Tag Archives: wine

Kyrgystan…

Friday, September 20 –

Here’s another one that happened about a month ago. But I know that Hot Momma, Baby Bear, and Wingwoman were around to help us devour this dinner.photo 2 (1)

And a photo. Hooray!

Hopefully the chaos will simmer down now and I can get back on track with these dinners. Laos is going to happen tomorrow. Yay!

Kyrgystan
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.kyrgyzchildrensfuture.org)

Kuurdak (Chyz-Byz) – (Stewed Brown Meat)

  • 2 lbs meat (beef, lamb or mutton — traditionally was organ meat) cut into small chunks
  • 4 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or mutton fat)
  • 3 green bell peppers, seeded and julienned
  • 1 cup cabbage, julienned
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups water (approximately)
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste

In large pan, fry the meat in vegetable oil or fat until browned, about 10-15 minutes. Add sliced onion, green peppers cut in circles, cabbage, ground red pepper, black pepper, salt, bay leaves, water, and tomato paste. Simmer in partially covered pan until water absorbed and ingredients are soft, about 30-45 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve hot.

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Kuwait…

Thursday, September 5 – 

So… I got a new job. Hooray! And I got married. Extra, super hooray! But that means that I fell behind on writing my posts… again. Woops!

Kuwait (1)

 

Other than that, here are the photos. That’s all I’ve got for now. You know, since it was over a month ago. So enjoy the photos!I promise this happened. Yes, over a month ago. But it did! Mistress Whiskey and BestieExtraordinarie hosted the dinner. Their housemates helped cook, clean, and host everyone. We even had a birthday party thrown in on top.

Kuwait
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.nestle-family.com)

  • 25 baby zucchini or 2 kg
  • ½ cup basmati rice or 100 g
  • 250 g minced beef
  • 4 tablespoons ghee, melted
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley or 25 g, chopped
  • 1/3 cup coriander leaves or 25 g, choppedKuwait (2)
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill or 25 g, chopped
  • 1 small onion or 100 g, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 medium tomato or 150 g, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • ¼ teaspoon white ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 kg chicken wings
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cubes MAGGI® Chicken BouillonKuwait (4)
  • 12 cups water or 3 liters

Preparation:
Hollow zucchini and wash well. Soak rice in water for half an hour then strain. Mix rice, meat, ghee, salt, parsley, raisins, coriander, dill, chopped onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, and spices in a mixing bowl. Stuff zucchini with the rice mixture and keep 1cm empty from the top. Heat oil in pot and fry chicken wings for 3 minutes or until they become golden in color. Add tomato paste and MAGGI® Chicken Bouillon cubes then. Remove from heat. Place stuffed zucchini carefully in a pot, side by side. Secure zucchini with a plate on top. Add water and bring to boil then simmer on low heat for 1 hour 30 minutes or until zucchini are well cooked.KuwaitKuwait (5)


Israel…

Sunday, May 19 –

Apparently I have some catching up to do! Mistress Whiskey picked this dinner to host, along with Bestie Extraordinaire, for her birthday. So there were so many people there that I can’t even name them all. All I photo(6)can say was there was a pretty darn good spread of food, some shenanigans, and an outrageous game called “butt quarters”. I’m sure you can imagine how hilarious that was!

I made the recipe exactly as it is written below, the only change being that I used chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken. And I simmered it for closer to 30 minutes instead of 75.

It turned out a little soupy instead of like wine-gravy that I thought it would be. I think it might have been even better without the flour in it so that the lemon and wine really got a chance to stand out against the dark meat. But other than that it was a pretty good dish.

Thank you to Mistress Whiskey and Bestie Extraordinaire for hosting, it was a great party!

Israel
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.easyjewishrecipes.com)

Chicken In Leek Garlic Lemon Sauce

  • 1 chicken, cut-up, skin removed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium leek, cleaned and diced
  • 3 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 ½ cups white wine (you can substitute chicken stock, water or your favorite juice: ex: pomegranate juice or syrup)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)
  • 2 tsp. paprika

Pour half of the oil into a large skillet and leave it nearby. Place flour in a plastic bag together with pepper and mix it up. Place each piece of chicken in bag and shake to coat. Heat oil over medium high and brown each piece of chicken on both sides. Set aside.

With brown bits left in skillet, add a bit more oil then the onions, garlic, leek and carrots. Lower heat to medium and saute vegetables until they are soft. Add the wine, lemon juice and paprika, scraping up any brown bits left on skillet. Stir the sauce and let it cook for 10 minutes – it will reduce and thicken.

Add browned pieces of chicken back into sauce and cover. Simmer on low heat until chicken is fork-tender – about 75 minutes.


Iceland…

Monday, March 25 –

Another dinner with a ton of people, how exciting! We had: LostBoy, RubsWithLove, Sir VJ (salad), ChinUp, MyBuddy (caramelized potatoes), OurCuz (wine), BestestFianceEver, and yours truly (fried halibut and bread). photo(7)

We bought 2.3 pounds of halibut, fresh from Central Market. I cut the slab of fish into pieces approximately 2″ square. I figured it would be easier for people to portion control that way. I mixed the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl and rolled the pieces of fish in the flour mixture. I melted a stick of butter in a large pan (medium high) and I fried the pieces of fish in the hot butter. It took me two batches, the last batch smaller than the first batch, so I added chopped onion to the second batch. After I pulled the last of the fish pieces out and set them on a plate with a paper towel; I covered them with foil until the onions were browned and beautiful from frying in the butter.

Dinner was served – fish fried in butter, onions fried in butter, caramelized potatoes, and a salad with strawberries, gorgonzola, almonds, and balsamic dressing. (We couldn’t find a real salad recipe from Iceland, but it does say to serve it with one in the recipe, so I told them to wing it with whatever sounded good.)

The salad was crisp and bright with sweet strawberries. The fish was light and flaky, with only a little bit of the butter flavor lingering. The potatoes kind of tasted like doughnuts and kind of like potatoes. Not bad, but not my favorite. The food was on plates and then disappeared into bellies so fast that I almost missed everyone actually eating it. I think from the silence while the food was being devoured that it was a pretty darn good dinner.

All of the dinner ideas for the I, J, and K countries are up over here. Don’t be shy, come have dinner with us!

Iceland
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.isholf.is)

Lúðubuff – Fried Halibut Steaks

  • 1 1/2 kg. halibut (or turbot, sole or other flat fish)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 150 gr. oil, butter or margarine
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 1/3 tsp. ground pepper
  • 100 gr. onion

Take one small, whole halibut. Cut off the head, tail and fins. Scrape off the slime and loose scales under cold, running water. Cut the fish into slices, about as thick as your thumb is wide. Mix together flour, salt and pepper. Coat the slices with flour mixture and fry in the hot fat until done (3-4 minutes on each side). Remove from the pan and arrange the steaks on a serving dish. Slice the onions and brown in the fat, remove and put on top of the fish. Pour some water on the frying pan, roll it around and pour over the fish. Serve with cooked potatoes, green salad and lemon wedges.
-Try grilling the fish steaks: cut into large cubes and thread onto skewers with onion pieces, fresh mushrooms and pieces of red bell pepper (capsicum).

Brúnaðar kartöflur – Caramelized potatoes

  • 1 kg. cooked potatoes (preferably red)
  • 50 g. butter/margarine
  • 50 g. sugar

Potatoes should preferably be cold, but it is not necessary. They should be small and even sized. If they are too big, cut into smaller pieces, flush with water and pat dry. Put the sugar on a medium hot frying pan. When it starts to brown, add the butter and stir to mix. Lower temperature and add potatoes. Roll the potatoes around to coat evenly. The caramel covering should be soft. Serve hot, for example with the Sunday roast. Caramelized potatoes are also good with all kinds of pork, especially smoked.


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.


Honduras…

Saturday, March 16 –

For this dinner we had: BestestFianceEver, Bestie Extraordinaire (wine), Mistress Whiskey (wine), Hot Momma (wine), Mr. Hero (baleadas), BabyBear, GrandpaBear, LittleBigBrother, ChinUp (mango, avocado photosalsa and chips), and MyBuddy (banana milkshakes). Later in the evening we also had LightsOn and WingWoman show up to hang out and drink some wine.

I started by adding oil to a pan and cooking the onion and bell pepper until they were just starting to brown. Then I added the garlic and let that heat up. While the veggies were cooking on the stove I added the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot. Once the veggies were done I added them in, stirred to mix, and let it simmer for a couple of hours. I did not use the sherry and I substituted a seeded habanero for the yellow pepper, which made it really, really spicy. Almost too spicy, really (which is really weird for me to say). After a few hours I blended the soup with an immersion blender and let it continue to simmer until everyone was ready to eat.

The sweet potato I substituted for a yam because I like their flavor better. Steamed, drained, crisped in hot oil, then drained. Put on a bed of baby arugula (which is what I had in the fridge) and feta, then tossed. I added the dressing in on top, made exactly as the recipe says, and gave that a good toss too.

ChinUp and MyBuddy had the salsa and chips out. Mr. Hero made the baleadas with all the toppings (basically tacos on soft corn tortillas), including beef, beans, onion, cheese, sour cream, and avocado. The wine was flowing freely, and dinner was served!

The soup was ok. I think I would have liked it better unblended. It was spicy but not terribly flavorful. Maybe it needed some ham or something to go with it? I’m not sure. The salad was good, the dressing was tangy and delightful. The beleadas were good and a great compliment to the other dishes. And the mango, avocado salsa was a perfect topping to chips and to all the rest of the food. Last we get to the milkshakes. They were good… and then they added rum. Banana rum milkshakes are pretty darn delicious. And dangerous, because you don’t really notice the rum!

Honduras
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://sidewalkmystic.com)

Bahia Black Bean Soup

  • 1 Onion
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 garlic minced garlic cloves
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 15-oz cans black beans, drained
  • 2 C stock
  • 1 1/2 t. oregano
  • 1 yellow chili, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (brave souls leave the seeds)
  • 1 15-oz can whole tomatoes with liquid or 18-oz can sauce
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed for juice (critical)
  • 1/4 c. sherry (I use red wine)
  • fresh cilantro (1 1/2 t. if fresh isn’t available)

Directions:  [The website author says: my adjustments to the recipe include adding a smoked ham hock for flavor.  As well, if you find the soup too heavily favored by the tomatoes, merely back down on the amount of tomato and increase the stock proportionately]. Saute onion; bell pepper and garlic in oil until onion is translucent. Add beans, stock and oregano. Heat thoroughly. Seed and chop yellow and jalapeno chilies and put into blender. Add lime juice and tomato. Puree to finely mince the chilies. Add black bean mixture to blender (in batches) and puree. When everything is pureed, return it to the soup pot. Simmer at least 1.5 hours. Add wine and fresh cilantro to taste.

Garnishes: Rice, grated cheeses, diced onion, salsa, sour cream, plain yogurt, grilled sausages.

Mixed Greens with Sweet Potatoes and Feta Cheese

  • ¾ lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ to ½ inch dice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar (don’t pinch; buy the top shelf stuff)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ t of Dijon mustard
  • ¼ C of buttermilk (you can use regular milk; just let it stand with a T of regular vinegar in it)
  • 8-10 oz of fresh greens (we use spinach and escarole – small slices of red cabbage add to the esthetic appeal)
  • 4 oz fresh feta cheese (I have used blue cheese when I make a fresh blue cheese dressing to accompany the salad)

Directions:  Steam the sweet potato for 5-8 minutes.  Just tender.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Get the steamed potatoes very dry. Heat 2 t of olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add potatoes, shaking pan often for 15 minutes.  Remove when crisp and drain again on paper towels.  Mix together the lime juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt pepper, and remaining olive oil and buttermilk.  Whisk in a blender (start to drool). Place greens and cheese in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing.  Top the salad with the sweet potatoes, serve, and call me.  Serve with tortillas.


Haiti…

Sunday, March 10 –

I’m not entirely sure why I got so lazy with this dinner, maybe because it was just the two of us, but because of my corner-cutting it turned out… well… strong. And salty. Very, very, very, very, very salty. photo(11)

Bestest fiance ever started the bacon cooking (three sliced, chopped into large-ish bits) and when they were mostly crispy I put the onion and a half cup of canned kidney beans in the pan with the bacon and drippings. I let that cook until the onion was starting to soften and then I added the cloves, garlic, pepper, cubes, and salt. Because I used canned beans I only had a little bit of the liquid it comes in, so I decided to top the rest off with vegetable broth. Because I used the bacon fat, I didn’t need the vegetable oil. And because I didn’t read the directions all the way down, I chopped the habanero up and threw that in as well. On top went the rice. I let that come up to a boil, put the lid on, and turned it down to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes. After tasting the resulting rice dish, which honestly had great flavor as long as you don’t mind that your mouth almost imploded with saltiness. Really, I should have known that broth plus bouillon cubes plus bacon plus salt would be too much, I just didn’t think that far ahead. But I will totally keep this on my list to make again, minus the crazy amount of salt that I unknowingly subjected us to.

The salmon, on the other hand, was simple and delicious. I got one 3/4 pound filet, put it in a baking dish and poured on a mix of the lemon juice, wine, and onion dressing (about a quarter cup of each). I sliced some red onion and red bell pepper and put them in the baking dish as well. Put it into the 375* oven and baked it for 20 minutes. It came out flavorful (and not salty at all, which totally saved our dinner) and delicious. The onion dressing was a neat way of cheating to get those flavors together, but I honestly prefer using spices and minced onion instead.

All in all, it was pretty ok. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to use the rice for leftovers, but I will try!

Haiti
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.everythinghaitian.com)

Riz National (Rice and Beans)

  • 2 cups Long Grain Rice
  • 1/2 cup Dried Red Kidney Beans
  • 3 cups Water kidney beans was boiled in
  • 1/4 lb Salt Pork or Bacon
  • 2 Chicken bouillon cubes (Maggi)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 6-8 Whole Cloves
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced White Onion
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Whole Habanero or Scotch Bonnet pepper (optional)
  • 3 cloves     Garlic, peeled and crushed

Instructions: Bring dried beans to boil in 8 cups of water. Cook until tender, but shape remains. Do not overcook. Strain beans and put bean water aside. Sauté salt pork or bacon, spices, and beans in oil, until beans are crispy. Add salt, cloves, and black pepper. Add 3 cups of bean water and heat to boiling. Add rice, bouillon cubes, and hot pepper to boiling liquid. Once water has evaporated, remove whole pepper and mix in 1 Tbsp of butter. Cover pot tightly and continue cooking on low heat ( approx. 20 minutes) until done.

Saumon Grille (Grilled Salmon)

  • 3 Lbs. Fresh Salmon Steaks
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup White Wine
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Vidalia Onion Dressing
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, sliced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Julienne
  • To taste Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Instructions:  Place Salmon Steaks in a large bowl, and pour lemon juice. Clean Salmon thoroughly and rinse in cold water. Place clean Salmon in an oven, proof dish.  Add Wine, Vidalia Onion Dressing, and black pepper. Mix well and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Pour 1/2 of melted butter on Salmon Steaks. Bake in preheated 375 F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn them over and pour remaining butter, bake until golden brown. Add Onion and Red Bell Pepper and mix.