Finnish cuisine: The recipe edition

Chanterelle mushrooms, grilled salmon, reindeer meat, lingonberry sauce, wild strawberry ice cream, moose steak, cloudberry mousse – we’ve gathered some favourite Finnish recipes with traditional ingredients, although not always a traditional approach.

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Starters

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Salted fillet of lamb aux fines herbes with pickled chanterelles

(serves 6)

  • 1 (approx. 180 g) outer fillet of Finnish lamb
  • 1 tsp gourmet salt
  • 2 tbs mint
  • 1 tbs chervil
  • 1 tbs tarragon
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbs parsley
  • ½ tsp rosemary
  • ½ tsp lemon pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • frisee salad
  • cucumber bits (e.g. ball shaped)
  • parmesan cheese
  • pickled chanterelles

Chop up all the herbs and add the peppers. Remove the membranes from the meat and dry it. Rub the surface of the meat with salt and roll it in the herb mixture. Press the herbs tightly into the meat to form a green covering. Wrap the fillet tightly into a roll in cling film, let it stand for 2−3 hours and then freeze it. Slice the frozen meat thinly with a slicer or a sharp knife and lay the slices in a circle thinly brushed with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle the vinaigrette lightly over the slices of meat. Set the frisee salad and cucumber bits in the middle of the dish and sprinkle the serving with gourmet salt and parmesan cheese. Drizzle a little herb oil around the edges of the serving dish.

ROSEMARY VINAIGRETTE

  • 5 cl olive oil
  • 1.25 cl red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp gourmet salt

Mix the ingredients and let the mixture stand for about an hour.

HERB OIL

  • 1 dl rape oil
  • 1.5 dl chopped parsley
  • 5 cl chopped chervil
  • ½ tsp gourmet salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Chop the parsley, chervil and salt finely in a food processor. Drizzle the oil over them and continue processing until the oil is an even green colour. Season with the pepper and strain. You can store any surplus oil in the refrigerator for later use.

PICKLED CHANTERELLES

  • 1 l small chanterelles

Vinegar solution:

  • 5 cl spirit vinegar
  • 5 cl red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 dl water
  • 2 dl sugar
  • 5 whole cloves
  • mace
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • salt
  • (1 onion)

Clean the chanterelles, parboil them for a minute and drain them. Measure the ingredients for the vinegar solution into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Slice the onion into rings and add them and the chanterelles to the boiling solution. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove the whole spices and pour the mushrooms with the brine into small, clean, heated jars. Cool. The chanterelles will keep for a long time when stored in a cold place.

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Blinis with vendance roe

(serves 6)

  • 3 dl semi-skimmed milk
  • ½ sachet of dried yeast
  • 2 dl buckwheat flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 dl beer
  • 5 cl rye flour
  • 1 dl wheat flour
  • ½ tbs salt
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • 1½ tbs smetana
  • 2 beaten egg whites

Warm the milk to 42 °C and add the yeast. Add the buckwheat flour and mix it to a smooth dough. Cover and allow it to stand overnight and ferment into sourdough. Combine the other ingredients with the sourdough, folding in the beaten egg whites last. Fry the blinis until crisp in clarified butter in a blini pan and serve them hot with clarified butter, vendance roe, chopped onion, black pepper and smetana.

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Whitefish tartare marinated in lemon served in a courgette ring

(serves 8)

  • 700 g whitefish fillets
  • 1 courgette

MARINADE

  • 2.5 dl rape oil
  • 1½ tbs sea salt
  • juice of 2½ lemons
  • 3 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 dl chopped dill
  • 1 leek

Cut the fish fillets into thin strips. Combine the marinade ingredients. Turn the strips of fish in the marinade ensuring that there is marinade between them. Let them marinate for at least 2 hours.

Cut the courgette lengthwise into thin slices with a cheese slicer. Steam the slices for a couple of minutes and chill them in iced water. Finally dry them carefully between sheets of kitchen roll.

Drain off excess marinade from the strips of fish and dice them. With the aid of a ring mould form the whitefish into tartare portions and wrap rings made of slices of courgette around them. Tie the rings in place with a strip of boiled leak. Serve on a bed of frisée salad, garnish with a shoot of mangold and drizzle herb oil around the serving.

HERB OIL

  • 1 dl rape oil
  • 1.5 dl chopped parsley
  • 5 cl chopped chervil
  • ½ tsp gourmet salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Chop the parsley, chervil and salt finely in a food processor. Drizzle the oil over them and continue processing until the oil is an even green colour. Season with the pepper and strain. You can store any surplus oil in the refrigerator for later use.

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Warm chanterelle salad

(serves 8)

  • 700 g small chanterelles
  • 30 g butter
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½−2 tbs chopped dill

SALAD

  • 70 g romaine lettuce
  • 1 head of crispy pot lettuce
  • 14 leaves of rocket
  • olive oil
  • gourmet salt
  • white balsamic vinegar

Clean the mushrooms, place them in a saucepan and sweat them dry. Strain them and allow them to drip completely dry through a sieve. Then sauté them golden brown in butter and season them with salt and black pepper.

Wash the lettuces and let them drip dry. Tear them up into a bowl and dress them with olive oil, salt and balsamic vinegar just prior to serving. Put the mixed salad in mounds on the plates and lay the mushrooms on them directly from the pan. Garnish with onion flowers, crown dill, dill sprigs or chopped dill.

Main courses

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Tower of grilled salmon with Sauternes sauce

(serves 6)

  • 800−900 g salmon, preferably the thicker end of the fillet.
  • coarse salt

From the thicker part of the salmon fillet cut three pieces of approximately equal thickness, each about 20 cm long and 3−4 cm wide. Salt the pieces of salmon and set them aside for about an hour. Wipe off the salt and dry the salmon. Sear the pieces of salmon on all sides on a hot griddle pan, and when they are browned transfer them to an oven tray. Prepare the Sauternes sauce. Then cook the salmon in a 170°C oven for 5−7 minutes until the interior temperature of the fish is about 48 degrees. The fish can remain a little reddish in the middle.

Cut the pieces of salmon crosswise into two and slice the resulting halves again into two. Place the tower-like pieces of salmon in pairs on the plates and serve with the Sauternes sauce, boiled asparagus and green vegetables.

SAUTERNES SAUCE

  • 70 g shallots
  • 30 g butter
  • 3 dl Sauternes wine
  • 2 dl mild fish stock
  • 100 g butter
  • salt
  • freshly ground white pepper

Sweat the shallots in butter and let them stand for a while. Then add the wine and the fish stock. Reduce the sauce to 2.5 dl. Process the ingredients with a hand-held blender to an even consistency and mix in the butter. Froth the soup with the blender and taste for flavour. Add seasoning if necessary.

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Zander fillets stuffed with mushrooms

(serves 8)

  • 8 zander fillets
  • salt
  • freshly ground white pepper

MINCE

  • 200g filleted zander
  • 1 egg
  • 1 dl whipping cream (approx. 35% fat)
  • salt
  • freshly ground white pepper

MUSHROOM STUFFING

  • 200 g portabella mushrooms
  • 20 g butter

If the zander fillets are thick, you can pound them gently flat. Lay them on the work surface skin side up and season them lightly with salt and white pepper.

Cut up the filleted zander for the stuffing, season it with salt and mince it in a food processor. Add the egg and continue mincing. Finally drizzle in the cream in a thin stream and season with white pepper.

Dice the mushrooms finely, sauté them in butter and drain them.

Spread the mince thinly over the skin side of the fillets of zander and then sprinkle the mushrooms on top. Press them lightly into the mince, and fold the fillets in two, turning the tails over towards the heads.

Grill the folded fillets either on a salted hotplate or a griddle plan. Transfer them to an oven dish, place a knob of butter on each and bake them in a 175°C oven for 10−12 minutes.

Serve with butter and wine sauce, halved tomatoes, mangetouts and sautéed portabella mushrooms seasoned with salt, white pepper and thyme.

BUTTER AND WINE SAUCE

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbs cooking oil
  • 5 dl white wine
  • 5 cl lemon juice
  • 150 g butter
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • (salt)
  • ½ tbs Maizena cornflour

Chop up the onion and sweat it for a few minutes in cooking oil. Add the wine and lemon juice and reduce the sauce by a half. Thicken slightly with the cornflour. Mix in the butter vigorously with a hand-held blender and strain the sauce. Do not boil it again.

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Roast willow grouse with apple

(serves 6)

  • 6 willow grouse
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Detach the legs and breasts from the willow grouse. Remove any gristle, tenderise them lightly and season them with salt and pepper. Peel the apple and slice it. Reserve 6 rings and put the rest to boil with the sauce base. Sauté the breasts and the slices of apple quickly in butter and transfer them to an oven tray. Roast them for a couple of minutes at 200°C.

Assemble the servings as follows: at the bottom a bed of sautéed chanterelles, on that one breast, then an apple ring and on top the other breast. Garnish with decorative vegetables and drizzle a little of the sauce over the breasts and on the plate.

You can freeze the fillets and the legs and use them later, for example for a timbale.

SAUTÉED CHANTERELLES

  • 250 g chanterelles
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 tbs butter
  • salt
  • freshly ground white or black pepper

Cut up the chanterelles coarsely and chop the onion. Sauté the chanterelles in butter for a few minutes and add the chopped onion.

SAUCE

  • carcases of the willow grouse
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ small parsnip
  • 1 l mild meat or chicken stock
  • 1 dl demi-glace poultry sauce mix
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbs blackcurrant jelly
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 dl whipping cream (approx. 35% fat)
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs dark Maizena cornflour

Cut up the carcasses of the willow grouse. Brown them together with the chopped root vegetables in the oven or on a frying pan. Transfer them to a saucepan and add enough stock to cover them. Add the sauce mix and the bay leaf. Cook them for about 40 minutes, strain, and continue to reduce the liquid until the sauce base is sufficiently strong.

Taste for flavour, add seasoning if necessary and thicken with dark cornflour, blackcurrant jelly and a drop of cream. Add 1 tablespoonful of butter and froth the sauce with a hand-held blender.

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Sirloin of reindeer with lingonberry sauce

(serves 6)

  • 6 sirloin fillets of reindeer (approx. 600 g)
  • salt
  • freshly ground white pepper

Remove the gristle from the fillets and season them with salt and pepper. Let them rest and prepare the sauce (see below).

Sauté the fillets quickly in butter. Continue frying until they turn pink in the middle or roast them for 4−5 minutes in the oven at 200°C. Allow them to rest under foil for 2−3 minutes. Slice them across the grain and set them on the plate. Serve with lingonberry sauce and fried shallots, baby courgettes and turnip rings. Garnish with a few lingonberries and herbs.

LINGONBERRY SAUCE

  • gristle from the reindeer fillets
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 piece of celery
  • 1 piece of parsnip
  • 200 g lingonberries
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • assorted peppercorns
  • 6 dl meat stock
  • 2 dl demi-glace sauce mix (e.g. demi-glace game sauce)
  • 1.5 dl whipping cream (approx. 35% fat)
  • Maizena cornflour

Sauté the gristle and the chopped root vegetables in a frying pan or saucepan. Add the sugar and continue frying until it dissolves. Add the lingonberries, stock, sauce mix and spices. Reduce by a half and strain. Add the cream and continue to reduce the liquid. Taste for flavour and add seasoning if necessary. Thicken the sauce with cornflour.

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Stuffed elk rump steak topped with goat’s cheese

(serves 8)

  • 1 kg elk rump steak

STUFFING

  • 100 g spinach
  • 50 g dried apricots
  • 50 g goat’s Cheddar cheese
  • balsamic syrup (e.g. De Nigris Balsamic Glaze,)
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • mixed herbs

TOPPING

  • 90 g Soignon goat’s cheese
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1 tbs chopped parsley

Remove the gristle from the meat and slit it open into a steak. Tenderise it lightly and season with salt and pepper. Sweat the spinach rapidly in a drop of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Cut the apricots into strips and grate the cheese coarsely.

Spread the spinach evenly all along the steak and then sprinkle the apricot strips and grated cheddar over it. Drizzle a stripe of balsamic syrup over the cheese and fold the slab of meat into a tight roll, binding it with twine in 5 or 6 places. Season the surface of the roll with mixed herbs and salt and allow it to rest at room temperature for about an hour.

Sear the meat in a frying pan and transfer it to a baking tray. Roast it for about 15 minutes at 225°C. Remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for a while. Cut the roll into slices about 3−4 cm thick.

For the topping, dice the toasted bread, the cheese (with the rind) and the butter into small cubes. Blend into a paste in a food processor and roll between cling film into a sheet about 0.5 cm thick. Chill briefly in the freezer. Cut out disks the size of the fillet roll (about 7 cm in diameter) from the paste and return them to the freezer for a while. Place the topping disks on the fillet rolls and gratinate them quickly at a high temperature under the grill in the upper part of the oven.

Serve with elk sauce, sculpted sweet potatoes, fried slices of portabella mushroom and boiled baby fenugreeks.

ELK SAUCE

  • 2 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 50 g celery
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 6 dl meat stock or demi-glace game sauce mix
  • juices from the roast meat
  • dark Maizena cornflour

Sauté the chopped onion, carrot and celery, add the stock and reduce. Add the juices from the roast meat. Strain the sauce and taste for flavour. Add seasoning if necessary. Also thicken with cornflour if necessary.

Desserts

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Cloudberry mousse

(serves 6-8)

  • 1 egg
  • 7.5 cl sugar
  • 1½ gelatine sheets (225×70 mm)
  • 5 cl whipping cream (approx. 35% fat)
  • 1 dl cloudberry purée (strained)

CLOUDBERRY SAUCE

  • 3.5 dl cloudberries
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 tbs cloudberry liqueur

Pass the cloudberries through a fine sieve or use a hand-held blender to process them into a smooth sauce. Mix in the sugar and thin the syryp to a suitable consistency with the cloudberry liqueur to make 2 dl of sauce.

Separate the egg white from the yolk, and beat the yolk together with the sugar into a froth. Whip the cream and beat the egg white into a froth. Fold half of the cloudberry syrup into the creamed egg yolk. Soak the gelatine, squeeze it dry, dissolve it in boiling water and add it to the creamed egg yolk. Then gently fold in the whipped cream and beaten egg white. Allow the mixture to set in the refrigerator for about 3 hours. Pipe the mixture into cylinders made from tuille pastry and garnish with cloudberry sauce and fresh cloudberries.

TUILLE PASTRY CYLINDERS

  • 1 egg white
  • 35 g icing sugar
  • 34 g flour
  • 20 g melted unsalted butter

Cream the egg white and the icing sugar. Fold in the flour. Add the melted butter and mix to an even dough. Cover the dough and place it in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Heat the oven to 200 °C and either grease two oven trays or use silicon pastry mats. Use a mould to cut the pastry into the desired shape to make the cylinders and bake them in the oven for 5-8 minutes until the biscuits take on an attractive colour. Use a spatula to lift off the biscuits carefully and bend them into cylinders while still hot.

This will make about 15 biscuits depending their shape and size.

The dough will keep in a refrigerator for 3-4 days.

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Frozen redcurrants with butterscotch sauce

(serves 6)

  • 6 dl fozen redcurrants

Place 1 dl of slightly frozen redcurrants in each bowl or dish and pour hot butterscotch sauce over them. Serve immediately.

Alternatively you can roll the redcurrants in icing sugar twice, re-freezing them between the sugarings. Serve with the butterscotch sauce in a separate jug.

BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE

  • 5 dl coffee cream (approx. 10% fat)
  • 150 g sugar

Cook the mixture on low heat for 1-1 ½ hours until the sauce is golden brown.

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Wild strawberry ice cream

(serves 6)

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 5 cl sugar
  • 3 dl coffee cream (approx. 10% fat)
  • 400 g wild strawberries
  • 5 cl sugar
  • 1 tbs Koskenkorva vodka
  • 1 tbs strawberry liqueur

Blend the egg yolks, sugar and cream in a bowl and whip the mixture in a bain-marie until it reaches a temperature of 82 °C. Cool the bowl in iced water.

Blend the sugar with the wild strawberries in a food processor. Add ¾ of the mixture and the vodka to the ice cream mixture and make it into ice cream in an ice cream maker. Add a little sugar to the remaining strawberry mixture and thin it with strawberry liqueur to form a sauce. Garnish the ice cream portions with whole wild strawberries and strawberry sauce.

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Sea buckthorn pudding with a chocolate hood

(serves 8)

  • 5 cl milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ gelatine sheets (225 x 70 mm)
  • 1,25 dl whipping cream (approx. 35% fat)
  • 1 dl sea buckthorn essence

Soak the sheets of gelatine in cold water for about 10 minutes. Squeeze them dry. Heat the milk. Place the egg and the soaked gelatine on the bottom of a bowl and pour the hot milk over them, stirring continuously. Then add the essence and finally fold in the whipped cream.

Pour the mixture into a loose-based baking tin to a depth of about 3 cm. When it has set, pour a thin layer of the sea buckthorn jelly (made with sea buckthorn essence and 1 sheet of gelatine) over it.

When the jelly too has set, carefully remove the sides of the baking tin and cut round serving portions with a ring mould. Lay a chocolate basket hood partly over each serving and garnish it with drizzled sea buckthorn syrup, halved sea buckthorn berries and a sprig of melissa. You can also use edible violets to give the servings a final garnish.

SEA BUCKTHORN ESSENCE

  • 2 dl sea buckthorn juice
  • 1 dl sugar

Reduce the sea buckthorn juice and the sugar gently for about 10 minutes until there is 2 dl left. Use half of the essence for the pudding and the other half for the jelly.

SEA BUCKTHORN SYRUP

  • 1.5 dl sea buckthorn juice
  • 1 dl sugar

Boil the ingredients at 104°C into a syrup.

CHOCOLATE BASKET HOODS
(8 pieces)

  • 100 g plain chocolate

Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie, or use the melting program in your micro-wave oven. If using a bain-marie, ensure that the water does not come into contact with the chocolate.

Crush ice finely in a food processor and pack it into an individual serving bowl. Then turn out the ice onto the work surface. Pipe the melted chocolate in a thin stream over the heap of crushed ice in a cross-hatch pattern and allow the chocolate to set. Lift the chocolate basket carefully off the ice and place it upright. You have time to make several baskets before the ice melts.

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Rhubarb tart with vanilla sauce

(serves 8−10)

  • 150 g butter
  • 7.5 cl sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 dl wheat flour
  • 7.5 cl potato flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

FILLING

  • 8 dl rhubarb chopped into pieces 5 ml thick
  • 2 dl sugar
  • 2 tbs potato flourCream the butter and sugar and add the cream, continuing to beat. Combine the flour, potato flour and baking powder, add them through a sieve, and knead into a dough. Press the dough into a greased loose-based cake tin about 24 cm in diameter. Set some of the dough aside to use as a decoration.For the filling, mix the sugar with the chopped rhubarb and steam it quickly. Let it cool a little and add the potato flour. Allow the filling to cool completely and then pour it onto the base. Roll or pipe some of the dough into the shape of a cross to place on top of the filling. Bake at 180°C for about 40 minutes. Serve with vanilla sauce.VANILLA SAUCE
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 5 cl sugar
    • 1 vanilla pod
    • 1.5 dl semi-skimmed milk
    • 1.5 dl whipping cream (approx. 35% fat)
    • ½ tbs potato flour
    • 1.5 dl loosely whipped cream

Measure all the ingredients apart from the whipped cream into a saucepan. Stirring all the time, cook in a bain-marie until done (at 82°C). Cool and fold in the whipped cream.

Measures

The following conversions are approximate but sufficiently accurate for normal cooking purposes.

Dry measures:
MetricUS/Imperial
10 g0.35 oz
100 g3.5 oz
500 g1.1 lb
1 kg2.2 lb
Liquid measures:
MetricUS/Imperial
1 cl0.34 fl oz/0.35 fl oz
1 dl8.5 gills/3.5 fl oz
5 dl1.1 pints/0.88 pints
1 l2.2 pints/1.76 pints
Other measures:
1 cm0.39 in
1 tsp5 ml
1 tbs2 cl

 

Oven temperatures

 

Gas mark
Very low1202501
Low1503002
Moderately low1603253
Moderate1803504
Moderate hot1903755
Hot2004006
Very hot2304507

 

Substitute ingredients

Below is a list of more generally available substitutes for Finnish ingredients. The substitutes are listed in order of preference.

  • cloudberries – woodland strawberries
  • elk meat – venison (roe or red deer)
  • reindeer meat – venison (roe or red deer)
  • sea buckthorn berries – cranberries, lingonberries, redcurrants or blackcurrants
  • willow grouse (ptarmigan) – Bresse pigeon
  • zander (pike-perch) – angler fish or sole.

 

 

Published September 2008, updated June 2017

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