Crumbed fish – Steiktur fiskur í raspi

This is an old family favourite. Some variation of this dish can be had in many roadside diners thay serve more than the traditional hamburgers, sandwiches and hot dogs.

2 kg fish (cod, haddock, sole, flounder or any other white fish) – skin and bones removed
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg or egg white
a splash milk (optional)
250 g margarine/butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fish spice mix (use your favourite mix or substitute with Season-All)
a dash of pepper
1/2 medium onion, sliced

Break the egg and beat to break the yolk, add a splash of milk (if using) and mix well. Mix salt and spice with breadcrumbs. Cut the fish into pieces, across the fillet. Width of pieces can range from 2 1/2 to 5 cm (1-2 inches), depending on appetite. (Just make the pieces uniform in size.)

Set up your workplace:
First, a plate with the fish pieces, then a bowl with beaten egg, then a bowl with breadcrumbs, then the heated frying pan on the stove.

Melt half the margarine/butter (or use equivalent in cooking oil) in a medium hot frying pan. When the margarine stops frothing, add the onion slices to the pan and fry until they are golden. Remove from the pan and add the rest of the margarine/butter.

Now you can start frying the fish: Coat a piece of fish in egg, roll to cover in breadcrumbs, and put on the pan to fry. Continue until all the fish is on the pan. Turn when the underside of the pieces begins to brown, and fry on other side until golden brown.
Arrange the fish pieces on a serving plate, quickly heat the onions through on the pan, and pour onions and the remainder of the frying fat over the fish. If you want the fish to be less greasy, you can serve the onions and fat on the side.
The fish can also be baked if you want to avoid frying it. Should take about 30 minutes in a medium hot oven.

Serve with lemon wedges, a fresh salad and cooked potatoes.

This salad is also good with crumbed fish:

2 med. tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1 tbs Mayonnaise

Cut tomatoes and cucumbers into 1/2 cm thick slices, then cut slices into narrow strips. Put in a bowl with the mayonnaise and stir to coat the vegetables. Also good with grilled lamb and pork.

Snake cake (rolled cake) – Slöngukaka

It’s called a snake cake because the slices look like stylised coiled-up snakes.

4 eggs
150-200 g sugar
50 g flour
50 g potato starch or cornstarch

Cream the eggs and sugar together. Add the flour and potato/corn starch, little by little. Prepare a temporary baking container by putting baking paper on a baking sheet and folding in the corners to make a shallow “box”. Pour in the dough and smooth with a spatula. Bake at 250°C for about 10 minutes. Set the oven to heat from below. Test for doneness by gently pressing the top of the cake with your finger – if the cake feels firm and the fingerprint quickly disappears, the cake is done. When done, turn the cake over onto a sheet of baking paper sprinkled with sugar. Put baking paper and a roasting pan or cutting board on top of the cake while it cools, to keep it smooth and prevent it from hardening.

Possible fillings:

Chocolate butter cream:
50-73 g margarine or butter, soft
50 g brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tbs dark cocoa
1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla essence

Cream together margarine/butter and brown sugar. Add the egg yolk and mix well. Add the flavouring and sifted cocoa.

White butter cream and banana filling:
50-73 g margarine or butter, soft
50 g sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla essence
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Cream together margarine/butter and brown sugar. Add the egg yolk and mix well. Add the flavouring and sifted cocoa.

When the cake is cold, smooth the butter cream over one side of it and firmly but carefully roll up the cake. If you are using bananas, smooth the mash over the icing before rolling. Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Instead of banana, you can use jam or jelly. Strawberry or raspberry jam tastes especially good with this kind of cake. I can imagine Nutella would also taste quite good (without any butter cream).

Basic recipe taken from Helga Sigurðardóttir’s Matur & Drykkur, Mál og Menning, Reykjavík, 1986 (1947).