What’s on tap for this week?



It’s coming up to Christmas (as we  all know) and this year is a little different for us since we will be entertaining my husband’s parents at our house come this Friday. 

Christmas is a big thing for the Danish.  I married into a great culture of tradition that usually means a Christmas Eve feast.  We can’t be present for the actual Eve celebration, so we’re going to try and bring a bit of that to the Hyggehus.  You may wish to read more about the Danes and their “hyggelig” in my post, “Life in the Danish Hyggehus”. (That’s a photo of our house that was taken a few years back. )

I’m sure I’ve mentioned in the past, that Kev and I don’t eat meat.  We do eat fowl and fish, but nothing that comes from a four-legged creature.  The Danes love pork.  Well, you can see the dilemma in this situation, but we usually do make a compromise (I ask for forgiveness from all the true vegetarians and the porcine world at large).  We concede to one piece of pork roast to keep things copacetic for Christmas.

Of course, it’s even worse when I’m planning on cooking said pork myself.  Rather than work with a slab of pork roast, I am choosing to do a pork tenderloin in the crockpot (where I will only have to look at it very infrequently) along with some delectable vegetable dishes.

Here’s the menu:

Spicy Pork Tenderloin

Potatoes à la boulangère

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

Baked Parsnips and Carrots

Followed by:

Coconut Cream Cake and coffee.



Drinks will begin with an apéritif  of either Aalborg Danish Jubiloeums Akvavit with its hint of dill and coriander to prepare the palate for the spiced pork or, Danish cherry-wine cocktail, Kirsberry over ice.

The wine for dinner will be a nice Riesling and we’ll follow up with a lovely glass of Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port.


Spicy Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin (1 lb.)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup apricots (this recipe called for preserves, but I prefer to use dried and heat on the stove with a little water until they become soft.

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp. cumin

sea salt and ground pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil

(I have a feeling I may be ramping up the spice-factor)

Cut evenly spaced slits across the top of the pork tenderloin.  Insert pieces of garlic. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Let sit for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat apricots with 1/4 cup of water, lemon juice and spices. If necessary add water so the fruit does not stick to the pan. Coat the pork with the olive (use clean hands to smooth it over the entire piece. Yuck! What I do for family!) Roast the pork in a slow cooker/crockpot for 1 hour.  Spread fruit compote over the pork and roast for a further 3 hours on low until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving with the apricot sauce over top.


Potatoes à la boulangère

400 g peeled potatoes, thinly sliced

1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced

Fresh ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup (generous) vegetable or chicken stock

1/4 cup (generous) skim milk

1 tsp. butter

Layer potato and onion slices in a shallow, oven-proof dish (pepper each layer).  Mix stock and milk and pour over potatoes. Dot with butter.  Cover with foil and bake  for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

200g red cabbage (tough core removed), finely sliced

1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped

1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

1 Tbsp. wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. butter

2 Tbsp. water

fresh ground pepper, to taste.


Put all ingredients in a heavy-bottom, lidded pan.  Season to taste with pepper.  Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.  Stir well and replace the lid.  Reduce hat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice.  When tender, serve.

Can be cooked in the oven for the same length of time (at 325 degrees).


Baked Parsnips and Carrots

2 parsnips

4 carrots

1 Tbsp. butter

salt and fresh ground pepper

pinch of cumin

1 Tbsp. water

Peel parsnips and carrot. Cut in half cross-wise, then cut length-wise into strips.  Place in baking dish and dot with butter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin. Add water.  Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Can also be done in a covered dish in the microwave on High Power for 12 –15 minutes (or until tender).


Coconut Cream Cake

1 organic white cake mix

1/2 tsp. coconut extract

1 can coconut cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk

flaked coconut for garnish

In either a 13 x 9 or 2 round pans, bake cake.  Allow to cool.  Pierce top all over with a fork.  Blend cream, condensed milk and coconut extract. Pour over cake.  Sprinkle with flaked coconut.  Let stand overnight.  Refrigerate for a while before serving the next day. 

I intend to shake a few green and red sprinkles over top to give it a real Christmassy look.  The white cake with the coconut looks very much like snow.


What are you serving for your Christmas celebration?

(Recipes came from either my head (combining some internet recipes) or these two books: The Pocket fat, carbohydrate & fiber counter by Carol Bateman and Anne Lindsay’s, The Lighthearted Cookbook.)


35 thoughts on “What’s on tap for this week?

  1. Wow – what a feast! I'm having vegetarians and pesce-vegetarians over for Christmas too. I'm thinking of mushroom and chestnut terrine and a crab souffle.Hey, that little caroler next to the booze. We have one too (of course) Did your mother make it ceramics class?


  2. By the way, I've never made a souffle, but crab certainly sounds like a good one to try. Will you be posting the recipe.(I'm not a huge chestnut fan, but I'm sure with mushrooms and herbs etc. it will be divine.)


  3. Yum! What an enjoyable post.Raw meat makes me feel funny too (the editorial in that part of the recipe made me laugh). And pork is a Jewish no-no (although I've been known to indulge). Now I'm trying to reclaim my vegetarian past (I was a strict vegetarian for many years). But still…all of it sounds lovely, and so very appealing. I must say, of all the Christmas meals I've heard of, many of them delicious, this has to be my favorite with its Danish flair.


  4. Sounds like a sumptuous feast, Ms. Poetikat! Sure to keep the family warm on a cold Canadian Christmas! Love the pork roast for Christmas!Chicken paprikas and Hungarian stuffed cabbage are holiday favorites at my house.


  5. To me this sounds all very familiar, as my Christmas will be a real Danish one.;)How exciting that you carry on with this tradition. Christmas Eve is the biggest holiday feast for sure.;)Glædelig Jul!xoZuzana


  6. Wow, Kat, none of my daughters-in-law cook like that for me! If there are any leftovers Mrs. Jim and I might fly up.I eat some pork but most times I think of those poor little pigs in that cold truck, riding to slaughter. I haven't convinced myself to abstain as of yet…You might stop eating turkey too if you see this Sarah Palin pardons one turkey. Watch the man behind to see how the others meet their misfortune. It is somewhat GROSS…


  7. Ooh kat, on a cold wet day here I am suddenly ravenous! I love red cabbage, and do a very similiar recipe, oven-baked, though it also has cinnamon in it. The Coconut Cream cake sounds exquisite (I love coconut) – is there a UK equivalent of organic white cake mix? Is it like a sponge mix?The house looks fantastic in the deep snow.


  8. Titus, as far as I know, it's just a regular cake mix, but our grocery chain has a product that's made from organic ingredients. It seems to fluff up better than the others. You could use any white cake mix, I believe.


  9. DELICIOUS!!! I am going to ATTEMPT to make some gingerbread (one of my faves). I am more of a faker than a baker, but I try. I am better at the meal than the dessert!Thanks for sharing these culinary delights Kat!


  10. Thanks Sarah, The same to you and Andy.Liza – I love gingerbread cake (with applesauce). Are you talking about cookies and houses and men? They're good too! I like the spicy stuff—even in baking!


  11. Hello Kat,Your going to have quite a feast!!!!!! You'll have a great time with your family. Even though I'm a strict vegetarian, I make meat almost every night for my hubby and kids. They are all meat lovers.Last Christmas I roasted a ham for Christmas. I did not eat any of it because I don't like meat, but everyone else ate it and enjoyed it!The drinks sound very tempting!!!!!Have a wonderful time with your family this Christmas!!!!Lydia


  12. I had Thanksgiving at our house this year, and making the turkey was my task. I don't eat red meat at all, and seldom eat poultry. This was a fresh turkey—I picked it up from the farm on the day prior. It was all I could do to put it in the roaster.I still gag when I think of it. Christmas will be here, too. We've decided on sandwiches, so no one has to fuss! Works for me.


  13. Yum, Kat! This sounds enticing enough to brave the snow and the trip…! I'll have everyone for Christmas Eve dinner, as well, and pork tenderloin (I confess, we don't even pretend to be vegetarians)is on my menu, also. I haven't gotten beyond that yet, although I'd better start seriously planning! Enjoy the family and the celebration!


  14. That sweet and sour red cabbage sounds delish. On Christmas Eve, we have friends and neighbors over for all sorts of hor'd'oerves (or however the heck you spell it). Everyone brings something. Christmas day has been ham but now both of my daughters have become vegetarian…so hmmm. My cat absolutely adores ham.


  15. Oh, Kat!The recipes look amazing.I will be stealing your 'Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage' recipe to bring on Christmas Day along with my Holiday Baked Ham.I appreciate and accept the vegetarian ideal and give you kudos for your small bit of caving in.It is the holidays.Please enjoy.Check out some of my recipes athttp://smokeandmenus.combest,~m


  16. It all sounds delish, Kat! I'm doing dinner at the home of a friend with her family for the next-to-last night of Chanukah. We are vegetarian, so that should be fun and her homemade challah is to die for. Enjoy your celebration.


  17. Alan, I forgot about the beer! Well, I know there's a six of Carlsberg in the fridge downstairs. Kevin usually likes to buy Tuborg for his dad (and we like it too), I think Guinness will need to make an appearance and possibly some Alexander Keith's, or what's the one with the widget?Thanks for reminding me. You're on top of the important stuff.


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