Saturday, February 05, 2011

A Belgian grocery bag

I always love to roam through grocery shops abroad and see what I may bring home for my cooking. When in Brussels I always visit Delhaize in Anspach Laan 63 to buy a few goodies  to take home. Here is what I found in the supermarket shelves. 

Maasdam cheese

Maasdam cheese is a Dutch cheese not unlike Swiss cheese and the Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese Made from cow's milk, it is aged for at least 4 weeks. It is a semi hard cheese with a slightly sweet, nutty aroma.

Like Swiss and Jarlsberg cheese, Maasdam has holes  created by the ripening process, and a smooth yellow rind.

The Maasdam is a new product, introduced 1984 by the Baars company under the Leerdammer brand. It is now made by other Dutch companies under the name Maasdam.

I love these firm nut flavoured cheeses. The Delhaize range of Maasdam cheese should be served in thick slices on fresh white bread, with a good glass of red wine.

Say cheese!!!!! - read story here

Nut ham from the Ardennes

Belgians produce very good cured products. I remember the delicious displays of specialties at different delis in the beautiful town of Dinant in the southern region of Wallonia.

Some has called it the Belgian equivalent to Parma ham. It is a relatively lean meat, with little intramuscular fat. It has a nutty flavour and is produced with a relatively low amount of salt.

This 180 gram package of Noix d'Ardennes is produced under the Marcassou brand. It is flavoured by thyme, coriander and nutmeg.

I used the ham as a base of one of my open sandwiches. Nut ham from the Ardenne region was placed on a layer of Dijon mayonnaise, egg terrine, and spanish peppers and served on Danish rye bread.

A New Year's Day brunch - see story here

Chorizo - a spicy Spanish sausage

I try to stock up on Spanish cured products while being abroad. Even though they are relatively expensive within EU-countries, these delicious high quality products are insanely expensive in Norway. This due to taxes to protect inferior quality domestic products from competition.

I bought spicy hot chorizo with a decent amount of olive oil, garlic, salt and devilishly dyed in red hot pimentón. This variety of chorizo made by the Palacios group was semi hard, between a cured and fresh raw sausage. Delicious, sliced on toast with just a little olive oil.

I recommend chorizo served pintxo style, with pesto on a toasted slice of baguette.

Pintxos - easy basque bite-sized delicacies - read story here

More international culinary shopping bags 


Friday, February 04, 2011

The Thayer Hotel, West Point N.Y.

When visiting West Point I was impressed by the elegant Thayer Hotel.  It is located on the grounds of West Point Military Academy in New York State. It goes back to 1926 and has undergone several expansions since then.  It is named after Sylvanus Thayer, West Point class of 1808, regarded as the "father of the Military Academy." Thayer Hotel is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Thayer Hotel is an impressive stone building and it has been a part of American history since 1926.You will find it close to the entrance to the Academy.

There was an earlier hotel, the West Point Hotel, by Trophy point from 1829. It housed a number of famous guests as Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Stonewall Jackson, Winfield Scott, William Tecumseh Sherman, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, James Whistler and General Douglas MacArthur.

The construction of the Thayer Hotel was a part of  an expansion programme in order to accommodate U.S. Military Academy personnel and their guests.

It is named in honor of Colonel Sylvanius Thayer, superintendent of the Academy from 1817 to 1833. 

 Today, the Thayer hotel is a blend of tradition reflected in an interior with much character  and all the modern luxuries and comforts that may be offered to traveler.

Exquisite lodging, and excluusive dining. in a beautiful restaurant, but it all comes with a price tag, but you may get good offers. Weekend February 24th to 26th you can get a room at USD 159 at best rate. That is a pretty good bargain

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Rating Eguzki-Lizzaran, Sitges

Delicacies waiting to be eaten at Eguzki-Lizzaran

I love Spain, and I love Spanish tapas. My favourites are the Basque style pintxos, small crispy slices baguette with delicious toppings. In Sitges, Eguzki-Lizarran is definitely the place to enjoy this specialty.

Rating Eguzki-Lizarran: BBBB- (3,73 points)
  • Location: BBBB
  • Interior & atmosphere BBB+
  • Service: BBB
  • Food: BBBBB-
Eguzki-Lizzaran is located in Sitges city centre, in a narrow street a few hundred meters away from the beach and from the railway station. It is easily accessible by foot for those staying in the city, as well as those visiting from Barcelona and other destinations.

Placed on a corner, you can get a glimpse of the Mediterranean through the gap in the narrow street.
Interior at Eguzki-Lizzaran
Eguzki-Lizzaran offers a traditional tapas restaurant / bar interior, dominated by dark wooden walls, floors and furniture, decorated with a large number of different items. You are seated either by the bar or on low stools, not very comfortable and very close to neighbouring tapas enthusiasts.

The food is based on self service, i.e. you order your beverage first, and then you choose your tapas or pintxos by the bar. Places like Eguzki-Lizzaran are often crowded, and the access to the food counter may be difficult. The service is therefore not necessarily the best, but the food is worth fighting for.

Basque pintxos is my favourite bite-sized foods. The toppings are different from place to place, and I think that Eguzki-Lizzaran offers one of the best selections in Sitges. Here are a few pictures with delicious images to drool over.

Pintxo with onion, bechamel sauce gratin
Pintxo with onion, bechamel sauce gratin was a completely new pintxo for me. Fried onion immersed in a rich white sauce topping, and gratined in the oven. I loved the sweetness  of the onions, the creamy bechamel in the golden, slightly crisp cheese on top. One of my favourites at Eguzki Lizzaran.  .

Pintxo with ham croquetas
I simply love Spanish croquetas. These creamy dumplings made from white sauce flavoured with cheese or jamon serrano, rolled in bread crumbs and fried in hot oil. Deliciously, deliriously crispy on the outside and equally deliciously, deliriously creamy on the inside.

Ham croquetas are served on a slice of crispy bread at Eguzki-Lizzaran and are as delicious as when served as a separate tapas dish.

Pintxo with cheese and fried mushrooms
Pintxo with cheese and fried mushrooms is a completely new, unknown topping presented at Eguzki-Lizzara. Different styled cheeses are part of many pintxo-toppings.This cheese was softer and creamier than the harder more matured Manchego cheese, and it was served on a lice of fried mushrooms. Delish!
Pintxo with meat skewer
Pintxo with meat skewer is another traditional tapas-dish served pintxo-style.  A deliciously tender meat skewer served on a thick slice of baguette.

Pintxo with green jalapeno stuffed with chees
In the US you are often served jalapeno poppers as bite-sized bar grub. Pintxo with green jalapeno stuffed with cheese is certainly its Spanish counterpart.

Green hot peppers are often served fried with salt, called "pebrtos del Padrón" (catalan) or "pimientos del Padrón" (spanish).

This pintxo is topped with one large green chili filled with creamy cheese, rolled in breadcrumbs and fried in oil. Delicious crisp on the outside, creamy and hot filling.

Pintxo with bacon, sausage and asparagus
A good Rioja
Pintxo with bacon, sausage and asparagus: A spicy sausage and a tip of green asparagus wrapped in a slice of crispy bacon and served on bread.

Another innovative topping that I have never seen before, but served at Eguzki-Lizarran.

And then it's a question what to drink. During a warm summer day, a cold beer is the obvious choice to quell your thirst, as well as a chilled white wine.

We, however, settled for a bottle of Azpilicueta, a Rioja Crianza from 2005, a blend of Tempranillo - a perfect red wine matching the food very well.

We loved the pintxos served at Eguzki-Lizzaran, and when the waiter counted through the long and short sticks holding them together (and which are effectively a price tag per item as well), we ended up paying a ridiculous price for a very good and filling meal. 


C/ Sant Pau, 3
08870 Sitges, España
Phone: 938 110 320

Vis Barcelona and Catalonia on Enjoy Food & Travel i et større kart
    Latest tapas stories on Enjoy Food & Travel 

    Wednesday, February 02, 2011

    Beautiful Grässjön - Värmland, Sweden

    This short film shows the beautiful Grässjön located in the community of Hagfors in Värmland  County in Sweden.

    This beautiful lake is a part of a water system connecting the Hyttälven river with neighbouring Lidsjön lake. By the shore of this water way you find the small beautiful community of Sunnemo, where parents of my friend Terje live.

    The area surrounding these communities is connected to a large wilderness. By these lakes man and wild animals live side by side. Here you find a number of wolves that roames the deep forests, and you may meet game and other predators on your way if you thread into the vast woodlands.

    Latest stories from Värmland

    View Sights on Enjoy Food & Travel 2011 in a larger map

    Tuesday, February 01, 2011

    Ryanair: New non-stop flights from Rygge Airport

    Photo: Ryanair Boeing 737-800 on  runway landed at Leeds Bradford International Airport by Mtaylor848

    Michael O'Leary visited Oslo, today, Tuesday February 1st and launched Ryanair flights from Rygge Airport to two new destinations as well as more flights to Krakow, Malaga, Riga of Tallinn this summer.

    Photo: Kos city by Mykenik
    The Irish budget carrier is strengthening its grip on Rygge Airport as Norwegian Air Shuttle is transferring flights to Oslo Airport.

    O'Leary launched flights to two Greek destinations this spring. Kos and Thessaloniki will now be within reach of Norwegian travelers at low prices.

    More Ryanair stories
    See flights from Rygge Airport to European destinations on this map

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

    New destinations spring 2011

    Photo: Fountains in Oulu, Finland by Alphaios
    Air Baltic starts flights between Tromsø Airport and Oulu/Uleåborg in Finland April 2011. This is one of several new domestic and international destinations that will be launched by air carriers this spring. Here are a list of new non-stop flights from Norwegian airports that will be launched from February to June 2011. 

    Bergen Airport:
    • COMING FEBRUARY 2011:  Skien Airport (DAT)
    • COMING MARCH 2011: Skien Airport (Widerøe) 
    • COMING MARCH 2011: Stockholm Arlanda (Skyways) 
    See all non-stop flights from Bergen Airport here
      Oslo Airport
      • COMING APRIL 2011: Athens (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
      • COMING: Newark, NJ (Scandinavian Airlines)
      • COMING JUNE 2011: Pristina (Norwegian Air Shuttle) 
      • COMING JUNE 2011: Sarajevo (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
      See all non-stop flights from Oslo Airport here 
        Stavanger Airport:
        • COMING MARCH 2011: Stockholm Arlanda (Skyways)
        See all non-stop flights from Stavanger Airport here 
          Tromsø Airport:
          • COMING: Alta (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
          • COMING APRIL 2011: Oulou (Air Baltic)
          Trondheim Airport:
          • COMING MARCH 2011: Stockholm Arlanda (Skyways)
          See all non-stop flights from Trondheim Airport here 

          Vis NEW: All non-stop flights from Tromsø Airport Langnes - status December 2010 i et større kart