As a global movement, we celebrate the gleeful collision of cultures, with these five winter dishes, just as much as we defend the integrity of traditions. Katrine Klinken is a cook, author, teacher, lecturer and an International Councilor for Slow Food, representing Denmark.
An author of several books about Japanese food and travel, in each she enthusiastically embraces ingredients, techniques and tastes to blend with her own Danish culinary traditions. Exceedingly practical, Katrine selects easy-to-find ingredients for these five winter dishes that can be prepared in advance of Monday’s meal and used as key ingredients for Tuesday’s.
While Danish and Japanese food may be poles apart in many respects, both cherish ingredients prepared simply. In keeping with the Japanese penchant for the bento, in which ingredients are served often cold or at room temperature as salads, Katrine also pays homage to the Danish love for cheeses. While dairy products may not play an important role in Japanese cuisine, it is beginning to play a more prominent role — especially due to the Northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido (where dairy farmers are producing innovative cheeses).
In one recipe, Katrine recommends this amazing Danish cheese on the Ark of Taste: Fynsk Rygeost. It is a white, smoked soft cheese made from whole cow’s milk. It is lightly smoked using moist oat or rye straw and nettles. An ideal option, since it mimics how in Kochi, Japan, cooks smoke fish with rice straw. In keeping with Slow Food values, cook with what you have. If you cannot find the Rygeost cheese, look for another that is also smoked and possessing the scent of barnyards. If you do not know which cheese to select, ask knowledgeable cheesemongers. Maybe, just maybe, they will recommend a substitute to match the endangered Viking classic, Rygeost.
These five winter dishes can fill you up and make you satiated for a long time. Serve the dishes at the same time and enjoy it in the order you like.
If you like the idea of serving several dishes at a daily meal you do not have to cook them all every day. You can make the broth for several days, and cold baked potatoes can be used in salad the next day. These are the types of efficiencies whereby it makes sense to cook once, and use often.
Slow Food Leader: Katrine Klinken
Dish: A vegetarian winter or early spring meal with Five Dishes
Ark of Taste Product: Fynsk Rygeost
Prepping time 1 hour
100 g of dried mixed forest mushrooms
1 liter of water
200 g of fresh mushrooms e.g. beech hat
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 glass of dry sherry
Soak the dried mushrooms in cold water for approx. 20 min. Strain off the water. Boil the mushrooms soaked for 30 min. Take the mushrooms out, and bring the broth to a boil. Add cleaned fresh small mushrooms, or pieces of mushrooms just a minute before serving. Add chives, sherry and salt according to taste.
Baked potato with wasabi butter and winter cress
Prepping time app. 1 hour – 1 ½ hour
4-6 big potatoes (app. 200 gram each)
100-150 grams salted butter, room temperature
App. 2 tbsp. freshly grounded wasabi or horseradish
4-6 handfuls of fresh winter cress or bitter salad
To sprinkle: Flake salt or sea salt
Wash the skin of the potatoes, and with a knife make a cut an X on the top of it. Bake the potatoes in a preheated oven app. 200 C for about an hour until soft. Mix butter with grated wasabi or horseradish. Rinse the cress or salad in cold water. Serve the baked potatoes with wasabi butter, salt and cress or salad on the side.
Stir Fried Green Winter Vegetables with Garlic and Sweet Shoyu
Prepping time app. 30 minutes
1 kg of spinach and chard
3 tbsp of oil
3-4 cloves of garlic
2-3 tbsp shoyu (Japanese natural fermented soya sauce)
1-2 tsp of grated zest of orange or mandarin
2-3 tsp of honey
Rinse the vegetables in cold water. Remove the most stringy/tough parts. Heat oil in a wok or iron pan and add mashed garlic and the vegetables. Fry and stir at the same time. Let the vegetables be soft but still with a bite. Spice it up with shoyu, zest and honey – taste that it is in balance.
Nori Seaweed with Rygeost (Danish smoked fresh cheese)
Prepping time app. 5 minutes
4-8 sheets of Japanese nori seaweed
150 grams of rygeost (Danish smoked fresh cheese) or crème cheese/cheddar cheese
Roast the sheets of seaweed on fire (gas jet) or on a special toaster. Spread the cheese on the roasted seaweed (yaki-nori) just before enjoying it.
Salad of Sliced Orange with Olive Oil, Red Onions and Nuts
Prepping time app. 15 minutes
4 oranges or 8 mandarins (app. 500 grams – save the zest for the stir-fried vegetables)
4 tbsp of olive oil
½ red onion or other mild onion
125 grams shelled walnuts
1-2 tsp. of sea salt
Maybe lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Peel and slice the oranges or mandarins. Arrange on a plate. Dress with olive oil, sliced onions and chopped walnuts. Sprinkle with salt. If the citrus is very sweet, add lemon juice or mild vinegar to improve the salad.