Monday, February 17, 2014

Salted Pork Redeems the Danes

This past week I researched the culinary wonders of Denmark.  I can't exactly see why it was noted as Michelin star worthy for some local eateries since most of the dishes I had researched look very bland and unappetizing.  I was hoping for some flavor like the previous attempts at ethnic food, but sadly, the only thing that redeemed the dish I prepared was the salted pork.

I am not big on pork to begin with but since I wanted to end the weekend breaking my predominate vegetable diet, I figured, salted pork was the way to go.

What was worth noting was that peasant dishes are the root of the history of Danish cuisine through the Industrial Revolution.  Which was good for my budget constraints and desire to donate 10% of the remainder each week to the local food bank at the end of the year.

Stegt flæsk med persillesovs (Fried, uncured bacon with parsley sauce)

In any event, Stegt flæsk med persillesovs (Fried, uncured bacon with parsley sauce) was only tasty due to the uncured bacon even though I tried to make the parsley sauce with the bacon fat to give it a little more flavor.

It is worth noting however, the boyfriend liked this dish since he found the sauce to be tasty enough to eat with all parts of the dish.  Without the sauce, this dish had no depth we concluded so it probably won't be high on the list of repeats any time soon, though who knows, I might get bored and say, parsley sauce and potato please!  Unlikely though.  Next week, we'll go back in time and hopefully we can get a little bit of flavor back onto our pallets.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Smell of Vintage...

The smell of vintage hasn't always been of favorable smells.  Especially since the boyfriend doesn't like Brussels sprouts.  I try to introduce him to new tastes since he has claimed he has "bland taste buds" since he's from the Midwest.

I do have to admit, his pallet is kinda bland.  Then again, a pasta diet is cheap and he's also pretty frugal.  So my objective was to remain frugal (I'm not a huge spender on food or anything for that matter) and expand both our taste buds.

Unfortunately, Brussel sprouts to him are still not very tasty.  I decided to at least try Brussel sprouts in a different form to expand my pallet.  I like Brussel sprouts, yes, I said it, I like Brussel sprouts BUT not peas!!  How can I be my father's daughter?!

In any event, vintage Brussel sprouts was only my cup of tea.

Brussel sprouts au Gratin from The Household Searchlight Recipe Book (c) 1943
2 c Brussel sprouts
1 Tbs chopped parsley
1/2 c buttered crumbs
Brussels sprout au gratin (c) 1943
1/2 c grated Swiss or American cheese (I think if there wasn't cheese, the boyfriend wouldn't have even touched this dish)
Salt and Pepper
1/2 c medium white sauce

Wash sprouts thoroughly.  Cook in boiling salted water until tender.  Fill a well-oiled casserole with alternate layers of Brussels sprouts and white sauce.  Season to taste.  Sprinkle with cheese and crumbs.  Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees F) about 20 minutes.  Garnish with parsley.  4 Servings.---Virginia Cooper, New Orleans, LA.

On another note, I googled for Virginia Cooper and found this .  I'm not sure if it is the same Virginia Cooper listed in this book, but if it was, I'll admit to her dish being tasty, even if it was just for me to enjoy on this challenge.

Next week, we'll explore the culinary dishes of Denmark.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Congo Chicken Moambe Stew

This past week, the boyfriend drew the country of Congo for the ethnic cuisine part of the challenge of 2014.  Not much is published on the food of Congo, but from what I did research, it made me realize that I could never be a vegetarian in Congo.  Vegetarianism isn't a known commodity in Central Africa as growing any sort of fresh crops is incredibly difficult.

However, root vegetables such as cassava and sweet potato are typical side dishes to a meat dish.  For this dish, I found a Congo Chicken Moambe Stew.  This is one you certainly have to allot two and a half hours to prepare and cook.

Congo Chicken Moambe Stew -- Oalala of
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours

1-1 1/3 lbs chicken parts -- cut into serving pieces
Congo Chicken Moambe (stew)
1/4 tsp of salt
1/3 tsp of pepper
1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/3 onion--minced
1/3 dash of nutmeg
1 (2 2/3 oz) can of tomato sauce
1/3 Tbs of butter
1/3 c of peanut butter -- creamy and unsalted

1. Place chicken in a 6 quart soup pot with water to cover -- add salt and pepper
2. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook 1 to 1 1/2 hours
3. Remove chicken and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth
4. In another pan, sate cayenne pepper, onion, nutmeg, tomato sauce and butter for 3 minutes
5. To the pan, add the cooked chicken and 1 1/2 cups of reserved broth and simmer covered for 15 minutes
6. Add peanut butter to thicken, place in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes, uncovered
7. Serve warm with cooked rice

Out of all the chicken dishes I have prepared, this had to be the tastiest, aside from the roasted chicken I did from Thomas Keller's toolbox.  The mildness of the peanut butter and tomato sauce really pulled this chicken to another degree.

Next week, we'll explore the Searchlight Recipe Book (c) 1943.