March 30, 2003 – In celebration of Transfer Day on Monday and in honor of some 70 Danes who arrived in the territory on Saturday for a two-week Friendship Festival visit, here's a recipe for the Danish dish frikadeller, or meatballs.
These European-type meatballs differ from those we are familiar with locally in both the meat and the spices used. Frikadeller are traditionally made from a mix of ground pork or veal and beef, rather than 100 percent beef. And they are seasoned with just onion, salt and pepper, without the garlic, thyme and hot pepper common to the Caribbeanized version.
A few years back, I talked with Hanne Rasmussen who with her husband, Bent, runs the Top Hat Restaurant in Christiansted. Many famous guests including Denmark's Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik, Maureen O'Hara, and Greta Garbo have enjoyed a meal at Top Hat. But it was the late Danish-born musician, comedian and part-time St. Croix resident Victor Borge who really loved Rasmussen's frikadeller.
"On Victor's little jaunts through town each morning, he'd slip up the back stairs for a meatball — just one on a toothpick," Rasmussen related. "We'd hand it to him, he'd tell a few jokes and be on his way."
Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs
1/2 pound ground veal or beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups milk
Black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons flour or 1 cup bread crumbs
Salt, to taste
Oil or butter
Put veal and pork together through a meat grinder 4 or 5 times. Add onion, milk, pepper, flour or bread crumbs, egg and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly. Shape into oblong patties.
Heat enough oil in a skillet to coat the bottom. Add meatballs and fry over low heat until well done — until juices run clear rather than pink, or about 10 to 12 minutes over medium-high heat.
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 230 calories, 16 gms fat (63 percent fat calories), 74 mg cholesterol, 165 mg sodium.
Note: Danes serve frikadeller with browned butter potatoes and stewed cabbage.
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