April 2015 Onsdag Frokost Menu at DAC: New Nordic Cooking

For Foodies (food enthusiasts) nationwide — but especially here in MN — the buzz has been about “New Nordic” cuisine. The emphasis for this has been about the nordic tradition of using what is local and seasonal. Last month, DAC Board President, Susan Jacobsen, played host and executive chef for the monthly Wednesday Luncheon (Onsdag Frokost) at the Danish American Center serving a menu inspired by this movement.

What follows is her account of that lunch and some recipes for you to try at home.


New Nordic cooking is Denmark’s latest contribution to healthy living in modern times. It is not just new recipes, it is a philosophy or way of thinking about food with values like prioritizing local ingredients, eating healthy grains and vegetables and eating less meat. In April, we offered our first vegetarian meal at Onsdag Frokost and while a little surprising for our diners, it met with success.

saltThe first course consisted of three green vegetables. Asparagus is one of the first spring vegetables, fresh soy beans are quintessentially Minnesotan, and green beans rounded the dish out with a familiar vegetable. Dress vegetables in olive oil, although butter is also good. The finishing salt we used is from a small company in Portland, Oregon. Jacobsen Salt was founded by a Danish American, Ben Jacobsen, who learned about artisanal salt while studying and working in Denmark. When he returned to the US he wondered why we had to import sea salt. His salt has taken the US culinary scene by storm. Hazelnuts paired with leeks and mushrooms combine Danish ingredients in a rich and satisfying pate. To me, it gives the same satisfaction as leverpostej and makes vegetarians feel welcome at family meals. Dessert was a lighter version of custard with soaked prunes, another traditional Danish ingredient.

Here are some of the recipes you can try.

The recipes:

April 2015 Onsdag Frokost Menu

First Course:




  • Asparagus spears, 6-8 per person
  • Fresh frozen soy beans (Edamane) 1//2 cup per person
  • Green beans, 6-8 per person
  • Jacobsen salt – or other large flake finishing salt
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper


  • Roll asparagus spears in olive oil.
  • Roast asparagus spears on cookie sheet at 350° for 15 minutes or until done.
  • Cook soybeans in water. Drain. Dress with olive oil.
  • Cook green beans in water. Drain. Dress with olive oil.
  • Place vegetables on plate and sprinkle with salt.

Main Course:



  • 3 ​leeks, (8 ounces)  finely sliced
  • 2 ounces ​olive oil
  • 3-4 ​cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 pound ​Portobello or Crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs ​fresh thyme
  • 3 ounces hazel nuts, finely chopped
  • 5 ounces fresh breadcrumbs
  • 5 ounces double cream
  • 8 ounces, grated Havarti cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 T soft butter with 1 T soft breadcrumbs for mold


  • Preheat oven to 300°
  • Sauté leeks in oil until soft. Add garlic, mushrooms and thyme. Reduce and cook, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Add nuts, breadcrumbs and cream.
  • Cool for 15-20 minutes and add cheese and egg. Pour mixture into a buttered mold coated with breadcrumbs. Bake at 300˚ F until firm, approximately 45 minutes. Let set for 15-20 minutes before serving for best texture. Serve the pate warm or cold.

For Danish Smørrebrod

  • 10 slices rye pumpernickel breadIMG_2162
  • 5 apples or ½ Fuji apple thinly diced per serving
  • Butter rye bread or wheat bread and cover with lettuce
  • Place slices of pate on bread with lettuce.
  • Mix apple with lemon juice for topping.

Adapted from Smørrebrod – Danish Open by Katrine Klinken  © 2008




  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup or about 9 ounces pitted prunes


  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Pour one cup of the milk into a saucepan and cook the prunes on low heat until they have absorbed all of the liquid.
  • Boil remaining four cups of milk and remove from heat.
  • Mix eggs, sugar, and vanilla and beat well. Add flour slowly beating to avoid lumps.
  • Pour the boiled milk into the egg, sugar mixture and mix well.
  • Butter a baking pan and cover the bottom with prunes. Pour milk mixture over the top and bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Susan Jacobsen

(I am not related to Ben Jacobsen, but I am a great fan of his salt.)


Inside DAC’s Fyr Aften

Guest Post by Michael Petersen 


I remember when I was sixteen, finding my farfar (grandpa) as he walked out of his extensive garden between an arched break in the tall hedges by their old west Jutland farmhouse. My farmor (grandma) had asked me to fetch him for dinner.   He was holding a long wooden box full of freshly harvested vegetables. I’m sure Farfar’s inner clock told him that it was nearing dinnertime, as he didn’t look surprised to see me. There was no need for words. He simply nodded in greeting and said in his dry, thick west coast Danish accent (Jysk), “Næh Michael, så holder jeg fyr aften” (‘well so Michael, I’m hanging it up for the evening’).  Another solemn nod followed, softened with a wry smile. We then walked quietly side by side together across the cobblestone farm courtyard to share in another of Farmor’s wonderful meals.

FyrAften-DSCN3087The words “Fyr Aften” have thus always meant to me “Quitting Time” or “Time to put your feet up and relax.” But those same two words also directly translate to “Guy Evening.”   So the term is fitting for a guy’s group get together through the Danish American Center (DAC).  I freely admit that we have, without a doubt, taken our inspiration and desire to have a guy’s night from the women’s group at the DAC called TøseAften.  Many of us have spouses and significant others on ‘that’ side.

Fyr Aften is a group of adult men with ties to the Danish American Community either through heritage, a Danish spouse, Danish birth, or perhaps they’ve studied in Denmark.  That love of Denmark and its culture is certainly a group bond.  An estimated half of the group speaks Danish, and those who do are quick to translate or teach those that don’t speak Danish.  We have been meeting now for a few years, with the last two being the most consistent.   We’ve now established a regular schedule of meeting on: the last Friday of each month from September – May, between 6pm and midnight at the Danish American Center (DAC).  We find the summer schedule to be too busy to meet up, and thus we take a break.  In the few years we’ve been meeting, the age group has varied anywhere from 18 – 74. The only age restriction is that you need to be an adult male and respect the legal MN drinking age of 21. We’ve explored several events such as go-cart racing, bowling, and even an introduction to firearms at a pistol range.

FyrAften collageWe took it a notch further and did a weekend ice fishing trip on Lake Winnibigosh this past February, which was fantastic. Reservations have already made  to return to Lake ‘Winni’ in Feb. 2016.  There are discussions around a group camping trip this summer. All our events revolve around sharing a meal together, more often than not it being a Danish favorite. We’ve found that what we probably enjoy most is fixing a meal together at the DAC, sharing some drinks, and then settling in to play cards or games. The guys all pitch in towards dinner, dessert and kringle for coffee, so it usually costs each of us between $10-12. In short, we create ‘hygge’ together while getting to know each other better, for a lasting bond, and enjoy the amazing gathering place that we have in the Danish American Center. When you think about it, it’s not very often that men get a chance to socialize. Fyr Aften is one such opportunity at the DAC.

If you’re interested in joining Fyr Aften, please contact Michael at 651-247-4878 or  hjemdemiguel@yahoo.com.

Direct from Denmark: New Danish Fiction

Save the Date!

Saturday, April 11, 7pm,

Danish American Center

3030 West River Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55406

Three leading Danish novelists, including two Nordic Prize winners, join their translators to read from and discuss their work. The event will be moderated by translator K.F. Semmel, and will feature a Q & A followed by a reception.


Naja Marie Aidt  BaboonRock, Paper, Scissors.Rock_Paper_Scissors

Naja Marie Aidt is a Danish poet and author with nearly 20 works in various genres to her name. Her work includes the recently translated collection Baboon (winner of the prestigious Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2008), and a novel, Rock, Paper, Scissors, which publishes in the U.S. in 2015.

civil twilightSimon Fruelund: Civil Twilight and Milk & Other Stories

Simon Fruelund is the author of five books, including Civil Twilight and Milk & Other Stories. His work has been translated into Italian, Swedish, and English, and his short stories have appeared in a number of magazines across the U.S., including World Literature Today, Redivider, and Absinthe.


Kim Leine: The Prophets of Eternal Fjord

Kim Leine is a Danish-Norwegian author. He lived in Greenland for 15 years, and draws on his experiences there in his work. His most recent book, the historical novel The Prophets of Eternal Fjord, received several major Danish literary awards, as well as the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2013.


K.E. Semmel is an independent writer and translator who has translated six books of fiction, including Karin Fossum’s The Caller; Jussi Adler-Olsen’s The Absent One, Simon Fruelund’s Milk, and Naja Marie Aidt’s Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Martin Aitken is a widely published translator of Danish literature. He received the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Nadia Christensen Translation Prize in 2012. Recent books are Peter Høeg’s The Elephant Keepers’ Children, Dorthe Nors’ Karate Chop, and Kim Leine’s The Prophets of Eternal Fjord.

Glædelig Jul!

Wishing all of our wonderful members, friends and family a Glædelig Jul!   

On this most special of nights for Danes, Christmas Eve, we hope all of you have a most wonderful holiday.
And to get us all in the spirit, here’s a great story that ran on MPR with our friends Erik Bruun, Dorte Sondergaard, Birgitte Christianson and Gitte Mohr giving a little lesson in hygge.
 Click here for the MPR story:


Imagine all the stories all these people have.

Imagine all the stories all these people have to tell

The Danish American Center’s printed newsletter, DANews, does a wonderful job of keeping us up to date on events and activities but it does not have room to present longer articles and we have many more stories to tell. To address this need, DAC is adding to our ways of communicating with you by launching this blog. The blog allows us to tell stories in more depth and illustrate them with color photos. It will be linked from our website homepage or you can bookmark this page to come directly here. Find links on the right sidebar for our first stories: an insider’s view of the Danish Room at the American Swedish Institute decorated for the holidays, and the premier of “Mormor’s Melboller.” Check back next month for some jul-goodies. And coming in January will be an in depth article by the DAC Heritage Committee on Crown Prince Frederik’s visit to Minnesota 76 years ago.