Saturday, January 08, 2011

From Sickness to Seafood

Apologies, Kittens, for so many days without updates.  When we got home from our Christmas travels, my body decided to take its own version of a vacation by giving in to some germ that I had picked up along the way and shutting me down for several days.  Susan and the girls returned to work and school on Monday, and I laid low at the house and drank lots of hot Tang (the breakfast drink of astronauts).  But duty called; I had to report to work for a department meeting yesterday, and I had to work as a timer today for a home swim meet (in which the girls competed).  Since I was up-and-at-'em anyway, why not go ahead and make another Scandinavian Saturday supper?  Here come the mouth-watering photos and descriptions:

I have a cookbook called The Food and Cooking of Norway by Janet Laurence.  I haven't used it before, so I decided to try it out today.  I chose the recipes for skalldyrsalat ["shellfish salad"] and hummersuppe med tomat ["lobster and tomato soup"] . . . and then I "adapted" them while making them (I just can't leave well enough alone).

the salad fixin's
The basic idea was to toss lobster, shrimp, and mussels with lettuce and vegetables in a homemade dressing.  I needed lobster for the soup, too, so I took out a small loan from the bank in order to afford two sizable lobster tails.  I boiled them and removed all the meat from the shells . . . and then decided to put all the lobster into the soup and use just shrimp for the salad.  (And forget finding mussels in a local grocery store.)  What you see in the upper-left bowl is a mix of fresh asparagus, fresh mushrooms, and shrimp, all sautéed in olive oil and garlic with fresh lemon juice and dill fronds added at the end.  I cleaned and ripped up a head of leafy lettuce and diced a couple tomatoes, and I made a dressing (lower-left bowl) from white wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, crushed garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.  Even though it would have been much better with all the fresh seafood recommended in the recipe, it was still pretty darned good.

salad on the left, soup on the right
For the soup, I chopped shallots, red bell peppers, ginger root, and garlic cloves and sautéed them in butter.  Then I added brandy, tomato paste, fish stock, and chicken stock and brought it to a boil.  I reduced it to a simmer and added sherry vinegar, sugar, canned tomatoes, fresh lime juice, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and the meat from two large lobster tails.  Once everything was heated through, I served it, adding a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese atop each bowl.  It was so good!  Our family loves a good soup, and we love seafood, so this dish had everything going for it to start out . . . and it didn't disappoint.

Norske candy!
Our dessert: a chocolate candy bar from Norway!  "Freia" is the company that makes it, and "Firkløver" is the name of the bar (like "Snickers" or Milky Way," etc.).  You probably already guessed that "melkesjokolade med hasselnøtter" means "milk chocolate with hazelnuts," which is just what the candy bar is.  It's a lot like a Hershey's bar with almonds in it, if you've ever had one of those.  We each had a few blocks of the chocolate bar to satisfy our sweet teeth after the meal.


  1. Well....I'm glad you got home before you sick! There's nothing worse than feeling that way and not being able to sleep in your own bed! Glad you're back up and getting around!

    The food looks yummy too!

  2. We had some soup left over as well as some of the shrimp/asparagus/mushroom topping from the salad, so we stirred it together for an even more seafood-y soup the next day. Delicious!

  3. Should we ever win the lottery, I wouldn't mind eating that soup again. :-)