Stuff and Nonsense: Cooking with Spiced Pantry: Sweden


Cooking with Spiced Pantry: Sweden

October's Spiced Pantry box was all about the flavors of Sweden! Rather like with Morocco, I could smell the contents before I even opened the box and it got me craving gingerbread something terrible. Is gingerbread even Swedish? Pepparkakor is definitely gingerbreadish.

I have to admit that the little I know about Swedish cuisine comes from the Pleasant Company's Kirsten Larson American Girl Doll books (and Kirsten definitely ate some kind of ginger biscuit) and marathoning Crimes of Passion, based on works by the Swedish crime novelist Maria Lang (not much about food, there).

So what is this Spiced Pantry, anyway? Spiced Pantry is a monthly food subscription box featuring a different cuisine each month. Every box includes four ingredients (custom spice blends, grains, legumes, etc), an information card introducing that month's cuisine and ingredients, and the recipes to make with them. Recipes usually serve 4-6 people so, if you are small household like mine, either expect leftovers or be prepared to halve the recipes.

Subscribers can chose between the standard or vegetarian plan. While I selected the standard plan, most of the meat-based recipes I've received include easy modifications to make them vegetarian, anyway. As with many subscription plans, it renews automatically every month until cancelled.

Ingredients in October's Spiced Pantry box:
  1. Ground cardamom
  2. Caraway Seeds
  3. Juniper Berries
  4. Stockholm Spice Blend

Recipes in October's Spiced Pantry box:
  1. Braised Creamy Cabbage With Caraway
  2. Cardamom Buns
  3. Salmon with Mustard & Juniper
  4. Swedish Meatballs
  5. Swedish Potatoes Au Gratin

"Swedish Meatballs" were AWESOME. One of the best, if not the best, recipe I've made from a Spiced Pantry box. The Husband really enjoyed them, too, and there was a bit of a squabble over the leftovers. My mother and aunts always made Swedish meatballs at Christmas and I thought theirs were good, but this recipe put them to shame. The tender meatballs are packed with delicious flavor and smothered in the most heavenly creamy sauce that manages to taste rich without being heavy.

The "Swedish Potatoes Au Gratin" were also very pleasing and, while so creamy and cheesy, not heavy. A nice take on the French Gratin dauphinois with a touch of Scandinavian spice. Definitely something you want seconds of. The gratin was a little runny when it first came out of the oven, but I gave it fifteen minutes on the kitchen side and it set up nice.

My potatoes were getting a bit gnarly, so I peeled them, but I might leave them unpeeled next time for a little more texture and color. Also, maybe, add thinly sliced leeks and garlic, because more alliums is almost always better!

Looking forward to November's box, featuring the flavors of Vietnam. I know nothing about Vietnamese food that isn't phở or bánh mì, so this should be exciting!

Read about my other Spiced Pantry experiences.

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