Thursday, January 9, 2020

homemade remoulade - danish-style!

i recently had a bit of a conversation about remoulade on a post on the new york times cooking community page on facebook. i posted the picture above and waxed a bit philosophical about the joy and sense of connection that using my mother's vintage autumn leaves bowls bring to me now that she's gone.

that day, i was making a big batch of danish frikadeller (meatballs) and remoulade for a family gathering. i mentioned that both were danish and, it being the internet, a bunch of people jumped in to correct me and inform me that the french would be surprised to hear that remoulade was danish. but i maintain that this version is indeed very danish and no danish hotdog, fish filet or meatball or even serving of french fries is complete without it.

most people buy it ready-made and i have the ready-made kind in my fridge as well, but when i'm putting in effort to make homemade meatballs, fish cakes or hand-breaded fish filets, i like to make it myself.

you start with half a cup of mayo, half a cup of creme fraiche and a couple of good spoons of dijon mustard. you stir them together and add a dash of salt and a teaspoon of sugar.

then you need a bit of pickle. i usually dice up a couple of small gherkins, but last evening, i found i was out, but that there was a jar of capers lurking in the door of the fridge - they worked just as well - you just need a bit of pickle to balance out the other flavors.

then you dice a good-sized carrot and a couple of florets of cauliflower. this was for a small batch for just husband and i - if you're making more, adjust upwards to your taste. dice them small and blanch them in boiling water for a couple of minutes. you don't want them to lose their crunch, but you don't want the to be raw either.

then you toss them into the mayo mixture and stir it up. taste it and see if it needs a bit more sugar, salt or a few more capers. the danish commercial version leans quite sweet, so our palates are trained to that, so i tend to err on the side of a bit more sugar.

at christmas, i got this lovely fiery honey mustard seasoning in trade joe's and found yesterday that it was the PERFECT ingredient - it added just the right sweetness and a bit of bite that made for what was probably my best batch of remoulade ever. i had bought some salmon fars from the fish truck that comes to our grocery store on tuesdays and it was just delicious with the fishcakes i made from that.

the recipe
serves 2

1/2 C mayonnaise
1/2 C creme fraiche or sour cream (i used 38%, but 18% is fine if you're watching calories)
2 T dijon mustard
2 gherkins or a handful of capers, chopped
1 medium carrot - diced
2 big florets of cauliflower - diced
1 generous tablespoon of sugar
salt to taste
secret ingredient: trader joe's fiery honey mustard if you have it

mix the mayo, creme fraiche, dijon and sugar. dice the carrots and cauliflower and blanche them for 2 minutes in boiling water. cool them down under cold water and add them to the mayo mixture. chop the gherkins/capers and add the to the mix. taste and add more sugar, salt, gherkin/capers, fiery honey mustard until the flavors are in balance.

eat it with a fish filet, fish cakes or with a pork meatball. dip your fries in it. top a roast beef sandwich with it. the possibilities are endless!

also, you can see in picture at the top, that there were some green flecks - i had fennel fronds in the garden at that time and added some of those for a bit of green and a hint of that anise-y flavor. you could chop and add some parsley if you want a bit of green in yours. really, the possibilities are endless, so just play around with it!

* sorry for these less-than-stellar photos, it's the dark time of year and in these dreary, grey, rainy days, the light isn't great around here. 


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