Saturday, December 18, 2010

Vanilla cookie rings

With only 6 days left until Christmas Eve I'm beginning to feel a bit nostalgic and in light of this mood I put on the best Christmas music ever and began baking the ultimate Danish Christmas cookies: vanilla cookie rings. It's a classic and this was my first time making them.

This recipe was one I got watching a Danish pastry chefs program called "The Sweet Life" and I'd love to share it with all of you. It's really simple and makes the most wonderful crisp and delicious cookies you could dream of.



1-1½ vanilla pod
200 grams soft butter
180 grams sugar (I used cane sugar but you can also use the regular kind)
1 egg
250 grams all purpose flour
75 grams almonds, grounded very finely almost into almond "flour"

Split the vanilla pod right down the middle and scrape out the seeds with your knife. Mash the seeds and a bit of the sugar together so that the seeds separate better.

Put the vanilla into a bowl and mix it together with the rest of the sugar and the soft butter. Stir in the egg and finish off by adding the almond "flour" and the all purpose flour to the mix.

Put the dough into a piping bag mad out of fabric with a star tulle in it and pipe out rings with a diameter of appox. 5 centimetres.

Bake the rings in a preheated oven at 200C (400F) until they are light golden (about 10-14 minutes, but keep an eye on them)

Let the cookies cool of on a rack and keep them in a tight fitting container.

Bon appetit and have a great time making these...

Monday, December 13, 2010

13th of December - Lucia Day

Today we celebrate Lucia Day in Denmark. This is the day where school children across the country participate in a Lucia Day Procession and bake Lucia bread.

According to legend Lucia was an Italian saint and after she had converted to Christianity, she brought food to her fellow believers. They had to hide from the pagan authorities in underground burial chambers. Lucia placed candles in a wreath on her head so she could carry the food in her hands. The heathen authorities arrested her and she suffered martyrdom on the 13th of December.

The custom of Lucia processions are relatively new and dates from 1928 and originated from Sweden. Maybe my friend Carina, who has just moved to Sweden, could tell a bit more about the Swedish traditions surrounding the celebration of Lucia Day.

In Denmark Lucia is a part of the Christmas celebration even though the two have absolutely nothing to do with each other and the Lucia Day Procession takes place at almost every school,  care home or library and the children participating are dressed in white coats carrying a lit candle between their hands and are lead by the Lucia bride who carries the wreth of candles on her head just like Lucia.

Today I have marked the occasion by baking Lucia bread and of course I'm going to share my lovely recipe with you...



Lucia Bread (makes 12 rolls)

75 grams butter
150 ml milk
25 grams fresh yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon saffron (or 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, which I used)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
400 grams all purpose flour

Brushing: 1 whisked egg

Decoration:  raisins

Melt the butter in a pot and add in the milk. Transfer the liquid to a bowl and making sure that it isn't too hot (stick in your little finger, if you're not burned but the liquid is lukewarm, it's ready) crumble in the yeast and let it dissolve. Mix together the saffron (or cardamom) and sugar and stir it into the liquid followed by the rest of the ingredients. Mix the dough together with a spoon and when it's firm cover the bowl with a lid and let it rise somewhere warm  for about half an hour.

Let out the dough onto a flour dusted table top and knead the dough. Split the dough into 12 pieces roll them into sausages and  shape them into an "S". Place them onto a baking sheet and let them rise for another 15 minutes. Brush the rolls with the whisked egg and decorate with rasins.

Bake the roll in the preheated oven at about 225C (437F) for 10-12 minutes until they are golden.

Bon appetit...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Leftovers turned into a feast!

On Monday we had pork loin with crackling for dinner and I had some leftovers from that delicious meal I couldn't bear to chuck - it's still good food and a huge waist of money if it just goes to the bin. I then decided to make hash with the leftover pork loin and potatoes and made a fried egg to go along side it. 

It's been so long since I've made this dish and it brought back fond childhood memories of "fastfood" for the busy days at our house and it made me think about how much food we chuck on average in each household, just because we don't want leftovers or haven't got the imagination to turn it into a whole different meal. Sometimes all it takes is actually just a bit of spice or a splash of taco sauce and we're good to go... 

The foremost expert on "turn over meals" as she calls them is Rachael Ray - an American cook, making everyday, easy and delicious food. She has published a whole lot of cookbooks and has her own talk/food show in America - I used to watch her shows whenever I could and it was broadcasted on a network I could see here in Denmark and I really love and admire her passion for food. She's probably the American equivalent to Britain's Nigella Lawson, whom I also really like because she has a whole different way of portraying cooking and food. Anyway both Rachael Ray and Nigella Lawson will be revisited at some point on this blog, it's just a matter of time...

Back to my turnover meal then...

Hash with pork loin, potatoes and fried egg
For 1 serving you'll need:

Leftover pork loin 
Leftover cooked potatoes
1 organic egg
A nub of butter

Ketchup (I prefer Beauvais tomato ketchup)

Melt the butter in a frying pan and cut the pork loin into cubes. Add the cubes into the pan and add in the cubed potatoes as well. Cook the whole lot for about 5 minutes. Either heat up another smaller frying pan and add in some butter or push the potatoes and pork loin a side to make room for frying the egg. Break an egg into the pan. Let it get all crisp around the edges and then you'll know it's done.

I served the egg up on a piece of  buttered danish rye bread and had the hash on the side with loads of ketchup..

Bon appetit...


Monday, December 6, 2010

Pork loin with crackling and sugar glazed potatoes

This dish is not a Christmas dish as such but some Danes have pork loin with crackling on Christmas Eve along side goose or duck roast - my father says it's not really Christmas unless he gets his pork loin with crackling as well. I think it's a survival from olden times when money were tight and large families only could afford one goose or duck and then had pork loin with crackling along side with lots of potatoes and gravy.

I usually make this dish in the fall because it's a quit heavy meal and I don't think it that great to eat in the spring or summertime but it tastes delicious! 

 
Pork loin with crackling and sugar glazed potatoes with gravy

For 2 servings you'll need:

1 kilo pork loin (with scored crackling)
Salt and pepper

Heat up the oven to 220C (450F) and leave a dish of water in the bottom of the oven while heating it up. Take the pork loin out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking, rub it in salt and pepper and leave it in an oven prof dish until the oven is hot enough. Put the pork loin into the oven and let it roast for 15 minutes. 
When the time's up remove the dish of water and pour about 200 ml water over the pork loin. Turn down the heat to 200C (400F) and roast the pork loin for about 45 minutes. Moisten the pork loin once in a while so you get that really crisp crackling. When the roasting time is done, take the pork loin out of the oven and leave it to rest for about 10 minutes on a cutting board before carving it.

Sugar glazed potatoes:
1 jar of potatoes (ready cooked and peeled)
250 grams sugar
50 grams butter

Pour the sugar into a frying pan and heat it up. When the sugar starts to caramelize add in the butter and let it mix together. Drain the potatoes and pour them into the pan. Be careful, the caramel is really hot and when adding in the potatoes the caramel can spatter. Fold the potatoes into the caramel so they get all covered and glazed. Turn down the heat after 5 minutes and let the potatoes cook for another 5 minutes before turning off the stove. 

Pork loin gravy:
15 grams butter
1 tablespoons all purpose flour
left over fluid from the pork loin
salt and pepper
milk, double cream or beef broth
gravy browning

Heat up the butter in a sauce pan but don't let it brown. Add in the flour and whisk it together. Add in the the leftover fluid from the pork loin and give it a good whisk before adding in milk until the sauce has the consistency that suits your taste. Bring it to a boil, season with salt and pepper and finish it off with a bit of gravy browning just to give it a good colour.

Serve this delicious gravy along side the pork loin with crackling, crisps, sugar glazed potatoes and pickled cucumbers.
Bon appetit...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Swedish chocolate cookies and Crispy cookie circles

These cookies are some of the traditional Christmas cookies my family have been making for as long as I can remember for the holidays and I really want to share these with you. I have some fond memories of helping out in the kitchen at Christmas along side my mum and grandmother and I really miss that as I've gotten older. I try to bring along some of their traditions and for me it just wouldn't be Christmas without.
Christmas is for me the time for remembering those who are near to us and loved ones who have passed away and these cookies help me to do that this time of year. So here we go...


Swedish chocolate cookies (cookies on the left)
300 grams all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
200 grams sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
200 grams cold butter
1 egg

Brushing:
1 egg white
 
Garnish
Danish pearl sugar
Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and crumble it into the flour. Use the egg to make the dough stick together - it will be quit soft. Roll the dough into 6 bars with about 1½ centimetre girth and as long as your baking sheet allows them to be.

Put the bars onto the baking sheet and lightly press them flat with your palms. Brush them with egg white and sprinkle pearl sugar on top. Bake the bars in the oven at 175C (347F) for about 10 minutes.
 
When the bars are done cut them into diagonal cookies while they are still hot (can be done with a pizza wheel) and leave them on the baking sheet to cool of before putting them into a container.

Crispy cookie circles (cookies on the right)
250 grams cold butter
250 grams all purpose flour
50 ml double cream

Brushing:
1 egg

Garnish:
Danish pearl sugar

Cut the butter into small pieces an crumble it into the flour. Add in the cream to make the dough stick together but you mustn't knead it. Put the dough in the fridge for about ½ hour. 
Roll out the dough onto a heavily flour dusted tabletop and cut out the cookies with either two glasses or round cookie cutters making the circles about 1 cm wide.

Place the cookies onto a baking sheet and brush the cookies very carefully with the egg (whisked together) and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake the cookies in the upper half of the oven at 200C (400F) for about 8 minutes or till they are golden.
 
Be cautious when removing the cookies from the baking sheet they will crumble or break apart very easily. Put them carefully into a container when they are completely cooled off. 

Bon appetit and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1st of December and Christmas food

Finally it's December and I can stick my hands into all the wonderful Christmas recipes I have collected over time... cookies, cakes, roasts, puddings, and so on - I'm going to fill this blog with all kinds of delicious (to my taste) things that I associate with the holidays and Danish traditions.
Tonight there was a dish on the menu which I regard as a Danish Christmas tradition: Black pudding.. I grew up eating home made black pudding at my grandparents' farm and for as long as I can remember was a part of the traditional Christmas lunch my grandmother served on the 23rd of December every year when she was still alive. It was served as a starter followed by patty shells with peas, carrots and ham cooked in some kind of a thin white sauce, marinated herring with curry salad, shrimp and eggs with caviar (the cheap kind) and finishing off with loads of different kinds of cheeses and crackers. After this fabulous meal it was time to go into the neighbouring plantation (which was a part of my grandfathers land) to pick up our Christmas tree. When we got back from this trip my grandmother had already set the table again with Christmas goodies, coffee, glögg and hot cocoa.... This was for me the start of the count down for the 24th of December and Christmas Eve...

I don't make my own black pudding like my grandmother - it's too much of a fuss when I haven't got the same access to the ingredients as she had - it was for her a matter of making the most of their raw materials from the farm where as I just go to the supermarket and pick up a pre-made black pudding - when I want a real treat I go to the butcher's shop and pick up a real quality black pudding, but that's expensive and doesn't happen often.

This is how I prepare and serve out black pudding:

I take out the pudding of the packaging and slice it into rather thick slices

I fill up the skillet with the pudding slices and fry them till they go black and crisp on the outside but still have a soft core.

Pile up the black pudding slices on a plate and serve it with a side of sugar and/or syrup
Bon appetit...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Danish Rice Pudding

As promised my recipe for warm rice pudding coming right up - this is a very time consuming dish and when I was little my Mum used to bring the pudding to a boil, let it cook for about 10-15 minutes and then cover the pot in newspapers and towels and leave the pot in the foot of the bed underneath the covers for about 2 hours to cook through. She could then spend time doing other things as well besides slaving away at the stove.

This recipe comes with the particular brand of pudding rice I buy and I never go wrong with this one. The last time I made it, I had bought another brand of rice and it didn't turn out good at all - and this time (with the right rice) it was really good! It needed a bit more salt, but that's my fault for not seasoning it right... This is my brand of rice:


Give a warm Christmas welcome to:

Danish Rice Pudding (serves 6 people)
2 litres whole milk
250 grams pudding rice
a pinch of salt

Pour the milk into a thick bottomed pot and bring it to a boil. And add in the rice. Give it a good stir and let it boil for about an hour at low heat. Remember to stir frequently to keep the pudding from burning in the bottom of the pot.
When the pudding has thickened add in the salt and have a taste - if tastes bland add in a bit more salt.

Serve the rice pudding with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar and a nub of butter on top.
Bon appetit...


First Sunday of Advent

In Denmark we celebrate the first Day of Advent today. 

Advent originates from the Latin term Adventus which means "the arrival of" or "he is coming" - and it signifies the four Sundays before Christmas (the 25th of December - but we celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December here in Denmark) If Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this day will also be the 4th Sunday of Advent. 

We have some traditions attached to this celebration - the Advent wreath. This Advent wreath was originally a tradition brought to Denmark from Germany around World War I and the four candles on the wreath symbolises the four Sundays of Advent and you light a candle for each Sunday, the first Sunday you light one candle, the following Sunday you light two candles and so on. 

This Advent wreath has transformed during the past centuries. Once it was a wreath made from fir branches (which many still prefer today) and it was hung from the ceiling with ribbons or placed on a tray on the table. Today many people have replaced the traditional wreath with a Advent candlestick from some fancy designer or the just make a decoration with four candles. 

I don't use the traditional wreath - but my mother prefers the fir wreath and hangs it from the ceiling. She has done so ever since I can remember and I wouldn't have it any other way at my parents' house. 

I made some traditions of my own regarding the first Sunday of Advent. I make my Advent decoration


Then I put up all my Christmas decorations, if the first Sunday of Advent is before the 1st of December. If it isn't I wait to put up my decorations and do it on the 1st of December. Then for dinner I make rice pudding, which is served with cinnamon sugar on top and a nub of butter in the middle of the warm pudding. I love this dish - it's Christmas at it's best. 

Borrowed picture from Arla.dk
 
To go along with this wonderful dish we have light ale - which we here in Denmark call Nisseøl (loosely translated to ale that Christmas elves would drink) A thing my father taught me was to mix the ale with lemon soda - a more kiddy friendly version - and I love it! 

Borrowed picture from Superbest.dk

My recipe for warm rice pudding will be posted soon... Enjoy your first Sunday of Advent.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Coarse winter/fall salad

This is my take on a lovely coarse winter/fall salad - I always make this whenever I have fresh leftover cabbage from making cabbage cooked in white sauce which also is a favourite of mine...
This salad goes great along side which ever kind of meat you prefer - I like it with Danish meatballs, fried or grilled chicken or even fish cakes and it's a great way of getting the fibres you need. It's low fat and really easy to make - so just get cooking (chopping) people...

Coarse winter/fall salad with cabbage and carrot (6 servings)
1/4 of a cabbage 
4-6 medium sized carrots
150 grams raisins
75 grams hazelnuts or walnuts

Start by rinsing the cabbage and removing the first two layers of leaves. Then chop the cabbage thinly and put them the strips into a bowl.

Next you rinse, peel and coarsely grate the carrots and mix it in with the cabbage. Add in the raisins.

Chop the nuts as coarsely as you like and mix them in with the rest of the salad. Give it a good toss and viola in just a matter of minutes you have a well tasting coarse salad.

Sorry for the missing picture - I'll be sure to add one the next time I make this fabulous salad...

Bon appetit...

Waldorf salad

The Waldorf salad is really a seasonal salad for me because it's traditional to serve along side some Danish Christmas dinners. I could eat it all year and I really love it but somehow I manage to forget about it for a while and usually it pops right back into my mind again when Christmas starts knocking.

This year has been no exception and it was only because I had apples in my fruit basket I thought of making it for my family gathering this weekend. Sadly I forgot to take pictures and had to borrow this one from another website. I hope you'll like this salad as much as I do and maybe it'll become one of your traditional Christmas side dishes...

Picture borrowed from: Den store danske

Waldorf salad (8 servings)
6 apples (your favourite kind with a slightly acidic taste to them)
500 grams seedless grapes (blue or green which ever you prefer)
150 grams walnuts (save some of the whole ones for decoration)
500 ml sour cream
2-3 stalks of celery or 1/4 - ½ teaspoon of celery salt (I use the celery salt)

If you want to use fresh celery then skip ahead and start from number 2. 

1. Start by preparing the dressing for the salad: Pour the sour cream into a bowl and mix in 1/4 teaspoon celery salt to begin with. Let it sit for about 5-6 minutes and have a taste. It has to taste of celery but not too salty. If your up for more taste of celery then add in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon. Just be careful - I season this 3 or 4 times before I have a flavour that I'm satisfied with, so go slow and add in the celery salt little by little.
 
2. Cut the grapes into halves and cube the celery (if you haven't used the salt instead). Put them into a large bowl and give the apples a good wash. Cube the apples and add them into the bowl.

3. Chop the walnuts coarsely and put them in with the rest of the salad.

4. Pour the dressing/sour-cream into the bowl as well and mix it all together so that the dressing/sour-cream covers it all. 

And that's that - let the salad rest in the fridge for a couple of hours or make it the day before (it only gets better!) and serve it along side a good roast, beefsteak, roast duck, goose or even turkey.
Bon appetit...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Apple rolls

Originally the idea was to use the leftover apples I had to make apple jam or something like that but I didn't really have the time to spend making that. Then I stumbled upon a Danish recipe for Apple rolls and I had planned to make rolls anyway, so there was an easy solution! Apple rolls it was...

A really simple recipe and it didn't take up much of my time and if I wasn't in a Christmas mood before, I sure was as I started to make the rolls. Their delicious smell of cinnamon spread out through the entire apartment and made me want to start my Christmas decorating really early this year, so it was definitely the right time to try them out and they taste absolutely wonderful! I think it will become a part of my Christmas traditions to make them every year.


Danish apple rolls (25-30 rolls)
50 grams yeast (fresh)
300 ml lukewarm water
300 ml lukewarm milk
1 egg
4 pealed and coarsely grated apples (your favourite kind)
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cane sugar (you can also use the regular kind)
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 kilo all purpose flour (approximately)

Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) 
Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and milk. Add the rest of the ingredients - leaving the flour for last to be added little by little.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes and let it rise in a covered bowl for about 30 minutes. Knead the dough once more and make the rolls. Put them onto a baking sheet and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

Glaze the rolls with a beaten egg and sprinkle them with a bit of cinnamon sugar mix. Bake the rolls for about 15 minutes.

Bon appetit...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's alive...

It has been really silent in here for a long long time and I'm very sorry about that. 

However that's all about to change! As Christmas draws near and my dear friend Carina is moving back to Sweden I have very special plans for this blog and I want to keep it alive as it is my only blog written in English and I would very much like to reach other people in the world as well with this blog.
I can't quit yet reveal what my plans are, but I can say it will involve food, Christmas, give aways and lots of other exciting things. Something to look forward to as it only gets colder and darker out side...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Far behind...

Ohh I've gotten so far behind in posting the newest recipes from our food project and it will last until this weekend, where I get the time to catch up with Carina. I've been so busy making cakes, that I've totally forgotten to post the recipes... I still remember how the dishes were and how we liked them and that's the most important part right...

I just have to get this one wedding cake done for pick up on Friday and then I'll get back on track - until then I hope you'll  bear with me...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

sinful chocolate brownies with berries

Yum-O! That's the best word to describe this delicious brownie. I served it with a scoop of really great vanilla ice cream and some leftover fresh blueberries and I was floored! My guests really dug in even though they were still full from the main course and that must be a compliment to the chef (baker?) I will definitely bake these brownies again and just give them 20 minutes in the oven - they could have been a bit more moist but they were fine with the vanilla ice cream. Quick and simple to make and not too expensive. Just be on the lookout for cheap fresh berries and you're on a roll. I made mine with blueberries and I know Carina used raspberries so I'm excited to find out what she thought of this our 18th dish - well strictly speaking it was really a cake right... The first cake of the cooking project... See Carina's brownies on her blog...

This portion makes about 10 slices

100 grams butter
2 dl brown sugar (I ended up using half brown sugar and half regular sugar as I ran out of brown sugar)
100 grams dark bitter chocolate
2 eggs
1 dl all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
100 grams berries (raspberries, blueberries or blackberries)

Decoration:
1½ dl double cream
200 grams fresh berries
Confectioners sugar or cocoa powder to sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350F) and line a small 8" springform tin.

Put the butter, brown sugar and coarsely chopped chocolate into a pot and melt it slowly while stirring until it has uniform texture. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool of a bit. Then whisk in the eggs one at the time. Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold it in carefully with the berries.

Pour the dough into the springform tin and bake it in the middle of the oven for about 20-25 minutes. The cake is supposed to be a bit sticky in the middle.

Let the cake cool off and serve it with a side of whipped cream and extra berries. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar or cocoa powder if you feel like it.

Bon appetit...


Funky prawn cocktail with mango and tiger prawns

This our 17th dish in the food project is probably the dish where I've deviated the most from the recipe. My husband and I are not very big fans of basil, romaine lettuce and well asparagus is just so darn expensive. I replaced those ingredients with ones we liked and so I got a really good result. I also made another dressing as we don't get along with chili at all in our household. We really liked this dish with my small adjustments and I will defiantly make this again. It was so easy to make and healthy as well. I served bread along side my cocktail just to get a bit carbohydrates in there as well.  

I'll post both my dressing and the one in the original recipe. Once again Carina beat me to the punch and has been so kind as to translate the recipe, so I'll just repost what she has already posted a few days ago - see her experience with this recipe on her blog HERE

Funky prawn cocktail with mango and tiger prawns
16 tiger prawns without shell, but with tail (I used Royal Greenland shrimp)
1 mango
2 romaine lettuces (I used iceberg lettuce)
8 green asparagus (I replaced this with freshly podded peas and cucumber)
50 grams of sunflower sprouts or bean sprouts (I used small bean sprouts)
20 leaves of basil (I left this out)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil (I left this out)
2 limes cut in halves (I left this out)
salt

Phi Phi Island-dressing:
1 dl of mayonnaise
1 dl of crème fraiche (9%)
1-2 teaspoons of Sriracha chili-sauce
Zest of one lime

My dressing:
1½ dl sour cream
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
 
Boil the shrimps in lightly salted water for 2 minutes  (This is only if you use uncooked tiger prawns or shrimp)
Peel and cut the mango into 3×1 cm slices (I cubed the thing when I was done cutting around that darn stone in the middle)
Chop the salad finely. Break the “wooden” lower part of the asparagus and boil them in lightly salted water for 2-3 minutes. Let them cool down and cut them into mouthpieces. (If you use peas and cucumber instead then pod the peas and rinse them under running cold water and let them dry off. Meanwhile cut the cucumber into smaller cubes. You can remove the seeds if you don't like them.)

Dressing: Whisk the mayonnaise together with crème fraiche and chilisauce. Season it with lime zest and salt.
Turn the shrimps, bean sprouts, asparagus and basil leaves together olive oil and season it with salt. 

My dressing: stir together sour cream and tomato paste. Then add in the Worcestershire sauce and the soy sauce to your liking. I don't use exact measurements for this dressing as it comes out best if you just feel your way. 

Arrange the shrimp cocktails: Pour the dressing in the bottom of the glasses and then salad. Add the shrimp/mango salad on top and serve it with a half lime.(I didn't bother with the whole arrangement as you can see in the picture below - I didn't have glasses that would fit a whole dinner size cocktail so I just used our regular dinner plates)

Bon appetit...


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fish burger with fish steak chopped by hand and soft onions

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of fish of almost any sort so when I got the pick between a fish burger and some veggie dishes it was an easy pick... It was kind of weird eating fish like a burger but it really tasted good! I made a dressing for our burgers that just made it all come together and because we don't like chewing on onion pieces I just minced it in with the fish. Well I have a small confession to make as well... This recipe says that the fish steak is to be chopped by hand but I took out my food processor and minced the fish with all the other ingredients in that... It came out good but I cheated a little... I could do it so you can do it too...

For four people you'll need:

500 grams white boneless skinless fish fillet (e.g. codfish, haddock or pollack)
3 tablespoons chopped dill
1 tablespoon coarse mustard (I used recept mustard from Søstrene Grene)
1 egg
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
Butter
Salt and pepper

Soft onions:
3 large onions
1 tablespoon oil or butter
Salt and pepper

Fresh salad leaves
1 handful rocket
1 bundle watercress
4 large whole wheat buns
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon coarse mustard

Chop the fish thoroughly with a sharp knife on a cutting board until it has the desired texture. Fold together the fish, dill, mustard, egg and bread crumbs in a bowl (add the onions here too if you don't like onions on the side) and then shape the mixture into 4 fish steaks. Fry the steaks in a skillet with a little butter and season with salt and pepper.

Peel the onions into thin slices and fry them in butter in a skillet over low to medium heat. Fry them for about 10 minutes so they go soft and become somewhat caramelized. Season with salt and pepper.

Rinse and fling the salad and the watercress free of water. Split the buns into halves and heat them up on the toaster. Stir together the mayo and mustard and spread it on the buns. Put the salad and fish steak on the bottom of the bun and top it of with watercress and onion and put the lid on.

Bon appetit...


Take a look at Carina's experiences with this dish - HERE 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pirogue pastry with Moroccan filling

I have to say it is a must that you like Moroccan food to really enjoy this dish. Our 15th dish is made from leftovers of the Basic Bolognese we made on Monday spiced up with traditional Moroccan spices and ingredients (cumin, cinnamon and chickpeas) wrapped in puff pastry. I like those spices separately but mixed together it just doesn't make my taste buds dance. My husband and I have decided to stay away from that kind of food in the future as we have not yet tried anything from the Moroccan cuisine we actually enjoyed. However I will not rob you of reading Carina's experiences with this dish on her blog - HERE and share the recipe with those of you who are fans of Moroccan food. 

For four people you'll need:
1 can of chickpeas
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 batch of basic bolognese
2 tablespoons harissa (you can leave out the harissa or substitute with chilli powder)
100 grams fresh baby spinach leaves
4 sheets of ready-to-use puff pastry
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
Salt flakes

Accompaniment:  salad, natural yoghurt and lemon wedges

Pre-heat the oven to 200C (about 400F). Let the water drain from the chickpeas and heat up the oil in a large sauté pan. Toast the chickpeas in the pan with cinnamon and cumin for about 2 minutes.

Add the basic bolognese and bring it to a boil. Add the harissa and spinach and let it cook for about 2 minutes. Let the mixture cool down again.Season with salt and more harissa.

Divide the puff pastry sheets in two and roll them out. It gives more room for the filling. Put about 2 tablespoons of the filling in the middle of each pastry sheet fold it together around the filling and press the edges with a fork to make sure the filling stays inside. Put the pastry pirogues onto a baking sheet brush them with the egg yolks and sprinkle with whole cumin seeds and salt flakes.

Bake the pirogues in the oven for about 20 minutes until they are golden and crisp. Leave them on a grid to cool off for about 5 minutes and serve with salad, yoghurt and lemon wedges.

Bon appetit...


Lemon Soda

The second drink in our food project and I dare say, that this was an even greater success than the first drink. Both my husband and I were totally crazy about this slightly acidic but very soda pop like drink. It is not the last time I'll be making this drink and I better make plenty because it's very irresistible. See how Carina liked this drink on her blog - HERE

For a portion of 4-6 glasses  you'll need:

2 dl water
200gram cane sugar
juice of 4 lemons or 12 limes (I decided to use half lemon and half lime so 2 lemon and 6 limes)
1 litre of sparkling water
ice cubes
1 lime in slices

Make the syrup first: Boil water in a pot and melt the sugar in it.
Let the syrup cool down for about 4 hours before mixing it with lemon juice. Add the desired amount of sparkling water when serving and serve the drink in cold glasses or in a big glass jug with ice cubes, lime or lemon slices and extra sugar.

Bon appetit...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mango Fool

I finally got around to making this dessert, which Carina made what seems ages ago. I don't really have the time to make desserts on weekdays and on weekends I forget. But this weekend I (surprisingly) had the energy and just went ballistic and made a dessert AND a drink! I'll post he drink recipe later and now I'll share my experience with this dessert which is the first dessert in the food project.

It tasted soooo good! My husband was practically licking the bowl in hopes of getting more sweetness out of it. I made some small alterations to the recipe as I saw fit and this dessert was a mixture of crunch, sweetness, creaminess but it also had an acidic taste to it. I found that you have to be careful to use ripe mangos because the sourness of a mango that's not ripe will punch through in the end. This is a really good summer dessert and would be a fantastic conclusion to a summer garden party or a light coffee accompaniment on a sunny afternoon...

For four people you'll need:

2 ripe mangos
Juice of 2 lime
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest (I didn't add this)
6 dl double cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar (I used 2 handfuls of crushed meringue to give the cream some texture)

Peel the mangos and scoop the pulp off the mango stones. Blend the mango with lime juice and 1 teaspoon of finely grated lime zest.
Whip the cream in a bowl with confectioners sugar until it's lusciously thick but not stiff. This is where you fold in the crushed meringue if you want to use that.
Put the cream into 4 tall glasses. Add the mango purée in a plastic bag and spray it into the whipped cream. Or carefully fold the whipped cream into the mango purée and put it in the glass. 

Bon appetit...

Take a look at Carina's experiences with this recipe on her blog - HERE

Basic Bolognese

I love a good bolognese made from scratch and this bolognese was one of the fastest (if you don't count pouring Dolmio bolognese over ground beef and serving that) and easiest to make. This is a basic recipe intended for further use so it only had to contain the most basic vegetables and spices so they won't overwhelm whatever it is supposed to be a part of later on. I thought it tasted quit well but as Carina said, there is absolutely nothing funky about it. Take a look at Carina's experiences with this dish - HERE

Anyway here's the recipe for a large portion, which you can split up into smaller portions and freeze for an easy dinner on a busy day.

2 onions
4 carrots
4 sticks of celery
2 cloves of garlic
500 grams of ground beef
2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil
1 tablespoon of tomato purée
4 bay leaves
10 sprigs of thyme
2 cans of skinned tomatoes (I used organic ones)
1 teaspoon of sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut the onions, carrots and celery into fine squares. Peel the garlic cloves and chop it finely, then fry it in the pot with olive oil. Add the meat and brown it. Add the chopped vegetables along with tomato purée, bay leaves, and thyme and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the skinned tomatoes and the sugar and let it simmer for another 20 minutes. Season it with salt and pepper.

Bon appetit...

 

Tortilla on toast with garlic mayo and rocket

And so I've gotten far behind on posting the recipes once again... sorry... I'll try to make it up to you at one point or another but for now this is the 13th dish in our food project and a pretty good one at that. So if you have some leftover tortilla from the Spanish Tortilla dish, this is a great way to create a new dish.
Carina tried out the real recipe with the grilled toast, I just tried it with Danish rye bread instead and brought it in my lunch box on monday. It tasted really good! Because I was in a hurry during my lunch break I totally forgot to take pictures so you'll have to do with Carina's picture and to read her experiences with this dish go to her blog - HERE

For four people you'll need:

4 pieces of toast
1 dl mayonnaise (or drained yoghurt) I used miracle whip light
½ clove garlic (I used garlic powder instead)
4 pieces of tortilla leftover
50 grams rocket (I forgot the salad but it tasted fine without it)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Grill the bread in the oven or toast it on the toaster. Stir the mayo together with garlic and season with salt. Spread out the garlic mayo on the bread and put a piece of cold or hot tortilla on top of it. Arrange with rocket dressed in olive oil, salt and pepper.

Bon appetit...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Spanish Tortilla with sweet potatoes and tiger prawns

I chose to make this our 12th dish today because I put the tiger prawns in the tortilla and because we decided to try out a follow up recipe with the leftovers for lunch. I then had to make this where I had two consecutive days avaliable to make such food so the prawns wouldn't go bad...

This dish was perfect for this evening - it has been a HOT day in Aalborg and we really weren't that hungry so this easy dish was just what we needed. It took me no time to make and it tasted really good! My husband liked it as well but we agreed on it needing a bit more seasoning as it was a bit bland. You could also easily substitute the prawns with chicken or Italian ham. That would also go very well with the sweetness of the potatoes. I just LOVE sweet potatoes... if they weren't so expensive I would buy them more often. They go really well with grilled food and are quit quick to get tender compared with other types of potatoes.

So if you need a quick and easy dinner for tomorrow evening or for lunch, this is what you could whip up and serve for your family or friends. They'll love it too...

For four people you'll need:

2 kg onion

600 grams sweet potatoes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 organic eggs

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

16 tiger prawns without shell


Accompaniment: 300 grams cherry tomatoes, 4 spring onions, 1 dl. teriyaki dressing*


Peel the potatoes and onions and cut them into coarse cubes of 2 by 2 cm. Fry the onion and potato cubes in a skillet with olive oil for about 7-8 minutes without it taking too much colour.


Whisk the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Add the prawns to the eggs and pour the mixture into the skillet with the potatoes and onion.


Stir a bit with a spatula until the eggs start to stiffen. Let the tortilla cook slowly on the stove until it's done or let it cook the last 10 minutes in the oven at 200 C (about 400F)


Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and finely slice the spring onions. Mix it with the teriyaki dressing. Serve the tortilla in the skillet sprinkled with roughly chopped parsley and the tomato salad. I made the salad a bit different - I didn't make the dressing, so i just quartered the tomatoes, finely chopped the spring onions and mixed it together in a bowl. When the tortilla was dine I sprinkled the salad on top and decorated with parsley before serving.

Bon appetit...


*Teriyaki dressing:

5 dl soy sauce

3 dl mirin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirin)

2 dl Sake

3 tablespoons sugar

2 organic limes


Stir the soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar together in a bowl. Grate the lime zest and squeeze out the juice. Stir both the zest and juice in with the rest of the ingredients and you have a teriyaki dressing.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mustard chops with onion and squash in cream

This recipe is categorized as a "eat and bug off" recipe for a large number of people. It's easy to do and doesn't take loads of time, so if you get unexpected company for dinner you can just whip up this dish and I promise it'll be a huge hit. I advise caution with the choice of mustard if you don't eat it very often or if you don't have a craving for spicy food with twang, then choose a sweeter mustard.
I loved this dish - it's easy, quick and it tastes really good! My husband liked it too apart from the squash that he left on his plate - too mushy for him... Carina made this dish last week (when I had pizza in stead) so she has already translated and posted the recipe, so I'll just repost what she wrote and you can see how her dish came out HERE 

For 12 people you'll need:

2 kg pork neck chops without bone, or pork chops (I used neck pork chops)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 kg onion
2 kg squash
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt
freshly ground pepper
2 dl Dijon mustard (I used a sweeter mustard - recept mustard from Søstrene Grene in Aalborg)
1-2 bundles of dill
1 litre of double cream
4 dl chicken stock

Accompaniment : salad, bread or rice

Preheat the oven to 180C. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and fry them in olive oil on both sides in a frying pan. Take them off the frying pan and cover them with tin foil.
Finely chop the onion and cut the squash into slices. Fry the onion and squash together in olive oil in same frying pan for approximate 3 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of mustard, double cream, stock and bring to the boil. Season it with salt and pepper.
Pour it into a big oven-proof dish or two, so there is enough room for all pork chops. Butter each pork chop with 1 teaspoon of mustard and put the pork chops above the vegetables. Chop the dill roughly and spread it out on the meat. Warm the pork chops in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Serve the pork chops in the oven-proof dish with salad, bread or rice.

Bon appetit...


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