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.


Easter Ham

Like most Christian countries, the Danes celebrate Easter with lamb, chicken and Easter eggs. In Spring, dawns mark the beginning of the days that will outlast the nights. At Easter all the small children in Denmark are busy writing letters to their families called “Gækkebrev” and are translated to a letter with a snowdrop in it. Using a scissor and piece of paper, the children cut a decorative pattern  and write a little poem on it. If the person who receives the letter can’t guess who sent the letter, they are supposed to give the children a candy Easter egg. Of course, the grandparents and parents can guess who sent them, but they always act like they can’t. These “gækkebrev” are a Danish invention and date back to the 1600 when people send letters to each asking them to solve a puzzle. Many people believe that Hans Christian Andersen was the founder of this tradition, as his papercuts were as fantastic as his fairy tales, but he was not born until 1805 and the first gækkebrev dates back to 1770.

Apricot Glacanzed Easter Ham 

Serves 10-12

3-4 kilos//6-8 lb. lightly salted, smoked ham

for the glaze:

5 oz./150 g brown sugar

1 can apricots (13 oz./410)

1 tsk. mustard

1 tsp. lemon juice

20 whole juniper berries

Garnish; parsley

To make the ham, dry  ham with a paper towel. Insert a thermometer at the thickest place. Place ham in a cold oven and bake it, until the thermometer shows 65-70 °C (  150-158° F) 2-2½ hours.

Remove the thermometer and increase the temperature to 225°C 425°F. Skin the ham, leaving the fat on. Cut fat in a cross-hatch pattern without cutting into the meat. Press juniper berries into the fat. Mix brown sugar and mustard. Puré 6 of the halverede apricot i en blender and mix with the sugar/mustard mixture. Spred over the ham. Return the ham to the oven and bake 10-l5 minutes until slightly browned. Be careful not to burn the ham. Let the ham rest in the oven 10 minutes 10 minutes before serving.

Warm the left-over apricots their own juice.

Suggested accompaniment: new baby potatoes

Grilled Chicken Salad with Tomato and Lemon

My husband and I grilled for the first time today. It is still cold here in Denmark, but like most Danes, we couldn’t wait for the grilling season to begin. We ate our dinner indoors. When I first came to Denmark some 50 years ago, nobody was grilling. It took several years for the Danes to start grilling and now you can’t stop them. Most people have 1 or 2 grills. We have 3 grills and actually grill all year around. We even grill our Thanksgiving turkey outdoor – sometimes in the snow. I have used arugula/rocket salad in this recipe, but you can use Bibb lettuce, butter lettuce or a mixture of greens. When I came to Denmark 50 years ago, the Danes only ate butter lettuce. When prince Henrik married the Danish princess Margrethe, now the Queen of Denmark, he bought arugula ,rocket salad seeds with him to Denmark and planted them in the palace graden. Thirty years ago, when one of our best known chefs in Denmark bought an arugula/rocket plant home with him from Turkey, the Danish Gardners laughed at him. It took years for the Danes to import arugula/rocket and for Danish Garners to grow the plant, but it is now to be found everywhere and is very popular.

Grilled Chicken Salad med Tomato and Lemon

Serves 4

1 lb./455 g chicken breasts

a portion of mixed green

4 tomatoes

1 tsp. grated rind

1-2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. olive oil

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat gas grill.

To make salad, cut chicken into 2 x 2 inch/5×5 cm. Rense salad, pat dry and arrange on 4 plates. Rense tomatoes and cut them in smaller pieces and place on top of the salad. Whip a dressing of grated lemon, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil and pour over salad.

Brush the chicken pieces with oil and set them on 8 grill spear. Grill 5-6 minutes on each side. Arrange two grill spears on each plate.

Suggested accompaniment:baguettes

Salad with Raspberries and Feta

It is now possible to get fruit and berries all year. And they are getting cheaper all the time. I got some lovely raspberries at the supermarket today and made this lovely salad for dinner. Taste like Spring and makes us look even more forward to Summer. It can be used both as an appetizer and taste good to any kind of meat. However, I think chicken fits very well with salad.

Salad with Raspberries, Feta and Walnuts

Serves 4

1 portion of mixed greens

1 red onion, slice in thin rounds

3 oz./90 g raspberries

10-12 walnuts

2 oz./60 grams feta

Dressing:

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbs. sherry vinagar, maybe even raspberry

2 tsp. honey

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

To make salad, rinse the greens and place them in a large bowl. Rinse and pat dry the raspberries. Whip oil, vinagar, honey and pepper together and pour over the salad. Sprinkle with feta and walnuts.

Apricot Souffle

The first time I ate a souffle at a friends house, I was amazed at how easily she worked. While we were eating the main course, she rose from the table, taking the gravy bowl with her. I heard her whipping egg whites with an electric mixer, the oven door shut without a bang and a few minutes later she appeared with more warm sauce. While we finished our main course, the oven’s timer rang in the kitchen. My friend rose very calmly, walked to the kitchen and returned with a beautiful souffle. Within minutes we were enjoying a nice peach souffle. Most people become nervous at the thought of making a souffle. And yes, many are complicated and need a lot of planning. Here are some tricks on how to make and serve a souffle while entertaining guests. The eggs, you will achieve the fullest volume with fresh eggs. They are slightly acidic and it helps to stabilize protein. As eggs age, they slowly become more alkaline, which makes their protein less stable.

Room temperature eggs will whip easier, although cold eggs are easier to separate from the yolks. So, separate your eggs while they are still cold and then allow the whites to come to room temperature before whipping. If there is any amount of yolk in the whites, they will not whip.
Be very careful when you separate the eggs. Any yolk (or other fat, oil, or grease) that makes its way into the whites will keep the whites from whipping up as big and fluffy as possible. When separating more than a few eggs, consider using the three-bowl method: one bowl to crack the egg into, one to put the whites in, and one to put the yolks in. That way the accumulated whites aren’t contaminated by yolk if you accidentally break one.
Work as much air into the mix as possible. If using electric beaters or a standing mixer,  medium speed beats the egg whites while also letting you monitor their progress sufficiently.

Apricot Souffle

Serves 4

Preheat oven to 400°F.

a can of abricots

2 egg whites

3 oz./1 dl sugar

4 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

To make souffle, purér apricots in food processor or blender. Pisk egg whites very stiff and add sugar a little at a time. Combine egg whites with apricots and pour into 4 butter forms. Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar and bag 10 minutes.

Serve souffles immediately.

Cooking with Children

I am all for encouraging children to work productively with their hands. They learn to handle and care for equipment with respect. It is good to give them knives, for instance, as early as you dare. A knife is a tool, not a toy. A sharp, clean knife is safter to use than a dull, rusty one -easier too. A five year old will discover that for himself as you teach him to slice hard-boiled eggs neatly. Talk to your children when you plan menus. Work together at the kitchen counter and let them arrange platters. Nothing gives them more pleasure than helping with the dinner.

Rituals. like clean hands and clean apron before setting to work, the precision leveling off a cupful of flour, breaking an egg into a cup and not spilling it, has such value to a child-pride and making something. Where else kan they be so easily obtained with cooking.

One of the first thing I made with my grandchildren was pancakes, of course, American pancakes.

American Buttermilk Pancakes

Serves 6

2 cups/285 grams flour

4 tbsp. sugar

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

6 tbsp. oil

1 1/4 cup/2½ dl buttermilk

1 cup/2 dl milk

2 eggs

butter for frying

To make pancakes, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Pisk oil, buttermilk, milk, and egg in another bowl. Combine the two bowls and stir.

To fry pancakes, heat a frying pan over medium heat and come a small knob of butter. Pour a ½ cup/1 dl batter onto the pan and vip the pan so that the pancake is evenly distributed. They should be thicker than Danish crepes. When the surface is filled with a small bubbles, flip the pancake and finish the pancake. If it is too dark, the heat is to high, and if it is too light, turn the heat up.

Server warm with ahorn sirup or jam.


Shrimps with Two Sauces

My family and I love shrimps, all kinds, and we eat a lot of them with good conscience. They are a good source of protein, and have many minerals and vitamins-including D-vitamins. You can eat lots of them without being punished by the bathroom scales. If you buy them frossen, be sure and thaw them in the refrigerator 4-5 hours before preparing them. If you buy them with whole, you will need to de-shell them. Start by holding the middle of the shrimp with one hand and pull the head off. Then pull the tail off. Remove the middle of the scales together with any roe. The recipe that follows may not be calorie friendly, but it sure taste good.


CRISPY BEER BATTERED SHRIMP

1 dozen fresh or frozen shrimps, shelled and deveined.

Batter 
1 cup/2dl flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

4 tbsp. milk

1/2 tbsp. rapeseed oil or olive oil

Pinch of salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbsp. melted butter

1 cup/ 2 dl warm beer

vegetable oil for frying

To make batter, combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Whisk eggs, butter and beer into the flour mixture.

To make shrimps, if using frozen shrimps, defrost them. De-shell and devin then pat dry with kitchen paper.

Heat the oil in a large pot. Dip shrimps in batter og drop them into the hot oil 3-4 at a time. Frying time can variere alt after how big they are -2-3 minutes. Remove clumps of dej in the oil as you go.

Garlic Mayonnaise

2 fresh yolks or 1 whole egg**

4 tsp. apple cider vinegar

¼ tsp. salt

pinch of freshly ground white pepper

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup/2 dl of rapeseed/corn oil

½ cup/1 dl sliced spring onions and 1 minced garlic clove

Hot Sauce with Horseradish

½ cup/1 dl tomato puré

½ cup/1 dl chilisauce

2 tbsp. prepared horseradish

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

½ tsp. salt

pepper

2-3 drops hot sauce after taste

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Place in the refrigerator indtil it should be used.

:To make shrimps, if using frozen prawns, defrost them. De-shell and devein then pat dry with some kitchen paper.


Potato Salad with Rapeseed Mayonnaise


Rapeseed oil is often called the oil of the North. It is one of healthiest oils there is with a high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as omega 3, 6, 9. Rapeseed oil has 6 times as many healthy nutrients than olive oil. Cold pressed rapeseed oil is also better  because it is made without heating the rapeseed up and therefore preserves all of vitamins and antixidants. It is made from hulled  rapeseeds and tastes of nuts and a litle of grass. It has a beautiful golden color and can be used in dressings, mayonnaise, marinades and baking. It can also be used to saute or fry in if the temperature is not too high.

Homemade mayonnaise is always best, especially if the mayonnaise is made with rapeseed oil. and you will get the most beautiful color of yellow.

If you do use store bought mayonnaise, be sure it is a good one. If the salad is to be eaten the same day, crème fraiche or low-fat sour cream, yoghurt, or a similar sour-milk product can be used to reduce the calories. Be aware that low-fat ingredients in mayonnaise makes salads watery and loose if it stands too long.

Potato Salad with Rapeseed Mayonnaise

Be sure that all of the ingredients have room temperature and add the oil very slowly in a thin stream. A food processor is a great tool for making mayonnaise.

Makes 2 cups

2 fresh yolks or 1 whole egg*

4 teaspoon vinegar

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

¼ tsp. salt

Pinch of freshly ground white pepper

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup of corn/rapeseed oil**

Combine the egg yolks/white, vinegar, mustard, salt, white pepper and lemon juice. Process until blended. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream and process until emulsified. 

*mayonnaise can be made with both yolks and whites of an egg. It will be lighter and not quite so rich in taste.

POTATO SALAD WITH RAPESEED MAYONNAISE

6 large, cooked, cold potatoes, diced

3 hard boiled eggs, chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large red pepper, diced (save a few stribes to garnish the salad with)

1½ cups/3 dl rapeseed mayonnaise

To make salad, combine potatoes, egg, onion, celery, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour the mayonnaise over and mix carefully. Place salad in the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.

Chicken Salad with Oranges and Pecans

Putting oranges in a salad is a good way to incorporate fruit into our diet. It is high season for citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruits, lemon and limes here in Denmark. They are, however, the most dependable year around sources of C-vitamin. Just one a day fulfils your daily requirement for your daily requirement of this vitamin – 30 mg.

Chicken Salad with Oranges and Pecans

Serves 4

1 tsp. thyme

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. salt

freshly ground pepper

1 chicken bryst, with skin, cut into thin strips

2 tbsp. rapeseed oil or en neutral oil

1 head butter lettuce, or another lettuce of your choice

3 oz./90 grams mushrooms, sliced in smaller pieces

1 oz./30 grams pecans or walnuts

1 orange, peeled and cut, into filleter

Dressing:

1 oz./30 grams, pecans or walnuts, crushed

2 tbsp. walnut oil or a neutral oil

2 tbsp. red wine vinagar

1 tsp. salt

fresh ground pepper

To make chicken, combine thyme, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Dredge chicken strips in this mixture. Warm oil in a frying pan and fry chicken strips 2-3 minutes. Rinse lettuce and tear into smaller pieces. Bland chicken strips, mushrooms, oranges and pecans with salat in a bowl.

To make dressing, combine all ingredients and pour over salad just before serving.

Dark and White Chocolate Mousse with Fruit

Chocolade mousse is always a popular dessert, as well as white chocolate mousse. Why not serve both to your guests. It is not hard to make this attractive serving, but it may take a little more time than usual. Using a water bath, or bain-marie, means to place an ingredient, such as chocolate, in a pan, bowl, or baking dish in water. It is a way to melt chocolate without exposing it to direct heat, which might cause it to burn or separate. To make a water bath, fill a pot with a few inches of hot water and place a container, here a bowl, inside the pot and cook over very low heat to keep water warm

Dark and White Chocolate Mousse

Serves 6

3 0z./90 grams White Chocolate

3 egg yolks

1 tbsp. sugar

3/4 cup/1½ dl heavy cream

2 egg whites

Dark Chocolate Mousse

3oz./90 grams dark chocolate

3 egg yolks

1 tbsp. sugar

2 egg whites

3/4 cup/1½ heavy cream

Garnish: berries, such as blackberries, raspberries

To make white mousse, chop white chocolate, place in bowl, and melt over a water bath*. Stir egg yolks and sugar i. Whip heavy cream and egg white separately. Fold first the whipped cream and after that, come the whipped egg whites in the mousse. Fill a pastry bag with the white mousse.

Place 6 pretty glasses (not too big) on a egg carton. They should be almost lying down. Pipe the mousse into the glasses so that they are almost filled up. Let dem sit on the egg karton and place them in the refrigerator.

To make dark mousse, repeat with chocolate mousse as white mousse. Place chocolate mousse in a pastry bag and when the white mousse is stiff, after 2 hours, place them upright and pipe the dark mousse over the white mousse. Place glasses in the refrigerator. After two hours, take them out of the refrigerator and garnish with berries or if you like whipped cream.

Oysters Soup with Spinach

We love oysters in our family and serve them often to our guests. We are always looking for new ways. This one is quick and easy and can be made in the last minute.

Oyster Soup with Spinach

Serves 6

18 oyster

18 large spinach leaves

½ cup/1 dl white wine

1 qt /liter fish fond

3 tbsp. Pernod

3 large egg yolks

1½/3 dl heavy cream

salt

Cayenne pepper

Garnish:

10 basil leaves

To make soup, with an oyster knife, carefully open the oysters, pouring the liquor into a cup as you shuck. Bring a pot water to boil and blanch spinach leaves. Take them up and wrap each leaf around an oyster.

In another pot bring wine to boil and cook oysters with spinach 1 minute. Take them up and set aside. Come oyster juices, and Pernod i vinen let simmer 5 minutes. I a lille bowl, pisk egg yolks and cream and pisk ½ cup/1 dl of the warm soup into the egg mixture. Pour this mixture back into the soup and reduce the heat. It must not boil. Season with salt and cayenne pepper.

To serve, divide soup in 6 bouillon cups or small bowls and place 3 oysters in each bowl. Sprinkle basil leaves that have been chopped. Serve with a little bread.

Tip The soup can be made in the morning and reheated when you serve it. Be careful not to let it boil. However, the oysters should be poached just before serving.

Spinach Pancakes with Danish Caviar /lumpfish roe, Sour Cream and Red Onions


Lumpfish roe are the eggs of the Lumpfish and can be found in Denmark and a few other countries. The Lumpfish itself can’t be eaten, but it’s roe is sold fresh in the fish shops of Denmark during the spring months and in jars over most of the world all year round. The season for fresh lumpfish roe is from March to May. Of course, other roe, such as real caviar from sturgeon (very expensive), salmon roe can also be used. I don’t like herring roe, but if you do, it is much cheaper than any of these roe.

It is often used as a first course served with toasted bread or blinis, sour cream, finely chopped red onions and lemon wedges. It is also used as a garnish for fish, such as fried plaice, and other sandwiches. Today I have made spinach pancakes for a nice change.

How to clean fresh roe, open the sac and press the roe out into a bowl. Remove the largest membranes. Pour cold water over and with an electric mixer, beat the roe. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Pour off the impurities that have floated to the surface. Repeat this process. Drain the roe and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add 1 cup/8 oz. finely chopped onion if the roe is to be served plain with toast and sour cream.

Spinach pancakes with Lumpfish roe, Sour Cream and Finely Chopped Red Onions

Pancakes with Spinach:

Approx. 12 pancakes

400 grams/approx. 1 lb. fresh spinach or 6 oz./180 frozen spinach

2 eggs

1½ cups (12 oz.)flour

¼ tsp. salt

2 cups (16 fl. oz.) milk

butter for frying

3-4 oz./90-120 g lumpfish roe, seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice

sour creme and finely chopped red onion, as much or as little as you like

lemon wedges

To make spinach pancakes, rense spinach and place in a large pot with a little water, and over high heat cook spinat until it has wilted. Cook a little more if there is water in the bottom of the pot. Add a little salt.

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Beat eggs and mix them with flour and a little milk. Whisk in remaining milk, beat until smooth. When the spinach is cool, chop it and add to the pancake mixture.

Melt butter and brush a little on the bottom of a small skillet, or a blinis pan.. Pour enough batter to thinly cover the bottom and cook the pancakes until underside is brown; turn and brown the other side. Repeat until all the batter is used. Place pancakes on a plate.

Serve the warm pancakes with lumpfish roe, sour cream and finely chopped red onions.

Grandmother’s Tosca Cake with Salt Karamel and Almonds

Danes like to bake and although it is Spring, it is still cold and raining a lot. This cake is quick and easy and taste wonderful. It is a modern version of an old classic cake.

Grandmother’s Tosca Cake with Salt Karamel

Serves 8

4 eggs

1 cup/240 g suger

1 cup/240 g flour

1 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. vanilla extract

8 oz./225 g melted butter

4 tbsp. heavy cream

Salt Karamel:

3 oz./90 g blanched, coarsely chopped almonds

1½ oz./ 45 g butter

½ cup/3 oz. suger

½ cup/3 oz. syrup

1 tbsp. flour

½ cup/3oz. heavy cream

½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 300°F.

To make cake, whisk eggs with sugar until smooth and fluffy. Combine flour, baking powder and vanilla extract and fold this mixture into the eggs/sugar together with melted butter. Add heavy cream and stir a few times. Pour cake batter into butter baking pan 8 x 12 inches/20 x 30 cm or two spring forms. Bake cake 20 minutes and take it out of the oven. (It won’t be finished.)

To make salt karamel, come all ingredients in a pot and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring all the time. Spread salt karamel over the unfinished cake and bake 20 minutes more. Sprinkle chopped almonds over the finished cake.

Cod with Mustard Sauce

Cod must be one of most popular fish in Denmark. Nutritionists recommend eating fish at least once week. With the immense variety of fish available at fish markets and supermarkets, this should be quite easy. However, because fresh seafood is quite perishable, its regional availability is often limited. If you cannot find the specific type of fish that a recipe calls for, substitute with a species that is similar in taste and texture.

Cod with Mustard Sauce

Serves 4

4 cod steaks or 3 lbs./1400 g fillet

water

1 tbsp. salt

4-5 whole peppercorns

2 bay leaves,

Fish Mustard Sauce 

1 oz. (30 g) butter

1 tbsp. flour

1½ cups (l2 fl.oz.) fish stock (water from cooking the fish)

Milk or cream

1 tbsp. fish mustard

salt and freshly ground pepper

Accompaniments: fish mustard sauce, chopped hard-boiled eggs, bacon, pickled beets and boiled potatoes.

Garnish: chopped parsley

To make fish, rinse fish under cold running water. Place in a pan large enough to accommodate the fish. Add enough water just to cover fish. Add salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Bring fish slowly to boil. Skim, and simmer fish gently for 2 minutes, and turn off the heat. Let the cod stand in the water 10-15 minutes. Remove fish with a slotted spoon and place on a warm dish.

To make fish mustard sauce, melt butter in a saucepan, stir in flour and add about 1½ cups fish stock. Add a little milk or cream, fish mustard and let the sauce simmer 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To make accompaniments, fry bacon crisp on a warm skillet and transfer to paper towels. Peel eggs and chop. Dice beets. Boil potatoes.

To serve, place cod on four warm plates. Crumble bacon and sprinkle over cod. Sprinkle egg and beets over cod. Serve with boiled new Potatoes sprinkled with parsley. Serve fish sauce in a separate bowl.

Buns with Cremé, Danish Fastelavnsbolle


It’s time for Fastelavn-Fat Tuesday in English this coming Sunday. Forty days before Easter, on  the eve of Lent, Danish children dress up in costumes. One traditional event is to hit a barrel filled with candy, apples and oranges. The tradition originated in Holland around the 15th century. In the Middle Ages, cats were superstitiously considered to be a symbol of evil, and instead of candy, a live cat was put inside the barrel. The children would then beat against the barrel until it fell apart, at which point the cat escaped and ran away. The idea was to chase away any evil spirits before spring planting. The Danes stopped this tradition around 1880 and nowadays the person who breaks open the barrel is the “Queen of Cats” and the last stick of wood is down, that person is the “King of Cats”. ” After beating on the barrel, the children go from house to house singing: “Fastelavn (Fat Tuesday) is my name, buns are what I want. If I don’t get buns, I’ll make trouble. Buns up, buns down, buns in my tummy. If I don’t get buns, I’ll make trouble.” Years ago, the children would get buns, but now people give them money. On this occasion, Danes of all ages eat custard or crème buns, locally called “fastelavnsboller”. Now mom and dads and grandmothers give the children Buns with Vanilla.

Buns with Creme and Jelly

1 portion pastry dough:

1 lb./455 grams flour

3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

1 oz. fresh yeast

1 cup milk/8 fl. oz.

1 egg

12 oz./360 grams butter

3 oz./90 grams butter

3 oz./90 grams sugar

1 portion vanilla crème:

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. flour

3/4 cup/6 fl. oz. milk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. confectionary sugar mixed with a few drops of warm water

jelly

Preheat  the oven to 425 F.

To make pastry dough, sift flour and mix with sugar and salt. Dissolve yeast in half of the milk. Add yeast, the rest of the milk and the beaten egg to the flour and sugar. Beat until smooth. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of ½ inch Spread small pieces of butter on 2/3 of the dough. The butter must have the same consistency as the dough; if it is too soft it will melt into the dough. Starting on the right, fold 1/3 of the dough over the middle part of the dough and then fold the left side over the dough. So now you have  three layer. Roll out the dough and fold again. Repeat three or four times. Leave in a cold place for 30 minutes.

To make butter filling, combine butter with sugar. Set aside.

To make vanilla crème, beat egg yolk with sugar, flour and milk. Cook over low heat while beating the whole time until thick. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract; then cool, stirring occasionally.

To make bun, roll out dough, spread with butter filling and cut into squares of 4 x 4 inches. Place  crème in the middle. Fold corner to center and press down. Place on a them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave in a cold place to rise for 15-20 minutes, then brush with egg white and bake 10 minutes.

When cool, spread  frosting on top and drop 1 tsp. of jelly in the center of half of the rolls leaving crème exposed in the other half of the rolls.

Potato Open-face Sandwich with Tomato and Bacon


It may seem strange to many who live outside of Scandinavian  to make a sandwich with cold potatoes. I know I certainly thought it was astonishing  the first time I saw a friend eat her potato sandwich at work. I assumed she was very poor and had nothing else to eat. How wrong could I be. Now I know that open-face sandwiches with potatoes are so wonderful and people eat them all the time. You can even order them at resaturants.  The classic potato sandwich is just with a little mayonnaise and freshly cut chives. Left-over potatoes are prefect. Be sure and take them out of the refrigerator a few hours before making them. Do not use old baked potatoes, the smaller the better.  When I fry bacon for breakfast, I always save some for my lunch. Here is a great, inexpensisve sandwich you can serve for yourself, but also for guests.

DSC_0175 (2)

Potato, bacon and tomato open-face sandwich

makes 4 sandwiches

4  small, cooked potatoes, (fingerling or new baby potatoes)

4 slices of buttered dark rye bread,

handfull salad leaves,

4 tbsp. mayonnaise

8 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled

1 tomato, cut into 8-12 wedges

To assemble,  peel potatoes if they are not already peeled and slice them in thin slices. Place slices on buttered bread covered with salad leaves. Place a spoonful of mayonnaise on top of thep otatoes, sprinkle crumbled bacon on top of the mayonnaise and garnish with tomato wedges.

Open-face Sandwich with Chicken with Curry Mayonnaise and Bacon


Poultry is always popular on an open-face sandwich. It is reasonably priced, widely available and sold in all kinds of cuts. Eating more chicken, which contains less fat than red meat, is a good solution to the fatty meat-dilemmas . Chicken has many of the same nutritional benefits as meat, In fact, chicken and turkey breast has more niacin/vitamin B3 than lean meat which improves cholesterol levels and lowers cardiovascular risks. Chicken breast is tremendously versatile and relatively easy to cook. The cheaper cuts such as thighs and drumstick which are present in whole cooked chicken have a more intense flavor than breast meat. Leftover duck is also good as an open-face sandwich. Turkey can be used instead of chicken. Left-over chicken or a purchased roast chicken can be used.

Chicken salad w aspargus musrooms jpeg_0086

Chicken with Curry Mayonnaise and Bacon

Makes 4

2-3 baked or cooked chicken breast with skin (left-over from the day before is fine), 4 slices of buttered white bread, 4 lettuce leaves, 4 tbsp. mayonnaise with 1 tbsp. curry, 4 slices of  fried bacon, ½ of a tomato cut in wedges Garnish: cress

To assemble, remove skin from chicken. Slice chicken in cubes and mix with mayonnaise and of curry. Place this mixture on a slice of bread covered with  a lettuce leaf. Arrange one or two slices of bacon on top of  chicken. Place a wedge of tomato on top and garnish with cress.

Smoked Salmon with Asparagus

This both an open-face sandwich you can enjoy with a glass of white wine at lunch or a popular appetizer at dinner parties. It should be served on sour dough bread or white bread. These past few days I have been writing a lot about Danish open-face sandwiches. These delicious sandwiches are eaten for lunch, late night snacks, as a part of a buffet and many of them can be served as appetizers at dinner parties. When asparagus is in season and if you are lucky enough to get ahold of  white asparagus, it  is  fantastic with smoked salmon. A few slices of smoked salmon, two freshly cooked asparagus with a drys of black pepper served on a slice of butter white bread and it just doesn’t get any better or easier. If you can’t get ahold of white asparagus, green asparagus can also be used. Fresh asparagus is preferred, but a jar of cooked asparagus can be used. Make sure they are patted dry. If all the water is not removed, it will ruin the sandwich.

Smoked Salmon w asparagus jpeg_0101 (2)

Smoked Salmon with Asparagus

Makes 4

8 fresh white asparagus,  4 slices of buttered sour dough or white bread, 8 slices of freshly smoked salmon

Garnish: freshly ground black pepper

To prepare  asparagus, remove  the skin of white asparagus just under the head and downwards with a vegetable peeler. Cut or break  off the hard part at the bottom of the asparagus. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the asparagus. Don’t overcrowd the pot; cook in batches if necessary, as you will want the water to return to boil as quickly as possible. Cook them 6-8 minutes depending on size. Transfer to a paper towel and gently pat dry.

To assemble, place 1-2 slices of salmon on each piece of buttered bread. Place 2 pieces of asparagus in the middle of salmon. Sprinkle with black pepper.

TIP: If serving as an appetizer, you may want to leave out the bread. However, it is not necessary, buy remember, it can be very filling.

on sour dough bread or white bread, but never on rye bread.

Veterinarian’s Evening Sandwich

To make this sandwich, you have to have some liver paté which I gave the recipe for the day before. This  sandwich is called Dyrlægens Natmad in Danish and is one of the few named Danish open-face sandwiches. A veterinarian who worked for the Danish king would stop by  a well-known restaurant in Denmark every evening  after he finished his day at the royal stables. He wanted this sandwich.  After placing liver pate on the buttered bread, thin slices of salted veal is placed on top of the liver pate. Then slices of jellied consommé (recipe follows) and then garnished with slices of red raw onions and cress is placed on top.  As you can see, the sandwich is quite large and can be very filling.  All you need is a little cheese to make a nice lunch.

veterinarians-evning-sandwich-jpeg_0122

First you must start a few days before and make the salted veal. Salted veal is vital part of the Veterinarian’s Evening sandwich, but can also be eaten warm with boiled potatoes and a vegetable or served cold on buttered bread with jellied consommé and thin slices of raw onions.

Salted Veal

2 lbs. rump veal, Brine: 7 oz. coarse salt, 3 tbsp. brown sugar for every 2 pints of water

To make veal, place meat in a bowl and measure amount of water needed to cover it. Dissolve salt and sugar in water and pour brine over meat. Refrigerate for 2-3 days. Place meat in a large pot and cover with fresh water. Simmer gently for 30-45 minutes. Now the meat can be served warm with boiled potatoes and a vegetable or salad. Or, chill the meat and serve it the next day on a sandwich.

The Veterinarian*s Evening Sandwich – makes 4

4 slices of buttered dark bread, 4 oz. liver pate (see the recipe above or December 2016) 4 slices of jellied consommé (recipe at bottom of page), 8 thin slices of salted veal

Garnish: 8-12 slices of raw red onions rings, cress or sprigs of dill

To assemble, place one thick slice of liver pate on each pieces of buttered bread, two or three slices of salted veal on top of pate and a strip of jellied consommé on top if meat. Garnish with rings of raw onions and cress or dill.

Jellied Consommé – makes 1½ cups

1½ cups of strong, clear consommé, 1 package (1 oz.) powdered gelatin,

To make, heat   consommé and sprinkle with powdered gelatin. When the gelatin is dissolved, pour into one large or several smaller molds. Refrigerate to thicken. To serve, loosen jellied consommé around the edge. Dip mold a second or two in boiling water and unmold jelled consommé. Slice in strips to serve. It can also be diced.