Saturday, October 18, 2008

Scotland, Haggis

In Scotland they say:"He who has contempt for food is a fool".
The inhabitans of the barren country in the north of Great Britain have learned to make the best of the meagre gifts of nature. These tenacious, strong-willed mountain and farming people preserve their traditions. Here a strong sense of loyalty exists ans the clans hand their family recipes down from generation to generation. One of the recipes is legendary Haggis, which cinsists of sheep's intestines cooked in a sheep's stomach.
haggis is made and sold all the year round by butchers all over Scotland. Howevere, it has two points in the year, both on special days: at Hogmanay, or New Year's Eve; and on Burn's Night on January 25, when tribute is paid to Robert Burns, the greates Scottish poet.


  • 1 sheep stomach, washed, turned inside out and scraped
  • 250 g lamb suet
  • sheep offal( liver, heart, lung)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 onions, peeled and choped finely
  • 500 g coarse oatmeal
Place stomach in cold salted water and leave to soak overnight. Wash the offal and suet, place in boiling salted water and leave to simmer for 2 hours. Remove from the water, remove the windpipe and gristle and chop everything up finely or put it through the meat grinder.
Cook the oatmeal until becomes crisp. Mix with the other ingredients and knead with some cooking water into a smooth moxture. Fill the sheep stomach with it so that is about two thirds full, expel the air, sew it up - binding it in the middle if necessary- and prick the haggis several times so that it does not burst during cooking. Cover and cook in lightly boiling water fot 4 hours. Afterwards keep hot and remove the threads. Once it has been cut serve with a lot of butter and clapshot- a puree of swedes and potatoes.

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

France. Bouillabaisse.

Fantastical stories seek to explaine the origin of this Medditerranean specialty.
One strory says that Venus used it to make her husband Vulcano sleepy, another that it was an abbess who devised the recipe as a Friday meal and yet another that a Bordeaux man by the name Baysee was its inventor. The truth is simple: Bouillabaisse is formed from the words for boil bouillir and waste baisse. It became the name for the soup the fishermen cooked from the remains of their catch. Above all, they used the rock fish of the Mediterranean coast which had gone into their nets, such as the scorpion fish, conger eel, angler fish, sea bream, St. Peter's fish and whiting. These used to be the cheapest fish, although one or two other fish might also be added if no buyer could be found. Once the stew was ready, the fish and shellfish were pilled up on a platter and the soup stock poured into a bowl on the plates. Proof of its humble orogins is also the slice of bread which is put into each plate to cover it.


  • 3 kg fresh fish from the mediterranean scorpion fish, conger eel, gurnard, St. Peter's fish, angler fish, sea bream, whiting and squid.
  • 2 large crawfish
  • 2 large onions
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 4 garlick cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fennel
  • 1 sprig savory ot thyme
  • 1 Tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 strip orange peel
  • 1 g of saffron strands
  • salt and pepper
  • slices of French bread

Prepare and rinse the fish and crawfish for cooking (cut the larger fish into portions). Cleen and peel leeks and onions.Cut them into small pieces and fry with garlick and half the olive oil in a large saucepan (do not brown it). Remove skins from the tomatoes and dice them. Add tomatoes, herbs and seasoning to the onion's mixture. Cook 10 min. First add crawfish and then the fish with the firmer flesh on to the vegetables. Season and pour over it the remaining olive oil. Add boiling water untill the fish is covered. Cook 10 minutes. Add the softer fish and boil vigorously for no more than 10 min. Arrange the fish and the crawfish on a warmed platter. Place a slice of bread in each plate and por the soup over it.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Turkey. Yogurt and Cheese.

Yogurt is one of the most typical foods in Turkish cuisine. Yogurt has been eaten in Turkey for as long as the country's culinary memory reaches. It's used as a sauce or to refine spicy dishes. Yogurt is made from goats, sheep's or cow's milk and mostly at home. A liter of milk is brought to a boil, simmered for 10 minutes and poured into a bowl. When it's cooled a tablespoon of yogurt is stirred into warm milk and added to the milk in the bowl. Turkish Yogurt should develop in 5 hours, so the bowl covered, wrapped in a cloth and stood in a warm place.

Ayran Turkish Yogurt Drink.

  • 5 cups yogurt
  • 2 1/2 cups iced water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Chill the yogurt and stir till smooth. Gradually add the iced water and salt. Beat in food combiner until frothy. Ayaran is very popular accompaniment to Turkish food.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Norway. Fish calendar.

Norway takes first place the European countries with the largest fish catches. More than 40000 people find job in Norwegian fishing industry. The tradition of catching fish comes from Viking Age. Fish was always regarded as a healthy and satisfying source of protein and mineral salt. Countless types of fish live in the fishing grounds of the Norwegian sea water. And it is strange that coastal inhabitants have stood by the simpler method of preparing fish: boiling or baking fresh Norway fish. The flavor of a fresh fish is best complemented by vegetables.

Fish Calendar.

Which fish are available at which time of year?

  • Eel - January, April and December
  • Monk fish - -all year round
  • Sea bass - June through September
  • Whiting - January through April, August through December
  • Haddock - June through December
  • Gurnard - all year round
  • Salmon - January through April, October through December
  • Lemon sole - all year round
  • Pollack - all year round
  • Mackerel - February through November
  • Hake - June, September through December
  • Tuna - June through October
  • Red mullet - all year round
  • Norway pout - all year round
  • Turbot - March, July through December
  • Herring - January through February, July through December
  • Sole - may through December

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Poland. Cracow Kasha.

Poland a country of boundless forests, expansive fields of corn and rivers.Poland's specialty is kasza, groats. They are made from several different types of grain, barley, oats, millet, maize and buckwheat. Kasha is eaten at all levels of society, it can be found upon the tables of the wealthy as it can be upon the tables of poor. Buckwheat kasha from Cracow is well known as finest and most delicious.

Kasza krakowska.


  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup (100 g ) butter
  • 300 g onions, peeled and well chopped
  • 5 cups bouillon (beef broth)
Wash the groats, then dry them in a skillet whilst stirring and brown slightly. Add salt, half the butter and most of the beef broth. Stir, cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes on a low heat. Remove from the heat and leave to stand.
Cook the pearl barley in a small saucepan in the remaining bouillon. drain and mix with the groats. Melt remaining half butter in a skillet and fry onions until they are transparent and stir into the kasha. Mix everything together well and season.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

France, the member of European Union. Famous France soups.

There is no one country in the world where eating and drinking represent such a strong reflection in culture.
One of France's first gourmets Grimond de la Reyniére (1758-1838) said in his calendar for gourmets that a soup was to a meal what a beautiful entrance hall was to a house. Until the middle of that century (for the country population at least) soup was the main and only warm meal of the day. A pot with soup hung over the fire, any available vegetables added together with water (without broth, because meat was afforded only by the minority), and it would be left to cook by itself for several hours. A slice of bread was placed n the plate and the soup poured over, as is still the tradition with Bouillabaisse. So it is no accident that French call their evening meal souper, a soup in which the bread was dunked. The bourgeoisie didn't want to be remind of those thin soups and they also didn't wish to be deprived of its beneficial effects, so they served up potages ( thick soups).

France soup

Today the soups became a part of every menu in France and they are not only a beautiful hall but a the basic foundation of a good meal.

Famous France soups:

  • Bouillon - Clear meat, fish or vegetable stock
  • Bisque - Soup with crayfish, lobster or other shellfish
  • Créme - Soup thickened with flour and potatoes or dried vegetables
  • Consommé - Very concentrated meat stock made from ground beef boiled with root vegetables.
  • Gratinée - Soup baked with grated cheese.
  • Potage - Either a thick creamy soup with pureed vegetables and with meat stock base.
  • Potée - The name for the cabbage soup.
  • Soupe - Soup with substantial ingredients, not pureed.
  • Velouté - Smooth, very creamy soup made from single vegetable and thickened with egg yolk and often flour.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Netherlands. Speculaas a favorite Christmas and St. Nicholas cookie.

Every December 6, Saint Nicholas Day, brings speculaas to Holland. Nicolas offers the cookies to children's who have behaved well throughout the year.
Speculaas is a favorite St. Nicholas and Christmas cookies. The dough is pressed into decorative wooden molds and then baked on a baking sheets.

The imaginative designs appeal to children of all ages, and the aromatic spice cookies are also part of the Advent tradition in Belgium and Germany.



  • 250 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cloves and ginger
  • 100 g butter
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • grated peel of lemon
  • 50 g ground almonds
In a large bowl mix flour with baking powder and spices. In another bowl cream butter with sugar, then add lemon eel and egg. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and add almonds. Stir well. Gradually add the remaining flout mixture and make a dough. Wrap the dough and cool 3-4 hours. Grease the wooden molds (if you don't have use metal or plastic forms) and lightly flour them. Press the dough into the forms and remove the extras at the edges. Then remove dough forms from the molds and bake in preheated oven on baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes. Let them cool and transfer Speculaas to a cooling rack.

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