The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Category: Bread

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

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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.

Cuban Sandwich

I was so sure I had blogged about my fetish for sandwiches.  The key to a good sandwich is a decent bread.  The bread MUST be good.  It can not be old, chewy or soggy.  Sour dough baguette is delicious, but each type of sandwich has the bread, like a meatball sub must be in a soft sub, not french baguette or grainy sliced bread, same with hot dogs, I can not stand it when people put a hot dog in a white sandwich bread and try to tell me it´s same as a hot dog bun…IT´S NOT! ….aaaah, I feel better not getting that out there :D.

Then I don´t want the sandwich to be dry but again not too much sauce.  Everything has to be in perfect balance.  The sauce should be flavorful but not overpowering and the meat should be fresh and not too processed (real ham not thin watery something pink that looks like ham).  Then there is cheese, good real cheese, not plastic!

italian sub

I love Italian meatball sub, healthy avocado sandwich often called California sandwich, my Panini grilled ground beef ciabatta sandwich is awesome, a sandwich called King from a little cafe in Copenhagen I will never forget.  I shall make a special blog about that sandwich called King.

king

This is the only photo I have of King.

I am also a fan of open sandwiches, Scandinavian Style.  Rye bread with cured salmon (grav lox)

Then, one of my all time favorite sandwich is Cuban Sandwich.  I´ve read recipes and from there I made my own.  I even made my own Cuban Sandwich bread.

A Cuban Sandwich has pork, ham, mustard, cheese and pickles.  My favorite meal at Christmas is on the 25th.  We have smoked leg of pork (organic) at 24th, our Christmas eve in Iceland and I only have it so I can make the sandwich the day after.  Usually the pork is not smoked in a Cuban but I really like using the smoked meat.

For lunch on the 25th I was making Cuban Sandwich.   This is how mine was.

cuban

Cuban Sandwich with smoked pork

  • Slices of the Christmas smoked pig
  • Ham
  • Good cheese, Swiss
  • Mustard, sweet
  • Dill Pickles, sliced
  • Ciabatta

Cut the Ciabatta open.  Add mustard, cheese, pickles, ham and pork.  Close the sandwich and press it in a panini press for couple of minutes.

cuban

The trix:  Turn the ciabatta bread inside out, the cut part should turn to the panini grill and the filling is put on the outside of the bread, you see what I mean? Then you can butter it up a bit or brush it with olive oil for a golden crust.cuban

Here is a link to an authentic Cuban sandwich recipe.

Christmas Count Down …14 – Home made corn tortillas (and plain flour)

Do you tell your kids that there is a Santa Clause?

In Iceland we have 13 santas, we call them jólasveinar – yule lads.  They are weird little guys.  13 days before Christmas they start coming to town, one every day  (they live up in THE mountains, where ever that is… : ) )

Kids put their shoe in the window before going to bed (starting when the first guy comes to town, 13 days before xmas) and when they wake up the yule lad left a gift in the shoe. But if a kid has been naughty they get a rotten potato. My mom had to tell me theses lads were just a made up fairy tale because I didn´t like those crazy guys in my bedroom while I was sleeping.  They are loud and annoying.

Now, I have a 3 year old and I am telling  her about those yule lads, and I can not lie to her that they really exists  I guess I will tell her it´s a fairy tale.  Do you think that´s terrible?  Do you think it´s important for a kid to think that 13 weird creepy guys really exist when they do not?  For me it is not a fond childhood memory, we don´t have a sweet fat guy for a santa.   Did I tell you about those yule lads mother, o my o my.  She is terrible.  She eats children.  So, should I really lie to my daughter that Gryla exists? Gryla, that´s her name, eats children?   If she will believe that the lads exists their mother comes with that package.

Telling or not telling…For me I look at it through my experience of knowing they are a good story and I love it.  I enjoyed the yule lads when I was little  more knowing that they were just a good story.  I got sweets and gifts in my shoe, but I knew it was my mom who put it there.  I really liked that and when I was little I thought I had a really nice mom giving me those nice things in my shoe when the rest of kids thought they were getting gifts form 13 creepy looking lads.

jolasveinar

You can read about the yule lads here and there you find the photo of them in a larger format for further reading to see if you´d tell your kids these guys are real…

Before I talk about food lets open window number 10

calendar10

I found a method to make the tortillas soft after heating them on the stove. I did what I do when I make Icelandic flatbread.  After cooking the flatbread/tortilla I dip it in to a bowl of cold water and from there in a tea towel.

Corn tortillas

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt

Mix everything together.  Make balls from the dough, golf ball size.  Flatten.  Bake on a dry skillet.  Dip  the tortilla in water and then keep under a moist tea towel.

This is a great video on how to make tortillas.

My favorite toppings on a tortilla is home made tomato salsa, avocado, arugula  creme fraiche and ground beef that I spice up with fresh garlic and chile pepper, fresh cilantro and salt.  (I usually write chile pepper instead of chili pepper…I guess it´s the Spanish version.)

tortillas

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.

Lazy persons bread – because it´s so easy to make

This is a bread my mom used to make when I was a kid.  It´s called lazy persons bread because it is so easy to make.  The cinnamon and the nutmeg gives it a great flavor.  It has some amount of sugar so it´s a perfect at tea time when you feel like having something good but nothing too unhealthy.

This is a recipe that might not sound interesting but I totally recommend you try it at least ones.

Lazy persons bread

  • 200 gr sugar
  • 240 gr rolled oats
  • 350 gr flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 7 dl milk

Put the dry ingredients in a bowl, mix together.  Add the milk.  Mix everything together with a spoon, takes no time.  Put in 2 greased loaf pans.  Bake for 45 – 60 minutes at 200°c.

 

The blueberries and the crawberries are almost ready to pick.  And I don´t have to go far to pick them, my backyard is covered in berries.  I can´t wait to be able to go pick some them.  I am going to fill up my freezer with berries for my smoothie that hopefully can last me all winter.

Blueberries

I love the juice from the crawberries and it´s perfect in your smoothie as well to spike it with some vodka in a sterilized bottle and keep it for few months before drinking it.  Very very good.

Crawberries

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Bread buns made in minutes…

I am one of those who could live on bread.  I love having bread with dinner, but it has to be a good bread, not the cheep store bought bread with 40 ingredients.  When I make lunch or dinner that would go well with bread, like soups or pasta and I don´t have a good bread I make these buns.  Because they take no time to make and bake.  There is no yeast so it doesn´t have to rise at all.  It is also easy to mix, just with a spoon for half a minute, until everything is mixed well together.

It is full of good stuff.  I use a seed blend ( flax seeds, sesame seeds and more) and lots of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.  You can use any seeds you want of course.

You can make a bread or buns, this time I made buns.

These buns are best when they are fresh from the oven because they are not light an fluffy at all, but if you like seeds and bread you will like it.


Easy buns

  • 1 dl rolled oats
  • 2 dl spelt flour or any flour you like
  • 2 dl seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons good quality maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 dl water

(1 cup is 2,4 dl)

Mix ingredients together in a bowl.  Make buns or a loaf.  Bake for half an hour or so at 200°c.

I hardly leave home without my camera.  This time I saw it on the table and thought, ooh well, I will probably not use it anyway so i didn´t take it.  On my way home one of the bull on the field was posing so perfectly, standing alone on  the top of the hill, like he knew I was driving by without my camera.

I had a camera phone and I took few snapshots, no zoom so the bull looks like it´s miles away… but lesson learned.  NEVER leave home without your camera.

The outside kitchen …coming soon! Icelandic flatkaka, it´s healthy – why not try it!

I am dreaming of a kitchen outside.  Shouldn´t be a problem and it´s on the drawing table since we are building our dream house in the country.

The weather here in Iceland in´t that special, but we get really good days once in a while and then it´s so worth it to have a good cooking facility outside.  I am not the sun bathing type so being able to be outside and cook, what a dream!

I have a little oven I put outside the other day when the weather was so nice.  I made the Icelandic flat bread, because it can get smoky when making it  I used tthe opportunity to do it outside.  It was so relaxing, baking outside in the sun.  It wasn´t me being baked but the bread, that´s better.

If you have a little oven like this, take it out side next time the weather is nice and try to make this recipe. Or do it inside on a rainy day…

I grew up eating this flat bread and  I love it.  I also love rye flour.  If you do, you should try this recipe.  Don´t forget to dip the cakes in water after you bake them.

I use a pancake pan, cast iron would be good, or just any pan you have.

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
  • 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.

Make little balls and flat them out in round cakes. When you flat them out, I use all purpose flour for dusting so they don´t stick to the rolling pin.

Poke the cake with a fork few times.  I use a plate I cut around, same size the pan to make them perfect circle .

 Bake it on a hot pan (dry pan, no oil or butter on the pan) for about one minute each side.  I have parchment paper between the cakes before cooking so they don´t stick together.

Dip them in water after cooking and store them in a plastic bag or under a wet towel to keep them moist and soft.

Cut the flat cake circle in half.

Serve with butter and even some sliced cucumber.  I love it with lamb pate.

This is a video in Icelandic about making flatkaka, but you don´t have to understand the language to get a better idea how flatkaka is made.

No Mcdonalds in Iceland – Sliders, beef burgers from one animal

We don´t have any Mcdonalds or Burger King in Iceland.  We ones did for few years, but it didn´t get enough costumers to stay in business.  I was one of  those who never went to Mcdonlds.

For me the best burgers are made at home with local  ground beef (100% grass fed)  from the farmers next door.  I do make the buns myself as well, specially when I make sliders.  I love sliders because sometimes I can not choose what to put on my burger because I want everything and that way I can eat 3-4 small burgers with different toppings instead of one big. Decisions, decisions, decisions…  should I have mustard and pickled cucumbers or  guacamole and chilpotle, maybe bbq and mayo….

The other day I made 16 little burger buns and 16 little 40 gr. burgers.  Few of them I marinated in bbq sause, others were plain with a dry rub and few had  Indian spice blend.

Burger buns

  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons Palmin  (or coconut fat)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt

1 cup = 2,4 dl

Heat the milk in a pot, and the fat (palmin or coconut fat)

Put everything in a “Kitchen Aid” and make a bread dough with the hook, have it run for about 4 minutes, medium speed.  (Or kneed it by hand)

Make about 16 buns from this dough.  Put it on a parchment paper on an oven plate and let it rise for about 30 minutes.

Bake it for 20-30 min at 200°c

I put eggwhite and sesame seeds on some buns before putting it in the oven.

Ground beef

  • Spices you like or bbq sauce

Make small burgers, about 40 grams each.

I added to my ground beef some finely chopped shallot, chilpotle spice, salt, pepper, barley and an egg, and mixed it well.

I made an bbq sauce in a pot: Butter, garlic, shallot, brown sugar, ketchup, canned tomatoes, pineapple juice, chilpotle spice mix, salt, pepper, red wine, and chilpotle in Adobo sauce.

Burger Raita:  The burger with the indian spices had raitia, Greek yogurt, red onion, tomatoes, red pepper and cucumber, all finely chopped.  I spiced it up with a tikka masala spice blend and garlic.

I made chilpotle sauce, that one I LOVE.  It´s half a chilpotle in adobo sauce (comes in a can) and stirred with sour cream

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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.

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