For 2021, our family decided to try something new. We love learning about countries around the world, and we love trying new foods, so we combined the two and created what we are calling “World Tour Wednesday”!
We plan to prepare a meal each Wednesday that is themed around a certain country. We found a Wheel of Fortune type wheel online with country names and randomly spun it to choose our countries for the next few months.
Tonight was our first night and the country was….Iceland!
When we researched Iceland, we found that because of the climate, many things are seafood based (which we’re not generally a fan of) and are fermented. We weren’t up for trying some of the more strange-to-us meals such as fermented shark, fermented sheep testicles, or puffin. But we did see a stew called Kjötsúpa, or Icelandic Lamb Stew. Deciding upon that, we shopped this week in preparation for tonight’s meal. (Thank you, Amazon, as we are still in quarantine since Ethan is getting over Covid.)
We prepared Kjötsúpa and also a traditional rye bread. We haven’t eaten lamb very often, but the meal was good and filling, perfect for a cold winter day. I adapted a few different recipes that I found online and cooked it in the Instant Pot instead of a slow cooker. We filled it with root vegetables, typical to what would happen in Iceland where they probably grow better in their cold climate. We chose potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. The stew was good, with a very earthy flavor. The rye bread was delicious and hearty.
Overall, it was good, but probably not a meal we’d prepare again. I think we are too accustomed to the taste of beef stew, but we didn’t mind this meal at all.
We gave the meal a score of 6/10. Ethan still doesn’t have his sense of taste back, so he said it could either be a 0/10 or a 10/10. Haha! He did finish the entire bowl and enjoyed the texture of it, asking for leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
I hope you enjoy our journey this year! The recipe for both the stew and rye bread are below.
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 5 lamb chops
- 1 onion
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/3 cup brown rice
- 6 cups water
- 4 parsnips, sliced
- 3 potatoes, diced in big chunks
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
-Set Instant Pot on “saute” and add olive oil. When hot, add lamb chops and salt/pepper generously. Sear one side, turn, and add garlic and onion. Salt/pepper again. When seared, turn saute function off.
-Add water, rice, vegetables, and spices. Set to “pressure cook” and cook for 35 minutes. Let naturally release.
-When stew is done, make a slurry of cornstarch and add to thicken a bit. Remove bones from stew and serve.
Rye Bread (from Food Network site)
- 1 envelope dry yeast
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 3 TBSP melted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 TBSP caraway seeds
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, beaten
Combine the yeast, sugar, melted butter, egg, and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Add the salt, rye flour, all-purpose flour, and caraway seeds. Beat at low speed until all of the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Then, beat at medium speed until the mixture forms a ball, leaves the sides of the bowl and climbs up the dough hook. Remove the dough from the bowl. Using your hands, form the dough into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the bowl and invert onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough several times. Tuck and roll so that any seams disappear into the dough and place in the prepared baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg lightly over the top of the dough. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.