Destination: Norway

27 03 2011

This month with My Kitchen, My World, we travel to Norway…another of the Scandinavian nations.  I didn’t quite make it to Destination:  Sweden a few months back.  My choice of recipes is more Scandinavian than Norwegian, I’m afraid… It was darn tasty nonetheless!


You now know the extent of my knowledge of Norway…  I think I was having a bit of help from the gnomes while I was preparing my dish… One came out beautifully, the other totally fell apart!   Uff-da!  LOL!

Norwegians depend on the fishing industry for their primary protein…fish.  I’m sure fish (cod, salmon,shrimp…) coming out of the cold North Atlantic waters is fabulous.  I prefer Atlantic fish to most Pacific fish.  The water is colder, and it affects the taste of the fish.  The fish has less “fishy” taste.  As usual, getting decent quality anything sea-worthy is difficult this far in-land.  I can get frozen…but it’s packaged so I can’t see what I’m buying, and I’m touchy about that habit in marketers.  It usually means they wouldn’t want you to see it…  I held off and went with shrimp.

My dish, Scandinavian Open-Face Bay Shrimp Sandwich…is tasty beyond reason.  I wasn’t sure how I’d like dilled-lemon mayonnaise mixed with mustard…but oh!  It was wonderful!  I used medium shrimp, which are very close to the size of the bay shrimp we can get here, and cut them into pieces, 1/2 inch chunks.  Rather than using bread, pumpernickel no less, I had some nice, soft French Rolls that toasted up nicely.  The recipe also called for fresh cucumber slices on the sandwich…I could have sworn I had a cucumber in the fridge!  Instead, since we were already using dill, I added slices of dill pickles in place of the cucumbers.  I’ll remember this recipe in the summer when cukes are plentiful and cold sandwiches taste best!

Tasting Notes~
I wouldn’t hesitate to fix this recipe again.  Like I said…especially in the summer!  Although a little on the sloppy side, this sandwich had a lot of flavor…the mustard melded with the dill and lemon and added just the right amount of pizazz!  We both enjoyed it thoroughly!

Visiting Norway was quite fun!  I spent at least 3 afternoons collecting recipes I’d like to try.  One of the recipes I want to try involves Norwegian pastry and sweets.  It’s cold there…so they work off each and every calorie easily!   Next month we travel to Egypt…

That ought to be interesting!  What I know about Egyptian food you can put into a thimble and still have room for your thumb!  Come back and see what I put together then!


French Fridays with Dorie: Scallops with Caramel Orange Sauce~

27 03 2011

This week our French Fridays with Dorie recipe is Scallops with Caramel Orange Sauce.  In the sidebar of the recipe in Dorie’s Around My French Table cookbook was a notation that this recipe went very well with Spiced Carrots just a few pages away.  I don’t know why I thought Spiced Carrots were on our list this month…but I did, and jumped right on that!  So…I have a VERY ORANGE plate!  That’s okay, because she was right…the two go excellently together!

Scallops have been difficult to come by where I live.  I ended up picking up some at Trader Joe’s…not as large as I’d have liked, but wild-caught.  I could have gotten a nicer sear on my scallops…these are the pretty ones…the others were pretty pale in comparison.  I used a smallish, heavy bottomed pan…and figured out quickly that when the scallops were ready to turn, they released from the pan nicely.  The smallish pan didn’t allow the scallop juices to evaporate enough, and half of my scallops simmered more than got a sauté.  Although the others were pale, they didn’t over cook, and the sauce colored them up some.  Oh well…  I’d try this again, so next time…the sauté pan will be pulled out.

Tasting Notes~
This was a really nice recipe for scallops…and for carrots, but that’s another story!  The caramel orange sauce went together easily, and was much like a gastrique.  The scallops needed nothing more than a quick sprinkle with very little salt (I withheld the last salting in the pan because I already had a lot of liquid off the scallops to deal with) to make the flavors POP!  I served a side salad with a creamy savory dressing to break up all the sweetness.  It made a great foil!  The seriously sweet caramel sauce was tempered by the tanginess of the orange juice and the final addition of butter to mount the sauce.  We found the little strips of orange zest gave the sauce a bit of a marmalade flavor, but next time, I’d poach them in the sugar syrup as suggested.  I felt that the zest strips were tiny enough not to need the sugar…and that was mostly true.

I’d encourage anyone to give this recipe a try.  It sounds complicated, but it’s not.  The sauce takes several minutes to prepare, but it sits on the side nicely waiting to be used…and could even sit overnight!