Yuletide favourites: Danish roast pork with Waldorf Salad


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By Debbie Yong

The Business Times

Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013

  • Candles and light

    Stinne Hoffman
    Co-founder and chef of Gaest, a week-old Danish deli on Telok Ayer Street

    "Christmas is very big in Denmark. The festivities usually begin from the start of December. When I was young, I would wake up to a small present from my parents every morning from Dec 1, and this would go on right up till Christmas Eve.

    "Many of our Christmas traditions involve candles and light, because it gets very dark very early in the winter. Each family will have a set of 24 candles at home, and it is the duty of the children to light one candle a day. It is also common for homes to have an Advent wreath made up of four large, white candles decorated with thyme and other fragrant herbs. We'll light one candle each weekend in the four weeks leading up to Christmas. My mother also had a large Christmas cookbook that she would dust off from the attic each December. It was filled with recipes for different sweets and cookies that she would bake each day until Christmas.

    "Our big Christmas meal would be held on Christmas Eve. Most Danish families will have roast pork, duck or goose, or sometimes all of it at the table. These will be accompanied by brown potatoes, or young potatoes caramelised with butter and sugar till they turn brown, and a pickled red cabbage salad, quite similar to the German sauerkraut. Though it's not traditionally Danish, the Waldorf salad has become quite a staple in many Danish homes these days. Most companies and social organisations will also organise Christmas "lunches" throughout December, though they are really long dinners involving lots of food and Danish schnapps.

    "This will be my first Christmas in Singapore since I moved here from Copenhagen a few months ago to start Gaest with my partner, Kim. We're sad that we won't be able to go home for Christmas since we're busy with this new project, but we hope to use the cafe to introduce more locals to traditional Danish food - but with a healthy twist. Most people back home prepare their Waldorf salad with cream and mayonnaise, for instance, but we do a healthier version with Greek yogurt and sour cream at home. Likewise, my havregryns kugler, or oat and cocoa truffles, are completely sugar and butter-free and made with roasted hazelnuts and dates instead."


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  • For the roast pork
  • One kg pork loin or pork belly with skin on fresh rosemary
  • coarse sea salt
  • For the red cabbage salad
  • 1/2 red cabbage
  • 50g English parsley
  • 2 oranges
  • salt and pepper
  • Brown potatoes
  • One kg of small potatoes
  • sugar
  • 40g butter
  • For the Waldorf Salad
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 apples
  • 50g walnuts
  • 100g grapes
  • lemon
  • For the roast pork
  • 1. Cut slits in the skin of the pork with a 0.5 cm spacing between each slit.
  • 2. Rub the skin with coarse sea salt and rosemary.
  • 3. Roast in the oven for 65-70 mins at 180 deg C, or until the skin is crispy.
  • For the red cabbage salad
  • 1. Slice the red cabbage very thinly on a slicer (mandolin).
  • 2. Rinse and chop the English parsley.
  • 3. Mix together and add pieces of an orange.
  • 4. Mix dressing of apple cider vinegar, honey, juice of an orange, salt and pepper. Pour on top.
  • Brown potatoes
  • 1. Peel and boil the small potatoes until a point where they are soft but still have some bite.
  • 2. Pour a thin layer of sugar on a pan and heat it until the sugar melts and turns into caramel.
  • 3. Add butter and the potatoes. Stir around until the caramel sticks to the potatoes.
  • For the Waldorf Salad
  • 1. Chop celery stalk and green apples and pour a bit of fresh lemon juice over. Cut grapes in half and remove any seeds. Chop walnut roughly.
  • 2. Mix a cream dressing of Greek yogurt and sour cream and a pinch of sugar and salt.
  • 3. Add all the ingredients in the cream and decorate with split walnuts and grapes.
 
 
 


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