Europe, are you ready to party?!
We know that all of you are not going to be in Stockholm for this year’s Eurovision and that many of you will be going to Eurovision Parties. If you’re anything like me you will have been to many Eurovision parties over the years and will have had to bring a dish from your favourite/nominated/designated country. If that’s the case for you this year, then look no further, every Friday we’ve got you covered with some party recipes from across the continent and because you enjoyed my Christmas wine article, some more drinks choices too…
This week: Scandinavia
Kate’s Amazing Venison Burgers!
Now I realise you can get Venison all over the place, it’s not completely a Danish ‘thing’, but I have a friend called Kate, mostly known as ‘Danish Kate’, who is from rural Denmark where her Dad shoots deer and we then end up with the nicest cuts of venison to enjoy back in the UK – this is Kate’s recipe for the most amazing venison burgers ever…
650 g venison mince
2 slices bread, processed into fine crumbs
2 cloves garlic, crushed or 2 tsp ‘easy’ garlic
1 large handful flat leaved parsley, chopped
1 tbsp chopped chives
6 crushed juniper berries
Pinch salt & pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl. Shape into balls and then flatten into patties, set aside in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Heat a little oil in a skillet, gently fry the burgers for about 3-5 minutes each side. Serve in a bun with a slice of Jaarlsberg and a spoonful of beetroot chutney – easy!
The Danes are a nation of beer drinkers and Danish beer has become well known and well loved around the world, the most popular and recognised brand is Carlsberg, but there are plenty of others widely available. Look out for Tuborg, Odense & Jacobsen too.
Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how many of these I’ve made in my time – it’s much simpler than it appears, the trickiest bit is the pastry cream, but even that is quite easy. There are many different takes on Prinsesstårta, this is how I do it…
For the Pastry Cream
600ml/20fl oz milk
1 vamilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeded scraped out
6 free-range egg yolks
100g/3½oz caster sugar
50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
Pour the milk into a pan and add the vanilla seeds and pod and place over a low heat until it simmers gently. Remove from the heat. Remove the vanilla pod, it’s done its job of infusing the milk! In a large bowl, put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour and whisk them together until they go pale and creamy. Stir the warm milk slowly into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook on a low heat for 4-5 minutes, whisking, until the it goes really thick.
Remove from the pan heat and beat in the butter until it’s fully incorporated. Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool and chill in the fridge.
For the cake
4 large free-range eggs
150g/5½oz caster sugar
75g/2½oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g/1¾oz butter, melted
Put the eggs and sugar into a large bowl and using an electric mixer, whisk together until the mixture is pale (almost white) and thick. This should take about five minutes. Sift the cornflour, flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and carefully fold in using a large metal spoon. Finally fold in the melted butter.
Pour the mixture into the lined 23cm tin and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180C/350F until the sponge is golden-brown and has just started to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely. The slice into three layers and get ready to assemble.
Ok time to put it together, you’ll also need
Jar of raspberry jam
600ml double cream (whipped)
500g marzipan (dyed green)
Place one layer of cake on the serving board and spread evenly with jam, then a layer of pastry cream (use about a third), add another layer of cake and repeat, add the third layer of cake and repeat again. Finally add a giant mound of whipped cream and shape into a dome. Place the cake in the fridge for about an hour and then the last stage is to roll out the marzipan and completely cover the cake.
Sweden is most definitely a member of the so-called ‘Vodka Belt’ and if you want to drink to this year’s host nation then what better way to do it than with Sweden’s most famous export brand Absolut!
These are really a Finnish Christmas favourite, but I reckon they’ll be great at a Eurovision party too.
100ml cream or sour cream
1 tsp baking powder
150ml potato flour
Melt the butter and let it cool slightly. Sift the flours and baking powder together in a large bowl add the sugar. Stir in the cream and the melted butter and mix until smooth. Mix by hand until a smooth and shiny dough is formed. Roll the dough into small balls (In a slight break with tradition I then roll the balls in cinnamon and sugar) and place them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper, press lightly on the top with a fork. Bake at 200C / for 8 – 10 minutes. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. This quantity should make about 30 cookies.
You might be surprised to learn that the national drink of Finland is not in fact Vodka but a drink called Koskenkorva, to be fair it is pretty similar and the Finns do embrace vodka too. The most widely available is Finlandia, which is a delicately flavoured vodka best served over ice with a twist of lime and soda water.
Let us know if you make any of these dishes and share some of your Eurovision party favourites with us in the comments section. Next week, it’s Central Europe’s turn…
Author (& Chef!): Lisa-Jayne Lewis
Source: Eurovision Ireland