Get your lunch money!
Scandinavian smoked meats and sides coming to New York’s Genessee Valley
CHRISTY OLSEN FIELD
Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American
What happens when you combine Scandinavian heritage and a love of good barbeque? You get Lunch Money, a Scandinavian smoked meat pop-up in western New York that launches in March.
I spoke by phone with Adam Peterson—chef, bartender, and award-winning barbeque pitmaster—to learn more about his interest in Scandinavian smoked meats and his new pop-up venture, Lunch Money.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Christy Olsen Field: Can you tell me a bit about how you got into Scandinavian smoked meats and decided to open Lunch Money?
Adam Peterson: It actually started from professional barbeque competitions. My brothers and I started doing competitive barbeque more than 10 years ago. While we were competing, I saw the vendors and the business they were doing. So, I thought, if we were going to be there for the whole weekend, we might as well make some money, too. So, we decided to open our own barbeque food truck, and we called it Fett Svin BBQ, which means Fat Pig BBQ, and the menu leaned to Scandinavian influences in the sandwiches, sides, and desserts.
I learned an important marketing lesson with our name: No one could say it. Our logo had a Viking ship head, so everyone just called us the Dragon Trailer. This was when food trucks were just getting started in New York. However, the weather in western New York did not lend itself to successful food trucks. I shifted to working in restaurants, and started a members-only dinner club in Rochester, N.Y. I now run the bar at a local restaurant, and I started a distillery, too.
I have always been interested in salting, curing, and smoking. In my research, I came across the Norwegian dish juleribbe, which is a bone-in, skin-on pork belly. It is just amazing with its textural contrast with the skin. This is something that should be eaten year-round!
I was approached by the restaurant’s owner about doing a pop-up, so we have our first event scheduled for March 2022.
COF: What is your Scandinavian connection?
AP: My father’s family is Swedish and Danish, and like so many others, they ended up in the Midwest. My dad grew up in Wisconsin, and my mom, who has German heritage, grew up outside of Chicago. It was my dad’s job that brought us to New York. But Scandinavian food has been part of my life; the first recipe I ever got was for Mormor’s Meatballs.
COF: What are you planning to do for Lunch Money’s menu?
AP: Scandinavian food really isn’t on the map yet for non-Scandinavians, so I want to do dishes that are accessible to American clientele. Everyone knows what barbeque ribs are, so juleribbe can take that concept and introduce them to that textural contrast of the crackling skin and juicy meat. I also plan to do a brisket sandwich with Danish remoulade, a mayonnaise-based sauce that is similar to an aioli or slaw, and some smørrebrød options.
I also plan to do Danish leverpostej (liver paté) from scratch. It’s cooked, which can be more appealing to people who might be nervous to try paté. One of my go-to side dishes is Hasselback Potato Gratin. It’s a traditional Swedish dish, but it’s also one that non-Scandinavians can understand and appreciate. It is so good!
COF: I’m thinking about a cheese and charcuterie board for Valentine’s Day inspiration. Any suggestions for putting together a Scandinavian-themed charcuterie board?
AP: I think gravlax (cured salmon that is served thinly sliced) works incredibly well on a charcuterie board. I also like leverpostej (liver paté), served with sautéed mushrooms and crackers. I also like a quick pickle, such as lightly salted cucumbers, to bring a little cleanliness to cut the fat.
But really, my recommendation is cold-smoked duck, like the Swedes do. And if you really want to go to the next level, add juniper to it. With the skin on and juniper smoke and time to air dry, the fat underneath the skin turns to jelly. Slice it thinly and serve with lingonberry jam. And serve with aquavit, of course!
A hearty tusen takk to Adam Peterson! We wish you the best of luck with the launch of Lunch Money this spring. Lunch Money will be hosting pop-up events starting in March 2022. Follow @mylunchmuny on Instagram for information about upcoming events and preorders.
Cold-smoked Duck Breast
Recipe by Adam Peterson of Lunch Money
This cold-smoked duck breast takes 12 days start to finish, but the flavor and texture is well worth the wait. It can be the star of any charcuterie board!
2 duck breasts, skin on
2 tbsps. mörk sirap (Swedish syrup available at Scandinavian stores) or molasses
½ cup kosher salt
¼ cup demerara sugar or brown sugar
½ tbsp. juniper berries, ground
Here’s how you make it:
Trim any loose skin or fat. Combine salt, sugar, and ground juniper berries in a small bowl. Cover the duck breasts with the mixture. Place breasts in a zip-top bag and add in the sirap or molasses. Close the bag and massage the mixture into the meat to ensure they are coated. Place the bag in another container in case of leaking and put in the refrigerator for five days. Turn the bag every day.
After five days, remove the breasts from the cure. Rinse thoroughly under running water. Then wrap the breasts in dry cheesecloth, and store in the fridge, uncovered, for five days.
Now you’re ready to smoke. Run your smoker at a temperature between 140°F and 180°F. Smoke for four hours, or longer for heavier smoke flavor.
Store smoked breasts in the fridge for an additional two days before serving. Slice thin, and serve with lingonberry jam.
Put together a Scandinavian-inspired ostefat
By Christy Olsen Field
A cheese and charcuterie board can be a great starter for a gathering, a lovely romantic dinner for two, or at my house, a kid-friendly happy hour at home. To make a charcuterie board, I follow the formula I learned from one of my favorite food writers, Jenny Rosenstrach of Dinner: A Love Story:
Something sweet + something crunchy + something pickled + something from a pig + something aged
For a Scandinavian-inspired ostefat (cheese and charcuterie board), lots of great options abound:
Jarlsberg (nutty, mild Swiss-style cheese available at major grocery chains in the United States)
Brunost (brown cheese; Ski Queen is available at major grocery chains or online in the United States)
Snøfrisk (A cream cheese available at major grocery chains)
Nøkkelost (a white cheese studded with cumin, clove, and caraway)
Agurksalat (sliced cucumbers in a salt-sweet brine)
Gravlaks, or hot-smoked salmon (both recipes in The Norwegian American archives online)
Fresh fruit, such as apples, cherries, plums, or grapes
For a wine pairing, sparkling wine is always a winner, as its freshness and high acidity is a counterpoint to the salty bites. But also, a cocktail or mocktail with bitter notes, or a light-bodied red wine can pair nicely.
What would you put in your Scandinavian ostefat? I’d love to hear from you! Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the Feb. 4, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.