Again the Danish restaurant NOMA has been voted number one resturant in the world of the best fifty restaurants. This is the fourth time in the last five years and quite an accomplishment for the little country of Denmark with only five and half million people. Many may not know just excatly what this means and what goes into the runing of the restaurant NOMA. The owners René Redzepi and Claus Meyer sat down with other top chefs from Scandinavian about 15 years ago and sat some ideas on paper. It was called the NEW NORDIC KITCHEN MANIFESTO.
They wrote “As Nordic chefs we find that the time has now come for us to create a NEW NORDIC KITCHEN, which in virtue of its good taste and special character compares favorable with the standard of the greatest kitchens in the world.
The aims of the NEW NORDIC KITCHEN are:
1.) To express the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics we wish to associate to our region.
2.) To reflect the changes of the seasons in the meal we make.
3.) To base our cooking on ingredients and produce whose characteristics are particularly in our climates, landscapes and waters.
4.) To combine the demand for good taste with modern knowledge of health and well-being.
5.) To promote Nordic products and the variety of Nordic producers – and to spread the word about their underlying cultures.
6.) To promote animal welfarae and a sound production process in our seas, on our farmland and in the wild.
7.) To develop potentially new applications of traditional Nordic food products.
8.) To combine the best in Nordic cookery and culinary traditions with impulses from abroad.
9.) To combine local self-suffiency with regional sharing of high-quality products.
10.) To join forces with consumer repesentatives, other cooking craftsmen, agriculture, fishing, food, retail and wholesales industries, researchers, teachers, politicians and authorities on this project for the benefit and advantage of everyone in the Nordic countries.
It is not just René Redzepi, Claus Meyer and a few other well-known chefs who are taking part in NEW NORDIC KITCHEN, but all the people who strive to make food after these strandards.
Here is one of my recipes and a good example of the NEW NORDIC KITCHEN.
SCALLOPS WITH PICKLED ONIONS, STEAMED LEEKS AND CRISP ONIONS
6 appetizer servings
6 small shallots
1 tsp. salt
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
2 medium onions, minced
1 tsp. rapeseed oil
3 small leeks, trimed and washed thoroughly to remove grit, cut into 4 inch pieces
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. water
1½ tbsp. rapeseed oil, or vegetable oil
12 large sea scallops, side muscle removed
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp. rapeseed oil
To make the pickled shallots, cut shallots into 4 sections and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Whisk together vinegar and sugar. Add shallots, toss well. Marnate in refrigerator for 1 hour.
To make the fried onions, dust minced onions with flour. Heat oil in a medium pan and fry until they are golden and crisp.
To make the leeks, melt butter in a medium skillet over low heat. Add water and leeks, sauté 10-15 minutes. Add more water if needed while cooking.
To make the parsley oil, blend parsley and oil.
To make the scallops, heat oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until oil begins to smoke. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear until well browned, about 2 minutes. Turn; cook until just barely opaque in center, about 30 seconds longer.
To serve, place two spoonfuls of parsly oil on 6 plates and place one leek, two scallops and a spoonful of pickled onions on top of the oil. Garnish with crisp onions and cress.