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

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

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

Sri Lanka (Part 1)

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Scrambled Tofu

Vegetarian Sri Lankan meal.

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1kg firm tofu, crumbled
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 250g fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Steam the spinach until wilted. Squeeze out excess water. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and sauté (2 minutes). Add mushrooms and cook (2 more minutes). Add tomatoes and cook (1 more minute). Add steamed spinach and cook (2 more minutes).
  3. Add turmeric, chill powder, soy sauce. Stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add crumbled tofu. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until heated (10 minutes).
  5. Serve with additional soy sauce and hot sauce as desired.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 3.5/5, excellent with soy sauce!
  • Papa: 4/5, initially a bit bland but very tasty with soy sauce and hot sauce to add spice and flavour
  • Girlie: 3/5
  • TW: 5/5, really delicious with soy sauce added
  • McM: 4/5, could use more spice but great with soy sauce!

Original recipe: http://www.srilankanrecipes.info/recipes/TofuEggSoyaDishes/ScrambledTofu.aspx

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Scrambled tofu (left) served with pol sambol (bottom) and gotukola sambol (right) for a traditional Sri Lanka meal (see other recipe posts on this blog). We felt that this meal had some of the most interesting and exotic flavor combinations of any country so far!

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

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

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

Lebanon

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Lentil Rice Pilaf with Blackened Onions

Traditional vegetarian Lebanese dish.

Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 400ml vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cup canned lentils, drained
  • 1 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 6 medium tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • plain yogurt for garnish
  • chopped fresh mint for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chopped onion, minced garlic, cumin, and cinnamon. Sauté until onion softened (about 5 min).
  3. Add vegetable broth, lentils, and rice. Bring to boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice and lentils are tender (about 15 min).
  5. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add sliced onions. Sauté until soft and beginning to blacken (about 20 min).
  7. Season pilaf to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve pilaf on plates.
  9. Top with blackened onions. Garnish with tomato and cucumber, yogurt, and mint.

Family Ratings

  • McM: 4.5/5, I really liked the yogurt as garnish!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/lebanese-lentil-rice-pilaf-with-blackened-onions-78824