Saturday, December 16, 2006

The day of the duck - dusk

Prawn soup with fennel and red pepper

The wonderful saffron-colour of this soup comes from the red pepper. The red pepper, the fennel, and the sweet thai chili dipping sauce gives this soup a unique aroma. The sweetness must be balanced with some vinegar, and do taste until you are satisfied. I also used 1/2 box of Fish-Suppen Paste in the recipe, produced by Jürgen Langbein, purchased in Karstadt in Kiel. These pastes are great in soups and sauces.

500 grs/ 1 lb prawns, shelled
1 medium sized red pepper, diced
1/2 a small bulb of fennel, diced
1 oz butter
1-2 tbsp flour
750 ml / 1 1/2 pints of stock, made from the shells, water and Fisch Suppe Paste
2 tbsp sweet chili dipping sauce
Salt and pepper
5 cl Dry vermouth
1 tsp tarragon vinegar
100 ml / 4 fl oz. double cream

Fry the diced pepper and fennel in the butter. Add flour, stock, sweet chili pepper and salt after personal taste. Stir and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Pour mix into blender and blend until smooth. Pour back into pan and add vermouth, cream and vinegar. Taste to season.

Add shelled prawns at the end of cooking time. I will serve this with toasts with Rouille Provencal. I bought some in Marseille produced by the firm Moulin J. Ramade, in Nyon.


After lunch - the day of the duck

Preparing the stuffing

A stuffing made from apple, onion, bacon and sage is absolutely perfect served with poultry. The same combination of tastes is perfect even for pork. This time I used a rather hot variety of chorizo - chorizo fort, produced by César Moroni and bought at Monoprix in Marseille.

I used Grevens Cider from Hansa Breweries in Bergen, but any apple cider will do. Grevens Cider is a quite sweet apple cider. If you use a similar cider, I do recommend to increase the amount of salt a little. But beware - the salt content in the different chorizos or types of bacon may vary, so do add salt at the end of the process, so it will not be oversalted.

1 1/2 oz / 45 gr butter
1 large / 2 small apples, diced
1 regular sized onion, diced
1 1/2 oz / 50 grs chorizo sausage, diced
4-5 leaves of sage or dry sage
2 oz / 60 gr croutons
3 fluid oz / 1 dl applecider
Salt and pepper

Allow to cool. Stuff the duck. Close with wooden toothpicks or string. And now the duck is in the oven and will roast for four hours.

Quack, quack!!

Dawn - to prepare the duck

I bought a "canette", a small duck produced in France, weighing close to 2 kg / 4 lbs. These birds are perfect for two to three people. As we have only a small domestic production of ducks in Norway, most of the them are usually imported frozen. Allow to thaw for two to three days in the fridge. Remember to wrap it thoroughly as some of the juices may leak out and may be a source of food contamination.

When preparing raw poultry, wash knives and cuttingboard thoroughly before preparing other food stuffs!

Take a fork or a knife and and make small holes or incisions in the skin.

I always use a marinade when I prepare poultry. You can use any spice mix containing salt and pepper, as long as you add some sweetness to it. I use 2-3 tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning. Then add 2 tbsp of olive oil and 3 tbsp of sweet thai chili dipping sauce. Stir into a paste and allow to infuse for 1/2 hour. Then brush this paste thouroughly on the skin of the duck. Cover the duck and allow to rest in the refridgerator for another two to three hours.

Then you can go out and have a good lunch, as I intend to do now.

See ya!

The dawn of the day of the duck

I have a few traditions during the year. One of them takes place close to Christmas when I and my friends Ketil Zahl and Thomas Evensen gather for the Tante Pose evening. Tante Pose is an old norwegian film produced in 1940. As fortysomethings, we think back on the christmas of our childhoods. This film was as important to get you into the christmas mood as pork rib with crisp cracklings, and even the christmas gifts.

Thomas' mother Dorthe, is danish, and in Denmark many prepare a roast duck for christmas dinner. It is served with sauerkraut made from red cabbage, brown gravy, brussels sprouts and caramellized potatoes. So - we decided to have a roast duck for this traditional evening.

I will take you from dawn to dusk, this day of the duck. I will tell you how I prepare the duck before you put it in the oven, and I will present the stuffing I use for poultry. I have used the samme stuffing in a chicken recipe I published here on Enjoy Food & Travel early September.

The duck will roast in the oven on a very low heat (100C/210F) for five hours. You will of course see the end result as well. I will also prepare a fish soup as a starter and a chocolate mousse with brandy as dessert.

So Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas in Barcelona - a short guide

I am on a seminar out of town, and as I had some spare time after the lessons I looked for useful informations on the net for those of us who will stay in Barcelona during Christmas.

The tourist guide for Barcelona gives you, in short, some very useful pieces of information as:

- I am very happy to inform you of the fact that we do not have to expect a white christmas in Barcelona.

- For the shopoholics you better do your shopping either on December 24th or from December 27th. Christmas day and Boxing day all shops are closed.

- Most restaurants will be open during the whole vacation, but the price of a meal may be higher. You are also adviced to make a reservation at the restaurant of your choice in order to get a table.

- Most attractions of the city are closed Christmas day, but some of them are open Boxing Day. You are adviced to check the opening hours as they my be shorter than usual.

So if you are doing the same as we, study the information on this site carefully. I have!


Monday, December 11, 2006

Coming up in December - Christmas in Barcelona

This christmas I am finally doing what I've been thinking of for years. To leave christmas behind and travel abroad during the festive season. This year I am doing just that. I am leaving a cold and dark Oslo, for Barcelona, the jewel by the Mediterranean. I am not travelling alone, I have the best company - my good friends Susanne Koch and Per Koch.

I have been to Barcelona once, three years ago. Then I stayed for a weekend. I was so impressed by the architecture of the old gothic quarter, the cathedral, la Rambla, La Sagrada Familia and the numerous buildings designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi.

Barcelona is really a great place to eat and drink.Tapas, paella, cured meats and fresh fish in abundance from the Mediterranean to mention some of the treats you can choose from. The city has an impressive food market situated at La Rambla, a must for a foodie, a real feast for the eye. I will roam around in this beatiful city with camera ready and provide you information on where to eat, where not to eat and what to eat. I am particularly eager to revisit a great catalan tapas bar, by the cathedral, and treat myself to the delicacies I ate there a few years ago.

We are staying at Hotel Atlantis, a stones throw away from the narrow streets of the old Gothic Quarter close to the hectic the night life on the main street la Rambla. I will, after my stay, give you my view of this hotel - the rooms, the location and the service.

So - stay here at Enjoy Food & Travel in December for the sites, the smell and taste of Barcelona.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Berlin - culinary memories from Munchs hus

This is duckbreast, served with "viltsaus" a norwegian sour and sweet gravy. The duck is served with red cabbage and cranberries. The dumpling are made the way they prepare them in Trondheim. Dumplings are made in various forms in most parts of country using local ingredients.

This dish from Munchs hus combines some highly unusual elements. Roast duck is usually served in other ways. Serving it with dumplings, or raspeballer, as we call it in Norway is a new twist.

This article has been written by Dagfinn and Malin K. You will find link to their websites on Enjoy Food & Travel under the label "Friends"

Berlin - Culinary memories from Munchs hus

It wasn’t patrionism than led us to the Norwegian restaurant, Munch’s Hus when we visited Berlin lately. Quite the contrary, we usually try to stay away from anything Norwegian abroad. But this time we were invited, and we entered the restaurant without knowing what to expect.

Surprisingly, the whole experience was very good! The style was clean - in short very Scandinavian. Our friendly waitress turned out to be Swedish, so even I, who cannot speak German could communicate easily with her. What a relief after days twisting my brain trying to find the right words in German.

We ordered three different meals, starting out with a glass of Prosecco for me and a ”moose blood” (vodka with a strange consistency, made of berries) for the guys.

I ordered moose to eat, though (picture), and it tasted fantastic! Perfect meat, moist and tender served with mashed potatoes and a lovely gravy flavoured with juniperberries.

Our companion were served fish, and my boyfriend had to try the totally strange dish duck with dumplings (raspeballer). This combination is unheard of here in Norway, but it tasted great.

And the restaurant served proper water. I am not fond of bottled water abroad. I was very pleased to be served the Norwegian water ”Voss”. The bottles have been designed by Neil Kraft, and was given the award by Norwegian Design Council in 2001 for good design. Kraft has previously designed for Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.

All in all, visiting Munchs hus, was a wonderful experience, and thankfully not THAT typically Norwegian. It’s defintely worth a visit.

If you want to visit Munchs hus the adress is:

Bülowstrasse 66
D-10783 Berlin-Schöneberg

This article has been written by Dagfinn and Malin K. You will find link to their websites on Enjoy Food & Travel under the label "Friends"

Co-writer on Enjoy Food & Travel - Dagfinn Koch

I would like to present one of the co-writers on Enjoy Food & Travel. Dagfinn Koch is a well known Norwegian contemporary composer. He is engaged to be married and he and Malin, his charming fiancé will present some culinary memories from Germany here on the website.

This includes articles from Idar Oberstein, Lübeck and Berlin. Here comes the first report from Munchs House in Berlin.


Marseille - a walk on the wild side

The Get Bar

The last evening I visited Marseilles only gay bar. The Get bar is situated in rue Beauvau by Vieux Port. It is really strange that a city of more than 2 million inhabitants have one gay bar. The proprietor told me that Lyon, a city of the same size, had 7 bars.

Wednesday November 29th a Chic & Mumm party took place at Get bar, sponsored by Mumm, the Champagne producers. We were handed free champagne, served from large bottles in ice buckets on the bar counter. As it was really early, a relatively small number of guests had gathered, but they obviously knew each other very well. I heard some of the music mixed by Antione de Chery, but I did not get to know who Shana was, whose presence was announced on the bar website

As we were leaving the next day, and I knew what too many glasses of champagne can do to you, I left early and went back to our hotel room.

This little walk on the wild side, concludes my stories from Marseille, this time. And there will be a next time, for sure!

Beef stew with beer - the end result

This is the end result. I served this stew with rösti-potatoes and baked vegetables. If you want a sweet supplement I would recommend cranberry-jam.

We had a rich red wine to this meal. A bottle of El Coto, Crianza 2003.