Monday, February 8, 2010

Iceland - Hot Springs and Cold

When I think of Iceland I think of three things: clean, cold and hot springs. It’s true that it has, and is, all these things, although the country has higher temperatures than most places with the same latitude. Did you know that in July 2008 it had a record high of 79.2 degrees Fahrenheit?

Iceland also has glaciers, waterfalls and active volcanoes, and it’s a great place to whale watch. However, it’s barren and rocky too and the majority of the population ( under 300,000) lives in the capital of Reykjavik, a city full of writers, poets and musicians.

I read that the quality of the food in Iceland is superb. The animals they eat drink clean water, eat fresh grass and breath fresh air. Perhaps there is a lesson in this for us? We should stop buying meat from farmers who cage their animals in filthy, cramped conditions and pump them up with antibiotics. What’s that old saying? We are what we eat?

Icelandic food is mostly based on fish, lamb and dairy products. Traditional dishes include blood pudding, cured meat like ram and shark and skyr, a cheesy yogurt.

Our Icelandic meal was fabulous and something that I can see making again and again. It was a fish casserole made with white fish fillets, onion, grated cheese and breadcrumbs. It was easy to make and the kids loved it. In fact, I had left over fish and made the dish two nights in a row.

Serve it with boiled potatoes and a salad and you’ve got yourself an Icelandic meal.

Fish Casserole

2 white fish fillets, bones and skinned, and cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
2 TBSP grated cheese (I used a little more than that)
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP breadcrumbs
2 TBSP butter

Arrange the fish pieces in a greased casserole. Sprinkle salt and chopped onion over the fish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and cheese on top and dot with small pieces of butter. Bake at 425 degrees for 20- 30 minutes.

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