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!

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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.

4. Andorra: Slowcook Chicken in Tomato Sauce

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Andorra, a tiny country in the north of Spain, it is often considered as a part of Spain, but they in fact they even have their own language (Catalan), which is quite different from Spanish. Spain is my nr. 1 favourite country in the world, probably because I had the time of my life when I was living in Sevilla! I don’t know a lot about Andorra, I drove through it few times when going to Spain by car with my parents. But here’s what I figured out by asking my Spanish friends and some distant memories from my geography class. Andorra is located in The Pyrenees between France and Spain. Until recently Andorra was not a wealthy country but ,the mountains that kept Andorra isolated are quickly becoming a big source of income for Andorra, hiking and skiing are becoming big business. Also Andorra is a tax haven which attracts a lot of expensive stores to settle down, but also cigarette smugglers who are trying to avoid paying taxes. Andorra is too small to have a real army, so by law each male head of the family is required by law to own a gun in case of emergency. Personally, I don’t think that would make me feel save, knowing that in every house you enter there is a gun present. Call me anxious, but I would not feel comfortable with that. Luckily the government provides free healthcare for everyone that has a job. (Okay so if you get shot they will at least help you in the hospital). Luckily Andorra does not have to protect itself in a bad situation, let’s hope Spain or France gives them a hand. Enough joking, let’s get cooking!  Here is some traditional music from Andorra for you to enjoy while preparing this recipe!

I changed the recipe a little, normally this recipe is made with rabbit, but since rabbit is not something you can buy at the butcher I would have to order it a few days ahead and I forgot (yes I know really stupid) but I changed rabbit into chicken which I think worked perfectly! It might not have been traditional, but it was delicious!

Ingredients: 2 chicken thighs, big splash of tarragon vinegar,  2 chopped cloves of garlic, 2 chopped onions, can of chopped tomatoes, 1 bay leaf, dried thyme to taste, tablespoon of dried oregano to taste, 1/2 glass of white wine, extra virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste.

Chop the chicken into bitesizepieces and rub them with the vinegar. Put them in the fridge and let them marinate for about 15 minutes. Add olive oil to a casserole dish and fry the chicken until browned. Remove the meat from the pan. Now put the onion and garlic in the same casserole dish and fry them gently. Add the can of chopped tomatoes and the bay leaf, oregano and thyme. Pour in the white wine and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and and the chicken you fried earlier, season with salt and pepper. Cover with the lid and let it simmer for about 90 minutes. Serve with some rice of pasta.

PS. Do not even think about not letting it simmer, it makes a huge difference! Before I letting it simmer I tasted it and I I thought meehh this is okay I guess… But if you just have patience it will solve itself in time, and before you know it it will have transformed into a delicious rich and flavorful sauce! The flavor will be completely different trust me!

Please if you have any suggestions on how to make this recipe even better, or have an another recipe from Andorra you would like to share, a fun fact whatever! comment below :D

Next up something completely different is Angola! I can’t wait! :D

 

3. Algeria: Traditional Fish Soup

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Algeria located in the north of Africa, the 10th largest country in the world. Yet only 10% is inhabited. The other 90% is covered by the Sahara desert, the largest desert in the world. To me the Sahara desert brings up a lot of romantic thoughts about nomads who live in the desert in small groups and travel from oasis to oasis on camels. For me it’s very hard to imagin not to have water from the tap or the take a shower whenever it pleases, but ofcourse I am aware that clean tapwater is a luxury a lot of people around the world can’t afford or in very limited ways. Like in most African countries I would not advise drinking tapwater because you will regret it the next day on the toillet. Here are a few facts about Algeria:

  • Women make up 60% of Algeria’s judges, 70% of the lawyers, and 60% of the student population. What’s more, they have a bigger household income contribution than men. (GIRLPOWER!!!!)
  • Alcoholic drinks are rarely found in Algeria because of Islamitic orientation, they are seldom found in foodestablishments, and even if they are available they are not listed on the menu.
  • Only 12% of Algeria is inhabited because over 90% is covered by the Sahara desert.
  • Petroleum and gas make up 98% of Algeria’s export.

Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 large red onion, 3 garlic cloves, 300g whole tomatoes (tinned), 1 tsp paprika, pinch of saffron, salt and black pepper to taste, 2 large potatoes, cubed,3 celery sticks, diced, 2l chicken stock, 900g firm white fish cut into steaks

Heat the olive oil in a  frying pan and fry the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and tomatoes and continue to simmer until most of the liquid is gone. Add the spices, potatoes, and broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.Add the fish and continue to cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Allow the soup to cool a little, purée in a blender then return to the pan and simmer for a further 10 minutes to heat thoroughly. Serve in soup bowls garnished with chopped coriander.

2. Albania: Byrek Filopastry with spinach and feta cheese

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Albania another country I know nothing about, but as you must know by now I’m very eager to learn. What do I know about Albania, it’s in Eastern Europe (Balkan country) and the capital is Tirana,… euhm I guess that’s about all I know about Albania. So I looked up some fun facts about Albania:

  • Albania, Armenia and Vatican City are the only European countries without a McDonald’s branch.
  • Albanians nod their head up and down to mean ‘no’, and shake it from side to side for ‘yes’(I guess that would beconvienient to know for people who are visiting Albania, could solve a lot of misunderstandings)
  • Sometimes Albanians add an extra zero to the end of numbers. Albanians do this sometimes not to be shady but rather out of habit since that is the difference between the “old lek” and “new lek”. For instance, someone might say you owe 1000 lek when they really mean you owe 100 lek. (I find this very odd to say the least!)
  • Mother Teresa was from Albania and is the only Albanian Noble Price Winner.
  • There are more Albanians who live outside Albania, then inside Albania. (a lot of the people outside of Albania are gypsies)

This seems like a very odd little country, but again we are eager to learn, let’s hope there kitchen is better then their counting :D . But I read everywhere that Albanians are very generous and when they invite you for diner you will get enough to feed an army eventhough the host has to go hungry the next day, which I think is very admirable because they don’t have a lot to give. It’s close to Greece, so their kitchen must contain products and spices that are similar to the Greek kitchen.

Here is some albanian pop music for you to enjoy while cooking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVgsYttAlCc

So this week I made Byrek, it’s a kind of vegetarian side (although sometimes they put in meat as well). I can also be eaten with a sweet filling of pumpkin for instance. But I chose to make the most traditional recipe. I served it for lunch with some green salad. I guess you could compare it to an East European form of quiche.

So this week I made Byrek, it’s a kind of vegetarian side (although sometimes they put in meat as well). I can also be eaten with a sweet filling of pumpkin for instance. But I chose to make the most traditional recipe. I served it for lunch with some green salad. I guess you could compare it to an East European form of quiche.

albanie byrek

 

Ingredients: 1 cup of olive oil, filodough about 30 pastry leaves, 600gr of spinach, 1 cup of diced feta cheese, 1 cup of chopped green onion, 2 eggs, salt

Preheat the oven to 180C. Fry off the spinach in a little olive oil and salt. Brush the baking pan with some of the oil and start layering the pastry leaves inside. First lay 2 leaves, sprinkle or brush them with oil, then lay 2 other leaves and repeat the procedure. Until half of the leaves are laid. Make sure that they cover the pan by hanign them about one cm over the edges of the pan. Mix the spinach with the feta cheese oil onions and eggs and spread the mixture over the already laid pastry leaves. Finish by covering the spinach with the rest of the pastry leaves repeating the procedure with the oil. Put in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Next week it’s Algeria’s turn! I can’t wait! :D