Christmas Crullers “Klejner” in Danish

Today is the first day of December and Danes all over the country are lighting their Calendar candles. The candle is marked with 24 numbers and the idea is that the candle should burn a little each day. When the number reaches 24, it should be Christmas Eve the 24th of December.  Christmas Eve is the day that Danes celebrate Christmas with a traditional Christmas dinner, (more on that later) and exchange Christmas presents.  As I wrote yesterday, there is also a Calendar for children with small windows that are opened every day until it is Christmas Eve. The children jump out of bed every morning to see what they have gotten on their calendars. It could be raisins, candy or a small package. This way, even the small children can see how many days are left before Christmas Eve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Crullers

Klejner

2 eggs

½ lb. (225g)flour

3 oz. (90 g) sugar

1½ tbsp. heavy cream

2½ oz. (70 g) melted butter

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Fat or oil for frying

To make the dough, combine egg, flour, sugar, cream, butter and grated rind int a dough. Let dough rest 1 hour or more.

To form the crullers, roll dough thinly out on a lightly dusted work surface and cut long narrow strips, 12 cm (5 inches) x 2.5 (inch) with slanting ends. Make a slit in the center of each strip, put one of the ends through the slit, making a knot in the center. Fry in hot deep fat until light brown and drain on papir. Do not allow to crullers to touch each other while frying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advent Celebration with Sugar and Spice Cookies and Vanilla Rings

Advent starts this year the first Sunday in December

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Avent marks the beginning of the Christmas season  

On the first day of December, in many Danish homes a Christmas countdown candle is lit and is burned for a little while each day until Christmas Eve. Many families have Christmas calendars with small numbered windows; each morning a window is opened and the children receive small presents or sweets. There are also special television shows with 24 episodes, so the families can watch the story together every night up to Christmas.

It’s dark outside most of the time in December,, and the Danes prefer to stay indoors. Many are making preparations for the Christmas season. They can also be busy visiting the many Christmas markets buying lots Christmas decoration, Christmas presents and Christmas goodies. The first Sunday of December 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..   

Sugar and Spice Cookies (the brown ones)  Brunekager in Danish

makes 100.

2 cups dark syrup,

1 cup (90 grams) brown sugar,

½ cup (4 fl. oz.) butter

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 cup (225 grams) almonds, blanched and skins removed

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground cloves

1 lb.(455 grams) flour

To make, bring syrup, sugar and butter to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in baking powder, chopped almonds, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and flour. It may be difficult for all the flour to be absorbed. Wait until the dough has cooled, knead the dough until it has absorbed most of the flour and is not sticky. There may be some flour left over. Refrigerate 1-3 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

Knead thoroughly on a baking board – use more flour if Sticks. Roll the dough out very thinly, cut into round cookies with a glass or cookie cutteer and place on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg White. Bake 5-10 minutes depending on thickness of the cookies.

Vanilla Rings

8 oz. flour

7 oz. butter

5 oz. sugar

1 egg

4 oz. almonds

blanched, skin removed and finely chopped

To make cookies, combine all ingredients  and let dough rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Put the dough into a piping bag fitted with 1/2 inch star nozzle. Pipe the dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet, cut the dough into small pieces and form into small rings. Bake until lightly Brown – 3-5 minutes.

Salt Cured Salmon with Apple and Horseradish Salad

Christmas season has started with all of its many parties. Salmon has always been a popular dish to serve for large crowds or at luncheons. This dish  is very easy. Salmon from Scandinavian is famous all over the world. The technique of curing fatty fish, such as salmon, 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 and herbs, spices and citrus zest in other recipes) draws out moisture, tranforming the texture and color of the 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 a glossy sheen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt Cured Salmon with Apple and Horseradish Salad

Serves 6

2 lb. salmon filet with skin
3 tbsp. fine salt
1 tbsp. sugar
Salad:
4 tbsp. rapeseed oil
4 tbsp. apple juice
1 finely chopped shallot
2 tbsp. freshly grated horseradish
1 small apple, quartered, cored and diced
Garnish: a handful of fresh herbs, dill and cress

To make the fish, remove all bones and place salmon in a deep dish skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Cover and refrigerate till the next day.

To make the salad, whisk together a marinade of oil, apple juice, shallot, and horseradish in a small bowl. Add diced apple to marinade and toss.

To serve, cut salmon in very thin slices diagonally across the grain and place them on serving plate. Arrange salad on top. Garnish with herbs.
This salmon can be served in all seasons. In the summer, it would be nice garnished with cucumber and radishes instead of apple and horseradish salad. The salmon can also be served with dill baby potatoes.

Sauteéd Salmon with Creamy Pasta

Thanksgiving is over for most people in the world, but not for me and Denmark. I assume that all the American living in Denmark will be celebrating  American Thanksgiving on Sunday if they haven’t already done that on Thursday.  It was difficult to find a decent turkey when I came to Denmark many years ago and we couldn’t buy them in the supermarkets or at the butcher .   Now they have turkeys, but we never get very big ones, only about 10 pounds. That’s okay for my family because everybody brings something to eat in the true American way . So, we have enough for all 18 of us.  I invite my children and grandchildren on Sunday after Thanksgiving and we have a wonderful time. I am not going to give you a turkey recipe, I am sure you have enough of them. So I giving one of my favorite 15 minute recipe that my husband and I are having tonight. I still have to stuff the turkey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sautéed Salmon with Creamy Pasta

Serves 4

1 lb. fresh noodles

1 cup (2 dl) milk

1 tbsp. flour

2 tbsp. tomato puré

1 lb. (455 g) salmon without skin or bones

1 tbsp. olive oil

½ cup water

1 tbsp. heavy cream

1 tsp. salt

20 black olives, chopped

To make the pasta, cook the noodles after the directions of the package.

To make the salmon, cut the salmon in large pieces 1½ x 1½ inch.  whisk milk, flour and tomato puré in a small bowl and side aside. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté salmon pieces 2-3 minutes. Stir carefully, so they don’t break up into smaller pieces. Add milk mixture and water and bring to a boil. Add cream and salt. Cover and simmer 4 minutes. Add olives and noodles and stir  carefully to coat the noodles.

Suggest accompaniment: Flutes and a salat.

Christmas Lunch with Open-face Sandwiches, Beer and Snaps

Inns or small hotels dot the countryside of Denmark. In 1283, King Erik Klipping decreed that small hotels or inns, where to accommodate him when he traveled around the country to collect taxes. At the time of the decree, there was to be an inn every 40 kilometers on major highways. Many of the places that are still here date back several centuries.

Now local residents use them when they have large family parties such as weddings and funeral receptions, for christenings and confirmations. And for Christmas luncheons. 

They are often found in authentic picture-postcard settings, in villages, surrounded by churches and windmills. Naturally, good food is a large part of the inn experience. Many serve traditional, regional dishes, while others are closer to superb haute cuisine, Michelin-starred gourmet dining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Luncheon with  Open-face Sandwiches, Beer and Snaps

Smoked Salmon with Asparagus

It must be either served on sour dough bread or white bread and never on rye bread.

Makes 4

8 small white or green asparagus, trimmed or 8 -12 asparagus from a jar, depending on their size

4 lettuce leaves

4 slices of buttered sour dough or white bread

4-8 slices of freshly smoked salmon

Garnish:

freshly ground black pepper

To make asparagus, cook them in let salted water 2-3 minutes for the green, 6-8 minutes for the white asparagus depending on the size. Transfer to a paper towel. Pat them gently dry.

To assemble, place 1-2 slices of salmon on each piece of buttered bread covered with a lettuce leave. Place 1-2 pieces of asparagus in the middle of salmon. If using asparagus from a jar make sure they are patted dry. If all the water is not removed, it will ruin the sandwich. Sprinkle with black pepper.

Egg and Shrimp Sandwich

Makes 4

6 – 8 hard boiled eggs, peeled

4 lettuce leaves

4 slices of white buttered bread  

2 tbsp. good mayonnaise

12 oz. cooked baby shrimp

Garnish:

dill or cress

To assemble, cut eggs into even slices with an egg slicer or

knife. Arrange slices of egg on each piece of buttered bread

covered with lettuce and place a spoonful of mayonnaise on top.

Arrange shrimps on top of egg slices and garnish with cress or

dill sprigs.

The Veterinarian’s Evening Sandwich 

4 slices of dark rye bread

4 oz. liver pate 

4 tsp. butter

4 slices jellied consommé 

Garnish:

8 slices of salted veal (see recipe below)

8-12 slices of raw red onion rings

Cress or sprigs of dill

To assemble, spread 1 tsp. herbed fat, if using, or butter on each piece of dark rye bread. Place one thick slices of liver pate on each piece of bread, two or three slices of salted veal on top of pate and a strip of jellied consommé on top of meat.  Garnish with rings of raw onions and cress or dill.

Burnt Sugar Cake

It’s dark outside most of the time now in Denmark, and the Danes prefer to stay indoors baking making preparations for the Christmas season. They can also be busy visiting the many Christmas markets, buying lots of Christmas decoration, Christmas presents and making Christmas goodies. Here is a fun cake that both children and adults love.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burnt Sugar Cake ( Brunsviger in Danish)

12 to 16 servings

1 cup whole milk, warmed to 100-110 degrees F (37-43 degrees C)

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 50 grams cake/fresh yeast)

6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 eggs

2 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Topping:

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup butter

To make, heat milk to 100-110 degrees F (37-43 degrees C), sprinkle active dry yeast over milk, give a quick stir and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile melt butter and set aside.

Add eggs, sugar, salt and melted butter to milk, stirring constantly to combine. Add the flour in small portions. stirring constantly   until dough is soft, elastic and slightly sticky. You may not need to use all the flour. Grease a large bowl with a small amount of oil, place dough in bowl, cover with a clean dry tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Grease  a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan with butter and line with piece of parchment paper extending up to the edges of pan. Deflate the dough and pour into baking pan. Dip your fingers in some flour and press the dough evenly out into the corners of the baking pan. Cover pan with the tea towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

To make Topping:Melt butter over low heat and add brown sugar. Stir frequently to ensure sugar is completely melted and butter in fully incorporated. Do not boil! Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Pour 2/3 of topping over dough and spread evenly. Press your fingers into the dough to make deep dimples. Pour the remaining 1/3 of topping over dough and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve Brunsviger warm.

Duck Breast with Pears in Red Wine sauce and Mashed Parsnips

Most people love duck, but it can be very time consuming  to make and very expensive. Now we have duck  in the supermakets that are reasonably priced, widely available and sold in all kinds of cut. A couple of duck breast and you make  make a quick dinner under 30-40 minutes. Making mashed parsnips is also a nice change from potatoes. They are not expensive and can be kept for months in a cool place in the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duck Breast  with Pears in Red Wine Sauce 

Serves 4

1½ lb (600-700 g) duck breasts without skin or bone, cut into ½  x ½ inch strips

2 tbsp. flour

1 tsp. salt

fresh ground black pepper

1 finely chopped onion

3 ripe pears, cut into thin wedges

2 tbsp. oil

1 cup red wine

½ cup chicken stock

1 tsp. brown sugar

½ tsp. ground ginger

1-2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp. water

Garnish:

2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

To make duck, dredge duck strips in flour combined with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook duck until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate.  Add more oil and add the rest of the duck, browning on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Add more oil and fry the onions 2 mintues. Add pear wedges, red wine, chicken stock, brown sugar, ginger to the pot. Bring the duck back to the pot, reduce heat , cover and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook 1 minute or indtil the sauce is a little bit thicker.

Mashed Parsnips

Serves 4

2 lb. (910 g) Parsnips, peeled and cut into small pieces

½ lb.(225 g) potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

Approx. 1½ qts. (1½ liter) water

½ cup (4 fl. oz.) heavy cream

salt and freshly ground pepper

fresh thyme leaves

To make parsnips, place parsnips and potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain liquid and save it.

With a mixer at low speed, beat parsnips and potatoes, adding the water and cream a little at a time. Beating at medium speed, continue 2-4 minutes until mixture is smooth. Season with salt, pepper and thyme leaves.

To serve, serve the duck in the pot and sprinkle with parsley. Set a bowl of mashed potatoes on the table and let the guests take what they want. .

Suggested accompaniment: mashed parsnips,  mashed potatoes or boiled potatoes would also be nice.

Pan Cakes with Clementine and Walnuts

Place a pan cake in the sauce and place a spoonful of Clementine/Walnuts on one side of pan cake and fold twice. Scoop sauce over the pan cakes and if you wish, you can flamber the pan cakes.

Pan cakes are always popular as a dessert. This recipe is easy. You can make the pan cakes the day before and you can make the sauce in the morning and just heat them up when you wish to serve them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pan Cakes with Clementine and  Walnuts 

approx. 12 pancakes

Pancakes:

1 cup (120 g) flour

1 tsp. sugar tsp. salt

3 eggs

2 cups (8 fl. oz.) milk

grated peel of 1 lemon

3 tbsp. beer or water

butter for frying

Orange Sauce with Clementine and Walnuts:

10 clementine, peeled  

2 tbps. butter

2 tbsp. honey

6 tbsp. chopped walnuts

juice of 2 oranges

juice of 1 lemon

10 clementine, peeled

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

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

To make orange sauce, melt butter on a large frying pan, add honey and stir until sauce begins to be golden. Add the chopped walnuts, stir, and then add juices of oranges and lemon. Add clementine and a few drops of cognac in hvis you wish to flamber the pan cakes when the sauce is warm.

 

Halibut with Tomato and Fennel

Halibut can be as long as 8 feet and weigh as much as 660 pounds.  It is a firm fish and can be fried, cooked and smoked. As with most fish, its cooking time is short. This dish can be made in about 15-20 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halibut with Tomato and Fennel

serves 4

1½ lb. halbiut without skin or bone or an other firm fish such as cod, haddock or catfish

2 onions, finely chopped

1 fennel, sliced in thin strips

2 ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 tbsp. oil

4 tbsp. white wine

2 oz. feta, crumbled

2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

8 olives, sliced in thin slices

To fry fish, rinse and pat dry  with a paper towel. Cut the fish in 1½ x 1½ inches pieces. Heat 2 tbsp. of  oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add onions  and fennel and  fry 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato wedges and fry 2 more minutes. Take the vegetables up. Heat the rest of the oil and fry the fish 4-5 minutes. Come the vegetables back into the pan Add the white wine and cook 1 minute. Smuldre feta over the pan and cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with parsley and olives.

Suggested acompaniment: Boiled potatoes or crusty bread.

Sautèed Cod with Mustard and Capers

Mustard is not just for hot dogs. Its a wonderful spice to be used in all kinds of recipes. Here is a quick and easy fish dish that takes less than 20 minutes to make and tastes wonderful. Remember, a new jar of mustard tastes stronger than a jar that has been opened for a while. I used wholegrain mustard in this recipe which gives it an extra good taste. I also use wholegrain mustard when I make salat dressing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sautéed Cod with Wholegrain  Mustard and Capers 

serves 4

4 cod fillets with skin and scales removed

1½ oz. flour

salt

sort pepper

3 tbsp.  mustard

3 tbsp. capers

To make cod fillets, rinse, pat dry and dredge fish fillets in a mixture of flour, salt and pepper.

Melt  butter in a large pan and sautè until crisp , 4 minutes. Turn them and add mustard and capers to the butter in the  pan.  Scoop mustard and capers butter over the fish fillets while they finish cooking  about 1-2 minutes.

Serve  with boiled potatoes and your choice of a vegetable.

Mussels Cooked in Beer

When living in Denmark  you are never far from the sea. The Danes like to cook just about everything in beer. The dish is finished with cream, another popular product of  Denmark.

Mussels steamed A (2) (536x800)

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Mussels Cooked in beer 

serves 4

4 lbs.(2 kg) mussels, scrubbed

1½ tbsp. rapeseed oil

2 finely chopped shallots

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 bottle of beer

1 cup (8 fl. oz.) heavy cream

garnish: parsley

To make the mussels, heat  a large heavy pot over high heat until very hot. Add oil and fry shallots, add mussels and beer. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until mussels fully open (discard any that do not open). Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to 4 warmed bowls.

Add cream to pot, reduce soup by half. Season with salt and pepper and spoon over mussels.

To serve, garnish mussels with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Suggested accompaniment: crusty bread

 

Red Wine Mulled Pears with Madagascar Pepper

Pears as a dessert  are the usual use for them, but they can also be used as marmalades, chutneys, stewed fruits and  in braised dishes.
One of my favorite desserts, and always a success is Red Wine Mulled Pears.I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Red Wine Mulled Pears with Madagascar Pepper

Makes 6

6 firm, ripe pears

3 oz. sugar

1 bottle of red wine

1 piece of lemon

1 stick cinnamon

1 tsp. Madagascar Pepper

juice of a lemon

Garnish; Sour Cream or Whipped Cream

To make, heat sugar, wine, lemon peep, cinnamon, pepper corn, and 2 tsp. lemon juice in a  pot where the pears can stand up and not lay down. Bring  to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Peel pears and cut a slice of the bottom of each pear so they can stand up in the pot. Cover and simmer the pears 20 minutes. They should not boil. Stick in them  with a knive to you if they are soft. Let them cool in the red wine mixture. Take them up and set them aside. Cook the red wine until it is reduced by half. Add a few drops of lemon juice and a little sugar if needed.

To serve, pour the lukewarm sirup  over the pears and set  a bowl of sour cream or whipped cream on the table so each guest can take as much or as little as they like.

Cod with Orange Sauce

Denmark is an island nation. We’re five and a half million people, an appendix to Germany, the smallest of the Scandinavian countries.  We are traditionally a sailing and fishing nation, depending heavily on the foods from the sea.

The coast of Denmark stretches for a length 7300 kilometers. According to the official Geological Department here in Denmark, it is 8754 kilometers long and this is because of the many islands. The coast of Denmark is unusually long for such a little country. It is even longer than Australia’s coasts. Scene like these can still be seen, but not as many as before.

In Denmark, the fish we eat most of after herring is cod.  Den can be used in all sorts of dishes and is the main fish ingredient in are our fish cakes. It can be fried with or without batter, pan-roasted, cooked whole or in fillets, grilled, poached, sautéed, cooked fricassees, cooked in soups and other casserole dishes. It can also be stir-fried if you are care not to stir too much. Here is a favorite wok  dish of mine and my family. And as with many wok dishes, it takes very little time to make.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stir-fried Cod with Orange Sauce

Serves 4

1 lb. cod or another firm fish without bones

2 tbsp. flour

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 onion, finely chopped

1 large pepper, cut into thin strips

3 oz. mangetout peas, nipped

1½ tbsp rapeseed oil

½ cup white wine

1 tsp. grated orange peel

juice of an orange

1 tsp. tarragon

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. cornstarch

Garnish:

2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

To make fish, rinse fish  in cold water, pat dry, cut into smaller pieces  and dredge them in flour combined with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a wok or a large frying pan. Fry fish 2-3 minutes. Take them up and set them aside. Add the onions and peberfrugt in the pan and fry 3 minutes. Add white wine and cook 1 minute.   Add orange  peel and juice, tarragon and salt. Mix the cornstarch with a little water and add to the wok/pan and return the fish to wok/pan and mange tout peas. Heat the dish 2 minutes.

To serve, divide the fish into four portions and serve with either rice or boiled potatoes.

Chicken wih Creamed Salsify and Walnuts

Salsify is a good and inexpensive vegetable. A taste a bit like asparagus and it often called poor man’s asparagus. I like it and use it in my cooking as often as I can get ahold of it. This recipe is a quick one and takes just 15-20  minutes to make. I am still working on my book and like to prepare a quick and easy meal when I come home at night. If you can’t find salsify, you can always use white or green asparagus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Breast with Creamed Salsify

4 main course servings

4 chicken breasts without skin or bones

tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. rapeseed oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 oz. bacon, finely chopped

8 spears of salsify, scrubbed and trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces 

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup vegetable bouillon

2 oz. butter

salt and freshly ground pepper

4 slices of toasted white bread

Garnish:

a few salad leaves

2 oz. walnuts, chopped

chives

To make chicken, cut the chicken in 1×1 inch pieces. Melt butter, add oil and fry chicken over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Take them up, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside. 

To make salsify, cook bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until the fat is reduced, then add the salsify, cream and bouillon. Cover and cook 5-10 minutes depending on how thick the salsify are. Transfer salsify to the plate with chicken and hold them warm. Strain cream, return to skillet and add the butter and stir until butter is incorporated with the cream. Bring the chicken and salsify back to pan and warm the dish a few minutes.

To serve, place a slice of toasted white bread on 4 plates and a few leaf of salad. Spoon the chicken and salsify over  the bread slices and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Danish “Pretzel” Cake/Danish “Kringle”

This piece of Danish wienerbrød is made in the form of a pretzel. There is no salt, of course, and there is lots of  pearl sugar and almonds. If you have a job in Denmark, the special treat is almost always a “Danish Kringle”. Danes eat them at almost any special occasion such as birthdays, marriages, promotions or just for fun on Friday morning when the employees celebrate that the work week is soon over and the weekend is on the way. Of course, most “Kringles” are bought at the bakery, but they a really quite easy to make. They are also suited to be frozen and taken up at a later point. You can make two “Kringles”and freeze the second one.  When you need it, let is thaw 24 hours and then bake it. Then your ready for any unexpected guests or you can take it to you office when it is your turn to give a special treat .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danish “Pretzel” Cake(makes 2 Kringler, serves 12-16)

½ cup lukewarm water (3.4 fluid oz or 100 ml)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 25 grams cake/fresh yeast)

2 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

a pinch of salt

5 oz. /150 grams salted butter, cut into small cubes, room temperature

325 grams all-purpose flour

Remonce filling:

3 oz. /100 grams butter, room temperature

1 cup /90 grams sugar

Garnish:1 egg white

pearl sugar (or regular sugar)

slivered almonds

To make dough, pour lukewarm water (no more than 110 degrees) into a large bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and sprinkle yeast over water, let sit for 10 minutes. Add remaining sugar, eggs, a pinch of salt, butter and flour. Using your hands, mix all ingredients until dough comes together. Dough may feel a little tacky and there may still be small pieces of butter, that is OK. Transfer dough to a clean bowl, cover with a clean, dry tea-towel, place bowl in a warm location and let rise for 1 hour.

To make Remonce filling, beat butter and sugar until smooth.

To assemble, place two long pieces of plastic wrap (cling wrap) onto your work surface. Sprinkle plastic wrap with flour and give the dough a quick soft kneading, sprinkle with a little more flour until dough is soft and elastic, and no longer sticky. Divide dough into two equal portions and form each piece of dough into a log. Working with one log at the time, roll out the log (on top of the plastic wrap) to approximately 30 x 15 centimeter rectangle (11.5 x 6 inches). Spread 1/2 the Remonce filling down the middle of each dough rectangle.  Fold ends over about 2 cm (almost 1 inch) then fold the outer 1/3 of dough over the middle and then the other outer 1/3 of dough over the middle again. Holding onto the plastic wrap, roll dough rectangle over so it’s now placed upside-down (seam side down). Carefully place dough rectangle onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat process with second piece of dough. If planning on baking both Kringles at this time, allow both dough rectangles to rise for another 15 minutes on the baking sheet before baking.

Baking: Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (425 degrees F). Lightly beat egg  white with a fork and brush dough,sprinkle with Pearl sugar and almonds. Bake for 12-14 minutes on middle rack in preheated oven. Allow to cool on baking sheet.

Escalopes with Capers, Mushrooms, Sage and Mashed Potatoes

I have been busy this past week photographing my new book “Dinning with the Danes” and needed to make some thing quick when I came home after a long day cooking at the studio. This dish, Escalopes with Capers, Mushrooms, Sage and mashed potatoes can be made in less than 20 minutes. You will need a good piece of veal. If it is too thick, pound the meat with the palm of your hand or ask the butcher to cut thin slices of veal for you. When cutting the potatoes for the mashed potatoes, don’t make them to small or they will absorb to much water. I would have liked to have gotten some wild mushrooms as it is the season for them, but I was in a rush to get home and put my feet up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escalopes with Capers and Sage with Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4 pers

Mashed potatoes.

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into smaller pieces

2 cup milk

½ tsp. salt

freshly ground white pepper

Escalopes

4 very thin slices veal

1 tbsp. cornstrach

salt and freshly  ground pepper

1 tbsp.  olive oil

1 little onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup chicken stock

6 oz. mushrooms, thinly  2 sliced

1 tbsp. fresh  sage

2 tsp. flour

1 cup milk

1 tbsp. capers

2 tbsp. lemon juice

Garnish:

8 large capes

8 leaves fresh sage

To make mashed potatoes, cook the potatoes in boiling water without salt.

To make veal, combine flour, salt and pepper and dredge the meat in the flour mixture. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add olive oil, fry meat 1-2 minutes on each side. Take the meat up, add a little more oil to the pan and sauté onions and garlic 2 minutes. Add bouillon, mushrooms, sage and a little salt. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and cook 2 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.

Combine the cornstarch with the milk and pour this mixture onto the pan. Bring the meat back to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Add  capers, lemon juice and cook 1 minute.

To serve, pour the water from the potatoes and mash them. They don’t have to be perfect. A few lumps are okay.   Heat the milk and whip the milk into the mashed potatoes a little at a time. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the potatoes onto 4 warm plates, pour the sauce over and place an escalope on top of each plate. Garnish with large capers and fresh sage leaves.

Potato Cakes filled with Vanilla Cream and Whipped Cream “Kartoffelkage”

These cakes have nothing to do with potatoes. They are however, one of the most popular pastry. It takes time to make these cakes but they are worth it. A lazy Sunday afternoon on a cold October day is a great time to make these cakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potato Cakes  or Eclairs with Vanilla Cream, Whipped Cream and topped with Marcipan dusted with Cocoa Powder

8  cakes

100 grams/3.4 oz. butter

1 cup water

1 cup flour

4 eggs

Vanilla Cream (see bottom of page)

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

90 grams/3 oz. marcipan

Preheat oven 400°F

To make  eclairs, bring butter and water to a boil – gradually stir in flour and remove from te heat. Beat eggs in one at a time. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large-size round nozzle top half full  and carefully pipe the batter –  3 inches long and 1.2 inches wide strips – onto a baking sheet pan lined with parchment papper.  Bake 30-35 minutes. Don’t open the oven door while baking or they will collapse. .  Cut the top of each eclair after they are baked so the steam can escape. Cool completely..

To assemble, fill eclairs with vanilla cream and fill a pastry bag filled with a small nozzle and come whipped cream on top of the vanilla cream. Roll marcipan between two piece of baking paper sprinkled with icing sugar. Cut 8 circles of marcipan with a cookie cutter  and place them on top of the cakes. Dust the circles of marcipan with cocoa powder.  Po

Vanilla Crème:

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. flour

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

½ tsp. vanilla extract

To make vanilla crème, beat the 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. Set aside.

 

Grillede Pork Tenderloin Steaks with Passion Fruit Sauce

When I first came to Denmark from the United States many years ago, I had never heard of a pork tenderloin. I had never eaten or prepared one until many years after. Denmark being a nation that has more pigs than people, 15-20 million pigs and only 5, 600,000 people, of course we eat lots of pork. In order to make small pork steaks, they must be cut a certain way. After trimming the tenderloin for fat and sinew, the meat should be cut into thick slices, laid on flat surface with the cut side up and pounded flat with the palm of your hand. Here is a recipe with passion fruit sauce.  Passion fruit can be eaten with a spoon after cutting the top off or together with other fruits. It can also be used in a sauce and eaten with pork. The more wrinkled the fruit is, the more ripe it is and  time to eat the fruit. If a passion fruit doesn’t weigh very much, it could be dried out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Passion Fruit Sauce 

Serves  4

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed

2 tbsp. oil 

4 passion fruits

1 cup white wine

salt and pepper 

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.  Slice 2 passion frugts into two halves and scoop the fruit out. Pour passion fruit over the tenderloin, cover and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Take them up from the marinade. Brush a grill pan with oil and grill the meat over middle heat 2-3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To make sauce, cook the white wine over high heat until there is only 4 tbsp. left. Slice the last two passion fruits and scoop out the fruit and add to the white wine. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and some sugar.

Suggested accompaniment carrots and broccoli.

Braised Pork Cheeks with Fennel and Root Vegetables

Braised Pork Cheeks are one of the most popular dishes in the new Nordic Kitchen and yet for many years the Danes threw the pork cheeks away. Now they have made a come back in the Danish kitchen. They do however take several hours to cook, but they are a delicacy and easy to make. The pork cheeks must be trimmed for fat and sinew before preparing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Pork Cheeks with Fennel and Carrots

serves 6 personer  

4 lb. pork cheeks, 12 pork cheeks, trimmed for fat and sinew

3 tbsp flour

salt and freshly ground pepper

 6 tbsp. olive oil

2 large onions , coarsely chopped  2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 carrots, coarsely chopped

1/4 head of celery root, peeled and cut into smaller pieces

1 fennel, coarsely chopped

  cup tomato puré

1 cup white wine

2½ cups beef bouillon or water

Garnish: finely chopped parsley 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make pork cheeks, combine salt and pepper with the flour. Dredge pork cheeks in flour. Warm  half of the oil in large frying pan over medium heat; brown  pork cheeks and place them in a large oven poof casserole.  Add more oil to the pan and add onions, carrots, celery root, fennel and cook over medium low heat 2-3 minutes before adding them to the casserole with pork cheeks.  Add tomat puré, white wine and bouillon  to the casserole and set the casserole in the oven. Cook for 1½-2 hours until a knife slides easily through the meat.

To serve, place  two pork cheeks  on warmed plates and divide the vegetable mixture over pork cheeks. Garnish with chopped parsley

Suggested accompaniment: mashed potatoes or sliced potatoes with melted butter and sliced onions.  Risottto would also be nice with this dish as it is similar to ossobuco.

Danish Pastry Braid with Butter Cream Filling and Cinnamon

Danes love their pastry also called wienerbrød. Outside of Denmark people call our wienerbrød a Danish. It comes in may different shapes and with all kinds of fillings. Making your own wienerbrød can be a very time-consuming project, but the end results is worth it. Now that the days are getting shorter and colder, many Danes spend the day making their own wienerbrød.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danish Pastry Braid with Butter Filling and Cinnamon 

makes 2 braids

4½ tbsp. active dry yeast or 50 grams fresh active yeast

1 cup milk

450 g/15 oz. flour

2 tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 eggs, room temperature

1½ cups cold butter (345 g)

Butter filling:

5 tbsp. powdered  sugar

150 g/5 oz. butter

3-4 tbsp. cinnamon

white Icing:

100 g/3.5 oz, powdered sugar

1 tbsp.  boiling hot water

chocolate icing:

100 g/3-5 oz. powdered sugar

1-2 tbsp. boiiling hot water

To make dough, dissolve active dry yeast in half of the the warm milk. Let stand 10 minutes. , sift flour and combine with  sugar and salt. Add yeast and milk after 10 minutes and two beaten eggs. Beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

To make butter filling, cream sifted powdered  sugar and butter together to a smooth cream. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of ½ Inch and 16 to 20 inche square.. 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 melts into the dough. Fold together into three layers like folding a napkin. Roll out and spread more butter on the dough half, fold again, chill every time you roll out and repeat two times. Wrap dough and chill 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

To make  braids, divide chilled dough into two parts. Roll each part into a 6 x 12 inche rectangle. Spread butter filling down the length of the rectangle. Drys with cinnamon. Cut slanting strips of 3/4 inch interval along both sides towards the center. Fold strips over the filling in a criss-cross manner. Place both braids onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and let rise for 15-30 minutes until pastry appears puffy. It will double in size. Brush with water and bake 12-15 minutes.

To make white icing, cream powdered sugar and hot boiling water.

To make chocolate icing, cream powdered sugar, cocoa and hot boiling water together.

To finish the braid, pour white icing over braids in a criss-cross pattern and then pour chocolate icing over  braids in a criss-cross pattern.