What’s cooking in Slovenia – Prekmurian layer cake

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PREKMURIAN LAYER CAKE

This sweet Slovenian food is under European protection and is regarded as one of the national gastronomic delicacies, due to its flavour, ingredients and a unique recipe.

Gibanica or layer cake is one of the old festive and ceremonial Slovenian desserts, which originate from the region along the Mura River. The oldest written recipe dates back to 1828. This sweet Slovenian food is under European protection and is regarded as one of the national gastronomic delicacies, due to its flavour, ingredients and a unique recipe.

Prekmurje flat cake can be sweet or salty, and it is made of strudel dough layers and layers of many fillings. The classic gibanica is made of nine layers with fillings like poppy seeds, raisins, groundnuts, and steamed apples. However, there are some other alternatives to these Slovenian desserts that originate in the north eastern part of the country.

Ingredients:

  • Light dough
  • Filo pastry sheets

Poppy seed filling

  • 300 g of finely ground poppy seeds
  • 100 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar

Skuta curd cheese filling

  • 1.2 kg full-fat skuta curd cheese
  • 100 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 packs vanilla sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • a pinch of salt

Walnut filling

  • 300 g ground walnuts
  • 100 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar

Apple filling

  • 1.5 kg apples – a sour variety
  • a pinch of salt
  • 120 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 packs vanilla sugar
  • a pinch of cinnamon

Cream topping

  • 800 ml whipping cream
  • 3 eggs

Margarine/butter/lard topping

  • 250 g margarine/butter/lard or plant oil

Preparation

First begin by placing a layer of light dough and then placing a layer of filo pastry sheet on top of it, on which half of the poppy seed filling is spread evenly. Pour the margarine/butter/lard and the cream toppings over this layer. Add a second layer of filo pastry and skuta curd cheese filling, then a third layer of filo pastry with the walnut filling, and a fourth layer of filo pastry with the apple filling. The fatty and cream toppings are poured over every layer of filling.

The entire procedure is then repeated in the same order, i.e. the poppy seed layer is followed by the skuta curd cheese filling, then the walnut and the apple filling.

Once there are eight layers of filling with suitable layers of filo pastry in-between, the eighth layer of filo pastry is placed on top of the final filling, which is then sprinkled with the cream or fatty topping, and then the last, ninth layer of filo pastry is added. The Prekmurje layer cake (gibanica) is baked for an hour at 180°C. The height of individual pieces of the baked gibanica must be from 5 to 7 cm, and its weight cannot exceed 250 g.

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

Check out more info here. 

 

 

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What’s cooking in Spain – Paella

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PAELLA

Paella is a rice dish originally from Valencia. For this reason, many non-Spaniards view it as Spain’s national dish, but Spaniards almost unanimously consider it to be a dish from the Valencian region. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols.

Nourishing, vibrant, and served without pretension, paella has held a place of honour and practicality in Spanish homes for centuries. If mussels aren’t your favourite, you can easily substitute littleneck clams in their place–just be sure to thoroughly scrub the clams’ shells in cold water before using. To round out the meal, choose a good Spanish red wine from the Rioja region, grab a crusty baguette, and serve with a light salad.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare the herb blend, combine the first 4 ingredients, and set aside.

  • To prepare paella, combine water, saffron, and broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact; set aside.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; saute 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add sausage and prosciutto; saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Add shrimp, and saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper; saute 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, paprika, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in herb blend, broth mixture, chicken, sausage mixture, and peas. Bring to a low boil; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice. Remove from heat; cover with a towel, and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

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

Check out more info here. 

 

 

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What’s cooking in Switzerland – Rosti

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ROSTI

As a speciality from the German-speaking part of the country, rösti also lends its name to the Röstigraben, the cultural and linguistic ‘trench’ between French and German-speaking Switzerland. Rösti is now one of the country’s best-known national dishes.

Rösti is a kind of potato cake served as a main course or side dish. The potatoes are first cooked in their jackets, then peeled and grated before being fried in butter to form a round flat cake. As a main course, the rösti can be garnished with your choice of ingredients, such as fried egg, cheese, vegetables, mushrooms or meat.

Rösti is also a tasty accompaniment for many main courses, such as sausages, Geschnetzeltes (creamy meat stew) or fish. What makes rösti unique is the Röstiraffel – a coarse potato grater invented in Switzerland in the late 1800s.

Each region now has its own rösti recipes. In Bern, for example, rösti is served with cheese, onions and bacon. In Zurich, where rösti originally comes from, the potatoes are not cooked before being grated. As a speciality from the German-speaking part of the country, rösti also lends its name to the Röstigraben, the cultural and linguistic ‘trench’ between French and German-speaking Switzerland. Rösti is now one of the country’s best-known national dishes. 

Ingredients

  • 1.2kg large waxy potatoes 
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 10 twists from the pepper mill

Method

The day before, steam the unpeeled potatoes for about 40 minutes. Make sure not to overboil them. Peel the potatoes while they are still warm, then chill them overnight. 

Coarsely grate the potatoes, keeping the strips as long as possible. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper, mix gently. Using a wooden spatula, lightly press the edges around the curve of the pan. Fry the rösti on one side for about 10 minutes until golden brown, then turn it over and finish frying for 10 minutes on the other side.

Handy tips

  • If you want to add onions and diced bacon or herbs, these should be added to the grated, cold potatoes. 
  • Never stir the rösti during the frying process (this would mash the potatoes).
  • The frying time is determined by the water content of the potatoes. Depending on the variety, you may need to fry them a little longer.

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

Check out more info here. 

 

 

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What’s cooking in Turkey – Döner kebab

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DONER KEBAB

Döner kebabs are a type of Turkish dish similar to the Greek gyro or the Arab shawarma made with seasoned meat shaved from a vertical rotisserie, a style of cooking that dates back to the Ottomans. They are highly popular as a late-night snack or quick meal on the go throughout much of Europe. 

A very popular take-out especially after a night out at the pub. This favourite is so, so tasty – I’m sure once you try it, you’ll certainly want to make more! Serve with warmed (lightly toasted) pita bread, chili sauce, and a salad of shredded cabbage, carrot, onion, and sliced cucumber. Also great to add as a topping for pizzas. Great to make in advance, slice and freeze.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Combine flour, oregano, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Add ground lamb and thoroughly knead with the flour mixture until thoroughly mixed together, about 3 minutes.

  • Shape the seasoned ground lamb and place into a loaf pan; set on top of a baking sheet.

  • Bake in the preheated oven, turning the loaf halfway to ensure even browning, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

  • Wrap loaf in aluminium foil and let rest, about 10 minutes. Slice as thinly as possible to make the doner kebab pieces.

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

Spotted in www.theculturetrip.com

 

 

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What’s cooking in Ukraine – Borscht

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BORSCHT

The national dish of Ukraine that undeniably originates from the country is borscht

Despite most people associating this recipe with Russia, borscht, or as it is properly pronounced borsch, is actually Ukrainian. Yes, there is no ‘t’ at the end of the word.

A Borscht recipe is something every home should have, regardless if you’re Ukrainian or not. This traditional Ukrainian borscht combines the earthiness of beets with the freshness of dill and other vegetables. A hearty, healthy and frugal way to use up your garden vegetables and stretch your food budget while filling your family’s bellies this fall!

One of my favorite things about Borscht is the deep ruby color that comes from the cabbage and beets! I also love that it’s incredibly healthy and packed with protein (from the broth and optional meat), iron (from the beets), vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6 (from the carrots) plus fiber and vitamin K & C (from the cabbage).

 

Because we come from a lineage of Ukrainian peasants who had to survive harsh Eastern European winters with nothing more than the few staple food items they had on hand (wheat, potatoes, cabbage and beets mostly), our traditional foods tend to feature these ingredients over and over again in various ways.

Borscht definition: a beet-based soup that can be combined with whatever else you’ve got growing in your garden to create a hearty, healthy meal that also stretches your food budget and weekly meals just a little bit further.

In the late summer and fall, there is almost always a pot of borscht simmering away on my mother’s stovetop as she makes use of the beets, carrots, potatoes and fresh dill weed that need harvesting from her garden. If it’s green bean season, she’ll throw some chopped green beans in the soup as well. If not, she’ll make do with whatever ingredients she has on hand (this also makes it a great “clean out the fridge” recipe).

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup of chopped cabbage
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated or pressed
  • 1 tbsp of butter for sautéing onions and celery
  • 8 cups water beef broth or chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes home or commercially canned
  • 2 or 3 medium to large sized peeled beets half grated and half diced
  • 1 or 2 medium carrots grated
  • 1 medium potato diced
  • 1/2 cup of fresh dill weed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional ingredients: Bay leaf green beans, peas, beet greens and shredded pork or pork sausage

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Sauté the onions, celery and cabbage with the butter until soft and translucent.
  • Add the can of diced tomatoes and the garlic, as well as all of the water or broth.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to medium heat and let simmer.
  • Peel the beets, carrots and potato.
  • Dice half the beets and grate the other half.
  • Grate all the carrots.
  • Dice the potato.
  • Add the beets, carrots and potato to the broth. If you would like to add any other optional vegetables (ie. beans, peas, beet greens, etc.) do so now.
  • Allow soup to simmer on medium until diced beets and potatoes are soft (test them with a fork or by biting into them!), about 15 minutes. Remove soup from heat.
  • Stir in chopped fresh dill weed and salt and black pepper.
  • Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of bread and butter (rye bread is best!)

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

Spotted in www.melissaknorris.com

 

 

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What’s cooking in United Kingdom – Roast Beef

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ROAST BEEF

British Sunday lunch is also known as a Sunday Roast and is the very heart of British food and cooking.

It is when families and friends get together and share good food. For the cook in the house, the roast recipes are time-consuming but worth every minute on the stove. Each household has its own favourite recipes.

A traditional British Sunday lunch is composed of roast meat – with roast beef at the top of the list – alongside Yorkshire Puddings, gravy, vegetables, and a dessert of pudding in the cold months replaced by a different sweet in the summer.

This hearty lunch is a matter of national pride and one of the most fabulous meals you’ll experience in the UK.

Cooking the Beef

Let the beef come to room temperature before you put it in the oven. Stand the roast in a pan, and season it generously with salt and pepper to taste. Start the beef in a hot oven at 425 F for the first 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375 F for the remaining time. Cook it to your preferred temperature using the following time recommendations:

  • Rare: 11 minutes per pound
  • Medium: 14 minutes per pound
  • Well: 16 minutes per pound
You can test the temperature with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the beef. For safety, guidelines recommend cooking roasts to a minimum of 145 F, with at least a three-minute rest after you pull it from the oven. Keep in mind that the temperature will increase another 5 to 10 degrees as it rests, however, so you can pull it slightly below your target temperature. The following range provides guidelines for the degree of doneness:
  • Rare: 120 F
  • Medium: 145 F
  • Well: 165 F
Resting the Beef

Though guidelines suggest a three-minute rest, a roast generally benefits from a longer recovery period. Place it on a warm platter and tent it loosely with foil, then set it aside for up to 20 minutes, which is conveniently the amount of time you need to cook the Yorkshire pudding. The muscle fibers in meat contract during cooking and resting allows them to relax, redistributing some of the meat juices (great for the gravy) and resulting in a more tender piece of meat.

If you’ve never tried it please make sure to ask for it when you travel to the United Kingdom

Spotted in www.thespruceeats.com

 

 

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germany cooking

What’s cooking in Germany – Sauerbraten

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An Authentic German Sauerbraten takes longer than other roast beef recipes to prepare, but one bite of the melt-in-your-mouth tender beef proves it’s more than worth the wait. You want to marinate your rump roast at least 2 days to get enough sour flavor, so make sure to plan ahead if you are making this dish for the holidays. Prep this German-style pot roast during the week and cook low and slow for a flavorful Sunday dinner and leftovers for the following week.

A German Sauerbraten is roast beef marinated in a sour, vinegar base that tenderizes the meat and gives it flavor. The marinade for this sauerbraten recipe is vinegar and beef broth with pickling spices and a hint of sugar. The beef is braised in the marinade in the oven to soak up even more flavor. The Sauerbraten is then served with a sweet and tangy gravy made from the same marinade, thickened with crushed gingersnaps.

Traditional German Sauerbraten is served with German Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes, using the delicious sauce as a gravy for the meat and potatoes. Make sure to serve some soft, doughy bread like Dinner Rolls or Beer Bread (made with German beer of course) to soak up the thick, sweet-sour gravy. A dollop of sour cream and shredded red cabbage is great garnish for German Sauerbraten too!

Tips for Making German Sauerbraten

Marinate sauerbraten at least 3 days but you can keep it in the marinade up to 10 days! The longer you marinate the meat, the more tender and flavorful it will be.
Sauerbraten will cook quicker the longer it has been marinated, so check the temperature periodically after 2 hours, especially if you marinate for more than 3 days.
Strain the braising liquid with a fine-meshed strainer so that no bay leaves or cloves remain, and you get a smooth and thick gravy.
You can marinate the beef in the dutch oven or a large container instead of a bag, just be sure to turn the meat daily if it is not fully submerged in the marinade.
Taste and adjust your gravy to your liking, depending on how sweet or sour you like it. Check out our variations on how to adjust sweet and sour flavors.

VARIATIONS ON GERMAN SAUERBRATEN

Meat: Sauerbraten is a great recipe for any lean or tougher roast like pork roast, venison, lamb roast, bottom round, or chuck roast. Make it with mutton or lamb during the spring holidays!
Veggies: Add aromatic vegetables like leeks, carrots, and celery to your marinade. You can return the veggies to the gravy after you strain the spices.
Sour: Use cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, or add a cup of dry red wine like Pinot Noir for a different sour flavor. You can add up to a ½ cup lemon juice when making the gravy.
Sweet: Along with gingersnaps, you can add brown sugar, honey, golden raisins, or beet syrup to make the gravy more sweet.
Spices: If you like, add cracked juniper berries and peppercorns for Sauerbraten spices you’d find in any German restaurant. You can also add seasonings like rosemary, thyme, or pickling spices.

Ingredients
1.36 kg beef rump roast
239 g red wine vinegar
240 g beef broth
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar
10 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 yellow onions , chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
5 gingersnap cookies , crushed to crumbs

Instructions

Add beef, red wine vinegar, beef broth, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, sugar, cloves and bay leaves to a large ziplock bag.
Mix ingredients together, remove all air and marinate for 3 days.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove beef from marinade, reserve marinade, and dry well.

Add vegetable oil to large pot on high heat.
Season beef with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper.
Sear on all sides until well browned, about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Add in the onions, and the marinade.
Cover and cook for 3 hours.

Remove the beef from the pot and strain the liquid in the pot.
If too much liquid cooked off, add 1 cup beef broth.
Add in half the cookie crumbs and cook until sauce thickens.
If it stays too thin, add remaining cookies.
Slice the beef against the grain and serve with sauce.

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

spotted in dinnerthendessert.com

 

 

 

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What’s cooking in Czech Republic- Vepřo-knedlo-zelo

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WHAT IS VEPŘO KNEDLO ZELO?
Literally translated, vepřo knedlo zelo is an abbreviation for Czech roast pork, dumplings, and sauerkraut. This trio is served warm on one plate, poured with flavorful gravy.

Going into details, it’s a slowly roasted piece of pork shoulder, bountifully spiced with crushed garlic and caraway seeds. Sliced bread dumplings and braised sauerkraut are served as a side dish. The gravy is made from juices and fat, remaining in a pan after roasting the meat.

In this post, you’ll learn how to make pork roast (vepřo). Here you’ll find separate recipes for BREAD DUMPLINGS (knedlo) and BRAISED SAUERKRAUT (zelo).

Tip: Sometimes this Czech national dish is called knedlo vepřo zelo – the names of the individual components are placed in a different order.

INGREDIENTS

Here is what you need for the VEPŘO part of this recipe:

Pork shoulder; roasted in one piece. I used a pork collar (krkovice in Czech).
Onions; peeled and chopped finely
Cloves of garlic; peeled and pressed
Pork lard; or vegetable oil like canola or sunflower
Caraway seeds; crushed – do not confuse caraway with cumin; caraway is a spice used frequently in Czech gastronomy
All-purpose flour; to thicken the gravy
Salt, ground pepper
Water; as much as you need, about 3 cups – 720 ml

INSTRUCTIONS
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 320 °F (160 °C). Cut onion roughly. Peel cloves of garlic and press them.

STEP 2: Salt the meat generously. Dust it with pepper and crushed caraway seeds from all sides. Then rub the pressed garlic onto the pork.

STEP 3: Grease a roasting pan with lard. Pour the onion over the bottom of the pan. Place the seasoned meat on the onion. Pour in 1 cup of water.

STEP 4: Roast the pork uncovered for 2-2.½ hours or until soft. Flip the meat from time to time, that it has a nice brown color over the whole surface. Also, stir the onion occasionally to prevent it from burning. If all the water evaporates, add ⅓ cup more.

STEP 5: Transfer roasted meat to a clean plate, cover with foil and keep it warm.

STEP 6: Place the uncovered roasting pan with onion on the stove over medium heat. Reduce the juices to a necessary minimum, stir occasionally.

STEP 7: Add 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour and fry for 1 minute while stirring, preferably with a flat spatula; it helps you scrape the bottom of the pan to avoid burning flour.

STEP 8: Pour in 2 cups of water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to ⅓ and let the gravy simmer for 20 minutes.

STEP 9: Strain the gravy through a sieve—season with pepper and salt to fit your taste.

If the gravy’s flavor is not strong enough, pour it into a pan, bring it to a boil and reduce the amount of the liquid. You’ll boost the taste of the gravy significantly.

SERVING
Our task now is to arrange a slice of roasted pork, braised sauerkraut, and sliced dumplings on a plate nicely. Here we go.

Let’s start with sauerkraut. Place 2-3 Tbsp of warm braised sauerkraut (ZELO) on the side of a plate.
Add slices of bread dumplings (KNEDLO). Arrange them along the edge, partly covering each other.
Cut pork roast (VEPŘO) in about ½-inch slices, add one or two slices on a plate, with a crust side up.
Pour the gravy over the pork roast and braised sauerkraut.
Enjoy your meal with lovely Czech beer!

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

spotted in www.cooklikeczechs.com

 

 

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Cyprus cooking

What’s cooking in Cyprus – Fasolada

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Fasolada is a white bean or fava bean soup that dates back to the Ancient Greeks and which is popular in both Greece and Cyprus. In fact, fasolada is often referred to as the national dish of Greece.

There are variants all throughout the region, including an Italian one called pasta e fagioli. The Portuguese feijoada is also a variant of fasolada. There are variants throughout the Levant, including an Arab version called fasoulia.

Fasolada is traditionally made without meat, which makes it an important dish for Lent. Aside from the beans, other vegetables that can be included are celery and onion. It will also have a tomato base.

It is typically made with olive oil, or it may be added to the bowl at the table.

Fasolada is thought to have originated with a soup made to celebrate the Greek god Apollo. The name comes from the word faso, which means bean.

Ingredients:
1 lb dried white beans
1 large yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 sticks celery, strings removed and sliced
3 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped (or a 15oz can peeled tomatoes)
2 tbsp tomato paste
5 tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preparation:
Drain the beans and place in a large saucepan.

Cover with cold water and bring to a boil, skimming off any froth with a slotted spoon.

Add all the other ingredients except the seasonings, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until tender.

Allow to cool slightly, season with salt and pepper, and ladle into bowls.

Serves 6 to 8

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

spotted in www.justaboutcyprus.com

 

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What’s cooking in Croatia – LAMB PEKA

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Peka is one of the most famous and widespread dishes of traditional Croatian cuisine. The speciality of Peka is that it is prepared in a special baking tray. Actually, it’s after the tray – the dish got its name. It is a shallow circular bowl, which is covered with a wide bell. On that bell wooden embers are placed on top and around the bowl.

Like any traditional dish, there are numerous variations of ingredients. Usually, it is made of meat (veal, lamb) or octopus, potatoes, vegetables, spices and herbs.

It is ubiquitous in almost all parts of Croatia, so different names are used according to the region. Thus, we can find it under the name of peka, šač, čripnja, lopiž or pokrivac.

Peka is basically an effortless dish. It is made by putting meat, potatoes and spices together in a clay or iron pan. Everything is covered with a large dome and wooden embers are then placed on top and around the dome.

In this way, the meat and vegetables are first cooked and then baked in their own juices. The result is an incredibly well-paired and natural taste. For this reason, I consider Peka to be one of my favourite Croatian traditional dishes.

The history of Peka has been associated with this region for millennia. There are archaeological remains from the eastern part of Croatia with clay Peka pots over 5,000 years old. It is believed that through history they have kept baking in the region thanks to the Illyrians, the natives before the Great Migration.

Although they were under the rule of Rome, they did not accept the Roman baking furnace. They remained to prepare their meals in this way. Of course, delicious food has always been preserved throughout history, and so has the case of baking.

The Ottoman Empire brought one innovation for Peka. Specifically, they introduced a cast-iron Peka.

Today, baking in Croatian gastronomy is an integral part of any traditional restaurant. Most often it is made from veal and/or lamb, potatoes, other vegetables and herbs. In the coastal part of Croatia, it is often possible to find an octopus prepared in this way.

1 kg Lamb shoulder or any kind of fatty lamb meat
1 kg Veal
1.5 kg Potatoes peeled
2 big pcs onion peeled roughly chopped
3 pcs tomatoes roughly chopped
2 pcs bell peppers roughly chopped
2 tablespoon Lard
1 glass White wine
1 stem fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons Salt
1 teaspoon Black pepper

Steps
1The first step is to prepare fire and embers. It is best to use are high-calorie wood such as beech or hornbeam.

2Cut meat into large pieces about 250-300 grams, well-salted and put it in the bottom of the baking tray together with lard.

3Add the peeled potatoes in one piece or slashed in half in case of larger pieces.

4Add other vegetables, pepper, salt, wine and rosemary.

5Cover and put ambers around Peka and most importantly on top of it.

6After 45 minutes, remove the Peka cover, turn the meat over and continue baking for 45-60 minutes.

7Serve hot.

8Peka goes best with bread and white wine.

 

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

spotted in www.worldfoodstory.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s cooking in Baltic – Karbonāde

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Tafelspitz
Boiled veal, or Tafelspitz, is the king of the beef dishes in Vienna.

When the Viennese talk about beef, they mean boiled veal or Tafelspitz, the king of the beef dishes.

There is practically no more delicious proof of how firmly the Austrian cuisine is rooted in the heart of Europe than one of the most typical of Viennese dishes: boiled veal, or Tafelspitz. Good-quality beef, a few vegetables, aromatic spices, and plenty of water to cook in are the vital ingredients. The same ingredients as when the French are creating their “pot-au-feu” or the Italians their “bollito misto”.

How to make it:
Step 1:
Slice the unpeeled onion in half widthways and fry off the cut surfaces without fat until fairly well browned.

Step 2:
Put around 3 litres of water into a large saucepan. Add the root vegetables, leek, halves of onion, bay leaves, and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Add the washed meat and bones and, depending on the type of meat, allow to cook until softened in gently simmering water, which will take around 2 1⁄2 – 3 hours. Add more water as required and skim off any foam from the surface.

Step 3:
Season well with salt, but only after a good 2 hours.
Once the meat has softened, remove it from the pan and keep it warm in some of the liquid from the soup. Season the remainder of the soup again with salt to taste, and strain it (optional). Serve with semolina dumplings or frittata and freshly chopped chives as a starter.

Step 4:
Slice the boiled beef by cutting on the bias and arrange on pre-heated plates, or serve in the hot soup in a decorative soup tureen.
Serve with roast potatoes, a bread and horseradish mix, green beans in a dill sauce, or creamed spinach and chive sauce. If the root vegetables are to be served at the same time, cook some of them separately to be served al dente.

Cooking time: approx. 2 1⁄2 – 3 hours

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

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Austria cooking

What’s cooking in Austria – Tafelspitz

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Tafelspitz
Boiled veal, or Tafelspitz, is the king of the beef dishes in Vienna.

When the Viennese talk about beef, they mean boiled veal or Tafelspitz, the king of the beef dishes.

There is practically no more delicious proof of how firmly the Austrian cuisine is rooted in the heart of Europe than one of the most typical of Viennese dishes: boiled veal, or Tafelspitz. Good-quality beef, a few vegetables, aromatic spices, and plenty of water to cook in are the vital ingredients. The same ingredients as when the French are creating their “pot-au-feu” or the Italians their “bollito misto”.

How to make it:
Step 1:
Slice the unpeeled onion in half widthways and fry off the cut surfaces without fat until fairly well browned.

Step 2:
Put around 3 litres of water into a large saucepan. Add the root vegetables, leek, halves of onion, bay leaves, and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Add the washed meat and bones and, depending on the type of meat, allow to cook until softened in gently simmering water, which will take around 2 1⁄2 – 3 hours. Add more water as required and skim off any foam from the surface.

Step 3:
Season well with salt, but only after a good 2 hours.
Once the meat has softened, remove it from the pan and keep it warm in some of the liquid from the soup. Season the remainder of the soup again with salt to taste, and strain it (optional). Serve with semolina dumplings or frittata and freshly chopped chives as a starter.

Step 4:
Slice the boiled beef by cutting on the bias and arrange on pre-heated plates, or serve in the hot soup in a decorative soup tureen.
Serve with roast potatoes, a bread and horseradish mix, green beans in a dill sauce, or creamed spinach and chive sauce. If the root vegetables are to be served at the same time, cook some of them separately to be served al dente.

Cooking time: approx. 2 1⁄2 – 3 hours

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

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Albania Cooking

What’s cooking in Albania – Byrek

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Baked Albanian Spinach Pie or byrek rolls with phyllo dough, feta, and cottage cheese, the perfect party appetizer or snack.

This Albanian spinach pie or byrek rolls are just wonderful: crispy on the outside, with a soft savory filling, easy to make, and perfect for any kind of gathering.

What is byrek?
Or borek or burek, depending on where you are.
A byrek is filled fried or baked pastry made with phyllo or yufka dough.
It is very popular in the Balkan area and actually throughout the former Ottoman Empire.
It can be filled with meat, spinach, cheese or mixtures of several ingredients.
Byrek can be baked in large baking dishes or it can be shaped as rolls or triangles.
The smaller shaped ones are often deep-fried, especially those sold by street vendors or in restaurants.
And if you like this kind of byrek, you will also love the Turkish borek with spinach or the Romanian pie with lots of cheese. Or this more extravagant version of a turkey and vegetable-filled burek.

What do you need?
Phyllo dough:

3 very large sheets or enough to make 16 byrek rolls.
As phyllo dough comes in different sizes (depending on the brand and where you buy it), I recommend just buying a package and use as much as needed.
If you have leftovers, wrap them well, so that they do not dry out and use them to make something else during the next couple of days.
How about a pumpkin pie with phyllo or the Serbian gibanica.

Spinach:

I always use frozen spinach. Defrost the spinach and squeeze very thoroughly in your hands before adding to the filling. All the excess moisture has to be removed, otherwise, the rolls my get soggy.
Dairy:

Feta, cottage cheese and smetana (typical Eastern European dairy product).
Smetana can be replaced with crème fraiche (closest fit) or sour cream.
Other ingredients: green onions, garlic, eggs and oil.

How to shape the byrek rolls?
Place one sheet of phyllo pastry on the working surface and brush it with oil.
Place another sheet on top, brush again, and finish with another phyllo pastry sheet. Brush this one as well.
Cut the phyllo sheets in order to get 16 rectangles of about 25×18 cm/10×7 inches. If your pastry sheets are not large enough for you to get 16 pieces, repeat the procedure with another 3 sheets of pastry.
Place one heaped tablespoon of the filling on the lower side of each rectangle. Fold the sides over the filling and roll the pastry starting on the lower side.
Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with baking paper with the seam facing down.
Brush the rolls with oil as well.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 green onions
450 g/12.8 oz frozen spinach
2 garlic cloves
250 g/7 oz feta (from a block, not already crumbled)
225 g/8 oz/1 cup cottage cheese
100 g/ 3.5 oz/ scant ½ cup smetana or crème fraiche
2 small eggs
fine sea salt and pepper
1 packet phyllo dough (Note)
about 4-5 tablespoons olive oil, as needed for brushing

Instructions
Defrost the spinach and squeeze it very well to remove the excess moisture. Preheat the oven: 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chop the onions very finely and cook them in 1 tablespoon olive oil for a couple of minutes.
Mix the onions, spinach, grated garlic cloves, crumbled feta cheese, cottage cheese, smetana/creme fraiche and eggs very well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place one sheet of phyllo pastry on the working surface. Brush it with oil. Place another sheet on top, brush it as well, and finish with another phyllo pastry sheet. Brush this one as well. Cut the phyllo sheets in order to get 16 rectangles of about 25×18 cm/10×7 inches.
Place one heaped tablespoon of the filling on the lower side of each rectangle. Fold the long sides over the filling and roll the pastry starting on the lower side. Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with baking paper with the seam facing down. Brush the rolls with the remaining oil.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cover the rolls loosely with aluminum foil after half the time if they seem to get too dark.

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

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CAnada Cooking

What’s cooking in Canada – Poutine

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WHAT IS POUTINE?
As a Canadian, it’s seriously shocking to me when someone asks “what’s poutine?” I need to remind myself that not everyone has been blessed enough to enjoy this dish for most of their life. So let me explain to you what you’ve been missing out on!

Poutine is a dish that originated in Quebec back in the 1950’s. I’ve heard stories of a man asking a restaurant to add cheese curds to his fries, that said restaurant later added to their menu. A couple years later, the restaurant served these fries and cheese curds on a plate, then added gravy to keep them warm. This, my friends, is what we call Poutine!

Now that’s just one of many origin stories, but just like with the Nanaimo Bars, no one really knows how it truly originated. Either way, I’m glad it did because this is one of my most favourite dishes ever!

Poutine has always been popular in Canada, but it’s grown even more in popularity over the past few years. Pretty much every restaurant that has fries, has included a poutine variation onto their menu, even McDonalds!

Now if you don’t live in Canada, you’re probably not gonna find poutine in every corner of your city. Well today I’ll be showing you how to make your own poutine that tastes just as good (and dare I say BETTER) than the ones at the restaurants!

PEELING AND CUTTING THE FRIES
Alright, let’s start with the fries! You’ll need 4 pounds of Russet potatoes, preferably all the same size. A lot of people like to keep the skin on their potatoes when making fries or wedges, so if you do, wash your potatoes before slicing. I don’t like the skin, so I run the potatoes under cold water while peeling.

To cut the potatoes into french fry sticks, start by slicing your potato into ¼-inch thick “disks”. Then slice each disk into sticks. See the photos below to better understand what I’m talking about.

As you’re cutting your fries, place them into a large bowl or container filled with cold water. You’ll want to do this right away as the potatoes will start to brown if left out too long. Once all of your fries are in the cold water, cover and refrigerate overnight. This is important because it removes the starch which results the crispiest fries!

FRYING THE FRENCH FRIES
Before frying, you’ll need to drain the starch water from the fries, then rinse them TWICE to make sure all the starch is gone. After the fries have been rinsed, dry them as well as you can. Water and oil is not a good mix, so after you place them on paper towel, use another sheet or two to dry them a handful at a time before adding to the oil.
Fill a very deep pot with 3-inches of oil, then heat it to 300°F. I used a thermometer, but you can test it by adding a small fry after a few minutes, and once it begins to fry gently, the oil is ready.

You’ll be frying the fries twice, once at 300°F for 4-5 minutes to cook the inside, then again at 400°F for 3-5 minutes to get a golden brown crispy outside.

TIPS FOR FRYING THE FRIES
Use a large deep pot: Since we’ll be deep frying, we need a lot of oil. Like enough to go 3-inches up your pot, so you’ll need a pot that’s at least 6-inches high or more, because once the fries are added, the oil will rapidly bubble up and you wanna make sure there’s enough room so it doesn’t spill over.

Fry in small batches: There’s a lot of fries, so you may be tempted to fry a ton at once to get it over with but DON’T! The first time I fried french fries, I accidentally added too many fries to the pot and the oil bubbled up, spilled over, and set the entire pot on fire. Yes, it’s THAT dangerous! I was able to put it out without problem and continue frying, but it could’ve ended way worse so please fry in very small batches to avoid this.
Don’t leave the pot: Pay close attention to the fries when frying. Even though I gave you a time, this is the time it took ME to fry. Things may end up differently for you, especially with the second fry. Some batches took 3 minutes to reach the golden crispy stage, while other batches took 5 minutes or more which is why the time is 5-3 minutes. Once you see the fries getting brown and crispy, take them out. You don’t want them to burn.

WHAT KIND OF CHEESE SHOULD I USE?
White cheese curds is the cheese used in every authentic Canadian poutine! Once again, poutine is so popular here that our grocery stores specifically sell “poutine cheese curds”.

CHEESE CURD SUBSTITUTIONS
Alright, chances are you’re probably gonna have a hard time finding cheese curds so a great substitution is a ball of soft mozzarella torn into chunks. The type of mozzarella you can’t use a shredder for, I use this soft mozzarella every time I make lasagna! When adding the gravy, the cheese is supposed to get melty and gooey, only soft, torn pieces of mozzarella can give you similar results.

Speaking of the cheese curds, one thing that’s always annoyed me is how much some restaurants skimp on the curds! Like a bucket of fries with 3-4 cheese curds, ridiculous! So now that I have full control over my curds, I went a bit crazy and added 2 full cups :D.

HOW TO MAKE POUTINE GRAVY
The GRAVY! This is what ties the whole dish together. The gravy can make or break a good poutine. For instance, Popeyes has amazing fries, and the cheese curds made them better, but their poutine gravy did not taste great to me so after the first try, I never bought it again.

So if you’ve got bad gravy, you’ve got bad poutine.

That’s why I was so nervous the entire time I was making this gravy. Thankfully it turned out AMAZING! I’m talking dip your already gravy-soaked fries into a side bowl of more gravy, amazing!

Making the gravy is very simple. Start by making a roux, which is butter and flour cooked together on the stove. Once the roux is bubbling, slowly pour in the beef stock. You can substitute with chicken stock, but you’ll end up with a very light gravy when poutine gravy is supposed to be dark. The beef stock will also give the gravy a better flavour.

For additional flavour, you’ll add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Whisk everything together and let it come to a boil. Pour in a cornstarch slurry (water + cornstarch combined) into the gravy and whisk until it’s incorporated. Let the gravy bubble and boil until it’s thickened. From there, you can taste the gravy and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.
Now immediately pour the gravy onto the fries and cheese curds while it’s hot! The main purpose of the gravy is to melt the cheese curds into the fries so everything becomes one deliciously gooey mess!

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

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Miami cooking

What’s cooking in Miami – The Cuban Sandwich

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The best Cuban sandwich makers in Miami have elevated sandwich making to an art form. The larger restaurants station the sandwich maker in a prominent spot where everyone can enjoy the show. Armed with a long, thin, serrated knife, the sandwich maker expertly cuts the ham and pork, usually from a whole pork leg. Using the flat surface of the broad knife, he artfully arranges the layers of meat onto the sandwich.
The Cuban Sandwich
Glenn Lindgren: No one is certain exactly where and when the Cuban sandwich was invented. We do know that Cuban sandwiches (called “a sandwich mixto”) were common on cafeteria and restaurant menus in Cuba by the 1930s, and there is some evidence of them as early as the turn of the century.

Raúl Musibay: They were very popular with workers in Cuba’s sugar mills. People set up restaurants inside the mills and sold the sandwiches to the workers on their lunch breaks.

Jorge Castillo: In the Province of Oriente, the eastern part of Cuba, they eat a different version of the Cuban sandwich. It is exactly like the traditional Cuban sandwich, but the bread is rubbed with garlic first.

Glenn Lindgren: The Cuban is a sandwich with universal appeal because it’s a combination of ingredients that are almost universally loved. The Cubano is basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich — a type of sandwich you’ll find in many cuisines from the simple grilled American cheese and white bread sandwich many Americans grew up with to the French croque-monsieur.

Jorge Castillo: How does such a simple sandwich create so much passion? The Cuban sandwich is nothing more than a loaf of Cuban bread, cut in half, buttered on both sides, and stuffed with dill pickles, roast pork, ham, and Swiss cheese — not exactly rocket science.

Raúl Musibay: There are a couple of variations on the Cuban sandwich worth noting: “Sandwich Cubano Especial ” with thinly sliced Serrano ham that adds a salty tang. Or one of my favorites, the Cuban sandwich with olive salad. I had that one many times in Cuba.

Cuban Sandwich (Cubano) Recipe
By Three Guys From Miami

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 sandwiches
The Cuban Sandwich (Cubano) is basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich — Cuban style!

INGREDIENTS:

1 loaf Cuban bread
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound ham
1 pound Cuban pork (lechón asado)
1/2 pound Swiss cheese
15 slices dill pickles
OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:

8 slices Serrano Ham (Jamon Serrano)
OR

1 tablespoon olive salad (giardiniera)

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

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California cooking

What’s cooking in Los Angeles – French Dip Sandwich

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A French Dip Sandwich is a hot beef sandwich consisting of tender thin slices of beef layered a long white French roll that is dipped into a flavorful sauce made from the pan juices. American menus often describe the pan juice as “au jus (pronounced oh zhoo’).” Au jus is a French expression, which means “with broth” or “with juice.”

French Dip sandwiches have become a common menu item at a wide range of restaurants, sandwich shops, and fast food outlets.

History of French Dip Sandwich:

Phillippes Sign1918 – Although the French Dip Sandwich is not French, the inventor, Philippe Mathieu was. In 1918, Philippe owned the still existing delicatessen and sandwich shop called Philippe the Original in Los Angeles. It is considered one of Los Angeles’ oldest restaurant still in business today.

According to the story at the restaurant, Philippe was preparing a sandwich for a policeman and accidentally dropped the sliced French roll into the drippings of a roasting pan. The policeman liked the sandwich and came back the next day with some friends to order the sandwich dipped in the meat pan. From that day on, a new sandwich was born.

 

1951 – Because of the 101 Freeway construction in 1951, Philippe’s moved to its current location on Alameda across from Union Station. Not much has changed since – the saw dust on the floors, cafeteria style dining and the hot mustard are still the same.

Matt Weinstock, then a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News wrote:

“. . . Philippe’s was something special. It had sawdust on the floor and cracks in the wall but you didn’t care. Y ou went there for the luscious French-dipped sandwich, the boiled eggs, the hot mustard, the potato salad, the cole slaw, the immense hunks of pie, the always hot mugs of coffee. You also woke up at night, maybe thousands of miles away, yearning for one of those sandwiches.”

 

Philippe’s is still in the location they were in 1951, at a machine shop with a hotel on the second floor. Today, Philippe’s “French Dipped Sandwich” is the specialty of the house and consists of either roast beef, roast pork, leg of lamb, turkey or ham served on a lightly textured, freshly baked French roll which has been dipped in he natural gravy of the roasts. Swiss, American, Monterey Jack or Blue cheese may be added.

Ingredients
French Dip Sandwich:
1 (4-pound) beef rib eye, sirloin, or tenderloin roast
1/2 cup black pepper, coarsely-ground
8 French rolls*

Dipping Sauce Ingredients
Beef juices from cooking pan
1 (10.5 ounce) can beef stock of beef broth
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
French Dip Sandwich Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place beef roast onto a rack in a shallow baking pan; firmly press pepper onto roast. Bake, uncovered, 30 to 45 minutes or until a cooking thermometer, in the thickest part of roast, registers 135 degrees F. Remove from oven and transfer onto a cutting board; let stand 15 minute before carving; slice beef thinly.

Reserve the beef juices and pour into a medium saucepan. Prepare Dipping Sauce.

For each sandwich: Cut French rolls in half. Toast and butter each French roll. Layer about 1/2 pound of sliced beef on bottom slice of each roll; place remaining tops of rolls on top of the beef.

Slice sandwiches in half and serve on individual plates with a small bowl (1/4 cup) of hot Dipping Sauce.

Makes 8 sandwiches.

Dipping Sauce Instructions:
In a medium saucepan, add beef juices, beef broth, water, salt, and pepper; bring just to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover saucepan, and let site 10 minutes before serving.

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

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chicago cooking

What’s cooking in Chicago- Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

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Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Did you ever wonder about the “pie” in pizza pie? This dish will make that connection clear for you. With its 1 1/2″ tall crust cradling distinct layers of cheese, sausage, and tomatoes, this is definitely a knife-and-fork pizza PIE. We like to bake this in a big, 14″ deep-dish pizza pan; it makes a spectacular presentation, right out of the oven. But if you don’t have a big pan, feel free to use two 9″ round cake pans.

Ingredients
Crust

4 cups (482g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3 tablespoons (35g) yellow cornmeal
1 3/4 teaspoons (11g) salt
2 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons (25g) olive oil
4 tablespoons (57g) butter, melted
2 tablespoons (25g) vegetable oil or salad oil
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (255g) lukewarm water
Filling

3/4 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 pound Italian sweet or hot sausage, cooked and sliced; or about 3 cups of the sautéed vegetables of your choice
28-ounce can plum tomatoes, lightly crushed; or 28-ounce can diced or chopped tomatoes
2 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced, optional
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
1 to 2 teaspoons Pizza Seasoning or mixed dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary), to taste
1 cup (113g) freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons (25g) olive oil, to drizzle on top
Instructions
To make the crust: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix flour with the rest of the dough ingredients, and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth crust. This will take about 7 minutes at medium-low speed in a stand mixer.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl or 8-cup measure (which makes it easy to track its rise), cover, and let rise till very puffy, about 60 minutes.

While the dough is rising, ready your 14″ deep-dish pizza pan. Grease it with non-stick vegetable oil spray, then pour in 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, tilting it to cover the bottom of the pan, and partway up the sides.

Stretch the dough to make as large a circle as you can. You can do this on a lightly oiled baking mat, if you choose; or simply stretch the dough in your hands.

Lay the dough in the pan, and stretch it towards the edges until it starts to shrink back. Cover, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F while the dough rests.

Continue to stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan, then gently push it up the sides of the pan. The olive oil may ooze over the edge of the crust; that’s OK. Let the crust rest for another 15 minutes.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until it’s set and barely beginning to brown. While it’s baking, prepare the filling.

Drain the tomatoes thoroughly. Combine them with the Pizza Seasoning or herbs, and the garlic and sugar (if you’re using them). Add salt to taste; you probably won’t need any additional salt if you’ve used the Pizza Seasoning.

Cover the bottom of the crust with the sliced mozzarella, fanning it into the crust. Add the sausage (or sautéed vegetables), then the tomato mixture.

Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan, and drizzle with the olive oil.

Bake the pizza for about 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and carefully lift it out of the pan onto a rack. A giant spatula is a help here. Allow the pizza to cool for about 15 minutes (or longer, for less oozing) before cutting and serving.

Tips from our Bakers
For individual deep-dish pizzas: Grease the wells of an individual hamburger bun pan. Divide the risen dough into 12 equal pieces; if you have a scale, each piece will weigh about 2 1/2 ounces. Roll each piece into a tight ball, then cover six of them and transfer to the refrigerator. Allow the remaining six balls of dough to rest, covered, at room temperature for 20 minutes. Stretch an unrefrigerated dough ball to cover the bottom of a well, then push it up the sides of the pan. Repeat with the remaining dough. After a 15-minute rest, bake the individual crusts for 10 minutes until they’re set and barely beginning to brown. Fill, then bake the pizzas for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Repeat with the remaining (refrigerated) dough.
Deep-dish pizza has a long history in the city of Chicago, where it’s revered as a delicious native invention. The crust, based on a recipe whose supposed provenance is Chicago’s Pizzeria Uno, has an unusual flaky/tender texture, and great taste — courtesy of three types of fat: vegetable oil, olive oil, and butter. Also, the tiny bit of cornmeal adds subtle but delightful crunch.

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

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india cooking

What’s cooking in NYC – Manhattan Clam Chowder

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Manhattan clam chowder is most often recognized by its red color, coming from the use of tomatoes and tomato paste. The broth is much thinner than the thick New England version and while it also includes potatoes, most Manhattan-style chowders boast a variety of vegetables like carrots, celery, onion, and garlic for added flavor. The first recipe for “Manhattan Clam Chowder” was published in 1934 in a cookbook called Soups and Sauces by Virginia Elliott and Robert Jones. While the name “Manhattan” stuck, the soup has little to do with New York City’s most popular borough.

While it had its supporters, not everyone was a fan of the tomato-based twist on the original. In New York Cookbook, Molly O’Neill explains, “Manhattan clam chowder reverberated like an act of sabotage against the New England clam chowder tradition.” She went on to detail the outrage associated with the soup’s creation:

Manhattan clam chowder remained “a notable heresy.” In 1939 a Maine legislator introduced a bill outlawing the use of tomatoes in chowder. In 1940, Eleanor Early, lambasted the “terrible pink mixture” in her book New England Sampler. Manhattan clam chowder, she wrote, “is only a vegetable soup and not to be confused with New England Clam Chowder, nor spoken of in the same breath. Tomatoes and clams,” she wrote, “have no more affinity than ice cream and horseradish.”

Not to be left out, New Jersey has also created its own version, which is more similar to Manhattan clam chowder. It’s made with tomatoes, creamed asparagus, light cream, and bacon. It’s also seasoned with Old Bay spice, parsley, and celery powder.

Going further south to Florida, St. Augustine calls Minorcan clam chowder one of its signature dishes. This one is similar to Manhattan-style in that it’s tomato-based. However, Florida’s version includes one very unique ingredient: datil pepper. The pepper — varying in color from green to a yellowish orange — is indigenous to Cuba and was brought to Florida hundreds of years ago. It’s described as sweet, tart, and spicy, giving the soup it’s one-of-a-kind flavor. The name Minorcan refers to Florida settlers from the island of Minorca, Spain who created the hearty soup with local ingredients in their Mediterranean style.

There is also Rhode Island clam chowder, known for its clear broth and its use of quahogs, a type of clam defined by its larger size (they may weigh up to 3 pounds). In fact, the small state also has a red version of the famous soup. Unlike the Manhattan-style chowder, this one is not made with any actual tomatoes — it’s made with tomato purée— or any added vegetables.

In the Outer Banks of North Carolina, there’s a version dubbed Hatteras Island-style clam chowder — a broth-based soup that skips the cream and tomatoes. It’s commonly made with littleneck clams due to their small size and sweet flavor. The ingredients are cooked in clam juice diluted with water and brought to a boil to infuse the flavor of the clams into every bite. Classically, the dish only calls for salt and pepper as a seasoning.

There is also Cabo Clam Chowder, a South of the Border-inspired dish boasting bold Mexican flavors like chipotle. The recipe includes vegetables like onions, corns, jalapeños, and peppers, plus black beans, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and lime. Spicy flavors come from chipotle hot sauce and the dish is garnished with tortilla strips.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons minced green pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups hot water
1 cup cubed peeled potatoes
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) minced clams, undrained
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

Directions
In a large saucepan, heat butter over low heat. Add onion, celery, green pepper and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes. Add water and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Add tomatoes, clams, salt, thyme, pepper and cayenne; heat through. Stir in parsley. Serve immediately.

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

spotted in www.eater.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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india cooking

What’s cooking in India- Tandoori Chicken

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Tandoori chicken (तंदूरी चिकन) is a typical dish of traditional Indian cuisine, very popular in many parts of South Asia, based on chicken marinated in dahi (yoghurt), enriched with a typical blend of spices.

What is tandoori chicken?
As its name suggests, tandoori chicken is cooked in a tandoor after marinating for several hours.

The tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven with an underground base, where the coal that feeds it is placed, and at the top the opening where the food is lowered to be cooked. The oven reaches very high temperatures and was originally used in Mughal cuisine to bake bread, but its use has also been extended to cooking meat.

To bake breads, the bread is hung raw on the inner walls of the oven where it is baked in a few minutes, while the meat is threaded in pieces on vertical skewers and loses its juices which, dripping from top to bottom, leave the pieces from the bottom, in contact with the embers, so as not to dry out too much.

The tandoor oven is widespread throughout India but is typical of the Punjab region.

The tandoori cooking technique is widespread in India, the Middle East and Central Asia, while in the West it is easily savored in many restaurants around the world.

The meat, usually chicken, lamb or beef, is first marinated for a long time.

How to prepare tandoori chicken
The pieces of chicken, which can be either thighs, wings or sometimes cutlets, are previously marinated for several hours in dahi (yoghurt) and seasoned with tandoori masala, a popular spice blend.

The typical red color of tandoori chicken is obtained by using chili powder, Kashmir or cayenne pepper, while a large amount of turmeric can generate a red-orange color. Both colors can be found in many modern versions.

Tandoori chicken is traditionally cooked at high temperatures in a tandoor that can reach about 900 F (480°C), which is unthinkable for any domestic oven.

Since not everyone has a tandoor at home, there are at least two other alternatives: a traditional oven or a charcoal, electric or gas barbecue.

For cooking in a traditional standard oven, tandoori chicken can be cooked on the oven rack placed on a baking dish or using a spit or rotisserie. Skewers are also used for cooking on charcoal or other barbecues.

In a tandoor, the heat being very high, when the fat of the meat drips on the hot coals, it produces smoke.

The dahi marinade helps tenderize the meat. This marinade, combined with the high heat, is the soul of tandoori chicken. Like almost everything in Indian cuisine, it needs a bouquet of spices that give it very intense aromas.

In India and other countries in the region, such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, there are hundreds of such seasoning blends.

What many call curry is a generic name given by the colonizers both for these spice blends and for the dishes prepared with this immense variety of condiments.

Originally, the word referred to a plant native to India, curry, whose leaves frequently appear in these spices. The Indians often call these spice mixtures masala, garam masala being the best known type.

Ingredients
For the chicken marinade
750 g chicken (thighs, upper thighs, wings)
150 ml Greek yogurt (dahi)
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon red chili powder (or red pepper flakes)
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ tablespoon mustard oil (or vegetable oil)
To grill
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the color
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 tablespoons melted ghee (or mustard oil)

Instructions

Marinade
In a large bowl, pour the dahi.
Then add the garlic and ginger pastes, garam masala, red chili powder, mustard seeds, salt, turmeric, kasuri methi, white pepper and ground coriander. Add the oil and lemon juice.
Mix the marinade, which should have a thick consistency.
Make deep slits on the chicken pieces and place them in the bowl.
Distribute the marinade over the chicken pieces, making sure to also soak the slits.
Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
Cooking
Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking and leave it at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 460 F (240˚C) for 25 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to collect the drips.
Distribute 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil on a wire rack and place it on the baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Place the chicken pieces on the grill. Reserve the rest of the marinade.
Grill the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes.
Combine 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 2 tablespoons of ghee (or mustard oil) in a bowl.
After 15 minutes of broiling, drizzle the chicken with half of the reserved remaining marinade and brush the chicken with half the red chili ghee (or mustard oil).
Turn the chicken pieces over and brush them with the remaining marinade and the remaining red pepper ghee.
Grill another 6 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Adjust the cooking time according to the size of the chicken pieces.
For the last 5 minutes, move the aluminum foil lined baking sheet and wire rack to the highest rack to give the chicken a nicely roasted color.
Serve with onion rings, lemon and naan bread.

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

spotted in www.196flavors.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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vietnam cooking

What’s cooking in Vietnam – Pho

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Pho soup is the essential Vietnamese soup that is now popular throughout the world.

In simple terms, pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a beef noodle soup, but in reality it is much more exciting that that. Vietnamese Pho is packed full of delicious aromatics and the salty beef broth is to die for.

What is the origin of pho?
The popularity of pho has grown considerably over recent years in cities across the world. Pho is a relatively new dish as it was first documented around the early 1900s. There are several theories around how the soup originated, some experts believing that it is a French–Vietnamese fusion dish since beef was rarely eaten in Vietnam before the French colonized the country in the late 19th century. Other historians claim that it was Chinese immigrants that originally brought the dish to Hanoi to sell on the streets.

What are the variants?
There are differences between the Pho served up in the North and South of Vietnam. The traditional recipe featured here is typical of pho eaten in Hanoi, in the North of the country, where the beef bones are used to make the broth and more seasonings are used. In Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), in the South, the broth is often made with chicken and dry squid along with the beef bones and they often stir in hoisin to the finished dish.

How to make pho
The key to an authentic, flavorful pho is the beef broth. Left to simmer for three hours, the flavors and aromatics are allowed to develop to their fullest. The creation of the broth cannot be rushed.

The herbs and spices in Vietnamese pho soup are what really give this dish its fragrant identity. A collection of spices is used to flavor the beef broth and give it a subtle but complex depth of flavor. The herbs that the broth is poured over, lift the dish and give it that light freshness.

Traditional pho is made with a beef broth with thin slices of raw beef round (the beef slices are cooked when the hot broth is poured over them). Even until fairly recently, making pho using another type of meat was seen as sacrilege. Chicken pho has started to become more prevalent where a lighter chicken broth replaces the deeper beef flavors and strips of cooked chicken are added to the bowl.

Making a simpler vegetarian option is also possible, just be sure to pack flavor into the broth. Seafood variations are also popular. Vietnamese pho soup is not traditionally a spicy dish. Hot peppers can be used to garnish the dish, but these are of course optional for those who don’t like spicy food.

Ingredients
For the broth
500 g short ribs with bone
4 slices ox tail
2 marrow bones
3 scallions , cut in halves
1 whole star anise
1 whole nutmeg
1 stick cinnamon
5 whole cloves
5 pods cardamom
250 g daikon , julienned
For the toppings
200 g rice noodles (ideally bánh phở)
Soybean sprouts
10 scallions
½ bunch mint
½ bunch cilantro
½ bunch Thai basil
800 kg round (sirloin, or shank)
3 limes
2 hot peppers

Instructions
Heat a frying pan and roast the spices (star anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, cardamom) for a few minutes to develop their aroma.
Place these spices in a tea ball or cheesecloth (tied with kitchen twine).
In a large pot, place the scallions, the ribs, the marrow bones, the ox tail slices and the spice tea ball.
Add the julienned daikon.
Cover with water and bring to a boil. Then, lower the heat. Cover to three quarters (do not close the lid completely) and simmer for 3 hours. If necessary, skim the fat as it is cooking.
At the end of cooking, filter the broth. Thinly slice the ribs and the ox tail and set aside.
Cook the rice vermicelli in a large volume of boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.
Thinly slice the round (sirloin or beef shank) and set aside.
Rinse and drain the soybean sprouts. Rinse, dry and then roughly chop the herbs (mint, cilantro, Thai basil).
In individual bowls, place the ingredients in this order:
– rice noodles
– daikon
– slices of round (sirloin or shank)
– slices of short ribs
– slices of ox tail
– soybean sprouts
– herbs and thinly sliced scallions
Pour the hot broth into each bowl and serve immediately after adding the juice of half a lime and thinly sliced hot pepper (optional) in each bowl.
Mix the food for about thirty seconds using chopsticks and enjoy.
Notes
Tip: place the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing it. The meat is firmer, and it becomes easier to thinly slice.

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

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