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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Cuisine of Madrid



The nations capital is known for having a broad variety of food and is the place to go if you want to sample something from all over Spain. Boasting the second largest fish market in the world, it's often called "Spain's best port" despite being 250 miles from the sea.
Enlarge ImageThe Madrid region (one of Spain’s smallest), as one would expect, is largely dominated by the capital city itself. It has been said, by gourmands and food critics alike, that Madrid does not really have an individual cuisine all of its own, rather it draws on influence from the whole of Spain, absorbing a rich tapestry of flavors and ingredients and throwing them into it’s own gastronomic melting pot. This is certainly true to some extent; in no other city in Spain are visitors likely to be presented with such a wide cross section of the nations flavors. Despite this fact Madrid does still boast a few dishes that are synonymous with the capital and by absorbing so many influences; Madrid has become one of Spain’s richest gastronomic regions.

Famed for its stews and hotpots, Madrid’s most famous dish is probably "Cocido Madrileño". Made with chick peas and vegetables it is a staunch favorite of locals and tourists. "Callos" (tripe) is also typical of the region and can be served in many ways and visitors should not leave without having sampled the simple, yet delicious, "Sopa de Ajo" (garlic soup). The region is also heavily influenced by nearby Castile an area famous for its roasted meats and these traditions have been readily absorbed by Madrilenos. Meats are often slow cooked in a wood oven, giving exquisite flavor and tenderness. Veal, suckling pig and even goat, are often prepared in this way. Food in the region is often more warm and hearty than in the South and is much better suited to the cooler winters of the central and northern regions of Spain.

Desserts and sweets are also a big thing in Madrid and are often seasonally produced. The superb "torrijas" is very similar to bread and butter pudding and a favorite in spring time and especially around the time of holy Week.

Rather surprisingly for an area that is 250 miles from the nearest ocean, Mardileños are great lovers of fish and the city boasts the second largest fish market in the world, only the one in Tokyo is larger. Every morning fresh fish arrives by the truck-load from Spain’s coastal regions filling the cities restaurants and bars with a massive variety of seafood, so much so that Madrid has received the paradoxical nickname of "the best port in Spain".

As you would expect, Madrid is home to some excellent restaurants with no shortage of fine dining options as well as a massive variety of tapas bars. Some criticism has been leveled at Madrid in recent times about the lack of high quality international cuisine on offer and vegetarians (not exactly two-a-penny in Spain) may also find it hard to find a decent meal. Spaniards are very much a meat eating race so vegetarian dishes in restaurants may not be of the highest quality (although standards have improved within recent years). The ever growing city break market means that city’s such as Madrid have to provide good quality food for all of their tourist visitors if it wants to keep them coming back. This can only be a good thing for the city that’s ability to adapt and adopt food from around Spain has clearly given Madrid its own unique cuisine. Babylon-Idiomas
Excellent Spanish language school offering courses in Spain and Latin America
By Mike McDougall

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

IYAN (POUNDED YAM) AND OBE EGUSI (MELON VEGETABLE SOUP)






INGREDIENT FOR POUNDED YAM (IYAN)
• Tubers of Yam
• Water

METHOD

To prepare iyan,
1. buy like 2 tubers of YAM.

2. Peel it off, rinse, and boi till it's soft, not to soft now (NO SALT)

3. Get your odo, and omo ori odo (pistle and molta)
Hurry up because we don't want the yam to be cold now

4. Throw the yam in the molta one after the other as you pound.

5. Pound with all your strength.

6. Pound the yam very well, till it's all formed (u cook fufu -- uyo people, so you should know how a good fufu should be),
7.Use the pistle to turn the pounded yam very well,

8.Get a plate and serve it, if you're not eating it immediately, wrap in a plastic (nylon), and put the iyan in betweeen 2 blankets.
Yes,, it's better that way than in a cooler, because in a cooler the iyan can change .


As for the stew, it is right about eating it with efo riro, efo elegusi is sometimes good too.

YAM FLOUR-ELUBOAMALA ATI EWEDU




INGREDIENTS FOR YAM FLOUR(ELUBO)
• White Yam
METHOD
1. Peel and slice yam thinly (5mm thick),wash thoroughly and leave to soak in a bowl of boiling water until the water is cold.
2. Remove, and dry in the sun.
3. Beat and sift.


HOW TO PREPARE AMALA AND EWEDU

INGREDIENTS FOR AMALA

• Elubo/gbodo [yam flour]
• water
• ewedu leaves
• salt.


METHOD

1. put some water in the pot and allow to boil
2. when boiling add your yam flour
as you are adding this, make sure you turn at the same time with a ladle so that it doesn't come out with lumps.
3. when it is well coagulated add some warm water, depending on how soft you want it be and cover to simmer for some minutes.
after this turn it together properly.
4. please serve hot so as to enjoy it.

PREPARATION OF EWEDU SOUP
1. The leafs need to be chopped properly.
by using a blender to blend or
chopping board and knife or broom.
Any method u choose to use is okay.
2. Place a little quantity of water in pot and place on burner
3. Add kanhun [potassium] and allow to melt in water before adding your chopped or blended ewedu leafs. NOTE: the potassium makes it soft and make sure you add very little quantity of it.
4. Add the leafs and stir until it softens and well thicken. by now it will start pulling add salt to taste and its ready.
5. Serve with amala and any stew of your choice

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ten British Foods I Miss Like Mad




Whilst I love the fresh food available here in Poitou-Charentes, there are times when my body seems to crave stuff that British residents take for granted. Some things you just can't get here, and some which are displayed in the tiny ‘British food section' of the supermarket which would be more aptly titled ‘daylight robbery section.' The ‘range' of goods on offer hardly sets hearts racing (spam anyone?), and frankly I don't know if supermarket managers are privately having a giggle at us desperate Brits.

Compiling this list had me drooling and whimpering like a hungry dog. It took me some time to arrive at my own top-ten, because at each item I seemed to drift away, almost able to taste the items in question. Anyway, grab some tissues to mop up the saliva, and check out the list of what I miss the most:
Cheddar Cheese - The French are luke-warm on this British favourite, but we can't get enough of it, the stronger the better! You can keep your Roquefort!
Cadburys Chocolate - This is the best chocolate in the world. Milka, Toblerone and Lindt simply do not compare. Don't even think about comparing it with the imposter you can buy from Nestle. Only Cadbury's will do. Preferably a Dairy Milk the size of a mattress!
Bacon - Who do the French think they are kidding. Bacon is not circular, and is not paper-thin. It is almost guitar-shaped and requires more than 10 seconds in the pan. The edges should go crispy, and it should be served on thick sliced white bread....
Takeaways - If I had a euro for every time someone has muttered ‘I could murder a decent takeaway' I'd be a rich man indeed. Unhealthy, full of additives and sugars, and invented for the downright lazy amongst us, but sometimes, just sometimes....
Walkers crisps - Cheese and onion to be precise. This flavor has been attempted here, with credible results, but none can match Gary Lineker's favorite.
Baked Beans - The local equivalent product has a label that translates as "baked beans in dirty dishwater." It's missing that thick tomatoes sauce like you find in Heinz or even popular supermarket brands.
Proper bread - I like fresh crusty baguettes, but there are times when a decent thick sliced loaf of white bread is required. You can buy ‘recette Anglais' here, but it is ridiculously priced, and nothing like a decent Hovis or Warburtons.
Real Ale - Why don't the French go for proper beer? Why is it that only lager or white (wheat) beer is available in the local bars? While I am not a big beer drinker, there are times that a pint of Snecklifter, Old Peculiar or Speckled Hen would go down a treat.
Crackers for Cheese - We served up a selection of crackers to our French neighbours recently, and they didn't really know what to do with them. Certainly, the Scottish Oatcakes drew puzzled looks. "Aren't oats for horses?" one person offered. Another used one as a coaster. Philistines
Branston Pickle - Chutney schmutney! There's nothing out there to beat the ‘small-chunk' version of this British classic, home-made or not. A perfect partner to the aforementioned cheddar cheese.
Guide2PoitouCharentes
your indispensable guide to the sunniest region of western France

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

12 Best Foods Cookbook

Over 200 Delicious Recipes Featuring the 12 Healthiest Foods. Open a newspaper or magazine or turn on the news and you'll likely get yet another report about a new study that demonstrates the value of "superfoods" -- foods with high-powered, health-enhancing, disease-fighting micronutrients. But what these articles never tell you is how truly easy it is to enjoy eating these foods for the rest of your life.By Dana Jacobi
Published by Rodale
May 2005; $21.95US/$31.95CAN; 1-57954-965-9

Open a newspaper or magazine or turn on the news and you'll likely get yet another report about a new study that demonstrates the value of "superfoods" -- foods with high-powered, health-enhancing, disease-fighting micronutrients. But what these articles never tell you is how truly easy it is to enjoy eating these foods for the rest of your life. Now, with this collection of more than 200 tantalizing recipes from award-winning food writer and chef Dana Jacobi, you can discover the pure pleasure of eating the foods that are truly best for you.

Working with key ingredients selected for versatility as well as vitality, Jacobi exploits each food's abundant nutritional value in irresistible creations like thick and spicy Lean Mean Chocolate Chili and deceptively light Spinach Strudel. Dishes like Black Bean Bisque and Pan-Roasted Halibut with Carmelized Onions are perfect for entertaining but easy enough for weeknight meals, too. Chapters cover everything from fabulous breakfasts like French Toast with Hidden Blueberries, to satisfying snacks and innovative sides, to show-stopping desserts like Hot Chocolate Soufflé with Strawberry Salsa.

With a foreword by Mehmet Oz, M.D., and 40 lush color photographs, 12 Best Foods Cookbook reveals on every page that perhaps the ultimate benefit of eating what's good for you is how very good it can taste.

Author

Dana Jacobi: After apprenticing at three-star restaurants in France, Dana Jacobi opened a catering business and marketed her own line of gourmet sauces. She has since authored five cookbooks, contributed to several others, and written for Food & Wine, Cooking Light, the New York Times, and the Associated Press. Her work has won a Gourmand World Cookbook Award and been nominated for a James Beard Foundation Book Award. Presently Jacobi writes a weekly newspaper column, "Something Different," for the American Institute for Cancer Research. She also consults in product development and teaches cooking classes. Jacobi lives in New York City.

Reviews

"Dana Jacobi has a true gift for translating nutritional recommendations into pure, delicious food. She knows how to impart the essential information with inspiration and pleasure, without overwhelming us. Under her excellent tutelage, we are moved right along into action. I think this book will become one of the most dog-eared and spilled upon in many a kitchen."

--Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook

"Dana Jacobi proves that good nutrition and pleasure are not mutually exclusive. Her inventive, simple recipes satisfy our desires and keep our bodies healthy."

--Jack Bishop, author of A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen and Vegetables Every Day

"Dana is the most accomplished and sensible healthy cook I know. She has turned the 12 best foods into dishes so delicious I may well become a health nut." --Arthur Schwartz, radio talk-show host and author of Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food

Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the book 12 Best Foods Cookbook: Over 200 Delicious Recipes Featuring the 12 Healthiest Foods

Spinach Salad with Nectarine, Blueberries and Lime Balsamic Vinaigrette

With nectarines available nearly all year long, you can enjoy this salad almost anytime. I actually like it best in the winter, when the tartness of imported nectarines seems to make it even more refreshing. Tossing fresh mint with the spinach adds an unexpected flavor.

4 cups baby spinach (4 ounces)

1/4 cup mint leaves

Juice of 1/2 lime

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped shallot

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 nectarine, thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh blueberries, or 1/4 cup dried

1. Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl. Stack the mint leaves and cut them crosswise into thin strips. Toss the mint with the spinach.

2. For the dressing, combine the lime juice, vinegar, shallot, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil. Season the dressing to taste with pepper.

3. Pour the dressing over the greens, tossing to coat lightly. Divide the dressed spinach among 4 salad plates. Fan one-quarter of the nectarine slices on 1 side of each plate. Sprinkle the blueberries over the spinach. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 72 calories, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber


Food Fact

The vitamin C in lime juice can help your body absorb the iron in spinach.

--------------------

Roast Chicken Waldorf Salad

Fennel and toasted nuts give a new twist to this salad with creamy dressing. Instead of waiting for leftovers from a roast chicken, you can make it using a barbecued breast from the store.

Salad

2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

2 cups diced roast chicken breast (8 ounces)

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut in 3/4"cubes

2 wild fennel bulbs, or 1/4 medium fennel bulb, chopped

6 cups shredded red leaf, romaine, or Boston lettuce, or any combination

Dressing

2 tablespoons low-fat whipped dressing

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Toast until they are fragrant and lightly colored, 10 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes and again after 6 minutes so they toast evenly. Set the nuts aside to cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, apple, fennel, and nuts.

3. For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the whipped dressing, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and red pepper, adjusting the seasoning to taste. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture, tossing until the salad is evenly coated.

4. To serve, divide the lettuce among 4 dinner plates and mound the chicken salad equally over the greens.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 279 calories, 16 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 22 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Wild fennel bulbs are long and slim. You can find them at an increasing number of supermarkets as well as farmers' markets, particularly during the summer and fall. They should be thinly sliced, as they are crunchier (some would say tougher) than the bulbous fennel we are used to. They also have a more pronounced anise flavor.

--------------

Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Gravy

These overstuffed chops will have friends and family talking for weeks. The idea came from watching a cooking show on television. That recipe, however, was seriously loaded with butter and cream, while I use just enough to make velvety potatoes and moist chops. I also replaced a long list of Cajun spices with Thai chili paste, making this a down-home dish with melting-pot flavors.

3 medium Beauregard, Garnet, or Jewel yams (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon Thai red chili paste

3 tablespoons half-and-half

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1/2 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped

1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs

4 (1 1/2"-thick) boneless center cut pork chops (5-6 ounces each)

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roast the sweet potatoes. Peel and mash them. There should be 3 cups. Reduce the oven to 350°F.

2. For the gravy, in a bowl combine 2 1/3 cups of the sweet potatoes with the butter, chili paste, and half-and-half. Season it to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the creamy potatoes to cover the bottom of an 8" square baking dish. Set aside.

3. For the stuffing, in a second bowl, combine the remaining sweet potato with the onion, apple, and breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Make a 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" pocket in each chop. Pack the stuffing generously into the pockets. Combine the paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and onion powder in a small bowl. Rub 1 side of each chop with this mixture and set them seasoned side down on top of the sweet potatoes in the baking dish. Rub the remaining seasoning on top of each chop. Cover the pan with foil.

5. Bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake the chops 10 minutes longer, until they are nicely browned on top. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 474 calories, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 32 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber

-------------------

Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

Plump cherry tomatoes, sautéed just until their skin cracks, are the stars of this Greek-accented dish. The large cherry ones, also called cocktail tomatoes, that come in a net bag are best. Their flavor is worth the premium you pay. If you buy shelled shrimp, this dish is ready to cook in 5 minutes.

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 pound medium shrimp, shelled

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (12-ounce) bag cherry tomatoes on the vine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried

1/4 cup dry white wine, or fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and stir with a wooden spoon until they just lose their raw color, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, tomatoes, oregano, and wine or broth. Cook, using a spoon to roll the tomatoes around, until most of the liquid has boiled off, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the parsley and cheese, and cook 1 minute longer, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 154 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 19 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber

Food Fact

Shrimp contain a moderate amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

------------------

Broccoli Smashed Potatoes

Even youngsters will love this dish, an unexpected way to enjoy a whole cup of broccoli.

1 pound Yukon Gold or other yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled

4 cups medium broccoli florets

1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced

1/2 cup low-fat (1%) milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 teaspoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

1. Place the potatoes in a deep saucepan and cover with cold water to a depth of 2". Cook uncovered over high heat until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes.

2. While the potatoes cook, steam the broccoli and leek until the broccoli is very soft, about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander.

3. Drain the potatoes and place them in a deep bowl. Using a sturdy fork, mash the potatoes into roughly 1" chunks. Add the broccoli and leek, mashing until only small lumps of the broccoli remain. Add the milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, mashing until the texture is pleasing to you. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, taking care it does not burn. Stir in the mace.

5. To serve, spoon the smashed potatoes into a serving bowl. With the back of the spoon, smooth the top, leaving several shallow indentations. Drizzle the butter, letting it pool in the hollows. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 169 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 7 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber


Food Fact

Yellow-fleshed potatoes get their color from carotenoids.

------------

Blueberry Peach Crostata

I am skeptical about frozen food, but frozen peaches taste better than most of the fresh ones available. (Unfortunately, this is true even during the summer.) To see for yourself, make this golden-crusted Italian tart. Leftovers, if there are any, are great for breakfast.

Crust

1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Filling

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

16 ounces frozen sliced peaches

1/4 cup peach or apricot preserves, or fruit spread

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/4 cup blueberry jam

1. Set a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. For the crust, place the flour, lemon zest, and salt in a mixing bowl, making a well in the center. Place the egg, butter, and granulated sugar in the well. Using a fork, lightly mix the egg, then gradually work the flour into the egg and butter until the mixture is crumbly. Rub the dough between your fingers for 2 minutes to blend the ingredients well. Press the dough into a ball and flatten it into a 5" x 1" disk on a sheet of waxed paper. Invert a bowl over the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

3. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper into an 11" disk. Removing 1 sheet of paper, fit the dough into a 9" loose-bottomed tart pan, fixing any tears with your fingers and bringing it three-quarters of the way up the sides. Line the crust with foil and weight it with dry beans.

4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 5 minutes longer, until it is just golden. Cool completely on a wire rack. Fill immediately or cover with foil and set the crust aside for up to 8 hours.

5. For the filling, combine the juice, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 30 seconds. Add the peaches, cover, and cook 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until the fruit is translucent but still firm, 5 minutes longer. Reduce the heat. Pushing the fruit to 1 side, mix the preserves with the liquid, cooking until it melts, 1 minute. Add the blueberries and mix to glaze the fruit. Set aside to cool slightly, 10 minutes.

6. Coat the bottom of the crust with the blueberry jam. Spoon the warm fruit into the crust. Serve warm or at room temperature, within 2 hours.

Makes 6 servings

Per serving: 402 calories, 13 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 5 g protein, 69 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

Use only blueberry jam. Fruit spread does not seal the crust.

Food Fact

Peaches are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber, in addition to carotenoids.

Reprinted from: 12 Best Foods Cookbook: Over 200 Delicious Recipes Featuring the 12 Healthiest Foods by Dana Jacobi. Copyright © 2005 Dana Jacobi. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling (800) 848-4735 or visit their website at www.rodalestore.com
By Buzzle Staff and Agencies

Use of Spices worldwide



A general description of the uses of spices. If you are new to cooking then read this to get an idea of how different countries use spices. If you are an "old hand" please let us know your favorite recipes.
Enlarge ImageFor thousands of years Man has used herbs and spice to flavor their food. Each region of the world has developed their own style of cooking and nowadays it is possible to explore and recreate the great variety of dishes different countries offer.

In Europe herbs are an essential part of Mediterranean cooking. Marjoram, oregano, basil, rosemary and many others are vital ingredients in the recipes from Italy, Spain and other Southern European countries. Cross the water to North Africa and the Middle East and you will find mild aromatic spices predominate. Anyone who has eaten an authentic tagine in a Moroccan suk will tell you how enticing these spices are. Much of this region is known for the spices they produce, saffron from Iran, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric and many more from Zanzibar off the east coast of Africa.

Most people associate spicy food with Asia, but again every country and region has its own cuisine as varied as the spice they use. Indian food, influenced by the Hindu and Moslem cultures, can be fiery hot or lightly aromatic. Even the desserts served are gently flavored with cardamom, nutmeg and cloves.

Thai and Vietnamese food is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Many people, nervous of eating Indian curries and wrongly fearing that they will be very hot, enjoy the subtle flavors of Thai spice and lemon grass, as gentle as the people themselves.

Chinese cuisine is equally subtle, much of its flavoring due to the sauces used, but spices such as ginger, star anise (grown in Southern China), cinnamon and cloves are also essential ingredients. If a little kick is needed, then chilli comes into its own.

Then we come to the New World. Visit any island in the Caribbean, from the spice island of Grenada to Trinidad and Tobago and you will find a host of highly flavored recipes as colorful as the people themselves. Tourism has opened the delights of Cuban cooking to the world.

Think of South America and chillis and peppers immediately come to mind. Chillis have influenced cooking right through Mexico, into Louisiana and the Cajun cooking ,so reliant on Cayenne pepper. This influence, combined with a Spanish flavor, has spread to Southwestern food with its spicy salsas. Try dishes from the Midwest with their strong influences from Germany and the Eastern European countries.

Fortunately the internet makes it easy to try out many of these recipes for yourself. Look up a country and its recipes and you are bound to find what you want. Herbs and Spices can be ordered cheaply at Worldwide-herbs-and-spices.com, so why not give it a go. Worldwide Use of Spices
Worldwide Herbs and Spices
By Cath Champion

Monday, May 17, 2010

What Makes Moroccan Cuisine and Recipes so Popular

Considered as one of the most diversified and sumptuous food, Moroccan cuisine offers a delightful experience. There primary reason contributed to the diverse Moroccan food is it’s interaction with the outside world for centuries. Food in Morocco has blended different cuisines from different cultures like Moorish, Arab, Middle Eastern, Berber, Jewish, Iberian and Mediterranean African.

Over different historical eras and centuries the Moroccan cuisine was refined by the highly capable cooks of the royal kitchens in Meknes, Fez, Marrakech, Tetouan and Rabat. This refined cuisine laid the base for the modern Moroccan cuisine.

History of Moroccan Cuisine

Morocco has been at the crossroad of different civilizations, which has greatly influenced Moroccan food. Today you will even find some of the best Moroccan recipes over the internet but the truth is that nothing tastes like the Moroccan spices. It is said that the history of Morocco can be seen reflected in their cuisine. People and tribes from different parts of the world has come to Morocco and settled here, which has led to creation of a blended cuisine that has many different flavors. There was a time when political refugees came all the way from Baghdad, Iraq during the Middle Ages to settle in Morocco. They brought their local recipes, which have since become a part of the traditional Moroccan cuisine. One of the signature characteristics of this type of blended recipe is where fruit is cooked with meat like apricots with chicken.

Moroccan food has also been influenced greatly by Morisco or the Muslim refugees who were thrown out of Spain preceding the Spanish inquisition. An important part of Moroccan cuisine is the ingredients used. Since Morocco produces Mediterranean vegetables and fruits, they are used in the preparation of different Moroccan recipes. Poultry, cattle and fish is also found in abundance in Morocco and hence they have become an integral part of the country’s cuisine.

Moroccan Spices

Food in Morocco can’t do without the Moroccan spices. One of the biggest markets in Morocco for spices is at Agadir and you can find different types of spices used as an ingredient for rendering a different taste. These spices are used in all Moroccan recipes and render a taste that will remain with you for a lifetime.

Some of the popular Moroccan spices include saffron that came from Tiliouine, olive and mint came from Meknes, while lemons and oranges came from Fez. Some of the common spices were also home grown like kamoun (cumin), karfa (cinnamon), kharkoum (tumeric), libzar (pepper) , skingbir (ginger), tahmira (paprika), sesame seed, anis seed, kasbour (coriander), zaafrane beldi (saffron) and maadnous (parsley).

The Great Moroccan Meal

You have to really taste the tanginess and the spicy flavors of the Moroccan cuisine to understand why it is so popular across the world. The most important part of the Moroccan cuisine is the midday meal. A Moroccan mid day meal will start with hot and cold salads, followed by tagine. Bread is the staple food in every mid day meal. This is followed by a chicken or lamb dish and then a dish of couscous topped with vegetable and meat. At the end of the meal, you will get to drink a cup of sweet mint tea, which is a part of their tradition.

Couscous is the main Moroccan dish and is considered to be of Berber origin. The most commonly consumed form of meat is beef although lamb is also preferred but costs more than beef. There is also a growing importance for seafood and it is slowly becoming an important part of Moroccan cuisine. Some of the popular as well as famous Moroccan food recipes include Pastilla, Couscous, Tajine, Harira and Tanjia. Although Harira is a soup, but it is an important part of the Moroccan cuisine and is consumed mostly during the holy months of Ramadan.

Where you have rich food laced with Moroccan spices, you will definitely have Desserts. Desserts in Morocco don’t necessarily have to be sweet although the sweeter it is, the better it will be. One of the common desserts is the kaab el ghzal or gazelle's horns. Of course that’s just a name and you won’t get to eat any real horns. Kaab el ghzal is a type of pastry with sugar toppings that is stuffed with almond paste. Honey cakes are extremely popular too and they are prepared by deep frying dough and then dipping them in hot honey and finally sesame seeds are sprinkled on the top.

Moroccan cuisine has a lot of variety and also include drinks (Mint Tea) and snacks apart from their mid day meal and to feel the real flavor of spice, you will have to taste their traditional food.

Moe Tamani is an importer of Tagines and an aficionado of Moroccan Tagines.
http://www.themoroccanbazaar.com/
http://www.themoroccanbazaar.com/shop.php/moroccan-furniture/tables/c_5.html
http://www.themoroccanbazaar.com/shop.php/moroccan-cooking/cooking-tagine/c_54.html Moroccan recipes
Moroccan recipes
By Moe Tamani

Unusual Edible Delicacies




If you are what you eat, and you want to be extraordinary, then you should try these delicacies. They are definitely out of the ordinary!Uncommon foods aren’t always found in trendy eateries or history books. There are many delicacies that may seem strange to us but are part of common consumption for certain societies, religions, or cultures around the world. Although your digestive system can’t tell the difference between a fried egg and a fried grasshopper, your palate certainly can. And everyone’s palate is trained throughout their life to grow accustomed to certain foods and consider them ordinary. So although the contents of your dinner plate may be regular food for you, someone else may think you’ve lost your mind. There are many "strange" food items that are just regular parts of the menu for many people. Here are just a few.

Butchers in almost all countries throughout the Middle East sell lamb’s brains or calf’s brains, and they are commonly stewed and eaten. The eyeballs of a roasted lamb’s head are traditionally considered to be delicacies, and in Saudi Arabia they are offered to honored guests at dinner parties and banquets. Both Arabs and people in the western parts of China eat the humps, meat, and feet of camels, although they are extremely tough and taste sour. The feet can be boiled with various herbs and tossed with a vinaigrette dressing, and the hump is marinated before being roasted. Tibetan cooks use yak meat in stews. Because yaks are very old when they are slaughtered, the meat tends to be tough. Elephant meat, eaten in Asia and Africa, is also tough, but elephant trunks and feet are not.

British gypsies (Roma) consider hedgehog meat to be a delicacy. English pubs used to specialize in serving rooke pie, a dish made from crow’s meat, but now it is almost never served. However, many Europeans (Italians, French, Austrians, Germans, and Swiss) are quite fond of horsemeat. Canada is a major exporter of horsemeat as well as live horses. The meat tastes similar to beef, but has a finer texture. Donkey meat can be used primarily for making sausage.

In mountainous regions, goat meat is popular, and goat milk is used to make flavorful cheeses. Meat from wild goats tends to be tough, and therefore is usually stewed. Meat from farm-raised goats is more tender, and is popular among Caribbean people in North America. Curried goat is easy to find in special restaurants in big cities. In Mexico and Spain, the testicles of steers that have been killed in bullfights are grilled and served with butter or olive oil-based sauces. Beef stomach and tripe are considered to be good sources of protein, but are usually found only in butcher shops catering to low-income populations.

In South America and Central America, chefs use sautéed iguana meat in casseroles, considered a delicacy. In Australia, chopped and marinated kangaroo tail ragout and sugar ants are a special treat. Insects are popular menu items in many places. Japanese candymakers dip ants in chocolate, and fried grasshoppers are a popular taste treat in Africa. North American gourmet shops offer fried silkworms and caterpillars. In Africa and Asia, you can indulge in locusts served with wild honey, which are said to have the taste of shrimp. Snake meat is easy to find in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. Snake soup and sautéed snake meat are believed to ward off the common cold.

Some delicacies often consumed right here in the United States are still considered strange by many people. Alligator meat - both fresh and frozen - is easy to round in Florida and Louisiana. Meat from farm-raised alligators is mild and tastes like chicken, but the consistency is a bit tougher. Snails, or escargots, are popular all across the country, and not only in fine restaurants. Snail lovers consider them to be in the same food class as oysters and clams, only land-based.

North American health regulations prohibit importation of many exotic meats and food items, but there are many gourmet groceries in Miami, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Vancouver, and Montreal that carry at least some of these unusual delicacies. So the next time you’re tired of the same ordinary meat loaf and mashed potatoes for dinner, why not get adventurous? You only live once, so you might as well live it up and try something extraordinary for dinner!
By Buzzle Staff and Agencies
Published: 3/12/2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Eating Healthy in a Fast Food World




It is possible to still eat healthy in this fast food world of ours, and here are a couple pointers.
Enlarge ImageRushing to Eat

People’s lives have become so busy and rushing around, that we no longer eat the way we should. In some places, there is a McDonald’s on every major corner, if not some other fast food restaurant. Watching TV, you see a commercial for some kind of food place almost every time commercials are on, urging you to eat there because it’s good and you can get it fast and cheap. With so many distractions and obligations, families have these days, how do you eat healthy in a fast food world? It’s not an easy thing to do but is possible with planning and knowing what to look for. This isn’t to say fast food can’t be consumed occasionally, but it should be less often than people are doing it now. Not to mention that our food is so processed that it takes five minutes to cook and has high carbohydrates among other things that are not digested quickly. This is leading to obesity in the population.

The Truth About Whole Grain

Because food is so processed these days to make it faster to cook, as well as more convenient for the way our lives have become, it is actually not as good for you as it once was. Recently the food administration even changed the food pyramid to coincide with how we eat these days and food is made. They are suggesting more whole grains than ever before, as well as vegetables. This may sound like what has been told to children for years, but even whole grains are deceiving on packaging these days. With all the new diets out there for low carb, no carb, low fat, no fat, etc., foods are coming out that say whole grain but are just as processed as its white counterpart. They are made with enriched wheat. This process takes out all the nutrients and other things that take time to digest for a healthy life. Reading the ingredient is a good way to find the real whole grain product. They are now more expensive than the over processed product because manufacturers could make the enriched version cheaper and faster. To eat healthy you have to read the labels of everything you consume.

Healthy Choices at Fast Food Eateries

The truth is that you really can’t eat healthy at any fast food restaurant. They aren’t designed for those trying or needing to watch what they put in their mouth. But you can make better decisions. Don’t’ eat the bread if you can stand not too. It’s along the lines of the South Beach Diet but that’s where lots of your weight gaining properties are. Don’t get anything fried, this includes French fries, onion rings, or even fried chicken. Get a diet pop, tea, or water. Avoid the desert and the salad, both have sugar in them and I don’t just mean in the toppings. Watch "Super Size Me" for a real eye opener. The show is on McDonald’s but you can bet that all fast food restaurants are basically the same. Limit how often you eat fast food to once per week, if that fast. Get a wrap at Subway instead of a toasted sub. Less bread and just as filling with all the fixings you want. When you get pizza, get vegetables on it so you aren’t just eating bread, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Remember just how bad fast food is for you, your waistline, and your cholesterol. Even if you are fifteen, you should be thinking about how it will affect you later in life. Starting early will make it easier on your body as you age.

Eating at Home

The best thing to do is find a way to cook meals most nights of the week. This can take planning and team work. Have at least one non-meat dish every week. It doesn’t have to be fish or seafood either. Don’t use fast cooking rich to go with your meals. Those are again loaded with carbohydrates, which take your body longer to break down and will make you hungry sooner than you should be. Plan weekly meals so that you can cook casseroles and other easy to reheat dishes early in the week for days you will not have time to cook. Utilize your crock-pot and get a recipe book for it. You can make just about anything in a crock pot these days and have a good meal when you get home. Have salad a few times a week with dinner, but watch how much dressing you put on it. Have desert, but make it Jell-O. Indulge once in a while to though and it won’t feel like you are depriving yourself of anything.

D. David Dugan is a supporter of http://health.divinfo.com, a site devoted to promoting good health, and http://retirement.divinfo.com, a site designed to provide people of all ages helpful retirement information. Health Information
A unique collection of information to improve you and your health.
By David Dugan

Grilled Hamburger Recipes



The perfect grilled hamburger is a matter of immense practice! Here are some interesting grilled hamburger recipes to prepare at home.Grilled hamburgers are one of the most preferred food items many working people opt for when on the run! Hamburgers in general, are amongst the most popular foods especially in the United States. Making the perfect hamburger is a matter of ample practice! A juicy grilled hamburger on a lazy afternoon at a picnic with family is one of the typical scenes especially at weekends. If you love your grilled hamburgers homemade then here are some special grilled hamburger recipes you can use to prepare these at home.

Grilled Hamburger Recipe #1:
Ingredients
Ground chuck (1 1/2 pounds)
Grated onion (2 tablespoons)
Seasoned salt and pepper
Sliced tomatoes - optional
Sliced pickles - optional
Sliced onion - optional
Lettuce - optional
Condiments - as desired
Tomato juice (2 tablespoons)
Fine dry bread crumbs (3 tablespoons)
Worcestershire sauce (2 teaspoons)
Garlic powder – optional (1/2 teaspoon)

Preparation
First you need to prepare the grill for high heat. Then, combine the beef with the bread crumbs and add the tomato juice, garlic powder, grated onion and the Worcestershire sauce. Then, you need to shape the meat into 4 patties. Now, use the salt and pepper and sprinkle it on both sides for seasoning. Place the burgers on a grill that has been oiled lightly. Grill these burgers for about 6 minutes evenly on each side. Once done, serve it with toasted buns along with some vegetables and condiments of your choice.

Grilled Hamburger Recipe #2:
Ingredients
Ground beef (2 lbs)
Breadcrumbs (1 cup)
Egg (1)
Salt and pepper
Dried chives (1 dash)
Salsa (8 tablespoons)
Small red onion - sliced (1)
American cheese (8 slices)
Tomatoes – sliced long (2)
Ranch dip (1 tablespoon)
Fresh cilantro (2 teaspoons)
Lettuce - shredded (1 cup)
Flour tortillas -8 in (8)
Ground red pepper (1 dash)

Preparation
First, place the ground beef in a bowl and combine with the breadcrumbs, red pepper, eggs and chives. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Then, divide this into 4 sections. Now, add the salsa and the cilantro to each section. Make large circular patties out of this and cut it in half. Place this on the hot barbeque. Let it cook for 6 minutes evenly on both sides. Now, add each to a flour tortilla and also add the cheese. Once done, fold over. Grill again for a few minutes till the cheese melts! Serve hot.

Grilled Hamburger Recipe #3:
Ingredients
Sour cream (3 tablespoons)
Hamburger buns – split (2)
Tomato slices (2)
Lettuce leaves (2)
Dijon mustard (3 tablespoons)
Lean ground beef (10 ounces)
Chopped fresh dill (1 1/2 tablespoons)

Preparation
First, prepare the barbeque on medium-high heat. Then mix the sour cream along with the Dijon mustard and the chopped fresh dill together in a large bowl. Then, place around 3 tablespoons of sauce in this bowl. Then, add the meat to the remaining sauce and blend well. Now, you need to divide the meat mixture into two equal proportions. Flatten each to ½ inch thick patty. Use some salt and pepper for seasoning. Then, grill the cut side of the buns till they are toasted well. Grill the patties till they are cooked perfectly. Spread the reserved sauce on the lower area of the buns. Now, you would need to top each with tomato slice, lettuce and burger and serve.
By Kashmira Lad

Burrito - The Taste of America




Taco Bell’s famous burrito by name Cheesy Double Beef burrito is much more economical good value than any other fast food. This can be justified with few strong reasons.As we all know burritos are originated in Mexico but are in popular in America. The reason why, burritos are more popular in America rather than Mexico is - Mexican burritos are very simple and plain with thin tortilla but in American burritos are stuffed with wide varieties with tortilla surrounded in thick layer. Americans have adapted Mexican cuisines very fast because of their unique taste. The ingredients required for both tacos and burritos are same but the size, shape and way of stuffing are varied. Very commonly prepared fast food prepared by Americans are burritos with beans, pinto beans, rice salsa and other stuffing. They won’t use much sea food in tacos but used widely in burritos preferably with shrimp.

Westerners who prefer burritos, suggesting few tips to enjoy this fast food item very well. Burrito with a combination of drink adds more flavor to the item. Few people suggesting to dip the burrito in sauce before taking each bite. A single burrito can be equals average meal consumption by a healthy person whereas the tacos should intake many more.

Taco Bell fast food doesn’t get spoilt or lose flavor after it has been kept for a long time. Cost wise it is much cheaper variety unlike many fast food items and even satisfies the largest appetite. Taco Bell is the only place where the people get this fast food any time even in early hours. As we get combo packs, just like cheesy double beef burrito can have with Fruitista drink which chills off your mouth with pleasant flavor.

Recent news with Taco Bell - it discontinued the production of a famous burrito variety as the competitor launched to serve. The burrito lovers who are the customers of Taco Bell requested to place back the item as they don’t want to lose the delicious menu from Taco Bell. Go get your taco bell coupons today!
By James Bond

Icelandic Cuisine




Icelandic Cuisine
Iceland offers a fine variety of all kinds of food produced locally. The quality is excellent, in part because of a very clean environment.Fish dishes are made from Icelandic fish caught in the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. Icelanders mostly eat haddock, plaice, halibut, herring, trout, salmon, lobster and shrimp.

Fish is usually dried, smoked, salted or baked and commonly prepared with garlic. Hakarl in Icelandic means shark. What we are talking about here is rotten shark meat which is part of the borramatur, the traditional seasonal Icelandic food. Known for its pungent taste and smell of ammonia, eating hakarl is associated with hardiness and strength. It is often accompanied by brennivin, a local schnapps.

Hakarl is a Greenland or basking shark which has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for 4-5 months. Hákarl has a very particular ammonia-rich smell and taste, similar to very strong cheese. It is an acquired taste and many Icelanders never eat it. It is, however, readily available in Icelandic stores all year round and is eaten in all seasons.

One of the most eaten meats is lamb. Lamb dishes are usually served with mustard sauce or cut in fillets. The others are horse and beef. Reindeer meat is considered a special delicacy and is usually very expensive. Small game mostly consists of seabirds (Puffin, Cormorant and the Great Black-backed Gull) and waterfowl (Mallard, Greylag goose and Pink-footed Goose). Since the meat of some seabirds contains fish oil it is placed in a bowl of milk overnight to extract the oil before cooking.

Dairy products are very important to Icelanders. There are over 80 types of cheese made, some of which have won international awards. Available vegetables are cabbage, potatoes, rutabaga, salad, turnips, tomatoes and cucumbers. Iceland relies on imports for fruit except for wild berries.

Brennivin and various types of vodka are the most consumed beverages in Iceland.

Appetizers: Baked cod in leek sauce made with white wine and cream, Fish Pate made of ground fish in a shrimp sauce consisting of heavy cream, fish broth and Icelandic shrimp, Fish Balls made of ground haddock fillets formed into balls and fried usually served with a brown or tomato sauce, Lamb Pate, marinated herring with juniper berries and Icelandic brennivin-schnapps and Salmon Tartar with coriander, caviar and lime-sauce.

Soups: Bread Soup made of rye bread, raisins or prunes, lemon and whipped cream, Egg Soup with eggs, milk and vanilla, Meat Soup with lamb, potatoes, leek, carrots, turnip, celery and rice, Lu Usupa Icelandic Halibut Soup with halibut steaks, white wine vinegar, prunes, butter, flour, lemon and sugar, and a Traditional Fish Soup made of flounder and salmon fillets, Icelandic shrimp, red onion, celery, fish stock, sherry or port, tomato puree, dry white wine and heavy cream.

Meat dishes: Beinlausir fuglar with thin slices of lamb, beef or horse meat rolled up with bacon and simmered, Lamb Fricassee with vegetables (Lambakjot meth graenmeti) small pieces of lamb boiled with cabbage, carrots and turnips, Liver patties (Lifrarbuff) made of ground lamb’s liver, potatoes and onions and Puffin in milk sauce.

Fish dishes: Cod Stew with cod fillets, potatoes, garlic and a Hollandaise sauce, Cooked Herring with Lemon Sauce and Potato Ring in a lemon sauce, Lightly Boiled Salted Cod (Baccalau) with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and a garlic sauce and Whole Salmon with Beets and Apples.

Traditional Fish Soup
Ingredients
For 6-8 pers :
3-4 tbsp butter or oil
1 red onion, cut in julienne
½ leek (white part only) cut into thin slices
1 stalk celery, cut into small pieces
2 quarts fish stock or mild chicken stock
250 ml (10 oz) heavy cream
2-3 oz dry sherry or port
1 small can (70 g/2 oz) tomato puree
5-6 strings saffron
1-3 tbsp vine vinegar (f. ex. tarragon)
½ cup dry white wine
8 oz Flounder fillet, cut into small pieces
8 oz salmon fillet, cut into small pieces
6 oz Icelandic Shrimp (salad prawns)
salt and white pepper
Directions
Melt the butter in a pot, add all the vegetables and sweat for 4-6 min. Add the stock, cream, sherry, tomato puree, saffron, vinegar and white wine. Boil for 6-8 min. Add the fish and bring to boil again, add the prawns. After this the soup may not boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and a little butter would not harm.

Cooked Herring with Lemon Sauce and Potato Ring
Ingredients
2 lb Herring
water
salt
Potato ring:
1 1/2 lb potatoes
1 Grated or chopped Onion
2 Slices white bread
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/4 c butter
salt and pepper to taste
Lemon sauce:
2 tb butter or margarine
2 tb flour
2 c fish broth
2 egg yolks
1/2 ts salt (if fish broth is not sufficiently salted)
Juice of 1 lemon
Directions
Peel potatoes and cook until soft. Drain and mash or rice the potatoes. Cover bread with milk and let stand for a few minutes. Mix together the potatoes, grated onion, bread, and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Add melted butter and beaten egg yolks. Beat egg whites stiff and fold in. butter a ring mold and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Put potato mixture into mold and bake in a moderate oven (375F) until nicely browned. Turn out on serving platter. While potato ring is baking, clean, bone, rinse and fillet herring. (Frozen Herring fillets may be used.) Cut fillets in pieces and cook in boiling salted water only until tender. Carefully remove and drain herring and place in center of potato ring. Pour lemon sauce over herring and serve. For lemon sauce: Melt butter or margarine and add flour. Stir until well blended. Add fish broth slowly, stirring constantly. Beat egg yolks and add salt. Add to sauce, a little at a time, stirring briskly. Do not boil after eggs are added. Add strained lemon juice. By Rasma Raisters

Latvian Cuisine




Latvia is one of the three Baltic States. Its capital Riga is situated on the Daugava River. The city is divided into two parts - one part situated on the right bank and the other on the left bank of the Daugava.Most ingredients in Latvian recipes are found locally, such as potatoes, wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, eggs and pork. Often mushrooms from the local forests are used. Berries can come from the forests or from gardens.

Appetizers:
Herring Appetizer - Herring fillets are soaked in water overnight then drained and rinsed and cut into slices. Tomatoes, water and sugar are combined in a saucepan and cooked. Then dill, parsley, scallions, olives, vinegar and oil are added. This is poured over the herring and chilled. Can be served on lettuce leaves.

Latvian Bacon Buns (Piragi) – chopped onion and slab bacon (grained with smoked meat not just fat) are pan fried. Then a special dough with yeast is made. The dough when ready is rolled out and circular halves are pressed out. In each circle a spoonful of the onions and bacon is placed and then pressed together in the shape of a half moon. Then they are baked.

Latvian Sauerkraut is prepared by adding chopped onions, grated cabbage, peeled, cored and chopped apples (if using) and caraway seeds with some grease or fat are added in a big pot to sauerkraut. Then water is added just so the sauerkraut won’t stick to the pot. This is simmered on low heat for many hours or until the sauerkraut is golden and tender. During the process it must be checked for amount of water and stirred now and then.

Soups:
Beans and Mushroom Soup – white beans are soaked overnight. Then the beans are put to boil. When they are almost tender, cubed potatoes are added. Chopped onions and mushrooms are fried. These are added to the soup when it is ready.

Latvian Beet Soup – beets are peeled and grated. Added to bouillon (may be freshly prepared or made with cubes) along with some handfuls of pearl-barley. When the beets and barley are just about tender, cubed potatoes are added and cooked until they are tender. The soup is served with chopped hard-boiled eggs and sour cream added to each bowl.

Latvian Sour Cream Soup (Skaba Putra) – a hot summer delight. Barley is cooked until tender. To lukewarm cooked barley add buttermilk, milk and leave it to ferment in a warm place for about 6-12 hours. Afterwards it is chilled for 6-12 hours and sour cream is added before serving.

Latvian Borscht – the soup is made with beef stock to which cabbage and potatoes are added. Beets, vinegar, bacon fat, sugar and tomatoes are cooked separately for 5 min. then set aside. Onions, carrots and parsnip are braised. Then all the ingredients plus spices are added to the cabbage and potatoes. Chopped garlic and chopped parsley are stirred in and the soup is cooked for about 4 hours. Served with sour cream and slices of dark rye bread.

Sauerkraut Soup – the soup may be made with boned beef or smoked pork (or a combination of) to which sauerkraut is added. This is covered by water. Salt, peppercorns, onions and bay leaves are added. Barley may be added as well. The soup is then cooked until the meat and everything is tender. Served with sour cream and dark, rye bread.

Salads:
Beet and Herring Salad – cooked or marinated beets and grated and added to diced herring fillets, chopped onions. Hard boiled eggs and chopped pickles may be added. A dressing is made of sour cream, dills and mayonnaise. Serve chilled.

Latvian Potato Salad (Rasols) –onions, cooked beets (if using), smoked ham or sausage, pickles, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, cooked potatoes are finely chopped. They are mixed in a large bowl with a dressing of sour cream, mayonnaise, dry mustard, some vinegar and sugar, salt and pepper. Combined well and served chilled.

Salad "Olivier" – cooked potatoes and carrots are combined with hard-boiled eggs, boiled meat, and pickles. To these green peas are added. Mixed with mayonnaise, some sour cream and salt and pepper. Serve chilled.

Meatless meals:

Kartoflianki – Mashed potatoes and combined with starch, butter, eggs, salt and pepper. Kneaded and shaped into small balls. Baked for 20 minutes. Then sprinkled with chopped fried onions. Sour cream is poured over them and they are stewed for 7 minutes.
Potato and Mushroom Croquettes – mashed potatoes are combined with sautéed onions, mushrooms, seasonings and flour. Formed into croquettes and fried.

Meat dishes:

Cutlets (Kotletes) – ground beef or pork or a combination is combined with grated potato, egg, sour cream, salt and pepper. Then formed into oblong patties and fried. Usually served with a gravy, boiled or fried potatoes and a salad.

Sauteed meat with onions (Sipolklopsis) – Slices of beef or pork fillet, are layered in a baking pan with raw onion rings. The top layer is onions. Some water is added to the bottom of the pan and baked. When the meat is almost ready sour cream is poured over and baked till tender. Served with boiled potatoes and a salad.

Latvians like to drink buttermilk and kefirs with their meals. Beer is also very popular. Some types of Latvian beers are Cesu, Aldaris, Piebalgas, Tervetes, Uzavas, Lacplesis and Bauskas. There is also the very popular herbal alcoholic drink which has been around since the 18th century Riga Black Balsam. It now also comes in bottles combined with cola and other mixtures. Vodka remains popular among hard drinks and there are many different types.

Herring appetizer

Ingredients
1. 4 salt Herring fillets
2. 3 tomatoes; chopped
3. ¾ cup water
4. 2 ts Sugar
5. 2 ts Chopped dill
6. 2 ts Chopped parsley
7. 2 Scallions;sliced
8. ½ cup Chopped ripe olives
9. 2 tb vinegar
10. 4 tb olive oil

Directions
Soak the Herring in water to cover overnight. Drain. Rinse again and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Combine the tomatoes, water, and Sugar in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for 15 min. Mix well. Add the dill, parsley, scallions, olives, vinegar, and oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Pour over the Herring. Chill. Serve very cold on lettuce leaves

Salad "Olivier"

Ingredients
1. 5 potatoes
2. 3 carrots
3. 4 eggs
4. 1 pound boiled meat
5. 1/2 pound green peas
6. 2-3 dill pickles (you can use fresh cucumbers)
7. salt to your taste
8. 1/2 pound Mayonnaise

Directions
Boil potatoes and carrots in skin (it helps to keep vitamins), then cool them down and peel them. Boil eggs and boil meat. Chop potatoes, carrots, eggs, meat dill pickles into 1/2 inches squares. Add green Peas and salt. Trust your own taste, everything must be in proportion. Stir Mayonnaise only for the part of salad you are going to eat. It will be kept better without it. Mix the salad and refrigerate for a while. If you want your salad a little tender, mix a part of Mayonnaise with an equal part of sour cream. By Rasma Raisters

Belarusian Cuisine




One of the people’s proverbs is: "There is no fish more tasty then tench (a freshwater fish from the carp family), as well as there is no meat better then pork".The Belarusian diet consists mainly of meat and meat products. Salted pork fat is used slightly smoked and seasoned with onion and garlic. Dishes prepared with meat are usually served with potatoes or vegetables such as carrot, cabbage, black radish, peas etc. Many meat and vegetable dishes are prepared in special stoneware pots.

Cold appetizers are popular. Among hot appetizers you will find pan fried mushrooms, tripe and snails among other delicacies. From Western European influence different crackers and dips are becoming popular.

Appetizers:
Appetizer from Champignons is prepared by boiling the champignons until they are half done. They are cooled then rolled in flour, brushed with beaten egg, rolled in bread crumbs then fried in oil and served cooled.

Cucumbers with Honey - Fresh-salted or fresh cucumbers are cut in rings and honey is poured over them. These are served with pancakes or rye bread.

Mushroom Caviar - pickled mushrooms are minced together with fried onion. Salt and pepper is added. Mixed thoroughly and heaped in a salad bowl and sprinkled with minced greens.

Niomanskaja Appetizer - beef and pork are minced together with salt, pepper and caraway seeds. The mixture is then transferred to parchment and shaped in a long loaf. It’s then tied up and boiled. When it’s done, it’s cooled and placed under a light press. Slice and serve.

There is a large variety of Belarusian soups. A few of them have become well known and are served in many restaurants all over the world.

Soups:

Chaladnik Khaladnik (Cold Soup) with Sorrel - the sorrel is shredded, boiled in salt water and then cooled. Fresh cucumbers are cut up fine, hard boiled eggs and green onion are added. Before serving the soup is seasoned with sour cream and sprinkle with minced dill.

Chaladnik Khaladnik (Cold Soup) Miensk Style - in this version sorrel is also boiled but beet root is boiled separately with vinegar added. To cold sorrel juice green onion minced and rubbed together with salt and egg yolks, shredded fresh cucumbers and beetroot are added. Then the beetroot liquid along with egg white, sugar and yoghurt is whisked in. The soup is served with sour cream and dill.

Mushroom Krupienia with Millet (Mushroom Soup) - mushrooms are boiled and the mushroom stock is strained and set aside. Then the mushrooms are minced. Onions and carrots are cubed and sautéed then added to the mushrooms. Millet is boiled separately and drained in a colander. Flour is browned and blended with some stock making a smooth paste. Then millet is added and the vegetables and mushrooms and cooked for 5 to 10 minutes.

Yushka (Fish Soup) - a cleaned and boned river fish such as perch, is covered with water and boiled along with carrot, onions, diced potatoes, pepper and celery on a slow fire until done.

Salads:

Barysauski Salad - the salad is made with boiled fish which is mixed with a hard boiled egg, sliced boiled beetroots, cheese and shredded onions. Then the salad is seasoned and mixed with mayonnaise.

Beetroot Salad with Herring - peeled, boiled and shredded beetroots and onions are mixed with diced herring fillet then mayonnaise is poured over all.

Mahileu Salad - sliced boiled beef is combined with onion in half rings, cut up carrot and black radish in shoestrings and minced eggs. Then mixed with salt, pepper and mayonnaise.

Tomato Salad with Cheese - tomatoes are cut in rings, then sprinkled with minced garlic, salt and pepper. Shredded cheese is sprinkled over the tomatoes and mayonnaise is added.

Vegetarian Dishes:

Kasa-Hlazatka - Peas are soaked in cold water for 3-4 hours. Pearl barley is boiled separately, then the peas are added. These are placed in the oven for an hour and a half. Served with pork cracklings.

Kaša, Viciebsk Manner - Boiled potatoes and mashed then combined with boiled pearl barley and hot milk. This is placed in the oven for 30-40 minutes. The kasa is served with butter.

Mushrooms Fried with Onion Gravy - Mushrooms (such as forest mushrooms like boletuses) are fried in very hot butter. Minced onions are stewed separately in hot butter until tender then sour cream is added and brought to a boil. This is then poured over the mushrooms.

Potato Halubcy with Mushrooms - Fresh cabbage is partially boiled so as to be able to separate the cabbage leaves. A stuffing is made of mashed potatoes combined with browned onions and mushrooms. Each separate cabbage leaf is filled with this mixture and folded up. The cabbage rolls are browned then sour cream is poured over and they are stewed till done.

The most popular meat product is the Belarusian sausage, mainly because of its Polish influence. Most of the traditional and modern dishes use meat in abundance. The most popular meat in Belarus is pork. However beefsteak is also common. A traditional dish is kotleta pokrestyansky which consists of pork cutlets in mushroom sauce. Freshwater fish such as perch and crayfish are plentiful.

Meat dishes:

Belarusian Borsc Borshch - chopped ham bones and beef are set to boil. Half an hour before stock is done carrot, onion and parsley root are added then the stock is strained. Shredded carrot, parsley and onion are fried in pork fat and tomato paste is added. To boiling stock add cubed potatoes, boiled and shredded beetroot and onion. The borsc is seasoned with vinegar and sugar. Then the meat and sausages are cut into chunks and added to the borsc.

Dainty Pork - Pork is cut into pieces and pounded. Salt, pepper and minced garlic are sprinkled on. The meat is then dipped in whipped egg, dredged in flour and fried until done. Then slices of cheese are placed on pork pieces and put in the oven until melted.

Holiday Sausages - Pork is cut into small pieces. The stuffing consists of sautéed minced onions, boiled and cut mushrooms, prunes and chicken fillet boiled and cut in shoestrings. Mixed and shaped into sausages then rolled in shredded cheese. The sausages are then laid on the pork pieces and rolled up. Each piece is dredged in flour, dipped in whipped egg, dredged in bread crumbs then browned and placed into the oven until done.

The traditional hard drink is vodka or harelka including varieties made from birch sap or flavored with forest herbs. Up until the 19th century mead and similar alcoholic drinks made of honey and spices were very common. An example is krambambula which is vodka diluted with water, mixed with honey and flavored with spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, red and black pepper). This is now experiencing a popular revival. Kvass remains the main non-alcoholic drink and every small town boasts of a local variety of mineral water.

Mushroom Krupienia with Millet (Mushroom Soup)

Ingredients
1 l Mushroom stock
40 g dried boletuses (forest mushrooms)
0.5 carrot
1 Onion
1 tblsps butter
0.25 cupful wheat flour
3 tblsps millet
2 tblsps sour cream

Directions
Prepare Mushroom stock. Wash the boiled Mushrooms and mice them. Cut the Onion and carrot into small cubes, saute and mix with Mushrooms. Boil the millet and drain in a colander. Brown the flour and blend it with some stock to make a smooth paste. To the strained Mushroom stock add the boiled millet, sauteed vegetables, Mushrooms and cook until it is done. 5 to 10 minutes before the soup

Stewed pork

Ingredients
400 g pork
300 g lecho,
1 onion,
1.5 tbls. melted pork fat,
3 cloves garlic,
8 potatoes, greens, salt.

Directions:
Place small pieces of pork in a stoneware pot, add shredded onion, cubed potatoes, lecho, garlic, greens, salt and stew in the oven.

Country Meat balls

Ingredients
180 g pork,
200 g beef,
2 tblsps buckwheat, groats or rice,
2 onions,
1 egg,
1 tblsp fat,
1 tblsp flour,
1 cupful tomato sauce, salt.

Directions
Put the beef and pork through the food chopper. Prepare fluffy buckwheat or rice kasha, brown the onions. Mix the ingredients together, add the egg, condiments and salt. Mould the mixture into balls, dredge with flour and fry. Place one layer of tefteli on a baking dish, pour over tomato sauce and stew until done.

Cutlets with Garlic

Ingredients
300 g beef,
70 g pork,
70 g white bread,
4 tblsps milk or water,
3 tblsps bread crumbs,
2 cloves garlic.
2 tblsp fat,
1 cupful red sauce, salt.

Directions
Put the boned beef and pork through the food chopper, add the salt and white bread (stale and with crust removed) soaked in cold water or milk and put through the mincer again. Season the forcemeat with minced garlic, mix thoroughly, shape into oblong cutlets, dredge with flour and saute in fat in a hot skillet. Pass red sauce Garnish cutlets with boiled potatoes, fluffy buckwheat or pearl-barley kasha, puree of potatoes, etc. By Rasma Raisters

Ukrainian Cuisine




Ukrainians in their cooking use black and red pepper, salt, bay leaf, parsley and dill (usually in spring and summer), garlic and onion. Staples include potatoes, cabbage, fish, pork, beef and sausage.The cuisine of Ukraine has a rich history and offers a wide variety of dishes. Ukrainian recipes are also influenced by its neighbors like Russia, Germany, Turkey, Poland, Lithuania and the so called Soviet cuisine (dishes of mixed origin popular in the USSR). Ukrainian food is intended to be filling and should be served in large quantities.

Soups:
Solyanka (Russian and Ukrainian) – a thick, spicy and sour soup. The are three basic kinds:
Meat solyanka is made with ingredients like beef, ham, sausages, chicken breasts along with cabbage, salty mushrooms, pickles, tomatoes, onions, olives, capers, allspice, parsley and dill.
Fish solyanka with fish like sturgeon, salmon and freshwater crayfish. At the end lemon juice is added to the soup.
Mushroom solyanka – cut cabbage heated in butter with vinegar, tomatoes, pickles and a little brine. The cabbage and mushrooms then are put in layers, breadcrumbs and butter are added and baked.
Borscht (mostly Ukrainian and Russian) this type of soup is served hot there are also cold borscht varieties. Ingredients may include various vegetables such as beans, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, beet root and meat such as chicken, pork or beef. May be eaten as a meal itself served with thick dark bread.
Rosolynk (Ukrainian Kidney Soup) made with carrot, celery, parley root, onion, potato. Vegetables are cooked in stock until tender. Meanwhile a veal kidney is cleaned and cut into thin slices then cooked with onion. The kidney and onion is added to the soup. Dice pickles and sour cream are added and garnished with dill.

Main meals:
Varenyky are boiled dumplings. They are usually made of unleavened dough and stuffed with sauerkraut, cheese, mashed potatoes, cabbage, meat, hard-boiled eggs or a combination of these.
Stuffed duck or goose with apples.
Fish (ryba) fried in egg and flour; baked in the oven with mushrooms, cheese and lemon; marinaded, dried or smoked.
Stuffed zucchini or eggplant oven-roasted, stuffed with tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms and/or rice.
Kasha hrechana zi shkvarkamy which is buckwheat cereal with chopped, fried bacon and/or onion.
Bosartma – lamb is fried and combined with chopped onion, sliced tomatoes, tomato paste, cherry plums, greens and seasonings, a little broth and stewed until done.
Fish Baked a la Russe – fish such as pike, cod, catfish, or perch is used. Boiled sliced potatoes are placed around fish slices in a baking pan. A mixture of sour cream, oil and flour is poured over then sprinkled with cheese and baked.
Fish Tolcheniki - fish fillet is finely chopped and mixed with flour, salt and pepper. Shaped into small balls and boiled in salted water. Served with finely chopped onion.
Golubtsy – a cabbage head is boiled just enough to separate leaves from it. Boiled rice is mixed with grated carrots, chopped tomatoes and minced meat. This mixture is then stuffed in each cabbage leaf making cabbage rolls. Some broth mixed with tomato sauce or ketchup is poured into a baking pan into which the golubtsy are placed and baked.

Vegetarian:
Ailazan – Thinly sliced eggplant in salted and left to sit for 15 minutes. Then squeezed. Potatoes, onion, tomatoes, sweet peppers, green beans are sliced. Spices such as basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley, garlic, ground black and red pepper are combined. The eggplant and vegetables are layered in a deep pan with a layer of spices sprinkled between each layer. Oil and water are poured over, covered tightly with a plate and then the pan cover and stewed until done.
Cauliflower with Potatoes – Finely chopped onion is fried in lard. Half-cooked cauliflower pieces and sliced boiled potatoes are put on lard pieces in a baking pan. Beaten eggs with flour and salt are poured over and baked.
Potato Pie – Cottage cheese is ground in a food mill. Mashed potatoes are combined with the cottage cheese. Then sour cream, eggs, salt and chopped greens are added. This mixture is put in a greased mold and sprinkled with grated cheese then baked.
Spinach in Breadcrumbs – spinach is washed and dried then rolled in flour, soaked in beaten egg with ground garlic, pepper and salt, then rolled in breadcrumbs and fried.

Salads:
Salad from Cucumbers and Olives – seeds are removed from cucumbers. They are sliced, sprinkled with mint, chopped olives, sliced pickled red peppers are added the dressed in a mixture of oil and vinegar.
Ukraina Fish Salad – canned fish in oil is combined with macaroni, sliced tomatoes and dressed with mayonnaise.
Ukrainian Corn Salad – canned sweet corn is combined with grated crab sticks and chopped boiled eggs. Then dressed with mayonnaise.

Among alcoholic beverages used are strong spirits (horilka, vodka in Russian; Samohon (moonshine) is also popular, including with infusions of fruit, spices or hot peppers. The largest producers of beer are Obolon, Lvivske, Chemihivske, Slavutych, Sarmat and Rogan, which partly export their products. Wine (vyno) come from Europe and Ukraine (particularly from Crimea). Regaining popularity is mead (mid or medovukha) which is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from honey, water and yeast. The taste is similar to cider but the flavor depends on the plants frequented by honeybees, the length of time and method of aging and what yeast is used.

Among non-alcoholic beverages used are kompot which is a sweet beverage made of dried or fresh fruit and or berries boiled in water, kvas – a sweet and sour sparkling beverage brewed from yeast, sugar and dried rye bread, kefir which is milk fermented by both yeast and lactobacillus bacteria and having a similar taste to yogurt. Best known mineral water brands are Truskavetska, Morshynska and Myrhorodska. They usually come strongly carbonated, rvazhanka is another kind of natural yoghurt made of baked milk.

Solyanka
Ingredients
300 gr Beef chunk
200 gr Smoked Bacon, sliced
2-3 Smoked Pork Sausages, sliced
400 gr Salted Cucumbers, diced
1 Onion, diced
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 cup Olives
3 Bay Leaves
Capers
Sour cream
Lemon slices
Fresh Dill, chopped

Preparation
Step 1 Place the beef in a pot, adding 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer untill done. Remove the meat, cut into small cubes and return to the pan
Step 2 Cut bacon slices into squares, fry until lightly brown on each side. Add to the pot.
Step 3 Fry onion with bacon fat until translucent. Add tomato paste, cucumbers, stir and fry a few minutes
Step 4 Add a cup of stock to pan and simmer about 5 min
Step 5 Pour tomato-cucumber mixture into the pot together with sausages and bay leaves, bring to slow boil. Simmer about 10 min
Step 6 Turn the heat off, add olives. Leave for 20 min
Step 7 Serve with sour cream, lemon slices and capers
Step 8 Sprinkle with dill and enjoy!

Ailazan
Ingredients
500 g Eggplant.
500 g Potato.
4 ea Onion.
100 g Oil.
4 ea Tomato.
1 c Green Beans.
1 c spices (Basil, Thyme, Cilantro, Parsley).
1 ea Garlic head.
1 ts Ground Black Pepper.
1/2 ts Ground Red pepper.
Salt.
4 ea red Sweet Peppers.

Directions
Slice Eggplant finely, salt and leave for 15 minutes, then squeeze extra juice.
Slice finely other vegetables and mice spices.
Put in a deep pan in layers, beginning from Eggplant, sprinkle every layer with spices and a bit if salt.
Pour over oil and 1/2 c water, cover tightly with a plate and then with the cover.
Stew on low heat until done. By Rasma Raisters

Georgian Cuisine




Georgian cuisine refers to the cooking styles and dishes with origins in the nation of Georgia and prepared by Georgian people around the world.Georgian cuisine in part has been influenced by Middle Eastern and European culinary traditions. Dishes use a lot of various herbs and spices. Each historical province of Georgis has its own distinct culinary traditions, such as Megrelian, Kakhetian, or Imeretian cusiines. The food not only includes various meat dishes but also offers a variety of vegetarian meals.

Appetizers are important in Georgian cuisine. They are meant to enhance the appetite so they are usually salty, spicy or astringent. One of the main ingredients in these dishes is cheese.

Appetizers:
Khachapuri (cheese bread) a filled bread dish which is similar to the Turkish pevnirli (pide). Bread is leavened and allowed to rise, then shaped in various ways. The filling contains cheese (fresh or aged, most commonly suluguni), eggs and other ingredients.
Lobiana a "Bean Khachapuri" where the bread is baked and filled with a seasoned bean stuffing. It is especially eaten on the Georgian holiday of Barbaroba or St. Barbara’s Day (December 17).

Chanakhi – Mutton or lamb is cut in pieces and placed at the bottom of a pot. Then a layer of eggplant with garlic, finely chopped onions, parsley and basil. On top of this is placed tomatoes and potatoes. Sprinkled with salt and pepper and baked.

Gadazelili – Cheese is finely sliced and placed in hot milk then cooked on low heat. The cheese mass is then blended with chopped mint and shaped into a flat cake and served with the milk in which the cheese was cooked.

Georgian Cheese Pastries – A pastry dough is prepared and refrigerated at least 1 hour or up to 30 days. Then the dough is rolled out and circles are cut out to be filled with a filling made of muenster, cheddar, parmesan cheeses and parsley, chives and mint. Baked until golden brown.

Mchadi - corn flour is mixed with water and kneaded into a dough then shaped into round flat caked and baked.

Tolma (stuffed grape leaves) - Lamb is minced and mixed with boiled rice, chopped onion and dill. Seasoned with salt and pepper and filled in grape or cabbage leaves rolled up into a sausage shape. Then placed in rows in a casserole and butter and stock are poured over. Covered tightly and simmered for an hour. Served with sour cream mixed with grated garlic and salt or cinnamon mixed with powdered sugar.

Soup is usually served between the appetizer and the main course. Most of them contain vegetables, rice, poultry, eggs and garlic. The most famous soup is kharcho which consists of mutton and rice. There is also chikhirtma based on chicken and khashi soup made from beef and garlic and is one of the best known Georgian dishes, all over the world. It gives energy to those who consume it and is a known remedy for hangovers.

Soups:
Khashi (Tripe Soup) - Suet is ground and placed into a stockpot. A split calf’s foot, beef tripe is added and cooked over low heat. When the meat gives off juices water is added and the soup is cooked 5 to 6 hours until the tripe is tender. Bread is soaked in milk. Before serving the soup the calf’s foot is removed and the bread is stirred into the soup. Salt and pepper are added and grated garlic is stirred in.

Chikhitma (Georgian Mutton Soup) - Mutton is boiled until tender and the stock strained through a cheese cloth. Then chopped onion is sautéed in butter and sprinkled with flour and browned. Mutton is returned to the stock and the onions are added along with saffron, salt and pepper. Grape vinegar is boiled separately and added to the soup and brought to a boil and removed. Egg yolks are beaten with a little stock and stirred into the soup. Sprinkled with coriander leaves and served.

Gulaschsuppe (Goulash Soup) - Onions are fried and combined with green peppers and tomato paste. The lean cubed beef, garlic cloves, red pepper, paprika, beef broth, lemon juice and caraway seeds are added and stewed until meat is tender. If you wish cubed potatoes may be added as well.

Kharcho (Georgian Beef Soup) - A brisket is cut into pieces then brought to a boil. After simmering for 2 hours finely sliced onion, crushed garlic, rice and tart plums are added. After another 25 minutes sautéed tomatoes or tomato puree is added and cooked for another 5 – 1o minutes. The soup is then sprinkled with chopped coriander, parsley or dill and served.

Kremithosoupa (Onion Soup) – Cubed potatoes are combined with sliced onions in a stock pot to which tomato sauce and water or broth are added to cover them. This is boiled for 30 minutes.


Lobio is the most famous Georgian salad made from kidney beans. This name is shared by the dried beans and the salads that use them as main ingredients. Georgia has two varieties of kidney beans - red and white. Georgia is well known for both its salads and dressings.

Salads:
Adjapsandal of Eggplant - Eggplant is cut into pieces, sprinkled with salt and let sit for half an hour. Then finely shredded onions are fried, eggplant is added and stewed. Then a laurel leaf and Bulgarian pepper is added along with shredded greens, garlic, salt and pepper.

Beet Salad Georgian Style - For a smooth style salad or spread boiled beets, prunes, garlic, walnuts are processed in a food processor then salt and pepper is added and mayonnaise. For a chunkier salad beets may be grated and walnuts chopped.

Georgian Garlic Salad - 50 cloves of garlic are peeled and placed into boiling water. Turn off heat and wait 3-5 minutes then place garlic into cold water. Salt in dissolved into lemon juice and a vinaigrette is made of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and herbs. The garlic is placed into jars and the oil mixture is poured over and refrigerated.

Lobio Beans and Walnuts - Beans are cooked until tender. Then chopped onion, crushed walnuts are added to the beans. Season with salt and pepper and mixed well. Can be served hot or cold sprinkled with chopped greens.

Different types of meat can be found in Georgian dishes such as chicken, lamb, pork, beef and various types of game meat, such as boar. To conserve food for a long time Georgians smoke, salt or dry it.

Meat dishes:
Bazhe - A typical western Georgia dish. A whole chicken is boiled and cut into pieces. Walnuts are ground and garlic pounded with salt. The ground walnuts get sprinkled with saffron and the garlic is added. The mixture is diluted with chilled broth. Then the chicken pieces are placed in the sauce and served.

Chicken Chakhokhbili - A chicken is cut into pieces and browned in a casserole. Finely chopped onion, tomato puree, vinegar, wine (Madeira or Port), meat stock and seasoning are combined and added to the chicken. This is simmered for an hour. Then sliced tomatoes are added. The chicken pieces are served with a slice of lemon on each piece and sprinkled with chopped greens.

Country Beef Strew (Georgian manner) - Beef tenderloin is cut into small pieces. Finely chopped onion is sautéed. These are transferred to a pan. Tomato puree, peeled and sliced pickled cucumbers, garlic, salt, grape wine and some meat stock are added. This is simmered for about 40 minutes. Served with chopped parsley.

Chanahi – Cubed potatoes, chopped onion, lamb slices are topped with eggplants, pepper and greens. Tomato paste dissolved in broth with garlic is poured over all and stewed. Just before it’s ready tomatoes are added.

Georgian Basturma – Cubes of beef are marinated with sliced onion, pepper, salt and vinegar for 2 days. Then skewered and grilled over charcoals.

Fish:
Tarti Tetri ghvinit (Salmon in Walnut Sauce) - Walnuts and garlic are ground into a paste. Transferred to a bowl and boiling water is added until the mixture is smooth. This sauce is served with a whole grilled salmon.

Moshushuli Tevzi Pamidvrit (Poached Fish with Tomatoes) - Fillet of sole or flounder is cut into pieces. Placed in a pan and covered with onion rings and herbs. Water, cloves, allspice and bay leaf are added and fish is poached until done. While poaching tomatoes and fried with pepper, cayenne, garlic and salt until thickened. The poached fish is served with the tomato sauce and granished with minced dil or cilantro.

Oraguli Dzmarshi (Salmon in Vinegar Sauce) - A salmon fillet is rubbed with pepper and crushed bay leaves then left to sit for 30 minutes. A sauce is prepared made with onion, vinegar, water and salt and simmered for 15 minutes. The salmon is grilled and served with this sauce.

These are just some of the wonderful recipes among so many. Georgia has a wide array of recipes which are rich in culinary history.

Among drinks there is Chacha which is a clear fruit homebrew. It is sometimes called "vine vodka", "grape vodka" or "Georgian vodka". Chacha is made from grape pomace (grape residue left after making wine). This is likely one of the oldest distilled products in the world. The term "chacha" is used in Georgia to refer to any type of moonshine made of fruits, though commonly it refers to grape distillate. Many Georgians claim that Chacha has medicinal properties and is suggested as a remedy for various ailments including ear blockages and indigestion.

Georgia is one of the oldest wine producing regions of Europe. The source of the world’s first cultivated grapevines and neolitihic wine production is believed to come from the fertile valleys of the South Caucasus. Among the best known wine producing regions are Kakheti (further divided onto micro-regions of Telavi and Kvareli), Kartli, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, and Abkhazia.

Lagizde water is a popular Georgian soft drink based on soda and a variety of natural syrups. It was originally mixed in a glass in soda fountains but now comes bottled in a range of flavors.

Borjomi is a resort town in south-central Georgia. The town is famous for its mineral water industry (which at present is the number one export of Georgia). Borjomi mineral water is particularly well-known in those countries which were part of the former USSR.

Gulaschsuppe (goulash soup)

Ingredients

-2 c Onion, chopped
-1/4 c shortening
-3 green bell peppers, chopped
-3 T tomato paste
-1 lb Beef cubes, 1-inch cubes
-red pepper, dash
-1 t paprika
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-6 c beef broth
-1 T lemon juice
-1/4 t caraway seeds

Directions
-Fry onions in hot fat until transparent.
-Add green peppers and tomato paste.
-Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
-Add lean Beef cubes and remaining ingredients.
-Simmer about 1 1/2 hours, until meat is tender.
-(Add cubed potatoes if you like and simmer until potatoes are done.)
-Best when reheated and served the second day.

CHICKEN CHAKHOKHBILI

Ingredients

-1 Chicken
-2 Onion
-2 tblsp tomato puree
-1 tblsp vinegar
-a cupful meat stock
-2 tblsps Madeira or
-port wine
-2 or 3 tblsps butter
-salt and pepper to taste
-tomatoes
-Chopped greens
-lemon slices

Directions

-Prepare the Chicken, wash and joint it into medium-size pieces, brown in hot butter in a shallow casserole.
-Add finely chopped Onion, tomato puree, vinegar, wine, meat stock and seasoning.
-Cover the casserole with a lid and simmer for 1 hours.
-Add sliced tomatoes and cock for another 5 to 7 minutes.
-Serve the Chicken with a slice of lemon on each piece of Chicken.
-Sprinkle with chopped greens. By Rasma Raisters

Moroccan Cuisine



Moroccan cuisine is a mix of Arab, Berber, Moorish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and African influences.Morocco produces a lot of Mediterranean fruit and vegetables as well as large numbers of sheep, cattle, poultry and seafood which is a base for its cuisine. Usual flavoring ingredients in cooked dishes include preserved lemons, cold-pressed, unrefined olive oil and dried fruit. Spices are used extensively such as saffron, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, pepper, paprika, anise seed, sesame seed, coriander, parsley and mint.

The main meal of the day is the midday meal with the exception of the holy month of Ramadan. A typical meal begins with a series of hot and cold salads, followed by a tagine (a slow cooked stew). Bread accompanies every meal. Often lamb or chicken is next followed by couscous topped with meat and vegetables. The meal usually ends with a sweet mint tea. It is common for Moroccans to eat using their fingers and using bread as a utensil.

Lets look at some Moroccan dishes:

Baghnir which are crepe like pancakes.
Brochetter – lamb kebab
Burek a type of baked or fried filled pastry which is made of flaky phyllo dough and are filled with salty cheese (often feta), minced meat, potatoes or other vegetables. The top of the burek is often sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Chicken and Olives – a quartered chicken is sautéed with garlic, onion, tomatoes and olives and spices such as ground ginger, turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper, parsley, coriander and preserved lemon.
Tomatoes and Peppers Moroccan Style (Tshashuka) – Green peppers are broiled and then the skins are peeled off and core and seeds removed. Garlic is sautéed and then the sliced peppers are added. Tomatoes are scalded and skins removed. Then added to the peppers and garlic. When everything is tender remove from heat and serve chilled.
Chicken Tagine with Seven Vegetables – a stew is made with cut up chicken, onion, garlic eggplant, chicken stock, cinnamon sticks, curry powder, ground cumin, turmeric, freshly ground black pepper, diced carrot, zucchini, white turnip, tomatoes and golden raisins. Served in deep bowls with rice, noodles or couscous.
Chicken with Lemon and Olives (Tajine msir Zitun) – Browned chicken pieces stewed with onion, paprika, ground ginger, turmeric, salt, pepper. At the end salted lemons and olives are added.
Lamb Stew – Cubed, boneless lamb shoulder is cooked with salt, pepper, saffron, ginger, garlic, onion, parsley. Just enough water to cover is added. When meat is tender preserved lemon and cinnamon is added then honey and orange blossom water. Just before serving toasted sesame seeds are sprinkled over the meat. Served over couscous.
Meatball Stew (Kefta Tagine) – Ground lamb is mixed with chopped parsley, fresh coriander, ground cumin, onion, cayenne pepper and salt. Formed into balls and fried. The meatballs are set aside. The sauce is made from garlic, onion, bell peppers, parsley, tomatoes, cumin, pepper, ground cinnamon, fresh lemon juice and cayenne pepper. When the sauce is thick the meatballs are added afterwards 6 eggs are broken in and poached until set. Served directly from the pan.
Baked Striped Bass with Cumin Paste (Hut B’camoun) – A whole striped bass is cleaned but the head and tail are left on. In a bowl oil, parsley, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper are combined making a paste. The mixture is spread evenly inside and over the fish. Then the fish is wrapped in foil and baked.
Red Snapper with Almond Paste – Almonds are toasted then ground with sugar and cinnamon, orange blossom water, water and oil are added. Mixed into a smooth paste. Half the almond paste is filled into the cavity of the fish. The fish is placed into a baking dish surrounded by chopped onions then sprinkled with saffron, salt and pepper. The rest of the almond paste is spread over the fish and baked until done.

Red Pepper Sauce (Harissa) is made with cayenne pepper, ground cumin, garlic cloves, salt and olive oil. The ingredients are made into a smooth paste and cooked for 5 minutes. Served with couscous dishes.

The most popular drink is ATAI green tea with mint. Making good tea in Morocco is considered an art form and an important ritual of the day. The tea is served with hard sugar cones or lumps. Moroccan tea pots have long, curved pouring spout to allow the tea to be poured evenly into tiny glasses from a height. Tea is sold all over the country for 2-3 dh per cup although it is often served free when negotiating a purchase. It can also be bought as a loose tea in markets.

Meat Burek

What You Need:

THE PASTRY
• 5 12-inch by 17-inch sheets of phyllo dough
• 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled a bit

MEAT FILLING
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
• 1 pound ground lamb
• ¼ cup pine nuts
• 1/3 cup tomato sauce
• 1½ teaspoons ground allspice
• ½ teaspoon ground
• Cinnamon
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

How To Cook:

MEAT FILLING:
1. Heat a frying pan. Add the oil, lamb, and garlic and saute until the lamb is no longer pink.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer 5 minutes until thickened. Fill the pastry.
3. Brush an 8-inch lined frying pan with a bit of the butter. Brush 3 of the half sheets of dough with some of the butter and place them in the bottom of the frying pan.

THE PASTRY:
1. Cut each of the phyllo sheets in half the short way across so that you have 10 sheets, 6 inches by 8½ inches.
2. Spread 1/3 of the filling and 1/3 cup of the meat filling over the sheets. Repeat the process twice more, ending with the remaining sheet of dough. Tuck the edges down and around.
3. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes, and then place in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown.

Chicken With Lemon And Olives
(Tajine Msir Zitun)

What You Need:

• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• A 3- to 3½-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
• 1 cup finely chopped onions
• 2 teaspoons imported paprika
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• ¼ 1teaspoon turmeric
• 1 teaspoon salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 salted lemons, cut into quarters, or substitute 2 fresh lemons, cut lengthwise into quarters and seeded
• 1 cup water
• 24 small green olives

How To Cook:

1. In a heavy 12-inch skillet, warm the oil over high heat until a light haze forms above it.
2. Brown the chicken in the hot oil, four pieces at a time, turning them frequently with tongs or a slotted spoon and regulating the heat so they color richly and evenly without burning. As they brown, transfer the chicken pieces to a plate.
3. Pour off all but a thin film of fat from the skillet and add the onions. Stirring frequently, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and brown.
4. Watch carefully for any sign of burning and regulate the heat accordingly. Stir in the paprika, ginger, turmeric, salt and a few grindings of pepper.
5. Add the fresh lemons (if you are using them), the chicken and the liquid that has accumulated around it, and pour in the water.
6. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and shows no resistance when a thigh is pierced deeply with a small skewer or knife.
7. Then add the olives and the salted lemon quarters (if you are using them), cover, and simmer for 4 or 5 minutes, until the lemons and olives are heated through. Taste for seasoning.
8. To serve, arrange the chicken pieces attractively on a deep platter and place the lemon quarters and olives in a ring around them. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve at once. By Rasma Raisters