Argentina (Part 1)

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Bunuelos de Espinaca

Argentinean spinach fritters.

Total time: 60 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 450g fresh baby spinach, chopped and steamed
  • 3/4 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • oil for frying (liquid coconut oil recommended)

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Directions

  1. Chop spinach, then steam over boiling water for 4-5 minutes until fully wilted.
  2. Mix spinach and onion together in a bowl. Add milk and eggs. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and pepper together.
  4. Stir flour mixture into spinach mixture until batter is evenly combined.
  5. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a large, deep frying pan over low-medium heat. Oil is ready to use with a drop of spinach batter added to the oil bubbles immediately.
  6. Drop batter (about 1 tablespoon per fritter), into the hot oil. Fry until outside edges of fritters are golden brown (3 – 4 minutes per side). Remove fritters with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil and adjusting oil temperature as needed.
  7. Serve with tzatziki sauce and chimichurri.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5, very good as an appetizer!
  • Papa: 3.5/5, somewhat bland but the coconut oil adds a nice flavor
  • Girlie: 2/5 by themselves, but 4/5 when served with tzatziki sauce
  • TW: 2.5/5 by themselves, 4/5 when served with tzatziki sauce or chimichurri

Original recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/236662/bunuelos-de-espinaca-spinach-fritters/

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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

Thailand (Part 2)

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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.

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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

Chile (Part 2)

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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)

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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.

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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/

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