Saturday, November 24, 2007


Bruschetta is one of the easiest and maybe best treats I know. As I sat down in my favourite kitchen at Stav Østre at Løten we were craving for a nibble, and bruschetta fell into mind.

We had bought an Italian ciabatta bread with black olives, perfect for this dish. With four ingredients we made two varieties and lifted them both into bruschetta heaven with one last secret ingredient.

We cut the ciabatta into thin slices in order for them to absorb the oils and crisp easily.

Bruschetta with red pesto and gorgonzola

Red pesto is easily made from olive oil, parmeggiano, pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes. It has this wonderful taste of Italian summer. For this bruschetta you may easily settle for one of the many red pesto varieties that are easily available in your local supermarket.

Spread the red pesto on the thinly sliced ciabatta, and top it with a generous amount of creamy gorgonzola cheese - rrrrrrrrr!!

Bruschetta with pesto genovese and parmeggiano

My friend Øyvind makes the most wicked pesto genovese, from leaves from two large basil bushes, pine nuts, salt, parmeggiano, and good olive oil. It has the most incredible colour and the most amazing taste, and the good thing is that it is easily stored in the refrigerator for at least a couple of weeks.

As Øyvind had made a new batch of this wonderful stuff, we spread the pesto genovese on the ciabatta, added thinly sliced parmeggiano cheese and allowed to bake in the oven until cheese was melting.

And the secret ingredient?

I had bought a small bottle of olive oil infused by white truffles. As the bruschetta was taken out of the oven, we added the truffle oil. That made all the difference. The bruschetta went from delicious to delovely - delightful!

Junk food at News Cafe

I have always loved junk food, and as I was looking for lunch the first day in Durban, I looked for something that could fulfill my craving for just that. At News Cafe located at Suncoast I found just the thing to fulfill my urge. Potato skins with bacon and cheese. Wicked!!

Gastronomically there is an old fashioned notion behind this dish, that is not to let any leftovers go to waste, a sympathetic idea. I do, however, think that those that got the idea of frying potato skin in oil, top them with crispy bacon and cheese, must have been a little crazy, but it works and it tastes great.

As I entered the News Cafe, I found that this dish was a typical example of what they served there, informal and easy going food. I loved my loaded potato skin, being as crunchy, crispy, and junkie as it is supposed to be. The thinly sliced potato skin was topped with equally delicious thinly sliced bacon and melted cheddar cheese floated over the bacon and potatoes as generously as the South African sunshine.

I enjoyed my food on the outside deck of the restaurant, and if you wonder how it looked, here is a small peak through a little film taken from my table.

And what to drink - beer of course, as this is definitely bar food. I ordered one of my favorite brews, Nastro Azzurro originally brewed by Peroni. Once a Roman brand, multi capitalism has now taken over this Italian treat, as it changed hands in 2005 and is now the property of SAB Miller, an English brewing giant.

As I visited Italy in 2000 I found that this light beer provided instant relief for a thirsty traveler wandering through the sizzling hot streets of Siena and Florence in mid July.

And Nastro Azzurro delivered it again, as I got a huge glass of freezing cold, golden brew at News Cafe in Durban.


News Cafe
Sun Coast Casino
Sun Coast Boulevard
Durban, South Africa
Phone: 031 368 7629
Fax: 031 368 7631

Read more on the News Cafe Brand here

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Ich bin noch in Berlin

Having returned after three days in Berlin, my mind is filled up with impressions from this wonderful city located in the heart of Europe. The fact is that this city still is divided, in many ways, as the monuments of the DDR is still visible in the city. But Berlin is changing rapidly, and as the no mans land, where the wall once stood slowly is erased, this beautiful city will heal and unite once more. Berlin is certainly "eine Reise wert."