Tag: Spices

Traditional Dishes | Boller i Karry Sovs (meatballs in curry sauce)

DENMARK

There is no debate in Denmark about the basic recipe for curry sauce. It is flour and curry powder melted in butter and gently simmered into a thick or thin sauce with a liquid medium that will be milk for general preparations or the cooking liquid of the meatballs with this dish, a family favourite, made with commercial curry powder that is mild and mellow, with just a hint of spice.

For many years meatballs in curry sauce was a tame affair. The meatballs were made with a combination of pork and veal, loosened with egg and a large quanitity of milk offset by white wheat flour, and flavoured with onions or shallots and black pepper and salt. The ingredients for the sauce remained constant.

Gradually this began to change. Intrepid home cooks and innovative restaurant chefs began to experiment. The onions or shallots were puréed in a small amount of milk and the flour was omitted. This method produced harder meatballs that had a stronger meat taste. Suddenly the meatballs that were accompanied with curry sauce fell into two categories.

  1. Soft meatballs with a mellow meat taste served with a mild milky curry sauce.
  2. Hard meatballs with a strong meat taste served with a strong aromatic curry sauce.

Inevitably the two versions began to merge. Apple flavour in the shape of cooking apples and apple vinegar became essential ingredients. Milk was replaced with chicken, meat or vegetable stock. Garlic added an aromatic flavour. Cream was used to balance the flavours in the strong version. The sauce began to include onions and then shallots were preferred and gradually the quantity was increased. The curry power was made fresh or commercial preparations from the Indian sub-continent were preferred over the Danish packets.

This is our interpretation of the traditional dish, with a home made curry sauce.

Curry Powder

  • 10 g turmeric powder
  • 5 g allspice, ground
  • 5 g cumin seeds, ground
  • 5 g fenugreek seeds, ground
  • 5 g garlic powder
  • 5 g icing sugar
  • 5 g mango powder
  • 5 g paprika, ground
  • Cinnamon, ground, large pinch
  • Ginger, ground, large pinch

Grind the seeds in a blender, add the ground spices, blend for a few seconds, until there is an even colour.


Meatballs

  • 500 g pork mince or 250 g pork plus 250 g beef or veal
  • 75 g onion, puréed in 60 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 30 g white wheat flour
  • Salt, large pinch
  • White pepper, large pinch

Curry Sauce

  • 600 ml cooking water from meatballs
  • 75 g onion, finely chopped
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g curry powder
  • 15 g white wheat flour
  • Salt, pinch
  • White pepper, large pinch

Combine the minced meat, puréed onion, egg, flour and seasonings. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Form meatball mixture into walnut-sized balls. Place in hot water a few at a time and cook for 10 minutes until they are firm.

Sweat onion in butter for about 15 minutes. Add curry powder and flour. Add meatball cooking water, whisk into a smooth emulsion, reduce into a thick or thin sauce.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper and carefully add the meatballs. Leave to allow the meatballs to absorb some of the sauce.

Serve with rice and a green vegetable.


[PLACE] ROTTERDAM | NETHERLANDS | Kruidnootjes (Spice Nuts)

The Spice People

VerstegensPeter
The Dutch love spices. Peter at Verstegens explains why.

Kruidnootjes

A freshly ground sweet spice mix is the starting point for these aromatic winter nuts. It can be bought ready packaged but home grinding and grating whole spices gives a fresh kick to these nuts. Traditionally the spice mix is 2:1 cinnamon to each of cloves, ginger and nutmeg with a lesser amount of white pepper. Intrepid bakers spice up this combination with cardamon, coriander, fennel and anise.

  • 250 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 15 g traditional spice mix (speculaas)
  • Salt, large pinch
  • 125 g brown sugar
  • 100 g butter 45 ml milk

Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl, mixing in the spices and salt, add sugar, cut in the butter, the milk, one tablespoon at a time until the dough is firm but soft. Rest dough for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 150°C.

Cut the dough into 10 gram pieces, roll into balls and place on a lightly buttered baking tray.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, shorter for softer nuts, longer for harder.

Kruidnootjes are part of the gingerbread tradition associated with the spiced molded biscuits produced on Saint Nicholas Day – known as speculaas in Belgium and the Netherlands, spekulatius in Germany and as gingerbread throughout Europe.


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Legendary Dishes | Basler Läckerli (gingerbread biscuits)

Basler-Läckerli-Biscuits-LowRes
Basler Läckerli SWITZERLAND gingerbread biscuits

The Basler Läckerli is a small, rectangular gingerbread biscuit (without the ginger), thin glazed and dusted with icing, a much harder bite than the Belgian and Dutch variety. It is one of several Swiss variations of gingerbread that began when oriental spices arrived in 11th century monasteries.

  • 700 g flour
  • 500 g liquid honey
  • 300 g sugar
  • 150 ml kirsch Glaze (100 ml water to 150 g sugar)
  • 100 g almonds and hazelnuts, chopped
  • 100 g lemon and orange candied peel, chopped
  • 30 g cinnamon, ground
  • 20 g baking powder or 10 g potash
  • 15 g clove, ground
  • 15 g nutmeg, grated
  • Cardamom, pinch
  • icing sugar

Bring honey and sugar slowly to a boil, simmer until sugar dissolves, cool. Mix nuts, peel and spices with the zest and kirsch. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, gradually adding the honey syrup and the nut paste. Knead into a pliable dough.

If using potash, mix with cherry brandy.

Rest overnight.

Roll the dough out to a depth of roughly 6mm onto two greased parchment sheets, place on baking trays making sure the dough is evenly distributed all around.

Rest for an hour.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Make the glaze and apply evenly, dust with icing sugar.

Cut into 5 x 5 cm rectangles.

Making a large batch is worth the effort. Kept in air-tight containers they will stay fresh for several months, slices of apple will soften them.

Läckerli are broken into pieces and dissolved slowly in the mouth.

Replace wheat flour with rye flour to get the authentic 17th century version.

Older recipes use more almonds, usually the same amount as the sugar.

Many homes added milk to the mixture, at a ratio equal to the honey and flour, the milk mixed with the honey. Some homes added eggs, mixing them with the sugar.

Basler-Läckerli-Packet-LowRes


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[PLACE] ROTTERDAM | NETHERLANDS | Kapsalon (Hairdresser)

French fries coated with shoarma meat and melting Gouda cheese, topped with salad and served with a sauce, this is the Hairdresser!

The dish originated in 2003 when Nathaniel Gomes, the Cape Verdean owner of the Rotterdam hairdresser Tati, went to the shoarma shop El Aviva and asked for a dish with all this favourite ingredients.

It became a regular order, took its name, and is now very popular among young people in the Netherlands and Belgium.

At 1800 kcal the Hairdresser is a calorie bomb.

Shoarma (chicken, beef, lamb or turkey)
Baked fries
Grated cheese
Iceberg lettuce, sliced
Red onion, sliced
Sauces: garlic sauce, curry sauce, 
peanut sauce, ketchup or mayonnaise

The Hairdresser can also be made with chicken, doner, falafel, gyros or kebab.

 

Shoarma Mix

 

The spices for shoarma are variations of cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, mace, nutmeg and black, cayenne and paprika pepper.

This is a dry mix.

15 g coriander, ground
15 g cumin, ground
15 g garlic, powder
8 g cinnamon, ground
8 g paprika, ground
1 tsp black pepper, ground
1 tsp garam masala (optional)
1 tsp ginger, ground
1 tsp turmeric, ground
Cayenne, large pinch
Cloves, large pinch

This is a wet mix.

5 cloves garlic
120 ml lemon juice
60 ml apple cider vinegar
60 ml olive oil
1 onion, grated
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
Caraway, large pinch
Cardamom, ground, large pinch
Cayenne, ground, large pinch
Cinnamon, ground, large pinch
Cumin, ground, large pinch
Ginger, ground, large pinch
Pepper, ground, large pinch

In the Netherlands, nutmeg would be added to these mixes.

 

Shoarma – 1

 
500g beef, lean, cut into strips
75 ml shoarma wet mix
15 ml sunflower oil

Marinate meat in the wet shoarma mixture overnight.

Brown meat in oil in a wide frying pan over a medium heat, about five minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place meat in a small baking tray and spoon a tablespoon of the marinade over the top.

Cover with foil, bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for ten minutes.

Leave to rest for five minutes, then serve.

 

Shoarma – 2

 

500 g chicken, cut into strips
15 ml red/white wine vinegar
15 g shoarma dry mix
15 ml sunflower oil

Marinate meat in the shoarma spices overnight.

Brown meat in oil in a wide frying pan over a medium heat, about five minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place meat in a small baking tray and spoon vinegar over the top.

Cover with foil, bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for ten minutes.

Leave to rest for five minutes, then serve.

 

Shoarma – 3

 

500 g lamb, lean, cut into strips
120 ml yoghurt
2 red peppers
30 ml olive oil
15 g shoarma dry mix
2 cloves garlic, crushed, chopped
Salt
Pepper

Marinade meat and peppers in oil and spices for an hour, separate meat.

Combine garlic, yoghurt and seasonings.

Brown meat in a wok over a high heat, add peppers, then the garlic-yoghurt mixture. Cook for five minutes.

Serve with hot pita, the sauce on the side, garnished with green chillies and lemon wedges.

 

Adapted from The Great European Food Adventure.


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