Roasted winter vegetables and creamy mushrooms is both simple and delicious. It is perfect with venison or pork.
To balance the fatty and sweet Christmas food many Norwegians flee their homes to go outdoors. To the woods or the mountains or to the sea. Most foreigners do no understand this longing for the outdoor, for simply walking in nature, but it is ingrained in our DNA.
From my childhood in the North of Norway I remember we went out kicksleding as soon as a thin layer of ice covered the roads. The best thing about kicksleding was going downhill and if you were two, you could combine the kicksleds to form a train. In on of the steepest downhills at our island, I formed a train with my mother and drove her off the road and into the ditch. A silly prank from a time of innocence.
There are no kicksleds in Oslo, but people still venture outdoor. They go jogging, sledding, skiing and even if the temperature is below minus 10 degrees (14 Fahrenheit) people go kayaking in the Oslo Fjord. Even the Opera has become a prime target for trekking.
This Christmas I went for a walk with my camera to the Opera and the quaint area of Rodeløkka in Oslo. Rodeløkka is situated almost downtown in Oslo, but forms a separate village with one of the most intact cluster of wooden buildings dating back to the 1860s and 70s.
This is a typical Norwegian Christmas dinner. Not the dinner for Christmas Eve, but for the rest of Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Christmas pork sausages (medisterpølser) is widely eaten in Norway and go well with creamy mushrooms and the essential Nordic condiment, lingonberry jam. Do try to serve homemade clementine jelly for dessert as it is very refreshing and a perfect counterbalance to the rather fatty dinner.
Roasted winter vegetables
12 potatoes, e.g. amandine
1 garlic bulb
two handfuls shallots
400 g brussels sprouts
about 6 tbsp oil
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 200C/390F and line a wide baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Cut the potatoes in two. Peel the paper of the outer layers of the garlic bulb and put the cloves on the tray. Peel the carrots and divide into four. Add the oil to the tray and mix the vegetables and oil together with your hands. Roast for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, peel the shallots and the brussels sprouts. Add to the tray after 20 minutes and continue roasting for 40 minutes, or even more. (After an hour the vegetables will almost turn into chips). Shake the tray once in a while. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil
16 brown/button champignon (or regular white champignon)
150 ml full-fat milk
150 ml heavy cream
salt and pepper
1. Heat the oil and butter in a wide frying pan. Wipe and slice the mushrooms and add to the pan.
2. Fry the mushrooms for about 15 minutes until softened but not coloured. It is important the pan is wide and the temperature quite high to keep the mushrooms frying, not boiling.
3. Add the cream and milk and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until the cream has thickened and turned brown.
4. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chives.