Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Absolute Supper - Carrot salad / Gulrotsalat / Sałatka z marchewki

The last meal of 2008 consists of the following:

Didrik's rice (cooked rice spiced with turmeric and other good stuff)
Chicken breasts marinated in rosemary and slices of lemon, fried with garlic
Carrot salad

For the carrot salad you will need:
2-3 carrots, shredded
1-2 tablespoons of parley, chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of crushed coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of brown sugar

Mix carrot and parley in a large bowl. Mix all the spices, olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl until the sugar har melted. Add the dressing to the vegetables and mix well. Store in the fridge for an hour or so before serving.

Cheers and see you around next year!

Tagget av Snirkelsnorkel - matprat kun på norsk

Jeg har blitt tagget to ganger i løpet av desember. Den andre gangen av Snirkelsnorkel

Utfordringen er/var følgende:

1. Du må linke til den bloggen som tagget deg. Lenken finner du her da min bloggroll til høyre tar for seg kun matblogger.
2. Lag en liste med seks (u)interessante ting om deg selv. Mitt andre forsøk på det finner man nedenfor.
3. Tagg fem andre blogger, la dem vite det ved å kommentere på deres blogg. Jeg har ikke flere venner igjen og tør ikke tagge ukjente :P

Listen min:
1. Jeg kan ikke fordra tørket fiken. Årsaken er muligens forbundet med fikensyltetøy fra husker-ikke-hvor-i-Midtøsten som utrolig nok var å få kjøpt i Polen på tidlig åttitall.

2. Jeg pleier å si t man kan kjøpe meg for en kilo nougat.

3. Alternativt kan man prøve med en kilo fersk hellefisk.

4. Jeg har drukket kaffe siden jeg var ti – på legens anbefaling.

5. Jeg har førti kokebøker på kjøkkenet (for ordens skyld: felleseie i huset). De fleste brukt.

6. Jeg er oppfostret på amerikansk pulvermelk. Nammenam!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:

A tasty halibut fish!

This pure goodness was served with Tartar sauce and black olive tapenade.


Yule and mixed cuisine

Menu Thursday 24th of december - prepared with my Mom:

Barszcz (clear beetroot soup) with pancakes filled with green lentils and button mushroom

A variety of cold meats

Reindeer roast served with onion and apple juice sauce, potatoes, yellow turnip and three condiments: beetroots with horseradish, apple jelly, and rosemary pesto.

Polish cake, Norwegian Snowballs from Den Lille Kokosbollefabrikken, and coffee for dessert.

Also served was a choice of alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic beers and a few other things. The reindeer tased better the day after. So did barszcz. I guess we should celebrate as the Anglo-Saxons do.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lekker Mat fra Marokko til Iran, Den Hemmelige Kokken, Fisk & Vin

During the last weeks of December this little household was enriched with several food related gifts. Among them were three books:

1. Delicious Food from Morocco to Iran by Helen Flink
This is a welcome addition to the collection and yet another incentive to prepare Harissa at home – and place countries such as Yemen on my mental food map of the world.

2. The Clandestine Cook by Mats-Eric Nilsson
This I have read today at one go. Food for thought. This is interesting stuff and a wildly popular book in Sweden and now in Norway but the book itself is rather chaotic and repetitive. Also some arguments are weak. Like that we only should eat original mozzarella – without one mention of scandal with dioxin tainted product. It was translated and adjusted for Norway by Jan-Tore Egge of Slow Food Norway. All in all, taking up an interest in food ingredients and industrial production methods can only be healthy. Only that, in the end, what shall we have for dinner?

3. Fish & Wine by Trond Moi and Toralf Bølgen
I like fish a lot; I should have liked wine (in particular red wine) better. This might be a nice opportunity to extend the horizons and buy some new fish sorts – and choose more carefully what to serve them with?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Taco à la Sørkedalen

Sørkedalen is a place where I lived for a good while after moving to Norway eight years ago. In many ways an idyllic place and a source of many good experiences in my life.

Foodwise it was a place of many good tastes and great freedom. One of the dishes, served typically on a Friday evening and made with chicken breast, was taco. Or perhaps "taco". I'm sure it had little to do with the original - also because it was served with lompe - but it was good and easy to prepare. Later on I have developed my version of taco à la Sørkedalen. I have retained the lompe instead of taco shells which are impossible and greasy and full of conservants anyway, and mixed my own taco seasoning, rather then rely on a readymade one.

Due to a phenomenon dubbed by the newspapers as a price war about minced meat I bought into it, so to say, and made my taco with minced meat this time.

For this you will need:
Taco spice mix made at home (recipe below)
some 500g minced meat or any other source of protein (beans, quorn)
1 medium onion, chopped
a few button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon of oil
150 ml of water
6-10 lompe (2 packets of it) or taco shells, if you have to
tomato, cucumber, ruccola, sprouts, bell peppers, any other vegetables you like (washed and cut into pieces)

For the spice mix use:
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
1 teaspoon of paprika powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Mix everything in a small bowl.
Meanwhile heat the oil in the frying pan. Add your proteins with onions and mushrooms and fry until almost done. Add the spice mix, stir well, then add water and let it simmer until the water is almost gone.

Place a lompe on a plate, fill it with everything, roll and eat.

Vel bekomme!

Also I strongly recommend reading the Wikipedia entry on lefse and lompe since it is not well known outside of Norway. In case you would want to serve it to the underaged, the mix is slightly more spicey than the usual stuff.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Harira / Harira / Harira

When shadows grow longer
and the sun sets for the forthcoming night...

Then you can brighten your evening and strengthen your body with a Moroccan soup/dish known as harira. Tada! Here is a quicker (I don't have two hours to prepare my dinner) and vegetarian (costs less and friends can eat) variant.

For a large soup pot I used:
too much chickpeas (due to a slight miscalculation; soaked overnight and cooked as described here). I guess 1-2 cups of chickpeas should be enough (if so, you might use just half of the spices below)
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
1 pinch of saffron threads (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
quite a lot of parsley, chopped
500g canned tomatoes
some zacierka makaronowa or soup pasta
1 egg beaten with the juice of 1/2 lemon
some more lemon to garnish and season with later on

Begin with the spices. Chop the ginger, mix with all the other spices in a small bowl. In another casserole start cooking the chickpeas (takes 20 minutes for me) - or simply open the canned ones. In a large soup pot melt the butter and add the spice mix. Let it cook for a moment or two to release the flavour and colours. Add the onion, parsley and celery. Cook stirring, then add the tomatoes and let it simmer until the chickpeas are done.

Add the chickpeas with some of the cooking water and pasta or zacierka, simmer for a while more. Add the beaten egg and stir.

Serve with some more lemon and eat, eat, eat!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Couscous salad with apples / Couscoussalat med epler / Sałatka z kuskusu z jabłkami

You will need:
2,5 dl couscous
2,5 dl vegetable broth
a dash of butter (which you can skip)
a dash of turmeric powder (in Polish: kurkuma)
2 apples (rather sweet and not the sour green ones), seeded and sliced
1 very small red onion, cut into halves and sliced
juice of half a lemon
2 slices of lemon, cut onto fours
some ruccola
olives of you choice, drained
other vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber) sliced
100g feta cheese, drained and diced
crushed black pepper

Cook the broth with butter in a rather large casserole. Add the couscous and turmeric, stir. Let it stand for some 10 minutes (check on the couscous packaging, as cooking times may vary). When done, add the lemon juice, then apples, onion, bits of lemon, feta cheese, olives and all the other vegetables. Serve with pepper and maybe some sweet chilli sauce.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Hot & spicy pasta with trout / Krydret pasta med ørret / Pikantny makaron z pstrągiem

For this spicy dish you will need:
Ca 500g of trout without skin and bones (or simply remove the bones at home)
1 tablespoon or more of pepper mix

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped

1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 can of hermetic tomatoes
fresh basilicum (I used parsley instead)

pasta of your choice

Prepare the pepper mix first by crushing one teaspoon of black pepper, one teaspoon of white and some dried cayenne peppers.

Then turn to the fish: wash it, dry it and cut into pieces, then spice with the pepper mix and let it rest in the fridge.

Prepare the sauce now: mix tomatoes, chilli and basilicum/parsley with a hand blender. Heat the oil in a casserole, fry garlic and onion together. Add the tomato sauce and let it cook on low heat.

Prepare the pasta. While preapring it, turn to the fish again. Heat a frying pan, add a little bit of oil and fry the pieces of fish. When the past and fish are done, serve with the sauce.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tartar sauce / Tartarsaus / Sos tatarski

You wil need:
300 g good mayonnaise or less if you see that other ingredients drown
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped onion (for example red)
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of chopped pickled small cucumbers, spicy ones
1 tablespoon of capers, chopped if large, otherwise just drained
¼ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
fresh chopped parsley

Mix everything into a spicy and chunky sauce. Serve with seafood or meat!
My question now is: is this the same as the Norwegian remulade?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Simple Aioli / Enkel Aioli / Proste Aioli

Even though it is not in keeping with my usual wish for homemade condiments, since it is based on bought mayonnaise, I thought I might post it here anyway to end the craziness of buying aioli in the store at high prices. Insted I propose to but decent mayonnaise and add finely chopped garlic, some lemon juice, a little bit of salt and maybe pepper, and stir well.

And voilà - some kind of aioli it is!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Aromatic hummus / Hummus aromatyczny

This is a slightly more spiced and less oily variant of this popular spread.

You will need:
350-400g of chickpeas (soaked in water overnight, then cooked with one Bay Laurel leaf - I strongly advise to use a pressure cooker which might be one of the better investments in your kitchen. I use one manufactured by AMC but there is a variety of pressure cookers on the maarket.

juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon of tahini paste
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
a dash of chilli powder
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds
some nice olive oil
some water from cooking chickpeas (otherwise you will need more oil)

Blend everything with a hand mixed and voilà you have a dinner!

I serve it with some bread and lots of vegetables and some lemon juice on the side. Also, it tastes remarkably well with a sliced banana.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Perfect snack / Przysmak doskonały

Salt and pepper. And some soy sauce.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cajun potatoes with holy trinity salsa / Ziemniaczki cajun z salsą

This is one of my favorite dishes ever and I know at least one reader here to be fond of spicy potatoes, so I sure hope she is reading this post.

It's hot and it's spicy and it takes forever to make these but it is all worth it. Believe me. Well, maybe it doesn't take forever - it just is difficult to time. So prepare the Cajun potatoes on an afternoon when you have plenty of time and aren't too hungry to wait.

For the Holy Trinity salsa you will need:
2 celery stalks, finely diced
½ red pepper bell, finely diced
a piece of red onion, finely diced

For the rest of this dish you will need:
Cajun spice from the post below - the amount there should me enough for even 800 grams of potaoes.
Potatoes - washed, peeled if necessary and cut into wedges. The smaller potatoes you choose the better.
A few button mushrooms cut into fours and peeled whole shallot onions (both optional).

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Pour some oil into a baking dish - enough to cover the bottom and place it in the oven.

Roll the potatoe wedges in the spice. Add the potatoes to the baking dish, toss and add what might be left of the cajun spice. Add mushrooms and whole onions.

Bake for some 45 minutes. This depends on the size of potatoes used, your oven and so on. Be prepared that it might take more than an hour. Turn occasionally.

Last time I made it I made some fast chicken meatballs - baked in the oven underneath the potatoes. I just need to remember to take pictures of food before I start eating. Everything looks so much better then.


Avocado salad and a lazy dinner / Avokadosalat og en lat middag / Sałatka z awokado i leniwy obiad

This recipe comes from a well-known vegetarian cookbook - I have modified it only slightly. If you have time, prepare the dressing first and store in the fridge for an hour or so.

You will need:
1 tablespoon of good olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice (you can use lemon instead)
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 teaspoon soft brown sugar (less if you use white sugar)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

Combine everything in a small bowl, make sure you stir the dressing until the sugar melts.

2-3 ripe avocados (use a spoon to empty the skins)

I made it just yesterday and the dressing is enough for two generous portions. Sweet and hot - perfect for avocado. And all the other vegetables I used yesterday. Below you see it served with corned beef and loads of green stuff. In other words: nice and lazy dinner if you simply find some suitable protein source to go along with it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cajun spice / Cajun krydder / Przyprawa Cajun

This spice is not so difficult to mix at home and way better than what you can buy in a shop. Contains less MSG and other enhancers used in spices.

You will need:
½-1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic (depending on how garlicky you like it)
1 tablespoon of finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons of white pepper, crushed
2 teaspoons of balck pepper, crushed
2 teaspoon of dried thyme
½ teaspoon of dried oregano
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or chilli powder) - less if you are delicatem, more if you are tough :)

Mix everything in a bowl with flat bottom and continue reading in a separate post on Cajun potatoes!

Edit: Next time I want to try it with fresh herbs instead.

American Goodness on French Toast / Amerykańskie przysmaki na francuskim toście

One of my breakfasts in London deserved a separate entry. On Monday morning it was time to try The Breakfast Club at Angel. The place opened at 9 am and so we were quite hungry by that time. Their filter coffee wasn't good but the menu was promising. I went for Banana and Bacon French Toast. Which for me was very American. Served with maple sirup. Yummy. Not very healthy perhaps but oh so good.

Just see for yourself:

Bacon is actually one of the food things I remember best from the trip to New England. The smell of bacon in the enchanted house out in Cambridge the first morning after arrival, and then bacon served with maple sirup at the even more enchanted apartment of my friend in Vermont. And then the thought that you really have to try hard to find bad food in America.

What do you associate with American food? Do you like it? Why? Or why not?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

There and back again

Of course I regret now not taking more pictures but the last few days were spent in the pleasurable company of friends and acquaintances in the overwhelming city of London. The wheather was generally good, and the food - of course - was generally even better.

Right after our arrival at the hotel in the Islington area we had lunch for which I have chosen toasted English muffins with Portabello mushrooms and poached eggs. Sweet and slightly sour and good.

Later in the evening, before visiting the Francis Bacon exhibition, I had the opportunity to taste some excellent Indian cuisine at Guffa at 39 Upper Street/Islington. The menu was extensive and rather different from what you would normally get in Oslo. Their chutneys were delicious and did not taste sugar and the spinach was not canned and there were many good and interesting tastes.

The next morning was started with a solid English breakfast. The coffee was rather thin but the food was good and a plenty. I walked through Victoria&Albert Museum and Postman's Park without really getting hungry.

Appearances may deceive and they did this time when our cosy Italian place chosen for dinner turned out to be rather dodgy and managed to serve an avocado sandwhich consisting of dry toast and avocado only, with a side dish of salad leftovers of the day (hopefully not the week). But my consolation prize was en evening of great music in good company along with a choice of beverages.

Accidentally the cider I liked best during my stay in London this time was Blackthorn which I preferred to both Strongbow and Magners. Well, well, at least I cannot consider myself a real snob ;-)

The following day begun with a cappucino and sandwiches at Tinderbox - a nice alternative to Starbucks - before heading to the tacky house of Sherlock Holmes, The Beatles shop that didn't really sell music and finally Bunhill Fields drowned in unbelivable amounts of rain. All this was seen before lunch. Foodwise the peak of this trip.

I have long wanted to try out St. John Restaurant in London. My expectations were high and I have to say they were satisfied during this lunch/dinner.

Here is why and how...

Roast Bone Marrow & Parsley Salad - which was the initial reason for taking up an interest in this place.

Funny grouse with herbs stuffed behind.

Delicious hare with aromatic spices served with mashed potatoes.

Roast beef with grilled carrot.

And then came the desserts that invited lots of censored humour.
Try for yourself and identify the dish to the left I had the pleasure of sharing with Felizia:

Afterwards there was more to see at The Imperial War Museum, namely James Bond exhibition and more good people to meet with and more cider and general fun.

Enjoy your week!

Edit: I think I know where we are eating next time in London. Here! Thanks to our patient native speaker guide to British food - Mr T.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Punch / Punsj / Poncz

A colleague of mine was to celebrate her birthday in a slighly unusual way and at some point during preparations someone (perhaps Ida Bebida?) came up with the idea of serving a punchbowl. I googled a few recipes and the choices were narrowed down to two only. One of these deserves to be mentioned here.

The picture below is a good illustration for the evening

You will need:
1 ananas, cut into pieces (yummy - much better that boxed)
1,5 litre of ginger ale
1 litre apple juice
1 dl lemon juice
1 dl orange juice
some brown rum (very much optional)

This was enough for two servings in a large bowl - and turned out pretty good. Memo to myself: ice cubes...

Incidentally Wikipedia has a few interesting remarks concerning punch and its origin. Read it here

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My favorite, your favorite

In order to generate a bit more activity in here I want each and every of you to post the name (and recipe if you'd like) of your favorite food thing: spice, ingredient, dish.

We begin with me: green curry. That's right, it is the dish of my life. The recipe to be posted soon, sice I will be preparing it this evening.

Now it's Your turn. Come on, I know you are there reading :)

Ruccola pesto / Pesto z ruccoli

I made it when stuck with too much ruccola and craving for something to garnish a very uncomplicated dinner.

You will need:
as much ruccola as you want
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 spoons of olive oil (I use Italian and extra vergine even though it is not that uncomplicated - read more here)
½ teaspoon of black truffle oil (this you can skip as it only enhances the sharpness of ruccola)
a pinch of salt

Blend well with a hand blender. Eat up on the same day!

Tom Kha Gai / Tajska kwaśna zupa z kurczaka

I have tried this one at Yaya's in Oslo - and possibly at Far East earlier this year. It's warming and it looks good and, as I hope to demonstrate here, it is also easy to make at home. All the Thai ingredients were supplied by Interfood at Brugata. Btw: I wish I knew what all the other things they have in refrigerators there were...

For the soup you will need:
2 cm bit of galangal (which is the kha in the name of the dish), peeled and sliced
2 whole small chillies
2-3 leaves of kaffir lime, broken along their stem to release the flavor
2 stems of lemon grass, cut in pieces 4-5 cm long
1 can of coconut milk (400ml; I use the light variant)
500ml vegetable stock (Vegeta was my choice here)
2-4 tablespoons of fish sauce (skip it if you find its smell/taste funny/revolting or if veggie)
juice of ½-1 lime
1 whole garlic clove
1 tablespoon of sugar
100g or more of button mushrooms cut into fours
1 chicken breast cut into pieces (more if it is a main course; if you are vegetarian, use more mushrooms instead – you are then making a tom kha het)
coriander or vårløk (what do you call it in English?), chopped and used as garnish

Prepare the stock in a large casserole. Make sure it is not too hot when you add coconut milk stirring gently. Heat while stirring and add galangal, chillies, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. Let it cook for a few minutes, then add garlic, fish sauce and sugar. You might want to check the taste now and see if it needs more of anything, before adding chicken and mushrooms. Boil until the chicken is done. As the last step add lime juice and stir. The soup should be creamy and yet sour. Pour into small bowls and garnish.


Now, the slight problem I have is that I am left with a few pieces of galangal, loads of kaffir lime leaves and too many small chillies to use. Any good ideas what to do with small red chillies? Should I make pickles? Or flavor a bottle of vodka with them? I will be preparing a green curry today but there is no chance I will use that much of everything. So, if anyone among my friends, acquaintances, or colleagues here in Oslo is interested, I can share. Just drop me a line. Beacuse if not, I will spawn a legion of devils here. Like this one:

And you wouldn't want that, would you now?

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The sun shines high above
The sounds of laughter
The birds swoop down upon
The crosses of old grey churches
We say that we're in love
While secretly wishing for rain
Sipping port and playing games

September's here again
September's here again

I have been rather uninspired lately - mostly foodwise. This does not mean, however, that this month has been totally uneventful in terms of food and beverages. I have tasted Pineau des Charentes (a French fortified wine) for the first time and liked it. I have made ruccola pesto twice and it turned out good at least the second time. I have eaten a delicious Tom Kha Gai with my colleagues, and then made it myself at home - the recipe and pictures will be posted this evening.

The lyrics above come form David Sylvian's opening song of "Secrets of the Beehive." album

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fast food - not so fast, part 2

This one is the most obvious: homemade hamburgers. I made these when a friend of ours visited us with his two sons. Memo to myself: kids and dijon mustard do not combine well. Otherwise I think they liked the hamburgers - at least enough to eat up.

You will need:
600g beef mince (that is slightly better than minced meat, does not have to be beef at all)
a pinch of salt, or two
1/2 teaspoon of crushed black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped (optional, depending on wheteher you want your garlic in the dressing)

kesam or sour cream or something even lighter
either lemon juice and chopped chives, or chopped garlic

You will also need:
wholegrain hamburger bread, or indeed any other kind of bread you want to serve
slices cucumber, sliced tomatoes, salad and so on

Heat the oven to warm the bread. Fry the hamburgers. I wonder if there is anything vegetarian that you could substitute for meat? Perhaps Miss White Elephant knows the answer?


And remember to enjoy your weekend!

These are a few of my favorite things, part 1

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings...

No wait. I was to write about food and cooking and such.
Here comes my fovorite numero uno: Citrus fruits.

Lemon makes the simples of refreshments - lemon water; it spices up all kinds of fish and seafood; slices cut in four make a great additive in salads (e.g. my couscous and apple salad); zest is important in green lentil soup. What is left after squeezing the juice is also the best means to remove strong/unpleasant scents from your fingers.

Lime - fashionable and omnipresent like the new pesto, or maybe it is the new wasabi? Despite the hype it is useful: just think of lime water; the healthiest of salad dressings may be lime juice and black pepper.

Orange & grapefruit - handy snacks inbetween meals; oranges are make the simplest of desserts when served sliced with a pinch of cinnamon. Not to forget about pomelos, klemntines and mandarines (does anyone still remember those?)

Now I will have to eat some of the above ;-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I will be publishing part 2 of Fast food, not so fast and launching the next series of posts These are a few of my favorite things...

But today I have to rest my eyes.

Przy okazji, do moich polskich czytelniczek i czytelników: wszystkie przepisy mogę na życzenie przetłumaczyć na polski. Wystarczy zostawić wiadomość w komentarzach. Miłego gotowania!

Zucchini (courgette) soup / Zupa z cukini

This is perhaps The Soup in my household. I must have made it some ten-fifteen times and never seem to get bored with it. (Pity I forgot to take a picture last time I made it.) Is's fast, it's cheap, it's light. The recipe comes from a popular vegetarian cook book, with several modifications.

Here's what you will need:
1 medium to large onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 medium to large zucchini, grated
1 medium carrot, grated
2-4 button mushrooms, chopped (optional)
1 corn of allspice
a few corns of black pepper
1 bay leaf
vegetable stock or anything similar
a pinch of chilli powder
a tablespoon of oil

Heat the oil in the bottom of a large casserole, fry the onion, garlic and button mushrooms together. Add grated zucchini and carrot. Heat for a minute or two, add all the spices and vegetable stock (about 1 liter) or 1 liter of water with a suitable amount of vegetarian broth powder (e.g. Vegeta by Podravka). Bring to boil and simmer for ten minutes.

If you need your protein add a cut chicken breast fillet or two and cook until it is done.


Sweet salmon in soya sauce / Słodki łosoś w sosie sojowym

You will need (for two):
some 600g of salmon fillet
1 large onion, peeled and cut
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 bit of ginger, chopped
oil for frying (e.g. riceoil)

Cut the salmon into suitable pieces. Heat a frying pan and fry ginger, garlic and onion together. When the onion is done, toss is to one side of the pan, put the salmon in and cover with the onion. When the salmon is alomst done, pour some soya sauce over it. The result is sweet (that's he onion) and possibly salty (depending on the kind of soya sauce). This is actually my copy of a dish served by one of Oslo's thai/viet places. Serve it with rice - or not ;-)

Above you can see my result as of today. It was a bit on the fatty side - I have to remember that for the next time.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cactus fig / kaktusfiken / opuncja zwana też figą indyjską

I first met the taste of opuntia in the form of an artificially flavoured German tea :) A great summer snack. Place it in the fridge for a few hours before serving. In my opinion better and more refreshing than ice cream.

Fast food - not so fast, part 1

I sometimes find myself craving for unhealthy fast food. The problem is that in the light of articles such as this one, or this one, or even this one, I am being effectively deterred from satisfying my little cravings.

Thus I have started making the food I think I want at home. Fast food purists may disagree and argue that e.g. kebab is best at this or that place in Oslo. Still I prefer my light variants of fast food - just look at teh pictures in the articles above.

Here comes the first recipe: my almost kebab with light dressing

Prepare the dressing first. You will need:
1 container of light sour cream/kesam or 2 of rømmekolle
2 teaspoons of sweet papika powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 clove of garlic, crushed
maybe some salt

Mix everything in a bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
Heat the oven and prepare a few pita breads (wholegrain, if available).

For the kebab part you will need:
2 chicken breast fillets of quorn fillets or any other kind of protein source you prefer
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon of chilli powder (or less...)
1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds, crushed
chopped parsley
rice oil

Fry your protein source with onion, garlic and the spices above. Serve with the dreassing, a nice salad and pita bread.

to be continued...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cilantro / koriander / kolendra

"Some writers say the leaves [cilantro] are used for seasoning, but this statement seems odd, as all the green parts of the plant exhale a very strong odor of the wood-bug, whence the Greek name of the plant."

Vilmorin-Andrieux, The Vegetable Garden (1885)

A few words of introduction

I enjoy cooking and have been enjoying it for a few years now. The general rule of my kitchen is "you take what you have" (this sounds so much better in Norwegian). Sometimes "you take what you have to" because not everything can be stored forever. Apart from modern cucumbers - these stay the same for weeks, somehow.

Most of my recipes are based on recipes from books, and nearly everything has been researched on the web. Google is a handy tool there.

I use little salt and a lot of freshly crushed black pepper. Not out of snobbishness - it simply tastes better.

I will be glad for comments, so that I know my posts are being read. I write in English in case my Polish friends would like to read this. This also explains why my language is a little bit awkward. I might switch to Norwegian, if none of you Poles bothers to read.

Bon Appétit! Vel bekomme! Smacznego!

Parsley pesto / Pesto z natki pietruszki

One of the problems with buying parsley in our local shop is that it comes in huge bunches. In a moment of desperation I came up with the idea of making a parsley pesto to simply get rid of poor thing before it goes bad. Some research on the web proved that alas I wasn't the first one to think of that. From several recipes that I found, I concocted this one.

You will need:
parsley - as much as you have to use up
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
crushed black pepper
some olive oil
roasted almons, chopped (optional)

Blend well with a hand blender. Eat up the same day or the day after. On the third day it just isn't good.

Mango salsa that turned into a salad / Sałatka z mango

This one originates with my friend's sister as a salsa served with potato chips. But it turned into a salad - perhaps because I didn't have the patience to chop and dice so nicely.

You will need:
1 large yummy yellow mango, peeled and diced (be careful, it is a slippery thing)
1 small red onion - or maybe just half of it
2 tomatoes, seeded, and diced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
cilantro - as much as you like, chopped
juice from one lime

Mix everything in a bowl and season to taste with crushed black pepper.
It looks good and tastes even better. Great summer food.

Black olive tapenade / Pasta z czarnych oliwek

You will need:
Ca 250g of black olives, drained
Ca 30g/1 tablespoon of small capers, drained
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tomato - seeded and diced
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
juice of 1/2 of lemon
crushed black pepper

Blend all the ingredients, apart from the tomato, with a hand blender. Don't overdo it - tapenade is not supposed to be smooth. Fold in diced tomato - that way tapenade looks better. Season with salt if you have to (capers should suffice).

Banana chutney with cilantro and chilli / Sos bananowy z kolendrą

For this you will need:
chopped cilantro (coriander)
1 good banana, sliced
1/2 red chilli without seeds, chopped
juice from 1/2 of a lime

Use a hand blender to combine all ingredients.
Banana chutneys are best eaten the same day as the colour turns greyish after a while. If you find the original colour ugly, use a tiny pinch of saffron soaked in warm water.

Nice with grilled quorn fillets or chicken fillets if you eat those.