Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Preserved Lemons

Tove Balle-PedersenComment
Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

When life gives you lemons…… You preserve them!

Becoming a lemon tree again.

Becoming a lemon tree again.

Our lemon tree is having a very productive year. 🍋🍋🍋🍋🍋
When we moved into our new house, we were lucky that it came with a lemon tree, or rather a lemon hedge. It was cut into a cube, not leaving much room or air to produce much fruit. This summer we decided to let the lemon tree become a real tree again. I think both the tree and we are liking the change.

When you have an excess of fruit you want to preserve the fruit for later use. Lemons gives some challenges in this department. I juiced a lot, and froze it into cubes, to use in drinking water later on. I’m leaving some on the tree, so I have fresh lemons for cooking and baking. And then of course I had to try to preserve lemons in salt and its own juice. These preserved lemons are great in Moroccan food, with seafood or lamb dishes. I cannot wait to use my own preserved lemons.

Preserved Lemons.

Preserved Lemons.

Makes 1 jar filled.

Ingredients:

  • 8-12 lemons, number depends on size of lemons and jar.

  • salt

Seasoning:

  • 1 bay leave

  • 5 black peppercorns

or

  • 1 dried red chili pepper

  • 5-8 red peppercorns

Instructions:

Wash the lemons thoroughly. Cut off the top of the Lemons. Slice the lemons open in quarters, leaving the ends attached.  Just slice down a little over ¾ of the way. Put about a tablespoon salt on the exposed flesh, then close up the fruits to reshape them.

Put 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of a dry and sterile jar.

Pack in the lemons and push them down, adding a little more salt, and the chosen spices between layers. Press the lemons down to release their juices and to make room for the remaining lemons. If the juice released from the squashed fruit does not cover them, add freshly squeezed lemon juice. Leave some air space before sealing the jar.

Let the lemons ferment on the kitchen counter for the first 3 days, shaking the jar a few times daily to distribute the salt and juice. After 3 days transfer the jar to the refrigerator and let it sit for at least 4 weeks before using. 

To use, take the desired amount out with a clean fork. Rinse the lemon, under running water to remove excess salt. Normally you will remove and discard the pulp. But for Chicken with preserved lemons & green olives, I use the pulp as well.
Preserved lemons will keep up to a year in the refrigerator.

In most countries preserved lemons are not stored in the refrigerator, they're simply kept in a cool, dark place. I've added the recommendation to store in the fridge based on USDA guidelines. Store them according to your own preference.

Enjoy!

Mrs. Hobbs's Italian Rosemary Cookies

Cake, Christmas, Cookies, HolidayTove Balle-PedersenComment
Italian Rosemary Cookies

Italian Rosemary Cookies

These cookies are to die for!!!

How my friend and the whole world kept this recipe away from me, for so many years, it’s beyond my understanding.

If you only are baking one cookie this year, make it this one!

Makes 60-70.

Ingredients:

  • 250 g butter, salted and room temperature

  • 400 g sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 30 g raw pistachios, finely chopped

  • 10 g (3 tablespoons) fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

  • 450 g all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 orange, the zest

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add 1 egg at a time, making sure it’s fully incorporated, befor adding the next. Mix in orange zest, rosemary, and pistachios. Sift flour, sant and baking powder and incorporate it in the dough.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Roll each part into a log (2 inch in diameter), wrap in Glad wrap, shape the log into a square, by pressing the log onto the kitchen counter. Refrigerate overnight. Try to make a smooth surface to get an even look on the finished cookies. Well, the dough were very soft, so I didn’t get the smooth surface on my logs. 🙃

Cut the logs into thin cookies and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spacing about 1-inch apart. Bake until golden around the edges, about 5-7 minutes at 350°F. Cool cookies on the pan on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

Caramelized Root Vegetables

Dinner, Vegetables, Vegetarian, SidesTove Balle-PedersenComment
Caramelized Root Vegetables

Caramelized Root Vegetables

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large carrots

  • 4 parsnips

  • 3 sun chokes (Israeli artichokes)

  • 1 small root celery

  • 3 small beets

  • salt

  • a splash of oil for the baking

  • sugar and butter for the caramelizing

Direction:

Preheat the oven for 400℉ (200℃). Peel the root vegetables and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Keep the beets separate even during baking, to prevent all the vegetables from turning red. Dress the vegetables in oil and season with salt. Bake the vegetables in ovenproof dishes for about 30 minutes until tender, but not soft. Cool the vegetables. Just before you are ready to serve, heat a large skillet over high heat, pour in the sugar and melt it. When the sugar has turned the color of light amber, add the butter and stir with a wooden spoon. Carefully pour the vegetables into the hot caramel. Lower the heat and make sure the vegetables get covered in the caramel and get heated through. Serve immediately, otherwise the vegetables looses the shine.

Enjoy!

Mrs. Child's Cheese Crackers

Appetizer, Brunch, cheese, Holiday, SnacksTove Balle-PedersenComment
Southern Cheese Crackers

Southern Cheese Crackers

It’s no secret I LOVE cheese. So when a friend of mine told me about these cheese cracker, it was a no-brainer, I had to make them. The most surprising was, that it took me almost a month to do so.
These crackers a very addictive, and pair well with a cold beer or a nice glass of wine. If you’re not into the spiciness, then drop the cayenne.

Recipe by Robyn Stone.

Makes 40-60 crackers.

Ingredients:

  • 200 g (2 cups) freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 112 g (1 stick) salted butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 60 g (½ cup) pecans, finely chopped

  • 145 g (1½ cups) all-purpose flour

Directions:

Cream the butter with the grated cheese for about 3 minutes. Mix in the salt, cayenne, black pepper, and garlic powder. Add the flour a little at a time, stirring after each addition until the ingredients are well combined and a dough forms. If the dough seems a little dry, ad 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.

Shape the dough into two 1-inch (2½ cm) diameter logs. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap. Twist the ends and refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375℉ (190℃). Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the logs into ⅛-inch (⅓ cm) thick slices and place ¼-inch (1 cm) apart on the prepared sheet.

Bake until light golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. The crackers will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week. This is theoretical because they evaporate faster in my house.

I can recommend making some extra dough, and freeze it, for an easy snack for when you have guests.

Enjoy!

Beetroot Gravad Lax

Appetizer, Christmas, Fish & seafood, HolidayTove Balle-PedersenComment
DSCF1666_PM.jpg

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!