This is how the stars aligned. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo got my friend, Ashley, in the mood for Scandinavian food. I had a couple of bags of frozen shrimp and prawns in the freezer and a hankering for dill. It was the third Friday night of Lent (which I take to mean that God wants me to be creative with seafood). My Swedish sister-in-law has instructed me in the mystical art of extracting relatively authentic Swedish flavor from American ingredients (yes, IKEA plays a critical role). Thus, the following shrimp salad became the basis for a minimalist Swedish tapas night.
We also had brie on pumpernickel toast topped with lingonberry preserves (like I said, IKEA is crucial here) and, since this is being written in real time, there may be some herring and smoked salmon later on, although as there is no more sauvignon blanc to accompany it, maybe not.
This is really quick to make and yet is cool, unhurried and elegant. Maybe one day I will start playing around with the sour cream and mayo proportions and use plain nonfat yogurt, but virtue is not one of my virtues at the moment, so here it is in all its lush glory.
Scandinavian Shrimp Salad
4 Cups peeled, cooked and deveined shrimp (your choice of size*), chopped into small chunks
¾ Cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ cup red onion, minced
½ cup dill, finely chopped
3 Tsp lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, leaving lemon juice for last, salt to taste and serve with toasted pumpernickel , crisp crackers or atop a salad.
*My sister-in-law Annika, who is actually Swedish, was the one who found the original recipe that this is based on. For her, the flavor is not authentic unless you use those tiny, coldwater cooked and peeled Greenland Prawns that she gets in frozen 500g bags from IKEA. It is true, they have a distinctive sweet tang that regular bagged supermarket shrimp don’t, but I don’t like their texture thawed. So I use a strainer to dip them in the same water the rest of the shrimp are cooking in for just a minute which tightens them up without losing too much flavor. I use one bag of the tiny prawns and about a pound of other bagged shrimp (works out to half and half), but you can use whatever you have on hand.