Monday, February 17, 2014

Think of Iceland

The planning is underway for Hannah and Andy's Great Iceland Tour of 2014! We're going on a nine-day trip to celebrate my impending graduation. Iceland has long been on my list of places to visit*; while the car rental and gas prices will be pretty steep, the actual flight and recreation--meaning days and days of hiking and soaking in volcanic hot springs--are quite affordable. It's still chilly in early May, which means that Andy can career around the countryside with me without breaking a sweat (he's a freak of nature who turns beet-red at the mere thought of actual warm weather).

I'm going for the geography but plan to take the opportunity to try some new and different foods. Aside from the traditional Icelandic dishes of fermented shark and sheep's head and dried puffin (the first of which has been described as truly foul), the famous Icelandic hot dog, eaten with "the works" (eina með öllu), is the local delicacy of choice. Oh, and a strained yogurt-type thing called skyr. The idea of eating whale doesn't sit right with me; I'll probably skip that.

I made the huge mistake of baking fresh bread again, this time a straightforward overnight whole-wheat boule.

What we didn't devour for breakfast with butter and blackberry jam I grilled for Creole egg salad and watercress sandwiches.

The recipe came directly from Deborah Madison's Greens cookbook. It's got some great recipes with unique concepts, but I frequently have issues with the proportions of herbs and seasonings to whatever protein or carb makes up the bulk of the dish. In this case, the recipe only called for three eggs against a cascade of cornichons, capers, celery, and--less alliteratively--red onion. There were so many vegetables and so much remoulade that, while the spice level was decent, the eggs were practically lost. I doubled the number of eggs and sprinkled in some more seasoning and a little more onion, celery, and pickle, and it was perfect. The spicy watercress really makes this dish, too; if you can find it in your local grocery, I highly recommend it over lettuce or spinach.

*Other hot items on the list: Mongolia (where I wish to go hawking on a bicycle, since I am not an experienced horseback rider), Antarctica, Socotra Island, Turkey (especially Cappadocia), South Korea, Croatia

1 comment: