Gott Kvöld! (that means “good evening” in Icelandic, btw)
For all of our anticipation, this week really was totally uneventful. It was just your typical week. So covering Iceland for our meal this Sunday, came in as a much needed adventure to spice things up! There is seldom a dull week in Brovsky-land, so it was a great change up. To be totally honest though, we were a little trepidatious about tackling Iceland after doing our research…
Trepidatious, you say? The Brovsky’s?! No way…
But we were just that. And here’s why:
The Dinner: For Icelanders, the whale is the end-all-be-all of cuisine. This dates back to it’s location and primary form of commerce: Whaling. Today, whale is still consumed as a frequent dish in the country, though it’s roots in whaling have long since passed. They were gracious with their use of this animal, so naturally, many of the recipes out there use all the parts of the whale. I mean, the Icelandic chefs know more options than a Peyton Manning audible when it comes to preparing whale meat. We’re talkin’: Pickled. Steamed. Grilled. Fermented. Fricasseed. You name it… They prepare it. It seemed like whale would be impossible to come by here in Colorado, so we opted for a seafood dish without it.
We decided on Ofnsteiktur Fiskur með Lauk Og Osti (Icelandic Fish Casserole) served with noodles and for our voted addition which was dessert, we picked Buttermilk Aebleskivers (Buttermilk Pastry Doughnuts). The Icelandic Fish Casserole was super simple and we only had one “hitch in the giddy-up” with this trip to the grocers… the recipe called for “emmenthaler cheese”. Neither my mom nor myself have ever heard of this cheese before– and since she is a veteran cook and I am an avid (obsessive more like) Food Network watcher, this was unusual at best. So, after not finding any cheese by that name at the super market… we turned to Google for solace. Perhaps we could find a substitute?? No. No sub was required because a simple Google search turned up the answer… emmenthaler cheese = Swiss cheese. We had a good laugh and once we located the Swiss cheeses- the name “emmenthaler” seemed to be everywhere.
The Aebleskivers on the other hand were a little more advanced and required not a trip to google, but Youtube for a quick tutor on how to turn these little “popover” like pastries! Here’s what it looked like– we weren’t able to film our endeavor of it– it was all hands on deck for this one and thank goodness I happened to have my knitting needles in the car!
Ofnsteiktur Fiskur með Lauk Og Osti Recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/baked-fish-from-iceland-103714
Buttermilk Aebleskivers Recipe: http://bakingbites.com/2008/09/buttermilk-aebleskiver/
OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:
Ease of prep and cooking: ONE STARS out of five for the Casserole. TWO and a HALF for the dessert.
The casserole was really simple. It was basically a one pan wonder! The only hiccup was the cheese, and even that was an easy clear up when it came down to it. No strange ingredients and very clear instructions made this one a snap! The Aebleskivers, however, required a more advanced touch. Ours didn’t turn out as beautiful and round as they should have. One look at the video tutorial should be enough to show why. We haven’t mastered what is clearly a very incredible pastry skill yet to these babies (i mean knitting needles as cooking utensils?! Crazy awesome, my friends!). Non-the-less, we look forward to trying to master this one because they were spectacular!!
Best dish of all time scale: THREE STARS out of five for the Casserole. FIVE out of FIVE for the dessert!
Let me just tell you… if one could eat themselves to death via pastry– Aebleskivers would be the most fluffy, warm, melty way to come to your end. It would be totally worth the many potential hand burns, fire alarms and gained pounds that mastering the Aebleskiver would bring. They were a must make again for all four of the Brovsky clan. Well played, Iceland. The Ofnsteiktur Fiskur með Lauk Og Osti was really yummy and paired well with the buttered egg noodles suggested by the recipe. The Swiss cheese was interesting in a good way with the mellow cod. Tangy and stringy. The best part of the sauce was a slight hint of the stone ground mustard.
What’s in the cards for next weekend on our journey into culinary madness, you ask? Well, we decided that in honor of Independence Day we would visit The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave! Next weekend we will have a good old fashioned American meal!
Maybe the holiday paired with our tribute will have good mojo for the US Men’s Soccer team!?
góða nótt! (Good Night in Icelandic)
– L & K