Smashing pumpkins

The menus and the stores are crowded with pumpkins. I love the thought of cooking with mainly seasonal ingredients, but I must admit I have problems with pumpkins. For me it is like sweet potatoes, no real character just sweet.  Since so many people eat pumpkins there must be something wrong with me. To convince myself that pumpkins are gods gift to all gourmets, I don’t give up, but try new recipes. This one is the best so far and it is a perfect starter. The secret is the old swedish conservation method – vinegar and sugar. With the spices it makes the pumpkin more tasteful and not that sweet. Try it.


  • 200 g pumpkin
  • 0,1 l sugar
  • 0,2 l water
  • 5 cl vinegar (12%)
  • 1/2 cm ginger
  • 75 g goat cheese
  • 0,1 l chopped and roasted hazelnuts
  • your favorite salad

Start with the pumpkin. Cook water, vinegar and sugar. Remove from heat  and add ginger in slices and pepper.  Cut the pumpkin in thin slices (use a mandolin/slicer  if you have). Marinate the pumpkin in the lukewarm liquid for at least 3 hours.

Arrange the pumpkin, salad and goat cheese on a plate. Add the roasted chopped hazelnuts and pepper. Sprinkle some pumpkin marinate on top.

Music: Of course we listened to my top 10 album all time, Siamese dreams by Smashing Pumpkins.

Two for one with rhubarb

In Berlin they really do practice seasonal food. We eat white asparagus April-June, we eat chanterelle in the autumn and we eat as much rhubarb as we can before they are all gone. Even though I sometimes miss strawberries, rhubarb and chanterelle, I like the idea of adjusting to nature – not the other way around.  We’ve made two different rhubarb desserts; one sweet and one with cheese.

Rhubarb sorbet with strawberries

  • 500 g Rhubarb
  • 300 g syrup of Sugar*
  • 25 g Lemon juice, (squeezed from fresh lemons)
  • 1/2 Gelatin leaf
  • Strawberries
  • Black pepper

Blend rhubarb, syrup, lemon juice and gelatine together. Use an ice-cream maker.

Serve on top of fresh strawberries and just before serving grind black pepper on top!

* Syrup of sugar

  • 540 g Sugar
  • 3 dl Water
  • 100 g Glucose

Boil until 106 degrees Celsius, let cool off. Keep in the fridge.

Goat cheese with rhubarb

  • 2 Rhubarb stalks
  • White wine, enough to cover the rhubarb
  • 1-2 tbsp Honey
  • 8 thin slices of Baguette or Brioche
  • Goat cheese

Cut the rhubarb stalks in pieces, cover them with white wine and let simmer for 10 minutes. They shall be cooked so as to still be firm when eaten.

Roast the bread in the oven, until they get a bit of colour.

Place the rhubarb and the bread on a plate, sprinkle honey on top of the rhubarb. Serve together with a piece of really fine goat cheese. (If you’re uncertain wich cheese to choose, ask if you can taste it)

Music: Listening to Emmylou Harris’ Hard bargain.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

We both had a cold this last week and needed something to cheer us up so we started planning a menu with the very healthy apple as the connecting ingredient.

Oysters with apple

  • 8 Oysters
  • 2 tbsp Vinegar (apple cider)
  • 2 tbsp dry apple Cider
  • 2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Olive oil
  • zest from half a Lemon
  • White pepper
  • 1/2 frozen Apple

Open the oysters and marinate them in the vinegar, cider, sugar, olive oil, lemon zest and white pepper. Clean the oyster shells and put them in the freezer.

Grate the frozen apple. Take out the frozen shells, put some grated apple in the bottom, add an oyster and little of the marinade and garnish with some more frozen apple.

Smoked lamb, cucumber salad and chervil foam

  • 150 g Lamb fillet or other tender pieces
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled and cored
  • 1 dl Yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 3 Shallots
  • 4 dl Chicken broth
  • 2 dl Apple juice
  • 2 dl Milk
  • 2 dl Cream
  • zest and juice from 1-2 Lemons
  • 50 g Chervil (or mint, Thai basil)
  • Salt and black pepper

Start with the lamb. Mix a litre cold water with 1 dl salt to a transparent fluid. Add the lamb and salt for 5 min. Dry the lamb and smoke it for 5 min. You could also buy smoked lamb or duck.

Make long “noodles” of the cucumber. Salt and squeeze out the water. Chop 1 shallot in fine pieces and mix with cucumber, yoghurt and cumin.

Chop 2 shallots in fine pieces. Braise in butter, add chicken stock and apple juice. Boil untill half of the fluid remains. Add cream and milk and cook until it got a creamy consistency. At the end add chervil and lemon juice and mix with a hand blender to a foam.

Serve the foam with the lamb topped with the cucumber salad.

Thick fillet of cod with leek cream

  • 600 g thick fillet of Cod
  • 1 tbsp Bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp Apple, finely cut
  • 1 tbsp Shallot, finely cut
  • 1 tbsp Tomato, finely cut
  • 1 tbsp Parsley, finely cut
  • 1 tbsp Horse radish, grated

Put the cod raw in a bol with 1 l water and 1 dl Salt for about 20 minutes. Then rinse the fish in cold water, cut it in 4 pieces and put them on oven paper or on a buttered tin. The oven temperature is 80⁰ Celsius and the fish is done when it reaches 45-50⁰ Celsius.

Decorate the cod with the vegetable mix and the bread crumbs

Leek cream

  • 300 g Cream, 40 %
  • 200 g Leek, sliced
  • 150 g Potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • Salt
  • White pepper

Boil cream, leek and potatoes together until the potatoes are soft. Mix, strain and spice.

Blend rape oil with lemon juice and decorate the leek cream with it.

Roasted quail, black salsify x 2, cider juice

  • 4 Quails (boaned)
  • fresh Thyme
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 300 g Black salsify
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 dl Cream
  • 1,5 dl Chicken stock
  • 1 dl Apple cider (dry)
  • 1 teaspoon White wine vinegar
  • 4 twigs Tarragon
  • 1 dl stock from Veal

Cook vinegar, tarragon and cider until 3 tbsp remains. Add chicken- and veal stock and simmer to wanted consistency. If you want it to be like a glaze add some thickening. Before serving add a tbsp butter, salt and pepper if needed.

Peal the black salsify. Make four sticks (10 cm long). Fry the sticks in sugar and butter. Cook the left over pieces in 1/2 dl chicken stock and cream. Boil until the salsify is soft. Mix with salt and pepper to a purée.

Fry the quails in thyme, garlic and butter on the skin side. When colored bind together and roast in 100⁰ C in the oven until it reaches 57⁰ C.

Goat cheese with lemon and rosemary cooked apples

  • 1 Ciabatta or baguette
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 dl Sugar
  • 1 twig Rosemary
  • 1 Lemon slice
  • 1,5 Apple
  • 150 g creamy Goat cheese

Slice the bread in wafer-thin slices. If you put the bread in the freezer for 30 min it is easily done. Heat a pan with oil and salt. Bake the slices until they have a nice color.

Slice the apple into 1 cm apple rings. Cook 2 dl water, 2 dl sugar, lemon slice and the rosemary for 2 min. Add the apple rings and simmer for 3 min. Take out the apples and let them rest until served. Cook the syrup until it has the consistency of a glaze.

Put apples, cheese and the thin bread in layers. Garnish with the glaze and some rosemary.

Apple compote with cardamom cream and Calvados jelly

Apple compote

  • 2 Apples
  • 0,5 dl Applejuice
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • half a Cinnamon stick

Peel and core the apples, cut them into pieces. Boil them with the applejuice, the sugar and the cinnamon stick until they are soft. Take out the cinnamon stick and mix the rest to a smooth pureé.

Cardamom cream

  • 200 g Cream
  • 100 g Milk
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 50 g Sugar
  • 20 g whole green Cardamom
  • 1 Gelatine leaf, soaked

Boil milk and cream together with the cardamom, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar. Pour the milk cream over the egg yolks and the sugar. Heat to 85 degrees Celsius, add the gelatine leaf and strain.

Calvados jelly

  • 0,5 dl Calvados
  • 0,5 dl Water
  • 1-2 Gelatine leaves, soaked

Heat up the Calvados and the water carefully, add the gelatine leaves and let them melt.

Use a dessert bowl or a soup plate. The applecompote at the bottom, add the cardamom cream and then the calvados jelly. Leave it in a cold place (the fridge) until serving. We served it with a home made yoghurt sorbet, apple crisps and candied hazelnuts.

Last but not least we made an espresso and enjoyed a glass of really nice Calvados.

Music: The White Stripes wonderful  Apple blossom, together with the classic Glenn Miller song – Don’t sit under the apple tree