Friday, August 3, 2012

Soup du jour

Great ways to use all my lovely vegetables are in soups and eating soup just makes you feel healthy.
We eat soup often and I make my own stock - its easy once you get in to the rutine.
I just buy a whole chicken every week and save all the vegetables scraps from the past week in a box in the freezer to add more flavor and its good value for your money (vegetables are really expensive in the states - I'm beginning to like EU agriculture support).
Once its in the fridge you feel obliged to use it - nothing like a little guilt to make you cook ;)
I found inspiration for these soups on one of my favorite websites and you can find the original recipes there.
When I make soup – and almost anything else – I don’t follow a recipe. 
I look for inspiration and adapt what ever I find to the ingredients in my kitchen and to my taste.
So this time I won't give you measurements, but just ingredients for the soups – because I don’t have them.

Prawn and fennel bisque

Raw prawns in the shell
White wine
Canned tomatoes
Chicken stock
Heavy cream

Take the prawns out of the shell and fry the shells in some oil.
Normally I would keep the shells in the soup and just blitz them in the soup, but I have some blender problems. 
So I added some stock to cook the flavor out and then strained the stock into a bowl.
Cut the vegetables into chunks and fry them in the pan – once they soften ad white wine and Sherry.
Let it cook hard to make the alcohol disappear.
Then ad the prawn/chicken stock, tomatoes and paprika.
Let it cook for 30 min and then blitz everything together.  If you want it velvet and smooth, put it through a sieve – I didn't bother.
Then back into the pot.
In this version I put the raw prawns in and blitz one more time. Next time I will keep them whole – I did not like the texture.
Ad the cream, maybe some salt and pepper, and heat through.

It was SO good – love bisque!
You can serve it with a blob of cream but I just gave a sprits of lemon juice - always good with shellfish.


This was a first for me – but with all the ripe local tomatoes 
and peppers everywhere this time you year in the states, I just had to try it.

Red pepper
Green pepper
Good olive oil
Red onion
Paprika, salt and pepper

Topping (optional)
Mix of chopped:
Red and green peppers
Spring onion
Hard boiled eggs



Blitz all the vegetables together and add vinegar, olive oil and spices to your taste.
You get the full flavor is you have time to let it rest for 4 hours or - even better - the night over.
Top with whatever you like - in my oppenion the eggs makes it a meal.
Eat it in the garden with a glass of cold white wine or Sangria to get you in that vacation mood.

Green Gazpacho

Crème fraise (sour creme)
Spring onions
Yellow pepper
Lime juice
Salt and pepper

Same procedure – blitz all the ingredients together and add lime, salt and pepper to your taste.

This is a really creamy and smooth soup and not surprisingly it tastes along the lines of guacamole. So I used it as a starter for e mexican meal and the rest as a dressing for my salad the next day.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Times of change

So – I’m a bit stuck.
The intent of this blog was to write about American and Danish food but I have hit a bump on the road - or actually a few bumps.

Bump 1: What is American food?
Not even Americans can tell med what American food is and it makes good sense – America is a melting pot of cultures and food styles.
Many dishes have definitely been “Americanized” but would you call it original American cuisine?
But then – does any country have an authentic cuisine?
The tomato that is so linked with the Italian kitchen did not come to Europe until about 450 years ago and it took a while until it was a stabile in everyday cuisine.
I could not imagine Danish food without our beloved potato – again a produce introduced after the discovery of America.
Most Danish dishes have a French influence since French cuisine was “Haute Cuisine” for many many years in Europe.
So maybe the ingredients that have always been grown in the region should define authentic cuisine?
In Denmark it would be kale and cabbage and in the states corn, blueberries and turkey.
But nobody eats like that any more, our parents didn’t and our grandparents didn’t.
So I am going to change the objective of this blog to the food our parents, grandparents and we cook in the kitchens – so around a 100 years limit.
There are still things that I, in my own humble opinion, would say are Danish (maybe Scandinavian) or American.
Like Danish Smørrebrød (open sandwiches) and our love for the combination of sweet and sour.
Or American creations like corndogs, the Rubin sandwich and Caesar salad.
The burger cannot really be call an American invention – people have been putting meet between bread for centuries, but they certainly have perfected it.
So these are things that I will have to blog about – which leads me to the next bump.

Bump 2: Is it SO hot
Even though I am cooking some of the same things as back home, some of the classics I just cant get myself to cook in this heat (even thought I am so Americanized that I often turn on the air con I must admit)
And, I am sorry say, You Americans have a taste for quite fatty indulgent foods as well.
So I am cooking more southern European dishes, cold soups and salads.
Which leads me to the next bump

Bump 3: I am not blogging enough
Even though this blog is for my own entertainment, it would be nice if people would like to read it.
And one thing that can make you forget about a blog is if there are not enough new posts.
If I was only to blog when I did anything Danish or American, I would not blog more than once a week – maybe every two weeks.

When you realize something does not work for you – you change it.
Therefore I will now blog whenever I make something I feel is so good that I just have to share it - and whenever I come across anything American that is new and interesting for me.

For inspiration for this week and last weeks recipes I had this beautiful bunch for the CSA farm.

Week 30
Week 30

Week 31

Happy cooking out there!