By Haan Ridell
Dill (Anethum graveolens), also known as "Lao coriander" depending on where it is grown, is a lovely herb very much used in Scandinavia. I LOVE DILL, a fantastic thing we all have growing here in our back gardens.
Pytt I Panna, is a very typical Swedish dish which roughly translates to “put whatever leftovers you have in your fridge and freezer in a pan." This is comfort food, a good old Swedish Viking dish for cold and gray weather. There are even early archeological evidence that dill was already discovered when Pharoah Amenhotep II was around.
For today's pyttipanna, I mixed some meats together with some fresh vegetables and spiced it up with lots of dill. This is a charming dish, with a lot of different textures and flavors.
I start off by going through the freezer, where I always put my leftover meats. Today I found some old pork roast, slices of ham, a little lamb, and stump of Italian salami, chorizo and some bacon. While this defrosts, I make the dressing.
For the dressing I use a bunch of fresh herbs: tonight's superstar, dill (a lot of it), some chives, and parsley. CHOP CHOP CHOP! It should be very fine.
Take some nice olive oil, apple vinegar, a spoon or three of Dijon mustard (I like it to have character so don't hold back on the mustard), some acacia honey and salt, pepper and minced garlic. Mix and taste it, should be sweet, mustardy and dilly. Set aside and let's do the vegetables.
You could use any of your favorite vegetables, but I think potatoes are a must, at least that's what my sweet old grandma always used. Chop (yes I do love chopping) some boiled potatoes, carrots and onions. I usually have apples in as well but were out of stock today. And since it suppose to be summer I added some zucchini, such a versatile squash.
When I cook traditional Scandinavian food I think it tastes better to fry it in real butter rather then olive oil, so I used my favorite French sea salt butter, Del Motte. You could actually eat it with a spoon, but don't, it's not so healthy!
So heat up a nice teflon pan, take a good slice of butter, and YES do stay around and take in that lovely smell of real butter, oh yeah... Add the potatoes, carrots and onions. This is all going to fry on low heat until it has a nice golden brownish color. It should fry for at least 20 minutes or so.
While it's frying on the stove, chop up the meats. And yes it should be around the same size as the veggies. Add the meat and mix well.
After another 10-15 minutes add the zucchini and stirfry for another 10 minutes.
Almost done now. Mix in the dressing, and make sure it's all blended together well.
Now it should smell fabulous and dilly in your kitchen. At this point I always add more freshly chopped dill, just to enhance the flavors.
Plate and garnish with fresh dill. For presentation, serve with an egg yolk in its shell, to be mixed in when you eat it. I always use organic eggs, which I boil for 30 sec to kill of any germs.
All set to have a good old Viking moment.
In Sweden we eat this with hard knäckebröd (breaking bread) and real butter. Did I mention I'm getting fat!?!?! Nevermind. Beer is a good thing to drink and since it was a Tuesday and we sat outside in my garden, we decided to treat ourselves with some schnapps as well. Not necessary, but so good.
I hope you have courage to try out this dilly recipe -- and do have some schnapps.
Boldly go where your tastebuds have never gone before. Bon appétit!
*Haan is an air steward, chef and sci-fi geek, travelling all over the globe in an Airbus 340 spaceship. Boyfriends are boring so he cooks instead! Supermarkets in the far corners of the Earth, stoneware, and the occasional Star Wars convention rock his world.