Sunday, September 4, 2016

My Reykjavík Food Walk

A guided culinary tour through Reykjavík - absolutely perfect for me!

A highlight of my this year's Iceland trip was the Reykjavík Food Walk. This tour is offered by Egill and Dan since end of 2015. I was very happy finding it on the internet. Hence I signed up for it immediately. My tour should take place at end of August following my journey through the Westfjords.

The Food Walk was held in English. We were eleven guests plus Dan, our guide. Apart from me, all guests came from English-speaking countries - one Irishman, one Australian and the rest were Americans, as far as I've noticed. To be honest I had little language problems. Especially when the Americans were talking to each other, I nearly couldn't understood anything. So what? The tour was great, anyhow!

Meeting point was in front of Harpa. The Reykjavik concert hall, which was completed in 2011, impresses by its glassy architecture. "The most beautiful glass house in the world", as someone once said about it - just my opinion.


Our Food Walk took about 3.5 hours.

The first stop was at Íslenski barinn, a bar where Kjötsúpa (traditional Icelandic meat soup) was served.


The Kjötsúpa was cooked to an old family recipe, with lamb and carrots, but without potatoes. Beautifully strong and spicy and definitely delicious. Also, there was white bread and spicy tomato butter. Unfortunately it was quite dark in the bar, so the photo of the soup is really not fair ...


Next stop was Ostabúðin, a ... - well, what is it actually? It calls itself a "small shop for food lovers" and it is as well a restaurant as a deli.


We got served an excellent selection of cheese and meat, which we ate outside in the sunshine on beautiful Skólavörðustígur road.



First, we were given three different types of cheese to taste. We got "svört gouda", so-called "Black Gouda", "gullosta", i.e. "Golden Cheese", a sort of Camembert, I guess, and a kind of gorgonzola cheese. By the way, all cheeses were made from cow's milk, as Dan told us.



Then the meat delicacies followed. First a really very tasty and spicy horse salami. Our guide pointed out that salami was made of horse meat - if someone has a problem with eating horse meat ..? However, everybody wanted to taste it. Next was a thin slice of lamb with rosemary, thyme and a little bit fennel. Last but not least we got smoked goose with a blob of raspberry champagne vinaigrette. The vinaigrette I didn't try. But the goose was very tasty!

Horse salami

Spiced lamb

Smoked goose with raspberry champagne vinaigrette

Our next destination was one of my favorite cafes - Cafe Loki in front of Hallgrímskirkja. We got my beloved Rúgbrauðsís, rye bread ice with whipped cream and rhubarb syrup. I have eaten it several times - and I still can't get enough of it!


Then we walked on to a traditional bakery in Bergstaðarstræti road. Dan told us the shop in going to close within the next few days and to move within the city. So he wanted to use the opportunity to show us his favorite biscuits: Hjónabandssæla - wedding bliss - a kind of durable cookies with crumble and jam.




Hjónabandssæla

Next we went to lake Tjörnin and to the city hall. Our guide unpacked his gray backpack - there was strawberry skyr for all and a single tub of pure skyr to try. We learned that skyr is not yogurt, but kind of cream cheese. It's not eaten purely, because it's quite sour. Normally it's prepared with fruits. Skyr is something typically Icelandic, definitely!


We continued with "food to go" and went on to "Baejarins Beztu Pylsur". We could choose between "eina með öllu" and "Clinton style" hot dog. Bill Clinton had ordered his hot dog with ketchup only, when he was at this hot-dog stand. But our guide considered this as bad style and too dry for an ordinary hot dog.


So we choosed th version "with everything" including the sweet mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup together the fresh onions and fried onions. That was definitely not dry!


We continued our walk to the harbor restaurant Saegreifinn - the famous "Sea Baron".


Everybody of us got a small portion of humarsúpa. This lobster soup is not made from the big American lobsters, but from the much smaller Norway lobster. In 2006, the New York Times declared Saegreifinn's humarsúpa to the "world's greatest lobster soup", our guide proudly told us.


Honestly - I'm not quite convinced by the "Sea Baron" and its lobster soup. But at least, now I have tasted it and can have a say!

Our "final cuisine" was Apótek, a very trendy and centrally located restaurant at Austurstræti road near to Austurvöllur place. The restaurant is very stylish furhished in a former pharmacy. On its homepage, the restaurant itself describes its cuisine as a "fun mix of Icelandic and European cuisine with a smoking hot Argentinean grill". Chef is Argentinian Carlos Gimenez.

Here we got our dessert. Well, I cannot tell, what it was exactly, but in any case it was tasty! The orange tart was filled with chocolate mousse and had a biscuit base and a layer of passion fruit jelly. (That's what I guess, at lease.) In addition there was a truly wonderful, gently sour and unbelievably delicious mango sorbet. The mixture of sweet tart with sour sorbet is something very special. But I would be even have been happy with the mango sorbet only.


At the end of our culinary city tour our guide Dan gave each of us an Icelandic chocolate bar. Milk chocolate from the traditional, almost 100 years old Icelandic chocolate company Nói Sirius. After all the stuff before, I didn't manage to eat this chocolate immediately. 


All in all, the Reykjavik Food Walk was a wonderful experience for me, which I can really recommend!


Monday, February 29, 2016

Skyrfrauð

Skyr mousse tartlets

Ingredients for 4 persons

For the mousse:
 

200 ml whipping cream
350 g plain skyr
1/2 tsp ground vanilla
1 tsp grated orange peel

60 g instant gelatin powder
60 g sugar

For the cake base:
 
50 g margarine

50 g sugar
2 eggs
100 g almond flour
50 g semolina
1/2 tsp ground vanilla
1 tsp grated orange peel




For the warm fruit salad:
 

400 g chopped mixed fruits
50 g water
40 g sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp anise


Preparation

The cake base and the mousse should be prepared at the latest haf a day before the meal. They need some hours to cool and solidify.



For the cake base:

Melt margarine in a pot.

Add sugar and stir thoroughly until sugar has dissolved.


Add the eggs one after another and stir.


Mix in almond flour and semolina.


Finally add ground vanilla and grated orange peel and work all this into a smooth dough.
Give the dough into a springform pan (diameter 22 cm / 9 inch) lined with baking paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 160 °C for about 20 minutes until the cake base starts to become brown at the edge.

Remove it from the oven and cut out tartlet bases using dessert rings


(If you don't have dessert rings, leave the cake base in the springform, then cover it with skyr cream and cut into tartlets when solidified.) 


For the mousse:

Whip the cream until stiff.

Mix in the skyr, ground vanilla and grated orange peel.


Add instant gelatin powder while continuously mixing.

Finally mix in the sugar.

Give the skyr cream on top of the tartlet bases in the dessert rings.


Let it cool in the fridge for at least 4 or 5 hours.

 

For the fruit salad:

Wash and peel the fruits. Cut into bite-sized peaces. 


Add sugar, cinnamon and anise.

  
Heat the water and pour over the fruits. Let it stand for about 10 minutes. Then remove the fruits from the water and allow them to drain.

For serving, remove the tartlets from the dessert rings, place each of them on a plate and garnish with the warm fruits.

 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Skyrís og súkkulaðisósa

Skyr ice with chocolate sauce

 
Ingredients

3eggs
3 Tbsp sugar
250 g plain skyr
1 pinch of ground vanilla

60 g margarine
60 g dark chocolate
1 tsp cappuccino or cocoa powder
1 pinch of ground vanilla


Preparation

Mix the eggs and sugar until frothy. Add skyr and vanilla and stir until smooth.


Distribute the mixture into moulds and let it freeze in the freezer for at least 2 hours.


For the chocolate sauce, melt margarine and chocolate over hot water. Stir in cappuccino or cocoa powder and ground vanilla. Let it cool down a bit. Then serve the skyr ice with chocolate sauce.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Skyrbrauð

Skyr bread

Ingredients

350 g wholemeal flour
180 g oat flakes
50 g linseed
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp raw cane sugar
1 tsp salt
450 ml milk
250 g plain skyr



Preparation

Mix wholemeal flour, oat flakes, linseed, baking soda, cane sugar and salt.


Add milk and skyr...


...and work all this into a smooth dough.


Bake in a preheated oven at 160 °C for about 60 to 75 minutes. Test with a skewer to make sure that it is completely baked.


The bread has an intense aroma and a delightfully fluffy consistency. It tastes really very good!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Appelsínu- og skyr eftirréttur

Orange cream with skyr

 
Ingredients for 4 persons

2 - 3 organic oranges
250 ml whipping cream
100 g sugar 
350 g plain skyr


Preparation

Wash the oranges thoroughly. Grate orange peel and squeeze the oranges.

Beat cream with sugar until stiff.

Fold in the skyr.


Stir in the squeezed orange juice and half of the grated orange peel.


Fill the cream into dessert cubs, sprinkle with the remaining orange peel and serve for dessert.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bláberja- og súkkulaðidrykkur


Blueberry-cocoa drink

Ingredients

350 g plain skyr
300 g deep-frozen blueberries
3 Tbsp baking cocoa
2 Tbsp sugar
5 ice cubes


Ingredients

Put all ingredients into a blender...


... and blend thoroughly. Then serve immediately.


Tastes delightfully fruity and creamy!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Kálpottréttur

Cabbage stew with skyr

Ingredients

1 white cabbage
2 sour apples
350 g plain skyr
1 tsp caraway
2 tsp pepper


Preparation

Preheat the oven to 140 °C.

Trim and wash the head of cabbage. Cut into thin slices.


Wash and peel the apples, grate them and stir them into the cabbage.


In a separate bowl, stir skyr, caraway and pepper thoroughly.


Add the skyr mixture to the apple-cabbage mixture. Mix well.


Fill everything into a casserole. Bake in the preheated oven at 140 °C for about 1 hour until the cabbage is smooth.


A very interesting, but even delicious side dish - here with grilled salmon and skyr flatbread.

Bon Appetit!