Showing posts with label cucumber. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cucumber. Show all posts

Saturday, 14 June 2014

A Typical Costa Rican Meal - Casado

Have you ever been to Costa Rica? I haven't, but I got as close as planning a trip there and to buy a travel guide for Costa Rica. It would have been lovely to go there to see some awesome bits and pieces of nature in the tropical rainforest or the cloud forest. Honestly, I don't know what went wrong and why we didn't go. It has been too long since.
Now with the World Cup going on and with the Bloggers Around the World challenge along that line, I get the chance to think about things again. Now, wouldn't that be wonderful to have a post for every country taking part in the World Cup. I wouldn't manage that alone, but I already see there is a lot of interest in the blogger community to try things also from not so often mentioned countries.
Anyway, I do what I can and for today I decided to do Costa Rica. Here we go ...

Sometimes there is the tendency to do some fancy things, but here I decided to go for a typical Costa Rican everyday meal. It consist of rice (arroz), beans (frijoles), some greens or salad and a piece of meat - in my case some chicken (pollo). Normally there would go some plátanos with it, but I couldn't get hold on any plantains today. Otherwise, I would have sliced the plantains up and soak them in salt water for 10 minutes, pat them dry and fry them off. However, since I didn't have any, I didn't do it.
Back then to the typical Costa Rican meal. This time we have rice, chicken, beans and a mixed salad with cucumber, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, onions, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
For beans I used some baked beans for ... I didn't have the beans in my pantry I thought I would have. Had I known, I would have bought some other beans while shopping today. anyway, baked beans will do.
All the different things are served side by side on the plat as you can see in the picture. Put together like this this meal is called 'casado', which means married.
From that a few flashes of the past come up. First of all, I have to say you find meals like this in neighbouring countries, including the Caribbean as well.
There I had the chance to go in the past, to the Dominican Republic. Well, I even went several times and one time I stayed a few weeks with a local family. They had no fridge and electricity not all the time and ... well, running water also not all the time. Now have a guess, what I had for a meal several times a week. Rice, beans, chicken and salad.
They didn't call that dish casado, though. However, I was asked several times whether I am casado ...
Most likely I will turn up the sound system soon and will go for some Merengue on my own. It's some good fitness, too.

Of course you see that glass on the picture, too. It's a fresco, juice mixed with milk. When I read about this kind of drink in my travel guide I immediately remembered the taste from back then. I often used to drink passion fruit juice with milk. Of course, the passion fruit was fresh. I couldn't achieve that today. So I got some ready juice. Just mix it 1:1, half juice, half milk. It's quite refreshing and lovely ...
Oh, all that makes me kind of a little sad, when I think about back then and on the ideas and plans I had and how nothing did work out. I remember all the sun, the sea, the beach and even the wedding with all that very very sweet cake and the lot of dancing and ...
Fine, we were in Costa Rica now. Casado is a filling dish and as I had it today it was quite tasty, too. Well, I had baked beans. Otherwise it will be a bit dry as I remember it. Think about it, would you love to eat that almost every day?

At least it's an inexpensive meal and you could vary the meat on the side or even use fish or no meat at all and put some corn tortillas on the side, too or some other vegetables.

Well, where are you still planning to go when it comes to food? Would be lovely to see someone going African in the coming days ...

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Still Summer - Zingy Chilli and Chocolate Gazpacho

I can't remember having a real summer last year, although the two weeks I was out hiking had been fine apart from the first day, where I got soaked completely. Fine, we had some rain, storm and sort of things this year, too, but mainly it was a real summer thing ... just a moment ... still is a real summer thing.
However, some people manage to complain all the time. "It's too hot", "I can't stand the heat" ... fine ... if you must. Should you belong into this category of people, you maybe also think, I would be too hot to stand in the kitchen at the stove and cook.
I'd say, it's no problem to have some more heat in the kitchen, but ... hey ... I can so also without and ... have some gazpacho ...

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The heat is on! Have some Moroccan Chicken Kebabs!

Finally we have about 4000 °C outside. Great, that's what we always wanted. At least that is what we dreamt about when we still had -40 °C in March. Must have been somewhat like that. Anyway, now we have perfect weather for some Moroccan food. Therefore it is not coincidence we are having Morocco as the current theme for Bloggers Around the World. Very clever and smart of me, don't you agree? At least I'm still in control and am smarter than my phone and my television. However, that of course is of no particular interest at the moment ... as usual.
After all this still tries to be a food blog and not a wisecrack blog ... I suppose. Then it's food we are going to talk about and Moroccan Chicken Kebabs in particular.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Randomly Indian: Dhal and Saraswat Machchi Kadhi

A few days ago I decided to give Cooking Around the World a new design. Basically I changed the background colour and the welcoming banner for the blog. I hope you like it! When you look at the picture there are foods and places. One of these places I can see every day, if I want to. Have a guess which one that is! However, there are other places there, I'd rather like to see more often.
Additionally I adjusted my Facebook page as well. It has to reflect the blog. 
While I was at all this I decided to change my profile picture. You can only see it partly, but I'm wearing an Indian kurta. It looks like this ...

I just wanted to mention those things. Keep it in mind as you read on. Strangely, things fit all together once more.
Have you ever thought about doing a themed dinner party? You dress up for it, maybe do some decoration, put on music and it all fits to the food you are going to have. How would you like that?
What about doing it alone ... a one person themed dinner party?
Let me tell about it ...
There is a certain person that is running this blog called Belleau Kitchen. As he is doing this random recipes challenge every month I cannot resist, but take part in it. Quite often you end up with cooking food you wouldn't have otherwise. 

 Random Recipes #25 - Feb

This time we have the theme 'cuttings, memories and clippings'. That means I have to go and search my shelves for those hidden cuttings and clippings to find some recipes. I don't have as many cuttings and clippings as others and they are also not so well organized.
Anyway I got myself a small pile and rolled the dice of random. I ended up with number 3 - therefore I went for the third sheet of paper.
It was a clipping from a health journal of a health insurance company and ... strange enough ... it featured some Indian dishes. Did I say some? Yes, five to be exactly. Taking the number three further I decided for the third dish and it was ... dhal.
Well, that would be something to have as a side dish. Due to this fact I randomly decided to do the fish curry mentioned on that clipping as well. That is called 'Saraswat Machchi Kadhi'. I tried my Hindi dictionary on that, but gave up quickly. Then I asked the Internet and it called it Goa style fish curry. I even found the same picture of it as was used in this health magazine article.
I made sure I had all the needed ingredients and then, went for it ...

First of all I put on my Indian cooking kurta. Well, I simply declare it that one from now on. By the way, it is not the one shown in the picture above. I have a few more other ones. Why do I have so many Indian clothing to wear? Go ahead and ask me, if you like to know!
Then I put on some music from the soundtrack of a famous Indian movie ... as far as I know.
Now our Indian themed cooking party can start.
Good thing I still had some urid lentils on stock. They went into a pot covered with one centimetre of water.
Meanwhile I prepared the marinate for the fish. I squeezed one lime and mixed the juice with some freshly grated ginger, mustard powder, sesame seeds and coriander seeds. The white fish fillet was cut into small bite sized pieces and went marinating.
Before I continued with the dhal, I brought some basmati rice on the way.
Back to the dhal. I freshly picked a green chili from one of my bushes on the windowsill, cut it in half and tossed it in with the lentils. If I were to change the recipe, I would cut it into small rings and add it to the lentils. Anyway, one bay leaf, a chopped onion and two chopped cloves of garlic went in, too. Here also some grating of ginger is necessary. Some curry powder rounds it up. Now heat it up on medium heat and let it go for 20 minutes, checking every now and then and working through with a spoon.
The fish has nearly enough marinating. However, there is still some chopping of an onion to do. That one made me cry slightly. Then half four tomatoes, spoon out the seeds and then cut the tomatoes into small pieces. Now take the fish, pat it dry and fry it for 5 minutes in sesame oil at a medium heat.
Don't forget to give some attention to the rice when it's ready and to the dhal. After the 20 minutes you have to turn off the heat of the dhal.
Take out the fish from the pan and put aside. Now fry the onions in the pan.
If I hadn't already enough work with cooking I suddenly decided it would be a brilliant idea to have a cucumber raita with it all, as well. So I took some of the chopped onions and put the together with some halved slices of cucumber, cumin, salt, yogurt and water and mixed it all up.
Add some curry powder to the onions in the pan. Then add the remaining fish marinade and some 250 ml of coconut milk to the pan and bring to the boil.
What about some naan breads. Yes, that would have been lovely, but I'm not that crazy today and make some on my own. No, I even didn't buy any ready made ones to just warm up. Sadly!
Remove the green chili and the bay leaf from the dhal and heat the dhal up again, if necessary. We are almost there.
Let the tomatoes meet their destiny by adding them to the boiling coconut milk mixture. I guess the fish can go for some swimming, too. Go for it! Warm it up again.
If I'm right now, all the food is ready. You just need to plate and bowl it up and decorate everything with some fresh coriander. I already know that the remaining coriander will not survive too long in my kitchen. I should use it up in the coming days.
Here we are with the food ...

Sitting alone at the table and tasting the fish curry, memories spring to my mind. The food wasn't dangerously spicy. I still remember the fish curries of my Tamil friends and Tamil food in general. They always used to say they have to adjust the spices to the European palate. However, the first time I tasted a dish, I had the feeling it wasn't adjusted sufficiently.
Having this fish curry in front of me, I wished it would be going at least a bit in that direction. Don't get me wrong, it still tasted delicious. It was only thinking. While doing this I thought ... well, I'm sitting here all by myself eating this lovely food ... and then ... I put away the fork and went on eating as we used to do it with the best tools ever, my fingers.
Once more, I managed to end up with something lovely, doing random recipes ... and that's not cheating. After all, why should I keep any clippings with rubbish recipes.
Moreover, I ended up with fish again. This wasn't the first time either.
So far about random recipes this time. Time and again, I thought about cooking through one cookbook. After all, I nearly baked myself already through a book about French bread.
Now I have a few books in mind I seriously want to choose one from and go completely through it and report about it here on my blog. One of the books on that list is 'Tasting India' from Christine Manfield (Christian and Christine?). That post now made me hungry for that book. However, things haven't been decided in the final and I won't start before April.
In the meantime I still have a voting going on my Facebook page. If you don't mind, please head over there one time and give your vote. That would be very much appreciated. You can also suggest other books to make it more interesting.
You see, once more, it came all together ... strangely ... as last time. India was on my mind and suddenly it's all India!
Any thoughts? Just leave a lovely comment!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Having a 'Zünftige Brotzeit'

Some time ago I wrote you a tiny little bit about my trip to Verona. On our way back, we made a stop down in Southern Germany, in Bavaria. Or should I better say up in Bavaria? Only a few sentences and I'm getting confused again. I hope you appreciate the battles I have to fight in my head sometimes, when I write you a few lines.
Anyway, we had a meal at an 'Almhütte' up in the mountains. It was the time for 'Brotzeit' that is kind of a snack you have between breakfast and lunch or lunch and supper. Well, since it was not the time for breakfast, lunch or supper, it was time for 'Brotzeit' or you could say for a 'zünftige Brotzeit' - a hearty one. That was all they had on the menu. Well, you could get coffee and cake or drinks, but mainly 'Brotzeit'. Usually this kind of meal is a cold one which can include among other things cheese, speck, pretzel, Presssack, Obazdn and a few other things.
Up there that day they had something that looked a bit like this.

It only looked somehow like this, because this is what I tried to recreate at home and so can you if you manage to get a hold on Bavarian 'Leberkäse'.
Although you might be able to see on the picture, what I did, I like to tell you briefly.
I fried the 'Leberkäse' slightly from both sides. In the meantime, I tried to do the egg, but it wasn't such a good one and therefore is not looking so gorgeous.
Fine, the fried egg goes on the fried 'Leberkäse' and is seasoned with a bit of pepper and gets some chives on it. On the side you serve a few slices of cucumber and bread.
I told you, you can see it on the picture.
Have it together with a beer, preferably a Bavarian wheat beer.
Having a 'Brotzeit' up in the mountains, you can of course also enjoy the nice view, kind of.

The theory is, that people needed a hearty 'Brotzeit' because of the hard work on the mountains. Well, we didn't have hard work to do, but nevertheless had a 'Brotzeit'.
However, at times it can be hard to understand people in Bavaria. So even if you know German, that doesn't mean you understand people.
Here some vocabulary you might never need:

damisch - stupid
dreggad - dirty
Dusl - luck
Fetznrausch - being totally drunk
graislig - ugly
Joà - year
Kāsfiàs - smelly feet
Quadratratschn - a woman that talks very much
Schädlwä - headache
Wadschn - a slap in the face
Zipfelklatscher - an unfriendly, stupid person, you don't like

Well, just a few words. As I said, you might never need them, but why not have a 'zünftige Brotzeit'. You may like it!

Before I come to the end for today, I have something for all those, who like Lucy. It's from her young days.

She was so small, not much bigger than the guinea pig. Ah, yes, she was and is so lovely. However, this picture also makes me sad, because the guinea pig (Pupsi was his name) is already dead. He was also a nice one.