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First Stop On Our Food Voyage Through North Of Africa, Sharing Our Best Bite Is Morocco… Enjoy!!
Moroccan food is one of the most sensual in the world…
Moroccan cuisine has influenced top chefs and restaurants all over the world, but you’ll never find it as tasty or as subtle as the food served up in a Moroccan home…
Essentially, Moroccan cooking combines the desert nomads’ diet of mutton, vegetables and dairy produce with more refined and exotically spiced specialities – often of Syrian origin and introduced in Morocco at the time of the Arab conquest. But over the centuries it has also incorporated other influences: southern European (olives, olive oil, fruit, tomatoes), sub-Saharan African, and French (particularly apparent in the country’s Westernised restaurants)…
Eating is serious business. Typically dining room walls are decorated with mosaics and richly woven carpets cover the floors. Hand carved low divans swamped by luxurious, elaborately-decorated cushions line the sides of the room and a heavy circular table is laid with ornate baroque silverware and copperware
Dishes are placed in the centre of the table often in earthenware dishes in which they are cooked and everyone tucks in…
Most meals begin with a simple selection of mezze, which might include a bowl of olives or a selection of cooked vegetable salads dressed with olive oil, sprinkled with cumin and served a dip and flat bread. The tagine or roast meat dish may come next, served with couscous and often a salad… A simple plate of prepared fresh fruit or dessert marks the end of the meal, before mint tea is served…
Here are video step by step guide of best bites to creating your own Taste of Morocco at home 😉
Moroccan Chicken Pastries Briwates
khobz Moroccan bread recipe
Bread for mopping up harira or tagines; the traditional flat round loaves are ideal..
A stew of meat (usually beef, lamb or chicken) or fish with vegetables, spices and perhaps fruits and nuts, slowly cooked on a bed of oil in an earthenware pot. It is one of Morocco’s most visible dishes (because of the conical topped dish in which it is cooked). Popular versions include beef with almonds and quinces, lamb with apricots, and chicken with lemons and olives…
Moroccan Chicken Bastilla (Bastila / Pastilla)
For the last leg of our Scandinavian best bites journey,we visit Norway…
Traditional food of Norway draws heavily on the natural resources of Norway and the greater Scandinavian region. Surrounded by water, Scandinavian cuisine includes lots of seafood, and the fact that Norway also has much mountainous wilderness adds a strong game focus to the country’s traditional cuisine. The Norwegian population is one of the healthiest in the world, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and diet has a great deal to do with it..
Seafood plays a dominant role in the average Norwegian’s diet. Norwegians love their fish and consume seafood an average of three to four times a week, according to the Norway Hei website. Locally caught seafood like salmon (“laks” in Norwegian), cod and lutefish are prepared and served in all manners. Fish is poached, grilled, fried, smoked, salted and dried, and cured. Popular traditional Norwegian seafood meals include Fiskesuppe (fish soup), Røkt Laks (smoked salmon), Sild (pickled herring) and Gravlaks, consisting of salmon fillets marinated in a dill mixture and served with piquant mustard sauce.
Game in Norway runs the gamut from duck, goose and other fowl to moose and reindeer. Game is often grilled or roasted and served with traditional Norwegian side dishes, such as Raspeballer, which is made from raw, grated potatoes that are mashed together with flour and salt into little balls and then boiled; or Grønnerterstuing (stewed green beans).
Norwegian breakfasts also tend to lean heavily toward the sea, with fish playing a prominent role. Traditional Norwegian breakfasts include smoked salmon, fish in various sauces and marinades (such as sardines in tomato sauce or mustard sauce, or pickled herring), carviar (kaviar in Norwegian), or smoked whitefish, often served with hard-boiled eggs. Norwegian breakfast specialties include smoked salmon egg omelettes and smoked salmon sandwiches.
Norwegian desserts tend to revolve around four key ingredients: sugar, flour, eggs and butter–lots of butter. Traditional favorites include pannekaker (thin pancakes, filled with berries or jam), krumkake (a crispy butter cookie, made with a special krumkake iron, that is served at Christmas) and kingles (flat, sweet pretzels covered with almond-flavored frosting).
Open-faced sandwiches are a tradition in Scandinavian countries, and Norway has its own variants. Popular open-faced sandwiches in Norway are made with a buttered slice of toast, typically whole-grain rye, topped with meatballs, herring, fish filets or leverpostei (liver pate)…
Here is our best of Norwegian cuisine.. Enjoy!!
Norwegian Fish Soup or Seafood Bisque… Norsk Fiskesuppe
The difference between the two is mainly in the name. Bisque is a thicker soup, the flavors obviously are determined by the ingredients.
Fresh fish is readily available in Norway, ergo, the Norwegians have many of ways to prepare healthy seafood.
Never tried soup made with fish? Maybe now is the time to venture out into tested waters, (no pun intended) knowing that seafood is so good for us.
Could we all benefit from including more low calorie fish in our diet?
Norsk Fiskesuppe Oppskrift
FårikåL in Norwegian
Here is a lamb casserole recipe “all the way from Norway” that we call FårikåL. This is an ideal crock pot meal.
This could easily become your family tradition because it is dangerously delicious. The left-overs are even better. Wow!
Come on, I will tell you how it is done…
Salty dried sheep ribs (Pinnekjøtt)
This old recipe from the west of Norway has a unique taste because of its old preservation method. The recipe has become highly popular in the last years..
Kringle For Dessert..
Oslo kringle is one of the many names for this Norwegian dessert, but you most likely find it spelled Oslokringle in one word. You will notice that in the Norwegians language words are combined together unlike in the English language..
Oslokringle is amazingly easy to make and after a couple of times, you’ll have this Scandinavian recipe memorized..
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup flour
1-2 tablespoons cold water
Place flour and butter and salt into a bowl
Use two forks to mix
Add cold water gradually to make a soft dough
Roll dough into a thick rope
Transfer to cookie sheet.Form rope into a shape of a B or a pretzel.
Flatten the “pretzel” and make it 3″ wide. This will make room for the topping.
Ingredients for Topping:
1 cup water
1 cup flour
3 large eggs
½-teaspoon almond extract.
Heat butter and water in sauce pan
over medium heat. Do not boil.
Add flour and salt gradually stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Use hand mixer until you have the consistency of one big lump of dough in the center of pan. Take pan off burner and cool.
Add 2 unbeaten eggs gradually while stirring vigorously. Add ½- teaspoon almond extract with the last egg.
Place topping evenly over the cake while it is still warm and on the cookie sheet.
Bake at 350°F. (180°C.) for 55–65 minutes.
¾-cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons half and half or heavy cream.
1 teaspoon almond extract.
Mix ingredients together and apply frosting on it while it is still warm and serve. Enjoy
This week, we sail over the tiny bit of water between Sweden and Denmark. A journey which can be made by boat or by car over the bridge over Öresund.
Danish cuisine (Danish: det danske køkken), originating from the peasant population’s own local produce, was enhanced by cooking techniques developed in the late 19th century and the wider availability of goods after the Industrial Revolution. The open sandwiches, known as smørrebrød, which in their basic form are the usual fare for lunch, can be considered a national speciality when prepared and decorated with a variety of fine ingredients. Hot meals traditionally consist of ground meats, such as frikadeller (meat balls), or of more substantial meat and fish dishes such as flæskesteg (roast pork with crackling) or kogt torsk (poached cod) with mustard sauce and trimmings. Denmark is known for its Carlsberg and Tuborg beers and for its akvavit and bitters although imported wine is now gaining popularity.
Danish chefs, inspired by continental practices, have in recent years developed an innovative series of gourmet dishes based on high-quality local produce. As a result, Copenhagen and the provinces now have a considerable number of highly acclaimed restaurants, of which several have been awarded Michelin stars.
Smørrebrød (Danish pronunciation: [ˈsmɶɐ̯ɐˌb̥ʁœðˀ];
Originally smør og brød, “butter and bread”) usually consists of a piece of buttered rye bread (rugbrød), a dense, dark brown bread. Pålæg (literally “on-lay”), the topping, then among others can refer to commercial or homemade cold cuts, pieces of meat or fish, cheese or spreads. This daily practice is the base on which the art of the famous Danish open sandwich, smørrebrød is created: A slice or two of pålæg is placed on the buttered bread, and then pyntet (decorated) with the right accompaniments, to create a tasty and visually appealing food item.
The breakfast in Denmark is pretty much the same as in Sweden so I will move straight over to what the Danish people call breakfast, which is their lunch.
The best and most common lunch in Denmark is the open Danish Sandwish, smørrebrød. Below are a few recipes of how to make this at home. And trust me, it does taste AMAZING!
One of the most popular Danish smørrebrød, fried fish filets served with remoulade on rye bread (Above pic) is served all across Denmark.
The traditional Danish way of eating this sandwich is with remoulade sauce ( see video below).. This recipe offers a very simple alternative that remains true to the original concept.
To make the fish filets:
- Beat egg in a bowl
- Put rye flour in a bowl and add salt and pepper
- Dip fish filets in egg and dredge in rye flour
- Fry battered fish in butter over medium-high heat until golden (3-4 minutes per side)
- Remove from pan and let cool on paper towel.
To make the smørrebrød:
- Generously butter rye bread
- Top bread with lettuce, warm fish filet, and a dollop of sauce
- Serve with lemon wedge and eat with fork and knife
- Enjoy with lager beer such as Tuborg or Carlsberg. Yum!
The Perfect Sandwich: Roast Beef, Remoulade and Onions
For this sandwich, you’ll need:
Sliced Roast Beef – I recommend roasting the beef yourself, ideally using a meat thermometer to properly gauge when the meat is cooked. It’s pretty simple: Coat the roast with salt, pepper, and thyme then brown on all sides in a frying pan. Then pop it in the oven at 350F until you reach 145F on the meat thermometer. This gives you a roast that is cooked to medium.
Once the roast is cooked, remove it from the oven and set it aside while you prepare the other ingredients. Also, I find it much easier to slice thinly once its cooled off a bit.
Remoulade – Remoulade is a condiment that is something like tartare sauce. I add one good dollop to each sandwich, which has a tart taste and crunchy texture and goes so well with roast beef…
Fried Onions – Crispy and addictively delicious on their own (like potato chips), fried onions provide the perfect savoury flavour and crisp to round out this (and probably any other) smørrebrød. To make them, take half a large white onion and slice it thinly. Dredge the onion slices in a few tablespoons of flour (I like to use rye). Meanwhile, heat about a cup and a half of canola oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the floured onions in 2 batches. Stir occassionally with a slotted spoon (not plastic!) The onions are done when they are golden brown. Remove from oil and place them on paper towel to soak excess oil. Continue until all onions are fried.
And if you’re feeling crazy, you’ll want to add some shaved horseradish root to give it a little extra kick! Now you are ready, so combine all the ingredients atop buttered Danish rye bread and enjoy with fork and knife sitting at your kitchen table. A cold beer to wash it down, and all is right in the world.
Flæskesteg – Danish roast pork
This is the classic Christmas meal in Denmark but is also eaten all year round. This recipe serves four people, at least. But for those of you who hasn’t discovered the pleasures of pork, there is a beef-dish recipe further down. If that does not tick your fancy either, you can always chew on a carrot….
Danish Hakkebøf with Soft Onions – Hakkebøf med Bløde Løg
Danish Pastry Recipe – Weinerbrød – The “Danish” Weinerbrød
This is an authentic traditional Danish pastry recipe… Not a pale imitation that just throws sugar on a pastry. Honestly it is a difficult recipe and not for the faint of heart, but if you’ve never heard applause after you served dessert, then this is a recipe to try. Danes generally make their pastries in this way. It is a recipe for a full tray of Danish pastries…, not the round individual bits that North Americans incorrectly associate with being a “Danish”.
As a substitute to the cream you may choose to used stewed fruit…
Accept the gratitude of your guests..
THIS MONTH – WE’LL BE EATING OUR WAY AROUND SCANDINAVIA. Three, very cold countries in the North of Europe. The countries are: Sweden, Denmark, Norway…
What exactly is Scandinavian cuisine and what is typical food in Scandinavia?
No, it’s not just plain old fish. It’s a wide variety of fish and meats, like pork and poultry, as well as beets, potatoes, cucumbers, broiled, baked, and smoked apples, and much more food. Just like Scandinavian design, the Scandinavian cuisine sticks to basics.
In Scandinavia, many food ingredients come from the sea (e.g. a Norwegian whale steak), a fresh-water lake, or even the earth. There’s even a bit of Scandinavian history behind Scandinavian food: The Vikings’ meals always contained oysters or mussels, sometimes with some mutton, cheese, cabbage, apples, onions, berries and nuts.
When you’re ordering food in Scandinavia, fish is usually least expensive. In regards to meat, there is a lot to choose from as well. Deer, elk, and bear meat is always available.
So, this is our idea of the best food that Sweden has to offer.
THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY IS THE BREAKFAST.
Many of do not pay enough attention to the breakfast though, it is actually the most important meal of the day and what’s creating the foundation for a busy day at work or in school.
A typical Swedish breakfast is all about nutrition and making sure that our body get what is needed to get us going.
A bowl of cereals with Filmjölk (a sour milk) and some fresh berries such as strawberries is a good start and gives you both fibers and vitamins. Of course, a glass of freshly squeezed Orange juice so that we get our C-vitamins. A boiled egg is very tasty, especially with some Kalles Kaviar (smoked, salty fish roe). Bread is a must and often a sour-dough bread with whole grains because it gives us loads of good fiber. We do not close our sandwiches in Sweden, that makes it taste too much of bread and not enough of whatever you put on the bread such as ham, cheese, liver paté are a few of the things which we like to put on our bread. Last, but not least. Coffee. The morning coffee is extremely important as a part of a good breakfast. That is our breakfast taken care of.
Let us move over to the lunch.
Swedish people do not just have a quick Sandwich for lunch. We have a proper cooked meal for lunch, as well as for dinner.
Nothing beats homemade meatballs smothered in a creamy gravy sauce, and yes, they taste so much better than the IKEA version!
Remember those trips to Ikea where the budget-friendly furniture finds are the last things on your mind but all you can think about are those amazing swedish meatballs? Well, that was always me. But since we’ve moved to the Bay Area, our nearest Ikea is in the middle of the most trafficked area in the entire city so it’s really hard to get my swedish meatball fix when needed. But do you know what? They are so easy to make at home. Why go all the way to IKEA for them?
These swedish meatballs have been on my bucket list for nearly 3 years, and I’m so glad to finally cross this off my list. I don’t know why it took me so long to make it – it’s so easy to make and it really tastes a million times better than the Ikea version. Plus, you can always make a huge batch of meatballs (by either doubling or tripling the recipe) and storing the uncooked meatballs in the freezer. When you have that swedish meatball craving, you can just defrost these babies overnight. So simple and easy, right?
And the sauce – you can’t forget about that creamy, heavenly gravy sauce that these meatballs are smothered in with the browned up meatball bits. Those meatball bits stuck to the bottom of the pan really make the gravy what it is. I could practically drink it! Just be sure to make a little bit extra if you serve these over a bed of egg noodles – you’ll really want a portion to slurp down!
4 pieces of cod filets (preferably back pieces) or 1 cod blocks divided by 4
salt, white pepper
2 slices white bread (French)
2 egg yolks
50g grated cheese
Add defrosted fish pieces in a greased baking dish. Add salt and pepper. Edge Cut the bread and crumble it into a bowl. Stir in cheese, egg yolks and parsley to taste. Stir it all together using a fork. Spread the mixture onto the fish and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Roast at 225 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until fish is white and solid throughout.
Serve with mashed potatoes and green peas…
And then finally,
Genuine Swedish Cinnamon Buns – Kanelbullar