Rick and I had the opportunity to eat not one but two delicious meals in a Norwegian cafe recently. For the second visit I ordered a delicious shrimp salad served on dark bread with sliced hard boiled eggs and loads of fresh dill. This was a sandwich you needed a knife and fork to eat because the shrimp were piled so high! In Sweden this sandwich is a classic and is called räksmörgås. I’m delighted to share it with you as part of this month’s Food of the World celebration.
Making a dish like this can be a bit of a challenge in Spain. There are seven (7!) grocery stores we visit on a regular basis. Sometimes I’ll have to visit two or three to collect all the ingredients. Some stores just don’t carry particular items, like fresh herbs. Others might have a product on one visit, but not the next. More often they don’t have it on my first visit when I really, really need it but the next time I go there will be a whole shelf full.
Oh well, walking is good exercise 🙂
My first task was to find some sort of dark bread. We stopped in a couple places while out running errands, hopeful to find a pumpernickel or dark rye bread. Finally, I realized my best bet was to see if IKEA had something suitable. Last year I shopped their grocery section while looking for smoked salmon for another post. They sell a just-add-water mix that turned out a nice heavy loaf, full of seeds and whole grains. I was kind of glad I couldn’t find pumpernickel, to be honest.
Next on the list was to purchase some shrimp and fresh dill. For that I walked across town to the upscale grocery because I knew they sold fresh herbs. They also had fresh and frozen shrimp. The fresh shrimp always have the heads so to make things a little easier I bought 500 grams (just over a pound) of medium peeled and frozen shrimp which were steamed in lightly salted lemon water. Most of the time I buy peel and eat shrimp for the convenience but these were easy enough to deal with.
These recipes from Delishhh and A Good Appetite helped me put together the dressing. I actually made more dressing than was strictly necessary, but it was nice to allow the shrimp to marinate for awhile before serving. Extra dressing was spread on the bread before assembling the sandwich. I added the hard boiled eggs since that’s how they did it when I was served at Mundo Pequeño. The asparagus was added because I had it on hand.
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons sour cream, creme fraiche or plain greek yogurt (I used yogurt)
- 3 tablespoons or more chopped fresh dill, save some for garnish
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- dash of hot sauce (I used tabasco)
- a generous squeeze of lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound (500 grams) medium shrimp, cooked and peeled
- 2 slices brown bread (or pumpernickel or rye)
- 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
- jarred asparagus spears
- Stir the dressing ingredients together in a bowl large enough to hold the shrimp.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Stir in the cooked shrimp and transfer to the fridge for a half an hour.
- To serve, use a slotted spoon to remove the shrimp from the dressing.
- Toast the bread if you like then arrange on a plate and spread some of the extra dressing on the bread.
- Arrange the sliced hard boiled eggs and asparagus on top then pile the shrimp salad high. Garnish with dill. Serve with a knife and a fork.
I felt the flavor was pretty close to what I remembered, but Rick felt it needed a little punch. He sprinkled smoky paprika on top.
Make sure to drop by to see what else has been prepared for Food of the World celebration. If you have a Swedish recipe please feel free to drop a link, and sign up for the newsletter so you can join in next time.