Friday, January 28, 2011

Tuna mousse sandwich

That's what was for dinner last night. I needed something cheap and quick for dinner and this is as easy as it gets...

The tuna mousse can be made the night before you need it and all you have to do then is chop the salad and vegetables you need... Anyway here's my recipe for an absolutely delicious tuna mousse:

Tuna Mousse

For four people you'll need:

2 cans of tuna (drained from the water)
3 gelatine leaves
300 ml cremefraiche (sour cream)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I've also had success substituting with paprika and chili powder)
1½ teaspoon salt

Drain the tuna in a sieve put it into a bowl and break it into small flakes.
Put the gelatine leaves in cold water for about 5 minutes.
Add the cremefraiche, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt in the bowl with the tuna and mix it together.
Pour the water from the gelatine leaves and squeeze them free of most of the water, put them back into the bowl and melt them in the microwave oven for 10 seconds or over a pot of boiling water. Put a spoonful of the tuna mix into the bowl with the gelatine and mix it to cool the gelatine. When it's cooled add the gelatine/tuna mix into the rest of the tuna mix and stir until it's all mixed together. Season to taste, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for at least five hours.
For the sandwiches you'll need:
Bread (whole wheat grain or whatever kind you like)
Butter (my husband loves butter underneath everything)
Lettuce (chopped finely)
Cucumber, sliced
Tomato (sliced)
Onion (optional - we never use it)

Toast the bred and butter it. Spread put a layer of tuna mousse and top it off with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and onion. Finish with a slice of bread and there you have a quick and easy tuna mousse sandwich.

Bon appetit...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yet another cake...

...and this time it wasn't one I got to taste... Ohh well you can't win them all...
Anyway this is a birthday cake for Bertram - son of my husbands colleague who is turning 6 years old (I think) tomorrow and his mother wanted to surprise him with a cool cake for his birthday. She told me that he had been to a birthday party at a friends house a while back and they had served a cool spiderman cake, so I just hope that this cake can live up to the incredible spiderman cake from that birthday...

and a picture from the side...

Happy birthday Bertram, I hope you and your family enjoy the cake very much and have a great day i Capella Play...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hubby's birthday and cake

Today my husband turns 30 and in light of this occasion I thought it only appropriate to make him a birthday cake.

Recently he has become very interested in American football and his favourite team is The Indianapolis Colts, so I thought I would challenge myself a bit and try to model something for the cake this time. This was what I made:

A miniature Colts helmet and what a challenge! I've never really modelled something like this and it was a bit more difficult than I expected but overall I was satisfied...

Anyway this is what the cake looked like before he brought it to work and they ate it all!

It spells Happy Birthday in Danish.    

 and the cake from above:

My husband was very surprised and very happy about the cake. The filling was caramel mousse with crushed vanilla biscuits and milk chocolate mousse with crushed vanilla biscuits meant to imitate the chocolate bar TWIX and it got very high praises. I was a bit nervous about the filling as it was the first time I tried this combo but everyone seemed to like it...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shrimp salad a´la moi

We've tried to get a healthy start on the new year as far as the food goes. It has slipped a couple of times I must admit, but now I think we're going somewhere... 

The first healthy dish I made this year was a Shrimp salad with bread on the side (not the healthiest of bread and not home made as I had a bit of bad luck trying out some new bread recipes) but I'd like to share this salad with you, as it's become one of my favourite. 
Shrimp salad a´la Agnethe 
(4 lunch portions or 2 dinner portions)

You'll need:

200 grams Greenlandic or North Sea Shrimp
125 grams cottage cheese
2 spring onions
salt and pepper
1 avocado
10 cm cucumber
3 cocktail tomatoes
1/4 of a lettuce head
1 baguette

Let the shrimp drain and chop the spring onions finely. Mix the cottage cheese and the spring onions and add in the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper, mix it well and set aside.

Dice the avocado, cucumber and tomatoes and chop the lettuce finely. Mix the avocado, cucumber and tomatoes in with the lettuce.

Toast the baguette and slice it. Arrange the lettuce mix in the bottom of a large bowl, top with the cottage cheese and shrimp mix and garnish with dill or another fresh herb you like. Serve the bread along side with butter.

Bon appetit...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Danish New Year's Traditions

Now I told you about Christmas traditions here in Denmark, I might as well tell you about New Year's as well. Not that there are so many traditions related to this celebration of entering the new year but there are a few which you can be sure to meet if you celebrate New Year's in Denmark.

One of these traditions is to serve fish of some kind either as a starter or a main course. Some save the seafood (prawns and oysters) for later and serve it with the champagne at midnight. An old tradition in Denmark is to serve boiled cod fish with mustard sauce. Not one of my favourite dishes as I find it very bland and really don't care for boiled fish at all. I bet it's much better steamed... At home with my parents we have either prawn cocktails as a starter or we have toast with prawns, caviar and mayo as a midnight snack along with cheese and crackers. Sometimes my mother chooses to swap out the prawns for gravad lax on toast. That's a treat as well.

Then for the main course, if you have chosen to have fish as a starter, we often get some kind of special and or expensive cut of meat. That could be beef tenderloin, roast beef, veal sirloin roast or something like that with all sorts of side dishes. On New Year's Eve this year (well last year actually) my husbands uncle had made pork tenderloin in mushroom gravy served on toast and it was magnificent! It really tasted so good that you couldn't stop eating...

Now for dessert which varies from everything between having ice cream, lemon mousse, Irish Coffee, Crème Brûlée or some other fancy kind of dessert. This year I chose to make white chocolate mousse with blackberry sauce and Daim sprinkles on top... My husband actually decided that he wanted this dessert because it's his favourite flavour combo when it comes to desserts.

Another tradition on New Year's Eve is to toast the New Year with some kind of bubbly drink, whether it being champagne, Verdi, Asti Sprutmante or which ever you prefer. My favourite is Asti and I only had a tiny sip this year because I'm pregnant and don't drink alcohol at all. With this drink we also have Danish marzipan ring cake like this:

picture borrowed from

I tried to make this last year but found it very time consuming and a bit difficult to get the perfect "tower" so this year I made Danish marzipan cake bits instead and I loved them. I'm a sucker for marzipan so this is my favourite treat.

I think you should try this out yourselves and then tell me if you're as big a fan as I am of these delicious goodies...

Danish Marzipan cake bits 
Marzipan mix:
500 grams raw marzipan (containing a high level of almonds) 
200 grams cane sugar
100 grams egg whites

100 grams icing sugar
a bit of egg white

Making the marzipan mix
Whisk cane sugar and egg whites until it's a white and fluffy substance. Leave it to infuse for an hour until the sugar is dissolved. Knead the egg and sugar mix into the marzipan little by little until the mix is homogeneous.

Put the marzipan mix into a piping bag with a large nozzle (you decide which ever you like best I used a bekanal nozzle) and pipe out the pieces onto a baking sheet as big as you like them to be. Let them set for about half an hour before putting them into the oven and baking them at 200C (400F) for about 8-10 minutes until they are golden. Let the bits cool off.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add a bit of egg white. Whisk it together and if the icing is left making little tops when you take out the whisker it is ready. If it is still rather liquid sift in some more icing sugar and mix again. Make a little piping bag out of a baking sheet (see how to HERE) and fill it with the icing, not all the way to the top as it will come out on top as well. cut a hole at the end of the cone and pipe out thin lines on the marzipan cake bits.

Have fun making these delicious treats which are also very good even though your not celebrating New Year's.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The traditional Danish Christmas

Yeah I know it's a bit late to post this, but my friend Carina actually encouraged me to write a post about it between Christmas and New Year's. However I lost track of time and now it's already 2011 and I forgot to write about our traditions surrounding Christmas Eve and especially the food we consume during the holidays (in disturbing quantities). I'll make up for my forgetfulness right now and wish you all Happy New Year.

As mentioned before, we Danes celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December. This tradition dates back to the ancient Nordic calender, where the day of Jesus' birth begins at sunset on the 24th of December. December 23rd also marks the start of Christmas celebrations in Denmark. This date has no biblical meaning but still some families have special traditions on this day as well. Most families use this day "Lillejuleaften" as it is called here in Denmark, to prepare for the big celebration on Christmas Eve. The Christmas tree is often decorated this evening, some eat rice porridge and make extra for the Danish rice pudding with almonds, which is served as dessert on Christmas Eve with hot or cold cherry sauce and others roast the duck this evening, to get a head start on food for the Christmas dinner.

At my house the 23rd of December was spent at my grandparents house starting with a Christmas lunch, where my grandmother had put all kinds of delicious Christmas dishes on the table. We started of with roasted black pudding, then we had 2 kinds of pickled herring and roasted pickled herring, home made rolled seasoned meat, brawn, Danish pork sausage and tiny Danish meat balls. we finished off with cheese and crackers and lemon mousse. After this feast we went out into my grandfathers plantation to pick out and bring home our Christmas tree. We walked all the way and it was loads of fun. When we got back, the tree was put on the trailer and my grandmother had prepared afternoon tea and coffee with Christmas cookies and cake. We got home in the late afternoon and my mother prepared the rice porridge for dinner and dessert the next day. My father put the Christmas tree on a pedestal and left the tree in the living room to be decorated when the children had gone to bed. The decorated tree would be a surprise for us the following morning. 

The celebration of Christmas and what we do on the 24th of December varies from family to family and it often reflects what we grew up with at home as a child.

As I got older I helped my mother preparing the Christmas dinner and we often went to church in the afternoon. When we got home, we gathered around the television to watch Walt Disney's Christmas Show "From All of Us to All of You" and then we watched the last episode of the Christmas calender shows we had been following from the 1st of December. The table was set beautifully and the last food preparations were made. Our Christmas dinner menu consists of:

Roast duck
Roast pork loin with crackling
Red cabbage
Boiled potatoes
Sugar glazed potatoes
Gravy made from the duck 
Danish rice pudding with almonds and cherry sauce

When we eat the rice pudding we gamble for an "almond gift". A whole almond is hidden in the pudding and the one that gets this whole almond wins this little gift. Traditionally it was a little pig made from marzipan but today it can be everything from chocolate to good quality coffee or something like that.
When we finished eating, the table is cleared and we help put the Christmas tree in the middle of the living room and put the presents underneath. At our house my father light the candles on the tree as the rest of the family sits in the kitchen listening to the Christmas Gospel read out loud. When my father has finished, he turns off the rest of the light in the living room and brings us in there to see the beautiful tree. We dance around the tree hand in hand singing Christmas carols and enjoying the cosiness of it all. Then the time for opening presents arrives. We place ourselves around the living room and the youngest in the family hand out the presents. We each take turn opening one gift at a time and the Christmas candy is brought out, then we enjoy our presents and have a little candy before going to bed having had the longest day of anticipation and joy.

After spending Christmas with my husband and his family I appreciate the traditions I have from home much more and I know that when it is my turn to host Christmas Eve, these are the traditions I will hold onto and carry on.

Related posts

You might also like: