Local Recipes from Dóri, the Chef at Pakkhúsið

The following recipes and images are the creation of Halldór Halldórsson, a chef from Höfn, and draw on both traditional and untraditional Icelandic ingredients found in the beautiful Vatnjökull region. You can buy his cookbook in English at Pakkhúsið Restaurant, at Hótel Höfn and by ordering here: [email protected]

Langoustine soup

  • 1 kg langoustine claws
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tbsp. tomato purée
  • 2 l water
  • 500 ml cream
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 100 g mushrooms
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/3 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 tsp salt


Heat some oil in a large pan and brown the lobster claws along with the garlic and roughly cut onion. It is very important that the oil is hot so that
the claws fry and not boil. When the claws have started to change colour, add the tomato purée. Then add the water and boil for around 40 minutes. Do not boil for longer than this as it produces a bitter taste that not everyone likes. While the claws are boiling, cut the mushrooms, bell pepper and red onion into small cubes and fry in a hot pan. Season with salt and pepper. When the stock has boiled for around 40 minutes it is strained and simmered gently for 30 more minutes. Finally add the cream, fried vegetables, herbs and salt. The soup is thickened with cornflour. Add salt, pepper and tomato purée to taste. Serve the soup with fried langoustine tails and good bread.

Potato Patties

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 100 g tinned kidney beans
  • 100 g tinned chickpeas
  • 100 g sundried tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Yogurt Sauce:

  • 350 ml plain yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • zest and juice of half a lemon.


Peel the potatoes and boil until completely cooked. Drain and leave to cool. Pass the potatoes through a sieve or potato ricer. Add the kidney beans, chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, eggs and olive oil to the potatoes and mix well, but quickly. Take about 100 grams of the mixture for each patty and shape into rounds. You can roll the patties in some breadcrumbs and possibly sesame seeds, if liked, before frying. The patties keep well frozen.

The yogurt sauce is very simple to make. Finely chop the parsley and garlic and thoroughly mix with the remaining ingredients. Serve the dish with some garlic bread and rocket salad.

Slow cooked breast of wild goose

  • 4×200 g goose breasts salt pepper
  • 400 g sweet potatoes 400 g baking potatoes olive oil

Pepper Sauce

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 sprigs of thyme 300 ml red wine
  • 300 ml water
  • 2 tbsp raspberry jelly beef or game stock cube
  • cream


  • 100 g walnuts
  • 50 ml sugar
  • 50 ml orange juice

Goose breasts are best from a young goose, as they are then at their most tender. To tenderise them, mash 1-2 kiwi fruits with a little oil andleave in a tightly closed bag for 1-2 days. Slow cooking the breasts prevents them from overcooking and drying out and becoming tough. It is also possible to use duck breasts or wild duck breasts with this recipe.


Preheat the oven to 140°C. Brown the goose breasts in a hot pan and season with salt and pepper. Bake the breasts for 30-40 min or using a meat thermometer bake until the centres reach 55°C. Lay the breasts on a chopping board to rest for 15 minutes. While the breasts are in the oven, peel the sweet and baking potatoes and cut them into slices 1cm thick. Arrange slices in an oven proof dish and coat with oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake at 210°C for 10-15 minutes while the goose breasts are resting. For the sauce, simply slice the onions and carrots into small pieces and fry gently along with thyme. Add red wine and jam and leave to boil for a short while. Add the water and bring back to the boil. Season with beef or game stock and perhaps a little jam. Improve the colour with a little caramel colouring. Swirl in a spoonful of cream. Thicken the sauce with cornflour or similar. Melt together sugar and orange juice in a pan and leave to boil for a little while, add walnuts and continue to boil. Remove the walnuts to a dish and break them apart. Use as a garnish.

Skyr, blueberries and cream

  • 500 g skyr
  • 300 ml cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 g sugar
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 gelatine sheets
  • 250 g chocolate biscuits
  • 75 g butter


Soak the gelatine sheets in ice cold water. Crush the biscuits in a blender and mix in melted butter. Line the bottom of a 25-28cm spring form cake tin with baking paper and press the biscuit mix evenly and firmly over the base. Whip the eggs and the sugar together until it is fluffy and light in colour. Then add the skyr and half of the blueberries. Whip the cream and add to the skyr mix. Dissolve the gelatine sheets in 4 tablespoons of water and then quickly stir into the skyr mix to avoid lumps. Pour the mix into the cake tin and chill for at least 3 hours.

Icelandic meat soup

  • 2 litres water
  • 800 g lamb, in large pieces
  • 300 g swede
  • 200 g potatoes
  • 3 medium carrots 1⁄2 onion
  • 1⁄2 leek
  • 30 g rice
  • 50 g mixed dried vegetables
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • lamb stock cube


Heat some olive oil in a heavy based pan and fry the meat until brown on all sides. Add the mixed dried vegetables and fry for about a minute before adding the water. Peel and roughly chop all the vegetables and add to the pan along with rice, salt and stock cube. Simmer with a lid on for about an hour. Add water if needed and season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup with some freshly baked whole grain bread and butter.