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Denmark is an exceptionally beautiful place and has actually been named one of the happiest countries several years in a row. This is despite the fact that, on average, it snows or rains every two days. Denmark is also windy and cold, with average temperatures ranging from 32-degrees F in winter and 63-degrees F in summer. To offset a pretty terrible climate, folks in Denmark indulge in lots of different outdoor winter sports and activities, and many consider themselves foodies.

Danes are kno…

n for drinking coffee more than people in other countries, they have a famous brand of butter that's sold worldwide, and they are credited with inventing the Danish. In Denmark, the famous pastries are called wienerbrod, which means Viennese bread. It's an homage to the immigrant Viennese bakers who replaced Danish bakers during a strike in the 1800s. Another kind of food that's popular in Denmark is fish. In fact, the country was once a prominent fishing colony and today it's a top exporter of meat and fish products.

If you're looking for some really great Danish recipes, you've come to the right place.

Holiday Recipes

Æbleskiver means "apple slices" in Danish and have been compared to American-style pancakes. They're actually very light and fluffy, and more closely resemble puff pastry dough. In Denmark, æbleskiver are round like balls and they're eaten as a dessert, snack, and served at special events and parties. Americans enjoy them as a unique brunch recipe, as well as at special events honoring Danish culture.

Ingredients needed to make the batter for this easy recipe includes wheat flour, milk, eggs, and sugar. They're filled with fruit preserves and jams, like apple filling and berry jelly.

After making the batter, it's poured into a special stovetop æbleskiver pan, which you can easily find online using keywords like "pan for Danish stuffed pancake balls or "stuffed pancake pan." In order to create the spherical shape, the hardening batter should be turned with a fork or skewer. Once they're finished hardening and rising, dip the pancake balls into berry jam and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Danish Lunch and Dinner Recipes

Danes typically enjoy eating a light breakfast, like a roll with jam or cream cheese. Open-faced meat sandwiches are a popular lunch food. Smørrebrød, which translates to bread and butter, is made with rye bread, fish or sausage, a hard boiled egg, and topped with herbs, vegetables, and sauce. Leverpostej is a sandwich spread made with pork liver pate. Lard is another type of popular sandwich spread.

Other common Scandinavian sandwich ingredients include salted beef (salkød), thinly sliced roast beef, smoked eel, smoked salmon, horseradish, and crispy fried onions.

Roast pork (flæskesteg) is considered one of the most popular national dishes. It's made with pork roast with skin on, salted or unsalted butter, coarse salt, black pepper, and bay leaves. To make the basting sauce, you need brown broth or beef bouillon, an onion, rosemary, and thyme. The meat gravy is made with whipping cream, blue cheese, salt and pepper, and brown gravy. Once the pork is finished roasting, you can serve it with caramelized roasted potatoes.

Potato Recipes

Potatoes, or kartofler, are extremely popular in Denmark. Danes like them boiled, mashed (kartoffelmos), and caramelized with sugar (brun kartoffler). To make caramelized potatoes, peel small potatoes, then add to boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes. In a separate pan, over medium heat, melt sugar and then mix in salted or unsalted butter until well blended. Toss boiled potatoes, 1 tablespoon water, and the melted ingredients in the pan until the potatoes are fully coated. Then cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Total time for cooking and preparation is less than 30 minutes.

Danish Soup Recipes

In a chilly climate like Denmark, soup is eaten like it's a meal and is served with plenty of bread. Green kale soup, or Danish grønkaal soup, is made with ham broth, chopped ham, carrots, leeks, celery, garlic, kale, and thyme. You can cook kale soup in a large pot on the stovetop on medium-high heat, or leave it to cook for up to 8 hours in a slow cooker.

Crispy pork soup with parsley is considered a national dish in Denmark. Ingredients include fingerling potatoes and sliced pork belly. The parsley sauce is made with butter, all-purpose flour, milk, sugar, and parsley.

Roast the pork in the oven at 350-degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, until crispy. At the same time, bring potatoes to a boil, and then simmer 15 to 20 minutes. To make the parsley sauce, melt the butter and then add flour and mix. Use water from the boiled potatoes if you need to add moisture. The mixture should be thick and creamy, but not lumpy. Allow the sauce to boil for a few minutes, then season with sugar and salt. After the sauce is removed from the heat, mix in chopped parsley. Put crispy pork and potatoes in a shallow bowl and spoon parsley sauce over top.

##Danish Pastry Wienerbrød, simply called Danish by Americans, refers to pastry recipes made famous in Denmark. The small croissant-like puff pastries are made with yeast-leavened dough (using flour, milk, eggs, sugar, and lots of butter). The dough is thinly rolled, then buttered, folded, and chilled, then rolled and folded again and again. Chilling the dough makes it easier to handle. There are tons of different recipes for Danish toppings. The toppings are actually easier to make than the pastry. You can use fresh berries, berry jams, combine two or more types of fruit to get a refreshing filling or icing, like strawberry and lime; or chocolate, berry, and cream cheese; sugar-glaze icing with sliced almonds; and raspberry and cream cheese.

Making Danish pastries from scratch is an easy recipe, but you may need to watch the process on a video since the dough rolling, folding, and adding butter through each step might get confusing.

To start, gather unsalted butter, several cups all-purpose flour and milk, sugar, active dry yeast, 2 eggs, lemon juice, and almond extract.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 2/3 cup flour. Divide the mixture in two and roll each between pieces of wax paper. Place in refrigerator. In another large bowl, mix yeast and 3 cups flour. In a small pot over a medium flame or medium heat, combine milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt, and then combine the warm milk mixture with the flour and yeast, and add eggs, lemon, and almond extracts. Stir for 3 minutes and then add in the rest of the flour. Set aside so the dough can expand.

Divide the dough into two batches and roll both out into a square. Place cold butter on the dough and then fold the dough over and seal edges. Roll out each piece and fold again into thirds several times. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes so it hardens and is easier to handle. You will want to roll and fold the dough again at least two more times. The final dough will be about 1/4-inch thick. If you're making filling, like raspberry and cream cheese filling, place it in the center of the dough. Before placing the pastry dough in the oven to bake, leave the dough on a baking sheet so it can rise and double in size. To get a shiny finish, brush the top with an egg white mixture. Then bake at 450-degrees F for 10 minutes.

Many traditional dishes popular in Denmark tend to be very rich and heavy with cream and butter ingredients. It's a culture known for having some of the best pork products, fish recipes, cheese, and pastries. For dinner, you can expect to be served meat and potatoes in a heavy gravy, or hot soup with chunks of meat and potatoes. The food culture in Denmark is characterized by a wide variety of distinctive seasonings and flavors. There are sauces made with dill and parsley, sweet caramelized potatoes, pastry fillings made with cream cheese, apples, prunes, berries, and those that mix all of these. Pickled cabbage recipes are popular, as are smoky pork, sausage, and bacon served with potatoes and covered in gravy. Most recipes in Denmark are designed to make you feel warm and "hygge" -- a Danish word that does not have a direct translation in English. It roughly refers to a mood in which one feels content, cozy, comfy, and a sense of ease and wellness.

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