Let's be real.... when I chose Iceland I was at a loss. what grows there?! All I know about Iceland is the Dottirs and how amazing they are at CrossFit. I have never been, but I know it is one of the most amazing countries from word of mouth. Except you never hear much about the food.
I learned SO much when researching our Icelandic meal. We all know Iceland is cold, but did you know that WAYYYY back in the day they couldn't grow grain and would have to import it from the Danish!? This was so expensive that only the filthy rich could afford it. So what did everyone do!? Well instead of bread they would dry fish, thinly slice it and use THAT as bread! Fruits and Veggies?! Nah, root vegetables were a go though. Good hearty, stick to your ribs, keep you warm sorts of foods... and fish! Lots and lots of fish!
Appetizer: Smoked and dried Mackerel Main Course: Plokkfiskur Dessert: Kleina Cocktail: Not So Secret Garden (I bluffed a little on this one)
Smoked and Dried Mackerel is delicious and can even be prepared on a grill!
Ingredients: 1/4 c salt 1/4 c sugar 4 one pound mackerel fillets with skin on 2 tbs ground black pepper 1 tbs dijon mustard 2 tbs lemon juice wood chips- about 2 handfuls- soaked in water for at least an hour
In a small bowl, mix the salt and sugar and sprinkle both sides of the fillets, let sit for 30 minutes (refrigerate if it is warm)
In a separate small bowl, mix the pepper, dijon, and lemon juice then rub onto the fillets and marinate for another 30 minutes
On a gas grill, remove the racks, turn burner to low and top the heat plate with soaked chips, replace rack
Place the fish on aluminum foil and place in grill on opposite side of the lit burner and wood chips. Poke a few holes in the aluminum foil and cover the grill
Check fish after about 25 minutes, should be firm and opaque with a shiny crust and flake at the edges
So I know what you're thinking... what the heck's Plokkfiskur?! So when I tell you that its Fish Stew, don't let that turn you off from this meal. Think of it as more of a potato soup with white fish... and the white fish blends in perfectly! I was pleasantly surprised with this one and will definitely be making it again! This is one of those recipes where everyone's grandma makes it differently!
Ingredients: 2 tbs butter 1 onion, chopped finely 1 tbs four 2 1/2 c milk 1 lb. cooked white fish (I used Haddock), skinned, boned, and broken into pieces 1 lb. potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook the fish and the potatoes if they are not already cooked, flake the fish and peel and cubed the potatoes.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until translucent, but not browned. Sprinkle flour over the butter/onions and allow it to cook a few seconds until it starts to bubble in the oil
Quickly add the milk and whisk until smooth, allow to simmer for a few minutes until it begins to thicken
Add the fish, potatoes, salt and pepper and cook until all is warmed through and remove from heat
Serve while warm (I added some parmesan crisps for texture)
Kleina is like an Icelandic donut, that isn't too sweet and you want to eat until you pop! They were seriously SO good warm and cold the next morning with my coffee.
Ingredients: 2 1/4 c flour 1/2 c sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp cardamom, ground 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 c. butter, softened 1 egg 1/2 c. milk 1/2 c. yogurt or sour cream
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt)
Add butter and blend until the mixture looks like crumbs
In a medium bowl, beat the remaining wet ingredients together until combined and then add the wet ingredients to the dry. Blend to incorporate into a sticky dough (WARNING: THIS WILL BE VERY STICKY)
Place the dough on a well floured surface, sprinkle flour on top of dough and roll out until it is 1/4 inch thick
Slice the dough into 2 inch wide strips. Cut the strips into 4 inch pieces, cutting on a diagonal. Cut a slit down the middle of each 4 inch piece.
To form the Kleina, take one of your 4 inch pieces and tuck one of the ends through the center of the slit and pull upwards to create a "twist" in the dough, repeat with the other end.
Deep fry the kleina in hot oil for about 1-2 minutes each side, watch closely because they cook fast. When golden, brown remove and place on paper lined tray to drain
Sprinkle with cinnamon and powdered sugar and serve.
Alright, so cocktails were hard for this one. Iceland makes Vodka, but not much else that I could get my hands on here in Boise Idaho. So forgive me for this not being a traditional drink.
With that being said, its still worth a try, refreshing for summer!
Ingredients: 1 1/2 parts Reyka Vodka 3/4 parts Elderflower Liqueur 1/2 parts Simple Syrup 1/2 parts Fresh Lemon Juice 2/4 basil leaves Top with Grapefruit soda
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake and serve with a lemon slice or a sprig of basil.