Monday, August 6, 2012

Austria - Beef Consome with Bacon Dumplings

All the food I researched for Austria looked delicious but I settled on this one because it has caraway seeds in it and that's a flavour I've never tried before. Plus, everyone loves bacon!

Ingredients:

1/2 pound bacon
1 cup plain flour
8 slices stale white bread
4 cups beef stock
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
parsley to garnish
salt and pepper
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup milk



First chop up the bacon quite small and fry it until it's crispy.



Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Cut the bread into cubes.


Fry the bread cubes in the fat from the bacon until it's slightly crispy.



Meanwhile, mix the egg yolk and milk in a mixing bowl.



When they are well mixed add the bacon and bread cubes. Combine them, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest for 30 minutes.



After it's rested start with a small amount of flour at a time and work it into the mixture to form a dumpling dough. keep adding more flour until it's unsticky enough to form nice balls.








Bring the stock to a boil in a pan.



Add the caraway seeds and wine (I chose not to include the wine and switched for barbecue sauce instead). Simmer for 15 minutes.



Add the dumplings (which should be roughly a tablespoon of mixture in size). Cook for about 8-10 minutes. Place dumplings in a bowl and spoon over the stock. Garnish with parsley and serve.



I really enjoyed the flavour the caraway seeds added to the stock, it was kind of pepperminty and smelled delicious. The dumplings were more like traditional dumplings than I thought they would be and were a fantastic texture. They were soft, salty and dense. My husband JD said they were the best dumplings he'd ever eaten! We ate them with mashed potato and it was a really satisfying meal. I recommend anyone giving them a try or possibly moving to Austria to eat their wonderful food.



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Barbados - Pork Chops with Black Bean Salsa

This recipe looks great! Except for the olives, however I try olives I just can't seem to enjoy them. Maybe in this recipe they won't be so bad as they're chopped up small. I was pleased that today for once the sun was shining which made eating food from Barbados a bit more realistic.

Ingredients:

2 thick pork chops

For the marinade:

1 tbls vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp chopped green olives
1 jalapeno pepper
2 tbls lime juice
1 tsp mixed herbs

For the salsa:

1 tbls olive oil
1 small onion
2 tbls of vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 bell pepper
1 can black beans



Chop and mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and then add the pork chops on top.



Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge for several hours (turn the pork chops over about halfway through).



To start the salsa, heat the olive oil in a pan and add the chopped onion.


Chop the bell pepper and place in a bowl with the drained black beans, vinegar, salt, hot sauce and the sauted onion.



Mix it up and leave at room temperature to rest while you cook the pork chops.



Take the pork chops out of the marinade and cook as you usually would (grill, fry, bbq etc). I chose to fry mine making sure to make the edges crispy too. Yum!




Serve them with the salsa.



I was disappointed that the pork chops hadn't taken on more of the flavours from the marinade. But, apart from that this meal was delicious! The salsa complimented the taste of the pork really well. The vinegar in the salsa gave it a lovely sharp taste and the black beans were soft, almost creamy from the acidity of the vinegar breaking them down. It was a refreshingly different dish and I enjoyed it a lot.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Georgia - Khachapuri

Khachapuri is a kind of filled flat bread. The recipe I found has three types of cheese for the filling so it'll be a winner with me!

Ingredients for the dough:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
Ingredients for the cheese filling:
  • 200g  mozzarella cheese or Georgian Sulguni cheese
  • 150g feta cheese
  • 100g cottage cheese
  • salt and pepper 



Mix the dry ingredients for the dough in a bowl.





Add the yoghurt and mix well.





Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest while you prepare the filling.



Add the cheeses, salt and pepper to a bowl. Or a jug if like me you've used your one bowl for the dough.




Mix them up good!




Take the rested dough and cut it into four pieces. Roll out each piece to make a circle. This didn't work for me so I ended up with a square and a weird undefined shape.



Put a dollop of the cheese mix onto one weird undefined shape (or circle if you're more skilled than me).



Add another circle on top and give it a squish down.



Then use your rolling pin to flatten down the circles. This distributes the cheese all the way around the dough.




 Put them into a frying pan to brown off a bit. The recipe I used made no mention of oil but i used a bit of spray oil to stop them sticking. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side.



When they go browned and speckled they're done, so remove them and place on a plate ready for eating!





I really enjoyed them. The melted cheese inside was lovely and stopped the whole thing from being too dry. They had a pancake-y flavour to them which was weird at first as I'm used to having sweet pancakes not savoury ones. I'd definitely have them again though, they were delicious!









Saturday, April 28, 2012

Burkina Faso - Peanut Soup

I'd never heard of this country but apparently it's a land-locked West African country. I found this recipe for a peanut soup that's popular there although I feel unsure if they use peanut butter in the recipe, who knows?

Ingredients:

1 large onion
1 red pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 can of chopped tomatoes
4 cups of water
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of brown rice
1/2 jar of crunchy peanut butter
chili powder



Chop the onion and red pepper.



Heat some oil in a large pan and soften the chopped onion and red pepper. Adding the chopped garlic after a few minutes.



Add the tin of tomatoes and stir in.



Add the water, salt, pepper and chili powder. Stir well and then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.



Add the rice and simmer again but covered this time for 15 minutes. (The rice wasn't tender after 15 minutes for me so I had to simmer it for an extra 20 minutes)



Stir in the peanut butter and serve in a bowl with some crusty bread.



The soup smelled delicious while it was cooking and when I ladled it into the bowl it was a lovely thick consistency so I was looking forward to tasting it. But the taste was really disappointing. The peanut butter gave the soup a weirdly sweet taste I didn't enjoy. The texture of the soup was nice. The peanut butter and brown rice were kind of crunchy and the soup was creamy from the peanut butter too. Overall though it had a very unusual taste, a taste I'm not keen to ever taste again!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Greece - Spanakopita

I've tried lots of greek foods before so I wanted to find something new. This spinach pie looks delicious and I've been wanting to try spinach in a new way. I hope it tastes as good as it looks!

Ingredients:


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 pounds spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 6 sheets phyllo dough
  • 1/4 cup olive oil



Chop up the garlic, onion and green onions.



Saute them in 3 tablespoons of oil.



When they're soft add the spinach and stir in until the spinach has wilted. It'll take about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.



In a bowl lightly beat the two eggs and then add the cheeses. I also added some pepper.




Mix them up!



Add the spinach mixture and combine them.




Now grease a dish and add the filo pastry to it. One sheet at a time brushing with oil after every layer. 3 on the bottom.


Then add the filling.



Fold over the filo pastry and add 3 more sheets on top brushing with oil as you go until it's all covered up.




Bake in an oven at Gas mark 4 for 30-40 minutes.




Then serve and eat hot.



Mine was a bit runnier than I'd have liked but it tasted great! The cheeses had melted together to make a smooth, creamy filling which went really well with the pastry. In my opinion it tastes even more delicious than it looks ^_^