Nordic Light equipment

Nordic Light equipment

By
Simon Bajada
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781743791448
Photographer
Simon Bajada

The food in this book calls for much of the typical kit found in the ordinary home kitchen. There are, however, a few tools that will help produce the best results and bring authenticity to your dishes, and these are detailed below.

Cast-iron pans and casseroles

At one time, Sweden produced the best quality coal and as a result of this industry they also perfected the art of cast-iron. Old cookbooks passed down through the generations all call for the use of this sturdy cookware, and for many good reasons. Cast-iron gives a well-rounded temperature, ensuring foods cook all the way through with less direct heat. As an added benefit, the cookware acts as a natural iron enrichment, a mineral that many of us lack in our modern-day diets.

Cast-iron is a long-lasting material that can be used over and over again. Eventually though, your pan will dry out, and when this happens it’s easy to re-season. Pour a thin layer of rapeseed oil into the dry pan then heat it to a high temperature. After 10–15 minutes, when the oil has stopped smoking, the pan will be black and properly seasoned again, ready for use.

Food processor

A good food processor is essential for preparing raw food, breaking down ingredients into forms that would otherwise be unattainable. When choosing one, try to avoid those with too many fancy features and attachments and look instead for a simply designed machine with a high wattage and a powerful motor. Some of the multi-use processors, however, do have the advantage of providing a smaller processor attachment, which can be great for making small batches of sauces or dressings such as the yoghurt ones. When using a food processor it’s important to remember to scrape down the sides while working with particular ingredients to ensure an even consistency.

Mandoline

The mandoline is a great tool, allowing you to play around with raw and pickled ingredients to all manner of effects. Because it slices vegetables so thinly, veggies that we normally don’t associate with being eaten raw can be consumed this way. Preparing vegetables like this can add important texture, as well as acidity if they have been pickled.

Cheese slicer

In 1925, Norwegian inventor Thor Bjørklund introduced us to the Nordic cheese slicer. His design drew influence from the carpenter’s plane, enabling you to shave off very thin slices. It is essential in the everyday eating of open sandwiches. Its uses extend beyond cheese though, making it a great addition to any kitchen. It can also be used like a mandoline to slice vegetables very finely – just be very careful! If you do acquire one, sooner or later you will know what I mean when I say your cheese wedge looks like a ski jump.

Pickling jars

These were mandatory in Nordic countries when preserving food was essential to keep going through the seasons, and they are still used today. Jars benefit from a sealed lid for pickles, brines, compotes and jams. They are also perfect for storing grains and seedy garnishes such as those detailed on page 199. You can never have enough jars!

Notched rolling pin

These famous bread pins, called kruskavel, are from Sweden and they put the dimples in flatbreads that help them cook more evenly. They come in two different depths of textures, depending on what type of bread you are making. Crispbreads use a more pointed dimple version, so the hot air can reach a greater surface area, and the other less defined type is used for softer flatbreads. If you cannot find a kruskavel you can always use the back of a fork to make your dimples.

Egg slicer

While most of the world enjoys a yolk oozing out onto some sourdough, Nordic countries love a hard-boiled egg. This slicer uses a wire frame to cut perfectly even slices and it is essential to the ritual of open sandwiches. The large Swedish furniture retailer sells them cheaply.

Swedish butter knife, smörknivar

These special butter knives are made from open-grained, flexible wood. The finish of the wood is very smooth and you can get them in many different shapes, but the most important design feature is that the blade is wider than the handle. Swedes hold these knives dear to their hearts.

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