Watermelon lemonade (yeah, it’s pink)

Watermelon lemonade

Here’s a little twist on the basic homemade lemonade, where I use some watermelon as well. Sweeter than my regular lemonade, and the color gets a pinkish hue that looks nice. My kids love this one. Because the watermelon is sweet, you can get away with less granulated sugar. This recipe makes about 3 litres (two large pitchers)Time: 20-25 minutes
Skill level: Easy

You’ll need to get hold of:
12 lemons
1/4 medium-size watermelon
2 cups of sugar
Water
Lots of ice cubes

How you do it:

  • Put 2 cups of granulated white sugar and 4 cups of water in a pot
  • Make it boil (I trust you know how)
  • While you wait for the boil, squeeze 6 lemons into each of your lemonade pitchers.
  • Cut away the green and white parts from your 1/4 watermelon, and blend all the meat in a blender. Strain into the pitchers and mix with your lemon juice
  • Turn off your stove and stir until all sugar is dissolved
  • Fill your pitchers 2/3 full with ice cubes
  • Divide the simple syrup (sugar+water)in the two pitchers, and pour it on so most of the ice melts and the syrup gets cooled instantly
  • Put in more ice if needed, you can also add more ice cold water if the lemonade’s too strong

My favorite knife vs watermelon. Easy match.

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Whole, smokegrilled trout

There’s nothing that spells summer to me like grilling a whole salmon or trout. Grilling it whole also makes it juicier and more forgiving in terms of temperature. One small note on this, I see a lot of people “grilling” whole fish completely wrapped in aluminium foil. Now I don’t mean to be a BBQ snob, but I am, so here goes. When you do that, you’re basically steaming the fish, not grilling it. There’s also no way for smoke and other flavours of the grill to get into the fish. So, you might as well go inside and steam it in your kitchen, much easier. There.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at a good way of getting that delicious smokegrilled flavour on a big piece of whole fish. Trout or salmon can be used here, that’s up to you.

Total time: 2-3 hours
Skill level: Easy/intermediate
Grilling method: Indirect, two-zoned (some coals on each side, none in the middle)
Grill temperature: About 175 degrees centigrade (350F)

You’re going to need:
A medium-large whole trout (or salmon)
2 lemons
Some butter
Fresh dill
A clove of garlic
Salt and pepper
Oak wood chips (alternatively alder or fruit wood)
(Optional) A long fish basket for large fish
If no fish basket, some cardboard and heavy-duty aluminium foil

Serving suggestions:
Mustard-dill sauce
New potatoes (boiled or baked on the grill)
Butter-steamed spring cabbage
Grilled spring onions

How you do it:

  • Get the grill started as instructed above
  • Clean the fish if it hasn’t been done for you. Remove the head, tail, use kitchen shears to cut off any fins. Rinse it off in ice-cold water and dry with paper towels
  • Cut some diagonal slashes on both side of the fish, quite deep. We do this to allow the smoke and flavours to penetrate the meat properly when grilling.
  • Put thinly sliced lemon and some dill sprigs in each slash
  • Season the inside of the fish with salt and pepper, put some more lemon slices and dill sprigs in there too
  • Make a herb butter by melting a cup of butter, then chucking in a minced garlic clove and a handful or two of chopped dill. I also put some pepper in there, but that’s optional
  • If you  have a fish basket, good. If not,cut out two pieces of cardboard slightly larger than your fish. Wrap them in two layers of heavy-duty aluminium foil
  • Brush one of your new cardboard “planks” with butter
  • Brush the fish on both sides with herb butter and put it in your fish basket or on your cardboard plank
  • Put some water-soaked smoke wood chips on the coals. I like to get a good smoke level started before I put on meat or fish, because raw meat seems to take up smoke flavour more readily. This goes for all meats. Always get the smoke going good first, then put the food in.
  • Once the smoke gets going, put the fish in the middle of the grill, on its plank/basket
  • Baste the fish with herb butter every ten minutes
  • When the fish has been on the grill for 30-40 minutes, depending on size and temperature, it’s time to flip it. If you have a fish basket, that’s easy. If you have cardboard planks, butter up the second plank, and use your grilling gloves to flip the fish over on plank #2. It can be a bit tricky, so be careful
  • Grill the fish another 30-40 minutes until ready. If you have a Thermapen or other instant-read thermometer, look for the fish to be 55 degrees centigrade (about 130F). If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, make a small incision on the widest section of the fish near the backbone. The meat should be pale pink and opaque, not translucent and pink/orange.
  • Serve!

Simple mustard-dill sauce

Here in Scandinavia, trout and salmon is very often served with dill and mustard. So why not make a sauce of it? This goes well with any salmon or trout dish.

Time: 10 minutes
Skill level: Easy

You’re going to need:
1.5 cups of mayo (homemade is best of course!)
0.75 cup sour cream
0.5 cup of dijon mustard, honey mustard or sweet Swedish mustard, depending on what your preference is
Handful of chopped fresh dill
Some lemon juice
Salt and pepper

How you do it:

  • Put everything except lemon juice and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk it all together
  • Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Serve!

Did I mention this sauce goes well with for instance smokegrilled trout

Butter-steamed spring cabbage

Spring cabbage is one of the tastiest vegetables out there. It goes well with grilled fish, especially salmon or trout. In Norway we call it summer cabbage, because that’s when you can get it here. This is the easiest and best way to prepare it if you ask me, and it’s super fast.

Time: 10 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Grilling method: Steaming over direct heat
Grill temperature: Doesn’t really matter

You’re going to need:
A head of spring cabbage
4 tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper
Aluminium foil

How you do it:

  • Slice the cabbage in longish strips about a half-inch wide
  • Make a big sheet of aluminium foil, put 4 tablespoons of butter on it
  • Put the cabbage on top of the butter
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Make it into a bowl shape, that you half close on top
  • Put it over direct heat on the grill, and let the butter steam the cabbage for about 5-10 minutes depending on heat level
  • Serve!

This goes well with for instance a whole grilled trout or smokegrilled mackerel

Basic homemade lemonade

Lemonade ingredients

Homemade lemonade is a treat. When it gets really hot (not so often here in Oslo, but it happens), nothing beats a glass of ice cold lemonade (well maybe ice tea). I promise you it’s more healthy than sodas and other readymade drinks which are always full of cheap sweeteners like corn syrup and other nasty stuff… Here’s how how I do it, this recipe makes for about 3 liters (a little less than 6 pints).Time: 10-15 minutes
Skill level: Easy

You’ll need to get hold of:
12 lemons
4 limes
3 cups of sugar
Water
Lots of ice cubes

How you do it:

  • Put 3 cups of granulated white sugar and 6 cups of water in a pot
  • Make it boil (I trust you know how)
  • While you wait for the boil, squeeze 6 lemons and 2 limes into each of your lemonade pitchers. Put a small pinch of salt in each one to increase flavour
  • Turn off your stove and stir until all sugar is dissolved
  • Fill your pitchers 2/3 full with ice cubes
  • Divide the simple syrup (sugar+water)in the two pitchers, and pour it on so most of the ice melts and the syrup gets cooled instantly
  • Put in more ice if needed, you can also add more ice cold water if the lemonade’s too strong