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 ^_^


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kuwait - Balaleet

This sweet vermicelli noodle recipe looked interesting so I had to try it.

Ingredients:

1 packet vermicelli
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp saffron
1/2 – 2/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 onion



I didn't have any cardamom powder so I crushed up some cardamom pods in my pestle and mortar with the saffron.  I mushed them up until they were well combined and fragrant.



Add the vermicelli to some boiling water and cook for just a couple of minutes as it cooks really quickly.



Put the sugar in with the saffron/cardamom and mix it in well. Combine with drained vermicelli.



Melt the butter in a pan.



Chop the onion and add it to the butter. Saute until softened.



Add the eggs and cook until the eggs form an omelette (or scrambled eggs if preferred).



Put the vermicelli in a bowl and top with the eggs.



The cardamom added to the noodles had a really nice flavour but I was disappointed with the saffron. I expected it to add more to the dish. I also found the noodles to be quite dry with no sauce on them. The noodles combined with the eggs on top was a great texture though and I enjoyed that aspect of the dish.