Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Pizzeria Trattoria
6 Hollywood Road
London SW1 9HY
Tel: 0207 376 3890
(Went there 23-01-07)

For some reason it is very hard to find a half way decent pizza in London. For some reason most of the pizza available in this super wealthy mecca of food is either cardboard like or so drenched in fat (from the cheep cheese usually) that it is inedible. My favourite is actually from a tiny little Italian tratteur on Abbey road which for some reason serves absolutely brilliant pizza but I’ve not been there since I moved.

Yesterday, on our way to a Chelsea game, we stopped at the Napolitan Pizzaria Friends over in Hollywood road. They have fantastic pizza and a wood fired oven. In addition they have a salad bar that is one of the best value in this city. Basically, great antipasti from whole mozzarella to very good quality Parma ham.

My pizza was called Friends Traditional and had tomato base, mozzarella, Parma ham, black olive pesto and Truffle oil. Pizza with truffle! I mean what is there not to like! Normally, I do not hold with the fashion of putting pesto on everything in sight but this really worked and combined with a great crunchy pizza base made for a fantastic pizza.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Wild Goose Compote with baked Vacherin over salad potatoes

I had the following conversation with my brother Siggi:

Him: I have been keeping the legs of all the geese I have shot for the past few years in the freezer but I do not have a recipe. What can I do with them?

Me: ehh!

As my brother is the most prolific hunter I know I knew he was not referring to two or three pairs of goose legs. I just knew I was looking at a massive quantity. I also knew that since he kept the legs on whim they would just have been dumped in a bag and not prepared. I was not looking forward to this. As it turned out he had about 30 pairs (about 5 kg) in his freezer (and therefore not at all the legs he could have had) that had been cleaned to say 90%, therefore not bad at all.

I also knew he was talking about some of the most difficult meat available. The legs from wild geese are dry, sinewy, chewy and gamey to a point where they can not be eaten after any normal preparation. They have nothing in common with the legs of domesticated geese that taste more like duck legs. Normally, you would spend hours removing the sinews and all other undesirable bits before marinating the meat in something with a high ph level to soften the meat.

Alternatively, you can cook the meat for a very long time which magically gets rid of all the “issues” including the sinews. I choose to use the same method as the beer braised beef recipe below with a few changes. I chose to use a darker beer (ended up with Beamish although I was really looking for Guinness) to match the stronger taste of the goose. I also removed the cinnamon but added sage.

After about five hours (when the beer was reduced to about a fifth of the 3 liters I started with) I took out and shredded all the meat. I shredded the meat in my hands so it was quite chunky. I then put the meat back in the sauce after removing all the nasty bits like the stem of the rosemary. The goose meat is so dry at this point that the remaining sauce literally disappeared as I mixed the shredded meat back in so what I ended up with was a kind of compote hence, the name.

When I was ready to serve the meat I reheated the compote (btw, for the pendants out there compote just means stewed even if you’ve only ever encountered it in connection with sugary fruit concoctions) and added about 500 ml of cooking cream. The cream is not strictly speaking necessary but it does bring out the richness of the meat.

The Vachrin dish is the dish I mentioned below in writing about the Anchor and Hope. You simply heat a Vachrin in its wood box in an oven at about 200 degrees for about 15 minutes. The time it takes varies depending on the temperature of the cheese when it goes into the oven. You need to watch the cheese closely by taking it out frequently after the tenth or so minute. The problem with Vachrin is that it hits a point where it goes completely liquid and just runs out of the box. You want to serve it just before that point.

I chose potatoes, which I think of as French salad potatoes that are not starchy but quite firm after boiling, that you can serve with the skin on. To serve I put the potatoes warm (not hot) on a serving plate and slightly crush them and salt with sea salt. I then pour the warm cheese over the potatoes on individual plates and serve with the compote.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops and Fig Spear with Wasabi Sauce

  1. 2 Large scallops per person;
  2. 3 dried figs per person;
  3. 1 Streaky bacon strip per scallop;
  4. Salt & Pepper;
  5. Butter and Olive Oil to fry in;
  6. For the Sauce:
  7. Wasabi cream;
  8. Crème fraise;
  9. Accadia Honey;
  10. White vine vinegar;

Wrap the scallops in the bacon and with a wood pin spear them in such a way that each scallop is held securely in place by a dried fig on either side. In a heavy bottomed pan heat the butter and oil until the butter simmers. Fry the scallop spear for just over a minute on each side that is covered in bacon. Serve with a drissel of sauce over a leaf of little gem lettuce.

To make the sauce simply mix the cream, wasabi and honey until you have a sauce that tastes clearly of wasabi, burns a little bit at the back of the mouth but is not very strong. Add the vinegar until you have a consistency whereby the sauce runs easily off a spoon but is still thick.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Heitt I Fati (or Icelandic Brunch)

This is a typical Danish originated brunch served in my family and as far as a know commonly in Iceland. My parents studied in Denmark after WW II and they and their friends where often a little bit out of step with Icelandic traditions as they had picked up so many Danish ones. This just might be a Danish tradition.


  1. White sandwich bread sliced thinly with the crust cut off;
  2. Tin of green asparagus tips, save the juice;
  3. Bacon
  4. 2 Eggs
  5. Grated Gouda style cheese
  6. Salt & Pepper


Cover the base of a square oven proof dish with the bread, pack it in so that the bread really covers all surface. Spread the asparagus on the bread add salt and pepper. Put on another layer of bread and poor over enough of the juice of the asparagus to make the bread moist but not soggy.

Mix the egg and cheese together and poor over. Cover with the bacon, season and put into a preheated oven at 200 degrees Centigrade for until the bacon has the desired color and the cheese is melted. It is a good idea to pre cut the bacon in such a way that when you cut the bread into portions you do not have to cut trough the bacon. Unless you have a super sharp knife you will have to push down on the bacon when you cut it which will cause you to crush the bread.

We serve this with hot chocolate with brandy and whipped cream.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Lifrakaefa (Liverpostej)

This liver pate is very much part of my family's festive menu and featured this year at my brother Gummi's house on the 27th. I guess it is another Danish tradition imported by my parents. We serve it as a starter but clearly it is quite sufficient as a main. The tradition is to serve various local breads with the pate. These include flatkokur a sort of pancake made from ... , rugbraud a very moist black bread made from ..., and laufabraud a traditional Christmas concoction of deep fried white dough. Regular toast is also very good with the pate.

  1. 1 kg minced pork liver
  2. 500 pork fat
  3. 2 onions
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 2 tbls butter
  6. 2 tbls flour
  7. 100 ml milk
  8. 2 tsp allrahanda (this is a herb/spice mixture that contains cinnamon, various peppers and some other unidentified herbs. I suspect this is something that became popular when spices where expensive and hard to get and I plan on replacing it)
  9. 2 tbs cloves (that's what the recipe calls for but I only use about a quarter that quantity)
  10. Salt and pepper
  11. Bacon
  12. Button Mushrooms

Make a roux with the butter, flour and milk. In a mixer work in the other ingredients, other than bacon and mushrooms, beginning with the egg and ending with the fat and meat. Bake in a Bain Marie for around 1 hour at 200 degrees centigrade. Just before serving fry up the bacon and mushrooms and serve warm with the pate.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Dinner Menu New Years Eve 2006

  1. Bacon Wrapped Scallops and Dried Fig Spear with Wasabi Sauce;
  2. Wild Goose Compote with baked Vacherin over salad potatoes;
  3. Reindeer steak with brandy flambéed fois gras, wild mushroom sauce, beetroots in balsamico and candied potatoes;
  4. Runny chocolate brownies with home made blue berry ice cream;