Germany (Part 3)

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Chicken Schnitzel

Traditional German meal. Other types of meat (pork, veal, lamb) can be substituted for chicken if desired. Chicken schnitzel pictured above (left) with cucumber salad (top) and german spinach with ham (right).

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced for garnish
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1.3kg chicken breast, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
  • 1/2 cup tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced for garnish
  • additional parsley for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Beat eggs in a bowl with garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Dip each tenderized chicken breast into egg mixture to coat completely, then coat with breadcrumb mixture.
  3. For each chicken breast, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Cook two chicken breasts at a time until golden brown and cooked through (3 minutes per side).
  5. Transfer the cooked chicken to a shallow pan and keep warm in the oven while preparing the rest of the meal.
  6. After all chicken breasts are cooked, wipe the skillet clean with paper towels.
  7. Heat butter in the skillet until melted and add wine. Heat for 30 seconds, then stir in chicken broth and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer (2 minutes).
  8. Remove chicken from oven and pour broth mixture over chicken breasts. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices. Serve.

Family Ratings

  • McM: 4.5/5, tender chicken and flavorful sauce!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-schnitzel-100005

Germany (Part 2)

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German Cucumber Salad

Crunchy and slightly sweet. Pictured above (top) with chicken schnitzel (left) and german spinach with ham (right).

Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a non-metallic bowl.
  2. Chill for 30 minutes and serve.

Family Ratings

  • McM: 2.5/5, very tart

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/german-cucumber-salad-110564

Germany (Part 1)

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German Spinach and Ham

A savory German side dish.

Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh baby spinach
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 200g cooked ham, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Steam spinach, drain excess liquid, and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter until tender.
  3. Stir in spinach, ham, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  4. Heat through and serve.

Family Ratings

  • McM: 4.5/5, delicious compliment to schnitzel!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/german-style-spinach-or-chard-315601

Spain (Part 2)

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Paella

Paella is a traditional spicy Spanish dish with a variety of meats and seafood served over rice.

Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked white rice* (see notes below)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1kg chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes* (see notes below)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 lemons, tested
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 500g medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 250g mussels
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions (we prefer to use a rice cooker).
  2. Cook mussels according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir in chicken pieces to coat. Set aside  in refrigerator to marinate.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and cooked rice. Add parsley, chicken stock, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer while proceeding with the next steps.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate large skillet over medium heat. Stir in marinated chicken and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook until shrimp is pink (5 minutes).
  6. Serve rice in bowls topped with meat and seafood mixture.

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Notes

  • The original recipe involves cooking the rice in the skillet. However, we found that it was easier and faster to cook the rice ahead of time using a rice cooker.
  • The original recipe describes the chicken cut into 2 inch pieces but we found that these pieces were too large to eat easily from the bowls. We recommend using thinner strips or 1 inch cubes of chicken.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5, quite spicy
  • Papa: 4.5/5
  • McM: 4/5
  • TW: 4/5
  • Girlie: 4/5, a little too spicy for my preference

Original recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/84137/easy-paella/print/?recipeType=Recipe&servings=8

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Spain (Part 1)

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Avocado and Tuna Tapas

Tapas are a traditional Spanish side dish. Avocado and tuna make a creamy tapas combination.

Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe avocados, halved and pitted and peeled
  • 2 170g cans white tuna packed in water, drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chives (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Stir together tuna, mayonnaise, red pepper, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
  2. Pack the avocado halves with tuna mixture.
  3. Garnish with chives and serve.

Family Ratings

  • Papa: 4/5
  • McM: 5/5

Original recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/139620/avocado-and-tuna-tapas/print/?recipeType=Recipe&servings=4

Norway (Part 2)

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Smoked Salmon Rolls

A delicious Scandinavian side dish with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 8 soft tortillas (8 inch diameter)
  • 1 cup (250g) light cream cheese
  • 340g smoked salmon
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • chives, chopped (optional)
  • capers (optional)
  • lemon juice (optional)

Directions

  1. Spread tortillas with a thin layer of cream cheese.
  2. Top with salmon, dill, and onion. Chives can be used as a mild alternative to red onions. Capers and lemon juice are nice additions.
  3. Roll tightly. An extra dollop of cream cheese can be used to help seal the roll.
  4. Cut into 1 inch pieces and serve.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 3.5/5
  • Papa: 3.5/5
  • Nanya: 5/5
  • TW: 4/5
  • McM: 4/5

Original recipe: http://www.sweetpaulmag.com/food/smoked-salmon-rolls

Norway (Part 1)

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Fiskekaker

Traditional Norwegian fish cakes.

Total time: 45min
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1.2kg cod* (see notes below)
  • 3 teaspoons salt* (see notes below)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup milk* (see notes below)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup minced chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • vegetable oil as needed
  • bread crumbs as needed* (see notes below)

Directions

  1. Slice the fish into small chunks and pound with a meat tenderizer until fish is soft and flaky.* (see notes below)
  2. Combine salt, pepper, 2/3 cup milk, butter, eggs, chives, and nutmeg in a large boil.
  3. Add fish to the mixture and knead together until the desired consistency is reached. (The mixture should be thick enough to allow firm patties to be formed. If the mixture is too watery, breadcrumbs can be added while stirring until the mixture thickens. If the mixture is too thick initially, another 1/3 cup of milk can be added).
  4. Make patties approximately 2-3 inches in diameter and approximately 1 inch thick.
  5. In a large pan, heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Sauté fish patties until golden brown (3-5 minutes each side).
  6. Serve as patties with a side dish (see smoked salmon rolls on this blog) or in a bun as fish burgers.

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Notes

  • Depending on availability, haddock or pollock can be substituted for cod.
  • Some of our family members found this recipe quite salty, so less salt (1-2 teaspoons) may be preferable.
  • The original recipe suggests using a much larger quantity of milk. However, we found that this made it very difficult to form patties. We added bread crumbs to thicken the mixture and recommend using 2/3 to 1 cup of milk as needed to reach the desired consistency. Our fish patty mixture is pictured below.
  • The original recipe suggests using a food processor to prepare the fish. However, we found that slicing and manually tenderizing the fish gave the patties an appealing chunky texture and emphasized the flavor of the cod.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4.5/5, delicious recipe although quite salty!
  • Papa: 4.5/5
  • Nanya: 5/5
  • TW: 5/5
  • Girlie: 5/5
  • McM: 3/5

Original recipe: https://arcticgrub.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/homemade-fiskekaker-our-monday-dinner-suggestion/

Greece (Part 2)

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Shrimp Scampi Linguini

Greek-style pasta dish. Pictured above (on right) with spanakopita (on left).

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1kg linguini
  • 1kg medium or large shrimp, peeled and de-veined with tails removed
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 sprigs oregano, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
  2. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Salt water and cook pasta to al dente.
  3. Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a deep skillet and cook garlic on medium heat until browned (3 minutes).
  4. Add shrimp and cook on medium heat (3 minutes).
  5. Add red pepper flakes, lemon zest, oregano, olives, and wine and cook on medium heat (2 minutes).
  6. Add lemon juice and 1 cup of starchy pasta cooking water to skillet. Remove from heat.
  7. When pasta is cooked to al dente, drain water and add pasta to skillet.
  8. Toss with parsley and feta. Feta will melt onto pasta.
  9. Top with chopped olives and serve.

Family Ratings

  • McM: 3/5, very tasty though oregano creates a strong flavor

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/greek-style-shrimp-scampi-and-linguini-recipe.html

Greece (Part 1)

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Spanakopita

Traditional Greek savory pastry. Spanakopitas can be labor-intensive to prepare but they are well worth the effort!

Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12-15 strudels

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 500g frozen* chopped spinach, defrosted* (see notes below)
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups small-diced feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 24 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted* (see notes below)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Gently squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and place it in a large bowl.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion, and cook over medium-low heat (5 minutes).
  4. Add the scallions to the pan and cook until the scallions are wilted but still green (2 minutes).
  5. Add the cooked onion and scallions to the spinach.
  6. Add eggs, Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons bread crumbs, nutmeg, salt, pepper, feta, and pine nuts to the spinach mixture.
  7. Place one sheet of phyllo dough flat on a table. Brush the dough lightly with melted butter and sprinkle it with a teaspoon of breadcrumbs. Place another sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first, brush it with butter, and sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs. Continue in this way until there are four sheets on top of each other. Use just enough breadcrumbs between layers so that the sheets don’t stick together.
  8. Cut the layered sheets of phyllo lengthwise: cut in thirds lengthwise for small strudels, cut in half lengthwise for large strudels.
  9. Place spinach filling on the end of the sheets: use 1/3 cup filling for small strudels, use 1/2 – 2/3 cup filling for large strudels.
  10. Roll the phyllo sheets diagonally to make a triangle. Then fold the triangle of phyllo back straight. Alternate diagonal and straight folds until you reach the end of the sheet. The filling should be totally enclosed.
  11. Continue assembling layered phyllo sheets and folding over filling until all of the filling has been used.
  12. Place strudels on a sheet pan with the seam sides down.
  13. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with salt, and bake for 30-35 minutes until the phyllo is brown and crisp.
  14. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Frozen chopped spinach and frozen phyllo pastry dough can be defrosted in the microwave (using the preset defrost function), however this may cause the phyllo to become brittle and difficult to fold. For best results, we recommend thawing the spinach and phyllo in the refrigerator for 24 hours prior to recipe preparation.
  • Fresh spinach (steamed and chopped) can be substituted for frozen spinach.

Family Ratings

  • McM: 5/5, these are amazing fresh from the oven and also delicious served cold the next day!

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/dinner-spanakopitas-recipe.html