Monday, August 30, 2010

Danish Food Blogger Symposium - Recap

This past weekend has been all about food. Two energetic Danish food bloggers put together a great, non-profit event that brought all varieties of Danish food bloggers together under one roof. It was smashing!

I was pleasantly surprised at the high level of, well, everything. There were wine tastings, chocolate tastings, numerous speeches on everything from blogging, the marketing of such, New Nordic Cuisine, journalistic tips and tricks, and much much more. Best of all, seeing old faces and new, and once again feeling as though I'm part of a budding community that might just change how the average Dane eats. It will take time, but it would appear that it's an inevitable road we must take, for several different reasons, planetary and human health just to name a few. I digress.

I will no doubt be taking part in next year's symposium as well. I look forward to seeing what they'll have put on the program for us then!

For now, I leave you with a photo of an extraordinary lunch served us on Saturday. Mads Nybro at Beta Beta gave us directions on what exactly to do with it via Skype, and it was the most imaginative meal I've eaten to date!

Top: 2 yummy sourdough bread rolls
Left-Right: 1 can of noodle soup, warmed with everybody elses can in a huge tub of hot water. 1 tube of foie gras to be eaten with the sourdough. 1 styrofoam bowl of lettuce leaves, upon which we sprayed a really nice smoked cheese dressing. Last but not least, 1 stick of white chocolate coated raspberry marzipan followed by a smattering of vanilla flavored popcorn dust.

Delicious, inventive, and all the containers went into their own recycling bin afterwards, so no unnecessary waste there.

Sunday was yet another lovely meal a grønch (greens + brunch = grunch) with fellow food blogers, before checking out the food fair downtown, and heading home, head spinning from all the new impressions.

A great weekend, action packed, inspiring and delicious!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A bag of veggies and inspiration

There are a number of services around the globe now that roughly translate to paying a bit of money in exchange for a box of locally grown and/or organic produce, or others of that ilk. For a few years I've been receiving box from Aarstiderne, sometimes just Danish veggies, sometimes a mix of veggies and fruit from far and wide, though all organic. I thought the price was reasonable enough, we'd get a box a week which pretty much saved me from lugging heavy fruits and veg from the store and to the 4th floor, and then we were set for the next week's menu. I then heard of Københavns Fødevarefællesskab which is kind of the same idea, though you collect the bag/box yourself once a week from their fairly central location, it's all organic, and it's all from the island we live on. It happens to be cheaper though. When I brought home my first bag, opened it and spied the choice offerings, I was floored by what I could get for 100 Danish kroner. I can't afford not to buy this weekly bag of produce.

From the top: palm kale, fennel bulbs, red/yellow onions
Middle l-r: beet leaves, orange and purple carrots, tomatoes, beets, seleriac
Bottom: yellow and green squash, spring onions

And can I just add that the carrots were fabulous and the squash amazing! I seriously hadn't tasted squash like that for at least ten years. I'm pretty adept at using veggies like this so a week later, and we've only got onions and seleriac left, which are no biggy since I've got a hankering for some French onion soup soon, and celeriac schnitzels have been on my mind for a while as well.

The other day, we ate dinner that I can only describe as café food. You know, at home sometimes all that gets put on the table is a bit pot of pasta and that's it, but at cafés there's always a few small dishes that make a meal. It's appealing to the eye and the taste buds. So I whipped up my own little trio of dishes, and all proved popular with the lot of us.

First off, a simple chickpea and green bean salad.

I'm not even going to bother writing out a recipe. Steam the beans, boil the chickpeas, chop some red onion, and swirl it all around in a zesty vinaigrette.

Next up, an oven roasted 'salad' with bite sized pieces of beet, fennel bulb and squash.

Chop the aforementioned ingredients into the size you like them. Either wedges, or smaller cubed bits. Add olive oil, salt, thyme and big chunks of feta (I used goat), and bake until the veggies are al dente. Really nice flavors coming together there.

To top of the medley, I made some goat's cheese toasties. I sliced some of my husband's homemade baguette, rubbed it with olive oil, added a nice slice of hard goat's cheese, drizzled more oil on top, sprinkled some thyme, and put it in the oven until the cheese visibly went soft. Took them out, drizzled them with honey, and served them together with the 'salads'.

We ate it all up!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Hi again!

Just to comfort you, we haven't stopped eating, even though posts have been few and far between! On vacation in Finland some weeks ago, I had the oppotunity to eat some old Finnish favorites, but fool I am, didn't get around to taking pictures of the goodies to share. Another time, alas.

Upon re-entry to Denmark, the weather's been pretty shifty. Sun, rain, torrents, baking hot. Every other day. Schizo-weather! I embraced a cold weather day, and also a cheap head of cauliflower, and concocted this soup. I've made cauliflower soup before, though by putting raw cauliflower into broth, cooking, puréeing, and that's it. It's ok, in a jiff, but if you have more time, pre-roasting the cauliflower imprives the flavor of the following soup roughly 80%!

1 head of cauliflower, sliced into half inch thick pieces
1 small onion, sliced/diced
1 small can of coconut milk
Herbamare broth, or other vegetable broth
a pinch of ground ginger and/or mild curry (optional)

I fried up the cauloflower sliced in olive oil, in two batches. You want to make sure that the cauliflower gets browned evenly on both sides, this gives the soup a darker and more characteristic color, not to mention flavor! Keep a lid over it, so the heat stays in, softening the cauliflower as much as possible. When the last batch of cauliflower is on the pan and about half done, add the onion to the mix, you just want it softened, not seared through. Add the spices here, if you like.

Transfer the fried cauliflower and onions to a pot covered with the coconut milk, and water/broth until completely covered. Simmer until it's soft enough to blend through with a hand mixer. Serve with bread.

It's creamy, yummy, and the flavor is addictive in a warm and nutty way, that non-fried cauliflower soup isn't!