Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Danish Food

Here is a collection of recipes for Det Store Kolde Bord


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sweet pickles -- chopped
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 hard-boiled egg -- chopped
  • 1 dash garlic
  • Capers -- optional

Mix all ingredients. Store, covered, in refrigerator.

NOTES : This seemingly simple relish is used on many foods in Denmark. An interesting variation add chopped, cooked cauliflower. Excellent with seafood, sandwiches, meats, or as a garnish.

Sweet-Sour Cabbage - Mormors Hvidkål

Serves 6

  • 1 small onion -- sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups red cabbage -- shredded
  • 2 tart apples -- cored peeled diced
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 whole cloves

Brown onion lightly in the butter. Add remaining ingredients in order given.

Cook until cabbage is almost tender.

Curry Dressing

  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1½ teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add remaining ingredients.

Frikadeller I Løgsauce

Serves 8

  • 2 onion -- minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg -- grated
  • 2 pound ground pork
  • 2 pound ground beef, lean
  • 6 slices dry bread crumbs
  • milk
  • 2 egg -- beaten
  • Flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter

  • 3 cups onions -- minced
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk

Brown onion in butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix beef, pork and bread crumbs which have been soaked in milk. Combine with onions. Add the egg; mix well, and form into small balls. Roll them in a small amount of flour.

Brown the meat balls in the butter. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Serve with either of the following sauces:

ONION SAUCE (Løgsauce)

Cook minced onions in butter until transparent. Blend in the flour and salt. Slowly add the milk and stir continually until thickened. Pour over the meat balls.

Serve with buttered noodles sprinkled with toasted crumbs.

Cucumber Salad

Serves 8

  • 1 16" cucumber
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 dash pepper

Cut cucumber and onion paper thin. Separately combine remaining ingredients. Combine with cucumbers and onions. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours. Drain before serving

Potato Salad - Kartoffelsalat

Serves 10

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 teaspoons chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup vinegar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 4 pounds potatoes -- boiled & chilled
  • ½ cup parsley -- minced

Fry the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, drain and crumble.

Add the flour and onion to the fat in the pan. Stir in the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spices. Cook until medium thick. Cool.

Peel and dice potatoes. Sprinkle parsley and crumbled bacon over potatoes. Pour cooled dressing over all and mix gently to avoid mashing the potatoes.

Det Store Kolde Bord

Below is the menu that I created and served at the Memorial Celebration for my grandparents, Christian & Edna Hansen.

First Course: Fish & Smorrebrod

This course is traditionally enjoyed with cold beer and “snaps”. Snaps is infused vodka (Aquavit) always served at this type of buffet in small (2cl) glasses. The first snaps is typically poured when everyone has prepared their first smørrebrød, and everyone who is drinking will toast with "skål". You are not expected to drink the entire glass on your first sip, but it is customary that anyone desiring another sip of the snaps must raise his glass and bring out a toast ("skål") inviting everyone else at the table to join him. It is generally considered polite to go through the motions of participating in these toasts, even though you do not have to actually drink much or anything at all.

Both the fish and smorrebrod items are meant to be placed on a single slice of buttered bread (usually “rugbrød”—a dark rye bread), and then topped with the accompaniments provided. Rather than eaten by hand, it’s generally managed with a knife & fork. Try a couple, but don’t overstuff yourself—this is only the first course!


Kryddersild-herring: pickled herring pieces served with sliced potato, onions and capers, topped with dill sour cream.

Karrysild-herring: Herring pieces with apple and horseradish, topped with curried sour cream

Laks: smoked salmon served on white bread, topped with shrimp, lemon and fresh dill


Liverpostej: liverwurst on dark rye with bacon and sautéed mushrooms

Roast beef: thin sliced roast beef served on dark rye bread with remoulade, a sprinkling of horseradish, and roasted onion

Second Course: Lune Retter, Vegetables, and Salads

Traditional Danish hot dishes are served with hot vegetables and cold salads.

Frikadeller: Danish meatballs, served with potatoes, pickles, and onion gravy on the side

Medisterpolse: Danish sausages with ketchup & mustard, served on buns—just like hot dogs! Danes often top this with potato salad as well.

Kalvemedaljon: Lightly fried veal or pork medallions with a creamy mushroom sauce on top

Morbradbof: flattened pork tenderloins lightly fried, topped with your choice of sautéed mushrooms, onions, or pickles

Aerter: fresh steamed peas sautéed with chopped lettuce and dry mustard

Rosenkal: brussel sprouts, steamed then lightly fried with bacon

Gulerodder: carrots with butter and a light caramel

Agurkesalat: cucumbers and onions marinated in vinegar

Kartoffelsalat: vinegar-based potato salad

Third Course: Cheese & fruit, served with coffee and tea

Cheese: A selection of traditional Danish cheeses, including Blue Castello, Havarti, Danablu, Fontina, and Maribo

Fruits & nuts: figs, apples, cashews, grapes and almonds to accompany your cheese


Here is the Memorial video for Chris and Edna Hansen.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Labor Day BBQ

I had vegans and vegetarians at this BBQ, so had to be a bit creative. Rather than make special dishes to accommodate the meat-o-phobes, I prefer to make as many dishes as possible enjoyable by everyone. All of the dishes below are vegetarian, and all but the Spinach & Artichoke dip are vegan.

To accommodate the meat-eaters, I grilled up some really yummy steaks. But you can figure out those without a recipe.

Most Glorious Spinach & Artichoke Dip

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ bulb fresh fennel, diced
  • ½ sweet yellow onion, diced
  • A few cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
  • ¼ c drained & chopped sundried tomatoes marinated in olive oil
  • ½ c white wine
  • A few large handfuls of coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 2c marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 6oz cream cheese
  • 1c sour cream
  • ½ c shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ c shredded Asiago cheese
  • ½ Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • ½ Tbsp kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ Tbsp fresh ground black pepper
Sauté onion and fennel in butter and olive oil until onion begins to soften. Add wine and simmer until fennel is tender, about 5 minutes. Once the liquid has almost evaporated, add crushed garlic and sundried tomatoes, and stir. Top with spinach and toss until spinach wilts. Remove from heat.

In large microwave-safe bowl, combine cheeses.

In food processor, lightly pulse the artichoke hearts with the tarragon, salt, and pepper. Add in the sautéed vegetables, and pulse again lightly to mix.

Add the vegetable mixture to the cheese, and stir. Put in microwave and heat on half power for about 3 minutes. Mix, then reheat on full power for about 2 minutes (You may also put in a baking dish and heat in conventional oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through).

Serve with sliced French baguette or tortilla chips.


  • 1c small diced tomatoes
  • ½ sweet yellow onion, diced
  • Bunch of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp Kosher or sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 long French baguette

I know. You’re thinking, it’s the height of summer, and you’re using CANNED tomatoes? But the thing is, canning preserves the sweetness of summer, and the small diced canned tomatoes have no skin and no seeds. It really makes this preparation easy. But if you like, go ahead and skin and deseed 3 or 4 fresh ripe tomatoes. Dice and drain before using.

Combine tomatoes, basil, onion, salt and pepper in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cut baguette into thin slices and place on cooking rack. Spray with olive oil, and toast until lightly browned and crispy.

When ready to serve, arrange toasts on tray, and top with one spoonful of tomato mixture.

Bean Salad

This isn’t your traditional marinated 5 or 7 bean salad. It’s wonderfully fresh and raw, and shouldn’t be marinated to the point where the basil wilts and the beans become pickled.

A handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4c finely chopped sundried tomatoes
2 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp kosher or sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ c each malt and rice wine vinegar
¼ c olive oil (or oil from the sundried tomatoes)

1c each: garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans
2 ears fresh corn, removed from cob
1c frozen sweet peas (or fresh peas, lightly blanched)
1c frozen cut green beans (or fresh green beans, cut and lightly blanched)

Combine first set of 10 ingredients in a blender and pulse briefly to mix.

Combine beans, peas, and corn. Add dressing, and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving, but not more than 12 hrs. I prefer to use a gallon size ziplock for refrigeration, as the flavors tend to blend better.

Grilled Marinated Polenta, topped with mushrooms and eggplant relish

A handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4c finely chopped sundried tomatoes
2 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp kosher or sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ c each malt and rice wine vinegar
¼ c olive oil (or oil from the sundried tomatoes)

1 tube of fresh polenta, cut into ½” slices

4 or 5 marinated cipolini onions
1c marinated button mushrooms
1 Tbsp sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 small eggplant / aubergine, diced
½ tsp kosher or sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Aluminum baking trays, with holes poked through the bottom

Combine the first set of 8 ingredients (yes, it’s the same dressing as for the beans, minus the paprika and mustard. If you like, you can just double the dressing for the beans, and use half of it here) in a blender and pulse to make a paste. Add additional vinegar to thin if necessary. Reserve 2 Tbsp for relish.

Arrange slices of polenta on a baking tray (not the ones with holes), and pour a spoonful of the marinade over each slice. Turn over each slice, and add another spoonful of the marinade. Pour any extra marinade into the tray. Cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Combine onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, salt & pepper in food processor. You can also add the leftover ends of the polenta, if you like. Pulse this lightly two or three times to chop, but not puree. Turn out into bowl. Add reserved marinade and mix.

To grill, poke holes into the bottom of an aluminum baking tray. Oil lightly, and arrange the slices of polenta. Top each slice with a spoonful of the mushroom and eggplant relish. Place on grill. Close cover, and grill over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until the polenta is crispy on the bottom and the vegetables on top are warmed through and soft.

Arroz con gandules

I haven’t made this yet, so the recipe may change. But I saw Daisy make it, and had to put it here for safekeeping. Looks gorgeous.

First, you have to make the Sofrito.

If you can't find ajices dulces or culantro, don't sweat. Up the amount of cilantro to 1 ½ bunches.

  • 2 medium Spanish onions, cut into large chunks
  • 3 to 4 Italian frying peppers or cubanelle peppers
  • 16 to 20 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, washed
  • 7 to 10 ajices dulces (see note below), optional
  • 4 leaves of culantro (see note below), or another handful cilantro
  • 3 to 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into large chunks
Chop the onion and cubanelle or Italian peppers in the work bowl of a food processor until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients one at a time and process until smooth. The sofrito will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It also freezes beautifully. Freeze sofrito in ½ cup batches in sealable plastic bags. They come in extremely handy in a pinch. You can even add sofrito straight from the freezer to the pan in any recipe that calls for it.
Pantry Notes: Ajices Dulces, also known as cachucha or ajicitos are tiny sweet peppers with a hint of heat. They range in color from light to medium green and yellow to red and orange. They add freshness and an herby note to the sofrito and anything you cook. Do not mistake them for Scotch bonnet or Habanero chilies (which they look like)--those two pack a wallop when it comes to heat. If you can find ajicitos in your market, add them to sofrito. If not, up the cilantro and add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Culantro is not cilantro. It has long leaves with tapered tips and serrated edges. When it comes to flavor, culantro is like cilantro times ten. It is a nice, not essential addition to sofrito.

Makes about 4 cups.

Arroz con Gandules
Makes 10 to 15 servings, as part of a larger meal

1/2 cup Achiote Oil
1 cup Sofrito
3 tablespoons alcaparrado or coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
3 tablespoons fine sea or kosher salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 pounds smoked pork neck bones or smoked turkey wings or one smoked ham hock
One 13-ounce bag frozen pigeon peas OR one 15-ounce can pigeon peas, drained
6 cups long grain rice
Beef Broth, homemade or store-bought and/or water as needed (about 8 cups)
1 banana leaf*

*Note: Banana leaves and/or plantain leaves, are large, pliable, dark green leaves that are used quite a bit in Latin American cooking. Here they lend the rice a subtle flavor. They are available, usually frozen in 1-pound packages, in Latin markets and some specialty stores. And if you life in California, you can probably find a banana tree locally, from which you can harvest a young leaf.

Heat the achiote oil in a heavy 5-quart pot or Dutch oven over high heat until rippling. Stir in the sofrito, alcaparrada or olives, salt, pepper and cumin. Cook until the sofrito stops boiling and starts to sizzle, about 5 minutes.

Add the pork bones and stir until they're coated with oil, then stir in the rice until everything is mixed together and the rice is coated with oil.

Stir in the pigeon peas and enough broth and/or water to cover the rice by the width of two fingers. Top with the banana leaf, folding it up as necessary to fit over the rice. Bring to a boil and boil without stirring until the level of liquid meets the rice. Take the banana leaf off, give the rice a big, healthy stir and put the leaf back on top. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove the banana leaf, give the rice a big stir and fluff it with a fork. Serve hot.