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

Iceland (Part 2)

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Kryddad Raudkal med Blaberjum

Spiced cabbage with blueberries, a sweet-tart Icelandic side dish. Picture above (right) with baked fish (left) and brauoterta (bottom).

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup black currant jam
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 large head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 tart green apple (Granny Smith), cored, peeled, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. On medium-high heat, melt butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Cook onion until soft (5–7 minutes).
  3. Add blueberries, jam, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, cabbage, apple, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender (60 minutes).

Family Ratings

  • McM: 4.5/5, very delicious with a range of tangy and sweet flavours that compliment baked fish nicely!

Original recipe: http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/icelandic-spiced-cabbage-with-blueberries

Iceland (Part 1)

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Brauoterta

Icelandic-style sandwich loaf with shrimp.

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, mashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, minced
  • 250g cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large loaf white bread (French-bread style loaf)
  • pepper to taste
  • cucumber, sliced (for garnish)
  • tomato, sliced (for garnish)
  • parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • sour cream (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Hard boil eggs. Allow eggs to cool, then peel and mash.
  2. Cut the loaf into three even slices lengthwise.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix mayonnaise and sour cream. Add bell pepper, mashed eggs, shrimp, garlic powder, and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Place the bottom layer of bread on a serving tray and spread half the filling over it. Top with the middle slice of bread and spread the remaining filling. Top with the third slice of bread
  5. Garnish with additional sour cream, cucumbers, tomatoes, and parsley. Slice and serve.

Family Ratings

  • McM: 3/5, very tasty, however I would recommend using less mayo to make it less runny and easier to serve

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/brauoterta-icelandic-style-sandwich-loaf-shrimp-504593

Sri Lanka (Part 3)

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Pol Sambol

Traditional Sri Lankan coconut side dish. Coconuts are a staple ingredient in most Sri Lankan meals.

Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 150g unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 150g sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 medium tomato, de-seeded, finely chopped, juice reserved
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 150g cooked small shrimp, finely chopped (substituted for maldive fish)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine coconut, tomato, onion, and chill powder. Mix thoroughly until ingredients have an even pink color.
  2. Add reserved tomato juice, lime juice, shrimp, and salt to taste. Mix until the symbol is moist and pale reddish in color. Serve.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5
  • Papa: 3.5/5, can’t wait to try this as batter for barbecued tiger prawns!
  • Girlie: 3/5
  • TW: 4.5/5
  • McM: 4/5, very interesting texture and combination of flavors! Mixing half sweetened and half unsweetened coconut is a nice blend.

Original recipes: http://www.mysrilankanrecipe.com/coconut-sambol/ and http://www.harihari.co.uk/recipeblog/pol-sambol/

Sri Lanka (Part 2)

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Gotukola Sambol

Traditional Sri Lankan salad with a strong but refreshing flavour.

Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches Italian flat-leaf parsley (substituted for Sri Lankan gotukola)
  • 3 tablespoons white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 50g unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 50g sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2-3 tablespoons lime juice, to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse parsley. Chop coarsely.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine parsley, onion, tomato, coconut, and lime juice. Use tongs to mix the salad until ingredients evenly distributed. Serve.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4.5/5, would be great as a summer salad!
  • Papa: 4/5
  • Girlie: 2/5
  • TW: 4/5
  • McM: 3/5

Original recipe: http://www.srilankanrecipes.info/recipes/Sambols/GotukolaSambol.aspx

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 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

Iran (Part 1)

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Borani Esfanaaj

Iranian yogurt and spinach dip.

Total time: 30min
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups thick balkan yogurt
  • 3 teaspoon dried mint
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see recipe)
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Steam baby spinach until just wilted. Drain well by squeezing out excess water and chop fine.
  2. In a medium saucepan, saute 1 1/2 cloves of minced garlic in olive oil until lightly browned.
  3. Add chopped spinach and salt to taste. Stir.
  4. Remove from stove and allow to cool. Squeeze out excess liquid.
  5. Toast chopped walnuts in a dry frying pan until dark brown and fragrant. Avoid burning the walnuts. Set aside to cool.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the baby spinach mixture, the remaining minced garlic, dried mint, and toasted walnuts. Stir.
  7. In a bowl and the yogurt, and sea salt to taste, stir gently.
  8. Serve with naan, crackers, or as a garnish for Uyghur Polo (see recipe on this blog).

Family Ratings

  • McM: 4/5, delicious!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/iranian-yogurt-and-spinach-dip-borani-esfanaaj-444419