A few months ago there was a great piece on BBC’s The World about trying to cook from Magnus Nilsson‘s cookbook Faviken, named after his 12 seat restaurant on a remote 20,000 acre property in Northern Sweden. Two producers for the show went to a local Whole Foods looking for a few of the recipe’s harder to find ingredients: a cow’s heart, a cow’s femur and a turnip that had never seen the light of day. The “retired dairy cow” also on the list was harder to find.
Sourcing for this dish of Scallops Cooked Over Burning Juniper Branches is no easier, but it is doable for a determined cook. This weekend on the show Nilsson explains that this dish is so good that it’s been on his menu at Faviken for three years.
Scallop I skalet ur edlen
cooked over burning juniper branches
- fresh juniper branches for the fire
- some dry hay with a high herb content, or a piece of moss that covers the plate, to serve
- 6 perfectly fresh, very large and absolutely sand-free live scallops in their shells
- good bread and butter, to serve
Light your birch charcoal with a hot-air blower or an electric coil – never use lamp oil or any other chemical. Spray the hay or moss lightly with water.
Put the juniper branches on top of the charcoal and when they start burning, cook the scallops directly over the fire. The are finished when you hear them making a crackling noise around the edges.
Open each scallop up and pour all the contents into a preheated ceramic bowl. Separate out the scallop meat and put it back in the bottom shell. Strain off the beards and intestines quickly and pout the cloudy broth back into the shell with the scallop in it. Put the top half shell back on, place the whole scallop on the dampened hay or moss with some fresh juniper and hot coal for a few moments, then serve right away with good bread and mature butter. No more than 90 seconds mus pass between taking the scallop off the fire and serving it.
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