The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Month: April, 2012

Homemade Goldfish Crackers

Haven´t you said… “ooh but it´s only once a year”, or ” it´s ok to treat your self once in a while”. I have been saying “but it´s just once a year” to often lately, so in my rather healthy diet I have been having too much of the things you should only treat your self with occasionally.  That occasionally has become more of a frequently.  It´s been Christmas, travelings, Easter, birthdays  and so many  other festive days lately.

So, since Easter I have not bought any candy or sweets.  I have had some eh, but not bought any myself.

Therefor I have been looking for recipes for munches with   “tea time” with less sugar. One of the recipes I found and liked is this goldfish crackers recipe.

The fun part is to make them with your kids.  My 2 year old had so much fun poking eyes on them.

Goldfish crackers

  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut to pieces
  • 200 g Cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5-8 tablespoons water, add little at a time

Combine flour, salt, pepper and baking powder in a food processor for few spins.

Add butter and the cheese, mix well.

Add the water, one tablespoon at the time, because all of sudden you get the dough you want.

Wrap in plastic and cool for 30 minutes (and up to 24 hours)

Heat oven to 180°c

Roll out the dough and cut out little goldfishes (or circles if you don´t have the goldfish cutters.  My fishes were about 2.5 cm, length.

Break the end on a tooth pick to make the mouth.

I had a very artistic little helper making the face for the fishes.

They say if you put the tray with the already made fishes in the fridge for 15 minutes before the oven the shape of the fishes wont spread.

Bake for 13-18 mín.

Store in a airtight container for up to a week.

This is the cool thing you find when google-ing, the homemade goldfish cracker cutter, made from aluminium soda can. 

Get a can, cut it in half, cut 1-2 cm thick strip around it. Take that 1-2 thick strip  and form it into a goldfish.  I taped the parts where you fold it because it can break easily.   It was so easy to make and worked like a charm.


Advertisements

Books I want to read – about food (not recipes though)

Thank god I don´t have a TV, I have a long list of books I want to read, and SURPRISE, they are all about food.

I got samples on Amazon on my Kindle. And after reading bunch of samples I had to choose which book to buy first.  I made a decision and bought  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

It is a book a bout a family that spends a year eating what they grow and what is growing in their surroundings.

Other books I found interesting and might take a better look at are:

Life in the country over the long weekend was good.  It was so still and pretty, no breeze from the oceon.
On the First day of Summer it snowed a bit in the mountains a cross the fjord.
But after that, all weekend…super duper sweet.

My kitchen – in the making I

I am building a house in the country.  We live there already but it sure isn´t finished.  When you don´t have all the money in the world things get done slowly BUT SURELY!

And for me that is a good thing because I am still deciding on  how I want to have everything.  Since I can choose all the interiors myself I want to choose well and make sure it´s something that wont go out of style horrible or I will get bored with  in few years.

I have been having a good relaxing time browsing through home decor magazines to get some Ideas, some of the things I like are not availible here in Iceland or really expensive.  So I have to dance around the Ideas, and maybe that´s how I come up with more personal style.

I don´t want a typical kitchen.  I want it to have a country feeling, since we are in the country.  I love the big Chinese cupboards and drawers with million little drawers and I love the rustic old Italian farm kitchens.

Here is a link to  my  Kitchen Collection mood board on Pinterest

The main thing though is to have a  kitchen with lots of good food, wine and friends.

This is how it looked like when we first moved in.  It has changed QUITE A BITt since then.  (I am still using that little oven though, and it works like a charm, best pizzas I make come from it).

And this is how I cooked the first dinner in the kitchen.

It was pan fried Salmon with couscous.

Pan fried Salmon

  • Salmon
  • Butter
  • Garlic, one clove crushed.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh chives
  • 1-2 teaspoons pistachios, crushed in a mortel

Melt butter in a pan, fry the fish, skin side down first if it has a skin. Season with salt and pepper and little bit of garlicSmjör brætt á pönnu, fiskurinn settur á pönnuna. (Steikt á roði fyrst ef laxinn er með roði og svo hinni hlið). Kryddað með smá salti og pipar og pínu pons hvítlauk.  In the end add some Pistachios on top of the fish.

Serve with couscous, sour cream, cucumber, sliced red onion and lots of  fresh chives.

Carrot – orange soup

You might have heard about the extra Virgin Olive Oil scandal.  The oil was not pure olive oil and nothing extra virgin about it most of the time.  It even had artificial flavors and coloring to look like EVOO.

It is hard to trust people in the food industry now a days.

Here is a list over the olive oils that failed and passed the test.

Here is the report

And a whole book was written about this.

And good reading about the olive oil in one place.

Since I am posting all these link here is one more about olive oil.

I am lucky we have a little gourmet shop called Frú Lauga.  They have a great olive oil from Sicily. And I got those purple carrots there as well.


This is a really good soup and healthy. Very simple and super good. Makes a great starter.

CARROT ORANGE SOUP

  • Ca 6 carrots
  • 1-2 ts. fresh grounded ginger
  • 1 shallot onion
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup orange juice, freshest one, even with pulp
  • Ca half a liter water
  • Half a veggie stock cube
  • Salt and pepper

Chop the carrots roughly and boil with the stock cube. In another pot in the olive oil brown the shallot and ginger. When the carrots are boiled put them in a blender with about 2 cups of the stock from the pot, and the shallot and the ginger. Add the orange juice to it. Blend until it´s pureed. If you want it less thick use more of the stock. Put the pureed soup back to the pot and heat as needed. Salt and pepper by taste.

Homemade Asian noodles and wok

It has been on the agenda to make homemade Asian noodles. Finally I did so and I will never buy store bought again….eh…atleas not very often : )

This is similar method as Italian pasta.  This is not complicated, takes a bit of a time but totally worth it.

You can use a pasta machine, I will probably do that next time.  This time I used rolling pin and a knife.  If you are a noodle master you can do this by hand.  That is of course what I am aiming at.  This one is rather good…

If you write “hand pulled noodles” on youtube you get few videos about how to do this by hand.

noodles

Homemade Asian noodles

  • 1 3/4 cup ice cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 kg flour
  • 1 egg yolk

Mix salt and egg yolk to the water.  Put flour on the table or in a bowl.  Put a den in it and fill it with the water until you have a good dough to kneed.

noodles

Kneed it by hand for 15 minutes until it gets soft and silky.  (Or just use your Kitchen Aid).

Rest the dough for few hours at room tempature.  (3-8 hours)

Roll out the dough, with rolling pin or pasta machine and then cut it in to noodle stripes.

Boil for few minutes, 4-7 minutes.

noodles

Wok ( Very fresh and really good!)

  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • Fresh chile, sliced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, shredded
  • Fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • Shredded zest of lime
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • 3-4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • Salted peanuts, mashed. 1/4 cup or so…
  • Peanut oil or other oil for frying

Fry everything on a wok pan.  Add the nuts, coriander, soya and thai sauce in the end.

Add the noodles and serve with Thai sweet chili sauce and soya.

You can play with the vegetable in this recipe.  Last time I also used carrots.

Hvalfjörður, Kjós in April 2012

The few first days of summer have been so nice. 10°c and no wind!  The fjord is like a mirror.  We could even sit outside after lunch with Sangria and Club soda that our next door neighbors made for us because the sun was rather warm.  That´s Iceland for you.

On the first day of summer we got few snowflakes, there was for a little while snowing in the mountains on the other side of the fjord and for only couple of minutes we got few flakes.  They say it´s a good sign when winter and summer freezes together.  That happened this year.  Yes, I said winter and summer.  We never talk about spring here when we talk about the first day of summer, is´s just last day of winter the day before.

One little lonely snow”ball” on the First day of summer

Merry summer, beef tongue and the 45 spice blend

Today is the first day of summer in Iceland.  We celebrate it and it´s an official holiday.  And to everyone we meet we say “MERRY SUMMER”

The sun is shining today but still a bit cold, maybe 6- 10°c but no wind and no rain, YAY!!

So to all of you

MERRY SUMMER!

We were so lucky to spend Easter with friends and neighbors here in the country.  First we did brunch with our friends the farmers.

They have fun customs, the lady of the house is from Switzerland.  And there is a custom to break boiled eggs with your hands.  then she always serves sparkling wine or Mimosa.  What´s not to like about that!

She dyes the eggs with natural colors, f.x the pink one comes with boiling special lice in the water.  These beautiful eggs are not just decoration, but you eat them.  The game is two peole smash their eggs together and if it breaks you can eat it, not always does both eggs break.  You can not eat the egg until you break it with someone´s egg.

The bruch was delicious.  The farmers are gourmet foodies and run their own gourmet store at their farm.

beef tongue

What I really liked was the beef tongue.  It was so tender and tasty.

After brunch we went home to relax.  I did not have to make dinner either. My neighbors next door took my leg of lamb I was gonna cook with them the nigh before

They had some Moroccan  spices, straight from Morocco and wanted to invite us for dinner.  Those neighbors are also genius cooks. ( I am so lucky with neighbors, surrounded with gourmet cooks).

Icelandic lamb is very tasty.  If you ever visit Iceland, you must try the lamb!  Lamb and Moroccan spices go so well together so they took the lamb.  I do not regret that.  It tasted really good and the dinner company was brilliant, not only did we spend the dinner with our best friend but also our friends the farmers.

They did not follow any special recipe while cooking the lamb.  Among other things they used the “45 spice blend” from Morocco.  Every shop has his own blend,  it is called Ras el Hanout and has the shop’s best spices.

You can read more about Ras el Hanout on Wikipedia

They also had sweet potatoes and onions.  It was served with spicy prunes, broth from the lamb and yogurt sauce.  I made the sauce, I did not have fresh mint, but would have used it if I have had it.

Dash of this, dash of that, I recommend you taste it to find the right amount.

Yogurt sauce

  • Greek yogurt
  • Shredded cucumber
  • Shredded zest of lemon
  • Fresh juice of lemon
  • Fresh mint
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Little pit of pepper or lemon pepper

Everything mixed well in a bowl.

This was the best Easter ever… GOOD FOOD, GOOD WINE, GOOD FRIENDS!

Best dessert I have had for a long looong time!

I am telling you, this one is soooo delicious.  Melts in your mouth and you are thankful if they only serve you one bowl because you would eat five if you could have so many.  It is one of those dessert you are going to be asked for the recipe.  Hope you have an occasion this one out.

I first got to taste this at a dinner party with our friends the farmers, above the road.  Of course I got the recipe.

On Easter day I decided to try this myself.  I had high expectations and was not sure if I would be able to make it as good as I remembered it was.

I followed the recipe and it was just as good this time.  Every one loved it and of course I was asked for the recipe.

If you think you are not the coconut type, try it anyways… at least for you dinner guests : )  It is easy to make.


Coconut  dessert

  • 400 ml coconut milk in a can
  • 30 g coconut flakes
  • 120 g sugar
  • 3 gelatin
  • 400 ml whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 10 g vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

Put coconut milk, coconut flakes, suar, vanilla sugar and lemon juice in a pot, bring to boil.  Take the pot of the heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

But the coconut mixture in a bowl and add the gelatin, stir it in and then let it cool for 40 minutes.  ( There is also a gelatin available made from plants)

Whip the cream and add it to the mixture.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours

Serve with a good berry sauce or jam, and decorate with shredded chocolate.

I used this recipe for a jam

Skógarberjasulta

  • 1 cup frozen berries ( I used a blend of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Little bit of water, about 1/4 of a cup
Put everything in a pot, bring to boil.  Lower to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and let it cool down.  If you like you can put it in a blender for finer texture.

Thai sweet chili sauce – HOMEMADE!

I am buying less and less processed food.  I don´t buy much, but one of the thing I like and did buy was Thai sweet chili sauce.  I find it essential with noodles.  The noodles I am making myself now as well.

I thought it was complicated to do a really good Thai sweet chili sauce, like the one I buy.  It is not, it is soooo easy, takes 10 minutes…that easy.  And the taste and texture is perefect.

I was lucky to find a really good recipe.  Then it´s the chile.  (some say chilli, chile or chili…the sauce usually say chili, I use chile) They can be different in heat.  Taste it before you use it to make sure it has some bite.  I use the seeds as well.

Thai sweet chili sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chiles
  • 1/2 cup (1.2 dl) sugar
  • 3/4 (1.8 dl) water
  • 1/4 cup (0.6 dl) white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch or potato starch
  • 2 tablespoon water

Put everything in a blender except the corn starch and the 2 tablespoons water.  Blend well.

Put the mixture in a pot and bring to boil.  Lower the heat to medium and simmer ntil it starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

Whisk in the corn starch and water and let simmer for one more minute.

The corn starch makes the sauce thinker and makes sure the chile flakes spreads instead of floating to the surface.

Cool completely and put in a sterilized jar.  Refrigerate

If you plan on doing this in some amount they talk about using Pre-gelatinized” starch.

Since this is so simple I just make less more often.

The texture, smell and taste was perfect.

It can be made with green chilies as well.

Best of all, you know better what you are eating and you can control the amount of sugar. 

This looks like a nice blog about Thai cooking, shesimmers.com.

Happy Easter!

This is how it looks here in Kjós this Easter, foggy and rainy…

You can also find me here:

Facebook

Pinterest

Flickr

Cooking with Jamie Oliver – Chick pea soup

I didn´t know Jamie Oliver had 4 kids. He is very original when it comes to naming his kids.We have a committee in Iceland that controls what you are allowed to name your kids, aha we do! But we do have lots of options it´s not that. But the committe mostly makes sure the grammar is correct, we have rather complicated grammar in our language.

Jamie Oliver named his kids Pippy Honey, Daisy Boo, Petal Blossom, Buddy Bear. I would not be able to name my kids any of that…

I am still cooking from the book Naked Chef, I do change the recipes a little bit, like if I don´t have something.

This time I cooked Chickpea and Leek Soup.  It was kind of tasty. If you have chickpeas and a leek it´s totally worth the try.

Chickpea and Leek Soup (serves 3)

 

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 medium potato, peeled
  • 1 medium leeks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Knob of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced s
  • alt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 L chicken or vegetable stock
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Extra virgin olive oil

 

Cook the potatoes until tender, about 1 hour.

Cook the potatoes until tender, about 1 hour.

Remove the outer skin of the leeks, slice lengthwice from the root up, wash and slice finely.

Warm a pan, and add the tablespoon of oil and the butter.

Add the leeks and garlic to the pan and add a pinch of salt.

Cook for a bit Add the drained chickpeas and potatoes and cook for 1 minute.

Add about two-thirds of the stock and simmer for 15 minutes.

If you want to puree the soup put it in a processor, or leave it chunky and brothy, or like Jamie does puree half and leave the other half whole.

Now add enough of the remaining stock to achieve the consistency you like.

Season to taste, and add freshly grated Parmesan.

Drizzle wit a good EV olive oil, black pepper and an extra springling of Parmesan.

Serve with homemade bread or any other good bread, like baguette .

%d bloggers like this: