I have an old Norwegian cookbook from the late sixties, “Hva skal vi ha til middag?” What shall we have for dinner? It’s a basic cookbook, and I was reminded of that as I sweatily dragged four boxes of books from storage to my bedroom the other day. Most of our books are back in Rome, as humidity and dust are hard on books. Ten-twelve cookbooks came along to Accra. There are a couple from Nigella, a Simon Hopkinson, the wonderful first Rachel Roddy. But the cookbooks are in a box I have not found yet, so this month I am looking in my food cupboard, online bookmarks and a few precious UK food magazines for inspiration. There is no perfect meal planning, but cooking helps boost morale. Having some ideas at hand does help, also so there is a packed lunch ready for workdays. I am trying out Google Keep for collecting ideas:
Half the time ingredients are not available here, but still excellent inspiration. The uppercase abbreviations are reminders of where the recipe is, like OL=Olive magazine or BM=bookmark, for Nigel Slater’s baked pumpkin and spiced chickpeas recipe – which looks amazing. I have not found lemongrass and lime, so I might try a ras el hanout variation for the chickpeas instead. We shall see. Tonight is definitely fiskeboller med hvit saus, Norwegian tinned fish balls in white sauce, served with boiled potatoes and raw grated carrots. And a sprinkling of curry powder! Very retro, but that is a well-travelled tin that is not going on a third housemove. One could make fiskeboller from scratch, but the tinned ones are normally used.
Take one tin……
Fiskeboller med hvit saus (source: TINE)
8 potatoes (or 4 very large ones, halved)
2 tbs butter
3 tbs all-purpose wheat flour
250 ml stock from the tin of fiskeboller
100 ml milk
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tin of fiskeboller (Norwegian fish balls: like dumplings, boiled, not fried)
To serve: Sprinkle of curry powder
- Wash the potatoes and boil under done, 20-30 minutes.
- Make white sauce: melt the butter on low heat, add flour and stir well. It will look fry. Pour in stock drained from the tin of fiskeboller, a bit at a time, keep stirring until it is smooth. Add milk and bring to slow boil for a few minutes, so it thickens. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg (taste it!). Add more milk if the sauce is too thick, and stir well so it does not burn.
- Carefully add the fiskeboller to the sauce and heat gently so they are warm through before serving.
- Serve with boiled potatoes, raw grated carrot and a sprinkle of curry powder on the fiskeboller and potatoes.
Note: Wonderful lighting, and such a photogenic dish! Leftovers now packed for three lunches, and two of us had dinner with this. In the TINE recipe the carrots are boiled, but I like them grated raw with this.
PS The coffee pod note at the end of the list above is because I really miss my morning cappuccino, normally magically appearing bedside at 0615, but the barista (my husband) is currently a continent away. The French press is in a box somewhere. Coffee capsules are not ideal, but I am contemplating getting a coffee pod machine for the weekends…. if coffee capsules can be found outside the Nespresso shop at Marina Mall. Still looking. Has anyone tried the refillable coffee capsules? Less waste would be good.