What’s cooking in Kazakhstan – BESHBARMAK

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Kazakh Beshbarmak basically means “five fingers” in Kazakhstan. It is probably the most popular dish in the land. The name five fingers is what is required to enjoy it, all five of them. Typically this dish is made with either horse meat or mutton. Beef is sometimes used but the others are much more common. In fact horse meat is so common in Kazakhstan that Olympians had to beg the Olympic committee to allow them to bring it the games so that they could maintain their normal diet. Needless to say, you can certainly enjoy this dish made with beef or lamb and be authentic. This dish is almost always served on a large platter to be enjoyed by guests on a Darsakstan (either a low table or clear cloth over a rug, on the floor) . Be sure to use all five fingers, it is a real treat and fun to do. This is also almost always served with a bowl of the broth on the side called shorpa. See https://www.internationalcuisine.com/kazakh-shorpa/ for the the proper way to serve it. Also if you don’t have the time to make the noodles from scratch, you can use lasagna noodles as a fine substitute. A delicious main dish from Kazakhstan… Enjoy!

Kazakh Beshbarmak (Boiled meat with noodles)

Ingredients
2 1/2 lbs. lamb or beef with bone
1 large onion peeled and sliced into rings divided
1 bay leaf
ground pepper
Water to cover
For the noodles:
2 eggs
3/4 to 1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
plain flour – about 600 grams
or you can use lasagna noodles as a quick and easy alternative to making the noodles from scratch.
Instructions
Put your meat and 1/2 the onion in a deep enough dish to cover it with cold water leaving enough space on the top so that it doesn’t boil over.
Bring to the boil, constantly removing the foam, Reduce heat to simmer when it starts to boil. Cover it.
Let it cook for about 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
Meanwhile, prepare your noodle dough.
In a bowl mix the sifted flour (300-400 g), the eggs (whisk the eggs before you add into flour), add salt and pour water until a dough is formed.
Knead pastry, adding flour or water as needed.
Knead the dough well, wrap in plastic wrap and leave for 20-30 minutes.
Sprinkle the work top with sifted flour and divide your dough into a few small balls
Then keeping the worktop lightly covered with flour roll each piece of pastry into a fairly thin layer.
Keep sprinkling with flour so that it doesn’t stick to your hands or work surface.
Cut into squares (10x10cm). Leave them on a worktop lightly covered with flour. The pieces should not touch or they will stick together. By the time you are ready to cook the noodles it should be dry a bit.
minutes before your meat is ready, add the other half of the onion (cut in ring shapes), salt and pepper to taste, into your stock.
Remove the meat and bones, separate as you will only serve the tender cooked meat.
Bring the stock to a boil for about 7 or so minutes.
Now cook the noodles in batches in the same stock for about 7-8 minutes. Sieve them out on to the big plate leaving the space in the center for meat. Then add your meat chopped in bite size pieces and put it in the center of the dish. Pour some broth over the meat.
Sprinkle some chives and parsley to garnish over the top.
Strain the broth and serve in bowls as shorpa alongside the platter of Beshbarmak.
Beshbarmak is served.

If you’ve never tried it please make sure to ask for it when you travel to kazaksthan

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Uzbek-Manti-cooking

What’s cooking in Uzbekistan – MANTY

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Manti is a classic dish served in several different parts of the world. It’s kind of like a mix between Vareniki with potatoes and pelmeni. The recipe may seem intimidating but don’t let it be. Yes, this is not a super quick recipe that you just throw together, but it’s worth every minute.

MANTI FILLING
You can use any meat, pork, beef, lamb or in my case chicken. If using different meat, the cooking time will be longer as chicken cooks quicker. If you are not used to the seasoning coriander or cumin, Vegeta may be used or your favourite seasonings.

CAN I FREEZE MANTI?
Manti are great to freeze! Just prepare everything as instructed. Layout onto a cutting board or tray, dust with flour. Place in the freezer. Once completely frozen, place into freezer bags. They can stay in the freezer for months.

About 3 times a year, I take two full days and make as many as I can. They taste as if they’re fresh and make for a great dinner when I just don’t have the time or energy to cook.

TIPS FOR MAKING MANTI DUMPLINGS
These Manti are small and bite-size, a classic manti is supposed to be bigger in size. If you prefer larger Manti when cutting your strips, cut them closer to 3″ – 3 1/2″.

HOW TO PREPARE THE MANTI DOUGH
Prepare recipe for dough.
Cover and let dough rest.

NOTE: Letting the dough rest, the dough becomes softer and easier to work with.

PREPARE THE FILLING
Add butter in the freezer.
Cube chicken into small pieces.
Finely chop the onions.
Peel and cube the potatoes into small pieces. Place potatoes in a bowl with cold water set aside.

FORMING THE DOUGH FOR MANTI
Divide dough into two. Return one of the halves to the bowl and cover.
Lightly flour the working surface.
Roll out the dough into about 20″ to 22″ circle, adding flour as needed, it needs to be really thin.
Fold the circle as if it’s an accordion going back and forth.
With a sharp knife cut strips about every 2 1/2 inches.
Take the strips and stack them. When stacking, the strips will all be different lengths, stack them all starting at one end, not in the middle. Cut again about every 2 2/12 inches.
Layout the squares.

MAKING UZBEK MANTI
Remove the butter from the freezer. Grate or cube the butter. Drain water from potatoes.
In a bowl, add chicken, butter, potatoes, seasonings, and herbs to the bowl. Mix until well combined.
Then take spoonful’s of the filling and add to the centre of the squares.
Take a square, fold one corner over the other, lightly pull and pinch together.
Repeat with the other corner. Pinch together the four openings. Now take the two edges and pinch them together as well, placing over the edge over the other.

TO COOK
Add water to a tiered steamer. Layout Manti on tiers.
Cover steamer and cook 20-25 minutes.
All steamers are different, check a Manti to see if it’s ready. If using different meat, it’ll need about 40 – 60 minutes.

If you’ve never tried it please make sure to ask for it when you  travel to Uzbekistan

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malta cooking

What’s cooking in Malta – Kapunata

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Maltese Caponata, Kapunata, is a simple and flavourful salty, sweet and sour salad. Made from a mix of fresh summer vegetables that can be served warm or cold.

What is caponata?
Most probably you’ve already heard about Sicilian caponata, as it is the most popular version of this dish around the world. Sicilian caponata is made of fresh summer vegetables such as aubergines, tomatoes, onions, garlic, olives, capers, pine nuts. Sometimes you can also find it with raisins.

However, Maltese Kapunata is like the underdog. It might not be as popular, and gets confused a lot with her Sicilian sister, but it is unique and flavourful, ready to make your meals tastier. To us Maltese, it makes our summers much more special. Nothing beats a day by the beach with a good piece of ħobż biż-żejt (Maltese Bread) and some kapunata. Or a bbq with some kapunata ready to be enjoyed before the bbq even starts or as a side with the main food. It’s so special, that you’ll be lucky if your grandmother passes on her secret recipe to you!

The main difference between the two caponatas, is that the Maltese version has bell peppers and sometimes even courgettes (another staple in the Maltese cuisine), seasoned with mint . It also doesn’t contain pine nuts or raisins. Although, at the end of the day, the beauty of the kapunata is that you can put and mix any vegetables you like.

Cooking Kapunata
The traditional way of cooking kapunata is by frying all the vegetables separately, so that you get an even cooking. However, you can also bake the vegetables prior to mixing them all together. The latter uses less oil and can speed up the process.

As kapunata is a sweet and sour salad, the recipe calls for vinegar (sour) and some sugar for an added sweetness. Instead of using a teaspoon of white sugar, a good technique that I like to use is to peel and chop up half an apple and let it cook until it dissolves in the sauce. Another great substitute is adding apple sauce with no added sugars.

I like my kapunata to have a certain bite, so my recipe here is to achieve that texture. However, if you like your kapunata more soft you have to cook the vegetables for longer. The same thing goes for the size of the vegetables, you can either keep them chunkier or even chop them more finely. All these little tweaks will vary in how your kapunata will look at the end.

How to serve it
Kapunata can be served hot or cold. Ideally enjoyed with some crusty fresh bread as an appetiser or as a main dish. It can also be served as a side with fish or meat, as an easy pasta sauce, as a pizza topping or even as a version of shakshuka! The options are endless, as caponata is an extremely versatile dish.
Storing or Preserving the Kapunata
You can easily batch cook kapunata in the Summer months when all these vegetables are in season, and preserve in bottles for the colder winter months. Kapunata can be easily stored in the fridge for about 5-7 days or else you can simply freeze it.

INGREDIENTS
1 aubergine about 300g
2 small bell peppers (yellow/green) about 300g
5 tomatoes
4 tbsp olive oil 60 ml
1 white onion
2 large garlic cloves
3 tbsp tomato paste 70g
2 tbsp red wine vinegar 30ml
1/2 apple or 2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp capers 20g
1/3 cup olives (a mix of green & black) 60g
1 tbsp fresh mint
1 tbsp fresh basil
salt & pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by prepping and chopping up all the ingredients. Prior to start cooking, I recommend to season the chopped aubergine with salt and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Remove the excess water and salt with a paper towel.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in pan on medium heat. Add the chopped aubergines and let cook for about 7 minutes until golden brown.
Once cooked, clean the frying pan, add two tablespoons of olive oil and add the diced white onion. Cook on medium heat. As soon as the onion gets translucent, add the garlic and let cook for 2 minutes.
Add the diced green and yellow bell peppers to the onion and garlic and let cook for a couple of minutes until they start to soften.
Add the tomato paste, the apple and the tomatoes. Mix well and let cook for about 10 minutes.
Once most of the tomatoes have cooked down, add the cooked aubergines, the red wine vinegar, the olives and the capers. Mix well together and let cook for some more minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
Finally, top the kapunata with some mint and basil. You can either serve immediately as a hot dish, or else let it cool down and refrigerate for later use.

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south korea cooking

What’s cooking in South Korea – Classic Korean Bibimbap

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Use this recipe to make arguably the best known Korean dish around the world: bibimbap. What makes this meal stand out? Not only is it a Korean classic, but it’s also delicious, gorgeous on the plate, and easily tweaked for different palates and spice levels. That means if you’re a typical American or Westerner who can’t handle foods that are extremely spicy, homemade bibimbap is the dish for you since you can easily lower the spice load.

The bottom line is that if you’re a true fan of Korean cuisine, you should know how to make this dish, or at least try it. Bibimbap is to Korean cuisine what apple pie is to American cuisine. To eat, add a small amount of oil and desired amount of gochujang to your finished bowl and mix everything together with a spoon.

Ingredients
2 cups medium-grain Korean rice (or Japanese rice)
1 large cucumber (sliced into thin strips)
1 1/2 cups spinach (parboiled and squeezed of excess water)
2 tablespoons sesame oil (divided)
2 teaspoons salt (divided)
Dash of sesame seeds
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts (parboiled and squeezed of excess water)
2 carrots (julienned)
4 shiitake mushrooms (rehydrated if dried and then sliced)
1 zucchini (sliced into thin strips)
1/2 pound meat, optional (both raw and cooked ground meat work well)
Optional: Fried egg
Serving suggestion: Gochujang (red pepper paste)

Gather the ingredients.

To begin, you’ll need to cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove. If you don’t want to use Korean or Japanese rice or are being health conscious, you can try brown rice instead. This will affect the flavour, of course.

Next, give the cucumber strips a saltwater bath for 20 minutes.

Drain the cucumber strips using a sieve.

Then, season spinach with 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and a dash of sesame seeds.

Season bean sprouts with 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and a dash of sesame seeds.

You’ll then need to sauté the carrots with a dash of salt.

Next, sauté the mushrooms with a dash of salt.

After that, sauté the zucchini with a dash of salt.

Then, place the cooked rice in a large bowl and arrange vegetables on top.

If desired, beef, egg, or both can be placed in the centre.

Serve each helping with small bowls of gochugang and sesame oil.

If you’ve never tried it please make sure to ask for it when you  travel to South Korea

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Where are Sweden’s four new Michelin-starred restaurants?

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Looking for a great place to eat in Sweden? The Michelin Guide has just sprinkled stars over four new Swedish restaurants – and handed out stars to another 15 eateries, too.

The Michelin guide for the Nordic countries on Monday released its ratings for 2021, and in addition to confirming the three-star rating of Stockholm’s Frantzén restaurant, it also handed out new stars to four Swedish restaurants – and not just in the capital.

The four new restaurants on the list are:

Aira, Stockholm

According to the Michelin Guide: “In a delightful harbour setting sits this striking restaurant offering great space and comfort. Opened in 2020, it’s an ideal spot for escaping city life. Guests walk through the open kitchen to get to the tables where they’re greeted by a charming service team. The beautiful dishes boast the occasional Asian note and make the superb ingredients really shine.”

Äng, Tvååker

According to the Michelin Guide: “Three siblings – third generation dairy farmers – have created a delightful destination restaurants complete with a vineyard, hotel and spa. The no-waste surprise tasting menu uses fantastic seasonal produce from the surrounding Halland region and the resulting skilfully prepared dishes are delicate, balanced and full of flavour. Gracious service adds to the experience.”

Project, Gothenburg

According to the Michelin Guide: “This cosy restaurant is personally run by a husband and wife team, whose balanced, seasonal tasting menu offers dishes which are refined, original and full of flavour. The eloquent team proudly explain the components of each dish with a smile; from the delicious bread which takes five days to make to the homemade butter which takes two.”

Hotell Borgholm, Öland

According to the Michelin Guide: “The team at this historic hotel’s restaurant provide a warm welcome and its wine list is a treasure trove. Tasting menus showcase seasonal ingredients from the beautiful island of Öland; much of it from their own delightful garden, and the elaborate dishes boast flavours and original combinations.”

Here’s the full list of Sweden’s Michelin-starred eateries:

One star

Etoile, Stockholm

Agrikultur, Stockholm

Sushi Sho, Stockholm

Ekstedt, Stockholm

Operakällaren, Stockholm

Aira, Stockholm

Hotell Borgholm, Öland

PM & Vänner, Växjö

bhoga, Gothenburg

28+, Gothenburg

Project, Gothenburg

SK Mat & Människor, Gothenburg

Koka, Gothenburg

Äng, Gothenburg

Two stars

Gastrologik, Stockholm

Oaxen Krog, Stockholm

Aloë, Stockholm

Vollmers, Malmö

Three stars

Frantzén, Stockholm

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Uzbek cuisine – what to try in Uzbekistan?

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MAIN DISHES OF UZBEK CUISINE

It’s difficult to separate classic Uzbekistan tours from gastronomic tourism. The cuisine in Uzbekistan is so closely intertwined with customs and traditions that you understand — it is pointless to tell, it is worth trying!

Our Uzbekistan tours are built around the degustation and master-classes of Uzbek cuisine headliners:

  • Plov (Pilaf)

  • Kazan-kebab

  • Manti

  • Uzbek Lagman

  • Shashlik

  • Uzbek shurpa

  • Uzbek dymlyama

  • Mashhurda

  • Naryn (Norin)

1 PLOV (PILAF)

There are no doubts, the main national dish of Uzbekistan — plov. We immediately answer the question: where is the best place in Uzbekistan to try pilaf? Answer: everywhere. There are 200 varieties of pilaf-you will be surprised by the difference in ingredients and technology, appearance, and of course, the uniqueness of the taste of plov in Tashkent, Samarkand, or Bukhara. Every Central Asian country considers pilaf as their own, but the “Uzbek” version is included in the list of UNESCO heritage! Plov in Uzbekistan is not only a favorite dish, it is a part of the culture, ritual, and social life. With pilaf, Uzbek people celebrate the birth of children, circumcision, and weddings, called “toi” … It is customary in Uzbekistan to invite people to plov even for solving business issues. Just keep in mind a centuries-old custom has defined Thursday as all-Uzbek pilaf day)) Therefore, if you plan a tasting on this day of the week, come to Oshhona as early as possible.

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2 KAZAN KEBAB

Kazan-kebab in Uzbekistan is considered a “male” dish, due to the basic ingredients — meat-and-potato, which gives a feeling of satiety. Kazan-kebab is presented in the menu of every choyhona, but, as in the case of pilaf, it is believed that every Uzbek should be able to cook it by itself. The recipe is simple — meat (lamb, veal, or even chicken) is pre-salted for two hours. Excellent suitable in Kazan-kebab meat on the bone or ribs. Separately, getting fried potatoes to be crisp and golden. Potatoes are added to the meat stewed in a cauldron, salted, seasoned with spices, and simmered. You will get the more delicate texture and expressive taste the more time the ingredients spend in the cauldron.

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3 MANTI

The cooking technology of the next popular dish in Uzbekistan resembles dumplings from the Russian tradition, although its roots go back to China, where they are called “baozi”, and it came to Central Asia together with the Xinjiang people. Despite the composition of the elementary ingredients: dough flour, water, eggs, and salt, it does not lend itself to everyone. At the gastronomic masterclasses, our tourists are fascinated by the cook’s manipulations, who make a dough as thin as a spider’s web — and it surprisingly does not break, despite the huge amount of juicy meat filling. Unlike other national dishes, manti are prepared without the use of oil and roasting, so it is suitable for people with dietary restrictions. Traditionally, manti are prepared with sliced lamb or beef, but in Uzbekistan, options with pumpkin or potatoes are also common. So dispelled the myth that the cuisine of Uzbekistan is not suitable for vegetarians — take this dish to note.

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4 SAMSA (SAMOSA)

If you were wondering what fast food looks like in Uzbek, meet Samsa. Despite the popularity of pastries in the country, such as “gumma”, Tatar belyash and cheburek, shawarma, and lavash, none of them can compare in popularity with a samosa in Uzbekistan, and here’s why:

  • the dish is rich and various — triangles of the dough is stuffed with meat with onions, potatoes, and cheese, herbs, and pumpkin

  • approachable — costing around 10 cents per piece

  • compact — no sit-down meal

“Jizzakh” Samsa, originally from the same name city, located on the way to Samarkand from Tashkent has become an independent gastronomic brand in Uzbekistan. Fragrant tandoori (from Uzbek mud sealed oven) samosa, full of juicy meat is incredibly appetizing and delicious. If you will see queues in Uzbekistan at lunch, with a 99% probability here prepare excellent tandoori Samsa.

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5 LAGMAN

The best Uzbek Lagman is considered the one prepared manually from the first to the last ingredient. The most time-consuming part is cooking noodles for soup, but the result justifies the effort. To lamb or beef, meat is added bell pepper, garlic, onion, and fresh herbs — so, the noodles are cooked in a great sauce formed during the steaming of meat with vegetables, but this is the basic recipe. This is the Great Silk Road spaghetti, isn’t it?

Lagman, as well as pilaf, differs in cooking features depending on the region:

  • it is prepared as a noodle soup with a large amount of broth — the “Uighur” version, which is considered a classic (believed that Lagman originated in China and its noodle is known as “latiaozi”)

  • served as a “second” dish — fried “kovurma” Lagman

To prepare kovurma-Lagman, noodles are fried in a pan with pepper, onion, and tomato paste. Indeed, resembling spaghetti! An unexpected detail—the serving decoration of the Lagman is a sunny-side-up egg. It is definitely worth trying both options and determines the favorite on your own.

If a tour to Khiva is planned, don’t miss the exotic Khorezm Lagman “Shivit-Osh”. “Shivit” is translated as fennel, which is infused with water for the dough, and in a shredded form is included in the noodles. Also, to the stew of meat and vegetables added a milk sauce — this all prepared in parallel. Khorezm Lagman is known as “green noodles” and is unlike any regional variety. Shivit osh is a bright exclusive that deserves to be presented in the collection of your Uzbekistan gastronomic impressions. But what unites the regional varieties of Lagman, in addition to noodles and meat is a lush spice bouquet. The bazaars sell a ready-made, hand-picked set for the dish — spice up your life!

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6 SHASHLIK (SHISH KEBAB)

Shashlik is an adored Central Asian dish. Strolling down the cozy streets of the Uzbekistan cities, a tantalizing aroma comes from everywhere. Masters of meat science for preparing shashlik to pick up even the special wood from fruit trees, because in such a delicate art, every detail is important. Lamb and beef are also used, and delicious pieces of meat are interspersed with patches of fat for juiciness. There is also an exotic shish kebab made from quail, called “bedona” in Uzbek. Even in the most modest “milliy taomlari” cafes, there are a dozen varieties of shashlik — Gijduvan, Caucasian, with liver, fish, and chicken fillet. There are 99 of them you can meet in the cheap and popular Samarkand cafe! Vegetables mixed grill, cooked on the coals — tomatoes and eggplants, zucchini, sweet peppers, and mushrooms are incredibly delicious. Vegetables can be used as a garnish, and as a main course that will appeal to vegetarians. Shish kabob is served with pickled vinegar, onion, and red pepper — perfectly combined as a match made in heaven… Yum!

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7 SHURPA

Shurpa is a rich meat Uzbek soup prepared on the fire, in a cauldron, mainly from lamb fillets. Add generous slices of potatoes and carrots, onions, and garlic. Shurpa is seasoned with fresh, garden maiden fennel, coriander, and parsley — the smell is indescribable! It is prepared on a slow fire — the way to preserve the broth transparency and extract maximum nutrients from the meat. Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Sino, known in Europe as Avicenna, told about the amazing healing properties of shurpa and considered this Uzbek soup as a cure for ailments associated with reduced immunity (that times shurpa was prepared without potatoes). Shurpa is recommended for use by weakened people after an illness when it is necessary to increase the tone of vital forces – this is the first and pleasant remedy for colds. Shurpa in Uzbekistan is a popular first-course choice. For healthier cold weather, the soup saturates and warms, but in hot summer it is beloved.

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8 DYMLYAMA

Dymlyama in Uzbekistan is another fantastic variation on the theme of vegetable stew with meat. The name in the Turkic languages means “the process of languishing”. It is prepared in a cauldron or pots, with lamb-beef meat, and vegetables without the slightest flaws: combining potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, pepper, and garlic. The cooking technology is very important here— vegetables are added in layers because the order of the layout affects the taste and impregnation of juices. Meat is traditionally laid at the bottom of the cauldron. Dymlyama is cooked on a slow-burning fire for several hours. A set of dymlyama spices is also selected by the cook itself, but following an unspoken rule, mutton meat should be seasoned with black pepper, which reveals and enhances the brightness of the taste. When collecting a set of spices by hand, you can add your personal touch to a dymlyama, but do not forget to buy cumin, which adds piquancy.

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9 MASHHURDA

Mashhurda is a traditional Uzbek soup, which came here together with the native Uyghur culture. Due to climatic conditions, most plants take root well in the five Central Asian countries and China. This also applies to the main ingredient — mung bean, an overlooked representative of the legume family. In the duet goes rice, and of course here are vegetables including the following — onions and carrots, potatoes or turnips, Bulgarian peppers, peeled tomatoes, and garlic. Beef and lamb meat are equally well suited to the mung bean. It is prepared in a cauldron, over live charcoal with oil. Hot pepper is pre-fried, and then the meat itself is fried in already spicy oil, and only then added onions and other vegetables combine with Zira spice and paprika. Frying hot pepper in oil brings out entirely different flavors– already at the start cooking stage, the stomach begins to excite a fantastic smell that resembles a barbecue. Served with greens and sour cream. Mashhurda soup is a popular choice for the first course in autumn and winter due to its as well as its high nutritional value and warming content. If you add ginger to it, there will be no trace of cold chills — the natural remedy.

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10 NARYN

Naryn is another popular Central Asian dish. It is cooked based on hand-pulled noodles, just like in Lagman. But if you expect to see lamb-and-beef like in other Uzbek dishes, you will meet surprise — for authentic Naryn used only horsemeat. Cooking takes more than one hour and requires a lot of patience, so, just like a pilaf, Naryn is usually prepared by a family or a group of friends. So the process goes faster, and the time seems to move so much pleasure. Only a rub of meat with spices — basically it is salt, cumin, and black pepper, takes 5-6 hours, and it is recommended to mix it every 60 minutes. The Naryn dough requires rising time — usually an hour, and then it is boiled with the constant attention of the cook and mixing- so it does not stick. Cooking Naryn resembles an exciting team-building with taste. Even chefs can hardly do it with one pair of hands, so it is a reasonable choice for ordering in a restaurant.

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What’s cooking in Finland – Lohikeitto

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Lohikeitto is a delicious traditional hearty and creamy soup prepared with salmon that is originally from Finland.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb fresh salmon
  • 1½ lb white potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • ½ leek
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1½ cup fish stock (or water)
  • ½ bunch dill
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • Pink peppercorns whole

US Customary – Metric

Instructions

  1. Cut the potatoes, onion and leek into small pieces. Cut the salmon into small ½ inch (1cm) thick strips.
  2. Cook potatoes, onion and leeks in boiling fish stock or salted water.
  3. Once the potatoes are cooked, add the cream, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.
  4. Add salmon, making sure not to break it.
  5. Add half the dill and simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.
  6. Add the butter, salt. Add a few pink peppercorns. Sprinkle with remaining dill before serving.

    Prep Time10 mins

    Cook Time40 mins

    Total Time50 mins

    Course: Soup

    Cuisine: Finnish, Scandinavian

     

    Servings: 4 people

     

    Calories: 755kcal

     

    Author: Vera Abitbol

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What’s cooking in Belgium – moules frites

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what is cooking - recipe Belgium

Moules-frites (mussels and French fries) are one of the most popular dishes in Belgium that can also be found in the north of France. A simple combination of mussels cooked with various spices and potatoes fried in beef fat.
The origin of moules-frites is invariably associated with Maison Fritz of Liège where they were served for the first time in 1875. Since then, moules-frites have become widely popular in the north of France and in particular during the big annual fair in Lille where vendors compete for the highest stack of mussel shells. The record was broken in 2009 with five hundred tons of mussels and thirty tons of fries consumed.

Mussels should be sorted and cleaned before use, and broken ones should be discarded. Separately, prepare the sauce with butter and a mixture of finely chopped vegetables such as celery, leek, onion and shallots. The whole is flavored with thyme, bay leaf and black pepper.

Once the aromatic garnish is sweated, add the mussels and immediately cover the pot for steaming. By shaking the pot vigorously, the mussels are allowed to mix and open more easily. Finally, add the white wine and continue cooking for a few minutes. The mussels are ready as soon as they open. Those that do not open should not be consumed.

The proper preparation of the fries is essential. Choose a suitable variety of potatoes, otherwise they will disintegrate when cooked. Once washed, peeled and washed again, the potatoes should be thoroughly dried. They are then cut in sticks and then dried again.

The first frying is done in beef fat at a temperature of 280 F (140°C), it is best to use a kitchen thermometer. The temperature drops as soon as the fries are added, and it is important that it goes up quickly to cook the fries evenly.

After six minutes of cooking, the fries should be removed, drained thoroughly and allowed to cool. The temperature of the beef fat is then increased for the second fry at 350 F (180°C), which will make the outside very crisp. The first stage of making the fries can be done in advance and the second frying when the mussels begin to open.

The mussels are generally served in a pot and shared at the table. The fries are served separately to prevent them from getting soggy in the cooking juices from the mussels.

Moules-frites are usually eaten with beer or dry white wine.

Spotted in 196flavors

 

If you’ve never tried it please make sure to ask for it when you travel to Belgium

 

 

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korea cooking

What’s cooking in South Korea – Traditional Kimchi (Napa Cabbage Kimchi)

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What’s cooking? World recipes

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What is kimchi?
Kimchi (김치) is a collective term for vegetable dishes that have been salted, seasoned, and fermented. The history of kimchi goes back to ancient times. Originated from pickled vegetables, there are now hundreds of kimchi varieties in Korea.

Over the last decade or so, Korean kimchi has gained a global recognition as a healthy probiotic food. Kimchi is a good source of useful lactic acid bacteria, has excellent anti-oxidation and anti-cancer effects, and helps prevent aging.

This kimchi recipe is made with baechu (배추), known as napa cabbage, hence the name baechu kimchi. Because the cabbage is kept intact at its head, it’s also known as pogi kimchi (포기김치). Pogi means a “head” of a vegetable.

In late fall, Korean households make this type of kimchi in large quantity for their kimjang (or gimajang, 김장), an annual kimchi making event in preparation for cold months. I grew up watching my mother make kimchi using over 100 cabbages with her friends in the neighborhood who rotated their kimjang schedules to help each other.

I usually make it with 5 – 10 heads (pogi) of cabbages at a time because we eat kimchi every day. Also, I provide regular supply to my grown-up children. Both my mother and mother-in-law did that for us for a long time, so I am gladly continuing the tradition.

In Korean homes, there can never be too much kimchi. So many Korean dishes are made with well-fermented kimchi, such as kimchi jjigae, kimchi mandu, kimchi bibim guksu, kimchi fried rice, kimchijeon, tofu kimchi, and many more.

Buying napa cabbage
For this pogi kimchi, it’s best to use a medium to large cabbage that weighs around 5 to 5-½ pounds with some light green outer leaves. When cut, a good cabbage has a nicely straight white part that’s not too thick as well as bright yellow inner leaves.

Salt for making kimchi
Korean coarse sea salt (cheonilyeom, 천일염) is the best to salt the vegetables to make kimchi. It’s natural salt with a coarse texture that’s minimally processed. Commonly referred to as gulgeun-sogeum (굵은소금), meaning coarse or thick salt, this salt tastes good without bitterness, so it helps develop flavors in fermented foods.

When we first came to America, Korean sea salt wasn’t available, so we used American table salt to salt cabbages. Be sure to use less (about ¼ less than the amount called for in the recipe) if using fine salt.

Kimchi seasonings
The taste of kimchi varies widely, depending on the quality, type and ratio of the seasoning ingredients. Each Korean household has its own recipes, often driven by the regional flavors of their hometown. I find myself making it differently each time.

Good quality gochugaru makes a big difference in kimchi. In addition to gochugaru (고추가루, Korean red chili pepper flakes), garlic and ginger, kimchi recipes typically call for various jeotgal (젓갈, salted seafood) for the distinct pungency and depth of flavors and to aid the fermentation process. Saeujeot (새우젓, salted shrimp) and myulchiaekjeot (멸치액젓, fish sauce made with anchovies) are the most common ones.

Sometimes, I also use fresh shrimp which is my mother’s secret ingredient for adding extra freshness to the kimchi flavor. If you can’t find saeujeot in your area, consider using some raw shrimp instead.

If you want to make vegan kimchi, skip shrimps and swap fish sauce with soup soy sauce (국간장). Or simply head over to my post on how to make vegan kimchi.

How to make kimchi
To help you start making kimchi at home, I came up with this recipe using one napa cabbage. Start with one cabbage, and then move to 2 or 3 by doubling or tripling the recipe.

Making kimchi usually starts with salting the main vegetable. For this pogi kimchi, you need to cut the whole cabbage in half lengthwise, and then into quarters. If you’re using 2 small cabbages, cutting in half should be enough.

You then need to thoroughly bathe each cabbage half/quarter in the salt water one at a time. Using the other half cup of salt, generously sprinkle salt over the thick white part of each leaf. This process makes sure the white parts get evenly salted,

Meanwhile, make a kimchi paste by mixing all the seasoning ingredients, and then cut the radish into thin matchsticks and mix well with the paste. The rest is easy, rub a little bit of the radish mix over each cabbage leaf, mainly the white part.

How long does kimchi last?
Although you can start eating your kimchi any time, it needs about two weeks in the fridge to fully develop its flavors. Your kimchi will continue to age in your refrigerator and will be delicious for a couple of months, when the healthy bacteria count is the highest. The kimchi will last much longer than that. It will turn very sour over time, and sour kimchi can be used in many delicious dishes!

Ingredients

  • 1 large Napa cabbage about 5 to 6 pounds, or 2 small (about 3 pounds each)
  • 1 cup Korean coarse sea salt for making kimchi
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 pound Korean radish, mu or moo (무) mu/moo
  • 1/4 Korean pear (배) optional
  • 3 – 4 scallions
  • 1 piece dashima (about 2 to 3 inch square) Boil it in 1.5 cups of water for 5 minutes

Seasonings

  • 1 tablespoon glutinous rice powder, 찹쌀가루 Mix it with ½ cup water (or optional dashima broth) simmer over low heat until it thickens to a thin paste and cool. Yields about 3 – 4 tablespoons.
  • 1/2 cup gochugaru, 고추가루, Korean red chili pepper flakes – adjust to your taste
  • 1/4 cup salted shrimp (saeujeot), 새우젓, finely minced
  • 3 – 4 raw shrimps, about 2 ounces, finely minced or ground – optional
  • 3 tablespoons myulchiaekjeot fish sauce, 멸치액젓
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds – optional
  • 1/2 cup water or dashima (dried kelp) broth

Kitchen tools

  • 2 large bowls or pots 7 – 8 quarts
  • a large colander
  • kitchen gloves
  • 3/4 – 1 gallon airtight container or jar

Instructions

  • Cut the thick white part of the cabbage lengthwise in half. Then, slowly pull apart by hand to separate into two pieces. Do the same for each half to make quarters. Running the knife through all the way would unnecessarily cut off the cabbage leaves.
  • In a large bowl, dissolve ½ cup of salt in 5 cups of water. Thoroughly bathe each cabbage quarter in the salt water one at a time, shake off excess water back into the bowl, and then transfer to another bowl.
  • Using the other half cup of salt and starting from the outermost leaf, generously sprinkle salt over the thick white part of each leaf (similar to salting a piece of meat). Try to salt all the cabbage quarters with ½ cup salt, but you can use a little more if needed. Repeat with the rest of the cabbage quarters. Pour the remaining salt water from the first bowl over the cabbage. Set aside for about 6 – 8 hours, rotating the bottom ones to the top every 2 – 3 hours.
  • The cabbages should be ready to be washed when the white parts of the leaves are easily bendable. Rinse thoroughly 3 times, especially between the white parts. Drain well, cut side down.
  • Meanwhile, make the optional dashima broth by boiling a small piece (2 to 3 inch square) in 1.5 cup of water for 5 minutes, and cool. Mix the rice powder with ½ cup water (or optional dashima broth) and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to a thin paste, and cool.
  • Prepare the garlic, ginger and saeujeot. Combine all the seasoning ingredients, including the rice paste and about ½ cup water (or the optional dashima broth), and mix well. Set aside until the red pepper flakes to dissolve slightly and become pasty.
  • Cut the radish and optional pear into matchsticks (use a mandoline if desired), transferring to a large bowl. Cut the scallions diagonally into about 1-inch long pieces. Add the prepared seasoning mix to the radish, and mix well by hand. Throw in the scallions, and mix everything lightly. Taste a little bit. It should be a little too salty to eat as is. You can add salt, more salted shrimp or fish sauce, as needed. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld nicely.
  • Cut off the tough stem part from each cabbage quarter, leaving enough to hold the leaves together. Place one cabbage quarter in the bowl with the radish mix. Spread the radish mix over each leaf, one to two tablespoons for large leaves. (Eyeball the stuffing into 4 parts and use one part for each cabbage quarter.)
  • Fold the leaf part of the cabbage over toward the stem and nicely wrap it with the outermost leaf. Place it, cut side up, in a jar or airtight container. Repeat with the remaining cabbages. Once all the cabbages are in the jar or airtight container, press down hard to remove air pockets. Rinse the bowl that contained the radish mix with ½ cup of water (or any remaining optional dashima broth) and pour over the kimchi.
  • Leave it out at room temperature for a full day or two, depending on the weather and how fast you want your kimchi to ripen. A half day is recommended during hot summer days. Then, store in the fridge.

Notes

Although you can start eating it any time, kimchi needs about two weeks in the fridge to fully develop the flavors. It maintains great flavor and texture for several weeks.

If you’ve never tried it please make sure to ask for it when you  travel to South Korea

spotted in www.koreanbapsang.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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portugal cooking

What’s cooking in Portugal – Bacalhau à Brás

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What’s cooking? World recipes

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How to Cook Bacalhau à Brás

Bacalhau à Brás (Cod à Brás) is a simple recipe from the Portuguese cuisine, but it explores all the flavours of its ingredients, resulting in a classic dish full of personality.

Among the most important ingredients in Portuguese cuisine, cod is a highlight. One of Portugal’s most traditional dishes is Bacalhau à Brás (Cod à Brás), a classic recipe with lots of flavors, ideal to surprise family and friends.

About Bacalhau à Brás
Bacalhau à Brás is a dish that perfectly reflects Portuguese cuisine. Simple in origin and preparation, the taste of this recipe is the result of good ingredients and the appreciation of their flavours.

The original recipe for Bacalhau à Brás was created by Mr. Braz, who was the owner of a local tavern in Lisbon. The dish quickly became very popular and spread inside and outside the country. Today, for example, it is common to find variations of Bacalhau à Brás in Spain which is known as Bacalhau Dourado. Also, the dish evolved for a technique, you can find a variety of dishes made “a Brás” style.

The recipe for Bacalhau à Brás includes desalted shredded cod and straw potato. As complements, olives, eggs, onions, and parsley are added. The result is a creamy, authentic-tasting, and very easy dish.

Essential ingredients for a traditional Bacalhau à Brás recipe

– Desalted codfish: When preparing Bacalhau à Brás, the less noble parts of the codfish can be used, making it a perfect dish to take advantage of the leftovers not used in other recipes. The desalting process can be easily done at home. However, if you want to simplify the recipe, you can buy the already desalted cod.
– Straw Potatoes: In the most traditional recipes, the straw potato is homemade – which makes them much tastier. If you want to make it more practical, you can buy them ready.
– Eggs: The eggs beaten with a fouet are the great secret of the creaminess of Bacalhau à Brás. Otherwise, the dish tends to become dry.

Secrets for a perfect Bacalhau à Brás
How to desalt the cod
Those who choose to do the desalting at home should plan the process ahead. The time required varies according to the size of the portions:

For Shredded Codfish: 6 hours (change the water every 3 hours)

For Cod Pieces: 24-48 hours (change the water every 6 hours)

The process is always the same, first wash the cod pieces under running water. Then soak the fish in cold water and take it into the refrigerator. The skin of the codfish must be left on top. Then change the water periodically until the desired salt point is reached.

How to prepare homemade straw potatoes
If you want to prepare the traditional recipe, the big difference is to make the straw potatoes at home instead of buying them ready.

The process is quite simple and the dish is much tastier. First, cut the potatoes into very thin sticks. Next, wash the sticks in water until the excess starch is removed. Then fry in very hot oil, using a pan or fryer. Place them on paper towels to remove the excess fat and season with a little salt.

If you want to avoid excess fat, another option is to use the air fryer to prepare the potatoes or bake them in the oven.

How to make Bacalhau à Brás soft and creamy
One of the great secrets to avoiding Bacalhau à Brás becoming dry are the eggs. In many of the traditional recipes, eggs are added during the cooking of the dish. But to maintain the creaminess, one of the tips is to add only half of the eggs during cooking, and the rest only when finishing the dish. The eggs will be cooked by the remaining heat of the dish and make the Bacalhau à Brás more succulent.

INGREDIENTS
600 g desalted codfish
200 g straw potato
6 eggs
1 onion – sliced
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
black olives
olive oil
parsley – chopped
salt
black pepper

Cook and shred the codfish:
1-Take a pan of water, bay leaves, and 2 cloves of garlic to boil;
2-As soon as it boils, add the codfish;
3-When it boils again, turn off the heat and set it aside for 15 minutes;
4-Remove the cod from the water and let it cool;
5-Once cooled, remove the skin and bones and shred the cod.

Prepare the Bacalhau à Brás:
1-Heat a frying pan over low heat in olive oil and saute the onion and 2 cloves of chopped garlic;
2-Add the shredded cod and cook for a few minutes;
3-Add the potatoes, mixing carefully;
4-In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly with the help of a fouet;
5-Add half of the beaten eggs to the codfish stew, mixing well;
6-Season with salt and black pepper to taste and let the eggs cook, always stirring the mixture;
7-Turn off the heat and mix in the rest of the eggs;
8-Sprinkle the dish with parsley and black olives;
9-Serve it hot.

Spottted in foodandroad.com

If you’ve never tried it please make sure to ask for it when you travel to Portugal

 

 

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