Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Mint icetea

June 11, 2008

The weather has been outstanding these last couple of weeks. It seems, though, that the annual June rains have hit the streets today. But luckily I had the chance, time and temps high enough  to try out a recipe from kitchen guru Camilla’s new selection of herb recipes that was published this Saturday as a special section of Politiken, a Danish newspaper. Safe to say, there are enough recipes and ideas to keep me busy for a little while. But first up was a really refreshing afternoon drink, good in the heat but I think I’ll make it again this weekend even if the weather gods have decided to bless some one else with Summer sun.

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Rhubarb retrospect

June 9, 2008

May can pretty much be summed in one word for me. Rhubarb! I find May a little gastronomically challenging – Spring is here and so is the promise of all the great new season’s vegetables. Yet I’m always a little ahead – in this little corner of life, anyways – , and that leaves me empty handed after grocery shopping. The spring cabbage hadn’t quite hit the marked, the asparagus hadn’t peeped up from their winter hiding yet and so it goes on. Until the rhubarbs announces the new season, that is. And not only are they Spring time messengers, I absolutely love them! Rhubarbs are just one of those things I can keep eating, cooking and coming up with new things to do with.

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Lemon fool layer cake for “A Taste of Yellow”

April 16, 2008

I had better get a move on, since the closing date for entries are approaching rather quickly. I mentioned a while back that I had something cooking for this year’s A Taste of Yellow, the cancer awareness food blog event organized by vinosandfoodies.

Right up till last Sunday I knew what I wanted my entry to be. I was well organized and ready, had even done the photography. All ready except the writing. Then we celebrated baby-J’s first birthday and the plans changed. In stead of the saffron infused breads, known in Scandinavia as lusekatter, they are certainly yellow (!), I opted for the lemon fool layer cake we made for the birthday. It was yellow, we all loved it and we’ll make it again. But just as an added Taste of Yellow bonus, I’ve included the photos of the lusekatter as well.

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Raspberry cakes – hindbærsnitter

February 2, 2008

This is a Danish classic. Found in every baker throughout the country. Usually, though, made with margarine and other absurdities. These however are the real deal! Made with butter, crispy and light and with the twang of good, homemade raspberry jam. I found them at a little cafe downtown, not the other day… We’ve been there more than a few times.

Menu for Hope IV – part 2

January 11, 2008

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The results are in for the fourth edition of Menu for Hope, this time raising more than $90.000 for a food programme in Lesotho. The results can be seen over at Chez Pim. – And what do you know… I won! I’m almost a little embarrassed as I didn’t enter to get anything but to do little good in the world. But it ended up with a copy of Dorrie‘s new book on baking for my personal enjoyment. I can’t wait to try it out, even giving my slight embarrassment 🙂

Merry Christmas – and something crispy

December 23, 2007

So it’s almost there! And this will be the last post before Christmas and probably for a while since the calender is full of days with the family. But before I take my leave, I’ll share this great and simple recipe for sour dough waffles. It’s easy, yes, but it takes a little planning as you have to start one day early and have a wheat sour dough starter at hand. (For those of you Danish readers, a wheat starter is available at Emmerys). We had them for brunch today – just to get going before the big day of preparations. After that start I was ready for baking, braising and diaper change!

I love baking and do pretty much all our wheat bread baking. So of course I bought Nancy Silverston’s book Breads from La Brea Bakery – if there ever was a classic on artisan bread baking this is a safe bet. It’s a good book but honestly, I just don’t have the patience for her very complicated recipes. But this one is great! It’s easy-peasy and turns out crisp waffles like I’ve never seen before. The result isn’t too sweet, actually the recipe is a little too sour for my taste – it could be that my starter is more sour than hers? So I add a little extra sugar. Eat the waffles with maple syrup and your Christmas stress-o-meter is sure to drop a notch!

Sour dough waffles (6-7 waffles)
adapted from Nancy Silverton Breads from La Brea Bakery

Day 1

30g butter
125ml whole fat milk
125ml wheat starter
1 tbsp moscovado sugar
75ml flour

Melt the butter and milk. When cool add the rest and whisk together. Cover and leave at room temperature over night.

Day 2

1 large egg
1/8 tsp baking soda

Add the ingredients to the batter and bake straight away at a heated waffle iron. Grease the iron the first time, after that you shouldn’t need to. Much away – and Merry Christmas!

Vanilla rings – vanillekranse

December 19, 2007

I’ve almost completed the Christmas baking and munch making. Yesterday I got the last batch of cookies done and I had saved the best for last. Vanillekranse are my favorite cookies. Crisp and light – and heavily scented with vanilla. This is the time to bring the big bucks to the store and stock up on those plumb and thick Tahiti vanilla pods.

It seems that every family has their own version of these Danish classics. Of course I think these ones are just right. They are somewhat different than the standard vanillekrans as they call for a lot of almonds compared to flour and you actually use the whole vanilla pod, not just the seeds. The result is extremely crispy but the price is that they don’t hold their shape quite as well. (Check out Zarah’s version over at Food and Thought.)

Vanillekranse on the left

Please note that you need to start one day in advance as the dough needs to rest overnight.

Vanillekranse
from Camilla Plum Jul, yield 30 or so

125g blanched almonds
half a vanilla pod (or more… I used half a Tahiti and a couple from the vanilla sugar jar)
125g flour
a quarter tsp ammonium carbonate
125g sugar, preferably home made vanilla sugar
60g butter
1 egg

 

 

Grind the almonds very finely  with the vanillapod(s) in a food processor (the pod needs to be very finely chopped so you might have to help out on the cutting board). Put all the ingredients in a bowl and combine into a firm ball, if you wish you can use a Kitchen Aid attached with the paddle. Let the whole thing rest in the fridge over night. Now comes the fun part! Either you attach a star shaped ring to your Kitchen Aid meat grinder (yes, I said meat grinder) or you have a bollesprøjte as you see in the picture above. If you do, just do as on the picture. With a meat grinder you add the dough in batches – and you should call out for a helping hand at this stage – and while one is putting the dough through the grinder the other is shaping the rings. Once you have a full plate bake for around 7 minutes at 180C. The vanillekranse will stay crisp in an air tight container for a couple of weeks but they probably won’t last that long, so don’t worry too much about it!

 

 

Medjool dates

December 15, 2007

A couple of weeks ago I stumpled on some rather scrumptious looking organic Israeli dates at my local super market. They looked like something I absolutely had to buy. So I did, initiating my little date enlightenment project. My relationship with dried fruits are fairly new so the discovery that there exist different varieties of dates sort of took me by surprise. I did a little research and discovered that actually, there’s a whole lot of different dates around.

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I soon realized that what I was after was the medjool date. Also known as King Salomon these babies are the king of dates. Just the name pretty much did it for me invoking all the smells and sights of the Middle Eastern cuisine. Of course I found them at my favorite green grocer, just known around town as The king. This guy was voted the best green grocer in the country last year and how can anyone compete with going to Rungis, the Paris food mecca, every week for fresh deliveries of French garlic (he stocks three different kinds!), extravagant Spanish navel oranges etc., and at the same time carrying phenomenal regional produce, among other things my favorite apple quinces. Of course The king carries medjool dates, so I walked away happily awaiting if they would live up to my expectations.

Oh, did they ever! The Israeli ones (I don’t know the varietal name) were great, no doubt about that, but the Medjools were even better. Not overpoweringly sweet, more along the lines of moscovado sugar with its hints of caramel and spices, butterlike in consistency and big enough to constitute a substantial snack. I was hooked and might just have to stock up on these for the Holidays.

Chrunchy Christmas

December 11, 2007

How is it again? “Have your self a very chrunchy Christmas”… No? Not for me, anyways. Sometimes I get the feeling that someone took the crunch out of Christmas resulting in massive eating extravaganzas leaving my crunch-a-holic self totally unsatisfied and puzzled – is it just me? Surely, it can’t be. Yes, the Danish holiday fare have its crunch, but for me crispy onion rings on top of the pickled herrings or the crunchy cracklings of pork roast just doesn’t quite do it. What about all the cookies and candies, surely they are crunchy? Yes, now you’re on to something but why is it, that all the main courses are so lacking in the crunch department?

Well, enough wining already. Realizing this post is way overdue, who really need Christmas recipes this time a year when all the holiday get-togethers are already well planed or done with, if nothing else this can act as a mental post-it to myself. ‘Cause next year I’m sure to have forgotten what we did this year, and that would be a darn shame, if I’m to judge.

We had pretty much all the relatives from Line’s side of the family for lunch a couple of weekends back. We really couldn’t have squeezed another chair in our rather small living room but hey, it all worked out. There was only one rule in our planning, the cooking part had to be fun so that what was supposed to be a nice day with the family wouldn’t get spoiled by a couple of stressed out hosts hovering over the stoves and grumping out orders to the guests. That turned out to be a good rule of thumb, and when the day arrived we we’re pretty much in control, had done our preparations and only needed to do the finishing touches.

Crunch was a big part of the menu that was lingering somewhere between traditional and innovative. Not foam or things exploding in your mouth-innovative, just twisting old classics a bit. We started out with two dishes from Claus Meyer‘s great book on entertaining guests, Mad til mange (Feeding the crowds), gravad salmon and soused herring. Both dishes proved to be a Meyer take on old Christmas classics, the salmon was marinated in snaps, warm spices and saffron served with toasted rye bread and pickled celery. The salmon takes on a great reddish hue from the saffron that also helps camouflaging the strong snaps flavor. The soused herring was pretty standard fair, except for the pickling liquid that in stead of plain vinegar was a mix of apple cider vinegar, sugar and warm spices. A real treat, the apple aromas doing a world of good to the herrings! Served on rye bread with a relish of grated apples, beets and horse raddish it was an instant classic.

N ow, at a usual crunchless Christmas lunch you would serve the roast. In stead we served a salad. It was the star of the day and it’s not the last time we’ll throw in a salad to cleanse those fat-induced palates with a little zing and zang. The recipe is from Camilla Plum’s new book on Christmas (such a shame for you non-Danish readers but she hasn’t been translated). The idea is slicing up 3 large apples a small stalk celery and a fennel bulb. Mix with 100 g of dried cranberries and a dressing made of olive oil, crushed garlic, apple vinegar, walnut oil and salt. Mix it all when ready to serve and drizzle with pomegranate seeds. It’s highly recommended, some might even say addictive.

Then on to the roast, we chose a pork loin braised in beer and apple juice along with peers and celery (also from the Meyer book). At the end of cooking, reduce the braising juices until you get a thick, dark sauce. Squeeze the pears through a sieve and slice up a couple of fresh ones adding to the vegetables cooked with the roast. Drizzle with toasted cubes of rye bread over the vegetables for that extra crunch – you didn’t think I had forgotten, did ya?

After that ordeal, sometimes eating can be challenging, it was on to the sweets: chocolate covered pickled ginger and orangettes, homemade English style fudge with rum and nuts and the like. Not to brag or anyting (well, maybe just a little) but we were thorougly pleased with the menu – the guest were nice too, mind you – and opting for a snack kind of desert was a great idea. In stead of pudding, people munched on the different snacks and sipping a little coffee in between. And I for one had had my chrunchy Christmas hopes fulfilled.

Menu for Hope IV

December 11, 2007

mfhlogosmall_21.jpgMy Google Reader are going crazy these days with one post after the other about the great food blogger event, Menu for Hope. I’ve just read up on the whole thing over at pim’s whose in charge of organizing. Last year readers of food blogs around the world gathered up more than $60.000. This year the benefitters from hopefully an even bigger amount is a breakfast and lunch program in Lesotho. For $10 you buy a raffle and the chance of winning some pretty great things. David has thrown in a Kitchen Aid and among the more extravagant prizes are a guided tour of the El Bulli testing fascilities accompanied by Ferran himself. Check out all the details at Chez Pim.