Tag Archives: onions

Kiribati…

Friday, August 9 –

Tell you what, changing the blog from every week to every other week probably saved the entire project. I’m back to looking forward to it and hope that you are too!photo(26)

For this dinner we had Mr. Hero, WingWoman, BestestFianceEver, and yours truly. Eventually CoinSlot and MoneyShot showed up too.

I made the three lobster tails exactly as it is written below (thawed, cut, cracked, pulled from the shell, placed on top, then baked). I also made the sauce as written, but probably with a little bit more curry powder. On the side I caramelized some onions and cooked some white rice. WingWoman brought some rockfish and we salted and peppered them, putting them into the oven at the same time as the lobster. Everything turned out pretty good. People were generally fans of changing the typical melted butter for the lobster to the sauce. It had a little bit of a kick but not too much for the not-too-spicy people. Overall, the dinner was a win.

Now that I’m working on making the blog better I have a new rule that I’m going to try to stick with, which is no more than six people to any dinner. It will keep the timing of the meals easier and the overall cost down. So if you’re interested in one of the meals, speak up before your chance is gone! And if you want to host a dinner at your house, it’s up to you to set how many people are invited.

Looking forward to Korea! Cheers!

Kiribati
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: http://globaltableadventure.com)

Roasted Lobster Tails with Coconut Curry Dipping Sauce

  • 4 Australian lobster tails (frozen)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp homemade curry powder
  • salt

Method:  How to make a fancy lobster tail at home: Thaw tails overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 375F. (1) Then, using kitchen shears, cut each one down the back, stopping at the last segment before the tail piece. (2) Take hands and bend back the tail until you hear a loud crack. Run fingers between the meat and the bottom membrane, freeing tail meat from the shell. (3) Pull meat up and over the shell, pressing the shell shut beneath it. (4) The tail meat can thus piggyback on top of the shell. Give it the lobster meat a generous coating of oil. Bake for 1 1/2 minutes per ounce of weight. TIP: Have the fishmonger tell you what each tail weighs (or wrap them up separately so the tag will tell you). My tails weren’t all the same size, so I just took the smaller ones out first so as not to overcook them. Meanwhile, whisk together curry powder in a small saucepan with the coconut milk and salt. I used light coconut milk, but you can go as rich as you’d like. Cook until hot. To finish off this meal, serve the curry mixture on the side, instead of butter. Serve with rice.

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Denmark…

Wednesday, July 11 –

“More, please and thank you.” Is what I have to say about the dishes from this dinner. I would be happy to eat like this all the time (but my diet probably wouldn’t!).

And also, HOORAY! I MADE IT A WHOLE YEAR! This blog is officially on its 52nd country. That’s amazing and awesome and I’m super, extra proud of myself and my die-hard participants that join us all the time.

On to the recipes and the notes…

I was SO EXCITED about these recipes that I made three of them. And we had lots of amazing friends and food to share: SassyDesserts made an apple crumb cake and vodka raspberry lemonades, Besti Extraordinaire made a veggie salad, Sir VJ and RubsWithLove made pork crackling and quick pickles, and of course my Wonderful Boyfriend did all the dishes and cleanup.

I started with the salmon log because I wanted it to have time to chill before everyone showed up. I cut the recipe in half, so I used two cans of salmon and put that in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients except the parsley and pecans. I got it all whipped together and then I dumped it into a serving bowl. Then I chopped the pecans in the food processor as well and then just mixed it altogether. I left out the parsley because it’s not my favorite flavor to work with and I would rather taste the salmon. Into the fridge that went until people showed up.

Next came the stuffed celery. I cleaned and cut the stalks and lined them up on a platter. I cut this recipe in half as well, so I put all of the ingredients together in a ziplock and smooshed it altogether. Then I snipped the corner of it and used it like a pastry bag to fill the celery. It didn’t really work as well as frosting, so I ended up smoothing them out with my fingers. Then I topped them with finely chopped green bell pepper and put those out for people to snack on.

Last was the chicken fricassee. I used a roasting pan on two burners, just like it says, which was a little weird at first but worked really, really well. It was much better to get everything cooked evenly without having to do it in batches. I used four pounds of chicken breasts and kept the rest of the recipe as it’s written. I had the temperature a little hot so I had to stir in the eggs really, really quickly, but it ended up working out ok anyway.

As you can see by the photos it was colorful and a great variety of flavors and textures. The chicken was moist and tender. The sauce for it was very, very buttery but still good. The salmon dip was perfect and I would happily make it again. The celery sticks were just like any stuffed celery you’ve had, and maybe even a little too bland for our group. Next time I would choose to use a stronger blue cheese to get more kick. The pork crackling was sinful and moist with a vinegar sauce that was perfect on it. The salad was a sharp cut to the fatty flavors and a perfect addition to the plate. The quick pickles were addictive and perfectly crunchy.

And the dessert was so good I almost can’t write a review on it. Imagine the perfect version of a moist apple cake with a little crunch from the walnuts. Now make it better than that. Now finish the sad feeling of staring at your empty plate and using all of your willpower to not lick it. It was THAT good.

On to the next year of great food and wonderful friends. Cheers!

Denmark
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.mindspring.com)

Chicken Fricassee – Hønsefrikassé

  • 8 pounds chicken — cut in serving piece
  • ½ pound butter
  • 12 pearl onions
  • ½ stalk celery — chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 pound mushrooms — sliced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 egg yolks — beaten
  • ½ cup light cream
  • Parsley — minced
  • Chives

Directions: Place chicken pieces in roasting pan with ¼ pound of the butter, onions, celery and seasonings. Simmer over low heat on top of stove for 25 minutes. (If necessary, light two adjecent burners and place pan across both.) Add wine and mushrooms. Cover and let cook for 20 minutes more, or until chicken is tender.

Melt the remaining ¼ pount butter in another pan and stir in the flour, a little at a time. Blend until smooth, but do not allow to brown.

Place the chicken with onions, celery and mushrooms on a warm serving platter.

Add the broth to butter and flour a little at a time, mixing thoroughly. Stir constantly until it begins to boil, reduce heat to simmering poinnt and add the beaten egg yolks mixed with the cream. Allow sauce to cook for a moment or two, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add parsley and chives.

Salmon Log

  • 1 pound red salmon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese — softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons onion — grated
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • Pecans — crushed
  • Chopped parsley
  • Crackers to serve

Directions:  Drain salmon and remove all skin and bones. Mix all ingredients, except pecans and parsley. Roll into a log or ball. Roll in crushed pecans and parsley. Chill overnight. Serve with crackers.

Stuffed Celery

  • 2 bunches celery
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup roquefort cheese or blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream or french dressing
  • 1 green pepper or
  • 1 pimiento or
  • paprika

Directions:  Separate hearts into individual stalks. Mash cheese, mix smoothly together, adding a little sour cream or french dressing. Fill stalks, garnish with thin strip pepper or pimiento, or sprinkle with paprika.

 

 

 

 

 


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.


Armenia…

Wednesday, September 14 –

This meal was probably one of the fastest I have made (from this project) yet. I did change the type of fish I used, because I keep almost loving the white fish dishes I’m making, but not quite. So I chose to use cod this time, knowing it was a delicious, flaky white fish that would cook well with most spices. Wonderful Boyfriend de-boned the fish filets again, freeing up my hands for chopping and cooking the sauces. I started with chopping all of the onions and peppers. (I took it down to 1.5 onions in each recipe again, since it worked so well last time the recipes called for 2 onions each.) I put them on to cook in the oil and water respectively. Then I got all of the herbs and spices ready and set aside; then I got started on the chickpea salad. Once the chickpea salad was done, after adding a little bit more lemon, lots more paprika, and some finely diced garlic, it got set aside.

The artichoke dish is my one (slightly) funny story of the night. I got all of the veggies and the tomato sauce ready and bubbly, then I went to look for the two packages of frozen artichokes (I was only doing half the recipe) and I could only find one! Everything came out of my freezer, and sure enough, no more artichokes. So I scooped out half the tomato and veggie sauce and set it aside to turn it into something else this weekend (Italian something, probably). In went the one package of artichokes, and I let it simmer as I finished with the fish.

Next I put in the spices and tomatoes for the fish sauce, letting it cook down a little more. I chose to not blend the veggies because I thought it would be good with the chunky sauce on top. Once I spread the veggies and sauce on top of the fish, the fish almost disappeared. I put it in the oven for about 15 minutes and tested the flakiness, and it was about perfect.

I made rice for Wonderful Boyfriend and Roommate Extraordinaire (I’m on a new diet that doesn’t like rice, so I passed on it this time). And everything went onto the table at the same time and it smelled heavenly.

Roommate Extraordinaire brought the wine again (fair trade, don’t you think?) and we all sat down to eat. The table was almost too quiet as the food was quickly devoured. The guys and I made short work of our plates, looking up at each other as we were scooping up the last bites – we hadn’t even poured second glasses of wine and we were already done! I’d say that would mean that we liked it a whole lot. The better fish definitely helped, and the juices from the sauce made it flake perfectly and melt on my tongue.

Things I have learned: The geography lesson as we sit at the table and consider the map (yes, it is placed on the wall right next to the dining table) is almost as much fun as the cooking lesson. The three of us agree that we haven’t bothered to study geography since middle school, and we are surprised by all of the interesting facts we find while we are googling things like, “Is the Caspian Sea salt water or fresh water, and why?” Brushing up on facts about the rest of the world makes me feel a little more connected with the rest of the planet and a little more aware of places that I read about in the newspaper. I highly recommend spending a little time with a map and realize how much you don’t know about the world – and then start looking up the answers.

Thoughts about wine: We drank Pinot Noir and Malbec this time, and the Pinot Noir was a wonderful choice with dinner. We sipped the Malbec after dinner as we sat around talking, and it was a much thicker, richer flavor, so I’m glad we waited to drink that bottle so it didn’t overpower the flavor of the fish.

Armenia
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.thearmeniankitchen.com and www.armeniapedia.org)

Baked fish (Epvatz Tsoug)

  • 2 lbs. Haddock fish (or your choice)
  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil (or subst.)
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 qt. canned or fresh tomatoes

Wash fish and lightly salt and pepper. Lay out in baking pan. (preferably Corning Ware roaster) Put aside for a few minutes until you cook your sauce.

Put oil in saucepan. Sauté garlic, onions, peppers until transparent. Add crushed tomatoes. (Blend if you have a blender). Salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon juice, curry powder and cook for about 10 minutes. Add parsley, cook another minute and pour over washed fish. Bake at 350o until the fish draws most of the sauce. Serve with rice pilaf. Serves 4

Artichokes (Enguinar)

  • 4 pkgs. artichokes, frozen
  • 2 lge. onions, sliced very thin
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 1 lge. can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt, pepper to taste

Cook onions in water until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except artichokes. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add artichokes and cook until tender. This may be served as an appetizer. Serves 6-8

Armenian Chickpea Salad

  • 1 16-oz. can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzos)
  • three green onions, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 medium lemon
  • 1/2 bunch chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika

Directions: Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Add parsley and onions. Add paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Add the oil. Toss and serve chilled. Add fresh chopped garlic for a bit more bite!