Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
This week, we’re in the nordic country of Denmark. I long to visit Northern Europe– it seems so charming and magical. I must admit though, I have never known much about Danish culture. But one thing I learned this week is that Danish pastries do not actually originate in Denmark! The capital city, Copenhagen, is known for it’s canals, bright and colourful facades, and pedistrian-friendly navigation. The rest of the country features castles, gorgeous countryside, striking cliffs, and rich viking history. Check out this article if you are planning a trip to Denmark:
We had so many cool options to pick from for our feature dish for this country, so we picked a few traditional ‘side dishes’ that made up one complete (and delicious) entree. We chose: Frikadeller (Danish meatballs), mashed potatoes with parsley sauce, and pickled red cabbage. We picked these dishes based on this post by VisitDenmark, this post by denmark.dk, this post by SwedishNomad, this post by danhostel.dk, this post by FamilySearch.org (which I have used for genealogical research!), this post by TasteAtlas, and this post by EatingEurope.
We used the following recipes: this Frikadeller recipe by Scandikitchen.co.uk, this potato with parsley sauce recipe by Copenhagenet.dk, and this Danish red cabbage recipe by Nordic Food & Living.
I did a terrible job getting photos throughout the process this time… and by “terrible job” I mean I did not take any. Whoops! But I made up for it by getting an Insta-worthy shot of the final dish. I’ll just get right to it.
I started by slicing the cabbage and adding it to my pan with vinegar and getting that to a simmer. It was a strong smell but I am a girl who could drink vinegar so I was not bothered by this! Then I made the meat mixture. We were stuck with beef because our grocery store sold out of pork and does not carry ground lamb, but I don’t think that was too much of a detriment. The mixture sat in the fridge while I got the potatoes on to boil and prepared the parsley sauce, which was essentially a bechamel (like we did last week while we were in San Marino) but with parsley. The sauce came together nicely. With Mack’s help, we fried out our meatballs and finished off the cabbage by adding the remaining ingredients. It was a lot of work but overall quite manageable.
The Frikadeller were fantastic. The seasonings really popped, which I think we owe to the use of sparkling water in this recipe, an ingredient I have never seen used in cooking before. I can see myself adding a glug of san pellegrino to all of my meatballs and meatloaves from now on. I am glad I learned that technique. That said, they were a little on the dry side on their own, so a mouthful of meatball plus the pickled red cabbage really made my tastebuds happy. This was a spectacular combination. Finally, the mashed potatoes were so wholesome and the parsley sauce was an added touch to make them a little more interesting.
Overall, this was a delicious, hearty, and satisfying meal. We were delighted. It was a familiar plate, but with a unique cultural twist. We will be keeping this meal fresh in our minds and we will probably make it time and time again! It was a successful week!