25/08/2010

Fried herring

6-10 fresh herrings, heads removed, gutted and cleaned
2 tbs flour
2 tsp salt
½ tsp ground white pepper
100 g butter or margarine

If the herrings are large, butterfly them, otherwise leave them whole. Heat a frying pan with the butter. Mix together flour, salt and pepper and dredge the herring in the mixture. Fry the herring in the pan until golden brown. Serve with cooked potatoes and white sauce with vegetables

This recipe also works with mackerel.

From 160 fiskréttir by Helga Sigurðardóttir

18/08/2010

Herring rolls

“All the housewives in the country should be on the habit of acquiring at least one barrel of salted herring for the winter. The barrel must be stored in a cold place, for if the herring goes rancid it will not make good food. It is our duty, Icelandic housewives, to ensure that more is eaten of the herring than is now the case, this wholesome, fine food, which is caught in such abundance off our shores.”
Foreword to the chapter on herring dishes in 160 fiskréttir (160 fish dishes) by Helga Sigurðardóttir.

Helga Sigurðardóttir was Iceland’s version of Mrs. Beeton. She was not only a cook book author whose books can be found in many Icelandic homes, but also a cooking teacher . Several of the recipes on this blog originally came from one or another of her cookbooks, whether altered or unchanged. In the following weeks I will be posting a selection of dishes from this book, beginning with that gem of a fish, the herring.


2 salted herrings
2 bunches fresh dill, chopped
200 ml white vinegar
150 ml water
2 ½ tbs sugar
1/3 tsp pepper (in old Icelandic cookbooks ‘pepper’ usually means ground white pepper, as I am sure it does here)

Clean the herrings, fillet them and remove skin and bones. De-salt in cold water for 18 hours. Remove and pat dry. Sprinkle the dill over the fillets, roll them up tightly and tie off with cotton string. Put into a jar. Mix together the vinegar, water, sugar and pepper and pour over the herring rolls. Close the jar and let the herring marinate in a cool place for several hours. Cut the rolls into slices and serve, e.g. as canapés.

11/08/2010

Blackcurrant jam - Sólberjasulta

Blackcurrants have come to be regarded as a superfood. They are very high in vitamin C, as well as being a good source of potassium, iron and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). They are also very tasty.

When I was growing up, my grandmother's house was surrounded by a hedge of blackcurrant bushes. I loved being able to go out into the garden and pick the ripe berries off the branches and pop them straight into my mouth.

1 kg blackcurrants
100-200 ml water
500-600 g sugar

Rinse the berries under cold running water and drain well. Put in a cooking pot and bring to the boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the berries burst, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until melted.

Pour into sterilised jars, filling them completely and closing them while the jam is hot. Should keep for a year, but if you want to make sure, add a preservative.

04/08/2010

Redcurrant jam - Rifsberjasulta

I love redcurrants, both cooked and raw. I usually make redcurrant jelly, rather than jam, but the jam is good too, especially with smoked ham.

I sometimes make jelly from a mixture of redcurrants and stone bramble berries, which has a beautiful ruby-red colour and tastes delicious with strong cheese, and on the side with lamb and all sorts of game.

1 kg redcurrants
500-600 g sugar

Rinse the berries under cold running water and drain well. Put in a cooking pot and bring to the boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the berries burst, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until melted.

Pour into sterilised jars, filling them completely and closing them while the jam is hot. Should keep for a year.

To make redcurrant jam with a preservative, use

1 kg redcurrants
350 g sugar
1/2 tsp salicylic acid (or other preservative)

Make the jam as instructed above, them mix in the preservative before putting the jam in the jars.