The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Vikingsushi at Breiðafjörður

Breiðafjörður is a beautiful bay in the west of Iceland,where you find over 3000 small islands and skerries.

breiðafjörður

 

You can go on a boat trip around the bay, and one boat offers “vikingsushi” , where a net plough is put in the ocean  and soon they bring  up a net full of fresh delicious seafood like, scallops, crabs and sea urchins.  This must be the best scallops I´ve ever had and the freshest for sure.

 

vsushi7

vsushi6

viking sushi

vsushi4

 

The bird life around the Islands is wonderful as well.

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vsushi3

The Kiss

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Summertime – The green energy drink

It has been a while.  I have been eating,  just not blogging.

I just got back from a vacation in Canada.  I went to see my sister in Vancouver and  friends in Kamloops,  where I used to live.  We put a little twist on the trip by going on a cruise to Alaska.
After watching Northern exposure back in the days I have always had a thing for Alaska. :)  More about the trip later.

Now I am back in rainy Iceland,  very refreshing.

One of my favorite drink in the morning these days is the green energy drink, kale, mango, bananas, mint and some berries and a dash of orange juice.  I offered my 4 year old daughter to try it and asked if she wanted to taste my drink “The green thunder”. Yes, she did and liked it.  The next day she asked me if was was making the green drink again and said, not quite remembering the name of the drink “ Mom, are you making “The green booger”

(In Icelandic I called it “Græna þruman” but she said “Græna slumman”. )

 

image

The green booger

  • Handful of kale
  • 10-15  leaves of mint
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (or any juice)
  • Few raspberries

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All in a blender.  The mint is essential here.  If you have not tried kale in a smootihe I urge you to try it.  It is delicious.

 

 

I am doing something new now,  writing this blog on my phone.  Therefore I am going to post some pics I have been taking with the phone camera after I got back home from my vacation.

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Hvalfjörður

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My hens.

We had a very aggressive rooster, so we asked a friend to help us to get rid of it.  Only few days later the hens were so much happier and totally different hens, they were outgoing, friendly, adventures, the one that had lost some feather grew it back and looks fab.

Finally I have happy hens.

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Flowers in the evening sun

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Evening walk with a friend

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The neighbors

Chicken Cannelloni

It´s been quite a while since I posted a recipe, so long that I think I haven´t said HAPPY NEW YEAR! hehe.  I have been thinking lots of blog posts in my head and now that I am sitting here writing this I don´t remember anything i have been wanting to blog about.  I have been reading fun books I want to tell you about, one is called “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. It is a very interesting book and even though I am not the scientist type and have troubles understanding all the English scientific words it´s very educational.  A really good book to have in your cook book collection.cannelone

A local newspaper asked me for a recipe.  I decided to make Cannelloni with chicken, served with a good loaf of bread and lightly cooked fresh spinach.

Do I need to say:  As much as you can, buy fresh, buy local, buy food you can trust that is good, buy organic that you know for sure is organic.

cannelloni


Chicken Cannelloni with spinach. 

Lasagna sheets:

  • 300 g stone milled organic flour
  • 3 eggs

Mix together in a food processor for 30 sec and then by hand  or by hand only.  Flat out the dough with a rolling pin or a pasta machine and make thin lasagna sheets.

The filling:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 dl heavy cream
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper, teaspoon each

Mix all ingredients very well together in a food processor.

The tomato sauce:

  • 1 bottle (about 500 ml ) Tomato passata
  • 1-2 shallots (onion)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra: 

2 dl Mozzarella, shredded

Spinach, cooked in  EVOO

Lightly cook the finely chopped onion in a tbsp of EVOO to soften it up, add the tomato passata and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Ta ta you got a mild and tasty tomato sauce.  Make sure you use a good passata.

Put the filling on the lasagna sheets, about 3-4 tablespoons per sheet.  Roll it up.

Pour the tomato sauce in an oven proved dish, not all though, place the lasagna sheets on top.  Pour over the rest of the sauce on top of the sheets so they are soft when cooked.

Bake for about half an hour.  Add the shredded mozzarella and bake for another 10 minutes.

IMG_5115

Saute the spinach with a little bit of good extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).

Make sure you got lots of pamagiano reggiano shredded on top of the whole thing.

Follow Soffia Gisladottir’s board The house by the sea on Pinterest.

Grissini lollies

My little girl loves pink these days.  Everything has to be pink.  So when it came to decorating the Grissini sticks we had pink sprinkles of course.  With all the candy everywhere around us I like making things like that …minus the sprinkles, I am not proud of that : ) .  There is so much stuff out there that I have no Idea how is made and what I am making  my kids eat, all kinds of unnatural shit.

grissini

You can go all the way here and make your own sprinkles and make the Grissini sticks.  I didn´t this time.  but the Grissini sticks I used comes from Italy and they make them with stone milled organic flour.  The chocolate is a good quality chocolate.  Best of all, the joy we had making them was priceless.

grissini

grissini

Grissini lollies

  • Grissini sticks
  • Good quality chocolate
  • Sprinkles

Melt the chocolate in a bowl.  Cover the grissini sticks with the chocolate, I used spoon to cover them.  Leave a little space uncovered for holding.

Spread out the sprinkles on a plate or board, roll the grissini sticks in sprinkles.  Leave in a standing position until the chocolate had dried.

grissini

haustWhen Winter met Fall

Fonts fonts fonts…

This is not food related post, unless you need a nice font to use when you make the Christmas or New Years Eve menu in Photoshop :)  I love fonts, I can spend hours finding the right font, the size the color, a font that goes well with another font…

Here are few fonts I really like, I put them together like that so I can easily remember their name next time I need a festive font for Christmas.  You think you can find them all at Myfonts.com  for a free download.

fonts

Dessert for Christmas and winter wonderland in Iceland

 

kokosdesert

I was asked to give readers of a local news paper good recipe for dessert.  I went for the coconut dessert because it is one of the best I´ve had and it is fresh after a heavy Christmas dinner. With some red and green it even looks very festive.

coconut

coconut

I have blogged about it before and you can find the recipe here.

rapsberry

When we get show in Iceland we sometimes say “King Winter has arrived”. He sure arrived with a blast couple of weeks ago with lots of snow, but the snow was gone few days later.  It was such a pretty sight in the country.

snowMy backyard

snow

By Meðalfellsvatn

snowLaxárnes seen from Drengur

Mussels – In season

I am a big fan of eating seasonal and it is interesting to do so when you live in Iceland.  In October all food blogs and food related websites are filled with recipes with pumpkins.  We do not grow pumpkins in Iceland.  Lately they have been imported and when available at the supermarket it is very very expensive.

mussels

In season in November for us is mussels, and best of all you can go pick it yourself FOR FREE!  Since my house is by the sea  it takes me a minute to go to the shore to get mussels.  We go quite often when it is save to pick them, that being any month that got the letter R in it.  That is basically from September to April.

mussels

I have cooked mussels many ways.  My favorite is a simple recipe with cream and Dijon mustard.

The trick when cooking mussels is to let them steam rather than boil.  Put very little water to the pot and cover it with the lid, bring to boil.  Then add the mussels.  When you see they have opened they are ready to eat.  It takes no more than 5 minutes.

mussels

Mussels with Dijon-Cream sauce

  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 L heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup White wine (and another for steaming
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Heat the skillet on medium heat, saute the onion, then add crushed garlic. Add cup of white wine, the cream and mustard.

I steam the mussels in a cup of white wine, you can also use water.

Put the wine or water in a pot, cover and bring to boil. Throw in the mussels, put the lid back on and steam until they open up, about 5 minutes.

While eating the mussels there is nothing like dipping a slice of  fresh sour dough bread in the Dijon-cream sauce that´s left on your plate.

mussels

Another easy recipe is heating oil on a skillet, add garlic, chile and ginger, then you add a can of  coconut milk.  Steam the mussels as before, throw them on the skillet with the coconut milk.  Serve with fresh cilantro.

mussels

I have also made pasta Marinera with mussels.  Lots of options when you got good mussels, My daughter loves mussels, I have never seen her eat anything  with as much pleasure.  Her recipe is like that.

mussels

Mussels a la Jóhanna

  • Mussels

Steam mussels in water.  Serve.

mussels

Labneh – middle eastern sour cream

I have told you how you can make your own sour cream with Buttermilk, it  was in October, last year.  You could have told me it was 3 months ago and I would have believed you.

It´s October again!   If you didn´t already read by blog about home made sour cream you can find it here.

Once you have your home made sour cream, or should we call it Créme Fraiche you are a step away from a wonderful Labneh to serve with Middle- Eastern food.

labneh

Simply put your sour cream product, a cup or so, in a bowl and sprinkle with a teaspoon of chile flakes and finely chopped flat leaf parsley.  Blend it together with a fork and in the end pour over something like 2 tablespoons of your finest Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

meatballs

pita

 

I served the Labneh with meatballs of minced lamb cooked in tomato passata in a pita bread, made from a leftover pizza dough baked on the stove.

 

labneh

 

fall

 

It´s October…again!

Soy sauce and not a soy sauce !

If you go out to buy a soy sauce make sure you are buying the real thing.  A real soy sauce has soybeans but a fake one is made with extract, coloring and artificial flavors.

Kikkoman has a real one, La Choy is a chemical soy sauce.

Serious Eats has a good article on soy sauces, you can read it here.

I was reading a book called The fortune Cookie Chronicles and it has a chapter about soy sauce, This book is a good read.

In Iceland we have fresh sushi in almost every supermarket in town.  For me it is getting the fast food stamp on it and I don´t buy it, maybe it´s all good quality and all but I want my sushi high quality to enjoy it the most.

I for example don´t understand why people use surimi in sushi, it´s kind of the “pink slime” in burgers.   Here is the ingredients list I found for surimi  on this page

Alaska Pollock, Water, Egg Whites, Wheat Starch, Sugar, Corn Starch, Sorbitol, Contains 2% or Less of the Following: King Crab Meat, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Extracts of Crab, Oyster, Scallop, Lobster and Fish (Salmon, Anchovy, Bonito, Cutlassfish), Refined Fish Oil (Adds a Trivial Amount of Fat) (Anchovy, Sardine), Rice Wine (Rice, Water, Koji, Yeast, Salt), Sea Salt, Modified Tapioca Starch, Carrageenan, Yam Flour,Hydrolyzed Soy, Corn, and Wheat Proteins, Potassium Chloride, Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate, Sodium Pyrophosphate, Carmine, Paprika. 

I heard that parents of children under the age of 6 years old are advised not to give their kids rice crackers, rice milk or baby food with rice because of arsen you find in rice.  Always check out ingredients on baby food, lots of it has rice in it.

Well this blog ended from being a blog about soy to a blog about soy, sushi, surimi and arsen,

Before i let you go I am gonna end this blog with a recipe of my favorite recipe when we make sushi at home.

salmon

salmon in a bowl

  • Fresh salmon
  • Spring onion
  • Fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • Sesame seads
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado

Cut the salmon and the avocado into small bite size bites.  Finely chop the spring onion, ginger and the cucumber. Mix it all together and divide into individual  bowls and add the sesame seeds, a teaspoon or so into each bowl.  Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce on the side.

If you got some caviar that would be a nice addition.  You can as well use smoked salmon instead of fresh.

 

forgetmenotOne of my favorite flower

 

Deep fried pizza dough – Breadsticks

If you ever wondered about how to make breadsticks like you get at some pizza places, I guess it´s just deep fried pizza dough.  I had a pizza dough the other day and wanted to make some kind of doughnuts.  It did taste like bread sticks.  Next time I might make sticks in stead of doughnuts and make a good home made pizza style tomato sauce to go with it.

doughnuts

Pizza doughnuts

  • Pizza dough
  • Frying oil

Roll out the dough and make doughnuts or sticks.  Deep fry.

Here is a basic pizza dough recipe.

doughnuts

 

doughnuts

 

I also fried the little balls that that make the doughnut hole….afmaelituddinn

For my husbands birthday we got the local food truck to feed the guests hamburgers.

It was a big hit, the best burgers, made with 100% grass fed local beef.

IMG_8016Me and the birthday boy

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IMG_8166We were so lucky to get a decent weather and everyone was outside the whole party.

Rye-tortilla with veggies and a foggy day

We got the craziest fog the other day and we watched it crawl into the fjord. In fifteen minutes we went from sunny clear sky to a total fog so I couldn´t see the house next a cross the road.

fog

fog

flatbread

I had spent the day outside baking rye bread as I often do since It can get rather smokey if I do it inside.  Then I made few  tortillas for lunch using the Icelandic flat bread recipe.  If you like the taste of rye this you must try.

tortilla

Rye tortillas with veggies

The tortillas

  • 200 g rye flour
  • 100 g whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 -3 dl boiling water
  • All purpose flour when rolling it out.

Blend all ingredients together, pouring the water in little at a time.  It´s like making any bread dough, or  like tortillas.  Roll it out in thin tortillas and bake on a hot pan, about 1 minute each side.

I use white flour for dusting, while rolling out the dough.  I do the same as if it was Roti or any other flat bred, make golf ball sizes balls and roll them out, bake on a hot pan, each side for 1 minute or so.

tortilla
The Chili sauce

  • 2-3 tablespoons Sweet chili sauce
  • 1 cup Mayo

Mix well in a bowl.

The Yogurt sauce

  • Ab milk or greek yogurt
  • Cucumber
  • Red onion
  • Salt
  • Turmeric
  • Fresh oregano or good quality dried one

Dice the red onion and the cucumber. Mix everything well together in a
bowl.

salad

The Veggie Salad

  • Red bell pepper
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Spring onion
  • Carrots
  • Garden greens

Dice the peppers and the onion, scred the carrot. Mix.

Serve little of everything on a flatbread. I had some melted cheese as
well.

tortilla

I put shredded cheese on the hot flatbread so it mmmmmmmmmmmmelted.

tortillas

Here you find the Icelandic flat bread recipe

sunset

First we had a beautiful sunset and a little cloud sneaking in…

Then I placed my camera on a tripod and took a photo with the timer every minute for about 20 minutes

This is what happened…

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fog02

fog03

fog04

fog05

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The first photo was taken at 22:42 and the last one at 23.01 in the evening.

Flat bread sticks and a creamy cannellini dip

We finally got summer in Iceland, 25°c and all.  We spent yesterday out side and on the veranda with the neighbors next door.  When we get together to eat it is always a food heaven.

What we bring magically goes well together always, we know each others cooking style so we have some practice in the match making.

I have so much growing in my back yard, naturally…it´s just the country side.  So many of the flowers and herbs you can use for tea or healing, by making all kinds of  healing creams.

madra

Yellow Bedstraw and Northern Bedstraw

moiLike I said, the summer finally arrived and we got good days for 4 days in a row, today it´s raining again…oooh well.  Being able to sit outside and enjoy dinner is a rare thing here in Iceland and when we can we do!

sol

Not often I get my picture taken since It´s me taking the pictures all the time…

My neighbor made a really nice onion pie and I made cannellini dip and flat bread.  I ´ll tell you about the onion pie later.

flatbread

Flat bread

  • Pizza dough

Flatten out the dough in a square and brush it with oil.  Put it in a panini grill or out on the BBQ.  Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Cut the bread as desired.

Cannellini dip

  • Cannellini beans, boild (or canned)
  • A  handful of fresh basil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Salt
  • Greek yogurt
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil

Put everything in a mixer and blend until creamy.  Serve in a bowl with the flat bread.

This is the easy version of a cannellini dip.  I have also made one in layers, A layer of cannillini beans, salt, pepper, garlic.  A layer of basil pesto made with basil, extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts or almonds if you like.  The last layer is  a layer of roasted red pepper pesto where I roast red peppers with olive oil, salt and pepper and then I puree it in a blender.

Then you layer this up in a bowl, or you could just mix it all together.

bean dip

 

Grilled Halloumi with ruccola and red onion – Field trip to the forest

We took a walk in the forest yesterday, I was interested in seeing how the mushroom were growing, since we have had a lousy summer sun wise and lots of rain!  The mushroom season in Iceland is usually around mid of July.

They were looking good and so is the weather forecast for this week, finally no rain!

mushrooms

mushrooms

 

skogarferd

We don´t have many big forests in Iceland and there is a joke that goes like this:

What do you do when you get lost in an Icelandic forest?

…You stand up.

The trees in the forest are often rather small.

hvalfjordur

The forest close to where I live

hvalfjordurHvalfjörður

For all you who are enjoying your warm summer I have a great dish for you.  Halloumi cheese.  It is best grilled, it does not melt.  Next time on the patio I recommend the Halloumi salad, grilled flat bread and a glass of good crispy white wine.  You can grill the cheese and the flat bread on the BBQ.  I used the Panini grill since, like I have mentioned, we have had a crappy weather this summer.  

hallomi

Grilled Halloumi with ruccola and grilled flat bread

  • Halloumi cheese
  • Ruccola
  • Red onion
  • Pizza dough

Slice the cheese, about 1/2 cm thick.  Finely dice the onion.  Put the salad on a plate, arrange the cheese and the onion on top and serve with flat bread.  For the flat bread,

I rolled out the pizza dough in a pita bread size, and grilled t in the panini grill.

Simple and awesome flavor!

Deep fried cod with almost Remoulade

I bought a lot of fresh fish the other day, some of it I put in the freezer but the cod I wanted to cook right a way.

tapas

When we lived in Madrid there was an old bar that was serving deep fried salted cod and it was very good.  We washed it down with glasses of red wine, and I say glasses in plural, since the glasses were tiny, but that was the fun thing.  They served you more wine when they saw an empty glass on the house.

tapas

It was an old place with old interior, nothing fancy but the atmosphere was great.  It was mostly older local people that came there.

tapas

In Spain in many places people throw the napkins on the floor…very Spanish…

I recommend you serve Crianza in small cheep glasses with this dish…
Deep fried cod

For the batter:

  • Flour
  • Beer
  • Salt
  • Smokey & Sweet paprika spice

About one cup of flour and one of beer, (so it looks like a pancake batter).  A teaspoon of salt, pepper and paprika.  Mix well.

cod

The Cod:

  • Cod
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil for frying

Salt and pepper the cod.  Cover the cod in batter.  Deep fry

It is also awesome to use salted cod if you can get your hands on that.

A minute before serving the cod my husband threw it out that it might be good to have a little sauce with it, maybe a Remoulade .  Since we don´t have anything like that in our fridge I made a sauce.

cod

A cold Almost Remoulade

  • 3-4 Pickles
  • 1/2White onion
  • 3-5 tbsp Sour cream
  • 3-5 tbsp Homemade mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Good Dijon like mustard
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • Pepper

Put everything in a blender and mix well.  Serve cold

Puffy pancakes and endless runs to the supermarket

I don´t go to supermarkets no more, I am so tired of those big stores full of shit…processed shit. I have a small local, organic store I go to.  They have Icelandic veggies and good stuff from Sicily and from an organic farm in England.

They have a great stone milled flour from Marino.  That is a real flour. I recommend you read the book Cooked by Michael Pollan and especially the chapter about bread.  Don´t buy the cheapest processed flour that has been vitamin added because the have taken all the nutrition out if by too much processing… (READ THAT BOOK! It is good).

I used to go to the supermarket all the time and stock up on canned stuff that usually ended up expired on my shelves. Now I shop fresh stuff only.  Even my spice rack was full of expired spices since I never used them.  Now I don´t buy spices even, just salt, pepper and good oregano.  I use fresh herbs.

I could go on and on about processed food….when you buy canned salsa, vacuum packed tortillas,supermarket roasted chicken and burrito spice blend in a pack …and go home to mix it all together you are NOT cooking from scratch! Enough babbbbling…It is just good to be aware of what you are eating. raining There is a joke in Iceland now:  It has only rained twice this summer.  First for 23 days and then for 45. As I sit here now this morning, the rain is pouring down.  What else to do on a rainy and windy day but spend it in the kitchen.  I have few things lined up.  For lunch A PIZZA!  I´ve got top quality ingredients for it. I have rhubarb curd I´ve got to do something with.  I went to the fish store yesterday and got all kind of fresh fish, salted cod,  haddock to make the famous Icelandic stew called Plokkfiskur, a Blue Ling that I have not decided what to do with  and a fresh cod for dinner tonight that I will roll up in a batter and deep fry Spanish style. blom

The rain is at least good for the garden and the flowers…

If you want something nice and easy for brunch this is a super easy and mess free recipe….have a great weekend.

pancakes Puffy pancakes

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup good flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoon butter

Heat the oven to 200°c.  Put in a oven proof dish with the butter. Mix together eggs, milk, flour and salt with an electric mixer.  Take out the oven proofed dish with the now melted butter …WARNING, IT IS HOT :) Pour the pancake mix in the dish on top of the butter. Put back in the oven for about 17 minutes. pancakes Serve warm with something sweet or savory, bacon, smoked salmon, fruits, jam… pancakes

Tortilla Española, kid friendly

I´ve been browsing through old photos, from my travels since 2002. I traveled a lot with my husband, we have been to about 30 countries together. We have always loved food and we have done lots of exploring the culinary culture of each country we visit.

I am going to pick out some highlights from our travels once in a while, food related moments that are memorable to me.

The first being a restaurant in Malaga, it was up in the neighborhood we lived in. We spent a month in Malaga studying Spanish, it was a fantastic time. That was back in 2002.

malaga

Bodegon de Gurpegui

The restaurant I am talking about is called Bodegon de Gurpegui. What was cool about it was the decor and a canary bird that was flying around the restaurant.  The food was good.

OOOOH! Now I want to take the family to Malaga. I love Spain, been all over and Andalusia is fantastic. I recommend it.

Andalusia is known for fish and shellfish, Gazpacho, dry-cured ham and frying food in their delicious olive oil.

olive oil

BUY GOOD OLIVE OIL. To do so, you need to find a small store specializing in good food products run by people you can trust are importing the good stuff. There is so much scam in the olive oil business. I get my oil from a local organic corner store, an extra virgin olive oil from Sicily.

A classic Spanish dish is the Tortilla Española. If you have kids, this is something they might like.

tortilla espanola

Tortilla Española

  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 6 eggs
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper

Cut pealed potatoes in cubes, 1-2 cm thick and thinly slice onion. Heat olive oil in a pan, add potatoes and onion. Turn it around in the pan until soft and brown.  Beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper, add them to the pan.  Cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat.  Turn the omelette around, best way to do that might be by transferring the omelette to a plate and add it back to the pan then with the other side down.

Serve it warm or cold.

tortilla espanola

We took a trip to Morocco from Andalusia. O MY! The spices you can get there, I must say the food culture in Morocco is very different from Iceland. I am a big fan of Moroccan kitchen.

MOROCCO

Morocco

Sandwich cake – smörgåstårta

I made this cake for my son on his first birthday.  When you are this little you are not getting a bite of a chocolate cake so I decided to make a cake he could taste.  There for I made a pretty cake made of bread, a fancy sandwich cake.

In Icelandic we call Sandwich cake, “brauðterta”, translated “bread tart”.  It is made with bread and lots of mayo.  This version is easy on the mayo though and it is really tasty. A smoked salmon is perfect in sandwich cake.  Here we made a mousse out of the salmon with some Crème fraîche.  This recipe uses also cream cheese and I tell you, smoked salmon and cream cheese is the perfect combo.

I got this recipe from Saveur.  Follow this link to get the recipe.  Read on to see how I pulled this off…

brauðterta

First of all, I buy a classic sandwich cake bread in the store, since this kind of food has been a tradition in Iceland for a long long time.  It is a soft white bread.  You can of course bake your own or go to the bakery and buy a nice loaf.  You can see below how it is cut length wise.

sandwich cake

The first layer was the salmon mousse and cucumbers.

sandwich cake

Then we get a bread and on top goes butter, salmon, mustard sauce…

sandwich cake…and the salad

sandwich cakeAnother bread and repeat until you finish the slices of bread, I had 5 slices.

sandwich cakeThen you get your creative side out and decorate it with sliced egg, little cooked shrimp, smoked salmon

and flat leave parsley.  But first you put the cream cheese on the cake, like you were putting a frosting on a normal cake.

I made roses out of the salmon… it is easy you just roll up the strip of salmon.

brauðterta

I had left over bread and made triangle sandwiches with mousse, parsley and salad.

brauðterta

frodo

The birthday boy was happy with the cake and most of all loved drinking milk with a straw…muuu

bjarteyjarsandur

We drove around the fjord, close by we have a farm, they sell the nicest organic lamb and pork.

The goat got comfy at the cafe.

French Chocolate cake with vanilla whipped cream and strawberries

This is the prettiest cake I´ve ever made, and French Chocolate cake is always a treat!  You can buy really juicy and gorgeous Icelandic strawberries in the stores now.

strawberries

Make your own jam

cake

French Chocolate cake with vanilla whipped cream and strawberries

  • 480 g good chocolate (56% or 70%)
  • 250 g butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 100 g flour

Melt together chocolate and butter.  Mix the eggs until light and fluffy with an electric mixer ( I use Kitchen Aid). Add the chocolate to the eggs, then flour.  Mix well together with a spoon.

Butter up a 24 cm spring form pan, pour in the chocolate mix.  Bake for 5 minutes at 220°c.  Cover the spring pan with foil and bake for another 10 minutes.  Cool before serving.

Whipped Cream

  • 1/4 L Heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract or use fresh vanilla

Whip the cream, add sugar and vanilla.

cakeSplash homemade jam over the whipped cream.  I put a little bit of Ganache on the cake before the cream. Just because I had it.  It is not necessary since this cake is pure chocolate…

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Add strawberries

cake

Extra jam

The Perfect Pizza – part III – Top that

pizza

Rule number one, do not over stack, the bread gets soggy…unless you like it over stacked and soggy.

Less is more and make sure you´ve got quality ingredients.

pizza

When I make pizza with for example, pepperoni, cheese, onion, fresh chili  and mushrooms I don´t put much of each, that would be over stacking…

What I listed above with fresh ruccola and fresh basil after it comes out of the oven is my favorite pizza toppings.

pizza

look at that green pepper corn, mmmm

I get a quality salami with green pepper and i use fresh mozzarella. The green pepper corns in the salami give such a wooonnnnderful flavor

Some how no matter what I put on my pizza it´s always good.  I have used left over Indian food (lamb in cashew-tomato sauce, mango chutney…), left over Cuban sandwich (ham, pork, pickles, mustard…), left over dumplings (ground pork, fennel, chili…).

pizza

So what it the key to the perfect pizza toppings?

  • Less is more
  • Quality ingredients
  • Fresh basil and fresh mozzarella
  • Don´t be afraid to try new things instead of making always the same pizza… You can always make the usual one next time or make two, the usual one and a new one.

pizza

My favorite: (as seen below with pictures)

  • Creme fraice mixed with cheese and jalapeno
  • Ground lamb, fresh red onion, parsley and lemon
  • Green pepper salami, mushrooms, onion, chili and ruccola, with passata and fresh mozzarella
  • Dijon mustard, feta cheese and olives

One of my favorite pizza has only on top a mix of Creme fraice, shredded Montery Jack type of cheese and jalapeno (either canned or fresh, both works) .  Mix well and season with salt and pepper and spread it on the rolled out pizza dough.

pizza

Photo: Björn Árnason

Another favorite is Lahmacun. I urge you to try it, and please use ground lamb instead of ground beef.

calzone

Last but not least, don´t forget to make a Calzone once in a while…

pizza

The very last one, try this one, it´s a crowd pleaser, The topping: Dijon mustard, feta cheese and olives.  Spread the Dijon mustard on the rolled out dough, top it with olives and feta.  So good i tell you, soooo good.  Perfect for the grill this summer with a glass of chilled white wine.

pizza

Pizza – Everything you need to know about making the best crust – Part I

Pizza – Everything you need to know about making the best pizza sauce – Part II

Vegetarian red lentils lasagna with zucchini instead of pasta sheets

I am not a vegetarian, but I easily could be.  Sometimes I wonder why I eat meat, then I guess it´s because first of all I am used to it, also it can taste good and third I believe since us humans are meat eaters it is nutritious….  Usually when I cook I make vegetarian dishes, Indian,  Mexican,  Italian ..  If I have ground beef I use it, that is because I get it from the beef farmers next door where I live from grass fed animals that are treated well.

Anyways, I don´t eat much meat at all and when I make vegetarian dishes I surely don´t miss it flavor vise or other vise.  I do love LOVE  green pepper salami for my pizza though… and the Icelandic lamb is very tasty, the smoked goose is really something…:)

This dish here was going to be something like lasagna, with zucchini instead of lasagna sheets and red lentils instead of ground beef…that was just because I had an awesome zucchini and lots of cooked red lentils and I really love red lentils in lasagna.

red lentis

Red lentils vegetarian dish

  • Red lentils, cooked
  • Red pepper
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Chop chop, fry, add lentils and sauce bamm bamm boom…you know the drift

IMG_7410

Basil Dressing

  • Basil, fresh
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

brrmmm brrmmm with the blender.

zucchini

Oven roasted zucchini

  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive Oil

In the oven, 220°C , half an hour or so

Also:

  • Cheese, mozzarella or any good cheese that melts well (Cottage cheese would also be good)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano

Layers:

First some red lentils sauce, then zucchini, then cheese, then I put a little bit of basil sauce…as many layers as you like. I only had two this time.

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Have a terrific weekend!

Here is one of my favorite quotes to inspire you this weekend….

ashe02

 

Pulled pork and coleslaw

First day of summer in Iceland was last Thursday, it´s a national holiday.  People dress warm and go out for a stroll in a parade with a big band and scouts holding the Icelandic flag.

sumar

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Pulled pork

  • A piece of pork shoulder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Put the shoulder in a pot and fill it with water so the water goes over the pork.  Put in an oven for 6-8 hours at 150°c.

IMG_6449

We were at a summerhouse and didn´t have a steak pot but thankfully we found a big pot that fit the oven and the pork.

When the pork is ready you need a good bbq sause to go marinade it with.  I made a pot of sauce and threw the pork in after tearing it a part from the bone, that was easy after all the cooking in the oven.

Use your nicest bbq recipe. It might be something like this.

  • Scalott
  • Onion
  • Fennel
  • Chile
  • Garlic
  • Brown sugar
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Can chopped tomatoes or can of tomato sauce
  • Mustard
  • Butter

Chop, melt butter, fry veggies, mix everything together, boil…

Coleslaw is a must with pulled pork.  It freshens it up a bit.  I did a homemade coleslaw and it was very good.

  • Cabbage, schredded
  • Carrots, shredded
  • Creme fraishe
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Apples, scredded
  • Lemon juice (fresh)

I served it with melted mozzarella and fresh spinach  as well.  Use the best sandwich bread you can find. I used Ciabatta.  Even a homemade naan might be really good.  If you got no good bread a Mexican tortilla or a Roti might work.  (Homemade of course!)

pulled pork

While the pork was boiling we went for a drive around the country side and to see hot springs.  The weather was a bit cold so the hot water made lots of steam.

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The group photo IMG_6364

The green.  Sweet colors of nature
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The bubblee hot spring…very hot

Lamb soup (Icelandic meat soup with a twist)

Spring time is here you might say, still a bit cool in Iceland though so a last chance to warm up with a hearty Lamb soup.  What I love a bout spring is the longer days, the daylight that is.  It is bright 6 in the morning and until about 21.00   I am one of those who really love the almost 24 hour daylight in the summer.  But I also like to take a break from it with the darkness of winter because then I appreciate it when it comes again, I don´t mind the darkness in winter either.  Two different seasons but I am always glad for spring and to get up in the morning more easily.

The meat of lamb in Iceland is delicious.  Try it if you ever come here.  The lamb runs free and it is more like a meat of a game.  They wander around the mountains where they nibble on the fresh country side and often they go to the shore to eat the seaweed, plain healthy!  When I got left overs from the leg of lamb for example I sometimes make a soup.  The classic Icelandic lamb soup has lamb, on the bone, onion, rolled oats (or rice) carrots, rutabaga and cabbage.

I on the other hand love the Icelandic Barley.  It is perfect with lamb.  Then I use can of tomatoes.  I usually never make the same soup twice because this is a good way to clean your fridge.  Therefor I use what I have.  This time because it was after Easter I had leftovers from the Easter dinner, leg of lamb and bigotto (barley cooked inspired by risotto).  I cooked the barley in water with a handful of dried wild mushrooms.

lamb soup

Lamb Soup

  • 1 cup cooked barley (with the dried mushrooms)
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 can organic plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked cannelloni beans
  • 1 cup chopped lamb meat
  • 2 teaspoons curry
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil, 3-4 tablespoons
  • As much water as you like the soup to be thick

Sear the veggies with oil.  Add the rest and bring to boil, simmer for 15 minutes or so.  I didn´t use much water, maybe a cup,  because I liked it on the thicker side.  If you have fresh cilantro that would be lovely.

Anything goes here, if you use the cooked barley, cooked lamb and can of tomatoes you could endlessy improvise.  Once I had an indian dinner I threw in a soup like that.   Potatoes or pasta instead of barley would be nice too.

soffia_kritar

Don´t forget to like my new page on Facebook LEAN LAUNDRY … educational and playful stuff for kids…

Chinese Dumplings and I had few interviews last week

Homemade is the best, fresh and you know what you are eating.  I am not much of a pig person, but I can buy organic Icelandic pigs, fed with Icelandic corn and it was very good.  This is the best meal I´ve made so far this year.

Make sure you´ve got quality ingredients.

Chinese Dumplings

Dough

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups water
  • Flour for dusting

Mix, kneed until smooth, set aside for 30 minutes.  Roll it out into a long sausage. cut into small pieces, about 2 cm.  Roll out like a pizza dough

Filling

  • 500 g ground pork
  • 1 Napa cabbage
  • 1-2 spring onions
  • 1 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

Dipping sause

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
  • Finely chopped chili pepper (if you like some spice to it)

Mix well.  Serve in a bowl on the side with the dumplings.  You might need to double the recipe or just make as much as you think you need.

dumplings

Mix everything well together

dumplingsIMG_5750

Flatten out the dough and make thin, round cakes.  I cut mine with a large glass.

dumplingsIMG_5751

Add a tablespoon or two of the ground pork mix to each cake.

dumplingsIMG_5759

First I fry them, then I add water water and boil it.

dumplingsIMG_5777

Serve the dumplings with a good soy sauce

dumplingsIMG_5781

Dip the Dumplings in the Soy

dumplingsIMG_5782

Eat.
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I think it´s important to get the bottom of the dumplings fried, not only boil them, to get some texture.


dumplingspizzaIMG_5772

I had some left overs, both dough and ground pork, what do you do?

 Of course you flatten out the dough and make dumpling pizza.

mbl_5april

I have been interviewed few times last week because I made apps for kids teaching them the alphabet, numbers, colors and more.  There are no apps like that in Icelandic for kids, probably because this is not a big market.

All our apps so far are for free and we made it in English as well.  Take a look at the website, www.soffia.net,  where you can also play the alphabet and the numbers if you do not have an Android phone.

frettabl_4.3

I made few apps a year ago, then I was on a maternity leave and wanted to do more apps.  I  teamed up with a girl named Helga and we call our project Lean Laundry.

I am very proud of us, we are both on maternity leave now, and between taking care of babies, the house, doing laundry and cooking dinner we make educational multimedia material for babies and kids.

Check us out on Facebook and put a little LIKE on us.

Learn the Icelandic alphabet or if you have kids, take a look at the English version.  More to come!

Tuna under a roof – the first meal I cooked for my husband

This was the first dinner I made for my husband, it was soon after we started dating..  We are talking about almost 20 years ago I put a nice table cloth over my writing desk (I was living with my parents in a small room)  I served the dinner with a  bottle of Lambrusco, not my first choice of a bottle of wine today but….good old days.  I was not the red wine drinker then that I am now.

This was before the time of digital cameras and instagram so I don´t have any photos from this event, yet it truly lives in the memories, like it happened yesterday, almost!

tuna

I have a little suitcase full of recipes I´ve been collecting from papers and so on.  I found the recipe I made for my husband in this suitcase the other day and completely forgot how it tasted so I decided to make it again.  It tasted nicer in the memory, but not to bad though.

The list of ingredients is rather basic, not very processed, if you buy a nice can of tuna it not too bad, but with butter and cheese it is not very slimming.  I am sure many kids might like this dish.

This is how it goes:

tuna

Tuna under a roof (from Gott úr ofninum, NR 95.  Osta og smjörsalan sf.)

  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 red pepper, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 1/2 dl milk
  • 200 g tuna, canned
  • 3 boiled eggs, cut in 6 pieces each.
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

 The roof:

  • 225 g flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 dl milk
  • 75-100 g 26%cheese, shredded
  • 2 red peppers, chopped

Heat the oven to 220°c. Melt butter in a pan, add onion and red pepper, cook until soft.  Add flour, then milk.  Stir well until it thickens  Add salt, add tuna, egg and  lemon juice.  Put the mixture in an oven proof dish.



tunIMG_3218




The roof: Mix together flour and baking powder, add salt and pepper.  Put in the butter (with your fingertips). Add milk, kneed well until soft and shiny.  Roll it out in a square.

tuna

 Spread the cheese and red pepper on the square.

tuna

Roll it up.

tuna

Cut it in 2 cm slices.

 tuna

Put the slices over the tuna mixture.

tuna

Bake for 30 minutes.

tuna

This is how the picture looks like in the recipe brochure, very tasty looking …

tuna

 

Salmon fiesta at lunch time and never ending food scandals

So, I guess most of you have heard about the horse meat scandal.  In Iceland they decided to take examples from Icelandic food products to see if they found horse meat in it.  There was no horse.  I guess since we eat a lot of horse in Iceland they would just say it contained horse meat.  But the “funny thing” was, they tested a beef pie from one company and it contained ta taaaaa…no beef, just no MEAT at all, not even a horse.  30 % of the pie was supposed to be beef.  I guess you can call it a vegetarian beef pie.

Like I´ve said so many times, stop buying all this processed and ready made food.  I know making everything from scratch is hard, but it is so rewarding and worth it.

And if you are too lazy too cook, just boil potatoes and fish and serve it with a good pinch of real butter, homemade even ;)

potatoes

 

This summer we were at home with our new born and the neighbors were on a summer vacation so we had lots of food fiestas.  One took place at our house at lunch time.  The men had been outside working on the houses (we are both building our houses).  I was in the kitchen and made a lovely meal, worth writing down.

This was a healthy and a very tasty meal. Barley goes very well with salmon.

I made Teriaki Salmon with barley salad and teriaki dressing.  The Teriaki was made of  mirin, soy sauce and sugar.

Barley salad

  • Barley, boiled
  • Ruccola
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Red pepper

Cut veggies, mix well.

 

Egg salad

What is the best food you´ve made or tasted this year?  Already almost two months done of 2013 and I feel like it was early January yesterday.  I´ve been keeping busy for sure and I´ve been cooking a lot and everything from scratch.   My favorite meal of 2013 so far are Chinese Dumplings I made the other day.  I will tell you all about it next time.

I was gonna slice some veggies to serve with bread.  Then I decided to cut it very small and throw it in a egg salad.  It was very fresh and tasty, perfect with my homemade sourdough bread.

egg salad

Egg salad 

  • Homemade mayo or sour cream, 3-5 tablespoons
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1-2 spring onions
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • Salt and pepper

Cut the eggs and dice all the veggies very fine.  Mix everything together with the homemade mayo or sour cream.  Season with salt and pepper, about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 of pepper.

It got cold last week but the dogs at the farm next door didn´t mind it and were playing in the snow.  Thankfully this week it´s a bit warmer.

kjós

Chili pepper and ethical chocolate

Valentine´s day tomorrow, that is rather new for people in Iceland to celebrate that day.  I don´t.  I am such a party pooper, I just think about the marketing around all this.  I am guessing many will buy chocolate for their sweethearts.  If ever, this is the day to splurge on a good chocolate, then I mean ethical good.  Here is a good article about ethical chocolate.  Read it before you go to the store to buy some chocolate.

The dry spices you get in the store are so tasteless, I get more taste from chewing on a newspaper.  We have a really good one, grown here in Iceland, it´s hot, but not too hot.  I dry it and put it in a mortel and work it until it becomes powder.

I made an Indian food the other day using only fresh garlic, ginger and my chili pepper and a little bit of turmeric.  IT was so good and good taste and little bit spicy.

chiliduft2

Cream Puff Day

Today was a Cream Puff day in Iceland.  We call it Bolludagur.  I am not a fan of Cream Puffs, so I didt´t make them this year, I did last year and they turned out really nice.  This recipe is solid.  My mom and mother in law have been making them for like 105 years…. ok maybe 45 years.

We cut them in half and stuff them with cream and jam, and on top we have melted chocolate.

bolla

Cream Puffs

  • 125 g butter
  • 2,5 dl water
  • 125 g flour
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Boil together water and butter.  (add sugar and salt if you will)  Add flour to the pot and stir until smooth.  Some keep the pot on the stove while stirring the flour to the melted butter, others not.

Put the dough in a Kitchen Aid. (or similar stand mixer)

Add the eggs, one at a time.

The dough should not be too thin.

cream puff

REMEMBER…IMPORTANT!

Never open the oven while the cream puffs are in there

Keep a good distance between the cream puffs.

Use rather less eggs than too many, even only a half an egg too much can ruin a recipe.

 

If you want to traditional Icelandic food this is one of it…

 

mountain

When is summer coming?

 

Almond – Date – 70 % Chocolate cake

My daughter was 3 the other day, we had a little birthday party, couple of friends with parents.  We knew less was more.  The kids had a good time, it was no stress and what was the important thing, the birthday girl was thrilled with the birthday party.  She got a cake with candles, couple of friends and balloons.  For her, that´s a birthday party!

I tend to over do sometimes  … For this birthday I was thinking, what kind of awesome cake should I do… But I live and learn so the day after I was thinking, what kind of cakes do people eat?  What kind of cake does my girl want?  I asked her… She wanted Dora the Explorer cake.  NO!! I was not gonna make a real size Dora the Explorer with all the friends made of fondant that no one likes to eat!

I made a very nice chocolate cake with nice cream (Betty fu*****  Crocker, better than most home made cakes, so light and fluffy.  Cakes are unhealthy anyways, from a box or not) and Dora… I simply cut out one of the paper plates, put it on a grilling pin and stuck it to the cake…voilá …we have  a Dora cake.  Trust me, the 3 year old was thrilled.  Fondant smondant…nobody finds it tasty!

Then I almost blew it… Instead of candles I bought this thing, in a shape of the number 3,  you light up and it sparkles …It was not a success… “MOM, I want to blow candles!”.  Thank god I had candles, three if them.

afmæli

My lesson for you and myself.  They are kids, we got traditions, let´s stick to them and keep it simple.  The only one I am trying to impress is the birthday girl, not the guests!

cake

I made a hamburger cake once, it was fun.

This year I was on the healthy side, of course I had a Pig in a blanket ( Hot dog in a pizza dough bun) .  But I had a healthy cake and a pot full of Chicken Chili Stew.

The healthy cake was really good.  It comes from a girl called Ebba Guðný I was told.

cake

Almond – Date – 70 % Chocolate cake

  • 1 cup dates, soak them in water
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 120 g 70 % chocolate
  • 1/4 cup sugar (raw if you like)
  • 3 cups flour (spelt if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons water ( from the dates)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix everything together.  I roughly chopped the almonds and the chocolate. you can chop them or even put them in a food processor.

Put the mixture it in a baking tray, bake for 40 minutes at 150 °c.  Serve with cream or Ice cream.

cake

Top 10 recipes of 2012 – The post you´ve all been waiting for

I am a sucker for top 10 and best of  in the beginning of a new year, so I am doing top ten favorite recipes I blogged about in 2012. (In no particular order…)

Hey, and thank you everyone for checking out my blog in 2012. I started this blog in English now in 2012 but I have been blogging for about 5 years in Icelandic.

top10

Top ten, here we go…

sandwich

1.  This is THE Sandwich.  It is filled with few of my favorite things, ground beef, melted cheese and jalapeno.  The Super Duper Awesome Sandwich

lacmahun_myndfrahrefnusawtran

(Photo taken by pro photograher, Björn,  of the Lahmacun I made.)

2. I love pizza, I can always eat pizza, I eat a lot of pizza.  There for I love to play with various toppings.  After a visit to Istanbul I fell in love with Lahmacun.  I use ground lamb and fresh herbs.  If you have not tried it I recommend Lahmacun.

jalapeño

3.  Did I mention I love pizza? Talking about various toppings.  This is a winner.  The cheese spread is perfect for topping burgers as well. Pizza with jalapeno cheese spread.

naan

4.  I have been looking for a good Naan recipe.  I found this one and it was perfect, but It´s not quite Naan, but very close. It´s called Kulchas.

calzone

5.  I love pizza, I can always eat pizza, I eat a lot of pizza. :D Calzone is always good and this one was particularly memorable.

chili

6. If you could say I have a hobby it´s pizza and Chile con Carne.  I do a lot of ground beef and veggies, but since I don´t eat much of chicken I hadn´t done a chicken chile.  I got a recipe, I tried it, I loved it… Chicken chili  with Cannellini beans.

avocado

7.  Lobster, how can a recipe with lobster go wrong, maybe it can but serve it with avocado and keep it simple and you have a winner.   Lobster with avocado

scallops

8.  Scallops and fennel is a lovely combo .  I love combining fennel to my cooking.  With scallops and orange it´s magic.

salmon

9.  Raw salmon mmmmmmm.  Here in Iceland we have lots of fresh fish.  If you find fresh salmon, try this dish.

tortillas

10.  There is nothing like home made.  When ever I can do my own, I do…my own pasta, asian noodles, bread or tortillas.  These are made with Masa Harina.  Dipping them in cold water after baking makes them very soft and flexible.

I could have done top t twenty.  Instead I might throw in, every now and then,  top ten sandwiches, top ten pizzas, even top ten Icelandic food ;)

We´ll see.  At least those 10 recipes above are worth the try.

Salut!

Pizza – Everything you need to know about making the best crust – Part I

Pizza is my favorite food, but pizza is not just pizza.  It is a complicated combination of few essential things…the crust, the sauce, the cheese and the topping, number one being the crust!

I even went on a trip to Napoli for few days just to eat pizza (and little bit of pasta).

For the perfect pizza.  Let´s break it down

  1. Crust
  2. Sauce
  3. Cheese
  4. Topping

In this post let´s talk about crust…It´s gonna be way too long post talking about all 4 topics in one post…

But I recommend you watch Heston and his episode about the search for the perfect pizza.  There you can see what I am talking about, it´s a great episode for pizza lovers.

CRUST

  • Making the dough
  • Rolling it out
  • Baking

Making the dough.  A good flour is what you need, usually pizza enthusiasts talk about 00 flour.  I bought a good flour, called Marino, organic from Italy, not 00 though but it´s really good. It´s a “Burrato”, that is it´s soft and Ideal for bread and pizza.   Put all ingredients in a mixer, like a KitchenAid  and use the hook. Let the machine run for at least 5 minutes on a medium speed.  It is important to kneed the dough in the machine for 5 or 10 minutes.  (By hand I would either do a lot or kneed it for very short time, half a minute or so).

Rolling it out.  In stead of rolling, pinch it.  Heston talked about pinching the dough with your finger tips until you have a round large enough crust.  You could do both, roll and pinch,  and see if you find any difference.

Thin or thick? For me it´s thin.  The thinner the better.  If you like it thicker and more like bread, roll it out for about 1/2 cm thick and bake it at lower temp, 200°c for 10-15 minutes.

Baking.   The key is to bake the thin crust pizza for as short time  as possible.  There for, you need to have the oven as hot as possible. Most ovens go up to 250°c.  Mine goes to 300°c.  Heat your oven on as high as possible.  Heat it for at least 30 minutes.

Get a pan, cast iron or steal. ( I used an Icelandic pancake pan). Put the pan on a hot stove for 20 minutes before you put the pizza on it and in the oven.  If the pan has a handle that doesn´t fit in the oven just keep the door open a bit.

After 30 minutes (or more) turn your oven on top grill, the heat as high as possible. (my oven has 3 settings for grill temperature . Put the “rolled” (or pinched out instead of rolled out, as seen on Heston´s episode)  out pizza dough on the bottom of the pan, (you turn the pan up side down)  then sauce, toppings and cheese. Put it back in the oven for as long as it takes to bake it.  Watch it carefully so you don´t burn it, it´s probably about 3-5 minutes.

I got this super soft & elastic dough from using the simple recipe below, by working the mashing for 5 minutes

 

THE RECIPE

I´ve done pizza so often I usually don´t measure, I just throw in a teaspoon of sugar, salt and 2 teaspoons of yeast and then what ever looks like enough of flour and water until I get the consistency I like.

Heston uses pre fermented dough.  I also find the dough be good after keeping it in the fridge for few days.

Here  is a good recipe, very basic and ready in an hour or so.

  • 500 g flour
  • 270 ml lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons yeast

Mix all ingredients in a mixer with the hook for 5 – 10 minutes, you want the dough to be on the stickier side. Add more water if needed (or less). Let rise for an hour in a warm place, the bowl covered with a plastic wrap.

This is a well risen dough, probably from about a 1 kg of flour.

Take the dough and add more flour, couple of tablespoons,  to kneed it a bit more by hand just until you have a good stick free dough. Roll or pinch it out as thick or thin as you like.

Here is a link to Heston´s recipe.  I haven´t tried it yet, but this weekend I will, I ´ll let you know how it goes.

THE KEY TO THE PERFECT CRUST:

  • Oven on high temperature when heating it, then on grill when baking the pizza
  • Roll or pinch out the dough very thin, the thinner the less baking time
  • Keep the pizza as close to the grilling element as possible
  • Put the pizza on a bottom of a hot pan before going in the oven
  • Don´t put too much topping on each pizza to prevent soggy crust

 

Beautiful Calzone crust

Next time, let´s talk about the sauce.

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What should I have for dinner tomorrow?

Are you a food blogger?  Do you have a favorite dinner recipe to share?

If you do and you have blogged about it (If you are not a food blogger but know of one and a good recipe)  please post a link to it in the comments.  I´ve spent all morning trying to think what I want for dinner today and I am so uninspired and I would love to try something new.  So tomorrow I hope I can cook something good from what you suggest.

Until then I will spend the rest of the afternoon to decide  on what to cook tonight….just one of those days, I want something good, something I haven´t done 1000 times before but don´t know what..

Ever felt this way? :)

You can do so many different things with almonds.  Roast them, marzipan, almond milk, almond flour and so on and on…

I tried to roast them the other day.  That was nice.

Roasted Almonds

  • 2.5 dl sugar
  • 7 dl almonds
  • 1/2 dl water
  • 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon, if you like

Put sugar, water and cinnamon in a frying pan.

Add the almonds and stir well together on medium heat until the sugar crystallizes.

Move the almonds to a parchment paper and cool down.

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Lamb pâté – Icelandic Style and only 3 ingredients

This is classic Icelandic.  We have very good lamb meat.  It´s lamb that wanders around the mountains during summer eating what ever they find there and many end up by the shore eating  seaweeds.  Very good.

For a lamb pâté you only new few things, meat of lamb, onion and salt.  This type of lamb pâté is ment to be served cold and put on bread.  It is amazing on Icelandic flatbread called Flatkaka, on a Rye bread or crisps.

lamb paté

Lamb pâté

  • 1 kg Lamb
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Keep few tablespoons of the broth you get after simmering the meat.

You can experiment with seasoning, spices and garlic for example.  I like it simple but I use a bit of black pepper for seasoning after I grind it.

It is essential to cut of a lot of the fat off the meat.  Put the lamb meat  in a pot with salted water that covers the meat.  Bring to boil and the simmer for couple of hours.  For the last hour or so add the onion, no skin and roughly chopped.

lamb paté

After couple of hours of simmering, cool the meat, put it in a grinder or a mixer.  It depends on how fine you want your pâté how well you mix it.  I like it not too fine. So either I grind it or mix it shortly with a food processor. Use few tablespoons of the broth when you mix or grind the meat.

Don´t throw away what is left of the broth, it´s perfect to use it in soups.  You can freeze for later.

lamb paté

lamb paté

Few slices of cucumber would be perfect on that piece of crisp.

lamb

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Pop art…pop corn…micro greens

I sometimes forget that pop corn  is alive.  yes…IT´S ALIVE :D

It´s not only good for making pop corn.  Many people make micro greens with this crazy little thing.  Put the corn in a bottle with water in it for 8 hours, then poor out the water and clean the maiz twice a day.  Try and google “micro greens”.  So many cool things you can do with seeds.

micro greens

pop

Pizza with jalapeño cheese spread

Some times I read recipes and the list of ingredients is not my cup of tea, so I don´t try them.  Then I end up tasting them  somewhere else and love it.

I tell you if you like jalapeno this recipe  is a must try.  My experience is that no matter what toppings I put on my pizza, it´s always good, also when I put pickled cucumbers, mustard, pigs tenderloin and  ham.  ( I had leftovers from a Cuban sandwich).

If you are making pizza this weekend make one of those.  This is one of my fav and so far everyone who tries it  when I make it loves it.

Pizza with jalapeño cheese spread

Pizza dough

  • Sour cream (or creme fraiche)
  • jalapeño (fresh or pickled)
  • Shredded cheese (swiss cheese, montary jack or any bread cheese you like)
  • Salt

Mix together the shredded cheese, very finely chopped jalapeno and the sour cream.  It is about 1 cup cheese, half a cup sour cream and 1-2 jalapeño.  Season with tiny bit of salt.

Roll out the dough, spread the jalapeño cheese spread on it, bake as you usually bake your pizza.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

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Creme Fraiche – homemade from one ingredient

This simple method is what comes close to being a Creme Fraiche without using cream. You simply put buttermilk in a coffee  filter over a cup and let it drip through.  What goes in the cup is the whey and what´s left in the coffee filter is the “Creme Fraiche”.

It takes only about couple of hours to get 1 cup.

Sour cream and Creme Fraiche is not the same thing and I think this method is giving you something closer to being a Creme Fraiche.

Happy October…

Egg fried in a slice of red pepper – great presentation

I´ve been collecting stuff on my boards on Pinterest.  Lately I read where someone said it was pointless to pin all those pins and not do anything of what you pin.  I have lots of pins I wanna do, and after reading this I started doing as much as I could of what I pinned.  Therefor I´ve  been trying so many things since I started pinning.

This egg in a slice of  pepper is one of those things.  Typical pin to pin but not try.  So I did this, it worked well and I would totally do this again, specially if I get friends over for some B&B here in the country.

I saw the funniest website where people post photos of what they have made after pinning it.  The result didn´t look as great as what they pinned.  I could post quite a few photos of things I have tried and didn´t look as impressive as the image I pinned…

lots of fun food related stuff at THE HOUSE BY THE SEA …likeedilike

The perfect “naan” FINALLY! and gorgeous Northern Lights

The good thing about waking up every now and then to feed your baby is when you look out the window of your bedroom in the middle of the night to feed and you see the sky lit up with beautiful green Northern Lights.

My bedroom view last night

I had to go out and see the sky dance.  It was hard to get out of the warm bed after the baby was a sleep with the rest of the family members.  But it was worth it.

As some of you might know I live in the country.  Than means no traffic, no street lights and very few neighbors.  So, at 2 in the morning I was up and out to enjoy the beauty of the Northern Lights, all by myself.  The sky was filled with stars as well.  The weather was completely still, little bit cold but nice.

At one point I saw an amazing shooting star, burning up.  It was so clear and unreal.  At a point like this, where you are all by yourself, it´s totally still, not a sound around, the sky covered with a green dancing light and bright stars, some of them falling…It makes you wonder :)

My back yard last night 

How to make a good naan has also made me wonder…how do they do it, at those good Indian restaurants, they have tandoori oven I know, but I was sure I should be able to do something better than what I´ve done in the past.  I always find my naan more like a pizza crust.  Too hard.

I saw a recipe for a naan, similar to all of the ones I´ve tried.  Then browsing around that site I found a recipe for something called Onion Kulchas.  It did sound good and something worth trying…and O MY COD, yes..COD! ( I´m from a fishing nation ;) ) They were so good that the Indian dinner I did with it wasn´t eaten.  My husband and I, we stood by the kitchen Island the whole time and ate the naan as soon as they came off the pan, with raw onion mix… I have a recipe for that as well.

They were so soft that I could roll them up, that is how I like my Naan.  So this isn´t Naan but Kulchas I guess, and Kulchas is what I will be making from now on…

You can put a little pit of the onion mix into the dough while you are rolling it out, i prefer the onion mix raw…

Kulchas

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/8th tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt

Mix all ingredients well together, add little bit of water if you need the dough more wet.  Set a side for 1-2 hours, room temperature.

Divide the dough into small golf ball size balls.  Flat out very thin with a rolling pin.  Bake on a very hot pan on your stove, about 1 minute each side.

Raw onion mix

  • 1 onion, chopped very finely
  • 1-2 chillies, slices thinly
  • 1/2 tsp ginger,grated
  • Fresh Koriander (Cilantro)
  • Salt to taste

I made a vegetarian dish as well, even though we didn´t end up sitting down to eat it, it was really good.

Believe it or not, I used the leftovers on a pizza couple of days later!  It was a reeeeaally good pizza, I will make it again.  I had the rest of the fresh onion mix spread on top of the pizza when it came out of the oven.

The paste was onion, garlic, chili, ginger, fried in oil added canned tomatoes and a bag of cashew nuts.  I spiced this up with an Indian spice blend I have, durban curry.  I put it in a blender.  Then I fried up veggies and mixed it with the paste as well as some yogurt.  VERY TASTY!

I am all about not buying jarred stuff, get yourself a good Indian spice blend and make your own sauces.

It´s fresh and you know what you are eating.

The healthiest pancakes ever, at least that I have made and they are very tasty as well.

I make pancakes quite often.  It´s a good way to start the morning with something healthy and a good way to give my little girl  nutritious breakfast.

I usually don´t follow a recipe.  I  just make something out of what I have but I use almost always oat meal or barley, a yogurt with Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium (AB milk) and wheat germ.

If you need to make a food more nutritious it´s a clever thing to use wheat germ.  It is mild in taste and works well in a pancake mix for example, it makes classic white flour American pancakes a lot healthier and you don´t taste the difference.

The good thing about pancake batter is that you can use so many things to make them, oat meal, rice, barley, all kinds of flour, milk, buttermilk or yogurt, wheat germs and all kinds of seeds.  When I do few for breakfast I use about 1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup of dry ingredients and half a cup of wet ingredients and a tablespoon or two of oil or butter.

I usually fry an egg, over easy with a little runny yolk with the pancakes and if I have an avocado that´s the best. Once in a while I have a liiiittle bit of bacon with it all.

This is a recipe for a super duper healthy pancakes.  They are very good.  Make them and cook them like you would do with the American type of pancakes.

Crazy healthy pancakes – very nutritious

  • 1 cup flour (white, whole wheat or spelt)
  • 1 cup oat meal
  • 3 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, grind in food prosessor
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, grind in food prosessor
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2  tablespoons honey
  • 4  tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Water

Put everything but the water in a bowl and mix well together.  Add the water until you are happy with the batter, more if you like it thin, less if thicker.

Every morning I make a smoothie,  usually AB milk, banana, blueberries and little bit of fresh orange juice. It goes very well with the pancakes.

“Meat” the beef farmers

My friends the beef farmers came over loaded with steaks, huge steaks.  We didn´t have a BBQ so they brought a rack and we made a BBQ in no time.  It is on the agenda to make a nice grill out of bricks and I am also going to make a pizza oven, that is going to be aaaawesome!

I went to the garden to dig up some potatoes to serve with the meat.  I made a really good potato salad.I also had bunch of spicy rocket salad in my garden as well so I made some really really tasty rocket pesto.

Potatoes with rocket pesto

  • Rocket, bunch of it
  • 100 g almonds
  • olive oil
  • Fresh basil, a good handful
  • 1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 g pumpkin seeds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper
  • Boiled potatoes

Put everything but the potatoes in the mixer or blender, make a pesto.  Mix it with the boiled potatoes in a bowl.  Serve!

I took this photo of wonderful wild flowers that are in my garden.

The sun lit them up so beautifully one summer evening. Nature is pretty.

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Thai sweet chili sauce & cream cheese – best dip for nachos

I find it an experience to name my kids.  I “exposed” the name of my baby boy last weekend.  It was a name I would not have Imagined I´d ever name my boy.  I don´t know anyone personally with this name and it is not very common.  Both my husband and myself were totally sure when we saw it in a name-book that this would be it.  It suited him perfectly. We used it for a while before we told everyone to see how it grew on him.

In Iceland you have 6 months to name your baby from when it´s born.  So you don´t have to have a name ready before you give birth.  I like that, we named him little before his 3 month birthday so we got to know his personality and we saw that this name suited his personality.  If we would have had to name him the day he was born I probably would have chosen another name and even something already in the family.

I could go on and on about naming babies.  I am very happy with the name we found for our boy.  His name is Fróði.  It means “wise” and also “being full of life´s energy” .  The English version would be Frodo and probably most famous for being the name of a character in The lord of the rings.

Now I am going to give you a ecipe for the perfect party dish.  This is a combo you must try.  If you are going to meet friends  and need to bring something to pick on this is it!  Look no further, try it! TRY IT.  It is the easiest thing ever.  Buy nachos, any kind you like, maybe 2 different types ( the blue Doritos goes also well with this).  Buy cream cheese and Sweet Thai chili sauce.  If you have extra half an hour make your own chili sauce.  It´s easy!

Thai sweet chili sauce and cream cheese

  • Sweet Thai chili sauce
  • Cream cheese
  • Nachos

Scoop out the cream cheese on a plate.  Pour the chili sauce over the cheese.  Serve with nachos.

This is soooo goood.  i have not served this to one person who doesn´t like it…i mean LOVE IT!

Belgian waffles, little bit of snow and a calzone

Icelanders love talking about the weather and that´s what I want to do, but only briefly… because I saw something white and fluffy flying outside my window. YES, it´s snowing.  That´s what you get living in Iceland.  Cold, windy and snow and it´s only beginning of September.

I took one photo…

 

This is what the sea looks like when it´s calm and nice…

Enough about the weather, because what do you do when it´s cold and windy?

You make Calzone…

When I do Calzone I roll out the pizza dough and I put tomato sauce (usually just canned tomatoes) on everything and then on one half I stuff it with salami, red pepper, chili, cooked ground beef, onion and lots of cheese.  Then I fold the dough and press the ends to seal it.

One thing i like about living in the country is that there is no supermarket close by.  That means if we are out of something we don´t run to the store so easily.
I usually have everything to make Belgian waffles and these are the very best.

The secret to this recipe is  to whip the egg whites until stiff  and use a bit of club soda (not sparkling water, but club soda) and let´s not forget bobbbobb, lots of sugar, but I guess that´s what is makes them so good. You can change the amount of sugar.

I gave my husband a Belgian waffle iron for his birthday and I love it, I think the waffles from it are lot nicer than from the old normal one.

Semi-Belgian waffles

  • 2 eggs ( separate the yolk and whites)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 1 cup milk

Put everything but the egg whites in a  mixer bowl and mix well together.  Whip the whites until they are stiff and add them to the waffle mix carefully.

If you need to separate the yolks you could try this method.

The most brilliant way to separate egg yolk from the white

Have you ever been seperating the yolk from the white and some of the yolk goes with the white.  In some cases that´s not want you want!

Here is a brilliant way to take the yolk and leave nothing behind.

I tried it and it did work.  You have to squeeze the bottle a little bit and then suck up the yolk.

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