13 Sept 2015

Cottage Feast: Thailand-inspired BBQ Blue Mussels and Halibut with Sweet Potato Mash

The last time the family and I were back home in Iceland we came upon some wonderful ingredients. As usual, we didn't stay too long in the city, but instead headed for our beloved cottage, my parents' cottage in fact, called L├Žkjarkot. The cottage rests by the roots of Esjan Mountain, overlooking a placid small lake and yet another mountain to the north. We stopped by one of my favorite fish mongers on our way out of town and there I discovered some proper goodies: Icelandic blue mussel and halibut steaks - both of which I absolutely love cooking. With ingredients of this caliber, cooking comes naturally!

Cottage Feast: Thailand-inspired BBQ Blue Mussels and Halibut with Sweet Potato Mash

For the soup (6 servings):

1 kg blue mussels
1 red chili
5 cm ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 glass white wine
1 can coconut milk
1 lemon
Handful of fresh parsley/coriander
Salt and pepper.

For the halibut:

2 large halibut steaks
4 tbsp garlic oil
1/2 tsp crushed dried chili
Few slices of lemon
Salt and pepper

For the sweet potato mash:

1 kg sweet potatoes
1/2 soft cheese
75 g butter
Salt and pepper

Add a few tablespoons of oil to the blistering hot wok.

Fry the ginger, chili and garlic until they soften and be careful not to burn the ingredients.

Pour the blue mussels into the wok and toss with the ingredients on the pan.

Next, pour white wine into the pan, reduce until the alcohol has evaporated and then add the coconut milk. Bring to the boil with the wok covered.

Cut the lemons into wedges and add to the wok along with the fresh coriander and fresh parsley.

Serve and enjoy!

Next step is to tackle the halibut steaks. First, brush the halibut with garlic oil, and then sprinkle a little bit of chili over and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Finally, arrange the lemon slices neatly on the steaks.

The halibut was allowed to marinate for an hour out in the cold!

The sweet potato mash is super simple. Simply peel and boil 1 kg of sweet potatoes. Drain and mash the potatoes until soft and fluffy. Add cheese, butter and of course salt and pepper.

My father prepared a so-called medieval grill which allowed us to grill the food over an open fire. First make the fire and heat the wood until it turns grey. Then just add more wood if needed to keep the fire alive.

The key is to keep the grill moving - in that way the food won't burn!

Remember to brush the fish with the marinade throughout the process.

Little remains but to set the table. Along with the sweet potato mash, I served a simple salad and a butter sauce.

We drank this great American white wine with the food. Beringer Founder's Estate Sauvignion Blanc from 2011. Pale-yellow color and fruit forward on the palate, even a touch of vanilla. Sprightly wine which paired especially well with the mussels!



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