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February 19, 2006

Danish Dinner II

In comparison to THS's elegant meal below, I managed to make a slight mess of things, mostly because of trying to do too many things at once. This also means that I'm missing a few pictures, as there were times when I was juggling too much to take a pic.

I started off with a nice Raven's Wood 2003 Lodi Zinfandel and the ingredients here

Actually, I didn't use everything here, this is just the danish goodies.

I started off making the Kartoffelgratin ("Potato Gratin" See? Danish is easy!) since I figured I could cook that while working on the other things, plus it would keep for awhile. So I peeled the spudlies, dried them and slice them into thin slices

and then placed them in a bowl and coated them with a mixture of salt, pepper, and nutmeg

I then grated 2 different types of cheese. For the cheese going in with the potatos I used fontina, and for the cheese that would be put on top I used havarti with chives (the recipe calls for emmentaler, but that's swiss, and I was sticking to the theme!)

in a saute pan warm up a few cups of milk and mix an egg into it as well as the fontina. Pour this over the potatos in the bowl and mix well. In a small dish melt 2 Tbs of butter (Lurpak, of course) and put some minced garlic into it. Pour this mixture into the baking dish and smear it all around using a paper towel. Pour the potato/cheese mixture into the dish, and cover with the other grated cheese.

Pop that baby into the oven at 375º for at least an hour. Check wine levels. refill as needed.

Now on to the soup. Ah, the soup. The first issue facing me was what exactly is a 'coffee spoon'? I of all people should know. So I asked my bride. And she said it was the small spoon one uses to stir espresso. Not having one of those, I decided that a small spoon we had from a condiment-serving set would have to suffice. That grave issue being decided, I put the bread crumbs and milk in a sauce pan

and cooked until they got thick, all the while teaching an egg white a lesson it would not soon forget

I then added the (now humble) egg white to the crumbs, along with salt, pepper, nutmeg, butter and ground chicken

and cooked that over medium-low heat until it got fairly thick, stirring and chopping it all the time. Then i made roughly 1 inch meatballs from the mixture.

Tragically, at this point the wine was gone, so I was forced to switch to Plan B

Now it was time to put the beef and chicken broth mixture on the stove and get that a boilin' (with some fresh parsley thrown in)

You can see from the tinfoil on the left that the potatos has already come out, but since they were nuk'ler I knew they'd keep.

Time to open the Spam Ham and get that in the oven!

Ain't that a beaut? I put it in a small baking dish (it's only a pound), scored the top, stuck cloves in and drizzled a sauce made from molasses and mustard powder over the top of it, then poured a Carlsberg over it and put a few bay leaves in for good measure. Into the oven at, oh 400º or so for 30 minutes and it came out looking like this

It's ok to switch to another type of beer if a) the previous one is finished, b) it's handy and c) you still thirst

Meanwhile, back at the soup, it was time to make the dumplings. Mix milk, egg whites, flour, butter over lowish heat until they are smooth. Slowly add in egg yolks, then mace and more parsley until it's nice and thick, and shows off the faux coffee spoon to its best advantage

Put the meatballs into the now boiling stock, and cook them for a few minutes. Then, using the coffee spoon wannabee in a deft manner plop spoonfulls of dumpling batter like the little infidels they are into the boiling meatbally stock pot

(cries for mercy are optional; ignore them in any case)

Cook for 10 minutes or so, then slice the ham, dish out the spuds and serve the soup!

Arrange everything on your finest Danish china, and enjoy a nice warm meal with your beloveds.

The verdict? The canned ham was way too salty, but that's just the nature of that type of beast. The spuds could have used some more flavor; next time I'll either use emmentaler or perhaps crumble bleu cheese on top.

The soup was excellent.

Posted by Mr. Bingley at February 19, 2006 08:37 PM



Posted by: tree hugging sister at February 19, 2006 08:49 PM

Now that is dinnner as it should be in every household - the soup is twice as big as the entree.

Posted by: Suzette at February 20, 2006 12:26 AM

Once again, I am left wondering what does one have to do to get a diner invite from Bingley or THS?

I read this at 8:20 AM and I am now hungry as hell for lunch...


Posted by: WunderKraut at February 20, 2006 08:21 AM

Looks scrumptious!!

Posted by: The_Real_JeffS at February 20, 2006 09:43 AM

You've got a standing invite Wunder (destination and delivery fees extra).

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at February 20, 2006 09:45 AM

WK, we'll have to plan a roadtrip to see THS one of these days.

It looks fantastic, Bing, as did yours THS.

Posted by: Cullen at February 20, 2006 10:23 AM

Leave your diets at home!

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at February 20, 2006 10:24 AM

The entire family is sick except the 18 month old....this weekend the diet went out the window in the name of self preservation.

Heading home soon to help the sick wife take care of two sick boys and one extremely hyper girl.

Posted by: WunderKraut at February 20, 2006 10:43 AM

Also, I figured the invite would include airfair and hotel accomodations...

Posted by: WunderKraut at February 20, 2006 10:43 AM

...and yes, I know I can't spell...deal with it...

Posted by: WunderKraut at February 20, 2006 10:44 AM

Cranky monkey!

Hope they feel better...

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at February 20, 2006 10:55 AM

I made the cucumber salad recipe from that world recipes site where I linked the ham and beer one. It was pretty yummy and I highly recommend it.

Posted by: Emily at February 20, 2006 11:02 AM

Aw WK, you had to work today? Didn't you City employees have the day off?

Posted by: Cullen at February 20, 2006 04:48 PM

I'm going to have to try the ham and beer recipe too - sounds good. I did manage to find a small Dak han - in a convenience store of all places - so I sliced it up and am having daily ham and cheese sandwiches.
Still can't find Carlsberg hereabouts - but Tuborg is plentiful (though less so than it was when I started buying it - so either the anti-boycott is hitting or some Danes moved into town). Only one nearby store carries Arla Havarti - but they have lots of flavors - I've got lots a jalepeno havarti. Makes a great omlette cheese if you like a bit of bite in your breakfast. :)

Posted by: Kathy K at February 20, 2006 05:27 PM

Hey, I just noticed your knife. Is that Ronco Six Star cutlery? Did you get a free food injector with those?

Posted by: Suzette at February 20, 2006 07:26 PM