7 March 2013

Married in Sandefjord

Well, we did it.
My lovely lady Brit made me a proud and happy man October the 27th 2012.
We were married in Sandefjord in wonderful ceremony in a really charming and romantic church.
That is the tall white one on the way into town by the railway station.
It is probably the cosiest and most beautiful church I have been in.

Lots of our friends and family were there, some of them making the long trip over from England,  My good friend Chris, his wife Eivor and daughter  Katerina made the long journey from the  North of Norway, Fauske  to be with us.

Along with lots of family from both sides of the North Sea.

16 June 2012

A warm welcome to 'Traditional Norwegian food'

 Traditional food, good wholesome and for the most part healthy food and recipes from northern Norway.
Norway  the magical land of the Vikings, so rich in natural beauty it will astound you.  There can not be a better place on earth where the 4 seasons are shown with such intensity and so much vibrant colour,  Norway has the longest coastline in Europe twisting and turning in and out all of the Fjords and Islands, it stretches for somewhere in the region of 84,000km. Cruise ships from all over the world head for the Norwegian Fjords.  In the northern summertime you can catch the midnight sun, in the wintertime the Northern lights (Aurora Borrealis) will send you into a jaw dropping stare. The whole country is drenched in natural beauty, and i hope to bring a little of it to you here. 
Norwegian food is the reason you are here and i hope you find the food and recipes within these pages as delightful an experience as i have. I have to thank Herdis Skjerstad for helping me bring to you some of the wonderful flavours of  Traditional Norwegian Food

The beautiful island of Kjerringoy with the magnificent mountains of Steigen Tinnene in the background

A stunningly beautiful island by any measure

The rich colours of autumn came and went, the temperatures have plummeted to minus 10 now and the snow is piling up outside. We have entered winter. Narnia my son commented, winter as you see on picture postcards.
This is when the food warms up a notch, wonderful thick and healthy soups, spicy reindeer sausage and still the fabulously fresh and much appreciated fish. Cod, Halibut, Mackerel, Sea Trout and of course Bacalao (Klippfisk).

Reindeer relaxing by the side of the Fjord

You will find some of the all time great traditional recipes here, winter warming soups and stews, seasonal dishes for occasions and light summer lunches from finger food to traditional Norwegian open sandwiches (smorgasbord). Herdis who will be keeping me right with the recipes and ingredients, still dances every Thursday, has lived inside the Arctic Circle for the last 83 years and feeds me Cod liver oil before breakfast.
Believe me, she knows how to combine wild berries, moose, fish, or reindeer to make the most amazingly tasty and healthy food you have ever tasted, good solid traditional Norwegian food.


1 June 2012

The day after the Utøya massacre

The very next day the image of Jesus is seen in the clouds over Oslo, Norge.
We are now one year on, the trial of Anders Breivik continues in the Oslo courtrooms bringing back many images of the horrific scenes witnessed by the survivors on the small island of Utoya in the Oslo fjord.

A sad day for many people, the survivors who saw hell, the families of the dead and the stunned world.

Maybe this image taken by my fiance's sister 'Inger Nancy' on the day after the massacre will help some people through the hard days ahead..  

Maybe he did come down to take care of all those young and innocent souls.

It would be nice to think so.

6 April 2012

Beef steak with caramelized onions and red wine sauce.

An amazing steak dinner packing a taste punch you will never forget. ever.

This wonderfully simple dish will surely get those taste buds popping and the mouth watering at the very mention of the name. It is not one of the classic Norwegian traditional dishes but is becoming more and more popular with those meat eaters who enjoy a succulent, tasty and outstanding way to have steak.

Succulent beef steak with caramelised onions and red wine sauce

The steak we used a one kilo piece of tenderloin beef (only the best).

Its cost is far outweighed by the satisfaction gained in eating it i can assure you of that and a one kilo piece will comfortably give four good meals.

The steak was first sealed on the hot plate of the barbecue (a frying pan on the cooker will do just as well). All sides.

We then inserted a temperature probe into the meat and cooked it slowly on the covered barbecue at an internal temp of 70 degrees C.

The sealing and slow cooking of the meat is vital here so that it retains nearly all of its juices. Raising the temperature after most of the cooking is done gives you a deep brown crust very fast. The protein rich and sugar-laden juices that come to the surface during cooking evaporate, leaving a high concentration of proteins and sugars that brown quickly. 

Star onions (small) or shallots were used in this dish.

The meat is removed from the heat, covered and left to rest for a good 15 Min's (always rest the meat after cooking it).

The potatoes are small and new, we cut them as in the photo.

Not all the way through but almost.

You can do this by placing a thin chopping board behind the potato and cutting down to that depth.

The potatoes are then oiled with sunflower oil, sprinkled with chopped thyme, salted/peppered and placed in a roasting tray in the oven 190 to 200 degrees C for about 35 Min's (until cooked through and slightly crispy on the skin.

For the sauce sugar is added to a pan and cooked on a medium heat until the sugar starts to melt, then add the peeled onions and mix them up with the sugars until they are caramelised, succulent and dripping with taste.

Add a good cup of a decent table wine and while it is all cooking add to the pot some beef stock, either from a cube or a liquid stock.

Then add salt and pepper to taste, adjust the taste to suit yourself, i find it better when you can 'just' taste the red wine in the sauce.

We have used very lightly and quickly fried (in olive oil) sweet sugar peas still in the pod, and cherry tomatoes (whole). The sugar peas should be crunchy  and the cherry tomatoes just starting to loose their skin.

The food served on warmed plates of course and a good bottle of wine of your choice, i much prefer a Red Australian wine to any other, it is very drinkable, has a wonderful fruity taste and is far from acidic to taste, although a good Spanish Faustino takes a bit of beating.

This dish, when the sauce is done right will simply blow you away with taste, it is wonderful and will impress any guest for a lifetime.


19 February 2012

Sunday down by the fjord

When the temperature drops well below zero C and there is no football on the television, Norwegians like to get out into the fresh air and spend some time with the family down by the fjord.
Last Sunday wasn't quite so cold but we got the winter woollies on, packed up some hot coffee with  'pulse and lomper' sausage or hot dog with flat potato bread and headed off in the direction of the fjord.

Sandefjord, Vestfold.
A charming little town on the south coast of Norway. With lots of walks and forests and hidden little beaches all the way along the coastline.

Even walks through the forest to the hidden little beaches. Its refreshing and it feels like we are free to do as we please.

Fantastic really, however Norwegians are very thoughtful people for the most part and the outdoors is kept as clean and litter free as you would expect from a Scandinavian country.

One of the many wonderful 'little harbours' dotted around the Norwegian coastline.

The walk took us through a scenic winter forest with huge icicles hanging from the granite boulders and cliffs, and we ended up on a lovely little beach down by a very icy fjord.
The fjords are sea water so when this all freezes over you can only imagine how cold it gets here.

The cold doesn't bother any of us, we are all dressed with proper winter shoes, wool next to the skin, and a couple of other layers of wool underneath our heavily insulated winter coats.

Nice wool hat and of course wool or wool and leather gloves to finish off.

Everywhere you look there is a photo opportunity so a digital camera is a must, i never go anywhere without one. (as the actress said to the bishop).
That's another story though.

I have gathered the photos together and added some music which i hope you like, i only go for the music so if the lyrics don't fit the photos then hit the mute button.

Here, as typical with Norwegians, we build a small fire, break out the barbecue sticks and get toasting 'pulse' (hot dogs to the average American).
They are wrapped in the 'Lomper' fried and crispy onion is added with ketchup and a brown sauce which i have only seen in Scandinavia.


Washed down with some piping hot coffee.
Another Traditional Norwegian 'outdoors' little tummy filler.

Time to head for home, Hada.


 I hope you enjoy the photos, feel free to leave a comment, it would be nice to hear from you.

9 January 2012

Norwegian Lobster

The Norwegian Lobster season runs from the begining of October until the end of November, two months only.
That gives us little time to get out with the boat, get the lobster pots down to about 20 Meters (or so) on a good rocky bottom , and start catching some of those lovely Norwegian Lobsters.

It is only allowed to catch these lobsters in pots, no diving or other catching them by other means.

These fabulous creatures grow very slowly something like 2cm or 3cm per year and if you catch one that is below i think it is 24cm then it has to go back into the sea. Also if it is carrying eggs it has to go straight back too. This helps to preserve a lobster population in the waters around Norway.

Sandefjord harbour, Vestfold, Norway.

To cook one you need a rather large pot and it is best to use seawater to cook it in.
Bring the seawater to the boil and put the Lobster in head first and completely submerge it. Bring it back to the boil and cook it 10mins for the first half kilo and 3 mins extra for each additional half kilo. So for a 2 and a half kilo Lobster you must cook it for 10 + (4 x 3) = 22 Mins

A beautiful cooked Norwegian Lobster

Once cooked cut it in half down the length, ie place it on a cutting board like in the photo then with a good sharp kitchen knife press hard to cut it in two.

The Claws are full of great meat, just break them off and get stuck in.
Serve it up on a plate with a few wedges of Lemon and some dill, use a small fork to pull out the meat. Absolutly mouthwateringly fantastic, wash it down with the old Aquavit and a bottle of Jule ole, (xmas beer).

24 December 2011

Møsbrøm Lefse

After one year we can celebrate over 7000 visitors to Traditional Norwegian Food. All around the globe from Australia to Zululand and in every corner of every state in the US of A.

I hope some of the wonderful recipes in this blog have brought some pleasurable eating to some of you around the world and some of the photos brought back some nice memories to others.

Here we are preparing Møsbrøm lefse, Brit passing the ingredients to our 8 yr old chef Julie Marie

Julie Marie says Jeg elsker Mushbrum Lefse.
The recipe originates from Fauske in Nordland, Norway and i have a copy of the exact ingredients and formula from Herdis Skjerstadfjord  (84 yrs young and as fit as a Lapland  Reindeer)  who has told me it was her grandmother who has passed the recipe on down through the family.

Lefse is a Traditional dish for all Norwegians and it dates back, probably to Hagar times, it is certainly traceable to the Viking era.

Brit (my better half) preparing the Mushbrum Lefse.
The Sauce is made from a mixture of  butter, Norwegian Brown cheese, sour milk, whole milk and wheat flour. It is totally delicious and the record for eating them is held with family member Christian from Oslo who has managed 7 Møsbrøm Lefse in one sitting.

First you must make the Lefse, this is done in the traditional way or you can buy them already done from the shop.

Traditional recipe,

 Half litre of whole milk,
 Half litre of sour milk,
 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
 1kg wheatflour.

Mix all of the above ingredients together to make a nice smooth dough.
Nip off enough dough to make small balls of dough that you can roll out nice and thin lefse that are about 30 to 35cm round.
Use all of the dough to do this and make as many lefse as you can.

Heat up a hot plate and place the lefse on until it starts to turn a liitle light brown color.
Cook one side only and put to one side to cool down.

Thats the Lefse done, now the sauce.

A cosy Christmas to you all.
Sauce or Møsbrøm.

250g of Norwegian brown cheese
Half litre of whole milk
2 decilitres of sour milk
2 decilitres of wheat flour
add some sugar and vanilla sugar to your taste, (it is meant to be real sweet)

Mix together all of the above ingredients and cook in a saucepan until the taste of the wheatflour disappears. around 10 mins.

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C and put the lefse in to heat through, about 3 mins.

Remove from the oven and use a ladel to pour on the Møsbrøm, (sauce) and spread it all over the lefse thick and even.
Add a tablespoon of Sourcream to the centre of the lefse and add a teaspoon of butter to the centre of the cream.

Fold it in half, then fold over the two other edges.

It's ready to eat. The tradition way is with fingers, and it is great. A real family get together with Møsbrøm Lefse is another Norwegian Traditional food.

We hope you love it as much as we do.

God Jul til dere alle og godt nyttår :)