Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.


Danish Ham Salad - Skinkesalat

Lunch, MeatsTove Balle-PedersenComment
Danish Ham Salad

Danish Ham Salad

This is one the easiest lunch salads to make, and a very tasty one. If you like to get a lighter version, use half mayonnaise and half sour cream or yoghurt.

Serves 4.


  • 10 slices ham, diced
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ onion, grated
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chives, for sprinkling


Mix ham, mayonnaise and onion in a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Serve the ham salad on a slice of Danish rye bread as an open-faced sandwich. Sprinkle some chopped chives. I love tomatoes with this salad, it give the sandwich a nice balance.


Head Cheese - Sylte

Brunch, Christmas, Holiday, Lunch, Meats, PorkTove Balle-PedersenComment
Head Cheese - Sylte

Head Cheese - Sylte

6th Day of Christmas.

Sylte or head cheese as it is called in English is a cold cut danes often eat around christmas time. It might be an old tradition and maybe young people will not carry this tradition on, but if the sylte or head cheese is well made, it is very good. My dad was the one who made the sylte in my house. I loved the homemade version, but the commercial version was to hard, fatty and salty for my taste. Originally the sylte is made from meat from the head of the pig. But it is easier to use more available cuts, such as hocks, loin roast or pork belly.
I made this sylte so I can have this traditional cold cut for my Christmas lunch. 

Makes 2 medium or 3-4 small


  • 750 g pigskin from the pork belly
  • 1 hock, with skin and bone
  • ½ gallon (2 liter) water
  • 200 ml vinegar
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 3 pounds (1½ kg) pork loin
  • 5 teaspoons (35-40 g) salt
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 4-5 sheets husblas or 8-10 g non-flavored gelatin powder


Put water, vinegar, Peppercorns, cubed pigskin and hock in a large pot, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 2 hours.  Discard the pigskin. Add the cubed pork loin to the soup, and keep simmering for another 1-1½ hours, until all the meat has fallen of the bone tender.

Remove hock and pork loin, and let it cool for a while, so you can handle it. Strain the soup into a clean pot. 

Soak the husblas in cold water or bloom the gelatin according to package instructions. 

In a large bowl, season the pork loin and the meat from the hock with salt. Pull some of the meat a bit apart. Fill 2-4 loaf pans ¾ up with the meat. 

Melt the husblas/gelatin in the soup and pour it over the meat. Cover the loaf pans and let them rest for about 24 hours in the refrigerator before slicing. 

Eat the head cheese on Danish rye bread topped with mustard and pickled beets.


Mortens And - Roasted Duck

Christmas, Dinner, Holiday, Meats, Sides, Vegetables, PoultryTove Balle-Pedersen2 Comments
Duck roasting - from the oven cam.

Duck roasting - from the oven cam.

Mortensaften - is celebrated on November 10th. 

The tradition that Danes and some parts of Germans eat duck on this night, dates back to before 1616. 

The story tells us that a monk called Martin or Morten in Denmark was forced to become a bishop, but he didn't want the job, so he hid in a pasture filled with geese. Not the smartest place, cause the geese honked and  Morten was revealed. As the tail goes Morten Bisp, now bishop ordered everyone to eat geese on November 10th as a punishment for the geese for ratting him out. 

Over time people switched to eating ducks, maybe because of the smaller size. 

The traditional way is to serve the duck with caramelized potatoes, pickled red cabbage and gravy, kinda the same way as the traditional christmas dinner/pork roast. To change things up, I caramelized an assortment of root vegetables and kept the red cabbage.



  • 1 duck (7-8 pounds)
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 apples
  • 2 handful of pitted prunes
  • a handful salt and some pepper
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 whole allspice
  • 5 whole cloves

Pickled Red Cabbage:

  • 1 medium red cabbage
  • 25 g butter, salted
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (I mixed half balsamic and half blackberry-ginger balsamic for a sweeter taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Caramelized Root vegetables:

  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 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



Preheat the oven to 265℉ (130℃).

Chop the oranges and apples in the size of the prunes. Mix star anise, allspice, cloves and the broken cinnamon stick with apples, oranges and prunes. Have the salt in a clean cup.

Take neck and giblets out of the duck. Make sure that all feather sacks are out of the duck, you don't want a hard part of the feather in the crispy skin.

Pad the duck dry with some kitchen towel. Salt the duck inside, and fill it with the fruit mixture. Close the opening with a  trussing needle. 

Truss the duck by placing the duck on a tray with the legs towards you. Tuck the wing tips under the duck. Cut a piece of cooking twine about 3 feet (1 meter), and center it on top of the neck end of the breast. Lift the neck end of the duck and pull the twine down around the wings and under the duck, then bring the ends up over the breast, towards you, and knot the twine, pulling it tight to plump the breast. Bring the ends of the twine around the ends of the drumsticks and straight up. Tie as before to pull the drumsticks together and form a compact bird; tie again to secure knot."

Well, I did it my way, and tried my best to get the compact duck. Sometimes I just pull the wing onto the back of the duck, and use a cooking rubber band to tie the legs together.

Salt the duck with a lot of salt. 

Put the duck in the oven, breast side down, and cook it like this for 3-3½ hours. Have a pan under the duck, and put the giblets, neck and water in it. This water/drippings will be the base for the sauce. 

After 3½ hours turn the duck breast side up, and roast it for another 1½-2 hours until the temperature in the duck reaches 158℉ (70℃). If the skin isn't crispy, give the bird a few minutes under the boiler, be careful not to burn the duck.

Take the duck out and let it rest. Pour the drippings from the pan through a strainer into a saucepan. Skim the fat from the surface. I use a fat separator, which makes this process a breeze. Save the fat in the refrigerator or the freezer. Duck fat is a flavorful fat, and is perfect to roast potatoes in.

Add some cream, blue cheese and red currant jelly to the drippings and thicken the sauce.

Remove the twine and carve the duck. 

Red Cabbage:

Remove outher leaves of cabbage, and cut cabbage into quarters and remove the white core. Thinly slice the cabbage across the quarters width-wise. To get uniform slices I use a mandolin.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the cabbage and sear it for a couple minutes. Add vinegar and sugar.  Simmer the cabbage for 10-15 minutes until cabbage is tender.

Season with salt, pepper, vinegar and sugar. Serve heated to pork roasts or roasted duck. 

Caramelized Root vegetables:

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.


Halloween Meatloaf

Beef, Dinner, Halloween, MeatsTove Balle-Pedersen2 Comments
Halloween Meatloaf before cremation

Halloween Meatloaf before cremation

One scary meal, fit for halloween.



  • 1 kg (2 lb.) ground beef

  • 1 onion, grated,

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves chopped

  • salt & pepper


  • ketchup mixed with hot hot sauce

  • 2 yellow tomatoes (eyes)

  • blanched almonds

  • 1 package bacon


Preheat oven to 400℉ (200℃).

Mix the meats with the rest of the ingredients. Form a round loaf  with indents for eyes and an open mouth in an ovenproof pan. Place the almonds like teeth in the mouth. Brush the loaf with ketchup mixture. Wrap the bacon around the meatloaf. Use yellow tomatoes for eyes.

Cook the meatloaf in the oven for about 20 minutes. Add about a cup of warm water to the pan, this will later be used for the sauce. Cook for 10-15 minutes more until it reaches a center temperature of about 167℉ (75℃).

The cremated halloween meatloaf

The cremated halloween meatloaf

Pour the pan drippings into a sauce pan and heat it. Add milk and red currant jelly and thicken the sauce with milk and flour. Season with red currant jelly and salt.

Serve the meatloaf with mashed potatoes.


Grilled Sesame Chicken

BBQ, Dinner, Meats, PoultryTove Balle-PedersenComment
Grilled Sesame Chicken

Grilled Sesame Chicken

Chicken is one of my favorite things to throw on the grill. For the longest time I have been making beer can chicken, but for an easy weeknight dinner for two persons, I'll always end up with leftovers. Not that leftovers is a bad thing, It makes for an easy dinner the next day. 

I think I have had a chicken leg overload during the time I was single and studying. The chicken legs was a cheap meal and easy meal to make. One thing is sure, I haven't been roasting or grilling for years. This was not fair to my husband, he loves the dark meat from chicken.

This recipe for grilled sesame chicken, taught me to love chicken leg dinners again. The spice mixture and the crispy chicken skin is so so good. 

Serves 2.


  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime, the zest 
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 whole chicken legs 


Combine oregano, thyme, rosemary, sesame seeds, lime zest and salt in a small bowl. In a Mortar and pestle combine  the spices with olive oil and garlic until it forms a paste.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Using your hands, rub the herb paste evenly all over the surface of chicken, working it into every nook and cranny.

Preheat the grill for about 10 minutes. Grill the chicken skin-side up at indirect heat for about 25-30 minutes. Then turn up the heat or move over direct heat and grill for another 5-10 minutes, until well done. Chicken should be cooked well done to 165-170℉ or 75℃.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


When grilling:

You need 2 of everything

  • 2 tongs, one for raw meats, another for cooked meat
  • 2 plates, one for raw meats, another for cooked meat
  • 2 marinades, one bowl for marinading and another for basting
  • use separate cutting boards for raw vegetables, raw meat and cooked meat and vegetables
  • don't leave food out, keep your food cold.