‘Nordic Countryside- Punkaharju’
Cooking outdoors by the lake on the char of an open fire is something I love doing at the summer place. Sitting so close to the water is a calming element as you watch the gentle waves push to the shore and feel united with the nature. We were blessed with great weather with little wind and full sunshine so we grilled some fish, the scandi way. The evening sunset also called for a magical swim that was so refreshing before going to bed. The sunsets are so saturated with a deep yellow colour that casts a glow on the entire property.
I like the simplicity of this dish, where the flavours speak for themselves. Fresh fish, new potatoes and a baby arugula salad with a dijon vinaigrette was on our menu. There is nothing fancy about the dish, it should we presented in a rustic manner, eating partially with your fingers and sucking the best pieces of the bones. We prepared the 2 style of fish in different ways to get a mixture of flavours, where you can find the recipe below. Don’t let the fishing picture fool you, the fish we made was actually store bought but of course if we would have caught enough perch, we would have used them too!
Sitting on the edge of the lake with my feet almost dipped into the water is calming to the mind. Watching the buoy swing with the waves and the occasional boat pass by while the seagulls screech in the horizon is what scandi summers build from.
Scandi style Fish 2 ways
1.Grilled Whole fish
Scale the fish and add gentle scores to each side not pressing all the way to the bone. Fill each score with salt, pepper, lemon juice including the stomach of the fish. I also added lemon slices in the stomach. Oil the fish completely and place them into a gridiron that you can place over the coal on an a fire stove. Cook for about 20 minutes until the skin is lovely and crispy and the flesh falls nicely off the bone. Before serving, garnish with fresh chives, black pepper, a pinch of salt and a slice of lemon.
2. Steamed Pike-perch
Basically, repeat the process as with the fish above, except add all the herbs/lemon slices into the stomach of the fish. Also add lemon slices in the score of the fish. Place the fish into a thick piece of foil (you can use 2 pieces as on top of each other) and wrap the sides together. Oil the fish generously so it can steam gently on the coal open fire. Add more lemon juice as well. Cook for about 35 minutes so the flesh falls off the bone. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top , perhaps more salt and pepper on top and enjoy!
As the sun slowly went down, it was time to end the day with an evening swim that is the most refreshing feeling in the world.