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The last time I added a recipe to this page was in February 2004.
The latest recipes are always at the top. 


Skyr - Icelandic curds Kokkteilsósa - Cocktail sauce
New: Olíusósa - Home made mayonnaise


Olíusósa - Home made Mayonnaise

makes 200-300 grams (7-10 oz.)
2 egg yolks 1/2 tsp salt
200-300 ml salad (or cooking) oil 1 pinch pepper (optional)
1/2-1 tsp sugar 1 pinch dry, ground mustard seeds (optional)
1-2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice. White vinegar can be used but will make the taste sharp. Flavoured vinegar, such as tarragon, makes the taste more mellow.
Mayonnaise can be made in a blender or a mixer, or by hand, using a whisk and a bowl with a rounded bottom. Egg yolks and oil must be at room temperature. Mixing bowl/blender cup must be clean and dry, and also at room temperature. Choose oil that has little flavour of its own.

Mix and stir the egg yolks with the salt until light and thickened. Add the sugar and the spice, if using (pepper OR mustard) and half the vinegar/lemon juice and mix well. Lemon juice is healthier than vinegar, and mayonnaise made with lemon juice is better in dressings meant for fruit salads.
Start mixing the oil into the egg yolks, first drop by drop, and then, when the oil begins to blend in, in a steady trickle. Stirring must be constant, or else the sauce may separate. The mayonnaise should thicken bit by bit as more oil is added. If it becomes thinner the oil and egg are not mixing, i.e. the sauce is separating. If that happens, stop adding oil, stir the sauce harder and add 1 tsp water or cream. If that does not thicken the sauce, there are two methods you can use to save the sauce:

a)      take a fresh egg yolk and put it in a clean bowl, whisk with a little salt and then add the thin sauce in a steady trickle, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. The continue adding the oil until the sauce is the right thickness.

b)      put 1 tbs. cold water and a bit of vinegar/lemon juice in a clean bowl and add the thin sauce in a steady trickle, stirring with a clean whisk. Then add the oil until the sauce is the right thickness.

Prepared, home-made mayonnaise should be thick, smooth and shiny. It keeps well in a closed container in a cold place for a few days. Must not be allowed to freeze and must not be kept in the coldest spot in the refrigerator because then it will separate when it is taken out for use.

When putting the mayonnaise away, smooth it into the container and put a tiny amount of water or oil on top so that a film can not form on top.
Spices may be stirred carefully into the sauce before use, and for thinning, whipped cream may be mixed in.

The sauce must be thick if it is to be used for decorating food or in salads that will be used to top bread. Sauce that will be used on food can be thinner and may be made using whole eggs instead of yolks, or eggs and yolks (1 whole egg + 1 yolk).

If you want to enlarge the recipe, follow these guidelines: 100 ml of oil should be used per each egg yolk, or 150-200 ml per whole egg. The eggs can bind more oil than than, but then the mayonnaise will taste oily.


Skyr - Icelandic Curds

The Viking settlers are believed to have brought the knowledge of skyr-making with them from Norway, and developed it further after settlement. Since that time, the knowledge of skyr-making has been lost in Scandinavia.
Skyr looks like thick yogurt, and the taste is reminiscent of it. But skyr is not a yogurt, it's actually a type of fresh cheese. Because it is made with skim milk, the fat content is very low, allowing it to be eaten with cream and sugar without too much guilt. It is also an excellent source of calcium. Making it takes time, but it's well worth the effort.
Skyr is not widely available outside Iceland, which can make it hard to produce in other countries. The reason for this is that in order to make skyr, you need some skyr. There is a special bacteria culture that gives the skyr its unique taste, and the best way of getting the bacteria into a new batch is by mixing a portion of skyr into it. Sour cream or buttermilk can be used in place of skyr, but the taste will be slightly different.
This recipe makes 16 to 20 servings, and can easily be reduced. The skyr can be stored for 4-5 days in a closed container.
10 liters skim milk* 8-9 drops OR 1 1/2 tablet rennet 
10 grams skyr = ţéttir  (if not available, use 1 tblsp. live culture sour cream or buttermilk)
*Skim milk should preferably not be pasteurized (the skyr will taste better).
1. Heat the skim milk up to 86-90°C, and cool slowly for about 2 hours, down to 39°C. Stir the prepared ţéttir with a little boiled milk and mix into the milk with the rennet (if you are using dry rennet, dissolve in a little water before adding). 

2. Close the cooking pot and wrap in towels or a thick blanket. The milk should curdle in about 5 hours. If it curdles in less than 4 ˝ hours, the curds will be coarse, but if it curdles in more than 5 hours, the skyr will be so thick it will be difficult to strain. When the milk is curdled, cut into the curds with a knife. When you can make a cut which will not close immediately, then you can go on to the next stage.

3. Line a sieve or colander with cheesecloth or a fine linen cloth and pour in the skyr. Tie the ends of the cloth together over the top and hang over a bucket or other container so the whey can drip off. If the skyr-making has been successful, there will be little whey, and it will not float over the curds, but will be visible along the edges of the sieve and in the cuts you made in the surface. You can judge the quality of the skyr from the appearance of the curds when you pour them into the sieve. If the skyr is good, it will crack and fall apart in pieces, but should neither be thin nor lumpy. Do not put a layer thicker than 7-9 cm. into the sieve. Keep the sieve in a well ventilated room, with a temperature no higher than 12° and no lower than 0° Celsius. The skyr should be ready in 12-24 hours.

4. The skyr should be firm and look dry when ready. The whey can be used as a drink, to pickle food, or as a replacement for white wine in cooking.

Possible problems: If the whey does not leak off the curds or floats over the curds, or the curds do not shrink from the edges of the sieve, then something is wrong. The milk has not been heated to a high enough temperature or has been cooled too quickly, so that the rennet has not had time to work. The more milk you curdle at a time, the relatively less ţéttir and rennet you need. A large container cools slower than a small one, and the effects of ţéttir and rennet last longer.
About the ţéttir: It is best to use fresh skyr for ţéttir. If the skyr is sour, it should be mixed into the milk while it is still 80°-90°C hot. This will remove the sourness. Don't add the rennet until the milk has cooled to approx. 40°C. When the weather is cold, it is best to mix it in when the milk is a little over 40°C (say, 41° or 42°). In cold weather, the milk also needs to be covered more tightly while it curdles. This is especially important if you are making a small portion of skyr.
Serving: Eat the skyr as it is, or stir some milk and sugar into it and serve with cream and fruit/berries (blueberries are traditional, but crowberries or strawberries are also good). It is also good with müesli and/or brown sugar, honey or maple syrup. 
The historical information is taken from the teaching leaflet "Súrt og Sćtt", by Sigríđur Sigurđardóttir, published by Byggđasafn Skagfirđinga, 1998. 
Recipe comes from "Nýja Matreiđslubókin" by Halldóra Eggertsdóttir & Sólveig Benediktsdóttir, Reykjavík, MCMLXI.

Kokkteilsósa - Cocktail sauce

The British use vinegar and Americans ketchup, but the favoured condiment for french fries in Iceland is cocktail sauce. This versatile pink goo is also good with fried or broiled chicken, hot dogs, grilled sausages and fried fish. The most basic recipe calls for mayonnaise and ketchup, but this one is a little more refined ;-)
Take 200 gr. sour cream, or 100 gr. sour cream and 100 gr. mayonnaise. Stir until smooth.  If you are using both mayo and cream, stir separately and then mix. This is important and will help you avoid lumps in the sauce. Add approx. 3 tblsp. ketchup. Finally, add 1/2-1 tsp. sweet mustard. You can make cocktail sauce in a blender, in which case you just dump everything in at once and mix on high until smooth.
-When using with fish, I usually mix in a little garlic to add bite to the sauce. Use either powdered or fresh garlic (finely chopped or crushed).
-To make my special hamburger sauce, make as above, using 50/50 mayo and cream or just light mayo. Add some finely chopped chives or mixed herbs. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with cream or milk.