onsdag den 9. november 2011

I love apples an especially apple cakes

Groovy apple cake

We have several apple trees in our garden and especially one has given us lots of apples this year.
It is a Belle de Boskoop – a very good cooking apple.

To day I made an everyday cake with lots of apples in it.

For 1 big cake:
4 eggs
3/4 Cup (150 g) sugar – I used cane sugar
1 tsp. vanilla powder
1/3 Cup (75 g) melted butter
3/4 Cup (100 g) flour
4 TBSP (50 g) potato starch
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup (50-75 g) shredded marzipan (almond paste)
2 pounds apples (peeled, cored and cut in thick wedges)
A little sugar and cinnamon for topping

Preheat the oven to 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).
Beat the eggs and sugar thick and creamy and add the melted (not hot) butter.
Sift the flour, potato starch and baking powder together and fold it into the eggs together with the marzipan.
Pour the batter into a prepared 9 inch cake tin and stick the apples in. Sprinkle a little sugar mixed with a little cinnamon on top and pop the cake into the oven for about 1 hour. Check with a toothpick if it is done and let it rest in the tin 15 minutes before unmolding.
Serve warm or cold as it is or with whipped cream or sour cream (crème fraiche) on the side.

Happy November!

søndag den 30. oktober 2011

Lamb stew with celeriac

Lamb stew with celeriac
Danish comfort food.

(Serves 4)

11/2-2 pounds lamb stew meat (cut in cubes)
8-10 black peppercorns
2-3 bay leafs
2 onions (chopped)
2 pounds potatoes (peeled and cut in cubes)
1 pound celeriac (peeled and cut in cubes)
1 big bunch of parsley
Salt and pepper
To serve: rye bread and preserved red beets

Cover the lamb with water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove any froth and add 1 tsp. salt, peppercorns and bay leaves. Add the onions and let the meat simmer with a lid on for about 25 minutes.
Add potatoes and celeriac and let it simmer with the lid on for about 25 minutes.
Remove the lid and let the stock reduce if necessary. Stir the stew with a wooden spoon so the potatoes and celeriac thicken the stew. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the freshly chopped parsley.
Serve with rye bread and preserved beets.

lørdag den 10. september 2011

Late summer berries

September, the best month of the year - perfect blue sky with beautiful fluffy white clouds
- and lots of wonderful raspberries in my garden for breakfast, snacks, pie and jam:)

Weekend snack

Cornbread with avocado topping

I served this for a snack with our Friday evening mojito's

(1 loaf)
1,6 cup (200 g) corn flour
1,6 cup (200 g) wheat flour
1 TBSP baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 TBSP brown sugar
0,8 cup (2 dl) buttermilk
0,5 cup (100 g) melted butter
5 oz (150 g) fresh corn kernels (from 1 ear or  frozen)

Preheat the oven to 390 degrees F (200 C.).
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Beat the eggs together with the sugar and buttermilk and mix it in the flour bowl.
Add melted butter and corn and fill the batter in a buttered loaf pan.
Bake for 45-55 minutes – until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the bread rest in the pan 10-15 minutes before removing to a rack.
Serve warm – or toast cold slices in toaster or on a grill.
Tip: you can add grated cheese, minced jalapeno, grated lemon or lime rind or fresh chopped herbs to the batter before baking.

Avocado topping
2 tomatoes (diced without the seeds)
1 avocado (diced)
2 TBSP lime- or lemon juice
1/2 fresh chili (chopped finely)
1/2 garlic clove (minced)
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper

Mix the avocado topping together and arrange on the toasted cornbread.
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tirsdag den 23. august 2011

Split pea soup with chanterelle topping

I had some left over split pea soup and served it with a good seasonal topping – I just love chanterelles.

Split pea soup with chanterelle topping
Serves 4

2 large onions, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1-2 leeks, chopped
1/4 celeriac, diced
2 cups dried yellow split green peas, picked over and rinsed
4 cups chicken stock
Fresh thyme
10 whole black peppercorns (in a tea bag)
1/2 lemon or 1-2 TBSP cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

1/3-1/2 pound (150-250 g) fresh chanterelles
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1-2 garlic gloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil

Sauté the onions and garlic in big pot with olive oil until soft.
Add leeks and celeriac and cook a couple of minutes.
Add the drained peas, stock, thyme and pepper and bring to a boil.
Let the soup simmer loosely covered, until the split peas are very tender (about 1 hour).

Make the topping: clean the chanterelles and cut them in bite size pieces.
Stir-fry the chanterelles in a very hot pan with the oil. Add onion and garlic and stir fry a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables, turn the heat down to medium and stir fry 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add shredded basil.

Remove thyme and pepper and puree the soup with a blender until smooth.
Add lemon juice (or vinegar), salt and pepper to taste and adjust the thickness with more stock or water if needed.

Ladle into bowls or cups and serve with the chanterelle topping.

lørdag den 6. august 2011

Salad with blackberries and feta

1 red onion
3 TBSP red wine or sherry vinegar
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp salt
Black pepper

500 g/2 cups blackberries
2 TBSP sugar
1 organic lemon (grated zest)

Green lettuce
100 g/4 ounces feta cheese
Fresh mint leaves, shredded
3 TBSP olive oil
(Salt and) pepper

Peel the red onion and cut it in half. Cut the onion in very thin slices and toss them in a bowl with vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the bowl and let it rest 1 hour.

Clean the berries and toss them in a bowl with sugar and lemon zest. Let it sit on the kitchen table 1 hour.

Wash and spin lettuce and arrange it in a big bowl. Mix red onions and berries with juices and arrange on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle with feta and shredded mint and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Squash pizza

Squash pizza
10 g/2 tsp yeast
3 1/2 dl/1 1/2 cup tepid water
250 g/1 3/4 cup coarse semolina flour
250 g/1 3/4 cup strong wheat flour
2 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp salt

1-2 large squash (green and yellow)
1 tsp salt
3 TBSP olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves (optional)
black pepper
100 g/ 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
50-100 g/ 2-4 ounces chorizo (optional)

Prepare the dough: Mix everything together and knead the dough in a machine or by hand for about 5 minutes. Add more flour if needed. Put the dough in a bowl brushed with olive oil, cover it and let it sit on the kitchen table for 1-2 hours.

Wash the squash, split them in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and soft flesh. Grate the squash coarsely and toss with salt in a large bowl. Let it sit on the kitchen table for 1 hour.
Put the grated squash in a colander and press/squeeze excess water of.
Toss the grated squash with olive oil, minced garlic (if using), about half of the cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Place a baking stone or baking sheet in the oven and heat it to 250 degrees C (485 degrees F).

Divide the dough in two and roll them to the thickness you like. Put the pizzas on two sheets of baking paper. Spread the squash mixture evenly on the two pizzas. Sprinkle with shredded chorizo if using and the rest of the parmesan cheese.

Place the pizzas on the hot baking stone/baking sheet and let them bake for about 12-15 minutes.

onsdag den 15. juni 2011

Preparing af feast

The great feast

I am preparing for the great event this weekend; we are having a 2 day party at a vacation home in Rørvig, by the beach. We are going to be about 40 familymenbers and friends celebrating Mathildes first 15 years on the planet earth and we are going to have some good food and drinks to celebrate with.

So I have prepared a big batch of elderflower syrup to use for lemonade and drinks:

40 heads of elderflower
4 organic lemons in thin slices
3 TBSP cream of tatar
2 pounds sugar
2 pounds dark cane sugar
2 quart water

Layer the cleaned flowers with lemon slices and cream of tatar in a big jar or bowl.
Boil sugar, cane sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour it over the flowers and lemon and put a plate or something on top to keep the flowers under the surface.
Cover the jar/bowl and put it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Pour it through a sieve and into clean bottles.
Keep in the fridge and serve in cold water or wine.

I also made some jam for the big breakfast on the second day:

Rhubarb and elderflower jam
1 vanilla bean
2 pounds fresh rhubarb in 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup water
2 pounds sugar
10-15 heads of elderflower

Slice the vanilla bean open lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Put the bean and seeds in a large pan together with the rhubarb and water.  Cook it while stirring about 5 minutes and add the sugar. Cook it rapidly while stirring about 5 minutes. Add the elder flowers and cook a couple of minutes. Ladle the jam into clean jam jars and seal them immediately.

I am also adding to my sourdough, so it will be big enough to produce fresh bread both days. I am feeding it with organic flour and water; rye flower every other day and wheat flour every other day.

I will be deboning some fresh lamb legs to marinate for the barbecue, preparing pie crust for 5 strawberry pies (the strawberries are ordered at our neighbor at the summerhouse – he is also going to deliver fresh potatoes for a salad). And of course I will be making a batch of RØDGRØD with rhubarb, strawberries and red currants (hope they will be ripe).

We are going to have some fish; I am planning on making some fish terrines – I might post them here, if I get the time – along with more salads, some smoked LAX and some good Italian prosciutto – all Mathildes favorites.

tirsdag den 12. april 2011

Chicken Ras-el-hanout

Comfort dining in April

Spicy chicken with oven roasted new potatoes, purple carrots and red peppers and ramson aioli

Serves 4

1 fresh chicken
1 TBSP Ras-el-hanout

11/2 pound potatoes
11/2 (purple) carrots
2-3 snack peppers
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Ramsons Aioli:
1 clove garlic
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 organic lemon
1 little handful Ramsons
Salt and pepper

Cut the chicken in to desired pieces – I just cut the legs of and split the breast in two pieces.
Season the chicken pieces with Ras-el-hanout and salt and place them in a roasting pan. Place in the oven, turn in on to about 390 degrees F (200 degrees C) and let it roast for about 1 hour.

Scrub the potatoes and mix them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray with baking paper. Scrub or peel the carrots. Wash the peppers and slice them. Mix carrots and peppers with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and place on baking paper on the baking sheet. Pop in the oven the last 25 minutes.

Put the garlic in a mortar and pestle with the salt and grind it into a paste. Whisk mayonnaise and sour cream together and add garlic, mustard, 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon rind, 1-2 tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Wash the Ramsons leaves thoroughly and remove any tough stalks (the tender ones are fine).  Chop them finely with a sharp knife and toss them in the aioli. Season with more lemon, salt and pepper if needed.

Serve and enjoy!

Ras-el-hanout is a Moroccan spice blend which can contain up to 50 different spices or more. You can buy Ras-el-hanout in specialty shops or make your own:

2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp whole black pepper
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Roast the whole spices in a frying pan until aromatic – a couple of minutes.
Put them in a mortar and pound away at them with the pestle. Add the ground spices and your ready to go. Keep in a jar.

Ramsons, buckrams or bear's garlic (Allium ursinum) is a wild relative of chives. Tastes a little garlickyJ

mandag den 21. marts 2011

Mathildes Birthday Party

We celebrated Mathilde s 15 year birthday in advance with a family dinner Sunday evening.
As Mathilde s wildest dream is to have a Mac Book Pro, I made a Mac Cake with slots and everything.
I know the cake is too high to be a real Mac book – because I made two layers instead of one!
It tasted real good and came with a promise to be converted to a real Mac Book next summer when Mathilde graduates from the 10. Grade.

(2 layers)
300 g (11 oz) dark chocolate
300 g (21/2 stick) butter

225 g (13/4 cup) flour
75 g (1/2-3/4 cup) cocoa
11/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

6 eggs
475 g (21/2 cup) sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Caramel filling:
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
85 g (3/4 stick) soft butter
11/2 dl (1/2 cup + 2 TBSP) whipping cream

Butter cream icing:
200 g (13/4 stick) butter
400 g (21/2 cup) icing sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP milk

680 g (24 oz) rolled fondant (sugar paste)
Edible silver powder
1 TBSP vodka
Black food color

Make the cake:
Melt chocolate and butter together.
Whisk all the dry ingredients together.
Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla together.
Add chocolate/butter mixture to the eggs and fold in the dry ingredients.
Fill the batter in 2 prepared pans (Mac book size) and bake them for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees F (180 C). Turn them out on a wired rack and let them cool.

Make the Filling:
Melt the sugar in a pot until golden. Remove from the heat and add 1 TBSP butter. Add the cream and put the pot back on the heat. Boil to 108C/225 F.
Pour the caramel in to a bowl, cover and let it cool to room temperature.
Beat the butter into the caramel cream.

Finish the cake:
Spread the caramel cream onto one cake layer and place the other on top. Beat the butter cream icing together and spread in all over the cake; top and sides.
Roll out the fondant to fit the cake and position on the cake. Smooth and shape the fondant on the top and sides of the cake and trim of excess fondant at the base.
Cut an apple in paper, brush it with a little water and place on cake.
Dissolve the silver powder in the vodka and paint it on the fondant icing with a brush. Remove paper-apple.
Color excess fondant with black color and make slots for the Mac. Brush with a little water and place on cake.

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mandag den 17. januar 2011

Herb garden

I finally got my Christmas present filled with fresh herbs.

They are pretty and convenient. I now have my favorite fresh herbs at hand, without occupying the sparse table space in my little kitchen.

The upside down flowerpots are called Boskke Sky Planter and are designed in New Zealand. They come in 3 sizes – mine are small.
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