The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Tag: Recipes

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 😉

potatoes

 

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.

 

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Christmas Count Down…5 – Ugly Cookies and Fluffy muffins

I made the ugliest cookies ever.  They are probably the tastiest I´ve ever made …but I din´t have good quality time when making them…stressed about 100 other things I should be rather doing aaaand I am not a good cookie baking the first place.

 

THANKFULLY I have a 3 year old and I can tell everyone that she helped me make them… she really did for the first hour but when it came to decorating it was all me.. yes I have photos and yes I will post the recipe very soon…BECAUSE they are really good.

This was a winning recipe for an Icelandic Food Magazine for a Christmas baking recipe and I know the girl who won, that´s why I wanted to try them.  They are really good cookies but all I can say, make sure you have time to make them because it takes at least 3 hours to do this recipe properly.

BUT, I like to bake muffins  because it´s no fuzz when it comes to mixing the ingredients, you just put everything in a bowl and whisk it together with a fork or a wooden spoon for few strokes,  the less you mix the better I´ve heard.

I´ve been doing the same recipe (with blueberries)  for a while, but decided to try a new one, a chocolate one.  I saw a tasty photo of a muffin with a recipe to try.  I changed it a bit by using butter instead of oil and a little bit less sugar.  It was a good one.  Very fluffy and not too sweet.

Fluffy muffins

  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa (a good one)
  • 3/4 c sugar (I used a liiiittle bit less)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 c butter (or 1/3 oil)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons espresso coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Handful of good chopped chocolate

Put dry ingredients in a bowl, mix.  Add the rest and mix well with a wooden spoon or a fork or something.

Enjoy with a cup of tea or glass of milk…or red wine

Window 19…

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Christmas count down 10… Cucumber salad

Today I went out to buy all the Christmas presents.  I had already figured out what to buy,  and I don´t buy that many because in my family it is a tradition only to give gifts to kids under 14 years old.  I like that tradition, the presents are for the kids, the food and wine and getting a little bit of holiday vacation with family is for us grown ups.

Now I am celebrating Christmas with 2 kids for the first time.  For me, the excitement of opening presents are through my kids, or kid, because the younger one is only few months old 🙂

I am totally doing Christmas differently after having kids.  Before it was about travelling the world with my boyfriend when we had our Christmas vacation.  Now it´s about baking cookies, making Christmas decorations and staying with my family and relax in the country, making traditions. (But I am sure we will do new things every year…and probably go to a warm country one Christmas…)

In Iceland, over Christmas, people eat a lot of fat food and VERY SALTY food.  In between it is important to eat healthy food.  I, in general eat healthy over Christmas, I do a little bit of the salty and fat with the pork on Christmas Eve.

With all the fat and salt, a cucumber is a really nice treat.  Cucumber goes so well with all kinds of food.  It´s refreshing.  With Mexican, Sushi, Indian, Icelandic, you name it.  I find it essential in my taco (but not in burrito, only taco shells…) with all kinds of sushi, in Raita with Indian food and I love it sliced on rye bread with Icelandic lamb paté.

I made this cucumber salad for a sushi party the other day.  It´s simple and again, REFRESHING!

Cucumber salad

  • Cucumber
  • Spring Onion
  • Mirin

Mix it all together.  Serve with….what ever 😀

Opening number 14

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Christmas Count Down …14 – Home made corn tortillas (and plain flour)

Do you tell your kids that there is a Santa Clause?

In Iceland we have 13 santas, we call them jólasveinar – yule lads.  They are weird little guys.  13 days before Christmas they start coming to town, one every day  (they live up in THE mountains, where ever that is… : ) )

Kids put their shoe in the window before going to bed (starting when the first guy comes to town, 13 days before xmas) and when they wake up the yule lad left a gift in the shoe. But if a kid has been naughty they get a rotten potato. My mom had to tell me theses lads were just a made up fairy tale because I didn´t like those crazy guys in my bedroom while I was sleeping.  They are loud and annoying.

Now, I have a 3 year old and I am telling  her about those yule lads, and I can not lie to her that they really exists  I guess I will tell her it´s a fairy tale.  Do you think that´s terrible?  Do you think it´s important for a kid to think that 13 weird creepy guys really exist when they do not?  For me it is not a fond childhood memory, we don´t have a sweet fat guy for a santa.   Did I tell you about those yule lads mother, o my o my.  She is terrible.  She eats children.  So, should I really lie to my daughter that Gryla exists? Gryla, that´s her name, eats children?   If she will believe that the lads exists their mother comes with that package.

Telling or not telling…For me I look at it through my experience of knowing they are a good story and I love it.  I enjoyed the yule lads when I was little  more knowing that they were just a good story.  I got sweets and gifts in my shoe, but I knew it was my mom who put it there.  I really liked that and when I was little I thought I had a really nice mom giving me those nice things in my shoe when the rest of kids thought they were getting gifts form 13 creepy looking lads.

jolasveinar

You can read about the yule lads here and there you find the photo of them in a larger format for further reading to see if you´d tell your kids these guys are real…

Before I talk about food lets open window number 10

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I found a method to make the tortillas soft after heating them on the stove. I did what I do when I make Icelandic flatbread.  After cooking the flatbread/tortilla I dip it in to a bowl of cold water and from there in a tea towel.

Corn tortillas

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt

Mix everything together.  Make balls from the dough, golf ball size.  Flatten.  Bake on a dry skillet.  Dip  the tortilla in water and then keep under a moist tea towel.

This is a great video on how to make tortillas.

My favorite toppings on a tortilla is home made tomato salsa, avocado, arugula  creme fraiche and ground beef that I spice up with fresh garlic and chile pepper, fresh cilantro and salt.  (I usually write chile pepper instead of chili pepper…I guess it´s the Spanish version.)

tortillas

Christmas Count Down …16

Tomorrow is 2nd of advent. That´s a good day to spend in the kitchen or doing something nice for Christmas, make gifts with the kids or nice Christmas ornaments.  Plenty to do and it doesn´t have to cost much, it´s more about spending time together …awww.  Sweet, right? But true.  (This is my second red wine glass talking…)

I was browsing pinterest, that place is full of nice Ideas.  I came a cross this one just a minute ago and wanted to post it because I think it´s cute and easy to do.  If you have smaller gifts it could also me nice to make little snowman.

Snowman

 

(Here is the link to the original post from the website housebella.com)

Where we live in the country we have a forest close by.  Every year people can come there and cut their own trees for Christmas.  I guess we will be going next weekend.  We went last year and it had snowed so much that we sank in the snow up to waist sometimes.  It was a great time and this is now a family tradition.

tree

We went with our friends from next door.  They came, 2 minutes later they found a tree.  But me, I was running around…that tree…no, that tree…no wait, maybe that tree…until I had to make a decision… I saw a tree it looked good from one side but the other…not so nice.  But it was charming, not perfect but charming. It looked real and I loved it.  I will try to find a photo of it after I decorated it and post tomorrow , I found this one from the outside…It was a big tree, almost 3 meters.

house

(Still building the house…this was a year ago)

Day 8 and my moms birthday so off I go to a birthday party, have a great weekend!

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Christmas count down…20

I love Charlie Brown. Doesn´t this  get you in the right mood?

And number 4.

This year x-mas is on a Monday so that means only 17 days until Christmas vacation for some of you working crowd…yay!

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Christmas count down…21 – Bailey ´s with espresso coffee ice

Day 3 of December, I warn you if you are going to do ALL those things before Christmas you better start now.  Like I said once before…Time flies but thankfully you are the pilot.

I find this recipe being perfect for the holidays, either  having a little drink BEFORE going shopping…you might need it!  or after a lovely meal over Christmas.  I think this is brilliant. Fill your glass with liqueur and cool it down with espresso coffee ice cubes, so when they melt they end up flavoring your drink  instead of thinning it out with water.

Get a bottle of good liqueur, Bailey´s or Amarula for example…

ice baby ice

Let´s open up window number 3

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Pizza – Everything you need to know about making the best crust – Part I

Pizza is my favorite food, but pizza is not just pizza.  It is a complicated combination of few essential things…the crust, the sauce, the cheese and the topping, number one being the crust!

I even went on a trip to Napoli for few days just to eat pizza (and little bit of pasta).

For the perfect pizza.  Let´s break it down

  1. Crust
  2. Sauce
  3. Cheese
  4. Topping

In this post let´s talk about crust…It´s gonna be way too long post talking about all 4 topics in one post…

But I recommend you watch Heston and his episode about the search for the perfect pizza.  There you can see what I am talking about, it´s a great episode for pizza lovers.

CRUST

  • Making the dough
  • Rolling it out
  • Baking

Making the dough.  A good flour is what you need, usually pizza enthusiasts talk about 00 flour.  I bought a good flour, called Marino, organic from Italy, not 00 though but it´s really good. It´s a “Burrato”, that is it´s soft and Ideal for bread and pizza.   Put all ingredients in a mixer, like a KitchenAid  and use the hook. Let the machine run for at least 5 minutes on a medium speed.  It is important to kneed the dough in the machine for 5 or 10 minutes.  (By hand I would either do a lot or kneed it for very short time, half a minute or so).

Rolling it out.  In stead of rolling, pinch it.  Heston talked about pinching the dough with your finger tips until you have a round large enough crust.  You could do both, roll and pinch,  and see if you find any difference.

Thin or thick? For me it´s thin.  The thinner the better.  If you like it thicker and more like bread, roll it out for about 1/2 cm thick and bake it at lower temp, 200°c for 10-15 minutes.

Baking.   The key is to bake the thin crust pizza for as short time  as possible.  There for, you need to have the oven as hot as possible. Most ovens go up to 250°c.  Mine goes to 300°c.  Heat your oven on as high as possible.  Heat it for at least 30 minutes.

Get a pan, cast iron or steal. ( I used an Icelandic pancake pan). Put the pan on a hot stove for 20 minutes before you put the pizza on it and in the oven.  If the pan has a handle that doesn´t fit in the oven just keep the door open a bit.

After 30 minutes (or more) turn your oven on top grill, the heat as high as possible. (my oven has 3 settings for grill temperature . Put the “rolled” (or pinched out instead of rolled out, as seen on Heston´s episode)  out pizza dough on the bottom of the pan, (you turn the pan up side down)  then sauce, toppings and cheese. Put it back in the oven for as long as it takes to bake it.  Watch it carefully so you don´t burn it, it´s probably about 3-5 minutes.

I got this super soft & elastic dough from using the simple recipe below, by working the mashing for 5 minutes

 

THE RECIPE

I´ve done pizza so often I usually don´t measure, I just throw in a teaspoon of sugar, salt and 2 teaspoons of yeast and then what ever looks like enough of flour and water until I get the consistency I like.

Heston uses pre fermented dough.  I also find the dough be good after keeping it in the fridge for few days.

Here  is a good recipe, very basic and ready in an hour or so.

  • 500 g flour
  • 270 ml lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons yeast

Mix all ingredients in a mixer with the hook for 5 – 10 minutes, you want the dough to be on the stickier side. Add more water if needed (or less). Let rise for an hour in a warm place, the bowl covered with a plastic wrap.

This is a well risen dough, probably from about a 1 kg of flour.

Take the dough and add more flour, couple of tablespoons,  to kneed it a bit more by hand just until you have a good stick free dough. Roll or pinch it out as thick or thin as you like.

Here is a link to Heston´s recipe.  I haven´t tried it yet, but this weekend I will, I ´ll let you know how it goes.

THE KEY TO THE PERFECT CRUST:

  • Oven on high temperature when heating it, then on grill when baking the pizza
  • Roll or pinch out the dough very thin, the thinner the less baking time
  • Keep the pizza as close to the grilling element as possible
  • Put the pizza on a bottom of a hot pan before going in the oven
  • Don´t put too much topping on each pizza to prevent soggy crust

 

Beautiful Calzone crust

Next time, let´s talk about the sauce.

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Fäviken – a great book about food with recipes

I just got a great book in the mail.  It is called Fäviken and it is a beautiful  book about food from the chef of a restaurant in Sweden called Fäviken.  This is a book to read as well as recipes.  This is maybe not the typical cookbook with everyday recipes but more about the food he uses and how he cooks.  Gorgeous book.

The Ideas he has and the ingredients are usually something that is easy to find in Iceland as well, this is a raw, seasonal and very farm fresh cooking, using ingredients from around his restaurant that is located near Järpen.

Since I am not going to Sweden any time soon and wont be able to dine at Fäviken I will cook something nice, being inspired from the book and then tell you all about it.  Until them I am going to browse through the book and have a glass of some very fine wine and a slice of cheese.  Happy days.

 

 

Chicken chili with cannellini beans

This was so good I almost didn´t get a picture of it, it was all gone so fast.  This is such a perfect dish to make when the weather is “chili” as well.  I would say this is a comfort food, but it isn´t a heavy one or unhealthy at all.  It is actually very healthy and unbelievable tasty.

When I was having my what to cook dilemma I asked  fellow bloggers if they had any nice recipes to share, and this is one of them.

TRY IT!

This is how I did it and it was perfect amount for 2 greedy people.  I served it with what was left of the Farro salad I made the day before.

Chicken Cannellini Chili

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup redwine
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked & shredded
  • 2 cups white cannellini beans, cooked
  • 1 lonely carrot, finely chooped
  • 1 cup organic frozen sweet corn
  • 10 slices of canned mild jalapeno slices
  • 1cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups water (the recipe goes for chicken broth but I didn´t have any so I just used water)

Saute the onion and the carrot for few minutes, add garlic, oregano and cumin. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

I recommend you take a look at the recipe here I got from suebthefoodie and follow that  when making this the first time, but you know mine was really good as well even though I didn´t use broth or Marsala wine.  But mine was more of a stew and if you see her picture it´s got more of a soup texture, I think that is good too.  I also had one lonely carrot I threw in there with the onion.

The only essential thing in this recipe is to take half of the beans and mash them good.

Talk about chicken,here is another shot of my neighbor Haukur.

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