Cooking several courses for the pescatarian crowd!

ImageButtermilk and raspberry sherbet with almond caramel

I recently cooked a six course vegetarian (or pescatarian) feast for a smaller crowd. I had created all the recipes from scratch and today I am going to share some of them with you! I know I have had some of the pictures on my Facebook page for many days now – sorry for the delay!

Pescatarian. Vegetarian. Vegan. All three are very interesting to me. It is no secret that I love to cook, and by limiting myself to fewer ingredients I have to be more innovative and creative. I love meat – I really do. But I am not one of those persons who cannot survive without a T-Bone and half a pound of bacon. These thoughts inspired me to go almost entirely vegetarian for a week, forcing myself to explore simple and humble ingredients. I like to make food look good and I love ’high-class’ dining. With these thoughts in my head I went into my own little think tank and started creating the dishes for this minor event. The theme was high class vegetarian (or pescatarian) dining (one dish contained salmon).

Trying to keep this post relatively short I will only post some recipes and some pictures. In case you are interested in more please do comment or contact me and I shall provide you with more details.

The recipes I will share with you are the following three:

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Caramelized pear and onion. Acidic pear crisp. Horseradish and parsley coulis.

3 big handful fresh parsley (NOT FLAT LEAF)

3 dl / 1.2 cups cream

1 dl / 0.4 cups milk

2,5 cm / 1 inch piece of horse raddish (chopped)

Half an onion

One red onion

One pear + one extra for crisps

Freshly grated horseradish

Oil

Salt and pepper

Apple vinegar

Cut one of the pears into thin shavings and transfer to a bowl. Add apple vinegar and leave for at least half an hour. Remove, pat dry and transfer to a dehydrator. Dehydrate until crispy. They will be sweet and slightly acidic in taste. Cut the onion and the other pear in four pieces. Brush with oil and bake in the oven for two and a half hours at 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit). Blanche the parsley for one minute in boiling water and transfer to an ice bath. In a saucepan add cream, onion and horseradish and reduce to one third. Add milk and the blanched parsley and blend. Run through a sieve. Taste with vinegar, salt and pepper.

Arrange on the plate and sprinkle with freshly grated horseradish.

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Smoked cream cheese mayo. Pink lady apple shaving. Shavings of radish. Croûton fried in cold-pressed rapeseed oil. Horseradish and chives.

2 egg yolks

2 dl. / 0.85 cups Oil

2 tablespoons crème fraîche

2 tablespoons smoked cream cheese

Apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper

Bread cut into squares

1 dl / 0.4 cups chopped chives

½ dl / 0.2 cups chopped or grated horseradish

1 pink lady apple

4-6 radishes

Cold-pressed rapeseed oil

Grated horseradish and finely cut chives

Whip the egg yolks for half a minute and SLOWLY add the oil – few drops at the time. Once all the oil has been incorporated add the crème fraîche and the cheese and taste with salt, pepper and vinegar.

Fry the croûtons in cold-pressed rapeseed oil for one to two minutes on each side and transfer to a paper towel. With a speed peeler peel the radishes length-wise and make the shavings look like a rose – this is a little tricky and will take you a few minutes. Trial and error is the way to go. Cut the apple into thin pieces/shavings and organize everything on a plate and sprinkle horseradish and chives. This is a great appetizer.

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Pearl barley risotto. Salmon with lemon zest. Green asparagus. Leek coulis.

Risotto

300 g / 10.5 oz pearl barley

1 onion

1 dl / 0.4 cups white wine (dry)

1 l / 4.2 cups vegetable and fish stock

75 g. / 1.4 oz Parmesan cheese

40 g. 0.7 oz butter (divided)

Cold-pressed rapeseed oil

Lemon zest

A small handful of thyme

Add half the butter with a few tablespoons of oil in a pot. Fry the onion on low heat on 3-5 minutes. Add the pearl barley and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the white wine and stir. Once the white wine has vaporized start adding the stock a little at the time. Once the pearl barley has cooked (around 20 minutes) turn off the heat. Add the rest of the butter, the Parmesan cheese, the lemon zest and the thyme and cover with a lid for 2 minutes before serving.

Asparagus

12 green aparagus

Lemon zest

Salt and pepper

Cold-pressed rapeseed oil

20 g. / 0.35 oz butter

Cut the bottom of the asparagus. Add all ingredients to a pan and fry the asparagus on medium heat until done (4-8 minutes depending on the size)

Salmon:

400 g / 14 oz salmon cut in equal sized

Lemon zest

Cold-pressed rapeseed oil

Lemon juice (3-4 tablespoons)

Salt and pepper

Sprinkle the salmon with the oil, zest and juice, and salt and pepper, and grill in an oven or BBQ on very high heat for 5-8 minutes (or until done).

Leek and mint coulis:

4 dl / 1.7 cups cream

½ red onion

1 tablespoon of chopped Moroccan mint

1 leek

Apple / apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper

Add all ingredients besides vinegar, salt and pepper in a sauce pan and cook on medium high heat until reduced to half. Blend and taste with vinegar, salt and pepper. If you want a more ’silky’ coulis run through a sieve before serving.

Plate the four elements and serve.

I hope you enjoyed! 🙂

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Midtfyns Bryghus – Let’s have a beer and cook some food!

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Midtfyns Bryghus, a microbrewery centrally located on the Island of Funen, Denmark. In 2006 when the brewery was only two years old the American born ‘bon vivant’ Eddie Szweda took over the operation. After just a few years at the helm he had positively transformed this unknown brewery and helped putting Funen on the map of great breweries – nationally as well as internationally.

Not the ordinary brewery

There are plenty of reviews of Midtfyns Bryghus’ beer, so I will focus on two very different aspects; the brewery itself and a recipe of a delicious sauce made from the brewery’s ‘Imperial Stout’.

I have visited breweries before but Midtfyns Bryghus is different. I met Eddie during the ‘Cherry Festival’ in Kerteminde in Denmark where he had a small stand promoting and selling his beers. I asked him if he would have time to give me a quick tour of his brewery as I am writing an article about the culinary island life on Funen. He was very open and enthusiastic, and a week later I drove to Årslev to see what they are all about. From the very first moment I knew that Midtfyns Bryghus was not the ordinary microbrewery. One thing I love about smaller breweries is the passion for beer. Not just the final product but also the very process itself: brewing and coming up with new ideas and concepts. This was no different at Midtfyns Bryghus. Same enthusiasm and passion, but it did not end there. Looking at the beers, the shop (located at the brewery), the future plans and ideas, the awards, the hospitality, Eddie’s character and the operation itself it was clear to me that Midtfyns Bryghus is much more than just a brewery; it is a gateway to Danish culture, it is the American dream, it is quality of service and products, and it is innovative and responsible solutions. Eddie recently relocated from Brobyværk to Årslev and bought brand new, custom made brewing equipment from the Danish company JTM Brew owned by Thomas and Jesper. Cheaper solutions exist in countries like China, but Eddie wanted the money to stay in the country, which was one of the reasons why he purchased the more expensive Danish solution. I was lucky enough to meet Thomas, one of the two owners, at the brewery. He was helping Eddie in the production, which I found very interesting. The commitment from JTM Brew, the appreciation from Eddie and the rest of the crew as well as the common passion for beer and the craft of brewing makes this relationship between buyer and supplier genuine and beneficial. Another part of Midtfyns Bryghus that was very remarkable was the fact that all the beer labels do not just have beautiful designs, which function as lures to the human eye, but are all printed in braille making it possible for visually impaired to examine the beer before buying it. The brewery is, according to Eddie, the only one in the world doing that.

From left to right: (1) Eddie in front of newspaper articles (2) Chris, a happy blogger tasting the ale (3) The new equipment at Midtfyns Bryghus

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Midtfyns Bryghus sells twelve different beers plus an additional three seasonal. As I few days after the visit had to cook for a smaller birthday event I decided to use one of the beers to create a recipe in honor of Midtfyns Bryghus as well the birthday kid (my mom!). I generally think that beer is completely overlooked in cooking, so I though it would be a fun little challenge to implement the taste of Funen and Midtfyns Bryghus in a dish. I wanted to make a gravy that would suit lamb, or any kind of game, a rebellious act as wine is often the flavor agent in these kind of sauces. I decided to use the ‘Imperial Stout’, a full-bodied beer brewed from a blend of roasted malt varieties and aged with oak wood, and add typical game flavors like rosemary and juniper berries. I wanted strong flavor without overpowering the beautiful chocolate, oak, vanilla and coffee characters of the beer, so keeping it simple was the key. It turned out to be super delicious and of course we share the recipe with you!

From left to right: (1) Ale at Midtfyns Bryghus (2) A selection of beers from Midtfyns Bryghus (3) Lamb on the BBQ

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Lamb with Imperial Stout gravy (serves 6 people)

Gravy
4 dl. / 1.7 cup Imperial stout from Midtfyns Bryghus

2 dl. / 0.9 cup Vegetable stock

200 g / 7 oz. carrots (cut in chunks)

200 g. / 7 oz. onions (cut in chunks)

50 g. / 1.8 oz. celery (cut in chunks)

10-15 juniper berries (crushed)

1 big sprig fresh rosemary

50 g. / 1.8 oz. butter butter

2 tablespoon oil (canola works well)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 dl. / 0.9 cup heavy cream/whipping cream

2 tablespoons molasses sugar or cane sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Add oil to a vessel and heat on high flame. Add carrots, onions, celery, juniper berries and rosemary and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add the stock and the stout and reduce by one third. Strain and reserve liquid. In a sauce pan add the butter and heat on medium flame. Add the flour and whisk continuously for 5-10 minutes (until the mixtures is dark caramel brown). Add the hot beer/vegetable stock little by little while whisking. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Remove from stove and add sugar and vinegar. Taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Lamb

1 kg / 2.2 pounds lamb culotte (or other similar cut like sirloin)

8 small twigs of fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

10 Juniper berries

8 cinnamon sticks (Cassia cinnamon, not Ceylon)

1 dl / 0.4 cup olive oil

Coarse sea salt

With a sharp knife pierce the lamb meat and force the rosemary twigs and cinnamon sticks through. Using a mortar and pestle crush the juniper berries and black peppercorns. Add olive oil. Drizzle the meat with the juniper flavored oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Cook in an oven or BBQ until the core temperature has reached 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit). Cover with aluminum foil and let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy! It is delicious!

Read more

http://www.midtfyns-bryghus.dk/ (Danish)

http://jtmbrew.com/ (Danish / English)

Chris’ pork tenderloin with dill and apples

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The comfort of a winter dish but with fresh and Nordic summer flavors. I came up with this recipe quite randomly while going through an almost empty fridge. I had 600 grams of tenderloin and basically nothing else. I went to the garden and got some apples (Granny Smith and Pink Lady). I juiced the pink lady apples and reserved the Granny Smith for the dish. I saved you the trouble of juicing by using apple juice or cider from the supermarket in this recipe – just make sure that the juice is rather sweet and not too sour.

Chris’ pork tenderloin with dill and apples

600 g. tenderloin

80 g. smoked bacon or pancetta

4 Granny Smith apples

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons molasses sugar or brown sugar

3 onions (mixed red and white)

2 dl apple juice or apple cider

3 spring onions (cut in large chunks)

3 teaspoons dried dill

3 cloves garlic (cut in large chunks)

4 twigs thyme

Black pepper

Canola oil

30 g. Butter

Salt

Pat dry the tenderloin and rub with canola oil and sprinkle with salt on all sides. Sear in a very hot pan. This will prevent the pork from drying out. Remove the loin from the pan and reduce heat to low. Add butter to the pan and fry onions and the dried dill for 8-10 minutes or until onions are soft and has caramelized slightly.

Core and cut the apples and mix in a bowl with sugar, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, black pepper, caramelized onions, spring onions, apple juice/cider and a pinch of salt.

Place the mix in a pan or roasting tray with the tenderloin partially submerged, and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 225 degrees Celsius (or until the core temperature of the pork is 65 degrees Celsius).

While the loin is in the oven, fry the bacon/pancetta in a pan. Transfer the bacon to a piece of kitchen paper and leave for a few minutes. Sprinkle the bacon on top of the loin before serving. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Mmmmmm… Enjoy!!