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Warm up with this hearty Icelandic Fish & Chips from Gísli Matt in Slippurinn

Chef Gísli Matt has been eating plokkfiskur, a signature Icelandic white fish and hash brown, for as long as he can remember.

Matt, the restaurant owner, said: “When I was growing up, my dad always did that. Slippurinn in Vestmannaeyjar, a city on the western volcanic islands of Iceland, and Skál, based in the country’s capital Reykjavík. But Matt quickly added “[my father] got his specific version of making it completely different from mine. “

In Iceland, plokkfiskur is popular, but never done in the same way. Recipes vary widely from family to family. Sometimes it’s in the form of a stew, other times it’s more like a hash.

This dish has long been a hearty and convenient way to use up leftovers and leftovers. Usually, plokkfiskur consists of the same basic ingredients: boiled white fish, mashed potatoes, cooked rutabaga (known as “Swedes” in Iceland), béchamel sauce, and sweet rye bread.

The version his father created when Matt was growing up approaches plokkfiskur as a concoction that combines curry powder and Hollandaise or bear sauce. “He combines it with some grated cheese – a lot of people in Iceland do it that way,” he said. “It’s delicious, but it’s completely different from the way we make it [at Slippurinn]. ”

At the restaurant, Matt uses both smoked cod and fresh cod to create depth and add texture. “I actually edited it for a long time. Since I started as an apprentice,” he said.

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He’s also made some additional changes over the years — and he still enjoys playing with the formula now and then. In his most recent iteration, instead of cooking rutabaga, he left it whole and sliced ​​it very thin. Instead of serving it with a slice of rye bread, he eats it with toasted rye crumbs. This is also the version of the dish you’ll find in Matt’s new cookbook, Slippurinna tribute to traditional Icelandic food and culture, as well as the modern style for which the restaurant has become known.

“We always have plokkfiskur on our lunch menu and the authorities often use it,” Matt said. “It ticks all the boxes. What’s more comforting than mashed potatoes and fish, avocados and onions? ”

Read on to learn how to make the main Icelandic dish.

It’s no surprise that a classic comfort food recipe from a Nordic island would include fresh fish. But in Slippurinn, and when it comes to making his own food, Matt likes to do things a little differently. “Usually we add half smoked and unsmoked fish, and usually cod, which is by far the most popular fish in Iceland. And this is a perfect dish to cut down on. You wouldn’t buy prime sirloin or tenderloin and put it in this one. “

Can’t find fresh fish? Don’t worry: Matt says frozen files will also work.

Plokkfiskur is especially nutritious and pleasant thanks to its base of potatoes and rutabaga. Matt likes to serve food as hashish. After boiling the potatoes and cooking the fish, he made sure to drain the water thoroughly before mixing them together.

“If both the fish and the potatoes are wet, you end up with a soup,” says Matt.

He also likes to experiment with different potato recipes sometimes, including frying or baking instead of mashing them – a great option if you have leftovers in the fridge.

MASK AND RYE CRUMBLE

The Béchamel sauce gives this dish the signature creamy quality that has made it an Icelandic staple. In the basic version of plokkfiskur, “You basically boil each potato separately and put it in a béchamel sauce, then mash it,” says Matt. “Then you boil or grill the fish and you put it in the same mix as well.”

However, he also mixes some horseradish (“it goes well with potatoes”), butter, dill oil, and fresh dill. “Obviously you get the creaminess from the béchamel and all that, but then with the addition of herbal oils, it just gives it so much freshness,” he says. “And horseradish adds a little spice.”

The traditional recipe for the dish is often called cooked rutabaga, but Matt prefers to leave it raw, slicing it into thin strips that add some crunchy texture to contrast the creamy potatoes. “I’ve never really enjoyed cooked bacon,” he said. “It was just a little too sweet for me. At Slippurinn, I really like the crunchiness that comes from the raw material of the dolphin, which contrasts with the softness of the fish broth.”

Finally, he adds a bit of rye flakes on top to complement rutabaga’s crunchy side dish and pays homage to the traditional Icelandic sweet rye bread that’s often served with a slice of rye bread. big plokkfiskur.

Plokkfiskur Smoked Cod with Raw Pork and Rye

Server 4

INGREDIENT

  • 1/3 loaf of rye bread
  • 40 g Butter, melted
  • 300 g Smoked Cod
  • 300 g Shredded fish
  • 500 ml milk
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 large white onion, diced, set aside
  • 120 g Butter, halved
  • 75 g all-purpose flour
  • Fresh nutmeg
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 550g small potatoes
  • 1 small swede (rutabaga)
  • Fresh grated horseradish
  • Dill Oil *
  • Dill leaves, chopped

DIRECTION

For Rye Crumble:

Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Line a baking tray (baking tray) with parchment paper.

Process the rye bread in a food processor until it creates a smooth crumb, then toss it in the melted butter and salt and bake on the prepared tray for 10 minutes.

For malicious code:

Soak smoked cod and crumbs in milk along with onion and bay leaf over medium heat until lightly browned and beginning to flake, about 12 minutes. Remove the cod with a slotted spoon and let it cool.

Filter poaching liquid and reserve for Béchamel.

For Béchamel:

In a large skillet, saute onion (excluding shredded meat) with 60g butter over medium heat, then add flour. Cook for 4 minutes, then add the reserved filtered stew liquid and cook until a very thick béchamel forms. Season the béchamel with salt, black pepper, and nutmeg.

Finish:

Meanwhile, boil the small potatoes in a pan of water over medium heat, then drain and mash. Gently fold the potatoes, 60g butter, and flaked cod over the béchamel, being careful not to crumble the cod too much.

Spin rutabaga on a Japanese shredder to create smooth noodles, then toss in a bowl of ice water to maintain a firm crunch.

Plate the fish broth onto a plate and garnish with swedish bacon, grated fresh horseradish, fennel oil, fennel leaves and rye crumbs.

INGREDIENT

  • 100g dill
  • 150g vegetable oil
  • 100 g parsley or spinach

DIRECTION

  1. In a blender, combine cumin and oil and blend for 5–6 minutes on highest speed.
  2. Strain the oil and return to the blender.
  3. Add parsley or spinach and mix again until vibrant green.
  4. Strain through a fine sieve or coffee filter and let cool.
  5. The oil can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

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