The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Tortilla Española, kid friendly

I´ve been browsing through old photos, from my travels since 2002. I traveled a lot with my husband, we have been to about 30 countries together. We have always loved food and we have done lots of exploring the culinary culture of each country we visit.

I am going to pick out some highlights from our travels once in a while, food related moments that are memorable to me.

The first being a restaurant in Malaga, it was up in the neighborhood we lived in. We spent a month in Malaga studying Spanish, it was a fantastic time. That was back in 2002.

malaga

Bodegon de Gurpegui

The restaurant I am talking about is called Bodegon de Gurpegui. What was cool about it was the decor and a canary bird that was flying around the restaurant.  The food was good.

OOOOH! Now I want to take the family to Malaga. I love Spain, been all over and Andalusia is fantastic. I recommend it.

Andalusia is known for fish and shellfish, Gazpacho, dry-cured ham and frying food in their delicious olive oil.

olive oil

BUY GOOD OLIVE OIL. To do so, you need to find a small store specializing in good food products run by people you can trust are importing the good stuff. There is so much scam in the olive oil business. I get my oil from a local organic corner store, an extra virgin olive oil from Sicily.

A classic Spanish dish is the Tortilla Española. If you have kids, this is something they might like.

tortilla espanola

Tortilla Española

  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 6 eggs
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper

Cut pealed potatoes in cubes, 1-2 cm thick and thinly slice onion. Heat olive oil in a pan, add potatoes and onion. Turn it around in the pan until soft and brown.  Beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper, add them to the pan.  Cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat.  Turn the omelette around, best way to do that might be by transferring the omelette to a plate and add it back to the pan then with the other side down.

Serve it warm or cold.

tortilla espanola

We took a trip to Morocco from Andalusia. O MY! The spices you can get there, I must say the food culture in Morocco is very different from Iceland. I am a big fan of Moroccan kitchen.

MOROCCO

Morocco

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Sandwich cake – smörgåstårta

I made this cake for my son on his first birthday.  When you are this little you are not getting a bite of a chocolate cake so I decided to make a cake he could taste.  There for I made a pretty cake made of bread, a fancy sandwich cake.

In Icelandic we call Sandwich cake, “brauðterta”, translated “bread tart”.  It is made with bread and lots of mayo.  This version is easy on the mayo though and it is really tasty. A smoked salmon is perfect in sandwich cake.  Here we made a mousse out of the salmon with some Crème fraîche.  This recipe uses also cream cheese and I tell you, smoked salmon and cream cheese is the perfect combo.

I got this recipe from Saveur.  Follow this link to get the recipe.  Read on to see how I pulled this off…

brauðterta

First of all, I buy a classic sandwich cake bread in the store, since this kind of food has been a tradition in Iceland for a long long time.  It is a soft white bread.  You can of course bake your own or go to the bakery and buy a nice loaf.  You can see below how it is cut length wise.

sandwich cake

The first layer was the salmon mousse and cucumbers.

sandwich cake

Then we get a bread and on top goes butter, salmon, mustard sauce…

sandwich cake…and the salad

sandwich cakeAnother bread and repeat until you finish the slices of bread, I had 5 slices.

sandwich cakeThen you get your creative side out and decorate it with sliced egg, little cooked shrimp, smoked salmon

and flat leave parsley.  But first you put the cream cheese on the cake, like you were putting a frosting on a normal cake.

I made roses out of the salmon… it is easy you just roll up the strip of salmon.

brauðterta

I had left over bread and made triangle sandwiches with mousse, parsley and salad.

brauðterta

frodo

The birthday boy was happy with the cake and most of all loved drinking milk with a straw…muuu

bjarteyjarsandur

We drove around the fjord, close by we have a farm, they sell the nicest organic lamb and pork.

The goat got comfy at the cafe.

French Chocolate cake with vanilla whipped cream and strawberries

This is the prettiest cake I´ve ever made, and French Chocolate cake is always a treat!  You can buy really juicy and gorgeous Icelandic strawberries in the stores now.

strawberries

Make your own jam

cake

French Chocolate cake with vanilla whipped cream and strawberries

  • 480 g good chocolate (56% or 70%)
  • 250 g butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 100 g flour

Melt together chocolate and butter.  Mix the eggs until light and fluffy with an electric mixer ( I use Kitchen Aid). Add the chocolate to the eggs, then flour.  Mix well together with a spoon.

Butter up a 24 cm spring form pan, pour in the chocolate mix.  Bake for 5 minutes at 220°c.  Cover the spring pan with foil and bake for another 10 minutes.  Cool before serving.

Whipped Cream

  • 1/4 L Heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract or use fresh vanilla

Whip the cream, add sugar and vanilla.

cakeSplash homemade jam over the whipped cream.  I put a little bit of Ganache on the cake before the cream. Just because I had it.  It is not necessary since this cake is pure chocolate…

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Add strawberries

cake

Extra jam

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

Kind of Italian brunch

Finally we got good weather so I got the chance to make brunch and eat outside on the balcony.

I saw this recipe the other day and was excited to try it, and you know what, I loved it.

I used what I had in the kitchen and here it goes:

eggs

Eggs in a tomato sauce

  • Passata,organic tomatoes
  • Red pepper
  • Fresh basil
  • Garlic
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Eggs (as many as you want to eat)
  • Olive oil,extra virgin

Fry the red pepper and garlic for a little while, do not burn the garlic.  Add the Passata  tomato sauce and spices.  Simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.

egg

Break in the eggs, the eggs do float on the sauce, they do not need to touch the pan.  Cover the pan and simmer until the eggs are cooked as you like them to be.

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Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh basil.  Serve with Grissini bread sticks and oven baked bacon.  I served a Beronia Reserva with this one.

summer

Vegetarian red lentils lasagna with zucchini instead of pasta sheets

I am not a vegetarian, but I easily could be.  Sometimes I wonder why I eat meat, then I guess it´s because first of all I am used to it, also it can taste good and third I believe since us humans are meat eaters it is nutritious….  Usually when I cook I make vegetarian dishes, Indian,  Mexican,  Italian ..  If I have ground beef I use it, that is because I get it from the beef farmers next door where I live from grass fed animals that are treated well.

Anyways, I don´t eat much meat at all and when I make vegetarian dishes I surely don´t miss it flavor vise or other vise.  I do love LOVE  green pepper salami for my pizza though… and the Icelandic lamb is very tasty, the smoked goose is really something…:)

This dish here was going to be something like lasagna, with zucchini instead of lasagna sheets and red lentils instead of ground beef…that was just because I had an awesome zucchini and lots of cooked red lentils and I really love red lentils in lasagna.

red lentis

Red lentils vegetarian dish

  • Red lentils, cooked
  • Red pepper
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Chop chop, fry, add lentils and sauce bamm bamm boom…you know the drift

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Basil Dressing

  • Basil, fresh
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

brrmmm brrmmm with the blender.

zucchini

Oven roasted zucchini

  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive Oil

In the oven, 220°C , half an hour or so

Also:

  • Cheese, mozzarella or any good cheese that melts well (Cottage cheese would also be good)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano

Layers:

First some red lentils sauce, then zucchini, then cheese, then I put a little bit of basil sauce…as many layers as you like. I only had two this time.

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Have a terrific weekend!

Here is one of my favorite quotes to inspire you this weekend….

ashe02

 

Pulled pork and coleslaw

First day of summer in Iceland was last Thursday, it´s a national holiday.  People dress warm and go out for a stroll in a parade with a big band and scouts holding the Icelandic flag.

sumar

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Pulled pork

  • A piece of pork shoulder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Put the shoulder in a pot and fill it with water so the water goes over the pork.  Put in an oven for 6-8 hours at 150°c.

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We were at a summerhouse and didn´t have a steak pot but thankfully we found a big pot that fit the oven and the pork.

When the pork is ready you need a good bbq sause to go marinade it with.  I made a pot of sauce and threw the pork in after tearing it a part from the bone, that was easy after all the cooking in the oven.

Use your nicest bbq recipe. It might be something like this.

  • Scalott
  • Onion
  • Fennel
  • Chile
  • Garlic
  • Brown sugar
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Can chopped tomatoes or can of tomato sauce
  • Mustard
  • Butter

Chop, melt butter, fry veggies, mix everything together, boil…

Coleslaw is a must with pulled pork.  It freshens it up a bit.  I did a homemade coleslaw and it was very good.

  • Cabbage, schredded
  • Carrots, shredded
  • Creme fraishe
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Apples, scredded
  • Lemon juice (fresh)

I served it with melted mozzarella and fresh spinach  as well.  Use the best sandwich bread you can find. I used Ciabatta.  Even a homemade naan might be really good.  If you got no good bread a Mexican tortilla or a Roti might work.  (Homemade of course!)

pulled pork

While the pork was boiling we went for a drive around the country side and to see hot springs.  The weather was a bit cold so the hot water made lots of steam.

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The group photo IMG_6364

The green.  Sweet colors of nature
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The bubblee hot spring…very hot

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.

soffia_kritar

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

Chinese Dumplings and I had few interviews last week

Homemade is the best, fresh and you know what you are eating.  I am not much of a pig person, but I can buy organic Icelandic pigs, fed with Icelandic corn and it was very good.  This is the best meal I´ve made so far this year.

Make sure you´ve got quality ingredients.

Chinese Dumplings

Dough

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups water
  • Flour for dusting

Mix, kneed until smooth, set aside for 30 minutes.  Roll it out into a long sausage. cut into small pieces, about 2 cm.  Roll out like a pizza dough

Filling

  • 500 g ground pork
  • 1 Napa cabbage
  • 1-2 spring onions
  • 1 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

Dipping sause

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
  • Finely chopped chili pepper (if you like some spice to it)

Mix well.  Serve in a bowl on the side with the dumplings.  You might need to double the recipe or just make as much as you think you need.

dumplings

Mix everything well together

dumplingsIMG_5750

Flatten out the dough and make thin, round cakes.  I cut mine with a large glass.

dumplingsIMG_5751

Add a tablespoon or two of the ground pork mix to each cake.

dumplingsIMG_5759

First I fry them, then I add water water and boil it.

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Serve the dumplings with a good soy sauce

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Dip the Dumplings in the Soy

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Eat.
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I think it´s important to get the bottom of the dumplings fried, not only boil them, to get some texture.


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I had some left overs, both dough and ground pork, what do you do?

 Of course you flatten out the dough and make dumpling pizza.

mbl_5april

I have been interviewed few times last week because I made apps for kids teaching them the alphabet, numbers, colors and more.  There are no apps like that in Icelandic for kids, probably because this is not a big market.

All our apps so far are for free and we made it in English as well.  Take a look at the website, www.soffia.net,  where you can also play the alphabet and the numbers if you do not have an Android phone.

frettabl_4.3

I made few apps a year ago, then I was on a maternity leave and wanted to do more apps.  I  teamed up with a girl named Helga and we call our project Lean Laundry.

I am very proud of us, we are both on maternity leave now, and between taking care of babies, the house, doing laundry and cooking dinner we make educational multimedia material for babies and kids.

Check us out on Facebook and put a little LIKE on us.

Learn the Icelandic alphabet or if you have kids, take a look at the English version.  More to come!

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!

tuna

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

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.



tunIMG_3218




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.

tuna

 Spread the cheese and red pepper on the square.

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Roll it up.

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Cut it in 2 cm slices.

 tuna

Put the slices over the tuna mixture.

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Bake for 30 minutes.

tuna

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

tuna

 

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