Al Johnson's Recipes
Al Johnson’s Lingonberry Vinaigrette
The lingonberry vinaigrette recipe, developed by Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant head chef Freddie Bexell, is offered as a dressing choice for a salad of mixed greens. It also works well in a raw red cabbage and apple salad.
Makes about ¾ cup
- 3 tablespoons sweetened lingonberries
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Generous pinch of black pepper
In a mixing bowl, whisk together lingonberries, garlic, mustard and vinegar. Slowly whisk in canola oil. Add fresh oregano, salt and pepper. For a smoother dressing, pulse mixture briefly in a blender or food processor.
Al Johnson’s Red Cabbage Salad with Lingonberry Vinaigrette
Red cabbage, tart Granny Smith apples and thinly sliced red onion are tossed with lingonberry vinaigrette to create a raw salad. Finish the salad with dried sour cherries and coarsely chopped pistachios.
Makes 6 servings
- 8 cups thinly shredded red cabbage (1 medium head)
- 1 Granny Smith apple, washed, unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped unsalted pistachios
- ⅓ cup dried sour cherries
- ⅔ cup lingonberry vinaigrette (see recipe above)
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except vinaigrette. Toss with enough lingonberry vinaigrette to just coat. Refrigerate any remaining vinaigrette or serve on the side.
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breast with Red Wine Lingonberry Sauce
This stuffed chicken recipe is from the former Inn at Kristofer’s restaurant, which was located just down the street from Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay. The sauce also works well with pork tenderloin and salmon.
Makes 4 servings
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
2 cups plus ⅓ cup bread crumbs (divided)
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Four (5-inch-long) picks to secure stuffed chicken
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup red wine
½ cup sweetened lingonberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Prepare chicken: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic. Sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat.
In a mixing bowl, combine goat cheese, shallot mixture, 1/3 cup bread crumbs and Italian parsley.
Place chicken breasts on a work surface. Make a deep slit or pocket in chicken along the longest part of the breast. Be careful not to slice thru entire breast.
Stuff evenly with cheese mixture. Use long wooden picks to secure stuffing.
Line a baking sheet pan with foil. Coat with vegetable oil spray.
In a bowl, combine eggs and milk. On a large plate, place remaining 2 cups breadcrumbs. Dip chicken completely into egg mixture. Roll in breadcrumbs. Set on prepared pan.
In a large skillet, heat unsalted butter and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When hot, add chicken breasts. Cook on one side. Using tongs, turn and continue browning chicken on all sides. Chicken may need to be browned in batches. Place on prepared pan.
Roast in preheated oven until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce: In a saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add shallot and garlic. Sauté 1 minute. Add red wine, lingonberries and balsamic vinegar. Use a small whisk to combine. Simmer over low heat until reduced by one-fourth, about 5 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water. With sauce on simmer, slowly drizzle in enough cornstarch mixture to thicken sauce. You may not need all of the mixture.
When chicken is done, let rest 10 minutes before removing wooden picks. Slice chicken into medallions. Serve with lingonberry sauce.
Al Johnson's Schaum Torte
Makes 4 servings
½ cup egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 ½ cups sweetened lingonberries
1 cup whipped cream
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In clean bowl of a stand mixer, place egg whites and cream of tartar. Using whip attachment, whip egg whites until soft peaks appear. With mixer on medium-high, beat in sugar, a few tablespoons as a time. Continue beating until egg whites make firm peaks when beaters are raised.
Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper. Place meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe meringue into 4-inch round nests.
Place in preheated oven. Bake 1 hour. Turn off heat. Leave in oven one hour. This allows meringues to completely crisp without overcooking them, which would cause them to brown.
Place meringues on serving plates. Top with ice cream followed by lingonberries. Garnish with whipped cream.
Store unused meringues at room temperature in a zipper-lock bag or airtight container.
Swedish pancakes all have the same basic ingredients, with variations on ratios. Many a Swedish grandmother will add an extra egg to make them richer or more sugar to make them sweeter. The recipe takes on a personal touch with these additions. This basic Swedish pancake recipe is a great starting point and comes close to Al Johnson’s.
Makes 4 generous servings
3 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Fresh berries or sweetened sour cherries
In a mixing bowl using a wire whisk, combine eggs and milk. Add flour, a little at a time, followed by sugar. Let batter rest 2 hours or overnight in refrigerator.
Heat a large sauté pan or flat griddle over medium-high heat. Coat with vegetable oil spray. Pour 2 tablespoons batter per pancake onto pan. Pancake will be thin. When slightly firm, carefully flip and cook on other side. Pancakes will take 1 to 2 minutes per side to cook. Serve with garnishes of your choice.
Dating to 1941, when it was invented in Manhattan by three liquor industry veterans, the popularity of the Moscow Mule has surged in recent years. The drink is always served in a copper mug, providing the unique taste that results from the interaction between lime juice (citric acid) and pure copper. Stabbur Beer Garden introduced its own version of the venerable craft cocktail, the Malmö Mule, when the new outdoor bar opened next door to Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant in 2016. In addition to being truly delicious, Stabbur's version gives you a reason to learn to make your own blueberry simple syrup, a worthy skill for any host. Skål!
- 2 ounces Swedish Vodka
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 3/4 ounce blueberry simple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Ginger Beer
- Fresh blueberries
Making a Malmö Mule
Fill a pint glass with ice. Add vodka, lime juice, simple syrup and bitters. Place shaker over pint glass and shake until the shaker is frosty. Pour mixture into a copper mug and top with ice. Top mixture with ginger beer. Garnish with fresh blueberries.
How to make your own Blueberry Simple Syrup
- 1 Cup Water
- 1.5 Cup granulated sugar
- 0.5 Pint fresh blueberries
Place a medium saucepan over high heat and combine the water and sugar. Stir continuously until boiling. Remove from heat and pour syrup into a desired container. Add your blueberries to the hot syrup and puree until all berries are pulverized. Strain syrup until all pulp is removed from the liquid. The color of the syrup should be a dark purple, puree more blueberries if needed. Place container in a refrigerated environment (uncovered) until cool.
- 8 cups apples
- 2 T flour
- 1 cup sugar
- Powdered cinnamon
Peel and core apples, then slice into pieces. Add flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir and set aside.
In a large bowl, blend the following ingredients together. Then add 2/3 cup melted butter. Mix well.
- 1-1/4 cups brown sugar
- 1-1/4 cups flour
- 1 cup instant oatmeal
- 1/2 T baking soda
- 1 T salt
Pour apple mixture into a 9 in. x 13 in. pan. Cover with the brown sugar mixture. Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour.