Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Appetizer

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!

 

Gruyere & Thyme Gougères

Appetizer, SnacksTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Gruyere & Thyme Gougères

Gruyere & Thyme Gougères

Gougères are the perfect party snack served with a glass of sparkling wine. They are totally addictive. Gougères are small savory hors d'oeuvre made with choux pastry with addition of some kind of strong dry cheese like parmesan, gruyere, or a sharp cheddar. 

You can choose to fill the Gougères with some kind of creamy savory filling, or split them to make tiny sandwiches with ham or salmon. 

Makes about 30 small bite-sized puffs.

Ingredients:

  • 250 ml water
  • 100 g butter
  • 130 g all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g gruyere cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1-2 pinch salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400℉ (200℃). Grate the cheese and chop the thyme, set aside.

Put water and butter in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. When the butter is all melted add all the flour at once, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat and keep stirring until a dough is formed and it pulls away from the sides of the pan and is slightly shiny.  Remove from heat.

Keep beating the dough with the wooden spoon until slightly cooled, about 2 minutes.  

Beat all the eggs in a bowl. Add a little of the beaten eggs, incorporating it thoroughly before adding more. Add the egg in small amounts until you have a thick paste but not runny at all. Stir in the cheese and thyme.

Fill a large pastry bag fitted with an open tip, with the dough. Pipe quarter-size circular mounds about 2 inches apart, onto the parchment paper. To get the best tops on the gougéres stop pressing on the pastry bag before you lift it, make a small circular move with your wrist as you lift the tip of the puff. Dab the tops of each gougéres with a fingertip dipped in water to smoothen the tops. 

(You can freeze the gougéres unbaked, at this point, and bake them right out of the freezer, adding a few more minutes to the bake time.)

Bake them for 18-20 minutes, until they are puffed up and golden brown.

DO NOT open the oven while baking, it will cause them to deflate.

Let the gougères cool slightly before serving.

Serve the gougères as a snack with a good glass of sparkling wine.

Enjoy!

Lemon Risotto with Scallops

Appetizer, Dinner, Fish & seafood, RisottoTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Lemon Risotto with Scallops

Lemon Risotto with Scallops

We have something with risotto and scallops in our house. It is a great luxury you normally will get at a restaurant. But you can easily make it at home. Just make sure to have every ingredients prepared and ready to go. By making it at home you are sure to get the risotto perfectly al dente, creamy, and seasoned to your tasting. 

This risotto can be an appetizer or a full meal. 

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 6-9 scallops

Risotto:

  • 40 g butter
  • 2 small shallots, finely diced   
  • 175 g arborio rice
  • 120 ml (½ cup) white wine
  • 850 ml chicken stock, heated
  • 40 g grated parmesan
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • parsley, minced for a sprinkle on top.

Directions

Heat butter in a sauté pan, sauté the onion until translucent. Add rice and cook while stirring, until all the rice are coated and they start to crackle. 

Pour in the wine, and let it simmer lightly until the wine is absorbed. 

Start adding a small ladleful hot stock at a time, letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more. You want the risotto to cook for a low simmer, stirring constantly. Cook the risotto for about 25 minutes, until the rice are al dente, and they have a little bite, without being crunchy.

Add lemon juice, lemon zest and parmesan and cook till its melted making the risotto nice and creamy. Season the risotto with salt and pepper to taste. 

Heat a skillet over high heat, add oil and butter. When the fat begins to brown and smoke sear the scallops for 1½ minutes on each side. The scallops should have a ¼-inch golden crust on each side, while being translucent in the center. Place the scallops on top of the risotto and sprinkle with more lemon zest and parsley.

Serve Immediately.

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.

Tomato Risotto

Appetizer, Dinner, RisottoTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Tomato Risotto

Tomato Risotto

Risotto has been a thing I have been reluctant to cook. I have always been convinced that it was a difficult dish to master. But after I have been cooking risotto a few times, I can't see what I was afraid of.  Somehow I might have been cooking risotto for many years. Well, not risotto, risotto. But the classic Danish dish Risengrød, is arborio rice cooked in milk, a sweet milky risotto sprinkled with cinnamon. And I have had Risengrød numerous times through my childhood.

This risotto embodies some of my favorite ingredients, tomatoes, wine, parmesan and basil, And of cause is was delisious. 

Inspired by Martha Shulmans Tomato Basil Risotto.

Serves 2-3 (4-6 as an appetizer)

Ingredients:

  • 700 ml chicken stock, or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 225 g tomato, grated (2 large tomatoes)
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 130 g arborio rice
  • 100 ml white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 tomatoes, without seeds, and diced
  • ¾ dl (about ¼ cup) fresh grated parmesan
  • 5 basil leaves, thinly sliced

Directions:

Grate the parmesan, set aside

Grate the tomatoes. Cut the tomato in half at the equator. Grate on the coarse side of a box grater, with the cut side of the tomato up against the grater. Watch your hands. Set aside.

Slice the basil, set aside. 

Dice onion, and mince the garlic.

Heat the stock, and keep it warm.

Heat olive oil in a wide sauté pan, sauté the onions until translucent. Add rice and garlic, cook while stirring, until all the rice are coated and they start to crackle. Add grated tomato and thyme, and cook until the rice has absorbed most of the tomato liquid. 

Pour in the wine, and let it simmer until the wine is absorbed. 

Start adding a small ladleful of hot stock at a time, letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more. You want the risotto to cook for a low simmer, stirring constantly. Cook the risotto for about 25 minutes, until the rice are al dente, and they have a little bite, without being crunchy.

Add the diced tomatoes, basil and parmesan, making the risotto nice and creamy. Season the risotto with salt, to taste. Serve Immediately.

Enjoy!