Romania (Part 2)

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Chicken Ghiveci

Romanian braised chicken with vegetables.

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, deseeded, sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1.2kg chicken breast, cubed
  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • bread or rice for serving

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are browned (5 minutes).
  2. Add bell pepper and carrots and continue cooking until peppers begin to soften (5-8 minutes).
  3. Add chicken pieces and cook, stirring, until chicken is browned (10 – 15 minutes).
  4. Add tomato paste, wine, sugar, thyme, and rosemary. Stir thoroughly, then cover and simmer until chicken is fully cooked (15-20 minutes).
  5. Serve with bread or rice.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5
  • Papa: 4/5
  • Girlie: 4/5
  • TW: 4/5
  • McM: 4/5, delicious meal, very flavorful!

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Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-ghiveci-romanian-braised-chicken-297592

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Romania (Part 1)

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Cheese Dumplings

Romanian dumplings made from cottage cheese.

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 500g cottage cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour (plus additional as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Use a colander to strain the excess liquid from the cottage cheese, leaving just the curds behind.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the cottage cheese curds, 3 eggs, and one tablespoon of sugar.
  3. Slowly add flour, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, while stirring until the consistency of the mixture thickens enough to allow the formation of small balls. If the mixture crumbles, continue adding flour to thicken. (We used approximately 1/2 cup of flour total).
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil.
  5. Wet your hands and shape the cottage cheese mixture into small balls (2-3cm diameter). Drop the balls into the boiling water (they should sink to the bottom of the pot). Avoid stirring as this may break apart the balls.
  6. Boil the dumplings until they rise and float on the surface of the water. Gently scoop the dumplings out of the water and set aside.
  7. Serve with pepper to taste.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5, these are better than most traditional dumplings!
  • Papa: 3.5/5, would be even better by substituting some of the cottage cheese for more flavorful cheese (such as grated Parmesan, chunks of sharp cheddar, or crumbled blue cheese).
  • Girlie: 1/5, I really didn’t like these.
  • TW: 4/5, would be even better using different types of cheese.
  • McM: 3.5/5

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Original recipe: http://www.romanianfoodrecipes.com/recipe/cheese-dumplings-galuste-cu-branza

Finland (Part 2)

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Punajuuripihvit

Finnish beet steaks.   

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 400ml cans sliced beets, drained
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • fresh parsley (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Dip beets in beaten egg. Coat with breadcrumbs.
  2. In a skillet, melt better over medium-low heat. Saute beet slices, turning once to brown each side (3 minutes per side).
  3. Place on serving platter, sprinkle with lemon juice, and garnish with parsley.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 3.5/5
  • Papa: 3.5/5
  • Girlie: 3/5
  • TW: 3.5
  • McM: 3.5/5, great way to serve beets, but would be even better with fresh garden beets (baked and sliced) instead of canned beets!
  • AC: 3/5

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Original recipe:  http://www.food.com/recipe/punajuuripihvit-finnish-beet-steaks-373374

Finland (Part 1)

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Porkkanasosekeitto

Finnish cream of carrot soup.   

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 500g carrots, peeled, sliced into 1cm rounds
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups 1% milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • nutmeg (for garnish)

Directions

  • Combine beef broth and brandy in a small pot and bring to boil. Add carrots and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender (about 20-25 min).
  • Mash the carrots in the broth. Set aside.
  • Heat the butter in a large pot. Add the flour and stir until blended.
  • Gradually add the milk to the pot, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, then simmer (3-5 minutes).
  • Add the mashed carrots, broth mixture, and sugar to the boiling milk. Stir thoroughly.
  • Serve. Garnish each serving with parsley and a dash of nutmeg.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5
  • Papa: 4/5, a little on the sweet side but very tasty!
  • Girlie: 3/5
  • TW: 4/5, this is very sweet so I would recommend not adding sugar next time.
  • McM: 4/5, excellent soup!

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Original recipe:  http://www.food.com/recipe/cream-of-carrot-soup-porkkanasosekeitto-274678

Italy (Part 3)

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Zabaglione

Dessert sauce served with berries and biscotti.

Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 5

Ingredients

  • 1kg strawberries, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon marsala wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 prepackaged biscotti

Directions

  1. Toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine 1 egg, 4 egg yolks, 3 tablespoons sugar, wine, vanilla, and salt in a large heatproof bowl.
  3. Set the bowl over a saucepan of gently boiling water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. See photo below.
  4. Whisk vigorously over medium heat until thick and creamy (8-10 minutes).
  5. Immediately pour over berries and serve with biscotti.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5, creamy texture similar to meringue
  • Papa: 4/5, this dessert would go well with coffee!
  • TW: 2.5/5, tastes like marshmallows and I don’t like marshmallows
  • McM: 4/5, refreshing dessert!

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/zabaglione-with-berries-recipe.html

Italy (Part 2)

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Pasta Primavera

Vegetarian pasta dish with farfelle and oven-roasted vegetables.

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 200g matchstick carrots
  • 5 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips (2 inches long)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips (2 inches long)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (2 inches long)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
  • 700g farfalle (bowtie pasta)
  • 30 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the sliced vegetables (all except cherry tomatoes) with oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Arrange the vegetables in an even layer on two large baking sheets. Bake, stirring after 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender and the vegetable begin to brown (20 minutes total).
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain.
  4. In a large pot, toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture, cherry tomatoes, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4.5/5, light and tasty pasta dish!
  • Papa: 3/5, rather bland for my taste
  • Girlie: 3/5, not enough flavor
  • TW: 3.5/5, could have used more spices
  • McM: 4.5/5, baked vegetables have a nice texture and the spices and Parmesan add a delicious subtle flavor!

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Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/pasta-primavera-recipe.html

Italy (Part 1)

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Italian Sausage Skewers

Easy Italian side dish with sausage and cheese.

Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 large (approximately 250g) Italian poultry sausages
  • 24 fresh basil leaves
  • 24 pitted kalamata olives
  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 24 cubes Friulano cheese
  • 24 6-inch wooden skewers

Directions

  • Cook the sausage by boiling for 10-12 minutes or according to package instructions. Let cool and cut into 1 inch rounds.
  • Assemble skewers by placing an olive 1/3 of the way up the skewer, then adding a folded basil leaf, a cube of cheese, a cherry tomato, and a sausage round.
  • Position everything on the end of the skewer so the skewer can stand up on its sausage end.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 5/5, delicious appetizer, would be even better if the sausage were cut into smaller pieces (1/2 inch rounds)
  • Papa: 4.5/5, the basil adds a nice flavour!
  • Girlie: 2.5/5
  • TW: 5/5
  • McM: 4/5

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/italian-style-sausage-skewers-recipe.html