Gunnar Gíslason, who hails from Akranes, Iceland, is the head chef of New York City’s Agern in Grand Central Station. As a co-founder of Noma—one of the world’s most celebrated restaurants—Claus Meyer has been one of the driving forces behind the New Nordic cuisine that has dominated the world stage for the past decade. At Agern (named after the Danish word for acorn), Gíslason and Meyer have combined their traditional cuisines to create øllebrød, a rye porridge with a foamy and silky skyr mousse on top. 

Making øllebrød is easy when chunks of leftover rye bread, along with cinnamon, cardamom, and lemon and orange zest, are soaked in beer overnight. Gíslason prefers “No Hero,” an oatmeal stout from Evil Twin Brewery, but you can use any beer of your choice as long as it’s not too hoppy. That’ll result in a bitter taste. In the morning, bring the rye bread to a simmer, and there you have your rye porridge. Ta-da! Scoop into a bowl, top with skyr (Icelandic-style yogurt), grated chocolate, and more zest for a cozy Nordic breakfast.

Øllebrød

  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

For the skyr mousse

Directions

  1. Chop your rye bread into chunks and mix with the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Let sit overnight. 

  2. Cook the soaked rye bread mixture over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool and reserve until ready to use. 

  3. To make the skyr mousse, start by mixing the cream, yolks, and sugar and cook over a double boiler, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened. Cool in an ice bath and add skyr and salt. Place in a siphon (also known as a whipped cream dispenser) and charge with NO2 (nitrogen peroxide). Shake well. This can also be made in advance up to 1 week.

  4. Heat the porridge back up and finish with heavy cream to taste. Garnish with grated chocolate and lemon zest.