November 18, 2018

Quince jam


One of my work colleagues has a neighbor, which has a quince bush in their garden, so my colleague has asked, if she could get some quinces for my jam making. As starting point I have used this recipe on apple jam with vanilla to make this jam from quinces.

The flavour of the quinces is richly perfumed. It is a quiet time consuming exercise to make quince jam, It took me me a little more than 1 hour to prepare the quinces for the cooking part of the process. Afterwards it took close to 2 hours "just" to cook the quince pieces, so they changes colour from yellow to dark orange-red as well became soft enough to mash & blend them. So you need to have plenty of time, when you make quince jam.

Quince jam: - 8 glasses
  • 1.5 kg quinces - washed, cored, peeled and cut into smaller shapes
  • 700 ml water
  • 4 limes - only the juice
  • 1.5 kg sugar
  1. Add water & lime juice into the cooking pan.
  2. Prepare the quinces by washing them, removing both core and peel and finally cutting the apple into small pieces. Place the quince pieces in the liquid in the cooking pan.
  3. Put the cooking pan on the stove, heat up the content, so the quince pieces are simmering. 
  4. Let the quinces simmer until the pieces are tender enough to be masked and blended. This took 2 hours in this case.
  5. Prepare the jam glasses either by heating up in the oven or adding boiling water to them.
  6. Add the sugar into the fruit mass and stir until it is dissolved.
  7. Bring the jam to a rolling boil and boil hard until the setting point is reached. Stir the jam frequently.
  8. Test of set after 5 minutes using the flake test.
  9. When the setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to stand for approx. 3-5 minutes. As the jam settles, push any scums from the surface of the pan to the side and remove it with a metal spoon. 
  10. Gently stir the jam after the resting time and pour it into the prepared glasses, fill the glasses up to the brim. Remove any scum for the surface of the jam using a tea spoon. Close the glass with a lid.
  11. Leave the glass upright and disturbed to cool and set.
  12. Store at ambient temperature.

November 16, 2018

Cocktail mixing jug from Spiegelau - kitchen equipment 32


As a member of the Danish supermarket COOP´s locality program you can here in the period October 2018 - February 2019 collect "stamps", which can be used for discount on different glass type and cocktail mixing equipment from Spiegelau.

I have used some "discount stamps" to buy this mixing jug as company for this cocktail set. The price with "discount stamps" is 70 DKK (9.25 €) instead of 260 DKK (34.40 €).

So, now I am ready for some serious cocktail creation. Any thoughts/idea for cocktails to try out ?

November 15, 2018

Apple jelly


I keep experimenting using the various recipes and techniques, which I learned at the Summer preserves course using the different fruits, which I can get access to from gardens of friends and colleagues.

This time I got a bag of different apple types from a colleague as part of my preparation for the annual Christmas calendar. So look by in December to check out, what I need apples for.

As I had apples let from my Christmas experiment, I decided to make apple jelly using this recipe on red & black currant jelly as starting point.

As usual I always remove the core of the apple, as I do not like the bitterness from the apple kernel. Do not worry about removing the natural fruit pectin within the apple getting ride of the apple core. The pectin is not located in the apple core, the pectin is located in fruit part of the apple.

Compared to the recipe on red & black currant I decided to add in lemon juice for two reasons. First reason I use the lemon juice in order to reduce the browning effect of the apple after cutting, And the second reason is, that a higher acidity level (lower pH) will give a faster and stronger gelling inside the jelly.

If you work with smaller portion of jelly, when you should not stir the jelly during the cooking of the jelly mixture as this can give problems with too many air bobbles in the final jelly.

I noticed, that this apple jelly was extreme slow with regards to obtain the gelled texture. It took close to 1½ day for the jelly to gel, and the texture seems quiet soft (= not so firm). This can be due to several issues. Either the used apples were more matured in, so the content of natural active fruit pectin inside the apples were lower, the acidity level was to the high side (further adjustment by adding in more lemon juice or apple vinegar or the ratio between apple juice and sugar should have been 100 g sugar to 100 ml juice (as I used, when making this crab apples jelly).

It is actually quiet nerve racking turning the jelly jars slightly to see, if the gelled texture is where or not. And when thinking about how to "safe" a liquid jelly and get it too gel !!!

Apple jelly: 6-8 glasses per 1 kg apple
  • 1100 g apple - washed and cleaned, the stems and core removed
  • 750 ml water
  • 1½ lemon - only the juice
  • 450 g sugar per 600 ml juice or perhaps 100 g sugar to 100 ml apple juice ?
  1. Add water, and lemon juice into the cooking pan.
  2. Prepare the apples washing them, removing both core and peel and finally cutting the apple into small boat shapes. Place the apple boat in the liquid in the cooking pan.
  3. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, and let the apple simmer gently for 10-20 minutes, until the content becomes pulpy in appearance. 
  4. Mash the apple boat into apple mask structure.
  5. Place a jelly bag suspended over a large bowl.
  6. Pour the mashed apple/water into the jelly bag.
  7. Leave until, the bag has stopped dripping. Alternative night over.
  8. Prepared the jelly glasses. I add boiling water to the glasses, while other will heat the glasses in the oven at 120 minutes.
  9. Measure the amount of fruit juice and weight out 450 g sugar per 600 ml juice.
  10. Pour the fruit into large cooking pan and heat up the juice to the boil.
  11. Add in the (pre-heasted) sugar, Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  12. Bring the jelly mixture to a rolling boil (the jelly mixture has a lot of boiling foam on top).
  13. Let it boil for 4 minute as starting point.
  14. Test for a set after 4 minutes using the flake test (how the jelly is dripping from the cooking spoon). This is tricky, otherwise see, if the temperature is 104'C.
  15. When the the texture is right, remove the cooking pan from the heat. Start right away to remove any scum from the surface of the jelly, using a large metal spoon.
  16. Pour the jelly into glass jars, fill the jar to the top. Again remove any scum from the surface using a tea spoon.
  17. Seal the jar with a lid.
  18. Leave the glass upright and undisturbed to set.
  19. Store at ambient temperature. 

November 13, 2018

Green ceramic vase from Søstrene Grene

 

It has been some time since my last sharing of a photo of a green vase with you, so now it is time again :-)

This time it is a vase, which I found in Søstrene Grene, a chain of shops in Denmark selling a lot of different funny, interesting and sometime useless stuff at low price. The vase costed 40 DKK (5.5 €). So a green vase does not need to cost a fortune to find its way into my home, it basically only need to be green :-)

November 11, 2018

Baked tomato soup


In my last weekly vegetable box from Årstidernes I got, what seamed like tons of tomatoes as well as some red pepper fruits. Where were so many tomatoes, that it would not be possible for me to eat through all these tomatoes within reasonable time. So I could either make a new portion of tomato, garlic & chiili jam or find a recipe on tomato soup using fresh tomatoes.

Here I located such as recipe in form of tomatsuppe a la Femina. I have made a few modifications. As I had no fresh basil, I did not use it. And instead of only using balsamico I used a combination of balsamico and raspberry vinegar. I also decided to add in the two red pepper fruits from the weekly vegetable box, as I already been shopping pepper fruit from the supermarket.
And finally instead of using only cherry tomatoes I used a combination of normal big tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. It is a question of using, what you have available in your kitchen.

UPDATE 13 November:
According to my mother this tomato soup taste much better than the Mou's tomato soup :-) My mother is a regular user of the various frozen soup from Mou.

Baked tomato soup a la Femina: - 4 servings
  • 1000 g fresh tomatoes - washed and divided into medium chuncks
  • 1 onion - finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 red pepper fruit - washed, de-seeded and medium chopped
  • season with salt & pepper
  • 1½ tablespoon balsamico
  • ½ tablespoon raspberry vinegar
  • 3 dl vegetable stock
  • 70 g tomato concentrate
  1. Add the tomato chuncks, pepper fruit pieces, onion and garlic into the large oven-stable traying.
  2. Drizzle over the oilve oil and season with salt & pepper. Stir everything together.
  3. Baked the tamato mix in oven at 200'C (fan oven).
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Add in the balsamico and raspberry vinegar, stir everything around.
  6. Bake for another 10 minutes at 200'C.
  7. Meanwhile pour the vegetable stock and tomato concentrate into a cooking pan.
  8. After 30 minutes baking in the oven, fill the tomato mix into the cooking pan.
  9. Blend everything together.
  10. Bring the soup to the boil.
  11. The soup can be served with boiled pasta, boiled rice, fried bacon and/or bread.
  12. Enjoy :-)

November 10, 2018

Mortens aften - suggestion for food to enjoy


Today it is Mortens aften, which typical is celebrated in Denmark by eating fried duck served with plain as well as brown potatoes, pickled red cabbage and brown sauce. For dessert we will typical enjoy the very Danish dessert ris a la mande (rice porridge) served together with warm cherry sauce. The food is more or less the food, which we will eat as well on Christmas Eve, so the evening could be considered as trial run on cooking the food to be served for Christmas.

As inspiration for food to enjoy on this evening I would like to the following recipes with you. Another way to the enjoy the duck part could be this:



And to be served together with duck you could serve this



And for the rice dessert (ris a la mande) the cherry sauce could be this version:

  

November 08, 2018

Cocktail set from Spiegelau - kitchen equipment 31


As a member of the Danish supermarket COOP´s locality program you can here in October 2018 - February 2019 collect "stamps", which can be used for discount on different glass type and cocktail mixing equipment from Spiegelau.

Here I just been using some "discount stamps" to buy with cocktail set, which consist of measuring cup, strainer and stirrer. The price with "discount stamps" is 90 DKK (12 €) instead of 299 DKK (38 €).

So I assume I should making some fancy cocktails in my little kitchen, perhaps include various cocktail ideas for the Christmas Calendar 2018 ?? Any thoughts/idea for cocktails to try out ?

November 06, 2018

Scones with pecan nuts and maple syrup


As a "pick-me-up" comfort for some dark and very misty November days I decided to bake some scones with pecan nuts and maple syrup using this recipe on scones with maple syrup and walnuts as starting point. I decided to use pecan nuts as I have plenty of those nuts from a recent trip to US, however you can easily replace pecan nuts with either walnuts or hazel nuts in my opinion.

After the cutting of the scones, I let the scones raise for 15-20 minutes, before glazing them with egg wash. It is important only to glaze the top of the scones, so they can continue to raise during the baking step. The raising before the baking could also be 30-40 minutes, it depends on the amount you have available in your kitchen.

The salty taste is a little to high for me, so I would recommend to lower the salt addition from 1 teaspoon to ½ teaspoon.

Scones with maple syrup and walnuts: - 12-16 scones
  • 450 g (cake) flour
  • 50 g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 175 g cold butter - diced
  • 150 g milk
  • 100 g maple syrup
  • 70 g pecan nuts - medium chopped
  • optional egg wash for glazing
  1. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt vanilla sugar together in a mixing bowl,
  2. Grind the butter pieces into the flour mix.
  3. Mix milk and maple syrup together.
  4. Add the liquid phase and walnuts without kneading the mass into a homogeneous dough
  5. Place the dough on a piece of baking paper.
  6. Flatten the dough by hand into a height of 3 cm.
  7. Cut out 12-16 scones, I use a glass for this purpose.
  8. Place the scones on a baking tray covered with baking paper.
  9. Let the scone raise for 15-40 minutes before baking.
  10. Heat up the oven to 190'C
  11. Glaze the top of the scones with egg wash using a brush.
  12. Bake the scones at 190 (conventional) in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until they have a brownish colour
  13. Cool down the scones before serving them with clotted cream & jam or lemon curd.

November 04, 2018

The Potato Soup with twist of parsnips


I have been twisting this recipe on The Potato Soup by adding in some parsnips, as I had some left over of parsnips after making this pumpkin soup with parsnips and potato. I also decided to boost the serving by adding in some fried bacon.

This soup is another simple soup to make. The original potato soup has been one of my favourite recipe for close to 40 years !!!

Ingredients for 2 l: - 5-6 servings
  • 5o0 g potato - peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 onions - peeled an roughly chopped
  • 2 clove of garlic - peeled and srughy chopped
  • Vegetable stock extract for 2 l 
  • 1.75 l water
  • 2½ dl full-fat cream (38% fat)
  • salt & pepper
  • Bacon - optional
  1. Peel the potatoes, parsnips, onion and garlic. Cut those into smaller pieces.
  2. Meanwhile roughly chopped the bacon and fry it.
  3. Boil the vegetables in 1 l water with the broth extract, until the potato and parsnips are soft (15-20 minutes)
  4. Blend everything to a homogeneous mass without vegetable lumps
  5. Add the rest of the water (7½ dl) and the cream (2½  dl). Cook up to the boiling point
  6. Season with salt and pepper
  7. Serve with bread and roasted bacon

Apple jam with vanilla


As my colleagues have been busy buying all jars with apple & ginger jam, I decided to make a new portion of apple jam, as I still have plenty of apples on my apple tree. This time I decided to exchange the ginger with vanilla, but other I made no changes to the amount of apples, lemons and sugar.

In order to get a little more freshness to the flavour profile, I added in a tiny amount of apple vinegar.

As usual I added the water, lemon juice and lemon zest into the cooking pan first, so this liquid mixture hopefully could reduce the browning of the apple boats, as I right after the apple cutting would place the apple boats into this acidic liquid.

When I started to remove the scum from the surface of the jam, I became a little uncertain, if I at the same time was removing all the vanilla corns together with the scum. However, later I could see, that the jam jars still had plenty of vanilla corn inside the jam.

Apple jam with vanilla: - 8 glasses
  • 1.4 kg apples - washed, cored, peeled and cut into smaller boat shapes
  • 600 ml water
  • 2 organic lemons - zest and the juice
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 teaspoon of apple vinegar - optional for flavour adjustment
  • 1.4 kg sugar
  1. Add water, lemon juice and zest into the cooking pan.
  2. Prepare the apples washing them, removing both core and peel and finally cutting the apple into small boat shapes. Place the apple boat in the liquid in the cooking pan.
  3. Open up the vanilla pod, remove the corn from the vanilla pod. Add both vanilla pod and vanilla corn into the apple mass in the cooking pot.
  4. Put the cooking pan on the stove, heat up the content, so the apples are simmering. 
  5. Let the apple simmer until the apple boat are tender and starts to cook out.
  6. Prepare the jam glasses either by heating up in the oven or adding boiling water to them.
  7. Remove the vanilla pod from the apple mass.
  8. Add the sugar into the fruit mass and stir until it is dissolved.
  9. Bring the jam to a rolling boil and boil hard until the setting point is reached. Stir the jam frequently.
  10. Test of set after 5 minutes using the flake test.
  11. When the setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to stand for approx.  5 minutes. As the jam settles, push any scums from the surface of the pan to the side and remove it with a metal spoon. The purpose for the waiting step is well to build viscosity in jam, so the fruit pieces will be trapped inside the jam inside of be going to the top of jam.
  12. Gently stir the jam after the resting time and pour it into the prepared glasses, fill the glasses up to the brim. Remove any scum for the surface of the jam using a tea spoon. Close the glass with a lid.
  13. Leave the glass upright and disturbed to cool and set.
  14. Store at ambient temperature.

November 02, 2018

Pink closure to October month



PINK CLOSURE TO OCTOBER MONTH

Here in August, September & October month I have been selling the extra jam jars from the many different types of jams & vinegar, which I have been creating in my little kitchen to both work colleagues and friends. Hopefully the buyers are and have been enjoying:
As a starting asking price I have suggested 15 DKK (=2 €)/glass or bottle. This sale has in total generated 420 DKK, which has just been donated to araceagainstbreastcancer.dk. As I still have different jam jars left, I keep selling them to friends and colleagues, and here in November & December the sale will be donated to Julemærkefonden.

November 01, 2018

Pumpkin soup with parsnips and potato a la Føtex


As my way of  celebrating Halloween I was serving pumpkin soup yesterday evening using the recipe on Føtex græskarsuppe.

I made no changes to the recipe. It is a good recipe, however the use of the roasted pumpkin seeds did not bring anything special to me. It was actually pretty distracting to chewing these pumpkin seeds, so after a few seeds I got ride of the remaining pumpkin seeds !!!

I am wondering, if exchanging the coconut cream with mascarpone would bring some more body to the soup. Also the spice level is very moderate, so it is not harming anyone.

Pumpkin soup with parsnips and potato a la Føtex: - 3-4 servings

  • 3-4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Hokaido pumpkin - 700-800 g - deseeded, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion - roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic - roughly chopped
  • 200 g parsnips - peeled and roughly chopped
  • 150 g potato - peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • 2 teaspoon curry paste
  • ½ l vegetable stock
  • 400 g canned coconut cream
  • 200 g rye bread - roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pumpkin seeds and fried bacon pieces as optional topping
  1. Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a cooking pot for 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the parsnips and potato, and fry for another 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add in the various spices and them fry for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add in the pumpkin, vegetable stock and coconut cream, and let the soup simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile mix the rye bread crumbs, olive oil and salt together.
  6. Roast the rye bread crumbs in the oven (fan) at 175'C for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Roast the pumpkin seeds on a dry pan for 5 minutes.
  8. Blend the soup together.
  9. Serve the soup with toppings in form of roasted rye bread crumbs, pumpkin seeds and bacon.

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