Among the Inner Kingdoms of Cyrradon, there is no seaport market richer with commerce and culture than that of the city of Granite Port. Built around a natural inlet that swells into a wide, placid bay, this hub of seafarers and ocean-borne trade is the natural convergence of culture and diversity in the North, despite High King Taurez Drakken’s rabid distaste for non-humans. But regardless of the monarch’s intolerance, this port city remains ripe with wonder and abundance, not the least of which is the ready availability of fresh seafood in its season.
Wandering the piers and boardwalks that crowd every inch of Granite Bay's shoreline, you will find your senses saturated with the sights, sounds, and smells of a bustling marketplace. From the oddly comforting stench of the tarring pits treating timber, hull, and rope stock against the ravages of the sea, to the light-hearted jigs and sailors’ sea shanties offered up by seamen making the most of their shore leave, to the irresistible tease of countless culinary temptations, the dock market is sure to leave your purse lighter, and your soul and belly filled.
Trust us on this, traveler: one delight in particular you will not want to miss is that of cured, smoked river hog. A fish, yes, but of such a voracious appetite and short lifespan, it grows to ponderous size. Living in the heavy flow of such rivers as the Hallegard, the lower Dur’theiy, and many others, it actually spends much of its life in the shallows of the sea before returning to its home river to spawn and die. During such times it is not uncommon to find fire pits burning low all about the fish market, with sweet-scented hardwoods stacked high nearby and artisans laying a hone to their long slim blades in eager anticipation of the fishermen’s return with these silver-sided beauties. Thereafter, you are sure to see long slabs of orange-pink meat hanging over smoky, low-banked fires, and know that the delicacy known as freibrod is close at hand!
Smoked River Hog Freibrod
Originally called frøhbrødê in the tongue of the Gøtland dwarves, it has its origins in the vast seaport of Tregalheim on the Kellamsee, for the river hog is native to the Cellith River as well. But despite the Kellamsee and its many harbors being all but inaccessible to those not of the dwarven clans (it’s a long story), the recipe has grown in fame. Its many variants may now be found in nearly any market where freshly caught fish is available, a hearty staple meal a local worker or visiting wayfarer might obtain for just a few coppers.
This delightful meal requires the flesh of the river hog, brine-cured and delicately smoked.
If river hog cannot be obtained at your local market, smoke-cured salmon, or lox, makes an excellent substitute.
INGREDIENTS: (recipe makes 3 servings)
Naturally leavened bread, sliced to preference 3 large/long slices
Barn hen eggs 3/6 eggs Smoked, cured river hog, sliced 8 oz.
Salted organic butter Enough to cook with
Sharp cheese, finely shredded 1 oz. Fresh organic dill 1-1/2 tbsp.
Fresh organic chives 1-1/2 tbsp.
Avocado, sliced ½ large fruit Himalayan sea salt, coarsely ground To taste
Although sharp-aged white cheddar is perhaps the local favorite, a smoked cheese such as Gruyere or Havarti, or any sharp, aged cheese such as parmesan, also complements the fish quite well. And if barnhen eggs aren't available in your area, chicken or duck eggs will do.
To enjoy this delicacy in true Gøtlander style, the bread must be of a whole-grain variety such as wheat or rye, with seeds and small grains. The bread slices are then dredged in a batter of egg with a tablespoon or two of buttermilk whipped in, and then griddle-fried alongside the eggs.
Preheat a large flat pan or griddle to medium-high heat (about 325°F) and add a pat of butter to melt. If choosing to batter fry the bread, mix 3 eggs with 2 tbsp. of buttermilk in a wide, shallow dish. Prepare the eggs by scrambling them thoroughly. Shred or grate the cheese and set aside. Finely chop the dill and chives, mix them together and set aside.
Dredge the sourdough slices (if desired) in the egg and buttermilk mix until thoroughly coated on both sides. Ensure the pan or griddle is evenly coated with sizzling butter and lay the sourdough out to cook, checking regularly with a spatula to avoid burning, about 5 to 7 minutes. When toasty brown on the underside, turn over and cook the remaining side. When done, remove to a warm platter.
Add a pat of butter to the cooking surface. When fully melted and sizzling, pour on the remaining scrambled eggs. Cook the eggs in a single, thin layer, pulling the edges back to allow the uncooked egg to run onto the cooking surface. Carefully flip the eggs halfway through to cook the other side. When done and lightly browned, cut the eggs into even portions and load them onto the bread.
Lay your river hog slices generously over the eggs, then add avocado slices. Sprinkle cheese evenly across each piece, sprinkle with chive and dill, and finish with a grinding of salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
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Happy adventures, travelers!
Jason and Rose Bishop
Creators at Legends of Cyrradon