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Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

Zucchinideller

Ok, so it all started when I made the Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread and discovered that zucchini can be an exciting vegetable. Who knew! I always thought they were dull and not worthy of my attention 🙂 Now I understand why people get so excited when they tell me that they planted zucchini in their garden or that they found the most gorgeous zucchini at the grocery store. It turns out that zucchini is quite the vegetable!

Zucchinideller

So now that I am on this zucchini kick here is a wonderful little recipe for some Zucchinideller. I should probably explain the word Zucchinideller. They are like the Danish meat patties called Frikadeller except there is no meat involved here, only delicious zucchini.

Zucchinideller (makes 6 patties)

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini, grated and drained

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 small bundle chives, chopped

4 tablespoons old-fashioned oats

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 medium fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/2 egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

Rinse and dry zucchini. Leaving the peel on, grate the zucchini and squeeze out excess liquid. Place zucchini in a bowl, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Spray pan with cooking spray and bring to medium-high heat. Drop tablespoons of zucchini onto hot pan and brown both sides of patties. Serve warm and enjoy!

Source: adapted from Dalsgaard i Skivholme

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Greek Tzatziki Sauce

I have been eyeballing the Greek Tzatziki sauce for quite some time now. Does yogurt, cucumber, garlic and dill not sound perfectly delicious to you? or does it sound a bit foreign and odd? Well I assure you that it’s a wonderful creation! If you decide to make this sauce I would recommend that you make it one day before you intend to use it. Place it in the refrigerator overnight to really allow the flavors to develop. Also, make sure to use a plain Greek yogurt which has a thicker consistency. If you decide to use regular yogurt, you’ll need to let the liquid drain from the yogurt for 2 hours before using, to get the thicker consistency.

Making Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki sauce of course goes perfectly with the Greek Gyro sandwich. The first time I tasted a Gyro was actually in Denmark when I was a teenager and it left a big impression on me because it was super delicious….nothing like I had ever tasted before. Since then I’ve had Gyro’s from time to time, some better than others, and I finally decided to make the Tzatziki sauce myself. This recipe is truly wonderful, even my husband who does not eat yogurt or cucumber, really liked it – imagine that! Some other uses for the Tzatziki sauce could be served with Pita wedges as an appetizer, goes well with lamb, fish, chicken, veggies and falafel. I hope you enjoy this sauce as much as we have 🙂

Greek Gyro

Ingredients:

Tzatziki Sauce:

1 english cucumber, seeded

1 teaspoon salt, to draw out liquid in cucumber

1 lb Greek yogurt, plain (1 1/2 cup or 450 grams)

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tablespoon dill, chopped

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Gyro:

chicken, cut into bite-size pieces and cooked to your liking

onion, slice and cook until soft and sweet

Pita bread

lettuce

tomatoes

kalamate olives

feta cheese

Tzatziki Sauce

Directions:

To make Tzatziki Sauce: Peel cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds using a spoon. Chop or shred cucumber and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt to draw out the liquid. Place cucumber in a sieve to drain for at least 1/2 hour. In a small bowl combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and dill. Once the cucumber has finished draining, add it to the yogurt mixture and give it a quick spin in the blender until you have your desired consistency. Place in refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours before serving to allow flavors to develop, or even better, leave it refrigerated overnight.

To assemble Gyro: Wrap gyro in aluminum foil and heat in toaster oven for a few minutes until warm. Add the warm chicken and onions. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and Tzatziki sauce. Wrap loosely in foil to hold Gyro together and enjoy!

Source: adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

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Bruschetta

Bruschetta is so simple to make, I almost feel a little silly for blogging about it….almost. But with all this warm and sunny Spring weather we have had this year here in Virginia ,I feel inspired to share my Bruschetta with you. It’s a small morsel loaded with flavor. Between the juicy fresh tomatoes, fragrant basil, crunchy bell pepper and wonderful garlic it’s almost flavor overload. I would like to recommend using a flavorful aged Balsamic Vinegar because it really makes a big difference in the outcome. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Bread – French Baguette, toasted

Tomatoes

Red Onion

Yellow Bell Pepper

1 Garlic Clove (1/2 minced, 1/2 for rubbing bread)

Basil leaves

Salt to taste

Balsamic Vinegar

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Parmigiano Reggiano – shredded

Directions:

Remove seeds from tomatoes. Dice tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, 1/2 of garlic clove, place into small bowl. Chop basil leaves and add to tomatoes. Season with salt to taste. Add a small amount of Balsamic Vinegar. Toss together and drain off some of excess liquids. Set aside.

Slice french bread and toast. While toast is still hot, rub toast with the remaining 1/2 garlic clove. Top toast with tomatoes, drizzle with a little more Balsamic Vinegar, olive oil and top with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Shrimp And Crab Salad

I have been looking for a really good seafood salad and I think I finally found it. This recipe is super delicious! I kept the Old Bay down to just a scant 1/2 teaspoon because often times I think the Old Bay is just too overpowering and it ends up ruining the gently seafood flavors. And of course dill, seafood and lemon juice is a match made in heaven. The flavors enhance the more time you let it rest in the refrigerator so I would recommend you make it several hours before serving. This recipe gave me at least four generous servings. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 ounces cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp

4 ounces cooked crab-meat

1 hard-boiled egg, finely diced

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/8 cup celery, finely diced

1 small shallot, finely diced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

1/2 scant teaspoon Old Bay

Directions:

Peel, devein and cook shrimp until pink (2-3 minutes). Once shrimp has cooled off, cut into bite size pieces and set aside.

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, celery, shallot, lemon juice, dill and Old Bay, stir to combine. Add shrimp, crab meat and egg. Toss gently to coat with mayo sauce, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour. Serve on fresh bread, crackers, pita wedges or whatever your heat desires. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Panera

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Hardy Carrot Soup With Tomatoes

What’s up with the weather in Virginia Beach? So far, winter has been unusually mild and the most snow we have gotten is a few flurries which literally melted within a couple of hours. It never ceases to amaze me how the weather here changes all the time. It’s been fluctuating between 70 degrees and close to freezing. But despite the temperatures bouncing around I feel like there is still a bit of winter left in the air, even though I saw daffodils in full bloom while driving home from work (the poor little things are confused too). So I say, there is still time for a delicious warm soothing soup.

One of my favorite types of lunch food is home-made soup. I make a big batch, divide it up and stick it in the freezer. Then just take it out as I need it, easy! This is my version of carrot soup, of course I had to add some tomatoes in there just to make sure I meet my daily tomato quota.  I didn’t want any dairy products in this particular soup but still got a wonderful creamy consistency by blending the vegetables. I choose to leave it a little on the thick side but it can certainly be thinned out by adding more stock. Please note: do not blend hot liquids or there is a good chance that you and your white kitchen cabinets will be wearing it. I speak from experience 🙂

Ingredients:

28 ounces canned whole plum tomatoes

5 large carrots

2 celery stalks

1/2 large white onion

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 tablespoon pesto

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Dice carrots, celery and onions. Place butter and oil in a pan over medium heat, add diced vegetables and cook until tender. Run canned tomatoes through a food mill to break up tomatoes and remove any seeds/skin. (If you don’t have a food mill, the same effect can be achieved with a food processor  and then pressing tomatoes through a sieve.) Place tomatoes into a cooking pot over medium heat. Place cooked vegetables in food processor (or blender) and process until desired coarseness. Add vegetables into tomatoes. Add chicken stock and pesto and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper in small increments to taste. Continue to simmer for 1 hour. Serve warm with crusty bread and enjoy!

Hardy Carrot Soup With Tomatoes

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Quisadilla

I love a really good Chicken Quisadilla and when you make them yourself at home, your completely in charge of the outcome. I don’t particularly like a lot of cheese on my food and when asking for light cheese in a restaurant, it still comes loaded on. In this write-up I have not written any amounts, simply just make it to your own liking.

Makes 1 Quisadilla

Ingredients:

2 flour tortillas (6 inch)

russian dressing for spreading

cooked chicken, sliced

Cabot extra sharp cheese

feta cheese

roasted red pepper, diced

fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Preheat pan or grill to medium heat. Spread russian dressing on one side of each of the two tortillas. Top first tortilla with chicken, Cabot and feta cheese, red pepper and cilantro. Top off with second tortilla. Place on grill or pan, cook until cheese is melted. Flip over and continue cooking until light browned. Remove from heat and cut into quarters. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Leverpostej

Leverpostej

Making Danish Liver Pate probably got me more excited than any other recipe I have had the pleasure to blog about. You absolutely must experience a warm, home-made Liver Pate. Fresh out of the oven, served with fried mushrooms and bacon or topped with some wonderful pickled beets. This is actually the first time I have made it myself. I have been wanting to make it for the past 25 years but somehow the thought of making it by myself was always overwhelming. And  now that I have finally made my first-ever home-made Liver Pate, I can’t quite figure out what the fuzz was all about.

Leverpostej – Danish Liver Pate

Liver Pate is everywhere in Denmark. It can be found, dare I say, in all self-respecting grocery stores. It is a way of life, as natural as the air we breath. The store-bought Liver Pate is very good but there is something to be said about a home-made Liver Pate and I think it is definitely worth the effort! The Pate can be served cold or warm on an open-faced sandwich often topped with either pickled beets, crispy fried onions, mushrooms, cucumbers or Danish Sky which is basically a beef jello. It can be made plainly with just one topping or it can be quite an elaborate Smørrebrød creation.

Liver Pate is not the most pleasant food to prepare, truth be told, it’s really kinda gross. BUT, the end result is making me feel like I’m in heaven. Let me just say that there are hundreds of different ways you can make Liver Pate. I’ve heard of adding potatoes, apples, anchovies, Bechamel sauce – or not, a lot of spices – or not, high-fat – low-fat, animal fat (called Spæk in Danish) vs just margarine, so there are many, many variations out there. This recipe is the one my Mother and Father uses and I think it’s simply just wonderful. Thanks Mom and Dad for helping me make my first ever Liver Pate! 🙂

My Mom and Dad, Ă…se and Ove

Please note that when you go to look for the fat (spæk) used in this recipe, it’s not something you’ll typically find sitting in the freezer section at your grocery store. Simply just ask the butcher in the meat department if they can give you a couple of chunks of fat. Often times, they wont even charge you for it 🙂

Ingredients:

For the Bechamel Sauce:

1 deciliter milk (3.4 oz)

4 deciliter water (13.5 oz)

1 extra-large vegetable bouillon cube (10 grams, 3/8 oz)

50 grams margarine (1 3/4 oz)

4-5 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the Liver mixture:

500 grams Liver ( 1 lb)

80 grams fat (2 7/8 oz)

65 grams smoked bacon (2 1/2 oz)

50 grams onion (2 oz)

3 whole large eggs

Directions:

To make Bechamel sauce: In a saucepan add water and milk. Break-up vegetable bouillon cube into liquid and bring up to warm temperature, turn heat off. In a pan, melt margarine. Add flour and whisk until smooth, continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add warm milk/water in 1 cup increments while whisking. Mixture should be like a thick gravy. Add salt, pepper, allspice and nutmeg to taste. If you get lumps in this gravy simply just run it through a sieve. Pour gravy into a covered Tupperware container and allow to cool in refrigerator.

Cut Liver, fat, bacon and onion into 1 inch pieces. Starting with the fat, bacon and onion, either run them through a meat grinder twice or process in a food processor until you have a slightly lumpy mixture. Liver should only go through meat grinder once or add Liver to food processor and blend until pretty smooth. Mix together Liver and fat mixture. Add the 3 whole eggs and cooled Bechamel sauce, stir to combine. Pour into small aluminum forms (I got 4 small forms full) and if freezing cover top tightly with aluminum foil and store in freezer safe bags. When ready to cook Liver Pate, fill an oven-proof dish with warm water 1/2 way up the side of aluminum form. Bake uncovered in oven at 200 degree C (390 degrees F) for 1 hour 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Source: my parents Ove and Ă…se Frandsen

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Kaja's Corn Salad

My Danish friend Kaja served this wonderful salad for our last get-together, which she in turn got from my other Danish friend Henriette. It is simple, refreshing and good for you. Kaja served it with walnuts which was very delicious but my favorite kinda nut is pine nuts and so I choose pine for this presentation. The raspberry walnut vinaigrette adds a perfect finishing touch.  I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do.

Kaja's Corn Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 cup cucumber, diced

3/4 cup dried cranberries

Pine Nuts for topping

Ken’s Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette

Directions:

Dice red bell pepper and cucumber to size of corn kernels. Mix together corn, peas, bell pepper, cucumber and cranberries. Drizzle with Raspberry vinaigrette and top with pine nuts. Enjoy!

Source: slightly adapted from Kaja Mosley

Salad in the making

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Crab Cake Sliders

Sliders seem to be a very popular item on todays restaurant menus. They are often served as an appetizer but can certainly go over for lunch or as a light dinner. These fashionable little mini foods can be made with a variety of ingredients like oysters, pulled pork, burgers of all kinds, as a sandwich or with meatballs and….drumroll please….as mini crab cakes. I had been craving these little guys for a while and when Joe suggested we get some seafood from our local market I knew just what it was going to be. Let me tell you, these crab cake sliders are really delicious and if you make the sauce ahead of time the flavors in the sauce intensifies very nicely.

Ingredients:

Crab Cakes:

1 lb crab meat

7 saltine crackers, crumbled

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp gray poupon mustard

1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp old bay

1/2 tsp salt

oil for frying

Horseradish Tartar Sauce:

3 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp sweet relish

1/4 – 1/2 tsp horseradish (depending on your taste)

King’s Hawaiian rolls

Directions:

Start by making Tartar Horseradish Sauce by mixing together mayonnaise, relish and horseradish in a small dish. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Beat egg, set aside.Crumble saltine crackers, set aside. Using your clean hands, gently inspect crab meat for shells and place in a bowl. Add egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, old bay, salt and crackers. Gently mix all ingredients together and form into small 2 inch patties.

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Add oil to pan and heat to medium high heat. Brown patties on both sides, remove from pan and place on baking sheet lined with foil. Finish cooking in oven or toaster oven for 10 minutes. Add rolls to oven the last 1-2 minutes of cooking time to heat through.

Assemble crab cakes on rolls with dressing. Enjoy

Crab meat patties ready for cooking

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Tortellini Soup

I was searching high and low for something to make for dinner when I came across this recipe. It’s a wonderful Tortellini soup that is so quick and easy to make, perfect for when you get home from work and you’re too tired to make anything that requires any complex thinking. The ingredients are simple and you probably already have most of them on hand. I used a three cheese tortellini which brought a wonderful subtle cheese flavor into the soup but any type of tortellini would do great. An added bonus is that the soup also is perfect for left-over lunch the next day 🙂 

Ingredients:

olive oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices

4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock

9 oz. tortellini

3 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed

salt and pepper, to taste

Parmesano reggiano, grated for serving

Directions:

In a large pot heat olive oil to medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Mix in dried oregano and diced tomatoes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions. When tortellini is cooked, add baby spinach and remove from heat. Once the spinach has wilted, 1 to 2 minutes, serve warm with grated Parmesano reggiano cheese. Enjoy.

Source: originally from The Well-Fed Newlyweds via Annie’s Eats

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