Finland (Part 1)

DSC09598

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!

DSC09594

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

Mexico

DSC09590

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

A healthy Mexican baked dish with quinoa and lots of vegetables.    

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2 415ml bottles of Old El Paso mild taco sauce* (see notes below)
  • 1 cup canned corn kernels, drained
  • 1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • small tortillas and lettuce to serve* (see notes below)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, cook quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, taco sauce, corn, kidney beans, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, 1 cup shredded cheddar, and 1 cup shredded mozza. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Spread quinoa mixture into a large baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake in oven until the casserole is bubbly and the cheese has melted (10-15 minutes). Serve immediately.

Notes

  • The original recipe specified Old El Paso mild enchilada sauce, however this product was not available in our local grocery store. We substituted with Old El Paso mild taco sauce. Mild sauce (half the amount) or tomato sauce (increase cumin and chili powder) could also be substituted if taco sauce is not available.
  • Our kids enjoyed eating the casserole wrapped up burrito-style in small tortillas with lettuce and additional tomatoes.

Family Ratings

  • Papa: 4/5, this recipe would be even better with more spice (medium or spicy taco sauce) and substituting half of the quinoa for ground beef.
  • Girlie: 4/5, this is great burrito-style!
  • TW: 4/5,
  • McM: 4.5/5, very light and healthy recipe, I love the quinoa!

DSC09589

Original recipe: http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/07/quinoa-enchilada-casserole/

Thailand (Part 2)

DSC09584

Shrimp Pad Thai

Classic Thai meal with shrimp and tofu.    

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 250g thin rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • 600g cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup firm tofu, cubed
  • 5 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup bean sprouts plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, crush, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 lime cut into wedges for garnish
  • spicy peanut satay sauce for serving
  • Sriracha hot sauce for serving

Directions

  1. Put the noodles in a medium bowl with hot water to cover. Soak until tender (30 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar, fish sauce, and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in the beaten eggs, tilting the skillet as you pour to make a thin even coating of egg. Cook until just set (1-2 minutes). Invert the eggs onto a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  4. Heat another 1 tablespoon of peanut oil over high heat in the same skillet. Add shrimp, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Fry until shrimp are pink (2 minutes).
  5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil, garlic, and shallots and cook until shallots are lightly browned (2 minutes).
  6. Add tofu and cook (2 minutes).
  7. Add noodles and cook, tossing, until lightly coated with garlic mixture (1 minute).
  8. Add fish sauce mixture and scallion pieces and heat through.
  9. Stir in cooked egg, 1 cup of sprouts, and crushed peanuts and toss until hot.
  10. Serve with additional sprouts, peanuts, and lime wedges as garnish. Add peanut sauce or Sriracha sauce to taste.

DSC09578

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4.5/5
  • Papa: 4.5/5
  • Girlie: 5/5
  • TW: 4/5,
  • McM: 4.5/5, excellent meal!
  • Kid Cairo: 5/5

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/shrimp-phad-thai-recipe.html

Thailand (Part 1)

DSC09586

Thai Green Curry Chicken Stew

Hearty chicken stew with green curry and coconut milk.    

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 400ml cans regular unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 400ml cans “lite” unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 250g thin rice noodles, broken into pieces
  • 3 medium chicken breasts, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 100g shredded carrots
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • fresh bean sprouts (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned (8 minutes).
  2. Add garlic and curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant (2 minutes).
  3. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Add bell peppers and noodles and simmer, uncovered, until the noodles are al dente (3 minutes).
  5. Add chicken and carrots and simmer until chicken is cooked through (3-5 minutes).
  6. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and scallions and simmer (3 minutes).
  7. Add more fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Serve with bean sprouts as garnish.

DSC09577

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 5/5
  • Papa: 5/5
  • Girlie: 5/5
  • TW: 4.5/5
  • McM: 5/5, amazing! So flavorful! One of my favorite recipes so far!
  • Kid Cairo: 5/5

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/thai-chicken-soup-recipe.html

Chile (Part 2)

DSC09569

Caldillo de Congrio con Vino Blanco

Chilean seafood stew.   

Total time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 cups vegetable stock* (see notes below)
  • 4-6 tablespoons fish sauce to taste* (see notes below)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 cod fillets* (see notes below)
  • 250g scallops
  • 250g shrimp
  • 250g mussels
  • 1 cup 18% cream
  • 1 egg yolk

Directions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute until softened but not browned (4 minutes). Add bell pepper, carrot, garlic, cayenne pepper, chili powder and cook, stirring (2 minutes).
  2. Transfer the onion mixture to a large pot. Add broth, fish sauce, tomatoes, bay leaf, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer over low heat (10 minutes). Remove bay leaf.
  3. Add cod, shrimp, scallops, and mussels. Simmer over low heat until fish and scallops are opaque, shrimp are pink, and mussels open (10 – 15 minutes).
  4. In a small bowl, whisk heavy cream with egg yolk. Ladle a small amount of hot soup into the egg mixture before adding to soup (to prevent egg and cream from curdling). Simmer (2 minute).
  5. Garnish with additional parsley and serve.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 5/5
  • Papa: 4.5/5, could use a little less parsley but otherwise an excellent stew!
  • Girlie: 5/5
  • TW: 5/5,
  • McM: 4.5/5

Notes

  • Congrio is not available in North America, but any firm-fleshed white fish can be substituted. We used cod, but other options include halibut, sea bass, red snapper, grouper, or monkfish.
  • The original recipe included fish stock but we were unable to find this in our local grocery stores. We substituted by using vegetable broth and adding fish sauce.

Original recipe:  http://thelatinkitchen.com/r/recipe/caldillo-de-congrio-con-vino-blanco

Chile (Part 1)

DSC09570

Fricassee

Hearty Chilean side dish with sausage, potatoes, and chard.

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large bundles of chard, stems removed, cut into 1cm strips
  • 2 thick slices country bread, cubed
  • 3 small potatoes, cooked, cubed
  • 5 large chicken sausages, cooked, sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion until translucent (4-5 minutes). Add the pepper and cook (2 minutes). Add chopped chard and cook until wilted (3-5 minutes). Season lightly with salt. Remove from skillet at set aside.
  2. Heat another tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Fry the bread cubes (5 minutes). Remove from skillet and set aside on a plate with paper towel.
  3. Heat another tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Brown the potatoes (5-10 minutes).
  4. Combine the potatoes, bread cubes, and chard mixture in the skillet. Add sausages. Warm of medium heat.
  5. Beat the eggs with the milk and season with cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and stir until egg is cooked (2 minutes).
  7. Serve warm.

DSC09564

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 5/5, the chard is an excellent addition to the recipe!
  • Papa: 4/5, could have used fewer potatoes but otherwise delicious!
  • Girlie: 4.5/5
  • TW: 4.5/5,
  • McM: 3.5/5

Original recipe:  http://www.enmicocinahoy.cl/chilean-fricassee/

Philippines (Part 2)

DSC09557 edit

Pancit Canton

Traditional Filipino noodle dish with vegetables, pork, chicken, and shrimp.

Total time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g pork shoulder, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 250g shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup yellow beans, julienned
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms
  • 500g packaged rice noodles
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 green onions, sliced (for garnish)
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges (for garnish)
  • bean sprouts (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Soak mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes, then remove the stems and cut into thin strips. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large wok.
  3. Sauce garlic and onions until tender (about 3 minutes).
  4. Add pork, chicken, and shrimp. Cook until evenly browned (about 6 minutes).
  5. Add soy sauce and chicken broth and bring to boil.
  6. Add cabbage, green beans, carrots, and mushrooms. Cook until vegetables are tender yet crisp (about 5-8 minutes).
  7. Add rice noodles, mixing to immerse in broth. Cook until liquid is absorbed and noodles are soft (about 10 minutes).
  8. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
  9. Garnish with green onions, lemon wedges, bean sprouts, and soy sauce as desired.

DSC09552 edit

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5
  • Papa: 4/5, would recommend using fewer noodles (350g)
  • Girlie: 4/5
  • TW: 5/5, very tasty with lemon juice as garnish!
  • McM: 4.5/5, delicious!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/pancit-canton-25121

Philippines (Part 1)

DSC09561 edit

Lentils and Pechay

Filipino side dish with bok choy.

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups canned lentils, drained
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh bok choy, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetarian chicken broth

Directions

  1. Blend the onion in a food processor to create a soft mush.
  2. In a large pan, combine blended onion, 1/2 cup broth, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes. Cook (3 minutes).
  3. Add the canned lentils and remaining broth. Bring to a boil, add the bok choy, and cook until tender (about 5-8 minutes).
  4. Serve.

DSC09555 edit

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 3.5/5
  • Papa: 4/5, would be even better with more bok choy!
  • Girlie: 4.5/5
  • TW: 3.5/5, I don’t like tomatoes
  • McM: 4/5, double the amount of bok choy next time!

Note

  • Lentils were substituted for mung beans in the original recipe. Mung beans were not available in our local grocery stores.

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/philippines-monggo-beans-and-pechay-mung-beans-and-bok-choi-305953?photo=155213

Laos (Part 3)

DSC09549 edit

Larb

Minced chicken in lettuce wraps. Served with sticky rice, a staple in Laotian meals.

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sticky rice (sushi rice works well)
  • 1/4 cup uncooked medium grain white rice
  • 1kg boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 small red chile, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste (see previous post on this blog)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 10-12 lettuce leaves (one head of butter lettuce works well as the lettuce is flavorful and sturdy enough to make wraps)

Directions

  1. Cook sticky rice according to package instructions. We used sushi rice cooked in a rice cooker.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the uncooked white rice onto a baking sheet. Bake the rice in the oven until golden (15 minutes). Once cooled, grind into a fine powder using a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Set aside.
  3. Process the chicken thigh meat in a food processor until finely minced. Set aside.
  4. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chili, and green onions. Cook, stirring, until the garlic softens (3 minutes).
  5. Add the minced chicken and cook, stirring to break up lumps, until the meat is no longer pink (5 minutes) .
  6. Add fish sauce, shrimp paste, and sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the excess liquid has evaporated (5 minutes).
  7. Stir in the ground rice, mint, and lime juice.
  8. Serve on lettuce leaves with sticky rice.

DSC09535

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 5/5, my favorite dish out of all the countries so far!
  • Papa: 4.5/5
  • Girlie: 4.5/5
  • TW: 4.5/5
  • McM: 4.5/5, very interesting and exotic flavor, lettuce wraps make a great light meal!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/lao-papaya-salad-447215

DSC09546 edot

Larb (bottom) served with sticky rice (right), papaya salad (top), and shrimp paste on crackers (left). See other posts on this blog for recipes.

Laos (Part 2)

DSC09538 edit

Papaya Salad

A traditional Laotian side dish.

Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 medium ripe papayas
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small red chilis, deseeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons shrimp paste (see previous post on this blog)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions

  1. Peel papayas. Cut in half. Scoop out seeds and discard. Shred papaya and set aside.
  2. Mash garlic and chilis together using a meat tenderizer or mortar and pestle.
  3. Drain the excess juice from shredded papaya. Then add the mashed garlic and chilis, shrimp paste, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and cherry tomatoes. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Serve.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5
  • Papa: 4/5, would have liked more tomatoes and more chilis!
  • Girlie: 5/5, this is delicious!
  • TW: 4/5
  • McM: 3/5, very sweet initially with a spicy aftertaste, a little too spicy for my preference but a tasty side dish with an exotic flavour!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/lao-papaya-salad-447215