The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Month: May, 2012

How to shop in a supermarket – The 4 ingredients apple cake

It was kind of neat what  Michael Pollan talked about in one of his book about the structure of supermarkets.

What he talked about is you should shop “around” the store, buy the products that are around the outer ring of the store, not what´s in all the aisles inside the store where they keep most of the overly prosessed food.

You find things like fresh meet and fish, vegetable, fruits, the milk products and eggs on the walls around the aisles.  Then once in a while you can go through the aisles and buy cleaning stuff, flours, sugar and that kind of things.  Skip the product that can stay on the shelf for years…

This recipe was to simple not to try it.  And it was gone as soon as it came out of the oven.

It´s good on it´s own but would work well with cream or Ice cream.  There was no cinnamon in this recipe and I didn´t use any, but of course  it is possible to sprinkle a little bit cinnamon and sugar on top.

Flour, sugar, egg, apples….ta taaaaaaa.

Easy apple cake

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 apples

Take the skin off the apples and cut them into bites.

Whip together the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer  for about  2 minutes.

Add the flour and mix everything well together with a spoon.  (NB, with some spoon, not the electric mixer)

Add the apples to a buttered cake mold and pour the batter over the apples.

Bake for 5 minutes at 200°c (400 f). Lower the heat to 180°c ( 360 f ) and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown.

It´s been so nice to see nature come to life here in the country, we pass by the horses with the new born foals, the cows with the calfs and then the sheep with the so adorable little lambs.  So this time I am not giving you a  recipe for a spicy lamb stew …

Are you an avocado lover or not?

I have a friend in Canada who loves avocados.  She made a really good avocado chocolate torte and gave me the recipe.  I tried it last night and it was a big hit.  She also made muffins with an avovado…sounds good to me, but I am an avocado looooover!

My friend September will be my guest blogger today…take it a way Tember.

I used to hate avocados – my mom ate them all the time and they were gross.  The texture, the taste, the slimy pit – ew.  Then I met Soffia, and she chopped a ripe avocado up and sprinkled liberally with sea salt.  I said “I hate avocado’s.” and she said “You have try it.  How can you hate avocado’s?” And  I am always game, so I tried it, for the first time in probably 20 years, and it was delicious.  With the salt it tasted almost like butter, but better (and much healthier).  Now I love avocados.  I probably eat 4 per week – on my eggs, in a smoothie, on a burger, as a guacamole side dish, the list goes on….

I recently found a couple recipes that use avocado and are absolutely amazing.  I dare you to make them and tell me you don’t like it – they are gems that I will make regularly for many years to come!

This is the first recipe – originally found here  and modified slightly.  Not only is it chocolatey and delicious – it is actually really good for you!

Chilled Double Chocolate Torte: The No-Bake Version

No Bake Chocolate Crust:

  • 1 cup almonds or pecans
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (other light taste oil may work)
  • 1/8 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Chocolate Avocado Mousse:

  • 2 cups avocado flesh (approx 3 small avocados), pitted and scooped out
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 oz unsweented Baker’s chocolate (melted)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted if clumpy

Directions:

1.       Crust: Oil a 7-10 inch springform pan and line it with a circle of parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the pecans until crumbly. Be careful not to over process them as you still want them a bit chunky. Now add in the rest of the crust ingredients and pulse until just mixed. Scoop mixture onto prepared pan and press down firmly and evenly with slightly wet fingers or a spatula. Pop into freezer to set while making the mousse.

2.       Chocolate mousse: Place all mousse ingredients (except melted chocolate) into food processor. Process until smooth. In a small bowl, melt your chocolate chips in the microwave and scoop melted chocolate into food processor mixture. Process until smooth.

3.       Remove crust from freezer and scoop this mousse on top of crust. Smooth out as much as possible and then place in the freezer for 2 hours to firm.

4.       Once firm, remove from freezer and allow to sit on the counter for about 5-10 minutes before serving chilled. Place leftover torte in the freezer wrapped and placed in a seal container.

Note that this torte should be served chilled as it gets soft at room temperature.

And the second recipe is for muffins.  I have three kids, and of course they all like different foods.  If I find something healthy that all three enjoy it is a cause for celebration.  These muffins are one of the few food all three kids, and even my husband, love.   I go through a batch of these in a few days in our house.  I originally found the receipt here: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Avocado_-Banana-And-Mango-Muffins-Recipezaar – but I have made quite a few changes and could probably rightfully call it my own creation now J

Avocado, Banana and Mango Muffins

  • 2 ripe bananas (I freeze mine when they get to rip and save them for recipes like this)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 mango (or  1 cup thawed frozen mango cubes)
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 3 cups total of dry stuff – I do varying mixtures of flour, whole wheat flour, ground flax, oatmeal flour, wheat germ – use your imagination…
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Put the fruit, melted butter, eggs and honey into a blender and blend thoroughly.  Put the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.  Add the wet ingredients from the blender to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until combined.  Add the chocolate chips.

Spoon into muffin tins.  I always use mini-muffin tins and pile them pretty high.

Bake for 350 for approx. 15 minutes (the original recipe says 35 minutes for regular sized muffins).

Enjoy!  I am going to buy some avocados right now  🙂

September Kuromi

http://allthedoors.wordpress.com

Girly brunch and pink pancakes with sage

I got invited to a really nice brunch last weekend.  My next door neighbor and a good friend in the country was having a flock of girls over for brunch.  These girls are in a “brunch club” and meet once in a while for brunch.  They are all into food and every girl brings one dish to the brunch and the standard of the food that is served is high.

Every time they have a new theme and this time it was fresh herbs.

They made for example mint salad, basil cocktail, shrimp salad, coconut-banana desert, zucchini with basil pesto, really good pasta with homemade pesto and rice wrap with fresh mint and coriander.  Everything was delicious.

Once the food was on the table I forgot all about my camera and enjoyed the food and the company as well as the good weather that was so nice so we could sit outside in the sun and eat.

For the brunch, I made pink pancakes with fresh sage. I served the pancakes with sour cream and fried bacon.  Sage and bacon goes well together.

Pink pancakes

  • 1/2 beet, cooked
  • Pancake batter
  • Fresh sage, 2 pck.
I lightly fried the sage in butter on a pan before adding it to the pancakes.

I mixed the cooked  beet with a half a cup of milk in the blender .

This is how my batter was this time

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • Ca 1 cup milk (or as much as you need to get a good pancake batter)

The amount of milk depends on if you like thicker american pancakes or thinner crepes style pancakes.

Mix the ingredients together, as well as the beet that went to the blender.  Add the sage to the dough..

To make the pancakes round I used a cutter I have, I made rather small pancakes.  I used what got cut off the pancakes to make few roses for decoration.  You can see the images below how I rolled it up.

The never ending spring onion

In case you haven´t seen this somewhere on the internet before the I am posting it because it´s cool.  You dont have to buy spring onion again (unless you want to use only the white part).

Use the onion but keep the white part with the roots.  Put it in a glass filled with water.  Within few days you have the gree part growing ..fast….FAST!

Then you cut it off as you need.  The green part is so good, cut it small for soups, pasta, Asian food, Mexican,  rice, crepes, baked potatoes….

I change the water almost every day for the sake of freshness : )

You can do the same with a garlic clove, when it got roots stick it in a dirt/soil the brown thing you know… 😛  and in a flowerpot…the spring onion you can keep in water for as long as you like.  Not sure if the garlic is better off with soil or water….

Zucchini flowers

I bought zucchini seeds and planted them in a big pot.  Living in Iceland I did not think nothing would happen, I kept it inside and what did happen is I got lots of zucchini flowers.



 Zucchini flowers

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk (or so, should look like a pancake batter, add more milk if you need).
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp melted butter or bit of some oil
  • Quite a bit of zucchini flowers, about 2-3 per person

Make the Crepes batter by mixing the ingredients in a bowl. Mix the flowers with the batter take it up and fry it on a pan. Easy as that!  If you have more crepes batter left, just make some pancakes.

Foggy day in Reykjavík

Daylight all day and all night – Watermelon and mint salad

This is my favorite time of the year.  Summer is kicking in, and what I love the most, since I can´t say the really warm weather (we don´t have much of that), is the almost 24 hour daylight.  I am one of those who don´t even want to use my blinds for the window.  I sleep well during the night when it looks like the time is only 1o o´clock in the morning all night.

In summer I prefer lighter meals.  I saw this recipe online some time ago.  I loved the ingredients so I had to try it and have been making it quite a bit since then.  It is fresh and it goes so well with all kinds of different food.

If you need to bring a dish to a brunch or a buffet and you don´t have much time to cook this is a nice dish to bring.

Watermelon and mint salad

  • Watermelon
  • Feta cheese, fresh.
  • Fresh mint
  • Good olive oil
  • A little salt if you like

Cut the watermelon and the feta into small cubes.  ( I even crumble the feta cheese). Chop the mint.  Mix it all together and drizzle with a good olive oil.

Icelandic sweet rye bread

I have a recipe of a sweet rye bread, another classic Scandinavian bread and very Icelandic.  There are few types of this sweet rye bread.  I will give you two different recipes with two different cooking methods.

This bread is so good with the Plokkfiskur recipe, and really good with lamb pate and cucumbers and also really good with a boiled or fried egg.

Icelandic rye bread

  • 225 g rye
  • 150 g flour
  • 125 g whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 liter buttermilk
  • 325 ml syrup

Mix all ingredients together.  Butter up 5 empty cans.

But a parchment paper in the bottom of the cans.  Pour in the rye batter, so you fill the cans half way up.

Close them with a piece of aluminum paper and put them in a pot of boiling water.  The water should cover half of the cans.  Turn the heat on medium low and boil it for about 3-4 hours.

And with some Plokkfiskur, the fish in a white sauce on top, match made in heaven, I kid you not.

Then I have another recipe, similar a  little darker bread.  It is best to cook it for a rather long time on low heat.

Icelandic rye bread II

  • 375 g rye
  • 125 g whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 liter buttermilk
  • 325 ml syrup

Mix all ingredients together. Butter up a pot made of Cast iron, enamel or ceramic. I also put some parchment paper in it in case the dough would stick.  Pour in the bread dough. Put the lid on the pot.  Put in it the oven at 100°c ( 212 f).

Bake for 10 hours.  I put mine in the oven around 10 in the evening and took it out 8 in the morning and it was nicely baked.

What´s for dinner? Thai, Mexican, Indian, Italian…Icelandic?

Often when people are thinking about what to have for dinner they ask: Do you want Thai, Mexican, Indian…?

I guess there is a reason why it´s not a common thing people don´t ask if they should have Icelandic for dinner.  Maybe because they don´t know much about Icelandic kitchen or maybe because what they hear is that we eat sheep’s head and balls, whale, shark that has been pissed on and hearts from the foals.

I got interviewed for an Estonian online Food Magazine about Icelandic food some time ago.  Here you can read it if you speak their language but read on for the English translation if you want to know more about Icelandic food:

Interview – Perenainee.ee

What are the typical Icelandic foods?

Typical Icelandic food is a salted cod, smoked lamb and skyr which is a milk product similar to yogurt.  And we eat lots of hot dogs. In February we celebrate Þorri, a festival honoring the god in Norse paganism, by eating food in the spirit of the old Icelandic kitchen, food like putrefied  shark, ram’s balls, bold sheep’s  head, dried fish,  blood pudding made from lamb’s blood and suet, rye bread and flat cake.  That kind of food is not popular and is by most people eaten only once a year for a festive reason.

What kind of berries, mushrooms etc can be picked in Iceland? Do people like this berry-picking, is it popular?

We have lots of berries, mostly blueberries, crowberries and currant ribes.  It is common to pick berries in the fall and make jam of it.  We have lots of rhubarb that we also use to make jams and pies. Picking mushrooms is not very common but we do have many kinds of mushrooms, though not all of them are eatable. So you need to know the once you can pick.

What kind of (dark) bread do you make in Iceland? Do you also have some bread with rye?

We have two types of ryebread, one called rugbraud and other is called, flatkaka, which is a flatbread, usually served with butter and a thinly sliced smoked lamb.

We know about an Icelandic dark bread which is sweet and sticky (very tasty!), how typical and/or popular is that?

That dark and sweet bread is rugbraud.  It is very traditional and popular, served with plokkfiskur, a traditional icelandic fish stew.  It is also popular to eat it with pickled herring.  The ingredients of rugbraud (ryebread) are rye, flour, buttermilk and lots of syrup.  Some bakers bake the rye bread in a hot spring or buried in a sand close to a hot spring and kept there until fully cooked.

What are the recent trends in Icelandic food sector (anything such as “local food” trends in the UK)?

The recent trend in Iceland now is the new nordic kitchen.  The manifesto of the new nordic kitchen is:

1. To express the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics we wish to associate with our region.
2. To reflect the changing of the seasons in the meals we make.
3. To base our cooking on ingredients and produce whose characteristics are particularly excellent in our climates, landscapes and waters.
4. To combine the demand for good taste with modern knowledge of health and well-being.
5. To promote Nordic products and the variety of Nordic producers – and to spread the word about their underlying cultures.
6. To promote animal welfare and a sound production process in our seas, on our farmland and in the wild.
7. To develop potentially new applications of traditional Nordic food products.
8. To combine the best in Nordic cookery and culinary traditions with impulses from abroad.
9. To combine local self-sufficiency with regional sharing of high-quality products.
10. To join forces with consumer representatives, other cooking craftsmen, agriculture, the fishing, food , retail and wholesale industries, researchers, teachers, politicians and authorities on this project for the benefit and advantage of everyone in the Nordic countries.

(http://www.clausmeyer.dk/en/the_new_nordic_cuisine_/manifesto_.html)

For example Estonian kitchen has many impacts from Russian and German kitchen, does the Icelandic kitchen have some impacts from some foreign country?

Now a days we are influenced from all over the world with easy access  to all kinds of products in the supermarkets like, Indian, Tex Mex, Italian and Asian food.  But traditionally we have been influenced from the Danish kitchen, for example with the open sandwiches, called smorrebrod and the herring.

Do you have some local food magazines also? How popular is food blogging among Icelanders?

We have one food magazine, called Gestgjafinn. (Translation, The Host).  It has been on the market for 30 years now and is an ambitious magazine.  Food blogging is getting more and more popular.

What are your personal favourites from the Icelandic kitchen?

My favorite food  from the Icelandic kitchen is the salted cod served with freshly picked Icelandic potatoes and lots of Icelandic butter.  The fish in a white stew Plokkfiskur is also my favorite and a must to serve it with the sweet rye bread, Rúgbrauð.

Do you have some popular cake, dessert etc you can also share a recipe ?

Icelandic rye bread – Flatkaka (Flat “cake”)

  • 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

Blend all ingredients together, pouring the water in little at a time. Make little balls and flat them out in a round cakes. Poke the cake with a fork few times.  Bake it on a hot pan for about one minute each side.  Put them in water after cooking and store them in a plastic bag or under a wet towel to keep them moist and soft.

Plokkfiskur

  • 500 gr haddock
  • 5-6 medium size potatoes
  • 1 onion (or couple of spring onion)
  • 25 gr butter
  • 2-3 tbsp flour (or barley)
  • 2,5 – 3 dl milk
  • 1 egg
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Boil the fish in one pot and potatoes in another. Put aside.Take a bit of the butter and melt it, brown the onion. Melt the rest of the butter in the pot with the onion and add flour and whisk together until it´s like a massive bun. Add the milk (and maybe some of the water the fish was boiling in if you like) until it´s thin enough (similar to a creamy soup or a pancake batter). Take the skin off the potatoes and cube them. Take the fish, we want no bones, no skin, and put it in the sauce, throw in one egg and stir a bit with a spoon. Salt and pepper, I like quite a bit of pepper. You can use any type of pepper you like. Usually people used white pepper because they didn´t sell many brand back in the days, but I use fresh black pepper. Simmer for few minutes and then serve with rye bread.

Scandinavian crisp bread – healthy, easy, so good…

In Scandinavia crisp bread is very common and popular. It can be used with all kinds of topping.  It´s the  perfect snack  between meals, with butter, cheese and sliced cucumber.  I am also a fan of crisp bread with lamb pate.  Lamb pate is very Icelandic and I should give you a recipe.  I will do that very soon.

Nothing beats the homemade crisp bread.  It´s super easy to make and just healthy!

I have been reading many different recipes and there is not just one recipe, there are so many good ones and you can play with different flour and seeds, just based on what you like.

I love rye flour, oat meal and all kinds of seeds. Some recipes ask for lots of vegetable oil others use less or none.  I use less and it works very well.  Some recipes tell you to bake it for a long time on low heat, others shorter time and higher heat. Everything works…

I made two different recipes last week.  Both were really good.  One had more seeds and the crisp bread was more loose and softer, the later one was crispier.  Here is the softer version.  (I don´t have the  exact recipe I used for the crispy one here with me now, so I will tell you about that one later.)

Crisp bread

  • 2 dl Spelt flour (or white flour or whole wheat)
  • 1 dl rolled oats
  • 2 dl seeds (i.e flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon salt
  • 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 dl water

(1 cup is 2.4 dl)

All ingredients mixed together in a bowl until everything is well mixed, doesn´t take long.  Roll the dough out on a parchment paper, put the dough between two sheets of parchment paper when rolling it out, so it doesn´t stick to the rolling pin.  Make it rather thin, 2-4 mm.  (Like if you are rolling out dough for gingerbread cookies)

After rolling out the dough, poke it with a fork here and there. Then cut it into squares, it´s good to use a pizza cutter to cut it.  My squares were about 5 x 10 cm.

Bake for 20-30 minutes at 170°c  (340 f).

This is how my other recipe looked like ready for the oven, cut and poked…

I have a small oven for now so I only bake few at a time

I found a recipe for a swedish crisp bread I´d like to try

 Swedish crisp bread 

  • 1 1/3 cup rye flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup milk

(1 cup is 2,4 dl) Mix everything together, but the milk.  Add the milk slowly until you have a nice soft dough.  Roll it out and cut into squares. Poke the dough with a fork to make little holes.  Bake for 15 minutes at 170°c *(340 f )

My kitchen – in the making III

Finally I got my gas burners.  Most people in Iceland have electric stoves.  I have always had that, but when living abroad I got used to the gas burners and love cooking on gas.

Here is a photo of my kitchen how it used to be few months ago.  (We are still building the house…)

Then we made a big change.  We put up a timber wall and the other day we painted it green

We are still using the old door as a table by the sink.  It has a character and I love it but will have to replace it next weekend and put a table with tiles.

I have a mood board on pinterest.  Here is a link if you want to take a look.  It´s funny to see how all the the Ideas I collect there actually influence me in the making of my kitchen.

This Idea I found online and  I liked it  obviously.

As you can see below, the lamp and shelves…

My wall was white but I wanted to make it more county stylish so we went for the green for now at least.

Then I found this pink dish rack.  I might paint it in different color one day if I get tired of the pink.  I was going to stack the shelve with dishes but I only have some white ones and they were not dancing.  I need to buy nicer plates for display.  Until then it´s a spice rack and a book shelve.

Next weekend we will do some more work.

So, To Be Continue…

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