Yeah, so sorry for being a little quiet lately. This time of year I get a little… unmotivated. The sun is starting to come back, but its still fairly dark and its cold and grey and miserable… and as a result, my mood is cold and grey and miserable.
I don’t think I’m very cut out for Norwegian winters. They’re too long and I crave the sun. Sun lamps are helpful, but they aren’t the same as real sun. There’s only so much snow and ice and grey and cold I can take before I start plotting fleeing to a tropical island to live out the rest of my life wearing hula skirts and eating coconuts.
But spring is coming.
The coming change of seasons in Norway is heralded by Cod (called Skrei in Norwegian), who come into the coast to spawn in the late winter to early spring.
I love Skrei season, because skrei season means cod tongue.
Before you turn green around the gills (HA! Pun INTENDED! :P), let me just say: it isn’t nearly so bad as you might think.
I found this great short video clip today (in Norwegian) from NRK (the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) that shows fishermen (actually, they’re fisherboys- its the job the kids are given to do!) cutting out the “tongues” of the cod. If you watch the video and look closely, you’ll see that what they’re actually cutting off is the underside of the “chin” of the cod. (If cod had a chin) The tongue is connected to that part, but most of it is the “underchin” for lack of a better word. There is also a lady demonstrating how to prepare cod tongue. She simply tosses them in seasoned flour (just salt and pepper) and fries them in butter in a cast iron pan .
Click here if you want to see those boys at work and how the cod tongues are cooked.
Yngve called from work today and I told him that I wanted us to have Cod Tongue for supper. So, on the way home from work, he stopped by my favorite fish market in town, one of the few small family owned ones left, called Fiskhallen. I could go to Ravnkloa, which is another one- but I find them to be a bit too snobby for my tastes. They certainly have a large variety of things (they even sell seagull eggs), but I don’t know… it lacks a certain amount of… old fashioned family owned that I love.
I couldn’t find a picture of Fiskhallen, so I stole one from google maps street view. Fiskhallen (right there on the right with the tiny sign above the door) is located down a lovely little alley. It is small, but everything is fresh and the people who work there are incredibly friendly and helpful. They also sell local eggs and locally grown veggies there from time to time.
Anyway, Yngve bought us some cod tongue while he was there and brought them home for me to cook up.
I’ve only ever had cod tongue once before- my mother in law made it much like in the above video, but she coated them in cracker meal before frying. I didn’t have any cracker meal, so I decided to cook them like in the video.
If you didn’t want to bother with the video, here are what cod tongues look like:
They do look a little bizarre, don’t they?
Here is what they look like from each side. On the one on the top you can see the little tongue, this side would be IN the mouth. The one on the bottom is flipped over, this side would be the “underchin” as I called it.
Here you get a closeup of the tongue- it isn’t as scary as it looks.
I added some plain white flour to a plastic bag, added some fine sea salt and ground black pepper- then I threw in the cod tongues and shook them up until they were well coated.
Then I just put some butter in my cast iron pan and fried them up until they were golden brown.
NOW they’re starting to look like something more edible…
When they browned, I transferred them to a plate with some paper towel to drain, then we ate them up!
Taste-wise they’re a little bit between fish and a scallop. I’d like to say they taste a bit like little fish nuggets.
I think since we had these for supper tonight, we’ll be eating light for the rest of the weekend, but I don’t mind.
Also, it’s Friday, and Friday means Food Waste Friday.
Last week I had NOTHING to report (and I didn’t feel like blogging so it went uncelebrated) but I’m happy to say I have nothing to report this week, either!
We had a really delicious roast chicken last Sunday for dinner (and also leftovers Monday) so I used the leftover carcass and all my saved veggie trimmings in the freezer to make some yummy and wholesome chicken stock. I had some sad looking celery in the fridge, but I threw that into the stock so it wasn’t wasted.
I have some stale bread from this week too, but Yngve wants french toast in the morning, so I’ll make him some using that instead of throwing it out.
I also have some shrivelly apples in the fruit bowl, but I have some ideas for those that include being baked into bran muffins. (I’ve been working on a delicious muffin recipe!)
I also have some bananas that are the brink of overripe (which is how I like them, anyway) but if I don’t get the chance to eat them, I’ll throw them in the freezer and they will be awesome in banana bread.
So hooray for zero waste this week! (and last week!)