Sunday, August 29, 2010

Poland - Paczki

Paczki are basically Polish doughnuts. They come with all kinds of fillings but I decided just to attempt plain ones to start with.


* 1 packet of dry yeast
* 1/4 cup of warm water
* 1/3 cup of softened butter
* 2/3 cup of sugar (plus more for coating)
* 1 egg
* 3 egg yolks
* 1 tbls of brandy
* 3/4 tsp salt
* 3 1/2 cups of flour
* pinch of nutmeg
* oil for frying

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside.

Cream the softened butter and sugar together.

Add the egg then the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well each time until you have a smooth creamy mixture.

Add the brandy, yeast, nutmeg and salt. Then slowly start to add the flour and mix until the dough isn't sticky. It might use more flour than stated but keep adding it until the consistency is right.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes then leave it to rise in a warm place for an hour or so.

Gently flatten the dough on a floured surface and cut into rounds.

Leave the rounds to rise for another 30-40 minutes.

Deep fry the paczki in oil until browned, this usually takes 2-3 minutes.

Sprinkle with sugar.

And then serve while still warm.

They were really delicious! I was displeased that mine didn't seem to expand any as they were cooked but just retained the shape of the cutter. So they could've been more aesthetically pleasing. But still, the inside was light and doughnuty and the outside was lovely and crispy. The nutmeg gave them a lovely flavour. I'll definitely be making these again for my kids to try.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monaco - Socca

Socca is a popular street food in Monaco. It's a thin pancake made of chickpea flour and cooked on a griddle. I don't have a griddle so I made a much smaller version of the traditional socca in a pan.


* 2 cups of chickpea flour (also known as gram flour)
* 3 tbls of olive oil
* 2 1/4 cups of water
* 1/2 tsp of salt
* salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together until it makes a smooth batter. The chickpea flour is thicker than regular flour and harder to combine with the liquids. I used my whisk vigorously but it'd be loads easier with a blender if you have one.

In a very hot pan brushed with more olive oil, pour some batter in and cook until the bottom is browmned and the top is dry. (It's very much like making American pancakes)

Tip the pancake out onto kitchen paper.

Stack them onto a plate to serve. In Monaco they eat them plain with a glass of wine.

They tasted good. I really liked using chickpea flour, it's a light yellow colour and more gritty feeling than regular flour. The pancakes had a subtle savoury flavour to them. They were light and crunchy at the edges. Very nice!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Somalia - Shaah Adays

Shaah Adays is a spiced tea common in Somalia.


* 2 cups of water
* 2 cups of milk
* 4 black tea bags or leaves
* sugar to taste
* 5 cloves
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp of black pepper
* 5 cardamon pods

Put all the spices in a mortar and pestle and crush them together.

Combine the water, milk, sugar and spices in a pan and bring to the boil.

When the liquid is boiling, add the tea and continue to boil for 2 minutes.

Strain the liquid into a glass and drink hot.

I really didn't want to try this, some of the tea was floating around in the drink and it smelled weirdly spicy. I did though and it was surprisingly delicious. It was smooth and warm with a spicy peppery after taste that warmed my mouth. I couldn't drink much of it but it was a lot nicer than I expected.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bahrain - Lamb Machbous

I love lamb and I love rice so this seems like a winner!


* 1 pound of diced lamb
* 1 tsp pepper
* 3/4 tsp coriander
* 3/4 tsp cinnamon
* 3/4 tsp cloves
* 1 tsp cumin
* 5 cardamon pods
* 1/8 tsp nutmeg
* 1 1/2 tsp paprika
* 2 tbls oil
* 1 onion
* 1 can of chopped tomatoes
* 2 tbls chopped parsley
* 1/2 tsp lime peel
* 1/2 tsp turmeric
* 2 cups of rice
* 2 cups of water

Combine the pepper, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, cardamon, nutmeg and paprika. Set it aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the diced lamb and the chopped onion. Cook until browned.

Add the spices, tomatoes, parsley, lime peel and turmeric. Stir in well.

Bring to the boil then simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes. Add the rice and water and simmer for a further 20-30 minutes.

Serve in a bowl with a bit more chopped parsley on top.

This was really flavorful. The lamb had taken on all the different spices and was lovely and tender. I ate it by scooping it up with pieces of flat bread. Delicious!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Taiwan - Dan-Bin

I'm not sure what time of the day this is eaten in Taiwan but it looks like good breakfast food to me. So, I made it this morning for my late breakfast.


* 1 slice of bacon
* 1 egg
* 1 corn tortilla
* 1/4 cup sweetcorn
* 1 tbls salsa
* hot sauce to serve

Fry the bacon in a pan.

Set it aside for later on some kitchen paper.

Beat the egg and pour it into the pan with the bacon fat. Add the sweetcorn.

Put the corn tortilla in the pan and press down onto the egg/sweetcorn mix.

The egg will attach itself to the tortilla after a couple of minutes. Tip the tortilla out onto a plate.

Lay the bacon across the middle of the tortilla.

Spoon the salsa along the bacon.

Wrap up the tortilla.

Splash over some hot sauce to serve. It is also sometimes cut up into pieces and served that way too.

It was really delicious, the hot sauce was nice and spicy but not too hot because of the egg and salsa. I was pleased with how easily the egg attached onto the tortilla. It's a tasty breakfast and easy to make anytime.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Colombia - Papas Rellenas

Papas Rellenas meaning stuffed potato are small round balls of mashed potato filled with seasoned ground meat and deep fried. Who wouldn't want to try these?


For the potato:

* 5 potatoes
* 1/4 tsp salt

For the filling:

* 1 tbls olive oil
* 1 chopped tomato
* 3 chopped spring onions
* 1 chopped onion
* 1/2 pound ground beef
* 1/2 tsp cumin
* salt and pepper
* 1/2 tsp garlic salt
* 1/2 tsp chili powder
* 1/2 tsp paprika

For the batter:

* 1 egg
* 1/4 cup of flour
* pinch of salt
* 1/4 cup of milk
* 1/2 tsp garlic salt
* 1/2 tsp chili powder
* 1/2 tsp paprika

Peel and cut the potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Add to boiling water with the salt and boil until soft.

Drain the potatoes, mash them thoroughly and then set them aside to cool

Put the olive oil in a pan, heat and then add all the other filling ingredients. Cook well until the meat is browned and all ingredients are softened.

Set aside to cool.

Next, mix all the batter ingredients in a bowl or jug.

Whisk them together so the mixture is smooth and well combined.

When the potato is cool. Divide it up into 10 portions. Roll each portion into a ball, flatten it into a patty shape and add a spoon of the mixture into the middle. Fold the sides over the filling and roll back into a ball shape.

Dip the balls into the batter and then fry in vegetable oil for around 4 minutes or until browned.

Drain the balls on kitchen paper and serve hot.

These were fantastic. A perfect snack. They're often served with a dip but they're still tasty on their own. The spices made the filling and batter slightly hot which was perfect with the creamy warm mashed potato. I'll definitely be making these again!
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