Monday, June 29, 2015

Guinea-Bissau - Spicy Fish Burger

Guinea-Bissau is a small country on the West coast of Africa. Being a coastal country they eat a lot of fish so I picked this unusual burger recipe to try because I've never had a fish burger before.

Ingredients:


4 fillets of fish (Tilapia if you can find it)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon
1½ tablespoon oil
1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1 small onion grated
2 red chilies
2 tablespoons flour


Put the fish in a bowl and add the salt & pepper. Next you want the juice and zest of the lemon. Mix it all together and leave for about 30 minutes.


 Roast the peanuts in a pan.


 Chop up the chillis and onion and place in a food processor along with the roasted peanuts.


 Blitz until you have a mixture like this:


Cook the fish in the oil until it's just cooked.


 When the fish has cooled a bit but it in a bowl with the peanut mixture and the flour. Mix it well breaking the fish into small flakes.


Cover with clingfilm and refridgerate for an hour.


 Heat some oil in a pan and form the mixture into patties.


 Fry the patties a few at a time until they're crispy on the outsides and browned.



These burgers were surprisingly good. The peanuts gave them a firm, crunchy texture which made for a nice outer crust. The fish was tasty and soft with some added spice from the chillis. Leigh really liked them and ate two even though she usually avoids food with nuts in. I found them a bit stressful to make because the burgers broke up a bit in the pan while I fried them. Maybe an egg added would bind the mixture together better. I managed to get a few burger shaped ones for us to eat though and an attractive one to show you people at least. :D

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dominican Republic - Arroz del Sol

This week I thought I'd recognise yesterday's Summer Solstice by doing this Dominican Republic recipe for 'Sun Rice'. I don't know why though because there's no sun to be had here today, just drizzle and clouds!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of rice
1 large carrot
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of rice
3/4 cup of sweetcorn
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper


 Grate the carrot, like so.



 Saute the carrot in the oil for 2-3 minutes.


 Make up the stock then add it along with the water. Bring to the boil.


Rinse the rice and add it to the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to cook for 10 minutes.


 Add the sweetcorn, stir and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Add more water if you need to.


When the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed, stir in the butter and season with salt & pepper.


I love how bright and sunny this dish looks. The texture of the rice is the best part, it's soft and creamy with an added crunch from the sweetcorn. Me and JD really liked the rice even though after my first bite I felt it was a bit too plain and wanted more spice. The more we ate it the more we enjoyed the subtle flavours. It was a nice sunny food to brighten up our rainy day and I'd have it again, maybe it'll bring out the sun. :D
2 tablespoons oil (corn is preferable)
1 large carrot, grated
½ cup chicken broth
1 ½ cups cold water
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s sizzling, add the carrot and cook for about 3 minutes, or until carrot is tender. Add the broth and water and bring to a boil.
The Rice (bring it together!)
1 ½ cups rice, rinsed well with cold water
¾ cup cooked corn (canned or frozen is fine)
1 tablespoon butter
Salt, to taste
- See more at: http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/blogs/foodfreeway/2010/07/28/recipe-of-the-week-arroz-del-sol-dominicano/#sthash.1hhka117.dpuf
2 tablespoons oil (corn is preferable)
1 large carrot, grated
½ cup chicken broth
1 ½ cups cold water
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s sizzling, add the carrot and cook for about 3 minutes, or until carrot is tender. Add the broth and water and bring to a boil.
The Rice (bring it together!)
1 ½ cups rice, rinsed well with cold water
¾ cup cooked corn (canned or frozen is fine)
1 tablespoon butter
Salt, to taste
- See more at: http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/blogs/foodfreeway/2010/07/28/recipe-of-the-week-arroz-del-sol-dominicano/#sthash.1hhka117.dpuf

Monday, June 15, 2015

South Africa - Koeksisters





Doing this blog I'm always on the lookout for people from different countries so I can pick their brains about which recipe to try. I found out a work friend had spent many years living in South Africa so she suggested this recipe. Thanks, Lorraine!!

Ingredients:


Syrup
1kg sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
1 ½ cups of water
juice of one lemon


Dough

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 large egg
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup of water
oil for frying




The syrup needs to be made the night before or at least several hours before so it has chance to cool properly before making the koeksisters.


 Stir the sugar into the water until it dissolves.


 Add the lemon juice, ginger and cinnamon. Let the syrup boil and then remove from the heat. When it has cooled put it in the fridge overnight (or for a few hours).


Now for the dough. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.


 Rub in the butter until it looks like this.


 Mix together the egg and water.


Stir into the flour mix until it forms a dough. Let the dough rest for 2-3 hours.


Roll the dough out to about 1/2 cm thickness. Cut into 6cm x 2cm rectangles.


Now for the fun part. Cut each rectangle into three pieces almost to the top so you can plait them. We didn't know if we were doing it correctly but we enjoyed making these little plaits.


 The syrup had the most amazing smell and was so beautiful in colour after being in the fridge overnight.


 Heat up a pan of oil and fry the plaits until they're golden brown.


Drain to remove excess oil then immediately dip in the cold syrup.




These were delicious! They had a kind of melt in the mouth texture, both crispy and soft. The flavour was fantastic, the ginger gave it a spicy heat which I loved. Erin texted Leigh to hurry up and come downstairs because Mum's making sweet fried food. They were probably worried I'd eat them all before they got chance to try them. The best thing about this recipe is that dunking the koeksisters in the syrup cools them down so you can eat them straight away even though they've been in hot oil. We all loved them. ^_^

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Azerbaijan - Kutab

Kutab (or Qutab) is a dish made up of a kind of thin flat wrap with various fillings inside. I chose a filling of minced lamb for ours.

Ingredients:

Dough

8oz flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 floz milk

Filling

1 small onion
8ox lamb mince
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon star anise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 knob of butter
1 teaspoon sumac


Put half the flour in a bowl with the milk and salt for the dough. Mix well until gooey.



Add the rest of the flour and mix to form a stiff dough. Knead the dough for three minutes. 


Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave for 30 minutes to rest. While the dough is having a well-earned break you can make the filling. Melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped onion and garlic.


Saute the vegetables for a few minutes. Grind up some star anise. A bit of salt helps with the grinding process.


Add the star anise, chilli flakes and salt to the onion and garlic. It smells wonderful at this point.


Add the mince and cook until browned.


Time for the dough to get back to work. Roll out small pieces of dough to make circles.



This recipe makes about 12 circles. I'm glad I halved the original recipe. Fill half the circle with lamb mince and fold over.



Put the kutabs in a frying pan and cook for a few minutes turning occasionally until they're done. Sprinkle with a bit of sumac.


These were great! The lamb filling smelled so good from the spices that we were lucky to have enough meat left for the dish as JD and I pinched the odd spoonful. Leigh loved the sumac and says it's her favourite spice now. The kutab held together really well while being cooked, I expected the filling to escape a bit. You can pick up and eat these (Leigh did) but I ate mine with a knife and fork. Each bite is like a mini spiced lamb mince sandwich. Very nice indeed. I'm tempted to try them again with a different filling, maybe pumpkin.