Cheesy creamy fajita stuffed chicken – a doddle to make. We’ll get to the recipe in a wee while, but saying as it has been so long since we shot out a holiday entry, I think we’d better fire one out, no? Skip down to the holiday banner if you want that, and scroll right down to the recipe if you’re only here for the food, like a proper stereotypical chunker. You’ll come back to Copenhagen with us in a matter of minutes, but even before that we have a little update on our Christmas Card donation drive:
We’ve had to increase our target because we absolutely smashed the last one! If you’ve enjoyed our recipes or nonsense and only if you can afford to donate a couple of quid, please do! We have had so many people apologising for just donating a couple of quid – please don’t apologise – every last penny is gratefully received! If we get over our target I might make Paul do a salacious nude calendar with a carefully positioned Bonio biscuit covering his one-eyed spitter. Poor guy! But yes, every little bit makes a difference – and thank you all for donating so far! When you add Gift Aid we’re actually already over £3000! But enough about that, let’s ga terug naar Kopenhagen!
You may remember that the last time you joined us in Copenhagen, Paul had almost fallen in a river and laid an egg with sheer fright. I, being a supportive kind soul, had almost given myself a hernia from laughing so hard at his misfortune. Also, I, being a fat greedy bastard, scooped up that hard-boiled egg and had it for a snack later, delighting the other people in the Metro carriage with the smell of overcooked pocket-fresh egg. I like to make friends with the locals.
Paws for thought.
We walked along the riverside until the sound of Danish laughter was faint and less upsetting. Along the way we met a big shaggy dog tied up outside what looked like a little ramshackle caravan. Now, everyone knows you don’t approach dogs you don’t know unless you enjoy the risk of your throat being pulled through your neck by something cute and adorable. We, naturally, ignored that, and took a good ten minutes making a fuss out of our new friend before realising that the caravan was actually a riverside sauna! How did we know? Because we could see a man gazing adoringly through the window at us, steam billowing about him and a fair sweat on his face. Well, that, and the Danish word for sauna is…sauna. Don’t exactly need to be Raymond Babbitt to work that one out.
Though, I confess my disappointment that it isn’t Sphinctenmoistunen or something equally as delicious.
You may notice from previous blog entries that I barely need any encouragement to get nude in public and so, despite Paul’s groaning and heavy-handed watch checking, in we went. Paul’s not a fan of saunas: it’s not so much that he finds the nudity uncomfortable, it’s more that he’s 35% sweat at the best of time – he needs no encouragement to move it along). There was a tiny changing area where you’d struggle to change your mind let alone have two twenty-stone blokes take their clothes off but we managed it with only two accidental penetrations. In we went.
Almost immediately, out we came. I ought to explain – the chap who looked like a normal bearded chap through the fog of steam and a dirty window was merrily wanking away as we went in. Not even a hello or a few lascivious winks to break the ice, no, just furiously masturbating with everything on show. Perhaps he thought I needed somewhere to hang my coat. You must understand that we’re no prudes – if he’d looked like The Mountain from Games of Thrones we’d have welded the door shut and died a happy death – but we’ll be damned if we’re going to sit in a tiny cabin full of aerosol-jizz. I should have realised something was wrong when it smelled just like my room did when I was 14. We dressed hurriedly and scampered back out, with the folks on the riverbank all judging us for wanking off Santa. Superb!
Traumatised and in desperate need of something to take the taste out of our mouths, we decamped into the nearby Café Langebro for a strong beer and a long hard look at our lives. This was a great little pub, full of people who smiled at you when you walked in as though you were bringing great news as opposed to some of the pubs in Newcastle where they’re eyeing up how best to separate you from your kidneys. I never used to be one for daytime drinking but I feel I could really get a taste for it, not least because the beer softened the image of Wankin‘ St Nick in my head. We wandered out, up and over the bridge, with nowhere to go but a city to explore.
Turns out, quite luckily, that the same street lead directly to a corner of Tivoli Gardens – a theme park in the middle of the city. How marvellous! We totally forgot that we had a discount card and paid full price for immediate entry – we had seen Rick Stein flapping his wattle in here but a few weeks ago and were keen to retrace his footsteps, bounding as they’d doubtless be.
Just some of the fantastic gardens on display
Now, we both love rollercoasters – we spent a month in Florida riding them so much that I gave myself heart arrhythmia and almost died on the flight home. I say almost died, I experienced a slight panic attack and tipped my gin and tonic over, but let’s not labour over the details. However, we have aged and spread like a melted candle, and now we have to consider not only whether our creaking bodies can take it, but can we actually fit in the seats? It’s always been a phobia of mine that I’ll get to the front of the queue only for some hairy-lipped streak of acne and malice to look at me, taking in my comprehensive tits and expansive belly, and refuse me entry. It hasn’t happened before, thank the Lord, but it’s been certainly been close, with me having to play Fatris when it came to slotting all my squashy body parts into one small bucket seat.
On top of that I have ear problems which mean I get dizzy from peeling the lid off a pot of yoghurt let alone hurtling through the air at 100mph, Paul has a spine made out of damp crepe paper, there’s a strong chance that I’ll be slapped in the face by Paul’s boobs as we go around a loop and, as I mentioned, I have a dodgy heart. In all, they might as well abbreviate those long health warnings at the front of the ride and just put ‘No, Paul and James, you can sit on the wooden bench outside and eat doughnuts, you horrendous beasts’.
Naturally, we ignored the warnings, and squeezed onto most things. I want to give a special mention to the Rutschebanan, one of the world’s oldest wooden rollercoasters. Nestled at the back of the park, it promises thrills, spills and catastrophic damage to your spine. Ancient, wooden, ridden by hundreds of thousands of men over the years and more than capable of making children scream in terror, Paul’s mother has never ridden this rollercoaster. It even comes with its own brakes-man, who has to manually apply the brakes on certain stretches to make sure the whole thing doesn’t come hurtling off the tracks. Fun!
You’re supposed to sit two abreast in the little carriages but there was absolutely bot-all chance that was going to happen – the coaster shook and rattled that much that there was a serious risk of us joining together like wax in a lava-lamp and me being destined to spend my life with my face joined horrendously close to Paul’s arse. We hopped in, pushing small children out of the way and taking one carriage each, and off we went. I tried taking a video but it’s just a blur of jiggling flesh and me shrieking – just like our wedding – so here’s one for you to get your own idea:
Great fun, but let me tell you – you feel every single bump and creak of that coaster. I’m not entirely sure I didn’t swallow a filling – and I didn’t have any to begin with.
With our bones roughly 10cm away from where they should be in our bodies, we slithered over to the nearby Paafuglen restaurant – handy timing, because I was absolutely fuglen starvin‘. We were seated after about eighteen hours – the place was absolutely rammed with elderly folk taking their sweet time gumming the pickled herring, but eventually they found us a seat right at the back. That’s fine, once I have food put in front of me, I don’t look back up until it’s gone. Years and years of Paul feigning something interesting before stealing my food as I gaze in the opposition direction has taught me to be cautious. The greedy sod.
Our waitress gave us a menu and then clocked off for the day. I’m not kidding – we sat there with hungry little bellies and pleading eyes – but she never appeared again. Perhaps she heard our British accents and assumed there would be no tip, I don’t know. How wrong she was – I always like to touch their arm as I leave and say ‘Jesus saves’. Almost thirty minutes passed (with plenty of reserved Britishness: “they’ll be here soon”, “let’s give it one more minute”, “let’s just chew open a vein whilst we wait”) before another waitress finally noticed that Paul had doused himself in the paraffin from the little lantern on the table and was about to set himself aflame in hungry protest. We ordered.
Well, attempted to. Copenhagen is famous in food circles (honestly, it is: we get drunken memos from Delia all the time. I jest, although technically Paul is a food circle, given he’s perfectly spherical) for Smørrebrød (pronounced: I’m sorry, do you speak English?). Smørrebrød is the concept of open sandwiches served on rye bread and they are genuinely one of my favourite things. I adore sandwiches – you could give me an urgent and terminal medical diagnosis sandwiched between two slices of lavishly-buttered bread and I’d remain cheerful.
It’s not like sandwiches in the UK, either. You get a vast mixture of wonderful toppings and exciting flavours and it’s just brilliant. There are entire shops devoted to it – windows packed full of sandwiches topped with meats and cheeses and salads and, eventually, my saliva, dribbling on the window as I am wont to do. Paul and I could easily move to Copenhagen and open such a shop (calling it Yeast Infection, naturally) and live out our Autumn years never tiring of the combinations on offer. I don’t normally recommend other food blogs because, well, they’re usually boring, but I can’t get enough of the ideas on The Danish Sandwich. Take a look and you’ll see what I mean. http://www.danishsandwich.com/
Anyway, I digress. We had decided that we ought to try a couple of these open sandwiches each – we’re big lads, we can handle such extravagance and remember, they’re open sandwiches so you only get one slice of rye bread to barely digest. However, the waitress disagreed with our approach. We spoke our order slowly and with a game attempt at Danish but each time we reached sandwich number three and four she would cross sandwich number one and two off her pad. Maybe she thought we were fat enough or that such decadence was unbecoming but try as we might, we could not convey the fact we wanted to try a range of smørrebrød to her without causing her to frown and sweat as though under intense interrogation. Had I thought ahead I could have prepared a Powerpoint presentation or a business case. After a good five minutes of harsh glottal stops and stuttering we seemed to finally reach agreement and she toddled off. Naturally, I’d forgotten to ask for more water, but I didn’t dare call her back lest she decided we were simple troublemakers and showed us the door.
Our sandwiches arrived shortly afterwards:
Nom nom nom. Urgh, I’m sorry
You’ll notice there’s only two plates. Our order hasn’t so much been lost in translation as strangled to death with good intentions. Nevermind – being brave, fearless tourists we powered through and thoroughly enjoyed the pork belly (me) and chicken salad (Paul) and they were absolutely delicious. The Danish have a wonderful proclivity for adding pickled vegetables to their dishes and it really makes everything come alive – quite a smart way of getting your ‘speed’ food in too by sousing everything in vinegar. I’d suggest it to Mags but she never returns my calls. We paid our bill and left content, but still faintly hungry. Have no fear: we rounded a corner to find an ice-cream stand and each enjoyed a five-scoop bowl which settled the stomach just enough to ease us gently into hyperglycaemia.
The rest of the day was spent drifting around Tivoli Gardens, eating things that we shouldn’t and getting sticky fingerprints on all the rides. It was great: like being 13 (stone) all over again. With sluggishly-beating hearts we left and decided to walk back to the Metro station, with the intention of taking a nap and then heading back out in the evening. We managed four hundred yards before happening across the nearby Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, a museum dedicated to the largest collection of Ancient Mediterranean art in all of Northern Europe. My excitement knew no bounds. This was me:
I’ve explained before: I’m a hopeless philistine – I know I should walk around deep in thought and reverie in an art gallery, but the only surprised gasps I let out are when my shin-splints play up. Don’t get me wrong, readers – there were some lovely paintings and cracking pots, but I was more taken by the Blockbusters gargoyles on the wall and this peculiar oil painting which seemed to capture exactly my mood.
There was a very pleasant sub-tropical garden dot in the middle of the museum which afforded two things: the chance to rest and the chance to be absolutely horrified by this:
Give me milk!
I mean, no. Babies are creepy enough at the best of times, but crawling on a body like maggots on a corpse? Hell no. You better believe I saw that when I shut my eyes that night in bed. Luckily, I’d have a chance to remonstrate with the Carlsberg family the nvery next day, and that’s where we will leave our tale for now.
Enjoy our holiday entries? Please do give us feedback or share or whatever, it’s what we live for!
to make cheesy creamy fajita stuffed chicken you will need:
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1½ peppers (we used ½ red, ½ orange and ½ green), finely diced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 80g reduced fat cheddar (2x HeA), grated
- 110g light Philadelphia (1x HeA)
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp cumin (or garam masala)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Chips: Actifry. Teaspoon of oil. Tablespoon of worcestershire sauce. You’ll never look back – and they’re cheap on Amazon at the moment.
to make cheesy creamy fajita stuffed chicken you should:
- spray a large frying pan with a little oil over a medium-high heat
- add the diced peppers and onions to the pan and cook until softened and the edges are just starting to brown, stirring occasionally
- tip the mixture into a bowl and add the cheddar and Phildelphia, and mix well
- meanwhile, in a large bowl sprinkle the chili powder, cumin and garlic powder over the chicken breasts and tumble around until well coated
- cut a hilarious looking gash into the side of each one, getting a big a space as you can but being careful not to slice all the way through
- using a teaspoon, spoon the cheesy mixture into each chicken breast, stuffing it well but not overdoing it. don’t worry if you have some leftover mixture
- next, add a little more oil to the frying pan and put back over a medium-high heat
- carefully lay the chicken breasts in the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes each side – flip it gently so you don’t squash it, and don’t worry if a little mixture dribbles out
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