Monday, April 12, 2010
Liechtenstein - An Evening with Friends
My friend, Sherry Isaac, was kind enough to volunteer to cook a meal for my Eat Planet blog. She chose to cook the cuisine from the country Liechtenstein since it had to be a country past the L’s. Plus, she was familiar with European food. She has Russia on one side of her family tree and Austria on the other and so she was raised on German fare such as perogies, cabbage rolls, streudels and lots of carbs.
I was delighted to have someone else do the cooking. We set a date and I invited Kimberley Scutt and Sharon Bernas. Kimberly has two blogs, Travel Addict on a Budget and Travelling Rubber Chicken. Sharon has a blog called Romance and Beyond. She wrote about our Liechtenstein dinner experience in an article called Eat, Drink, Write.
Sherry arrived at my house with cabbage rolls, Broscht, Ikra (eggplant salsa), Mashed potatoes, rye and pumpernickel bread, and a delicious Honey Ginger cake. Sherry put me to shame with her representation of Liechtenstein. I’m quite positive that I wouldn’t have been able to do a better job.
Liechtenstein is a very small country next to Austria and Switzerland and oddly, the world’s largest producer of dentures.. “It’s beautiful,” my friend, Christa, told me. She and her husband had traveled through Europe on their honeymoon and were impressed with the Switzerland-like country and its spectacular views. The little country also has the wealthiest royal family in Europe.
Our Liechtenstein evening ended with us quietly chatting in the dinning room while sipping wine. My kids sat at the kitchen table in the next room. They each had a plate piled high with Sherry’s Liechtenstein food. Later, Julia came up to me and said, “Tell Sherry that I loved the Borscht.” Julia loves beets so she was able to polish off a couple bowls of soup.
It was a night of delicious food, wine and great conversation. Whenever I think of Liechtenstein, I will think of our Liechtenstein night.
Sherry Isaac has been published in Quick Brown Fox and New Mystery Reader. Her short story, "The Forgetting," placed first in the Alice Munro Contest in 2009. She is co-host of Prana Presents, a venue featuring the work of Toronto’s hottest new authors and poets. Check out, Wildflower, her monthly newsletter geared to emerging writers, visit www.sherryisaac.com.
*1 lb lean ground beef, browned and well-drained
_ cup uncooked rice
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
_ tsp each salt & pepper
10-14 cabbage leaves
1-24 oz can tomato juice
_ cup lemon juice
_ brown sugar
Combine ground beef, rice, egg, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Steam cabbage leaves to loosen. Place 2-3 tbsp meat mixture into each leaf, tuck in edges of leaf and roll. Secure with toothpick. Place rolls in Dutch oven. Combine tomato juice, lemon juice and brown sugar, pour over cabbage rolls. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes then reduce heat and simmer for another 20 minutes.
*Ground turkey or chicken may be substituted.
Borscht – Vegetable Soup with Beets
454 g ground pork (optional)
3 medium beets, peeled and shredded
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1-6 ounce can tomato paste
_ cup water
_ head of cabbage, shredded
1-8 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Raw sugar to taste, approximately 1 tsp
Sour cream and fresh parsley for garnish
Brown ground pork over medium heat until no longer pink, drain and set aside. In a large soup pot, bring 2 litres of water to a boil. Add sausage and beets – cook until the beets have lost their colour. Add carrots and potatoes, cook until tender. Add cabbage and canned tomatoes.
In a skillet, heat oil and cook onion until tender. Stir in tomato paste and _ cup water until smooth. Add to soup. Add garlic, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes then season with salt, pepper and sugar. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and parsley if desired.
1 large eggplant
1 medium onion, chopped
1 finely chopped green pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
6 tbsp olive oil
2 large tomatoes, peeled, chopped and seeded
_ tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste
In a 425 degree oven, bake eggplant for one hour, turning once. Skin should be blistered. Meanwhile, Saute onions in 4 tbsp olive oil until soft then add garlic and green pepper, cook another 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove to mixing bowl. Remove skin of eggplant and finely chop the pulp. Add to mixing bowl along with tomatoes, sugar and pepper. Pour remaining olive oil into skillet, add mixture and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Lower heat, cover and let simmer for one hour. Remove lid and cook another half hour, stirring occasionally until all liquid has evaporated and mixture is firm enough to hold its shape. Stir in 2 tbsp lemon juice then taste, adding salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Transfer to bowl with well-fitting lid and chill until ready to serve. _ _
Honey Gingerbread or Honey Cake
3 large eggs
_ cup sugar
_ cup honey
1/3 c vegetable oil
3 tbsp orange juice
1 _ tbsp sour cream
1 _ tsp orange rind, grated
2 2/3 c flour
_ tsp each baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon
Heat oven to 325. In a large bowl, beat eggs with sugar, oil, honey, orange juice, orange rind and sour cream. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to honey mixture, mix until just blended. Spoon batter into two 8 _ x 4 _ greased and floured loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to 200 degrees and bake an additional 15-25 minutes longer until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pans 10 minutes, remove from pans. _
Mashed potatoes, rye and pumpernickel bread.