Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Dinner

Cauliflower Soufflé - Blomkålsgratin

Dinner, VegetablesTove Balle-PedersenComment
Cauliflower Soufflé - Blomkålsgratin

Cauliflower Soufflé - Blomkålsgratin

I remember cauliflower soufflé as a dish we got in the cafeteria in High-school. And I loved it. Growning up I never had it at home. Maybe because it has soufflé in the name, my mom thought it would be difficult to make. And honestly I was really surprised that it alway turned out great. Admittedly it does have a lot of steps, but it’s not difficult at all.

This soufflé is of course light and fluffy and with at nice crispy top. A perfect light weeknight dinner.

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 400 g cauliflower

  • 200 ml water

  • 200 ml milk

  • 75 g all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoons salt

  • 4 eggs

  • 225 g ham, diced

  • Butter to grease the baking dish

  • 2-3 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs (sprinkled on top)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃). Grease an ovenproof dish (1 liter/4 cups) and sprinkle it with plain breadcrumbs, set aside.

Clean the cauliflower, and cut it into florets, cook them for 3-5 minutes in lightly salted boiling water. Strain the florets, and keep 200 ml of the water.

Add water, milk, salt, and flour to a saucepan. Cook it while whisking, until it thickens. Remove from the heat, to cool for a while.

Separate the yolks from the egg whites. Whisk the whites to medium stiff peaks, set aside.

Whisk one yolk at the time into the now warm thick mixture, incorporating it completely before adding the next yolk.

Mix in the well strained cauliflower and ham. Lastly gently fold in the egg whites. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and bake it for about 60 minutes.

Serve immediately with a side salad.

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!

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!

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.