Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Best and Worst Foods

Over the 5 years I've been doing this blog I often get asked (twice now) which food has been my favourite, so I thought I'd make a post with exactly that information.

Behold, my best 10 and worst 2 recipes from around the world:

The Netherlands - Stamppot

A lovely big pile of mashed mixed vegetables with delicious smoked sausage on top, what's not to love.


 Czech Rebublic - Smažený sýr

My first time making fried cheese, I loved the soft texture and saltiness of this dish.

 



There's a part of this recipe where you press the tortilla wrap into a frying pan of eggs and they magically stick to the wrap. Such a clever idea that works perfectly.


 Jamaica - Corned Beef and Cabbage

 I love corned beef and this dish is great with rice or even greater with mashed potatoes.

 

 Belize - Garnaches

I loved how versatile this street food is, we had several different toppings but there's lots more I'd love to try.


Kiribati - Te Bua Toro Ni Baukin

This dish was a big surprise because as we were making it it looked gross, turns out it's delicious! 

 

 Hungary - Hungarian Goulash

Delicious thick, tasty stew. A classic.

 

Norway - Svinekoteletter

We've had this simple, low ingredient count dish several times since we first made it and I can see us making it many more times. 

 

Tuvalu - Coconut Tuna

A nice light dish that looked great and tasted even better. 

 

And now for the worst foods known to woman

 

Estonia - Banana Curry Soup

This dish is just wrong, don't be tempted to try it at home!

 


Liberia - Sweet Potato Pone

If you've ever read (or watched) The Raft - a short story by Stephen King where college students get eaten by a malevolent black oily sludge on a lake - then you'll know exactly what to expect from this dish. 

And that's it, all the best and worst foods from the last 5 years, 7 months and 15 days. I hope you enjoyed seeing all the foods I've made. I mostly enjoyed eating them. :)


Saturday, October 3, 2015

China - Peking Duck






I can hardly believe it's true but here I am with the last country on the list. For a big finish I decided to buy a whole duck and make roast  Peking duck to have in pancakes. Yum!

Ingredients:

1 duck
6 tablespoons of honey
5 tablespoons of Chinese five spice
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of brown sugar


This recipe is a perfect example of my time as a food blogger. Notice the honey upside down in the picture. At the beginning  of the week it was full but now the kids have been having it on their cereal so there aren't 6 tablespoons left. Quick dash to the local Sainsbury's and I'm good to go again!

Mix the honey, soy sauce, sugar and five spice together to make a brown sludge.


Prick the duck all over with a knife (as if it hasn't suffered enough for this meal) and then brush on the sludge. Leave it to dry for 10 minutes or so and then apply another coat. Keep going until you've used it all up.


If you have time leave it overnight in the fridge to marinate.


My recipe said to cook it for 45 minutes at 175C and then turn it over and cook for a further 45 minutes. After 20 minutes the duck was starting to burn so we had to cover it with foil.


After hunting all over Harrogate for chinese duck pancakes we decided to make our own. Hoisin sauce and sliced cucumber made for some very tasty Peking duck pancakes.


BUT the whole Peking Duck experience was very disappointing. The meat on the duck didn't really taste of any of the marinade ingredients and there wasn't much meat on it. The duck cost £10 which is twice as much as we spend on meat for a meal usually. Luckily the delicious hoisin sauce saved the day as it makes anything taste fantastic. What I'd hoped would be a fitting finish to my blog foods turned out to be one of the least enjoyable.

BUT (take two) I'm done! \o/

Over 5 years later I've finally eaten one food from every country in the world. Oh but Emma I hear you cry, what about that time you made Mongolian Beef and it turned out to be an American food instead. Well, hah in your face because last week I made these Mongolian fried cookies.


They were pretty good. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Niger - Dounguouri Soko

Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa. I chose this lamb stew because it has a kind of beans I haven't tried before plus JD loves beans.

Ingredients:

1 lb lamb
2 cans white kidney beans
1 onions
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt & pepper
1 cup water



 I'm almost ashamed how easy this dish was to make.


Chop everything, open up cans and dump everything in the slow cooker.


Give it a stir. Slow cook on high for a couple of hours and then 3-4 more hours on low.  Season with salt and pepper.



Beautiful! The lamb was melt in your mouth soft and the stew was delicious. Embarrassingly easy to make but tastes like a fancy casserole you slaved over. It's a perfect example of how food combinations can work well, even though there were no spices (as often found in African foods) the food was far from bland. We loved it. :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Vanuatu - Coconut Cake

Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. Food often includes fish, yams and coconuts, so I picked this simple coconut cake from vanatuchefs.com.

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut (fresh or dessicated)
2 eggs
60g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder


 Cream together the sugar and butter.


 Add the eggs one at a time until fully mixed in.


 Now add the flour, coconut and baking powder.


 Stir well and then tip into a well greased cake tin.


 Bake for about 20 minutes at 150C.



This cake was just as I expected, light and delicately coconutty. I was a bit disappointed that it was just a regular cake recipe but I guess cake is just cake whatever country it's in. We all enjoyed it anyway. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Malaysia - Fish Curry



I had trouble finding a recipe from Malaysia that I could get all the ingredients for. I had to cobble this recipe together a bit but I think it worked out ok.

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Malaysian curry paste
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • 400 ml can coconut milk
  • 1 stem lemongrass
  • 600g butternut squash
  • 500 g fish fillets 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar 



Put the coconut milk, stock and curry paste in a pan. I had no curry paste so I used a packet of Malaysian cooking sauce with some curry powder mixed into it and felt quite resourceful. Bring to the boil.


Chop up the butternut squash into large cubes and add it to the pan. I added a few carrots too since they needed using up. Add the lemongrass stalk at this point too. Simmer for 15 minutes until the vegetables are almost done.


 Cut up the fish and add it to the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes.


Stir in the sugar and lemon juice then serve.


I really liked the butternut squash in this curry, it was a lovely soft texture and had taken on the flavours of the sauce perfectly. I should have used a firmer fish so it would've held in cube pieces but actually I really liked the flaked fish in the sauce that coated the vegetables. It was a tasty but quite mild curry compared to what we usually have.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Uganda - Kuku Salad

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. Kuku is a Swahili word meaning chicken so it's essentially a chicken salad.

Ingredients:

1 avocado
1 chicken breast
1/2 cucumber
1 handful green olives
100g feta cheese
1 tomato
150g yoghurt
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp mixed herbs
Salt & pepper



To make the dressing mix together the yoghurt, mustard, vinegar, herbs, salt & pepper.



To make the salad chop up the remaining ingredients into small bite-size pieces and arrange in a dish.




Finally pour the dressing over the salad.


The yoghurt made for a lovely creamy salad dressing with a very distinctive (but hard to define) taste. I bravely ate a huge spoonful of the salad to start with to get a taste of everything together. Mostly because I don't usually like olives or avocado. As we've experienced before lots of  flavours together make for a milder taste. The cucumber and feta toned down the olives and made for a nice combination. It was good to eat a different style of salad but I can't say we *really* enjoyed it. It was a nice looking salad though and I might experiment with using yoghurt as a dressing now.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Zambia - Tongabezi Chicken Curry

Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. This curry recipe caught my eye because it's served with fried sweet potato slices which sound too delicious to miss.

Ingredients:

500g chicken
1 sweet potato
1 onion
2 tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks lemongrass
1 red chili
350ml stock
150ml yoghurt
2 tablespoons ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
Fresh coriander


 Simmer the sweet potato for 10 minutes in boiling water. Then remove for later.


 Chop up the onion then saute it in oil along with the ginger and garlic.


 Add the chicken pieces and continue to cook until they are done.


Add the 2 chopped tomatoes, lemongrass stalks, stock and curry powder.


 Stir and then leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes.


 Slice the sweet potato and then fry it in some oil on both sides.


Remove the lemongrass stalks then serve the curry with rice, yoghurt and chopped coriander. We also had homemade naan breads.


It was a good curry. I liked the lemongrass flavour the chicken had taken on. Leigh enjoyed it especially because it's spicy and she has a cold. Erin enjoyed the chicken but not the rest of the curry. JD and I liked the yoghurt with it. The sweet potato slices were a bit of a disappointment, the potato needed boiling for longer than 10 minutes so the slices weren't quite as soft as I'd like. It was a nice meal overall.