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.

Warm Liver Paté with Mushrooms and Bacon

Here is another popular open-face sandwich that can be eaten warm or cold. It is a baked mixture of liver, pork or kalve, some times both, lard, egg, onions, milk, anchovy, salt and pepper. It is baked in a form, but unlike French patéer or terrine, spreadable making it very popular with children. If it is difficult to get ahold of lard, pig’s lard, ask you butcher. If they have pork, they will have lard. They may even give it you for free. If not, it doesn’t cost much.

warm-liver-pate-w-moshrooms-bacon-jpeg_0115-2

Warm Liver Paté with Mushrooms and Bacon.  Makes 8-10 portions

l1 lb. pork or calf liver, 7 oz. lard, 2 tbsp.flour, 1 cup milk or light cream, 1 egg, 1 coarsely chopped onion, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, a pinch of cloves, 1 oz. anchovy.

Preheat the oven to 425°.

To make liver paté, mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until the liver is reduced to a coarse purée. Pour this mixture into a greased oven-proof terrine. Cover with lightly oiled foil and bake for 60 minutes, removing foil the last 20 minutes. Let cool, wrap in foil and freeze.

On the day you want to eat the liver paté, take it out of the freezer a few hours before you want to serve it. Heat the liver paté in the Micro oven a few minutes or in the oven 10-15 minutes.

Mushrooms and Bacon

12 pieces of bacon, 10 oz. thinly sliced mushrooms, 8-10 slices of dark rye bread or if you prefer, white bread

To make the bacon and mushrooms, fry bacon on a warm pan. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Lightly fry mushrooms in the bacon fat.

To assemble, spread liver paté on bread (no butter necessary) and place mushrooms and bacon on top of liver paté. Serve this dish warm. Or let each guest serve themselves and build their own open-face sandwich.

How to make an open-face sandwich

 It is no secret, I am a big fan of Danish open-face sandwichs, also known as smørrebrød. These sandwiches are one of the most prominent features of the Danish kitchen. These delicious sandwiches were not found anywhere else, not even in the neighboring countries of Norway and Sweden until recently. Now they are popping up all over the world. A slice of rye bread or a slice of white bread with a little butter, and you can make all kinds of interesting sandwiches. The problem is, not everyone know how to make a sandwich. Some say that you can put whatever you want on them. This is true, but if one follows a few simple steps, the results will be outstanding. I will be writing again about these wonderful sandwiches as I want the world to enjoy our sandwiches. Some of you that have joined in on my blog, may not have seen the instructions on how to make these sandwiches. So I will do some of the popular sandwiches again. This one is a must for the Danish luncheon  – egg with shrimps, mayonnaise and dill.

jpeg_0034

 Start with speading a thin layer of butter on bread. It keeps the bread from absorbing to much moisture.

jpeg_0038

 Place a leaf of lettuce on the buttered bread.

jpeg_0045

Cut the hard-boiled eggs into even slices with an egg slicer or knife. Arrange slices of egg on the buttered bread.

jpeg_0052

Place a handful of shrimps on top of the egg slices. Place  ½ tbsp. of mayonnaise in the center and garnish with a sprig of dill.

EGG WITH SHRIMPS, MAY0NNAISE AND DILL 

Makes 4

Fresh shrimps are best, but a package in the freezer is always nice to have.

4 slices of white bread buttered with 1 oz. butter

4 leaves of butter lettuce

4 hard- boiled eggs

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

12 oz. baby shrimps

Garnish: dill

To assemble, place a leaf of lettuce on the buttered bread. Peel the eggs and slice them with an egg slicer or knife. Arrange the slices decoratively on the bread. Place ½ tbsp. mayonnaise in the center of the egg slices. Top with 3-4 oz. of shrimps.

Garnish with a sprig of dill.  

This sandwich is eaten with a knife and a fork. Enjoy.

Smoked Eel with Scrambled Egg

Smoked eel is a delicacy of Europe and a favorite of the Danes. Some hate it, others love it. I for one love it and try to eat as much as possible. Unfortunately, it is very expensive. Most eels in Denmark are farmed and that means that swim in clean water. It is a fatty fish, and as I wrote last week, eel is good for you. Eel has, like salmon, lots of fat in the form of oil and is highly polyunsaturated and is rich in vitamins A and D. So, if you are so lucky to get some smoked eel, you must try this sandwich.

Smoked Eel with Scrambled Egg

Makes 4

1 lb. smoked eel, skin and back bones removed, cut into 3-4 inch

pieces.

Scrambled egg:

4 eggs

8 tbsp. milk or cream

salt and fresh grounded white pepper

1 tbsp. butter

4 slices of buttered rye bread

Garnish:

½ tomat, cut into wedges finely chopped chives

To make scrambled egg, beat eggs until light together with milk and salt and white pepper. Melt butter on a skillet and pour in eggs. Cook at medium heat, spreading eggs towards the middle of skillet as it sets. Turn off heat and let the scrambled eggs stand for a couple of minutes until completely set. Don’t let them stand too long or the eggs will become watery.

To assemble, place two pieces of eel on buttered rye bread. Top with scrambled egg, a wedge of tomat and sprinkle with chives.

Salmon with Vodka and Blueberries

Salmon contains protein as well as minerals and B vitamins. While most fish are relatively low in fat, salmon is not. That doesn’t mean it is not good for you. The fat in salmon takes the form of oil. Oil that is polyunsaturated, which is preferable to the fat of meat, which is mostly saturated. In fact, salmon contains a unique group of polyunsaturated fatty acids, called omege-3 acids, which appear to offer double benefifs; they not only decrease levels of the artery-choking LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, but also may raise levels of the artery-clearing HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Fish oil helps to prevent hardening of the arteries by thinning the blood, making it less likely to stick to walls of blood vessels, and reducing arterial blood clots. Finny, fish oil is rich in vitamins A and D. Not only does salmon taste wonderful, it is good for you. Remember, eat fish 2-3 times a week.

Salmon with Vodka and Blueberries

Serves 4

1 lb./455 grams salmon filet with skin

2-3 tbsp. vodka

1 tbsp. salt

 2 tbsp. fine salt

½ tbsp. sugar

Blueberry Sauce:

3 oz./90 grams blueberries

1 tbsp. apple cider vinagar

2-3 tsp. lemon juice

Garnish: 2 tbsp. blueberries

mint leaves

To make fish, remove all bones and place salmon in deep dish skin side down. Mix vodka, salt and sugar and spread on salmon. Cover and refrigerate to hours, no more. Remove vodka, salt, and sugar mixture. Remove skin and slice into thick cubes. Place them in a bowls and add 1½ oz/45 grams blueberries Divide and press mixture into a four round forms. Set aside.

To make sauce, place the rest of the blueberries, vinagar and lemon juice in a small pot and cook over low heat 5-10 minutes until the berries release their juice. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.

To assemble, make a ring of blueberry sauce on each of the for plates leaving the center open. Turn the salmon onto the middle of the plate and garnish with extra berries and mint leaves.

After Eight Mousse

Tuesday is Valentine’s day and here is the dessert I promised, an After Eight Chocolate Mousse. I made the recipe for 4, because -well most of us can eat two of these desserts, or save one for a late night snack. Scientist agree, Chocolate combines both theobromine, a mild relative of caffeine and magnesium, a calmative. Recently they also found traces of phenylethylamine (PEA), a substance released by the brain when in love. Chocolate melts at a temperature near your own, so those solid morsels are transformed into into a divine liquid in the mouth. So when the two of you indulge together, be prepared for a meltdown.

After Eight Mousse

Serves 4

4 oz./120 g semisweet chocolate, chopped

nine pieces of After Eight Mints, 3 chopped

2 large egg yolks

2 large egg whites

Garnish:

2 cups heavy cream


To make mousse, place chocolate and six pieces of After Eight Mints in bowl and place bowl in a pot with hot (not boiling) water. Whisk until chocolate and mints are smooth and no lumps remain. Remove pot from heat and stir in egg yolks, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Set aside. Beat egg whites until frothy in a clean bowl, fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture, and stir carefully until well combined. Divide the mousse among 4 glass, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm. Whisk the heavy cream and beat until stiff.

To serve, garnish the mousse with a large spoonful of whipped cream and a piece of After Eight mint. Eat the rest of the After Eight mints or take them into the bedroom and place dem on the night table. Enjoy

Beef Steak, Sautéed Mushrooms and Truffle Oil with Mashed Potatoes and Lobster Tails

Valentine’s day is coming up and here is the perfect menu for a romantisk evening (and night). A delicious dinner for two – and not to time consuming. A selection of cheese could be served or maybe an After Eight Mousse like the one I will be giving the recipe in a few days.

Steak , Sautéed Svampe and Truffle Oil

serves two

3 tbsp. butter

1 fed garlic, knust

300 grams mushrooms (chanterelles, shitakes or porcini) quartered if large

½ cup chicken bouillon

½ cup red wine

3 tbsp. heavy cream

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tsp. truffle oil

2 (6 oz./180 grams) sirloin steaks

Garnish: mere truffle oil and estragon

Mashed Potatoes with Lobster tails

½ cup milk

6 oz./180 g lobster tails

2 tsp. estragon, chopped

1 lb./400 potatoes, peeled and cut halved lengthwise

2 tbsp. butter

To make svampe, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and fry 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and fry 9 minutes. Add chicken bouillon, red wine, and heavy cream. Cover and simmer 5 min. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To make mashed potatoes, warm milk and estragon and set aside. Cut potatoes into 1-inch thick pieces. Place in a pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, decrease heat to simmer, and cook until soft, about 10 minute; drain and mash dem. Add milk and lobster tails. Add butter and stir indtil butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper.

To make steaks, just before serving, heat a frying pan. It should be very warm before adding oil and fry the steaks 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on how thick they are. Place steaks on warm plates and drizzle more truffle oil over. Place 2-3 spoonfuls of svampe mixture on top of steaks. Place a large spoonful of mashed potatoes next to the steak and garnish with sprigs of estragon.

Quinoa Salad with Brocoli and Green Beans

Quinoa  is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a grain crop  primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa is not a grass  like wheat or rice, but rather is  related to spinach and flowers. . After harvest, the seeds are processed to remove the bitter-tasting outer seed coat.

Quinoa is rich in various nutrients; it contains protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins and dietary minerals in amount , above those of wheat, corn, rice, and oats. It is gluten-free and virtually free of sodium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Quinoa originated in the of northwestern South America, and was domesticated three to four thousand years ago for human consumption in Peru and Bolivia. It is extremely popular here in Denmark. It can be eaten instead of rice or in salads like this one.

Quinoa Salad with Brocoli and Green Beans

Serves 4

8 oz./240 grams green beans

4 oz./120 grams sugar snap peas

½ cup/2 fl.oz. olive oil

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

freshly ground black pepper

1 large head of broccoli, only florets (save the rest of brocoli for a soup or wok dish

1 cup cook quinoa (from about 1/3 cup raw)

1 cup pointed cabbage, thinly sliced

Garnish: pecan or walnuts

To make salad, cook green beans and sugar snaps peas in a pot of salted water until no longer raw, about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

To make dressing, blend oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard and pepper in a blender. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble, toss beans, peas, brocoli , pointed cabbage and cabbage. Drizzle salad with dressing and toss again. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Rullepølse (rolled sausage) with Aspic, Raw Onions and Cress on Ryebread

Rullepølse is a traditional and one of the most popular cold cuts in Denmark. It is used in our famous open-face sandwiches. A piece of pork belly is flattened out and is spread with herbs  and seasoning (salt, pepper, allspice), chopped onions, and in some variants, parsley. It is then rolled up and placed in a brine for a number of days, before being placed in a special press, cooled, and sliced thinly. I have never done this recipe before for the blog, because it takes a few days to make. I am giving this recipe today and hope that people might want to try it. It taste wonderful and is worth all the work.

Rolled sausage with Aspic, Raw Onions and Cress

Rolled sausage: 1 pork belly 2-3 lbs./1-1½ kg

Herb mixture:

1 tbsp. salt

2 tsp. peber

½ cup chopped persille

1 tbsp. sugar

string

salt

Brine:

water

2 sprigs of parsley

2 bay leaves

1 onion

3 whole cloves

10 pepper korns

To make rolled sausage, cut the belly so it is a nice square. 10 inches x 10 (25 cm x 25 cm) Any meat that has been cut away should be placed on the thinnest part of the pork belly. Sprinkle salt and pepper over. Chop onions and spread them, parsley and sugar over meat. 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 intervals along the meat; tighten each loop by pulling the string as you go. Secure the rolled sausage by bringing the string under the entire length of the meat and knotting the free end.   Rub with salt and place in a deep dish. Cover and refrigerate for 1½ days.

To cook, place in a large pot and fill with water just enough to cover the meat. Add sprigs of parsley, bay leaves, onion, cloves and pepper korns. Cook sausage over low heat 1½-2 hours. Let sausage stay in the water an hour, before it get placed in a rullepølser form. If you don’t have such a form, a baking loaf pan can be used. Place something heavy over the baking loaf. Place in refrigerator and let it stay there a few days before serving .

To serve, place a few slices of rolled sausage on buttered rye bread, a strip of aspic* on top. Garnish with rings of raw onions and cress

*JELLIED CONSOMME or Aspic

This garnish is simple and a vital part of many open-faced sandwiches.

Makes 1½ cups

1½ cups of strong, clear consommé

1 package (1 oz.) powdered gelatin

Port wine (optional)

Heat consommé and sprinkle with powdered gelatin. When the gelatin is dissolved, add a little port wine. Pour into one large or several smaller molds.

Refrigerate to thicken. To serve, loosen jellied consommé around the edges. Dip mold a second in boiling water and unmold jellied consommé. Slice (in strips) to serve. Aspic can also be diced.

Pancakes with Lemon Crème and Raspberry Coulis

Pancakes are the favorite comfort food for the Danes in the winter and it cold outside. Lemons are in season and, well, we can get fresh fruit and berries all year around, so why nut brighten up things on a dark, cold day. This is a quick and easy recipe and is popular with adults as well as children.

Pancakes with Lemon Crème and Raspberry Coulis

approx. 12 pancakes

Pancakes:

1 cup (120 g) flour

1 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt

3 eggs

2 cups (8 fl. oz.) milk

grated peel of 1 lemon

3 tbsp. beer or water

butter for frying

Lemon Crème:

1 cup lemon juice

3 egg yolks

2 cups sugar

2 sticks/1 cup butter

Coulis:

250 grams/8 oz. raspberries, save some for garnish

juice of a half lemon

2-3 tbsp. confection sugar

To make pancakes, combine flour, sugar, salt and grated lemon peel. Beat eggs and mix them with flour mixture and a little of the milk. Whisk in the rest of the milk together with beer or water, and beat until smooth.

Pour a little of the batter onto a well greased frying pan and tilt so that batter quickly covers the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook until golden brown on one side, turn and cook the other side.

To make lemon crème, beat lemon juice, and eggs with sugar. Cook over low heat while beating the whole time until thick. Add butter a little at a time, then cool, stirring occasionally.

To make raspberry coulis, mash raspberries with lemon juice and sugar a little at a time, depending on the berries are sweet or sour.

To assemble, lay a pancake on a flat surface and place a large spoonful of vanilla crème in the middle. With help of a fork, roll pancake so that it resembles a tube with crème inside. and place on plates. Place 1-2 tbsp. raspberry juice next to the pancakes and sprinkle with confectionary sugar.

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.