I bought a nice filet of wild-caught cod fish last weekend. My father was born in Norway so I grew up eating cod (usually boiled and served with boiled potatoes) and other Norwegian staples like Gjetost. I always have a package or two of Gjetost in my refrigerator. It’s a brown goat cheese that tastes like dessert with a rich caramel flavor. My Dad took two slices of Burkhardt’s German Rye Bread spread with butter then topped with a thin layer of Gjetost to work every day. At home we would place one layer on Kavli Crispy Thin Crispbread that we called flat brod. My Dad would butter that first, too, but I have always enjoyed it straight up. Yum, yum.
A Norwegian koldtbord (buffet) would not be complete without a huge chunk on the table. This is the type of cheese slicer we use to carve off the thin layers of Gjetost. When I hiked the Dovrefjell mountains in Norway searching for (and finding grazing alongside herd of wild ponies) wild musk oxen, this is the sandwich I put together off the breakfast koldtbord—a practice the national park lodge in Kongsvold very much encouraged—and stuck it in my backback with a thermos of hot coffee.
Because it doesn’t taste like cheese, it may take some getting used to. Here’s a YouTube video of someone in the Google Norway office trying it for the first time.
Someone people make weird faces when they try it for the first time and sometimes they just don’t like it. Steff only gives it a four (by her face you’d think it was a minus four):
Back to my cod fish filet. I have been struggling for years to overcome a lack of interest and skills in cooking. I’ve gained the interest and have been taking classes and experimenting to increase my skills. Recently much to my surprise after a lifetime of diligently following recipes I find myself improvising. Hmmm. My latest was taking this cod fish to a new level by using things I had on hand. While I baked this in the oven in a white Chantal 8-inch square baking dish, I am certain this would be delicious grilled in a foil packet. So here goes.
- Grill some fresh asparagus.
- While that grills, dice half a small or medium sweet onion (Vidalia is my favorite).
- On a generous square of heavy-duty aluminum foil (or two layers of regular foil) drip some olive oil then add the diced onions.
- When the asparagus is cooked the way you like it, cut into one- or two-inch pieces and place on top of onions. Season with pepper (and salt if you like).
- Top the onions and asparagus with a filet of codfish, whitefish, or other mild white fish. Add a little more pepper (and salt) if desired.
- Take a half-cup of peach, mango, or pineapple salsa and add same amount of white wine (pinot grigio is perfect) and blend. Pour mixture evenly over the codfish. Save the rest of the white wine to have while you cook and later with your meal if there is any left
- Fold aluminum foil into a nice tightly sealed packet and place on grill. Cook about 15 minutes then turn over and cook another 15 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes then open packet. Be careful when opening because the steam will be hot. Fish should be white and fall apart easily with a fork. Enjoy!
I found this video of Rachel Edelman preparing a similar foil-wrapped recipe for the grill or oven: http://video.about.com/busycooks/Cook-Fish-in-Foil.htm
Make sure you don’t buy farm-raised fish or fish with coloring added. These fish most often are loaded with unhealthy things like antibiotics, toxic substances like PCBs, and artificial dyes. If I can’t get wild caught, I pass on fish.
My gosh, this is becoming a food blog! Yikes!