Sunday, June 26, 2005

IMBB #16 - Skagen Mix

Ah, it's that time of month again! Is My Blog Burning? is THE original food blogging meme, and this edition is hosted by Viv at Seattle Bon Vivant. The theme? Eggs. That's right - eggs. What a huge theme, you might think. I know that I sure did. I love eggs - I eat a lot, and I use them for so much stuff. We always have soft boiled eggs for breakfast on weekends (much to the delight of my cat Kelly - she loves soft egg yolk, and will come running as soon as she hears me crack the shell with a spoon), and whenever we're on vacation. It's a life-long tradition for me, it's always been like that when I grew up. But, as much as I love my boiled eggs (not to mention how much I love my little gadget - the egg boiler!) I can't very well post about that for an IMBB?. Luckily, Viv gave a lot of examples in her announcement - and she even mentioned that fish eggs - roe - would be acceptable.

And here I am, having been waiting for an excuse to share a classic Swedish recipe. Skagen Mix is a mayo-based sauce with shrimp and dill, "invented" by Tore Wretman who is one of the most famous Swedish chefs. He served it with toast, as in a Toast Skagen. This is found on menus all over Sweden (including as a baguette filling in many cafes), it's an eternal classic appetizer. And you certainly should try it.

I have no idea why he chose the name Skagen. Maybe I would know if I read one of his books, but I never have. Skagen is the northern coast of Denmark's largest island - and has nothing to do with Sweden. Maybe he tasted something similar there - certainly possible!

We wanted something more substantial, and served it with a baked potato instead. Match made in heaven. Especially as we happened to have an avocado ripening in the window. Perfect meal. There are tons of recipes for Skagen Mix, using all kinds of stuff - but this one is fairly classic. Although I think that if you really want authentic - more mayo is the way to go. I don't think creme fraiche was introduced in Sweden when this was first invented - but I could be wrong. And besides, Mr Wretman might have used sour cream. In either case, it lightens the whole sauce quite a bit, and I prefer the flavor this way.

Skagen Mix
Two generous portions

3 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp creme fraiche (low-fat is fine)
1 tbsp finely chopped dill
50 g bleak roe
500 g shrimp, unpeeled but cooked
1/2 red onion, finely diced
freshly ground white pepper

Peel the shrimp, and roughly chop them if you want to. (This is not the time to use jumbo shrimp, small ones will be better here.) Stir together the mayo and the creme fraiche or sour cream. Add the dill, roe, onion and white pepper. Add the shrimp. Mix well. Voila - you're done! Serve with anything you'd like - it goes very well on toast, perfect in a ciabatta or in a baguette, excellent with baked potatoes or avocado.


McAuliflower said...

Yum... i wanted to use fish roe- I'm glad you actually did it!

This recipe reminds me of my favorite sushi handroll, blush, which I had today: it's spicy sweet mayo with octopus and tobiko (the flying fish roe)- yum!

I love how the roe pop... I call them nature's Pop Rocks! :)

Anonymous said...

i was in gotland not to long ago staying with a family and i tried skagen potatis and loved it. i hope this is as good as i remember. thanks for the recipe

Manfred said...


Just returning from a 5-day trip to Göteborg I was searching for a Skagen Toast recipe (because we felt in love in that speciality...) and found your recipe. Due to your excellent description - I'm not very good in those kitchen things - I could surprise my wife with a swedish 'memory-dinner' today.

Tack för your recipe Anne!

Hall, Austria

Pille said...

I vaguely remember reading from somewhere that Skagen used to be popular with Swedish artists (as in painters) and that's where the connection comes from. Or sth similar :)
I made Toast Skagen for dinner tonight..