Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Box Has Arrived

I thought my box of produce from Aarstiderne was supposed to get here on Thursday, but it was dropped at my doorstep this evening.  Here's what's inside:  

1 head purple cabbage
4 leeks
1 red pepper
13 carrots
20 large green beans
18 small tomatoes
7 pears
7 apples
2 grapefruit
1 pineapple

When I saw the pineapple I questioned the whole local part of the deal.  Then I read the brochure and discovered that local is not only Denmark, but Spain (cabbage, red pepper, green beans, and tomatoes), Argentina (pears), Mexico (grapefruit), and South Africa (apples).  Only the leeks and carrots are Danish, but hey, at least the stuff's fresh and organic.  I ate a pear and it tasted great.  Now, what to do with all of it...

On a different note, until the box arrived, I was planning to write an entire post on my experience as a home cook of Mexican food in Denmark.  Suffice it to say, it's no easy task to prepare an authentic Mexican dish here.  Perhaps in a place like Copenhagen, it's no problem to find ingredients such as refried beans, mole sauce, enchilada sauce, good tortillas, and so on, but I don't know.  I love enchiladas so much that I learned to make my own sauce (something I never ever would have considered doing in the U.S.).  It's not difficult, by the way.  But here in rural Denmark, this is the extent of Mexican food staples:  flour tortillas, taco spice powder, salsa, guacamole powder, taco sauce, hard corn tortilla shells, tortilla chips, and cilantro (if you're lucky).  So I was thrilled when I found organic, whole-grain tortillas in my local supermarket. I celebrated by opening up one of three cans of black beans I've been saving (shipped from the U.S. with our clothes, skis, and kitchen equipment) by making my version of mini burritos and tostadas.  Incidentally, you can get black beans here in specialty markets - only they're the dried kind that you have to soak and cook like the dickens...and mine typically still wind up chewy.
I browned some lean ground beef and added the taco spice.  Then I set out all the fillings/toppings:  black beans, shredded cheddar cheese, avocado, mixed greens, chopped tomato, creme fraiche (which tastes just like sour cream), black olives (I'm used to California olives, but the Spanish olives are equally good), and salsa.  Because I think they're fun to eat, I like to prepare one little burrito with all the fixings.  Then I take the other tortilla, top it with meat, and make a salad on top.  I forgot to mention that before I even cook the meat, I heat the tortillas in a little vegetable oil and throw them in the oven to keep warm.

While I have not been to one yet, there is a Mexican restaurant chain in Denmark called Tortilla Flats.  Some Danes I know say it's good, but I'm sort of afraid to try it.  After growing up in Oregon where you can find very delicious and authentic Mexican food (as well as any ingredient you could possibly imagine), my standards are high.

With dinner I tried an apple and peach soda with cherry and mango flavors.  It was light and refreshing and paired perfectly with the Mexican flavors.  I thought it might contain alcohol since it sort of tasted like a fruit beer, but there was no sign of any alcohol on the label.  
Photo note:  yes, I took a bite out of the burrito before I remembered to take a photo.  I couldn't wait!


  1. We signed up for a local CSA this year and start getting our produce at the end of May - I can't wait! Ours is with some friends of ours in Alfalfa, so we can actually go out and see the veggies growing... but we probably won't be getting pineapple or grapefruit!

    I think it's worth it to buy the dry beans, since you can't get canned. I would have a hard time remembering to set them soaking overnight, but you could soak a big batch, keep them in the fridge, and then quick cook them as needed...

  2. I can't wait to hear what comes in your CSA box! I know, I need to just buck up and make the beans the old fashioned way!