Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Almond Date Bites

Christmas, Holiday, Snacks, Sweets and Candy, veganTove Balle-PedersenComment

December 7th.
Wow time flies when you are a bit under the weather. Somehow a whole week passed me by, and I didn't post anything at all. Sorry to leave you hanging. This is not good, when I promised you 12 Days of Christmas. Well, I can still make it, if I pull myself together. 

These Almond Date bites is a healthier take on the classic havregrynskugler/Oat "truffles", I made as an easy Christmas treat growing up.

Makes about 20-22.

Ingredients:

  • 50 g raw almonds
  • 200 g pitted dates
  • 25 g rolled oats
  • 2½ teaspoon cocoa powder (I use Valrhona)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold coffee
  • imitation rum (optional)

Coating:

  • about 100 g dark chocolate (I use Valrhona)
  • 35-40 g shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions:

Pulse almonds in a food processor until you have a coarse flour. Add the dates and blend until fully combined. Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix until it forms a sticky ball. 

Scoop out portions of the mixture using a small ice cream scooper. This will help you get an uniform size on the bites. Roll the bites into balls. Refrigerate for a couple hours, cover the balls with a thin layer of tempered dark chocolate and roll them in shredded coconut.

Enjoy!

December 1st.

Christmas, Drinks, Holiday, BeveragesTove Balle-PedersenComment

Somehow December always creeps up on me, somehow I get surprised that Christmas comes right after all the festivity at Thanksgiving. This Year I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner, so my Christmas preparations was somewhat delayed. 

I do intend to post 12 christmasy posts, for the 12 Days of Christmas. It will be a mix of food, sweets, cakes and cookies. So please stay tuned.

I start with a re-post of a hot mulled cider, mostly because I'm down with a cold, and the best thing to drink are warm drinks. And I really love hot mulled cider. 

I have never had it in Denmark, but it should be a Christmas stable as the mulled wine is.

Hot mulled cider, this lovely drink was all new to me 6 years ago. I thought that mulled wine aka glögg/gløgg/glühwein was a German/scandinavian thing. And adding warm spices to a non-alcholic drink, that was new to me, I'm sad to say. 😳

First time I had it was at a William-Sonoma store, and boy they got me hooked on that stuff. I love this when when winter approaches, and you need at hot strong drink to keep you warm. 

It has become a tradition to make hot mulled cider when we are having ebelskiver the weeks up to christmas. And to bee honest, I have the cider simmering on my stove almost every day. This fills my house with the sweet smell of christmas and it makes me very happy. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts good apple cider 
  • 1 orange, zest of half
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 5-10 whole cloves
  • 5-10 whole allspice berries
  • 1-2 star anis 
  • 3 green cardamom capsules

You could also buy a mulling spice mix, but I prefer mixing my own.

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and heat the cider to a simmer. Turn down the heat, and let the spices steep in the cider for 5-10 minutes. Reheat the cider. Pour the cider through a sift into cups and serve immediately.

 

The Danish Version:

Varm Krydret Cider

Ingredienser:

  • 2 liter god æblecider 
  • ½ appelsin, skallen fra
  • 2 kanelstænger
  • 5-10 hele nelliker
  • 5-10 hele allehånde
  • 1-2 stjerneanis 
  • 3 grønne kardemomme

Fremgangsmåde:

Kom alle ingredienserne i en gryde og varm det op til kogepunktet. Skru ned for varmen og lad krydderierne trække i cideren i 5-10 minutter. Varm cideren op og si krydderierne fra. Server cideren med det samme.

Cranberry - Orange Sauce

Christmas, condiments, Dinner, Holiday, Sauce, Thanksgiving, veganTove Balle-Pedersen1 Comment
Cranberry - Orange Sauce

Cranberry - Orange Sauce

 

I'm cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner this year, making my first turkey. Even though I have never roasted at turkey before, I do sometimes make cranberry sauce for the traditional Danish Christmas dinner. This is my favorite recipe:

Makes about 2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 200 ml water
  • 125 g sugar
  • 340-350 g fresh or frozen cranberries

Directions:

Heat orange juice, orange zest, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.

Stir in cranberries and bring it to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until sauce has  slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes, and most of the berries have bust.

Let cool completely before serving.

Enjoy!

Crispy Pork with Parsley Sauce

Dinner, Meats, PorkTove Balle-PedersenComment
Crispy Pork with Parsley Sauce

Crispy Pork with Parsley Sauce

I am serving Crispy Pork with Parsley Sauce aka stegt flæsk med persillesovs for election night in America. In Denmark we have a term called 'valgflæsk' (election pork) meaning the hot air or elaborate promises politician give in order to be elected. So many Danes eat this crispy pork dish on election day in Denmark. 

For me crispy pork with parsley sauce was my favorite dish growing up. I always chose this as my birthday dinner, the most important for me was the potatoes and the sauce. 

In 2014 Denmark voted for their national dish, and crispy pork won in a landslide. 

I hope you will try out this old Danish classic dish, maybe even served with a cold beer.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • about 600 g (1½ pound) potatoes (I prefer fingerling potatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16-20 slices pork belly 

For the parsley sauce:

  • 25 g butter
  • 2½ tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 300 ml milk
  • 100-200 ml water from the boiled potatoes
  • ⅛ teaspoon sugar
  • salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃)

Lightly sprinkle the sliced pork belly with salt on both sides. Place the pork on a wire rack over a sheet pan, so the fat can drain away from the meat. Roast the pork in the oven for 30-40 minutes turning it once or twice until the pork looks crisp and delicious, remove from the oven and place plate.

Bring the potatoes to the boil in lightly salted water, then simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Parsley sauce:

Melt the butter in a pan. Add the flour, mix with a whisk and warm through, making sure not to get any color on the mixture.

Add some potato water while whisking vigorously making a thick paste without any lumps. Add more water and milk until you have the desired consistency, you want it to be a bit on the thick side. Let the sauce boil a few minutes to get rid of the flour taste. Season the sauce with sugar and salt. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the chopped parsley.

Serve the crispy pork with the boiled potatoes and a large spoonful parsley sauce.

Enjoy!

 

Butternut Squash Soup

Appetizer, Dinner, Soup, Thanksgiving, VegetablesTove Balle-PedersenComment
Butternut Squash Soup.

Butternut Squash Soup.

I love the fall season. Fall is the best excuse to make soups, and butternut squash soups are a fall staple here in the US. I earlier posted a roasted version, and to be honest I can't tell which is the best. 

This version is made mostly vegetarian, if you loose the cream and the sour cream and bacon topping. The crispy tart apples plays well with the clean flavors from the soup.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

Soup:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2-3 large potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 heaped teaspoon grated ginger
  • 400 ml (1¼ cup) water
  • ½ lemon, the juice of
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1½ dl (little over 1 cup) heavy whipping cream

Topping:

  • 3-5 thin slices of bacon (+ a sprinkle ghost chili powder)
  • 1 crisp apple, cut in small dices, dressed in juice from ½ lemon + ½ teaspoon honey
  • roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 chili thinly sliced
  • creme fraiche (sour cream)

Directions:

Microwave the whole butternut squash for 2 minutes to soften it a bit, making it easier to cut.

Cut it in half, peel, deseed and dice the butternut squash. Peel and dice potatoes and carrots. 

Sauté the vegetables in a large pot in olive oil for a few minutes. Add water, chili, ginger and cumin. Bring it to a boil and cover it and cook it for 15-20 minutes, until the squash is tender.

Purée the soup in batches in a blender* until smooth. (You can also use an immersion blender.) 

Add the cream and season the soup with lemon juice, salt and pepper, heat soup through before serving.

Serve the soup hot with your favorite garnish and a slice of good bread.

*Be careful when blending hot liquids, it can make the lid pop off, and you may risk getting serious burns on you skin. You can remove the small cap on you blender lid and cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel. You need to hold on to the lid and towel. This will let the steam from the hot soup escape and avoid the lid from popping off. You can also get blenders like the Vitamix, where you can blend hot liquids, without any hassle.