Saturday, September 15, 2012

Delicious smoked salmon and mackrel spreads

Smoked Atlantic mackere. Photo: Chick Bowen 
I often make my own sandwich spreads, and this weekend I prepared a few as fillings for my swirls. Swirls are wraps with thick filling, thinly sliced and used as canapes. This weekend I made swirls with one smoked salmon and cream cheese filling and one smoked mackerel and mayonnaise filling.
Cream cheese and salmon  is traditionally served on Jewish bagels - this variety with sweet chili and dill weed had that interesting hot'n sweet contrast  
Salmon and cream cheese is an old combination, renowned from the famous Jewish salmon and lox bagels. I bought a packet of Philadelphia light cheese, sliced the salmon thinly, then chopping all slices. Then I mixed the salmon and cheese, adding sweet chili and dill weed. This spread may be used on bagels, rolls or as a filling in a wrap. 
A Harvard breakfast bagel- read story here

Smoked mackerel, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard - a great sandwich spread!
My brother-in-law is a keen mackerel fisher, and on a good day he can catch hundreds of them. My sister has thought out several ways to prepare such an enormous amount of fish. My brother-in-law loves to smoke them with the local fish seasoning. 
I had this idea that smoked mackerel might be delicious finely chopped and mixed with Hellmann's mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, and I was right. The oily fish mixed beautifully with a few tbsp of Hellmann's mayonnaise, and the best thing was that it did not seem too fat (even if it really was). Contrast was provided by the hot French mustard.  Both consistency and taste reminded me of a spicy tuna salad, not a comparison out of the blue as the tuna fish is a relative of the mackerel caught in our  waters. 
I served the spread in wraps, but I found it too runny (due to the amount of oil), to use in this way. It would, however be great served as a spread with crackers for guests to help themselves. 

Mackerel on the barbie- read story here

We declare: Enjoy Food & Travel has no commercial interests in products or brands

This post contains information on products or specific brands. Our staff will ensure our readers that we have no commercial interests in, or are paid to promote these or other products, brands, or labels

Friday, September 14, 2012

OCTOBER 2012 - More stories from Northern New England

In October I will have my 30th crossing of the Atlantic to experience Northern New England in the United States. This means more stories from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and New Hampshire here on Enjoy Food & Travel.

My annual trip to the United States is a ritual. 30 times I have crossed the herring pond in order to visit my two cousins living by the beautiful coastline close to Boston. With all this years in mind, I regard this area as close to home for me as any place could be. I have learnt to know (and love) places, people, sights, food and culture through my visits.

Scituate lighthouse by ToddC4176 
I have, once more, chosen Icelandair to be my air carrier on this trip, even though service has declined and air fare has risen these last years. The relatively short travel time from Oslo through Reykjavik to Boston is still a great advantage, as the capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is only a 5 hour and 30 minutes from Iceland. Besides this Reykjavik Airport provides easier transfer for trans-Atlantic travelers compared to larger European airports where you easily can miss your connecting flights due to long distances from one gate to another.

When there, I will enjoy the off-season tranquility of the quaint communities of Scituate and Salisbury Beach in Massachusetts. While Norwegians are preparing for fall, the temperature in Boston is pleasant in September and October, and you may even take a stroll along the beach and enjoy a gentle breeze, but I think I will skip a late swim in the ocean. Last year, however,  I did take a swim at Minot Beach during a short heat wave in October, so who knows!!

So stay tuned for more stories from Northern New England from my visit in the 2012 season. See all stories from New England from 2006 here:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Direct flights to the polar night from Munich and London winter 2012/2013

Travelers to the Vesterålen Archipelago can admire Coastal Express Ship Finnmarken at the Coastal Express Museum in the town of Stokmarknes. Photo: Sgm
If you live in Munich or London, you can travel non-stop to experience the Polar night coming winter. Tour operators 68° Lofoten og Discover Arctic are behind this initiative and their goal is to offer German and British tourists an extraordinary travel experience.
Evenes Airport is one of the main airports of Northern Norway. It serves the cities of Harstad and Narvik, as well as parts of the Lofoten and Vesterålen archipelagos. Usually travelers to Evenes, as well as the rest of Northern Norway will have to change to northbound domestic flights at Oslo airport, but coming winter travelers may fly directly into their polar night experience.
Gate 30 at Evenes Airport. Photo: Petterhot
The tour operators 68° Lofoten og Discover Arctic offers experiences to tourists in the Northern parts of Nordland, and southern part of Troms county. They have taken an initiative to get German and British tourist to the spectacular harsh conditions of the polar winter, where the sun never rise over the horizon and where man is left to battle the bitter weather conditions.
For those of you that are tempted by such an experience, there will be flights December to March from Evenes Airport destined for Munich and London Gatwick. They will bring Norwegians away from the Polar winter and Brits and Germans back. Here are the departure times:
Evenes Airport - London, Gatwick Airport - Evenes Airport:
  • December 28th 2012, From Evenes 1.30 PM CET, return flight 6.50 PM GMT
  • January 1st 2013, From Evenes 1.30 PM CET, return flight 6.50 PM GMT
  • February 14th 2013, From Evenes 1.30 PM CET, return flight 6.50 PM GMT
  • February 17th 2013, From Evenes 1.30 PM CET, return flight 6.50 PM GMT
  • February 21st 2013, From Evenes 1.30 PM CET, return flight 6.50 PM GMT
  • February 25th 2013, From Evenes 1.30 PM CET, return flight 6.50 PM GMT

Evenes Airport - London, Munich Airport - Evenes Airport (All times in CET):
  • December 6th 2012, From Evenes 1.45 PM, return flight 6.10 PM
  • December 9th 2012, From Evenes 1.45 PM, return flight 6.10 PM
  • February 28th 2013, From Evenes 1.45 PM, return flight 6.10 PM
  • March 3rd 2013, From Evenes 1.45 PM, return flight 6.10 PM
  • March 7th 2013, From Evenes 1.45 PM, return flight 6.10 PM
  • March 11th 2013, From Evenes 1.45 PM, return flight 6.10 PM

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pomodorini Margherita

Margherita of Savoy was the first queen of Italy.  Pizza margherita was named after her and my pomodorini plays the same patriotic cords, naming the dish after the queen as well as the red, green and white colours of the united Italian flag
If you follow my blog, you may think that I am tapas-mad, and that is completely true!! This weekend I prepared more tapas, as my sister and two friends had their annual reunion at our summer home.

I made much the same stuff as earlier, but here is a small step-by-step instruction on how to make my pomodori Margherita. This dish may be enjoyed cold or warm, my sister decided to bake her pomodori in the oven.
Many dishes are named after queen Margherita of Italy, and they all hold the colours of the flag of the united Italy, red, hvite and green. So does this dish.
Pomodorini Margherita are named after a queen and the colours of the Italian flag - here the red colours from small cherry tomatoes. 
Use small tomatoes or pomodorini. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds, leaving a small cavity for the filling. Place in a small oven proof dish, I used a disposable tin foil dish. 
Brightly green pesto made from fresh basil
Choose a glass of good pesto. I prefer Barillas pesto Genovese. Use a teaspoon and place a small dollop of pesto in the small cavity. Leave a little room for the next ingredient, and what follows red and green - yes a bright, white and very Italian ingredient - mozzarella cheese...
White fluffy mozzarella clouds made from buffalo or cow's milk
You can get small round mozzarellas, and if you get hold of these, you divide them in two and press them on top of the pesto. I bought one large mozzarella on sliced them in rustic, uneven bits. From here you can decide to serve these tomatoes as they are or bake them in the oven. My sister placed them in a hot oven (200 C / 400 F). The cheese melted and they were less decorative than if you had served them cold, but both ways to serve these tomatoes are equally good.

Other similar stories
We declare: Enjoy Food & Travel has no commercial interests in products or brands

This post contains information on products or specific brands. Our staff will ensure our readers that we have no commercial interests in, or are paid to promote these or other products, brands, or labels. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Flavours of a Portuguese seasoning'n roasting bag

Seasonings from Madeira

I love international seasoning, and my friend Dagfinn brought a seasoning and roasting back from Madeira. Yesterday we tried it, and these packages are practical as you can prepare dinner with vegetables without adding fat.
What can I do with this pumpkins from my allotment?
First time I bought bags and seasoning was in the US many years ago. Now I can get them here in Norway as well. Yesterday we came from the allotment with pumpkins, and herbs. 
We went to the local grocer and bought chicken drumsticks and returned to my flat to make dinner.
We brought two different types of pumpkins, three small pie shaped pumpkins and one round pumpkin to prepare later. I have no idea what to prepare, but I may follow Dagfinns example, as his way to use them was extraordinarily successful.   
He sliced onions and pumpkins, and sauteed them in butter with sage, and chives. As I just had unsalted butter, he also added salt and pepper as well.

Fried pumpkin, onions, chives, sage, salt and pepper
Dagfinn decided not to peel the pumpkins, and did not remove the seeds either, but they turned out delicious. I tried to describe the consistency as mashed potatoes, exceptionally creamy with a slightly sweet delicious aroma.

So what did I do with chicken? As the instructions were on Portuguese I could not follow them, but I just followed how I have prepared similar food earlier.

The tricky part was to open up. As I tried to tear up the upper part of the sachet to find the roasting bag, I opened up the lower part and suddenly half the amount the seasoning was on the top of my kitchen top. Well I managed to collect the excess seasoning, placed the drumsticks in the roasting bag with one large sliced onion. Then I poured in the seasoning, and placed the bag in an oven proof tray and placed in a medium hot oven, i.e. 200 C / 400F.

Chicken and vegetables ready to be served
I never ever take the time, but I think it stayed in the oven for at least an hour, but at that time the chicken had released all the juice and the seasoning and onion had blended in to create the most delicious stock.

At that point the pumpkin and onion was ready and we just opened up the roasting bag and poured the juice into the oven proof tray.  Then we poured in the vegetables and presto - dinner was ready. 
Dinner on a plate........