Stewed angelica

Angelica (Angelica archangelica) is the most highly regarded medicinal plant growing in Iceland, considered more potent than even yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica). It has been used to fight infections (bacterial, fungal and viral), as a local anaesthetic, to strengthen the immune system and as an aid to digestion and recent research has show it to be effective against cancer cells.

Abroad it is used to flavour alcoholic drinks such as Bénédictine , Chartreuse, Vermouth and Dubonnet, and locally the root is used to flavour schnapps (Hvannarótarbrennivín). As a medicine it is most often made into a tisane or a tincture, using leaves, root or seeds. It is also a food plant. Here is one recipe:

Take fresh, young angelica stalks, peel off the outer layer and wash the stalks in cold water. Cut away any spots. Pour hot water over the stalks, then cook them in salted water until they are soft. Drain carefully, and serve with whipped butter. May also be stirred into white sauce and served as a side dish (the recipe book doesn’t say what with).

Disclaimer: I have’t tried it, but if I do I will report back.

P.S. Take a look at the comment below - there are instructions for angelica jam in there that sounds heavenly.


Fried fish Orly

I have had several requests for this dish, so I decided to post the recipe. Apparently it was a favourite with American servicemen stationed at Keflavik airport and some of them still remember it fondly.

I'd be the first to admit that this isn't a specifically Icelandic dish, but you can buy it in many diners and restaurants all over the country.

Fried fish Orly with cocktail sauce and salad

Orly batter:
300 ml (10 fl.oz.) light lager or water
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt (the original recipe says 1 tbs, but this must be an error)
1 tbs cooking oil (the original recipe says 1 tsp, but this must also be an error - there needs to be more than 1 teaspoon of oil in the batter)
1 egg yolk
1 egg white

Mix together the lager or water, sugar, salt oil and egg yolk and thicken with flour until the batter is the thickness of pancake batter. Let stand for 1 hour at room temperature. Whip the egg white stiff and fold into the batter just before you use it.

May be used to coat fish, scampi/langoustines, shrimp or vegetable fritters.

To make fish Orly:
Haddock fillets, boned and skinned, or other white fish – cod or sole is good and anglerfish is divine
flour for dredging

Cut the fish fillets in pieces about 3 by 2 inches. Pat the fish pieces dry, season if you wish and dredge in flour. Dip to coat in the orly batter and fry in a frying pan or a deep-fryer (set temperature at 180 to 200 °C (355 to 390 °F)) for 2-3 minutes. Batter coating should be golden when cooked.

Generally served with chips/fries, cocktail sauce and coleslaw.
I also like to serve it with rice, salad and sweet-and-sour sauce.

  • Stir peeled Arctic shrimp or finely chopped vegetables into the batter and drop lumps of it into hot oil with a tablespoon. Makes great finger food.
  • Cut fish fillets into finger-sized strips, batter and fry. Another great finger food.
  • Cocktail sauce, garlic sauce, sweet-and-sour sauce or sweet chili sauce make a good dipping sauce for food in Orly.