450g fresh or frozen prawns (shrimps), with shells on
120ml gräddfil or sour cream
1 tsp brandy or cognac
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
4 slices of white bread
2 tbsp butter (about 25g)
2 tbsp dill, finely chopped
50 g (2 oz) whitefish or salmon roe
4 lemon wedges
4 dill sprigs, for garnish
1. Shell the prawns and pat them dry with kitchen paper.
2. Mix the mayonnaise, gräddfil sour cream, and brandy together. Add salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste. Keep the mixture cold until required.
3. Ten minutes or so before serving, melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the bread slices and fry until golden brown on both sides.
4. Just before serving, mix together the finely chopped dill, prawns and sauce.
5. Serve the prawn mixture piled on top of the fried bread and garnish with a dollop or roe, a sprig of dill and a lemon wedge.
Toast Skagen. Photo: TT
– 'Toast skagen'' can be found on the menus of restaurants all over Sweden. Often they advertise that the snack has been made using “handskalade räkor”, which means hand shelled prawns. This is big selling point because most Swedes are convinced that it really doesn’t matter whether the prawns are fresh or frozen, but they must be shelled by hand in order for the true flavours of this dish to come out. So it's worth finding the time to shell the prawns yourself.
– Traditionally this dish is served with a big dollop of whitefish roe. It is an acquired taste, not always appreciated by foreigners, so we suggest cutting down the amount of roe.
– Salmon roe also goes well as a garnish, and makes the dish look even more special.
Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, Editor and Founder of Swedish Food.