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The Selfish Idealist

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If you do things for yourself, do you have to be destructive towards the world? Life can be made fairly good both for you and for the rest of us.

Maybe you'll not only help out, but even give everybody a good laugh from time to time.

The moon, an old friend.

Paste for the salmon

Dinner and stuff Posted on 13 Jun, 2017 10:39

I forgot to
tell you about the paste. You need a mortar. If you haven’t got one I guess you
could smash the pepper in a paper bag (not plastic??) and crush the garlic in
some other way.

Anyway, if
you do have a mortar, take a little handful of peppercorns (30-40), crush them
thoroughly, then add the garlic and crush it equally fine, then the sage in the
same way (or at least mix it in…).



Salmon & Sauce

Dinner and stuff Posted on 13 Jun, 2017 02:57

Salmon in a frying pan:
a piece of
salmon fillet, app. 200g
2 tbsp
butter
a few
pinches of dried, crushed tarragon
a little
white pepper from the pepper mill

Heat the
butter and the herbs slowly in one frying pan for five minutes.
Turn off
the stove and put the salmon fillet in the butter.

Leave it
there too “marinate” while you do the other stuff. Leave the pan on
the oven, too.

When the
champignons are ready to heat, move the piece of salmon on to a plate and heat
the fat in the pan until sizzling. Fry the fish on one side (it will be pretty
loose by now, so don’t move it around too much.)

The champignons and the sauce:
Two
medium-sized champignons
2 tbsp
butter
a slightly
thai-style paste of white pepper, sage and garlic
a few
pinches of fancy sea salt
a little
water

Slice the
mushrooms in thin slices. Heat the butter in another pan, then add the paste.
Mix it well with the butter and let it simmer in the butter for a few minutes.
Take care not to fry the garlic too much. Add the mushrooms and go on heating
until they are no longer raw, maybe 3-4 minutes.

Add the
water and boil for a few minutes, then move the salmon into this pan. Pour the
fat from the fish pan in here too. Keep boiling for a few minutes, until the
fish is as done as you like it. I like it almost sushi. Do as you please, but
even salmon can get dry.

Use fresh
salmon if you can find it.

I was crazy
enough to open a bottle of (for me) pretty expensive Haut-Médoc, Chateau Meyre, an ecological red wine. Actually it went
very well with the sauce, it cooperated well with all the pepper.

I could
actually hear the two of them laughing pretty loud.

But the
tarragon at some point created a taste of cherry stones in the wine, which I
usually don’t like much. A little crash, but it faded quickly, for some reason.

In the end
I had a piece of white bread with butter and mustard, which made the wine
behave more like you’d expect a proper claret
to behave, smooth, velvety, not at all peppery.

I went on
drinking a little after I had finished the food, and (but) then the wine didn’t
like me that much anymore. I think I’ll drink the rest tomorrow.

I think maybe
the sauce should have been put through a sieve, because the fried garlic turned
into small grains.

But the
taste was…really good.



Salmon & eggs

Dinner and stuff Posted on 06 May, 2017 11:30

A quick
brunch:

1 slice of
salmon, in cubes
2 eggs
a little tarragon,
fresh or dried
enough pepper
butter, of
course
salt

Heat the butter
slowly with the herbs etc. Add the cubes of salmon, fry them until half done.
Add the eggs, stir as much as you like to make your scramble and serve.

Tea is probably
the right thing to drink with it. I was too late, drank it afterwards,
but…yeah. Merry brunch!



Honey-parmesan croutons

Dinner and stuff Posted on 06 Dec, 2016 22:54

2 slices of
white bread
1-2 tbsp
butter
1 tbsp
olive oil
a few drops
of chili sauce
a pinch or
two of dried sage
one pinch
of salt (sorry, this recipe is not for people with an accurate mind)
honey
6 slices of
packaged parmesan, or as much freely packed 😉

Cut the
bread in cubes. Slice the parmesan, then cut it julienne (in matches).

Melt the
butter in the pan. Add sage, chili sauce and salt. Stir a little, then add the bread cubes and
fry them app. 5-6 min, until light brown. Add the cheese, stir well even now.
Some of the cheese will stick to the pan, but try to make most of it cling onto
the bread.

Add the
honey on the plate.

You can
skip the honey if you like – it will then taste like a lot of cheese and more salty.
But I really enjoyed the taste of honey in this, I like sweet-salty things.



Onion as marinade

Dinner and stuff Posted on 08 Oct, 2016 09:01

On my way home I used my old method of considering pretty carefully what tastes I wanted
for dinner. It’s a pretty simple thing to do, but you have to be in touch with your sense of
taste to get there. Then just see what ingredient or taste comes to your mind, when you consentrate
a little, and consider fairly what to do with it. Don’t be too specific, leave something to improvisation and ponder a little on the whole thing on your way to the kitchen. New things may emerge in your mind, and maybe you end up with a taste you didn’t think of – that’s a little achievement, actually, not a problem.

Onions was actually the first thing that appeared in my mind, simple and
cheap in the local vegetable shop, but I like the taste of it. I still eat too much
meat, so I couldn’t help myself looking for something in a food shop nearby, ending
up with a couple of chicken breasts.

Absolutely unspectacular, I had neither the money nor the energy to find
ingredients worth a detour. But neither simple nor complicated means bad.

Many years ago I had a discussion about onion with a friend. We
completely agreed that “killed onion”, as she called it, was
completely boring, the dark brown things that always accompanied fried fish or something else I don’t remember anymore. We just had to make something else, some other food than
the traditional things we had been brought up on.

Well, I can say we did, many did, we’ve all gone on making and eating
all sorts of food, Thai, Italian, Mexican, domestic, various mixes and cross-overs of all kinds. I still enjoy putting
chili in traditional dishes and on the whole making counterpoints of anything.
Sounds like nothing, but eating the same all the time makes it boring. Actually
one problem of poverty, although spices can be used to vary, which is cheaper
than buying different sorts of meat or fish all the time. A veggie household also costs
less.

Anyway. I actually killed this onion pretty thoroughly, but with herbs
(sage and rosemary) and smoked, dried, powdered red pepper. A little box,
Spanish thing, spicy and tasty. Butter, salt.

I have come into the habit of collecting the onion in a little pile in
the middle of the pan, this way it gets really soft and moist. I hope it is a small technique
and not only a feeling I have.

When it was almost as soft as I wanted it, I made place for the chicken
breast, added some extra butter and the piece of meat. I packed the onion as
tightly as I could around the fillet, and spooned fat over it a few times. Then I turned off the heat and left for a
few minutes, a little errand downstairs.

When I came up again the meat had formed a thin crust, but was not
finished all the way through. I turned on the heat again, not very much. I did
not try to fry it, only heat it through.

I don’t like dry chicken very much, so I stopped in time. The meat is supposed to be like a spring, the feeling of bouncing. Not too soft,
not hard, then it’s dry. Bouncing. Try it with your finger.

As it turned out, it was really juicy, and it even tasted a little of
onion or at least something else than pure chicken, which was the plan from the
start. A little marinated.

I had boiled two eggs that I cut up coarsely and mixed with the excess
fat. One would maybe have been enough.

So what you need is

1 chicken breast
butter
salt
dried sage
dried rosemary (crush it if it the leaves are whole)
smoked, dried, powdered red pepper (or something similar)
Some strong chili sauce
1 or 2 eggs
3/4 onion, or a really small one

Enjoy!



Tapas? Not exactly

Dinner and stuff Posted on 07 Oct, 2016 00:14

When the
kids don’t want the same food, which happens often, I frequently give up and
make whatever each of us want for himself. I am sometimes pretentious enough to
call it tapas, Norwegian style. It can lead to interesting combinations,
like stewed carrot eaten with pancakes.

I bought a
real bunch of carrots which must have been under way to the counter for a much
shorter time than the packages from the big stock at Bama.

I had some
fish burgers for myself (that is actually something else or a special type, fiskekaker is what I mean, which can be
anything from pretty mean everyday food to really good stuff (although only homemade
ones are brilliant).

These were
among the best factory-made things and formed the base for the sauce together with
the garlic.

I gave the
whole thing another go without the fish cakes, and the sauce was still good,
but not quite that good. A surprise that the fish cakes made that much
difference.

One helping

2 cloves of
garlic, chopped
butter and
oil
dried and
ground red pepper
salt
Tabasco
water
1 big
carrot, julienne (ca 4×50 mm pieces)
2 large
fish cakes
pancakes

Heat the fish cakes in the fat with the spices.

Peel and
chop the garlic in tiny pieces and heat it slowly in the fat from the fish cakes. Peel
and chop the carrot too.

Pour in the
water and boil for a few minutes. Add the julienned carrot and boil until a
little softer, 6-7 min.

This time of the year you can get really fresh vegetables, and it is a pity to cook them too long.

Serve in a small bowl, it is difficult to tell whether this is a soup or a sauce.

The
pancakes were pretty small and thick, and with a reasonable amount of butter,
which meant they could well be eaten alone too, with nothing else.



Asian quickie

Dinner and stuff Posted on 19 Aug, 2016 20:36

a handful
of salted, chopped cashew nuts
two
handfuls of fresh, chopped coriander
freshly
ground pepper (black or white)
a couple of
tablespoons of butter
enough
Tabasco sauce for your taste
ca 300 g
fresh catfish fillet

Melt the
butter on a low flame, add the chopped nuts, the pepper, Tabasco sauce and half
the coriander.

Cut the
fish in cubes of about 4×4 cm and add to the pan. Add the rest of the
coriander, turn off the heat pretty fast, and leave the fish in the sauce for
half an hour. If your stove is electric, leave the pan where it is to get the rest of the heat.

After
the half hour, if the fish is not done, heat it slowly for a few minutes until
it is. It is finished when you can push a fork through a piece of fish almost
without noticing. If you have to really push, it needs a few more minutes.



Creamy & spicy

Dinner and stuff Posted on 17 Aug, 2016 14:27

This was a midnight snack, I think.

One
helping.

2 tbsp
butter
a little
corn oil
a pinch of
sea salt
3-4 drops
of Tabasco, or more
a pinch of
dried sage
two pinches
of dried rosemary
1 tsp honey
3 tbsp 20%
sour cream (20% fat)
3-4 fresh
champignons (or other mushrooms if you have them!)
a chunk of
fresh salmon
1 lompe

Goscinny
and Uderzo, in one of their comic books about Asterix & Obelix, mocked us
for using cream sauces all the time, I believe in the story about Asterix and
the vikings. The vikings didn’t know fear, not at all, and had to go to Gaul to find
out what it was. Eventually they learned, by listening to the unfortunate
singing talent of the little village, who always ends up gagged and tied to a tree or something. Jumping off cliffs, doing other violent things and even
fighting with Obelix didn’t affect the northern rascals, but some musical
sensibility they must have had. Interesting.

Well, I
guess there’s something to the cream joke, at least there used to be. Creamed
sauces was a treat when I was a kid, the rich, fat, white stuff mixed with the stock
from the lamb steak or some other meat, simple and nice. I used to slurp
it in tiny portions, actually with the fork, in a strange clumsy way that I still
sometimes exercise. I remember well my concentration on the taste of the sauce,
the limited view of the plate and myself bending down, also in order not
to spill anything and get it quickly into my mouth, before it seeped down from the prongs. A small sport.

Our sour
cream, rømme, has a slightly
different taste from the crème fraiche that is sold here, and the light version (20 % fat) I find delicious,
although the fatty one, seterrømme,
is closer to the traditional stuff, I think.

You can
make other things than sauce with it. It is an efficient ingredient in bakery,
waffles and the likes. I remember my mom used to pour milk that were about to go
bad and small amounts of cream that already had gone sour into the batter of pancakes
or waffles. ‘Tidying up the fridge’, she called it, using all the small remains of her kids’ little raids in the fridge, and of her own cooking.

Another
childhood treat for me, a small one, was sour cream with flatbrød, the unleavened flat, crispy things with the picture on
the package of an old granny baking them. That picture has been there all my
life, I think, it looks like it was taken around the same time as Ivo Caprino made his famous small animated films of our fairy tales. She looks almost like Asbjørnsen, the half of Asbjørnsen & Moe, our pendant to Perrault and the Grimm brothers.

What a digression.

Well, anyway: Sour cream, too much sugar and crunched flatbrød, that’s
the recipe. Even with the sugar, it’s still good for my stomach. I don’t like
yoghurt, but this feels just as healthy for me. Tastes good, too.

This
recipe is also simple:

Crush the herbs in a mortar.

Cut the
mushrooms as you would like to eat them, and the fish in cubes of say 3×3 cm.

Heat the
fat in the pan, then add the herbs, salt, chili sauce and honey. Cook it a
minute or two to mix and to develop a little extra taste.

Make sure
that the fat is fairly hot when you put the mushrooms into the pan, but don’t
wait too long.

Fry them
for a few minutes, until they start getting brown and are almost done, then add the fish and give it a few more minutes.

Stir in the
sour cream in the end, a little before the fish is done, then quickly
put everything on a plate. If it’s all hot enough the sour cream will form a
little sauce and the fish will finish on the plate.

Serve with
a lompe spread with butter, or in a lompe. The sauce will be sticky, of
course, so your choice how to eat it.

I was lucky
to have found some really firm and fresh champignons, almost white all through,
and they were even very small, which is always the best, I think.

It’s all supposed
to be spicy and creamy.



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