Midsummer Night

36 Sct. Hans 2013 jpeg

June 23rd and not the 21st of June, is the day the Danes celebrate Midsummer Night, the longest day of the year. The sun rises 4.27  in the morning and goes down  9.55 in the evening. They celebrate the 23rd of June  in order to mark Sankt Hans Eve – the night before the saint’s day of John the  Baptist. It’s celebrated with a lots of bonfires that they begin building a month in advance so that by the third week of June, Denmark’s countryside is dotted with impressive twiggy mountains. On top of these twiggy mountains usually sits a witch. Well, not a real person but  more twigs and straw dressed up with a dress, usually black and a big, floppy hat. She is sitting on a broom. The witch is the symbol of evil and they are burned and sent to Bloksbjerg in the mountains of Germany where all the witches get together. Why Germany? Nobody really knows. Maybe beer and cheese. Burning of the witches started in the 16th century when the church convicted and sentenced women to death by flames. The practice of burning witches stopped in 1693 when a 74 year old Anne Palles was burned as a sorceress for “enchanted” a bailiff, caused the sudden death of a woman her husband danced with and been responsible for a poor yield on a farm on which she had once taken a pee. Now people have  a tradition of  burning straw witches since the 1900’s.

Many Danes often eat their dinner at the beach , but if they don’t, they eat at home and many times at a restaurant. The season for Danish asparagus is over at the end of June, so many people will be serving asparagus.

White and Green Asparagus with Tuna Fish Mousse.

Serves 4

12 spears white asparagus, trimmed

12 spears green asparagus

2 cans of tuna in oil, drained

1 cup/2 dl mayonnaise

½cup/1 dl olive oil

2 tbps. capers

Garnish:

8-12 large capers

2 limes, one cut into wedges, another cut in slices

parsley

To make asparagus, place asparagus in salted boiling water and cook until just tender, white 5-6 minutes, green 3-4 minutes depending on how thick they are. Remove from boiling water and plunge them in ice water to stop cooking process. Drain and set aside.

To make Tuna Salad, mix mayonnaise, olive oil and capers in a small bowl.

To serve, place 3 white asparagus and three green asparagus on four plates. Place 1-2 spoonfuls of tuna in the middle of the asparagus and garnish each plate with a slice of lime, a wedge of lime, 2-3 large capers and a little parsley.

Suggested accompaniment: bread

Summer Dessert with Fruit

This dessert is one of the best ways to use the ripeness and bounty of summer fruit. This dessert is ideal for those who like to eat pie fillings but leave the crust. You don’t have to worry about perfect – looking fruit; the main requirements are that the fruit be ripe and taste great. You may use different types of fruit, such as nectarines, melons, mango, kiwi blackberries as well as apples. You may also use any kinds of nuts or maybe even spice the dish up with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and even cardamom. We served this dish to our guest with ice cream, but sour cream or mascarpone.

Summer Dessert with Ananas, Peaches, Apricots and Plums

Serves 6

½ ananas, peeled and cut into smaller pieces

6 ripe, peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced

6 apricots, pitted and slices

6 plums, pitted and sliced

2 oz./60 grams butter

1 cup/2 dl apple juice

1-2 tbsp. sugar (only if the fruit is not sweet enough)

4-5 tbsp. Cointreau

Ice cream

1 cup/2 dl fresh strawberries, hulled or another fresh berry such as blackberries, raspberries

½ cup/ 1 dl nuts such as pecans, walnuts, almonds

To make fruit, melt butter on a large frying pan over medium heat and add the fruit. Add the apple juice and stir a few minutes. Let fruit simmer 2-3 minutes. Pour Cointreau over. Serve immediately with ice cream, sliced strawberries and nuts.

Roasted Peach Soup with Berries

Cold fruit soups are an excellent way of eating fruit in a healthy way. It is important that you use ripe fruit, for both flavor and texture.

Roasted Peach Soup with Berries

serves 4

Sauce:

1 pint strawberries or raspberries

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. lemon juice

Soup:

6 large ripe peaches with skin on

½ cup/1 dl or more Riesling wine, or other white wine

Garnish: assorted fruits (such as raspberries, peach slices, blueberries, blackberries

Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.

To make sauce, place strawberries/raspberries, sugar and lemon in a blender or food processor and purée. Strain into a bowl and chill.

To make soup, Cut a small “x” in the top of each peach and place on a baking pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until soft. Remove and let cool. Peel peaches and remove pits. Transfer to a blender or food processor and purée with Riesling enough to make thin. Chill.

To serve, ladle the chilled soup into bowls. Drizzle some of the sauce over the top of the soup and garnish with fruit.

Grilled Norway Lobster with a Sour Cream Dressing

Norway Lobster, is one of Scandinavia and Denmark’s biggest delicacy with it’s usual rich and intense taste. It is firm in it’s meat with a almost melting bite. It is very important that is it fresh. If not fresh, the taste can within a few hours start rotting and turn into an ammonia taste. Now that summer has come to Denmark, at least for a few days, we will be grilling as much Norway Lobster we can afford because the season is short.

NORWAY LOBSTER WITH PARSLEY

4 appetizer servings

1 quart water

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. salt

8 Norway lobsters

½ cup cup chopped parsley

½ cup rapeseed oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnish:

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Dill sour cream dressing:

1 cup sour cream

2 tsp. minced shallot

1 tsp. chopped fresh dill

1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper to taste

To make Norway lobster, bring water, lemon juice and salt to a boil. Place lobsters in boiling water and bring water to a boil again. Cover and remove pot from heat. Let lobsters remain in water 2 minutes before draining. Can be made the day before.

To make dill sour cream. whisk togeter sour cream, shallot, dill and lemon juice in a small bowl.. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until the should be served. .

To serve, place lobsters belly side up, on a cutting board and cut in halves lengthwise. Mix parsley, oil, salt and pepper and spread mixture on lobsters. Grill them 2-3 minutes under a hot grill. Serve with lemon wedges and dill sour cream. Bread is a nice accompaniment.

Spicy Sausages with Cannellini Beans, Cured Ham and Sage

Danes eat sausages all the time and although beans is not one of their common food, they are now make them a big part of their diet. Now that they know that these white beans contain lots of protein.

Cannellini Beans with Cured Ham , Sage and Grilled Sausages

Serves 6

4 slices of cured ham

10 Sage Leaves

12 oz./360 grams Cannellini (white beans)

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

6 good spicy sausages (or more if you are really hungry)

Garnish: extra sage

To make beans, fry cured ham crisp på en warm pan, take it up and set aside. Add the cook beans together with cayenne pepper and heat them 2 min. Season with salt.

To make sausage, split sausages into two parts and grill either on a grill or a grill pan. They can also be fried on a frying pan with a little oil.

To serve, place the beans on a large serving plate and place sausages next to the beans. Garnish with sage. Serve bread.

Asparagus – king of vegetables

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Asparagus is without a doubt the king of all vegetables. In Denmark, the season is only a few weeks in the spring and early summer. In our family we eat them severval times a week, both green and the white. When I lived in the States, I seldom ate asparagus. First, because they were very expensive and because my mother always cooked them to much. In fact, I had never seen a white asparagus before I came to Denmark. I know now why. The chefs at the fine resturants in all parts of the world buy all the white asparagus they can get ahold of in the short and intense season which is only 6-7 weeks. Thank goodness, we have lots of asparagus. My mother-in-law taught me how to cook asparagus shortly after I came to Denmark. After peeling the white aspargus, the green doesn’t need to be peeled, they should be cooked in a large, deep frying pan where they can lay down or a pot where the asparagus can stand up. This way one is sure they have plenty of room and won’t be crowded. White asparagus should be cooked 8-10 minutes in let salted water. The green asparagus needs only 5-6 minutes. Of course, this is depending on how thick they are. After cooking the asparagus, my mother-in-law would take them up with a special designed spoon and after making sure that most of the water had dripped off of them, placed them on a fine white linen napkin. Of course, we used the best silver to eat them with. Wow! Nobody serves them on napkins nowadays, but it is just to show you how much respect the Danes have for asparagus.

Asparagus Salad with Dry Cured Ham and Mustard Vinaigrette

Serves 4

8-12 white asparagus, peeled

24 green asparagus if they are thin, 12 if they are thick, trimmed

12 slices of dry cured ham*

a mixture of green salad leaves

Vinaigrette:

½ cup/1 dl rapeseed oil

2 tbsp. white wine vinagar

½-1 tbsp. mustard

salt and freshly ground pepper

To make asparagus, place white asparagus in salted boiling water and cook until just tender. Remove from boiling water and plunge them into ice water to stop cooking process. Drain and set aside. Repeat with green asparagus. Make sure not to boil them too long. It’s depends on their thickness. Place salad greens on 4 plates and divide asparagus on each plate. Roll slices of ham up and place around the asparagus.

To make vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together of pour over salad just before serving.

*Denmark had dry cured ham with the same quality as the Italian prosciutto and the Spanish Serrano ham.

Pasta with Smoked Salmon, Caviar and Lemon-Capers Dressing

Today is an official holiday in Denmark and all the school children and most of the work places are closed. Most people don’t want to cook and if the weather is nice, a cold pasta dish is easy and quick. The richness of the salmon, the saltiness of the caviar and the tangy acidity of the dressing creates a different flavor balance with every bite. Do not make this dish ahead of time, The pasta needs to be cooked and cooled just before tossing with the rest of the ingredients. If it sits the flavors will become muddy as the acid in the dressing breaks down the pasta. As for the Danish caviar, it can be bought in jars where there has been added black or red food coloring so that it resembles real caviar.

Pasta with Smoked Salmon, Danish Caviar and Lemon-Caper Dressing

Lemon-Capers Dressing:

2 tsp. capers

t tsp. of grated garlic

2 tbsp. extra virgin oil

2 tsp. white wine vinegar

2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pasta dish:

4 oz./120 grams dried capellini pasta or another very thin pasta

5 oz./150 grams sliced smoked salmon cut into smaller pieces

2 tomatoes, skins removed and seeds removed, finely diced

1 small chopped shallot

1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives

2 large tbsp. Danish Black Caviar, Salmon rogn or Sevruga caviar (if your budget can afford) or any other caviar you like

2 cucumbers, cut into thin circles

Garnish: 8 large capers (optional)

To make dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

To make pasta, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water to boil. Follow the instructions on the package. Drain and immerse it in ice water to chill. Drain again and gently press to squeeze out any excess water. In a medium bowl, combine pasta, smoked salmon, diced tomatoes, shallot and dressing. Mix well with your fingers to keep from breaking the pasta.

To serve, place 1/4 of the cucumbers in a circular pattern on 4 plates. Place an equal amount of the pasta in the center of each plate. Spoon ½ tbsp. of caviar or rogn on top of each mound.

Ice Cream Pie with Whipped Cream and Blueberries

Summer is just around the corner and we are looking forward to warm and relaxing days. That means no cooking for the most of us and here is a special ice cream pie with whipped cream and berries.

Ice Cream Pie with Whipped Cream and Blueberries

Oil spray

12 bought ice cream cones

4 tbsp. sugar

6 tbsp. melted butter

1 pint/½ l vanilla ice cream

1 pint/½ l ice cream of your choice ( I used cherry ice cream)

1 cup/2 dl whipped cream

½ tsp. vanilla pulver

3 oz./90 g blueberries or a berry of your choice

To make pie, spray a pie form with oil. Crush ice cream cones in a food processor together with sugar. Add melted butter and blend. Press crumbs into the bottom and up of the sides of pie form. Freeze 30 minutes. Come the two kinds of ice cream into the pie form, one on top of the other, it doesn’t matter if they get mixed together. Cover with folie and freeze mindst 2 hours, best overnight.

Just before serving, whip the cream stive with the rest of the sugar and vanilla pulver. Garnish pie with whipped cream and berries.

Asparagus with Pebersauce and Salted Lemon

The Chinese used asparagus to treat infertility as early as 200 B.C., and its evocative effect did not escape the notice of ancient Arabs and Romans. Perhaps they linked the cultivation of their own romantic love — and the reason to multiply — with this plant’s exuberant growth. Some well tended stalks can grow up to 10 inches/25 cm a day, and gardening zealots may find themselves harvesting twice daily in the spring. The season is short in Denmark, so eat as many as you can before Danish asparagus stops around the 23th of June.

White Asparagus with Lemon Sauce and Salted Lemon

Serves 4

8-12 jumbo white asparagus

fint salt

sukker

Peber sauce:

1 cup heavy cream

3 egg yolks

½ cup white wine

1 tsp lemon zest

juice of ½ lemon

freshly ground black pepper

Garnish:

2 lemons

salt

2 tbsp. olive oil

To make asparagus, peel from the head down. Cut or break the hard end of asparagus.* Cook them in let salted (½ tbsp.) and a little bit of sukker. Cover and cook asparagus 5-7 minutes depending on how thick they are. Take them up and plunge them into ice cold water to stop the cooking. As soon as they are cooled, remove them from the water to prevent them from losing flavor. Set aside and make the sauce.

To make sauce, whisk cream, æg yolks and white wine en a bowl that can fit into a pot filled with hot water. Using an el-handmixer, pisk the mixture 5 minutes, indtil the mixture is thick and creamy. Remove from the heat and set the bowl in ice cold water a few seconds. Season with salt and pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice .

To make salted lemon zest, using a julienne knive, make thing strips of lemon peel. Squeeze juice from lemons and pour over the lemon zest together with olive oil and as much salt as you like . After 20 minutes , the salted lemons are ready.

To serve, come a large spoonful of sauce on 4 warmed plates and place 2-3 asparagus in the middle of the plate. Garnish with salted lemons and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Come the rest of the sauce in a bowl and let the guest take more sauce if they want.

Suggested accompaniment: flutes

*Save the ends, they can be used to make asparagus soup. Just strain the asparagus pieces and you will have a lovely soup.

Fish Fillets with Curry-Tomatosauce

We all have to diet every now and then. It helps to have happy, busy lives and to get some exercise. Believing in the healthy body’s wisdom, that you want is what you need, we seek variety and practice moderation, eat less and enjoy it more than when we were younger. I find that fish is the best type of food for dieting and, lucky me, I live in a little fishing village. We eats lots of fish in the summer and really don’t feel the need for hot, heavy dishes. This one is one of my favorite dishes. It has only 178 calories,

Fish Fillets with Curry-tomatsauce

Serves 4

Curry-tomatosauce:

1 tbs. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 can of tomatoes

salt and pepper

2 tsp. tomatopure

1 tbs. parsley, fint hakket

Fish:

4 fish fillets (all kinds of flad fish can be used) 4½ oz./125 grams each

1 small onion

1 clove garlic

salt and pepper

6 tbsp. fish bouillon

Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C.

To make sauce, heat oil in a large casserole and cook garlic 30 seconds. Sprinkle curry over and cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and let simmer 10 minutes. Add tomat pure and blend in a food processor or blender. Pour back into casserole and set aside.

To make fish, bush a pan with oil. Place onions and garlic on the bottom of the pan. Fold fish fillets and place them in the pan, sprinkle salt and pepper over. Pour fish bouillon into the pan and cover with aluminium folie. Bake fillets until they are fast, about 6-9 minutes. Remove fish from the pan and si curry-tomatsauce. Bring sauce to boil and reduce, about 2-3 minutes. Come parsley in the sauce. Pour sauce over the fish and garnish with more parsley.

Suggested accompaniment: New baby potatoes and steamed squash.

Rhubarb Drink

Rhubarb is a vegetable and not a fruit, but we use it is the sweet kitchen. It can be used to make all kinds of desserts such as cakes, trifli, pies, jams and chutney. It can also be made into a soup and even drinks. This rhubarb drink can be made under an hour. Just strain it and add gin, white wine or maybe just water. Add a few ice cubes and you are ready to sit outside enjoying a late afternoon drink.

Rhubarb Drink

make 4 quarts/4 liters

2 lbs./910 grams rhubarb

8 oz./240 cane sukker (all rhubarb can varier, so check to see if the rhubarb is too sour. Add more sugar if necessary while it is cooling off.

4 quarts/liters

½ cup/2 dl apple cider vinegar

To make, cut of top and bottom of rhubarb – take care to not cut much of the bottom of rhubarb because the most concentration taste is there. Rense and cut into large pieces. Place them in a large pot together with sugar, water and vinegar. Bring the pot to boiling, turn down and let simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 20-25 minutes. Strain and pour the drink into a bottle. Place in the refrigerator. It will keep for 1-2 weeks.

To serve, add more water or maybe a little white wine, gin and a slice of lemon.

Veal Fricassee with Spring Vegetables

Spring has arrived along with the long summer nights. Now the days are longer than the nights. The brown and gray fields are starting to change colors. The rapeseed blossoms are amazingly yellow. New and fresh vegetables are popping up at the markets. The animals that have been indoors all winter are again appearing in the field almost jumping for joy with the sight of all the green grass. Asparagus, one of the most popular vegetables Denmark is now appearing on every menu, and it is considered a special treat. Confirmations, weddings, and christenings are taking place all over the country and asparagus are almost always included in the celebrations. Whenever the sun is shining, the Danes are outside soaking it up. Cafes and restaurants set tables and chairs out on the sidewalks, and the Danes are stopping to enjoy lunch or maybe just a cup of coffee with pastry.   

Veal Fricassee with Spring Vegetables

(Kalvefrikasse med Nye Grønsager)

Serves 6-8

2 lb. (910 g or 1 kilo) veal, shoulder or brisket

3 tsp. salt per quart of water

Bouquet garni:

1½ lb.(700 g) new carrots, leave them whole if they are small, if not, slice in 1½ (3.75 cm) inches

3 leeks, washed thoroughly to remove grit and chopped  

1 cauliflower, cut into small florets

½ lb. (230 g) shelled peas

Bouquet garni:

1 leek top (only the green leaves)

2 sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs parsley

string to tie bouquet garni

Sauce:

2 cups (16 fl. oz.)  light cream

5 tbsp. cornstarch

2 cups (½ quart) stock

salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnish:

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

To make veal, put meat in a pot and pour enough water just to cover. Bring to a boil and skim the broth. Add salt and bouquet garni to pot. Cover and simmer over low heat, about 1½ hours. Transfer meat to a plate and remove bones. Cut or shred meat into bite-size pieces and set aside

To make vegetables, remove bouquet garni and cook carrots, leeks and cauliflower 2-3 minutes in cooking liquid. Transfer vegetables to a plate and strain 4 cups (1 quart) of liquid into a large pot. Stir cornstarch into the cream and pour into pot with cooking broth. Boil broth 2 minutes. Add carrots, cauliflower, and peas and bring to boiling. Add meat, season with salt and pepper.

To serve, arrange fricassee on a hot platter or large bowl. Sprinkle with parsley.

Suggested accompaniment: Boiled new potatoes.    

Catfish Cheeks with Asparagus and Linguine

Catfish has got to be the most ugly fish there is, but it sure does taste good. They taste like scallops and are considered a delicacy in Denmark. They cost less than scallops, although still expensive, and I prefer them to scallops. Here is recipe that is quick and easy and tastes wonderful. If you can’t get them, you can use other fast fish or even the cheeks of another fish.

Catfish Cheeks with Asparges and Linguine

Serves 4

linguine or very thin pasta ( used black linguine)

1 lb./455 grams catfish cheeks or another firm fisk without bones (large shrimps are also good)

2 tbsp. flour

2 tbsp. sesame oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 red pepper, cut into strips

4 oz./120 grams, cut into smaller pieces

1 cup/2 dl fish bouillon

6 oz./180 grams bean sprouts

2 tsp. fish sauce

1-2 drops hot chilesauce

2 tsp. cornstarch stirred with 1 tbsp. water

To make pasta, follow the instructions on the package.

To make fish, remove the blue membrane of the cheeks or cut larger pieces of fish into smaller pieces. Dredge fish in flour combined with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large frying pan and fry fish 2-3 minutes. Take them up and still aside. Com more oil on the frying pan and fry onions and garlic 1 minute. Add pepper and asparagus and fry 4 minutes. Add bouillon, sprouts, fish sauce and chili sauce to pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir cornstarch mixture on to the pan and cook 1 minute.

To serve, divide pasta on four plates and pour fish mixture over.

Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild garlic or ramsons are often called the garlic of the North. They grow wild in forrest and in many backyards, mine included. Starting in April, they can be plukked and kept fresh in a plastic bag with a few drops of water in the refrigerator up to a week. They taste good in salads, cooked warm potatoes and in soups. This pesto can be eaten with all kinds of potatoes, baked root vegetables, fish, meat and chicken.

Ramson Pesto (wild garlic pesto)

20 ramsons leaves

1 bunch of parsley

1 oz./30 grams fresh white bread without crust

1½ oz./50 grams hazelsnuts

1 cup/2 dl rapeseed oil

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tsp. sugar

To make pesto, rense urter and dele them in mindre pieces. Come ramsons, parsley, bread, hazelnuts and rapeseed oil in a blender and blend. Season with kosher salt, pepper and sugar

Fillet of Veal with Leeks and Shrimps in Salad Sauce

Here is delicious and easy recipe for guests. It can be done over two days, and just cook it just before the guests arrive. The salad sauce can be made the day before and well as preparing the fillet the day before. On the day the guests come, clean the potatoes and vegetable in the morning. When warming the salad sauce, be careful, it must not boil and set the meat in the oven. It takes just minutes to make the vegetables.

Fillet of Veal with Leek and Shrimps in Salad Sauce

Serves 8

1.2 kilo/2½ lbs. veal fillet in on piece, trimmed

2 oz./60 grams butter

1 large leek, trimmed, split and washed thoroughly to remove grit, and sliced

1 lb./455 grams shelled shrimps

salt and pepper

Salad Sauce:

4 fl. oz./½ cup white wine vinegar

4 fl. oz./½ cup white wine

2½ pints/3 cups unsalted veal or chicken stock

8 fl. oz./1 cup heavy cream

2 large Bibb lettuces, cored and washed

3 oz./90 grams sour cream

1 tbso, Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.

To make veal fillet, brown butter and sear meat until it is sligthly browned on all sides. Remove from heat and let cool.

Blanch leeks rings 60 seconds in boiling water. Cook the leeks rings together with the shrimps in the same butter as the fillet – about 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. With a sharp knife, cut a slit along the side of the leeks rings to make a pocket in the centre. Stuff meat with leek rings and shrimps and secure stuffing by wrapping string around the meat*.

Place meat in a shallow oven pan and roast the meat 20-30 minutes depending on its thickness. Remove meat from the oven and wrap it in foil. Let it rest 10-15 minutes before cutting the meat into thick slices.

To make salad sauce, reduce vinegar over high heat to half. Add wine and reduce this mixture to 1 tbsp. Be careful, it doesn’t until the mixture is gone. Pour in stock and cook until it is reduced to about 12 oz./1½ cups. Add cream. Blanch one of the lettuces in a blender or food processor with a little of the sauce, add the sour cream and run blender/food processor 2-3 minutes. Add this mixture to the rest of the sauce together with mustard. Season with salt and pepper.

Warm the sauce very carefully, it must not boil.

Suggested accompaniments: Cooked porre and carrots, new baby potatoes.

*Loop the free end of a ball of string round the end of the meat and tie a knot. Without cutting the string, make successive loops at 1½ Inch/3 cm intervals along the meat; tighten each loop by pulling the string as you go. Secure by bringing the string under the entire length of the joint and knotting the free end.

Rhubard Trifle with Hazelnuts and White Chocolate


Rhubard trifle is always popular with the adults in the family and with the addition of crushed hazelnuts and white chocolate even small children will eat severval portions if the compote is sweet enough. When working with rhubarb, one can never trust the recipe because the sugar in rhubarb varies from sort to sort, what time of the year it is, what country it comes from and even from plant to plant. So, remember to taste the rhubarb compote while making it. And remember, the cooked fruit will be  more sour when it has cooled. When trimming the rhubard, be sure not to cut to much off from the bottom of the rhubarb stalks because that is where the largest concentration of rhubarb taste is best.   

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 Rhubarb trifle with hazelsnuts and white chocolate  

 Serves 10

Layer cake:

3 eggs

3 oz. sugar

4 oz. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

Rhubarb compote:

1 lb. rhubarb, cut into smaller pieces

6 – 8 oz. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla powder

Creme filling:

2 oz. white chocolate, grated

2 oz. hazelnuts, crushed

2 cups heavy cream

Garnish:

1 stalk rhubarb

2 tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F-

To make the layer cake, whisk eggs with sugar until fluffy. Fold flour and baking powder into the egg mixture.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large rimmed baking sheet. Place a dinner plate on  paper and using a pencil, trace two circles. Remove plate and place 2 spoonfuls of cake mixture in the middle of each circle. Spred mixture evenly within the traced lines. Leave a little room for the mixture to expand a little. Bake the cake mixture 5-6 minutes. Let the cake cool. Remove the cake and place the remaining cake mixture on the paper. Bake 5-6 minutes. Let cake cool.       

To make the compote, cook a syrup with water and sugar. Add rhubarb pieces and cook 6 – 8 minutes over very low heat. Remove from heat and transfer rhubarb pieces carefully to a bowl. Reduce the syrup slightly by cooking it for a few minutes before pouring it over the rhubarb. Let the rhubarb cool completly.

To make the cream, whip the heavy cream. Divide cream into two portions and set one portion aside. Add  half of the white chocolate and half of the hazelnuts to one portion of the whipped cream before adding the cooled rhubarb.

To assemble the trifle, place one of the cake layers in a large bowl. You may have to trim the cake a little in order for it to fit into the bowl. Spoon half of the rhubarb mixture over the cake layer and place another layer of cake over and spoon the remaining rhubarb mixture. Place the last layer of cake on top of the rhubarb cream.  Spead the remaining whipped cream over the cake layer. Sprinkle with crushed hazelnuts and grated chocolate. Using a patato peeler, cut strips of raw rhubarb and dredge with sugar. Place them on top of the trifle.   

Potato Salad with Hot Smoked Salmon and Lemon Mayonnaise

The weather has been nice here in Denmark and I made my favorite summer salad with hot smoked salmon. New potatoes are showing up in the markets (unfortunately not Danish just yet) from Spain and ramsons are popping up in the garden. Ramsons have a garlicky, green favor and can be found in the forest, fields and my garden growing wild in the early spring til the middle of June. The can also be found be found in farmers markets ane even some supermarkets. Hot smoked salmon may be hard to find in other countries, but hot smoked trout or even cooked salmon can also be used.


Potato Salad with Hot Smoked Trout and Lemon Mayonnaise

4 lunch servings

Dressing:

3 oz. vegetable oil

2 oz. lemon juice

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

½ cup chopped parsley

½ cup ramsons or chives, finely chopped

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 stalk celery, diced

1 tbsp. capers

Salad:

1 lb. new baby potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled

a hand full of rocket( arugula)

8 oz. smoked rainbow trout or hot smoked/cooked salmon*, skin and bones removed

Lemon mayonnaise:

1 egg yolk

1½ oz. lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3½ oz. rapeseed/corn oil

To make dressing, place oil, lemon juice, vinegar, ramsons/chives, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until combined. Stir in parsley, celery and capers.

To make salad, cook potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender. Drain and allow to cool 5 minutes before slicing. Add potatoes to dressing while still warm. Stir to combine.

To make lemon mayonnaise, place egg yolk, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper in food processor. Process until blended. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream and process until emulsified. 

To serve, place arugula on the bottom of four plates, divide salad over and, top with flaked hot smoked salmon/trout and drizzle with lemon mayonnaise.

Lamb with Lemon-Egg Sauce

If you ate lamb on one of the days of Easter and have some leftover, this recipe is good and different. It is made with egg and citron and can be served for guest or just for yourself. I wrote some years ago, that Christians didn’t eat eggs during lent, and now that it is Easter, they could eat all the eggs we want. The chickens never knew that people couldn’t eat eggs during lent, so they kept laying them. People hard boiled them and saved them for the time around Easter. They painted them and children had Easter egg hunts. Now, of course, we eat eggs all year long, but especially at Easter.

By the way, hope you are having a good Easter.

Lamb with Lemon-Egg Sauce

Serves 4

a portion of grilled or kogt lamb cut into long strips

1 tbsp. butter

Sauce:

1 cup white wine

2½ tbsp. cornstarch

½ cup/1 dl heavy cream

3 egg yolks

1-2 tsp. lemon juice, more if you like, but be careful, not too much

Garnish: grated lemon peel

To make lamb, warm lamb in melted butter a few minutes and set aside.

To make sauce, come the wine in the pan and heat it to the point of boiling. Add heavy cream. Combine cornstarch with a little water and lemon juice and stir into the wine. Place egg yolks in a bowl and stir a spoonful or two of the hot wine mixture and stir. Come egg mixture back into the wine sauce and heat while stirring. Do not let it boil. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place a few strips of lamb on warmed plates and pour sauce over. Garnish with lemon peel.

Suggested accompaniment: Boiled potatoes or ris.

Boning a Leg of Lamb

To butterfly a leg of lamb means to bone it so the meat may be spread out in one large piece so you can roast it. It cooks in half the time of a leg of lamb with a bone and makes the carving easy. To prepare the leg of lamb, cut off as much membrane as you can and it is ready to bone. I think the fat should stay as it will melt while it is being roasted. A whole leg of lamb contains the hipbone and the shank bone from the knee to the ankle at the small end. All the boning takes place on the underside of the main leg, not on top. Most smaller legs of lamb have the hipbone removed, leaving the shank bone at the smaller end of the leg. Cut the meat from the sides of the bone and under it, and proceed up to the knee joint. Cut around the main leg bone thus exposing the knee joint and you will free the leg and shank bone in one piece. Cut out the white cartilaginous disk that is the kneecap, as well as chunks of interior fat. Lay the meat out, boned surface up, on your work surface, and you will see that it forms two large lobes. For even cooking, slash the lobes in 2-3 places about 1 inch½ /4 cm deep; otherwise the thick pieces of meat will take longer to cook than the rest. Now sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread a filling of your choice leaving a 1 inch border. Roll the lamb into a tight cylinder. Tie roast securely with kitchen twine i ½ inch intervals. Loop the free end of a ball of string round the end of the meat and tie a knot. Without cutting the string, make successive loops at 1½ inchs/4 cm intervals along the meat; tighten each loop by pulling the string as you go. Secure the lamb by bringing the string under the entire length of the meat and knotting the free end. Brush with oil and roast pork in a preheated oven 375°F/190° until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of loin reads 145 °F/63°C .


Tartlets


Easter is the historic day of Jesus’ resurrection but why the name Easter? Is it because of a goddess named Eostre, who represents spring and fertility.  The Danes have many free days around Easter and we invite friends and family for a lunch or a nice dinner. I will be serving Tartlets with lobster tails and white asparagus, a Danish classic dish. Tartlet is French and means little tart. Tartlets have been popular in Denmark as well as the rest of Europe since around 1700. They still are! Grown ups and children alike love these little tarts. I have made them before, but these are extra special. They are made with lobster tails and white asparagus.

Tartlets with Creamed Lobster Tails and White Asparagus

serves 5-6

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. flour

1 cup (8 fl. oz.) of asparagus water from the jar of asparagus or 1 cup (8 fl. oz.) chicken bouillon

1 cup (8 fl. oz.) heavy cream

1 egg yolk

8 oz. (200 g) lobster tails

8 oz. (200 g) asparagus from a jar, cut into smaller pieces

10 tartlets*

Garnish: parsley, cress or dill

To make filling, melt butter over medium heat, stir in the flour and add the asparagus water a little at a time, stirring all the time. Add cream a little at a time, stirring constantly. Add a little hot broth to egg yolk and then pour mixture back into broth. Do not let sauce boil. Add lobster tails and asparagus to the sauce and warm a few minutes.

To assemble, warm tartlets after instructions on the package. Place a large spoonful of filling in each tartlet and garnish with parsley, cress or dill.

*If tartlets cannot be found in all countries, or if you wish to make them yourself, here is a recipe for them.

6 oz. (l75 grams) flour

3 oz. (90 grams) butter

1 egg

To make tartlets, sift flour into a mixing bowl. Add butter and rub it into flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg (maybe a little cold water) and form a dough. Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface until smooth; do not overwork dough or it will become oily, and the baked pastry will be tough.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (6 mm.)  Cut out 12 circles with a glass and use them to line a 2½ inch (6.25 cm) deep muffin tin. Prick insides with a fork, chill tartlet cases for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Arrange tartlet cases on a baking sheet with the bottoms up and bake 5 minutes.