Shitty Eggs and Tiny Shrimp: Recipes for traditional easter lunch
A Traditional Danish Easter Lunch as served at Gammel Mønt Restaurant
For 4 ps.
Photos: Lars Gundersen
Eggs in Mustard Sauce
In Danish nicknamed “Shitty Eggs”. Historically a traditional dish for Maundy Thursday. Today often eaten as a starter.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour while you keep stirring constantly for about 2 minutes until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit – but do not let it brown. Add ¼ liter of hot milk and continue to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a rich spoonful of course mustard. If the consistency is too heavy, loosen the sauce with a drop or two of cream. Pour the mustard sauce on a hot plate, and cut your two 7-minute eggs in halves before you place them on the sauce. Serve at once with bread.
Fermented and salted herring with mayonnaise and small potatoes
This is very simple – if you can get the salted and fermented herring. Simply serve with mayonnaise, capers, rings of red onion, and the smallest available potatoes.
Fried and pickled herring
You can actually use any smaller fish that you can filet completely for bones. Herrings are dense in meat, fatty in the most healthy way and flavor intense. They handle this harsh method of preservation best, but if you are interested in the effect, and cannot get whole herring – try another whole, small fish.
Take four herrings and filet them whole, butting of the head, but keeping the two sides of the fish together. Most often they come like that too if you buy them pre-filleted. Drizzle with salt and pepper, and fold back together around the now removed bones. Roll in flour, fry at medium to high heat in a pan with a generous amount of clarified butter, browning the whole fish. Put in a deep tray. Take 100 g of sugar, 2,5 dc of plain vinegar, 5 black peppercorns and a handful of bay leaves, and bring it all to a boil. Leave to cool for a while, and pour over the fish, until it covers them. They should be cover, but otherwise make more vinegar pickle. When cooled off, fill in a handful of red onion rings, and leave in the fridge for at least one day. Eat on dark, unsweetened rye bread.
Cured and cold smoked salmon with soft-boiled eggs and herbal cream
Salmon used to be so plentiful in Denmark that farm workers had written into their contracts that their lords and masters could only serve them salmon six days a week. Today wild salmon is a rarity as most are raised on farms, many of which are becoming of excellent quality, turning organic and with room for the fish to move and grow.
Purchase a piece of cold smoked and cured salmon of good quality. If possible, go for the widely praised salmon from the Danish island Fanø, which is just in a league of its own. Simply slice the salmon thinly (sharp knives are a chef’s best friend). Take a ¼ liter of cream, and whip it with the juice and rind of half a lemon until it thickens. Voila – sour cream. Chop a handful of parsley, some chervil, chives, dill or other luscious greens in your general vicinity. Spinach could be nice too. Put the herbs in your sour cream. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with a soft-boiled or poached egg. White bread on the side.
Fjord shrimps with a broken Easter egg
The tiny shrimps are virtually impossible to get outside of Denmark. They are boiled shortly for 1–2 minutes in salted and lightly sugared water. Cooled off, peeled by hand, and left outside of any refrigeration until eaten. It is one of the most treasured Danish delicacies. They are most often eaten “au naturel”, here on toast with a crushed, soft-boiled egg on top. If you come to Denmark when they are in season, treat yourself to some poor fisherwoman tedious work – the little things are soft and sweet like little shrimp kisses.
Sole and Cabbage
Cut away the filets of two soles. Cut a head of pointed cabbage in quarters. Take a deep pan, heat it up, put in the cabbage with half a glass of beer, three spoonfuls of butter, the juice from half a lemon and a small bit of nutmeg – and salt and pepper of course. Leave to simmer for 2 minutes, place the filets on top of the cabbage and put a lid on it. 3 minutes later, it should be ready to serve with fresh dill.
Serve cabbage, buttersauce and steamed sole on a hot plate. Remember that the beers should be light in color and a little sweet to match the sweetness of the cabbage.