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.

Mortens Evening – Roasted Duck with Prunes and Apples

Many Danes still keep the tradition of Mortensaften alive by gathering the family to eat goose or duck.
Saint Martin’s Day is celebrated each November 11th in a long line of countries, mostly as a harvest festival. In Denmark, the day is not an official holiday but many older generations still mark the occasion with a dinner of goose or duck on the preceding evening, known as Mortensaften (St. Martin’s Eve).

Denmark’s celebration of Mortensaften is in honor of Saint Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier born around the year 316 who deserted the Roman army due to his Christian faith and established the first monastery in Gaul. He was later canonized as a Christian saint.

Known as Sankt Morten or Morten Bisp in Danish, St. Martin is said to have resisted his impending election as bishop by hiding in a geese pin. The honk of the birds eventually revealed his location and forced him to take the bishop’s office. Because the geese had revealed him, he asked the townspeople to slaughter a goose once a year and eat it as a form of revenge.

In Denmark, the traditional Mortensaften dinner has been celebrated for centuries. The first documents of the celebration in Denmark are from 1616 but it is believed that since the Middle Ages people ate goose and duck as an offering to the saint.

Eventually, the goose came to be replaced on Danes’ dinner tables by other poultry, particularly duck. Today, the tradition hangs by a thin thread.

Roasted Duck with Prunes and Apples
(Stegt And med Sveske and Apples)

Serves 4
6 lbs. (3 kilo) duck, cavity washed and patted dry
salt and fresh ground pepper
8 oz. (240 g) pitted prunes
3-4 cooking apples, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, sliced
a spring of thyme
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 make duck, rub inside of duck with salt and pepper. Fill cavity with prunes and apples. 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: boiled white potatoes and stewed red cabbage

Sarah Bernhardt Cookie

This cookie is named after the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt ( 1844-1923). She visited Denmark many times and around the turn of the century a cake was created for her. This cookie is one of the most popular pastry in Denmark.

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Cream Ingredients

14 oz, of a good dark chocolate

32 oz. (4 cups) of heavy cream

Macaron Ingredients

10 oz marcipan

4 oz sugar

2 egg whites

¼ tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract (optional)

extra

10-12 oz. of a good dark chocolate

candy viola (optional)

To make the macaron,  Mix the almond paste and sugar until crumbly, add the egg whites ½ at a time and then the salt and extract. Pipe into 1 inch rounds and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until golden brown around the edges.

To make Cream, melt chocolate over a water bath*. In another pot, bring  sugar and water to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until it reaches 240 degrees. Whip  eggs yolks until they are light in color. Very carefully add the sugar and water mixture to the eggs yolks in a thin stream on the side of the bowl. Add melted chocolate and mix until cool. Place in the refrigerator  a few hours or overnight. Take the cream out of the refrigerator  and whip until light and fluffy. If you whip the cremen to long, it will separate.

To assemble  the cookie, turn the cooled macaroon upside down and pipe a mound of chocolate cream on top and freeze for about an hour. Melt 10-12 ounces of chocolate with 2 tablespoons of butter over a water bath*.  Dip the cookies in the chocolate, allow to set and then serve.

It is best to make these cookies over two days.

*To make a water bath, fill a pan with a few inches of hot water and place a container  (pan, bowl, baking dish) with chocolate in water. It keeps the ingredients from being exposing to direct heat.

Golden and Red Beet Salad

Today is the day I came to Denmark, 50 years ago. I worked as a chambermaid in Copenhagen, I started to write about my experiences in June, 2018. If you would like to read more, check out the bottom of the page and find out what it is like to be a chambermaid in Copenhagen 50 years ago.
There are many kinds of beets- not all of them are red, but also yellow, white and striped. They are filled with fiber, C-vitamin and iron. We can get them fresh from August and until the frost sets in October or November. Beets can be cooked, grated, made to juice and preserved. We usually eat the root, but the leaves taste also good in a salad. This is a salad we eat a lot at this time of the year.

Golden and Red Beet Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 salad servings or side dish

4 tbsp. hazelnuts, divided

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 tsp. hazelnut oil

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 peeled medium golden beets

1 peeled small turnip

1 peeled carrot

2 peeled red apples, halved and cored

2 peeled medium red beets, with leaves

2 tbsp. coarsely chopped parsley

To make the dressing, crush 2 tbsp. hazelnuts; place in a small bowl. Whisk oils and vinegar in and season dressing to

taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To make the salad, thinly slice golden beets, turnip, carrot and apples using a mandolin. Place them in a large bowl

together with parsley. Slice red beets last and place in a small bowl.

To serve, place 2-3 red beet leaves on a platter. Spoon 3 tbsp. of dressing over red beet slices in the small bowl; pour

remaining dressing over vegetables in medium bowl. Toss to coat each. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange red beets

on  top of the leaves; spoon over any dressing from bowl. Top red beets with remaining vegetables. Garnish with

remaining hazelnuts.

Working as a chambermaid in Copenhagen

”Sandy, I think the paymaster has made a mistake,” I said as I counted my money.
“What do you mean?” Sandy said as she dumped her money out on the table. She crumpled the brown paper bag and threw it in the wastebasket.
“We’ve been working six and seven days a week the past month, and as far as I can see, there is not more money than usual.”
“Ja, you are right. We get five crowns an hour, forty hours a week. That’s two hundred crowns and then some for our lunch. We’ve often been asked to stay later than normal.”
“The way I see it, we should get time and a half for the extra hours we work on weekdays. That would be seven crowns and fifty øre for the extra two hours we worked last Friday and Saturday. And when we worked on Sunday, we should get ten crowns an hour for working the seventh day.”
“Here comes the housekeeper, Fru Holm. I’ll ask her why there isn’t more money in our paychecks.”
“Fru Holm, why don’t we get more money for the past two weeks? Both Sandy and I have been working overtime and don’t seem to have more money than usual,” I said as Fru Holm approached us.
“Hvabehar?” she said in Danish, not looking at us.
“Fru Holm, speak English. Why aren’t we getting paid for the extra hours we’ve been working?” I repeated. Fru Holm had a blank look on her face. Suddenly she didn’t understand a word I was saying.
“I no understand,” she said as she straightens the linens in the closet.
“Fru Holm,” I said and held up my little brown bag with the money in it in front of her face “Penge, money, ikke nok, not enough,” I said both in English and Danish, over-enunciating every word.
“I no understand English,” she called over her shoulder as she raced off.
“That does it,” I said to Sandy. “I am going to talk to the boss himself.”
“You don’t mean that,” Sandy said as she ran after me. “He is a millionaire. In addition to this hotel, Simon Spies owns lots of other buildings. He owns the largest travel agency in Denmark, and he owns an airline. Besides, you don’t even know where he is.”
“Yes, I do. I saw a limousine drive up this morning, and I saw him come into the building this morning. He has a penthouse apartment on top to this building. Maybe he is still here.”
“Are you going up there now?”
“Yeah, why not? Fru Holm pretends she doesn’t understand what I am saying. Who else can I talk too? The porter? The receptionist?”
Sandy shook her head as she disappeared into the changing room. “Good luck! See you at home.”
Making sure the housekeeper didn’t see me, I marched down the hall to the elevator and rode to the top floor. My heart was beating like crazy. I knocked on the door with an authority of a person who knew what they were doing, which I didn’t. I waited a few minutes and thinking no one was coming; I turned to go. The door opened slightly, and I could see a little, bearded man scowling at me. I recognized him from the newspapers. He was always having huge, sex parties in his penthouse apartment right here in the hotel. I was expecting a maid or even a butler, but not the owner himself. Surprised to see Simon Spies standing there in the door, I fell silent. He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes as if better to see me.
“Well, what is it?” he said in a nasty tone. “What do you want? My rooms have already been cleaned. Go away,” he said as he started to close the door.
“Wait,” I stammered “my name is Lynn Miller, and I work here as a chambermaid.” Looking down, I dried my sweaty palms on my uniform.
“I can see that. What do you want?” He sounded faintly amused.
I explained my problem, and he seemed to listen.
“I’ll see what I can do,” he barked a dismissal and slammed the door in my face.
When I arrived at the YWCA Sandy was sitting on the bed reading a letter.
“Did you get mail from home?” I asked as I hung my coat on the back of the door. “Wait till you hear what happened,” I said excitedly.
Sandy wasn’t listening. She waved the letter at me. “We have to move. Well, you have to move. The YMCA knows that we are two living here, and they want us to leave by the end of the month.”
“What?” I grabbed the letter and read. I let the paper drop to the floor as I sank onto the bed. “Where am I going to live now?”
“Sorry, can’t help you. I am leaving at the end of the month to travel around Europe with some friends. Can’t you live with Jesper and his mom?” Sandy said trying to be helpful. “Or, why don’t you quit now instead of in May and take that trip you have been talking about so long?”
Jesper came a few hours later, and we talked about what I should do. He looked at my paycheck, and we agreed that already the next day we would go to the hotel and restaurant union, Horesta, and try to get some money for my overtime. I had been forced to join the union when I came to Denmark, and now maybe they could help Sandy, and I get our money. As for a getting me a new room, Jesper promised to think of something.

I bought a ticket to Greece and gave my notice at work. I won my case with the union and got enough money to buy a new spring overcoat.
Work was awful. Nobody talked about my little trip to the penthouse apartment, but I felt the wrath of my higher-ups. Business was slow, and the housekeeper ordered me to clean the walls, the ceilings, the rugs, everything. They treated me like a slave, but that was okay, I was leaving in a few days and spent the last few days of work goofing off when nobody was around or checking up on me.

Swedish Meatballs

This dish is Swedish and folk from other parts of the world confuse it with Danish meatballs. We think ours are best, but the Swedish meatballs are also good. Especially with lingonberry preserves. In Denmark we can get them fresh in the Autumn, and, of course, all year long as a preserves. You also buy jars of them at Ikea, which is a Swedish company.

 

 

Swedish Meatballs

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

2½ cups beef stock, divided

4 tbs. butter

1 cup minced onion

4 slices bacon, minced

1 lb. ground beef

3/4 lb. ground pork

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbsp. kosher salt

1½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1½ ts. sugar

1 tsp. ground allspice

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. sour cream

To make meatballs, mix breadcrumbs and 1/3 cup stock in a small bowl, Set aside. Melt 1 tbsp. butter over  medium heat. Add onion and sauté until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer onions to a large bowl.

Wipe out pan and return to medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer bacon to onions. Add the next eight ingredients to bowl with onion mixture, mixing with your hands to blend.

To fry meatballs, melt butter or oil in a large skillet. It is important that the pan is very hot before meatballs are placed in a skillet, or they will stick to the pan. Dip a spoon in the fat in the pan and afterward dip a spoon into meat mixture, forming a round meatball. Drop meatballs into fat in the hot pan. Scoop a little fat over each meatball. Reduce heat and fry meatballs 6-8 minutes depending on their size, and then turn them over. Fry 6-8 minutes on the other side. Transfer meatballs to a plate.

To make gravy, after removing meatballs from the pan, stir flour into fat and cook until well browned, scraping in all sediment. Gradually stir in stock until gravy reaches the right consistency. Remember, gravy is always thickener after being removed from heat. Return meatballs to pan. Cover; simmer until meatballs are cooked 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in sour cream       and stir to coat meatballs.  A few drops of Worchester sauce can be added for a darker color. Season with salt and pepper. Serve gravy separately.
Suggested accompaniment: lingonberry (tyttebær in Daish) boiled potatoes

 

Cod with Tomatoes and Fennel

After a long summer vacation and two trips to the States, California and New York,  I am back. One of the many things I missed while visiting the States, was fish. Living in a little fishing village in North Sealand, Danmark, the first thing I bought was Cod. We eat a lot of cod in Denmark. It is the most economical important  fisk in the North Atlantic area. Cod can be prepared in many different ways and is the most important ingredient in fish cakes. In this recipe, you can use catfish, haddock or halibut.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stegt Cod with Tomatoes and Fennel

l lb. cod or another firm fisk, such as catfish, haddock or halibut

2 onions, coarsely chopped

1 fennel, cut into thin strips

2 tomatoes, cut into wedges

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 tbsp. rapeseed oil

1 dl white wine

1 oz. feta cheese

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

4-8 olives

To make the fish, carefully remove all bones and cut the fish in to  2×2 inches. Warm a tbsp. oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add onions, fennel, tomatoes and garlic and fry 4 minutes. Take the vegetables up and come fish onto the pan and fry 4 mintues. Bring the vegetables back t the pan and add the white wine. Sprinkle with parsley and  garnish with olives.

Suggested accompaniment: bread or rice

Asparagus with Sabayonne Sauce and Baby Shrimps

Midsummer night

The Danes celebrate midsummer night, the longest day of the year on the 23rd of June. It is the light they are celebrating. It gets light 3.00 in the morning and it doesn’t get dark, not really dark, until around midnight. This calls for a celebration and the Danes, young and old, flok to the beaches, parks, lakes and anyway there is water to celebrate the longest day.  This is done  in memory of the Church’s witchburnings of the 16th and 17th century. This is a tradition that stems from pagen times, showing the defeat of darkness to the powers of the sun god.  

This year there might not be so many for bonfires, because it has been so hot, 85°F for more than a month, and no rain. It has been raining the last few days, but it may not be allowed to build a bonfire because of the danger of starting fires that could get out of control. However, the Danes love to  invite friends and family and in general enjoy the special atmosphere of the long, cool evenings after a long winter when the days turn dark already at three in the afternoon. Many will be eating white asparagus because the Danish white asparagus as well as Danish green asparagus is soon over.

White Asparagus with Sabyonne Sauce and Baby Shrimp

Serves 4

8-12 jumbo white asparagus

fint salt

sukker Sabayonne sauce:

1 cup heavy cream

3 egg yolks

½ cup white wine

1 tsp lemon zest

juice of ½ lemon

freshly ground white pepper

2-3 oz. baby shrimps

Garnish: chopped parsley

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

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

To serve, come a large spoonful of sauce on 4 warmed plates and place 2-3 asparagus in the middle of the plate. Divide the shrimps over the asparagus and garnish with chopped parsley. Come the rest of the sauce in a bowl and let the guest take more sauce if they want.

Suggested accompaniment: flutes

Chicken Salad with Asparagus and New Potatoes

Here is a lovely summer salad that is a whole meal in one dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken salad with Asparagus and New Potatoes.

Serves 4

2 chicken breast without skin and bones

1 lb. new potatoes, skubbed and cooked 20 minutes

1 lb. green asparagus, trimmed and cooked 3-4 minutes

½ savoy cabbage, shredded

Dressing:

4 tbsp. oliven olie

1 tbsp. apple cider  vinagar

1 tbsp. capers

Garnish: cress or dild

To make salad, cook the chicken breast 12-15 minutes depending on their size. When cooled, shred the chicken and place in a large bowl. Add the potatoes, and the cooked asparagus(which has been cut into smaller pieces) and cabbage,

To make dressing, whisk olie and vinagar and add capers, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Garnish with cress or dild.

   As we drove away from my boyfriends parents, I asked him how he could afford to go to school and not work. “Doe the Danish government pays you to go to school?  “Do you have to pay any of this money back? I asked. 

   “No, you don’t have to pay the government back,” he said. 

   “Can anybody get this money?” A plan was forming in my mind. Maybe I could stay here and get some money to study.

   “Yes, if you are a Danish citizen you can get the money as long as you study. However, many students go to school for ten, twelve years when their schooling should only have taken four years. The government is thinking about changing this rule. In the future, if your education takes five years, you can only get five years of money. Denmark is one of the few countries in the world who pays their students to go to school.”

  “Can I get some of this money?”  

  “Married to a Dane, yes, and even then you have to live here for more than a year before you could apply.”

    The rain was beating angrily down on the car making it difficult for Jesper to see out of the window.

     “Is it true that most of your schools, colleges, and universities are free?” I kept on questioning the poor guy.

   “Yes, most of them are,” he said without losing patience.    

   We drove the rest of the way in silence. We arrived at the restaurant and parked the car on the street. They don’t have too many parking lots in the heart of Copenhagen. The city is more than 800 years old and where to park cars were something they didn’t think about at that time.

Strawberry Tarts

   A few days after I met my future Danish husband, he wanted me to meet his parents. Once again, we crawled into his little car and drove towards the exclusive part of Denmark.   

   We arrived in a sleepy little town north of Copenhagen on a cold Sunday afternoon in November. We came to a lonely intersection. We were parking on the main street in front of a supermarket. his parents lived in an apartment, on the fifth floor, on top of a supermarket. I looked around in amazement, taking in the other shops and saw a butcher shop, a bakery, and hardware store. They were all closed, and there wasn’t a person on the street.

   All the shops, department stores, and supermarkets in Denmark were not open on Sunday. These same stores also closed at two o’clock on Saturday afternoon making it impossible for working people to do their shopping on the weekends. Like most apartment houses, there were a million doors, and I stopped not knowing where to go. The stairs were rickety, and, as I started to climb the five flights to the top, I wondered if I would ever make it to the top.                  

   My boyfriend lived at home, but he rang the doorbell. I guess he was warning them that we were here. His mother opened the door.       

   Of course, his parents both spoke perfect English.

   The most beautiful tableware, I had ever seen, was sitting on the table. I admired the plates: white with small blue flowers. “It is Royal Copenhagen,” the mojther said when she saw me admiring the plates. “It is hand painted and very famous. People from all over the world come to buy dishes from Royal Copenhagen.”   

   In front of each person, there was a small plate, a napkin and a little silver fork for eating the cake. Cups and saucers in the same beautiful pattern with a tiny silver spoon resting on each of the saucers if the guests wanted to stir their coffee after adding milk or sugar to it. The cream and sugar bowls were of silver, as was the coffee pot.

   The mother served coffee in the smallest cups I had ever seen. The coffee was strong. It was nothing like I had ever tasted. I never drank coffee at home because I thought it was too weak. This coffee was excellent, rich and dark. There was a large platter in the middle of the coffee table with the most stunning cakes and pastries I had ever seen.

   Asgar explained about the different cakes. “This cake is named after the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt. She visited Denmark many times, and around the turn of the century a cake was created for her,” he said as he pointed to a small chocolate pyramid form. “It is made of macaroon with a layer of chocolate mousse coated with rich dark chocolate and decorated with candied fruit.”

   My boyfriend explained, as he slid a piece of whipped-cream-covered cake onto his plate, “This is Rubinstein cake, named after the famous pianist Anton Rubinstein. He lived around the time of Hans Christian Andersen. They were good friends. The white whipped cream and the coated chocolate choux pastry should resemble the black and white tangents of a piano.”

   I had my eye on a lovely white cake filled with lots of whipped cream. It had a cylindrical shape with chocolate and small bits of candied fruit on top. “Goose Breast” is the name, and there is both a vanilla cream and whipped cream in this cake. It is then covered with marzipan and decorated with chocolate and candied fruit.  It was always nice to have afternoon coffee at the parent-in-laws.

It is summer and lots of strawberries are on the market. Here is a lovely tart with chocolate and vanilla cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Tart with Chocolate and Vanilla cream

makes 8 small tarts

Pastry dough:

1½ cups flour

6 oz. (180 grams) butter

3/4 cup (145 oz.) sugar

1 egg

Vanilla Cream

2 eggs  yokes

3 tbsp. sugar

1½ tbsp. cornstarch

1 cup milk

½  tsp. vanilla  extract

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. heavy cream

Filling: 250 gram/8 oz. semi-sweet  chocolate

1 lb.  strawberries

To make dough, bland  flour, butter and sugar in a food processor until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg and just enough water  and stir until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes or until you make the tarts.

Preheat the oven to 340° F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and  let it sit 10-15 minutes (longer if the dough has been in the refrigerator over night), or until the dough gives to a light pressure. On a lightly floured board, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut the dough into 8 squares.  Transfer the dough to 8 small tart pans. Refrigerate 10 minutes before baking.

To make the cream, whisk egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract together.  Sprinkle cornstarch in egg mixture while whisking. Bring milk to a boil over low heat and pour slowly into the egg mixture. Return egg mixture to the pan and whisk until it thickens, 4 minutes. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add butter and cream.. Pour cream into a bowl, cover and set in the refrigerator.

To assemble, just before serving,  melt chocolate over a water bath. Brush bottom of each tart with chocolate and come cream in the baked  tart shells and not before. The bottom will be soggy if you do it to early. Place the fruit that has be cut into smaller pieces in a decorative pattern.  Serve immediately.

Chicken Fricassee with Summer Vegetabales

European Cars 

  My first date with the young man whom would after a year become my husband, asked me out to dinner. His tiny Morris Mascot looked like a miniature to me, like a child’s toy. Compared with our large American-built vehicles, his English-made automobile appeared petite. I looked at Jesper, then at the car, then back at Jesper. How could he possibly fit his over-six-foot frame into that tiny lunchbox?  

   “Is that a car?” I cried out and laughed when I saw it.

His legs were long, and yes, it was difficult for him to get into his tiny little car. He looked like a giraffe that had to drop its head down low to avoid hitting the top of the vehicle. He grabbed the wheel with his right hand and held it firmly so he could support himself while he lifted his right leg and landed with a plop on the seat. Then, dragging his left leg and the rest of his body into place, he let out a sigh of relief as if it were a big problem climbing in and out of the car every day. Apparently, he wasn’t upset with me for laughing, and he motioned for me to get in the car.  

  Now it was my turn to turn to squeeze myself into the car. Sure, we have small cars in the States. However, this car was different. The roof of his vehicle was lower than the ceiling of most cars.  I was sure this car was the smallest car I had ever seen. I am a pretty tall girl myself and studied the situation a few seconds.

   I grabbed the door for support, crouched down and with my rear end first; I dropped into the seat with all the grace of a baby elephant, shaking the car. He didn’t seem to notice; he had already started the car and was pulling out of the parking space. Small, inexpensive cars tend to rattle and shake, and I could feel every little bump in the road. The faster he drove, the more the vehicle vibrated. It was only a few blocks to the restaurant, and we were there after just five minutes.  

   It started to snow, the snowflakes spattering onto the window only to melt immediately. Jesper pulled into the parking lot, got out quickly and started walking towards the restaurant. First, I waited, making no attempt to get out of the car. I’ve been expecting him to open the door for me. Apparently, he was unaware of this practice.. He darted towards the entrance, pulling his collar up around his neck, shielding himself from the first winter’s snow. It was cold, and he didn’t seem to notice that I wasn’t following him as he hurried over the snow-covered ground towards the restaurant.

   In the meantime, I gave up waiting for him to open the door and tried to get out of the car. To my surprise, there was no handle. There was just a cord attached to both sides of the door. There wasn’t a window handle either, so I couldn’t crank the window open to shout after him.

   When he noticed that I wasn’t walking next to him, he turned around, hesitated a moment, and then started walking back to the car with a bewildered look on his face. Arriving back at the car and standing right next to the door, he hunched down and gestured with his hands that I should open the window by pushing the window sideways. It was then I noticed that the window was a sliding window with a strip of metal in the middle of the window with a knob. I took hold of it and pushed it to the right.

   “Won’t you join me?” he said with amusement in his voice.

   “Yes, but I don’t know how to open the door,” I complained.

   “Push down on the cord,” he said as he pushed the air with his hands as if he was opening the door. I pushed the rope down, and the door popped open. I crawled out of the car with his help, and together we walked towards the restaurant.

Veal fricassee is a wonderful summer dish with new carrots, peas and new potatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veal  Fricassee with Spring Vegetables
Serves 6-8

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

3 tsp. salt per quart of water

Bouquet garni:

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

5 leeks, washed thoroughly to remove grit and chopped

½ lb. (230 g) shelled peas

Bouquet garni:

1 leek top (only the green leaves)

2 sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs parsley

string to tie bouquet garni

Sauce:

2 cups (16 fl. oz.)  light cream

5 tbsp. cornstarch

2 cups (½ quart) stock

salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnish:

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

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

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

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

Suggested accompaniment: Boiled new potatoes

Omelet with Tomatoes and Fried Pork

The little Mermaid

The first day after arriving in Copenhagen, I decided to do some sightseeing. I walked for hours and ended at the Little Mermaid in the harbor. I was expecting a huge statue, but there she was. A little bitty statue of a mermaid sitting on a rock just a few feet from land. A few other tourists were standing around. It was easy to see that they were also disappointed in her size. An Australian bloke stood next to me, arms crossed, shaking his head, “I expected her to be bigger,” he said as he turned towards me and continued “didn’t you?”

   “Yes, yes,” I managed to stammer. The Australian said his name was Andy and wanted to know if I would walk with him for a while. Me, goodie-two-shoes, so cautious and jumpy that just making eye contact with a man on the street in a foreign country was a source of anxiety. Every time a man hit on me, I would feign deafness. Now I was faced with a critical decision of walking with a man I didn’t know. 

   When we reached the famous Nyhavn, a canal lined with townhouses from the 18th century, bars, and restaurants, Andy said “Let’s get something to eat. I haven’t eaten since breakfast.” Andy grabbed my arm and pulled me over to a four-story house with a plaque on it.

Digteren H.C. Andersen Boede Her 1845-1864

  ”The poet, Hans Christian Andersen lived here from 1845 to 1864,” Andy said as we crossed the street to the other side.  

   “I didn’t know that you could read Danish.” 

   “It says in my Lonely Planet Gruide book and that King Christian the Fourth built this canal in 1670. It is a gateway from the sea to the old inner city where ships trade cargo and fishermen’s catch. Many of the houses date back to that time and the oldest house still standing was built in 1681.” (see the top of the page)

   “Well, I can see that. All the buildings seem to be falling apart.” I looked up at the houses that were crooked and appeared to be leaning on each other. If they removed a building or two, they would all fall. Others were sinking into the ground, and their windows were crooked. Some buildings were blue, while others were yellow or red.

   Andy motioned for me to follow him and after climbing a few steps, we entered an old house with wooden floors. There were round wooden tables with rickety, wobbly chairs placed around the tables and not much else.

   “This area is notorious for beer, sailors, and prostitutes,” Andy said as he was still reading from his book. 

   “Maybe we shouldn’t be here,” I said as I nervously looked around the room. There were mostly men and the few women in the place, and they were undoubtedly prostitutes judging by the way they dressed.

   I glanced around the room and saw two men eating what looked like an egg omelet with slices of pork on top. 

   “That looks good,” I said as I nodded in the direction of the two men eating…. I didn’t dare point at the men; I might have started a fight.  A man with a crooked nose that made him look more like a boxer than a waiter took our order. My first meal in Copenhagen. Just as we finished our dinner, a fight broke out. I grabbed Andy’s arm and whispered with panic in my voice “What should we do?” Andy laughed and stood up, dragging me with him. “Let’s get out of here.” We headed for the door and after glancing over our shoulders to see if our waiter was following us before leaving. Not to worry, he was in the middle of the fight. We run down the steps and halfway down the street before stopping, laughing and gasping for air. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Omelet with Fried Pork (Æggekage med Stegt Flæsk)

Serves 4

6-8 slices of lightly salted pork or bacon

8 eggs

8 tbsp. milk

salt and freshly ground pepper

butter for frying

large bunch of chives

2 tomatoes, cut in slices

To make pork, cut into slices and fry without fat on a hot frying pan until slices are golden and tender.

To make omelet, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl. Melt butter in a large frying pan (the same pan used for the pork can be used after wiping it clean with a paper towel) over medium heat. Pour egg mixture into pan and let cook slowly, until it is firm and the bottom and sides are browned – about 8 minutes. Place slices of tomatoes on top of the omelet and arrange fried pork slices on top of the omelet just before it sets. Sprinkle with plenty of clipped chives.

To serve, place frying pan on the table and let the guest take as much or as little omelet as they wish.

Suggested accompaniment: Danish rye bread or whole wheat bread and snaps (Danish aquavit).

Pork and Veal Patties with Stewed Peas and Carrots

I have a anniversary coming up. I will soon be celebrating 50 years in Denmark. I will be writing about some of my experiences of living in Denmark and, of course, a typical traditional Danish recipe. 

I’ve been writing this blog for 4½ years. I have always known that many people don’t know much about Denmark, they don’t even know where it is. Not even my parents knew where it was when I told them that I would be going to Denmark in few days. I remember the day I told my parents that I was going to Denmark.

 “I am going to Denmark,” I announced a few days before I planned to leave. No reaction. My parents didn’t even look up from their newspapers.

  “I said I am going to Denmark at the end of the month,” I repeated.

  “That’s nice, dear,” Mother mumbled as if I had just said I was spending the weekend at the beach with some friends. Dad was hard of hearing, so I raised my voice and said it once again.

  “I’ve got a job and everything. I am leaving for New York on Friday and will spend a few days there before leaving for Brussels,” I said nervously.

  “Brussels, I thought you told me you are going to Denmark.” He must have heard something of what I said.

  “First I must go to Brussels and then on to Copenhagen.”     

  Dad finally puts down the newspaper and looked over at me.

  “Let me get this straight. I thought you said you were going to Denmark. Then you told me you are going to Brussels, and now you say that you are going to Copenhagen.” He laughed and shook his head as if I was crazy.

  “Dad, Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark.”

  “Wait a minute,” Dad, apparently confused said, “I thought Denmark is the capital of Sweden.”

  “No, no, Denmark is one of the three countries in Scandinavian and Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark. I will be living and work in Copenhagen. Denmark shares only one border, and that is with Germany. You could sort of say it is on top of Europe.” I was eager to tell them all about my plans. “There’s Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Denmark is the smallest of them; there are only five million people that live there (1968) now five million and a half (2018).  I was sure that they would be upset with me for going off to a foreign country six thousand miles away for a whole year. But they didn’t seem to be.

  “Denmark, Dad, you know Europe,” I was getting impatient with him. I am not sure they ever found out, even though they visited me two times in 40 years. 

  They both started reading their newspaper again and didn’t even ask me when I would be coming back. I didn’t come back, not to live and have now been living in Denmark soon 50 years. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pork and Veal Patty with Stewed Peas and Carrots

Serves 4

1½ lb. (700 g) ground pork and veal

1 egg

2 tbsp. breadcrumbs (panko)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground thyme

4 tbsp. flour

butter for frying

To make patties, mix meat with egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and thyme.  Form mixture into 4 patties. Dredge patties in flour. Melt butter in a large frying pan and brown patties 1 minute on each side. Turn down heat and fry 10-12 minutes, frequently turning so they don’t get burned.

Stewed Peas and Carrots

Serves 4

6 carrots, diced

1½ cups milk

12 oz. freshly shelled peas

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. flour

½ tsp. salt

fresh ground black pepper

1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

To make peas and carrots, cook carrots and milk five minutes. Add peas. Stir soften butter and flour together and add to the peas and carrots, bring to a boil and add salt and pepper. Let cook 2 minutes. Add parsley.

To serve, take patties up and place them on four plates. Place 1 or 2 spoons  of stewed peas and carrots.

Serve with boiled  potatoes.

Suggested drink: beer

Smoked Salmom with Shrimps and Danish Caviar

The weather is warm in Denmark, at least it has been for the last few weeks. In fact, we had the hottest day in May ever  recorded last  month. 85°. That is a totally unheard high for Denmark. It may not seem like a very high temperature for many, but for the Danes, it’s high. We don’t cook and some of us don’t even grill. We like to eat our cold open-face sandwiches. This is one of my favorite and so easy. I never get tried of eating seafood and now that the Danish Caviar season is over, we can buy it in small jars. I do believe that it can in most parts of the world. If not, try the internet. Our Danish caviar is normally a light pink color, but some people have colored it black. I guess it is to try to look the black caviar from Russia or Iran. In my opinion, it taste better, and it is not so expensive.  One of my American friend once told me that open-face sandwiches would never be popular in the States. She said that you have to use a knife and a fork to eat it. That makes me sad. These sandwiches are so wonderful and I can’t seem to understand that kind of thinking. I hope you try these sandwiches, even if you have to use a knife and a fork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoked Salmon with Shrimps and Danish Caviar

Serves 4

4 slices of buttered sour dough bread or white bread

4-8 slices of freshly smoked salmon, depending on their size

2-3 oz. shrimps

2-3 oz. black Danish Caviar

4 tbsp. mayonnaise

Garnish: freshly ground pepper

To assemble, place 1-2 slices of salmon on each piece of buttered bread. Place shrimps on one side of the salmon and spoon caviar on the other side. Spoon mayonnaise down the middle of the sandwich.

Stewed Stawberries with Cream

Danish strawberries are now slowly coming into the markets. The Danes think that they have the best strawberries in world and, of course, I agree with them. The cool summer days and short nights allows the berries to ripen slowly. Strawberries have a short and intense season here in Denmark and we eat as many as we can while we can.  Never put  strawberries in the refrigerator. That will stop the naturally ripening.  Place them in a cool place unless they should be eaten the same day. If you eat them the same day, you can place them in the sun. And don’t rinse them if not absolutely necessary. When you rinse them, don’t remove the lille leaf on top of the strawberry, it prevents them from soaking water. Strawberries taste good with all types of cremes, yoghurts and desserts.

This picture and recipe is from my book Dining with Danes.

Stewed Strawberries, Red  Currents and Raspberries with Cream 

6 dessert servings

2 lbs. (910 g) mixed fresh strawberries, red currents, black

currents

½ lb. raspberries

½ cup (4 fl. oz.) water

8 oz. (270 g) sugar

4-5 tbsp. cornstarch

3 cups (12 oz.) ice cold heavy cream

To make  berries, put mixed berries in a pot and simmer gently for 5-6 minutes. Add sugar and cook briefly before adding the raspberries. Bring to a boil and stir, remove pot from heat. Dissolve cornstarch in a little cold water and mix it into boiling hot mixture. Bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Pour into a serving bowl and sprinkle a little sugar over to keep skin from forming.

To serve, divide dessert into six bowls and pour a little cream onto to each bowl or let the guests pour as much cream as they want.