Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lamingtons - Australia

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • Pinch of salt
For icing:
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • Shredded coconut

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs.
  3. Slowly add baking powder, baking soda, flour, milk, and salt.
  4. Pour mixture into an 8-inch square cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes.
  5. Let cool and store overnight in a sealed container.
  6. Make icing: Measure confectioners' sugar and cocoa into a large mixing bowl.
  7. Heat milk and 2 teaspoons butter until the butter is melted. Add the milk gradually to the sugar mixture, stirring constantly. The icing should be fluid but not too runny.
  8. Cut the cooled cake into 2-inch squares, and put the coconut into a shallow baking dish. Have ready a cooling rack set over a sheet of waxed paper to catch icing drips.
  9. Holding a cake square with two forks, dip it into the icing, and then roll in the coconut. Transfer to rack to dry. Repeat until all cake square are coated.
Serves 16.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Boiled Cassava - Cameroon

Ingredients

  • 2 cassava
  • Water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Procedure

  1. Wash the cassava, then peel off the thin white and brown skins.
  2. Cut the cassava into 3- to 4-inch long pieces.
  3. Cut each piece in two and remove the midrib.
  4. Place the cassava into a pot with enough water to cover the cassava half way. Add salt.
  5. Boil until the cassava is soft, but not falling apart.
  6. Drain and serve hot with fish or meat stew.
Serves 2 to 4.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pavlova - Australia

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (corn flour)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup castor sugar (finer than regular sugar, but regular sugar may be substituted)
  • Whipping cream or whipped topping
  • Strawberries and kiwi for topping (other fruits or berries may be substituted)

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Cover a cookie sheet with cooking parchment.
  3. In a very clean and dry bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
  4. Slowly add sugar, sprinkling it into the bowl one spoonful at a time while continuing to beat the mixture until all the sugar has been added.
  5. Sprinkle in the pinch of salt, and then slowly add the vinegar and vanilla, a few drops at a time. Finally, beat in the cornstarch.
  6. Continue beating until the mixture stands in stiff peaks.
  7. Place mixture onto the center of the paper on tray, and spread it into a circle about 8 or 9 inches in diameter (20 to 22 centimeters).
  8. Make a slight indentation in the center.
  9. Place the cookie sheet on the center rack in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Do not open the oven door while the pavlova is baking.
  10. Leave pavlova in the oven to cool.
  11. When completely cool, peel off the paper and place the pavlova on a serving plate.
  12. Whip the heavy whipping cream with a teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla.
  13. Spread the pavlova with whipped cream and sliced fruit (kiwi and strawberries are traditional).
  14. Slice and serve.

Fresh Sweet Dates - Algeria

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh dates
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom, ground

Procedure

  1. Remove the pits from the dates and arrange in 6 individual serving dishes.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and stir in the flour.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the flour turns golden brown. Be careful not to burn.
  4. Remove the flour mixture from the heat and stir in the cardamom.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, stirring occasionally.
  6. While still warm, pour over the warm dates and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
Makes 6 servings.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Safou a la Sauce Tomate (Prunes in Tomato Sauce) - Cameroon

Ingredients

  • 12 prunes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Procedure

  1. Rinse the prunes, cut them in half, and remove the pits.
  2. In a saucepan, simmer the prunes with water until soft, about 4 minutes. Drain.
  3. In a frying pan, heat the peanut oil over medium heat and fry the prunes, about 2 minutes.
  4. Measure the tomato sauce into a medium saucepan, and add the fried prunes.
  5. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Serve over rice.
Serves 4 to 6.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Feijoada (Meat Stew) - Brazil

Ingredients

  • 3 strips of raw bacon
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 1 pound boneless beef (any cut of meat)
  • 1 can (14-ounce) stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 4 cups canned black beans
  • Salt and pepper

Procedure

  1. Cut the bacon strips into big pieces. Fry them in a large pot over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium.
  3. Cut the onion in half. Peel off the skin and outer layer. Chop both halves into small pieces.
  4. Peel the cloves of garlic. Chop them into small pieces.
  5. Add the onions and garlic to the bacon in the pot. Stir until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes.
  6. Cut the sausage and beef into 1-inch pieces. Add them to the onions and garlic.
  7. Cook until the meat is brown on all sides.
  8. Add the stewed tomatoes (with juice), hot water, yellow mustard, and some salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to simmer. Cover the pot.
  9. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often. If it looks too thick, add more water, ¼ cup at a time. Add the black beans (with liquid).
  10. Cover the pot, and cook for 10 more minutes.
Serves 10 to 12.

Ambrosia - Brazil

Ingredients

  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 whole cloves

Procedure

  1. Place the milk in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Remove it from the heat, and add the sugar and the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well with a wire whisk after each addition. Add the cloves and the lemon juice.
  3. Cook over medium heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes golden and grainy.
  4. Chill and serve cold.
Serves 8.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Grated Carrot, Apple, and Raisin Salad - Australia

Ingredients

  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 medium red apple, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut, flaked
  • Juice of lemon

Procedure

  1. Carefully remove several firm leaves from the head of lettuce, and arrange in a bowl.
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Mound mixture in the lettuce "cup." Serve with cottage cheese, chicken, or lean cold meat.
Serves 6.

Carbonada Criolla (Stew with Meat, Vegetables, and Fruit) - Argentina

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds of stewing beef, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped thick
  • 1 green pepper, chopped thick
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cups canned chicken stock
  • 3 potatoes, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 sweet potatoes, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 ears of corn, cut into 1-inch widths (or use 2 cups of frozen corn)
  • 2 zucchini, diced into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 peaches in ½-inch pieces
  • 2 pears in ½-inch pieces

Procedure

  1. Heat oil in heavy pot.
  2. Brown beef in separate batches so that all of it gets cooked. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  3. In that same pot, cook tomatoes, pepper, onion, and garlic until soft.
  4. Add bay leaves, oregano, and chicken stock, and bring to a boil.
  5. Return beef to the pot, and add potatoes and sweet potatoes. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in zucchini and corn. Simmer 10 more minutes, or until vegetables are almost soft, then add the peaches and pears.
  7. Cook 5 more minutes.
  8. Serve hot.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Saffron and Raisin Couscous with Fresh Mint - Algeria

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon saffron
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups couscous
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

Procedure

  1. In a saucepan, bring the 2 cups of water to a boil and add the saffron.
  2. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Return the pan to the heat, return to a boil, and mix in the olive oil, salt, couscous, and raisins.
  4. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  5. Top with the fresh mint.
Makes 8 servings.