subtlety

Recipe: Subtlety – Lutefisk

I know what you’re thinking. “Lutefisk as a subtlety? Have you lost your mind?” The answer to that it yes, and probably. I call this a subtlety, because subtleties were food that was meant to be entertaining.

Here are three pieces of important background information for those may be unaware:

1. Lutefisk is a traditional Scandinavian dish of aged whitefish cured in lye, then cooked in some fashion. Some lovingly describe it as “putrid.”

2. Lutefisk was added to my Viking World Tour menu for White Hart in 2014, representing a dish from Iceland.

3. I like surprising people. And puns.

That last note is important. My co-feastocrat, Lady Odette, pulled off the execution flawlessly after I told her my idea. I heralded in the dish to increase the nervousness of my feast patrons, and had the servers hold the dish high when taking it out. It was served to HRM and the other tables at the same time, and the reactions were exactly what I had hoped for: groans and relieved laughter, because instead of preserved lye-fish, they got candy!

Here’s how you can force tasty puns upon your own friends!

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Lutefisk Subtlety

Ingredients:
Chocolate for melting (bars or chips)
Swedish fish

Melt chocolate in a double-boiler, or in a metal bowl resting partially in a pot of hot water. Whisk to ensure there are no clumps, then pour into your choice of piping tools (or just some wax paper rolled into a cone). Pipe onto wax paper in the shape of a lute. Let cool, then decorate with Swedish fish. Enjoy the groans from your friends.

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White Hart XVII Feast Menu

The Lord and Lady of the White Hart for WHXVII are dear friends of mine, so for their special event, I wanted to do a fun menu based on their personas, so I came up with my Viking World Tour menu. We’ve all seen the concert-style t-shirts that list the places and dates of Viking invasions around Europe, and I wanted to take a dish from (or based in) that area, group them in courses based on date, and serve them something fun.

The Lutefisk was my “subtlety” for the evening. I’d built the hype up — some were excited about it, but most were dreading it. The actual dish, which was served to both HRM Timothy (and his high table) and the populace all at once, was actually a chocolate lute and Swedish fish, prepared by my co-feastocrat, Lady Odette d’Arques.

As an extra surprise, the goat I’d ordered and had butchered from a local farm came with its organ meat. After a special lunch of goat ribs with a home-made teriyaki sauce for HRM Timothy and Their Excellencies of Blackstone Mountain, I soaked in buttermilk and pan-fried the goat liver and also the goat heart(!), which I challenged HRM and the combatants of the heavy tournament to taste.

White Hart XVII Feast Menu

GF = Gluten Free
V = Ovo-lacto Vegetarian/Pescetarian friendly

Beer and Onion Soup
(England, 15th cent – Harleian MS 4016), V
Beer, onions, vegetable broth, salt, pepper

Rarebit
(Wales), V
Bread, cheese

Baked Brie
(France), GF&V
Brie, cranberries, almonds

Roasted Vegetables
(Ireland), GF&V
Carrots, parsnips, kale, olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, thyme

Pelmeni
(Russia)
Dough (flour, buttermilk, butter, sour cream), butter, beef, pork, onion, garlic, sage, salt, pepper
GF&V Alternatives: Baked potato stuffed with mashed potatoes with or without meat

Saqlabiyya
(Spain, 13th cent Al-Andalus cookbook), GF
Goat, onion, garlic, olive oil, GF soy sauce, corn starch, coriander, caraway, parsley, thyme, pepper, salt, lime zest

Couscous
(Morocco), V
Couscous, eggplant, carrot, onion, parsley, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, garlic, veg stock, butter, lemon juice
GF Alternative: Rice with eggplant and spices

Lutefisk
(Iceland)
Fish

Stuffed dates
(Greece), GF&V
Dates, honey, almonds

Cheesecake
(Italy), GF&V
Cream cheese, sour cream, milk, butter, vanilla, salt, sugar, eggs, corn starch

Cider
(America), GF&V