Living as I do in the culinary hinterland, I have resorted to creating a few Danish specialties. Since my mom loves Rygost, I learned to make a close substitute.
So here are my instructions on how to make Fynske style Rygost.
What you will need:
Quark 1 – 2 cups
- Quark is a fresh Northern European cheese. It’s not as dense as cream cheese and not as grainy as ricotta. It has smooth, mild flavour like cream cheese. It’s also lower in fat content.
- Caraway seeds
- Dried grass
- Stove top smoker
- Cut some regular grass, and let it dry out a day or two
2. Place the dried grass in the bottom of the smoker, place the grate on top.
3. Take the quark and let it drain in a fine holed colander or a sieve lined with cheese cloth. You don’t want the quark too watery when you smoke it. If there is too much moisture in the cheese, it will sort of melt in the smoker. You want it to retain its shape.
4. Stir some salt, about ½ tablespoon and some caraway seeds (optional) into the quark.
5. Cut some parchment paper to fit the size of rygost that you want. I do this because the cheese will sit nicely on the grate in the stove top smoker. You can make the rygost any size you want but about 1 – 1.5 inches thick is good. Any thinner and it will get over smoked and bitter.
6. Place your rygost on top of the grate.
7. Slide the smoker cover so that there is about an 1 inch gap left open.
8. Start your stove, I use about medium heat.
9. WATCH CAREFULLY
10. When you see a slight whiff of smoke come from the smoker, close the lid.
11. TIME: 6 minutes
12. After 6 minutes, turn off the heat to the smoker, slide the lid half way open, and let the cheeses cool.
The top of the cheese will have a slightly golden hue.
And that’s it. Serve on Danish rye bread with sliced radishes and cress.