25/07/2007

Coconut Balls - Kókoskúlur

One of the things I got frequent requests for back before I closed my public e-mail account because of spam overload was Kókoskúlur or Coconut Balls. These are candies or no-bake cookies sold in most Icelandic bakeries. I was unable to find a recipe and no bakers were willing to part with one, so I had to give up. Now I have finally found a recipe. I don’t know if it is the right one, as I haven’t tested it, but I plan to make it on the weekend and do a taste comparison with a bakery-bought specimen. I can tell you right away that there is one ingredient missing that some (but not all) bakeries put in their coconut balls: rum essence.

Here is what they look like:

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Ingredients
75 g (1/3 cup + 1 tsp) butter, soft
100 ml (2/5 cup) sugar
1 tbs vanilla sugar
300 ml (1 1/3 cups) oatmeal, the quick-cooking kind. Do not use instant as these have added salt.
175 g (6.3 oz) chocolate
2 tbs milk, at room temperature
100 ml (2/5 cup) desiccated coconut (small flakes)

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a water bath. Mix together butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, melted chocolate, oatmeal and milk. Form into small balls and roll to coat with coconut. Chill before serving.
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Edit: Looks like I will have to delay the testing - I've been invited on a camping trip this weekend.

05/07/2007

My mother’s herring on rye

My mother invented this dish. It can be served as a cold main dish or as an entrée using small portions.

Herring on rye:
Slices of sweet, dark rye or pumpernickel bread
Marinated herring (about one fillet for each slice of bread)
Thin slices of sweet apple (about one medium Red Delicious for each 6 slices of bread)
Sliced banana (about one medium banana for 2 slices of bread)
Sliced hard-boiled egg (about one egg for each 2 slices of bread)

Sauce:
I am not going to give exact measurements for the sauce, as I never make it the same way twice:
Mayonnaise (about 1 1/2 tbs for each slice of bread, more if you're a sauce fancier)
Honey
Mild or medium hot curry powder mix*
Cream (optional, see instructions)

Mix together mayonnaise and honey until well blended. The result should have a mild taste of honey. Add curry powder to taste. (If you need a recipe to follow, use one for gravlax sauce, leave out the mustard and replace the dill with curry powder). If sauce is thick, add some cream or whole milk until it becomes slightly runny.

Arrange the herring, apple, banana and egg slices on the slices of rye bread and top with the sauce.
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*I generally abhor the use of ready-made curry powder, preferring to mix the spices separately into the stew at the right moment in the cooking process. This is an exception.