what i didn’t know; danish caramelizedn new potatoes & baby green salad

1968 – 20 years old – I decided that I want to try my wings, but didn’t at that time dare to fly too high or too fare away from home. Off I went to Denmark and it was there I found my way into the kitchen, more or less by an accident and an accident I never regret. Frist I worked as a room maid at a luxury hotel in Helsingör – with and in the whole French set up; black dress and, small white apron and hairband. Did it, but it wasn’t my thing. Had to start somewhere. After 6 months I read that newly opened SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen where looking for staff, so off I went and so there in Copenhagen it all started for me. What I didn’t know as 20 years old … Copenhagen taught me. Had a fantastic year there. This potato recipe I nicked and took with me  home from Hotel Royal.

Danish Caramelized New Potatoes , 6 person
24 small new potatoes, make sure they are all in the same size
125gr caster sugar
125gr butter, melted
fresh rosemary
salt & pepper

1. Brush/scrub the potatoes very well so nearly all peel comes off. Boil the potatoes for about 15-20 min until tender in salted water, let cool down
2. Put a havey based skillet over low heat. Add the sugar and let it melt until it turns light caramel brown – be careful so it doesn’t go to dark – witch can happen very quickly.
3. Stir in the melted butter
4. Put in so many potatoes as possible, without overcrowding the pan, Stir or shake the skillet all the time until the potatoes are nicely coated. Repeat until all potatoes are done. Seasoning with salt & pepper, pick rosemary springs and scatter over just before serving.

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Most of the time I buy bags of mixed baby leaves, but it has to be a mixture that contains baby spinach. The problem with those bags is that product is gassed – and so soon the bag is open the product goes limp and “life time” shorten with more then half. So I rise the leaves quickly in very cold running water (even if  pre-washed) – shake off excess water and transfer the leaves into compactly airtight container and in the fridge over night before using.

If I need lettuce for a main salad I use mainly Romaine Lettuce – same thing there. Open the lettuce head carefully from the top and let cold water run through. Let is stand on it’s head until so excess water inside will run out. Storage it in airtight plastic bag and most of the time it will stay crisp for up to 10 days.

Always use a Romaine leave on my breakfast sandwich under my ham and cheese. Also put loads of red onion rings on my breakfast sandwich – because it’s medical proven that raw onion prevent  thrombus. The Mediterranean countries has very low fatality from thrombus because they eat raw onion. Some useful information that you pobarbly can live without.  Now to the salad.

Baby Green Salad with Sesame, 6 person
3 raw beetroot, peeled and cut in very fine julienne
500 gr mixed baby salad leaves
1 bunch of spring onion, trimmed and sliced
12 radishes, thinly sliced
30 ml (2tbsp) sesame seeds, toasted

Dressing:
30 ml (2tbsp) rice-wine vinegar
10 ml (2tsp) light soy sauce
5 ml (1tsp) sesame oil
5 ml (1tsp) caster sugar
30 ml (2tsp) sesame seed, toasted

1. Slice the beetroots into thin slices then cut into fine julienned. Toss together with the salad leaves, spring onion and radishes
2. Whisk together all the dressings ingredients, make sure the sugar dissolves properly. Pour carefully over the salad just before serving, don’t soak it. Toss together. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over.

Dressing can be made in advance kept chilled and the ingredients can be prepared hours before, but keep separate – chilled and well covered to keep the crispness.

Photos provided by; trevorpearson.com / cz.123rf .om

as we all do …

#6 – on my gems list

The Waterfront Hotel & Bistro
7 North Crescent
Portpatrick
Nr. Stranraer
South West Scotland
DG9 8SX
Phone : +44 (0) 1776 810800
12 double and 2 cottages for up to 4 people
££
http://www.waterfronthotel.co.uk

Wedgwood blue – on the seafront – 5 meters away from the ocean – in this little fishing village on 20 min drive from Stranraer on the South West coast of Scotland – is the The Waterfront Hotel – Home away from home.

The rooms a beautiful decorated and lovely crisp bed linen without a wrinkle, the house keeper are ironing the beds when they been made. Absolutely spotless. Free WiFi in the whole hotel and the cottages, much better then bath robes and slippers. The rooms has the smallest shower rooms in the world – I think – but no problems. The main building is a graded building, so nothing could be changed inside, so the built-in-wardrobes became shower rooms.

Was invited to the opening of the hotel in June 1999 through my job in Stena Line and  all  years staying there  have I become very good friend with the owners and their staff, Geraldine and David. It’s like being at home. Going back every last weekend in November, because I love it when the rain and wind make the Irish Sea “evil” – it’s makes the place even more cosy.

Food ???? !!! ” The Bistro” favourite restaurant in the area – and the best I dare to say. My mentor once said that you should judge a chef by his vegetables – and the chef’s at “the Waterfront” are very gentle with their vegetables. In the tiniest kitchen are they performing to high standard and excellent presentation of the food. Nothing fancy or fooling around with silly stacks of carrots or pyramids of peas. Food are cooked with care and passion = like a love affair. Seafood and fish always top class, but the slow cooked lamb shank is one of my favourite dishes. On weekend the little restaurant is often full and they have to turn the foyer into private dinning room. Neither is there a problem for them to whisk up an omelet if that’s what you fancy.

If you like fresh seafood and fish, loads of fresh air, the ocean and a fantastic combination of  Scottish and Irish hospitality, as we all do – no doubts  – this is the prefect place for you. If there is any downfalls – is’t the weather, don’t count on blue sky and sunshine – but we can say as they do in Belfast … if you don’t like the weather, just wait 20 min.

Ceud mìle fàilte! / You are welcome!

Photo provided by; visitsouthwestscotland.com / thetraveleditor.com / flicr.com – michael thompson / guide.visitscotland.com/ portpatrick.co.uk