The house by the sea foodwaves


Category: Sauces. dips and on the side

Labneh – middle eastern sour cream

I have told you how you can make your own sour cream with Buttermilk, it  was in October, last year.  You could have told me it was 3 months ago and I would have believed you.

It´s October again!   If you didn´t already read by blog about home made sour cream you can find it here.

Once you have your home made sour cream, or should we call it Créme Fraiche you are a step away from a wonderful Labneh to serve with Middle- Eastern food.


Simply put your sour cream product, a cup or so, in a bowl and sprinkle with a teaspoon of chile flakes and finely chopped flat leaf parsley.  Blend it together with a fork and in the end pour over something like 2 tablespoons of your finest Extra Virgin Olive Oil.




I served the Labneh with meatballs of minced lamb cooked in tomato passata in a pita bread, made from a leftover pizza dough baked on the stove.






It´s October…again!

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.


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!


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.


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


Deep fried cod with almost Remoulade

I bought a lot of fresh fish the other day, some of it I put in the freezer but the cod I wanted to cook right a way.


When we lived in Madrid there was an old bar that was serving deep fried salted cod and it was very good.  We washed it down with glasses of red wine, and I say glasses in plural, since the glasses were tiny, but that was the fun thing.  They served you more wine when they saw an empty glass on the house.


It was an old place with old interior, nothing fancy but the atmosphere was great.  It was mostly older local people that came there.


In Spain in many places people throw the napkins on the floor…very Spanish…

I recommend you serve Crianza in small cheep glasses with this dish…
Deep fried cod

For the batter:

  • Flour
  • Beer
  • Salt
  • Smokey & Sweet paprika spice

About one cup of flour and one of beer, (so it looks like a pancake batter).  A teaspoon of salt, pepper and paprika.  Mix well.


The Cod:

  • Cod
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil for frying

Salt and pepper the cod.  Cover the cod in batter.  Deep fry

It is also awesome to use salted cod if you can get your hands on that.

A minute before serving the cod my husband threw it out that it might be good to have a little sauce with it, maybe a Remoulade .  Since we don´t have anything like that in our fridge I made a sauce.


A cold Almost Remoulade

  • 3-4 Pickles
  • 1/2White onion
  • 3-5 tbsp Sour cream
  • 3-5 tbsp Homemade mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Good Dijon like mustard
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • Pepper

Put everything in a blender and mix well.  Serve cold

Egg salad

What is the best food you´ve made or tasted this year?  Already almost two months done of 2013 and I feel like it was early January yesterday.  I´ve been keeping busy for sure and I´ve been cooking a lot and everything from scratch.   My favorite meal of 2013 so far are Chinese Dumplings I made the other day.  I will tell you all about it next time.

I was gonna slice some veggies to serve with bread.  Then I decided to cut it very small and throw it in a egg salad.  It was very fresh and tasty, perfect with my homemade sourdough bread.

egg salad

Egg salad 

  • Homemade mayo or sour cream, 3-5 tablespoons
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1-2 spring onions
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • Salt and pepper

Cut the eggs and dice all the veggies very fine.  Mix everything together with the homemade mayo or sour cream.  Season with salt and pepper, about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 of pepper.

It got cold last week but the dogs at the farm next door didn´t mind it and were playing in the snow.  Thankfully this week it´s a bit warmer.


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.


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.

Homemade mayonnaise

Some times when I try to make mayo it doesn´t work.  So I tried to find out what I was doing wrong.  People are doing this in a food processor in one minute, but mine never ended like a mayo when I tried that… I will keep trying.  But when I whisk it by hand it usually works well.

I found out that the yolk and the oil must be at room temperature.  You can speed the process by putting the egg in a warm water, if you are grabbing them straight from the fridge.   I never thought of that until I read it some where…thank god for smart people and the internet!


  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • Olive oil, about 3/4 cup
  • Salt, just a pinch
  • Lemon juice, 1-2 tbsp

Now you need a whisk and a strong arm.  It´s hard to whisk by hand for few minutes, so have someone with you to take turns.

Mix up the yolk, salt and lemon juice.  Pour the oil VEEERY slowly, drops only.  Then when you get it thick  enough, looking like a mayo, you can pour the oil faster, until you have the consistence you like.

You can use any kind of oil, veggie oil, olive oil, peanut oil. Extra virgin has more flavor, but I kind of like that.

Spice it up as you like, with Dijon or garlic for example.  (By mixing it in with the yolk).

One of my neighbor in the country was enjoying the good weather last summer.  I wouldn´t mind a vacation to a warm place right now.

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Creme Fraiche – homemade from one ingredient

This simple method is what comes close to being a Creme Fraiche without using cream. You simply put buttermilk in a coffee  filter over a cup and let it drip through.  What goes in the cup is the whey and what´s left in the coffee filter is the “Creme Fraiche”.

It takes only about couple of hours to get 1 cup.

Sour cream and Creme Fraiche is not the same thing and I think this method is giving you something closer to being a Creme Fraiche.

Happy October…

Thai sweet chili sauce & cream cheese – best dip for nachos

I find it an experience to name my kids.  I “exposed” the name of my baby boy last weekend.  It was a name I would not have Imagined I´d ever name my boy.  I don´t know anyone personally with this name and it is not very common.  Both my husband and myself were totally sure when we saw it in a name-book that this would be it.  It suited him perfectly. We used it for a while before we told everyone to see how it grew on him.

In Iceland you have 6 months to name your baby from when it´s born.  So you don´t have to have a name ready before you give birth.  I like that, we named him little before his 3 month birthday so we got to know his personality and we saw that this name suited his personality.  If we would have had to name him the day he was born I probably would have chosen another name and even something already in the family.

I could go on and on about naming babies.  I am very happy with the name we found for our boy.  His name is Fróði.  It means “wise” and also “being full of life´s energy” .  The English version would be Frodo and probably most famous for being the name of a character in The lord of the rings.

Now I am going to give you a ecipe for the perfect party dish.  This is a combo you must try.  If you are going to meet friends  and need to bring something to pick on this is it!  Look no further, try it! TRY IT.  It is the easiest thing ever.  Buy nachos, any kind you like, maybe 2 different types ( the blue Doritos goes also well with this).  Buy cream cheese and Sweet Thai chili sauce.  If you have extra half an hour make your own chili sauce.  It´s easy!

Thai sweet chili sauce and cream cheese

  • Sweet Thai chili sauce
  • Cream cheese
  • Nachos

Scoop out the cream cheese on a plate.  Pour the chili sauce over the cheese.  Serve with nachos.

This is soooo goood.  i have not served this to one person who doesn´t like it…i mean LOVE IT!

homemade butter – 1 ingredient

It´s so cool to watch heavy cream become butter.  It takes only couple of minutes to happen and within 10 minutes you have your own homemade butter

If you have never tried to make your own butter I recommend you try it, just to see how it´s done and to be able to impress your dinner guests with a homemade butter with that homemade bread you make for starter, like you get at the good restaurants….when you are too full when the main course comes because you ate all the bread and asked for more…

It´s very easy to make this, takes about 10 minutes using a Kitchen aid.  Here in Iceland i am not saving bucks making this myself because heavy cream is rather expensive here compared to a piece of butter.  But it´s fun, cool and interesting and homemade is always best: ) .

Before I tried it. I watched this video.  It shows very well how to do this.  There are lots of videos on youtube  about making butter and you can probably find some about making it with a blender for example.

Homemade butter

  • 1/2 L heavy cream

Whip the cream for 2-3 minutes until the watery  part  (that is a buttermilk) separates. Pour the buttermilk  into a glass.  (But keep it, you can use it for making bread or something).

Now you only have the solid part in the bowl.  Put 1/2 cup ice cold water  in the bowl and use the paddle tool  to get more liquid out of the butter.  Squeeze all the liquid out of the butter with a spoon.

You can see when you got a good piece of butter.  The more liquid you squeeze out the longer you can store the butter they say.

Your butter is ready.  At this point you can add herbs into the blender, or salt or even a bit of good olive oil if you like.  Improvise!

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!

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