Danish cuisine is well suited to its cool and moist northern climate using locally grown barley, potatoes, rye, beetroot, greens, berries, and mushrooms.Before industrialization Denmark put an emphasis on agriculture. Food was made from ingredients that could be found in surrounding areas. Most dishes included dairy products, meat, and fruit. People usually made use of ingredients that could be found during the current season.
Breakfast (Morgenmad) traditionally consists of buttered bread, Danish skaereost (sliced cheese), a buttery creamy white cheese (usually Danish Havarti, Danbo or Danish Tilsit), strawberry jam and a lot of coffee. At times cold cuts, like rullepolse, kodpolse and Danish salami are eaten. Today Danes may eat different types of cereal and/or yoghurt type products. Among the elder and children you may see oatmeal porridge and bread-and-beer soup (ollebrod). Types of bread eaten may be white bread franskbrod (French bread), rolls (boller, birkes, rundstykker) or croissants.
Lunch (Frokost) – Since most Danes work lunch is eaten at work. Lots of workplaces have cafeterias. Others may prefer to bring lunch from home – the madpakke (lunch "package"). This consists of a few pieces of smorrebrod from home.
Palaeg and smorrebrod (open sandwiches) – A Danish open sandwich on dark rye bread covered with breaded fish, salad, cucumber, shrimps, black-colored lumpfish roe (sort stenbiderrogn) and tomato.
There may be fried plaice with remoulade and lemon on dark bread.
Smorrebrod which originally was smor og brod means "butter and bread". Palaeg means put-on or that which is laid on the bread and then pyntet (decorated) so that a tasty and visually appealing sandwich is presented.
Some traditional types (all served on dark rye bread slices):
Dyrlaegens natmad (Veterinarian’s midnight snack) – a layer of liver pate (leverpostei), topped with a slice of corned beef (salt kod) and a slice of meat aspic (sky). Decorated with raw onion rings and garden cress.
Smoked eel, topped with scrambled eggs and sliced herbs.
Leverpostei – Warm rough-chopped liver paste topped with bacon and sautéed mushrooms.
Roast beef (Ribbensteg) – thin sliced beef topped with red sweet and sour cabbage and decorated with a slice of orange.
Spice meat roll (Rullepolse)
Tartarmad – raw minced beef with salt and pepper topped with raw onion rings, grated horseradish and a raw egg yolk.
(served on white bread)
Smoked salmon (laks) – slices of cold smoked or cured salmon (gravad laks) topped with shrimp and decorated with a slice of lemon and fresh dill.
Stjerneskud (translated Shooting Star) – two piece of fish: one piece of steamed white fish on one half bread and a piece of fried, battered plaice or rodspeatte on the other half. Piled on top is a mound of shrimp and decorated with a dollop of mayonnaise, red caviar and a lemon slice.
Some typical Danish dishes:
Baked Eel – eel is cleaned, halved and placed in a baking dish topped with a mixture of butter, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard. Then all is sprinkled with bread crumbs and baked. Can be served hot or cold.
Caraway Cabbage – shredded cabbage is covered with cold water and chilled for 2 hours. Then drained and with boiling water simmered for 5 minutes. Eggs, butter, cream, salt, pepper, caraway seeds and milk are added to the cabbage and baked until brown on top.
Barley Soup –Barley is boiled in water or beef stock for an hour. Carrots, celery and mushrooms are boiled until tender then combined with the barley mixture. When ready it is blended with sour cream.
Beer Soup – Beer and water are brought to a slow boil. Sugar and butter is added and cooked for 30 minutes. Meanwhile egg yolks and beaten with cream. This is gradually added to the beer mixture while beating to prevent curdling.
Beet Soup – Beets and cooked with short ribs, lemon juice, sugar, onion and spices. Then strained through a sieve and served cold topped with sour cream.
Brown Bean Soup – Beans are boiled with smoked pork or pig’s head. When ready the soup is skimmed and the pork is served with the soup.
Turtle Soup – Turtle meat is combined with onion, celery, brandy, dry red wine and spices. The turtle meat is fried and put into a kettle. Flamed brandy, red wine, spices and flour are added. Then beef stock and it is boiled for 4 hours. When done parsley, eggs, white wine and brandy are added while still hot and blended well.
Frikadeller – flat, fried minced meat balls. A popular dish in both Denmark and Germany. Traditionally made of minced pork, veal or beef with chopped onions, eggs, milk, bread crumbs, flour, salt and pepper. Formed into balls and flattened a little then pan-fried. Most often served with boiled white potatoes, gravy (brun sovs) and served with pickled red beetroot or cooked red cabbage.
Beef Pot Roast in Sour Cream – a rump roast is covered with onions. Water, sour cream and wine are added then simmered until tender.
Beer Meat Loaf – Kodrulle – Pork and smoked ham are ground together and mixed with cracker crumbs, eggs, salt and pepper. Formed into a loaf and rolled into a cheesecloth with the ends secured. Placed in a kettle and beer added to cover the loaf and simmered for a couple of hours.
Boiled Beef with Horseradish – Oksekod med Peberrod – Beef is boiled with onion and carrots until tender. A horseradish sauce is made of sour cream, fresh horseradish, vinegar, salt and pepper. The sauce is served cold with cooled beef.
Calf’s Liver – The liver is sliced thin and half is placed in a baking dish coated with oil and garlic. On top are placed chopped onions, tomatoes, leek and sliced mushrooms. Another layer of liver is added and topped by rest of the ingredients. This is baked for an hour.
Chartreuse Ragout – Cabbage, carrots and a ragout of meat, chicken or other poultry with no sauce is added to the vegetables and baked. This is served with Bordelaise or Caper Sauce.
Danish Cordon Bleu – Beef sirloin steaks are spread with mustard and topped with Danish ham and cheese (Svenbo or Danbo). The meat is then folded over and skewered. Afterwards dipped in flour, egg and bread crumbs and fried.
Anchovy Salad – Ansjossalat – Anchovies are mashed and surrounded on a plate with olives, sweet pickles, smoked salmon and a marinade is made of oil, vinegar, mustard, pepper and fish stock. Garnished with lemon and tomato slices.
Copenhagen Salad – Blue cheese is cubed and mixed with black grapes, walnuts and mandarin oranges. Before serving it is sprinkled with a little white wine or some liquer.
Curry Salad – To whipped cream are added curry dressing, hard boiled eggs, chopped herring in wine sauce, ham, cucumber, rice, lettuce leaves and fennel.
Herring Salad – Chopped herring fillet is combined with boiled potatoes, cooked veal, pickle, tart apples, cooked beets, onions, carrots, hard boiled eggs, vinegar, sugar and whipping cream.
Beer Meat Loaf
2 pounds lean Pork
1 pound smoked Ham hocks
1½ cups dry bread crumbs
2 eggs -- beaten
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Have your butcher grind the Pork and Ham together.
Mix well with the cracker crumbs, eggs, salt and pepper. Form into a loaf. Roll in cheesecloth and tie the ends securely.
Place in a kettle and add sufficient beer to cover the loaf. Simmer slowly for 2¼ hours.
Very good served on thin-sliced open-faced sandwiches. Or serve with cole slaw, your favorite sharp Cheese, pickled beets and Potato salad.
3 pounds calves' liver
salt and pepper
1 cup olive oil
½ small garlic bulbs
1 tablespoon leek -- chopped
1 cup Mushroom -- sliced
2 onions -- chopped
2 tomatoes -- sliced
1 bay leaf -- crushed
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon flour
Slice rinsed liver thin. Season with salt and pepper. Coat deep fryer/flameproof casserole with a little oil and the garlic. Arrange some liver on bottom. Add half remaining ingredients. Add remaining liver, then remaining vegetable and herbs.
Cover and cook 1 hour over low heat or in moderate over (350ºF).
Remove solids to warmed serving dish. Strain sauce, thicken with flour, smoothly stirring over heat. If sauce has cooked away, use a little boiling water to extend pan juices. When hot and boiling, pour over liver. By Rasma Raisters
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