Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Recipes

The following are all musts for a traditional Danish Christmas

Roast Pork (serves 6)
1.75-2kg pork roast with the rind still on it (chuck steak or shoulder works well)
Coarse grounded salt
Pepper
3 bay leaves

Preheat the oven to 250C. Cut slices in the rind all the way down to the meat, but don't cut the meat itself. Put the roast with the rind down in a roasting dish and cover with enough water to *just* cover the rind. Put it at the very bottom of the hot oven and "boil" the rind for 20 minutes.

Take out the roast and discard the water. If you have a small grate for the roasting dish, use this, otherwise just put the roast back into the roasting dish, this time rind side up. Rub the rind with salt and pepper (the salt helps the rind get crispy) and add a few bay leaves between the cuts in the rind here and there. Pour 1/2 cup of water over.

Turn down the heat to 180C and cook the roast for about an hour or until a roast thermometer reads 70-75C. Add extra water if necessary.

Pour out the water remaining (saving it, if you want to use it for a gravy), and cook the roast for another 15 minutes at 250C - keep careful watch! You want the rind to be crisp, not burnt!

Let the roast rest for 10 minutes uncovered. Carve and serve.



Caramelized Potatoes (serves 6)
125g sugar (about 1.5dl)
40g butter
1.5kg peeled small cold boiled potatoes

Pour the sugar evenly on a cold pan. Let the sugar melt without stirring - first 2 minutes at high heat, then at medium heat. Add butter and turn up the heat. Rinse the potatoes and shake off most of the water (they should still be damp, but not dripping). Add the potatoes to the pan and brown them at high heat for 6 minutes, stirring carefully. Add a bit of water if the potatoes start to get too dry.



Stewed red cabbage (serves 6)
(DISCLAIMER: never made this from scratch - we always buy the cabbage pre-stewed).

40g butter
6tbsp red currant jelly
3tsp balsamico vinegar
1.5tsp salt
750g finely chopped red cabbage

Bring butter, jelly, vinegar and salt to a boil in a large pot. Add the red cabbage and let it boil at medium heat under lid for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and boil at high heat and while stirring for about 3 minutes. Season to taste.



Dessert: Ris a la Mande (serves 6)
3dl water
2.5dl jasmin or basnati rice (about 180g)
1 liter milk

100g almonds*
Vanilla from 2 vanilla pods (stay far away from vanilla sugar - it's a wrong taste for this)
4 tbsp sugar
2.5dl whipping cream (you'll want to use the real stuff and NOT whipped cream from a can!)

Bring water and rice to a boil in a fat-bottomed pot. Boil the rice for 2 minutes while stirring regularly. Add milk and bring down to a low simmer, still stirring for another 10 minutes. Put a lid on and let it simmer for another 30 minutes or so - stirring occasionally.

Leave the porridge in the fridge until next day or until it's cold.

Pour boiling water over the almonds and let them stand for a bit, so you can get the skin off (of course you can skip this step if your almonds are already de-skinned). Put one aside and chop the rest coarsly. Mix the porridge with the vanilla, sugar and the chopped almonds. Whip the cream and carefully turn it into the porridge together with the one whole almond**. Put it back in the fridge for another 2 hours. Season to taste with extra vanilla and sugar.

Serve with warm red berry sauce - we typically use cherry sauce.


* I like my Ris a la Mande to be very ala Mande'ish, so I typically prefer those with more almonds than the recipe calls for, but try it out, and see what you prefer.

** This is a Danish tradition - the one complete almond is hidden in the dessert, and whoever gets it wins a small prize :)



Cherry Sauce (serves 6)
(DISCLAIMER: I've never actually made this. In Denmark you can buy this in stores around Christmas time, but I wasn't sure if the same would be the case in the US, so I figured I'd include it. The recipe is for cherries, but you can use any form of sweet red berries).

1dl cherry juice
1tbsp potato or corn flour
700g sweet cherry preserves
2tbsp sugar

Make a thickening of the juice and flour.

Put berries, the rest of the juice and sugar into a pot and bring it to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and add the thickening while stirring. Heat the sauce through again before serving, being careful not tolet it boil!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Crunchy Apple Pie

So easy to make and SO delicious! My new favourite thing to make

(serves 4)

5-6 apples
100g soft butter
1dl brown sugar
3dl oatmeal

Peel the apples and deseed them. Cut them into thin slices and spread them out in a pie form.
Mix butter, sugar and oatmeal thoroughly to a crumbly mess. Spread it over the apple slices.

Bake for 25 minutes at 225C

Serve with sour cream, whipped cream or ice cream.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mexican Soup

(serves 3)

150gr bacon
4 medium sized potatoes
3 carrots
5-6 spring onions or 1 "ordinary" onion
8.75dl chicken stock (that's about 3.5 cups)
1 can diced tomatoes (about 14 oz)
2 tomatoes
1 tsp chilli powder
2.5 dl cream (1 cup) OR 1 can (~14oz) coconut milk
1/2 squash/zucchini
1 bell pepper, cubed

Cut the bacon into thin slices and cook in a large pot.

Cut potatoes, onions and carrots into small pieces (about 1x1cm) and cook them in the bacon fat for about 5 minutes, adding chilli and salt and pepper to taste. Stir frequently or they will burn. Add chicken stock and the can of tomatoes.

Cut the tomatoes and squash into small pieces (about 1x1cm) and cut the bell pepper into "stripes" and add them to the soup when it starts to boil. If you're using coconut milk, add that now too. Reduce to a simmer and let it cook under lid for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are done.

If you're using cream instead of coconut milk, add that now, and bring back to a quick boil.

Serve with bread rolls or crush nachos on top of the soup.


It's a great "empty the fridge" recipe as you can add all sort of vegetables, and it's absolutely delicious. Fortunately we have leftovers :-D

Monday, September 22, 2008

Indonesian Sweet and Sour Pork

This is one of my absolute favourite dishes. Soooo tasty!
The pork can easily be substituted with turkey.

(serves 4)

600gr pork (little over 1lb) in bit-sized cubes
1oz butter
1tbs honey
1 clove of garlic
paprika
2 cups chicken stock
3 tbs soy sauce

Melt butter and honey in a cooking pot. When it is very dark brown add the meat and brown it. Add chopped garlic, paprika, soy and chicken stock. Leave to simmer for approx. 30 minutes.
Serve with rice and rice taffel accompaniments. E.g. coconut flour, rasins, peanuts, apple, cucumber, banana, pineapple and whatever else floats your boat.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Spicy Chicken with Salsa

(serves 2)

Salsa:

1 avocado, mashed
3 rings of pinapple, crushed
1 tsp lemon juice
1 spring onion, chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin
A dash of cayenne pepper

Mix everything together and set aside.

Chicken:
3 chicken breasts
1 tsp chili
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
2.5 tbsp honey.

Mix the chili and garlic with half the oil to make a paste. Rub on both sides of the chicken. Heat up the rest of the oil in a skillet and brown chicken on both sides. Pour the honey on top and cook the chicken until done, pasting frequently with the juices.

Serve with rice.

Very spicey but SO yummy!!! :-)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Salmon Lasagna

(Serves 4)

450g frozen spinach (approx 1lb)
5 dl milk (2 cups)
2 tbsp flour
4 oz shredded mozzarella  (we used more, but then I like a lot of cheese in my lasagna :-)
450g salmon (approx 1lb)
4 tomatoes
12 lasagna pasta thingies (yeah, I know they have a proper word, but can't think of it right now :-P )

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F
Defrost the spinach in a pot.
Add 4dl milk (all but half a cup) and bring to a boil.
Mix the rest of the milk with the flour. Slowly stir this mix into the sauce.
Let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes.
Add half the cheese, add salt, pepper and spices according to taste.
Cut the salmon in bite-size pieces.
Cut the tomatoes in slices.
Build the lasagna in an ovenproof dish: spinach bechamel, lasagna, tomato and salmon. Repeat and end with a layer of spinach bechamel.
Put the rest of the cheese on top.
Bake the lasagna for 30 minutes.

Serve with bread.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Easy Taco Casserole

(Serves 2)

1/2 pound extra lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups lowfat cheddar cheese -- shredded
2 cups baked tortilla chips -- crumbled
1 1 1/4-ounce package taco seasoning
1 medium onion -- chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 can beans -- rinsed and drained

TOPPINGS
Lowfat sour cream
Shredded lettuce
Sliced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 175C/350F. In a large skillet, brown beef and onions. Add taco seasoning, chili powder, cumin, tomato sauce, beans and water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Gently fold in corn chips and most of cheese. Put into casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

Serve with toppings.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Marinated Flank Steak

(Serves 3)
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 pinch rosemary
1 pinch chili powder
salt, pepper
3/4lb flank steak (I couldn't find flank steak, so used another kind of steak instead. Because of the marinade, it doesn't matter what you use - pick something thinly sliced and cheap ;) )

Mix wine, soy sauce, honey, rosemary, chili, salt and pepper together. Put the steaks in a bowl and pour the marinade over it. Let it marinade in the fridge overnight, turning the steaks once in awhile to get them covered evenly.

Grill like you would ordinary steaks.

I served it with potato wedges, tomato salad, carrot-rasin salad and bell pepper coated in the left over marinated and then roasted. Absolutely delicious! Definitely worth a repeat.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pasta with Tomatoes and Squash

(serves 2)

300gr pasta of your own choice (I use Benne - it corresponds to just under 1 litre ~ 4 cups uncooked)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 hand-full fresh basil
2-3 loaves of garlic (depending on how garlicky you like your food)
1-2 bell peppers
4 carrots
½ squash (depending on size - use a whole one if it's very small)
approx. 10 olives
2 small onions
approx 150gr thinly sliced and diced bacon (optional)
1 can of diced tomatos. (In Denmark I can get cans with chili added - I like to use this to make the dish spicy. If you can't buy them where you are, just use regular tomatos and add chili according to taste)
Salt, pepper
favourite spices (I use carry, cinnamon and sugar)

Boil the pasta according to the directions on the package. I like to add a bit of vegetable stock to the water as it boils, but it isn't necessary.

Cut everything into bite-sized pieces, chop the garlic, the basil and halve the olives. Warm the oil in a wok or large pan. Add chopped basil and garlic and fry until the garlic starts to take colour. Add bacon and onions and fry until the bacon is cooked and the onions transparent. Add carrots and squash and fry for 5 minutes. Add olives and bell pepper and fry for another 2-3 minutes.

Stirr in tomatos and turn down heat. Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes, but keep an eye on it, that it doesn't get too dry. Add spices according to taste (approx. 1 tsp of each in my case). The sauce is done when the squash is 'al dente'. Mix with the pasta and heat through. Tastes great both warm that day, and cold for lunch the next day.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Stir-fry

(serves 2)

Approx. 300gr. meat in bite-sized pieces. Chicken, turkey, pork or beef - whichever catches your fancy.
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp soy sauce - divided
2 cloves of garlic - thinly sliced
3 carrots in bite size pieces
2 tomatoes - diced.
5 spring onions - thickly sliced
1 bell pepper in bite size pieces
1 package of frozen vegetables (in Denmark you can get Asian ones - these are the best for it)
salt + pepper to taste
Your favourite noodles. I like egg noodles, but anything will do. You'll need at least 250gr.

Mix together the oil, half the soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the meat and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes - 1 hour if possible. (Or if you're short of time, just make sure you do this first, and let it marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.)
Cook the noodles according to the description on the package. Drain and leave to be used later.
Put the stove on medium-high and heat up a wok or a cooking pot (if you don't think it can take being heated up empty, use some of the marinate). Add the meat and all the marinate and fry until the meat is close to being cooked through. Add the carrots, spring onions and bell peppers and fry until the carrots are 'al dente' - 5 minutes or so. Add the frozen vegetables, the tomatoes and the rest of the soy sauce. Cook until the vegetables are no longer frozen.

Add the noodles, heat through and serve.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Salmon with Honey-Cashew Crust

(Serves 3)

4 salmon fillets
2 tbsp bread crumbs
4 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp dijon mustard
4 tsp honey
pepper
herbs such as parsley, thyme or basil

Mix butter, mustard and honey in one bowl and bread crumbs, cashew nuts and seleted herbs in another.
Put salmon fillets in an oven-proof dish and sprinkle with pepper.
Cover with honey/mustard mixture and bread/nuts mixture.
Bake for 15 minutes at 225C / 435F

Serve with baked potatoes or boiled rice and a nice green salad.

ABSOLUTELY delicious! :-D

Monday, February 4, 2008

Exotic Pork Tenderloin

The Recipe
(serves 4)

500-600g pork tenderloin (or pork chops)
2-3 leeks in thin rings
1 bell pepper, diced
1 squash/zucchini, diced
1 large + 1 small can of coconut milk (approx 600gr total)
1 small can of concentrated tomato paste (70gr)
salt
pepper
paprika
olive oil

Stir-fry leeks, bell pepper and squash in oil and spices according to taste (cayenne pepper or a Hawaiian mix works well, as does paprika and curry) in a pan. Pour into an ovenproof dish. Add a bit more oil and brown the meat on all sides. Add it to the oven-proof dish and rearrange so that some of the vegetables are on top. Pour coconut milk and tomato paste on the pan and allow it to simmer until it's reduced somewhat. Pour it over the meat and vegetables.

Cook at 200*C for 30-45 minutes until the meat is done. Take it out of the oven, cut the meat into slices and return it to the sauce.

Serve with rice and a nice green salad.


The Verdict
One of my favourite company meals. It's so easy to make, and always popular with guests :)


Friday, January 25, 2008

Chicken-Noodle Soup

(serves 2)

2 chicken drumsticks
2 carrots
1 tbsp salt
2 spring onions
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp curry
1 tbsp oil
75gr noodles (approx 3oz)
Salt, pepper

In a pot, add drumsticks, one of the carrots in big pieces, 1 liter of water and salt. Bring it to boil and let it boil for an hour.
Take out the drumsticks and carrot pieces, but save the broth. Throw the carrot pieces away, peel all the meat of the drumsticks and put aside.
In another pot, heat up oil and add curry, onion in large cubes and pressed garic. Cook until golden.
Add the broth and another 1/2 liter of water. Bring to a boil.
Add chicken, chopped spring onion and the other carrot in thin staves. Bring to a boil.
Add salt and pepper according to taste. If it doesn't really taste of anything, add some chicken stock (not necessary for me - it was very chicken-y as it was).
Add noodles and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve hot with fresh baked bread.