The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Dessert for Christmas and winter wonderland in Iceland

 

kokosdesert

I was asked to give readers of a local news paper good recipe for dessert.  I went for the coconut dessert because it is one of the best I´ve had and it is fresh after a heavy Christmas dinner. With some red and green it even looks very festive.

coconut

coconut

I have blogged about it before and you can find the recipe here.

rapsberry

When we get show in Iceland we sometimes say “King Winter has arrived”. He sure arrived with a blast couple of weeks ago with lots of snow, but the snow was gone few days later.  It was such a pretty sight in the country.

snowMy backyard

snow

By Meðalfellsvatn

snowLaxárnes seen from Drengur

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.

mussels

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.

mussels

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

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.

mussels

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.

mussels

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

Mussels a la Jóhanna

  • Mussels

Steam mussels in water.  Serve.

mussels

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.

labneh

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.

meatballs

pita

 

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.

 

labneh

 

fall

 

It´s October…again!

Soy sauce and not a soy sauce !

If you go out to buy a soy sauce make sure you are buying the real thing.  A real soy sauce has soybeans but a fake one is made with extract, coloring and artificial flavors.

Kikkoman has a real one, La Choy is a chemical soy sauce.

Serious Eats has a good article on soy sauces, you can read it here.

I was reading a book called The fortune Cookie Chronicles and it has a chapter about soy sauce, This book is a good read.

In Iceland we have fresh sushi in almost every supermarket in town.  For me it is getting the fast food stamp on it and I don´t buy it, maybe it´s all good quality and all but I want my sushi high quality to enjoy it the most.

I for example don´t understand why people use surimi in sushi, it´s kind of the “pink slime” in burgers.   Here is the ingredients list I found for surimi  on this page

Alaska Pollock, Water, Egg Whites, Wheat Starch, Sugar, Corn Starch, Sorbitol, Contains 2% or Less of the Following: King Crab Meat, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Extracts of Crab, Oyster, Scallop, Lobster and Fish (Salmon, Anchovy, Bonito, Cutlassfish), Refined Fish Oil (Adds a Trivial Amount of Fat) (Anchovy, Sardine), Rice Wine (Rice, Water, Koji, Yeast, Salt), Sea Salt, Modified Tapioca Starch, Carrageenan, Yam Flour,Hydrolyzed Soy, Corn, and Wheat Proteins, Potassium Chloride, Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate, Sodium Pyrophosphate, Carmine, Paprika. 

I heard that parents of children under the age of 6 years old are advised not to give their kids rice crackers, rice milk or baby food with rice because of arsen you find in rice.  Always check out ingredients on baby food, lots of it has rice in it.

Well this blog ended from being a blog about soy to a blog about soy, sushi, surimi and arsen,

Before i let you go I am gonna end this blog with a recipe of my favorite recipe when we make sushi at home.

salmon

salmon in a bowl

  • Fresh salmon
  • Spring onion
  • Fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • Sesame seads
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado

Cut the salmon and the avocado into small bite size bites.  Finely chop the spring onion, ginger and the cucumber. Mix it all together and divide into individual  bowls and add the sesame seeds, a teaspoon or so into each bowl.  Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce on the side.

If you got some caviar that would be a nice addition.  You can as well use smoked salmon instead of fresh.

 

forgetmenotOne of my favorite flower

 

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.

Rye-tortilla with veggies and a foggy day

We got the craziest fog the other day and we watched it crawl into the fjord. In fifteen minutes we went from sunny clear sky to a total fog so I couldn´t see the house next a cross the road.

fog

fog

flatbread

I had spent the day outside baking rye bread as I often do since It can get rather smokey if I do it inside.  Then I made few  tortillas for lunch using the Icelandic flat bread recipe.  If you like the taste of rye this you must try.

tortilla

Rye tortillas with veggies

The tortillas

  • 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.  Roll it out in thin tortillas and bake on a hot pan, about 1 minute each side.

I use white flour for dusting, while rolling out the dough.  I do the same as if it was Roti or any other flat bred, make golf ball sizes balls and roll them out, bake on a hot pan, each side for 1 minute or so.

tortilla
The Chili sauce

  • 2-3 tablespoons Sweet chili sauce
  • 1 cup Mayo

Mix well in a bowl.

The Yogurt sauce

  • Ab milk or greek yogurt
  • Cucumber
  • Red onion
  • Salt
  • Turmeric
  • Fresh oregano or good quality dried one

Dice the red onion and the cucumber. Mix everything well together in a
bowl.

salad

The Veggie Salad

  • Red bell pepper
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Spring onion
  • Carrots
  • Garden greens

Dice the peppers and the onion, scred the carrot. Mix.

Serve little of everything on a flatbread. I had some melted cheese as
well.

tortilla

I put shredded cheese on the hot flatbread so it mmmmmmmmmmmmelted.

tortillas

Here you find the Icelandic flat bread recipe

sunset

First we had a beautiful sunset and a little cloud sneaking in…

Then I placed my camera on a tripod and took a photo with the timer every minute for about 20 minutes

This is what happened…

fog01

fog02

fog03

fog04

fog05

fog06

The first photo was taken at 22:42 and the last one at 23.01 in the evening.

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

 

Grilled Halloumi with ruccola and red onion – Field trip to the forest

We took a walk in the forest yesterday, I was interested in seeing how the mushroom were growing, since we have had a lousy summer sun wise and lots of rain!  The mushroom season in Iceland is usually around mid of July.

They were looking good and so is the weather forecast for this week, finally no rain!

mushrooms

mushrooms

 

skogarferd

We don´t have many big forests in Iceland and there is a joke that goes like this:

What do you do when you get lost in an Icelandic forest?

…You stand up.

The trees in the forest are often rather small.

hvalfjordur

The forest close to where I live

hvalfjordurHvalfjörður

For all you who are enjoying your warm summer I have a great dish for you.  Halloumi cheese.  It is best grilled, it does not melt.  Next time on the patio I recommend the Halloumi salad, grilled flat bread and a glass of good crispy white wine.  You can grill the cheese and the flat bread on the BBQ.  I used the Panini grill since, like I have mentioned, we have had a crappy weather this summer.  

hallomi

Grilled Halloumi with ruccola and grilled flat bread

  • Halloumi cheese
  • Ruccola
  • Red onion
  • Pizza dough

Slice the cheese, about 1/2 cm thick.  Finely dice the onion.  Put the salad on a plate, arrange the cheese and the onion on top and serve with flat bread.  For the flat bread,

I rolled out the pizza dough in a pita bread size, and grilled t in the panini grill.

Simple and awesome flavor!

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.

tapas

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.

tapas

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

tapas

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.

cod

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.

cod

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

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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