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RECIPES & FOOD THOUGHTS

Tag: Icelandic

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.

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Lamb pâté – Icelandic Style and only 3 ingredients

This is classic Icelandic.  We have very good lamb meat.  It´s lamb that wanders around the mountains during summer eating what ever they find there and many end up by the shore eating  seaweeds.  Very good.

For a lamb pâté you only new few things, meat of lamb, onion and salt.  This type of lamb pâté is ment to be served cold and put on bread.  It is amazing on Icelandic flatbread called Flatkaka, on a Rye bread or crisps.

lamb paté

Lamb pâté

  • 1 kg Lamb
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Keep few tablespoons of the broth you get after simmering the meat.

You can experiment with seasoning, spices and garlic for example.  I like it simple but I use a bit of black pepper for seasoning after I grind it.

It is essential to cut of a lot of the fat off the meat.  Put the lamb meat  in a pot with salted water that covers the meat.  Bring to boil and the simmer for couple of hours.  For the last hour or so add the onion, no skin and roughly chopped.

lamb paté

After couple of hours of simmering, cool the meat, put it in a grinder or a mixer.  It depends on how fine you want your pâté how well you mix it.  I like it not too fine. So either I grind it or mix it shortly with a food processor. Use few tablespoons of the broth when you mix or grind the meat.

Don´t throw away what is left of the broth, it´s perfect to use it in soups.  You can freeze for later.

lamb paté

lamb paté

Few slices of cucumber would be perfect on that piece of crisp.

lamb

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The outside kitchen …coming soon! Icelandic flatkaka, it´s healthy – why not try it!

I am dreaming of a kitchen outside.  Shouldn´t be a problem and it´s on the drawing table since we are building our dream house in the country.

The weather here in Iceland in´t that special, but we get really good days once in a while and then it´s so worth it to have a good cooking facility outside.  I am not the sun bathing type so being able to be outside and cook, what a dream!

I have a little oven I put outside the other day when the weather was so nice.  I made the Icelandic flat bread, because it can get smoky when making it  I used tthe opportunity to do it outside.  It was so relaxing, baking outside in the sun.  It wasn´t me being baked but the bread, that´s better.

If you have a little oven like this, take it out side next time the weather is nice and try to make this recipe. Or do it inside on a rainy day…

I grew up eating this flat bread and  I love it.  I also love rye flour.  If you do, you should try this recipe.  Don´t forget to dip the cakes in water after you bake them.

I use a pancake pan, cast iron would be good, or just any pan you have.

Icelandic rye bread – Flatkaka (Flat “cake”)

  • 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.

Make little balls and flat them out in round cakes. When you flat them out, I use all purpose flour for dusting so they don´t stick to the rolling pin.

Poke the cake with a fork few times.  I use a plate I cut around, same size the pan to make them perfect circle .

 Bake it on a hot pan (dry pan, no oil or butter on the pan) for about one minute each side.  I have parchment paper between the cakes before cooking so they don´t stick together.

Dip them in water after cooking and store them in a plastic bag or under a wet towel to keep them moist and soft.

Cut the flat cake circle in half.

Serve with butter and even some sliced cucumber.  I love it with lamb pate.

This is a video in Icelandic about making flatkaka, but you don´t have to understand the language to get a better idea how flatkaka is made.

Plokkfiskur – the Icelandic name for a haddock stew…

…it´s really really good, one of my favorite food and a must to serve it with some good rye bread.

Since I spent all January in experimenting with local ingredients I had a bit of Plokkfiskur.
In Iceland we don´t make our own flour (it is all imported), so instead I used barley, but we do grow barley in Iceland.
Here is a recipe of a traditional Haddock stew. What I really like is adding some spring onion to it as well, all kinds of onion goes well with this dish, spring onion, chives, even garlic for garlic lovers.
For a fancier version you can mix milk with cream. And even put it in an oven proved dish and top it with cheese and grill it in the oven for few minutes (gratinate it).

Plokkfiskur

  • 500 gr haddock
  • 5-6 medium size potatoes
  • 1 onion (or couple of spring onion)
  • 25 gr butter
  • 2-3 tbsp flour (or barley)
  • 2,5 – 3 dl milk
  • 1 egg
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Boil the fish in one pot and potatoes in another. Put aside.

Take a bit of the butter and melt it, brown the onion.

Melt the rest of the butter in the pot with the onion and add flour and whisk together until it´s like a massive bun. Add the milk (and maybe some of the water the fish was boiling in if you like) until it´s thin enough (similar to a creamy soup or a pancake batter).

Take the skin off the potatoes and cube them. Take the fish, we want no bones, no skin, and put it in the sauce, throw in one egg and stir a bit with a spoon.

Salt and pepper, I like quite a bit of pepper. You can use any type of pepper you like. Usually people used white pepper because they didn´t sell many brand back in the days, but I use fresh black pepper.

Simmer for few minutes and then serve with rye bread.

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