Food and meals are a very important part of the Neapolitan’s culture – this was clear to me from the beginning, and I’ve been fortunate enough to take part in real family weekend lunches as well as dinners, and it’s a very special experience. And it might sound strange, but sharing a meal is very different here from what it is in Denmark. And since it is so important for my friends’ culture, I wanted to share some of my food culture with them.
A few times I’ve cooked some Danish food with my flatmates, but I also wanted to share it with a few other friends from here, so I invited them for a small dinner of Danish traditional food. Or as traditional as it gets, from the products I could find!
We started out with one of my lunch-favourites (although we had it for dinner) – Pariserbøf! Literally translated it’s Parisian Steak, however it has nothing to do with Paris or France. But I read somewhere that the name might derive from the the type of bread, which is used in the recipe; it’s a basic white load of bread, but in Danish it’s called franskbrød, which translates to French bread!
So this is what the dish is:
It consists of a slice of the white bread (I always use regular, squared, white sandwich bread) with a hamburger-ish steak on it, and a few more elements added on top of it.
I take the minced meat and mix it with onion and eggs (which went through the blender first), and seasoned with salt, and added a little flour to get a good texture – some recipes will call for adding more stuff in the meat, but that’s not really my style.
I cook it in two different ways; either I first fry the steaks, and then I fry the bread on the pan (of course you can toast it for a healthier dish, but originally I think it would all be fried in butter!), or I will put the meat on the bread before any frying takes place, and then fry it meat-side down first, and then flip it and cook the bread side.
Then comes all the extras! I guess there will also be some variances here. But what I would do is onion in very small dices, a type of pickles in a curry-sauce (will explain later), pickled beetroot, capers, grated horseradish – all of it put on top of the steak – and to finish off! a raw egg yolk. Yummy yummy yummy!
However, I couldn’t find neither the horseradish nor the pickled beetroot in my local supermarket. I did find some pickled vegetables in vinegar, but I had to make them like the Danish-style I’m used to! So I went searching online again, and found some recipes, and basically ended up thickening the liquid from the veggies and adding some curry.
The Neapolitans was looking at it all a bit strangely – it seemed like really weird combinations to them, but they actually loved it! And I was happy to share this wonderful dish with them.
I also wanted to make some dessert for them. A dessert we’ve been talking about a lot is rødgrød med fløde, mainly because it’s fun to have them try to pronounce it! And it is also a summer favourite for me. But, I’m no that good at making it and I couldn’t get the fresh berries needed for it. So I went for another favourite of mine; gammeldags æblekage – old fashioned apple cake. But it is not a cake, it’s actually a trifle. This is something I remember eating at my grandparents’ house and always wanting seconds!
So the trifle consists of three different layers; a kind of apple-porridge (basically just apples cooked together wit sugar and vanilla until they’re all mushy), a kind of sugary breadcrumbs, and whipped cream! And I guess the old fashioned way of doing this is in a big bowl with only one of each layer – but I made some changes of course.
First of all I switched the breadcrumbs with an almond crunch! Sugar on a pan until it’s caramel, almonds mixed in and fried for a bit, cool off and then in the blender/chopper until it’s a fine crumble.
And instead of doing it in a big bowl, I did it in big glasses and put in multiple layers; apple, crumble, whipped cream and finish off with a bit of crumble on the top.
All these amazing pictures were taken by the fabulous Marina Sgamato, who’s become a real friend here. She is an amazing photographer and I’ve enjoyed her company both at work and outside of work ❤ This goes as well for her wonderful brother and her sweet boyfriend.