Jo's Icelandic Recipes has moved here (the old website is still up but I have stopped updating it). Covers recipes, Icelandic foodstuffs, food culture and history. Please post questions under the appropriate recipe. If there is an Icelandic recipe you're looking for, you can either leave a comment or email me (see sidebar) with a request and I'll see what I can do.
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Recommended website for visitors to Iceland
While searching the web for a recipe, I came across a website which should prove a very useful resource for anyone who is preparing a visit to Iceland and wants to shop for food in the local stores (no need to worry about reading menus - they are usually provided in at least English and sometimes more languages). Following the general outline of Icelandic food (in English), there is a handy table of many kinds of food, given in Icelandic, English, French, German and Swedish:
Still in keeping with the Þorri theme, here is a popular food that is a favourite main dish for Christmas and Sundays, as well as being an essential part of the Þorri buffet.
Hangikjöt is an old favourite of the Icelanders. For centuries, we have smoked, pickled and dried food for preservation, and hangikjöt is one of the most delicious of the smoked products. Much like in olden times, hangikjöt is not an everyday food, except when used as a topping for bread, skonsur and flatbread. It may be eaten either hot or cold, and is traditionally served with cooked potatoes, white (béchamel) sauce, peas and pickled red cabbage. What follows is a description of the old method used for smoking lamb/mutton to make hangikjöt.
Smoking food, general information:
Smoking is an ancient food preservation method, which leaves the food tasting delicious. The smoke dries the food, and contains preservatives which prevent the food from spoiling. All food that is to be smoked must be salted first.
Updated 20. december 2013 to include kale. It's not a necessary ingredient, but it will add a lovely flavour note to the soup.
This is a classic Icelandic dish, a relative of Irish stew. There is a recipe for this soup in most Icelandic homes. No two are the same, and most are not really recipes, but general guidelines. It is very hard to put down a measured recipe, since the ingredients available will vary, and so will the taste, mood and inclination of the cook! The following is one variation, which I have tried to make as authentic as possible. The measurements are not meant to be taken too seriously, and should be varied according to taste and availability of ingredients. I have marked the absolutely necessary ingredients with an asterisk (*). These are only necessary for authenticity – part of the fun is coming up with your own preferred recipe.
I have received a request from someone who wants to know how to cook whale. The recipes are presented here for the curiosity value, as whale is only available in a few countries. I haven't tasted whale since I was in my teens, and I don't expect many of my readers will ever get the chance to try it. The recipes are therefore untested by me. Beef or a good, tender piece of horse-steak can be substituted for whale, in which case you can leave out the beating.
Recipe nr 1: 3/4 to 1 kilo whale meat (or beef/horse) 50 g butter, tallow or lard 2-3 onions Salt and pepper Laurel leaf (optional) 600-700 ml water Sauce colouring (caramel) 50 g flour 200 ml milk
Clean the meat: some say it's enough to slice off about a centimetre off each side of the piece, others recommend soaking in milk overnight. This is only to ensure there will be no oily taste to the meat, but if it has been properly handled in the first place, it will not taste oily. Cut into steaks and beat with a meat mallet. Slice t…