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Cox: Cookbook includes recipes that celebrate Scandinavian culture

‘The Scandinavian Cookbook’

By Trina Hahnemann with the photography of Lars Ranek (Andrews McMeel, $29.99)

Trina Hahnemann is a chef and food writer who began her culinary work as a caterer for such rock stars as Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and members of the Rolling Stones. In addition to her numerous awards and achievements, she owns and runs a cafe in Denmark’s House of Parliament.

Hahnemann has helped define the New Nordic movement, a movement that focuses on purity, freshness and simplicity. In her new collection, she brings that aspect of Scandinavian cooking into the American kitchen. Most of the recipes require fresh, seasonal ingredients, and use user-friendly cooking techniques.

The recipes are supplemented by the images of Lars Ranek who has contributed to more than 20 cookbook collections.

The 115 recipes are grouped into 12 chapters, each part representing a month of the year. The changing seasons with their shifting daylight conditions, as well as strong agricultural and fishing traditions in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, helped to develop a highly differentiated approach to cooking and dining. Those factors are what make this collection so interesting.

More than just a collection of recipes, this new cookbook is a celebration of Scandinavian culture.

Two recipes were tested from “The Scandinavian Cookbook.” Vanilla Custard with Red Currants was rich yet called for just five ingredients. The Kransekage, or almond cake, was a little more complex but equally delicious. This is a collection that is as delightful to look at as it is delicious to test.

Vanilla Custard with Red Currants

Serves 4

1 vanilla bean

6 pasteurized egg yolks

2/3 cup of superfine sugar

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

1 cup red currants

Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Put the seeds in a bowl with the egg yolks and sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks, then gently fold into the egg mixture.

Pour the mixture into one or more freezer-proof containers and freeze for six hours. The parfait is now ready. Serve with red currants or other fresh fruit.

Tucsonan Larry Cox’s “Shelf Life” reviews of fiction and nonfiction books and his “Treasures and Trends” antiques column run Thursdays in Calendar Plus. For more, go to tucsoncitizen.com/ calendar. E-mail: contactlarrycox@aol.com

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