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How to be more Danish, in ten easy steps.

We asked the good people on Twitter how to be a Dane in 10 steps…

 Here are some of the top replies:

 

1. Wear black. And only black.

  Blackwear

 

2. Eat open sandwiches. Preferably topped with cheese and jam. Yes, jam.

  Ostemad1

 

3. Throw the word "hygge" randomly into sentences, then pretend to try really hard to find an English translation. Yet again.

  Ayumi-hygge

 

4. Never use the word please, with the excuse that “but we don’t HAVE a word for please in Danish”.

Please

 

5. Test ANY non-Dane on whether they like salty liquorice and laugh when they don't.

  Salt_liquorice_skulls__87498_zoom

 

6. Have an awkward sense of humour and laugh at jokes such as “Do you know how to save a Swede from drowning? No? Good!” HarHarHarHar... See also: making fun of everything Swedish. And Norwegian. And Icelandic. And German.#hilarious

  JokesGroupPhoto

 

7. Have a flagpole in your garden and raise the Danish flag at every opportunity (Sundays, public holidays, birthdays, popping to the shops…)

  Dansk_flag_thumb[3]

 

8.  If someone asks you how you are, be sure to really explain to them how you are feeling. 

  How-are-you

9. Top most food groups with a dollop of remoulade. Especially chips, beef, fish and hotdogs. And salami. And meatballs. 

  Grillmad_06

 

10. Always have one white sock over one trouser leg (or roll one trouser leg up, if not wanting to wear white socks over your all-black outfit). You never know when you might be going cycling.

Pumps

April 22, 2014

Need a 'Kransekake' for 17th Mai?

Kranse

Our good friend Karen is really good at making Kransekake / kransekage.  In fact, she's been making them for years. We don't make them but we're very happy to recommend you to speak to Karen.

Soon, Norway's National Day is coming up - if you need a Kransekake for the event - or for any other Danish/Norwegian event - do get in touch with Karen and she can help you out.

17 Mai is drawing closer but you still have time to order your kransekake / kransekage.

Whether you want a small stack, a few fingers or the full 18-ring cake, Karen can provide you with a taste of home.

Karen will be taking orders until she's booked up, so get in as early as possible.

For prices, see www.karens-kitchen.com/kransekake

FB: thisiskarenskitchen

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 07818 405501

Do tell her we sent you to her so she knows.

Bye for now

April 17, 2014

Easy Easter Smorgasbord - a guide

Smörgasbord-0-10_original (1)


A traditional smörgåsbord doesn’t have to be complicated. It is, in essence, the Nordic version of a buffet, so as long as you follow a few traditional rules and know when to eat which bit, you won’t go wrong. We basically have the same smörgåsbord for every high season, with a few seasonal dish changes.

This version is designed so that you can shop and put it together in a morning, provided you’re organised about the whole thing. For this reason, we have provided UK supermarket equivalents for some ingredients, but if you do have time, pop by our shop and pick up the authentic Nordic essentials or make everything from scratch if you want to impress.

The basics

How to serve and arrange a smörgåsbord.

Laying the table: Arrange in the middle of the table or, if serving for many people, at a side serving table. Served as a lunch and should take around 2-3 hours to eat. The focus here is on slow eating and drinking, with much talking and being together.

Drinks: Lagers such as Tuborg and Carlsberg will provide authenticity – but any good bottled lager is fine. Wine is fine, but less traditional (wine really doesn’t go with herring and shots of aquavit).

Aquavit (aka snaps): We recommend shots of a good, super-chilled OP Andersson or Ålborg. Crisp and strong, they’re perfect partners for pickled herring. If you can’t get hold of aquavit, you can use chilled Absolut Vodka. Leave the bottle in the freezer for a good few hours before serving in shot glasses.

How to arrange the dishes

If arranging on a separate buffet table (recommended for 15 people or more), always arrange the fish at one end, starting with the herring, followed by any other fish dishes. Follow it with cold meats, then warm meats, side dishes and finally bread and butter. Cheese can be placed by the bread section or served separately at the end as a cheese board. Dessert is not brought out until the main smörgåsbord has been eaten. If arranging the food where people are sitting around a table, add all fish dishes first, then cold meats. Bring out any warm dishes as needed. The main thing is to let your guests know that they have to:

1) Always start with herring and aquavit (butter some rye bread or crisp bread, add a few slices of herring on top, eat with a knife and fork, drink a shot of aquavit, and everybody cheers together).

2) Once the herring is eaten, enjoy any other cold fish dishes – from prawns to salmon, egg with roe, and so on. Make your own little open sandwiches on the plate, but always use knife and fork. Never hands!

3) Sliced meats are next, and so on. Then repeat.

4) Warm dishes come next!

5) Replenish as you see fit throughout. We graze for hours, going back to our favourite sections again and again.

Plate arrangement

Arrange each seating with a large plate for main part of the meal and one small plate on top, for herring only. Herring has a very strong flavour, so once everybody’s done with it, the first plates are usually collected so the rest of the meal isn’t herring-flavoured. If you hate washing up or simply just love meatballs that taste of herring, knock yourself out.

Singing

We do like to sing a few songs as we drink our snaps. These are called ‘Snaps-visor’. After a couple of shots of aquavit, it is generally accepted that most people speak fluent Danish, even if they come from Middlesbrough and the closest they have been to Copenhagen is watching The Killing. Plenty of songs to be found on the internet. If you don’t fancy trying real Nordic songs, just pretend to be the Swedish Chef from the Muppets.

Every family has they own version and way to make a smörgåsbord. This is our version – make changes as you see fit. There is no smörgåsbord police (there might be smörgåsbord police in Sweden, actually).

ScandiKitchen’s Easy Easter Smörgåsbord for six people

Two kinds of herring

  • 1 jar of ABBA Mustard herring
  • 1 jar of ABBA Onion herring

Waitrose and Ocado have good versions of pickled herring, but don’t go for rollmops, as those are too sour.

Prawns and boiled eggs

6 hard boiled eggs, halved, placed on a serving dish. Add a bit of mayonnaise on each egg half and top with good quality prawns

Smoked salmon with lemon

Arrange about 60-70g of smoked salmon per person on a serving tray. Decorate with lemon wedges and a bit of fresh dill

Gravadlax Salad

Fold together in a bowl the following:

  • 200g gravlax cured salmon cut into bite size pieces
  • 150g cooked, cooled, sliced new potatoes
  • 100g blanched asparagus cut in pieces
  • A handful of green peas
  • 100g cooked, cooled green beans
  • 8-10 halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dill and mustard sauce

Arranged on a serving tray, top with chopped chives

Dill & mustard sauce:

You can make your own or get it at our place.

Most UK supermarkets have some form of it too these days.

Sliced and cold meats tray

6 slices of good quality ham

12 slices of Danish salami (or whichever you prefer)

Pork liver pâté – we love Stryhn’s or Per I Viken, but you can go for a good quality UK version too – just keep it smooth.

Warm dishes

Meatballs. Always meatballs.

Make your own, or use a ‘Swedish Meatball’ variety from the supermarket to keep it simple

In Sweden, we also eat a lot of ‘prinskorv’ mini sausages (heated).

We stock these, but you can get frankfurters in supermarket and cut to smaller pieces and serve alongside the meatballs

Where’s the lamb?

We actually don’t eat much lamb on the Easter buffet table. We agree that this does seem like a bit of an oversight. If you want lamb, have lamb. Make a small lamb roast and serve alongside the warm dishes. Lamb goes well with Jansson’s Temptation

Additional Side dishes

Choose as many of these to make as you fancy… (you do not need to make them all)

Beetroot Salad

  • 300g jar of drained beetroot, chopped
  • Mix with mayonnaise and crème fraîche until you have a pink creamy mixture.
  • Add salt, pepper, lemon juice (and sugar, if too tart). Leave to set.

Cheat: Ocado sells real ScandiKitchen Beetroot Salad. As do we in the shop

New potato salad

  • 500g of new potatoes, cooked and cooled.
  • Mix with a simple vinaigrette and chopped red onion.

Cheat: Buy a potato salad, but not the type drenched in mayonnaise

Jansson’s Temptation (warm)

A potato and cream gratin made with Swedish Grebbestads Ansjovis

(NEVER anchovies - this is one dish where no alternatives will suffice) and cream

(approx. 1 hour prep time)

Cheat: Get a potato gratin at the supermarket. Add small amount of chopped Grebbestads Ansjovis before baking

Västerbotten Paj (warm)

Swedish cheese quiche (1 hour prep time plus pasty making)

Cheat: Buy a good quality cheese quiche

Skagenröra (Swedish seafood salad)

  • 200g prawns and 200g crayfish trails, mix with chopped chives and chopped dill
  • Add a gentle helping of mayonnaise
  • Salt, pepper, finely chopped shallot. Combine.
  • Cheat: Add some chives and seasoning to a prawn mayonnaise.

Gubbröra (Egg and fish salad)

  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • Finely chopped shallot onion
  • 6 chopped fillets of Swedish Grebbestads Ansjovis
  • OR chopped matjes herring (as preferred)
  • Chopped chives, pepper.

Mix together. Serve in a bowl.

If you prefer a creamier version, add a dollop of crème fraîche.

Egg & Roe 

Arranged sliced, boiled eggs on a serving tray. Top with either Kalle’s Kaviar (creamed cod roe, in a tube, available in the shop or at Ocado)

or

Dollops of lumpfish roe kaviar and finely chopped shallot onion.

Sauces, pickles, dressings (As needed).

Bowls of pickled cucumber, sliced pickled beetroot, Mustards, mayonnaises, remoulade. And whatever condiments you fancy.

Bread

  • Selection of crisp bread (we love Leksands and Pyramid from the shop)
  • Selection of sliced rye bread
  • Crusty white bread
  • Butter
  •  

Cheese selection

Our ideal cheese selection would be:

  • Västerbotten cheese (Our place, Waitrose, Ocado)
  • Norwegian Brown Cheese (our place, Ocado)
  • Riberhus Danish cheese (our place)

A good quality blue cheese

Cheat: Get whatever cheese you like.

Dessert (optional)

Cloudberry Mess

Arrange in each serving glass:

  • 1 lightly crushed meringue nest
  • 1 dollop of whipped cream
  • 1 scoop of good vanilla ice cream
  • Heat up some cloudberry jam – and pour 1 tbsp. hot jam on top just before serving.

March 21, 2014

Waffle Day 25th March - 'Våffeldagen'

Vaffel21

Waffle Day (25th March) began in Sweden as Våffeldagen, allegedly due to confusion between the Swedish “vårfrudagen” meaning “Our Lady’s Day” which falls on the same date. The day historically marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated by the eating of many, many waffles.

Nordic waffles are made in a special heart-shape waffle iron. The waffles are sweet and soft – and best eaten straight out of the iron, with jam and whipped cream. Or brown cheese, if you are Norwegian.

Pop by all day Tuesday 25th for waffles at the café.  Get any coffee and a waffle for a fiver - available all day.

Or make some waffles at home - here's a recipe that our Marte uses. There are as many recipes as there are families in Scandinavia - this is the one we use at ScandiKitchen.

If you don't have a waffle maker, you can buy them on Amazon and ebay.

March 14, 2014

Easy Recipe: Chokladbollar (Oat and chocolate treats)

Chocladbollar

March 07, 2014

WIN 'The Edible Atlas' by Mina Holland

The-Edible-Atlas-HB-poster

Sometimes, a book lands on our desk for a competition that we really don't want to tell anyone about just so we can keep it to ourselves! This is one such book. We think every serious foodie should have a copy of this. 

Mina Holland (follow Mina here) has written an amazing book entitled The Food Atlas - about food from all over the globe; a journey of 39 cuisines. How we eat it, why we eat it... It's even got a bit about our corner of the world in the book (and we're pleased to see a recipe for Danish Dream Cake making an appearance). THE EDIBLE ATLAS explores what and why people eat as they do across the world, demystifying the flavours, ingredients, techniques and dishes at the heart of thirty-nine different cuisines. With fully adaptable recipes to suit beginners and confident cooks alike, learn to recreate dishes from all over the globe.

We've got a copy of this book to give to a lucky winner. To be in with the a chance to win Mina's book, just answer this easy question:

Norwegian band 'Ylvis' sang a (quite annoying) song called...

a) What does the herring say?

b) What does the fox say?

c) What does the Swede say?

Answers to [email protected] before noon on Thursday 13th March 2014. Winner will be notified by email. Only one prize, no cash alternative, usual rules apply. No cheating. 

Russell Norman (from 'The Restaurant Man') says: "The Edible Atlas deserves a place on every serious cook’s bookshelf. Intelligent, informative, entertaining and very handsome. Mina Holland’s prose is as engaging as her recipes. She is an exciting and authoritative new voice in the world of cookery and food writing."

‘Fascinating, telling some fantastic stories about a broad range of cuisines … The food cries to be cooked’ YOTAM OTTOLENGHI

BUY MINA'S BOOK 'The Edible Atlas' here 

March 03, 2014

The very funny Sofie Hagen... Cast your votes here.

We're proud that our friend Sofie Hagen has been nominated for a Chortle Award 2014. It takes guts to stand up and be funny at the best of times - but doing it in a second language? Ohhhhh, now that is hard!

You can cast your vote here for the Best Newcomer (closes 3rd March midnight) - it takes just a few seconds to do.

Here's a clip of Sofie so you know who you're (hopefully) voting for as a UK Chortle Award newcomer

Love,

The Kitchen People x

February 27, 2014

WIN a box of SEMLOR for the office

Semlor-2_original

Ahhhh.... Imagine if there was a way to make friends with Shirley from HR in one clean swoop? Or get Brian from accounts to notice you?

Try giving them a tray of freshly baked semlor. Oh, and now you can maybe even get your hands on a whole tray of these lovely buns for free.

To be in with a chance to be Mr or Ms popular in the office (or indeed, take them all home and eat them all to yourself), just answer this easy question:

Eighties Swedish band Europe had a hit with which song:

a) All That She Wants (is another baby)

b) The Final Countdown

c) Saturday Night

Answer to [email protected] before Monday noon (3rd March).

No cash alternative, prize must be picked up from the cafe (date by arrangement - please book in the pick up so we know), one tray of semlor is 10 buns. No cheating. Winner picked at random. Usual rules apply.

 

February 26, 2014

Reindeer herding - seen from above

Creating beautiful reindeer swirls of herding. 

Shot by Jan Helmer Olsen in Norway 

Semla baking competition...

UPDATE 4th March:  THE WINNER OF THE BAKING COMPETITON IS GRETE MINUMETS - as chosen by our Shop Manager Rebekka.

Congratulations - your buns were particularly lovely looking.

Thanks to everybody who sent in pictures - we realyl enjoyed seeing all the great efforts and we cant wait to do more competitions. Cinnamon buns next?

Love, The Kitchen People x

---

First entry is in - from Rick in London.

PhotoGrid_1393182834213_20140226141325171

 

And from Martin Ashton...

Semla

 

Richard Crowe - first time Semla baker and doing a pretty good job of it!

Image-4

These, made by Anna, are dairy free. Made with the scandikitchen recipe and turned out very well. Light buns with almond filling and instead of whipped cream a confectioners custard made with rice milk.  Two Swedes have approved of them so far, Anna says...

2014-02-20 20.11.12

 Linnea Dunne's big buns below

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 21.12.26

Jude Killip made this lovely batch:

Semlor 2013

 

Julia Richard's semlor - don't they look awesome?

 

 

 

Juliarichards

Molly Gartland - first time semlor baker:

Mollygartland

 

Caroline Sinclair's great Semlor below - first time Semlor baker, too!

CarolineSinclair

 

Linda Edvardsen in London, below:

Lindaedvardsen

And lovely buns from Grete Minumets

GreteMinumets

And great buns from Jessica Resen Tfirst:

Jessica ResenTfirst

And Anne Sundquist made a lot of lovely buns:

AnneSundquist

And lovely Ian Mansfield was also baking:

IanMansfiedl


Emily Bridge baked mini semlor for the office

IMG_20140303_112001

And Gloria spiked her whipped cream with Amaretto... yum.

  Gloria

Show us your big, fat buns and WIN Lunch for Two at ScandiKitchen

Fettisdagen2014

It's Fat Tuesday on Tuesday 4th March 2014 - also known as Fettisdagen, fastelavn, Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras.

On this day across Scandinavia we celebrate the start of Lent. The faste is not observed that often anymore, however, the tradition of stuffing ourselves with cream buns the day before Ash Wednesday still prevails.

In Sweden, these buns are known as Semlor (plural of the word 'Semla'). They are yeast buns flavoured with cardamon, baked and then stuffed with marzipan and whipped cream.

Semlor are only served around this time of year.  Once Lent is in full swing, the buns are not baked again until the following year - it really is a huge seasonal tradition and you should definitely make sure you get your hands on one of these buns before the season is over.

We bake and serve these at the cafe - however, it is not hard ot make your own.  You can find the recipe right HERE.

WE WANT TO SEE YOUR BIG BUNS: Your own creations and variations.  Send us a snapshot of your Fat Tuesday buns and we'll post the pictures online - and we'll pick a winner who gets Lunch for Two People at the cafe in London (if you live too far away, we'll send you a voucher for the webshop instead).

Mail your photos to [email protected] before 4th March 2014. Usual competition rules apply.

First entry - from Isabelle in Brighton who made her first ever batch of Semlor, having never tasted them before. Verdict: "Amazing - and my flatmate had 3 of them, I'm not sure how she managed!".

IsabelleEva_Semlor

 

 

 

 

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