Beef Stew with Vegetables and Beans

Last time I wrote about how I like to make dinner in a wok.This dish can also be made in a wok. It is both easy,  nourishing and inexpensive. Most dishes like this one calls for more meat, 500 or 600 grams. I use less meat, and although it can be more expensive, I use beans. Bean have lots of protein, pretty much the same as beef, is very filling  and it´s less expensive.   This dish can be made as an week-end dish for guests or remove the wine and eat in on week day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beef Stew with Vegetables and Beans

Serves 4

4 tbsp. flour

salt and freshly ground pepper

320 g/12 oz./3/4 lb. good beef, cut into 2½ cm X 2½cm  ( 1 inch x 1 inch) cubes

1 tbsp. oil

3 hvidløg cloves, finely chopped

8 oz./½ lb. carrots, if they are small they can be left whole, or cut them into large slices

1½ cup bouillon

½ cup red wine

1 tbsp. tomato puré

2 tsp. ground sage

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. mustard powder

320 g/12 oz./ 3/4 lb. potatoes, peeled and cut into 2½ x 2½ cm (1 inch x 1 inch) cubes

225 g/½ lb. mushrooms, cut into smaller pieces

1 can of beans, white, kidney or   garbanzo, appox. 225 g/½ lb

Garnish: 2 tbsp. chopped parsley

To make, combine flour, salt and pepper and dredge meat and coat evenly. Heat oil in a pan (a wok can also be used) and fry the meat 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, bouillon, wine, tomato puré, sage. thyme and mustard powder and bring to a boil, lower the heat and place a lid on the pan and let simmer 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook 10 minutes before adding the mushrooms and simmer 5-10 minutes more. Add the beans and cook 3-4 minutes.

To serve, divide into 4 warmed bowls and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with crusty bread.

Beef with Mushroom Sauce

When I was a child of 12, I read Pearl S. Buck’s book, The Good Earth. It was about China,  it’s people, it’s culture and it´s food. What interested me most was the food. The people of China were very poor when Mrs. Buck wrote her book and the Chinese people didn’t have  much fuel to make fires and put into their stoves. What they did have was a WOK. It was a rund bottomed deep metal bowl which could be heated up in just a few minutes. After chopping and slicing the vegetables into smaller pieces and the meat, which they didn’t have very much of either, they added some oil and quickly fried the ingredients, stirring constantly. A few more ingredients such as soya sauce, bouillon, vinagar and cornstarch  was made in a cup and this  sauce was  poured over the meat and vegetables. After a matter of a few minutes, the dinner was ready. And they only used one pot, or should I say a wok making less to clean up and  dinner was ready in just 15-20 minutes. I wrote six cookbook about Asian food, selling more than 200,000 books in Scandinavia . I have since then used this method to make many dishes. I just cut the meat and vegetables into equal sizes  and heat my wok and have created all kinds of dishes. Here is one of my favorites and it is finished in just 20 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beef with Mushroom Sauce

Serves 4

455 g /1 lb. good beef cut into strips

2 tbsp. flour

½ tsp. salt

freshly ground peber

180 g/6 oz.  mushrooms, cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces

1 red peberfrugt, cut into strips

1 tbsp. oil

3 fed garlic, finely chopped

½ tsp. ground rosemary

1 cup of beef bouillon

2 tbsp. vinagar

1 tbsp. tomato pure

To make, dredge meat in the flour mixed with salt and peber.  Heat the oil in a wok or a deep frying pan and add the meat. Fry 4 minutes, tossing and stirring frequently. Take the meat up and add the vegetables and fry 2 minutes. Combine the garlic, rosemary, bouillon, vinagar and tomato pure in a small bowl and add to the wok or pan and cook 2 minutes. Bring the meat back into the wok and cook a few minutes.

Suggested accompaniment: Rice or mashed potatoes.

Smushi

Smushi is a contraction of the Danish word `smørrebrød´,meaning open-face sandwiches – the traditional Danish lunch menu, and the Japanese `sushi´. Smushi is a combination of classical Danish dishes made from seasonal produce, but served in delicate, aesthetically presented portions the size of sushi.   Smushi is not a fusion of ingredients and flavors, but an authentic presentation of traditional Danish foods in a smaller portions that allows you to taste a variety of small dishes in one meal. There is no raw fish, no rice or other Japanese ingredients. They are perfect for appetizers, canapés at a party and they are also good as a lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smushi

After buttering smaller pieces of bread, make these sushi just as you would smørrebrød (open-face sandwich.)

The first sushi is a sausage of minced pork, bouillon and spices. On top of the sausage  red cabbage salad with apples slices.

The next one is  marinated herring with half of a hard-boiled egg, red onion rings, capers* and cress.

The   smushi in the front is roast beef, pickles, grated horseradish, cress and fried onions.

The last smushi is a sardine in oil, an egg slice, mayonnaise, a tiny slice of lemon, and shrimps.

If you would like more ideas for Smushi, look under open-face sandwiches here on my blog.

*Capers, flower buds with lots of taste, must be picked before dawn, so that the flower don´t open ( fold out.) Just like olives, they cannot be eaten without marinating.

Shrimp Cocktail with Lemon Mayonnaise

Valentin’s day was introduced  by Pope Gelasius in the year 496 and man believes it  was named after the roman priest Valentin. Valentins greetings have been popular since the middle ages when the oldest love letter was a poem sendt in 1415 from Charles, Duke of  Orleans to his wife, while he sat prisoned in the Tower of London. Today, Valentin’s day is popular in the States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and Great Britain. However, there are many Danes that like to celebrate the day. Who doesn’t like receiving  flowers or a box of candy. Not to forget a nice dinner. Valentin’s day is February 14th and this shrimp cocktail makes a nice appetizer or a filling lunch with bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shrimp Cocktail with Lemon mayonnaise

Serves 2

Lemon Mayonnaise:

1 egg yolk

1½ oz. lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3½ oz. rapeseed/corn oil

Shrimp cocktail:

9 large shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined, and chilled,

2 tbsp. of baby shrimps

a handful shredded lettuce

2 lemon wedges

Garnish: grated lemon peel, mynte or dild 

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

To make cocktail, place the shredded salad leaves on the bottom of two martini glasses and one large shrimp on top of the shredded salad leaves. Place 1 tbsp. baby shrimp on top of salad leaves and place 4 large shrimps on the rim of each glass and garnish decoratively with lemon, lidt lemon mayonnaise, grated lemon and mynte eller dild sprigs.

 

Roastbeef with Pickles and Grated Horseradish

I always thought pickles should  be marinated in a vinagar brine which had been boiled awhile, thicken with flour and then poured over vegetables. Now I have found a recipe where pickles can be made in a matter of minutes without the brother of sterilizing jars and adding conserving products. It seemed  like all the recipes called for liters and liters of brine and kilos of vegetables .You don’t need to  buy a cauliflower, a whole head of celery, five or six carrots for one portion of pickles. In this recipe, you can use left-over vegetables from dinner the night before. And, of course, in many countries you can buy pickles at the store. For those of you who want to use you left-overs in a smart way, this is a quick and easy recipe that is delicious with roast beef.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roast Beef, Pickles and Horseradish  

Makes 8

Pickles:

½ cup sour cream

2 tsp. curry powder

2 tbsp. vinagar

2 tsp. Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp. finely chopped onion

2 tbsp. finely chopped dill pickle

10 oz. cooked vegetables such as carrots, beans, cauliflower, diced

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tbsp. grated horseradish

8 lettuce leaves

8 slices of buttered rye bread

16 slices of rare roast beef

To make pickles, stir the sour cream with curry powder, vinagar and mustard. Fold the onions, pickles, and vegetables into the dressing. Set aside. 

To assemble, place roast beef on each piece of  buttered rye bread covered with a lettuce leaf. Place a spoonful of pickles on one side of the sandwich and a  spoonful of grated horseradish.

Buns with Vanilla Crème – Fastelavn

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

 

My grandchildren, five girls.                 When the last stick of wood is down,  the king and queen are crowned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buns with Vanilla Crème

Makes 10-12 buns

1 lb. (444 g) flour,

3 tbsp . sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cardamom

1 oz, (30 g) fresh yeast or 3 tps. (9 g) dry active yeast

1 cup (8 fl. oz.) milk

1 egg

2 tsp. sugar

12 oz . (360 g) butter

Sugar paste: 

4  oz. (20 g) butter

3 oz.  (90 g)sugar

Vanllla  Crème:

1 egg yolk,

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. flour

3/4 cup (6 fl. oz,)milk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup whipping creme

To make buns, sift flour and mix with sugar, salt and cardamom. . Dissolve the yeast in half of the milk. Add yeast, the rest of the milk. If using dry active yeast, sprinkle on milk that’s between 100-110 ° F and wait to see small bubbles, about 10 minutes.   and the beaten egg to the flour and sugar. Beat until smooth.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1 cm (½ inch). Spread small pieces of butter on 2/3 of the dough. Fold together into three layers like folding a napkin, first part without butter. Roll out and fold again. Repeat three or four times. Leave in a cold place for 30 minutes.

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

Preheat the oven to 445°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. Spread with a paste made of butter and sugar. Cut into squares of 4×4 inches. Place filling of vanilla creme in the middle, fold corners to the center, forming dough as a ball and place upside down on a greased baking sheet. Leave in a cold place to rise 15-20 minutes, then brush with egg white and bake 10 minutes.

To assemble, when the buns are cool, cut half way around the middle. Fill whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe  the cream into the buns.

Pancakes with Ice Cream and Apricot Jam

This has got to be the most popular dessert in Denmark. They are easy and quick to make, people almost always have ice cream in the freezer and jams in the fridge. Adults and children alike love these pancakes. If you make to many, you can always freeze them and heat them in the microwave a few seconds when you feel like eating something cozy and fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pancakes with Ice Cream and Apricot Jam

1 cup (120 g) flour

1 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt

3 eggs

2 cups (16 fl. oz.) milk

grated peel of 1 lemon

3 tbsp. beer or water

butter for frying

1 portion vanilla ice cream

Garnish: 1 cup (8 fl. oz.) apricot jam, chopped nuts, 

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, flip over and cook the other side.

To assemble, lay a pancake on a flat surface and place a large spoonful of ice cream in the middle. With help of a fork, roll pancake so that it resembles a tube with ice cream.  When all the pancakes are filled, spread apricot jam on top and sprinkle with and chopped nuts.

Chickpea Soup

Here’s a hearty and soothing soup to make on a cold, winter day. it is still cold here in Denmark. So I made this soup to warm myself and my husband. It is, however, getting lighter. The sun sets around five in the afternoon, so there is hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHICKPEA SOUP WITH BROCCOLI

6 servings

1½ cup dried chickpeas or three 15 oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed

3 tbsp. rapeseed oil

2 large coarsely chopped onions

4 chopped garlic cloves

1 sprig of thyme

½ cup of white wine

4 cups vegetable broth

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 bunch broccoli, stems reserved for another use, cut into florets

Garnish: 6 tbsp. sour cream

To prepare the chickpeas,  if using dried chickpeas, place in medium bowl and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Let soak overnight in refrigerator. Drain chickpeas.

To cook  soup, heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and thyme sprig; Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Add chick peas and wine. Bring to a rapid simmer; Cook until wine is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until chickpeas are very soft, 1½-2 hours for dried chickpeas or about 30 minutes for canned. Discard thyme sprig. Purée chickpea mixture, adding water by ½ cupfulls if needed until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

To make  broccoli, cook in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender about 4 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water.

To serve soup, divide soup among 6 warmed bowls and garnish with broccoli and sour cream. Serve with warm crusty bread.

Fried Herring with Salad, Picked Onions and Capers

Fish is the next most important food in the world after corn and  rice. For some countries, fish is one of the few foods that provide protein. In Denmark. the Danes eat a lot of fish, mostly herring which is marinated and eaten on rye bread, also known as an open-face sandwich. It can also be eaten fried, baked or smoked. In this recipe, I have simply fried the herring in butter after dredging it in breadcrumbs. It tastes wonderful with pickled onions and capers together with salad. It is cheap and full of nutrition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fried Herring with Pickled Onions and Capers 

In this recipe, fresh not marinated herring is used.  

Makes 4 

4 large or 8 small herrings, fresh not marinated  

4 tbsp. dried bread crumbs (panko) 

salt and freshly ground pepper  

butter for frying

4 slices of dark rye bread or another type of wheat bread

Garnish:

a handful of mixed salads

pickled red onions

slices of raw, red onions

4 tbsp. small  capers and 4 large capers 

4 sprigs of dill 

To clean and prepare whole herrings, wash them thoroughly, then pat them dry with paper towels. Cut off head and tail fins.  Take one fish at a time, split open, remove guts if not done, and place it on a work surface belly down. Gently, but firmly, press along the length of the backbone to flatten the fish. Turn herring over, run a thumb under the bones at each side of the backbone to loosen. Lift bones out in one piece and snip the backbone 1 inch from the tail. Cut shallow diagonal slashes at 1 inch intervals along the skin side of each fish.

To fry herring, dredge herrings in a mixture of dried bread crumbs and salt and pepper. Melt butter in large frying pan over medium heat and fry 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness.

To serve, arrange a handful of salat on four plates, and place 1 or 2 herrings on top of salad and garnish each with pickled onions, slices of raw red onions, capers  and sprigs of dill. Serve with rye bread. 

Pickled Red Onions 

Pickled onions taste best made the day before. They will keep in the refrigerator up to three weeks. 

Makes 1 cup

4 tbsp. red wine vinegar 

2 tsp. kosher salt 

1 small red onion, thinly sliced 

Bring vinegar, salt, and 1 cup water to boil in a small saucepan.  

Remove from heat. Stir in onion. Let cool. Drain before serving.

Danish Butter Cake

Danes like to bake in the winter months. They treat themselves to a cup of hot chocolate, bake some rolls or a cake and relax with a good book and some nice music. This is known as “hygge” – the Danish word for ‘a cheery atmosphere’ and ‘a pleasant experience.’ Some may translate  hygge to ‘coziness’ or ‘a sense of well-being.’ Hot drinks are closely associated with hygge. It can also be about providing a temporary shelter from the outside world – an activity completely different from social climbing, networking, competition, and materialism. Always nice to bake on a cold Sunday afternoon. I made this cake yesterday and invited the neighbors over for coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danish Butter Cake

Serves 8-12

270 g/9 oz. flour

175 g/6 oz. butter

50 g of fresh yeast or 1 package (ca.11 grams) dry active yeast

3 tbsp. heavy cream

1 egg

1 tbsp. sugar

Butter filling:

5 tbsp. icing sugar

150 g/5 oz. butter

Crème:

2 egg yolks

1 tbsp. sugar

3/4 cup/6 fl.oz.

2 tsp. flour

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten, for brushing the cake

Icing:

1 cup/8oz. icing sugar

a little sherry or water

To make cake, sift flour into a mixing bowl. Add butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Grumble the fresh yeast into the cream or follow the instructions on the package of dry active yeast. Beat egg and sugar into the yeast mixture and pour this mixture over the flour. Mix all ingredients together quickly. Do not overwork the dough or it will become tough.

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

To make butter filling, cream sifted icing sugar and butter together to a smooth cream.

Preheat oven to 225°C./425°C.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough to a large circle about 25 cm/10 inches. Place dough in a prepared tin. Spread the vanilla crème on the bottom.

Roll out the other half of the dough in a long rectangle 14 inches/35 cm and 8 inches/20 wide. Spread the butter filling on it. Roll the dough together and cut in slices. There should be 7 rolls. Lay the slices on the vanilla crème. Let the cake rise 30 minutes in a cool place. Brush cake with egg and bake 30-40 minutes.

To make icing, mix the icing sugar with a little sherry or  warm water to a thick icing. Put a spoonful of icing on each circle.

Salmon Sandwich with Bacon and Onions

Longing for a delicious salmon sandwich at a cafe, but don’t want to dress up and go out on a cold winter day. No need to. Here is a sandwich that can be enjoyed at home and it is easy to make. This sandwich is made with salmon, but it could be just as good with chicken. Come garlic in the mayonnaise and not lemon rind. Maybe you can see that there are two slices of salmon in this sandwich. I just did that to make it look extra delicious and if anybody is really that hungry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon Sandwich with Bacon and Onions

Serves 4

Dressing:

4 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tbsp. finely chopped basil and grated lemon peel

4 slices of salmon without skin or bones

8 slices of bacon

1-2 red onions, thinly sliced

8 slices of white bread

2 tbsp. olive oil

8 lettuce leaves or a mixture of baby leaves

8 slices of tomato

To make sandwich, fry bacon on a large frying pan over middle warm. Transfer bacon to a paper towel to drain. Lightly fry onions in the bacon fat. Heat a grill pan and brush with olive oil and fry salmon slices 3-4 minutes. Turn them and fry 2 minutes on the other side. Brush bread slices with oil and grill them 2 minutes.

To assemble, spread mayonnaise on the bread, lay two slices of bacon, 2 slices of tomato, onions, a slice of salmon and salat on 4 slices of bread. Place the other slices of bread on top and press lightly. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup with Deep Fried Onions and Scallops

Butternut squash is a winter squash. It is harvested in the fall and stored for eating throughout the winter. Unlike summer squash (such as zucchini), winter squash has a thick, inedible skin that must be removed before preparing.  You should cut the squash into two, slice off the top and remove the skin while trying not to cut off to much flesh.  Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the middle, which is always a bit messy. Cube the squash meat for cooking. It may seem a bit of work, but it is well worth it. Butternut squash has a beautiful golden color making this soup a bright addition to a dreary winter day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH DEEP FRIED ONIONS AND SCALLOPS

4-6 servings

1 butternut squash

2 tbsp. rapeseed oil or vegetable oil

juice of a lemon

juice of a small orange

3 oz./90 g  butter

1 cup /8 oz. vegetable bouillon

1 cup /8 oz,  sour cream

salt and pepper

Deep fried onions and scallops

2 cups/16 fl. oz. vegetable oil for deep-frying

2 cnions, cut into 1/4 inch thick rings

8-12 scallops

flour

a few sprigs of lemon thyme (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 ° F.

To make the soup, peel and cube butternut squash and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and place in oven. Roast for approximately 30 minutes until squash is tender. Blend squash, lemon juice, orange juice, butter, milk, bouillon and sour cream until completely smooth. If soup is to thick, add more broth to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the deep fried onions and scallops, warm oil up. Dust onion rings and scallops lightly. Deep fry onions first. Using a wire mesh skimmer of slotted metal spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Deep fry scallops until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

To serve, rewarm soup, divide the soup among bowls and place deep fried onions in the middle of each bowl. Place 2-3 scallops on top of onions. Garnish with lemon thyme.

Ham with Red Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes

Tonight we are having a good Danish dish which can be prepared in under 30 minutes. It is perfect for a cold winter evening. Most of the Danes, myself included, have left-over cabbage and even some ham left-over  from the holidays. This dish takes about 20-25 minutes to make and tastes great. I’ve made the mashed potatoes with heavy cream. It may seem like a luxurious thing to be making mashed potatoes with on a week night, but it tastes wonderful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ham with Red Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4

Mashed potatoes:

2 lbs. or 1 kg large russet potatoes, peeled and halved lengthwise

salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

1 cup heavy cream

3 tbsp. butter

Ham with red cabbage:

1 red onion, chopped

1/4 of head of red cabbage, roughly chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, cut into wedges

½ lb. (250 g) smoked ham, cut into large  chunks

1 tbsp. oil

3 tbsp. red wine vinager

1 tsp. caraway seeds

2 tsp thyme.

1 tbsp. brown sugar

To make potatoes, cut crosswise into 1-inch thick pieces. (Don’t cut them to small or they will absorb too much water. Put them in a pot, add cold water to cover, and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, decrease heat to a simmer, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes; drain. Return potatoes to the pot and shake over medium heat for a few seconds to help the excess water evaporate. Add the cream and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat, add butter, and stir. Mash them in the pot with a potato masher and use a whisk to make light and fluffy potatoes. Try not to use an electric mixer. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the ham and cabbage, while the potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a deep sauté pan and fry onion 3 minutes. Add cabbage together with vinagar, caraway seeds and thyme and sauté 3 minutes. Add apple wedges, brown sugar and ham. Heat the dish 3 minutes or until the sugar has melted.

Cured Salmon with Mustard-caper-fennel Salad

The technique of curing fatty fish evolved from a pre refrigeration era need to preserve seafood in a safe, flavorful way. The salt in the cure (a mix of salt and sugar in this recipe) draws out moisture, transforming the texture and color of fish. After a few hours or days in the refrigerator, the fish loses 15% of its weight. The condensed flesh takes on a reddish hue and glossy sheen.  Danes like to add snaps or aquavit to give the fish a special Scandinavian touch. The salad is made with fennel with an anise taste and passes fint to the cured salmon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cured Salmon with Mustard-caper-fennel Salat 

Serves 12

1 1/4 cups kosher salt

½ cup sugar

½ cup chopped fenne fronds

1/4 cup of aquavit (or gin)

1 1½ lb. salmon fillet with skin on

Mustard-caper-fennel Salad:

1 tbsp. fish mustard

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 cup corn oil

3 tbsp. capers

1 tbsp. finely chopped onion

½ fennel, cut into very thin slices

½ cucumber, cut into very thin slices 

freshly ground pepper

To make salmon, remove all bones. Mix salt, sugar, fennel fronds, and aquavit

(mixture should be like wet sand). Spread half of salt mixture in a deep dish.

Place salmon on top and cover with remaining salt mixture. Cover and

refrigerate 1-2 days. Turn fish over after one day and pour off any liquid

off.

To make mustard-caper-fennel sauce, blend fish mustard, lemon juice and mustard seeds in a food processor. With machine running, slowly add oil in a thin stream and process until emulsified. Stir in capers, onions, fennel and cucumber slices. Season with and pepper.

To serve, cut salmon in thin slices diagonally across the grain an place them on smaller plates or a large serving platter. Arrange salad on top and sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper.

Mussel Soup with Caramelized Onions

Many people will say that cleaning mussels are a big job. Well, maybe, if you are having lots of guests. I taught evening school for many years  and always started with mussels. The students groaned because four  persons should make all the mussels for the whole class. If you follow these instructions, it’s not so difficult. You don’t even have  to remove the breads. I hope you will try this dish, it is wonderfully delicious.

How to clean mussels

As soon as you get  mussels home, put them in a large bowl to begin cleaning the shells. If there are any fibers on the surface of the shells, use a wire scrubber to remove them. Rinse  mussels in cold water, put them back in the bowl, cover them with a damp cloth, and refrigerate them until you are ready to use them. The beard – the fibrous strand that comes out from between the halves of the shell and is used by the mussel to attach itself to a rock or other surface – must be taken off right before cooking, since removing it kills the mussel. Take the mussel in one hand and, with your other hand, grab the beard between your thumb and the tip of a spoon and pull hard (maybe it is easier to just use your fingers). If you are serving the mussels without their shells, don’t brother bearding them before cooking them. Once shells are open and mussels are cooked, it’s much easier to remove the beard. Any cooked mussels that don’t open are dead and should be discarded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mussel Soup with Caramelized Onions

Serves 4

Caramelized Onions:

2 tbsp. butter

2 onions, halved and thinly sliced

Mussel Soup:

2-3 lbs. mussels, scrubbed and debearded

½ cup dry white wine

1 tbsp. oil

2 tsp. minced garlic

½ cup chopped onions

½ cup tomato puree

2½ cups sour cream

2 cups   fish bouillon

1 tsp. saffron threads

salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 slices of toasted white bread

To caramelize onions, melt butter in a medium sauté pan over low heat. Add onions and sauté until caramel brown. This takes about 30 minutes. Don’t cheap or the onions will be hard. They should be soft.

To make soup, combine mussels and wine in a large, heavy nonreactive pot over high heat. Cover and cook, shaking the pot occasionally, until mussels open, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the mussel liquor. Shell the mussel. Strain the reserved mussel liquor through a fine-mesh sieve.

In a large, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, add oil, garlic and chopped onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved mussel liquor,  tomat puree, sour cream and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add saffron and simmer for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, toast the bread and place in 4 warmed soup bowls. Add  shelled mussels and caramelized onions to the soup and bring just to a boil. Divide the hot soup and mussels among the bowls and serve.

Salt Cured Duck Breast and Jerusalem Artichokes Salad

The technique of curing food evolved from a pre refrigeration era need to perserve food in a safe, flavorful way. The salt  draws out moisture, transforming the texture and color of the food.  This dish made with Duck breast,  takes a week to make, but once you have done a short preparation, the duck will take care of itself.  The salad, however, can be made minutes and can be used to all kinds of food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Pork Shank with Red Beets and Blueberries

Shank is the for- and back leg of a calve, ox, lamb or pig. It is delicious and inexpensive. It makes great dinners in a month when most people want to save money. It takes between 2 and 2½ hours to make, but after you brown the shank, add cut-up vegetables, broth and beer, it will simmer for 1½ to 2 hours.  There is lots of meat on a shank. Depending on the size of  shanks, two may not be enough for 4 people. If your dinner guests are 4 young men, count on a shank for each person. Beets are also inexpensive this time of the year. Of course, it is not the season for blueberries, but we can get them from other countries year around. They make a bright addition to the sometimes dreary menus in the cold January months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pork Shanks with Red beets and Blueberries

4 main course servings

2 (3 lb. each) pork shanks

1 cup diced carrot

1 cup diced leeks

1 cup diced onion

2 tsp. minced garlic

2-3 sprigs of thyme

2-3 sage leaves

2 bay leaves

10 black peppercorns

2 cups vegetable broth

1 dark beer

5 red beets

3-4 oz. coarse salt

1 tbsp. rapeseed oil

½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 oz. blueberries

Sauce:

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F.

To make pork shanks, score fat in a cross-hatch pattern in rind, without cutting into the meat itself. Brown shanks in the warm oven 10-15 min. until shanks begin to caramelize. Place pork in a large heavy ovenproof pot with a tight fitting lid; arrange carrots, leeks, onion, garlic, thyme, sage, peppercorns and bay leaves around the pork. Add broth and beer. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and transfer to the oven.

Reduce the heat to 300°F and braise 1½ – 2 hrs.

To make red beets, wash 4 beets and place them in a roasting pan no larger than just enough to hold them. Cover beets with salt. Set beets in oven next to shanks and bake 1½ hrs. Transfer beets to a plate and let them cool off. When they are cool, remove skins and slice them in thin slices. Whisk rapeseed oil and vinegar together with thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add blueberries and beets to bowl and toss so that blueberries and beets are covered.

To make sauce, transfer shanks to a plate. Strain braising liquid into a pot and cook over high heat until reduced by half. Add apple cider vinegar and whisk butter in. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, place shanks on a platter and arrange beets and blueberries around shanks. Garnish with thyme sprigs. Pass the sauce separately.

Suggested accompaniment: mashed potatoes.

Depending on the size of the shanks, two may not be enough for 4 people. If the dinner guests are 4 young men, count on a shank for each person.

Cod with Vegetables and Cheese

The holidays are over and we are all looking forward to a different cost. I for one, want vegetables as the Danish Christmas dishes have very few. And fish. This dish is easy and takes less than 20 minutes to make. It may seem strange to add cheese to this fish dish, but it tastes great. If you don’t have the Danish Havarti , grated mozzarella is also good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cod with Vegetables and Cheese 

Serves 4

1½ lb. cod fillets, or another firm fish

2 tbsp. oil

1 onion, chopped

1 large squash, cut into thin slices

6 oz. (180 g) mushrooms, sliced

3 oz. (90 g) cherry tomatoes

juice of a lemon

1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped or 1 tsp. dried

1 finely chopped garlic clove

1 oz. grated Havarti Cheese

Garnish: Oregano leaves or parsley

To make fish, rinse and pat dry fillets with a paper towel.  Heat the oil in large frying pan and fry  the chopped onion, then add the fish, squash, mushrooms, lemon juice, oregano and garlic. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and cheese and simmer 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Garnish with oregano leaves.  Serve immediately with boiled potatoes.

Danish Pastry with Marzipan and Vanilla Filling – Spandauer in Danish

In the first couple months of the year, there is often snow and freezing temperatures in Denmark. Many people brighten their homes with candlelight and if they have a fireplace, they will warm themselves in front of the fire. Danes like to bake in the winter months. They treat themselves to a cup of hot chocolate, bake some rolls and relax with a good book and some nice music. This is known as “hygge” – the Danish word for ‘a cheery atmosphere’ and ‘a pleasant experience.’ Some may translate hygge to ‘coziness’ or ‘a sense of well-being.’  It can also be about providing a temporary shelter from the outside world – an activity completely different from social climbing, networking, competition and materialism. It’s raining today and I am making  spandauer. I have done this before, but as I have some marzipan left over from Christmas, I am placing some marzipan remonce in the roll instead of a butter remonce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danish Spandauere

1 portion pastry dough:

1 lb. flour 

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt,

4 tsp active dry yeast or 1 oz. fresh yeast

1 cup milk

1 cup milk

1 egg

12 oz. butter

1 portion of marzipan remonce:

3 oz.(90 g) marzipan

3 oz. sugar

3 oz. butter 

1 portion vanilla crème:

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. flour

3/4 cup milk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. confectionary sugar and a few drops of warm water 

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

To make pastry dough, sift flour and mix with sugar and salt. Sprinkle active dry yeast in one cup of milk and let sit for 10 minutes or dissolve the fresh yeast in half of the milk. Add yeast, the rest of the milk and the beaten egg to the flour and sugar. Beat until smooth. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of ½ inch Spread small pieces of butter on 2/3 of the dough. The butter must have the same consistency as the dough; if it is too soft it will melt into the dough. Starting on the right, fold 1/3 of the dough over the middle part of the dough and then fold the left side over the dough. So now you have  three layer. Roll out the dough and fold again. Repeat three or four times. Leave in a cold place for 30 minutes.

To make marzipan remonce, pisk marzipan, sugar and butter with an electric mixer until smooth.Set aside.

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

To make the roll, roll out dough to a rectangle on a lightly floured surface 30cm (12 inch) x 40 cm (16 inch), spread with marzipan filling and cut into squares of 10 cm (4 inches)x 10 cm (4 inches). Place crème in the middle. Fold corner to center and press down. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave in a cold place to rise for 15-20 minutes, then brush with egg white and bake 10 minutes.

When cool, spread frosting on top and the center of half of the rolls leaving crème exposed.

Waffles with Sage and Black Pepper and Spicy Apple Sauce

New Year’s morning many with be sleeping late. Those who don’t might want to make something different. They may even have overnight guests and want to spoil their friends with a special breakfast. Waffles are always popular and these are spicy and different.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waffles with Sage and black pepper and Spicy Apple Sauce

Serves 6

300 g /10 oz.  flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tbsp. fresh, chopped sage

2 tbsp sukker

60 g/2 oz. corn flour

½ tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 egg yolk

2½ cups milk

4 tbsp. olie

3 egg whites

Spicy apple sauce 

1½ lb. apples, peeled, cored and cut into smaller pieces

4 tbsp. apple juice or water

1 tsp. grated nutmeg

To make waffles, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, sage, corn flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk egg yolk with milk, oil, in anther bowl Whisk egg whites in a third bowl. Combine the first two bowls and fold egg whites in. Varm a waffle iron up and brush with melted butter. Pour ½ cup of batter in the middle of the iron and close it. Bake waffles  2 minutes or until they are golden.

To make apple sauce, place apples and sugar in a pot with apple juice and cook over a low heat until they are soft. Stir  and add nutmeg. Can be made the day before.