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Mastering the art of Danish cooking may not be at the top of your culinary bucket list, but we’ll bet you a basket of ebelskivers that it will be once you get a peek at Cook Yourself Happy: The Danish Way, an upcoming cookbook by Ladies of London star Caroline Fleming.
The royal entrepreneur, former host of Denmark's Next Top Model and mom of three is an avid cook. While she already has three cookbooks under her belt, this will be her first published in English—and the first one those of us not fluent in Danish will be able to devour when it hits shelves on September 21.
Cook Yourself Happy showcases more than 100 of Caroline's favorite Danish recipes and will cure cookbook jadedness with tons of dishes you’ve probably never tried (let alone heard of) before. There’s Stegt Flaesk, a fried pork belly that happens to be Denmark’s national dish; a curried cod roe mousse known as Torskerognsmousse; Gravadlax (which you probably know as gravlax) with mustard sauce; and plenty of other special occasion and holiday dishes that have been centerpieces of Danish celebrations for hundreds of years.
And speaking of special occasions, don't turn pumpkins into boring ol' pies this fall. Instead, try stuffing a gourd with nuts and cheese and baking it using the former baroness' easy recipe for Fyldt Bagt Græskar med Ost. It makes for a hearty vegetarian entree, seasonal side, or the perfect potluck dish when you really want to make sure you don’t bring the same thing as anyone else. And best of all, it's as fabulous as Caroline herself.
Stuffed Pumpkin With Nuts and Danish Cheese
(Fyldt Bagt Græskar med Ost)
In the good old days, it wasn’t a question of: ‘Can we eat this pumpkin, or is it just for carving for Halloween?’, they were all farmed to eat. I tend to always use the ‘pie pumpkins’, which can also be used for Halloween if it’s that time of year.
Pumpkin is one of my favourite vegetables, even in its most simple form, drizzled with olive oil and coarse sea salt and baked in the oven for an hour – utterly, utterly delicious.
This dish is a really satisfying winter warmer, perfect for a girly dinner, or as a very fulfilling side dish to my pulled pork or roast chicken.
1 Natoora Delica pumpkin
8 tbsp olive oil
a pinch plus 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
200g (7oz/1½ cups) pine nuts
200g (7oz/1½ cups) water chestnuts, cubed
2 tbsp hemp seeds
100g (3½oz/¾ cup) cashew nuts
2 tbsp oats
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp lemon juice
200g (7oz/1¾ cups) grated aged Havarti or Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
2. Prepare the pumpkin by cutting a ‘lid’ out of the top, then scoop out the seeds and discard. Take out the flesh carefully, leaving the skin intact. Chop the pumpkin flesh roughly and place in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle with 4 tbsp of olive oil, season with a pinch of salt and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, warm the remaining 4 tbsp of olive oil, then add the onion, garlic and the remaining 1 tsp of salt. Gently fry for a couple of minutes, then add the pine nuts, water chestnuts, hemp seeds, cashew nuts, oats and honey. Fry until golden and crispy, then set aside.
4. When the pumpkin flesh is baked, take it out of the oven and mix in the nut mixture, adding the lemon juice and half the grated cheese.
5. Turn the temperature down to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Transfer the nut filling into the whole pumpkin and top with the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
6. Take the pumpkin out of the oven and leave for 10 minutes before cutting it into 6 portions. This is delicious on its own or with my kale and quinoa salad on the side.
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