Scallops with Baked Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem Artichokes are also known as sunchokes. I made a soup a few weeks ago and now I am using them in dish together with scallops as an appetizer.

Scallops with Baked Jerusalem Artichokes

4 appetizer servings

12 scallops, side muscle removed

salt

4 large Jerusalem Artichokes

2 tbsp. oil

Vinaigrette:

½ cup/1 dl oil

2 tbsp. sukker

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

To make scallops, heat oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until oil begins to smoke. Season scallops with salt. pepper. Place them in the refrigerator. Sear until well browned, about 2 minutes. Turn; cook until just barely opaque in center, about 30 seconds longer. Set 3 scallops on a tooth pick so they can stand up on the plate.

Preheat oven to 300°F.

To make Jerusalem Artichokes, cut them into 5 piece each. Brush a little oil on them and sprinkle with salt. Bake them 25 minutes in the preheated ovnen.

To make vinaigrette, place oil, sukker and apple cider vinegar in a bowl and whisk until combined.

To serve, place Jerusalem Artichokes and scallops on 4 plates and pour vinaigrette over. Garnish with wood sorrel* or another herb.

*Wood sorrel are tender, sour leaves with a tart yellow (sometimes purple) flowers.

Suggested accompaniment: a crusty bread or flutes

To make the scallops, heat oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until oil begins to smoke. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear until well browned, about 2 minutes. Turn; cook until just barely opaque in center, about 30 seconds longer.

Spicy Carrot-Apple Soup with Fresh Mint

Carrots – like all root vegetables – thrive in a cold climate and in the Nordic countries. Carrots have lots of fiber, vitamins (especially C- vitamin) and minerals such as calcium and manganese. In these cold winter months, Danes eat lots of soups – and this soup gives hope for the spring with its bright orange color.

Spicy Carrot-Apple Soup with Fresh Mint

6 soup servings

2 tbsp. duck fat or rapeseed oil

1 large finely chopped onion

1½ lbs. /682 grams carrots, peeled, diced

3 cups chicken broth

1 large apple or two small, diced

2 tsp. chopped fresh ginger

1 cup fresh pressed apple juice

¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground allspice

kosher salt

Garnish:

fresh mint

To make soup, heat duck fat in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Add all the carrots, broth, ¾ of the diced apple and ginger; bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat; simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Puree soup in batches in food processor; return to pan. Mix in apple juice and spices. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle soup into 4 warmed bowls. Top with diced apple, and mint.

Chocolate Cake with Porter

Danes are a beer drinking nation. They drink more beer than wine and they even made food with beer – desserts too. A good porter is fantastic with a chocolate cake. The cake is made with porter and gives the cake a let bitter taste. Good for people who don’t like their cakes too sweet.

Chocolate Cake with Porter

8 dessert servings

5 oz ./150 g butter

5 oz./150 g chocolate

1 cup/60 grams flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup/30 grams cacao

3 eggs

½ cup /4 fl. oz. porter or another dark beer

Garnish: 2 cups heavy cream, whipped with 1-2 tbps. confectionery suger

3 oz./90 grams dark chocolate, shaved or cut with a sharp knife

Preheat oven to 350 °F.

To make cake, melt butter and chocolate in a pot. Bland flour, baking powder, vanilla extract and cacao in a bowl, pour butter/chocolate and stir until blended. Come eggs in and stir until blended. Add porter, stir a few times and pour into a buttered baking dish. Bake cake 25 minutes.

To serve, let cake cool completely before placing whipped cream and garnishing med shaved chocolate .

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Jerusalem artichokes, also called sunchokes, are the tubers of a variety of sunflower and taste a little like an artichoke. The brown outer skin hides a crisp white inside that tastes sweet and nutty. After peeling, it can be a bit tricky, but well worth the effort, it can be used raw in salads, cooked with potatoes and other winter root vegetables and made into mash or thick creamy soup, or used in gratins. It is originally from America but has been known in Europe since 1600th century. They should be kept in the refrigerator in a plastic bag and can keep for a month. The season in Denmark is from September to April.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Serves 4

10 oz./300 g Jerusalem Artichokes, peeled and cut in cubes

10 oz./300 g potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes

2 large onions cut in wedges

2 cloves garlic

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 qt./liter chicken stock

½ cup heavy cream

1 tsk salt and fresh ground pepper

Garnish: a good olive oil

To make soup, place artichoke, potato, onion and garlic in a large pot and sauté 2 minutes over medium heat. Add stock, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Blendes in a food processer. Come soup back into the pot and add cream, salt and pepper.

To serve, divide soup into 4 portions in warm soup bowls. Pour oil over and serve with crusty bread or flutes as an appetizer. If you would like the soup to be a main course, a nice piece of cooked cod can be placed in the middle of the soup and sprinkle with stegt bacons bits around the fisk.

Braised Duck Legs with Celery Root, Kohlrabi and Apple Mash

Yesterday, I talked about getting whole ducks on sale and cutting the legs and breast off and making two different dishes instead of just one. This is a nice comforting dish with celery root, kohlrabi and apple mask instead of mashed potatoes. It is always nice to have a large celery root and kohlrabi in the refrigerator. It seems like it can last forever. Well, maybe just a few months. They can be used in endless ways, such as soups, stews and salads.

Red Wine braised Duck Legs with Celery Root, Kohlrabi and Apple Mash

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

4 large duck legs, trimmed of extra fat and the skin scored

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

4 garlic cloves, smashed

½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 tbsp. flour

2 cups/16 fl. oz duck stock or chicken stock

4 cups/ 32 oz. red wine

1 tbsp. tomato puré

½ tsp. black peppercorns

4 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 325°F (175°C).

To braise duck legs, heat oil in a large ovenproof saucepan. Season duck legs with salt and pepper, then place in the pan, skin side down, and cook until golden brown on each side. Tranfer duck legs to a plate and keep warm. Discard all but 1 tbsp. of fat in the pan. Add onion, carrot, garlic and thyme, and sauté until browned. Add flour and stir 1 minute, then add red wine, stock, tomato puré, peppercorns, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Add duck legs and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and braise in the oven for about 1 hour, or until tender. Carefully transfer legs to a plate and keep varm. Strain sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Return the sauce to the pan and cook over high heat until reduced to 2 cups. Return duck legs to pan and keep warm.

Celery root, Kohlrabi and Apple mash

2 lb. celery root, peeled, cut into ½ in. cubes

kosher salt

1 lb. kohlrabi, peeled, cut into 1 in. cubes

1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 in. cubes

2 apples (½-3/4 lb.) peeled, cored, cut into 1 in. cubes

4 tbsp. butter

salt and freshly ground pepper

To make apples, bring apples and 2 tbsp. water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until apple falls apart, 6-8 minutes, adding water by tablespoonfuls if dry.

To make mash, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add celery root. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer celery root to a large bowl. Return water to a boil; repeat with the kohlrabi, then potatoes, cooking each separately until tender, 15 minutes for kohlrabi and 10-20 minutes for potatoes; add to bowl with celery root.

Mash celery root, kohlrabi, potatoes, and apples with a potato masher. Stir in butter. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place a duck leg each on 4 warmed plates and place a large spoonful of mash next to them. Spoon wine sauce over the duck legs and mash. Serve a vegetable with the dinner.

Salt Cured Duck Breast and Jerusalem Artichokes Salad

A week after Christmas, whole, fresh ducks were on sale in Denmark. I bought one, and once I was at home, I cut off the breasts and legs. I made salt cured duck breast , which can take up to a week, and placed the legs in the freezer. Now the breasts are finished and I am serving them tonight with a Jerusalem Artichokes salad. In a few days I will be making the duck legs with a nice red wine sauce celery root, kohlrabi and apple mash.

Salt Cured Duck breast and Jerusalem Artichokes Salad

8 servings as an appetizer

2 1-1b. boneless duck breasts with skin

2 cups kosher salt

1½ cup packed dark brown sugar

10 cracked juniper berries

15 cracked cloves

4-5 bay leaves

1 tsp. coarsely cracked black peppercorns

To make duck, cut the skin with parallel slits without cutting into meat.  Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Arrange 2 sheets of plastic wrap side by side on a work surface. Spread 1 scant cup salt mixture (do not pack) in center of each sheet, spreading mixture to match the size of the duck breasts. Top each with 1 duck breast, skin side down. Spread remaining salt mixture over meat, dividing equally. Bring plastic wrap up and over each duck breast, wrapping tightly. Place on a small rimmed plate, skin side down and refrigerate for 7 days to cure.

To serve, unwrap duck breasts. Scrape off salt mixture, (do not rinse). Using a long, sharp knife, thinly slice meat. Arrange on 4 plates or a large platter. Serve with fresh figs, chutney or a salad.

Salad with raw marinated Jerusalem Artichokes and Dried Cranberries

8 salad servings

1 lb. Jerusalem Artichokes*

3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. rapeseed oil

4 finely chopped small shallots

1 small head Bibb salad

2 oz. dried cranberries

salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnish:

parsley leaves

To make salad, scrub Jerusalem Artichokes and slice them on a mandolin. Place slices in a bowl. Whisk a dressing of vinegar, oil and ½ tsp. salt and pour over the Jerusalem Artichokes. Let stand 30 minutes.

To serve, place salad and parsley on 4 plates and arrange Jerusalem Artichokes on top of salad. Sprinkle chopped shallots and cranberries over.       

*Jerusalem artichokes are also known as sunchokes.

Tournedos with Folie Gras, Red Wine/Truffle Sauce, and Crushed Potatoes

The 3lst of January, known around the world as the last night of the year, New Year’s Eve, and many people all over the world will be celebrating. Celebrating with a nice meal. It is the opinion of most that beef tenderloin is the finest piece of beef and the same cut can be found in all the different countries. Tenderloin can be prepared whole or be cut into tournedos or small fillet mignon. My favorite way to prepare tenderloin is to cut 4 thick slices 2 inches/4-5 cm from the widest end of the tenderloin. I will be serving this dish for my guests after starting with oysters. Happy New Year everyone.

Tournedos with Folie Gras, Red Wine/Truffle Sauce and Crushed Potatoes

(Serves 4 )

4 (5 oz./150 g) each tournedos steaks

salt and freshly grund pepper

butter and oil for frying

Red Wine/truffle Sauce:

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp. butter

1½ cups red wine

1½ cups beef stock

2½ oz. /75 g butter

2 tbsp. truffle oil

Garnish:

3 oz. /90 gfolie gras

1 small truffle

crushed potatoes:

2 lbs. baking potatoes

3 oz. butter

3 oz. Danish Vesterhav* cheese or Havarti cheese

1 bunch finely chopped parsley

Start with red wine sauce, melt butter in a small sauce pan and sauté onions until they are golden. Add red wine and reduce to half ( 10 minutes) Add stock and reduce again to half (10 minutes). Pisk butter ind and come truffle oil in.

To make tournedos, pat dry with papir towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Warm butter in frying pan and when the butter starts to turn brown, add a few drops of oil. Brown 1 minute, turn and brown on the other side with high heat. Reduce the heat, fry over middle warm heat 2-3 minutes, turn and fry the other side 2-3 depending on how thick the tournedos is.

To cook foie, heat up a skillet capable of withstanding high heat—stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron, carbon steel, even a newfangled high-heat-safe non-stick skillet will do. Heat it up until it’s smoking hot, season the foie liberally with salt and pepper, and carefully lay it in the skillet.

20121213-seared-foie-food-lab-09.jpg

If it doesn’t immediately start smoking and rendering fat, your skillet is not hot enough. If this happens, quickly pull the foie out and let your pan preheat some more. Once the foie is in there, it’s a rapid-fire process— it takes all of about 30 seconds to a minute per side to get the surface nice and deep brown.

The final crucial step to cooking foie is to let it rest just long enough that the center softens. About 1 minute on a paper towel-lined plate will do.

To make the crushed potatoes, bake potatoes 1 hr. in a 400°F warm oven. Once cool, peel the skins off. Using an electric mixer, crush potatoes. Add butter and sprinkle with cheese.

To assemble, working quickly, place tournedos on 4 warmed plates and carefully transfer the warm fried folie gras to the warmed plates and place it on top of the tournedos. Pour sauce over the meat and the folie gras and garnish with truffle slices. Let the guest help them selves to the crushed potatoes. Pass the rest of the sauce so each guest can take as much or as little as they wish.

New Year’s Eve Marzipan Cake- Danish Kransekage

This is the traditional cake the Danes eat on the last day of the year, often drinking Champagne with it. Normally, it is rings formed in conical, and decorated with thin stripes of white glaze. This tradition started in the 1700 century and is used for celebrations. It can be decorated with a figure on top (wedding couple) or)flags (birthdays or anniversaries) crackers. Most supermarkets and bakeries have tons of them in their shops, so I’ve made mine in a smaller version and it is easier.

New Year’s Marzipan Cake

Cake:

17 oz. 500 gram Marzipan (cut into slices)

5 oz. /150 gram confectioners sugar

1 ¼ oz. or 40 gram pasteurized egg whites

Glaze:

2½ oz./75 gram confectioners sugar (sifted),( plus more if needed)

1 oz./30 gram pasteurized egg whites

To make cake, place 5 oz./150 grams confectioners sugar and half of the pasteurized egg whites in a bowl With an el-mixer on low and add marzipan pieces one by one and the remaining egg whites. When the cake mass is homogeneous, remove from the bowl, place in a plastic bag. Store in refrigerator for at least 2 hours but preferably until the following day.

The next day, prepare the baking sheet, double up parchment paper on two large baking sheets for extra insulation to avoid burning the bottom of cake.

Note: when rolling out marzipan, wash and dry your hands as often as needed to avoid them getting sticky. Divide marzipan mass into two portions. If marzipan feels a little sticky use a small amount of confectioners sugar to roll is into logs. Roll each portion into a 32 Inches/80 cm long log that’s even in thickness. Using an icing spatula or a regular spatula loosen marzipan from tabletop by pressing down hard while sliding spatula under the log. Cut marzipan into 3 inch/6½ cm logs,until all marzipan is used up. Each measured out piece of marzipan is now formed into a triangle shape, pressing with wet fingers gently at the side of each løg. (see picture at the top of the page.) Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 390 degree F/200 degree C) oven for 14 to 18 minutes. Place logs on a rack to allow cooling completely.

To make glaze, beat together sifted confectioners sugar and pasteurized egg whites on high-speed for at least 5 minutes. The glaze should be pretty thick and no longer flow together when beaters are stopped. Add more sifted confectioners sugar as needed. Fill the glaze into a decorating bag fitted with a size 2 round tip or make a cone out of parchment paper or use a plastic bag and cut a very tiny hole at the tip.

Begin decorating, moving the tip back and forth across the log making sure to extend the tip out over the edge of ring to allow the glaze to droop down the outside in a loop style fashion, continue decorating until all the logs are decorated.  Allow glaze to dry at room temperature for a couple of hours before covering with plastic if cake is to be served in the following days. Enjoy.

Grilled Lobster with Herb/garlic Butter

Christmas is over and now everyone is thinking about New Year’s Eve. I have a few suggestions. One of them is grilled lobster. One of my all time favorite after oysters. Whether you are just two or having guests, it doesn’t have to be a lot of last minute work. You can cook the lobster in the morning and just before it is served, grill them in the oven with garlic herb butter. Lobster should be cooked as soon as they come from the market. If they will not be cooked immediately, rinse the in cold water and drain. Transfer to a large pan and cover with a moistened towel and refrigerate until cooking time.

In a large stockpot of salted boiling water, boil 1-1½ pounds lobster for 5 minutes.* Transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and refrigerate until the lobster is completely cold. (If they are still warm when you crack them, they will lose too much juice and become dry.)

Prepare an herb garlic butter with whatever herbs you have. Parsley, chives, rosemary, chervil, basil with a stick butter (8 tbsp=½ cup=1dl), garlic and lemon juice. Make a little package of herbs. Working over a bowl or a baking sheet, cut the cold, cooked lobster down the middel, remove the tomalley, the green to almost black liver in the head and in the top of the tail. Be sure and crack the claws before grilling. and fill the cavity with the herb garlic butter.

Turn on the indoors grill, and if you are so lucky to live in a warm country and grill outside, heat the grill up.

Place the lobster on their backs and grill 2-3 min. Turn them over and grill them on their open meat side with a package of herbs in the middle of lobster.

  • If you prefer to kill the lobster before cooking, place them in the freezer 20 minutes. This will numb them and limits their movement. Place them on their backs and with a sharp chef knive, cut quickly down just before the claws and continue through the head.

Christmas Pudding with Hot Cherry Sauce

Today, Sunday the 23rd of December, is “Little Christmas Eve” and many Danes are busy making the last preparations for Christmas Eve, the day they celebrate Christmas with family and friends, dancing around the Christmas tree, opening presents and eating a large meal of duck, pork roast or turkey. Many are making risengrød, rice porridge, as one of the first steps to making Christmas pudding with hot cherry sauce. Many families take a small portion of this rice porridge with butter and cinnamon and leave it some place in the house where the Nissen (a mythical creature of Scandinavian Folklore), can find it. These “nisse”, a fictional character which has its roots from the 1800’s farming community, are small like pixies, would help with successful drift of the farm. That is, if you were respectful and behaved yourself. Hence, a large bowl of risengrød, (rice porridge) was left for the “nisse” as part of the festive event like Christmas.

This is the traditional Christmas Eve dessert in Denmark. One blanched whole almond is hidden in the pudding just before serving. All the guests at the table serve themselves with a small or large portion of pudding depending on how much they want to win the “almond present.” Whoever gets the hidden almond wins a special gift. This gift is often a pig made out of marzipan. It is a contest that everyone wants to win. The person who has the almond will try to hide the almond, making sure everyone keeps eating even after they are full. So, if you want to play this game at Christmas, be sure and make plenty of Christmas pudding.

This picture is from my book “Dinning with the Danes” by Lynn Andersen .

Christmas Pudding with Hot Cherry Sauce

(Risalamande med Warm Kirsebærsauce)

Serves 6

1 3/4 pint (1 liter) whole milk

3 oz. (90 g) short-grained rice

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 oz. (60 g) blanced, coarsely chopped almond

1½ cups (12 fl. oz.) heavy cream, whipped

1 whole almond (optional)

Cherry sauce: 1 lb. (455 g) canned stoned cherries in their syrup

1½ tsp. cornstarch

To make pudding, bring milk to a boil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add rice gradually, stirring constantly. Cook mixture over low heat for 50 minutes. Be careful not to let the rice burn. Remove pot from heat and stir in salt. When rice mixture is cold, stir in vanilla extract and chopped almonds. Fold in whipped cream. Refrigerate before serving.

To make cherry sauce, place cherries and their syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Dissolve cornstarch in a little water. Pour into boiling liquid, stirring constantly.

To serve, serve hot cherry sauce immediately with the cold rice pudding.


Roasted Duck with Pointed Cabbage and Cranberries

Christmas evening is just a few days away and have been preparing for days if not for weeks. The most popular dish is roasted Duck with sugar glazed potatoes and stewed red cabbage. I have done this recipe many times before and, being an American, I like to give a different accompaniment every year. This year I will be making cranberries, pointed Cabbage salad and glazed sugar potatoes. Many Danes make the duck the day before. It should cook a little less time in the oven, 15 min., and when it has cooled, cut it up in serving pieces. It should be kept cool in the refrigerator overnight. The next day cover with tin foil and set in a cold oven. Heat the oven up to 350° F and let the duck become varme 20-30 minutes.

Roast Duck

This dish is the most often served Christmas Eve dinner.

Serves 4

6 lbs. (3 kilo) duck, cavity washed and patted dry

salt and fresh ground pepper

Broth for sauce

2 cups (16 fl. oz.) water

wings, neck, giblets

2 sprigs parsley

2 sprigs thyme

1 small onion, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

salt

Sauce:

2 cups (16 fl. oz.) of broth

drippings from the roasted duck

2 tbsp. flour for thickening

Preheat oven to 425°F.

To roast make duck, rub inside of duck with salt and pepper. Close with a skewer or sew with cotton string. Pull neck skin over the back and fasten with a skewer. Pat dry with paper towels.

Place duck upside down on a rack over a roasting pan. Brown for 15 minutes. Turn and brown for another 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour off fat from pan and add water, together with onions, carrots, and thyme. Roast for 1¾ hours.

To make broth, boil wings, neck, and giblets with parsley, thyme, chopped onions, carrots, and salt.

Remove duck from oven and pour off dripping. Let them stand for a moment and skim off fat.

To make sauce, pour drippings into a small saucepan together with the strained broth, 2 cups (16 fl. oz.) in all. Bring to a boil and thicken with flour mixed with a little water. Let sauce simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste.

To finish duck, pour a large spoonful of water over it and return to oven and brown it at 425°F for 10-15 minutes with oven vent open or the oven door open just a little. Keep an eye on the duck. Be careful it doesn’t brown too quickly.

Suggested accompaniment if you want the traditional : Glazed potatoes (see December 17th 2017) and red cabbage (see December 20th 2017 )

Pointed Cabbage with Orange segments and Pecans  

½ head of pointed Cabbage, finely cut      

2 appelsin segments*

1 spring onion, finely cut

a handful pecans

dressing: oliven olie and orange juice

To make salad, combine all the ingredients and pour the dressing over. Garnish with a few extra pecans.

*To segment oranges, with a very sharp serrated knife, cut the top off the fruit. Cut down the sides from the top, slicing just deep enough to remove the peel and white pith. Finally, cut off the bottom. There shouldn’t be pith or peel. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, cut along either side of the membranes between each segment. Releasing the segments as you go and working your way all around the fruit. Keep the segments in their juice until you need them.


Aunt Bines Herring

Herring is an absolut must for a Christmas luncheon. There are hundreds of  variations and new ones are constantly composed. Many Danish luncheons start with herring and herring open-face sandwich requires a snaps. The Danish name for aquavit. The one below is perfect with it’s red and green color and  taste of Christmas with cloves.  

Aunt Bines Herring

Makes 4-6 open-face sandwiches

1 cup white wine vinagar 

2 tbsp. sugar

10 whole cloves

10 whole white pepper corns

6 large pickled  herring (1 large glass)

½ cup tomat ketchup

2 finely chopped pickles, sweet or dill

1 finely chopped small onion

2 finely chopped cooked carrots

½ cup corn oil (not olive oil)

6 slices of buttered dark bread or rye bread

Garnish: chervil or parsley

To make herring, place vinagar, sugar, cloves and peppercorns in a small pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer 5-10 min. Watch out! don’t let it damp away or get burned.

In a small bowl stir tomat ketchup, pickles, onion and oil. Strain the cloves and peppercorns from the cooked vinagar mixture and come in the tomat mixture. When the tomat/vinagar mixture is cool, add the herring which has been cut into bite-size pieces. Let the herring rest in the refrigerator 2-3 days.

To assemble, place 3-4 pieces of herring on the buttered bread and garnish with sprigs chervil.

Snaps Cured Salmon

The Danes eat a lot of salmon and one of the best open-face sandwich is made with snaps cured salmon. This sandwich could be eaten with snaps or a glass of white wine.  

Salt, Sugar and Snaps Cured Salmon with Fennel and Sour Cream 

Makes 8-10 

  1 lb. salmon filet with skin

3-4 tbsp. snaps (The Danish name for Aquavit)

 2 tbsp. fine salt

 1 tbsp. sugar

1 fennel, thinly sliced

8 oz. sour cream

8-10 slices of buttered dark bread, ryebread, rustic bread 

Garnish: chervil or dill

To make fish, remove all bones and place salmon in deep dish skin side down. Sprinkle with snaps, salt and sugar. Cover and refrigerate to timer, no more. Remos the salt/sugar mixture. Remove skin and slice in meget thin slice.  

To assemble, arrange salmon on butter bread and top with  fennel. Place a spoonful of sour cream on top of the fennel and garnish with chervil or dill.

Fiskefilllet with Mayonnaise and Shrimps

A very popular open-face sandwich at a Christmas lunch is fisk fillets .
Plaice with its characteristic red spots is the most plentiful fish in Northern Europe.  I know, however, plaice is not found in all parts of the world, so other flat fish can be used. Cod, although is thicker, it is also good. 


Fried Plaice with Mayonnaise and Shrimps  

Makes 4

 4 large or 8 small fillets of plaice, cod, sole or another flat fish with the skins removed

 ½ cup all-purpose flour

 1-2eggs, beaten

2 cups breadcrumbs (panko)

 salt and pepper

2 oz. butter

4 lettuce leaves

 4 tbsp. mayonnaise

4 slices of buttered rye bread

Garnish:

 1 lemon, cut into wedges

4 oz. (120 g) shrimps

4 lettuce leaves

pea tendrils

strips of cucumber

 4sprigs of dill

To fry fish, rinse, pat dry with a paper towel. Dredge fish in a mixture of flour, salt and pepper and coat evenly. Dip in the beaten egg and dredge them in breadcrumbs (panko) Melt butter in a large frying pan and fry two fillets at a timeover medium heat 1-2 minutes. Turn them and fry them 1-2 minutes. Repeat this process until all the fish is fried.

 To assemble,  place one or two fillets on each of the buttered dark rye bread covered with a lettuce leaf and place 1 tbsp. mayonnaise on top of fish fillets. Place a wedge of lemon on top of each and place a shrimps on top of the mayonnaise.  Garnish with dill, cucumber. dild and pea tendrils. 

Vanilla Rings-Vaniljekranse

Vanilla rings are the Classic and most loved Danish cookie. Years ago, this cookie was made with the help of a meat grinder attachment on their  kitchen machine. Not many people have this type of kitchen machine anymore and now  we use a piping bag with a star nozzle. If you can’t buy ground almonds, here is a simple way to remove the skins of the almonds. Place almonds in boiling Water and let dem Cook a minute, but no more. Drain the water off, pat them dry. Take an almond and place it between your thumb and index finger and push the skin off. If you do it right, it will pop off. Sometimes flying across the kitchen. It is fast and easy.

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Vanilla Rings

Makes 100
8 oz. (225 g) butter
7 oz. (200 g) sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. (455 g) flour
½ cup (65 g) almonds, blanched, skin removed and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.
To make cookies, beat butter and sugar until mixture is combined. Add egg and vanilla extract. Work flour in a little at a time. Cover dough and let rest for 2 hours. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch star nozle. Pipe dough  onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut dough into small pieces of 5 inches (12½ cm) and form into small rings. Bake until slightly browned . about 8 minutes. 



 

Christmas Lunch with Open-face Sandwiches

By the time December arrives, the Danes have been celebrating and making preparations for Christmas the whole month of November. Many have already been to a Christmas luncheon, some have been to two or three. The three Fridays before Christmas is usually the firm’s big day for a Christmas luncheon and the weekends are filled with Christmas parties and luncheons for families and friends.  Even the small children have a Christmas lunch at their school.  Open-face sandwiches, Smørrebrød, is the most popular  It is almost impossible to get a table at a Restaurant if you haven’t order one months in advance on Fridays. A platter like the one in the picture is usually what is served together with a snaps and a cold beer.

Here are a few of the most popular sandwiches. If you want more, jut look under open-face sandwiches on my blog or my book Danish Open-face Sandwiches.

Always start with herring. It can be bought in jars in most of the world. There are so many different ways to make them. (See open-face sandwiches on my blog) This one is most common.

Pickled Herring, Capers and Onion Rings

Jars of herring can be found in specialties shops in many parts of the world. Pickled herring is a must on the Christmas luncheon table.

2-3 marinated herring fillets from a jar

4 slices buttered dark rye bread

8-12 raw onions rings

2 tbsp. capers

Garnish:

4 sprigs of dill

To assemble, arrange herring on rye bread. Garnish each with onions rings, capers and a sprig of dill.

Pork Tenderloin with Fried Onions and Cucumber Slices

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed

4 tbsp. butter, divided

2 large onions, sliced

salt and pepper

4 slices of buttered rye bread

Garnish: chervil

4 slices of  cucumber

To make pork tenderloin, cut into thick slices of 1 inch and lay them on a work surface with the cut side up. Pound them flat with your hand. Melt half of butter in a skillet over middle heat and fry pork pieces 2-3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To make onions, melt remaining butter in same skillet and fry onions over low heat until they are tender and golden about 10 minutes. If they appear dry, add a little water and not more butter.
To assemble, place 1 or 2 pieces of pork tenderloin on each piece of buttered rye bread. Divide fried onions on top and place a slice cucumber on top of the fried onions.

Ham with Italian Salad and Asparagus

Italian salad:

1 small carrot, diced

1 cup freshly shelled peas or frozen

2 white asparagus, trimmed*

Dressing:

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup low fat sour cream

1 tbsp. mustard

salt and freshly ground pepper

4 slices of buttered white or dark rye bread

4 lettuce leaves

8-12 thin slices of cooked ham

Garnish:
4 small cherry tomatoes  or 4 wedges of tomato

cress

To make salad, cook carrots in slightly salted water 2-3 minutes. Take them up and cook fresh green asparagus 2-3 minutes, white asparagus 6-8 minutes. Take them up and drain on a paper towel. Add peas to water and cook 20-30 seconds. Drain vegetables and chill. Take some asparagus for garnish and set them aside. Cut remaining asparagus into small pieces. Mix vegetables with mayonnaise, sour cream and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble, place a leaf of lettuce on a buttered piece of dark rye bread, or buttered white bread. Placa a slice of ham and a tablespoon of the Italian salad on top of the ham. Garnish with tomato and cress.

Blue-Cheese with Egg Yolk

4 slices of buttered rye bread

5-6 oz. Danish Blue cheese

4 slices of raw onion rings

4 egg yolks

To assemble, cut cheese in slices ¼ inch thick and place one slice on each piece of buttered bread. Place an onion ring in the middle of each piece and drop an egg yolk in it.

Christmas Donuts -First day of Advent

On the first day of December, in many Danish homes a countdown candle is lit and burned a little each day until Christmas Eve. The children are already excited in anticipation of the coming events and parents give them Christmas calendars with small presents and sweets Each morning they hop out of bed and run to open their calendars
This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas Eve. Many invite family and friends to bake Christmas cookies, make candy, make decorations for the tree and an Advent Wreath, four candles, one for each of the four Sundays before Christmas Eve. The Æbleskiver (Christmas donuts) pan is taken out of storage,and thousandsof æbleskiver, if not hundred of thousands, are prepared and eaten while drinking steaming hot Gløgg in this month of December. I’ve have done this recipe before, November 2017, but it never hurts to refresh one of the best and most famous Danish recipes.

Christmas Doughnuts

(Æbleskiver)
These doughnuts, are only eaten at Christmas time, and baked on top of the stove in a special pan with a hole for each doughnut. It is called a “æbleskive” pan. These doughnuts can also be made with an electric “Æbleskive” pan on the table top and can be ordered on the internet.
½ lb.(250 g) flour
½ tsk. Salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups (16 fl. oz.) buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp. baking powder butter for baking
1 small apple, cored and diced
In addition, icing sugar and jam
To make donuts, mix flour, salt, and sugar. Beat buttermilk with egg yolks, and add flour mixture. Add baking powder and fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Heat the “æbleskive” pan and put melted butter in each hole. Pour batter into each hole, not quite filling them. Place a little piece of apple in the center of the doughnut. Turn quickly with a knitting needle or fork when half done, 1-2 minutes. Let them cook 1-2 minutes on the other side. Serve warm with icing sugar and jelly.
To serve, each person takes two or three “æbleskive” on their plate together with a tablespoon of icing sugar and a tablespoon of jam. The æbleskiver is first dipped in jam and afterward in sugar, then eaten with fingers.

Thanksgiving Turkey with all the trimmings

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States and as I am an American, I will be celebrating Thanksgiving in Denmark. However, not on Thursday, the 22nd of November, the fourth Thursday in November. We do not have a four day holiday and therefore, I will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Sunday the 25th of November with my children and grandchildren. Every American housewife has her own special recipe of how to make the turkey. I saw a well-known cook make turkey  on Danish television last night, and well I don’t agree how he made the turkey. When I first came to Denmark in 1968, 50 years ago, it was impossible to get a large turkey. If we were lucky, it was about five pounds. Now we can get them up to 15 pounds if we order them weeks ahead of time. Most Danes complain that turkey is dry because they don’t baste them with the juices from the turkey. Basting the turkey and lots of butter is the secret to moisture in the turkey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey with Stuffing and Gravy

I fresh turkey på 10-15 pounds

salt and freshly ground pepper

6-7 oz. butter, soften

Fond;

wings tips, hals og gibets (not the lever)

1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 small carrots, coarsely chopped

½ head of celery root, peeled and cut into smaller pieces

Bunch of herbs such as parsley, thyme and 2 bay lea leaves

Stuffing:

gibets from  the turkey (liver put aside for the sauce)

1 cup of fond or chicken bouillon

15-20 slices of toast bread, best if it is a day or two old

3 eggs

2 large onions, coarsely chopped

salt and freshly ground pepper

4 celery staks, chopped

2 tsp. thyme

4 tsp. sage

1 bunch of parsley

Sauce:

juices from the turkey

1 quart turkey fond or chicken bouillon

4-5 tbsp. flour

turkey liver, (or chicken liver) fried on a pan in a little bit of butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place rack in the lowest position of the oven.

To make turkey fond, remove the turkey neck, wings and giblets, and come them in a large pot together with 5 quarts of water. Bring the water to a boil, skim for impurities that rise to the surface, add onion, carrots, celery  and herbs. Let simmer for en time.

To make stuffing, after cooking the gibets, chop them and pill the meat from the neck and wings. Come the bread in a little of the fond. Mix the bread, egg, onion, celery and chopped gibets. Add salt, pepper, thyme, sage and parsley. Let the stuffing rest 1-2 hours before filling the turkey with it.

To make  turkey, rinse the turkey, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan. Loosely fill the body cavity with stuffing.(If you have the time, let the stuffed turkey rest  the night over.)  Rub the skin with the softened butter, and season with salt and pepper. Position an aluminum foil tent over the turkey.
Place turkey in the oven, and pour 2 cups turkey stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. Baste all over every 30 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan. Whenever the drippings evaporate, add stock to moisten them, about 1 to 2 cups at a time. Remove aluminum foil after 2 1/2 hours. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F (75 degrees C), about 4 hours.
Transfer the turkey to a large serving platter, and let it stand for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

To make gravy, pour the juices from the roasting pan into a large pot. Come evt. more bouillon so there is 1 quart. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, fry the liver in a little butter and add to the sauce. This gives the bouillon a really good taste. Mix the flour a little cold water and whip  into the gravy. Let the sauce simmer 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

Suggested accompaniment: Celery Root, Kohlrabi and Apple mash or Mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and Waldorf salat.

Curly Kale Soup with Sour Cream

There are many kinds of kale.Denmark has mostly curly kale. Curly kale trives in frost and the cold weather and it is full of fibre, antioxidanter, important minerals such as calcium, iron, mangan and potassium and vitaminers such as A, K, and C. In fact, 100 grams/3 oz. has as much as three times the recommended daily amount of C vitaminer that helps the Danes come through the cold winter . The entire stem needs to be cut out of the leaf before cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curly Kale Soup with Sour Cream

serves 4

1 lb./16 oz.  potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped

2 large or two small leeks, coarsely chopped

2 tbsp. butter

1 quart/liter vegetable bouillon

10 oz./300 grams kale

salt and pepper

Garnish:

chopped kale

1 dl sour cream

To make soup,  melt butter in a  pot and fry onion and garlic.1-2 minutes. Add leeks and fry 4-5 minutes. Add potatoes, pour bouillon into the pot, cover  and simmer 30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. Rense kale and remove the center rib and chop coarsely. Save 4 tbsp. of kale for garnish and add the kale to the pot. Cook 3 minutes. Smag til med salt and pepper. Blend soup and pour into  four warmed bowls. Garnish with sour cream and chopped kale.

Baked Apples with Cowberries/Cranberries

The Danish climate is very favorable for growing apples. Long days where the sun raises early, around four in the morning, in the summer and sets in the evening, around ten, gives the trees more light than many other places. At the same time, apples grown in a cool climate where there can be a large difference in the day and the night temperture makes a greater aroma and just the right amount of sourness. Baked apples is a fantastic dessert with apples – and so easy. It takes under 30 minutes to make them. These apples are filled with cowberry jam, made from cowberries that grow in northern Jydeland and Sweden. If you can’t find cowberry jam, cranberries can be used. Cowberry jam can be found in Ikea stores all across the States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Apples with Cowberries/Cranberries

4 apples, cored but not peeled

4 oz. cowberries/cranberries or any jam you like, just don’t use sugar

3 oz. hazelnuts

3 oz. sugar

Garnish: 4 tbsp. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°.

To make apples, chop cowberries/cranberries and hazelnuts and mix them with sugar. Fill apples with this mixture and place them on a small pan and bake 20-30 mintues depending on the apples.

To serve, place a large spoonful of sour cream to the apples.