I’m not done… In 2015, I completed a lap around the world, taking in each continent and a bunch of recipes each had to offer. Through this, I was able to discover new ideas, flavours, ingredients and techniques, with some failures along the way but plenty of successes, too.
In 2016, I’m heading on another lap. In addition to another edible project this year (watch this space), I’ll be continuing with Eat the World for another 12 months. Starting back in Australia, this time around will be a similar format to the first. Each week will see a new country on the menu, with a mixture of repeat countries (new recipes) and ones I didn’t get to last year.
As there are often many variations for a particular dish, and given that I found myself making many adjustments to what I found the first time around, this year I will be posting the recipes I used in this blog (rather than only external links), along with any tips on making it easier for yourself.
Happy travels and happy cooking! Here’s Eat the World 2016.
Week 1 – Australia
What’s more Aussie than lamb and pies? The below recipe kicks off another year of Eat the World in gourmet style (these aren’t your run of the mill party pies). They’re not exactly quick to make, but they are straightforward and worth the effort.
If you want a quicker variant, rather than making little pies you can stretch the pastry (be careful, it’s quite sticky) and make one large pie in a 22 cm spring form pan. Remember to blind bake the pastry to ensure the filling doesn’t turn it soggy. The beauty of taking the liquid out and re-adding it is that you can manage what goes into the pastry. This means if you do make a larger pie, you’ll be able to slice it without a huge mess.
Aussie lamb pies with pineapple and mango salsa
For the pastry
• 1 cup plain flour
• Pinch of salt
• 100 grams unsalted butter, chopped
• ¼ cup full fat sour cream
• 1 sheet of ready puff pastry
For the pies
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 600gr lamb cutlets
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 medium purple carrots, finely chopped (you can use normal ones, but won’t get the cool purple colouring)
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 cup chicken stock
• 250ml dry apple cider
• 2 tablespoons cornflour
• 100ml pouring cream
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 eggyolk (for brushing)
• Macadamia and wattleseed dukka, or topping of choice
For the salsa
• ½ a pineapple, diced
• 1 mango, diced
• 1 long red chilli, seeded and very finely sliced
• Handful of basil leaves, finely sliced
1. To make the pastry, pulse flour, salt and butter in blender until it forms a crumb. Add sour cream and pulse until combined. Combine with hands to form a ball, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Heat oil over high heat in a heavy based pot and sear the lamb until brown on both sides. Set aside.
3. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook until it begins to soften.
4. Return lamb to pot and add stock and cider. If it’s not quite covered, add a little water. Increase to a boil, then reduce to light simmer. Press a sheet of baking paper down over the surface, then cover with a lid and cook for 1.5 hours.
5. Remove lamb from pot and set aside to cool. When cooled, shred into little pieces.
6. Combine cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water and add to the mix in the pot. Stir until sauce thickens (about 10 – 15 minutes). Then add cream and mustard and stir to combine.
7. Pour thickened mix through a sieve, reserving the liquid. Mix the solids with the lamb and add enough liquid back into the mix to moisten.
8. Preheat oven to 180C and grease a twelve hole muffin tray.
9. Divide pastry dough into twelve portions. Roll each portion into a ball and, using floured palms, press each into a thin, flat circle wide enough to fill a muffin hole. Repeat 12 times until you have filled the tray. Blind bake for 10 minutes with weights, then 3 minutes without weights.
10. Fill pastry cases with lamb mix, then top with a cut circle of puff pastry, pressed into the edges of the base. Brush tops with egg yolk and sprinkle with dukka. Bake for 20 minutes, then rest for 10 before transferring to a cooling rack.
11. For the salsa, combine all ingredients in a bowl.
And how’s this for Aussie, Anzac bikkie ice cream sambos:
Week 2 – Papua New Guinea
Looking for the national foods of PNG wasn’t a particularly rewarding search, I found. However, I did come across several variants for kau kau, the PNG “baked spud”. Sweet potato is a popular vegetable in PNG and used in much of the nation’s cooking. In this recipe, the root vege is baked (traditionally underground) and prepared with the flavours of coconut, garlic and ginger.
PNG also eat their fair share of fish, so with this in mind I prepared the kau kau as a side for some simple fried fish (in ginger, lime, coriander and chilli).
My kau kau used the below recipe; however it came out quite different to how I expected. The spud flesh, mixed with onions, garlic, ginger and coconut cream created a very wet mix. Using a dish with sides, I managed to line the halves against one another for support (or else it would have gone everywhere). Once baked, everything was still very soft, but creamy and quite yum.
Ingredients (enough for 2)
• 2 medium sweet potatoes, washed
• 60gr unsalted butter, diced
• ½ cup coconut cream
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 3cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
• 2 tablespoons orange juice
• ½ cup grated cheese
1. Preheat oven to 200C. Wrap each sweet potato in aluminium foil and bake for 1 hour. A skewer should insert easily when cooked through.
2. Allow to cool slightly, then slice lengthways. Scoop out the centre flesh, leaving the skins with only a thin layer of potato flesh, and mash in a bowl with butter until smooth. Season.
3. Combine coconut cream, onion, garlic, ginger and orange juice in potato mash. Top with grated cheese, then place back in oven until cheese is melted.
4. Serve alongside meat, vegetables or salad.
Week 3 – Philippines
It’s a Spanish name, but as Filipino a dish as you’ll get. Adobo simply translates to “marinade”, which is all this recipe really is. The Filipino twist is the marination in vinegar, which was most likely a practicality to begin with, before it became simply “the way it’s done” for this national food.
Nothing too complicated here, just delicious chook in a thick sauce. This can be served in any number of ways, although I opted for a main meal served with rice, green beans and Chinese cabbage.
The sauce for this chicken was quite rich and heavy on the vinegar, but it’s not overbearing. I had seen variations, some with white vinegar, which I think would be quite extreme. Balanced by the white rice and cabbage, this was a delicious dinner. It may have just been the extra sauce, but having this dish the day after was even tastier!
Ingredients (enough chicken for 2 people)
• 170ml rice wine vinegar
• 400ml can of coconut milk
• ¼ soy sauce
• 6 cloves garlic, crushed
• 3cm piece of turmeric, peeled and sliced
• 3 bay leaves
• 3 birdseye chillies
• 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
• 3 large chicken breasts, each sliced lengthways
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken, coat well, and marinate overnight.
2. Transfer contents of bowl to a pot and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high and continue cooking the marinade for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced. Discard the turmeric, bay leaves and chillies.
3. Return chicken to pot to heat through. Serve on steamed rice with green beans.
Week 4 – Taiwan
Braised beef and Chinese noodles are the key ingredients to beef noodle soup, a Taiwanese staple and national food. There are many variations, of which this soy based one is quite Taiwanese.
I haven’t made a beef broth like this before and boy does it kick ass. There’s a combo of sweet, tart and salty, with heavy influence from the orange peel and star anise.
Instead of a long chilli, I added a few chopped birdseye chillies for some heat and they worked beautifully, along with the coriander, chopped scallions and mung bean sprouts.
This is hearty, filling and packed full of interesting flavours.
Taiwanese beef noodle soup
Ingredients (serves 4)
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 600gr beef chuck steak (or any beef suitable for slow cooking)
• ¼ cup soy sauce
• ½ cup rice wine vinegar
• ½ cup medium-dry sherry
• ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
• 3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
• 3 scallions, whites crushed and greens chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• Half bunch coriander, leaves picked and stems chopped
• 10cm long piece of dried orange peel
• 4 whole star anise
• ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
• 5 cups water
• 1.5 cups chicken stock
• 300gr Chinese wheat noodles
• 1 cup mung bean sprouts
• Steamed broccoli, to serve
• Long green chilli, sliced, to garnish
1. Heat oil in pot and add sear beef to brown on each side. Remove beef from pot and set aside.
2. Combine water, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sherry, brown sugar, ginger, scallions whites, garlic, coriander stems, orange peel, star anise and chilli flakes. Bring to boil, then reduce to gentle simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add beef to mix, cover and simmer for 2.5 hours. Turn off heat and rest for additional 1 hour.
4. Remove meat and slice or break apart as desired. Skim any fats from broth, then strain it thoroughly, reserve liquid, and discard solids. Combine broth and beef and reheat on low.
5. Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water until they are tender. Strain and divide among bowls. Ladle beef soup over noodles and top with sprouts and chilli. Serve with broccoli.