It’s been quite a while since I last posted……..Christmas now seems like an eon ago. Now that the daffs are out, the bad weather has faded into the dim and distant past!
Since then, in the interests of world relations (actually – it’s more of an excuse to try new food) we have embarked on an ‘alphabetical around the world food tour’. It all started when friends of ours decided to celebrate the World Cup last year with the food of the country England were pitted against. We had burgers and fries for the American game; for Slovenia we cheated a bit and had Hungarian food (helps when my husband’s parents are Hungarian!); and for Algeria we ate a twist on Moroccan lamb. Unfortunately I can’t remember what we ate in Stage 2 and then we got knocked out…………..so that ended that! Although we did have paella for the final followed by a Dutch pudding of Malva (a bit like a sponge pudding) and a Dutch apple and berry pie.
So, we were talking to our friends at Christmas time and decided to do something like that again, but with a theme. We came up with an alphabetical world tour. At the beginning of the month we have to pick a country and cook typical fayre from that country. It’s a secret which country we have decided upon until we arrive for dinner.
We kicked off the proceedings with an Afghan meal. I found a terrific website for Afghan recipes http://www.afghancooking.net/afghan-cooking-unveiled/afghan-cooking-recipes–all/
Mini afghan kebabs with coriander & mint chutney
Bolani – Afghan potato & spring onion turnover
Sabzi – Afghan spinach
Lawang – tumeric braised chicken in yoghurt
Challaw – Cardamom rice
Falooda – Afghan Sundae
Cardamom almond brittle
Awb e dundawn– Rosewater & cardamom cookies
Kilche Birinjee – Afghan butter cookies
Everything was obviously made gluten free. For the Bolani I made wraps with the following recipe:
2 cups (240ml) cold water
1.5 cups (approx 190g) gram flour
1 cup (approx 130g) pizza tapioca flour
Pinch of salt and pepper.
I have to say these were my favourite. The Falooda was probably my least favourite and the cookies didn’t work very well gluten free at all.
It was our friends’ turn for B and we travelled to Barbados (well actually we walked about 200 yards around the corner, but one can dream!) We arrived to be handed rum punch (phew – it’s a hard job!). Starter was Bajan shrimp & fish skewers with a mango & chilli dip; followed by jerk chicken, rice and peas. Then dessert was baked bananas and pineapple with Barbadian cream. Absolutely delish.
It was our turn for “C” two weeks ago. We deliberated over Cuba, Cyprus and China but in the end decided on Chile. There is a wealth of Chilean recipes, but I was taken aback to discover that a lot of the food (particularly the desserts) have a German influence and therefore are pastry based. This is not such an issue except when you are making all the meal gluten free!! I decided to try and make Sopaipillas – a flat circular deep fried ‘bread’ made of pumpkin and flour – so I experimented on my poor long suffering husband and sister in law. They weren’t that good without the gluten! The menu we settled on was as follows:
Pisco Sour – a bit like a Margeurita (very very yummy!)
Hacienda onion salad
Pebre (again a salsa)
Estillo Sarita (avocado shrimp ceviche)
Pollo Arvejado (Galician chicken)
Porotos Granados (Chilean bean stew)
Torta de Hojas – which is a layer cake made with pastry and filled with caramel, walnuts and brandy. This did not work GF – the pastry recipe did nothing to complement the rest of the ingredients. It would probably work fantastically with a puff pastry recipe (one for another day!)
Empanadas – these are like a cross between a jam tart and a jam doughnut and were absolutely gorgeous. The recipe I used was http://www.ehow.com/how_4509867_fruit-jam-empanadas.html
So off to “D” next – but I don’t have to cook this one. The question is, what am I going to do for “E” – answers on a postcard please!