Tag Archives: beer

Hungary…

Monday, March 18 –

Full house for this dinner, that’s for sure! We had: Hot Momma (wine and bread), Baby Bear, MoneyShot, SlotMachine (cucumber salad, wine, and beer), Officially Gangster, ChinUp (goulash), MyBuddy, photo(5)BestestFianceEver, and yours truly. Whew, what a crowd! And we had some seriously good food, too.

I heated up two large pans and put the cubed pork in, browning the pieces on both sides but not worrying about cooking them all the way through. Then I transferred the pieces from the secondary pan to the main large one and added a little oil to the smaller pan and cooked the onions until they were translucent. In the big pan I added in the paprika, crushed tomato, sugar, bay leaves, water, and drained sauerkraut. Once the onions were done I added them in as well. Covered and set to simmer on low until everyone showed up. Once everyone was over I added the sour cream, stirred, and it was ready to go.

The green beans I rinsed and trimmed off the ends. I put them into a large pot, covered them in water, set it on the stove, covered it and turned it onto medium high. I let that boil until they were tender but not squishy. Drained and set aside. In another pan, while the beans were simmering, I melted the butter, added the onions, and cooked until they were soft. I used dried dill and then added the flour. Once that was well mixed I added the rest, let it bubble, and it thickened pretty quickly. I added the beans, stirred, turned the heat to low and put the lid back on.

That’s all four burners going at once! Which meant I had to quickly shuffle the two extra pans into the sink when everyone showed up so that the goulash could be on the heat as well. And dinner was served!photo(4)

The pork was tender and cooked through after being on low for about 40 minutes. The sauerkraut, tomatoes, and sour cream tasted almost like a vodka sauce for pasta. You almost couldn’t tell it was sauerkraut except for the texture. That with a good crusty bread would be a great warm, filling dinner. The goulash looked tender (I say looked because I didn’t try it, as it was beef) but the potatoes I did nibble on had great flavor and were extremely good. And finally the cucumber salad was a good bright, sharp flavor to cut between the rich flavors.

Definitely a win all around – and all of the plates were scraped clean. Keep these recipes handy!

Hungary
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~june4)

Sauerkraut and Pork (Szekely gulyas)

  • 2 lbs. pork cubedphoto(6)
  • 1 &1/2 lbs. sauerkraut, rinse and drained
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbls. lard or oil (if meat is very lean)
  • 2 Tbls. Hungarian sweet paprika (no generic please)
  • 1 large can of crushed tomato (or fresh tomatoes peeled and crushed)
  • 1 Tbls. sugar
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 pint of sour cream (no yogurt please)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat and onion (in lard or oil if needed) in a pot with lid. Add the paprika to the meat and onion mix, stir to mix in (do not burn). Put in the drained sauerkraut, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Mix. Cover pot. Cook slowly for about one hour, or until meat is tender. Add the sour cream and stir it in. The aroma will make yphoto(3)our mouth water. Serve in soup plates, with good crusty bread, a meal fit for the Kaiser.

Green Beans with Dill (Kapros zoldbabfozelek)

  • 2 packages of green beans
  • 2 Tbl. Lard or butter
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 1/2 cup of sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup of good vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbl. chopped fresh dill

Directions: Cook beans in salted water till tender, not soft. Melt lard or butter, add onions and saute till limp, add chopped dill. Then add flour making a roux. Add 1 cup of water, sugar and vinegar and stir while the sauce gets thick. Add drained beans, and mix, if too thick add a little more water.

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Germany…

Friday, December 7 –

I kept hoping that we would get to a country that was heritage for one of us, and it finally happened. Germany, thank you for being the birthplace for two of my favorite mothers of our group, and thank you for photo(6)having such yummy food! I do have to admit, though, before we get going that even though I like most everything pickled, I don’t really like very many recipes of sauerkraut. I know, I know, that’s weird. But true. So I took a regular sauerkraut from a jar and made something fabulous from it, called Bavarian sauerkraut. Add bacon and red wine and all of a sudden it’s yummy? Yep.

I cooked the sauerkraut recipe exactly as it reads below, I just made half of what it calls for. Bacon – then onion and garlic into the bacon fat. Then caraway seeds, chicken bouillon cube, and brown sugar. Stir. Red wine plus the whole jar of sauerkraut. Stir again and let simmer. Next add the potato, paprika, and pepper – then the roux. Simmer. Our stove doesn’t really do “low simmer” very well, so I simmered it for about ten minutes with the lid on the pan, then turned the heat off but left it on the burner until we were ready for dinner. Stir a little more and then serve!

I made the wiener schnitzel exactly as it is written. Pounded meat plus salt and pepper. Then dip in flour, egg mixture, and bread crumbs. Fry each one in canola oil, then set aside under foil to keep it warm. As the last two schnitzels were frying I steamed some broccoli to serve on the side.

I also ended up making spatzle, but I cheated a little and made it from a box. We had a hiccup in the planning (because planning plus late wine nights always end well…) so boxed pasta it was.

This dinner was not only savory, tart, fried, and buttery – it was delicious. I could have kept eating that bacon/wine/sauerkraut the rest of the weekend! So if you’re like me and you like a little tart but canned sauerkraut is usually too strong, try the recipe below.

YUM!

And thanks to BestestFianceEver, Hot Momma, and SlotMachine for sharing this dinner with me. Cheers!

Germany
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.squidoo.com and www.bavariankitchen.com)

Wiener Schnitzel

  • 4 veal scaloppini
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoons water, buttermilk or milk
  • ½ tablespoons canola oil (and more for frying)
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 6-8 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • salt, pepper
  • lemon to serve
  • parsley to serve

Preparation:

Dry the veal scaloppini with paper towels. Tenderize the veal on both sides evenly with a meat mallet. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Prepare three dishes: 6 tablespoons flour in first dish, whisked egg with 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 tablespoons oil (or 1 tablespoon buttermilk or milk) in the second dish and 6-8 tablespoons bread crumbs in the third dish.

Coat the veal with the flour on both sides, shake off any excess, dip in the egg mixture on both sides and lastly into the bread crumbs shaking off any excess.

Prepare a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet with some canola oil just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet and let it get hot on medium-high heat. Drop in a few bread crumbs, if the oil starts to sizzle carefully place the Schnitzel inside. Reduce heat to medium. Fry veal until golden brown turning once. Do not cover the skillet. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley.

Serve with rice, french fries, mashed/boiled potatoes, steamed vegetables or a garden salad. Garnish: 4 slices of lemon and some chopped fresh parsley.

Bavarian Sauerkraut

  • 2 quart jars of good-quality sauerkraut. (How do we know it’s good quality? It costs more.)
  • 1 pound of smoked bacon, cut into thin strips.
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of cold roux
  • 1 large beef bouillon cube
  • 1 cup of red wine – aah, make that 2 cups!

Preparation:
First, we fry the bacon strips halfway, then adding chopped onion and garlic we cook this until it’s all golden brown and the bacon is crispy. During the last 5 minutes, we add the caraway seeds, beef bouillon cube and brown sugar to the pan. Now we add the 2 cups of wine and the sauerkraut and let this come to a simmer. At this point, we grate the raw potato into the mix! After seasoning with paprika and black pepper, we mix the cold roux (equal amounts of flour and butter, gently cooked for about 15 minutes) into the kraut. Turn the heat to a low setting and simmer the dish for an hour or two. Bohemian sauerkraut, like so many other stews, tastes even better when reheated the next day.


Czech Republic…

Friday, July 6 –

This dinner, on the other hand, was absolutely delightful. We had five of us to dinner this night: Wonderful Boyfriend, Bestie Extraordinaire, ChinUp, and MyBuddy. ChinUp and MyBuddy are new to the dinners (but came to the potlucks last summer). They brought a refreshing strawberry/walnut/feta salad and some wine.

I started with marinading the pork and letting it sit in the fridge until I was ready to cook. It smelled sharp and mustardy – but in a good way. I sliced three medium onions and put them into the bottom of a roasting pan. Then I poured a whole beer on top, set the meat on top of that, covered with foil, and cooked for an hour. Then I took the foil off and cooked for another hour. I had sliced the roast in half to cut down on my cook time, so it didn’t take the whole three and a half hours to roast.

While the pork was finishing cooking, I made the potato pancakes exactly as the recipe is written, keeping them warm on a plate covered with foil as they finished cooking. Once the roast came out of the oven I set it aside and finished the sauce. Then we sliced the pork into thin strips and brought everything outside to have as a picnic dinner.

The pork was tender, juicy, and flavorful. The thought of that sauce is making my mouth water again. The pancakes were a perfect platform for the juices. And the salad was a bright flavor that went well with the entire dinner. Overall, it was a huge success!

 

Czech Republic
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.allrecipes.com)

Bramboracky (Czech Savory Potato Pancakes)

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch dried marjoram (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • oil for frying

Directions:     Peel and coarsely grate the potatoes, squeezing out as much liquid as you can. Transfer the shredded potatoes to a mixing bowl. Stir in the crushed garlic, salt, pepper, marjoram, and caraway seeds.    Beat the eggs with the milk. Add the egg mixture to the potatoes and stir well to combine. Gradually mix in the flour to form a thick but still pourable batter.    Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; the oil should be about 1/4-inch deep. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter into the hot oil, flattening it slightly. Fry the pancake until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Taste the first pancake and adjust the seasoning if necessary; repeat with remaining batter.

Czech Roast Pork

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 5 pounds pork shoulder blade roast
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions:     In a bowl, form a paste using the vegetable oil, mustard, caraway seeds, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Rub over the pork roast, and let sit about 30 minutes.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).    Arrange the onions in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Pour in the beer. Place the roast, fat side down, on top of the onions. Cover the pan with foil.    Roast 1 hour in the preheated oven. Remove foil, turn roast, and score the fat. Continue roasting 2 1/2 hours, or to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Remove from heat, reserving pan juices, and let sit about 20 minutes before slicing thinly.    In a saucepan, bring the reserved pan juices to a boil. Mix in the butter and cornstarch to thicken, reduce heat, and simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with the sliced pork.


Canada…

Tuesday, March 20 –

From one week to the next everything changes, that’s for sure. This week there were ten of us: me, Wonderful Boyfriend, Roommate Extraordinaire, Mr. Hero, Hot Momma, BabyBear, Amine Chef, BeatBox, MoneyShot, and SlotMachine. That’s a full house!

I started with the dessert so that it would be ready to go after dinner. I made the scone mix as it was written, except for the maple sugar. I couldn’t find it at either of the two stores I went to, so I just used regular white sugar it its place. I also think that when I rolled them out I made them too thin, so they browned by nine minutes instead of fifteen. They were light, fluffy, and wonderfully buttery. Without the maple flavor I wish that I had thought to put vanilla in instead, but it worked just fine with the strawberries and cream. I quartered sixteen strawberries and let them marinate in sugar and the red wine I was drinking (works just as well as port, if not better!). Then I blended the other strawberries with the sugar and lime juice. (I didn’t have lemon, but it worked just as well.) I put the strawberry puree and marinated strawberries back in the fridge until dessert time.

Because there were so many of us, some with food allergies, I had to make the burgers in several different steps. First, I took the bison and I added salt, pepper, garlic, and rice to it and mixed it together. Then I separated out seven different patties (because at the time that’s how many people I thought I was feeding!) and kept two off to the side. Then I mixed the other five back together with the bbq sauce, paprika, and mustard. I left the smoked Gouda cheese out as something that people could put on top if they wanted to. Then I re-made the five patties and let them sit until we were ready to go. The two late-comers brought extra beefalo, and I didn’t have more rice for them but I did put in the same spices. I put them to the side as well.

Next came the poutine. Heaven help me, I’m pretty sure my arteries were clogging up just looking at that hot mess. I took frozen “fast food fries” and I baked them as per their packaging. I heated the gravy from a jar on the stove, and then I mixed the chopped up cheese curds into the gravy so they would melt. Then I poured the gravy/cheese meltiness onto the fresh-out-of-the-oven fries. I had people dig into the mess right in the kitchen so that they wouldn’t get cold. Holy good god. Even though I used turkey gravy instead of beef gravy, it was still amazing and I pretty much never want to ever see it again because I won’t be able to say no. If you are even considering being on a diet – don’t go near this stuff!

I also made sweet potato fries (also frozen and then baked) for the people who didn’t want to die a happy, fat mess from the poutine. They were a great addition in my opinion, but then again I will always love sweet potato anything. I didn’t take a photo of them because they disappeared so quickly.

On the side for the burgers I had a plate of lettuce, tomato, and onion. I also put out ketchup, mustard, dijon, mayo, relish, bbq sauce to put on the buns. I also made the sauce that is on the recipe, and let me tell you what, it was AH-mazing. I think it might be my most favorite burger topping ever! Mayo with bbq sauce, relish, and horseradish. Sound weird? It wasn’t. It was so good I want to just make a jar and keep it in the fridge to use during the summer when we are bbqing all the time. Epic yumminess!

I cooked the burgers on the stove this time (the bbq had been loaned out to friends) but that didn’t stop them from being delish. The burger that I had (meat, bun, sauce, tomato, lettuce, and onion) was moist and amazingly delicious, but very, very crumbly. I don’t know if it was the fact that it was bison or that it had rice in it, but it made for a very, very messy dinner. Worth every bite, but messy.

Next came the desserts. I made fresh whipped cream with sugar and vanilla. Then I put on each plate two scones (remember I rolled them out too thin), scooped some marinated berries on top, drizzled the unstrained coulis next (why strain it when it’s all yummy goodness?) and then I scooped some whipped cream on top. This dessert was probably one of the best strawberry shortcakes I’ve ever made. Even Mr. Hero, who is the strawberry dessert expert in our group, said that they were the right texture, flavor, and richness. They weren’t too sweet, too crumbly, too dry, or too drowned in sauce. They were the perfect blend of all the right aspects of a strawberry shortcake dessert.

Things I have learned: When serving a messy, hot disaster like poutine it is just easier to put it onto a large plate and let people pick from it as finger food. It would have been too hard to get it all onto separate plates for people. It did, however, make it so that everyone was crowded into my walking space in the kitchen – so next time remember to move it out to the table so people flock over there.

Canada
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.delish.com and www.food.com)

Manitoba Smoky Bison Burger

  • 1 pound(s) ground bison (buffalo; see Shopping Tip)
  • 1/2 cup(s) cooked wild rice (see Kitchen Tip)
  • 1/2 cup(s) shredded smoked cheese, such as Cheddar, gouda, or mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoon(s) smoky barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon(s) paprika, preferably sweet Hungarian
  • 2 teaspoon(s) Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon(s) minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 cup(s) reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon(s) sweet pepper relish or pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoon(s) prepared horseradish
  • 4  whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
  • 4 slice(s) tomato
  • 4  thin slices sweet onion, such as Vidalia

Directions

  • Preheat grill to medium.
  • Place meat, rice, cheese, 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, paprika, mustard, garlic, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without over-mixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 4 equal patties, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
  • Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, relish, and horseradish in a small bowl.
  • Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the burgers until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 155 degrees F, 5 to 6 minutes per side.
  • Assemble the burgers on toasted buns with the barbecue mayonnaise sauce, tomato, and onion.

Tips & Techniques

Kitchen Tip: Be sure to plan ahead for cooking the wild rice — it takes 40 to 50 minutes. To cut down on cooking time, look for “quick” wild rice, a whole-grain rice that cooks in less than 30 minutes, or “instant” wild rice that’s done in 10 minutes or less.

Tip: To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs, and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.

Poutine

  • 1 quart vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 (10 ¼ ounce) can beef gravy
  • 5 medium potatoes , cut into fries
  • 2 cups cheese curds

Directions:

1 Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep heavy skillet to 365°F (185°C).

2 Warm gravy in saucepan or microwave.

3 Place the fries into the hot oil, and cook until light brown, about 5 minutes.

4 Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

5 Place the fries on a serving platter, and sprinkle the cheese over them.

6 Ladle gravy over the fries and cheese, and serve immediately.

Ottawa Valley Strawberry Shortcake

Maple Crunch Scones

  • 2 1/2 cup(s) flour
  • 1/8 cup(s) sugar
  • 1/8 cup(s) granulated maple sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 cup(s) butter
  • egg
  • 3/4 cup(s) milk

Marinated Local Strawberries

  • 16  in season strawberries, quartered
  • 2 tablespoon(s) white sugar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Port wine

Chantilly Cream

  • 1 cup(s) cold whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoon(s) white sugar

Strawberry Coulis

  • 2 cup(s) sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoon(s) white sugar
  • 1 splash(es) lemon juice
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish

Directions:

  • Maple crunch scones: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugars, baking powder) into a bowl. Cut in butter until butter is pea-sized. Add in egg and milk. Blend until it is emulsified. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is about 1 inch thick.
  • Using a round 4-inch cookie cutter, cut scones. Makes approximately 12 scones. Score and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow them to cool and cut them in half.
  • Marinated local strawberries: Mix strawberries, sugar, and Port wine together and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. Reserve.
  • Chantilly cream: In a large stainless steel bowl, add cream and begin to whip it with an electric mixer or using a balloon whisk. As soon as the cream starts to thicken, add vanilla and sugar. Continue to whip until it forms soft peaks similar to that of a soft-serve ice cream cone. Reserve.
  • Strawberry coulis: Blend strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice together in a household blender and strain through a strainer. Reserve.
  • Assembly: Slice the scone in half. Place the bottom half in the center of your plate. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the strawberry coulis on the scone bottom. Arrange some of the marinated strawberries on the scone and top that with a healthy dollop of the Chantilly cream. Place the scone top on the top and garnish with a mint sprig. Drizzle some additional strawberry sauce for color and flavor. Enjoy.

Belgium…

Monday, November 21 –

Today we added a new face to this project, LightsOn (sorry, it’s an inside joke that I just couldn’t help). He’s new to the idea, new to the project, and new to my cooking. So much bravery all in one go! 😉 We also had WingWoman, Roommate Extraordinaire, and of course my Wonderful Boyfriend.

This dinner was chicken soup, two different kinds of cooked Brussels sprouts, french bread baguette, and dessert made by WingWoman. So I started with the chicken soup by chopping all the veggies and getting them into the pan with the butter. I used dried spices instead of bundles of fresh (it’s the week of Thanksgiving, so please don’t judge me!) and used one rounded palm-full of each. I also skewed the chicken a little by chopping the chicken while it was raw into mouth-sized pieces and dumping them into the boiling chicken broth. I stirred it altogether and let it simmer until it was done. I whisked the cream and the egg yolk together and scooped out a couple of cups of broth that I added a little bit at a time so the mixture would come up to temperature and blend well (good trick for most recipes that add dairy or egg to anything warm). Then I just let it simmer together to blend the flavors together.

The Brussels sprouts I did two different ways because WingWoman can’t have gluten (so no beer) and I don’t normally like beer, so I wanted to give myself another way to enjoy the combination of soup and greens. The recipe from Belgium has you simmer them in beer (I used a German beer because I was rushed and that’s all Safeway had), then strain them and saute them in butter and salt. The other way I cooked them, how I normally cook them, is in bacon fat. I cooked about five strips of bacon, which were cut up into pieces, pulled the bacon out, threw the sprouts and about a half of an onion in, added some garlic salt and pepper, and let them get crispy and browned. At the end I throw the bacon back in and serve it. Everything is better with bacon, I swear it!

Roommate Extraordinaire took care of slicing, buttering, and garlic salt-ing the baguette, which we toasted in the oven just long enough to brown it a little. We both thought it would be better in soup if it had a little crunch.

Roommate Extraordinaire brought beer, two different Belgian styles that he and Wonderful Boyfriend both agreed were delicious. LightsOn brought two different wines, which were amazing and went perfectly with the dinner.

WingWoman made the dessert, which was simply heaven. Pure, sugary bliss in a cup. The photo doesn’t really do this amazing dessert justice, believe me. It was blended strawberries, cream, and sugar on the top with strawberries and Grand Marnier on the bottom. Make it, savor it, and thank her for the recipe. I’ll add it to the recipe page so it will live on forever where everyone can find it.

Things I have learned: Asking guests to bring wine and dessert makes this whole adventure a whole lot more fun. (Not that my diet would agree…) Adding more people to my blog list has become a fun and unique challenge to find fun names for them. And I look forward each week to the different flavors this journey helps me create. Four and a half years? To go around the world with my friends and loved ones? To learn to make all of these fun recipes? Priceless.

Belgium
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.foodnetwork.com, www.recipes4us.co.uk, and answers.yahoo.com)

Waterzooi de Poulet

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 leeks, chopped, rinsed and dried
  • 2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 fresh bay leaf or 2 leaves dried
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley, plus a handful chopped for garnish
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 8 ounces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Crusty baguette, warmed, for passing

Directions: In a deep pot over moderate heat melt butter and saute the vegetables for 5 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper. Tie together bay, parsley and thyme and add to the pot with stock or broth. Cover the pot and raise heat to bring liquid to a boil. Add chicken to the pot, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Poach the chicken 10 minutes. Uncover the pot. Remove chicken and slice. Whisk cream and egg together. Add a ladle of cooking broth to cream and egg to temper it. Stir cream and egg mixture into the waterzooi and stir constantly for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken. Add chicken back to the pot along with chopped parsley. Adjust seasoning. Ladle waterzooi into warm shallow bowls and serve with crusty baguette for dipping.

Brussels Sprouts in Beer

  • 450g/1lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
  • Approx. 480ml/16fl.oz. Dark Beer
  • 1/2 teasp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Butter

Instructions

1.  Place the sprouts in a medium saucepan and pour in enough beer to cover.

2. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender, adding more beer if necessary.

3. Drain well then return to the pan, season with salt and add the butter. Stir over a low heat until the butter has melted and coated the sprouts. Serve immediately.

Belgium Strawberry Mousse

  • 1 Pound Strawberries — sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Kirsch Or Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 1/4 Cups Whipping Cream

Directions: Place half the strawberries in bowl and sprinkle with the granulated sugar and kirsch. Let macerate for 15 minutes. Puree the remaining strawberries together with the confectioner’s sugar. Whip the cream into stiff peaks. Reserve a quarter of the whipped cream for garnish and refrigerate. Carefully fold the remaining cream into the pureed strawberries. Arrange the macerated strawberries in 4 wine glasses, reserving a few slices for garnish. Fill the glasses with strawberry cream, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours. Pipe the reserved whipped cream through a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and decorate with sliced strawberries.


Austria…

Sunday, October 9 –

This weekend was Austria, which included veal (yes, baby cow), apple and cabbage saute, and knodel. I made everything just a little bit quicker than was recommended, because most of two of the three recipes wanted me to prep stuff and then let it sit for an hour, which I didn’t have time to do. However, everything still turned out extra delicious.

I started by putting the knodel together (half of the recipe), which looked and smelled a lot like American Thanksgiving stuffing. It was sauteed onions mixed with toasted bread, with milk and eggs thrown in. I let it sit for 20 minutes instead of the hour the recipe called for, and then I had to come up with a way to get the baking dish into a pot of steaming water. This meant that I not only had to use my biggest pan for the boiling water, I had to put a little dish at the bottom to keep the knodel dish raised up off the bottom of the pan. It definitely looked like I had a “MacGyver” moment, but it worked just fine. Set to steam for an hour, I moved on to the saute.

Onion, cabbage, and apple – what a great combination. Everything got a chance to simmer down to become soft, tender, and flavorful without hitting the mushy point. I made half of the recipe I posted, and it still made quite a lot. Definitely more food than 3 people could eat. For one dinner of 4 people I’d recommend cooking 1/4 of the recipe as it’s posted. Once that was on to simmer for 20 minutes, I moved on to the Wiener Schnitzel.

Roommate Extraordinaire helped to tenderize the veal – with his knuckles (which worked really well, actually). We made about 3/4 of a pound instead of the 2 pounds the recipe called for, because there were only 3 of us. Then one at a time the veal went into the egg mixture, then the bread crumbs, then into the hot oil. Because we had smaller, more tenderized cuts of meat than the recipe called for it didn’t take as long on each side to make them brown. After I cooked each one we put it under foil so we could eat all at the same time and not have lukewarm meat.

Once everyone was dished up, with melted butter drizzled on top of the knodel, I was instantly struck by the thought “comfort food”. The cabbage and apple saute I will definitely make again. I will probably make the ratio of cabbage/onion/apple a little more even, then throw some sausage in with it and serve it with something like squash. Yum! The wiener schnitzel was alright, not my favorite, but the flavor and texture were both good. And then there is the knodel – the extra, super, mega delicious steamed stuffing. It tasted like Thanksgiving without the turkey, and stuffing has ALWAYS been my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner, so I probably could have eaten the entire dish of knodel. It was the perfect side, and I could easily see it going with a great many other types of protein and veggie sides. I’m definitely marking this one down as a favorite.

The guys, Wonderful Boyfriend and Roommate Extraordinaire, picked up beer from Austria and they both said it was like a “good pale pilsner”. I started by drinking white wine (definitely not regionally correct) and moved on to cider with Roommate Extraordinaire. He picked up a dark, dry, unbelievably good cider that I’m including on here just because it was that good.

Things I have learned: Some countries take a really long time to marinade and prep the food, which make it a little harder to do if you only have a small amount of time to make everything. But so far I’ve managed to make everything taste good anyway, so I’m going to assume that the leftovers for this will be even better than the day-of. While veal is baby cow, it didn’t set off my crohn’s, so either I’m becoming stronger in my digesting abilities or it isn’t as hard to break down the fibers of veal. Either way, it was good but not something I’d chose to make again. When seasoned well, cabbage makes an excellent side dish and I need to learn to add it to my arsenal of ingredients that I use on a regular basis.

Austria
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.allrecipes.com and www.food.com)

Wiener Schnitzel

  •     2 pounds veal
  •     1 cup all-purpose flour
  •     4 eggs
  •     1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  •     salt and pepper to taste
  •     4 cups bread crumbs
  •     1/8 cup oil for frying

Directions:  Cut the veal into steaks, about as thick as your finger. Dredge in flour. In a shallow dish, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Coat the veal with egg mixture, then with bread crumbs. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Fry veal until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side.

Knodel

  •     1 onion, chopped
  •     2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  •     2 teaspoons butter
  •     1/2 (1 pound) loaf white bread, toasted and cut into cubes
  •     2 eggs, beaten
  •     1 cup milk
  •     salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  Butter one 9×11 inch baking dish. In a skillet over medium heat, combine the onion, parsley and butter. Cook until onions begin to brown. Pour over bread cubes and toss well. Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over the bread and onion mixture; mix well and allow to stand for 1 hour. Firmly press mixture into baking dish; tightly cover with aluminum foil. Place baking dish on a rack in a larger pot with 3 inches of water. Cover pot and steam for 1 hour. Remove from pot and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle with melted butter before serving.

Green Cabbage and Apple Sauté

  • 3 lbs head green cabbage, halved cored and coarsely shredded (12 cups)
  • 1 cup riesling wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled halved, cored and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1.  In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the wine, lemon juice and sugar. Let marinate for 1 hour, tossing often.
  2. In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the cabbage and its marinade and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 20 minutes. Add the apples and toss well. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Australia…

Saturday, October 1 –

Australia was wonderful and very satisfying. This dinner I made coconut shrimp and a bloomin’ onion, served with au gratin potatoes and a salad. I also made two different dipping sauces to go with the meal.

I started with the potatoes, which I cheated on and made with a boxed package because of lack of time to make them the real way. Please don’t judge me, too much at least!

Then I got started with the onion, which seemed like it was going to be pretty easy. Just like breading much of anything else, there were several steps to the process which made it important to set up all of your ingredients first. I sliced the onion open (apparently not enough times, but more on that later) and set it in a pot with boiling water. After 5 minutes I set it in ice water, and then let it drain on paper towels. Then I used cayenne, cajun seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper with the flour, the egg mixture, then the crumbs. The recipe called for the onion to chill for longer than I had, so instead of putting it in the fridge, I put it in the freezer.

Then I got started on the shrimps. Again, there were several steps: flour, beer batter mixture, and coconut flakes. Extraordinary Roommate and I got to dipping the shrimps while Wonderful Boyfriend made the salad. Once all of the shrimps were lined up on wax paper I put them to rest in the fridge. Out came the onion and it went straight into the oil I already had heated. It hadn’t “bloomed” as much as I hoped it would, so I worried that the breading hadn’t gotten all the way into the inside of the onion petals. When it came out of the oil I was proved correct, but it looked delicious anyway. I let the onion drain while I started frying the shrimps. Once they were all delicious looking and golden brown, they too were set to the side to drain excess oil.

While the onion and shrimps were frying, I quickly made two different dipping sauces. One was made with orange marmalade, dijon mustard, horseradish, and yellow mustard. The other was an aioli with mayo, lemon juice, roasted garlic, fresh garlic, and red wine vinegar. With the potatoes and salads dished onto plates, the shrimps and onion set in the middle to share, and the drinks poured – we were ready!

The shrimps and onion turned out so good that the general comments went like this: close your mouth, put your hand over it, and with your lips still sealed try to say the following, “Oh my god, this is freaking amazing!” Which sounds something like, “MmmmMMMHmmhhhhhmmmmmhhhhhhhmMMM!!!!”

The potatoes and salad were a nice switch from fried food, and helped to cut down on the amount of grease that we were eating (because fake, processed cheese is better, right?). I’m happy to say that neither the fake cheese or the fried foods kicked off a crohn’s flare, and we were all so full that we unanimously turned down the idea of even looking at dessert until much later that evening.

For drinks the guys had beer and I chose cider. I know what we were drinking wasn’t regionally correct so I won’t comment much about it. But the cider was so darn good I had to share it with you anyway. If you’re a cider lover, this is definitely one to check out.

Things I have learned: When making a bloomin’ onion, make sure you make enough slices into it or it won’t open all of the way. Ours was breaded for the first quarter of the outside petals, but not after that. While deep fried onion is good by itself, it was definitely better with breading. Also, when making the beer batter make sure you have fresh baking powder and that you use enough of it. I had made coconut shrimp before and had used older baking powder and they didn’t get nearly as fluffy and beautiful as this batch did. Definitely a good tip to remember for anything that calls for baking powder or baking soda. The two different dipping sauces plan was definitely a good idea, as it helped to cut the grease flavor but didn’t leave you with just one overwhelming flavor. If I had to do it again I think I’d make a chipotle sauce as well, maybe even a sweet and sour based one also. So more dips, making less of each.

Australia
also including the islands of: Ashmore, Cartier, Christmas, Cocos (Keeling), Coral Sea, Northern Mariana, and Tuvalu
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://australian-food-recipes.epicurean.com and www.allrecipes.com)

Coconut Shrimp

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup beer
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 24 shrimp
  • 3 cups oil for frying

Directions: In medium bowl, combine egg, 1/2 cup flour, beer and baking powder. Place 1/4 cup flour and coconut in two separate bowls.
Hold shrimp by tail, and dredge in flour, shaking off excess flour. Dip in egg/beer batter; allow excess to drip off. Roll shrimp in coconut, and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) in a deep-fryer. Fry shrimp in batches: cook, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Using tongs, remove shrimp to paper towels to drain. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.

Bloomin’ Onion Recipe

  • 1 Sweet onion
  • 1 Eggs
  • 1 tb Milk
  • 2 tb Flour
  • 1 cup Cracker crumbs, crushed
  • Russian dressing
  • horseradish

Directions:
Select a well-rounded onion. Peel outer skin but leave root intact, cutting off any hanging roots. With ordinary paring knife, core out top third of center. Angle knife for best results. Divide onion into four sections, by making 2 cuts crosswise, beginning at the top and cutting toward the root, stopping about 1/2-inch away. Cut each section twice again. Place onion in bowl of enough boiling water to cover it and leave for 5 minutes. The sections, or “petals,” will begin to open.

Remove onion from hot water and immerse in ice water, which will further the opening. Drain well by turning upside down on a paper towel.

Put flour into paper bag (season with any seasonings you’d like–Cajun, cayenne, plain ol’ s&p, etc), add onion and shake gently to coat with flour. Beat egg and milk; roll floured onion in egg. Put cracker crumbs in paper bag, add onion, and shake gently to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour before deep frying to set the coating.

Heat oil to 375-380 degrees. If oil isn’t hot enough, it will be greasy and the batter may not stick. If oil is too hot, outside will burn before inside is cooked. Place onion petal-side DOWN in HOT oil or use a wire basket. Cook until golden brown, 3-5 minutes.

Cooked onion can be kept for a time in a warm oven. Serve with sauce made of Russian dressing and horseradish.