Parsley and chives for decoration

1. Dip the mushrooms 1-2 times into boiling water and let sit in cold water to cool thoroughly.
Change cold water at least once. Do not leave too long for mushrooms to lose their saltiness.
2. Rinse with cold water and gently squeeze dry.
3. Finely chop mushrooms and raw onions together into a mixture.
4. Mix mayonnaise until slightly foamy and add in white vinegar.
5. Combine all ingredients and season with pepper to taste.
6. When ready to serve, fill the rye crisps with wild mushrooms salad mixture, decorate
with parsley and chives. Do not prepare too far in advance, the rye bread crisps might get soggy.

Smoked vendace with horseradish-cheese mousse (10 portions)

10 canned smoked Finnish vendace, whole
130 g fresh cheese (cream cheese)
1 tbsp  fresh grated horseradish
salt and ground white pepper
20 small pieces soft malt bread, toasted (recipe below)
2 tbsp. trout roe
fresh dill for decoration

1. Cut each vendace into two or three pieces.
2. Mix cream cheese and horseradish together, season with salt and white pepper to taste.
3. With the use of a pastry bag, or the use of a small spoon, squeeze or scoop the cream cheese and horseradish mixture on each piece of the crispy malt bread.
4. Place a piece of vendace on top of each bread and decorate with dill and trout roe.

Cured beef sirloin with sea-buckthorn berry jam (10 portions)     

500 g  beef tenderloin (coeur de fillet)
1.5 tbsp sea salt
3  crushed juniper berries
1/2 tsp black pepper from the mill
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1  crushed bay leaf
20 small pieces soft malt bread, toasted
1 tbsp  sea-buckthorn berry jam
Parsley or chives for garnish

Prepare the beef terderloin a day or two in advance so that it has time to absorb the spices.
1. Clean the meat by removing extra fat.
2. Mix all the spices together into a mixture and thoroughly rub evenly over the fillet.
3. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, close ends and refrigerate for two or three hours.
4. Wrap tightly in tin foil and place into a freezer overnight.
5. Before cutting, let the beef sirloin thaw at room temperature for about one hour.
6. While the meat is still thawing, cut it into thin slices.
7. When ready to serve, butter the slices of the crispy malt bread and place sliced meat on each slice in a rosette formation. Note that the crispy malt bread will get soggy if this step is prepared too far in advance.
6. Decorate with sea-buckthorn berry jam and finely chopped chives before serving.

Lingonberry bun (10 portions)

10 g  yeast
100 ml milk
1  egg
0.5 dl  sugar
1/4 tsp  salt
1/4 tsp crushed cardamom
200 g  wheat flour
35 g  butter

1 dl  lingonberry jam
2 tbsp  sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
whipped egg for brushing

1. Start by placing the yeast at the bottom of a large dish and break into pieces. Pour warm milk over, add salt, sugar and cardamom. Add in egg. Mix in flour while kneading by hand. Add melted butter and knead until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
2. Roll the dough into an even mixture and remove air bubbles. Roll the dough into a large, thin layer with a rolling pin.
3. Spread lingonberry jam thinly on the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon.
4. Roll the dough up and cut into 4-5 cm sized segments. Put each piece into a small muffin cup and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
5. Brush with melted butter and bake for 15 to 20 minutes in 350F (180C) until cooked.
6. Allow to cool and garnish with powdered sugar before serving.

Malt bread from Häme

1 litre  buttermilk
4 packets dry yeast
500 g malt
7.5 dl  water
10 tsp  salt
500 ml dark syrup
200 ml prune puree or marmalade
350 ml rapeseed oil
3 litres wheat flour (depend of flour, may use less)
Makes 12 small loaves

1. Boil the malt for several minutes. Add buttermilk, oil, syrup, salt and marmalade.
2. Add the yeast to the wheat flour, and add the yeast and flour mixture to the malt mixture.
3. Knead well and put aside to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
4. Form 12 loaves (500 g each) and place them in baking pans.
5. Cover with a cloth and let them rise again.
6. Bake at 150 degrees Celsius (300 Fahrenheit) for about 35 minutes.

Photo: Petri Krook

Tar-marinated, slightly salted salmon with dill cucumbers, green potato salad and beets


200 g  fresh, boneless, skinless salmon fillet, ideally the back fillet
2 to 3 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp crushed white pepper

1. Mix the salt, sugar and white pepper together.
2. Sprinkle seasoning on top of the salmon fillet into a thick layer.
3. Keep refrigerated 24 hours to allow flavour to set in.
4. Place the salmon fillet on a cutting board, wipe off the seasoning mixture and dry with a paper towel.
5. Cut the fillet into four evenly sized pieces.
6. Heat the frying pan to maximum heat. Sprinkle a little salt in the pan.
7. Place the slices on top of the pan and fry only on one side with until it turns dark brown. Do not bake through.
Please note:
1. The frying pan has to be really hot to get the right effect.
2. Fry the fillet on the outer half of the fillet where the skin was, do not turn over!
Tar syrup:
1 package Leijona tar candies
200 ml water
1. Bring water to boil. Add candies, and stir until they melt. Do not allow the mixture to burn.
2. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 15 minutes, until the mixture turns into a syrup. Allow to cool.

Dill cucumbers like Grandmother used to make

100 g fresh cucumbers, thinly sliced
50 ml water
50 ml vinegar
50 g granulated sugar
2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill

1. Wash the cucumber but do not peel. Slice into thin slices with a knife or a cheese slicer.
2. Blend water, sugar and salt together. Allow the sugar to fully dissolve before pouring it over the sliced cucumber.
3. Add vinegar, seal into a container and shake until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Refrigerated overnight and add chopped dill before serving.

Green potato salad

3 potatoes, floury
Dill emulsion:
2 dl parboiled dill
2 dl rapeseed oil
2 tbsp  white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
white pepper to taste

1. Bake the potatoes in boiling water until cooked thoroughly.
2. Parboiled the dill by putting it in boiling water for about 30 seconds.
3. Cool the dill under running cold water. Dry with paper towels.
4. Place in a blender, mix well and add in oil gradually.
5. Add salt and vinegar. Blend for another 3-5 minutes until mixture is an even blend.
6. Peel and dice the potatoes while they are still warm. Pour the dill emulsion over the potatoes in two batches and mix gently. Refrigerate at least four hours or overnight before serving.

Beet puree

100 ml One small beet, peeled
400 ml Water
50 ml Red wine vinegar
½ tsp Salt

1. Bring water, vinegar and salt to boil. Add in beet.
2. Lower heat and boil the until cooked.
3. Blend the beet until a smooth, even puree forms.
4. Season with nutmeg and salt.
Decorate portion with thin slices of radish and carrot.

Photo: Petri Krook

Lamb tenderloin with allspice sauce, cabbage rolls with oats and pine sprouts

1 kg lamb tenderloin
100 ml rapeseed oil
5 g thyme leaves
3 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
butter for frying

1. Clean the tenderloins from extra fat and film.
2. Mix oil, garlic and thyme leaves together and spread the mixture on the fillets evenly.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
4. Wipe off extra marinade, preheat frying pan, melt butter and fry fillets on high heat until brown.
5. Place the cooked fillets on an oven tray and put in a meat thermometer. Place in 100 degrees Celsius (212 Fahrenheit) oven.
6. When the meat temperature reaches 54 degrees Celsius (130 Fahrenheit), remove from the oven. Wrap in foil and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
7. Slice the fillet and plate.

Homemade lamb sausage

200 g boneless lamb fillet
200 g beef shoulder
15 g potato starch
18 g salt
2 g grounded black pepper
2 g marjoram
1 chopped garlic clove
100 ml water
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
lamb intestine

1. Place the lamb intestines in cold water while you prepare the filling.
2. Grind meat once through a 3-mm sieve once or twice, depending on desired thickness.
3. Place meat in a mixer bowl and blend for few minutes.
4. Add potato starch and seasonings. Add in water in gradually in three steps, making sure that the mixture does not become too fluid. Cook a small patty on the stove to check flavour. Add spices to taste, if desired.
5. Attach sausage tube to the meat grinder, and attach the intestine carefully to the tube.
6. Fill intestine with sausage mixture, working slowly not to overfill or break the intestine. Form sausages that are about 10 cm long. Twist the intestine in opposite direction with each sausage so that it will not unravel when you are done.
7. Poke three small holes in each sausage and place into boiling water. Remove from heat, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
8. Remove the sausages from water and dry. If not serving them right away, allow to cool and store in the refrigerator.
9. When ready to serve, heat up a frying pan with some oil and cook until slightly brown.

Allspice sauce

2 tbsp. Rapeseed oil
1 Carrot
1 Shallot onion
2 Bay leaves
1 dl Red wine vinegar
1 dl Red wine
1.5 dl Demi-glace sauce
6 + 6 Crushed allspice berries
Salt to taste

1. Sautee diced onion, carrot in oil on a hot pan until caramelized. Add spices and fry until browned.
2. Add red wine and allow to simmer until half has evaporated. Then add demi-glace sauce and let it simmer until half the liquid has evaporated again.
3. Strain the liquid and add in crushed allspice berries. Allow to simmer on a low heat for a few minutes.
4. Strain again before serving.

Cabbage rolls with oats and pine sprouts

1 Small head of cabbage

1 Yellow onion
1 tbsp Butter
200 g Chopped small cabbage leaves
1 dl Cooking cream
1 tsp Pine sprout powder
400 g Softly boiled Finnish crushed oats

syrup, butter (use rapeseed oil, in case need to have vegan rolls)

1. Remove cabbage stalk and outer leaves before placing the cabbage in salted boiling water. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. Cover the cabbage and cook thoroughly until leaves start to separate.
3. Remove from the boiling water and allow to cool.
4. Remove the leaves from the cabbage and chop the core into small slices.
5. Put them in cold water, then remove and dry well.
6. Sautee chopped onion and chopped cabbage leaves for a few minutes in a sauce pan.
7. Add cream, pine sprout powder and salt. Let simmer 5 minutes
8. Add crushed oats, mix well and check the seasoning.
9. Open cabbage leaves on cutting board and spoon filling onto the edge of the leaves.
10. Fold sides in and roll tightly.
11. Place rolls on an oven tray and brush with a mixture of butter and syrup.
12. Place in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) until brown, then reduce heat to 130 degrees Celsius (265 Fahrenheit) and bake for about 30 minutes.

Sautéed carrots in horseradish butter

3  carrots
50 g  butter
20 g  fresh grated horse radiss
salt to taste

1. Peel and dice carrots into desired shapes.
2. Place onto a frying pan and add water until submerged.
3. Boil until al dente. Pour out water. Add butter and mix it in with carrots until fully melted.
4. Add grated horseradish, season with salt and serve immediately.

Carrot puree

500 g  peeled, coarsely chopped carrots
1 litre  water
1 tbsp  butter
1tsp  salt
1/4 tsp powdered nutmeg

1. Boil carrots until soft. Pour into a strainer to remove water. Place carrots in blender at medium speed until smooth.
2. Add butter, salt and nutmeg.
3. Check the seasoning.
Note: You may make bigger portions of beet and carrot puree and preserve them for future use by placing them in a vacuum-packed bag or in the freezer. Cabbage rolls can also be prepared in advance and frozen, if you wish to make bigger batches.

Photo: Petri Krook

Brita cake

125 g  butter
1 dl  sugar
2  egg yolks
1.5 dl  wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 dl milk
2  egg whites
1.5 dl  sugar
1 dl  almond flakes

Rhubarb filling
5 dl peeled, chopped rhubarb
1 dl  sugar
dash of water
2 dl whipping cream

1. Whip butter and sugar into a white foam. Add egg yolks one by one. Mix in dry ingredients and milk gradually, alternating each.
2. Spread the dough on a 25 x 30-cm (10 x 12-inch) baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
3. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius (355 Fahrenheit) on the middle rack of the oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
4. Whip egg whites into a firm foam. Add in sugar gradually in three batches. Mix until the foam is so thick that it does not fall out of the bowl. Spread the meringue evenly on the cooled off cake. Sprinkle with almond flakes. Place back in the oven’s middle rack for another 10-15 minutes until crispy brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Rhubarb compote:
1. Cook the rhubarb on the stove with sugar for 5-8 minutes. Pour out liquid and use as juice, etc. Allow rhubarb compote to cool.
Cake Filling:
Prepare the cake right before serving
1. Mix 2dl whipped cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar until it forms a firm foam.
2. Combine rhubarb jam with the whipped cream.
3. Cut the cake horizontally into two even layers.
4. Gently remove the top layer and cover with filling. Place second layer on top of it.

Brita cake with strawberries or other berries or fruits:
Rhubarb can be replaced with berries or fruit (strawberries, raspberries, black currants, apples, plums, peaches, etc.) according to what is locally or seasonally available.
This cake cannot be made in advance or frozen.

Article by ThisisFINLAND staff, December 2016; recipes courtesy of Finland 100