Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Beetroot Gravad Lax

Appetizer, Christmas, Fish & seafood, HolidayTove Balle-PedersenComment
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Thanksgiving and December really sneaked up un me this year. As many others in California, we were living in unhealthy air due to the big wild fires. We tried to escape to the Sierras, and this threw my schedule way off. But now, over halfway to Christmas, I’am getting back into the game.
We are going to the annual Danish Christmas lunch, and I alway make gravlax. This year I decided to make 2 different versions, the regular and a pretty red beetroot and gin version.

The pretty pink gravlax is delicious too. I serve it with a dill and creme fraiche sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 800 g side of salmon, skin on, scaled, pin-boned, from sustainable sources

Beet cure:

  • 200 g raw beets (2 beets)

  • 2 lemons, the zest of

  • 100 g coarse sea salt 

  • 50 g sugar 

  • 50 ml gin (I used Hendricks)

Herb cure:

  • 1 big bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped

  • 6 sprigs, tarragon, the leaves, finely chopped

  • 50 g fresh grated horseradish 

  • 50 ml gin (I used Hendricks)

Directions:

In a food processor or mini chopper, blitz together the beets , gin, and lemon zest until they become a smooth paste. Transfer the beet mixture to a small bowl and mix in the rock salt, and sugar.

Rub a little mixture on to the salmon skin, then place the salmon, skin side down, in a large zip lock bag in a dish or baking tray. Pat the remaining mixture all over it so that the salmon is completely covered. Remove as much of the air from the zip lock bag as possible. Pace a little cutting board on top of the salmon, and place some weight on top to have an even pressure on it. Place in the fridge for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, gently unwrap the salmon and remove the beet mixture. Gently splash the salmon with a bit of water to rinse off any remaining cure and rinse the dish too.

Mix together the herb cure ingredients in a small bowl, place the salmon (skin side down) in a new zip lock bag in the dish. Cover the salmon evenly with the herb cure. Remove air and put the weight on back onto the salmon. Refrigerate for another 24 hours.

The next day, your cured salmon will be ready to enjoy. The herb mixture does not need to be rinsed off- just thinly slice the salmon and serve it as an open faced sandwich, with a creme fraiche (or sour cream) with dill.

Enjoy!

Ciabatta Bread Rolls

Breakfast, Bread, BrunchTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Ciabatta Bread Rolls

Ciabatta Bread Rolls

Ciabatta is one of the best breads for sandwiches, and I wonder why it took me so long to bake them. This recipe is made with a preferment (poolish), that you preferably can start the day before you bake the bread, it will give your rolls more flavor. But to be honest starting the poolish in the morning, worked fine today.

Makes 8-10 rolls.

Ingredients:

Poolish:

  • 200 g all-purpose flour

  • 200 g water, room temperature

  • 1 g dry yeast

Ciabatta:

  • Poolish from above

  • 200 g water, room temperature

  • 200 g all-purpose flour

  • 100 g manitoba flour (high protein flour)

  • 8 g salt

Directions:

Poolish:

Stir all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. The dough should be very soft and sticky, looking like a thick batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 3-4 hours, until the poolish is bubbly. Refrigerate the poolish. The slow fermenting at low temperature will help develop flavor and texture. The poolish will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Remove the poolish from the refrigerator prior to making the ciabatta dough.

I didn’t make my poolish in advance, so I only fermented my poolish for 4 hour on the kitchen counter at about 20℃ (68℉).

Ciabatta:

Dilute the poolish with the rest of the water, and transfer it all to the bowl of the stand mixer. Add flour and salt.

Using the paddle attachment knead the dough for about 5 minutes, starting on low for the first 60-90 seconds. The kneading is complete when the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Wet your hands when handling the dough, because it’s very sticky.

Oil a wide bowl with some olive oil. Place the dough into the oiled bowl, and let it rise covered for 3 x 45 minutes.

With wet hands fold the dough for 5-6 times, and let the dough rise another 45 minutes and repeat the fold. Let the dough rise for the last 45 minutes.

Gently flour a bakers couche (or a clean flour sac) and the work surface.

Turn the dough out onto the well floured surface, be careful not to deflate it. A simple way to do this is turning the bowl upside down just over the counter and letting gravity help you. Sprinkle a fair amount of flour on the dough, and gently form the dough into an rectangle.

Making the rolls: Divide the into 2 logs using a bench scraper, and divide each into 4-5 pieces/rolls. Sprinkle with additional flour, so you have no bare dough visible. Use the bench scraper to get under the roll and carefully lifting it onto the couche with generous spacing between them. Bunch the cloth in between rolls to make a small wall. Sprinkle with more flour, and cover the rolls with a clean tea towel. Let the rolls rise for about 20 minutes.

Heat the oven with a pizza/baking stone to 445℉ (230℃), Have a jelly roll pan at the lower shelve, so you can pour some hot water into it, to make steam in the oven.

Use a baking peel and parchment paper to transfer the rolls into the oven. Pour about 1 cup water in the jelly roll pan, and quickly close the oven door. Bake 4-5 rolls at a time for about 18 minutes until done and deep golden brown.

Let the rolls cool on a wire rack before serving.

Enjoy!

Pickled Cucumbers

condiments, Dinner, Preserve, Snacks, technique, Vegetables, vegan, VegetarianTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Pickled Cucumbers

Pickled Cucumbers

My parents grew their own vegetable in their large vegetable garden, and of course my mom made sure to preserve the large amount of produce by pickling and freezing. We all loved my moms pickled cucumbers, with our dinner or on the open faced sandwiches. Especially on liverpate. So when I found crown dill and pickling cucumbers at my local grocery store, I had to try my moms old recipe. I have a hard time learning that the pickled cucumbers in my world are called pickles here in the States, but eventually I might learn to accept it. 😉

5-8 jars.

Ingredients:

Brine:

  • 200 g salt

  • 2 liters (68 oz) water

Pickling:

  • 1500 g pickling cucumbers

  • 1250 ml vinegar

  • 780 g sugar

  • 13-15 slices fresh horseradish

  • 5 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 2 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 8 crown dill (1-2 in each jar)

  • 6-8 dried red chilies

Direction:

Combine the salt and water in a pitcher and stir until the salt has dissolved. Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly and snip off the blossom end stem. Prick cucumbers with a table fork. Set aside. Pour the salt water over the cucumbers. Place a plate on top to keep the cucumbers submerged. Let stand 12 hours in the refrigerator. Drain the cucumber and place them in scolded* jars. Add horseradish, dill and the spices to the jars.

I sliced 4 of the cucumbers in thick slices for some more spicy pickles. I placed the slices in 2 smaller jars with 1 fatalii chili in one and 1 habanero chili in the other. HOT HOT HOT  🌶 🌶 🌶  

Boil the vinegar with the sugar, and pour it in the jars, making sure to cover the cucumbers completely. Place the lid on the jars, not tightening them completely.

After 2 days, drain out the vinegar and let it come to a boil, maybe adding more vinegar and sugar. Pour the vinegar over the cucumbers again, adding new horseradish and/or sodium benzoate. Seal the jars tight. Do not boil the horseradish.

*You need to clean the jars and sterilize them by soaking them in boiling water. Same goes for the lids. Submerge the lid for a few minutes in a bowl of boiling water. Rinse jars and lids with alcohol like strong vodka or cognac. 

These will keep for a few months at room temperature, but you can keep them in the refrigerator  too. In my house they won't last long.

Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon

Dinner, Meats, PoultryTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon 

Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon 

 

Roasted chicken is a comfort food in my house. Making it as a one-pot-dinner only makes it better in my opinion. This is a more rustic version, but very very yummy. 

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken about 5 pounds (2-2½ kg) 
  • 1 lemon (I used a large Meyer Lemon from my tree)
  • 4 garlic cloves, 
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 5-6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 10-14 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • about 2-4 tablespoons olive oil 

Directions:

Make sure to take the chicken out of the refrigerator at least an hour before starting to roast it. This will ensure a more even cooking.

Preheat the oven to 350℉ (180℃).

Rub the chicken with some olive oil, and season it inside and out with salt. Cut the lemon into wedges. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan, and stuff the cavity with lemon and garlic. 

Rinse the potatoes, and cut them in half lengthwise. Dress the potatoes with olive oil, and season with salt. Place the potatoes cut side down around the chicken.

Roast the chicken for 75 minutes. Then raise the temperature to 425℉ (220℃), and continue roasting the chicken for another 30 minutes, until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 175℉ (80℃).

Serve the chicken with the roasted potatoes and a drizzle og the chicken/lemon juices from the roast.

Enjoy!

Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Canapés

Appetizer, Brunch, Fish & seafood, SnacksTove Balle-PedersenComment
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These smoked salmon canapés are just perfect at any party. They are super easy to make and packed with flavor. The cucumber provides the crunch and a clean crisp taste. Make sure to make plenty, it's a crowd favorite.

Makes 25-30.

Ingredients:

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 50-75 g smoked salmon 

Cream cheese/dill spread:

  • 50 g cream cheese
  • 25 g creme fraiche (you can use sour cream)
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped, safe some for garnish  
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Mix the ingredients for the spreads together and season with salt. Scoop the spread into a piping bag and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to develop.

Cut the cucumber into ⅓-Inch  (1 cm) slices. Arrange the cucumber slices on a serving platter. Pipe the spread in small tops on top of the cucumber slices. 

Cut the smoked salmon into strips. Fold it up and place on top of the cream cheese.

Garnish with a small sprigs of dill.

Enjoy!