We take a leaf out of Magnus Nilsson’s book
Here at Lanserring we’re big fans of the inspirational Swedish chef, Magnus Nilsson. His acclaimed restaurant, Fäviken, was awarded two Michelin stars in 2016 and is known for its innovative menus based on local, seasonal produce. Magnus’s commitment to using ingredients that are farmed, foraged and hunted in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant is remarkable, and we can’t help but admire the painstaking approach he takes to his craft. According to a 2016 interview in The Guardian, his mantra is, ‘Do it once, perfectly.’ We can relate to that!
We tried out one of his signature recipes on our charcoal barbecue and can confirm that it tastes as good as it looks. Ok, so you’re unlikely to find juniper branches and hay on the shelves of your local supermarket, but sourcing them just adds to the challenge! The recipe itself might seem relatively straightforward – it relies on the perfect quality of the scallops, with no seasoning or additional ingredients required – but you will need at least one helper to ensure that the critical final steps are completed on time.
Alternatively, book a table at Fäviken and make the pilgrimage to northern Sweden to experience Magnus’s incredible cuisine first hand. You might have to be patient, though – there are only 12 covers per night…
Scallops cooked over burning juniper branches
Recipe taken from Fäviken by Magnus Nilsson (Phaidon Press)
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 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. They are finished when you hear them making a crackling noise about 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 pour 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 must pass between taking the scallop off the fire and serving it.