At a press event on Tuesday I was very lucky to be fed by a lovely Norwegian lady called Trina Hahnemann. A food writer by trade, she’d come up with some fab recipes for Jarlsberg cheese (and I’m never one to turn down the offer of cheesey food).
Trina is one of those wonderful cooks who is so instinctive in the way she handles food, it’s almost mesmerising to watch. We were greeted at the start of her cookery demonstration by the sight of two enormous loaves of brioche-type bread, crusted on top with toasted cheese and enriched with a hefty helping of melted butter. Not exactly slimming, but by God it smelled good. (It tasted good too, but I had to wait a whole hour to find that out!)
I was very pleasantly surprised by Trina’s recipes incorporating Jarslberg – that nutty, tangy Danish cheese I remember so well from childhood.
I’d previously thought that its culinary usage extended at best to a cheese toastie, but she worked it into bread, scrambled egg, a raw kale salad with apple and horseradish (a revelation, seriously) and a rye-based ‘pizza’, with potatoes and bacon (think tartiflette without the cream and smelly cheese). They were all absolutely delicious.
So delicious in fact, I’ve included the pizza recipe below. It’s so easy – and really perfect for the appalling weather we’re having at the moment. And ok, so it’s not low fat, but it’s Friday after all…
Nordic rye pizza with Jarlsberg, bacon, and potatoes (from Trina Hahnemann)
2 pizzas serve 4
25 g fresh yeast (or 1 sachet fast action yeast)
300 ml lukewarm water
300 g rye flour
150 g durum tipe 00 flour or plain flour
1 tsp. salt
1kg raw potatoes, very thinly sliced
220g shredded Jarlsberg cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
5 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed
Dissolve yeast in 50 ml of lukewarm water, then stir into 2 tbsp of the rye flour and 1 tbsp plain flour, stir it into a paste, let it rest under a tea towel for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, then stir in rest of the water, add the rest of the flour, and salt.
Now knead the dough well until it is smooth, place in a big bowl, cover with a tea towel, and leave to rise for 1½ to 2 hours. After 2 hours the dough is ready to use for the pizza.
Cut the bacon into small cubes and pan fry for 5 minutes to golden brown. Mix with the potatoes, rosemary and cheese and season, then preheat the oven to 220C.
Roll out the dough to 2 very thin, large round pizzas, place on a greased baking trat then brush with olive oil and divide the potato mix between the two. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes and serve with a green salad.