Tuesday, November 25, 2014

San Marino - Nidi di Rondine

Officially called The Most Serene Republic of San Marino. San Marino (to use it's more casual name) is a microstate completely surrounded by Italy and is only 24 square miles in size. Cute! They have what looks like an awesome aerial tramway for public transport too.

This recipe is also known as Swallow's Nests because of the shape of the spirals of pasta.


Pasta sheets
Ham slices
Cheese slices

Make up some bechamel sauce by melting some butter in a pan, adding some flour and cooking it for a few minutes. Gradually add milk until you have a thick creamy sauce. Add a pinch of nutmeg.

 Lay out the pasta sheets. Spread a little bechamel sauce on each one then top with cheese and ham.

 Roll up the pasta sheets.

 Cut them into quarters.

 Place in a casserole dish facing upwards. I can't imagine a Sparrow nesting in my casserole dish. It could happen though. Placing the spirals without them uncoiling is bloody difficult. I had to re-coil some as I went. :D

 Cover in the remaining bechamel sauce.

 Cover with a layer of grated parmesan cheese.

Bake at 200C for 30 minutes.

 We had ours with salad and garlic bread.

This dish was much anticipated by us! It's a very pleasing looking food with it's spirals of pasta filled with cheese and ham. It's nice to eat too with each spiral separating up on your plate nicely. The recommended cheese to use was emmental which is a bit mild I think. stronger cheese would add a bit of flavour to this recipe. I would have also added some mustard to the bechamel. It was a lovely casserole idea just a bit plain for us.

Coming up next Tuesday - Chicken Micronesia from err...Micronesia :D

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Andorra - Trinxat

Andorra is a land locked microstate (which means it's quite small). I also read on Wikipedia that they have no army so in an emergency all able bodied Andorrans 21-60 must serve. By law the eldest able-bodied man of each household has to own a rifle. Interesting :)


1 green cabbage
1 lb potatoes
3 strips bacon
4 cloves garlic
salt and pepper

 Peel and cube the potatoes.

 Roughly chop the cabbage.

Boil the vegetables until soft enough to mash. Cook the bacon until crispy and then cut it into small pieces. Or cut it first, whichever you prefer.

 Drain and mash the potatoes/cabbage, adding salt, pepper and the minced garlic cloves.

Add the mash to the pan and press it down onto the bacon pieces. Cook in the frying pan for a few minutes until browned slightly.

 Use a plate to flip it all over and cook for a few minutes to brown the underside. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

 I was so busy cooking the trinxat that our sausages burned a bit. Oops!

The trinxat was essentially mashed potato with cabbage and bacon in it. Which is great! It seems lots of countries have their own version of flavoured mashed potatoes and this one was a good recipe. Me and JD both enjoyed it but the kids were suspicious of the green bits in it and couldn't even be tempted by the bacon. The slightly burned sausages are optional if you want to try this recipe yourselves. ;)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Bahamas - Crab 'N' Rice

Lots of delicious looking foods to pick from here but I went with this crab recipe because I've never tried crab. Or pigeon peas for that matter. :)

  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • tablespoons tomato paste
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup pigeon peas
  • 1 crab

 Chop up the onion and pepper.

 Saute it in some oil for a few minutes until softened.

 Add the tomato paste, spices, salt and pepper.

 Add the (already cooked - took us two tries as we burnt the first lot, oops :() pigeon peas and the water.

 Add the crab.

 Cook for a few minutes stirring well then add the rice. Simmer until the rice is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes).

We weren't keen on this dish. It was quite bland and disappointing. The textures were all quite nice but it really lacked flavour. JD added some hot sauce and had several helpings of it. I just don't like crab I think, I tried a bit before adding it and I didn't like the taste of it. The pigeon peas didn't seem to taste of much either. It looked great during cooking so it's a shame it didn't turn out well. Sorry Bahamas :)

Coming up next week - Trinxat from Andorra

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ghana - Drop Doughnuts

I fancied something sweet this week and while JD is pretty sweet he's not sprinkled in sugar :D These drop doughnuts look easy to make and they include the best ingredient ever...condensed milk.

  • 125 ml  milk
  • 110 g  butter
  • 2 tbsp  condensed milk
  • 150 g  plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • 55 g  sugar

 Put the milk, butter and condensed milk in a pan with 165ml of water.

 Bring to the boil then add the flour. Stir vigorously for 3 minutes until it looks like this.

 Add the eggs one at a time mixing well each time.

 Drop spoonfulls of the dough into hot oil to fry.

 Let the doughnuts roll around in some sugar before you eat them.

The kids really enjoyed the doughnuts but I thought they were too sweet. Maybe that had something to do with eating the spare condensed milk out of the can with a spoon, maybe not. Leigh had hers with jam and said they were great. JD enjoyed the smoothness of the batter (probably because he was the one doing the stirring which made it that way). I think they'd be nice with some ice cream another day when I had a sweet craving :)

Coming up next -  Crab 'n' Rice from The Bahamas
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