Reviews of Cooking Danish

BOOK AWARDS


USA
Book News likes Taste of Denmark

Los Angeles, CA - Stig Hansen’s Cooking Danish: A Taste of Denmark, has won the 2007 Best Book Award for the International Cookbook category. 

 

Cooking Danish Earns International Award

London, UK – Cooking Danish: A Taste of Denmark, the authentic Danish cookbook by Stig Hansen, has earned the 2007 award for the “How-To” category at the London Book Festival.

 

Cooking Danish – A Taste of Denmark earns another prestige’s award.

Traverse City, Michigan – Stig Hansen’s Cooking Danish – A Taste of Denmark has won a Gold Award in the 2009 Independent Publisher’s Living Now Book Award for the Ethnic Cookbook category.


Reviewed by local editor Susanne Hohlen for the Danish Pioneer Newspaper
Mid-Minnesota (Brainerd Lakes area)
shohlen@uslink.net 

It is with distinct pleasure and honor that I have been awarded the opportunity by the publisher, Favorite Recipes Press, to review the above listed cook book, Cooking Danish by Stig Hansen, the Viking Chef.

This brand new very comprehensive cook book (in text as well as accompanying photos) is a welcome and much needed addition to the scarce selection of existing Danish cookbooks in English on the culinary front.  When you are a visual person like yours truly there is a deep appreciation for how the end result is supposed to look like with the easy to follow instructions.

I can also add that I have had the pleasure of meeting the author himself some years ago while my husband and I were living in Ogden, Utah.  I wonder if my chicken salad met the Chef’s approval that he and some fellow Danes indulged in at our dining table.  The description “The Viking Chef” is not a fair match of the Chef personality wise.  No fear of encountering any warrior behavior from this  soft spoken and  humble Viking Chef with Chicago cutlery in hand or throwing of Le Creuset cast iron cooking ware.

Cooking Danish is covering the whole spectrum of Danish cooking to include Sandwiches & Beverages; Bread & Rolls; Entrees, Side Dishes & Soups; Dessert & Cakes and lastly something for the sweet tooth, Cookies.

Being Danish myself, this wonderful cook book took me on a nostalgic food journey reminding me of my own family’s cooking traditions from both my grandmothers’ kitchen to my own mom who always cooked very traditionally. 

Page 103 in the cook book is a reminder of my  beloved dad’s (now deceased) favorite meal - fried bacon with parsley sauce and page 133 featuring Rhubarb and Raspberry Soup brings me back to grandma’s kitchen during berry season when she was boiling and sifting all the fruit into soup, all very mesmerizing to a small child. 

Whether you are Danish or not or  are simply looking to embark on a traditional Danish culinary voyage, I can highly recommend this cook book with easy to follow recipes for every day use or Holiday meals, gathering around the nicely set table and live candles and embrace the “hygge” which is the foundation of the Danes.  Velbekomme!


Reviewed by Mike O’Bryan
Scandinavian Heritage Foundation News Letter - September/November 2007
Favorite Recipes Press, Nashville, TN, 2007

Many of our members already know Stig Hansen as the chef that began the Eight-year tradition of the annual Danish Week at Nendel’s on Canyon Road. While in Portland, he was president of the Portland chapter of the Danish Brotherhood. He has also worked at the legendary Scandia Restaurant in Los Angeles and now lives in Utah.

This winter Stig is coming back to Portland for a couple of special visits. He will sell his cookbook at SHF’s annual ScanFair, December 1 and 2 at Portland State University and will teach SHF’s Cook & Eat class on January 26, 2008.

He was born in Denmark, has been around Danish food his entire life and this cookbook is both a testament to his knowledge of Danish food and to his understanding of how to write a cookbook that anyone can use. Cooking Danish combines step by step instructions for every recipe and pictures for a good number of the dishes so you know what the food should look like. That’s often a detail left out of many cookbooks, leaving the cook to try to figure out how to serve the dish.

I have a couple of new Scandinavian cookbooks which are very good, but this is the only modern Danish cookbook I have seen (I hope to be told that I’m all wet after this newsletter is delivered to your doorstep). Cooking Danish covers the spectrum of Danish food: sandwiches, beverages, breads, entrees, side dishes, soups and dessert. I have it on good authority that one of the most pleasant and Danish of savory breads/rolls is Smøbirkes (poppy seed triangles). It’s in Cooking Danish and Stig makes preparing this buttery Danish croissant look easy (no croissant is simple to make, but all nationalities of croissant are worth the time and effort)

Velbekomme!


THE BridgeReview Essay – Danish Cookbooks
– by Birgitte Christianson

THE Bridge, Volume 32 – Number 1 – 2009

Stig Hansen’s beautifully illustrated book, Cooking Danish: A Taste of Denmark is the one that many will want for themselves and their perfect snapshot of classic mid-twentieth century Danish food.

The author, Stig Hansen, calls himself “the Viking Chef”. He was born in Denmark and learned to be a professional chef in the Danish Merchant Marine, cooking on ships all over the world. He immigrated to the United States in 1976 and has worked in restaurants in California, Oregon, and Utah. As his wife Susan writes in her introductions, “Cooking Danish is his legacy to his family, his countrymen, and the rest of the world.”

The handsome book is written for cooks who live outside of Denmark and want to prepare Danish food. Short essays tell about the Danish flag (Dannebrog), Danish sailing ships, and temperature and measurement conversions. Other essays introduce the recipe sections on the Danish Smørgåsbord and open faced sandwiches, Danish beer and how to brew it, bread and rolls, main dishes, and desserts and cookies. The recipes, chapter headings, and index are in English and Danish.

This is a book for those who wish to recreate the kind of ideal Danish food that reaches its zenith in the 1950’s. Hansen even provides recipes for rye bread, beer, open-faced sandwich toppings, and specialty cheeses that are most often purchased in Denmark but are rarely available in the US.

Because he has cooked Danish food outside of Denmark, Hansen is able to write his recipes for the non-Danish kitchen. A random test of a few recipes shows them to be accurate and the results to be good. I did wonder, though, about the use of “bread flour,” rather than “all purpose” flour, in some of the pastry and cookie recipes. There are excellent color pictures of elaborate open-faced sandwiches, a twentieth-century Danish food tradition.

As a post-war Danish immigrant myself, I missed two common Danish recipes: the classic leverpostej made with pork liver (probably the most ubiquitous sandwich spread in Denmark) and kærnemælks koldskål, chilled buttermilk dessert soup. Hansen does include two recipes for pâté, but one is a terrine and the other is made with chicken liver. And his buttermilk soup recipe includes strawberries, an unusual fruit variation on the summer treat.

Anyone who wishes to enjoy classic Danish food at home in North America will find excellent recipes, good directions, and beautiful photographs as a guide in Stig Hansen’s Cooking Danish.

 

 



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