Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Chili Con Carne a la me

Beef, Dinner, Simmer FoodTove Balle-PedersenComment
Chili Con Carne a la me.

Chili Con Carne a la me.

This chili con carne is my version of a chili. You will find more original recipes out there. But this is the way I like it. Years ago I started out with the recipe my mom used, not spicy at all. Through the years my version became more spicy, more smokey and got more colors and beans. And one thing is for sure, we never had any toppings on my moms chili.

Serves 8-10.


  • 2 pounds ground beef 
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 4 cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chipotle in adobo sauce, chop the chipotles, use less if you do not like it spicy
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, I use Valrhona 
  • 4-6 bell peppers, bite-sized diced
  • 6 cans beans, rinsed, I used black beans white beans, and red kidney beans
  • salt & pepper


  • sour cream
  • jalapeno, sliced
  • scallions, sliced
  • cheddar cheese
  • cilantro


Heat olive oil in a large pot. I use my large slow cooker, where the insert goes on the stovetop.  Sauté the onions until they are golden brown. Take the onions out and into a little bowl. 

Add a little more oil to the pot and brown the ground beef, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon. Try not to stir it to much, the more you move the meat around, the more you cool down the pan. And you want the meat to get some searing and color. When the meat is browned, add the tomato paste, letting it get some heat, to get a sweeter and deeper tomato flavor. Then add the garlic, onions, diced tomatoes, cocoa and the chipotle with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. 
Here you can add more spices like paprika, cayenne, cumin or chili powder. Before I fell in love with chipotle, I used fresh jalapeños and some smoked paprika in my chilies.
Let the chili cook covered at a low simmer for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally. I set my slow cooker to 8 hours on low.  

After 2-4 hours, (6 hours in slow cooker), add the bell peppers and after another 30 minutes add the rinsed beans, and let it simmer for yet another 30 minutes, before it is ready for the final seasoning and serving. 

Serve the chili with toppings to your likings and a few slices of good baguette.


Oven Roasted Chicken with Chickpeas

Dinner, Meats, PoultryTove Balle-PedersenComment
Oven Roasted Chicken with Chickpeas.

Oven Roasted Chicken with Chickpeas.

I love a one-pot dinner or in this case one-bakingpan dinner, well if you serve it with steamed rice, you need to make those too. The yogurt helps making the chicken juicy and making the skin nice and crispy. I did not add the chili or the jalapeño, but I think this dish need a spicier note.

This recipe is kinda like an Indian-style chicken dish, without the spiciness. If you like spicy food add some chili powder og a sliced fresh chili to the chickpea mixture. The recipe is a adapted from a New York Times recipe.

Serves 4.


  • 8-10 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on


  • ¾ cup (1¾ dl) greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Chickpeas and cauliflower:

  • 1 cauliflower, in florets
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder - optional
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • salt & pepper

Lemony onions:

  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt 

Yoghurt sauce:

  • ¾ cup (1¾ dl) greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ jalapeno, grated - only if you like spicy food
  • fresh mint, chopped
  • fresh coriander, chopped
  • salt to taste

Sprinkle with:

  • fresh mint, chopped
  • fresh coriander, chopped


In a ziplock bag mix the marinade and add chicken making sure to coat it evenly. Let the chicken marinate overnight in the refrigerator or at least 30 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 400 ℉ (200℃).

Scrape the excess marinade off the chicken, and place the chicken parts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes. Next time I might just roast the chicken for 10 minutes before adding the chickpeas, to make it a little crisper.

Mix olive oil, chickpeas, cauliflower florets, fennel seed, cumin, turmeric, chili, half the red onion slices, salt and pepper. Making sure to get the oil and seasoning all over the chick peas and cauliflower. Place chickpeas and cauliflower florets round the chicken on the baking sheet. Bake for another 25-35 minutes until the chicken is crisp and tender, tossing the chickpeas mixture occasionally. 

Meanwhile mix the ingredients for the lemony onions, and set aside. Make the yogurt sauce and refrigerate. 

When the chicken is ready, sprinkle the lemony onions, mint and cilantro. Serve with steamed rice and Yogurt sauce. 


Bourbon Apple Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Cake, Brunch, Desserts, Holiday, ThanksgivingTove Balle-PedersenComment
Bourbon Apple Pie

Bourbon Apple Pie

Most people like Apple pie, but adding bourbon, just makes the pie a little better. It's not like you get drunk by having a piece of pie. The pie filling get so hot, that the liquor from the bourbon evaporate in the oven. But off course having the bourbon whipped cream will be classified as an adult dessert. This pie is a serious contender in any Thanksgiving pie-off.

Makes 1 pie (9 inch).


Pie Crust:

  • 260 g butter, salted and cold

  • 360 g all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons confectionary sugar (powdered sugar)

  • 75 ml water, ice-cold


  • 6-7 apples*,

  • 100 g butter

  • 120 g sugar

  • 75 g brown sugar

  • 50 g water

  • 3 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • 3 tablespoons bourbon

  • 30 g all-purpose flour

  • 1½ tsk cinnamon

  • 1 egg yolk for brushing the crust

Bourbon Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup (2½ dl) heavy whipping cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • 2-3 tablespoons confectionary sugar (powdered sugar)

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon



Cube the butter and place it in the refrigerator.

Put the flour and sugar in the food processor and pulse just until combined. Add the cold butter pieces and pulse until the mixture looks like small coarse crumbs. Drizzle the water over the flour and pulse again until the dough just comes together.

Divide the dough in two discs and wrap them separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 3 hours.

On a floured work surface roll the dough out to about ⅒ inch thickness. You want the dough yo be larger than your pie pan, so you end up with a ⅓ inch overhang on a 9 inch pan. Place the pan with the dough in the refrigerator, until ready to fill.

Preheat the oven to 430℉ (220℃).


Mix flour, cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter, sugars in a saucepan. Mix the water with the cornstarch, and pour it in the butter/sugar mixture. Add vanilla and the flour/cinnamon, stir the mixture while the sauce thickens. Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the bourbon.

Peel, core and slice the apples in thin slices. Do not soak the apples in water, this will make the filling to watery. Place the apple slices in the pie pan, and pour the sauce over the apples.

Brush the edges with egg wash. Roll out the rest of the dough for the lid, as thin as the other part. Place the lid on top, and firmly press the edges together to seal them. you can do this by hand or with a fork. Use the excess dough to cut out decorations for the pie. 

Optional: brush the lid with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar on top.

Cut 4-8 slids in the dough lid, to allow the steam to escape during baking. 

Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 360℉ (180℃) and bake it for another 50 minutes until the pie is a deep golden brown. 

Let the pie cool completely, before slicing. This part is the hardest. The smell of this delicious apple pie, makes you want to dive in immediately. But if you let it cool first, and then reheat, it will make the slicing so much easier. 


Bourbon Whipped Cream:

Whip the cold cream to soft peaks. Whisk in vanilla, sugar and bourbon.

Serve the pie with bourbon whipped cream or some vanilla ice cream.


Béarnaise Sauce - Sous Vide

Dinner, Sauce, sous videTove Balle-Pedersen2 Comments
Béarnaise Sauce - Sous Vide

Béarnaise Sauce - Sous Vide

Bearnaise is one of the most famous sauces ever. And basically it is just butter, butter and a little egg yolk and acidity. But it's mostly butter. Normally bearnaise made from scratch is kinda nerve wracking. You want a warm sauce, but you do not want it to separate, which it has a tendency to do. Another thing, you want to be able to serve the sauce along side your perfectly cooked and still hot steak. So it tends to always be a stressful endeavor to get everything ready at once. This recipe, will help you tremendously. By sous vide'ing the sauce components, you can cook up your steak and sides, at the same time. So just before you slice and serve the steak, you quickly blend the sauce and season it, and everything will hit the dinner table at once. 

Disclaimer: This sauce is made with raw eggs. I recommend using pasteurized eggs. This would minimize the risk of getting Salmonella food poisoning. You can find pasteurized eggs in some supermarkets here in California, on safeeggs.com you can see where to find them in your neighborhood.  In Denmark you'll find it right next to regular eggs. For tips and information on how to handle eggs, check out FDA’s website. The Danish version of FDA,  Fødevarestyrelsen also has advisory on eggs. 

Serves 6-8 normal people or 4 Danes 😉.



  • 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)


  • 3 egg yolks

  • 300 g butter

  • 3-4 tablespoons reduction

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • tarragon leaves, finely chopped



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.


Preheat water bath for 131℉ (55℃). (You can go as high as 140℉ (60℃) if you want to, keeping in mind not to exceed 149℉ (65℃) where the eggs coagulate.

Place reduction, butter and egg yolks in a heat resistant plastic bag, do not seal.
Place the bag in the water bath for 30 minutes.
Pour the heated mixture into a blender, and blend until you have a thick sauce. I use a immersion blender. Season with salt, pepper and tarragon, and serve immediately.


Lobster Benedict- Sous Vide

Breakfast, Brunch, Fish & seafoodTove Balle-PedersenComment
Lobster Benedict- Sous Vide

Lobster Benedict- Sous Vide

Lobsters are a creature with a delicate taste and texture. So by poaching it in butter, you get the purest and cleanest lobster taste ever. Making it Sous Vide you are getting the perfect texture to your liking. The temperature is controlling the texture. Well time is too, but by poaching the lobster for 45-60 minutes, temperature is the controlling factor. 

Different cooks choose different poaching temperature. Thomas Keller calls for 139℉ (59℃) and Modernist Cuisine calls for 115℉ (46℃).

Serious Eats tested different temperature, and this were their finings:

Temperature - texture

120℉ (49℃) - Soft and translucent

130℉ (54℃) - Tender and succulent

140℉ (69℃) - Firm

I decided to go with 135℉ (57℃) and the result was fantastic, I got a tender and somewhat firm juicy lobster. This one is a winner.

Serves 2.


Butter poached lobster tail:

  • 4 lobster tails, shells removed and deveined

  • 113 g salted butter (1 stick butter)

  • sprinkle of salt


Hollandaise in blender:

  • 250 g salted butter, clarified

  • 4 egg yolks

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

  • ½ lemon, the juice from

  • 1 pinch cayenne


Butter poached lobster tail:

Set you sous vide to 135℉ (57℃).
Place the lobster tails and butter in a vacuum sealer bag, sealing with the moist setting. Place the bag in the water bath, making sure that the lobster is fully submerged. Set timer for 50 minutes.
Remove lobster tails from the bag, discarding the liquid, when it is time to serve your benedict.


Melt the butter in a sauce pan over very low heat.  Let simmer gently until the foam rises to the top of the melted butter. Once the butter stops spluttering, and no more foam seems to be rising to the surface, remove from heat and skim off the foam with a spoon. The foam is the milk solids from the butter. Ladle the butterfat into another saucepan leaving the water and residue behind. You can also pour the butterfat through some cheesecloth. Keep the butterfat warm.
The clarified butter should be about 172℉ (77℃).

Add the rest of the ingredients, except cayenne, in a blender. Blend until foaming. With the blender running add ⅓ of the butter in a slow steady stream, yes it will splatter. Once it emulsifies, turn the blender speed up to high and add the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper and blend for another second. Sprinkle the cayenne on top when serving.

* Instead of regular hollandaise sauce, you can use the more healthier avocado hollandaise 


Toast the bread, place a handfull arugula on it, placing a lobster tail and a poached egg on top. Ladle a spoonful warm hollandaise over, sprinkling with some cayenne.

Serve immediately.