Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Røget Laks og Æg (Smoked Salmon with Egg)

I sometimes think I should stop having fun playing with my food, and then I rethink that position and go nah.

Why stop?

And this past weekend was no exception.

I made a couple of platters of Danish Smørrebrød for our guests at Tapas Night, and got totally amazed at how quickly one of the platters was emptied. 

I really shouldn't have been surprised cause a properly prepared piece of smørrebrød is really hard to resist.
Røget Laks og  Æg  (Smoked Salmon with Egg)

I'd found a package of smoked salmon, gravlax style at Publix, on one of my shopping trips, and decided to make some Røget Laks og Æg on some of my home made rye and white bread.

I put the platter down on the table and my guests descended on them.  And the plate got emptied, fast.

I don't blame them a bit.  They were delicious.
I only know that cause I sampled some beforehand.

I have to make sure it's edible.

This isn't so much of a recipe but more of a 'how to'.

To start with, you need to scramble a couple or three eggs with a little bit of milk.  Season with some salt and pepper and when it's soft cooked, as in still a little creamy, take it off the heat and let it cool. You can also cook the eggs in the oven, in a Bain Marie.  Basically whisk together some eggs, a little milk, pour them into a shallow pan which is set in a Bain Marie (water bath) and cooked.  In other words a custard.  When it's cooked and cooled you slice it up and use it as I did with the scrambled eggs.
Now that the egg is cooked and cooled, you can make these little bites of wonderfulness.
I chose to put them on rye as well as white bread, but they are properly made with white bread only.
Butter the bread, all the way to the crust, then place a piece of butter lettuce down, add a spoonful of egg, and top with the salmon.  'Pynt' or garnish with a cucumber twist.  Finally, place a little piece of dill on top.
You can also top them a piece of blanched Asparagus. 
Maybe next time...

I couldn't resist taking pictures.
Not only were they pretty, they tasted amazing.  And since I also had a little salmon left, I used it for my lunch the next day.  Just salmon, garnished with a little dill and some sweet mustard sauce.
Røget Laks og  Æg  (Smoked Salmon with Egg)

Røget Laks og  Æg  (Smoked Salmon with Egg)
I also dipped into my stash of Mackerel in Tomato Sauce and added a little mayonnaise to it, and put together these mackerel bites.  I should have made more, they went fast.
Next time...
I also put together a platter of Frikadeller with Agurk Salat og Syltede Rødbeder  (Frikadeller slices with Cucumber Salad and Pickled Beets) as well as some Spegepølser (Salami).
And there were only a couple pieces left at the end of the night.

Which is amazing considering all the great food that was brought and enjoyed at Tapas Night this month. 
I should mention that Smoked Eel (Røget Aal) is usually presented on top of the egg sandwich, but if I had some, I probably wouldn't have shared it. 

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tapas for March 2017

It's a good thing I have a nice sturdy table, and an island in the kitchen, cause with all the great food people brought last night, it filled up both of them along with the 'dessert' buffet. 
Tapas Table
I had fun making a few things, and I'll tell you about them later on. 
Here's what was brought, shared and enjoyed.
We had some Chips and Dip
Chips and Dip
and a Spinach Casserole
Spinach Casserole
some Mac and Cheese,
Mac and Cheese
and Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs
we also had a Quinoa Salad, which reminds me, I need to put it on my shopping list.  I really like Quinoa

Quinoa Salad

as well as Cheese and Crackers and Celery,
Cheese, Crackers and Celery
and a Southwest Potato Salad, and I neglected to get a side shot, but the bowl was really cool as well
Southwest Potato Salad
then there was some Cheese Muffins, and I didn't get a taste, but look at that presentation, so pretty.
Cheese Muffins
we also had Broccoli Balls, but they were all gone before I got to them. sigh
Broccoli Balls
And there's always that one dish that escapes my camera, but I did get a shot of it, even if I had to crop a picture to show it, some more Mac and Cheese.  Did I mention, I love Pasta, especially Mac and Cheese.

as well as some Hummus and Crackers
along with some Sausage Soup,
Sausage Soup
and Roasted Vegetables
Roasted Vegetables
And then I made some Smørrebrød, and I had fun with it.  Disclaimer first though here.   I should have used either smoked salmon or smoked eel for this dish, but I winged it and used Gravlax, which is a cured salmon.  But everyone ate them anyways.  I'm just glad I sampled one before I put the platter out.  I'd also made some rye bread (Rugbrød) earlier in the day as well as some white bread.
Smørrebrød with Eggs and Gravlax
I also opened one of my tins of Makrel i Tomat Sauce and put some small bites together.   I didn't know if anyone would like it so only made up a little, next time I'll make more. It went over well.
Makrel i Tomat Sauce
And I made up a platter of Frikadeller with Agurk Salat and Syltede Rødbedder aka pickled beets and some Spegepølser (salami).
Smørrebrød with Frikadeller, Agurk Salat, Salami
Since I had so much Gravlax, I also made up some Lemon Caper Deviled Eggs using the Gravlax as a topper for some of them.   I'll be sharing that recipe soon.  It was really good, even if I say so myself.
Lemon Caper Deviled Eggs with and without Gravlax
I also played with some Pork Tenderloin bites and made an Asian style pork dish, I'll share that recipe soon as well.
Asian Style Pork Tenderloin Bites
 I also used some home made Puff Pastry and added some Asiago Cheese and made these Cheese Twists, I was just playing around.  I would have had more but managed to ummm, burn the second pan.
Cheese Sticks

Now for the Desserts.  And it's funny how there tends to be a theme from time to time.  This month it was fruit, Apples mostly, but also Cherry and Pineapple.  (We've had months where Chocolate reigned supreme as well)
Fruit Desserts, Apple Crisp, Apple bars, Cherry Cobbler, Pineapple
Apple Crisp, and I need this recipe.  Really, I do. 
Apple Crisp
And some Frosted Apple Bars, sorry the wrap was still on when I took the picture.
Apple bars
And a Cherry Cobbler
 Cherry Cobbler
As well as Pineapple, which I did not get a clear shot of. 
There's always one, but if you look at the dessert shot up above, the pineapple is there to the left.

Gotta go and wash the wine glasses now, and reflect on the night and think about the great time I had.


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Friday, March 24, 2017

Deluxe Carrot Cake

I reached out to my SIL the other day, well, we talk almost every day anyways, but she's a cake decorator and makes the most incredible cakes.
She decorates them beautifully, in fact she and her daughter are quite a team, but Stephanie also bakes the cakes from scratch.  Check it out here

She rarely makes a cake from a mix, and some time ago she was telling me, well, she was gushing over this carrot cake she'd made for someone, and how good the cake was and how easy to make and well, I tucked that little nugget of information away in my brain, and thought I wanted to make this sometime.
I did last week.
Carrot Cake

I've been making and donating cakes to the local Legion, every couple of weeks, and they raffle them off and raise money for local needs.  I made a Chocolate Cake a couple of times, a Buttermilk Cake and the last time a Cherry Cherry Cake.

I figure this is a win win situation, more so on my part cause I get to bake and decorate a cake, and I don't have a whole cake sitting around my house, saying "just a taste, that's all, just cut a sliver" cause that sliver turns into a slice and then, the scale goes "I can't believe you ate that" , and my pants say "not again", and well, we have some interesting conversations in my house.

At any rate, I got this recipe, made it, and then I got to taste it, and OMG, I think I found the perfect carrot cake recipe.
I'm not messing around with anything else. 
And if you noticed the 'toweling' around the pans, I'll tell you all about that in another post.   I'm still experimenting with it. 
Grated Carrots and Craisins - Steff said to use the large holes on the grater so I did.
 The batter in the pans.  And you want to rap the pans, sharply on the counter a few times to get the bubbles out.   But look at those lovely bits of carrot in there.
 The cake just after taking it from the oven.   It was resting.  Please don't skimp on the greasing of the pans, these cakes stuck.  And I even had a helper to get them out.  That little tab at the side, is attached to a little blade which scoots under the cake to loosen it.  Next time I'm placing a sheet of greased parchment paper in the bottom, I think it would be a lot easier to get the pans to release the cakes.  Threatening them did not work.
 After being released and resting for awhile.
 I made a simple cream cheese frosting for the top, and let it drape over the sides a little.  (and put a thin layer of buttercream frosting in the middle of the two layers)
Then I had fun decorating it with some 'carrots'.   
If you can't have fun with the food, what's the point of playing?

And I did get to taste some.  The person who won it, very generously shared it out.  giggle
Look at those carrots.
This is a moist, dense, rich cake, perfect for those special occasions.
Or just because. 



yield: 8-12 servings (a 2 layer cake)print recipe

Deluxe Carrot Cake

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 45 mins
This moist, dense cake is the ultimate Carrot Cake. Rich, flavorful, and delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots (large grate)
  • 1/2-1 cup Craisins (optional)
  • 1/2-1 cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch cake pans, making sure that they are well greased. Or place a greased parchment paper on the bottom of the pans, and then grease and flour the sides. Peel and grate carrots, using the large side of the grater. Measure out three cups, set aside. Mix all the wet ingredients together with a beater or with a stand mixer. Sift all the dry ingredients together and then add to the wet, mixing well. Once the wet and dry ingredients are mixed together, add the grated carrots at the end along with the Craisins and Walnuts if using them. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Rap the pans sharply on the counter a couple or three times to eliminate the air bubbles in the cakes. (This helps them bake more evenly.) Bake the cakes for 30-40 minutes, using a toothpick to check for done-ness after 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooking rack for ten minutes to cool a little, then remove from pans. Frost with a cream cheese frosting when completely cooled. Decorate as you wish.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Svesker og æble fyldte svinekød lænd stege. (Prunes and Apples Stuffed Pork Loin)

I'm writing a cookbook featuring Danish Recipes, that I've made and blogged about.  One of the recipes included in there will be this one.
Svesker og æble fyldte svinekød lænd stege.   Prunes and Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

I grew up on a pig farm, and while we also raised beef, and chickens along with lots and lots of vegetables, pork will always be my first protein love.

I've been wanting to make a roast duck stuffed with apples and prunes for awhile now and just haven't gotten around to it yet, but last week we had our monthly Boat Club potluck and since I just so happened to have a whole Pork Loin, which I'd bought to make Chile Verde with.  I decided to try making Svesker og æble fyldte svinekød lænd stege. (Prunes and Apples stuffed in a Pork Loin) to take as my contribution.
And I'm so glad I did.  I barely got to taste some of it cause, the other people attending the potluck liked it as well.

And just for fun, I also looked up the recipe in one of old (circa 1917) cookbooks to make sure I had it right and, I did.
And...
I think it tasted as good as any dish my mother would have made.
Cut the loin lengthwise, until almost all the way through.
 Unfold, and then make the second cut

 Just like this, and don't worry about all those jagged little cuts, you'll never notice them when you carve the roast.
First and second layer
All tied up, not so pretty, but it does the trick. 
I took this one to the Boat Club Potluck and forgot to take a picture until I was halfway through carving this.

The prunes kind of melt into the meat, and the apples stay nice and firm and both add a lovely sweet note to the meat.
Now I'm making myself hungry, again. 



yield: 4-6 servingsprint recipe

Svesker og æble fyldte svinekød lænd stege. (Prunes and Apples stuffed in a Pork Loin)

prep time: 20 MINScook time: 1 hour and 30 MINStotal time: 1 hours and 50 mins
This prune and apple filled Pork Loin roast is easy to make, and totally delicious. Serve it with some new potatoes, a little rødkål and you've got a Danish meal fit for a king.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 + lb. Boneless Pork Loin
  • 1 apple, peeled and cut into slices
  • 12 + seedless prunes, soaked
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Butcher twine to bind up the roast.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the prunes in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Put the pot on the stove, and heat for about 5 minutes, just long enough to get them warm. Take the pot off of the stove and set aside while you prepare the rest. 
  2. Butterfly the roast by cutting a long slit, lengthwise, cutting almost all the way through. Unfold this flap, then make another lengthwise cut, almost all the way through. You'll end up with a flat piece of meat, which you can then fold like a letter. Go ahead, fold it up, and then while it's folded up, take a couple of yards of butchers twine and cut it, ready to tie up the roast. Please look at the pictures up above for a visual guide. 
  3. Peel and cut an apple into slices. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the cut sides of the roast, then on one third of the meat, place a single layer of apple slices down, add one half of the prunes. Place your hand under the meat and fold it over, as if you were folding a letter for an envelope, so that the first layer of apples and prunes is enveloped by the meat. (Get it? Enveloped by the meat). 
  4. Place another layer of apple slices on the top third of the meat, and top with the prunes. Fold over the last third of the meat over top. Take the twine you've cut, make a small loop on one end, pull the other end of the twine through it to make a larger loop. Place this larger loop around the roast, and proceed to wrap it up. I use a modified blanket stitch, to keep the twine from just wrapping it around like a mummy. (My technique does need improving, sigh). And when a piece of apple tries to escape, just shove it back in, and tie off the ends as well. 
  5. Place fat side up in a oven safe pan and roast for about 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 160 deg. Take out of oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. 
  6. Drizzle the au jus over the meat after carving for an extra boost of flavour or use to make a gravy to serve alongside.
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Biksemad

What do you make when you've got a little bit of leftover steak,roast beef or pork, a couple of leftover potatoes, and it's not quite enough for dinner?

Well, if you're Danish you make Biksemad.

 I think in English it's called Hash, but I like the name Biksemad better. This is the dish my mom would make from leftover potatoes and roast. A lot of the time she'd cook a couple of extra potatoes, which just helped to stretch the meat out a little more. And when you top this with a fried egg, I can't think of a better way to eat leftovers and have them be a totally satisfying meal. I have to admit, I sometimes just boil an extra potato so that I can make this for lunch the next day or even for breakfast. One of the best things about this is that you can also use up bits and pieces of leftover veggies as well. I've made this with leftover cauliflower, green beans, carrots, cabbage, asparagus. It's really good with a little leftover onion as well. The permutations are endless, just depends on how what you have and what you want to eat.
Vegetarian Biksemad
Biksemad made with vegetables

To start with, cut your leftover potatoes in slices and then halve them again.   Do the same thing with the leftover meat.  As well as any vegetables you're using.   Keep them all roughly equal in size.
Leftover Roast for Biksemad
Heat a little oil and butter in a fry pan til hot, then add the potatoes, and let them cook til they brown up a little, then add the meat. Don't forget the onions, they go so well here, I was out of onions that day, I know, shock, horror and dismay.
Potatoes for Biksemad
Potatoes and meat browning for Biksemad
   Season with a little salt and pepper at this point.   Let them cook together until the meat is heated and browned a little, and remove to a plate.
You can then fry the egg in the same pan, or get another pan and fry your egg or two, til it's done to your liking.    Place the egg on top of the meat and potato mixture,
Biksemad with egg
add some ketchup, if you like and enjoy.
Biksemad with egg and ketchup
  Personally I like the egg to be over easy so that the luscious yolk dribbles over the potatoes and meat as I eat them.  And when it's just plain potatoes and meat, I like ketchup on my egg as well. 
And it's that easy.
 Now you have an idea for what to do with Sunday's leftover roast and potatoes. And don't forget the onions or the leftover vegetables or ...
Make it your way.  I make it the way I like it as well,  lots of leftover vegetables and potatoes and onions and...



yield: 1-2 servingsprint recipe

Biksemad (hash)

prep time: 5 MINScook time: 10 MINStotal time: 15 mins
This is the way to use up those leftover bits of meat, potatoes and veggies that aren't quite enough for a meal. Topped with a freshly cooked egg, those leftovers become an indulgent meal. Even if you don't have any meat you can still make this with the leftover veggies.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2-1 cup cubed leftover meat (optional)
  • 1-2 cooked potatoes
  • 1/2-1 cup leftover cooked vegetables
  • 1/4 cup + onion, cooked or raw (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil or butter for frying
  • 1-2 eggs per person
  • Ketchup for topping
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet until hot. Add the cooked potatoes, let them brown up a little. After they've browned add the meat and let them cook together for a couple of minutes, browning the meat a little. Add the vegetables at the last. Season with a little salt and pepper. If not adding any meat, then add the vegetables next, and let them cook together for a couple of minutes. Turn down the heat, and cook an egg or two in a separate skillet, and serve on top of the cooked meat and vegetables. I like a squirt of ketchup on top of it all.
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