Posts Tagged With: cod

Great Arctic Eats, Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø, Norway

Do you love to eat in a town with just the right amount of people, that is 68,000? Do you crave an bustling town with an invigorating night life? Do you absolutely need art, history, and fantastic scenery? Do you want to take classes at the world’s northernmost university? Are you okay with learning Norwegian to get free tuition? Do you want it all by being above the Arctic, yet experiencing a sub-Arctic climate? Is it essential that you dine on tasty food? Then, oh my gosh, Tromsø, Norway, is the place for you.
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Let’s visit Tromsø’s five best restaurants as TripAdvisor(tm).
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The must-go-to restaurant is Restaurant Smak. I want to go there. I want to go there. If you dine at Smak, please enjoy a meal for me and do let me know how you liked it. True, it’s a bit pricy, but I have never, no not ever, seen an Arctic restaurant with more glowing reviews than this establishment. People rave about the attentive servers and the high quality of their fresh food. The restaurant ensures the freshness of their ingredients by buying only food from the neighboring farms. It’s not surprising then, that Restaurant Smak gets a perfect 5.0 rating. Do try their Jerusalem artichoke soup, white asparagus, wild lamb, cod cheek and hot dogs. And for dessert, try their dill and caramel sorbet. Meals run from three-to-five courses and can take two hours, but the time will fly because everything at Restaurant Smak is good as it can be. I really want to go here.
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Winning the silver medal on our restaurant tour is Raketten. It is a hot-dog kiosk, but what a hot-dog kiosk! This small building serves such good food and has been such a mainstay to the community over the decades that the powers that be designated it an Important Cultural Monument. Can your local fast-food joint boast of a distinction like that? No, I didn’t think so. Keep a sharp lookout on Raketten as the outside line of dedicated hot-dog lovers can be over a hour. Sit by the nice, cozy fire and enjoy some gløgg, a hot punch made with red wine, brandy, sherry, almonds, raisins, and orange peels. What more do you need?  Or perhaps you prefer a delicious hot chocolate topped with marshmallows? Be sure to try their reindeer sausage. Is this a great town or what?
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Third place on our dining tour is Svermeri Kafe Og Redesign. The atmosphere is cozy and the staff is friendly and attentive. It serves delicious fish cakes and desserts. They really, really make fantastic soup and cakes. The number of reviews praising their soups and cakes is legion. I think I’d order their wild-blueberry pie. They even make gluten-friendly cakes. Don’t miss this place.
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We now visit Art Cafe. This is an all around good restaurant with pleasant lunches and fine dining at night. Art Cafe possesses a super cozy atmosphere and a friendly staff. The restaurant is decorated with authentic artistic decor which you may purchase. The jazz bar sounds nice as do the reasonable prices. Many tantalizing dishes abound including: reindeer stew, king crab soup, shrimp, mussels, Norwegian cheese, beef bourguignon, and Greek salad.
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We finish our culinary adventure at Mathallen. It’s named after Allen, the local high-school math teacher. No, not really. It does serve great Scandanavian and European dishes. Mathallen’s uses fresh ingredients from local sources. The waitstaff is pleasant and knowledge. All the food is brilliantly presented. Mathallen gives good value. Restaurant goers praise the seafood especially the herring, cod, salmon, and whale. Fans of meat really should go for their deer and reindeer steaks. And who could resist trying their ice cream made from sour cream and hazel/plum sauce? Don’t forget their satisfying local beer.
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Tromsø’s restaurants
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By far, the best two way to reach Tromsø are by plane and by car. (Although motoring can get exciting when the fog rolls in.) You could visit the town by cruise ship as well. However, you’d have to be extremely patient if you wish to get to there by train. The Norwegian government has been debating extending the rail network to Tromsø for decades. You’d do much better riding reindeer and even then who knows if they know the way?
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Go on the Fjord Excursion by RIB. For how could you possibly travel all the way to northern Norway and not visit the nation’s fjords up close. The guides on the speed boats are quite knowledgeable and the fjords spectacular. If lucky, you can see orcas, sea eagles, reindeer, and seals come near your boat. Well, maybe not the reindeer, they tend to stay on land. Dress warm, it can get cold and rainy out there. You might even experience a blizzard. Astoundingly, many  people really want to experience a blizzard on the sea. At any rate, hot chocolate and cinnamon buns await you at the end trip. Mmm.
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Be sure to go on Night Reindeer Sledding with Camp Dinner and Chance of Northern Lights. Well, the name tells you what to expect, doesn’t it? So don’t think the tour guides can guarantee you the Aurora Borealis. Ahem. The trip is organized even to the point of having lasso tossing and other activities before the tour even starts. Or maybe just drink hot chocolate they serve. Until you go to where it’s really cold, you won’t appreciate how wonderful hot chocolate can be. But this excursion really is tailor made for reindeer lovers. Reindeer pull your sled! Your feed the reindeer! The reindeer feed you! Wow! Wow! Sure, the reindeer feed you from a limited menu, but they feed you! Okay, enough exclamation points. Dinner is a traditional reindeer stew served at major celebrations. Can you get that amazing dish at your local drive through? No, I didn’t think so. And learn about Swami history and culture from the pleasant Swami guides. I want to go on this one.
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People with not enough time to get out of town should make their way to the Polar Museum. There might be no better place in the world to learn about legendary polar leaders and expeditions. Learn about fishing and hunting expeditions to even farther north Svalbard. (Warning to animal right activists, this really isn’t a place you’d want to visit.) Others will want to see a trapper’s hut and the objects needed for Arctic survival. You can even learn the truth about polar bears wandering the streets of Tromsø. Egad, that sounds ominous. Probably isn’t though. Probably. At any rate, I want to head out to Tromsø even more
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Tourists with not much time, especially seal lovers, will want to visit Polaria. It’s a cozy place with the emphasis. See seals frolic up close. Try to get there for the seal feedings. Spend the money and feed the seals yourself. What fun! Polaria fills their aquariums with fishes and plants you won’t find anywhere else.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Arctic Eats – Ölafsvik, Iceland

Do you love to eat? Do you enjoy bracing sea breezes, lava flows, chilly glaciers, and relaxing hot springs? Do you dislike great throngs of people? Do the need to meet people who believe in elves? To the point that construction workers must first determine if elves dwell on the proposed site? Well then, Ölafsvik, Iceland is the place for you.
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There are four restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm) for Ölafsvik! Let’s dine at them all.
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The must-go-to restaurant is Sker Restaurant, especially if you’re vegetarian. People rave about their veggie burger. Of course, being in Iceland on the coast, they serve delicious salmon and cod. Their fish and chips is first rate. The friendly, helpful also serves good pizza and an amazing salad. You have a choice of a wonderful view of the town or the harbor.
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Second on our restaurant tour is Hraun Restaurant. It specializes in seafood, serving tasty: calamari, fish soup, lobster tails, and a great fish and chips. This establishment is also friendly to vegetarians. Vegetarians love the veggie taco. The staff is truly nice and the overall atmosphere is cozy. Try the delicious apple pie and caramel pie. They even serve piri-piri chicken, a spicy dish from Africa. Who knew?
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Winning the bronze medal is Kaldilaekur. It’s a delightful cafe and pub. Go there for breakfast and try their excellent oatmeal porridge and fresh apple cubes. Efficient, friendly servers bring amazing coffee and beer. (I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a top-rated restaurant that didn’t employ friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable servers. It’s something all restaurants could do well to emulate.) Anyway, be sure to try their great fish soup and their traditional meat soup as well. Then order the date cake for dessert.
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We now visit The Secret  Spot.  It is said to have the best fish food in the world. Try the superbly breaded fish and the several sauces that accompany it. The staff is friendly AND they have a putting green outside for their guests to use while waiting for their food to be served. How fantastic is that? I want to go there.
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Ölafsvik’s restaurants
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The four best ways to reach are by: air, sea, car, train, or even a combination of these. The traditional ways are really the best. As you can see from the above photo, the town has a bench for all to use, but Ölafsvik has so much more to offer.
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Be sure to visit Ölafsvikurkurkja. This striking modern church displays unusual lines. Everyone tells of the church’s beauty on the outside. No one seems to go inside. Why? The church resembles a ship from the side. It is also supposed to look like a cod from above. How do visitors know this? Are we to believe that tourists manage to levitate over the church but never find a way to go inside? Oh well, if you do go to Ölafsvik, please go inside and let me know what it looks like. Then pause and reflect at the beautiful waterfall across the street.
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Hike to Bæjarfoss. It is a stupendous, beautiful waterfall with a nice drop. You can see a beautiful church from up at the top. Astoundingly, it’s just an average waterfall for Iceland. However, you are here in Ölafsvik. So go see it. It’s only a short walk from the town. Beautiful lupines abound near the falls.
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Be sure to see Pakkhús Snaefellsbaejar. Say that three times quickly. This museum is fun for the entire family. It seems to cover everything Icelandic. The exhibits include: art galleries, town history, food, and a kids’ section. The museum has a nice gift and coffee shop.
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Don’t you dare miss going on Loki Tours Whale Watching. All sorts of whales can be seen including: humpbacks, orcas, and minkes. You can also spot puffins and dolphins. Excursion goers should be aware, though, that the amount of whales spotted varies greatly from perhaps one to quite a few. Also, bring a coat and a hat. It’s cold out on the water. The staff is friendly and professional. Go on this one for me. I’d surely go.
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Finally, visit Lysuholl. This farm is the place to go to  if you find there’s just too many people for your liking in Ölafsvik, This farm is in the middle of wide-open and beautiful countryside. Being Iceland, there’s also quite a striking glacier to be seen. Is this a great country or what? Stay the night here in one of its cozy cabins. The breakfasts are bountiful and delicious. It’s the perfect getaway for relaxing and enjoying. And oh my gosh, if you love horses, ride their horses.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats, food, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Arctic Eats – Narvik, Norway

 

Do you love to eat? Are you like Goldilocks in that you don’t like too many or too few people around?  Do you like the cool, bracing outdoors? Do you like history, beautiful mountains, and skiing? Well, Narvik, Norway is the place for you.
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There are 24 restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm) for Narvik! Let’s dine at the top five eateries.
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The must-go-to restaurant is Linken Restaurant and Bar. Be sure to try their turbot and cod. Fiskehallen also serves great local game such as venison, reindeer, wild boar, and ptarmigan with berries. Ptarmigan with berries! Where else can you get that? And wild boar! You can’t get that in my home town of Poway, California. They also serve reindeer-and-roes soup. Go there, go there and have a meal for me. The rooftop view from Linken is fantastic. Take in the town of Narvik and the beautiful mountains. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They also have reindeer tartar. Enough said. Go there.
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Second on our restaurant tour is Fiskehallen. As might be expected from a restaurant whose name means “Fish Hall,” it specializes in fish and seafood. But they do fish so well, perhaps even having the best fish in Norway.  The atmosphere is cozy, the portions are big, and everything is served by a friendly staff. Be sure to dine on their huge, fresh shrimp (OMG),  cod, Arctic char, and pan-fried halibut. Their side dishes are also tasty. Save room for their rich chocolate pudding and ice cream.
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Winning the bronze medal is Milano Restaurant Narvik. Scandavia’s Arctic Circle seems to favor Italian restaurants named Milano. Perhaps Milano is a chain and is winning over all the Northern diners. Milano of Narvik certainly serves great Italian food. They specialize in tasty pizzas. They also serve chicken meals and kabobs. Their large portions are served by a great, caring staff. The tea is great.  If I were to go there, I’d be tempted to sample a slice of their nacho pizza. Nacho pizza, north of the Arctic Circle, who would have guessed it? I am happy to relate that Milano Restaurant gave food during the Christmas season to locals hurting from the recent recession.
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We now visit Kafferiet Resurante og Bar.  Enjoy large portions in a cozy atmosphere. Be sure to try their reindeer shank, cod fillet, and leg of lamb.
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Special mention goes to Sushi Point.  A great staff serves tasty, fresh sushi at a good price. Sushi in the Arctic, this is a great town.
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The four best ways to reach Narvik are by: air, sea, car, and train. The fifth through seventh best ways will most likely take significantly longer and be less enjoyable
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Be sure to visit Narvik Krigmuseum.  This museum does a superb job of honoring the achievement and the courage of the Allied forces fighting the German invaders in 1940. Not only does it relate the fierce battles, but it also devotes a section to analyzing the big questions of war and human rights during conflict. It’s interesting and informative exhibits make it well worth a visit, particularly for history buffs. There’s also a nice little coffee shop and gift shop. Go there
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Then take the cable car to Narvikfjellet. This is resort is quite popular with the locals. It boasts of world class off-piste skiing. I don’t honestly know what off-piste skiing is, but it is world class. This skiing resort has some of the largest vertical drops in Scandinavia. Yikes for me, but fantastic for dedicated skiers. But don’t worry,  Narvikfjellet is also suitable for families and beginners. Admire the breathtaking view from the top and enjoy scenery from the cable car.
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You should probably visit Narvik Kjøretøyhistoriske Museum. Kjøretøyhistoriske translates as Vehicle History. That’s all I really know about the place. The museum earned a rare, perfect rating of 5.0. Yet no one left a review. Why? Why was that so hard? Perhaps the exhibits entranced the visitors so much that they were at a loss for words.
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Next on our museum tour is the Narvik Museum. It receives a still quite good rating of 4.0. However, its guests proved to be much more helpful than those went through the doors at Kjøretøyhistoriske. This museum tells the story of Narvik’s development. It emphasizes the stories of the iron-ore mines, the rail transport, the harbor, and the town’s tunnels and bridges. A section of the museum devotes itself to the great fire that destroyed the town’s old wooden center. Don’t forget to ride in an authentic iron-ore car.
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Finally, please visit the Polish War Memorial and pay your respects to the braves Polish sailors who died fighting the Nazis in 1940. They are especially worthy of our admiration for they sailed all the way here, despite losing their homeland to the Germans in 1939. To remember.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deep Fried Cod From Iceland

Icelandic Entree

DEEP FRIED COD
(Djúpsteiktur þorskur)

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds cod fillets
½ teaspoon baking powder
1⅓ cups flour
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup beer
6 cups vegetable oil

SPECIAL UTENSIL

deep fryer

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Pat cod fillets dry with paper towels. Cut cod fillets into 8 total strips. Add baking powder, flour, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Mix with fork or whisk until well blended. Add beer to bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Let sit for 30 minutes

Add oil to deep fryer. (It should cover the cod strips with at ½” to spare.) Heat oil to 375 degrees. (Oil is hot enough when a tiny bit of bread will turn golden brown quickly.)

Put cod strip into mixing bowl and turn until strip is thoroughly coated. Repeat for all strips. Add coated cod strips to deep fryer. Do not let strips touch each other. You might have to cook in batches. Deep fry coated cod strips for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Gently turn strips after 2 minutes. Use slotted spoon to gently remove fried strips. Place strips on plate covered with paper towel to drain excess oil. Goes well with French fries.

TIDBITS

1) Cod are deeply protective of their young. This level of care for their offspring extends even after being caught, filleted, and deep fried. You can see in the above picture how the big pieces have assumed a defensive posture around the little one. You have to go through the big cod bits before you can get to the little deep fry. This gives the small one time to slip off your plate and roll away.

2) Of course, this interests the U.S. Navy very much. It’s submarines costs billions and billions and are essential to America’s defense. Ongoing trials investigate imprinting adult cod with the idea that our naval subs are really young cod and so, worthy of their protection.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, international, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Arctic Eats – Utsjoki, Finland

 

Great Arctic Eats – Utsjoki, Finland

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Are you a diner who shuns crowds, but loves saunas* and watching reindeer ? Do you love words with “aa” in them, such as “kalastaa,” the Finnish word for “fish?” Indeed, do you love Finland but feel uncomfortable with large crowds of Finns who often congregate in the country’s large cities? Do you wish to dine above the Arctic Circle? Well make your way to Utsjoki, Finland, the little town that has it all.
* “Sauna” is “sauna” in Finnish. See? You’re speaking like a native already.
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There are five restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm).  So, the competition for your patronage will be fierce indeed. Let’s  visit the local eateries.
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The top rated dining establishment is the esteemed Restaurant Deatnu. They serve traditional Sámi dishes. Yes, they do wonders with reindeer, local berries, and fresh fish. The restaurant has a nice view and a friendly staff. But please, please try the salmon soup.

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Next on our restaurant adventure is Restaurant Aurora Holidays. They serve great local food. Try their delicious reindeer and cod. For dessert, you would do well to order their great sticky cakes. The restaurant looks out on a soothing river. Maybe you’ll even see some wildlife. This pleasant restaurant is run by the family who owns it.
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Winning third place is  Utsjoen Kylatalo Gilsa. It’s known for its hot drinks. Not only is it a charming cafeteria will the flavor of local culture, it also has a grocery store. It’s your one-stop place for food. And remember, you’ll love their buns.

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All self-respecting towns will have a great hamburger joint. Annukan Grill fits this bill nicely. And oh my gosh, oh my gosh, they have a reindeer burger. I want to go there!
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Honorable mention goes to Restaurant Pub Rastigaisa. It serves pizza and has a bar. This restaurant received many reviews written in Finnish, so you know the locals frequent it.
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Utsjoki, unlike many of the other towns reviewed in Great Arctic Eats has a road going in and out of it. It can even boast of a spectacular bridge going into Norway. So you’ll be able motor into town. No dog sleds and hiking needed to get to Utsjoki. Well, I suppose you could charter a plane from Helsinki, but if you want to travel by yourself and see soothing scenery, travelling the last leg of your trip by car really is the way to go. Anyway, there are many must-see sites in Utsjoki.

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Be sure to visit Kevo Strict Nature Reserve.  This place boasts of extremely beautiful hiking routes. You’ll find you self losing track of time while viewing the entrancing scenery. So, be sure to bring a watch with an alarm on it, as the park gets dark at night.

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By all means, see the enchanting church huts. They’re beautiful in their simplicity. All in all, it’s wonderful way to learn Finnish history while staying outdoors. None of that entering the bowels of a stuffy museum for us. The site sports a splendid, little craft shop and a waffle cafeteria. What more could want?

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Drive over the nearby Sàmi Bridge. It’s boasts an elegant, yet impressive dressing. It’s perched over a river dividing Finland from Norway. The bridge and its surrounding are especially beautiful in the twilight. Plus, it doesn’t take much time to take it all in. Just drive your car over the bridge. If you want a quick bit of beauty, this bridge is for you.

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Try to see the beautiful Utsjoen Kirkko. This is the northernmost church in the European Union. So there. The church’s architecture is both pleasant and impressive. Go inside and spend some soul-soothing time with God.

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If you prefer guided tours rather than thrashing about by yourself, look up Aurora Holidays or Tundrasafari Finland. And at the end of a glorious visit, simply unwind at Utsjoki DiscGolfPark.

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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats, humor, international, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crispy Fish Scallopini

American Entree

CRISPY FISH SCALLOPINI

INGREDIENTScrispycodscallopini

2 garlic cloves
1 pound cod fillets or other white fish
¼ cup flour (1 more tablespoon later)
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sage
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoons Chardonnay or white wine
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon drained capers
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil (up to 2 teaspoons more)
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon parsley

Serves 3. Takes 50 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

cooking mallet

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves. Pound cod fillets to ¼” thickness with clean cooking mallet. If you don’t have such a cooking tool, try putting a few sheets of wax paper on top of the cod and whack away with a blunt instrument.

Combine ¼ cup flour, pepper, sage, and salt in mixing bowl. Dredge the cod fillets through this mixture. Cut cod fillets into 6 cutlets. Put chicken broth, Chardonnay, water, lemon juice, capers, 1 tablespoon flour, and garlic in second mixing bowl. Mix sauce thoroughly.

Melt butter in no-stick frying pan. Cook on medium high and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place as many flour/pepper coated fillets as possible into frying pan. Cook for up to 5 minutes on each sides or until cutlets turn golden brown and crispy. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the pan each time you cook another batch of fillets. Remove cod.

Pour broth/caper sauce into frying pan. Heat on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. Pour sauce over cod cutlets. Sprinkle Parmesan and parsley over the cod.
TIDBITS

1) Early humans were hunter-gatherers. They liked crispy mastodon steaks. Baby-back mastodon ribs were a particularly liked delicacy.

2) Where delicacy meant a rib or hunk of meat cut of the mastodon with flint, then thrown on to the fire. If the went out early, the meat was cooked on the outside and left rare on the inside, trapping the juices inside. Thus, the culinary technique of searing was born. Well done, mastodon chefs! Well okay, except for the omnipresent layer of ashes on the meat. Mesquite wood provided the tastiest ashes. To this day, mesquite wood is the choice for all serious barbequers. I told you the prehistoric era was a hotbed of culinary innovation. Oh, and sometime the fires were put out by sand.

3) Indeed, a revolutionary recipe by Ogg, a caveman states:

Our People Entree

MASTODON STEAKS

INGREDIENTSmastodonhunt

1 mastodon
many pieces of mesquite wood
many handfuls of sand

Serves many. Takes time.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

flint

PREPARATION

Skin mastodon with flint. Cut out chunks of meat with flint. Pile mesquite near a likely place for a likely lightning strike. Wait for lightning strike. Throw mastodon chunks on fire. Have sex with wife. If the love making is quick, the meat will be rare. If the foreplay is slow and sensitive, the meat will be well done. Put out fire with sand.

4) The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD wiped out the towns of Pompeii and Heraclaneum. However, a survivor, Quintus Cato, gleaned some good out of the bad days. He thought, “What if I flattened some fish with a mallet, breaded it, and gingerly dipped the fish into the edges of the lava flow just long enough for the sand to run through this timer? Why, I’d have some great crispy fish scallopini!”

5) Many fishermen met their end falling into the hot lava while making this dish. The lava method of preparing fish rapidly fell out of favor. People hated Quintus. His family was shunned.

6) Then in 112 AD, his grandson redeemed his family’s honor when he thought, “Oh feck, why not use mesquite wood or even wood from the olive tree?” And so, crispy fish scallopini became easy to make. We are forever grateful.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Codfish Cakes

British Entree

CODFISH CAKES

INGREDIENTSCodfishCakes-

1 pound cod fillets
2 large potatoes
½ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons butter
1 small egg
1½ tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon parsley
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 large egg
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup breadcrumbs

Makes 6 codfish cakes. Takes 2¼ hours, more if you spill the bowl with beaten egg on yourself and you need to change clothes and beat another egg.

PREPARATION

Cut cod into 1″ squares. Peel potatoes and cut them into fourths. Add potato and salt to large pot. Add enough water to cover. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until potato fourths are almost tender. Drain water. Mash potato fourths with potato masher or fork. Remove from heat.

Add cod to pan and cover with water. Simmer on low heat for 5-to-10 minutes or until cod becomes soft and begins to flake. Stir frequently. Drain water.

While cod simmers, beat small egg. Add cod, potato, butter, beaten small egg, onion, parsley, pepper, and tarragon to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Form mixture into 6 round, flat cakes.

Add large egg to second mixing bowl. Beat with whisk. Add breadcrumbs to plate. Dredge codfish cakes through breadcrumbs until completely coated. Dip coated codfish cakes into beaten egg. Refrigerate codfish cakes for 45 minutes or until they are firm.

Add oil to pan. Heat on medium-high heat until a little breadcrumb starts to dance in the oil. Add as many codfish cakes as possible to pan. (You might need to cook the cakes in batches.) Sauté cakes for 3-to-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. (The time needed to cook the codfish cakes tends to go down with successive batch.) Serve via catapult or, more traditionally, on a plate. Goes well with tartar sauce.
TIDBITS

1) The codpiece was a bag, or piece of clothing, that was sown into men’s pants. Men kept their lunch in it. Most of the time, the lunch was the ever popular cod. Hence, the codpiece.

2) Pause and reflect how amazing that tidbit 1) is true. I thought I had made something up but no, it’s all factual.

3) Renaissance women, having noses, objected to the foul smell emanating from their husbands’ fish-laden groins. It got so bad, that women went on a sex strike in 1454. This was a great opportunity for the porn industry to start. However, the lack of hand-held cameras, the internet with its downloading capabilities, and DVD daunted even the most entrepid entrepreneurs.

4) The DVD-deprived House of York favored giving into their spouses’s demands. The House of Not York favored keeping their fish lunch near their manhood. Tempers rose. Thing were said and soon civil war broke out between the two houses. From 1455 to 1485. Biff! Biff!

6) Thank goodness, that bloody civil war is over. The House of Not York won. Men everywhere cheered.

8) Not so, with their wives. Fishy groins still stank. Intimacy between spouses remained intermittent.

9) However, the husbands still wanted their bed dancing. This need proved to be an opening for enterprising prostitutes. And so, prostitution became a thriving industry along with chocolate chip cookies. Such cookies placed on the bordellos’s window sills lured customers in again and again. Kinda like S&H Green StampsTM during the 1950s and 1960s or even like frequent-flier miles now.

11) How did these horizontal entrepreneurs stand the codfish stench of their customers? By smoking tobacco. Smoking deadens the sense of smell.

12) The wives soon found out this secret and took up smoking as well. Men came back to their wives. Relations were resumed. Babies were born. The population soared. The supply of jobs didn’t. Men became restless and rioted. Monarchs fear revolutions. Monarchs feared losing their heads.

13) Kings everywhere enrolled angry, aimless youth into their military. Armies expanded. So, did the opportunities for conflict. Soon, vast armies of armed, cod-stuffing youths fought each other all over Europeans for centuries.

14) Refrigeration came to America in 1911. American men no longer needed to keep cod in their shorts. Men and women no longer need to deaden their noses with cigarettes. People could smell flowers again. Gardening became America’s national pastime. All was well in the USA.

15) Tragically, refrigeration did not come to Europe until 1915, too late to stop World War I. Nasally impaired leaders all over the continents sent an entire generation to its doom. If only they had been able to stop and smell the roses.

16) Thanks to refrigeration and the calming ability to smell roses there has not another major conflict to speak off aside from the Unpleasantness of 1939-1945 and a few other spats. Yay.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Crispy Fish Taco

Mexican Entree

CRISPY FISH TACO

INGREDIENTSFishTaco-

⅓ cup mayonnaise
1½ cups coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons oil (2 additional tablespoons later)
8 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves
1 pound cod, tilapia, or orange roughy fillets
½ tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup melon salsa (See above recipe) or mango salsa

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric skillet
9″ loaf pan

Makes 8 tacos. Takes 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add mayonnaise and coleslaw mix to mixing bowl. Mix with fork. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to skillet. Heat oil to 375 degrees. The oil is hot enough if it sizzles when a tortilla is added. Add 1 tortilla at a time. Suté tortilla for 20 seconds on each side or until tortilla is crispy but still flexible enough to be folded. Fold tortilla in half and place it upright in loaf pan. Put a paper towel on each side of tortilla to drain off grease. Repeat for 8 remaining tortillas.

Melt butter in pan using medium heat. Dice garlic cloves. Add fish and lime juice to mixing bowl. Turn fish until well coated. Add garlic and cumin to bowl. Turn fish fillets until well coated with garlic and cumin.

Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to pan. Cook on medium heat until a few bubbles appear. Carefully add fish fillets to pan. (Holding the pan’s lid between you and the pan with our other hand is often a good idea in these situations.) Sauté for about 3 minutes on each side or until fish fillets flake easily with fork. Remove from heat. Put ⅛ of the fish flakes in a crispy tortilla. Add 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise/coleslaw mix to tortilla. Top with 2 tablespoons of melon salsa. Repeat for each taco.

TIDBITS

1) Psychic factors are afoot.

2) How do I know this?

3) An anagram for “crispy fish taco” is “psychic factors.”

4) Would I have gotten the same anagram with “crispy beef tacos?”

5) No, in that cash the anagram would have been “pbycee factors.”

6) There is no such thing as pbycee factors, although there are crispy beef tacos. Spooky.

7) So, what inspired me to make up a recipe for crispy beef tacos or even for the throw-caution-to-the wind crispy chicken tacos?

8) Psychic factors. Proof you cannot deny.

10) Who or what are responsible for these psychic factors making me make crispy fish tacos, specifically using cod as the seafood of choice?

11) Crayfish optometrists. Their organization is called Crayfish OpticsTM. Crayfish Optics wants to drive every human optician and optometrist in Louisiana out of business.

12) Why? There’s much more money to be made treating human eyes than those of crayfish. Always has been.

13) There’s also an urgent, ugly side to the crayfish optometrists desire to make people like me post recipes like this one. The crayfish know people will always will eat seafood. They want their cod brethren to give up their lives for our recipes, not themselves. It’s a fish eat fish world down there.

14) Why don’t cod notice these deadly attempts by the crayfish? I know there’s really no room for advancement for cod as such, but still, why not resist?

15) The cod don’t have time to notice how their being substituted into more and more recipes and menus. They obsess over every little detail in their little fish world. Cod are OCD. OCD is an anagram for cod. Proof you cannot deny.

16) Why hasn’t the vaunted Louisiana Marine Outreach and Intelligence Investigation Agency (LMOIIA) caught onto the nefarious plans of Crayfish Optics?

17) Simple, most Louisianans refer to crayfish as crawfish. So, the LMOIIA is only looking for activity from crawfish.

18) But how can the grate LMOIIA, try saying that real fast, be thrown off by such a simple trick as changing the “w” in crawfish?

19) Sad to say, Louisiana’s budget woes have affected all its agencies, none more than LMOIIA. LMOIIA’s people just don’t have the people or the resources to see through such a simple trick. The crawfish know this. They keep up on the state’s finances. Cod-killing bastards.

Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Fish and Chips

British Entree

FISH AND CHIPS

INGREDIENTSFishAndChips-

2½ pounds potatoes (King Edward or Maris if you can get them.)
1⅓ cups flour (3 additional tablespoons later)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt or salt
1¼ cups (10 ounces) beer
2 cups peanut oil
5 cups (or enough to cover fish) vegetable oil
4 7-ounce cod, pollock, or haddock fillets
3 tablespoons flour
malt vinegar (to be added by guest)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

deep fryer

Makes 4 servings. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes
Note:: Cooking times vary a lot between fryers or with the amount of food you put in them, so you’ll need to check the fryer periodically.

PREPARATION

Peel potatoes. Slice potatoes along their lengths into ½” by ½” strips. Add potato strips to first bowl filled with cold water. Let soak for 1 hour to remove starch. Pat the potato strips with paper towels until the strips are completely dry.

This is important. If you leave moisture on your potato strips, then your chips, if you are British, or your French fries, if you’re American, will not turn out well and the Earth will leave its orbit and spiral into the Sun. Enough said.

While potato strips are soaking, add 1⅓ cups flour, pepper, and salt to large, second mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with whisk. Add beer. Stir with whisk until there are no lumps and mixture has the consistency of whipping cream.

When the potato strips have only 15 minutes left to soak, pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. (You will be making this entree in batches. Put fried fish and completely done fries warm in oven until everything is ready.) Add peanut oil and vegetable oil to deep fryer. Heat oil to 275 degrees. Carefully add ¼ of potato strips to deep fryer. Fry potato strips for 5 minutes or until any of them start to brown. There are now officially French fries or chips. (Pauses for ceremony.) Remove chips from fryer, drain, and set aside. Repeat for each batch of potato strips.

Add 3 tablespoons flour to third bowl. Add fish fillets, one at a time to bowl. Turn fish fillets around until they are coated with flour. This flour keeps the batter from slipping off later. Add flour-covered fish fillets to mixing bowl with batter. Slowly turn fish fillets until they are thoroughly covered with batter.

Increase heat on deep fryer to 375 degrees. Carefully add fish fillets to deep fryer. Fry for 6-to-10 minutes or until batter is crisp and golden brown. Turn fillets two or three times with wooden spoon to ensure even frying. Remove fish fillets with slotted spoon and place on wire rack above plate and let drain.

Add partially cooked French fries to deep fryer for second time. Keep heat at 375 degrees. Fry French fries for 10-to-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove French fries with slotted spoon and dry with paper towels.

Serve fish and chips and malt vinegar to adoring, appreciative guests. Dredge unappreciative guests through any remaining batter. You were cooking with hot oil, for goodness sake.

TIDBITS

1) Gratuitous Capitalizing of Words has not been allowed in English speaking countries since 1945. Indeed, World War II was fought to preserve our minimalist capitalization approach.

2) You see, Germany capitalizes all nouns. Germany wants the whole world to capitalize nouns. Why does Germany want all this capitalization? Who would benefit from this?

3) The German ink makers. Capitalized letters take more ink than small letters. More capitalized letters means more ink. More ink means more income for the ink makers. No German government from 1814 to 1945 was strong enough to resist the dictates of the German Ink Makers’ League, GIML. So, when GIML told their leaders to invade one country after another to open up new market for ink, their governments obliged.

4) Things looked bad for the minimal-capitalizing countries in mid1940. The British Expeditionary Force was trapped against the beaches of Dunkirk. If this force had surrendered, Britain, the last hold out against German Capitalizing aggression, would have had to give up all resistance.

5) Fortunately in 1940, a young physicist named Peter Sakes, was in a London pub waiting for his fish and chips. Boom! A gigantic explosion blew apart the kitchen walls. Hot cod and hot potato strips flew into the eating and drinking areas. Patrons ran screaming from the establishment. A light clicked in Sakes’ head. Perhaps the same process used to explode fish and chips could be employed to make nuclear fission. A nuclear bomb would surely stop the invincible German armies.

7) Prime Minister Churchill agreed and gathered all British scientists to develop the atomic bomb. Well, the whole thing took longer than expected; the heat from cooking oil proved insufficient to trigger a nuclear chain reaction. So the Americans came on board with their Manhattan Project and by August, 1945, had an atomic bomb to use on Japan.

8) The atomic bomb came too late to use on Germany which had already surrendered. However, the mere hope the bomb had brought to Churchill had given him to will to resist. We owe our freedom and our small-lettered nouns to Mr. Sakes and his idea. Here’s to him and fish and chips!

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fish with Peppers and Coconut Milk

Brazilian Entree

FISH WITH PEPPERS AND COCONUT MILK

INGREDIENTSCoconut_Milk-

1 red chile
1 red bell pepper
1 garlic clove
2 Roma tomatoes
1/2 onion (1/2 more later)
2 cod fillets (about 12 ounces total, or halibut or haddock)
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons palm oil or vegetable oil (1 tablespoon more later)

1/2 tablespoon palm oil or vegetable oil
1/2 onion
1 cup cassava flour or all-purpose flour or toasted bread crumbs.

The camera was in Chicago when I made this dish so I couldn’t take a picture of it. Please enjoy the above picture.

PREPARATION

Seed and dice red chile and red bell pepper. Mince garlic clove. Dice tomatoes and 1/2 onion. Put cod in large mixing bowl. Pour enough water in bowl to cover cod. Add lime juice. Let sit for 30 minutes. Remove cod fillets. Pat them dry with towel. Put cod in skillet. Add red bell pepper, garlic, tomato, chili powder, cilantro, sea salt, and coconut milk. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Cook fish/spice/coconut mix on high heat until it begins to boil. Simmer at low heat with lid on for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons palm oil. Simmer with lid on for 10 additional minutes.

While fish/spice/coconut mix simmers, thinly slice 1/2 onion. Sauté sliced onion second skillet with 1 tablespoon palm oil on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Add cassava flour and cook on medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until flour is lightly toasted.

Serve fish/spice/coconut mix on top of sliced onions and toasted cassava flour.

TIDBITS

1) Over half of the world’s cassava production occurs in Africa.

2) Where does the other 40 percent plus come from?

3) I think we can rule out Antarctica as a major source of cassava.

4) Unless, of course, the scientists in Antarctica, have vast hydroponic farms devoted to growing cassava.

5) Wouldn’t it be neat if there were a movie called Hydroponic Cassava Farming in Antarctica. I’d see it. After all, I saw Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

6) Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was One World, One Movie’s choice for it’s 2013 movie. People all over the world watched this movie on the same day to promote world peace and have fun. Please feel free to visit the event site at: https://www.facebook.com/events/384691621637151/.

7) If he were still alive John Cassavetes would have been a natural for Hydroponic Cassava Farming in Antarctica. The accomplished actor starred in The Dirty Dozen and Rosemary’s Baby.

8) Rosemary is an herb with many beneficial properties. However, some types of cassava possess cyanide compounds. These varieties must be cooked thoroughly to avoid lethal cyanide poisoning which is generally considered ban especially by law enforcement.

9) But this would make for a really cool murder mystery. After all, who wouldn’t go see the movie, The Hydroponic Cassava Murders?

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

Categories: cuisine, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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