Category Archives: Starters, Snacks & Stuff

Allergic to Italian-Breath

Photos: Geir Egil Bergjord

I started in the restaurant business in 1983 and in 1986 opened my first restaurant. More on that in the memoirs. The mid-80´s were different than the 2010´s, in some ways very different. In those hectic just-opened-this-place days one thing I remember very well is how many people were allergic to garlic.

Today food allergies, and I am dead certain there is a lot more to this than just being allergic, run rampant. Restaurants in Norway are required to warn their guests of anything that anyone can remotely be allergic to, including soy, fish and those pesky sesame seeds.

Back in the good ole 80´s our restaurant guests were concerned about how hot the food was (since the restaurant was serving Mexican food), and of course the famous allergic-to-garlic sydrome. What we soon found out was that the problem was neither allergy or a lack of fear of vampires. These guests just didn´t want to go to work the next day smelling like an Italian (OMG, those darned Italians and their burritos).

I am suspicious of anyone who doesn´t love garlic. I don´t trust them and they are probably not nice people. I don´t need loads of garlic in my food, but a lot of the food I like best has some garlic in it. I have made the famous chicken with 40 cloves of garlic (or was it 80?) and I´ve made aioli garlicky enough you would think it was made with chiles. But for the most part I just want the amount of garlic the dish calls for.

Today´s recipe is for the best garlic bread I have ever eaten. I´ve been making this bread for years after being inspired by a recipe in the cookbook from The Stinking Rose in San Francisco. This garlic bread has it all: butter, mayo, parmesan and garlic. There are a few spices and some parsley thrown in to round things off, so if you want a great garlic fix – that will give you Italian-breath, here it is.

This recipe appeared in my first book about grilling “Far lukter svidd” (Dad´s On Fire) from 2002. The pictures are from the same book. Thanks Geir Egil!

Grill høst


Garlic Bread

An old proverb says: Shallots are for babies, onions are for men, and garlic is for heroes. I tend to say: There is no such thing as “just a little” garlic.

I have enjoyed garlic bread ever since I was little kid. I still like it even though I am no longer a kid – or little.

Amount: A lot, but it is not possible to eat just “a little”

Method: Direct

Temperature: Medium High

Preparation: Approx. 20 minutes

Grilling time: Approx. 10 minutes


250g unsalted butter, room temperature

2 dl grated Parmesan cheese (not cheese in a bag)

1 dl mayonnaise

6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large French bread (or a baguette), cut in half lengthwise


  1. Thoroughly mix the butter, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, parsley and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the mixture on both halves of the bread.
  4. Wrap the bread in aluminum foil.
  5. Place the foil package(s) on the grill. It will take about 5 minutes at high temperature for the butter to melt.
  6. Take the bread out of the foil and brown it a little, right on the grill.

The butter can also be used in other ways. Serve over freshly grilled asparagus, spring onions or fish.


It is said that garlic can cure various diseases: scorpion bites, cancer, rubella, tobacco poisoning, dog bites, diabetes, dandruff, bronchitis, bad stomachs, epilepsy, gangrene, influenza, lead poisoning, measles, and much more. It will also keep the vampires away. A convenient commodity, I think.

If you have old garlic in the cupboard at home that has begun to sprout, you can plant it. The green seedlings that grow can be used as chives, and have a nice, mild garlic flavor.

Shops are full of old garlic (about which you are actually allowed to complain). Check that the cloves are hard, that they have a nice, fresh color, and that there are no green sprouts. Store garlic at room temperature in a dark place. Never keep it in the fridge, or else it will rotten.



Here is the recipe in Norwegian:


Mengde: Mye, men det går ikke an å bare spise ”litt”

Metode: Direkte

Temperatur: Høy middels

Forberedelse: Ca. 20 minutter

Grilltid: Ca. 10 minutter

Et gammelt ordtak sier: Sjalottløk er for spedbarn, løk er for menn, hvitløk er for helter. Jeg pleier å sier: Det er ingenting som heter ”bare litt” hvitløk.

Jeg har likt hvitløksbrød helt siden jeg var liten gutt. Jeg liker det enda, selv om jeg verken er liten eller gutt.


250 g usaltet smør, romtemperert

2 dl revet parmesanost (ikke pose-ost)

1 dl majones

6 hvitløkfedd, finhakket eller presset

3 ss hakket persille

1/4 ts kajennepepper

salt og nykvernet sort pepper

1 stort franskbrød (eller noen baguetter), delt i to på langs


  1. Bland godt sammen smør, parmesan, majones, hvitløk, persille og kajennepepper i en bolle.
  2. Smak til med salt og pepper.
  3. Smør blandingen på begge halvdelene av brødet.
  4. Pakk brødet inn i aluminiumsfolie.
  5. Legg foliepakken(e) på grillen. Det vil ta ca 5 minutter på høy temperatur før å få smøret til å smelte.
  6. Pakk brødet ut av folien og brun det litt, rett på grillen.

Dette smøret kan du også bruke på andre måter. Server det over nygrillet asparges, vårløk eller fisk.


Det sies at hvitløk kan kurere diverse sykdommer: skorpionbitt, kreft, røde hunder, tobakksforgiftning, hundebitt, diabetes, flass, bronkitt, dårlig mage, epilepsi, koldbrann, influensa, blyforgiftning, meslinger og mye mer. Den skal også holde vampyrer unna. En praktisk råvare, synes jeg.

Hvis du har gammel hvitløk i skapet hjemme som har begynt å spire, kan du plante den. De grønne spirene som vokser kan brukes som gressløk, og har en fin, mild hvitløksmak.

Butikkene er fulle av gammel hvitløk (det er forresten lov å klage). Sjekk at feddene er harde, at de har en fin, frisk farge, og at det ikke er noen grønne spirer. Lagre hvitløken i romtemperatur på en mørk plass. Ha den aldri i kjøleskapet, da råtner den.


Totally Not Funny Food

One of my favorite movies is Pulp Fiction. There are lots of great scenes, and one of the best is when John Travolta´s character explains to Samuel L. Jackon´s character that in France the McDonald´s Quarter Pounder is called Royale With Cheese. This scene always makes me smile, a reaction that creeps in any time I experience the successful combination of food and humor.

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Flashback Fridays: You Mean As In “Vinegar Sauce”?

Photo: Mette Randem

I grew up eating Oklahoma barbecue, the best of it as good as can be found in any state in the South. Our tomato sauce is tomato-based, sweet, but still tangy. Not too thick, well, just right.

Several years ago I became acquainted with vinegar-base barbecue sauce, the staple in some of the further east reaches of the Deep South. And in the eastern part of North Carolina they make vinegar sauce that is equally as good as any tomato-based sauce you ever ate.

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Flashback Fridays: Two Down, One to Go and Pizza Rocks!

Photos: Mats Widén

Here is a brief history of food:

(Earlier): Salt. Check.

(Just the other day): Fats. Check.

The last on the list of stuff-they-plan-to-take-away-from-us is of course sugar. Give them a year or so and it´s bye-bye to apple pie, hot cocoa and your favorite candy bar.

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Flashback Fridays: Grilled Quesadillas

Photos: Mette Randem

Quesadillas are simply tortillas (therefore “-dillas”) filled with cheese (therefore “queso”), but there are any number of twists used to “spice up” this wonderful dish. Today´s recipe is a favorite and was on the menu at my first restaurant – thirty years ago this year. We made the quesadillas in the kitchen, but they are even better hot off the grill.

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Flashback Fridays: Pickled onions

Photo: Aina Hole

I have been in the blog business for nearly one month. I have received good help in getting started and I have learned a lot by studying other people´s blogs. Some are very good while others are not my particular cup of tea.

Continue reading Flashback Fridays: Pickled onions