Menu: Belarus

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I went to the mall yesterday for mixing bowls and came out with a Belorussian! Yes, you read me right! One of the lovely women who work in Dillard's home department hails from Belarus. In fact, she only got to the United States 8 months ago! After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I invited her to come over, cook, and share her secrets with me. She said yes! Now if that's not a lightning bolt of good fortune, I don't know what is! Anyway, this menu is heavily influenced by her recommendations. I … [Read more...]

About the food of Belarus

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This week is going to be interesting. Simply put, my husband hates mushrooms, rye bread, sour cream, beets, and cabbage... which puts his taste buds in direct opposition to the lovely people of Belarus. Not one to be beat down by pickiness, I've resolved myself to be the cheerful, but broken record: "Honey, if an entire country eats it, then it can't be that bad!" And I'm going to ask (beg) him to eat his entire meal. We'll see. Located in eastern Europe, Belarusian culture blends … [Read more...]

Recipe: Azeri Saffron Pilaf with potato kazmag

Azeri Rice Pilaf with Kazmag

Serves 6 I almost didn't make this pilaf because there were so many steps. I went out on a limb because I figured Azeri's must know how to cook basmati rice better than me. I was right. This is a great rice dish, buttery and delicately perfumed with saffron. Ingredients: 2 Potatoes 2 cups basmati rice 2 tsp salt 1/4 cup water 2 sticks butter 1 tsp saffron threads, soaked in a Tbsp of hot water. optional garnish: fresh mint leaves Method: For the potato crust: 1. … [Read more...]

While I’m Cooking: About Azerbaijan

Here's a 25 minute video all about Azerbaijan with great production quality. http://www.vimeo.com/10422538 I read the most fascinating fact in this article by Laura Kelley about Azeri food and culture: Like Georgia, Azerbaijan has a wide variety of climatic zones as well. In fact, nine of eleven climatic zones are represented, and in Azerbaijan one can simultaneously see all four seasons just by traveling from one end of the country to the other. High mountains, fertile foothills growing tea … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Austria

Sacher Torte, chocolate happiness

This is the 10th meal in my personal challenge to cook one meal from every country in the world. We planned on eating our Austrian Global Table over candlelight. As a new parent, I'm learning to improvise. As you know, we have a 9-month old. With just the two of us juggling our little sweetheart, there was no way we could get our meal done, take pictures, feed her dinner, nurse her, put her to bed, and fit "romantic dinner" into all of that. So, to make things "easier" we ate our meal … [Read more...]

Recipe: Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein (Breaded and Fried Pork Cutlet)

This very large plate makes it hard to tell that this Weiner Schnitzel is about 8" in diameter!

Serves 2 Wiener Schnitzel will fill you up after a long day hiking, skiing, or swimming. Enjoy this Austrian dish with potatoes or Nocken. Ingredients: 2 pork cutlets 1/2 cup flour 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 2 eggs 1/2 cup bread crumbs 1 tsp parsley 1 tsp paprika olive oil lemon slices Method: 1. Place flour, salt and pepper in a dish. In another dish, place whisked eggs. In a third dish, place bread crumbs, parsley, and paprika.  Whisk. 2. Place cutlets … [Read more...]

Recipe: Green Beans with Speck (Schinkenspeck)

Green Beans with Speck can be made ahead and heated in the oven right before serving.

Serves 2-4 Speck, technically called Schinkenspeck, is a dry aged prosciutto product. Bacon or ham can be substituted if your grocer does not carry this Austrian favorite. Enjoy Green Beans with Speck with chicken, fish, or pork Ingredients: 1 lb of green beans 2 ounces schinkenspeck, minced Method: 1. Simmer green beans in a large pot of salted water until just cooked. Drain and set aside. 2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add speck and cook until the fat renders … [Read more...]

Technique Thursday: How to make good Nocken (Austrian Spaetzle)

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Kasnocken (Recipe) are small, "squiggly" pasta served with cheese and caramelized onion, essentially Austrian Mac and Cheese. This delicious "post-ski" comfort food can be made any number of ways, but I've done some research on proper technique. The best KasNocken techniques keep the dough tender: - Do not over-mix the dough or your Nocken will be tough. Just combine ingredients with your hand or a spoon until just mixed. - Let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes after mixing. This … [Read more...]