28 Feb

Inspired by Iceland

9 minute read

Taste of Iceland Cooking Class Recipes & More

Taste of Iceland Cooking Class Recipes & More

Your online cookbook for the Taste of Iceland Cooking Class.

Plate of Icelandic Lamb with sides.

1,100 years of lamb farming. Icelandic Lamb promotes the unique qualities of our lamb and traditional farming.

Here you'll find recipes from the Taste of Iceland Cooking Class along with information about our amazing chefs and the main Icelandic ingredients used for these award winning courses.

The recipes

The following recipes are from the Icelandic Culinary Team. The team scored the highest points for starter and main course at the Culinary Olympics 2024 in the category Restaurant Of Nations.

The starter:

Pan fried Icelandic Cod loin, smoked cod salad, pickled cucumber & white wine sauce

Served with (not included in the recipes): Cod mousseline, Cherry tomato “confit”, haricot vert and quinoa ragout and foamy white wine sauce.

Pan fried cod loin
4pc - Cod loins
250g / 9oz - Salt
250g / 9oz - Sugar
15 g / ½ oz - Lemon zest
200 g / 7 oz - Herb infused butter
150 ml / 5 oz - Cooking oil
Glaze for Cod (see recipe below) 

Mix salt, sugar and lemon zest well and cure the Cod loins with the mixture for 30 min. Then rinse in running cold water and drie on an kitchen towel. Trim and portion the loins. When frying, start with a sizzling hot frying pan and add oil. The pieces are the placed on the pan with the skin side up, when a brown crust has appeared, add a pinch of butter and baste the Cod with the butter. Transfer to a oven proof tray and finish cooking in the oven at 120C/250F. When core temperature has reached 45C/113F, remove from the oven, brush with glaze and serve.

Glaze for cod
240 ml / 8 oz - Whey
240 ml / 8 oz - White wine
150 g / 5 oz - Honey
20g / 1 oz - Beurre noisette powder
125g / 4 oz - Brown sugar 

Combine the whey, white wine, and honey to a pot, reduce into a thick liquid. Then add Beurre noisette powder and brown sugar. Simmer on low heat until the mixture thickens.

Pickled sun chokes (for Cod Salad)
4 pc - Sun chokes
500 g / 18 oz - Caster sugar
125 ml / 4 oz - Apple vinegar
125 ml / 4 oz - Water

Mix in a pot the sugar, apple vinegar and water, bring to a boil. Peel the sunchokes and dice, add to the pickling liquid and simmer for 15 minutes. Sieve and chill the sunchokes before adding to the Smoked Cod salad. 

Smoked cod salad with sun chokes and dill
170 g / 6 oz - Cod offcuts
20 g / 1 oz - Dill
40 g / 2 oz - Mayonnaise
Smoked oil
Lemon juice

Cod offcuts are cured just as the loins, for 30 minutes, then rinsed and dried. Transfer to a oven proof tray, add some smoked oil and cook in the oven at 48C/120F for 25 minutes. Remove from the oil and chill well before mixing. Chop the dill finely and add to a bowl with mayonnaise and the cooked cod offcuts. Mix and season with lemon juice and salt.

Pickled cucumbers
3pc Cucumber
15 g / 1/2 oz - Salt
125 ml / 4 oz - Elderflower vinegar
125 ml / 4 oz - Cucumber liquid
120 g / 4 oz - Caster sugar
Elderflower gel (see below recipe)

Peel cucumbers and cut into cut into desired portion size, offcuts are transferred to a blender and blended into a purée. Sieve the purée and add 10 of salt to the sieved liquid. Mix the vinegar, cucumber liquid and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil, chill. The cucumber pieces are vacuum packed with the liquid, keep cool for 3 hours. Strain the cucumber and pipe the Elderflower gel on top of each piece and chill. 

Elderflower gel
600 ml / 21 oz - Elderflower vinegar
10 g / ¼ oz - Agar-agar
150ml / 5 oz - Tarragon oil

Bring the vinegar and agar-agar to a boil, and blend together with a hand blender. Chill and purée until smooth, transfer to a bowl and mix/emulsify the tarragon oil into the mix with a hand whisk. Put into a piping bag and keep at room temperature before piping. 

White wine sauce
2 pc - Shallots
3 pc - Garlic cloves
1/2 pc - Fennel
250 ml / 8 oz - White wine
250 ml  / 8 oz - Whey
Cod bones
3 sprigs - Lemon thyme
100 g / 3 ½ oz - Créme fraiche
100 g / 3 ½ oz - Butter
60 ml / 2 oz - Whole milk
20 ml / 1 tbs - Heavy cream
50 ml / 1,7 oz - Koji liquid
5 g / ¼ oz - Proespuma hot
Lemon juice

Peel and slice shallots, garlic cloves and fennel. Add oil to a large pot and sautée the vegetables on a medium heat for about 8 minutes. Deglaze with white wine and reduce about ⅓ to burn off the alcohol. Add the cod bones, lemon thyme and whey and simmer for 30 minutes. Sieve the and reduce in a pot by ⅔. Add Créme fraiche, milk, heavy cream and koji liquid, bring to a boil and emulsify the butter into the sauce with a hand blender. Thicken the sauce with Proespuma hot, season with salt and lemon juice.

The main course:

Pan fried Icelandic Lamb loin, crispy skin, buckwheat and ramson capers, Gnocchi potato filled with pulled lamb, lamb jus

Served with (not included in the recipe): Paté choux pastry filled with fried mushrooms, Feykir cheese foam. Whey glazed carrot, mornay sauce, lemon thyme. Ragout of chanterelles, green peas and kohlrabi.

Gnocchi Potato filled with pulled lamb
600 g / 21 oz - Gnocchi dough (see recipe)
1 pc - Lamb shoulder
1L / 34 oz - Chicken stock
100 g / 4 oz - Mustard seeds
2 tbs - Chives
½ Lemon zest only
1 pc - Shallot

Put the lamb in a pressure cooker, add the stock and cook for 1 hour. Remove the lamb, and pull it off the bone, note that you will only use approx. 20% of the meat for this recipe. Save the rest for later. Sieve the remaining stock and reduce it to by 1/2. Using 20% of the lamb add some reduced stock to it, mix in the mustard seeds, finely chopped chives & shallot and the lemon zest. Using moulds that fit portions, preferably silicon, fill with the Gnocchi dough, leaving a hole in the middle of each mould, add some pulled lamb and seal the moulds with more Gnocchi dough. Cook in the oven at 90C/195F for 1 hour.

Gnocchi dough
220 g / ½ pound - Potatoes
150 g / 5 oz - Smoked butter
240 g / ½ pound - Potato starch
180 g / 6 oz - Egg yolks
43 g / 2 oz - Salt

Peel the potatoes and slice evenly, weigh the amount exactly for the recipes, cook or steam until tender. Press the cooked potato through a sieve using a spatula, mix in the smoked butter and potato starch by hand, then add the egg yolk and salt. Pack and chill before use. 

Lamb Jus
1L / 34 oz - Chicken stock
1 L / 34 oz - Lamb stock
100 g / 4 oz - Celeriac
200 g / 7 oz - Onion
100 g / 4 oz - Fennel
1 pc - Star anise
1 tsp - Fennel seeds
3 pc - Juniper berries
Lamb cap and silver skin
200 g / ½ pound - Butter

Start by removing the fat cap and silver skin off the lamb, roast in the oven until golden brown, to be used in the sauce and a crumble.  Roast the vegetables in a large pot, add the spice and stock. Reduce 1/3 and remove from the stove, add most of the roasted lamb cap/silver skin and leave to infuse for 30 minutes with the lid on. Sieve, reheat and add butter and season with salt before serving. 

Fried Lamb loin
1 kg / 2 ¼ pound - Lamb loin, cap on
3 tbs - Cooking oil
200 g / ½ pound - Butter
8 sprigs - Fresh thyme
1 pc - Garlic

Season the lamb with salt and roast in a pan on all sides in cooking oil. Add butter, thyme, and crushed garlic for the last couple of minutes. Remove from the pan, cook in the oven at 80C/176F for approx. 25 minutes, or when the core temperature reaches 58C/136. Leave to rest for 15 minutes, add the crumble on top of the lamb, slice and serve.  

Crumble for Lamb loin
30 g / 1 oz - Buckwheat whole
30 g / 1 oz - Roasted and dried lamb fat
20 g / ½ oz - Dried garlic, crushed (not powder)
15 g / ½ oz - Dried arctic thyme
10 g / ½ oz - Ramson capers

Deep-fry the buckwheat until crispy, place on a kitchen paper add salt and leave to cool.  Pick the driest part of the lamb fat and dice finely. Mix all ingredients except for the ramson capers,  add the ramson capers when serving.

The dessert:

Skyr ganache, White chocolate brownie, birch & blueberries

White chocolate brownie
300 g / 12 oz - Butter
400 g / 15 oz - White chocolate
400 g / 15 oz - Caster sugar
80 g / 3 oz - Invert sugar
200 g / 8 oz - Heavy cream
4 g / 1 tsp - Salt
180 g / 6 ½ oz - Flour
6 pc - Eggs

Melt butter and white chocolate in a bowl over a water bath. Put sugar, invert sugar, cream in pot and boil until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the sugar mix over chocolate and butter mix.  Work together into an emulation, then add eggs one by one and finish by mixing the flour and salt into the mixture. Pour the batter into a baking pan, bake at 130C/265F for 35 + min.

White chocolate and skyr ganache
200 g / 7 oz - White chocolate
200 gr / 7 oz - Heavy cream
200 gr / 7 oz - Skyr

Put the cream in a pot and bring to a boil, add the chocolate, and mix with a spatula. Add skyr and mix with a hand blender. Chill in a fridge overnight. Put in piping bags. 

Birch and skyr sorbet 
1L / 35 oz - Water
150 g / 5 oz - Glucose
300 g / 11 oz - Sugar
250 g / 9 oz - Birch branches
1 kg / 2 ¼ pound - Skyr
1 g / 0,35 oz - Xantana thickening

Make a sugar syrup by combining the water, glucose and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil, transfer to a bowl, add the birch and leave to infuse for 48 hours. Remove the birch, add the Skyr,  Xantana and freeze in an ice cream machine. 

200 g / 7 oz - Egg whites
220 g / 8 oz - Caster sugar
Birch powder

Make a classic meringue from egg white and sugar. Use a non-stick silicon baking mat, spray with a baking spray. Pat dry and spread the meringue thinly on the baking mat. Dust birch powder over the meringue and dry at 60C/140F overnight. 

Bilberry compote
150 g / 5 oz - Bilberries
150 g / 5 oz - Water
100 g / 4 oz - Caster sugar
50 g / 2 oz - Distilled white vinegar

Boil water, sugar, vinegar together in pot until the sugar has dissolved.  Pour over frozen bilberries and chill. 

Oat crumble
500 g / 17 oz - Oats
125 g / 5 oz - Caster sugar
125 g / 5 oz - Butter
Cinnamon powder

Mix oats, sugar and butter and bake on a sheet tray 160°c for 15 minutes, add a pinch of cinnamon.

A sampling of Icelandic Food. Photo: Icelandic Seafood

The ingredients

The Icelandic cod

Iceland has some of the world's cleanest and most sustainable fisheries, and we want to keep it that way. In recent decades we have collected vast amounts of fisheries data and instituted thorough monitoring practices. We follow strict science-based quotas with complete transparency.

Atlantic Cod is the fish in Iceland. It is by far the most important marine resource in Icelandic waters. Cod is a groundfish that is most commonly found at a depth of 100-250 meters on Icelandic fishing grounds. Cod is a very good protein source, and contains a large amount of vitamin В and selenium, and is noted for its very healthy ratio of sodium and potassium.

Read more

The Icelandic lamb

A unique taste experience. The taste of Icelandic Lamb is simply unrivalled. Our pure-bred lambs graze free in the pristine wilderness of Iceland, eating luscious grass, berries, and wild herbs such as red clover, Arctic thyme, sedge, willow, thrift and angelica, making the end result a uniquely tender, fine-textured meat, infused with the natural flavours of pure Icelandic nature. It's a naturally delicious dish, best served in Iceland, making for a dining experience beyond compare.

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Icelandic Skyr

Skyr is a thick & creamy Icelandic yogurt that’s been a provision of Icelanders for nearly 1,000 years. Skyr is akin to yogurt but has a different texture thanks to the heirloom Icelandic cultures used to make it. It takes nearly four cups of milk to make one cup of Skyr, making it thicker, and creamier than yogurt.

Read more

Chef Haflidi Halldorsson
Taste of Iceland Seattle Chef Bjarki Snær
Photo of Iceland Culinary Team members 2024. Photo: Iceland Culinary Team Instagram

Meet the Chefs

Hafliði Halldórsson

CMC & CEO of Icelandic Lamb

A Certified Master Chef who is juggling promoting Icelandic cuisine, food culture, and marketing in his role as CEO of Icelandic Lamb. Chef Haflidi believes developing and telling the story of Icelandic food culture is of the highest importance to using the pure and humble ingredients Iceland provides.

Culinary competitions and judging are a passion of Chef Haflidi, a former Team Manager of the Icelandic Culinary Team and one of its current mentors. Other roles include serving as a board member of the Icelandic and Nordic Chefs Associations. Training competitors, judging international culinary competitions and speaking publicly about food and cuisine.

Haflidi grew up on a sheep and dairy farm in the Westfjords of Iceland and had hands-on experience working the rough seas of the North Atlantic as a fisherman. Chef Haflidi has first-hand insight into the sourcing, quality, and traceability of Icelandic produce.

Bjarki Snær Þorsteinsson

Member of the Icelandic Culinary Team

Bjarki started his culinary career at 16 by studying and working at Kjallarinn Restaurant in downtown Reykjavík. For some international kitchen experience, Bjarki worked at the esteemed Midsummer House in Cambridge, England. After his stint with modern British cuisine, Bjarki returned to Iceland to work at one of Iceland's premier restaurants, Grillið, at Hotel Saga. At 19, Bjarki went East to Stavanger, Norway, for a year to complete his apprenticeship at Renaa Restaurant, where the focus was on local, pure, and natural. Back in Iceland, Bjarki started as a head chef in Flóran Garden Bistro, working in various restaurants across Reykjavík. Today, Bjarki works as a head chef at Lux Veitingar with celebrated Chefs Viktor Örn Andrésson and Hinrik Örn Lárusson, specializing in exclusive and creative catering and banquet events.

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