Month: May 2014

8. Antigua en Barbuda: Pepperpot soup and Ducuna

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Another Caribbean dream, toes in the sand cocktail in my hand. Thousands of tourists visit every year to live this dream, frankly I wish I was one of them because it looks awesome, hmmm maybe one day! Located in the Caribbean and in the Lesser Antilles, it’s two major islands, many many smaller ones, and with an area of 440 sq km or 170 sq miles it’s feels like you are isolated from the rest of the world.  Antigua Barbuda has a very small population, the largest city only has 25,000 inhabitants. Every year 250,000 people visit Antigua Barbuda, which seems bonkers, but apparently they seem to manage just fine. Strangly this small population produces some fine athletes, the worlds best lacrosse players. Another tradition is donkey race, ( I would love to see that!) and they do this just because it fun to watch. There is not much more to say about this tiny beautiful island, they don’t have a strange past or strange manners, except that it’s also very popular for mobsters to . So I guess I should just start writing the recipe. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I made a Pepperpot soup and ducuna as a sidedish: It was amazing! When I read the ducuna recipe I was really sceptic, and I didn’t think it would turn out as good as it did! It tasted really sweet but the kind of sweet that I’m not used to but still it was delicious! I made quick version of the pepperpot soup and adjusted some ingredients because I couldn’t find okra so I used green beans and added a little extra cornstarch to thicken the soup. This recipe is for 6 people.

Antigua Barbuda dish
Antigua Barbuda dish

Ingredients Pepperpot soup: olive oil, 700 gr of sirloin steak trimmed and cut into bitesize pieces, salt to taste, 1 small white onion (chopped) , 1 clove of garlic (chopped) , 2 chili’s chopped(I left the seeds in one because I like the spice), 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, 5 cups of water, 3 teaspoons of cornstarch, 1 large sweet potato (diced), 1 cup of chopped okra or 300 grams of green beans (cut in half), 3 hands of spinach, 3 spring onions, cup of coconut milk, 1 vegetable stock cube. Heat oil in a large pan and fry of the steak with a good pinch of salt, stirring occasionally, until no long pink on the outside. This takes about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onion, garlic, chili and thyme to the pan and fry for about 1 minute. Mix the water, cornstarch and stock cube and add to the pot along with the sweet potato and beans (or okra). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer until the veggies are almost tender. Stir in the spinach and some salt, cook 2 or 3 more minutes. Add the steak and spring onions. Add the coconut milk and stir it in. 2 more minutes on the heat and DONE! Ingredients Ducuna: 2 sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup of sugar,  1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, salt to taste, all spice to taste, 1/2 cup of raisins Grate the sweet potatoes and put them in a bowl with the sugar, set them aside for 10 minutes. Add flour, salt, all spice and raisins. Divide the dough in 4 and make packages of lightly greased aluminium foil. Fold the foil to create sealed parcels. Now comes the strings part! Place the packages in a large pot of boiling water for 45 minutes. Remove from the foil and done! 😀

Great Start!

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I’ve had so many positive reactions from friends, family and strangers on twitter and facebook! Thank you soo much for motivating me to do this! 😀

summary where we have been 25 may!
summary where we have been 25 may!

7. Antartica: Sledging Biscuits

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The Arctic! Coldest place on earth. Home of the penguins. Antarctica has no population, it is not a country, it’s not a part of a country(although many countries have tried to claim it, it does not have its own language. The entire continent is only being used for scientific research. Scientists come and go on average there are about a 1000 people on the continent. What surprised me is that it is also the driest continent, it rarely snows it doesn’t melt. The no citizens part makes my job really hard, no citizens means no cultures or traditions, which results in NO NATIONAL DISH! I screened the entire internet and found nothing that I think qualifies for a national dish! yes they eat beef Wellington on Christmas Eve in the research centers, but I don’t think that counts. There are no cows in Antarctica , so no beef, because that’s cheating! The only thing everyone in Antarctica eats and knows are sledging biscuits. The biscuits that they eat during expeditions, to stay alive. Honestly I do not have a good feeling about this. I think they are going to be dry and tasteless. But who knows they might turn out amazing

I made them and I was right! They were not very good but this is for the people who really really really want to give an arctic party but I recommend you stay with fish sticks, and popsicles in the shape penguins.

Ingredients 150 g whole wheat flour (1.25 cups), 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 30 g butter (full fat, unsalted, 2 T.), 50 ml cold water (3T. plus 1t.)
Pre-heat the oven to 190C (375 F.).Sieve the flour and baking soda together into a mixing bowl, then add the salt. Rub in the butter with your finger tips until you have combined the ingredients to resemble breadcrumbs. Slowly mix in the water until a malleable ball of dough forms. All the dry ingredients must be evenly incorporated, yet the dough should not be sticky.
Lightly flour a smooth surface and roll out the dough so it is 2 cm thick (0.8 inches) and fits a large baking tray. Transfer the dough onto a lightly greased baking tray and cut into 5cm (2-inch) squares. Prick each square with a fork. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the dough just starts turning golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

6. Anguilla Beef and Pineapple Kebabs

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The Caribbean I’ve been looking forward to this! When  I daydream about the Caribbean which happens quite often, I dream about drinking cocktails with my toes in the warm white sand looking out over a calm blue ocean, little bit of reggae music in the background. Okay get back to reality now! My point is that history neither food are the first thing that come to mind when I think about Anguilla. It might be a tiny tiny dot in the ocean but it has been claimed by a lot of countries though the centuries (The Netherlands, Spain, Great Brittain, France). Their national sport is boat racing, it’s like soccer for them everyone has their own opinion about it, and his or hers favorite team. The races are held in spring and summer. After the boat race there are big BBQ’s with lots of music and dancing. (okay I’m ready to pack my bags and move there!)

  • Anguilla’s poor soil and erratic rainfall make it almost impossible for farming, thus the slavery and plantation system failed to take hold in Anguilla
  • You only need 48 hours in the country to qualify for an Anguillan wedding license.
  • Salt was Anguilla’s major export until the 1950s. Today it is exclusively tourism – People come to Anguilla for all the things that Anguilla doesn’t have: “crime, crowds or commercialism”

Oh boy it has been hard finding a proper recipe with ingredients that can actually be found. This week I made Beef and Pineapple Kebabs with rice.

Schermafbeelding 2014-05-12 om 09.59.54

Ingredients: 1 lb sirloin steak,tomatoes (medium), onion, green bell pepper, 12 pineapple chunks (fresh or canned), 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 4 tbsp pineapple juice, 2 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp oil, garlic cloves (minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper

Make the marinade; put the brown sugar, pineapple juice, vinegar, and oil in a bowl and mix well. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Cut steak into 1 inch cubes and add the marinade. Cover and leave in a cool places for at least one hour. Remove the steak and reserve the marinade to baste the kebabs. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, peel the onions and cut them into small chunks. Remove the seeds from the green pepper and cut into squares. Put the steak, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and pineapple chunks alternately on to a 8 short skewers.Brush skewers with marinade. Cook in a griddle pan or grill outside for approximately 10 minutes, turning frequently and basting often. Serve with plain rice.

Because Austria won the Eurovision Song contest I will be cooking their food sometime this week!

5. Angola Calulu de Peixe (Fishstew)

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While I was doing my research for Angola, I was so amazed at what came up. Why is this beautiful country not a major tourist destination. Personally I have never been to Angola but from what I read and saw I believe that Angola might be a hidden jem in the heart of Africa. So now Angola is at the top my list of countries that I want to visit. The food is amazing, the music is swinging, the weather is hot, the beaches are amazing, the waves are ideal for surfing and the nature is stunning. So I ask you WHY is this place not swarming with tourists yet! After looking for a while I found out that there was a really long and hard civil war in Angola from 1975 until 2002. Now the country is slowly trying to recover, from a very cruel long war where a lot of people lost their lives. But the purpose of my blog is trying to find positive thing about countries, and Angola has so many!

  • The giant sable antilope was thought to be extinct until a few years they were rediscovered in Angola
  • One of Africa’s most beautiful natural wonders, the Ruacana Falls, is located in Angola.
  • Luanda is known as the ” Paris of Africa” – This is apparently due to the city’s sophisticated culture and atmosphere
Se here is the Angolan recipe I made I thought it was a hit! Although you would never think guess it’s from Angola when you taste it. To me it tasted really Spanish/Portugese which makes sense because Angola used to be a Portugese colony.
IMG_1827
This recipe is for 6 people
Ingredients: 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 onions chopped, 200gr chorizo, 2 red bell peppers (chopped and seeds removed ), 2 cloves of garlic (chopped) 1 red chillipepper (sliced and seeds removed), teaspoon of paprika, 3 bay leaves, 800 gr of canned tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of mild paprika paste, 2 tablespoons of parsley, 4 spoons of coconut oil, 2 large potatoes (peeled and roughly diced), 2 large carrots (peeled and roughly diced), 1 sweet potato (peeled and roughly diced), 150 gr pp of firm white fish filets cut into bite size pieces. 
Preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the onion in a casserole dish. Add the chorizo and bell peppers fry them on a low heath. Now add the garlic, chili, paprika, bay leaf and fry a few more minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and crush them with your wooden spoon. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Take the casserole dish of the heath and stir in the paprika paste, parsley, 250ml hot water and palm oil. Add the roughly chopped potato, carrots and sweet potato and stir them though the sauce. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the fish and put the fish gently on the vegetables. Cover the pan and put it in the oven. Take it out after about 50 minutes and stir carefully through the stew. Put the pan back in to the oven for another 20 minutes. Until it becomes a rich, bubbling stew.

Serve with rice.

Next week is Anguilla, my first caribbean island!

Stick Homey Apple Toffee Pie

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This weekend I was feeling a little down, and to cheer myself up I baked a impressive apple pie! Apple pies always bring back sweet memories for me. When I was little we lived in a house in the woods, so we could were always building camps, and pretending we were witches in the wood. (I miss that house so much!) We had a few apple trees in the garden, my babysit or mom and I we always baked apple pies in the fall. And then the whole house smelled like pure happiness, because that is what apple pie smells like, happiness and warm cozy fires. But I decided to pimp up the apple pie recipe I had and give it my own twist to make it even better (I said better not healthier :P ). I found this really funny song about pies not apple pies but nonetheless I couldn’t resist to share it with you guys.

apple toffee pie

Ingredients crust: 170gr butter, 200gr brown sugar, 100 gram of white caster sugar, 1 egg, 250gr plain flour, 1tablespoon of cinnamon.

Ingredients filling: 4 sour apples (I used Granny Smith but you can us Bramleys aswell), 100 gr caster sugar, knob of butter, handful of dairy toffees (I used Werther’s Original), raisins (this is optional, you could let the well in brandy for a few hours)

Peel the apples, remove the core and dice them into small pieces. Dump the chopped apple into a saucepan with the suger butter and a splash of water. Heat to a bubble a let it cook for 5 minutes so the apple gets soft. Don’t forget to stir from time to time. When the apple has gone soft. Let it cool.
Beat the butter and white and brown sugar until it starts to go smooth, crack in the egg and beat again. Fold in the flour and the cinnamon. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one a little bigger the other and let them cool in the fridge for about an hour.
Roll the dough on to a floured surface until it has about the thickness of little less then 1 cm. Lay on piece of the dough in pie dish, make sure the sides of the pie are steady. Lay in the chilled apple mixture (and optional raisins). Scatter the toffees over the pie, (I like it sticky so I put on a few extra). Lay the other rolled out piece of dough over the pie. Put into a preheated oven of 180C for 30 minutes.

Farfafelle with caramelized carrots and fennel

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Yesterday I had a sleepover at with my sister in her new apartment. She just came back from Costa Rica so I really wanted to hear about all her adventures. Because she just came back from holiday, there wasn’t a lot of food in the apartment. So I had to improvise, but it turned out really well!

Farfafelle with caramelized carrots and fennel

Ingredients: 1 big carrot, 3/4 bulb of fennel, 1 clove of garlic, 1 shallot, olive oil, 3 tablespoons of honey, 1/4 glass of champagne, 2 1/2 cups of farfalle

Slice the carrots into slices of o,5cm. Quarter the fennel and then slice it same af the carrots. Chop the garlic and the shallot. Fry the onion and the garlic in the olive oil, until they start going translucent. Boil some water.  Add the fennel and the carrots to the pan with the onions and let them cook for about 5 minutes so they softened a little. Put the pasta in the water (Follow the instructions on the pasta package), Stir the carrots fennel mixture occasionly. Add the champagne to carrots and fennel. Let it cook for 5 more minutes until the carrots have blackened a little (that means they have caramelized. Drain the pasta, and add the carrot fennel mixture to the pasta! I personally don’t think it need cheese but you can always add some grated parmesan.