The house by the sea foodwaves


Category: Meat

The Ethical Meat Eater

I´ve been postponing this post because there is so much I could write about.  The workshop itself, ethical eating, sustainable living, recipes, food politic and KOJI, that´s a topic I need to explore.  So I´m making this post mostly about the photos I took during the class… I might do separate posts about different topics later.

So many people are going vegan these days.  I´m not going to talk about that or defend myself for eating meat. What I want to talk about today, on the other hand, is a class I took a couple of weeks ago called Charcuterie Intensive – Ethical meat workshop with Meredith Leigh.

This class was held at Bragginn, Studio in Flúðir.  They have more classes coming up.  You can follow them on facebook if you are interested in food-related classes.

It was a very informative and interesting workshop where we worked with a half hog and deconstructed it into sausages, pates, salamis and more.  A class I wouldn´t have taken if it weren’t for my friend who is a butcher and a farmer of grass-fed Gallaway cattle.   I have a passion for anything food-related:  Food politic,  what I eat, cooking, cooking shows, recipes and last but not leas sustainable living as I live in the country.  Therefore I decided to join her on this 2-day class in the countryside.  We made a weekend trip of it where we stayed in a beautiful guesthouse, ate good food and went swimming in a natural hot spring.

We also went out to dinner in Flúðir, in a great company of couple of classmates, at an Ethiopian restaurant called Minilik, a place I totally recommend.


Back to the class…  Meridith is a very knowledgable and informative teacher.  She knows soooo much about curing food and how to truly use almost every part of the animal, so nothing goes to waste.  That´s ethical cooking.

The only beef I eat comes from my farmer friends.  I know them and I know how well they take care of their animals.  The cattle are only grass-fed (I think the only grass-fed cattle in the country)   I wish people who don´t eat meat could show more respect to omnivores.   Things are not black and white.    (The way Indian women working in nut farms are treated because of high demand on cashews because so many people are turning vegan… )  Like I said, this post is not about that, so enough about it.

I will most definitely do more of my own curing, patés and sausages in the future after everything I learned.

If you are interested in cured meat, fresh sausages or smoked ham you can learn more about Meridith on her website

Now, I´m going to let the photos speak for themselves.

IMG_20190907_150844-01Paté in the making


IMG_20190907_125215-01IMG_20190907_120414-01Lunch is served


IMG_20190907_095942-01IMG_20190907_160711-01IMG_20190908_170631-01IMG_20190908_162816-01IMG_20190908_160230-01Koji Bresaola

I need to talk more about Koji later… Google it in the meantime!

IMG_20190908_160114-01IMG_20190908_160046-01IMG_20190908_105936-01Amazing sausage in the making with apricots and habanero.  More about that later.

IMG_20190908_105152-01IMG_20190908_164904-01I was very impressed by the Mortadella, or Malakoff as it is called in Icelandic.









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.


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

Happy New Year – Burger of the year

Happy New year.  I love the beginning of a new year and I love love love Action Planner Diary.  I love when I get a new one in the beginning of the year.  It´s so sleek and “unwritten”.  I always tell myself that this year I will be organized and write with a nice handwriting on each page.  But each week in the diary ends up with poor handwriting and very unorganized scrabble and doodle all over the place.

It was the same when the school year started.  I sharpened my pencils and was really gonna do my homework every day.  Not many days passed when all my pencils were broken, the sharpener gone missing and I totally had something better to do than homework.

From all this I have learned, I don´t make any New Years Resolutions.  I am not gonna eat less or better because I already eat well enough.  I am not gonna exercise more because I find my walks with the kids and housework enough exercise.  I am not gonna quit drinking because…!  : )

Instead of resolutions I like to make focal points.  This year my focus will be on 4 things. Family – Work –  Food – Art.

And talking about food.  I made a really nice dinner tonight.  I was gonna make a huge hamburger but then I decided to change it to sliders.  For those of you who wants to eat less… Make sliders instead of a big burger.  One slider is more than enough with some veggies on the side.  I would say a slider is about 1/3 of a regular burger.

I did make some Croquettas as well.  I had leftovers of Brandade, salted cod.  I will tell you all about it later.

I was watching this show called Man VS Food the other day and he was in Texas and the burger he had was AWESOME.  It had a pile of cheese and jalapenos.  I have been thinking about it since then.  Since I am not in Texas, but Iceland and not everything is big in Iceland I made a slider.  : )

Okey I had 2 sliders, I am not on a diet you see…


Hamburger with jalapeno

  • 500 g  ground beef
  • 1/2 onion
  • Garlic cloves, 3-4
  • Handful of old  foccacia bread (put in a mixer) with a splash of milk*
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and Pepper

Mix everything well together.  *I made foccacia the other day with olives, rosmarin and feta cheese.  I put it in a mixer to make breadcrumbs then added some milk.

Make hamburger patties.


On top

  • Jalapeno, fresh and canned…I used both
  • 4-6 tablespoons Creme Fraiche
  • 4-6 tablespoons shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper

All mixed well.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the paddies.  Spoon the jalapeno cheese on top and put under a broiler until the cheese melts and gets some brown spots.  Put in a burger bread.  I put the burger bread on the pan I fried the burgers on for few seconds and threw them under the broiler as well for a minute.  I also used a regular burger bread I cut with a champagne glass to make the same size as the burgers.

I had nothing else on the burger.  The jalapeno cheese mix and the foccacia in the patties are very flavorful.  This was so good.  Day two of the year and I already peaked when it comes to making the best burger ever  😛

So, anything planned for 2013?

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.


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


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.)


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.


I am also here:




“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.

You can also find me here:




Fun way to serve spaghetti and hot dogs – great for kids

This is what I love about the internet, being able to browse around until you find clever Ideas like this one.  It is so simple yet I wouldn´t have thought of it myself.  The kids can help with making dinner..

What you need is:

  • Hot dogs
  • Spaghetti
  • Ketchup


Cut up the hot dogs, each in 4 parts.

Stick the spaghetti in them. Boil until the spaghetti is ready.

The healthy version could be chicken or turkey dogs with whole wheat pasta.

A TV Chef in my kitchen…. Taping…and CUT!

We have few TV chef celebs in Iceland.  One of them and my favorite is a girl called Hrefna Sætran, she has a really cool TV cooking show.   She had read my blog.  I have been blogging about food in Icelandic for few years now.  Few months ago she asked me if she could visit with her crew and have me cook something for her for the show.

I was going to say no because I am kind of shy, but I don´t know how to say no so I said yes, thankfully, because she was really nice and easy going and the whole experience seeing and being part of  making a TV show was so much fun.

You can find the recipe in Icelandic here with nice photos attached.  Too bad I don´t have the show online, but if I ever do I´ll post a link to it.

I made Lahmacun, sometimes called Turkish pizza, one of my favorite pizza ever.

This is a photo from Hrefna´s TV blog, taken by her pro photograher, Björn,  of the Lahmacun I made.


  • 400 g ground lamb (choose some good part of the lamb)
  • 1 onion
  • Handful  fresh mint
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • 1/2 red chile pepper (make sure it has some bite)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 can whole tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt

Ground the beef and the onion.

Finely chop the mint and coriander.

Finely chop the red chile pepper.

Grind the garlic, cut the pepper small, cut the tomatoes.  Mix everything in a bowl with the herbs, salt, lemon juice and olive oil.

Roll out the pizza dough, I made 4 individual pizzas.  Make them thin!  You can use any pizza dough recipe you like.

Put the ground beef mixture on top of the pizza dough.  Bake in oven at 220°c for 15 minutes or so, until the beef is cooked. (The ground beef goes raw in the oven)

Topping (added when the pizza  comes out of the oven)

  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon juice
  • Red onion

After the pizza is out of the oven add finely chopped parsley, sliced red onion and squeeze a little bit lemon juice over it.

I recommend you ground your own lamb…that way you can choose a good bite of lamb and you know what kind of meat you are getting : )

The house by the sea on Facebook.  I am posting all kinds of things related to food.
If you like food, good recipes, food politics and everything else related to food this is the page to like.

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

The house by the sea on Facebook.
I am posting all kinds of things related to food.
If you like food, good recipes, food politics and everything else related to food this is the page to like.

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


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!

%d bloggers like this: