Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dinner Ideas

Someone gave me a book as a present called Culinary Passport. It's a Dutch book from the 1970s, which contains recipes from several European countries, plus Turkey and the Middle East. So far I have tried several of them and they all came out well. This week I tried brunede kartofler, a Danish recipe which one could translate as caramelised potatoes and an English one, scotch salmon with hollandaise sauce. 

The results you can see above. I had to adjust the recipes slightly, but the dinner was a success. Let's start with caramelised potatoes. They are really easy to make. The book suggests using normal potatoes which you cook unpeeled, peel when they are still warm and use the next day. I chose small peeled potatoes which are sold in our supermarkets. Those you will have to cook first, too.

For 1 package of 450g, I used 4 tbsp of sugar. You let it melt in a frying pan and then add butter, about 3 tbsp, and then you simply fry the potatoes until they are sufficiently  browned on all sides and  thoroughly warmed. (Mine are not that brown, as caramelising is not my strong point, so some of  the sugar became hard as rocks, but they still tasted delicious).

As for salmon, the book suggested buying it fresh but since it is so expensive around here, I used the frozen variety. You will want to defrost it before cooking. I put some salt on it (the book omits it, but I found out it tastes better this way), then it must be wrapped in aluminum foil (per portion) and placed in a shallow pan so that the water doesn't cover it fully. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes and serve with the sauce made in the following way:

Combine 3 tbsp of vinegar (I used lemon juice instead) with 1 tbsp of water, add some peppercorn and a bay leaf and cook until the amount is reduced in half. Remove the bay leaf and the peppercorn, and pour over an egg, whisked (the book suggested using three egg yolks but I discovered that 1 egg works just as good). Place the sauce pan in a bigger pan with hot, but not boiling water, and whisk the sauce until it becomes light in colour and thick (it will take may be half a minute). Start adding butter cut into small pieces (ab. 6tbsp), whisking all the time until you get a smooth, thick sauce. Add a bit more lemon juice and serve over the fish.

I added green beens from the freezer as a side dish and it was a great dinner.

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