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Chicken and Sausage Orzo

The star of this delicious dish is Orzo which is a small rice-shaped pasta. I would like to point out that Orzo comes in slightly different sizes (from small to smaller) and so they can vary a little in cooking time. Make sure you taste the pasta for doneness and you can always add a small splash of extra chicken stock if the Orzo needs to cook a couple of minutes longer. At first glance this recipe seems labor intensive because it has both sausage and chicken in it, but really it’s not. Making the dish is simply a matter of tossing everything into one cooking pot, so clean-up is a breeze, and I just love the flavor combination that’s going on here within this dish.

Chicken and Sausage Orzo (6 servings)

Ingredients:

2 1/2 spicy italian sausages, casings removed (9.5 oz or 270 g)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces (1.2 lbs or 540 g)

3 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed (709 ml)

1/2 cup tomato sauce (118 ml)

1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo (280 g)

salt to taste

1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (25 g)

a big handful parsley, chopped

Directions:

In a large cooking pot, break up sausage and cook over medium-high heat, remove sausage from cooking pot and set aside. Using the grease from the sausage, add raw chicken pieces and cook until no longer pink. Add chicken stock and tomato sauce, lower heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Once liquid is bubbling add uncooked orzo and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until orzo is tender. Add a little more stock if liquid is cooking off too fast. Add salt to taste. Add cheese and parsley, stir to incorporate and serve. Enjoy!

Source: slightly adapted from Food Wishes

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Bedstefars Skæg

Bedstefars Skæg

This cake is one of those old-fashioned danish cake that you may, or may not, remember from your childhood. I am not really sure I tasted this cake when I was a child, but the topic came up and it just sounded so delicious that I had to make it (anything with meringue, and I’m game). And the cake did not disappoint. The cake is soft and buttery and the combination of raspberry and soft, sweet meringue is very delicious. Enjoy!

Bedstefars Skæg (16 servings)

Ingredients:

185 g unsalted butter, room temperature (6.5 oz)

225 g sugar (8 oz)

3 egg yolks

275 g all-purpose flour (9.7 oz)

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

175 ml milk (6 fl oz)

6 oz seedless raspberry jam

3 egg whites, room temperature

185 g sugar (6.5 oz)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F). Spray a 9 x 13 inch  (23 x 33 cm) pan with baking spray and line pan with parchment paper extending over edges, set aside.

Beat butter and suger until smooth. Add egg yolks one at the time and continue to beat until homogeneous. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into butter mixture, add milk and using a spatula fold everything together until smooth, batter will be a little thick. Drop batter into prepared pan and spread out into corners. Bake for 15 minutes and let cake rest on a cooling rack while meringue is made.

Beat egg whites until frothy, slowly add sugar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Spread raspberry jam out over cake in a thin layer. Top the cake off with the meringue, sealing the edges and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

Source: slightly adapted from Anne Au Chocolat

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Banana and Date Muffins

I know, I know. These muffins look so dull and boring. And you’r right, they do look dull and boring. BUT they are soft, spongy, delicious and healthy. So for those of you whos New Years resolution was to eat healthier, this one is for you. Personally I can do without the chocolate chips on top, the muffins are wonderful all by themselves. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Banana and Date Muffins (makes 10-11 muffins)

Ingredients: 

1 cup pitted whole dates (150 g)

2 cup oats (170 g)

3 rips bananas

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

a pinch of salt

a big pinch of cinnamon

optional, chocolate chips for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Grease a muffin tin and set aside.

Remove the pits from dates and place in a heat-proof bowl. Bring a small amount of water to a boil and pour water over dates, let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Drain water from dates. Place dates, oats, bananas, eggs, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a food processor or a blender and process until smooth. This could take a couple of minutes depending on the softness of the dates. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin, sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Pinch Of Yum

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Marmorkage

Marmorkage

If you follow my blog it should be pretty obvious to you that I love Marmorkage (Marble Cake) since I have already written about this cake twice before (here and here). So why another Marmorkage on the blog? Well this time the presentation of the cake is a little more festive since I am using a bundt pan and the recipe has yogurt and cream in it which gives the cake a little extra moisture. I also increased the cocoa amount slightly from two to three tablespoons and quite frankly I think I’ll bump it up even more next time around…because I can…and because I love chocolate.

Marmorkage – Marble Cake

Ingredients:

200 g salted butter (7 oz), room temperature

250 g sugar (8.8 oz)

4 eggs

250 g all-purpose flour (8.8)

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla sugar or beans from 1 vanilla pod

200 g plain greek yogurt (7 oz)

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 tablespoons whipping cream

Directions:

Spray bundt pan with baking spray, toss a little flour around to coat the pan and then bang out excess flour, set pan aside. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Beat butter and sugar on high speed until soft and creamy, 5-10 minutes. Add eggs one at the time, beating well after each egg. Sift flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar together. Alternate adding flour and yogurt mixing on low speed, blend only until incorporated.

Place 1/2 of batter into a second bowl. Sift cocoa powder into this 1/2 of the batter and fold the cocoa into the batter until homogeneous. You now have a bowl with white batter and one with cocoa batter. Drop spoonfuls of alternating white and brown batter into your prepared bundt pan, smooth top out before baking. Bake cake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan and then invert out onto serving plate. Enjoy!

Marmorkage

Marmorkage

Source adapted from: Spisestuen.dk

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Honningkage Med Smørcreme

Honningkage Med Smørcreme

Honningkager are thought to be from Christiansfeld in the southern of Denmark and started gaining popularity around 1783. For many, they are associated with Christmas but I would be perfectly happy eating them year round. A Honningkage is firm in texture, yet airy and filled with Christmas spices. I have made different versions of honey cakes here on my blog before, like Honninghjerter which was quite an adventure and the short-cut Honningkage which was very flavorful but more like a regular soft cake. For this particular Honey Cake with Buttercream I decided to add a thin layer of Apricot jam which is not traditional but I think it pairs really well with the spices in the cake. I know it is a little early but since it’s December 1st I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. 🎄

Trim edges off cake if hard, cut cake horizontally into two, spread buttercream and apricot and fold layers together, top with melted chocolate

Trim edges off cake if hard, cut cake horizontally into two, spread buttercream and apricot and fold layers together, top with melted chocolate

Honey Cake with Buttercream and Apricot (makes 15 servings)

Ingredients

For the cake:

500 gram honey (17.5 oz)

125 gram sugar (4.5 0z)

3 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 organic orange, zested

1 dl heavy whipping creme (3.4 fl oz)

2 tablespoon plain greek yogurt

2 teaspoon Ammonium Bicarbonate (called Hjortetaksalt in Danish)

500 gram all-purpose flour (17.5 oz)

For the Buttercream:

130 gram butter, room temperature

130 gram confectioners sugar

Additional:

145 g Apricot jam (5 oz)

120 gram semi-sweet chocolate (4.2 oz)

Directions:

To make cake:

Lightly grease a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 centimeter) baking pan and line with parchment paper so the paper is overhanging the sides. Preheat oven to 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).

Combine honey and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool until “finger warm”.

Beat eggs, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, whipping cream and yogurt until combined. Add cooled honey mixture and beat until combined. Sift together flour and Ammonium Bicarbonate, then add flour to egg mixture and stir until fully incorporated and smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes or until done, careful not to over bake. Check for doneness by using a toothpick, it should come out clean when cake is done. Allow cake to cool completely before assembling.

To make buttercream:

Make sure butter is at room temperature. Cream butter and confectioners sugar together until smooth and creamy.

Assembly:

If cake edges feel hard, trim them off using a serrated knife. Cut cake horizontally into two layers and place them both cut-side-up, side-by-side. Stir apricot jam to loosen it up and spread jam out over bottom cake layer evenly. Spread buttercream out over top cake layer, flip it over and place top cake layer on top of bottom cake layer so buttercream and apricot are now together in the middle.

Chop chocolate coarsely and place in a microwave safe bowl. Melt chocolate in microwave, stopping every 10 seconds to stir and check to see if chocolate is melted completely. Spread melted chocolate out over top of cake and allow to set before cutting cake. If desired, trim edges off cake using a serrated knife. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Alletiders Kogebog

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Stuvet Hvidkål

Stuvet Hvidkål

As a child we occasionally had Stuvet Hvidkål with Frikadeller and my Mom makes the best stewed cabbage in the world, of course 😘 I have not served this dish myself very often because my son and husband was not terribley thrilled with the idea of stewed cabbage. However, I just had such a craving for it the other day and my husband actually liked it, even told me three times that it was really delicious. So either he was starving to death or it was super delicious. I think super delicious!

Stuvet Hvidkål (4-6 servings)

Ingredients:

1 small white cabbage head

2 1/2 dl reserved water from cabbage

4 tablespoon salted butter

4 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Milk, to desired consistency

Fresh ground Nutmeg, to taste

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Discard outer cabbage leaves. Divide cabbage head into four quarters, cut out core and chop cabbage into bite-size pieces. Boil cabbage in lightly salted water for 10 minutes. Reserve 2 1/2 cups of cabbage water, drain cabbage.

Melt butter over medium heat, add flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes until roux takes on a light golden color. Slowly add milk in small increments whisking constantly until you have a thick roux, then add cabbage water in small increments continuing to whisk until desired consistency. (If Bechamel sauce is still too thick at this point you can add a little more milk). Season to taste with fresh ground nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add cabbage to sauce and simmer covered for 5-10 minutes. Serve hot with some wonderful Frikadeller. Enjoy and Velbekomme.

Bechamel Sauce

Bechamel Sauce

Source: My Danish Kitchen

White Wine Sangria

White Wine Sangria With A Twist

Even though Fall is officially here we still have some wonderful warm days left here in Virginia and a White Wine Sangria is still a refreshing choice for a Saturday evening with good company. Here is my favorite Sangria! Instead of a regular glass of white wine, which can sometimes be a little strong, this Sangria is light and refreshing with a citrous touch. The White Wine Sangria is the perfect alternative, if you like me, prefer to avoid red wine and I’m confident that you’ll really enjoy it 🙂

White Wine Sangria With A Twist (makes 8 serving)

Ingredients:

1 bottle Chardoney

1/4 cup super fine sugar (50 gram)

1 lime, sliced thin

1 lemon, sliced thin

1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced thin

1 cup apple juice

pinch of salt

12 oz seltzer water

ice cubes

Directions:

In a large pitcher combine wine and sugar, stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Add lime, lemon, apple, apple juice and salt, mix well. Refrigerate pitcher and at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Just before serving add seltzer and ice cubes. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Brian Boitano

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Nutella Gelato

Nutella Gelato

Nutella, what’s not to like. I practically grew up on this stuff 😘 So why not incorporate it into a silky smooth, perfect Nutella Gelato. Guaranteed to keep you cool and perfectly happy on these late summer days.

Nutella Gelato

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk (16 fl oz or 473 ml)

2 cups heavy cream (16 fl oz or 473 ml)

1/4 cup sugar (1.7 oz or 50 g), plus an additional 1/4 cup sugar (1.7 oz or 50 g)

4 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup Nutella (6.2 oz or 175 g)

Directions:

Combine milk, cream and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan, heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Place egg yolks and 1/4 cup remaining sugar in a bowl and beat until thick and pale yellow. Add vanilla extract and mix to combine.

While beating, drizzle 1/2 cup of the warm milk into the egg mixture, this will temper the eggs. Then pour egg mixture into the warm milk in the saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Pour custard mixture through a strainer into a bowl. Add nutella and stir until completely dissolved. Chill mixture completely before pouring into ice cream maker and follow manufacture’s directions to freeze. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

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Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

These days I have an abundance of fresh basil leaves. I don’t have much of a green thumb but basil plants and I somehow get along really well. And so I am trying not to let this wonderful aromatic herb go to waste by making some basil pesto. It is quick and easy to make and, although I have not tried it myself, I have read that pesto also can be made using walnuts, unsalted cashews, almonds, pistachios and even  sunflower seeds. Besides using pesto on your pasta, it can also be used as a sandwich spread, baked into bread, add a little to your soup or marinara sauce for extra flavor. Today I am freezing mine by dropping spoonfuls into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, I pop them out of the tray and into a freezer bag for later use. Enjoy!

Basil Pesto (makes approx 1 cup)

Ingredients:

2 cups packed basil leaves

1-2 large garlic cloves

60 grams pine nuts

1/2 cup reggiano parmesan cheese, shredded and loosely packed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

lemon juice, a big squeeze

salt to taste, a pinch

Directions:

Place basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and cheese into a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. While the food processor is running, add olive oil and lemon juice. Scraping down sides, process until desired consistency. Add salt to taste.

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Sarah Bernhard Kager

Sarah Bernhardkager

Sarah Bernhardkager are famous danish cakes developed by pastry chef Johannes Steen in Copenhagen, Denmark back in 1911. The cakes are named after the famous french actress Sarah Bernhard who visited Copenhagen in connection with her book release and so the cakes were created in her honor. The Sarah Bernhard cake is a macaroon cookie topped with a rich genache, covered with melted chocolate and the original cake was decorated with a small candied violet flower. The cake is a decadent treat.

Making Sarah Bernhard Cakes

Making Sarah Bernhard Cakes

This recipe makes approximately 40 macaroon cookies. The extra cookies can easily be stored in a cookie tin with a tight fitting lid and used later. The process for making the cakes is long, but fairly easy. I would advice to break up the process into two days, either make the cookies on day one and then make the ganache and assemble cakes on day two or vice versa. I also simplified the chocolate coating by using Ghirardelli dark melting wafers which is so much easier than tempering chocolate and it taste eaqually wonderful. If you cannot find the Ghirardelli wafers in your local store it can be bought online.

Sarah Bernhard Cakes – makes 15 cakes

Ingredients:

For the Macaroons:

150 gram hazelnuts (5.3 ounces)

300 g sugar (10.6 oz)

approx 3 egg whites, at room temperature

For the Ganache:

4 deciliter heavy whipping creme (13.5 fl oz)

250 g dark chocolate, with about 66 % cocoa content (8.8 oz)

For chocolate coating:

300 g Ghirardelli dark melting wafers (10.6 oz)

Directions:

To make hazelnut macaroons: Preheat oven to 340 degrees F (170 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a food processor combine hazelnuts and sugar and process until you have a fine crumble. Lightly beat egg whites with a fork to break up whites  a little. With the processor going on low speed, slowly add egg whites until you have a smooth, thick mixture. Drop spoonful’s of hazelnut mixture onto baking sheets, no more than 4-5 cm (1.6 to 2 inches) in diameter, beware that the mixture will spread out. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until they start taking on a golden color. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet before moving cookies to a cooling rack. Once cooled down, store in a cookie tin until ready to use.

To make ganache: In a small saucepan, heat whipping creme until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop chocolate finely and place into a bowl. Pour whipping creme through a sieve and then back into saucepan, heat to simmer once again and remove from heat. While stirring chopped chocolate in the center, pour creme in a thin stream into chocolate and continue to stir until you have a smooth, shiny chocolate. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Assembling cakes: Remove ganache from refrigerator and stir until smooth. Spoon a small amount of ganache onto a macaroon cookie and using a small icing spatula or a butter knife shape the ganache into a rounded cone shape. Set cookie aside and repeat with remaining macaroon cookies until ganache is used up. To cover cakes with melted chocolate, place melted chocolate into a microwave bowl and microwave chocolate in 10 seconds increments, stirring chocolate in-between each heat until chocolate is melted and smooth. Careful not to overheat, as chocolate will then burn and it become nu-usable. Over the bowl of melted chocolate, place a cake onto a fork and spoon melted chocolate over the Sarah Bernhard cake. Once covered, gently tap fork to allow excess to drip off. Place cake onto a piece of foil or parchment paper and allow chocolate to set. Repeat with remaining cakes. If melted chocolate starts to harden, place back into microwave for 10 seconds to soften back up. Once the chocolate has hardened on all cakes, store cookies in a container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator. Cakes can be served cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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