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Author Archives: Peter Molker

ScandiKitchen’s Eurovision Bingo 2014

May 2, 2014 | Leave a comment

Every year we play Eurovision Bingo. This year is no exception. Play live with us on our Twitter feed during all the shows – from the semi finals to the grand final on 10th May.

You can find us on Twitter here

We’re handing out Eurovision Bingo Cards all next week at the cafe so make sure you pick yours up when you pop by to stock up for your Eurovision Party at home.

Food to make for a Danish Eurovision Party

May 1, 2014 | Leave a comment

This May, Eurovision comes to Copenhagen. We’ve been inundated with requests about how to best make a Danish-themed Eurovision party for the grand final on 10th May.

Across Scandinavia, we treat ourselves on Eurovision evening. This means snacks, sweets and crisps. Nothing healthy. We love our treats, and this is one evening when we don’t hold back on the bad stuff. Below is a list of essentials, and a suggestion for a dinner or open sandwiches that you can easily make at home.

All the crisps

Some form of cheesy puffs – either Kims Ostepops or Cheez Doodles are fine.

Kims Snack Chips – pricier, but really good and worth the extra.

Sourcream & Onion from Estrella – a Swedish brand but sold in Denmark, too.

We love to dip our crisps – such as the Estrella ones, so we always make some form of dip mix. Our favourites here at SK are the dill or holiday flavour from Estrella. Mix the powder with a mixture of half-crème fraîche and half yogurt (100ml of each). Stir, and leave to set for about 20 minutes. If too thick, add a dash of milk.

All the sweets

Pick’n’Mix. Get the actual Scandi favourites from SK. A big, huge bag for everybody to share with as many kinds as possible. If you don’t like liquorice, make sure to order bags without.

Familie Guf or Matador Mix come in smaller bags – no strong stuff. Both very Danish.

All the liquorice

Super Piratos – strong, but solid

Tyrkisk Peber – strong. Just strong. So strong.

For comedy value, try packets of salty Spunk. (We also do a fruit version).

All the chocolate

Marabou is sold all over Scandinavia and is a firm favourite amongst Danes.

We also love Yankie bars, Holly bars and little mini chocolate turtles such as skildpadder. For comedy value, try Skumbanan.

All the open sandwiches

So very Danish and super easy to make. The most traditional way to prepare an open sandwich is on dark seeded rye bread, but choose which ever bread you prefer. We don’t eat much crispbread in Denmark, so stick to rye, crusty or brown bread.

It is easy to make an open sandwich – it is, after all, just a piece of bread with a little something on top. However, to make it the Danish way, it’s all about decorating the open sandwich in a way to make it look really nice – and ensuring the toppings provide both crunch, texture and taste.

Some ideas:

Cut the bread to the sizes you want. You can make these as canapé sizes (it will take quite a while to prepare so give yourself good time). Canapé size is around 4 x 4 cm. A larger finger food option is 4 x 8 cm – still fine to eat standing up. Any larger than this and your guests will need cutlery, plates and a place to sit. Traditional Danish open sandwiches are always eaten sitting down, except when made to canapé size.

Dark rye bread with liver pâté, chopped crispy streaky bacon and sliced, fried mushrooms. Alternatively, just add crispy onions on top of the liver pâté if you don’t want to faff around with frying bacon.

Boiled egg and prawns on dark rye bread. Add a few sliced of boiled egg to your buttered bread, a squeeze of mayonnaise on top and then add prawns. Decorate with a sprig of dill or chopped chives.

Danish cheese. We love Riberhus, it has a great bite to it. We love it with some form of jam on top (yes, really. TRY IT). Dark rye bread or crusty white bread, a slice of cheese and a dollop of cloudberry or strawberry jam is perfection.

Smoked salmon is a favourite all over Scandinavia. The bread can either be dark rye or crusty white. Butter your bread, top with smoked salmon. You can choose either a dill and mustard sauce, or make it extra Danish with some cold scrambled egg on top to decorate. Top with chives or dill.

Our meatballs are not the same as Swedish meatballs. Danish meatballs are bigger and are made with a mixture of veal and pork, as opposed to beef. If you have made Danish meatballs, you can slice them and pop them on a piece of dark rye bread. Topping is cooked red cabbage and a sprig of parsley or chervil.

Roast beef and Danish remoulade. One of the classic combinations. This one needs dark rye bread and very thinly sliced rare roast beef. Arrange the roast beef carefully to give the sandwich some height, then add a dollop of ‘remoulade’ dressing on top (Danes cannot live without remoulade – this isn’t the French version, so make sure you use Danish). Add a dollop of horseradish sauce or freshly grated horseradish, crispy onions and maybe some pickled cucumber.

Fried fish on bread. Does it sound weird? It’s not. A slice of dark rye bread is in order here. Either buy fillets of plaice in breadcrumbs and heat them up, or bread your own mini-fillets of plaice (if you buy them, you may need to cut them in two as they tend to be quite big). It is fine that the fish is cold when you add it to the bread. On top of the fish, add either a dollop of remoulade, or go with the classic combination of a bit of mayonnaise and some fresh prawns. Don’t forget slices of lemon to decorate.

A veggie option is dark rye bread topped with slices of boiled egg and tomatoes, topped with a bit of mayonnaise and chopped chives.

Finally, herring. Don’t be scared of the herring. We love herring. It is hard to pre-prepare open sandwiches with herring because the brine from the herring will soak your bread and it will be impossible for you to eat it with your hands. Instead, butter pieces of bread and serve the herring on the side for guests to add their own just before eating. This way, you can make the herring fillets as small or large as you like. Danish people absolutely favour plain onion herring and curried herring. The latter is very delicious and not at all as bad as it sounds if eaten with rye bread. Serve herring with shots of Aalborg aquavit. Down in one, sunshine, and the whole show is much more entertaining. Maybe.

No time to make open sandwiches? You need all the hotdogs

Scandi hotdogs. The easy option.

Danes eat two types of hotdogs, the red ones or the brown ones. The red one is red. It tastes a bit like the brown one. We just like the colour.

Red hotdog sausages here

Brown version here

Get yourself some hotdog buns – small ones, not the massive one. Finger rolls are also good.

A standard Danish hotdog will have the following toppings:

– Ketchup (Bahnke does a good version – we like our ketchup a bit spicy)

– Sweet or strong mustard – find the real Danish ones here

– Remoulade here

– Crispy onions here

– Raw chopped onions (optional – we don’t blame you for not doing this one)

– Sliced pickled cucumbers (agurke salat) here

To prepare the sausages, bring a pan of water to simmering point then turn it off. Add the sausages for 4-5 minutes until heated through. Wait. Wait some more. Heat the buns and voilà, it’s done. If you try to fry or boil the sausages, they will split. Don’t do it. 1-2 hotdogs per person should be sufficient.

Velbekomme – and enjoy the show. #JoinUs!

Ten Scandinavian words that mean something a bit different in English…

April 28, 2014 | Leave a comment

Slut

At the end of every fairy tale, they all lived happily ever after. Slut. You also slut when you finish a phone call. It means ‘end’. If you change your settings on your iphone to Danish, Swedish or Norwegian, every call will end with a ‘slut’.

Fart

We have fart controls. We have fart hinders. Our lifts fart. As do our buses. Fart means speed.

Prik

A little prik will do. It means dot. You can also prik someone on Facebook and it means ‘poke’. But this isn’t 2008 so no prikking on Facebook.

Slag

We’ve got many slags of herring at ScandiKitchen. It means ‘type of’. Can also mean to beat or hit. Don’t slag me.

Tvätt

In Swedish, your laundry is known as your tvätt. Your washing powder could be ‘for all slags tvätt’.

Slut-spurt

There’s lots of slutspurting going on in the shops of Denmark and Sweden at sale time. It means ‘the final spurt’. It’s better than saying ‘end of sale’, isn’t it? In Sweden, it’s referred to as ‘Slut Rea’.

Bra

Nothing to do with boobs. It means ‘good’. But if you speak Scots or read The Broons, you already knew that, because it’s the same word in Glasgow too. Braw.

Titta

Titta ye not, because there’s no smut with this word in Sweden. It means ‘to watch’. People who watch TV are called ‘tittare’.

Kock / kok

You can be Head Kock in Sweden. Or a Master Kok in Denmark. But only if you can cook, because that’s what it means.

Kiss

When a Swede has a kiss, it means they’re urinating. Remember that one.

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How to be more Danish

April 24, 2014 | 8 Comments

Lots of little things makes someone really, really Danish… Here’s a few of our quirks.

Wear a lot of black.

For some reason, we still do this. Black trousers, tops, jackets.

Blackwear

Eat open sandwiches.

In the morning, topped with cheese and jam. Yes, jam. It’s a thing, this cheese and jam.

Ostemad1

Lunch breaks: 11:00 am. This is how we like it. Please, non Danes, stop arranging meetings in the middle of our lunch, will you?

Get annoyed: Are you Dutch?

No. Danish. It’s not even next to each other. What’s wrong with you?
dutchdenmark

Throw the word “hygge” randomly into sentences, then pretend to try really hard to find an English translation. Yet again.

Ayumi-hygge

Never use the word please, with the excuse that “but we don’t HAVE a word for please in Danish” (we really don’t, you know…)

Please

Test ANY non-Dane on whether they like salty liquorice – and laugh when they don’t (as you watch them squirm).

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Have an awkward sense of humour and laugh at Nordic jokes such as “Do you know how to save a Swede from drowning? No? Good!” HarHarHarHar…

See also: making fun of everything Swedish. And Norwegian. And Icelandic. And German.  #hilarious

JokesGroupPhoto

You don’t eat Swedish meatballs. Because they are SWEDISH. In Denmark, we eat DANISH meatballs. Don’t confuse the two. Danish meatballs are bigger and better and probably pays more tax and can balance on one leg whilst humming ‘Der Er Et Yndigt Land’.

frikadeller

Get excited when you see THIS. A bowl of some white soup with biscuits. If you’re Danish, you know this means: Summer. Cold, sweet buttermilk soup with delicious biscuits (Koldskål med kammerjunkere).

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Have a flagpole in your garden and raise the Danish flag at every opportunity (Sundays, public holidays, birthdays, announcing you’re popping to the shops…). Add smaller Danish flags on sticks to your cakes, Christmas tree, window, walls. The more the more Danish you are.

Dansk_flag_thumb[3]

If someone asks you how you are, be sure to really explain to them how you are really feeling. 

How-are-you

Top most food groups with a dollop of remoulade. Especially chips, beef, fish and hotdogs. And salami. And meatballs.

Remoulade is the best thing in the whole world.  Danes don’t bother with ketchup for their chips – it is all about remoulade.

Grillmad_06

Speak as you take an in-breath

As one of only a few languages, we sometimes speak on an in-breath, usually saying ‘yes’ (‘ja’).

Try it, it’s weird.

Always have one white sock over one trouser leg (or roll one trouser leg up, if not wanting to wear white socks over your all-black outfit). You never know when you might be going cycling. This way, you can be ready in a flash.

“Nå”.

This is a word. It has many different meanings, depending on how you pronounce it:

  • Nå – short pronunciation = surprise
  • Nå-nå (two short pronounciations after eachother) = is that so?
  • Nåaaaaaaaa – Ohhh, so THAT’s how it is….

Learn the many more different ways of pronouncing ‘NÅ’ and you can pass for a Dane just using one word.

Do you know other ways that makes someone more Danish? We’d love to hear them…

Need a ‘Kransekake’ for 17th Mai?

April 22, 2014 | Leave a comment

Our good friend Karen is really good at making Kransekake / kransekage. In fact, she’s been making them for years. We don’t make them but we’re very happy to recommend you to speak to Karen.

Soon, Norway’s National Day is coming up – if you need a Kransekake for the event – or for any other Danish/Norwegian event – do get in touch with Karen and she can help you out.

17 Mai is drawing closer but you still have time to order your kransekake / kransekage.

Whether you want a small stack, a few fingers or the full 18-ring cake, Karen can provide you with a taste of home.

Karen will be taking orders until she’s booked up, so get in as early as possible.

For prices, see www.karens-kitchen.com/kransekake

FB: karenskitchenkransekake

Email: karenkitchen2@yahoo.co.uk

Tel: 07818 405501

Do tell her we sent you to her so she knows.

Bye for now

Easy Easter Smorgasbord – a guide

April 17, 2014 | Leave a comment

Easy Easter Smorgasbord

A traditional smörgåsbord doesn’t have to be complicated. It is, in essence, the Nordic version of a buffet, so as long as you follow a few traditional rules and know when to eat which bit, you won’t go wrong. We basically have the same smörgåsbord for every high season, with a few seasonal dish changes.

This version is designed so that you can shop and put it together in a morning, provided you’re organised about the whole thing. For this reason, we have provided UK supermarket equivalents for some ingredients, but if you do have time, pop by our shop and pick up the authentic Nordic essentials or make everything from scratch if you want to impress.

 

The basics

How to serve and arrange a smörgåsbord.

Laying the table: Arrange in the middle of the table or, if serving for many people, at a side serving table. Served as a lunch and should take around 2-3 hours to eat. The focus here is on slow eating and drinking, with much talking and being together.

Drinks: Lagers such as Tuborg and Carlsberg will provide authenticity – but any good bottled lager is fine. Wine is fine, but less traditional (wine really doesn’t go with herring and shots of aquavit).

Aquavit (aka snaps): We recommend shots of a good, super-chilled OP Andersson or Ålborg. Crisp and strong, they’re perfect partners for pickled herring. If you can’t get hold of aquavit, you can use chilled Absolut Vodka. Leave the bottle in the freezer for a good few hours before serving in shot glasses.

 

How to arrange the dishes

If arranging on a separate buffet table (recommended for 15 people or more), always arrange the fish at one end, starting with the herring, followed by any other fish dishes. Follow it with cold meats, then warm meats, side dishes and finally bread and butter. Cheese can be placed by the bread section or served separately at the end as a cheese board. Dessert is not brought out until the main smörgåsbord has been eaten. If arranging the food where people are sitting around a table, add all fish dishes first, then cold meats. Bring out any warm dishes as needed. The main thing is to let your guests know that they have to:

1) Always start with herring and aquavit (butter some rye bread or crisp bread, add a few slices of herring on top, eat with a knife and fork, drink a shot of aquavit, and everybody cheers together).

2) Once the herring is eaten, enjoy any other cold fish dishes – from prawns to salmon, egg with roe, and so on. Make your own little open sandwiches on the plate, but always use knife and fork. Never hands!

3) Sliced meats are next, and so on. Then repeat.

4) Warm dishes come next!

5) Replenish as you see fit throughout. We graze for hours, going back to our favourite sections again and again.

Plate arrangement

Arrange each seating with a large plate for main part of the meal and one small plate on top, for herring only. Herring has a very strong flavour, so once everybody’s done with it, the first plates are usually collected so the rest of the meal isn’t herring-flavoured. If you hate washing up or simply just love meatballs that taste of herring, knock yourself out.

Singing

We do like to sing a few songs as we drink our snaps. These are called ‘Snaps-visor’. After a couple of shots of aquavit, it is generally accepted that most people speak fluent Danish, even if they come from Middlesbrough and the closest they have been to Copenhagen is watching The Killing. Plenty of songs to be found on the internet. If you don’t fancy trying real Nordic songs, just pretend to be the Swedish Chef from the Muppets.

Every family has they own version and way to make a smörgåsbord. This is our version – make changes as you see fit. There is no smörgåsbord police (there might be smörgåsbord police in Sweden, actually).

 

ScandiKitchen’s Easy Easter Smörgåsbord for six people

Two kinds of herring

1 jar of Abba Mustard herring
1 jar of Abba Onion herring

Prawns and boiled eggs

6 hard boiled eggs, halved, placed on a serving dish. Add a bit of mayonnaise on each egg half and top with good quality prawns

Smoked salmon with lemon

Arrange about 60-70g of smoked salmon per person on a serving tray. Decorate with lemon wedges and a bit of fresh dill

Gravadlax Salad

Fold together in a bowl the following:

200g gravlax cured salmon cut into bite size pieces
150g cooked, cooled, sliced new potatoes
100g blanched asparagus cut in pieces
A handful of green peas
100g cooked, cooled green beans
8-10 halved cherry tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons of dill and mustard sauce
Arranged on a serving tray, top with chopped chives

Dill & mustard sauce:

You can make your own or get it from us – Dill & Mustard Sauce

Most UK supermarkets have some form of it too these days.

Sliced and cold meats tray

6 slices of good quality ham

12 slices of Danish salami (or whichever you prefer)

Pork liver pâté – we love Stryhns but you can go for a good quality UK version too – whichever you prefer.

Warm dishes

Meatballs. Always meatballs.

Make your own, or use a ‘Swedish Meatball’ variety from the supermarket to keep it simple – we would strongly recommend these from Swedish producer Per i Viken – they have a lovely mildly spiced taste that is just right.

In Sweden, we also eat a lot of ‘prinskorv’ mini sausages (heated) – these are always super popular with children.

We stock these, but you can get frankfurters in supermarket and cut to smaller pieces and serve alongside the meatballs

Where’s the lamb?

We actually don’t eat much lamb on the Easter buffet table. We agree that this does seem like a bit of an oversight. If you want lamb, have lamb. Make a small lamb roast and serve alongside the warm dishes. Lamb goes well with Jansson’s Temptation

Additional Side dishes

Choose as many of these to make as you fancy… (you do not need to make them all)

Beetroot Salad

      • 300g jar of drained beetroot, chopped
      • Mix with mayonnaise and crème fraîche until you have a pink creamy mixture.
      • Add salt, pepper, lemon juice (and sugar, if too tart). Leave to set.

Cheat: Get yours ready made instead, here’s our own  beetroot salad

New potato salad

500g of new potatoes, cooked and cooled, mixed with a simple vinaigrette and chopped red onion – here’s our recipe: Easy Potato Salad
Cheat: Buy a potato salad, but not the type drenched in mayonnaise

Jansson’s Temptation (warm)

A potato and cream gratin made with Swedish Grebbestads Ansjovis – here is our best recipe: Jansson’s Temptation

(Sorry – you can’t really substitute for regular anchovies – they have a completely different taste)

(approx. 1 hour prep time)

Cheat: Get a potato gratin at the supermarket. Add small amount of chopped Grebbestads Ansjovis before baking

Västerbotten Paj (warm)

Swedish cheese quiche – this one is our favourite and super easy to make: Vasterbotten Cheese Quiche

Cheat: Buy your favourite from the baker or the shop

Skagenröra (Swedish seafood salad)

      • 200g prawns and 200g crayfish trails, mix with chopped chives and chopped dill
      • Add a gentle helping of mayonnaise
      • Salt, pepper, finely chopped shallot. Combine.
      • Cheat: Add some chives and seasoning to a prawn mayonnaise.

Gubbröra (Egg and fish salad)

      • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
      • Finely chopped shallot onion
      • 6 chopped fillets of Swedish Grebbestads Ansjovis OR chopped matjes herring (as preferred)
      • Chopped chives, pepper.

Mix together. Serve in a bowl.

If you prefer a creamier version, add a dollop of crème fraîche.

Egg & Roe

Arranged sliced, boiled eggs on a serving tray. Top with either Kalles Kaviar or dollops of lumpfish roe and finely chopped shallot onion.

Sauces, pickles, dressings (As needed).

Bowls of pickled cucumber, sliced pickled beetroot, Mustards, mayonnaises, remoulade. And whatever condiments you fancy.

Bread

Selection of crispbread (we love Leksands – and the big rounds are great to share)
Selection of sliced rye bread
Crusty white bread
Butter

Cheese selection

Our ideal cheese selection would be:

Västerbotten cheese 
Norwegian Brown Cheese
Riberhus Danish cheese
A good quality blue cheese

Cheat: Get whatever cheese you like.

Dessert (optional)

Cloudberry Mess

Arrange in each serving glass:

    • 1 lightly crushed meringue nest
    • 1 dollop of whipped cream
    • 1 scoop of good vanilla ice cream
    • Heat up some cloudberry jam – and pour 1 tbsp. hot jam on top just before serving.

Waffle Day 25th March – ‘Våffeldagen’

March 21, 2014 | Leave a comment

Waffle Day (25th March) began in Sweden as Våffeldagen, allegedly due to confusion between the Swedish “vårfrudagen” meaning “Our Lady’s Day” which falls on the same date. The day historically marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated by the eating of many, many waffles.

Nordic waffles are made in a special heart-shape waffle iron. The waffles are sweet and soft – and best eaten straight out of the iron, with jam and whipped cream. Or brown cheese, if you are Norwegian.

Pop by all day Tuesday 25th for waffles at the café. Get any coffee and a waffle for a fiver – available all day.

Or make some waffles at home – here’s a delicious recipe for Swedish waffles.. There are as many recipes as there are families in Scandinavia – this is just one of them.

If you don’t have a waffle maker, you can buy them on Amazon and ebay.

WIN ‘The Edible Atlas’ by Mina Holland

March 7, 2014 | Leave a comment

Sometimes, a book lands on our desk for a competition that we really don’t want to tell anyone about just so we can keep it to ourselves! This is one such book. We think every serious foodie should have a copy of this.

Mina Holland (follow Mina here) has written an amazing book entitled The Food Atlas – about food from all over the globe; a journey of 39 cuisines. How we eat it, why we eat it… It’s even got a bit about our corner of the world in the book (and we’re pleased to see a recipe for Danish Dream Cake making an appearance). THE EDIBLE ATLAS explores what and why people eat as they do across the world, demystifying the flavours, ingredients, techniques and dishes at the heart of thirty-nine different cuisines. With fully adaptable recipes to suit beginners and confident cooks alike, learn to recreate dishes from all over the globe.

We’ve got a copy of this book to give to a lucky winner. To be in with the a chance to win Mina’s book, just answer this easy question:

Norwegian band ‘Ylvis’ sang a (quite annoying) song called…

a) What does the herring say?

b) What does the fox say?

c) What does the Swede say?

Answers to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before noon on Thursday 13th March 2014. Winner will be notified by email. Only one prize, no cash alternative, usual rules apply. No cheating.

Russell Norman (from ‘The Restaurant Man’) says: “The Edible Atlas deserves a place on every serious cook’s bookshelf. Intelligent, informative, entertaining and very handsome. Mina Holland’s prose is as engaging as her recipes. She is an exciting and authoritative new voice in the world of cookery and food writing.”

‘Fascinating, telling some fantastic stories about a broad range of cuisines … The food cries to be cooked’ YOTAM OTTOLENGHI

BUY MINA’S BOOK ‘The Edible Atlas’ here

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