If you read my blog regularly, you might remember I organized a Jólabókaflóð, an Icelandic Christmas Flood of Books and Chocolates, for our girls' holiday gathering in December. Read about that here. That actually launched me down the Nordic Noir genre for a couple of weeks.
In case you are unfamiliar, Nordic Noir is also known as Scandinavian Noir or Scandi Noir. It's a genre of crime fiction typically written from a police perspective and set one of the Scandinavian countries.
On the Page
During my Nordic Noir streak, I read two of books in The Åre Murders by Viveca Sten: Hidden in Snow and Hidden in Shadows.
In the first novel, police officer Hanna Ahlander has taken refuge in her sister's home at the Swedish ski resort in Åre after her career in Stockholm and her love life have imploded. While she is settling in, a local teenage girl goes missing. The only lead: a scarf in the snow. Along with Detective Inspector Daniel Lindskog, Hanna races again the clock to solve the mystery. Each new clue has them descending into a more sinister scenario.
In the second novel, Ahlander and Linskog are working to solve the brutal murder of Johan Andersson, a former Olympic skier. According to his wife, he didn't have any enemies in the world; but the way he was bound and beaten say otherwise.
These books - as with most Nordic Noir - were a quick read. And Sten has a way of depicting the splendor of the Swedish mountains despite being the backdrop for her bone-chilling crime stories.
On the Plate
Daniel Lindskog is half-Swedish and half-Italian, so when he cooks, it's almost always Italian. One evening, he offers: "'How about lasagna for dinner?' he says. 'With homemade tomato sauce?' Daniel enjoys cooking; he’s always liked spending time in the kitchen. He often jokes about his Italian heritage, his passion for pasta and Parmesan cheese." And I applaud his choice of wine. He says, "'...it is Saturday, after all. I think we’ve still got a bottle of that Barolo you like.' Cooking is one of his favorite activities—after all, his mother grew up in northeastern Italy. He often starts planning dinner as soon as he wakes up in the morning."
Barolo is one of my favorite Italian wines and I considered making another lasagna, but I have already shared my Oft-Requested Lasagna, a recent 'Just Ground Turkey!' Seven Cheese Lasagna, and even a variation from Aosta Lasagne alla Valdostana.
Also, Ahlander and Linskog often grab lunches after interviewing people around town. My mouth was watering when "Hanna practically falls on her 'hunter’s' pizza, which is generously loaded with sautéed reindeer, chanterelles, and horseradish sauce. They are virtually the only diners who are not dressed in skiing gear or are on vacation. And it feels as if they’re the only ones drinking alcohol-free beer with their meal." In one lunch "...they dig into homemade meatballs served with lingonberry preserve, mashed potatoes, and gravy." I had already posted that meal in my post An IKEA-Inspired Tray for #MoviesandMunchies last year.
So, this dish isn't mentioned in the books, but I wanted to explore a Swedish breakfast that I can imagine Ahlander making for her sister and family. Pannkakor, Swedish pancakes, are definitely thicker than crêpes, but thinner than regular pancakes. They can be sweet or savory, but are most often rolled up with a cinnamon sugar blend. Done!
serves 4 to 6
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
2 cups milk (I used whole milk)
5 Tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled (if you are using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the batter) plus more for greasing the pan
Also needed non-stick skillet or crêpe pan
6 Tablespoons organic granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder...and salt if you are using unsalted butter.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until well-combined and uniform in color. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until there are no more lumps.
Add in the melted butter and whisk till smooth. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Place your non-stick skillet or crêpe pan over medium-low heat. Grease with additional butter, then pour 1/2 cup batter into the pan and swirl to coat the bottom in a thin layer.
Once the bottom is starting to turn golden, flip, and cook the other side. This goes very quickly, perhaps 60 to 90 seconds per side. Repeat with all the batter.
In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Squeeze a little lemon juice on the cooked Pannkakor and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Roll up and repeat with remaining Pannkakor. Serve immediately.
I am adding this to the January #FoodieReads line-up.