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This sweet is a Brazilian dessert. It was a culinary fad in Brazil in the mid-1990s, now its popularity has diminished somewhat in spite if that fact one of my best Brazilian friend offered this dessert last week. She told me that they usually prepare when they run out of time. So that was the case!
It consists of papaya blended with vanilla ice cream. Crème de Cassis is usually added, but a non-alcoholic blackcurrant syrup can be substituted. It is common to blend the papaya and ice cream, then put into serving dish and pour about an ounce of creme de cassis on the top.
Ingredients: 1 big ripe papaya
2 scoops vanilla ice-cream
2 tbsp Creme de Cassis
1 sprig of mint for decoration and vanilla pod
Direction: Peel papaya and remove seeds. Cut in small pieces. Put in blender with ice-cream and pour over Creme de Cassis. Blend well until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and decorate with mint. The mix of flavors and colors (orange papaya and purple liqueur) as you can see are really beautiful! You can omit the alcohol and can replace with cassis syrup instead. You can also reduce the calories by using Light ice-cream. (other advantage of the papaya is it works against constipation). I decorated with fresh vanilla seeds scraped from the pod.
Actually I didn’t make turmix from the papaya but rather let the finelly cut pieces soak in the Cassis liqueur for a while and then I scooped over the ice cream. It was a really nice and light dessert.
Ingredients for the Lemon Curd:
2 eggs, 200 ml heavy cream
300 g sugar
60 g cold butter
In a small measuring cup, mix the lemon juice with the sugar, Limoncello and 1/4 cup water until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Place the mascarpone and ricotta cream cheeses, lemon curd and heavy cream in a food processor and process until smooth and a bit fluffy.
To assemble the tiramisu, place half the ladyfingers in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish, breaking a few to fit, and dip in the half of the lemon syrup. Top with half of the lemon cream. Repeat the layers, using the remaining ladyfingers, syrup and lemon cream. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours. Before serving, top with the roughly chopped pistache.
The carnival in Binche each year takes place in Belgium during the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday. That is the best known carnival in Belgium and it has been proclaimed as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity listed by UNESCO. Its history dates back to approximately the 14th century. Events related to the carnival begin up to seven weeks prior to the primary celebrations. Street performances and public displays traditionally occur on the Sundays approaching Ash Wednesday, consisting of prescribed musical acts, dancing, and marching. Large numbers of Binche’s inhabitants spend the Sunday directly prior to Ash Wednesday in costume.
The centrepiece of the carnival’s proceedings are clown-like performers known as Gilles. Appearing, for the most part, on ShroveTuesday, the Gilles are characterised by their vibrant dress, wax masks and wooden footwear. They number up to 1,000 at any given time, range in age from 3 to 60 years old, and are customarily male. The honour of being a Gille at the carnival is something that is aspired to by local men. From dawn on the morning of the carnival’s final day, Gilles appear in the centre of Binche, to dance to the sound of drums and ward off evil spirits with sticks. Later during the day, they don large hats adorned with ostrich plumes, which can cost more than $300 US dollars to rent,and march through the town with baskets of oranges. These oranges are thrown to,and sometimes at, members of the crowd gathered to view the procession. The vigour and longevity of the orange-throwing event has in past caused damage to property – some residents choose to seal windows to prevent this. The oranges are considered good luck because they are a gift from the Gilles and it is an insult to throw them back.
The Oil balls
There is a special sweet which are only sold during the carnival season at mobile stalls called oliebollen-oil balls. It is a kind of dumpling made by using an ice-scooper or two spoons to scoop a certain amount of dough and dropping the dough into a deep fryer filled with hot oil. In this way, a sphere-shaped oliebol emerges.
The dough is made from flour, eggs, yeast, some salt, milk, baking powder and usually sultanas, currants, raisins and sometimes zest or succade. A notable variety is the appelbeignet which contains only a slice of apple, but different from oliebollen, the dough should not rise for at least an hour. Oliebollen are usually served with powdered sugar. In Flanders the “oliebol” is called “smoutenbol” where as the only difference is not baked in vegetable oil, but in animal fat. Another difference between the Dutch oliebol and the Flanders smoutenbol is that the smoutenbol is usually not filled in contrast to the Dutch oliebol. The filling of the oliebol could consist of raisins, currants and apple, other ingredients can be added, such as Succade, pieces of orange or whip cream.
Ingredients: 1 kilo wheat flour, 1 l (33.8 fl oz) tepid water, 20 grams of salt, 50 grams (1.76 oz) of sugar, 80 grams (2.8 oz) of fresh yeast or 16 grams of dried yeast, peanut oil, powdered sugar for finishing touch
Method: Mix the yeast with the tepid water. Ensure that the water isn’t too hot for the yeast before using. Add the flour to the watery yeast. Mix the batter briefly, using the lowest setting on the blender. Add the salt and the sugar. Mix in quickly. Leave the batter to rise for 45 minutes in a warm place. Use a large bucket to let the batter rise.
To prevent the batter from dehydrating, lay a damp tea towel over the batter. After the dough has risen, start making doughnuts. Heat the oil to a temperature from about 180ºC / 350ºF. Use a sauce (gravy) spoon to spoon the batter into the oil. Take a small or medium sized soup ladle, dip it in the hot oil briefly, scoop up some batter, then lower the ladle in the oil. The oliebol will float out of the ladle.
Don’t fry too many at once––3 or 4 is the limit for most pans. Use peanut oil and change the oil regularly. Fry the Dutch doughnuts about six minutes.
When they are half cooked, they will turn over by themselves, sometimes they need a little nudge to turn. Remove from the oil using the ladle or slotted spoon. Lay a piece of kitchen paper into a bowl or deep plate and put each of the cooked Dutch doughnuts on it. The kitchen paper soaks up most of the oil. Before you serve the “Dutch doughnuts”, sprinkle them with powered sugar
“Flanders is seldom associated with culinary achievement and top gastronomy, despite having more Michelin stars per inhabitant than anywhere else, as well as 167 recognized regional products and seven under European protection,” commented tourism minister Geert Bourgeois. “We have to present ourselves better in the market, both at home and abroad.”
The plan for 2014-2019 was developed by Toerisme Vlaanderen together with the five provincial tourism organizations, city and local authorities and private partners. It has three main themes: beer, chocolate and excellent food.
“Beer and chocolate may be clichés,” Bourgeois admitted, “but we’d be crazy not to take advantage of them. Our reputation for beer and chocolate will grow in the years to come, as we make the experience more interesting for the tourist. Together with that, we will work to improve our reputation as a region where you can eat well. Ask an American in a few years why he came to Flanders, and his spontaneous answer will be: our delicious food, beer and chocolate.”
The plan involves making food festivals more international and the continuation of campaigns such as the Young Kitchen Rebels promotion of 30 young chefs and the Vlaanderen Lekkerland ambassadors, where towns of culinary note are promoted by their province. “This new action plan is just the beginning,” said Toerisme Vlaanderen administrator-general Peter De Wilde. “The field is now wide open for the contributions of our partners.”
In related news, one of Flanders’ most famous chefs, Piet Huysentruyt (otherwise known as SOS Piet), has been awarded a Michelin star for his new restaurant in the Ardèche region of France. Huysentruyt opened Likoké last summer and in October was named “discovery of the year” by the rival guide Gault&Millau
Before achieving stardom as a TV chef and best-selling author of cookbooks, Huysentruyt had a restaurant with a Michelin star in Wortegem, East Flanders. He is due to make a return to Flemish TV screens soon with a new series on VIER.
“Blinks or trembling, like the frog in the Miskolc meat jelly” has come into common usage in Hungary. Since 2000 Miskolc (the 2d biggest town of Hungary in the East) is the place to go to enjoy this treat (hopefully without the frog)!
Kocsonya alias Aspic plate is usually prepared in late fall and winter by boiling (otherwise undesirable) pork pieces with vegetables and spices, skimming off (some of) the fat and leaving the broth to cool into a jelly dotted with juicy meat. It’s consumed cold with thick slices of fresh, white bread and with horseradish– for which Miskolc also happens to be famous. And what is the story behind of this festival?
“One day in the last century a truck driver stopped at a Hungarian inn called The Hungarian Cavalry between Budapest and Miskolc. Since he was very hungry he ordered an aspic meat plate. The inn owner was happened to be a sexy-curvy woman no wonder that she was nicknamed the ”Foxy Cathy”. Thus she went down to the cellar and in no time she returned with a huge plate of meat jelly, richly bestewed with the Hungarian sweet and hot paprika powder. The driver started to eat with a ravenous appetite. He fell to his food and wanted to taste first the meat which protruted from the middle of the dish. But when he stuck in it, he immediatelly dropped down the fork with a great shock and beckoned Cathy: my dear, look there are eyes in my jelly and ogling!
- Cathy checked the plate over his head and what she saw was a huge, stocky frog frozen in the jelly up to its waist. It was in a desperate position looked like as if it was asking for help. – He had a bad luck! - commented Cathy the mishap of the frog with a smile then she grabbed the jelly meat plate and put it into the oven, heated it up a bit and the frog was released”.
Hence the Aspic-Jelly Festival, complete with culinary contests, concerts and a street fair (with fairgoers in frog costumes!) started in 2000. There are some local aspic specialties in 40 varieties, while you laugh at jesters and other festival funnymen, listen to chansons or brass bands, and then dress up and attend the Kocsonya-Aspic Ball!
You could combine a trip to this nowhere-else-in-the-world festival with a dip into the hot-springs Cave Baths at Miskolc-Tapolca, also something not found anywhere else…
History of the Jelly plate
Aspic is a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé. When cooled, stock that is made from meat congeals because of the natural gelatin found in the meat. The stock can be clarified with egg whites, and then filled and flavored just before the aspic sets. Almost any type of food can be set into aspics. Most common are meat pieces, fruits or vegetables. Aspics are usually served on cold plates so that the gel will not melt before being eaten. A meat jelly that includes cream is called a chaud-froid.
Nearly any type of meat can be used to make the gelatin: pork, beef, veal, chicken, turkey, or fish. The aspic may need additional gelatin in order to set properly. Veal stock provides a great deal of gelatin; in making stock, veal is often included with other meat for that reason. In Hungary it is also popular to make fish consommés. They usually have too little natural gelatin, so the fish stock may be double-cooked or supplemented. Since fish gelatin melts at a lower temperature than gelatins of other meats, fish aspic is more delicate and melts more readily in the mouth.
By the Middle Ages at the latest, cooks had discovered that a thickened meat broth could be made into a jelly. A detailed recipe for aspic is found in Le Viandier, written in or around 1375.
In the early 19th century, Marie-Antoine Carême created chaud froid in France. Chaud froid means “hot cold” in French, referring to foods that were prepared hot and served cold. Aspic was used as a chaud froid sauce in many cold fish and poultry meals. The sauce added moisture and flavor to the food. Carême invented various types of aspic and ways of preparing it. Aspic, when used to hold meats, prevents them from becoming spoiled. The gelatin keeps out air and bacteria, keeping the cooked meat fresh.
This BBQ recipe takes its name from the historical Mongolian emperor however it is not directly related to him. But it’s more related to the Hanami- the cherry blossoming festival when Genghis Khan lamb BBQ is eaten everywhere. When I spent three months in Sapporo (Hokkaido island) I had a chance to participate in this traditional festival. I really enjoyed the transient beauty of flowers (“flower” in this case almost always meaning cherry blossoms”sakura”). To study the origin of this custom I’d learned that the practice of hanami is many centuries old. It has been celebrated since the Nara period (AD 710-) from March to early May, when sakura bloom all over Japan. The earliest date is around the first of February on the island of Okinawa. The blossom forecast in Japanese the sakura zenzen (literally cherry blossom front) is announced each year by the weather office, and it is watched carefully by those planning hanami as the blossoms only last a week or two. In modern-day Japan, hanami mostly consists of having an outdoor party beneath the sakura trees during daytime or at night. For instance in Okinawa, decorative electric lanterns are hung in the trees for evening enjoyment, such as on the trees ascending Mt. Yae, near Motobu Town, or at the Nakijin Castle. This is the most beloved holiday for the Japanese people since Sakura parties are the first official holidays of the new year in Japan.
In Sapporo we celebrated the sakura blossoming in the huge Odori park, where one of my Japanese friend Mitani san explained the origin of the name. According to him it started with a student joke when university students gathered once in the Sapporo beergarden and ate this grilled lamb they nick named Ghengis BBQ. The restaurant owner was fancied by the name and picked it up and started to sell the marinated lamb doish under the name Genghis kan. It became a big hit. Since mid of the 20st century Asian people has consumed not only at festive events but also during other occasions.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
1-1/2 lbs. lamb shoulder, leg or loin (chef’s choice), thinly sliced, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 4 oz. mung bean sprouts
For the Marinade:
1/2 onion, 1/2 apple, peeled and cored, 1 clove garlic, 0.5 oz. fresh ginger, peeled, 5 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. sake (Japanese rice wine), 2 Tbsp. orange juice, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Grate 1/2 onion, apple, garlic and ginger with a fine grater into a large bowl. Add yoy sauce, orange juice sugar and pepper. Combine. Add lamb to the bowl. Mix and marinate for 15 minutes or overnight. Slice onion and carrot into bite sized pieces and
plate with mungo bean sprouts. Set all ingredients and serving plates on a table along with the Indoor Electric Grill. Preheat the Indoor Electric Grill at HI for 6 minutes or until the operation light turns off. Place some vegetable
around the edge, and turn the heat down to MED. Please be careful of the heated grill When the vegetables on the grill are cooked half way through, place marinated lamb on the center of the grill Spoon some marinade sauce from the bowl over the
grilling vegetables while they cook Flip meat once, and when they reach your preferred doneness, remove vegetables and meat to serving plate Continue to add vegetables and meat to the grill, cooking and eating as you go.
When last week I was strolling in the botanical garden of Nymphenburg /Münich, Germany, I already smelt the spring in the air maybe because I was surrounded by thousand varieties of citrus fruits in the Orangerie room. After coming home I felt like I need to eat something lemony. It felt in with that I had had fresh lemon, white wine and tarragon at home and also some veal in the fridge so I decided to make an excellent Italian dish what I ate in Rome on the other day the Scaloppine alla vanda-(veal filet with lemon glaze and rosemary).
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or omit), 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, 2 tablespoon olive oil for frying
for the lemon glaze:
1/4 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt (can use more to taste), 5 thin lemon slices, fresh parsley, chopped (to taste), estragon
1 In a small bowl or shallow dish whisk together mustard and eggs; set aside.
2 Combine the dry bread crumbs or flour with poultry seasoning, garlic powder and seasoning salt; spread on a piece of waxed paper.
3 Dip the veal slices firstly in egg/mustard mixture (shake off any excess egg) then coat well with the crumb mixture, pressing downs with hands to adhear the crumbs to the meat.
4 Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
5 Add in the veal slices and cook for about 10 minutes on each side, or until it is no longer pink inside; remove and transfer to a plate to keep warm.
6 For the glaze; in the same skillet add in the broth, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste, if using capers add in now) bring to a boil scraping any brown bits from the pan.
7 Add in lemon slices and parsley; mix to combine for about 1 minute.
8 Spoon the glaze/sauce over veal and serve. Delizioso!