Project Food Blog Challenge #2: Välkomna

by Heather on September 26, 2010

As much as I talk about my love for Italy and the fact that I’m Italian by marriage, I am extremely proud of my heritage from my side of our family.  You see guys, this blond-haired, blue-eyed girl is actually not Italian.

No sirree.

I’m actually a German-Swedish hybrid; German from my father’s side of the family (hence the maiden name Schoenecke) and Swedish on my mother’s side (Hawkinsen).  So when I found out (ecstatically I might add) that I’d made it through to the second round of Project Food Blog, I immediately thought of making an ethnic food that has everything to do with my heritage.  I have to admit there was a lot of second-guessing myself, and even Nate pointed out that different types of Asian cuisine seemed a lot more ‘ethnic’, but in the spirit of staying true to myself and the things I love about where I come from, I knew that German or Swedish food was the way to go.

I present to you Rökta laxknyten (crab-stuffed salmon), Vitkålssallad med gurka (coleslaw with cucumbers), and Räkor i dillröra (shrimp in a dill cream sauce)!  The best part about all of these dishes is that they are fresh, light, full of flavor, and so uniquely Swedish.

The simple flavors come together incredibly well, and served with a side of fresh rye bread and apples you can have a complete meal in less than 20 minutes.  This is also a meal that is naturally healthy and can also be served as a series of appetizers at parties.  Does it get much better?  I think not!

Rökta laxknyten (Crab-Stuffed Salmon)

  • 6 red leaf lettuce leaves, washed and trimmed
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 tsp hot horseradish
  • 1 Tbsp stone ground mustard
  • 3/4 pound crabmeat, picked through for shell pieces
  • 6 slices smoked salmon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 sprigs of dill (optional)

In a bowl whisk together the sour cream and lemon juice.  Add in the horseradish (more if you like the heat, less if you don’t) and the mustard.  Whisk until totally combined.  Set aside 6 teaspoons of the mixture.  Fold in the crab meat and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Lay out the slices of smoked salmon and add about 2 Tbsp of the crab mixture to the middle of each piece.  Roll the salmon around the crab mixture and secure with a toothpick.  Top each roll with a little of the sour cream mixture and a sprig of dill.  Set each roll on a lettuce leaf.  Serve chilled.

Vitkålssallad med gurka (Coleslaw with Cucumbers)

  • 1 small head of green cabbage, sliced very thinly
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced thin
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into very thin strips
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced very thinly
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp pickling spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

After slicing all of the vegetables, put them in a large bowl.  In a saucepan combine the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute and then pour over the vegetables immediately.  Toss (be careful!) and set aside to let the vinegar wilt the cabbage a bit and to let the flavors marry together, about 10 minutes.  Serve either chilled or at room temperature.

Räkor i dillröra (Shrimp in a Dill Sour Cream Sauce)

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveigned
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 large bunch of dill, chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp sherry
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Poach the shrimp, about 3-4 minutes, or until they shrimp are pink and firm to the touch.  Drain and set aside.    In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream, sherry, red onion, and chopped dill.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  When the shrimp are cool fold them into the sour cream sauce.  Serve chilled with toasted rye bread.


Guys, this food reminded me so much of my Mimi and brought so much joy to prepare.  It’s not that we all just sat around and ate German and Swedish food growing up, but the pride in where we come from was always there.  I miss her every day, but her legacy lives on in me, and for that I could not be more joyful!

I’m constantly amazed by the diversity of this great country, and how all of that incredible culture is shown in the food that we eat every day.  Thank you so much to everyone who got me through to this second round of the Next Food Blog star.  My hope and prayer (obviously) is to get to round three!  Voting begins tomorrow, at which point I’ll be posting the link, but for now I encourage all of you to sit back and think about where you come from and rejoice in that.  I know I am by going and eating more stuffed salmon rolls with my sweet tea ;)

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet September 26, 2010

No kidding?! I am German from my dad’s side and Swedish from my mom’s!!! CRAZY!

The food looks amazing!


2 Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul September 26, 2010

The Rökta laxknyten (definitely had to copy and paste that…) looks delicious! It seems like the horseradish would give it such an awesome kick. Thanks for sharing your heritage with us!


3 Lauren September 26, 2010

I love that you went back to your roots. And it all looks delicious!


4 Rachel @ The Avid Appetite September 26, 2010

That looks gorgeous! Delicate and delicious to boot!


5 Saltyseattle September 26, 2010

Oh wow- loving the direction you went in. You’ll head to round tres for sure, babe.


6 Tabitha (From Single to Married) September 26, 2010

Very impressive (not to mention colorful)! :)


7 savoringsarah September 26, 2010

Mmmmm! I don’t know much about about Swedish cuisine but I think I would realllllllllly like it :)

I also like that we were on the same page with honoring our heritage!


8 Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries September 26, 2010

Wow- This is the most authentic PFB entry I’ve seen yet. You rock!


9 Mara @ What's For Dinner? September 26, 2010

This all looks so gorgeous and delicious!!! Well done!


10 Margie September 26, 2010

Really enjoyed your perspective on ethnic food! Your trio of Swedish recipes looks so fresh & delicious. Best of luck to you in the challenge.


11 Jamie September 26, 2010

That is a pretty plate! Looks really good too. Can I be an honorary Swede if I can eat my own weight in smoked salmon?


12 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 26, 2010

“I’m actually a German-Swedish hybrid”–you look the part, blond hair blue eyes, totally gorgeous :)

ok your food deserves to WIN this for you. honestly so creative but so meaningful and that’s what matters, or should matter.

scott is jewish and salmon/lox and stuffed anything is right up his alley. I have a horrible shellfish allergy that i developed in my early 20s and could die now if i ate it but prior to that, i loved anything crab or shrimp! or salmon!


13 Tina September 26, 2010

I’m so happy for you!!!

And I adore that you prepared a dish from your heritage. It’s the first time I’ve seen that in the entries I’ve come across and I love it. It shows your heart, as well as your cooking skills. :)


14 Katie @ Healthy Heddleston September 26, 2010

Wowww looks amazingggggg Heather!!


15 Emily September 26, 2010

Wow, it’s like a little German/Swedish tapas! Looks yummy… good luck!!


16 BethT September 26, 2010

Gorgeous photos!


17 Jessica September 26, 2010

Love that picture of you cheesin’! You’ve got my vote! :-)


18 Liz @ LBBakes September 26, 2010

What a great idea to prepare dishes native to your heritage :) I’ll be pulling for you!


19 Maren September 26, 2010

I just voted for you. My Uncle is not Italian at all but married a full Italian woman and claims he’s Italian now too. I think everyone secretly wants to be Italiano!


20 Sara @ Nourish and Flourish September 26, 2010

I LOVE this post! I too am Swedish and have always taken great pride in it! When I visited Sweden several years ago I was excited to find such healthy, fresh, delicious food. My family enjoys making Swedish baked goods at Christmas, but you’ve inspired me to incorporate the cuisine into my regular cooking. Everything you made looks delicious!


21 Kara @ MyWellnest September 27, 2010

Congrats on making it through to round 2, you rock! Very cool and inspired recipe!


22 Salah September 27, 2010

I miss MiMi :-(, I know she is smiling down from heaven at you! Love you!


23 Marija September 27, 2010

I love your choice. Voted :)


24 Delishhh September 27, 2010

I am born and raised in Sweden and these are some of my favorites. Got my vote.


25 Joslyn @ missfitbliss September 27, 2010

I love the flavor combination on all these dishes! Anything dill and I’m in.


26 Anne@ Food Loving Polar Bear September 27, 2010

You make scandinavian food look so good, thank you for that :) my recent sausage soup did not look as pretty as your dishes.

Also, I’m half German, half Finnish :D


27 Monique@She's Going The Distance September 27, 2010

If my bf and I get married, I’ll be Swedish by marriage haha. This is so awesome!! I totally want to surprise him with something like this one day. :)

I just voted for you right now!! Good luck and I hope we see each other in the next round :)


28 Amanda (The Culinary Passport) September 27, 2010

Looks gorgeous! Good luck :)


29 Marie-Sophie September 27, 2010

Yeah – German food wouldn’t have been that pretty ;-) … love your recipes !!! Das sieht alles sehr lecker aus! (= This all looks very yummy! :-))


30 The Cilantropist September 27, 2010

I can totally appreciate Swedish food because my boyfriend is Norwegian, and I think you did a fantastic job with this challenge. good luck, you got my vote! :)


31 Megan September 27, 2010

Yum! I also did Swedish food for the challenge, but we chose different things. Good luck!


32 Carrie (Love Healthy Living) September 27, 2010

Great post! Reminds me of when I was in Sweden and went to a smorgasbord and had no idea what anything was. Good luck!


33 Alissa @ Not Just Apples September 27, 2010

Delicious! I am a quarter Swedish, and am so happy to have a heritage with such good food :) good luck!


34 Lindsey@FreshAirFreshFood September 27, 2010

Heather – beautiful pictures. Those salmon rolls look delicious and I’m partial to rye bread. I’m going to have to travel a littel further south in Scandinavia next time to Sweden were all the good food is!


35 janelle September 27, 2010

Just voted you; my Italian-by-marriage new-friend!


36 The Duo Dishes September 27, 2010

Loving the fresh flavors and colors here. So much going on, and it all works!


37 Margaret Murphy Tripp September 28, 2010

The photos jumped off the page and tempted me to try them! Beautiful dishes and a great post. Best wishes moving forward. You got my vote.


38 Danielle@Runs With Spatulas September 28, 2010

Looks great! Good luck in round 2!


39 jacobskitchen September 28, 2010

Wow. Looks amazing. And that bread looks especially good. I voted for you!

Good luck! =)

You can check out my PFB post at :


40 Lisa September 30, 2010

Looks so interesting- and ethnic! Great job- I cast a vote for you.



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