My Kitchen, My World


Which translate as, “Welcome to Sweden!”

      swedish-flag

According to Wikipedia,

    Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of about 9.5 million.[1] Sweden has a low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre (54 /sq mi) with the population mostly concentrated to the southern half of the country.

The country borders Finland and Norway. The cuisine is basically simple with a lot of fish, meat, potatoes, and few spices. But don’t think the food isn’t delicious.

There were so many recipes to choose from but in the end I went cliche with

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    Köttbulla or Swedish Meatballs

I found several variations of this famous meatball dish that was very popular back in the 70s. I really think they need to bring it back! I ended up reading through several and then ‘combining’ them into a dish I knew we would like. Some recipes called for beef and veal, some for beef and pork. I had the beef, but no pork or veal so I subbed in some fresh ground venison. It was a good decision. I served them over rice. But you could use noodles or boiled potatoes.

    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
    1 slice white bread, torn into 4 pieces
    1/2 cup whole milk
    1/2 pound ground chuck (15 percent fat content)
    1/2 pound ground veal or pork {I used venison}
    1 large egg
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2 cups beef broth
    2 Tbl sour cream
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, place bread in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add milk. Let sit until the bread has absorbed the milk, about 5 minutes. Add the cooled onion, ground beef and veal, egg, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and beat on medium speed until the mixture is light in color and appears sticky, about 5 minutes.
Fill a medium bowl with water. Form the meat mixture into 1-inch balls, wetting your hands in the bowl of water as necessary to keep the mixture from sticking, and place meatballs on a baking sheet.
Wipe the frying pan clean with a paper towel. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the pan over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add half of the meatballs and fry, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a clean serving dish; set aside. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
Sprinkle flour over the drippings in the pan and whisk, scraping up any browned bits, until the flour’s no longer raw tasting, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in broth, whisking as you do to smooth out any lumps. Cook until the mixture starts to boil and thicken, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and whisk in sour cream. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Return meatballs to the pan until heated through, about 5 minutes. Transfer meatballs and sauce to the serving dish and sprinkle with parsley.

For desert…

…we had cake. Not just any cake.

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Äppelkaka

    1 stick (110gm) butter plus,softened + extra for greasing
    3/4 cup, packed (150gm) soft light brown sugar
    2 large free range eggs
    1 1/2 cups (210gm) all purpose flour, sifted
    1 tbsp baking powder
    pinch of salt
    1 heapinng tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ground cardamom
    300g peeled, cored and sliced cooking apple (Shouldn’t be more than one large one)
    1/2 cup (50gm)slivered or flaked almonds
    3 tbsp apple or apricot jam {I checked my pantry and had no good jelly to use except Scuppermong. Interesting!}

Preheat the oven to 350°, grease and line a 9″ cake tin with a removable base.

With an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until they are incorporated.
Fold through the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom and cinnamon until you have a thick cake batter. Stir through the apple and pour the batter into the cake tin.

The batter will be VERY thick, so use a spatula to spread across the base of the tin.

Spread the almonds of top of the cake and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Cover with tin foil if the almonds brown too much.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

As the cake is cooling, heat the jam in a saucepan until runny and brush over top of the cake.

This cake was good but next time I will increase the cinnamon and cardamom and instead of using slices of apple I will use large chunks. They would be easier to mix into the VERY thick batter.
{Recipe adapted slightly from Donal Skehan}

One more thing. I didn’t make them this time but I have made
Hasselbackspotatis (Roasted Potatoes)
Ingredients before. I didn’t know they were actually Swedish. They are named for Hasselbacken, the Stockholm restaurant where it was first served. They are a mix of baked and roasted potato and they are delicious.

Sometime next week come by My Kitchen My World and see what the other ‘travelers’ made for our trip to Sweden.

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Once a month the members of My Kitchen My World visit the cuisine of a different country. This month we are tasting the dishes of {The} Ukraine. Long influenced by the countries that either occupied it or bordered it one finds that the foods of Ukraine are very similar to Russia, Austria, Poland among others. For that reason there are several dishes found in all those countries. So if you have ancestry from those you have dishes from Ukraine. Like my MIL’s Holubtsi or Stuffed Cabbage whose recipe came from her Russian Grandmother. But just the stuffed cabbage was not enough so we added

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Pyrohy or Boiled Dumplings, Kielbasa, and Mlyntsi z Kapustoyu aka Cabbage Blintzes

The Holubtsi recipe makes a whole lot of cabbage rolls so I cut the recipe down quite a bit for just the two of us.

    1 large head of cabbage
    1 lb ground pork
    2 cups cooked rice
    dry parsley
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 cans chopped tomatoes
    1 cup finely chopped onions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and submerge cabbage head in the water until the leaves become soft. Remove cabbage and drain.
Remove leaves needed for the cabbage rolls. Brown beef and pork in about 2 Tbl oil. Before the meat is completely done add the onions and continue to cook until onions are soft. Let the mixture cool and then mix with cooked rice, salt and pepper. I added a little pureed diced tomatoes to the mix for moisture.
Place about 1/3 cup of rice and meat filling near the base of large cabbage leaf. Roll up the leaf and place in a large deep skillet {While many recipes call for these to be baked my MIL made hers on the stove top}. Repeat rolling with remainder of leaves and filling.
After rolls are in the skillet pour the diced tomatoes over the rolls. {I think next time I will puree some of the tomatoes for a smoother topping.}
Cook on medium for about 1 hour.
Most Ukrainian recipes do not include any kind of meat as they were often the food of the poorer people who often could not afford meat. So these can also be made meatless. MIL said they often ate them meatless when times were tough.
Serve.

Boiled Dumplings

    3 large potatoes
    2 Tbl veggie oil
    1/2 (or more) shredded cheddar cheese
    1/4 cup sour cream
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper

Peel potatoes and cut each into 8 pieces. Bring water and potatoes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until fork tender, about 15/20 minutes. Drain well.
IN a large skillet, heat 2 Tbl veggie oil. Add onions and cook until lightly browned and softened stirring occasionally.
In a large bowl, mash potatoes with onion. Allow to cool. Add sour cream, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

I used a basic pie dough recipe for the dumplings. You can use your own pie crust recipe.
Roll out dough to 1/8″ thickness and cut into 2 1/2 inch rounds. Spoon 1 Tbl of filling onto each round. Fold in half, dampen edges of dough and pinch tightly shut.
Reroll dough and make rounds until you run out of dough.

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Fill a large saucepan with water. Heat to boiling. Add 8 – 10 dumplings, return to boiling and cook 9 – 10 minutes until dough is tender. Remove with a slotted spoon, toss with a little oil to prevent sticking and keep warm. Repeat until all dumplings are cooked.
In a large skillet melt 2 Tbl butter. Add dumplings, a few at a time and brown dumplings on both sides. Repeat until all dumplings are done. Serve IMMEDIATELY!

Blintzes

    Cabbage Filling (recipe follows)
    2 cups milk
    6 large eggs
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 3/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons water
    1/2 cup packaged unseasoned bread crumbs

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1. Prepare Cabbage Filling. In large bowl, beat milk, 4 eggs, and 2 tablespoons oil until well combined. Beat in flour and salt just until combined.
2. In large skillet, heat some of remaining oil. Spoon scant 1/3 cup batter into pan and swirl pan to form 6Y2- to 7-inch round of batter. Cook one side until lightly browned-about 1 minute; flip round
over and lightly brown other side; place on piece of waxed paper. Repeat with remaining batter, layering each round between sheets of parchment paper.
3. To fill blintzes, spoon l/4 cup Cabbage Filling onto center of each round. Roll up jelly-roll fashion over filling, tucking in sides as you go to form blintzes.
4. In pie plate or wide bowl, beat remaining 2 eggs with the water. In same skillet, heat some of remaining oil. Quickly dip blintzes in egg mixture then coat with
bread crumbs. Cook blintzes, several at a time, turning to brown all sides; add oil as
needed. Serve immediately.
Cabbage Filling

    12 cups shredded cabbage
    3 Tbl veggie oil
    2 1/2 cps finely chopped onions
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper


Boil or steam 12 cups shredded green cabbage until very tender-about 1 hour; drain very well.
In large skillet, vegetable oil. Add onions and cook until lightly browned and softened. In me-
dium-size bowl, combine cabbage, onions, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

All in all it was a wonderful meal and definitely one to be repeated. I have made the cabbage rolls or stuffed cabbage several times and I always use the same recipe. Now I can share the recipe.

The blintzes can be savory or sweet. French Crepes if they are sweet? would be very similar. I guess every country has their own version of these ‘roll-ups’.

The round up of Ukrainian recipes will be on the My Kitchen My World blog after the first of the month so please visit and see what the other members made. And if you made a dish for the roundup just leave a comment on THAT page. Wish you would!!

The recipes for the Cabbage Blintzes and Dumplings are adapted from the January 1992 “Country Living” magazine.

    Hola! Bienvenido a Cuba

Virtually anyway.

This month the members of My Kitchen My World traveled to the island off the tip of Florida – Cuba. And while we had month to visit the island some of us, ok–Me, waited until the last minute to actually cook a Cuban dish. There were so so many to choose from it was difficult to settle on just one, but I did.

potato omlet

    Spanish Potato Omelet

It was quick. It was easy. It was tasty. According to what I read it is commonly served in Cuba and eaten warm or cold. We ate it warm. With dinner. And we will eat it again. Often.

    3-4 medium potatoes, peeled
    1 whole yellow onion
    3-4 large eggs
    1/3 cup of olive oil for pan frying {the original recipe called for 2-3 cups but I didn’t deep fry my potatoes.}
    Salt to taste


Heat 3 Tbl of oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the sliced potatoes until almost soft, stirring from time to time so that they don’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and continue frying until all the vegetables are soft.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, etc. and mix well and check seasoning.

Heat the remaining oil (about 2 1/2 TBL) in a frying pan on a moderate heat. Pour in the potatoes and eggs and shake the frying pan from time to time so that the omelet doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once the bottom of the omelet has set, turn the heat down low and cover the pan

After about ten minutes, turn the omelet by placing either a flat plate or saucepan lid on the frying pan and quickly turning over.

Gently slide the omelet back into the frying pan and continue frying, once again shaking the pan from time to time so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom, until it has set all the way through.


Serve warm or cold.

With a little salsa on the side it was just right.

I didn’t use all the oil originally called for because we are trying to cut down on fat in our diet. You can use much less oil and cook the potatoes slowly and/or cover and let them steam some after they are well browned.

Perfect for breakfast, too.

My Kitchen My World is open to anyone who wants to try cuisines from different countries. Just visit the website. See what the country of the month is, cook a dish and leave a comment on the MKMW website. Easy!

This month My Kitchen My World traveled to Argentina.

ar-lgflag

And it was a delicious stay. Trying to find just the right recipe was not an easy task. There have been so many countries through history that have influenced the cuisine, like just about every other country in the world, that there was a lot to choose from But finding an historically traditional Argentine recipe (Did you know they have Gnocchi Thursdays?) was not so easy. Thankfully I had help from several sources. So….

For lunch the other day we had….

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    ….Empanadas de Carne

for lunch. It seems every culture has some type of meat pie in their cuisine. The English call them Hand Pies and they were common fare for the working man. In India, Pakistan, and other countries of that area one will find Samosas. Kreatopitas in Greece, Pierogies in Poland, and Biff paj in Sweden, Chinese Pot Stickers/Dumplings (aka Gyoza in Japan). And in the South we have Meat Pies as well. The Spanish Empanada is very similar to the ones here in the deep south. That could very well be due to the Spanish influence in our early history. In Argentina there is a slight twist on the Spanish Empanada as you will see in the recipe.

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    Empanada de Carne

      BEEF FILLING
      3 tablespoons vegetable oil
      1 large white onion (about 12 ounces),finely chopped
      1 pound ground chuck
      1 bunch scallions, white and half the green part, thinly sliced, about 3/4 cup
      1 teaspoon salt
      1/4 cup sugar
      1 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
      1 tablespoon qji molido or sweet Spanish paprika {I used Spanish smoked Paprika}
      3/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives
      5 Large eggs, hard-cooked and chopped

To prepare the filling, heat the oil over medium heat in a large saute pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is limp and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the ground beef with a wooden spoon and break up any lumps with the spoon. Cook the beef until it is no longer raw-looking, or until any accumulated water in the pan evaporates and the beef is sizzling, about 10 minutes. Scrape the beef mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients, one at a time. Taste the filling for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the filling until you are ready to form the empanadas. The filling will keep well for up to 3 days.

To form the empanada crusts, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a floured surface. Flour the dough and roll it to a 20-inch square. Use a plate or a cardboard pattern as a guide to cut the dough into 5-inch disks

To fill the empanadas, place 2 tablespoons of the filling on the lower half of 1 disk of dough. {I did not include the dough recipe. I used my go-to pie crust recipe and it was perfect.} Use a brush or fingertip to moisten the edge of the dough with the sugar syrup. Fold the dough over to cover the filling and meet the other end of the crust. Press firmly with fingertips to seal the 2 layers of dough together. Starting at one
side of the edge, make a small fold about 1/4 inch deep from the outside of the empanada toward the center, or seal by pressing hard with the tines of a fork. Continue making little folds until you reach the other end of the semicircular side of the empanada. Repeat with the remaining crusts and filling.

The Empanadas are sealed with a sugar syrup.

    SUGAR SYRUP FOR SEALING THE EMPANADAS
    3/4 cup water
    2 tablespoons sugar

To prepare the sugar syrup, bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring a couple of times to make sure the sugar has dissolved. Cool the Syrup store it in a covered jar in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

To fry the empanadas, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven to 375 degrees. Fry 3 or 4 empanadas at a time. As they are fried, drain them on one of the prepared pans. Repeat with the remaining empanadas, making sure that the oil does not start to foam and boil over.
Drain on paper towels.

These are best devoured eaten the day they are made.

I found this recipe in Nick Malgieri’s A Baker’s Tour (page 300) They are from Ana Rambaldi and are from her native Argentina. What makes these different, says Ana – “…is flavored with an Argentine type of crushed red pepper that not hot, called aji molido, or ground pepper, you can substitute sweet Spanish paprika, but the taste will not be exactly the same. In typical South American fashion, the meat filling here is sweetened with sugar. Most Americans would probably prefer less sugar or none at all-the choice is up to you.”

What also makes them different is the inclusion of the boiled eggs and Spanish olives. Deliciously different!

After that we needed a sweet.

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How about Tarta de Coco y Dulce de Leche | Coconut and Dulce de Leche Tart which I found on Katie’s Site. Katie is from Philly, living outside of Buenos Aires and learning to cook the local dishes. This one is a simple tart with a layer of Dulce de Leche covered with a tasty coconut custard. One half of the recipe yielded 3 mini tarts. Perfect.

Come by and visit with us at My Kitchen My World. Next month we are visiting…….

Translated it means cheese dumplings. Dumplings! Cheese! How can you possibly go wrong with that? It is very much like our Mac/Cheese but with a VERY different pasta. In Leichtenstein it is one of really very few actual Leichtensteiner dishes. {I found only two initially and then ran across several more thanks to Celt Net}

liechtenstein-flag

Liechtenstein is a small principality bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. It is the smallest German speaking country in the world. For most of its 2000 year history it has been under the control of one country or another and its cuisine reflects that. But according to some of the web sites I visited THIS recipe is considered the national dish.

These dumplings can be made by simply dropping little pieces of batter into the boiling water or by using a special cutter They are very similar to German spaetzle.

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    300g plain flour
    1 1/2 tsp sea salt
    3 eggs
    1 tbsp water
    1 large onion, chopped
    150g mixed grated cheese {I used Gruyere and cheddar}

Place the ingredients in a bowl and mix them into a dough. Leave for 10-20 minutes. Then pass the dough through a colander or dough cutter into boiling, salted water. Leave the small pieces of dough in the boiling water for a couple of minutes, then place them in a bowl, add grated cheese, and mix together. Fry onion rings in butter until they are golden, then place these on top of the dish and serve.

I made 1/3 of the recipe and that was plenty for two healthy servings.

This was very easy to prepare and very tasty. And since these little free form noodles are so easy to make it will be served often.

This month My Kitchen My World made a quick visit to Portugal….

portugal

..a small country on the west coast of Spain. Portugal is known for its culinary diversity. Cooks pair meat with fish, fish with fruit, fruit with eggs, eggs with beans. Vasco de Gama found the water route to the east and introduced the spices of India, Africa, and South America to Europe. Today all those spices are incorporated into native seasons to add robust flavor to the dishes of Portugal – especially the seafood and water fowl, which, being a coastal country, is abundant.

I have been waiting for a recipe to use some ducks I had in the freezer. This one was perfect. So for supper last nite we had….

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      Arroz de Pato {Braised Duck and Rice}
    A duckling weighing 5 to 51/2 pounds, with its giblets {I had 4 wild ducks and no gibliets}
    5 cups cold water
    1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
    2 large carrots, peeled and sliced thin
    10 peppercorns
    1/4 pound prosciutto, in one piece
    1/4 pound slab bacon, in one piece {For both bacon and prosciutto I had slices but it worked just fine.}
    1/2 pound chourico, chorizo, or pepperoni, in one piece
    2 cups converted rice
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water

1. Pull all excess fat from the neck and body cavities of the duck and discard; prick the bird well all over with a sharp-pronged fork, then refrigerate until needed. Place the water, duck giblets and neck, onion, carrots, peppercorns, prosciutto, bacon, and chourico in a large heavy kettle, and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Adjust the burner heat so mixture bubbles gently, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
2. With a slotted spoon, lift the duck giblets and neck, the prosciutto, bacon, and chourico from the kettle and reserve. Now place the duck in the kettle, breast-side up, bring the
liquid to a gentle simmer, cover, and simmer 30 minutes; turn the bird breast-side down, re-cover, and sim- mer 30 minutes longer. Remove the duck from the broth and cool until
easy to handle. Strain the broth, discarding the solids. Now skim as much fat as possible from the broth-there will be plenty of it! This is a job requiring patience.
3. Preheat the oven to very hot (450°F). With poultry shears, cut the legs and wings off the duck. Divide the breast in half by cutting down the middle of the breastbone, then cut each half crosswise into three chunks. Remove as much meat as possible from the back of the bird.
Place all pieces of meat, skin-side up, in a shallow 3-quart earthenware casserole. (It should measure about 12 x 9 inches, or 11 to 12 inches in diameter, and be 2 inches deep.) Place the uncovered casserole on the middle shelf of the oven and bake the duck until lightly browned-about 15 minutes. Remove -the casserole from the oven and set aside; reduce oven heat to moderate (350°F).
4. Pour 1 quart of the skimmed duck broth (reserve any extra to use in making a soup, sauce, or stew) into a large heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat; add the rice and pepper, bring to a simmer, adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently, then cook un-
covered about 10 minutes until the level of the liquid is below that of the rice. Meanwhile, cut as much meat from the duckling neck as possible and reserve; discard the neck bone. Also, coarsely chop the giblets, and dice the prosciutto. Add all to the rice, cover, and cook 5 to 8 minutes longer until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
5. Meanwhile, dice the bacon and brown in a small heavy skillet over moderately high heat until most of the drippings have cooked out, leaving crisp brown bits-about 5 minutes. You’ll have to stir the bacon frequently to keep it from burning. With a slotted spoon, lift the crisp brown bits to paper toweling to drain; discard the drippings or reserve to use another time. Slice the chourico ‘/4-inch thick; stir into the rice along with the bacon bits.
6. Spoon the rice into the casserole covering the. duck completely. Drizzle the surface first with melted butter, then with the egg yolk mixture. Cover snugly with foil and bake 15 minutes; uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer, just until the rice is faintly golden. Spoon rice mixture onto serving dish or serve directly from the casserole.
{Note: Because ofthe saltiness of the ham, bacon, and sausage used, you will not need to add any salt.} Country Living September 1987

This was really good but took about 4 – 4 1/2 hours to make. The flavor of the bacon and prosciutto was all through the rice and the ducks were very flavorful. I am glad I made the full recipe so we could have leftovers.

For dessert we had….

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      PÃO DE LÓ

…a golden sponge cake layer that appears in its paper wrapper in markets and pastry shops throughout Portugal.

    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup sugar
    4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
    1/3 cup unsifted all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 9-inch round cake pan. Cut a 15- by 12-inch piece of parchment paper and fit into pan, allowing edges to extend beyond rim (see
Note). Grease paper on bottom and 2 inches up side of pan.
In medium-size bowl, with electric mixer on high speed, beat eggs with salt until light and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar until soft peaks form. Add yolks, 2 at a time, beating 3 minutes after each addition.
Sprinkle flour over egg mixture. With rubber spatula, very gently fold flour into beaten egg mixture until uniformly combined. Spread batter into prepared pan.
Place another piece of parchment over cake, resting on extended edges of the parchment pan liner and being careful to avoid top of batter.
Bake 15 minutes or until center appears set. Remove top piece of parchment. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Using edges of parchment pan liner, lift cake to serving plate and set aside at least 1 hour before serving.
{Note: The cake may be baked without parchment, but the surface will be darker. To do so, grease 9-inch round baking pan and line bottom with a circle of waxed paper; grease paper and side of pan.}{Country Living June 1997}

This cake was a perfect foil for ice cream or caramel or chocolate but by itself a little bland. I would definitely make it again tho. Very simple and quick.

Sure wish y’all would join us in visiting the cuisine of different countries. Just check

with the mkmwlogowebsite each month to see what country we are visiting.

HINT:: March we are going to Liechtenstein.

On the very top my list of fantasy places to visit is

I have a rather romantisized view based on books and movies but I can live with that.

I would love to see

and hear a

but considering the 20+ hour flight and other considerations I just don’t see it happening. So for now I will have to be content with dreaming and visiting some of the cuisine of Australia!!

And therein lies the problem. Australia, like the US, is a nation of immigrants. The Aboriginal peoples arrived around 40,000 years ago or so. The next peoples did not arrive until 1606 when the Duitch landed and the British in 1770 when they established a penal colony. If you wanted to get ‘out of jail free’ you could opt to immigrate to Australia. And many many did.

Today Australia is home to peoples from all over the world so trying to find a ‘typical’ Aussie dish was not easy. Anzac Cookies would be the first thing most people would think of but I wanted, naturally, something different. So how about:

    Damper Bread
    Damper is traditionally a simple Australian unleavened bread baked in the hot coals of a campfire. The dough was wrapped around a stick and cooked or put into an iron pot and buried in the hot coals.The bread is called damper because the fire is damped to allow the bread to be cooked over the ash covered hot coals.

2 1/2 cups plain flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup milk, fresh,powdered ( or you can just use water)


Mix the flour, salt and sugar together into a bowl.
Cut in the butter until fine crumbs form.
Add milk slowly and mix to form a soft dough.
Knead lightly on a floured board until smooth.
Shape into a round loaf, brush with milk and cut a cross in the top surface of the dough.

. . . For oven cooking

Grease and dust with flour a round cake tin. You can substitute a flat baking pan, but the round tin gives a better shape to the loaf. Place dough in the pan and bake at 190° C (375° F) for 30 – 40 minutes.

. . . For campfire cooking

Grease the camp oven (Dutch oven) and dust with flour. Add bread dough and cover. Place in your campfire, cover with hot ashes and coals and bake for about 30 minutes. {I really want to try it this way!}

I tried a slice with Vegemite. That’s different. Very Salty and… no I don’t think I like that. And with some butter and plainAlso good with soup, syrup, honey…. The damper reminded me of a giant biscuit! Which is basically what it is. Good!!

There are abut 4 of us who have been cooking with Donna Hay, a renowned Australian chef, and none of the meals are typically Australian. I could have made any number of dishes with seafood or beef (Albertsons was completely out of Kangaroo Meat and it’s not Croc season in LA) but….

I made a typical dessert instead:

    Lamingtons

According to stories… the creation of the Lamington is asssociated with accredited to Lord Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901

2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of sea salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of room temperature butter
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of milk
2 cups of icing sugar {aka powdered or confectioners sugar}
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
3 tbs of butter
1/2 cup of milk
Whipped cream for serving

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
Lightly butter an 8 inch square cake tin. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, use an electric beater to cream the butter and sugar mixture together until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat well after adding each egg.
Add the vanilla to the mixture and mix well to combine.
Next, use a spatula to alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, starting and finishing with the flour.
Spread the batter into the cake tin, making sure it’s evenly spread.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Test the center of the cake with a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin for about 5 minutes and then invert it onto a wire rack to cool.
Once the cake has cooled cut it into squares of a desired size and place them in an airtight container. Pop the container in the fridge for at least 2 hours or even overnight.
Now for the icing. Place the icing sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
Stir the mixture until it is smooth but still a bit thick. You don’t want the liquid to get too thin otherwise the sponge cake won’t absorb the coating.
Now it’s time to assemble the Lamingtons. Put out some newspaper under wire racks to catch any mess. Place the cake pieces on the racks and have your chocolate icing and desiccated coconut ready.
Quickly coat the sponge cake on all sides in the icing mixture and then gently roll the cake in the coconut. Repeat the process.

The trick to these is to soak the cake pieces long enough in the chocolate to get a nice layer of chocolate without having them fall apart IN the chocolate! The longer you dip the cake, the thicker the layer of chocolate!! These little nuggets are fun to make and even funner {yes, I know it’s not a word!!} to eat!

So, if you cannot visit the Australian continent you can at least try two of it’s common treats.

**Thanks to Australian Food and All Down Under for the recipes.

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