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STEAMED PLAICE with Plaice and Shrimp Soufflé and Hollandaise sauce

(Serves four)

12 small fillets of plaice

12 chives

2 cups dry white wine

½ lb of plaice (use the ends and trimmings of the plaice fillets)

½ lb Icelandic shrimps

2 tablespoons shallot onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons brandy

1 tablespoon tomato paste

½ cup egg whites

¾ cup whipping cream

Salt and pepper

For the soufflé, first put the plaice trimmings, the shrimps, the brandy and the tomato paste into a food processor and blend these ingredients until they have become a smooth paste. Now add the egg whites and blend on until they are thoroughly mixed in. When this is done, transfer the mixture into a bowl and chill it for about thirty minutes. When the chilling time is up, fold the chopped onions in with the mixture and then the cream until these are fully incorporated. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper and put it into a piping bag.

Now season the fillets of plaice with salt and pepper. Roll up each fillet length-wise into a cylinder, leaving a hole about an inch in diameter in the center. Fill the hole with the soufflé, using the piping bag. Finally, tie a string of chive around the roll to hold it together. Finish rolling and filling all twelve rolls.

Now choose a very wide pot. Pour the white wine into the pot and then put a rack into it. The rack should be well above the surface of the white wine, and large enough to accommodate all the rolls. To get the required height for the rack, it can be put on top of, for example, some upended, small coffee cups. Place the rolls on the rack. They should not touch one another. The heat is turned on, the pot covered and the white wine let boil for about one minute and then the heat turned off. The pot is left on the stove for about five minutes, then the heat is turned on again and the wine let boil for about one minute more. After this the heat is again turned off, and the rolls left in the pot for about two minutes, after which time they should be ready.

Hollandaise Sauce

4 egg yolks

1¼ cup butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Juice of ½ – 1 lemon

Beat the egg yolks until they are light colored. Heat the butter in a small sauce pan and keep it hot but do not let it bubble. Keep beating the egg yolks and very slowly pour in a bit of hot butter. Let it emulsify, then add some more, then a bit more until the butter is gone. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice, and keep it in a warm spot or you can keep it in a thermo cup.


FRESH SCALLOP CEVICHE with Mango, Chili & Tomatoes marinated in Coriander and Citrus Juices. (Serves 4)

14 oz / 400 g fresh scallop with the roe

6 small radish, sliced

2.5 oz / 70 g red onion, finely chopped

2 tbs red chili, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, medium size

½ mango, diced

Juice of ½ lemon

Juice of ½ lime

Juice of 1 orange

1.4 oz / 40 ml rice vine vinegar

2 tbs fresh chopped coriander

Salt to taste

Fresh white pepper to taste

Open up the shell and take out the scallop, put it in a bowl along with the roe, slice up some radish, red onion, chili, mango and tomatoes and put it in the bowl with the scallop. Then take the lime, orange and lemon and squeeze the juice over the mixture of ingredients already in the bowl.

Next, pour the rice wine vinegar over the ingredients and add some white pepper and a dash of salt according to taste. Chop up the fresh Coriander and add, and mix together. Put the ceviche in a jar or on a plate and leave it on ice or in a refrigerator to marinade properly for about 90 minutes. 


LIGHT BEER STEAMED MUSSLES with Ginger, Garlic & Jalapeno served in its own thyme infused creamy broth. (Serves 4)

2.5 lb mussels

1 red onion, chopped

8 garlic cloves, diced

4 tbs ginger, diced

1 tbs jalapeno

1 red bell pepper, diced 

4 tomatoes, diced

1 bunch fresh thyme

7 oz / 200 g butter

8.5 fl. oz / 250 ml heavy cream

1 light beer

Start by dicing the ginger, red onion, jalapeno, sweet red bell pepper and tomatoes. Put all the ingredients on top of the mussels in a large bowl and then add the thyme. Mix well together and put in a large pot. Next you add the butter and then pour in the light beer and the cream. Steam for three to five minutes.



(Serves four) 

12 oz shrimps

½ onion

½ avocado

1 blood orange, segmented and diced

1 grape fruit, segmented and diced

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

1½ tablespoons quality sesame seed oil

Pinches of red orach for decor

For this salad chop the onion, avocado, blood orange, and grapefruit segments into small cubes. Mix thoroughly with the shrimps, sesame seed oil and chives. Care must be taken not to crush the avocado cubes, as they tend to be somewhat soft. Because of this, it may be advisable to add the avocado only when all the other ingredients have been mixed together, gently folding it in. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper. This dish is really fine for starters. It is served in rather small portions and therefore ideally in small vessels, such as Chinese porcelain spoons, which can contain the appropriate amount of salad and are also very satisfying to the eye. Sprinkle a pinch of red orach on top for décor.


PAN-SAUTÉED HADDOCK with caramelized lime, sautéed onions and potatoes

(Serves four)

1.5 lb fillet of haddock, skinned

1 red onion, sliced

4 oz butter

½ cup flour

2 eggs

1 cup bread crumbs

2 limes

2 tablespoons sugar

Salt and pepper

Trim the skinned fillet of haddock and cut it into pieces about two to three inches in width. Roll the pieces in flour seasoned with some salt and pepper, immerse in beaten eggs and finally coat the fillet pieces thoroughly in bread crumbs. Sauté the prepared pieces of fillet in butter in a medium hot pan until they are golden brown and the bread-crumb crust has become somewhat crispy.

Sauté the slices of red onion in the pan along with the fillets. Cut the lime in half, dip it in sugar and sauté it in butter in a separate pan (cut side down) until the sugar has caramelized. 

To serve place the fillet of haddock on top. Rest the caramelized lime on the fillet. Its juice is to be squeezed on the fillet when it is eaten. Ladle some of the butter and sautéed onions from the pan the fillets were sautéed in on top of the arrangement, keeping some on the side along with the potatoes.


GRILLED MONK FISH marinated in Chef Volli´s BBQ sauce on top of fresh tomato, arugula and couscous salad with chunky cucumber and “Skyr” raita.

(Serves 4)


4 steaks of monk fish each approx. 6.5 (oz) / 185 (g) 

Marinade the monk fish steaks in the BBQ sauce for 10 min up to an hour. Grill the steaks on a medium hot grill, allowing 10 minutes per inch of thickness or until the meet is firm. Turn once halfway through cooking time. Baste frequently during cooking and once after taking the monk fish of the grill.


2 cucumbers, peeled and diced

1 tsp kosher salt

2 cups Icelandic Skyr or (plain whole milk yogurt)

1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp finely chopped garlic

2 tsp cumin seeds

To make the raita: Place the cumin seeds in a large dry skillet over medium heat. Stir for 2 minutes until fragrant. Remove to a plate and cool. Place in a spice grinder (or clean coffee grinder) and grind well. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers and the salt. Mix well and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes, then drain. Add the ground cumin seeds, yogurt, lemon juice and garlic and mix to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes. Chill until ready to serve.

COUSCOUS with fresh tomatoes and arugula salad. 

1 cup couscous

1¼ cups water

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

½ tsp of salt

½ tsp fresh ground white pepper.

1 tbs olive oil

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 cup arugula

Bring the liquid to boil with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and the olive oil. Then add in the couscous. When the mixture is boiling, take it off the heat immediately. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes, then mix in the diced tomatoes and arugula.

CHEF VOLLI´S BARBEQUE SAUCE (makes about 1½ cups)

1 tbs dried oregano

1 tbs paprika

2 cloves, garlic, chopped fine

1 tsp fresh chili pepper, chopped fine

4 whole fresh cloves

1 whole black peppercorn

2 tbs whole mustard seeds

2 star anis

1 tsp all spice

1 tsp coriander

1 tbs fresh ginger, copped

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 small bay leaf

Put the above dry ingredients in a hop pot and stir well for one minute to bring out the flavor of all the spices.

¾ cup ketchup

2 tbs Worcestershire sauce

½ cup water

6 tbs red wine vinegar

3 tbs Soy sauce

1 tbs brown sugar 

After having heated the dry ingredients above in the pot, add the vinegar and the soy sauce and bring to a boil. Now, add the rest of the ingredients, cover the pot and simmer its contents for one hour. Then strain the mixture and thin out with water if needed. 







MY FATHER’S GRAVLAX RECIPE with My Mother‘s Exquisite Dill and Mustard Sauce



MY FATHER’S GRAVLAX RECIPE with My Mother‘s Exquisite Dill and Mustard Sauce

[Serving four]

The Curing Mixture

11 oz salt

13 oz sugar

1/2 tablespoon of ground white pepper

4 tablespoons lemon pepper

4 tablespoons fennel powder

1/2 cup dry dill

The Gravlax Sauce

6.8 oz sweet mustard

1.7 oz Dijon mustard

1.7 oz dry dill

1.7 oz honey

6.8 oz vegetable oil

3.4 oz mayonnaise

A dash of Cognac

The following is my father, Völundur Hermóðsson’s, recipe for gravlax. It has been a family secret, but I have been permitted to reveal it in this book. I learned the recipe when working with my father at the salmon fishermen’s lodge on the river Laxá (Salmon River) in the summer of 1991, and have used no other since.


Mix the ingredients, all but the dill, together most thoroughly. Fillet the salmon, but do not skin it. Arrange the fi llets side by side, skin side down. Liberally spread the prepared mixture over of the salmon meat. Stack the fillets, applying the mixture to each layer, in a tray, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and leave the salmon to cure in a refrigerator for 36 hours. When the time is up, the fillets are turned over, the tray again closed with plastic wrap and the salmon left to cure for 36 hours more.

Finish the process by scraping off excess curing mixture, and then cutting the fillets into bits of a size appropriate for each use. Wrap up those not to be used immediately and put them in a cooler or, if they are to be preserved for a long time, in a freezer.


This recipe is my mother, Halla Loftsdóttir’s. My mother and I used to spend a lot of time together, when I worked with her at the salmon fishermen’s lodge. I know that I was driving her crazy that summer with my tiresome adolescent behavior, but in spite of my unruliness, I fortunately managed to learn the recipe from her.

Mix the ingredients together thoroughly, adding the oil last. A dash of Cognac may be stirred in if desired. 

This sauce was always used with my father’s gravlax in my home. I know no other that fits it better. The gravlax is served in slices with a liberal amount of gravlax sauce on top and around the slices. More sauce is served on the side and also some toasted bread to eat with the gravlax.

COLD-SMOKED SCALLOP with Vodka Jelly, Scallion Marmalade and Osetra Caviar


COLD-SMOKED SCALLOP with Vodka Jelly, Scallion Marmalade and Osetra Caviar

[Serving four]

4 large scallops

Bunch of Rose marine

Bunch of thyme

Bunch of coconut flakes

1 cup of Absolut Citron Vodka

½ cup water

¼ oz Gelatin

Scallion marmalade

1 oz Osetra caviar

Pickling liquid

Some strands of Majenta lace

4 Lime segments

Lemon oil

Salt and pepper

The scallop shell has long been thought exceptionally beautiful and has frequently figured in art, for example in connection with the Greek goddess Aphrodite. But there is much more to the scallop than the shell, for the fish inside it is a treat indeed.

For the course at hand put the scallop in the pickling liquid and marinate it for half an hour. When this step of the preparation is over, fill a deep pan with ice, close it with a sheet of aluminum foil, and put it on a grill. Throw some rosemary, thyme and coconut flakes on top of the embers for smoke flavor. Then put the scallop on top of the foil and shut the grill lid. The ice in the pan keeps the scallop cool, so it is in fact smoked in cold smoke. Leave the scallop in the smoke for twenty minutes and then turn them and smoke twenty minutes more.

To prepare the vodka jelly, heat the half cup of water in a pot, dissolve the gelatin in it, and add the vodka. Allow the jelly to cool until firm. Then chop it into small cubes about a quarter of an inch in size.

When this course is served, the cubes of vodka jelly are used to make a bed in the center of a plate. Onto the bed we put one piece of lime segment and some majenta lace. The bed should be large enough for the jelly to reach well beyond the scallop, which is put on top. The jelly should resemble crunched ice, giving an image of icy freshness. On top of the scallop we put a layer of scallion marmalade, and then a generous scoop of caviar, the whole resembling a miniature mountain with a slide of caviar coming down the slope. Some lemon oil is drizzled around the arrangement for decoration and fl avor.

The cold-smoked scallop in itself is very tasty, but the flavor is very much enhanced if the caviar and the vodka jelly are eaten with it. Then it becomes a treat indeed.

CRISPY POLLOCK WON TON with Spicy Tomato Ratatouille


CRISPY POLLOCK WON TON with Spicy Tomato Ratatouille

[Serving four]

8 oz fillet of Pollock

4 won ton wraps, 3 by 3 inches

Vegetable oil

Spicy ratatouille

In Icelandic the word for Pollock is “ufsi”, but in Iceland this fish is frequently called Sea Salmon, because it has quite a bit of the salmon’s fight in it when caught with a hook and line. Pollock is not eaten much in Iceland although it is really very good food.

For this course, cut the fillet of Pollock into small pieces and flavor them a bit with some salt and pepper. Place the chopped Pollock in a bowl and mix in two tablespoons of sour cream. Form the fish and cream mixture into balls of about 2 oz each.

Prepare a square of won ton. Place a fish ball in the center, moisten the edges of the won ton a bit with water and fold it over the ball, forming a triangle. Press firmly on the sides of the triangle, sealing it tightly all the way up to the ball, which should be quite prominent. When all the balls are ready, put them in oil and fry at 350° F, rotating them in the oil so that they become uniformly light brown. When finished, remove the balls from the oil and put them aside for excess oil to drip off.

A small heap of warm ratatouille is put in the center of a plate and the Pollock on top. The arrangement should conjure up the image of a bird taking flight.The creamy taste of the Pollock, the crispy texture of the won ton and the spicy ratatouille create a unique harmony of flavors, which makes this dish very fitting as a starter or a middle course

SAUTÉED STUFFED SQUID with Portobello Mushrooms Risotto, Squid Tentacles and Smoked Roma Tomato Sauce


SAUTÉED STUFFED SQUID with Portobello Mushrooms Risotto, Squid Tentacles and Smoked Roma Tomato Sauce

[Serving four]

8 Squid

4 Roma tomatoes

Bunches of rose marine

Bunches of thyme

Bunches of birch bark

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

Portobello mushroom risotto

Pinches of micro bok choy

3 oz butter

Squid was not caught much in Iceland in former days, and then mostly for bait. No one thought of eating this most singular fish at that time. This has changed, so nowadays the squid is a sought-after delicacy in Icelandic cuisine.

Small squid is used for this course, both the body and the tentacles. Begin by removing the tentacles and the innards, taking care not to rupture the ink bladder. Clean both the body and the tentacles. Then stuff the squid body with Portobello mushrooms and risotto made from vegetable stock. Take care not to put too much stuffing into the body. When stuffed, close the open end with a toothpick. Sauté the stuff ed squid bodies in butter in a pan until golden brown. Do not overcook the squid, or it will become chewy. After the sautéing, remove the toothpicks.

Sauté the tentacles in grape seed oil, add strips of squid and season with salt and white pepper, adding some butter toward the end. Sauté the tentacles and strips of squid until they start curling up a bit. For the sauce, start by throwing some rose marine, thyme and birch bark on the embers in a grill. Put the tomatoes on the rack, and close the lid completely to keep the smoke inside. The tomatoes are left to cure in the smoke for an hour or so. When the tomatoes are done, peel their skin off and churn them into sauce in a mixer. Heat the sauce close to the boiling point and season to taste with salt, pepper and fresh lime juice. Finally, whip cubes of cold butter vigorously into the sauce with a hand blender till the sauce becomes somewhat frothy.

When this dish is served, the frothy smoked-tomato sauce is used to make a pool in the center of a plate. The sautéed squid is arranged in the center of the pool of sauce, and the arrangement decorated with some micro bok choy and the curled strips of squid.

In this course, which has a lot of appeal, the smoked tomato sauce goes well with the taste of the squid and the stuffing inside it. It entails a bit of work, but I have found the time taken in preparing it entirely worth while.

ICELANDIC CREPES Filled with Whipped Cream on Chunky Mango Sauce


ICELANDIC CREPES Filled with Whipped Cream on Chunky Mango Sauce

2 cups of white plain flour

1 tablespoon sugar

3 eggs

Milk as needed

2 oz margarine

Half a teaspoon of baking soda

Chunky mango sauce

No coffee or tea party in Iceland is complete without crepes. They can in this respect be considered well-nigh a staple item, when people gather for an afternoon or an evening of pleasant conversation and friendship. This is quite understandable, as Icelandic crepes are very easy to make and no less pleasing on the tongue.

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly until the mixture has become well-nigh as fluid as milk. Ladle some of the mixture onto a bristling hot shallow pan which is slanted briskly for the dough to swiftly cover the whole area of the pan. Pour excess mixture off  the pan back into the bowl. Bake the crepe until it is almost dry on top and then turn it, using a long-bladed spatula, and bake for some time more. Care must be taken not to bake the crepes too long. They should be golden brown on both sides when done.

The crepes are mainly served in two ways. One is putting a good splash of firmly whipped cream on one fourth of the crepe and then folding it twice. Sometimes a bit of rhubarb or blueberry jam is put on the crepe along with the whipped cream. The other method is scattering quite a bit of sugar on the crepe while it is still hot, and rolling it up tightly. The sugar melts within the roll and seeps through it making it quite syrupy. Either of the two ways gives fine results, but other fillings are very possible, such as cheese, jelly, chopped fresh fruit and so on.The picture on the opposite page shows one of the alternative methods possible for serving the crepes. In it the crepe is not folded, but formed into a bag around the filling, which can be whipped cream, cream cheese, shrimp salad, and so on, and the bag tied up with a thread from, for example, rhubarb. The bag is put onto a bed of chunky mango sauce.It is pretty certain that the Icelandic crepes will be appreciated at any party.

At any rate they are very much worth trying.

SMOKED EEL with Edamame Mousse, Sesame Seed Sauce and Wasabi Oil


SMOKED EEL with Edamame Mousse, Sesame Seed Sauce and Wasabi Oil

[Serving four]

12 oz fillets of smoked eel

Pinch of micro basil

Edamame mousse

Sesame seed sauce

Wasabi oil

Pickled red onion

1 small mango, diced

The eel has a lot of fat in its body, and is for the most part hot-smoked, and eaten with, for example, bread, with which it is a great delicacy. Below is a dish somewhat different, but most certainly savory.

When the smoked eel is removed from the package, care must be taken not to smash or tear the meat. With the eel out of the package, put it on a flat surface with the skin side down and make an incision close to the tail end, not penetrating the skin. Now flip the eel over and start from the tail where you made the incision and gently pull back the skin from the meat, keeping it firmly on the board section by section to ensure no breakage. Once the skin has been removed cut the eel in half lengthwise. Finally, cut each half into diamond-shaped pieces about two inches in length.

Make a bed of edamame mousse in the centre of a plate with thin slices of pickled onion and diced mango on top. Slightly heat the pieces of smoked eel in a broiler and place them on top of the bed along with a layer of onion and mango, followed by another piece of eel. Drizzle the wasabi oil and the sesame seed sauce around the arrangement and top it with a sprinkle of micro basil for decoration and added flavor.This dish is satisfying to both the taste buds and the eyes. The smoked eel has a strong, smoky and fatty taste emphasized by the wasabi oil, and the dark brown color of the smoked eel goes pleasantly with the color of the bed of paste.