Saturday, 27 June 2009

The Olaf Club

Thursday 2nd April 2009

Given the near exhaustion of offal possibilities following previous gatherings (and being slightly scared of those that are left), and in recognition of Dan's location in the frozen hinterlands beyond the M60, he proposed an alternative: a gathering of the Olaf Club, a scandinavian themed gastronomic fest with obligatory Viking helmets.

Lamenting the lack of offal, Jason insisted on lowering the tone by garnishing the lovingly made cardomom cake with butterscotch Angel Delight.

Chef: Dan

Location: Dan's house

Members present: Dan, Mark, Howie, Jason and Simon.

Jone's Swedish Meatballs

Meat: (the main ingredient)

2 pounds ground lean meat: use beef, pork or veal (may use some textured vegetable protein ground beef substitute)

Filler: (to give the meatballs the right consistency)

2 eggs

1 cup milk, cream, meat broth or water

1/2 cup all-purpose flour OR 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs OR 1 cup torn bread OR 1 cup mashed potatoes

Salt and Pepper:

Salt to taste (1 1/2 teaspoons suggested)

Pepper to taste (white or black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon suggested)

More Flavor:

Option 1:

1 minced onion

1/4 tsp dry mustard or 1/4 teaspoon allspice

Option 2:

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

  • By hand or on medium speed with an electric mixture, thoroughly blend the ground meat, filler, salt and pepper, and other flavorings. Beat until very well mixed.
  • Form into balls about 3/4"-1 1/2" in diameter: do this by hand, or use a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, or a melon baller. Makes 30-150 meatballs depending on how large they are.
  • Serves 6-8, more on the smörgåsbord.

Red Cabbage

1 good-sized red cabbage

2 red onions, peeled and sliced

225g fresh cranberries

50g butter, melted

3 juniper berries, optional

½tsp ground cinnamon

½tsp ground ginger

5tbsp soft brown sugar

5tbsp red wine vinegar

  • Preheat the oven to 150C/ 130C Fan/Gas 2.
  • Remove any tough outer leaves from the red cabbage and discard. Finely shred the rest of the cabbage and make a layer in the bottom of a casserole dish. Then add a layer of onion slices and scatter over a handful cranberries. Continue layering up the dish in this way, finishing with cranberries on the top layer.
  • Whisk the melted butter, juniper berries, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar and vinegar together and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the cabbage and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook in the oven for 2½ to 3 hours, stirring once or twice, until tender.

Swedish Cardamom cake

(serves 8)

40g butter, chilled, cubed

1/4 cup plain flour

1/4 cup demerara sugar

1 lemon, rind finely grated


3 eggs

1 cup caster sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom

125g butter, softened

300ml carton cream

2 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1/2 cup flaked almonds

  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 7cm deep, 10cm x 21cm (base) loaf pan, allowing a 5cm paper overhang. Rub butter into flour to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add demerara sugar and lemon rind. Mix well. Set aside.
  • Make base: Process eggs, sugar and cardamom until combined. Add butter. Process until smooth. Add cream and flour. Pulse until combined. Spoon into pan.
  • Sprinkle almonds over cake, pressing in with your fingertips. Sprinkle with lemon rind mixture.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand for 5 minutes in pan.
  • Use baking paper overhang to lift cake onto a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve.


Post-offal entertainment:
A Wii extravaganza: tennis, boxing

Excuses: None (amazing what happens when offal's off the menu...)

Quotes of the night:

Next venue: Could it be back to Mark's?

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