My Kitchen, My World


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…

    …is the largest Arab state in Western Asia and the second-largest in the Arab world after Algeria. It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast, and Yemen in the south. It is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast.Wikipedia

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The cuisine is heavy with rice, chicken, lamb, as well as fruits and various spices. It was not hard to find several good dishes to make but I finally settled on a traditional Arabic sweet treat.

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    BASBOOSA

which is a Sweet Semolina Cake with Lemon and Rosewater. It is quite dense and not that sweet, until you soak it in a Rosewater Lemon Syrup. And by soak, I mean, SUBMERGE…

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the cake in the fragrant syrup. My whole kitchen smelled of roses for ages after I made the syrup.

I found several different recipes for Basboosa. Some used yeast, some not. Some used yogurt, some didn’t. Some used flour along with the semolina, some didn’t. It was hard to decide which one use. I finally decided on this one. And then adapted it just a smidgeon. And I made only 1/2 of the recipe in an oval dish.

    3 cups durum semolina
    1 1/2 cups sugar Stevia
    1/4 cup melted butter, plus extra for greasing
    1 1/2 tsp yeast
    1 1/2 tsp rose water
    1 1/4 cups warm water

Preheat the oven to 325.
Mix all the ingredients together until a thick batter forms. {My batter was more like a dough, so I added a little more warm water until it had a more batter-like consistency, but not very loose.} Let the batter rest for at 15-30 minutes. Pour the batter into the baking pan, pat evenly into the pan and score with the tip of a knife in a diamond pattern. You can decorate the tops with small nuts – peanuts, almonds, pistachios or pine nuts, which is what I used.
Bake the cake for 35 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Slice the cake along the score lines and set it aside.

For the syrup:

    1/2 cup water
    1 cup sugar
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    1 1/2 tsp rose water

Mix the sugar, lemon juice, rose water, and water in a small saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves. Pour the syrup completely over the sliced cake until it is completely submerged. I didn’t think all the syrup would be soaked up but it was – completely. But make sure you use Durham Semolina. While I made only 1/2 the cake recipe I made the whole batch of syrup.

This traditional Arabic treat is almost tooth-achenly sweet. The flavor of the lemon is very subtle. The fragrance and taste of roses is very strong. If you don’t like the taste, you might want to decrease the amount of Rosewater. OH, so good!

I was going to stop with this treat, but I had some leftover Basmati rice and had seen a recipe for

    MASHKOUL

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This is simple dish of rice and sautéed/fried onions. It was perfect, quick, simple side dish. You can find the recipe at FOOD.COM

You can find all the Saudi Arabian recipes at My Kitchen My World later this month.

The Northeast is expecting more snow this week. But the people in Belize are enjoying sunshine and temps in the lower 80s. I bet Peggy was thinking of those warm temps when she chose Belize for us to visit this month. March is a good month to visit. Not too hot, but warm enough to enjoy.

IN case you are wondering where Belize IS –

belize

It is part of Central America and stomping grounds of the Maya. Belize used to be British Honduras but gained independence in 1981.

The cuisine is, of course heavy in seafood, coconuts, fruit, and is an amalgamation of all ethnicities including British, Mayan, and Mestizo.

These POWDER BUNS are a cross between a biscuit and a scone.

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    2 Cups All Purpose Flour
    1/2 Cup butter
    1/2 Cup Brown Sugar or White Sugar
    1/2 Cup Raisins {I left these out}
    2 Tsp Baking Powder
    2 Medium Eggs
    1 Tsp Vanilla
    1 Tsp Cinnamon
    1 Tsp Nutmeg
    1/2 Cup Coconut Milk or Evaporated Milk
    1 Cup Shredded unsweetened Coconut {The original recipe explains how to cut and clean a fresh coconut, but…..}

Preheat oven to 370 degrees.
Sift the flour and cut in the butter ’til crumbly. Add in the sugar, raisins spices, baking powder and grated coconut.
Beat the eggs, vanilla and milk together. Mix with the dry ingredients. The dough will be quite sticky.
Drop by spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle the tops with brown sugar.
Bake 15 – 20 minutes ’til nice and brown. You can serve these with butter or maybe some jam. They are tasty enough just by themselves.
The original recipe is HERE.

I wish I had had time to explore more of the Belizean recipes I found. Maybe next time. But you can find more on the round-up which will be on My Kitchen My World in a few days.

    Vitam vas!
    Nazdar! a vítat až k Únor Má KuchynŘ Má Svět. My ar být na návštěvě Czechosolovia

And in case you don’t speak Czech:

The Czech Republic was my choice for this month. I live in Kolin, a community that was originally settled by Czechs in the early 1900s. Our home is one of the original homesteads in the area and is actually listed as a Louisiana Cultural Heritage Property.

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The original owners – Francis and Christine Welchech – built a good sized chicken house first. This is where they lived while they built the small barn,

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and the large barn in 1917. {For many years when the community was young dances and gatherings were held on the top floor of this barn.

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and finally the house in 1926 (top picture).

If you notice the high sloping roof on the barn it is because where the people originally lived and migrated to (Kansas) had lots of snow and the snow would easily slide off the tall gabled roof. {Just a wee bit of history}.

Every year there are two festivals in Kolin. In the fall there is the Kolache Festival. In March there is the Czech Festival. The fall festival is simple and is mainly based on the sale of kolaches. The larger festival in March is filled with dancing, history, pictorals, tours of the area, and lots of hearty food. Pork. Cabbage – usually in the form of sauerkraut – and, of course, KOLACHES (Koláče). It was these bakery treats that pushed me to choose Czechoslovakia for this months MKMW visit.

KOLACHES (Koláče). is not really just a single sweet treat, it is a generic term for baked pastries. But in the US it refers to a yeast bread with a pocket of sweet filling – Poppy Seed, Cream Cheese, Apple. There is a nice definition HERE!

I have a good basic sweet dough recipe I used for King Cake so I adapted it for the bread machine and used it to make the Kolache.

    1 cup milk (at room temperature)
    1 tsp. flavor (lemon, orange, vanilla, or butter)
    4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 cup all-purpose shortening
    2 large eggs, beaten
    4 cups all-purpose flour

Mix the milk, flavoring, and yeast in the bread machine container. Let sit for about 5 minutes until foamy.
Mix the eggs, sugar, and shortening in a small bowl. Then add to yeast/milk mix.
Add flour.
Use the dough cycle to mix/raise/punch the dough. When done remove dough to a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough into 12 – 15 equal sized pieces and roll into balls. Press each ball into a fairly flat disc. Let rise until about doubled in size.
Make deep indentations in each disc using your fingers. The indentation must be deep and strong or the dough will pop back up when baking.

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Fill with whatever filling you are using. I prefer the apple, cream cheese, or cinnamon crumble.} Gently brush the dough with melted butter.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Filling:

    8 oz cream cheese, softened (230 grams)
    1 egg yolk
    1/4 cup sugar (50 grams)
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Use a heaping tablespoon for each kolache
Popsika: (Crumble Topping)

    1/2 Cup Sugar
    1/4 Cup flour
    1 Teaspoon cinnamon
    2 Tablespoons of melted butter

Mix together with fingers or a fork until well mixed and crumbly. Use a heaping tablespoon for each kolache.

With lots of practice my Kolaches looked like they were supposed to.

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We are honorary Czechs because our barns have been used for tours and we participated in the festivals for many years. Sadly there are only a few of the original community members left, but with the festivals successive generations learn about and keep the culture going.

Check the My Kitchen My World blog for a round-up of the Czech recipes in early March.

Eastern European foods rely heavily on pork, potatoes and vegetables. Noodles came into the cuisine after contact with Italy and today there is a lot of fusion of old traditional recipes and new food ideas. Basically there are two types of food in Poland. The cuisine of the aristocracy and the dishes of the farmers and workers. The aristocracy preferred more lavish foods from other countries, such as pasta introduced in the 1500s, and spices.
The food of the farmers and workers was more filling and tended to be hearty and warming. Since I am not at all aristocratic, I went with the hearty, filling, warming food. Such as this

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    Kielbasa and Potatoes

Polish sausage and potatoes are in many dishes of the area as are lots of grains and some dairy products.

    5 large potatoes, cut in bite sized chunks
    1 lb kielbasa, sliced
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 cup chopped green pepper {I used red}
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon oregano
    1 teaspoon basil
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese {I didn’t have any cheddar so I used Muenster}

In dutch oven, brown potatoes, kielbasa, onion and peppers in oil.
Add seasonings and water. Bring to a boil.
Cover tightly and cook for 20 minutes on low, stirring occasionally.
Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top. Return lid an allow cheese to melt.

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This was definitely hearty, filling, delicious, and took less than 30 minutes to put together. I also ran across similar recipes that added in other vegetables such as carrots, peas, etc. Recipe from Food.com


The people also depend a lot on mushrooms in their recipes. So While I was in the kitchen cutting up veggies I went ahead and made some soup.


Wild Mushroom Soup

    1/4 lb dried wild mushrooms {I used a combo of dried shitake, porcini, and button}
    9 cups vegetable or meat stock
    1 cup butter
    1 cup finely chopped onion
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    salt
    white pepper
    sour cream
    chopped fresh parsley

Cover mushrooms with cold water and soak overnight. Drain the mushrooms reserving the soaking liquid, strain the liquid through a fine cloth. Rinse the mushrooms in cold water to remove any remaining sand then slice into strips.
Add the mushrooms, 8 cups of of the beef stock and the soaking liquid to a 3 quart saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over low heat 4 hours.
Melt the butter in a heavy skillet, add the onion, saute until golden brown then add to the soup.
Whisk the cornstarch with the remaining cup of beef stock, add to the soup, stir and simmer until slightly thickened.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into individual bowls, top each with 1 tbls sour cream and sprinkle with parsley. Recipe from Polish Recipes

No pics with this one. I KNOW I took them, but they are GONE!!But it wasn’t a pretty soup so maybe just as well. :)

The roundup of Poland will be the first week of February so check out My Kitchen My World.

Every month the Cooks/Bakers of My Kitchen My World ‘visit’ a different country. This month we are doing something different. Each of use chose a country and then made a dish that is typical for their holiday season. As I was looking through some old holiday cooking magazines I came across the recipe for this beautiful Swedish cake.

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    Pepparkaka

The cake is based on the Swedish Ginger Cookies that are an. It is full of spice and super, super moist. I was excited about this cake because I got to use my new Swirl Bundt pan for the first time. Thanks, B.

    For preparing pan:
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2 tablespoons very fine dry unseasoned bread crumbs
    Cake:
    1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    l/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    l/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    l/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup molasses
    2 eggs
    1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
    Topping:
    1/3 cup warm water
    2 tablespoons mild honey
    1 piece (1 inch) cinnamon stick
    2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1. Heat oven to 350. Butter 9-inch (8-cup) Bundt pan; coat with crumbs.
2. Cake: Sift flour, powder, soda, = cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, salt and pepper into a bowl.
3. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl at low speed 2 minutes. Scrape – down sides. Beat at medium-low
peed until fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in molasses, then eggs, one at a time.
4. On low speed, beat flour mixture alternately with sour cream in several additions into butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour, just until combined. Scoop into prepared pan; smooth top, spreading to edge.
5. Bake in 3500 oven until cake pulls away from pan and cake tester inserted midway between rim and
center tube comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Loosen edge and center
tube; invert on rack.
6. Topping: Simmer water, honey and cinnamon in small saucepan 3 to 5 minutes, until thin syrup. Remove cinnamon stick. Spoon over warm cake. Let cool. Sift sugar over top. Recipe from 2001 Holiday Cakes and Cookies

This was a huge hit for our Holiday Table. And I have had several people ask for one since I made it.

All the holiday desserts will be posted on My Kitchen My World after New Years. And in January we are traveling to Poland. Care to cook along?

I admit it. I had to look up Tonga. I thought it was part of Africa. But I was thinking of Togo. The Tonga Islands are 1/2 way around the world from there. About 1/2 way between Fiji and Cook Island.

geography-of-tonga0

Itty Bitty Islands in an exotic locale hidden in the Pacific Ocean.

Land of coconut, sweet potatoes, sugar, shrimp, fish, beaches, sun.

    Tonga also became known as the Friendly Islands because of the congenial reception accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit there in 1773.Wikipedia

Finding the Island was easy, finding something to cook from the islands, not so much. I really didn’t want to dig a pit and cook a suckling pig, and no tht is not stereotyping the area, nor did I have access to taro leaves or ocotopus. There is a lot of seafood eaten in Tonga (Is’s an ISLAND!!) but finding recipes for such was hard. So I made something easy. And sweet. VERY SWEET!!

First we have

    FaiKaKai (Coconut-Caramel Dumplings)

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The dumplings, or Topai, are a traditional Tongan dish (and may be the official Tongan dish).

    2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon table salt
    1 cup whole milk {I didn’t have quite enough milk so I used 1/2 coconut milk & 1/2 milk}
    3 tablespoons butter, melted

FOR THE DUMPLINGS:
Bring 4-6 cups of water to a boil.

Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Microwave the milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl on high until just warm (do not over-heat), about 1 minute. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth.

Drop dumplings by tablespoon into the water, about 1/4 inch apart (you should have about 18 dumplings). Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Meanwhile start the Syrup recipe as follows.

Ingredients for the SYRUP:

    4 cups sugar
    1 can of Coconut Milk

Put 4 cups of sugar in a medium sized heavy pot and cook on medium high heat until it begins to caramelize, stirring constantly. When it is brown, carefully begin adding the coconut milk until you get the consistency you want. Transfer the dumplings into a bowl and cover with the syrup, stir until all dumplings are coated and serve!

While the dumplings have little flavor, the syrup well makes up for it. It is VERY sweet. I found the dish to be better if the dumplings were warm when introduced to the syrup and left to soak a little. Recipe from Pioneer Palate

I also used the syrup for a traditional side dish –

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These are steamed {I baked mine} sweet potatoes which are cubed and then drizzled with the same cococonut caramel sauce (see if these aren’t keeping the turkey company next month!). I topped them with roasted coconut. Recipe from Global Table Adventure

Both of these were very easy to put together.

My Kitchen My World is visiting Poland in November. If you want to ‘travel’ with us, just make a dish from Poland and leave a comment on the website. You have LOTS of time.

Round-up for Tonga will be up the first week in November.

The Pond. The Atlantic Ocean. The LITTLE piece of water between the U.S. and Great Britain. We crossed The Pond this month so we dine in Great Britain. Since it was Great Britain we had a choice of foods from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England. And contrary to popular belief the foods of those four parts of Great Britain are delicious and so extremely various that one would never get bored with the food.

During 3rd thru’ 6th grade my family lived in England. It was fantastic. And even though it was ages ago I remember it with great sweetness. And I was lucky enough to go back about 13 years ago. And even tho’ lots had changed in some ways it had not changed at all.

BUT…. on to this month’s My Kitchen My World.

I make scones often and have made several BRITISH dishes over the years so I wanted to make something a little different. MKMW has visited Great Britain before but we were long overdue for another visit. I ended up with…..

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    Dorothy Ballam’s Poacher’s Pie

I just happened to have a rabbit in the freezer, so…..

    1 Bayleaf
    8 slices bacon
    1 lb mushrooms, sliced
    3 leeks, tops removed, cleaned and sliced
    1 rabbit cut into small portions {my package had 6}
    3 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped
    3 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
    1 Tbl vinegar {I used Balsamic}
    Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. {I used my slow cooker and it worked just fine – 4.5 hours}
Place the bay leaf in the bottom of a large, heavy ovenproof dish. {Or Slow cooker} Place four slices of bacon over the bay leaf and cover with 1/2 of the mushrooms and 1/2 of the leeks. Season the rabbit pieces and put on top. Cover the pieces with remaining mushrooms and leeks Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 2 Tbl of the parsley on top. Cover the whole with the slices of potato until all the veggies are covered. Little more salt and pepper and the rest of the parsley. Put remaining slices of bacon on top and pour the vinegar over them.

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Put a tight lid on the pot and cook for 2 hours. Resist the urge to look at the pie while it is cooking as uncovering it will result in a loss of the natural juices.

This was a definite hit and definitely on the repeat list. The rabbit was tender, the potatoes were perfect, the juices were tasty. Using the Balsamic vinegar rather than plain added another layer of flavor to the whole dish. The only change I would make next time would be to gather the juices into a saucepan and thicken the some. Only change!

Jane Garmey, the author of Great British Cooking says you can use a chicken rather than a rabbit but then it wouldn’t really be POACHER’S Pie.

Tje recipe is on page 105 of her book.

If you want to join in our virtual World Tour just visit the MY Country My World website and check on the countries to come (Widget on the Right). Make a dish, leave a comment. We will include you in the roundup. October will find us in the Kingdom of Tonga, Polynesia!!

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