Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Simmer Food

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.


Leg of Lamb, Provencal

Dinner, Lamb, Meats, Simmer FoodTove Balle-PedersenComment
Leg of Lamb, Provencal

Leg of Lamb, Provencal

We never had lamb in my house growing up. My dad said it tasted like chewing on wool, and he would never eat it. Luckily he didn't state that he rather eat an old hat, because he came to love lamb in his later years. I guess that he got to eat sheeps-meat instead of lamb when he grew up, during and after world war II, when money were scarce.

My beloved niece, eating a leg of lamb, 2004.

My beloved niece, eating a leg of lamb, 2004.

My first encounter with lamb, was when my brothers then girlfriend made this dish for us. Ohh My it was good. The great tasting lamb with more than a hint of garlic and rosemary. The potatoes gets the flavors from the lamb roasting on top, and are soft, with a crispy top. This dish quickly became a family favorite.

 This leg of lamb is really a great meal when you are having people over. All the prep can be done hours in advance, so you can get the kitchen and your self cleaned up before the guests arrive. I love meals like that, served family style.


Serves 4-6 people


  • 1 (6-7 lb.) bone in leg of lamb

  • 9 cloves of garlic

  • 3 sprigs of rosemary

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 12 medium-large potatoes, peeled and sliced

  • lamb stock or chicken stock

  • salt & pepper


Preheat the oven to 450 ℉.

Place the leg of lamb in a large roasting pan fat side up and pat it dry with paper towels. Poke holes into the meat, slide a small piece of garlic into the hole, repeat this all over the leg of lamb. Combine the oil, 1 garlic clove, leave from the rosemary sprigs, salt and pepper in a mini food processor and pulse until the garlic and rosemary are minced. Spread the mixture on the lamb.

Slice the potatoes, and place them in a large roasting pan. Pour in stock, so it almost cover the potatoes.  tuck in the rosemary sprigs. Place the leg of lamb on top.

Roast for 25 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350℉ and roast for another 2 hours, until a meat thermometer registers 165℉ for well done. You can serve the lamb medium (140℉). Place the lamb on a cutting board, covered with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Return the potatoes to the oven to keep warm. Slice the lamb and arrange on a platter, and serve it with the potatoes.


Beef Stroganoff with Celery Root Mash

Beef, Dinner, Meats, Simmer FoodTove Balle-Pedersen2 Comments
Beef Stroganoff with Celery Root Mash

Beef Stroganoff with Celery Root Mash

Beef stroganoff was a fall favorite in my childhood. My mom loved to make simmer food, especially when entertaining guests. She could get the dinner started, clean up and get ready for the guests to arrive, instead of sweating over the pots and pans, when the guests arrived. I totally get her. I believe this is the way to go, when you're having guests over. 

Normally stroganoff is served with pasta, but in my family we have always had mashed potatoes. Today I opted for at lighter version with the celery root mash

Serves 4



  • 10 slices bacon (10 thin slices or 5 thick cut), diced

  • 2 pounds Beef stew meat

  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika (or regular paprika if you don't like the spiciness)

  • 1½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 3 onions (medium or 4 small), diced

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 400 g button mushrooms, sliced

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon beef base

  • 200 ml water

  • 200 g creme fraiche

  • ½ cup (1 dl) whipping cream

  • salt & pepper


  • 2 celery root

  • 4 medium potatoes

  • 2- 3 tablespoons butter

  • ¼ cup (½ dl) hot milk

  • salt to taste



Place bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Cook bacon until crispy and fat has rendered, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving some of the fat in the Dutch oven. 

Sauté onion and mushrooms in some of the rendered bacon fat, until golden brown. Remove from Dutch oven, and set aside. 

Put some all-purpose flour in a ziploc bag, add paprika, some salt and pepper. Pad dry the meat, and place them in the ziploc bag, cover the meat with the spicy flour.

Heat the butter in the Dutch oven and sear the meat in batches so you get a good sear on the meat, and set aside. Wipe the pot clean with a paper towel. 

Heat the olive oil to the pot, add the tomato paste and cook until tomato paste turns a deeper red, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add  meat, onions, mushrooms, bacon, beef base and water. (Beef stock can be used instead of water and beef base.)  Cook the dish for 2-3 hours on a low simmer. Add creme fraiche and cream, and let simmer for another 30 minutes.


Peel and dice the potatoes and celery roots. Put them in a large pot with enough water to cover them. Add about 1 teaspoon salt. Boil them for about 25-30 minutes, until soft. 

Drain celery roots and potatoes well, return them to the pot, and let the remaining water evaporate for a minute or two before returning the vegetables to the pot. Add butter and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add the milk and season with salt. I whipped the mash to get it more creamy, but that is optional. 


Serve Stroganoff over pasta or over hearty mash.


Butter Chicken

Dinner, Meats, Poultry, Simmer FoodTove Balle-PedersenComment
Butter Chicken served over cilantro and lime cauliflower rice.

Butter Chicken served over cilantro and lime cauliflower rice.

Dansk Udgave

This is one of my dishes I tried with a lot of spices, and it became one of my go-to dishes. It's fairly easy to make, but the flavor is so big and bold, that people think I have been working for hours in the kitchen. Now my secret is out.

I do add the cream in the end, but it's optional. But I'm not looking to cloak up my ores, so I cut the butter to a minimum. I still keep the buttery name, because the flavors is still there. 

Here served over cilantro and lime cauliflower rice.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoons coriander seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 5 black peppercorns 
  • 3 small dried red chilies 
  • 150 ml plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 whole cardamon pods
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 1  tablespoon oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1 ½ dl water
  • 1 ½ dl heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  • 1  lime
  • fresh cilantro, chopped


Spice paste: Grind coriander seeds, peppercorn, and chilies in a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle, mix in the cumin and garam masala.

In a bowl mix the spice mix with yogurt and tomato paste. Add minced garlic, finely grated ginger, salt and the whole cardamom pods. Put the paste into a zip-lock bag.

Cut up the chicken into 6-8 pieces, discard the skin. Put chicken in the spice paste to marinate for about 15 minutes.

Chop the onions, and brown the onions in butter in a large pot.

Add the chicken and all the spice paste. Lower the heat and let the chicken get some color. The sauce color will become more brownish red/ orange.

Add water, bay leaves and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasional. Add the cream and let the dish keep on simmering for another 10-12 minutes. Adding the cream is optional, but it makes the dish more creamy. Just before serving, stir in chopped cilantro.

Serve the chicken over rice or quinoa with a slice of lime and your favorite greens.



The Danish Version:

Butter Chicken / Smørkylling


  • 1 kylling
  • 2 tsk garam masala
  • 1 spsk korianderfrø
  • 1 tsk spidskommen
  • 5 stk sorte hele peberkorn
  • 3 stk små tørrede røde chili
  • 150 ml yoghurt naturel
  • 2 spsk tomatpure
  • 1 ¼ tsk salt
  • 2 ½ cm frisk ingefær
  • 6 fed hvidløg
  • 3 stk kardemommekapsler
  • 25 g smør
  • 1 spsk. olie
  • 2 stk mellemstore løg
  • 2 stk laurbærblade
  • 1 ½ dl vand
  • 1 ½ dl piskefløde
  • ½ dl hakket frisk koriander


  • 1 stk lime
  • frisk koriander


Krydderi pasta: Kværn korianderfrø, peber, chiler i en kaffekværn (brug en der ikke skal bruges til kaffe) eller i en morter. Bland spidskommen og garam masala i. 

Blad krydderierne med yoghurt og konc. tomatpuré. Bland tilsidst med presset hvidløg, revet ingefær, salt, kardemommekapsler.

Skær kyllingen i stykker og fjern skindet. Kom kyllingen i krydderipastaen, og lad den marinere i ca 15 minutter i kølesklabet.

I mellemtiden hakkes og brunes løgene i lidt olie og smør i en sauterpande.

Kom kyllingen og al marinaden ned til de brunede løg. Lad marinaden blive gennemvarm, så den skifter farve til mere orangerød. 

Tilsæt vand, laurbærblade og lad retten simre i ca. 30 minutter. Rør i retten en gang imellem.

Tilsæt fløden og lad den simre med i 10-12 minutter. Du behøver ikke at bruge fløde, men retten bliver mere cremet, hvis du gør.

Lige før serveringen, tilsættes den hakkede friske koriander.

Server kyllingen med ris eller quinoa, en skive lime og lidt grøntsager.

Her er kyllingen serveret med koriander og lime blomkålsris.


Braised Balsamic Chicken

Dinner, Meats, Poultry, Simmer FoodTove Balle-Pedersen1 Comment
Braised Balsamic Chicken

Braised Balsamic Chicken

Our local pizzeria serves a rotisserie chicken with a balsamic sauce and a lot of bell peppers. I love this dish, and it is my go-to for days when I don’t cook. The dish is sweet and sour in the Italian way.

In my version the chicken is braised in the sauce to keep the chicken juicy, and for a one-pot-dinner, easy to make on a weeknight.

You can also make this dish in a slow cooker, cooking for about 3-4 hours on high heat.

Serves 4


  • 4 chicken thighs with drumsticks (without skin)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced 
  • 3 bell peppers 
  • ½ cup (1,25 dl) red balsamic vinegar (use a good quality)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil for searing


Season chicken with salt and ground black pepper. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or in a skillet, and sear the chicken. Take out the chicken. Pour in tomatoes, sugar and the seasoning, add the chicken, onion, garlic and bell peppers. Pour the balsamic over the chicken. Put the lid on and let simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 45 minutes. 

Serve with roasted potatoes and broccoli.