Sankthansaften Dinner

Monday, July 3, 2017

This has been a crazy week!!!
Alex and I moved to the BEST condo in West Hollywood and I'm really so excited about our new place.  The kitchen is fantastic and I can't wait to post more photos and start making videos for you guys!  I've had a great response with my cooking and it seems like a few of you are excited to see a youtube channel, which I will get up and running once everything settles down.

Literally the day before we started moving, I made Sankthansaften dinner for Alex and I.  Everyone knows I love holidays and themes, so when a holiday rolls around I usually go nuts with a menu.  I created a great Scandinavian inspired menu for this dinner, and we ate outside under the stars and it was perfect.

Sankthansaften is probably better known when compared with it's Swedish counterpart, Midsommer, or the Summer Solstice celebration.  On the 23rd of June every year, Norwegians everywhere stay up until the wee hours to celebrate the longer days.  And, if you're lucky,  you can even find out who you'll marry by walking in a circle three times around a rock in the ground with your bare feet.  A

Fire is a big part of the celebration, but living in a city we had to settle for candles and sparklers.  In Norway if you happen to be lucky enough to attend a big bonfire, bring a paper witch to toss in the fire (I don't do this one...for obvious reasons haha).

Anyway, on to the food!!
My menu consisted of:

Dill Roasted Potatoes
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
"Meatballs" with Creamy Dill Sauce
Rye Bread with Butter and Lingonberry Jam

Dill is one of my favorite herbs, and I'll put it on anything given the chance.  Dill makes two appearances in this meal- once with the dill roasted potatoes (honestly a staple in my house) and in the dill sauce for the meatballs. 

Dill Roasted Potatoes
Red Potatoes, quartered
Fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
White wine vinegar, about one teaspoon
Earth Balance vegan butter, about 2 tablespoons

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Honestly, this is delicious and is super easy.  Just cut your potatoes in quarters and pop them in a roasting dish.  Add the butter evenly throughout the dish, and top with the vinegar.  Sprinkle the chopped dill on top and add salt and pepper.  Toss the potatoes with the liquid and herbs to evenly distribute.  Plop in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes or so.  And you're done!!

"Meatballs" with Creamy Dill Sauce
Gardein brand meatless meatballs
Cooking Sherry
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 green onions, chopped

Vegan sour cream, 1 tbsp.
Fresh dill, chopped
Cooking Sherry, about 1/2 cup
Salt and Pepper
Earth Balance vegan butter
Vegetable stock, about 1/2 cup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a pan, coat lightly with olive oil, and add garlic and green onions.  Before the garlic browns, toss in the meatballs and brown. Top with salt and pepper.  Pour in about a tablespoon of cooking sherry and let simmer for just a bit.  Transfer the meatballs to a roasting dish and pop in the over to let them finish cooking.  Browning them in a pan will give them a nice crisp outer layer and then letting them roast will soften the center.  Set aside the pan that the meatballs cooked in until you're ready to make the sauce, cover.
In the used pan, bring to low to medium heat and melt the butter.  Add in the sour cream, sherry and vegetable stock and simmer.  Sprinkle in the dill and salt and pepper.

Top the meatballs with the sauce, and serve with Lingonberry jam on the side.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Wild rice, prepared
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 lb mushrooms, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1/3 cup vegetable stock
Cabbage leaves
Earth Balance vegan butter, 1tbsp.
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Really bummed I don't have more pictures of this dish.  It was PHENOMENAL and was honestly the dish I had the least enthusiasm for. 
In a pan, melt your butter and add the shallot.  Once the shallot is transparent, add the prepared rice.  Add all the chopped veggies and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.  Cover.  In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil.  Add in the cabbage leaves.  Let the leaves boil for a few minutes until limp and then add to a bowl of ice water.  Drain and lay on paper towels.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Once the rice mixture has cook fully (the vegetable stock should be cooked in the rice enough so the the mixture is moist but not wet) start spooning it into the cabbage leaves (usually about a tablespoon per leave) and place in an oiled roasting dish.  Drizzle some olive oil on top and salt and pepper and place in the oven.  Keep an eye on it, and leave it in for about 20 minutes.

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