Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rødgrød med Fløde (Red Porridge with Cream)

One phrase a lot of Danes like to have fun with is Rødgrød med Fløde, well, we like to try and make English speaking peoples try to say it.

Go ahead, try and say it...

I'll wait.

And while I'm waiting I'm going to make my version of Rødgrød med Fløde.    I found some pretty nice looking strawberries at the local store and threw them into a pot with some rhubarb and cooked them up together. 

This is the rhubarb I found when I went to the 'big' city recently.   I made some Rababergrod with that, but there was enough rhubarb for me to make Rødgrød as well. 

I got so excited when I cooked the two together (rhubarb and strawberries), and tasted it.  It tasted like my childhood, hot summer days, long warm evenings on the farm.   A bowlful of Rødgrød for dessert with a little Fløde on top.

Heaven.

Traditionally, this is a summer pudding made with the freshest of fresh fruit, you go out and pick some strawberries, some red currants, maybe some black currents, in this case some rhubarb, cook them together with a little sugar and then thicken it with a slurry of cornstarch and water.   Serve it cool or warm, drizzled with a little light or heavy cream.

And when I tasted it, it did taste like summer.  sigh.  But, I was missing something, I thought.    And if you're a purist, don't read any further, cause I did something different.   I had a jar of red current jelly in the fridge, and there wasn't  much left in it, so I added the jelly to the cooking fruit, and then I tasted it again, and it was awesome.   I chose not to strain the fruit, although you can if you like.   Just serve the Rødgrød with a little cream on top. 

I ladled some up into a bowl and added something I know my Mom would have used, if we'd been able to get it back then, Creme Fraiche.
I cannot believe how good that was, it put this very simple and flavourful dessert right over the top.

And I guess I should confess, I made so much, I'm having it for breakfast too.

Well, fruit and dairy, makes a great  dessert  breakfast.

I wonder how it would taste ladled over some oatmeal?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rabarbergrød (Rhubarb Pudding)

I got so excited last week when I went to the 'big' city to shop, I found some lovely Rhubarb for sale.

So I grabbed it. 

OK, I hurried up and threw it in my cart, then giggled as I put it gently in my fridge.

And now that I have a couple of hours, I'm going to make a taste of my childhood.

I used to get into trouble when I was a kid, my sister and I would go out to the Rhubarb patch, pick the young slender stalks and then go get some sugar in a cup and proceed to eat the rhubarb, bite by delicious bite dipped into the sugar.   My mouth is getting all happy thinking about it.

Mom would cook the Rhubarb into a delicious pudding and we'd have it with some fresh cream from our cow, and life was good.   Or she'd make it into some Rødgrød  and serve it with Fløde (cream).   And sometimes she'd even make a pie with the rhubarb.

So, I thought I would make a nice Rabarbergrød to have as dessert tonight along with the Rib Roast I'm cooking.

First off, take your rhubarb and wash it, then cut it into roughly equal pieces.  Place those pieces into a pot and cover with water, a couple of cups will do.

 I like to add a cup of sugar at the beginning. 
Cook until tender, about 15 minutes or so.  (and don't do like I did and visit with a neighbor and lose track of time).      Take the rhubarb off the heat and put into a sieve and press the fruit through it to get the juice out.   You're shooting for 4 cups of juice here.    Add about two cups of sugar and let it come to a boil, or just an additional cup if you do like I did and added a cup of sugar at the beginning.  Make a slurry of 6 tsp. cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water and stir into the juice.  Let it come to a boil, the juice will get clear, which tells you the cornstarch has been cooked.   Set aside til cool, then chill. 


 I don't like to add red food coloring to this, because I think it's just so pretty without it.


Serve with a little cream drizzled over top. 



Saturday, April 26, 2014

Salmon Mousse

I made some Salmon Mousse the other day for Tapas and have to say I thought it needed something 'more'.

I followed the recipe exactly, but...

So I headed back into town, 7 miles away for an additional ingredient, I 'knew' that adding some smoked salmon would be just the ticket.    Actually, I needed horseradish and napkins as well for Tapas, so it wasn't a 'one ingredient' trip.

I found the recipe for the Salmon Mousse here and since I had some salmon in the freezer, and wanted to do something fun with it, this seemed a natural fit.

  I made the little tarts, poached some salmon I had in the freezer and proceeded to make them.   Just did not care for the taste of the filling which is why I ended up heading back to town in search of some smoked salmon which I added to the rest of the filling and decided it was as good as it was going to get.

And I have to admit, that even though I did not care for the tarts, one of my guests said that they did complement each other very well.

I guess I 'taste tested' it too much.   My 'taste' was tired.

Here's the recipe for the Salmon filling first, and when I read the reviews of the recipe, they suggested making this the night before so that the ingredients could get acquainted overnight and pretend they knew it other very well.  So I did.  Make it the night before and stuck it in the fridge.

Here's how I made it.

8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 cup fully cooked Salmon, skin and bones removed, or in this case, 4 small fillets that I had in the freezer.
3 oz. smoked salmon
2 tablespoons broth (I used the broth I poached the salmon in)
2 tablespoons Sour Cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely minced dill + dill for garnishing

Mix all the ingredients together and chill overnight so that the flavours will meld together and get acquainted.

I poached the salmon in a little water and white wine, then added some sliced lemons, dried dill and green onions.

Poached them gently then removed the salmon from the liquid, reserving a little of it for the rest of the filling.
When poaching fish, you barely cover it with liquid, never let it come to a rolling boil or even a simmer, you want the temp of the water to be about 180 degrees, this will cook the fish, really.





I let the salmon cool, then took out the dark bits, if you  have a cat handy, you can feed them this, or even your dog if they like fish.  My current dog doesn't like anything weird like fish, but...









Threw the flaked salmon into the bowl of my Kitchen Aid, along with the rest of the filling ingredients;


And let 'er rip,  well, I mixed them together, and then they went into the fridge to rest.
While that was going on I made the tarts.

 1/2 cup softened butter
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup flour
Mix together and then turn out onto a pastry sheet like this.

 I then kneaded it a little before dividing it up.
 I knew this would make 24 tarts, so I divided it into four pieces...










Then cut each of the four pieces in half,
 Each piece was then cut into thirds.  This way you know that the dough is divided evenly. 
 I rolled them into a ball, and pressed them  into my mini tart pans, making a shell of them.
 Along the way, I had a helper, sigh...

She was more interested in the cupboard though, all that lovely space to explore.

No room for the bird in this cupboard...











After I baked the tarts at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes I took them out and was a little dismayed, they poofed up a lot, and when I tasted them, I really didn't like the taste, so I decided to make some baked Wonton cups.
 I just used a cookie cutter to cut rounds out, and then baked them in the oven. 
I did learn a little trick.  I sprayed them, very lightly with some cooking spray before baking them.  This helped them to brown up and crisp without making them too hard.








 I served some of them on some peeled cucumber rounds and decorated them with some fresh dill from my garden.











OK, so it's just one little dill plant, but it will grow...


And I also served some of the salmon filling in the wonton cups, and they did disappear in short order.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tapas Night for April

What a night...

Not only did we have a houseful of guests, who all brought wonderful dishes to share for Tapas Night, but they all got together and signed a card wishing us a Happy Anniversary, and gave us a lovely gift as well. 

We were flabbergasted and touched and amazed and well, words fail me.   I'm getting teary just thinking about it, but as I told everyone last night, it's our pleasure and joy to host and hold Tapas Night once a month.

I think if I did more often it wouldn't be as much fun, especially when it comes time to wash all those glasses! 

Just kidding, I love the idea that the wine glasses are being used, and appreciated.   That's what they were created for.

So without further ado, here are the wonderful dishes that were brought, shared and enjoyed last night.  And a couple of dishes I made too, the how-to's I'll share at a little later date.

 Grapes and Cheese and Crackers...
 I made some Salmon Mousse which I served on some cucumber rounds...  (and the dill decorating the tops, are from my little garden).
 Brie en Croute, I had to make it again, it was so good the last time.
 Taco Salad and the Chips that accompanied them in the next picture

 Salmon Mousse, and this time I put it in some Wonton Cups I'd made.  
 Potato Salad
 Roasted Tri-Tip, I doctored up some Horseradish Mustard to go with it.  
 Pasta Dish...
 Chicken Enchilada's
 Red Beans and Rice and the Cornbread to go with it below here.
 Deviled Eggs
 Shredded Carrots and look at the lovely bowl, made by Marion Morris, one of our resident artists.
 Crudites Cheese Plate.
 Some more Deviled Eggs, only these guys had their Easter Bonnets on.   Or as someone called them last night, Boneless Chicken.











Stuffed Mushrooms
Deep fried Chicken Balls











 Cauliflower with Asiago Cheese

White Bean Dip



 Here's an overview of the table, and this isn't even all the food...








 Meatballs in BBQ sauce
Corn Fritters...












And then there were the desserts, and there were a lot of desserts too...

In no particular order.











 
I did try to sample as much as I could, but the dessert table was pretty popular. 
And that's it for this month, and all I can say is this, if you go home hungry from here, it's your fault.
Just kidding...