This tour of citrus flavoured Scandinavian summer dinners is
rounded off by an outdoor grill in Norway where not surprisingly
salmon is cooked – Ted
Veal is so hard to get hold of in regular grocery shops in Norway
that I’ve started to wonder if the cattle around this neck of the woods are born fully grown. If veal is more accessable where
you live you really should try this recipe
Halibut has a delicate fish flavor that can be further enhanced with fresh bell pepper butter. You can use canned peppers if you like. Serve the fish with grilled polenta.
The history of grilling begins shortly after the domestication of fire, some 500,000 years ago. The backyard ritual of grilling as we know it, though, is much more recent. Until well into the 1940s, grilling mostly happened at campsites and picnics. After World War II, as the middle class began to move to the suburbs, backyard grilling caught on, becoming all the rage by the 1950s.
In suburban Chicago, George Stephen, a metalworker by trade and a tinkerer by habit, had grown frustrated with the flat, open brazier-style grills common at the time. Once he inherited controlling interest in the Weber Bros. Metal Spinning Co, a company best-known as a maker of harbor buoys, he decided the buoy needed some modification. He cut it along its equator, added a grate, used the top as a lid and cut vents for controlling temperature. The Weber grill was born and backyard cooking has never been the same.
If man has been grilling since the Stone Age, he had to wait a good long time before he got his first taste of ‘barbecue.’ Just how long is a matter of debate, but the word’s etymology has been traced via the Spanish (‘barbacoa’) to a similar word used by the Arawak people of the Caribbean to denote a wooden structure on which they roasted meat. (The Arawak’s other contribution to the English language is the word ‘cannibal’.) Only the sense of a wooden framework survived the word’s transition to English; the context was lost. So, in the 17th century, you might use a ‘barbecue’ as shelving, or you might sleep on a ‘barbecue’ — but you definitely weren’t cooking with one.
Like so many of the most recognizably “American” of foods and foodways — hot dogs, Thanksgiving dinners, even milk on breakfast cereals — barbecue goes back to 18th-century colonial America, specifically the settlements along the Southeastern seaboard. The direct descendant of that original American barbecue is Eastern Carolina-style pit barbecue, which traditionally starts with the whole hog and, after as many as fourteen hours over coals, culminates in a glorious mess of pulled pork doused with vinegar sauce and eaten on a hamburger bun, with coleslaw on the side.
As the settlers spread westward, regional variations developed, leaving us today with four distinct styles of barbecue.
Carolina-style has split into Eastern, Western and South Carolina-style, with variations largely in the sauce: South Carolina uses a mustard sauce; Western Carolina uses a sweeter vinegar-and-tomato sauce.
Memphis barbecue is probably what most of us think of when we think of BBQ — pork ribs with a sticky sweet-and-sour tomato-based mopping sauce.
Texas, being cattle country, has always opted for beef, usually brisket, dry-rubbed and smoked over mesquite with a tomato-based sauce served on the side, almost as an afterthought.
Kansas City lies at the crossroads of BBQ nation. Fittingly, you’ll find a little bit of everything there — beef and pork, ribs and shoulder, etc. What brings it all together is the sauce: sweet-hot, tomato-based KC barbecue sauce is a classic in its own right, and the model for most supermarket BBQ sauces.
Meat and small new potatoes can be thread on the same skewer if the potatoes are boiled a little in advance. Beef can be grilled in the same way. If you have straight, small branches of rosemary, about 20 cm / 8 inche long, these can be used as skewers. Let them lay in water 2 hours before grilling, it makes for dramatic and unusual barbeque.
Salmon, arctic char, and halibut are great for steaks done on the grill. Steaks come from larger fish, and larger fish tend to be fattier, and fat equals flavor, of course. When buying, request slices that are at least 1″ thick.
Skin and boneless chicken breasts fried on the grill gives fewer calories. If you want to make them even more juicy, serve them topped with a slice of lemon butter.
Love to grill? Well, you’re not the first. In fact, the Greeks beat us all to it by more than 3,000 years. Recently, archeologist Julie Hruby of Dartmouth College presented her research findings about how exactly the ancient Greeks used their grills at the Archeological Institute of America’s annual conference in Chicago. Hruby’s research centered on her work with ancient souvlaki trays and griddles from Mycenaean-era sites in Greece.
In years past, everyday objects like cooking pots were often thrown away at architectural sites, in favor of more glamorous items like vases or jewelry. But Hruby decided to take a second look at the trays and griddles to help solve some long-standing archeological mysteries. For starters, scientists knew the souvlaki trays would have somehow held skewers of roasting meat. But they didn’t know if cooks rested the meat directly on the trays over the fire, or if the trays were meant for hot coals with the meat placed on top. And the griddles, presumably for bread baking, had one smooth side and one side pocked with small holes. What would be best for baking?
To solve these problems, Hruby turned to an unlikely source: ceramicist Connie Podleski at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. Hruby and Podleski mixed their own American clay to imitate the rough, gritty Mycenaean clay. They then fashioned new souvlaki trays and griddles to the exact specifications of the originals, and put them to the test over an open fire.
The results of this ingenious experiment answered all the scholars’ questions. When meat skewers were placed directly on the trays over the fire, the thickness of the tray resulted in uncooked souvlaki. A much tastier result occurred when hot coals were shoveled onto the trays, and the skewers placed directly above. Essentially, according to Hruby, the trays were portable barbeque pits, “perhaps used during Mycenaean picnics.” As for the griddles, Hruby found that baking bread stuck much more readily to the smooth sides of the utensil than the hole-marked side. This led her to believe that the rough surface could have served as a primitive nonstick pan, as the holes also result in a more even dispersion of oil across the cooking surface.
A great Italian inspired flatbread recipe found on food52.com
Grilling is a stone age way of baking bread but don’t let that lead you to thing that bread baked this way isn’t just delicious. Particularly when using this Italian inspied recipe complete with olive oil, salt flakes and rosemary.
The salmon is an important creature in several strands of Celtic mythology and poetry, which often associated them with wisdom and venerability. In Irish mythology, a creature called the Salmon of Knowledge plays key role in the tale The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn. In the tale, the Salmon will grant powers of knowledge to whoever eats it, and is sought by poet Finn Eces for seven years. Finally Finn Eces catches the fish and gives it to his young pupil, Fionn mac Cumhaill, to prepare it for him. However, Fionn burns his thumb on the salmon’s juices, and he instinctively puts it in his mouth. In so doing, he inadvertently gains the Salmon’s wisdom. Elsewhere in Irish mythology, the salmon is also one of the incarnations of both Tuan mac Cairill and Fintan mac Bóchra.
Salmon also feature in Welsh mythology. In the prose tale Culhwch and Olwen, the Salmon of Llyn Llyw is the oldest animal in Britain, and the only creature who knows the location of Mabon ap Modron. After speaking to a string of other ancient animals who do not know his whereabouts, King Arthur’s men Cai and Bedwyr are led to the Salmon of Llyn Llyw, who lets them ride its back to the walls of Mabon’s prison in Gloucester.
In Norse mythology, after Loki tricked the blind god Höðr into killing his brother Baldr, Loki jumped into a river and transformed himself into a salmon to escape punishment from the other gods. When they held out a net to trap him he attempted to leap over it but was caught by Thor who grabbed him by the tail with his hand, and this is why the salmon’s tail is tapered.
A shellfish dinner recipe foungd on recipes.history.org
Original 18. Century Recipe
“Put a bit of butter into a stew-pan, throw in large oysters and some mushrooms, with pepper, salt, pounded cloves, parsley, and sweet herbs chopped, a dust of flour; stir these about half a minute, then put the oysters on silver skewers, a mushroom between each; roll them in crumbs of bread; broil them; put into the stew-pan a little good gravy, let it be thick and palatable; a little lemon-juice. Serve the oysters on the skewers; the sauce on the dish.”
—From “The lady’s assistant for regulating and supplying the table: being a complete system of cookery… including the fullest and choicest receipts of various kinds.”
by Charlotte Mason (1787)