Denmark: Christmas in April

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When I think of Nordic cuisine it usually has fish involved.  I came to learn after eating this Denmark cuisine that they have so much more with such intense flavors.  With the meal ending on a sweet note of something I kept pronouncing Dumbledorfs but saying the real thing, Aebleskivers, is fun too.

I was sad this day was to be Denmark and not the Netherlands due to the 4/20 holiday.  By the time it was time to prepare the meal I realized too late.  We would celebrate this 4/20 in the most old couple boring way possible, soberly eating food not from Amsterdam.

After reading the ingredients I realized we would basically have a heart attack when done.  I think overall we used about 2 sticks of butter and no rich dessert was made by hand.  The meal we ended up making is traditionally eaten on Christmas day in Denmark; however, until recent history these food were eaten more often than just as a holiday treat.

The main entree of this dish is called: Flæskesteg.   Now not only is that fun to say over and over, they smash letters together confusing the hell out of me.  The Flaeksteg is a roast pork with crackling.  Sadly I went for the pork at the last second and couldn’t find a butcher that had a pork tenderloin with the rind still on, so no crackling.  I was okay with this and dressed the pork tenderloin as needed.  Using whole cloves, bay leaves and a whole bunch of salt, this pork was dressed to the nines.

The side dishes were fun to make and were very different than any recipe directions I’ve made before.  The first side I made was called Brunede Kartofler (another fun bunch of words.)  I boiled some baby potatoes and then peeled them, which seemed dumb as I burned my hand many times doing it.  Obviously, I didn’t have the patience to let them cool.  I carmalized the potatoes in sugar and butter, that is all.  They were rich as hell and tasted like a dessert.

The other dish for this meal was a red cabbage called Rodkal.  Rodkal is a red cabbage that is stewed to taste sweet and sour.  The directions gave you a few liquids to stew it in and of course we took the pickle juice option, because I mean who wouldn’t.  The cabbage was different than most but was delicious and went great with the other dishes.

The pork roast came out in no time and smelled amazing.  After managing to pick out the cloves and bay leaves I sliced up the meat.  The meat was tender and had amazing flavor.  Nothing could of made this meal better for a Dane Christmas.

But I then realized we had the Dumbledorfs or Æbleskiver, whatever.   As I write this I realize the A & E is always smashed together in their language.  But I regress.

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The Aebleskivers are basically spherical pancakes with the light and fluffiness of a popover.  Usually you make your aebleskivers in a fun pan that is specially made for them.  Sadly, we bought dessert already made at Trader Joes.  We baked a bunch of these pastries and put out some raspberry jam and chocolate spread.  We sprinkled some powdered sugar and ate them in about 30 seconds.

We were completely stuffed and ready for Nisse, the mischievous Dane elf that has fun on Christmas, to arrive.

– Matt

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