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!