#12: Germany

Guten Tag (Good Day),

This weekend was the first cooking adventure for the youngest of the Brovsky clan. Having recently visited Germany, we know how the food should taste (and you cannot go wrong with any of the cuisine, it’s all delicious).  We had so many wonderful recipe choices to choose from, it was hard to narrow them all down!

THE DINNER: Germans enjoy a variety of meats (poultry, beef, pork…), pork being the most popular. With that in mind, we opted for the Pork Schnitzel with Dill Cream Sauce for the main course.   Of course the use of paprika was wonderful flavor as expected and is always an eastern European favorite.

Pork Schnitzel with Dill Cream Sauce Recipe: http://seeaimeecook.blogspot.com/2012/02/pork-schnitzel-with-sauce.html
Semmelknoedel Recipe: http://www.live-like-a-german.com/recipes/show/17/semmelknoedel

For the side dish we chose a traditional bread dumpling, or Semmelknoedel as the Germans call them.   The onions and parsley brought nice color and flavor to these little bits of heaven.  We also, added some of the dill sauce (Pork Schnitzel recipe) on top of the dumplings, which was fantastic!  Dumplings entered the German cuisine in the late 18th century, and were almost ubiquitous in the 19th century and since. They are most often  boiled (in salt water, Salzkartoffeln) and offer a satisfying and low cost meal.

BONUS MEAL ADVENTURE: Of course, what would a lovely German meal be without a traditional white wine from the region?  German wine comes predominantly from the areas along the upper and middle Rhine and its tributaries. Riesling and Silvaner are among the best-known varieties of white wine, we chose the Riesling  to serve with dinner.

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: THREE STARS out of five for the Dinner.
This recipe was fairly easy and straightforward for the Schnitzel but not the same can be said for the Semmelknoedel.  I would also say that the pork tenderloin may be easier to work (pound with meat hammer) into Schnitzel as you can slice it thin and pound it out even thinner (1/8″) than trying to manage the same outcome with boneless pork chops.  Tenderloin has less fat as well.  The  Semmelknoedel were a bit tricky for the young Brovsky Chez Chef but they turned out wonderfully. The recipe doesn’t state to use dried rolls for the main ingredient; but as we learned if you don’t use dry bread you end up with a soupy mixture.  Not to worry though, we recovered by adding some dried bread crumbs to absorb the liquid.  Once this was done, we were left with a great texture dough that we dropped by the spoonful into the boiling water.

 

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR STARS out of five for the Dinner.
This dinner was a solid choice and quite pleasant.  The Semmelknoedel (dumplings) were moist and flavor packed and the Pork Schnitzel with Dill Cream Sauce was equally as enjoyable with its crispy crust and Paprika and dill flavors.

Auf Wiedersehen bis zum nächsten Wochenende (goodbye until next weekend).  

We are cooking food from Brazil next!
join us as we feast in South America!

Thanks for following us on our fun filled food adventures!

– J & L

#11: Mozambique

Hope you’re staying cool, friends!

It’s been a hot week and even hotter weekend. Between massive amounts of soccer, we were able to drag our bones into the kitchen for some really interesting cooking! (We learned quite a lot about this nation’s history while looking for cuisine!)

THE DINNER: We picked Mozambique for this week’s meal. Upon doing the research for the recipes, I was not shocked to read that many of Mozambique’s inhabitants are very poor. The country is recovering from wars and natural disaster and many people do not eat hearty meals every day. This is especially the case further inland in the rural communities. There people’s daily diet is less varied. However, along the coast the cuisine is largely based on fresh seafood. The staple food of Mozambique is a maize porridge and meat or vegetable stew. Mozambique is justifiably famous in Africa for its cuisine. With its long coastline and rich fishing grounds, it’s no wonder that many of its famous dishes revolve around fresh seafood. The nation was actually a colony of Portugal up until the very recent history (we’re talking mid 1970’s here, people) so almost all of it’s dishes are very much Portuguese in origin and less African in nature.

Think lots of olive oil. fish stews. paprika and red pepper. bread and pasta as sides. Much of their wine and beer is also based in portuguese tradition. This one nation actualyl offered us our first challenge in deciding on meal. There was WAY too much to choose from. One thing kept sticking out, however, that was Piri Piri (sometimes spelled Peri-Peri). They eat this pepper on chicken and prawns mainly and it seemed to be the go-to regional dish. We planned on grabbing some tiger prawns and having a go at it! We went one of two traditional routs for serving this dish: wild rice pilaf (the other was a good crusty bread to soak up the sauce….and mannnnnn, did you want to soak up ALL that sauce!)

Peri-Peri Prawns Recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Prawns-Peri-Peri-231244

 

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: ONE STARS out of five for the Dinner.
The only reason I have to give this one star instead of no stars is because we had to take ten minutes to shell the prawns. That’s literally how simple this meal was. For the amount of total flavor and scrumptiousness (is that a word? Who cares, it totally defines what this meal was) this meal should have been soo much harder than it was. Shellfish is one of my personal favorite things to cook because it doesn’t get much easier than meat that literally signals to you when it’s perfectly done. It goes from opaque and brown to a “HEY THERE I’M FINISHED” perfect blush shade of pink. It’s a thing of beauty. Pretty idiot proof as far as prep and cooking this one.

Best dish of all time scale: FIVE STARS out of five for the Dinner.
This dinner was agreed upon to be the best we’ve had on our journey s so far. Yes, we’ve done eleven countries out of a zillion. Yes, we will most likely have more five stars to come. But this one in the mean time is already getting encore shouts from the back of house. It was perfect. The end. Seriously. I couldn’t write words to describe the buttery, spicy, luscious perfection. You’re just gonna have to take 20 minutes to makes this one.

For next week, mom is flying solo with Germany! I’m going to be out of state, but she’s gonna cook up a storm. It’s one of her personal favorite countries and we were really excited to travel back to the food of the Deutsch ever since we visited in 2011. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with for the meal! Get it, Frau Brovsky!

Auf Wiedersehen as the Germans say!
– L & K

#10: Vietnam

Hope your weekend was as sunny as ours!

It was another gorgeous Colorado weekend in our corner of the world! We got plenty accomplished around the house as the Brovsky patriarchs always seem to have a never ending list of weekend warrior chores to check off! After a successfully productive Saturday, we were able to kick back Sunday for a few hours to catch the Germany/Argentina match de’jour before we made Vietnamese food!

THE DINNER: We decided that this week, we would venture to an Asian market to grocery shop for this week’s meal. Nothing on the menu really called specifically for this outing, but we were excited to mix it up and since the market happened to be by our favorite Pho restaurant, we couldn’t help but pay homage to Vietnam in this way. 0198aad312c37e4a866b22a1045409b59daaa8bdf4

We thought about the many options that Vietnamese cuisine presented us with. What sounded good? Answer: EVERY. LAST. THING. This was probably the hardest country to decided on a game plan for just because nothing sounded un-do-able or unappetizing. So- what would it be? Caramelized Pork Bánh Mì? Tom Rang Thit Ba Chi? Bun Tom Heo Nuong? Traditional Pho?

We decided that Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls were the way to go! What an awesome fieldtrip to the P.O.M market, by the way. We are talking amazing prices, fresh fish and produce, any array of Asian goods you want.We had 10 types, brands and sizes of fish sauce… it was overwhelming in the best way.  We picked chicken for our meat– though you have the option of vegetarian or tofu. I can’t have tofu, so that one was a no brainer.  We even found some Asian cookies for dessert! BONUS!

Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls with Chicken: http://www.feastingathome.com/2014/02/vietnamese-vermicelli-bowl.html#more

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: ONE STARS out of five for the Dinner.
Vietnam had simple instructions and ordinary ingredients. One of the strange things turned out to be lemongrass and Vietnamese peppers. The trip to P.O.M made those “tricky” ingredients no sweat at all. The prep was simple. Noodles were quick but a little tricky which is what earned this recipe a two— fresh noodles are hard to time and easy to over cook if you’re not careful! We took a note from our other Asian adventure- Korea in week #4 on how to best grill our protein choice. This worked out well, though the recipe says you can pan fry them too if you don’t have grill access.

Best dish of all time scale: 3.5 STARS out of five for the Dinner.
This dinner’s highlight was the chicken!! HOLY WOW. That marinade– which mom compared to more of a paste/grill coating was absolutely specatcular! It was soo yummy. seriously. try it. The sauce with the peppers was spicy but not overpowering (nothing compared to Korea on the spice scale. So for you faint of heart or high in acid reflux bunch- don’t panic!) The meal was really clean and fresh which is what you expect from Vietnamese food; as well as healthy. Fresh Veggies all around! Also the fresh Vietnamese basil was super fragrant. The cookies were 5 out of 5 even though we didn’t bake them. They were sort of like pie crust with this almond icing glaze on them. Pretty darn addicting.

We have picked Mozambique as our next country! We are looking forward to an Africa nation to throw things into a different league! I have to say, doing recipe research for this nation has already taught me a few things I never knew about Mozambique! Can’t wait to give you cats the scoop next week!

Till then- stay hungry and happy!
– L & K

#9: The United States

Happy Independence Day Weekend!

My fellow Americans can join in with me when asked what we eat on this holiday: BBQ!! And yes, we definitely grilled ribs, had burgers and ate brats this week in honor of that annual tradition. For our country this week, since it is our native land, we didn’t want to fall into the trap of doing something for our meal that we always make. Since this is an adventure in cuisine, we took a  trip to the east coast for this one. When Americans in the north east celebrate summer, they have seafood. We decided to do it up, Martha’s Vineyard style!

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THE DINNER: The main course this weekend was Lobster Rolls served with Spicy-Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob. This week we picked our recipes from our issue of July/August Food Network Magazine. They gave us the idea to travel to the north east for our meal. This issue payed homage to the different parts of the country and how they celebrate our Independence Day. Southern BBQ. Mid Western Grilling. West Coast Burgers. It had it all laid out for us. Lobster Rolls and Corn were something we had never done on the 4th so we were happy to switch it up! Also, since this is a native holiday, we made dessert part of the festivities again! (HOORAY Sweets!!). In the theme of the day, we picked apple and cherry pie…as we are a house divided on which is tastiest and the most “American”. So instead of making a ton of pies to this effect, I thought this would be a great time to trial some “mini pies” I have been wanting to make! (HOORAY guinea pigs!!).

For the corn, we went with Colorado sweet corn. It’s fabulous and I feel bad for those who haven’t gotten to try it. We went with langostinos in lou of lobster for a few reasons:

  • First off, more meat for your poundage. When you purchase lobster, it typically comes in the tail. This gets weighed and you pay for it like it were the delicious meat…we all know it’s not. Also, if you buy lobster without the tail, then it’s frozen and that’s a whole other issue you have, my friend. I won’t even go there.
  • Secondly, the langostino is already small and bite sized, saving us massive amounts of boiling, tail removal and cutting. For those of you not aware, langostinos are basically lobsters but the size of prawns. They have the same texture and taste as that of lobster

Lobster Roll Recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/lobster-rolls-recipe0.html
Spicy-Lime Grilled Corn Recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/grilled-corn-on-the-cob-with-chili-lime-butter-and-cotija-cheese-recipe.html
Mini Apple Pie Recipe:
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Mini Cherry Pie Recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-thornton/mini-cherry-pies-recipe.html

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: ONE STARS out of five for the Dinner. TWO out of five for dessert.
No strange ingredients this week! Everything was easy to find and recipes were not hard to research. We had no learning curve this time. The lobster rolls were pretty darn easy. They go together in little parts though, so some assembly is required for this one. But as aforementioned, the langotsinos made this one a snap! The corn was a little tricky because it was in packets on the grill, so it was hard to time. Generally the meal was cake… the pies were not cake. They were obviously pies, but also they were for the more advanced baker. The mini pie recipe was further minimized by myself since I made two kinds. I split the recipes so that was “advanced” and then there is always a little skill required with pie crust and construction of the fruit pie tops. Further skill required for the “mini” part. And as it goes with pies of the fruit variety, timing on this one is key. (that or you will have to clean your oven… your choice really.)

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR STARS out of five for the Dinner. TWO out of five for the dessert!
We can easily begin by saying a few things about the ingredients to explain the score here: “Butter”, “Lobster”, “Bacon”, “Mayonnaise”… etc. I mean these ingredients would be good on a shoe, but throw them together on toasted rolls and it’s magic. Any way you slice it, lobster and bacon will probably get you in the three to four star range in the Brovsky house.
It was solid and good and hearty…and just a little bit decadent and bacon topped– Just what you think about when you think about The United States. Mission accomplished. Dessert was classic and clean. It was All-American, but not necessarily an All-Star. They were yummy and sweet, but nothing to write home about.

Next week we have decided to travel to one of our favorite Asian countries, Vietnam! Who know what wonderful things await our bellies?!

Sleep well, compatriots!
– L & K