June 12, 2014

Food World Cup 2014 - Group A

With the World Cup on, who wouldn't be excited and inspired with all that is going on there!
As a huge football and food lover, I thought that beside watching games, it would be quite fun to get close and personal with authentic food all these nations are loving at their homes. 
 So here is my first group, in order as they play on World Cup. 
It might not be like that on the soccer field, but my definite winner here is Cameroon with one so exotic and unusual dish – Ndole. 
Judge for yourself! And enjoy watching games with some great food with it! 
Next group is coming soon!
Group A
Cameroon

Ndolé (Bitter-leaf casserole)


Ndolé is the vegetable dish of Cameroon. The dish consists of a stew of nuts, ndoleh (bitter leaves popular in West Africa), and fish or ground beef.



Ingredients:
1.5 lb of Ndole (African bitter-leaf or substitute with pepper leaf of spinach)
1 lb beef with bones - cut into pieces
2big yellow onions  
1 branch or 1/3 of cup of celery -
2 tbsp fresh ginger - grated –
2 tsp African seasoning :(ginger, garlic, fenugreek, chilies, black pepper, cloves, coriander and cardamom)
garlic - 6 cloves (divided)
2 cups Fresh peanuts- boiled in water for 5 minutes  
2 leeks or scallion or green onion
½ jalapeno or habanero pepper (optional)
salt - to taste
1/2 cup of peanut oil -  or to your taste
3 cups ( beef stock)
2 lb Prawns
1 cup Crayfish ( Majanga)

In a deep pot at medium fire, bring your meat to Boil with 1/2 onion with African seasoning,  and salt. Cook until the meat is tender. Reserve.
In a blender, blend to a paste peanuts previously boiled with ginger,1/2 onion, habanero and leek, celery and garlic (3 cloves). Reserve this paste.
In a new pot over medium fire, add the peanut oil, sauté 1 onion diced, meat previously boiled without the juice, and add the peanut paste mixture. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes.
Taste the salt and season more if prefer.
Add the crayfish (crushed dried shrimp)
Add the ndole (bitter leafs/pepper leafs or spinach) and cook 10-15 minutes until you obtain a thick consistency stew. The Base of your Ndole is done.
GARNISH: In a sauté pan, add 3 tbs of oil, fry the prawns seasoned already with salt, african seasoning and 3 garlic cloves minced. Cook for 3 minute until pink color is achieved. Add 1 onion minced and cook just 3-5 mins time to `get the color translucent. Pour this mixture over NDOLE stew 5 minutes before serving.



Brasil

Acaraje-Akara with Vatapa

Ingredients:
1 lb (1/2 kg) dried black-eyed peas
1/2 cup dried shrimp
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne or 1 small fresh chili pepper
Salt, pepper
palm or vegetable oil for frying

Directions:
Soak the black-eyed peas overnight in cold water to cover. Drain. Rub off and discard the skins. Soak the shrimp in cold water for 30 minutes. Puree the peas, onion, shrimps, garlic and cayenne in a food processor. Season to taste with salt, if necessary. Form mixture into tablespoon size balls.
Meanwhile in a 5-quart pot or Dutch oven, fitted with a candy or deep-frying thermometer, or in an electric deep fryer, heat oil over medium-low heat. Fry the fritters in small batches until golden brown, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve at room temperature with Vatapá paste.


Vatapá
(Ground Shrimp Paste)
________________________________________
Vatapá is a paste used to accompany dishes such as acaraje-fried bean patties, and xinxim-chicken and shrimp stew. Ground shrimp vatapá is the most popular and there are variety of others

Ingredients
1 small garlic clove
1” ginger, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp ground roasted peanuts
2 tbsp ground roasted cashews
¾ cup ground dried shrimps
1 tbsp. cilantro leaves
2 tbsp. olive oil
2/3 cup palm oil
2/3 cup coconut milk
1 cup breadcrumbs


Combine onions, garlic, ginger, peanuts, cashews, ground shrimp and cilantro leaves in a food processor and process into a coarse paste.
Heat olive and palm oils and add the paste. Cook for 15 minutes in low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk and breadcrumbs.
Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes and serve over Acaraje. 



Mexico


Chicken tamales
Filling:

1 8-ounce package dried corn husks
1 lb (1/2 kg) tomatillos, husked, rinsed
4 serrano chiles, stemmed, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (about 1 pound)
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Dough:
1 1/3 cups lard or solid vegetable shortening or butter
1 1/2 tsp salt (omit if masa mixture contains salt)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (omit if masa mixture contains baking powder)
4 cups freshly ground masa dough for tamales (34 to 36 ounces), or make masa dough with 31/2 cups masa harina (corn tortilla mix; about 17 ounces) mixed with 2 1/4 cups warm water
2 cups (about) low-salt chicken broth


For filling:
Place husks in large pot or large bowl; add water to cover. Let stand until husks soften, turning occasionally, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat broiler. Line heavy baking sheet with foil. Arrange tomatillos on prepared sheet. Broil until tomatillos blacken in spots, turning once, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer tomatillos and any juices on sheet to processor and cool. Add chiles and garlic to processor and blend until smooth puree forms. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tomatillo puree and boil 5 minutes, stirring often. Add broth. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until sauce is reduced to 1 cup, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Season with salt. Mix in chicken and cilantro. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

For dough:
Using electric mixer, beat lard (with salt and baking powder, if using) in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in fresh masa or masa harina mixture in 4 additions. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups broth, forming tender dough. If dough seems firm, beat in enough broth, 2 tablespoons at a time, to soften.

Fill bottom of pot with steamer insert with enough water (about 2 inches) to reach bottom of insert. Line bottom of insert with some softened corn husks. Tear 3 large husks into 1/4-inch-wide strips to use as ties and set aside. Open 2 large husks on work surface. Spread 1/4 cup dough in 4-inch square in center of each, leaving 2- to 3-inch plain border at narrow end of husk. Spoon one spoon of filling in strip down center of each dough square. Fold long sides of husk and dough over filling to cover. Fold up narrow end of husk. Tie folded portion with strip of husk to secure, leaving wide end of tamale open. Stand tamales in steamer basket. Repeat with more husks, dough, and filling until all filling has been used. If necessary to keep tamales upright in steamer, insert pieces of crumpled foil between them.

Bring water in pot to boil. Cover pot and steam tamales until dough is firm to touch and separates easily from husk, adding more water to pot as necessary, about 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool 1 hour. Cover and chill. Before serving, re-steam tamales until hot, about 35 minutes.


Croatia


štrukli:

Ingredients for the dough:
400 g flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil
salt
Ingredients for the filling:
1-2 lb of cottage/ricotta/feta cheese
4 eggs
100 g butter
salt
1 lb of sour cream

Preparation:
Mix to a firm dough of flour, 1 egg, oil and a little salt water. Form the dough into a ball and then stretch with rolling pin and brush with oil that does not dry off and cover with warm towel. Leave the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
Filling: stir the cheese , 4 eggs, melted butter and a pinch of salt mixture and mix until smooth.
Roll the dough on a table sprinkled with flour and roll it as thin as possible and then top the filling, sprinkle with butter and bend. Cut out filled dough with cup or the plate so they don’t open. Cook them like ravioli in boiling salted water, drain; sprinkle the rest of the butter and the cream over drained filled dough in large baking dish and bake in oven for 30 minutes at 180 ° C until golden brown.




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