Saturday, December 04, 2010

A Thanksgiving Dinner

A delayed Thanksgiving dinner took place Friday November 25th in my home. Those present were there 10 years ago, when I celebrated my first (and only) US Thanksgiving in San Francisco 10 years back.

As we were only three, I hesitated buying a whole turkey, as I am, presently, without a freezer. Buying a whole turkey is a much better idea, as you can freeze leftovers and reuse them later.

Buying a turkey breast is, however, not a bad alternative, as you do not have to struggle with neither bones nor carcass. It is a lean meat, so you have to prepare it gently in order to preserve it moist and tender.

To prepare the breast you'll need:

1 turkey breast (800 grams / 1,7 lb), frozen
2 tbsp good butter
3 tbsp seasoning

Leave breast to thaw in my refrigerator for 24 hours. Rub it with liberal amount of seasoning. I used Montreal Chicken mix.

Do assure yourself whether the spice mix you use contains salt or not to avoid seasoning disasters.

Allow the seasoning and chicken breast to infuse for a few hours, then seal the surface in butter in a very hot pan.

Place turkey breast into a roasting bag. and bake for 4 hours at 100C / 215F.

Shropshire Spice Company stuffing

While the turkey is in the oven, you prepare the stuffing.

You are guaranteed the best result if you take your time and prepare your seasoning from scratch. I bought a packet of a sage and onion stuffing mix from the Shropshire Spice Company.

I gave the final stuffing a personal twist though. To prepare my version of a partly premade stuffing you'll need.

2 tbsp of good butter
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
100 grams / 3,5 oz bacon, finely diced
1 medium sized apple, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 package of Shropshire onion & sage stuffing
20 cl / 7 fluid oz apple cider

Heat 1/2 of butter in a hot skillet.

Fry onions and bacon until lightly brown, then add apple, fry lightly.

Then add the stuffing mix and cider, boil until the stuffing has soaked up all the liquid. Add second half of butter and extra seasoning if needed.

Place stuffing in a oven proof dish and cover with tin foil. Place in oven and cook for the remaining time.

Serve breast and stuffing with mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry jelly.

Happy Thanksgiving or Christmas? Take your pick!

Photo: top - Thanksgiving Dinner by alcinoe, middle - turkey by Scarce, and bottom: Shropshire Spice Co logo - company website)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Food stories on Enjoy Food & Travel 2010

To make it easier for you, I have compiled all the food stories on Enjoy Food & Travel for the year 2010 on this page. Enjoy!!

  • A culinary shopping bag (March 14th 2010)
    This weekend my sister is traveling to Copenhagen, without me! We've had a tradition these last years, that is to have at least one trip to Copenhagen during spring. When in Copenhagen, I love to do some serious food shopping.

  • A delicious pork and chicken dinner (October 21st 2010)
    You have been to work, and you're tired, in fact so tired that you have no energy to prepare your dinner. If you're lucky you have a well stocked supermarket close to where you live.

  • A great dinner party - menu (April 5th 2010)
    Here is the menu to a meal I'll arrange in the recent future. Recipes will come here on Enjoy Food & Travel
  • A seafood still-life at Jake's (March 7th 2010)
    Look at this selection of delicious seafood for sale at Jake's Seafood in Hull MA. No wonder why New England is a Mecca for lovers of fresh fish and shellfood

  • A Tunisian feast (April 1st 2010)
    My good friend and Enjoy Food & Travel food-writer loves the Maghreb. Tunisian cuisine was on the menu, as we enjoyed a great food party in his downtown studio the other day, and he certainly did not let his guests down.

  • Al Fez couscous - instant Moroccan flavours (April 12th 2010)
    I am not fond of fast solution, but was tempted when I saw a packet marked Authentic Moroccan spiced couscous" in the shelf at one of the better stocked supermarkets in Oslo.
  • Baklava and other Turkish pastries (February 13th 2010)
    If you have a sweet tooth, Turkey is certainly the place to go! Here you can get pastry and cakes that surpass anything you may have tasted in sweetness.
  • Bridgewater MA: More grub for hockey mams (January 15th 2010)
    September 25th 2009, I, my cousin, and her kids went to Bridgewater MA for a game of hockey and American footie! That meant sports and grub, hockey mum style, ringside. - chicken and American chop suey made by a Russian cook. Only in America!
  • Cold gazpacho - ideal for a hot summer (June 28th 2010)
    Gazpacho comes from Andalusia in southern Spain and the recipe is said to have been brought here by the Arabs. Originally it was made without the tomato, consisting of stale bread, garlic, olive oil, salt and vinegar.

  • Common purslane (July 23rd 2010)
    Common purslane originates from Asia, but is now cultivated around the world. It is regarded as an invasive species in the US after it was taken there by the settlers. In Norway it was widely cultivated, but is hardly used or even known now.

  • La Cucina Calabrese (July 28th 2010)
    I am a real fan of Italy and its food, but until now I didn’t know the southern parts of the boot-shaped country too well. That changed this year when I spent two heavenly weeks in the charming Calabrian town of Tropea (situated on the knuckle of the big toe if we stick to the boot analogy).
  • English "bangers" for breakfast (May 28th 2010)
    Every Sunday I have a decent Norwegian breakfast. Bacon, eggs, and if available, canned tomato beans. A real truckers breakfast that will leave you satisfied well beyond lunch. My friend Dagfinn prepared another treat for breakfast a few weeks ago - English sausages.
  • Feskekörka, Göteborg (August 13th 2010)
    Feskekörka is the impressive fish market in Göteborg, Sweden. It means the Fish Church, referring to its unusual architectural features. A visit here is a joy for lovers of fish and other seafood.
  • How to make a perfect poached egg (April 19th 2010)
    Many years ago, when I was a student and constantly low on cash, I once ruined six perfectly good eggs in a late night attempt to master the art of poaching.

  • Italian Pancetta: (January 22nd 2010)
    As I left after a day in Copenhagen last spring, I had done my fair share of grocery shopping. Among delicacies I placed in my trolley, were two packages of pancetta, high quality Italian bacon.
  • Mmmm - Currywurst (January 8th 2010)
    My friend Dagfinn Koch introduced me to Currywurst, when I visited him in Lübeck some years ago.

  • Moroccan cuisine (February 14th 2010)
    I loved the Moroccan cuisine. I found a cooking based on a fascinating, eclectic mix of ingredients. Meats prepared with dried fruits, cinnamon, and fiery spices long roasted in rustic tagines.
  • Perennial herbs in my country garden (May 5th 2010)
    A hard winter is over, and I have found that all my perennial herbs have survived the harsh conditions and have started to sprout.

  • Pytt i panna! (October 7th 2010)
    Pyttipanna is a Swedish/Norwegian classic. This leftover dish is by no means unique.
  • Sausages from Eastern Europe (April 26th 2010)
    At Milorad Zagorka at Saluhallen you find yourself in sausage heaven - in an Eastern European sausage heaven!
  • Tastes of the great outdoors (August 6th 2010)
    Elise, a friend, sent me a picture from her mobile phone. A treat with tastes of the great outdoors.
  • White asparagus in season (May 12th 2010)
    I went to Centra Majorstuen, my favourite supermarket yesterday. It was obvious that white asparagus were in season, as you could choose from fresh white Belgian sprouts in abundance for only NOK 19 per kilo (2,50 EUR).
Find other stories on Enjoy Food & Travel see our new page:

Enjoy Food & Travel - main index 2006-2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tour Noire, Brussels

By Place Saint Catherine in Brussels, you find remains of the first fortifications of Brussels. Tour Noire dates back to the early 12th century.

The Modern Novotel Tour Noire blends into the architectural development of Brussels, or rather the absence of one. Brussels is a mish-mash of old and new buildings in all styles. Some are, esthetically adjusted to each other, but the large majority clash completely.

The area around Place Saint-Catherine is one of the best preserved areas, with older Flemish style houses. Just around the corner, however, by the opera house, you find areas that are plainly hideous.

And between these "zones" suddenly you stand in front of Tour Noire, incorporated into a modern building belonging to the international Novotel chain. Tour Noire belonged to the first walls of Brussels, a series of fortifications erected around the city in the early 13th century.

As the city quickly grew them, a second, larger set of walls was built to better enclose and defend the city. The Tour Noire belongs to these fortifications that were dismantled between the 16th to 18th centuries. The tower belongs to isolated portions of the first walls that can still be seen today. Others can bee seen in Rue de Villers, where you can see the Tour Saint Jacques.

The existence of Tour Noire exemplifies what fascinates me of Brussels. This city never seize to surprise me, as there are unexpected to see around the next corner.

View Brussels on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006-2010 in a larger map

Earlier stories from the Middle Ages on Enjoy Food & Travel

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Norwegian flight news: updated December 2010

Very little is happening concerning new domestic and international flights from Norwegian airports in December. Ryanair starts one flight to Tallinn, capital of Estonia, whereas NextJet is closing its non-stop service from Trondheim to Åre-Ôstersund on Christmas Eve.

Rygge Airport:
  • NEW: Tallinn (Estonia). Air carrier: Ryanair
Trondheim Airport:
  • CLOSE: Åre - Östersund (NextJet). Last flight: December 24th 2010
More on domestic and international flights from Norway

NEW: Maps of all non-stop flights from main Norwegian Airports - see full story here

View NEW: All non-stop flights from Rygge - DECEMBER 2010 in a larger map

(Photo: The old part of Tallinn by Vkem)

Other similar stories

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

COMING DECEMBER 2010: Stanhope Hotel*****, Brussels Belgium

This December Enjoy Food & Travel will rate Stanhope Hotel, a five star hotel located in Brussels city centre.

Stanhope Hotel is one of the flagships of the Norwegian Thon hotel group. It is a boutique hotel decorated in English Country style, in a prestigious turn-of-the-century Brussels residence. In 1991, it was inaugurated first 5-Star hotel in Belgium. Tripadvisor rates Hotel Stanhope as the 11th best of 209 hotels in the city.

The main tourist attractions in Brussels like the Royal Palace, the Grand Place, and Sablon Square are just a walk away, and at Avenue Toison d’Or and Avenue Louise tourists can do some serious retail therapy in exclusive shops of the most recognized designers.

Hotel Stanhope has 125 newly renovated rooms, inhouse restaurant and bar, and fitness room. Guests have access to free internet throughout the premises.

Does it sounds too good to be true? Then you'll have to stay tuned for the Enjoy Food & Travel rating of Stanhope Hotel coming in December.

See location of Stanhope Hotel on this map of Brussels

View Brussels on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006-2010 in a larger map

Latest stories from Brussels on Enjoy Food & Travel

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sodd - a local specialty from Trøndelag

Sodd is not a local swearing word, but rather a local food specialty from the Trøndelag region of Norway. This was the main dish at my grand nephews christening in Trondheim two weeks ago.

Back in the 19th century, Sodd made with horse meat was served throughout the whole country. Today it is the traditional festive meal of the Trøndelag region of Norway. The population of this region has passionate feelings for this dish. To those of us referring to it as a soup, they vehemently deny this claim by stating; "Sodd e' sodd!!" - meaning sodd is sodd (and nothing else).

Sodd is a dish assembled at the table consisting of salted mutton meat, small and larger meatballs made from beef and mutton, diced, boiled carrots and potatoes - and a clear, salt broth. At the christening the meatballs and meat were served in the broth. We placed the carrots and potatoes in a soup plate and poured the broth and meat over.

The interesting thing was the meatballs. The two varieties tasted differently. The larger had a distinct spice flavour, whereas the smaller were plain salted. It was served with skjenning, a flatbread brushed with milk and sugar on one side. It creates an interesting contrast to the salt main dish.

Preparing it from scratch is a ritual, to that extent that very few prepare it at home, but rather buy it. The piéce de résistance is the meatballs that must be grounded to a very fine consistency.

It is a dish served to any occasion and definitely the thing to offer guests at a Trøndersk christening service. It is customary served with locally made ginger ale or juice made from berries.

More soup stories on Enjoy Food & Travel