December 15, 2013

Peto's Creamy Fish Casserole, Friendly Foods!

I'm quite a lucky woman, for so many reasons. One of those being, my husband is an incredible cook! He went to school for cooking here in Norway and worked in the Norwegian Seafood industry for 17 years, so he knows his way around the great fish & seafood this country provides.
We have a tradition in our house where Peto usually makes Sunday dinner. He usually makes a more traditional Norwegian meals since our everyday meals that I make, are our more "exotic" dishes, me being from New Orleans. Peto does like to come up with some creations of his own by putting his twist on a traditional dish. This Sunday he decided to do just that!
He had a beautiful loin of cod fish and planned on making a casserole. He wanted to boost the casserole with a bit of shellfish by also adding some small sea shrimp for their intense concentrated flavor.
And away we go!
500gr Cod filet
1 large leek, sliced and washed
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into strips
3dl sour cream
1.5dl cream
200gr small sea shrimp, in liquid
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Knorr Aromat Seasoning
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Chives for garnish (optional)

Cube the fish into big chunks and season well with your spices, salt, pepper & Aromat.
In a bowl, add cream, sour cream, flour and fish sauce and whisk well.

Heat your oven to 200C
To the baking dish, add a layer of carrots, leeks some cubes of fish and about a tablespoon of the shrimp. Make these layers until all ingredients are used, except for the remaining shrimp. You want to add most of them to the top at the very end of the cooking process.

The liquid from your shrimp is full of flavor, so you want to whisk about 2 tablespoons into your cream mixture and then pour it over the fish and vegetables. Sprinkle fresh black pepper and chives over the top and then place in the oven for 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven add the last of the shrimp and put back into the oven for 5 more minutes.

Serve while hot with boiled potatoes or steamed rice. The more traditional Norwegian way is with potatoes.


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December 14, 2013

Omelette Muffins!

These muffins are AWESOMENESS!!! Okay, that being said, they are delicious and simple. They're great for breakfast, brunch or a snack. If you don't want to make homemade biscuit mix it is perfectly okay to use ready made biscuit mix like Bisquick or Pioneer. If you do use ready made, spike it up by adding 1/2 teaspoon of each, baking soda and baking powder. I also think adding an oil to the mix is necessary for moist, fluffy biscuits. Shortening or vegetable oil is my preference.
Making your own biscuit mix is super easy! Here's the recipe for the mix. I like drop biscuits, I never make rolled out biscuits. Just not my thing. I like it rustic looking!
Homemade Biscuit Mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil or shortening
1/2 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients into a bowl first. I use a silicon coated whisk and spatula. Add the wet ingredients and mix well. Set aside and heat the oven to 185C
I use a 6 cup, deep, maxi muffin pan. You can use a basic sized muffin pan but you'll have to use half the amount of biscuit mix in each cup.
Lightly oil the muffin cups or use a nonstick spray. In the maxi muffin cups, place about 1 tablespoon of the biscuit mix into each bottom. I bang the pan a couple of times to get the mix settled but not smashed down into the bottom. It's okay if some of the mix is up the side of the cups. It's all going to bake together.
In a seperate bowl crack 4 large eggs and lightly whisk. Add spices to your taste. I like a bit of Creole seasoning and a bit of hot sauce.
Now, for what goes into your omelette, that's where you can do what you feel. I like chopped red onion, bell pepper, green onion or chives, any kind of meat you like or no meat at all, it's up to you. I use chopped ham or bacon. If you use bacon, cook it first, let it cool and then crumble it. Also any type of cheese you like. I used Gouda. Mix your chopped veggies and meat into whisked eggs.
Spoon the egg mixture, equally over the biscuit mix. Don't fill to the very top of each cup or you'll have a mess! Carefully move the muffin pan to your heated oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are firm to touch.
Remove and let it rest for 5 minutes. Use a butter knife and go around each muffin to release the edges. Turn over and the muffins should pop right out of the pan.
The wonderful part about these muffins, the biscuit bakes and fluffs throughout the omelette, so you get bites of both in every munch!
These can easily be reheated or eaten cooled.


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December 03, 2013

Gindungo! Well, the Teedy Version...(Photos)

I've made several trips to Angola, Africa to preform with the Norwegian band Gumbo. When we go there, we always have beautiful meals. A condiment that's a staple there is a very spicy chili sauce called Gindungo.
It makes me happy! It's very spicy, so can be used sparingly over cooked meals of any kind, fish, seafood, meats or poultry. It can also be used in marinades. It's thinned out for use with a neutral oil so as not to affect the flavor.

I decided to ask the restaurant manager of the hotel, Epic Sana in Luanda, where I could purchase some to take home. He said I may be able to find some  ready made in a store but it was something that everyone makes at home, including the restaurants. He told me he could write down everything I needed and that it was easy to make. Depending on the kind of chilies you use, it can be mild or set your face on fire hot. The hotel used a mixture of cayenne and scotch bonnet chilies.

I live in a small town and there are no scotch bonnets in our local store so I used red and green cayenne.

I used 12 red and 6 green cayenne chilies. Left in tact with stems and seeds.
2 heads of garlic cut through the middle, skins on
2 small red onions, cut through the middle, skins on
sea salt
vegetable oil
2 teaspoons white vinegar

I line a baking dish with baking paper and place the peppers, garlic and onion, sliced side down. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle well with vegetable oil. Roast in the oven at 180C for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool enough to handle. USE RUBBER GLOVES!! The chili oil will get deep into your skin and will burn your eyes and naughty bits, even if you wash your hands thoroughly!!

Gently pull the stems  off of the chilies leaving the seeds inside of the roasted pods/ The garlic and onion should easily squeeze/slide out of their skins. Drop everything into a food processor and add the oil from the roasting pan. Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar. Flavored vinegar will change the flavor, so don't use apple cider or balsamic. The vinegar is a preservative so that your sauce keeps well when refrigerated. Pulse well in the processor until it becomes a beautiful paste.

Put your sauce into a sterilized air tight jar and refrigerate. To use as a condiment, put a few teaspoons into a small bowl and add vegetable oil to make it a consistency you can easily drizzle onto food. For use in marinades, use as is. Thanks so much to the guys at Epic Sana Luanda for the guidance with this lovely, spicy sauce!


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December 02, 2013

Thanksgiving Leftovers! Turkey, Bacon & Black Eyed Pea Soup (Photos)

When you have that beautiful carcass with beautiful chunks of meat all over, pieces of the bacon that was wrapped around it stuck here and there and the delicious bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, soup is necessary!

I soaked a handful of dried black eyed peas overnight so they'd be ready to roll today.

You can make soup with almost everything. I had half of a small cabbage, a handful of Brussels sprouts, red onion, celery, carrots, peas, and a 1/2 cup of barley.

Put everything into to the pot, add water, don't completely cover because the veggies will make some liquid.

I let it simmer for 1.5 hours, covered. I went through with tongs and picked out the bones. Serve hot with crusty bread. If there's any left, it freezes beautifully for a meal on a chilly day!!


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Our Norwegian Thanksgiving! (Photos)

Gobble, gobble, everybody!! I was on the road, on tour, when Thanksgiving Day rolled in. Although I'm in Norway, I celebrate Thanksgiving. In my family, in New Orleans, Thanksgiving really had nothing to do with pilgrims and their journey and such. For us, it was just about being thankful. Thankful for everything we were blessed with; family, health, a roof over our heads friends and food. Always enough food. Thankful that there's was also always enough to share with friends, old and new. That is the Thanksgiving I brought with me to Norway.

Peto picked up a beautiful, bone in turkey breast for me to roast. It's just the two of us so there's no need for the whole bird. We decided to celebrate on Sunday since I didn't get home until late Saturday evening.

Turkey can be dry, especially white meat. My trick to ensure a juicy turkey is to wrap it in a delicious fat content, BACON!!!! This is what I do. I'm not saying whichever way you choose is incorrect, but I love the flavor and I always have a juicy turkey. I season the turkey with sea salt, red pepper, paprika and a little Creole spice, all over and under the skin. I also slide about 3 small bay leaves under the skin. The herbs I used on Sunday were, parsley, thyme and sage. I then wrapped the turkey with a beautiful smoky bacon. On the outside of the bacon I rubbed in a mixture of orange marmalade, fig preserves and a bit more of the herbs. I topped with some Spring onions and roasted it low for 2.5 hours or until the meat is at least 75-78C on the inside.

I used a mixture of veggies, also roasted. Gold and orange carrots, Brussel sprouts, sugar snaps, green beans, green peas, mushrooms, garlic and red onions. Seasoned with sea salt, pepper flakes, Provence herbs and olive oil.

We also had a homemade bread & sausage stuffing with a little diced smoked ham. We roasted Mandel and sweet potatoes with olive oil, sea salt and rosemary.

The house, of course smelled like Holiday, which we always love!

and, voila!!!


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If you enjoy the recipes, please share my blog with your friends. If you have a recipe you'd like to share in Friendly Foods, please send it in. Photos are also appreciated!