The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Category: Pizza

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

IMG_8060

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

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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

 

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

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

We already talked about the crust, what you need to get the best pizza crust.  It is meaningless to have this great crust if you don´t have a good sauce : )

Before I talk about the sauce I am going to name the most important things in making the best crust.

  • Good flour
  • Pinch the dough instead of rolling it
  • Preheat oven, highest setting and finish the baking on grill
  • Bake at high heat for the shortest time possible
  • Bake the pizza on a hot, preheated pan.  (put the dough on the pan before you put on rest of ingredients)
  • Keep the pizza as close to the grill element as possible

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

Now let´s talk sauce!

  • Few quality ingredients
  • Fresh basil
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • Little bit of garlic

You have to have good tomatoes.  If you will not be roasting your own but using canned, buy the organic more expensive quality ones that are free of added sugar or anything  else and with real tomato flavor.

pizzasause

Tomato sauce

  • Roasted tomatoes, without the skin
  • Few cloves roasted garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh basil
  • Very good Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Take the skin off by cutting an X on top of them and  putting them in boiling water for 20 sec, that way the skin goes off easily.

Cut them in half and put them on a parchment paper. Pour some very good olive oil over them and little bit of salt and pepper.  Roast them for couple of hours on low heat.  Throw in few whole garlic for roasting as well.

Put them in a blender with some fresh basil.  Add more oil if needed.

Let´s see…

Fresh tomatoes or can of good organic chopped/whole tomatoes , not diced because they usually have the skin on.

Roast the tomatoes if you are using fresh ones.

A good quality olive oil is rarely available in a supermarket.  Got to a gourmet stores you can trust.

Fresh basil!  FRESH FRESH FRESH.

Now we know what to do for a good sauce.  Next time we will talk about the toppings.

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.

My drops in the internet ocean can be found here…

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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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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.

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.

Lahmacun

  • 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 : )

hakk
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.

Cheesy blog

I have been experimenting with making cheese.  If you have a good milk, juice from a lemon and a rennet, you´re good to go. Well even just with milk and lemon juice you can make a nice Ricotta.  But adding a rennet and it´s super easy to make any kind of cheese, for example, Mozzarella.

Like always, before I try something new, I google it and I find it good to watch some videos on youtube.

This guy is a pro, he is a cheese shop owner and this guy is in his kitchen at home and explains well  how to make a mozzarella.  Then you can browse through bunch of other videos about making cheese.

The only acid I used was the lemon juice and it worked well.

This is how I did it this time.  If you watch the videos I linked  and check this out, a  little more info about making Mozzarella, you are good to go.  When doing things the first time it may sound more complicated than it is, but after one time making it, you will find it easy cheesy…

Mozzarella

  • 2 L organic fresh milk
  • 2-3 drops of rennet (mixed with 2 drops of water)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Put milk and lemon in a pot, heat it at 30°c.  Stir now and then.
When the milk is 30°c add the rennet and heat it to 37°c
Turn off the heat and take the pot of the stove.  Let it stand with a lid on for 20- 30 minutes.

Pour the whey out with a sieve.  What you got in the sieve is what will be the cheese.

Now you have to squeeze out all the whey.  Don´t be surprised on how little cheese you get out of 2 liters of milk.  They say you get 100 g of cheese from one L of milk.  But you can use the whey for all kinds of things.  It is very healthy.  You can add it to your smoothie, use it for baking bread and more.  (Lot´s of Ideas on Google).

Heat water in the pot to 90°c.  Add the cheese to the water.  you can also microwave the cheese.  After you heat it you will be kneading it for a bit and make a mozzarella ball.

I used my cheese on a pizza.

I had a friend with me in the kitchen and we made both mozzarella and ricotta.  it was such a good and cheesy pizza.  You can´t beat the homemade stuff!

And then it was perfect on with the bruschetta,the classic version: Good bread, bunch of super awesome extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh basil and ripe and juicy tomatoes…grilled to perfection.

Pizza with colorful tomatoes

The Icelandic tomatoes are not very interesting.  The typical, rather small, not very red and never ripe, kind of sour… you might know what I mean.  They look like this…

 

We have no varieties and not the best climate to grow our own, and there are not interesting  farmers markets, selling vegetable, in Iceland.  When I got the change to go to a farmers market in Canada last summer I went nuts, the tomatoes were so ripe and beautiful, beautiful because they were not “perfect” looking.  All kinds of tomatoes with character.

 

I have been reading about tomatoes in few books lately.  It´s saying that it´s not about how the tomatoes taste that matters, it´s how they look.  And organic tomatoes that are not pretty enough, the supermarkets don´t want to buy them so a lot of them gets thrown away.  And the tasteless ones that are so hard you can knock out a person with them or break your tiles if you drop them get sold.  Because they look “perfect”.  (They make them with a tough skin so they can travel 100000 of miles without breaking i guess) If you want to read more about the subject check out a chapter in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle or the book Tomatoland.

 

If you get the chance of buying some nice and juicy red, yellow and green tomatoes then you can make a beautiful looking tomato pizza. And what goes well with tomatoes? Mozzarella cheese and some fresh basil. And a little bit of finely sliced garlic is so good.  Then a little drizzle of a very good real olive oil, not the olive oil wannabes from the supermarket.

 

Pizza dough

  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 500 g flour (or a little less og little more)
  • 300 ml Luke warm water
  • Pinch of salt

Let the yeast foam in a 100 ml of warm water with the sugar. It takes about 5 minutes. I do this in the kitchen aid bowl.

Add the rest of the water, salt and flour to the yeast mix.

Let your machine work on it for a bit, or knead with hands, I find the less I knead with hands the softer the dough becomes.  But I have the machine going for 5-10 minutes.

Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise until it doubles. (I used a double recipe so I got LOTS of dough, but good thing about pizza dough is you can keep it in the fridge for few days and it just gets better the next time you use it).  Or you can make a baguette from the rest of the dough.

Add a little more flour to knead it down and then flatten out to make pizza.

Top it with some crushed canned tomatoes or a nice pizza sauce, the tomatoes, sliced garlic and mozzarella cheese. Bake to perfection.

When ready garnish with fresh basil and even some arugula salad, that is soooo good.

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