Saturday, October 29, 2011

Aug 2011 - Japan

Konnichiwa - welcome to our Japanese Food Adventure! We were all very excited to try some Japanese cuisine. Of course there is lots of sushi available in just about every food court in Australia so we decided to leave that much loved dish out of the equation and focus on other traditional foods. The dinner we prepared was:
Mushroom Udon Noodle Broth with Chicken Gyoza

Japanese-style Mushroom Salad

Teriyaki Chicken

Kabocha Pumpkin Cookie and Red Bean Paste

We had a lot of fun making the gyoza for the soup! It looks a lot easier that it really is to wrap up the chicken mince inside the gow gee wrappers and I think they ended up rather rustic but nevertheless they tasted pretty good. The Udon noodle broth was very light in flavour and a good simple recipe which I have since made again for the family. The mushroom salad and teriyaki chicken recipes also came from and the ingredients were readily obtainable. The flavours of both were tasty and filling. This dinner felt like a healthier meal compared to some of the other countries where we didn't incorporate as many vegetables. We finished up with traditional red bean paste which we bought ready-made, Kabocha pumpkin cookies which were sweet and crumbly and the ubiquitous vanilla ice-cream. The recipe for the pumpkin cookies came from


Friday, October 14, 2011

July 2011 - Ireland

We were all excited to cook Irish food. The whole day while we were cooking I was humming, " When I return, united we shall be, we shall be!". The weather was cold, our food was hearty and potatoes were celebrated. Our menu consisted of:
Potato Soup

Soda Bread

Irish Stew with Colcannon

Irish Apple Tart

Wow, even the picture of that glistening, crusty soda bread is making my mouth water! And it tasted just as good as it looks! Soda bread is traditionally eaten on St Patricks Day in Northern Ireland although I think I would be quite happy to wake up to it everyday. It was great to tear off a chunk and dip it into the smooth, creamy potato soup. After our hearty starter, we ate the Irish national dish of colcannon with a traditional Irish beef stew. Colcannon is quite simply mashed potato with the addition of cabbage for added flavour and colour. Some versions also incorporate other greens but we were trying to stay faithful to the classics. Irish stew is a rich, flavoursome stew which is choc-full of root vegetables like carrots, parsnip and of course the obligatory potato again. Dessert threw a certain preconception about being as "American as apple pie" out the window as we found that in fact Irish apple pie has been around a good deal longer. We had it warm with a big dollop of vanilla ice-cream. All in all, Ireland was a big favourite. Everything tasted good, the food was simple to prepare and everyone had to loosen their belts afterwards. Most of the recipes came from and