In my endless study of coziness (being satisfied and coziness) I have come across wonderful recipes of Scandinavian and Icelandic origin. This is my winter project and I have to say it is helpful to embrace the season and not spend my time wishing I was somewhere else.
Here we have another quick meal to put together with simple ingredients. This is a great recipe for any flagged white fish – just adjust the cooking time if the fillets are very thin. Use your favorite herbs; I just used what I had on hand.
And who hasn’t tried mashed potatoes yet? They are all darling potatoes (as far as my grandchildren are concerned), made even more special served with a spoonful of sour cream and a shot of several fresh herbs. Just cook some potatoes until tender, then crush them on a baking sheet and pour a little olive oil over them before they are done in the oven.
Kökur are simple Icelandic cookies with a crispy, crunchy, sea-salt-decorated surface and a thin chocolate in between. They are traditionally made with licorice-flavored chocolate, if you can find it, but believe me, any high-end dark chocolate works fine.
The yield of these cookies depends on how thick you roll the dough and what size stick you use. This recipe is so easy that you will want to make them often. These are just something to suit your afternoon coffee or tea break. They are not too cute and you can play with what you add to the spacers. Jams, Nutella and even a soft spreadable cheese come to mind. They are also pretty dunkable all by themselves.
Bundle up, buttercup. Winter is just around the corner.
Cod with almonds and capers
8 (6 ounces) cod fillets
Flour for deepening
3/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon peel
2 tbsp capers
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley and / or tarragon, chopped
Lemon boats and sour cream for serving
Line a plate with a double layer of paper towels. Season the fish with salt and drizzle it in flour, shaking off excess.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add fish a few at a time and fry for 3 minutes on each side, give them plenty of space and add another tablespoon of butter if necessary. Transfer to the prepared plate, sprinkle with a little more salt and keep warm.
Carefully wipe the pan off, then add the remaining butter, lemon zest, capers and almonds. Saute until the butter is browned.
Place the fish fillets on serving plates and drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with herbs and lemon zest and serve with sour cream. Yield: 4 servings
1 1/2 pounds small to medium-sized potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
Chopped chives and sour cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring the potatoes to a boil in a large saucepan of water richly seasoned with salt. Cook until fork tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
Drizzle a large baking sheet with edge with 2 tbsp oil. Arrange potatoes on baking sheet and lightly crush each potato with a mashed potato or fork, leaving some sharp edges until potatoes are about 1/2 inch thick.
Brush the potatoes with the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme. Fry, turning halfway through the baking time until golden and crispy, about 25-30 minutes. Serve with sour cream and chives. Yield: 4 servings
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1-2 teaspoons water (if necessary)
1 (8-ounce) bar dark chocolate, finely grated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk together flour and sugar. Add butter and eggs. Use your hands or paddle accessories on a tripod mixer. If the dough does not stick together, add the water.
Roll out the dough to 1/3-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch cake slicer, cut out cookies and place them on baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies lightly with sea salt.
Bake them until the cakes are crisp and brown at the edges, about 10-12 minutes. When the cookies come out of the oven, immediately sprinkle half of them with a generous amount of grated chocolate and top with the remaining cookies to form a sandwich. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Yield: 10 sandwich cookies
Sande’s Picks: Let’s cook at local classes