Iceland - Sumardagurinn Fyrsti
April 20th marks the first day of summer in 2017 for the country of Iceland. The Norse calendar only has two seasons, summer and winter, so although it is still quite cold in Iceland (high of 41°F today), this is the day that marks the change of season.
If it dips below freezing the night before sumardagurinn fyrsti (the first day of summer) then it is to be said that there will be a fine summer ahead. This is a national holiday for the Icelanders, and it is not uncommon to give gifts on this day. Each region has their own celebrations and festivities.
The Orlando, FL region celebrated with some fine Icelandic dishes. Pylsur, what some would consider the official food of Iceland; a hot dog served with ketchup, sweet brown mustard called pylsusinnep, remoulade, a sauce made with mayo, capers, mustard, and herbs, chopped scallions, gherkins/cornichons and fried onions. Caramelized Potatoes, Lamb Stew, and Rice Pudding.
As always, no animals were harmed to make this awesomeness happen.
Self proclaimed “Best Hot Dog in the World” hails from Iceland. It is composed of sausage traditionally made from lamb, beef, and pork, but I made a carrot dog marinaded in spices and Icelandic Pale Ale (recipe here), and these base toppings, ketchup, pylsusinnep (sweet and spicy brown mustard), remoulade (a herbed mayo with capers and pickle juice), fried onions, chopped raw scallion, and whole gherkins/cornichons. Wowza, wonderful flavors, everything went great together. That mustard was the jam, and the mayo reminded me of a thousand island ranch combo. I got the recipe for the pylsusinnep from Arousing Appetites, but made up my own remoulade on the fly, just adding ingredients to taste. I used mayo, capers, gherkins and juice, parsley, tarragon, dijon, ketchup, and scallions.
Does 6 come after 7? excuse my lack of ability to count here. We all have our moments.
Carmelized potatoes by Wendy. She got this one from Ice Cook. Boy were these a treat. Sweet and sticky, they made the perfect complement to our dogs and stew.
Julie made this vegan version of another popular and traditional Icelandic dish, Lamb Stew. Using large portobello mushrooms slices in lieu of a sweet baby lamb, this stew was great! The inspiration recipe is from Savory Tooth, with some changes and additions. Obviously no lamb, but also some added cabbage, turmeric and some old bay seasonings.
My dear friend Katie came to our gathering for the first time this week. Her and her daughter Presley are from Norse roots, so we were representin’. This rice pudding she brought was wonderful!! Sweet treat topped with spices. Recipe from Baked Bree.
Some yummy summer beverages crafted from the Arctic, a few beers from Einstök Ölgerð. Arctic Pale Ale, which I cooked with, White Ale and Toasted Porter. Then for the cocktail we kept it simple with a vodka tonic, using this small batch vodka from Reyka, made with arctic spring water.
After our dinner we hang for hours out on the back patio and chat. Tonight we were reminiscing about our past meals, as we often do, and realized that we haven’t had one bad night, tonight included. Everything was great, and we once again were able to try some foods that we would have never thought to have tried before. No matter where you are from, or what you want to eat, with a few adjustments you can make it vegan, and you can make it healthy.
No outtakes from this week, which is very unfortunate bc I was adorable. Well, I took a few of my son. Here Lennon is munching on his carrot dog #herbiekids, and little dirt face.
Hope to see you next week in Slovenia!
Carrot dog and Mustard recipe, with assembly on how to make The Best Hot Dog in the World! Pylsusinnep recipe adapted from Arousing Appetites.
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup beer Einstök Ölgerð Arctic Pale Ale
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 cup dry mustard I used Colemans and it was SPICY.
- 1/4 cup light beer I used Einstök Ölgerð Arctic Pale Ale
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp agave nector
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1/2 tsp salt
Boil or steam carrots until soft, but still firm enough to not break apart. I use the pressure cooker Manual 3 minutes with a quick release.
Immediately run carrots under cold water, blanch in ice if you can.
Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour over carrots. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours.
Heat carrots in a pan with a little marinade until they are warm, and slightly caramelized.
Mix dry mustard powder with beer. Then add the rest of the ingredients, adding more to taste.
1. Warm Bun
2. Add Carrot Dog
3. Pylsussinep (Mustard)
6. Fried Onions
7. Raw Shallot