Tag Archives: cider

Ireland…

Saturday, May 4 –

Whiskey – lots and lots and lots of whiskey. Accompanied by lots of wonderful food. Did I mention whiskey? Ok, great. Let’s see if I can remember everyone who was there: Hot Momma, Mr. Hero (chicken and 21098_571154629582519_158003147_ndumplings, whiskey and chasers), BabyBear, BigMan (juice for drinks), RubsWithLove (vodka), Sir VJ (corned beef hash), ChinUp (potato leek soup), MyBuddy (soda bread), BirthdayShots (whiskey), FootballTamer (whiskey souffle dessert), BestestFianceEver (Guinness), and yours truly (Dublin coddle).

I cooked the bacon until crisp but not burnt and then broke it up into pieces, which I set aside. I browned the sausages on two sides, but didn’t cook them all the way through, and then set them aside. I cut up four potatoes, two onions, and two carrots, and some garlic, threw them into a big pot, dumped bacon grease on top, and cooked while I was cooking the meats in batches. I then took two glass baking dishes and put the sausages in first, dumped the veggies on top, sprinkled the bacon on the veggies, and then poured one bottle of hard cider over the two dishes. I covered it in foil and baked in a 375* oven for about 40 minutes. (I didn’t have a pot big enough to fit all of that on the stove, so I figured the oven would work just as well.

The Dublin coddle was good, but a little plain. The cider soaked into the potatoes to make an interesting flavor. I’m not sure I would commit to that many calories again, but it wasn’t bad. The chicken and dumplings was more of a soup than a casserole, but the flavor was great and I would totally eat it again. The corned beef hash was so good I had to put my plate away so that I would stop eating it. The potato leek soup was perfect, creamy, and a pleasure to eat. I am stealing that recipe for making in the near future! The soda bread was pretty good, I’m not usually a fan of soda bread, but this one wasn’t too bad. The whiskey souffle dessert was SO GOOD. Holy goodness. I can’t even tell you how wonderful it was, you just need to go make it and experience it yourself!

All in all, it was a huge success, we had great food outside in a wonderful warm spring evening, with LOTS of booze. We even got the fire pit going and spent relaxing time just hanging out. I couldn’t have asked for a better evening. Thank you to everyone who came to share Ireland with me!

Ireland
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.ireland-information.com)

Dublin Coddle

  • 1 pound bacon slices
  • 2 pounds pork sausages
  • Some bacon fat or oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 large potatoes, thickly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thickly sliced
  • 1 large bunch of fresh herbs, tied with string
  • black pepper
  • hard cider (apple wine) or apple cider
  • fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Lightly fry the bacon until crisp. Place in a large cooking pot. Brown the sausages in some bacon grease or vegetable oil. Remove and add to pot. Soften sliced onions and whole garlic cloves in fat, then add to pot with potatoes and carrots. Bury the bunch of herbs in the middle of the mixture. Sprinkle with pepper. Cover with cider. Cook 1 1/2 hours over moderate heat, do not boil. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 6.

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Eritrea…

Thursday, September 13 –

Sometimes dinner needs to be quiet, spicy, and just two people that need to reconnect. That was dinner last night for BestieExtraordinaire and me. I pretty much threw this recipe together without doing the math to make sure that measurements for two people matched the same measurements for this recipe. But I did use all of the same ingredients!

My measurements worked out like this: 2/3 onion, 4 teaspoons of berbere, 2 teaspoons of butter, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 teaspoons chopped garlic, 1 squeezed lemon for juice, 1 small can of tomato paste, some salt, 2 medium on-the-vine tomatoes, 2 chicken breasts, and 2 eggs (even though I forgot them on the counter and we ate the dish without them. oops!). With white rice and garlic naan to serve.

Onions went in first, with no oil/butter. I cooked them until they were translucent but not browned. Then I put in the berbere and let it get hot and aromatic. In next went the butter, and I let the onions sizzle and start to brown a little. Tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and tomato paste went in next. I let that heat up all the way through – probably about 5-8 minutes. Then I put in the chicken chunks with the salt/lemon mixture, stirring it so that it was all incorporated. I put the naan into the oven to warm, cooked the rice, and set the table. BestieExtraordinaire poured us glasses of cider. Once the chicken pieces were done all the way through but still juicy and tender I served all of it up on our plates. And then we sat and talked about everything in life, like good, close friends should.

This project has been about connecting with food and all of the possible ways to cook it, but it has also been about connecting with the people I love and showing them I care by filling their plates full of homemade creations. Thank you, Bestie, for sharing this dinner with me!

Eritrea
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.eritra.be)

Tsebhi derho (spicy chicken)

  • 3 Medium size onions, chopped
  • 50 cc chili paste (berbere)
  • 50 cc tegelese tesmi (herbed butter)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 spoons lemon juice
  • 2 spoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled
  • 1 kilo chicken
  • 6 hard boiled eggs (peeled)
  • pepper and salt to taste

Cut the chicken into pieces and drain them well. Sprinkle the pieces with a mixture of the lemon juice and the salt and marinate during 30 minutes. Fry the onions lightly on a low fire in the frying-pan. Do not use butter or oil. Add some water if necessary to prevent burning or sticking. When the onions are done, add the berbere and fry shortly. Add the tegelese tesmi and fry this mixture for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes skinned and sliced, garlic and ginger and simmer during 20 minutes on a low fire, stirring regularly to prevent sticking. Add some water and the pieces of chicken and simmer until the chicken is done. Add the eggs to the sauce shortly before serving.


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.