The house by the sea foodwaves


Category: Seafood

Mussels – In season

I am a big fan of eating seasonal and it is interesting to do so when you live in Iceland.  In October all food blogs and food related websites are filled with recipes with pumpkins.  We do not grow pumpkins in Iceland.  Lately they have been imported and when available at the supermarket it is very very expensive.


In season in November for us is mussels, and best of all you can go pick it yourself FOR FREE!  Since my house is by the sea  it takes me a minute to go to the shore to get mussels.  We go quite often when it is save to pick them, that being any month that got the letter R in it.  That is basically from September to April.


I have cooked mussels many ways.  My favorite is a simple recipe with cream and Dijon mustard.

The trick when cooking mussels is to let them steam rather than boil.  Put very little water to the pot and cover it with the lid, bring to boil.  Then add the mussels.  When you see they have opened they are ready to eat.  It takes no more than 5 minutes.


Mussels with Dijon-Cream sauce

  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 L heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup White wine (and another for steaming
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Heat the skillet on medium heat, saute the onion, then add crushed garlic. Add cup of white wine, the cream and mustard.

I steam the mussels in a cup of white wine, you can also use water.

Put the wine or water in a pot, cover and bring to boil. Throw in the mussels, put the lid back on and steam until they open up, about 5 minutes.

While eating the mussels there is nothing like dipping a slice of  fresh sour dough bread in the Dijon-cream sauce that´s left on your plate.


Another easy recipe is heating oil on a skillet, add garlic, chile and ginger, then you add a can of  coconut milk.  Steam the mussels as before, throw them on the skillet with the coconut milk.  Serve with fresh cilantro.


I have also made pasta Marinera with mussels.  Lots of options when you got good mussels, My daughter loves mussels, I have never seen her eat anything  with as much pleasure.  Her recipe is like that.


Mussels a la Jóhanna

  • Mussels

Steam mussels in water.  Serve.


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

Tuna under a roof – the first meal I cooked for my husband

This was the first dinner I made for my husband, it was soon after we started dating..  We are talking about almost 20 years ago I put a nice table cloth over my writing desk (I was living with my parents in a small room)  I served the dinner with a  bottle of Lambrusco, not my first choice of a bottle of wine today but….good old days.  I was not the red wine drinker then that I am now.

This was before the time of digital cameras and instagram so I don´t have any photos from this event, yet it truly lives in the memories, like it happened yesterday, almost!


I have a little suitcase full of recipes I´ve been collecting from papers and so on.  I found the recipe I made for my husband in this suitcase the other day and completely forgot how it tasted so I decided to make it again.  It tasted nicer in the memory, but not to bad though.

The list of ingredients is rather basic, not very processed, if you buy a nice can of tuna it not too bad, but with butter and cheese it is not very slimming.  I am sure many kids might like this dish.

This is how it goes:


Tuna under a roof (from Gott úr ofninum, NR 95.  Osta og smjörsalan sf.)

  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 red pepper, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 1/2 dl milk
  • 200 g tuna, canned
  • 3 boiled eggs, cut in 6 pieces each.
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

 The roof:

  • 225 g flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 dl milk
  • 75-100 g 26%cheese, shredded
  • 2 red peppers, chopped

Heat the oven to 220°c. Melt butter in a pan, add onion and red pepper, cook until soft.  Add flour, then milk.  Stir well until it thickens  Add salt, add tuna, egg and  lemon juice.  Put the mixture in an oven proof dish.


The roof: Mix together flour and baking powder, add salt and pepper.  Put in the butter (with your fingertips). Add milk, kneed well until soft and shiny.  Roll it out in a square.


 Spread the cheese and red pepper on the square.


Roll it up.


Cut it in 2 cm slices.


Put the slices over the tuna mixture.


Bake for 30 minutes.


This is how the picture looks like in the recipe brochure, very tasty looking …



Salmon fiesta at lunch time and never ending food scandals

So, I guess most of you have heard about the horse meat scandal.  In Iceland they decided to take examples from Icelandic food products to see if they found horse meat in it.  There was no horse.  I guess since we eat a lot of horse in Iceland they would just say it contained horse meat.  But the “funny thing” was, they tested a beef pie from one company and it contained ta taaaaa…no beef, just no MEAT at all, not even a horse.  30 % of the pie was supposed to be beef.  I guess you can call it a vegetarian beef pie.

Like I´ve said so many times, stop buying all this processed and ready made food.  I know making everything from scratch is hard, but it is so rewarding and worth it.

And if you are too lazy too cook, just boil potatoes and fish and serve it with a good pinch of real butter, homemade even 😉



This summer we were at home with our new born and the neighbors were on a summer vacation so we had lots of food fiestas.  One took place at our house at lunch time.  The men had been outside working on the houses (we are both building our houses).  I was in the kitchen and made a lovely meal, worth writing down.

This was a healthy and a very tasty meal. Barley goes very well with salmon.

I made Teriaki Salmon with barley salad and teriaki dressing.  The Teriaki was made of  mirin, soy sauce and sugar.

Barley salad

  • Barley, boiled
  • Ruccola
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Red pepper

Cut veggies, mix well.


Christmas Countdown …2 – Salted Cod, Mediterranean style

Tomorrow is what we call Þorláksmessa, the Mass of St. Thorlak.  You can read all about it here on Wikipedia.  It is a custom that day to eat fermented skate.  It stinks so badly from ammonia.  I don´t eat fermented skate but I really like to have salted cod instead.  I usually just like my salted con plain with boiled potatoes and lots of butter.

Salted cod it is really good  with zucchini and eggplant, Mediterranean style.

I don´t have a picture of this dish, but I will give you the recipe anyways.  If you don´t have salted cod I am sure this goes well with any kind of white fish, plain cod or haddock, but salted cod is so goooooood.

This is one of my favorite dishes.
Salted cod with zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes(From a cookbook by Siggi Hall)

  • 1 kg salted cod, with no skin or bones
  • 1 dl flour
  • 1 dl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 eggplant, roughly chopped
  • 1 zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • Handful of finely chopped fresh basil
  • Little bit of finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 dl White Wine
  • Salt and Pepper

Cut the fish in nice pieces, roll it in the flour and fry it in the oil on a frying pan, about 2 minutes each side. Set a side.

On a frying pan, lightly cook the eggplant and zucchini with the garlic.  Add tomatoes and herbs.  Stir well together.  Add the vinegar, syrup and finally the white wine.  Boil it together.  Salt and Pepper.  Put the veggies on a plate and put the fish on top.

We went to a Christmas ball for kids at my husbands work.  My little one really liked the santa.  Here is a photo of her, she is the one in the middle of the photo 🙂


Window number 22, yay!


Food photography & the fake never melting Ice cream – Scallops with fennel

If you are into reading food blogs or are a food blogger you might have noticed all the great food blogs with awesome photos, a truly well composed and uber stylish.  That is a full time job my friend.

I can tell you that when I make a little effort into taking a little bit nicer photo it takes time and usually I have people sitting down and waiting to eat when I start this photo shooting nonsense.  I don´t want to keep people waiting or eat my food cold so usually my photos are just a snap shot. Like the one below.  It was an awesome dish and the photo could be more stylish, I knooooow.  I could have sprayed some hair spray over it to make more shiny….but I didn´t because I was so eager to try this dish of mine.  I do make food and eat it, I don´t cook for photo shoots.

BUT…I came a cross a blog about food photography and styling and they have all kind of trick about making food look good.  And there I saw that sometimes what you see is not what you think it is, like they have a trick for the never melting ice cream, hmmm, ice cream that never melts…. exactly, it´s not an ice cream but it sure does look like one tasty bowl of vanilla ice.

So maybe I can go find something that looks like scallops and creamy sauce and make this dish again to get a better shot 😀

Since this hobby of mine is about cooking and eating I will relax on the shooting, believe me…it´s a pressure out there to have nice shots. I can´t take the pressure…joke… I will make my best but I will also be eating after I shoot, a WARM meal.

My melted Ice cream, I have a lot to learn about food photography …just kidding.  

This is a chocolate Ganache, but now I am learning. I could use this picture for a delicious brown sauce with meat balls or maybe Black bean soup or melted chocolate ice cream. (smiley).

We did have some food in the kitchen the other day, little bit of this, little of that…but nothing was planned for dinner.  In stead of buying what we thought we might need we cooked from what we had.  That is always so much fun.

I made one dish and my boyfriend one, first me then him.  We call it Foodwaves when we cook like this.  We made a huge concept about Foodwaves with Manifesto and all. I will tell you all about Foodwaves next time.

Here is my photo of this super awesome dish.  No studio lights or nice props (or hair spray), just solid good old scallops

and slightly over exposed…

Scallops with fennel for two

  • 4 Scallops
  • 1/2 bulp of Fennel
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • Lemon, juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt, a pinch
  • Pepper, litlle bit
  • Orange juice, a splash (that fits in a shot glass)
  • Cream, a double splash
  • Cucumber, 1/2 cup, finely diced
  • Basil
  • Organic chicken stock, a dash.
  • olive oil

I didn´t mesure any ingredients, just made it by feeling.  I will try to be as accurate in the recipe as I can, but with those ingredients it´s hard to make something bad.

Slice up fennel, use half of it now and half later.  Dice the cucumber.  Mix well and set a side.  This is the fresh salad under the scallops, a mixture of cucumber and fresh fennel.

Fry the rest of the  fennel with garlic and then add lemon juice and a little bit of fresh good orange juice and chicken stock.  Salt and pepper.  Little bit of cream and fresh basil.

On a skillet with little bit of olive oil, fry the scallops.  Before frying make sure they are patted dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.   You only need to cook the scallops for couple of minutes, about one – two  minutes each side.  Be sure it´s warm all the way trough, but don´t over cook it.

Put the salad on the plate, then the scallops on top and pour over the fennel cream sauce. Garnish with fresh basil. Serve right a way.

With only 2 scallops each this is just a tiny starter.

A new recipe game, who want´s to play? Prawn salad with Farro and Cannellini beans

The good thing about asking what to have for dinner is that I got recipes I haven´t tried before, one of them being a very fresh salad with blackened prawns.

The funny thing, I got it from a fellow blogger who had adapted it from another food blogger and now I´m adapting it… It´s like the whispering game…You say a word in someones ear and ten ears later it´s a totally different word.

Now someone needs to try my recipe and adapt it.  I don´t know how this game would work…who wants to adapt my recipe? 🙂

This is the original recipe:
Mango and Avocado Quinoa Salad with Blackened Shrimp

My fellow blogger, Trials in food:
Recipe (adapted from Daily Crave)

Here is my recipe:

Yellow, red, green and shrimp.  I haven´t bought prawns for a long time, I always buy  the small lobster tail when I find it on a good price.  What I love about this salad is the combination of warm and cold ingredients, the warm farro, beans and prawns and then fresh raw veggies. It was a big hit at the dinner table tonight.

Instead of Quinoa I used organic Farro. I didn´t have black beans so I used Cannellini beans.    I didn´t have cilantro and I skipped cumin.  Instead of Farro one could also use Barley.

Prawn salad with Farro and Cannellini beans (adapted from Trials in food) for 3-4

  • 1 cup Farro (boiled for 40 min or so)
  • 2 red peppers
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 cup Cannellini beans (boiled or canned)
  • 3-4 green onions
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn ( you can skip this if you don´t get good corn)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Tiger Prawns (I used about 12)
  • Blackening seasoning for the prawns, I used paprika, oregano, hot pizza spice mix, salt and pepper.

Boil beans, boil Farro.  Dice the veggies rather small.  Blackened the prawns. Mix everything together in a big bowl and serve.

More about authentic blackening seasoning and how to do the blackening  here.

– The ever adapted salad –

Daily Crave

Trials in food

The House by the sea – foodwaves


Now I will go shop for the chicken chili recipe I got …

Every year Yoko Ono comes to Iceland to light up the Imagine Peace Tower.

It is a beautiful light beam and even more impressive when the Northern Lights are around.



Eating lobster with avocado and enjoying the sunset

I have a great view from my living room window over Snæfellsjökull, the glacier Jules Verne wrote about in A Journey to the Center of the Earth where the entrance to the center of the earth was.

These days the sun is sitting above the glacier, it´s very pretty.



And zoom in…

Lobster and avocado is a great match.  If you got that you can play with spices and other ingredients.  This is how I usually do it.  I don´t use much because I like to keep the flavor simple.  Garlic, butter and lobster…that´s a must.

After you scoop out the avocado you can use the avocado skin for bowls, that´s  a nice presentation.

Lobster with avocado

  • Lobster tail or any lobster cut into bite sizes
  • Avocado
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Red onion, cut small
  • Red pepper, cut small
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Butter

Scoop out the avocado, do it gently if you want to keep the skin for bowls.  Cut the avocado into bites and sprinkle Maldon salt over it.

Melt butter on a pan, sweat the garlic, onion and the red pepper. Add the lobster (that you´ve already cut into bite size parts.

Put the lobster mix with the avocado and mix gently.  Put the lobster-avocado mix in individual bowls and serve.

Make sure you use soft avocados.

Don´t over cook the lobster.

You could also use tiger prawns.

Grilled salmon with blueberries and thyme

I love salmon. I love going salmon fishing but it is rather expensive to go salmon fishing here in Iceland.  One day in a decent salmon river like the one that is close by where I live can costs about 1000 $.

So I just go to the store these days and buy my fish there.

The other day friends invited us to dinner.  They were smoking salmon on the bbq.  We were at their summerhouse so they used what was around in the yard to spice up the fish, thyme, blueberries, crawberries and smoked it with birch.

You can use f.x a metal cookie box to smoke it in.  Put the birch you chop down on the bottom of the box, then the salmon on the rack, the lid and then seal it with aluminum paper. Cut some air holes on the sides.

Smoke it for 20 minutes or so on your bbq, until it´s cooked all through.

The recipe would be something like this…

Smoked salmon

  • 1 salmon fillet
  • Salt pepper
  • Crawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Fresh thyme
  • Birch for smoking

Cut the birch into little peaces and put it in the smoking box.  Put some salt and pepper on the salmon and but the berries and the thyme on top o the fish. Seal the box like I mentioned. Put the box on the bbq, close it and cook the salmon until it´s done.  About 20 minutes in this case.

Svartá (Black River)

On of my favorite salmon river in Iceland is called Svartá, that means Black river.


Inspired by Aloo Palak

I have a garden full of spinach and it´s growing so fast that I need to find more spinach recipes.  Soon my potatoes in the garden will be ready as well.    I found a recipe for Aloo Palak and used it as an inspiration for this dish.  If you have a garden full of spinach and potatoes you need to use, then this recipe is perfect.


Spinach potato dish

  • 1-2 handfuls spinach
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoon good Indian spice blend
  • 5-6 boiled potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Little bit of milk, 1/2 dl or so
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bit of butter

Wash the spinach and heat it on a pan with little bit of water.  Mix it in a blender.  Set a side.

Brown onion on a pan with little butter and garlic.  Add the spices, then finely chopped  tomatoes and sugar.  Add the spinach, splash of milk and stir.  Add potatoes, salt and pepper if you like.

I added extra pinch of butter in the end because they say everything tastes better with butter 😉


Ready to eat, I served mine with cod.

This is one of my favorite photo, called Sierra.  It wasn´t planned or posed, It was more of a snapshot.  The light outside was beautiful and a great contrast in shadows because of the trees in the yard.

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