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.

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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
60 g mayonnaise
50 g  diced onion
white pepper powder to taste
20 Linkosuo Original rye crispbread
1. Dice or finely chop mushrooms.
2. Mix all ingredients.
3. Season with white pepper.
4. Fill rye crisps with wild mushroom salad and serve.
Do not add the filling too early, or the bread will get soggy.

Smoked vendace with horseradish-cheese mousse (10 portions)

10 canned smoked Finnish vendace
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)
trout roe and dill for decoration
1. Cut each vendace into three pieces.
2. Mix cheese and horseradish, season with salt and white pepper to taste.
3. Form a small ball of horseradish-cheese mousse on each crispy malt bread.
4. Place vendace on top 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
a crushed bay leaf
20 small pieces soft malt bread, toasted
1 tbsp  sea-buckthorn berry jam
chives for garnish
1. Mix all the spices and sprinkle over the fillet.
2. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, close ends and refrigerate for two hours.
3. Put in freezer overnight.
4. Before cutting, let the beef sirloin thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes.
5. Cut thin slices and place them on the top of crispy malt bread.
6. Decorate with sea-buckthorn berry jam and finely chopped chives.

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. Dissolve yeast into lukewarm milk. Add egg, sugar, spices and half the flour. Knead dough promptly.
2. Add rest of flour until dough is no longer sticky. Add melted butter and knead well.
3. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place for 30 minutes.
4. Roll the dough into a thin layer with a rolling pin. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon powder on the top of dough.
5. Spread lingonberry jam thinly on the dough.
6. Roll the dough up tightly and cut into small segments. Put each piece into a small muffin cup.
7. Brush with whipped egg.
8. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Garnish with powdered sugar.

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
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

600 g  fresh, boneless salmon fillet, trimmed into cubes
2 to 3 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp crushed white pepper
1. Sprinkle seasoning on top of the salmon fillet.
2. Keep refrigerated 24 hours before using.
3. Put the salmon fillet on a cutting board and cut into 50 g pieces.
4. Dry the pieces of salmon with a paper towel.
5. Heat the frying pan to maximum heat. Sprinkle a little salt in the pan.
6. Place the pieces of salmon on top of the salt and fry until the fish is dark brown.
Please note:
1. The frying pan has to be really hot to get the right effect.
2. Fry only one side, do not turn over!
Tar syrup:
1 package Leijona tar candies
200 ml water
1. Bring water to boil. Add candies, stirring constantly to avoid letting the mixture burn to the bottom of the pan.
2. Cook for 15 minutes, until the mixture is like a syrup. Allow to cool.

Dill cucumbers like Grandmother used to make

400 g  fresh cucumbers, thinly sliced
100 ml water
100 ml white vinegar
100 g  granulated sugar
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1. Blend water, sugar, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Make sure the sugar is well dissolved.
2. Pour the mixture over the thinly sliced cucumbers. Refrigerated overnight and add chopped dill before serving.

Green potato salad

500 g  floury potatoes, boiled and still warm
Dill emulsion:
2 dl parboiled dill
2 dl rapeseed oil
2 tbsp  white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
white pepper to taste
1. Put the parboiled dill in the blender, mix well and add oil and vinegar.
2. Peel and dice warm potatoes, place in a bowl, add dill emulsion and mix gently. Refrigerate at least four hours or overnight before serving.

Beet puree

1 dl  chopped beets (one medium-size beet, peeled)
4 dl water
1/2 dl red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1. Mix water, vinegar and salt in a pot and heat the mixture.
2. Add beets and boil until cooked.
3. Pour cooking water out, then put beet in blender until a smooth, even puree forms.
4. Chill and use.
Decorate portion with thin slices of radish and carrot.

Photo: Petri Krook

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

Lamb tenderloin
1 kg lamb tenderloin
1 dl rapeseed oil
5 g  thyme leaves
3 cloves  garlic, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
butter for frying
1. Clean the tenderloins.
2. Mix oil, garlic and thyme leaves and spread on the fillets evenly.
3. Keep refrigerated at least 12 hours.
4. Wipe off extra marinade, preheat frying pan, add butter and fry fillets on high heat until brown.
5. Place them on an oven tray, put a meat thermometer in place and set it for 54 degrees Celsius (130 Fahrenheit). Put the tray in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius (212 Fahrenheit).
6. When the meat temperature reaches 54 degrees Celsius (130 Fahrenheit), remove from the oven. Then place it in a warm oven (maximum 55 degrees Celsius (131 Fahrenheit)) for 10 minutes.

Homemade lamb sausage

450 g  boneless leg of lamb
450 g  beef shoulder
20 g  potato starch
18 g  salt
2 g  grounded black pepper
2 g  marjoram
1   chopped garlic clove
150 ml water
30 ml  white wine vinegar
lamb intestine
1. Grind meat once through a 3 mm sieve.
2. Place meat in a mixing bowl and blend with dough hook for several minutes.
3. Add potato starch and seasonings.
4. Fill intestine with sausage tube, forming sausages approximately 10 cm long.
5. Maintain intestine moisture with water while filling.
6. Poke three small holes in each sausage before steaming.
7. Bring water to boil in a small sauce pan, place sausages in boiling water, remove from heat and cover with lid.
8. Keep them warm for 10 minutes.
9. Fry in a frying pan just before serving.

Allspice sauce

250 g  lamb sinews
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1  carrot
1  shallot onion
2  bay leaves
1 dl red wine vinegar
1 dl red wine
1 litre demi-glace sauce
6 + 6 crushed allspice berries
salt to taste
1. Sautee lamb sinews on high heat, add diced carrot, shallots, bay leaves and thyme.
2. Fry until browned, add vinegar and wait until the liquid evaporates.
3. Add red wine and wait until half the liquid has evaporated.
4. Add demi-glace sauce and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
5. Strain liquid off and add crushed allspice to it.
6. Bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes. Strain before serving

Cabbage rolls with oats and pine sprouts

1 head cabbage
1 yellow onion
1 tbsp  butter
200 g  chopped small cabbage leaves
1 dl cream
1 tsp  pine sprout powder
400 g  softly boiled crushed oats
syrup, butter
1. Remove cabbage stalk and place the head in salted boiling water.
2. Simmer until the leaves are evenly boiled and detach from the cabbage head.
3. Put them in cold water, then remove and dry well.
4. Sautee chopped onion and chopped cabbage leaves for a few minutes in a sauce pan.
5. Add cream, pine sprout powder and salt. Let simmer 5 minutes
6. Add crushed oats, mix well and check the seasoning.
7. Open cabbage leaves on cutting board and spoon filling onto the edge of the leaves.
8. Fold sides in and roll tightly.
9. Place rolls on an oven tray and brush with a mixture of butter and syrup.
10. 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.

Sauteed carrots in horseradish butter

3  carrots
50 g  butter
20 g  fresh grated horse radiss
salt to taste
1. Peel and dice carrots. Boil until al dente. Pour into a strainer to remove water.
2. Melt butter in a sauce pan, add carrots, sautee gently, 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.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add egg mixture and milk alternately.
3. Spread the dough on a 25 x 30-cm (10 x 12-inch) baking sheet.
4. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius (355 Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes until brown, then allow to cool. Divide into two pieces.
5. Whip egg whites and sugar into a firm foam.
5. Spread it on the top of one half of the cake. Bake at 175 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) until light brown. Allow to cool.
7. For the filling, make rhubarb compote: Place rhubarb, sugar and a dash of water in a sauce pan, bring to a boil.
8. Simmer until soft, then allow to cool. Pour through a strainer.
9. Whip cream until fluffy.
10. Spread rhubarb compote on second half of the cake bottom and cover with whipped cream.
11. Place the baked meringue on top of the cake and serve immediately

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

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