Posts Tagged With: steaks

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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Motivational Poster #3, Successful Anthropologists

The world of anthropology is a rough and tumble one. Heated discussions abound. It’s quite common to hear such charged phrases as “So’s Lucy of Olduvai’s mother” or “You look like a Neanderthal and think like a homonid” abound.

Sure, you could take up mathematics where everything can be proved or disproved. But where’s the fun in that?

Real men and women flock to anthropology where fossils are rare. Where painting on caves are rare. And don’t even get me started on the lack of cookbooks from the Cro Magnon Era. Either these early humans never learned to write or if they did, their recipes were written on media that just couldn’t survive hundred of thousands of years of exposure to the elements. We’ll just have to wait for a cookbook chiseled in stone by flint tools. In the meantime, we can only speculate what sides Cro -Magnon chefs served with their mastodon steaks.

Let’s face it, there isn’t a lot of evidence. Conjectures must be made. Some are brilliant, some are reasonable, some are demented. But who’s to say which theory is the best. Reasoned discourse only goes so far.

Eventually, you’ll have to fight for your view. You need to take up boxing. Every full professor in every major anthropology department across academia won his position by knocking out a weaker, slower hitting colleague.

It goes almost without saying that Nobel Prize winners in anthropology could turn pro in boxing.

Anthropology, it’s not for sissies.

 

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: motivational | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

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