Monday, May 28, 2007

Fried seafood

On this last day of Pentecost, our last bank holiday in the spring season, I yearned for some fish. I had some seafood in my freezer, and I decided to make some fried seafood.

The frozen seafood consists of squid rings and tentacles, prawns and surimi. I hate fake food, leaving the surimi to end, being used as substitute for seafood in a soup. I picked out squid and prawns and got started.

What you need for a bowl like this is:
100-150 grams / 3,5 - 7 oz. frozen seafood
Flour
Seafood spices
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil
Half a lemon

Defrost seafood.

Mix flour, spices, salt and pepper. Mix seafood until it is well coated with flour.

Heat up oil. Fry seafood until golden brown. Do not overcook, or else it may get tough to eat. Place on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.

Serve with potatoes or rice, and sauce. I served it with baked ready made rösti potatoes and hollandaise sauce.

Enjoy!

Wondering what to cook today?

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News on Susi' souvenirs

My dear friend Susanne has a great blog where she posts memories from the trips she and her husband Per takes around the world. Compared to them, I may hardly call myself a globetrotter, as they travel to some seriously exotic places.

I highly recommend Susi's souvenirs, for information on past on future trips and if I am lucky I may get a story or two from her, here on Enjoy Food & Travel. And here are her latest stories.

QotD: How I'll Spend My Summer Vacation

Are you taking a vacation this summer (or this season)? Where are you headed and who's going with you?

My husband and I are going to Thailand. 3 weeks! We'll spend a whole week in Bangkok first. Then we go south to Koh Samui to relax after what we have heard is one of the world's most exciting and exhausting cities.

Read the rest of the story on Susi's Souvenirs!

I love Paris in the spring time

Well, I love Paris whatever the season, but here's a little show -- impressions of the colors and moods of springtime Paris -- from snaps I took when I was there in April.

Read the rest of the story and see her pictures on Susi's Souvenirs!

An improvised dinner and a night snack

Sunday May 27th I made a dinner out what I had in my fridge and got hungry for a hot snack during the evening. Thus I ended up making two hot meals, instead of one.

Tagliatelle with a creamed tomato sauce with raw Spanish chorizos (Served 1 hungry person)

I went to Sweden last week, and there I bought small cocktail sized raw chorizos. I love to use them in a spicy tomato sauce. Sunday I used them in this improvised pasta dish.

PS: The Sazón Goya seasoning contains salt, so if you do not use it in you dish, you may have to add more salt.

Ingredients:
Olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium sized onion, sliced
6 small raw chorizos, sliced
1 large tomato, diced
1 - 2 teaspoon sugar (do adjust quantity in order to get the right balance)
Salt
10 cl / 4 fluid oz. red wine
10 cl / 4 fluid oz. single cream
25 grams / 1 oz Parmesan grated
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
1 bag of Sazón Goya spice mix with coriander and annato (optional)
Pepper, freshly grounded

Gently fry garlic and onion in olive oil until golden.

Add chorizos and then tomatoes. Use the necessary amount of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Add salt if needed.

Pour red wine into pan and allow to reduce before adding single cream. Reduce slightly before you add dried herbs and Sazón Goya bag over.

Season with more salt, pepper or sugar to your taste.

Serve with tagliatelle.

Night snack - spelt toast with cheese, turkey breast and Thai chili sauce (Serves one hungry person)

Just four hours after my dinner, hunger struck again. As I feverishly looked through my refrigerator, I found the necessary ingredients to make this dish.

Ingredients
2 slices of bread made from spelt flour
2 teaspoons Thai chili sauce
2 times 3 slices of Gorgonzola or another mild blue cheese
2 large slices of turkey breast (you may also use boiled ham)
A liberal amount of grated cheese

Add one teaspoon of Thai chili sauce to each slice of spelt bread. This will add sweetness to the rest of the ingredients that are rather salty. You may also use mustard instead of the Thai chili sauce.

Then place three slices of Gorgonzola on the slices, followed by the turkey breast. Cover it all with a liberal amount (should cover the toasts) of grated cheese.

Place in hot oven (200C / 400F) to bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is golden.

Yum!

More recipes....

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Staying at the Royal Windsor Grand Place Hotel

I have visited Brussels often, privately and professionally the last 12 years. I have mostly stayed with friends. One of my best stays there was in May 2006 when I enjoyed four nights at the Royal Windsor Grand Place hotel.

I was lucky - I got a a great offer as I booked a hotel room over the www.hrs.de may 2006. The Royal Windsor Grand Place Hotel is a five star luxury hotel with a perfect location at 5 rue Duquesnoy, a narrow side street just by Grand Place. This would normally be a hotel over my budget, starting at €175 for a double room going up to €1800 for the largest suite. As I booked over the net I paid a little over €110, and that was a real bargain.

This hotel has a distinct British feel to it. The lobby with its interior in dark wood, and the dark and intimate Windsor bar.

My spacious room faced Grand Place, and I could sit in the window and admire the tower of Brussels town hall, illuminated by night. It had with a flat screen TV and minibar. The bathroom was spacious as well, with a bathtub, an ultimate luxury at the end of the day.

The service was great. There were maids in twice a day. To make your bed during day, and as you returned in the evening, the maid had been there again and prepared the bed for the night, leaving a small plate with Belgian chocolate. For €110 it was a real bargain. Try looking for it, the next time you book hotel over the Internet. You may get a bargain.

You may still get a deal here!

You should not book through the hotel reservation service as the prices are less favourable here. I did, however, check several hotel booking sites on the net, and you may still get a deal on this hotel. On www.hrs.de in June you could get a double room for €97+tax, and www.hotels.com had an equally reasonable price.

Address and contact information

Royal Windsor Grand Place Hotel
5 rue Duquesnoy, 1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 505 5555
Fax: +32 2 505 5500
E-mail: resa.royalwindsor@warwickhotels.com
Visit the hotel website here

More hotel information

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Durius Tempranillo 2003/2004

I was invited to dinner yesterday, and I was asked to bring a red wine. As the main course was roast of veal with balsamic reduction, I found a Spanish wine to be the best choice. I picked a bottle of Durius Tempranillo 2003/2004, and I did not regret it.

This wine is reasonably priced, at €10, and recommended for beef, lamb and game.

It is produced in Castilla Y Léon in northwestern Spain, bordering Portugal. Made from 100% tempranillo I expected a well bodied and well balanced red wine. It did certainly meet my expectation.

Dark red colour, a concentrated aroma of cherries and dried fruit, and it had drawn a distinct oak aroma from the barrel.

Very good and certainly worth its price.

See complete list of wine reviews here on Enjoy Food & Travel - your source to good wine!

O yes! Bella Vita!

A colleague had highly recommended this "Gastronomia e Vineria Italiana" and when I and my travel companion Laila Nilsen looked for a place to eat lunch, it was conveniantly close. As Laila has lived in Rome, she is hard to impress when it comes to Italian cooking but in this case we both ended up speechless.

Location: BBBB+

The restaurant is located in Prinsensgate in downtown Oslo and is dead easy to find. Its location is however hardly the most romantic place to eat. There were a few tables outside, but it was hardly tempting to sit there due to the traffic.

Atmosphere: BBBBB

This used to be an old pharmacy and much of its original interior has been preserved. Wonderful wooden details, carved columns, small niches where bottles of potions used to stand, are now used to store wine glasses, bottles, and ingredients. The interior has been beautifully matched by a large counter where much of the ingredients for the antipasti are stored.

The tables and chairs are rustique, in light wood, in contrast to the dark patinated wooden interior. That is maybe the only detail that I did not feel matched the interior. But this is hardly enough to threaten my five point rating. There were nicely foldes napkins by each place at the table and on the middleyou find a large round plate waiting for the great food to come.

Price: BBBBB

We paid a little over €70 for two. This may seem much, but we could have reduced the price with €30 if we had not ordered two bruschetti and two glass of wine to match the antipasto. The antipasto misto to share would made us both very satisfied. But even so - the food was worth every Euro.

Service: BBBBB-

The service was excellent. As most of the staff were Italian we ordered in English, so no English menu was needed. The restaurant was seriously overstaffed. They were relaxed and very kind, talking Italian to each other as they prepared our food. This is one of these places where you can just close you eyes and easily find yourself in Naples or Milan, rather than in Oslo in May.

This service was swift, and our bruschetti arrived quickly followed by the warm and cold antipasti, always served with a mile.

The food: BBBBB

The food was great!!!

When you order bruschetti in another Italian restaurant you get a seriously overpriced slice of baguette or french bread with garlic, tomatoes and other toppings.

Not here! Laila got a large slice of imported Italian bread garnished with loads of tomatoes, parma ham, shaved parmeggiano reggiano, topped with ruccula. Seriously enough when you want a simple lunch.

My bruschetta was equally impressive.

Italian bread with tomatoes, melting gorgonzola and Salsiccia sausage with dried herbs. Salsiccia is a sausage produced in most regions of Italy, made from pork and seasoned with garlic and herbs typical of the regions in which they are produced.

The constrast of the melting gorgonzola and the tasty salsiccia was perfect, and would be normally be enough for lunch. So we were more than satisfied, and we did not expect much from our antipasti.

First the hot antipasti - succulent homemade meatballs (centre) slightly undercooked leaving a deliciously creamy centre. Well seasoned and dipped in a traditional tomato sauce.

Then two grilled slices of parma ham (left) folded over a rich white cheese - mouthwatering!

Right we had two types of fried dumplings, the larges one made from potatoes (gnocchi), and the small were made from fish.

Yum - and there were more to come!!

The cold antipasti left us seriously speechless.

Cold cuts - mortadella, the delicious fresh sausage, salami with whole peppercorns, and thin slices of parma ham.

Fried slices of aubergine, zucchini and red peppers.

Italian cheese, taleggio, mozzarella, and two other varieties.

Tunafish with cold butterbeans, lettuce and tomatoes. The cold antipasti were served with bread, grissini, and seasoned olive oil and would easily please two for lunch.

We ordered two bottles of Italian beer - Moretti, delicious with the bruscetti and the hot antipasti, but as we started our cold dish, we ordered the red wine of the house - a Ca' Rugate Campo Lavei Valpolicella. Expensive (€7 a glass), served in large wine glasses. Ruby coloured, with an elegant aroma of red forest berries, oak and herbs. MMMM!

By this time we were so satisfied, and could not think of visiting the Gelateria next door for a coffee and a Gelato. We finished our wine and ordered a espresso - a perfect end of an exquisite experience.


The total score of our Bella Vita Experience: BBBBB- (4,85)

This is as close to authentic Italian cooking you can get outside Italy. I cannot wait to enjoy their pasta.

Adress: Prinsensgate 22, N-0157 Oslo
Phone: +47 22 41 10 81
Fax: +47 22 41 10 80

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