Archives for posts with tag: dinner

It was meant to be a low-key Christmas. And then ALL THE FOOD happened.

Boerewors, baked and fresh veggies with feta and sprouts, wine, more wine, and the richest cheesecake in the world. And that was only Christmas eve.


Part One: boerewors

Being a foreign orphan at Christmas means you get to toy with your traditions from home and make new ones. This time it turned into making South African boerewors for the first time. Traditional braai (barbecue) food, but not so much for Christmas dinner.

A friend and I decided we will try our hand(-s) at it. And… It is surprisingly easy! Playing with real intestines didn’t turn out nearly as slippery and gross as expected. It was actually fascinating working with them and feeling the strength and texture. Amazing stuff.

We learned some things that we “knew” before, but now we definitely know. Boerewors is all about the right spices and the texture. We used beef and pork mince, but next time we will be grinding our own. The texture needs to be rough enough so that you see bits of meat and fat in the sausage. Not giant globules though.

We used this recipe for our first attempt at wors:

South African Sausage (Boerewors)
I’m a bit of a boerewors snob. At home I almost exclusively have “Stilbaai Wors”. If you’ve had it, you’ll understand…  But, since their recipe is staatsgeheim, a state secret, this recipe will do just fine. We were very happy and shocked at how easy it was to make wors. I’ve spent the last 5+ years suffering crap sausages needlessly!

*I will post a separate boerewors recipe once we perfect our craft… We’ve already made more, but haven’t cooked and taste-tested yet. Watch this space.


Part Two: salmon and spinach roulade

Food for friends.

Christmas day was a big chill with friends and drink and food and movies. Everyone made and brought some food and we grazed all day. Perfect for a very rainy day in Scandinavia.

This salmon and spinach roulade is very easy to make, especially after you’ve made it once. I use a lot more spinach than the recipes I googled, partly because it’s not expensive and partly because I like it.

I based my own rolls on this recipe:

Spinach and egg rolls with smoked salmon and cream cheese,

but I googled around for a few recipes and used a combination. There really is no right or wrong with this kind of recipe, other than separating your eggs properly.


Part Three: brownie cheesecake

Wowsers. This cheesecake is incredibly rich and creamy and chocolatey. It is actually almost impossible to overeat because it is just so rich.

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Brownie cheesecake in its naked, natural form.

I used this amazing recipe from the All Day I Dream About Food blog, of course:

Brownie cheesecake – low carb and gluten free.

This is my first time ever making a baked cheesecake, so I’m very happy that it turned out (a) round and (b) edible. Point is, if you’re scared of f-ing up, don’t be! Follow the recipe above word for word and you’ll be fine. 🙂

I added the raspberries and I cannot imagine not having them there. They bring a zing that both breaks and compliments the creamy richness. Next time I’ll also use much less erythritol – I don’t think quite so much is necessary.

I keep looking at this post as a useful reference for ganache:

How To Make Chocolate Ganache for Any Dessert.
I don’t make it often and the ingredients aren’t exactly cheap (crap or fake dark chocolate is not worth it), so definitely don’t want to mess this up.

This cheesecake is beautiful with a strong cup of coffee. 🙂

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Brownie cheesecake clothed in ganache and raspberries.

This was my first “orphan” Christmas, and it was wonderful. Good friends and good food is all one can ask for. 🙂

Lol.
Dinner today: kale, alfalfa sprouts, 3 cherry tomatoes and mince (ground beef) that was in the form of meatballs until shortly prior to hitting the plate.

Halfway through: o shit I forgot to wash the kale and found some extra protein wandering around. Well, I hope he didn’t have any friends…


Aubergine (eggplant) Pizza: the minced meat version

  • Slice an aubergine into slices about 1cm thick. Long slices, round slices, whatever you want.
  • Sprinkle coarse salt over aubergine slices and let them sit for about 30min. The salt should draw some of the moisture out.
  • Pre-heat oven to 180deg celsius.
  • Lightly press slices with a paper towel, place slices in an oven dish or baking paper, sprinkle with a little olive oil.
  • Bake for about 30min (time depends on thickness of slices).
  • Smear a little tomato paste on each and cover with a thin layer of minced meat (ground beef).
  • Bake for 15min.
  • Take out and cover with spices (eg. salt, pepper, garlic, oregano), cheese and red peppers.
  • Bake for 5-10min, until cheese is melted and as crispy as you want it.

 

No, I’m obviously not a precise-recipe person. I generally just open the fridge and figure it out from there.

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Eggplant pizza! Yes, the red pepper slices rolled off a bit… I was impatient.

 

This recipe is thanks to a great friend who went out of her way to make me a keto-friendly dinner! How awesome is that. Supportive friends are absolute gold in a world where judgement can be quick and brutal.

And now I have found my new Friday-night food! I can also confirm that it tastes good cold the next morning, too. (Or maybe I was just really hungry…)

This recipe is a billion times easier, and cheaper, than making any of the low-carb pizza doughs. I love those, but I’m so excited about these that it’ll be a while before I make cauliflower or mozzarella dough again.

Eggplant ftw!

 

November and December in Norway are busy months of feasting!
Every group, workplace or sports club or circle of friends organises a Julebord, i.e. a Christmas table. Dress up smart and be prepared for a great night of food and strong alcohol.

This year I was lucky enough to be invited to friends who were having an evening with saueskolt (sheep’s head) from Sunnfjord. I’m used to it being called smalahove, but I’ve learned that there are differences between the two, apart from just the dialect. (Smalahove is the term used in the Voss and Bergen area.)

My friend said that they always had sheep’s head on Skoltesøndag, or as it is also known, skitne-søndag. Dirty Sunday.

Dirty Sunday is the Sunday before Christmas where you wash everything and prepare your house for Christmas. So you end up wearing your dirty clothes, sparing the clean ones for the next week’s big gathering. (This just made me think that we have it too easy these days. I have enough clothes to get me through a week without needing this kind of Dirty Sunday.)

And so, in your dirty clothes, you eat salted, smoked and boiled sheep’s head for dinner for the last time before the next year’s autumn comes.

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Saueskolter på bordet.

It’s not my first time eating Norwegian-style sheep’s head, so I was more excited than grossed out at the prospect. The first time I was a little bit nervous, but I figured my Afrikaans sheep-farmer ancestors would be rolling in their graves, and rolling their eyes, if I didn’t man up and enjoy the meal.

It was awesome. And on that night I learned that a lamb’s eyeball is delicious.

The sheep’s head is smoked and salted, and finally boiled the day that it will be served, giving it a heavy flavour that goes beautifully with whiskey or akevitt. Or a deep red wine.

The only part that creeps me out a little is the inner texture of the cheeks. It’s bumpy. Apparently I have issues with texture sometimes (the same reason why fruit bits in otherwise smooth yoghurt makes my skin crawl).

The rest is fantastic. And the eye! That’s the last part and the best. It’s very similar to bone marrow in both taste and texture. And since bone marrow has been one of my favourite things in the world since I was a baby, I am now an eyeball-lover. Just remember to remove the pupil…

Once you have the eyeball worked and scooped out of the socket, you prod it with your fork, pop into your mouth and wash down with a shot of akevitt.

Dirty Sunday is the best Sunday, even though we had ours on a Saturday evening in November. 🙂

 

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DONE! A plastic surgeon could probably have done a better job, but I tried my best to get every piece!

Fårikål sesong!

Fårikål is a traditional Norwegian dish in autumn and is literally boiled mutton and cabbage. As simple as that.

Now, I’ve made the real thing and it’s quite okay, but as a South African my soul cries a little at the thought of boiling wonderful meat, especially good lamb or mutton.

Boiled mutton.

Boiled mutton. Good, but not quite as grand as it could be.

That’s when a phone call to Mom is priceless. My mom makes the best lamb ribs in the world. It is not possible to find better food on this planet. I even end up eating the bones, because I can. So who better to ask for advice when you walk into the shop and there is lamb on sale at a ridiculous price! For realsingtons. This is Norway, land of the most expensive everything, and the price seems reasonable by South African standards. TIME TO FEAST!

First, let me show you the spoils from my shopping trip:

EXCITING!

EXCITING!

Now, my mom says her method of preparing lamb is pretty easy:

  • rub salt and olive oil into the meat,
  • lightly rub whole coriander seeds onto the meat (I love this taste, so I’m not shy to use a whole lot of coriander seeds),
  • bake at 200°C in an open dish for about 20min – this is to brown the meat, and then
  • bake for another 40-ish minutes at 180°C covered.

It’s best to use a large dish with a lid for this, but I only have access to a smaller, deep dish with a lid, so my meat was packed on top of each other. Not perfect, but that’ll do, sheep.

Rubbed in and ready to go. Coriander is more than worth its weight gold.

Rubbed in and ready to go. Coriander is more than worth its weight gold.

After about an hour of tantalising smells, you have great meat with crispy pieces of fat. And now I have food for the next week… I cannot believe I’m lucky enough to have a piece of lamb every night for dinner in Norwegia! This is better than eating out.

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

But wait, there’s more…

Since it’s no longer necessary to fear the fat, I don’t throw it away! I poured the left over juices from the baking dish into an empty jar and refrigerated it overnight. Now I have broth and fat that I can use!

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Freshly poured fat…

I’ve been making omelettes with the lamb fat. It’s delicious and I can’t believe I haven’t been doing this forever.

Solidified fat floating on top. Yum yum yum!

Solidified fat floating on top. Scoop it off and save in a separate jar.

So, plan your next trip to Norway during the autumn! It’s beautiful and the meat is phenomenal. You can also be sure that the sheep lived a happy life, especially when they get to roam free in the mountains during the summer months.

I’m pretty much living at work at the moment, so pre-prepared meals are crucial.

My daily dinner for this week consists of mixed green leaves, some red bell peppers, 3x meatballs (consisting only of mince, greek yogurt and a little butter), avocado and a dollop crème fraîche on top.

I can eat like this forever! 😀

Staple diet of awesomeness.

Staple diet of awesomeness.

Rømmegrøt is beautiful. It is thick and creamy and heavy.

It’s a Norwegian sour cream porridge that is made on special occasions, with many local communities having their own unique twist on the porridge. There were even versions of the porridge made especially for women who had recently given birth, with neighbours bringing barselgrøt (‘childbirth porridge’) for the new mother to help her strengthen and heal. Incidentally, one area’s local take on barselgrøt was to take the usual rømmegrøt and add slices of boiled eggs on top. LCHF’s perfect food?

Rømmegrøt goodness. With cinnamon, butter and sukrin.

Rømmegrøt goodness. With cinnamon, butter and sukrin.

I have had rømmegrøt a few times in the past, but I always considered it a very guilty pleasure, what with almost all of it being made of pure cream. I used to rather choose risgrøt, a similar porridge made with rice, because I thought, hey, maybe this one is healthier. So now is the time for vengeance! I wanted to make my own rømmegrøt and literally eat back all the silly times I chose the rice porridge instead!

As luck would have it, rømmegrøt is almost the easiest meal in world to make. (Nature’s take-away, avocado, is hard to beat.)

Seterrømme, sour cream, in the pot and heating up slowly. It becomes very smooth once warm.

Seterrømme, sour cream, in the pot and heating up slowly. It becomes very smooth once warm.

I used this recipe (in Norwegian) and made it in ten minutes while Skyping home. I will add the translated recipe at the bottom.

This was my first time using Johannesbrødkjernemel (locust bean gum) and was surprised at what an effective thickening agent it proved to be. Rather play it safe and use too little than too much! Especially considering how pricey it is…

It was also my first time having sukrin. I was scared that the sweetness would set me off on a sweet-toothed binge, but I think I may finally have beaten that beast! I will still be using sukrin and other sugar alternatives with caution, though.

Melting butter!

Melting butter!

The result was absolutely delicious! A word of caution though: the above recipe with 300ml of sour cream is very filling. I couldn’t finish it and I’m a champion over-eater! The leftovers are in the fridge to be had for breakfast with some spekeskinke (dried, salted ham). 🙂

Rømmegrøt is also very similar to it’s South African cousin, melkkos (milk food). Melkkos is made using full cream milk instead of sour cream, but is also topped off with cinnamon, sugar and butter. It’s the loveliest comfort food when the world is dark and cold and wet outside, and goes very well with a good kaggel (logfire) crackling in the background and a movie queued up for the evening.


Morning-after update: hmmm warmed up rømmegrøt is okay, but decidedly more… snot-like in texture. I’d rather make less and finish it all in one go.


Recipe

300ml sour cream 

200ml water

1,5 teaspoons of locust bean gum powder (thickening agent)

Pinch of salt

Cinnamon powder, butter and sukrin/alternative sweetener to taste.

—————————————————————————–

Heat sour cream in a pot on low heat.

While the sour cream is heating, mix water and locust bean gum. Easiest way is to shake it up in a little tub. The mixture should thicken up nicely. Mine had a pinkish tinge to it after a while.

Once the sour cream is boiling and bubbling a bit, add the water mixture.

Bring to a slow boil again while mixing or whisking every now and then to prevent any clumps from forming. (I was lazy and just stirred strongly with a fork.)

Add a pinch of salt and mix.

…Done! 

Scoop into a bowl and add the toppings.

Enjoy!


‘Mix it, until it reaches a little bollie.’

Suzelle DIY makes a ‘carbon-hydrate’-free pizza with Prof Tim Noakes, followed by some bonus koeksisters, a sticky braided pipe bomb of sugar and flour.

If you’re not South African, the put-on accent may throw you off a bit (yes, it’s for laughs). If you know a Saffa, enjoy. 😀

Now go forth, make a lekker caulipizza!

A surprise bargain happened on Saturday when I spotted pork neck chops at 50% off. Okay buy!

pigoncauli

Finished product: pork neck chop on fried caulirice with some peppers and a creamy, seedy (literally) Dijon sauce.

I didn’t realise quite how enormous they were until I got home and made the first victim for dinner. I really should have only eaten half… But I don’t always learn my lessons.

Today’s lunch/dinner was to be the last of the pig necks. It needed some colour, so I added a little chopped celery, spring onion, leek and two half peppers.

Sadly only half a screaming pepper will make it into the pan.

Sadly only half a screaming pepper could be sacrificed for the pan today.

I also decided on a whim that today was D-Day for trying out fried caulirice. I already had a giant tub filled with grated cauliflower, so it wouldn’t waste any time to make. I fried up some of the greens in olive oil and threw in some caulirice as soon as I heard the frying in action.

Caulirice on the fry.

Caulirice on the fry.

After frying the neck chop and putting it on the bed of fried (c-)rice, I made a quick sauce with the peppers in the pan. A tablespoon of crème fraîche and Dijon mustard and a handful of sesame seeds later, the sauce was ready for the plate.

Review: fried caulirice will be eaten again! And again. It was great.

And thank you, pig.