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Since I began writing the novelized story of my ancestors’ journey from Denmark to America, nearly everyone I’ve talked to, it seems, has Danish ancestors. This has been inspiring, and encouraged me to keep on writing.
After visiting Denmark, I returned with an appreciation for their smørrebrød (open-faced) sandwiches as well as some of their other cuisine.
One of the things I had at a restaurant in Odense, was rødkål, or red cabbage. It’s sweet-tart and yummy. I found a couple of recipes in my Danish and Scandinavian cookbooks and tried them. They had apples as an ingredient, and red currant jelly which is something that’s not popular here in Arizona, and therefore expensive.
I tried the recipes several times, used different types of jelly—grape, boysenberry. None of it was what I remembered from Denmark, and it wasn’t that great. My family couldn’t figure out why I liked the stuff. Then, I talked to a friend. Her daughter married a Dane, and had lived in Denmark for years. She had the recipe and emailed it to me.
I tried it, and yay! this was the yummy red cabbage I remembered.
[I cut this recipe in half for the three people in my family.]
1 little red cabbage weighing about little over two pounds
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
7 TBSP white vinegar
14 TBSP cranberry juice
1/2 cup sugar
Place butter in pot, chop red cabbage fine (like coleslaw). Place butter in pot, and add the rest of the ingredient along with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let simmer, uncovered, for an hour. (Medium to low heat.) If it gets dry, add a little more cranberry juice.
Serve warm as a side dish with grilled chicken, meatloaf, or as a topping for a smørrebrød sandwich.