It is no secret that we love and adore traveling – anywhere and anytime. Local and exotic outings are accepted with glee. Our kids have no problem with twenty hour car trips; Endless plane trips or slogging it out on foot; They have slept under stars and downy duvets; In cottages the size of Buckingham Palace and shacks the size of a small carpet. The world is quite literally our oyster and if an opportunity arises we grab it with both hands!!!
Meanwhile, we are fairly avid Masterchef South Africa fans and last week the chef’s challenge was to cook meals from around the world. We decided that since we haven’t been anywhere for a couple of months, we would have a moment of virtual travel. So we dashed to the library and we were off on went on a culinary world tour using this fabulous book:
We traveled far and wide stopping off at some key destinations… our only proviso was that it is very wintry over here right now so we chose lots of wintry meals… think comfort food, think steamy casseroles and you will be with us!!!
- Bobotie from Africa: There is no place like home and we needed a place to start!!! We all love bootie and cook at least twice a month already. And is a great meal to serve for visitors.
- Irish Stew from Ireland (!): The weather has definitely gotten colder over here and stew seemed like a very good idea for filling up tummies!!! A totally easy recipe: layers of lamb and onions alternated with slices of potatoes… topped with potatoes and left in the oven while you read through a pile of books…
- Raclette from Switzerland: We went on a photographic tour of the Alps and then settled on melted cheese on baked potatoes for lunch… raceltte is a traditional Swiss dish by melting a block of cheese next to an open fire and then eaten with potatoes, pickled onions and gherkins… Grilled cheesy potatoes were a nice change from our usual lunch, everyone was happy with that!!!
- Hungarian Goulash: Why, oh why haven’t we made Hungarian Goulash before? Totally yummy!!! Terribly delicious, a rich beef stew topped with dumplings. Where have we been, the dumplings made it and were a totally new idea for us!!!
- Beef Stroganoff from Russia: This happens to be the father person’s favorite dish… and who can blame him!!! The kids were thrilled to present this to him for dinner!!!
- Bhuna Gosht from India: We love and adore any dish from India. Curry and all the yummy side dishes, the colors and the aromas, that go with them… And anything excuse for our celebrity chef to toss some spices into the pestle and mortar… because after two years of zesting… this is the year to master the pestle and mortar…
- Moussaka from Greece: I confess that whenever we make moussaka it vanishes in seconds, my kids love and adore it… totally. It comes out of the oven and it barely leaves the baking dish before it is gone. I have the feeling that meals should be savored – even a little bit!!! So I never make moussaka. When my guys saw the recipe there was no holding them back – trouble is they now know how to make it!!! It is basically a minced meat sauce, topped with a layer of aubergine slices (prepare and fry them first) and then topped some more with a white sauce… sprinkled with a little cheese and baked in the oven. Stunning meal, with an interesting vegetable to try!!!
- Refried Beans from Latin America: And finally something quick and easy from South America. Whenever we have tried refried beans it has been at someone else’s house. Had I known how easy they are to make we would have been making them for years. Anyway my kids have added this to the lunch menu and once or twice a week one of them will sneak off before lunch and then present lunch with a flourish of Ta Da!!! It is really cheap: chopped onion and garlic with a can of mixed beans, heated, stirred about and topped with melted cheese. That quick and that easy!!!
And the Se7en + 1th Recipe:
Oh the joy of trying new recipes is that they often become firm favorites on our menu… and we end up wondering how we lived without them!!! It is no secret that we love Usborne books, and their cookbooks, which are brilliant for kids and honestly, since the recipes are so quick and easy they are fabulous for grown-ups too. All the recipes have a “finished” photograph – something to aim for (!) and very easy to read and follow directions. Our kids were able to tackle these recipes easily, and when they cook new flavors they are so willing to try those new flavors!!! Like most Usborne books it has a corresponding quick-links page where you can find snippets about the countries you visit, food facts and printable recipes from within the book – how handy is that!!!
Usborne Books did not pay us in any way for this review and our opinions are, as usual, our own. We simply have to rave about this book because it is so very fabulous!!! Hope you are having a wonderful week!!!