A Midsommar Night's Dream

Chef Jens Linder Shares A Swedish Oyster Recipe

With Sweden’s annual bacchanal the Midsommar celebration just around the corner, Jens Linder, chef and author of the new culinary guide Made in Sweden, offers an exclusive translation of a pitch perfect Swedish oyster dish of his own creation. "It's uncomplicated yet exclusive and very tasty," he says. Part Wicker Man and part picnic, Midsommar celebrates the summer solstice, whereupon Swedes indulge in drinking, dancing and a sampling of the season’s first offerings of new potatoes, Baltic herring, fresh seafood and other regional favorites. As a local might say, smaklig måltid (enjoy)!

Sautéed oysters with porter cream sauce

serves 4 (starter portions)

Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 12 oysters
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup Carnegie porter or equivalent
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Small handful of finely cut parsley
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

1. Shuck oysters, pouring the juices into a bowl. Remove the meat from the shells and reserve both separately.

2. On a low heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter to a saucepan. Once bubbling, sauté the oysters for one minute. Remove and keep warm in a bowl with a lid.

3. Add shallots to saucepan with remaining butter and sauté, stirring until the onions become soft and translucent. Pour the oyster juice, beer and lemon juice and boil down until there are only a couple of tablespoons of liquid. Add parsley, cayenne pepper and cream.

4. Let simmer uncovered until about half the liquid remains. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Arrange the oysters in four half shells, each one on a plate. Cover with the sauce and serve at once.


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