Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

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
IMG_1824.JPG

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!

 

Amaretto Eton Mess

Cake, Desserts, HolidayTove Balle-Pedersen2 Comments
 Amaretto Eton Mess

Amaretto Eton Mess

This dessert is a mild twist on an English classic, originating from the Eton College's annual cricket game against the pupils of Harrow School. But this is a pavlova dressing up as a layer cake. 

A great easy to make dessert, perfect for the summer parties.

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

Meringue:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 300 g sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 50-75 g almond slivers

Filling:

  • 500 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 500 g fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced.
  • 50 ml Ameretto (Italian almond liqueur) 
  • 1 tablespoon confectionary (powdered) sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250*F (120℃).

Draw 3 x 9-inch (23 cm) circles about 2-inch (5 cm) apart on a parchment paper, and turn the parchment paper upside down, so you don't get any pencil on the meringues.

In the bowl for the stand mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks. Add the sugar gradually, a couple tablespoons at a time, while still beating the egg whites. The egg whites/meringue will become thick and glossy. Gently fold in lemon juice.

Spoon the meringue inside the drawn circles on the parchment paper. Spread the meringue working from the center towards the edge. Sprinkle with the almond slivers

Bake the meringues for about 60 minutes. Then turn off the oven, and leave the meringues in the oven for another 30-45 minutes, until the oven is cooled. I became a little impatient, so I pulled the meringues out before they were cooled completely, and that is why the meringue traced a bit.

Fold in half the confectionary sugar in the sliced strawberries, set aside.

Whip the cream until medium stiff peaks. Gently fold in some confectionary sugar and amaretto. 

Place the least pretty meringue on a cake stand, and spread ⅓ of the cream topping it with some strawberries. Repeat layering the rest of the meringues, cream, and fruit. Finishing the top layer with a few whole strawberries.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Bearnaise

condiments, Sauce, Dinner, Sides, VegetablesTove Balle-PedersenComment
Vegetable Bearnaise.JPG

 

When you talk sauce, I'm a true Dane. I love sauce, and lots of it. But if you go the classic French sauce way, you have to use large amount of butter or other fats. I learned to perfect the traditional sauce bearnaise made in a blender or made sous vide. And even though they taste delicious, and a little goes a long way, it would be nice to have a sauce bearnaise where you can indulge in the tasty sauce, without eating a whole stick of butter with your steak. Vegetable bearnaise is the answer. With only 6 tablespoons of butter in a big bowl of sauce, that serves 6-8 sauce lovers, this is definitely on the healthier side, compared with the original bearnaise.

You can add pretty much any vegetables you like, just bear in mind that more carrots will give you a sweeter bearnaise. and generally the color of the vegetables will influence the color of the sauce. 

If you like a spicier bearnaise add a dash of cayenne or chilies to the mix. And for a garlic bearnaise add 1 cloves of garlic the last 5 minutes of the simmering. 

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

Reduction:

  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon, save some leaves for finishing the sauce
  • 4 small or 2 medium shallots, minced
  • ½ cup (1 dl) white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup (1 dl) dry white wine
  • 6 whole black peppers (for the reduction)

Vegetable base:

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • ½ medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • 2-3 celery stalks, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • ½ medium cauliflower, in florets
  • ½ cube chicken bouillon 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon

Finishing touches:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, salted and cold
  • 2-4 tablespoons reduction, to taste
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves only, coarsely chopped 
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

Reduction:

In a small saucepan, combine sprigs of the tarragon, shallots, vinegar pepper and wine over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat, strain the liquid and set it aside to cool. You can make larger amounts and freeze it in smaller portions in an ice cube tray.

Vegetable base:

Place the ingredients for the vegetable base in a saucepan, and bring it to a boil, turn down the heat and let the vegetable simmer covered for about 20-30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. 

Put vegetable base, butter and reduction into a blender*. Season the sauce with salt and more reduction. Mix in the tarragon just before serving.

Enjoy!

*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.