International Blog of Food

Glorious Cuisine From Around the World

Thursday, November 30, 2006
Thai Curry ala Purvi
I wish I had a picture. It’s funny, too, because I brought my camera with the intention of documenting Purvi’s glorious Thai creation. Alas, the best I can do is words.

Two and a half months without even the slightest semblance of flavourful food can drive someone mad. So when Purvi tendered an invitation for Thai curry, my mouth began to water. I’m starting to think that my keyboard needs a drool guard….

Half-way up the stairs to her place, the aroma become intoxicating. Inside, I was practically swimming in my own saliva. Then I had to sit there for twenty minutes, tortured by the scent of what promised to be a splendid meal.

Finally the moment arrived. I scooped hot basmati rice onto my plate and ladled some of the curry over it. My first bite was one of ecstasy. The flavour of the spices came first, followed by the familiar sharp kick of the chili peppers. But what was that soft and gooey vegetable I was ingesting? Against all conventions, or so it seems, it turned out to be sweet potato/yam. I thought, “Who puts sweet potato in a thai curry?” Well, Purvi does and it was a brilliant idea.

I ended up eating two plates and leaving extremely satisfied. Next up at Purvi’s place is the Indian Cook-off to End All Indian Cook-offs. Palak Kofta, Aloo Ghobi, Chapati, Masala Chai, Dosa…it’ll all be there.  
posted by kent at 1:02 PM    2 comments
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Thuringian national food
As my first post on this blog I chose to show a typical German dish. It is the "national" food of Thuringia and one of my favourite home made dishes, too.

This is called "Thüringer Klösse mit Rinderrouladen und Chicoreesalat", which means Thuringian potatoe dumplings, beef roulade and chicory salad. The beef roulade is filled with mustard, bacon, onion, gherkin (?) and some spices.
In the picture there's also "Kassler", smoked pork chop, though usually there's only beef. In my family we usually have some kind of salad accompanying, but in German restaurants you'll mostly find red cabbage instead of salad.

There's a significant difference between Thuringian dumplings and other kinds of dumplings throughout Germany. Thuringian dumplings are completely made of potatoe dough, whereas e.g. "Fränkische Knödel" - Frankish dumplings are made of a dough of ground up softened bread rolls.
posted by Johanna at 2:42 AM    6 comments
Monday, November 27, 2006
Pancetta Linguine and Pio Cesare
A few weeks ago I made Nigella Lawson's sinful pancetta linguine and cracked a half bottle of delicious Pio Cesare Barolo.

The pancetta linguine is super easy: just cut off the fatty rind of the pancetta, cut the rest in smallish pieces and throw it all in a frying pan. Cook it long enough so it browns a bit on the outside and so the rinds turn into a greasy mess. Put the whole thing into a pot with some quality al dente linguine, toss with some fresh flat-leaf parsley, and you have yourself a meal. It's a salty, carb-ridden heaven that you'll devour as if no one is watching.

I washed it all down with a recent vintage of Pio Cesare Barolo. It was a tad on the young side, but the saltiness of the pancetta perfectly offset the sharp tannins. It had the delicious flavour that I love about Barolo: earthy minerals stuck in a leather shoe and smoked. Sounds nice, hmm? Once you've had a fine Barolo you won't stop.
posted by Jeremy at 9:25 PM    4 comments
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Bread Pudding

Tomorrow in Calgary the temperature is supposed to drop below -20 degrees Celcius. What does one do when they find themselves freezing and with an excess of slightly-stale dinner buns?

Make bread pudding, from the Mennonite Cookbook that my grandma gave me. Yum!
posted by Meg at 6:49 PM    0 comments
Meat Poetry vs. Meat Symphony
Pommegranate-marinated Lamb

Mint/Yoghurt Lamb Chops and Fennel-Coriander Chicken

Kareesh-stuffed Chicken marinated in Pommegranate

Tomatoes stuffed with Kareesh (Egyptian Cheese)

The beginnings of a roast pepper and tomato salad.
posted by kent at 10:16 AM    1 comments
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Ok Kent, so here goes my first contribution to this delicious blog. All of your nagging has paid off J Blanka and I were in Vienna over the weekend.

Vienna’s Christmas Markets

A yearly tradition in the Austrian capital, the various Christmas markets across the city serve up a lot of local delights. It seems a bit early for Christmas stuff but I guess it's just an excuse to start drinking earlier. The markets are famous for their gluwein and punsch….hot wine and hot tea with rum and fruit. We downed a few of these sweet drinks and they definitely kept me all warm inside. The first food we tried was raclette (melted cheese) on toast….a ripoff from the swiss but I didn’t mind. This was topped with fried onions and dried chives. We washed that down with more hot wine and then had some milk chocolate fondue covered strawberries…mmmm. Come to think of it…these two things are both swiss…but whatever. We had other various treats like roasted chestnuts, potato pancakes and Austrian corndogs. I bought some homemade gingerbread which I ate on the bus ride home…which was also great comfort food. I had white chocolate covered strawberries also. By the end of the night I was really thirsty and washed everything down with a cool Ottagringer, a great Viennese brew.

Outside of the market we had some great street meat. It was some kind of meatloaf (maybe Bosnian) with mustard and pickled chili peppers, delish.

I’ve also posted some pics from a lunch we had before we left…ribs and a potato and pork fry-up! Good eating in Vienna.

Upcoming culinary adventures:

-Prague’s Christmas market

-Christmas in Bosnia….oh sweet pita

-15, Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in London

-My Grandma’s English breakfast….oh sweet heart attack

Cheers, Alex

posted by calal at 2:42 AM    4 comments
Monday, November 20, 2006
Viennese Staple Food
When in Vienna there are numerous dishes to sample from but the two that appear again and again and receive much of Viennese cuisine attention is the Wiener Schnitzel and Apple Strudel.

Wiener schnitzel is a breaded veal cutlet usually served with roasted potatoes. The longer the meat is pounded, the more tender it becomes. It goes down easy with Ottakringer beer!

Vienna apple strudel was the best apple strudel I have ever had. The pastry crust was so thin and crispy and the inside was stuffed with loads of apples. The dessert goes really well with some Viennese coffee. If you have it in a fancy cafe as we did at the Schonbrunn Cafe, it can cost you upwards of 8 euro's.
posted by Blanka at 6:49 AM    3 comments
Saturday, November 18, 2006
French Canadian Delight

When I was 17, I spent the summer in Québec, paid for by the Canadian Government's Summer Language Bursary Program. I improved my French skills, which I have since lost almost completely, learned a lot about myself and my country, and discovered an amazing meal/treat:

Poutine. French Fries, beef gravy, and cheese curds. Looks disgusting, tastes amazing- like Canadian nachos. For a country that so often struggles with its identity, I bring you a truly Canadian food. Should you ever find yourself in Québec, the best can be found at Chez Ashton. (Add smoked meat, and it becomes a Dulton!)
posted by Meg at 3:18 PM    2 comments
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Miso Soup

So I'm finally going to contribute to the blog. Last night I made miso soup. I bought the miso base from a local market down the street from my house. Basically I took about 1 tablespoon of the paste and added it too a cup of boiling water, let it disolve and then add some chopped green onion. Easiest thing to make and really tasty too. The soup is served in a laquered bowl and it is usually served with breakfast, but it's more of a diner or lunch thing for me. Anyways, I'll add some more soon.
posted by Sarah at 6:54 PM    1 comments
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
BBQ Ecstacy
Vegetable Prose.

Meat Poetry.

Tom, the Meat Poet.

The grill is his canvas. The coals his inspiration. The meat his pen. The marinade his ink.

posted by kent at 7:53 AM    0 comments
Monday, November 13, 2006
What Kent ate for dinner last night.....

Scroll down for the AFTER...
posted by Blanka at 5:29 AM    0 comments
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Introducing the Foodies
It occurred to me today that the people on this blog don’t actually know each other. Well, some do, but the one commonality in this regard is that they all know me. So, here’s a little info on each person:

Nicholas – We met in India. He might just be one of the best experimental chefs in Edmonton (soon to be Toronto). He may not be in an exotic locale, but he makes up for it with culinary creations in his humble, yet effective kitchen.

Jodie – I met Jodie through Nicholas. She may be in one of the most culinarily-inept countries, but that doesn’t stop her from seeking out the best that London has to offer.

Ryan – Also in the food-challenged country of England. He has, however, mastered the art of English cooking. His traditional English breakfasts and tea cakes are sure to please anyone that steps through his doors. Perhaps his best creation was the brandy-soaked Christmas cake made in India.

Samantha – Yet another friend from India. She appreciates a good meal as much as anyone…and has a kitchen befitting of such an attitude. I could always count on her kitchen-that-was-as-big-as-my-house whenever an urge to create as felt.

Megan – A born and bred Saskatchewanian. Always on the lookout for a good meal at a good price, but far too often settles for peanut butter and chick peas. Her mom bakes a mean pie, though.

Liz – Anyone that can navigate the culinary clusterfuck that is Hong Kong deserves credit. Liz has done this admirably, seeking out healthy meals in a city dominated by deep-fried, greasy foods. I just wish she’d post more.

Janaki – Speaking of posting, Janaki really needs to get on that. She is in Bolivia doing water filtration projects, but that is little excuse for not posting the various delights she is no doubt enjoying. If that’s not a hint, I don’t know what is.

Abner – On internship in Taiwan. He posted for a while, but seems to have disappeared. Perhaps he has become accustomed to the pig intestine soup and doesn’t feel the need to share it with the rest of the world. He’s lucky to be in a food “Shangri-la”…I just hope he takes advantage.

Johanna – The last of my friends from India on this list. She likes her chocolate and isn’t afraid to say it. Too bad she’s spent the last 4 months studying for tests, otherwise I wouldn’t doubt that she would’ve created a chocolate version of everything.

Blanka – Currently surviving the great country of Slovakia. Getting her to post has been a challenge, but I think I’ve hassled her enough to get her on the case more often. I’m just glad I’m not around her after she’s had a langos or two….

Alex – The epitome of blogging ineptitude. Well, not really. Apparently he actually works at work, so he hasn’t had the time to post the wonders of Czech cuisine. I fixed his blog, though, and the deal was that he’d at least make a post a week. Let’s see how that goes.

Sarah – White girl meets Japanese culture. She’s there teaching English for a year. Best quote so far, “The food here looks the same as Japanese food in Canada so I don’t feel like I’m eating anything different.” Time to go find some of the crazy ingredients they use on Iron Chef.

Jeremy – Nicholas’ brother. He provides an Canadian’s perspective on American cuisine in the beautiful city of Seattle. Based on his post about the 35th St. Bistro, this guy knows a good meal when he sees one.

Farzina – Newest addition to the ever-growing list of eaters. There isn’t enough room on the page to list her nationalities, so I’ll just say that she’s here in Egypt for a few months. As uninspired as she may feel regarding Egyptian cuisine, she can be rest assured that her future in food blogging is bright.
posted by kent at 7:06 AM    1 comments
Thursday, November 09, 2006

Summoning up the courage to eat a bird that has the same reputation for cleanliness as a dumpster is easier said than done. I guess Egyptians are lucky to not have the same conception of pigeons that North Americans do, because they don't seem to have any problem chowing down on the disease-infested fowl.

There isn't much meat on these birds. And the taste is similar to that of, you guessed it, chicken. I don't see myself eating too many more of these birds...they're just not what I would call appetizing.
posted by kent at 6:03 AM    2 comments
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Slovak Street Food: Langos

Langos is a popular street food or fast food in Slovakia. I would describe it as a deep fried concoction of dough at its basic level. It's all in the toppings though. It is best topped with a generous slathering of garlic spread, cheese and sour cream, all for under a buck. You can also have sweet versions of it with different kinds of jam, or if you're a fan of condiments then ketchup and mayo are also a possibility. If you do opt for the garlic spread, keep in mind that it will follow you around all day, and I mean all day long. It's potent, but oh so good.

Turns out though that langos is actually a Hungarian dish that became popular here in Slovakia and now in Czech Republic as well.
posted by Blanka at 5:03 AM    1 comments
Sunday, November 05, 2006
35th St. Bistro, Seattle
I love this little bistro. 35th St. Bistro is by far my favourite place to eat in Seattle -- both due to its fantastic food and its leisurly European ambience. If you visit Seattle, you must make a trip to Fremont and stop by, if only for a glass of wine and a cheese plate.

To start, I consumed some monstrous white shrimp wrapped in prosciutto with blanched spinach and pine nuts. The shrimp was incredible: the succulent, salty prosciutto wrapped around the soft, delicate shrimp was one of the most delicious appetizers I've had. For my main course, I had a deliciously creamy chanterelle mushroom risotto with squash, herbs and truffle oil. It wasn't the best mushroom risotto that I've had, but it was still incredible.

35th St. Bistro has an insanely large wine list, mostly consisting of French and Italian reds. This evening I decided to go with something more local and chose the 2005 Ex Umrbis Syrah. The grapes are from a vineyard in Yakima Valley, Washington but the winery is in Oregon. It was a fine example of Washington syrah: earthy, acidic, and delicious. It's worth noting that we were served the wine at the proper temperature, and also that our server filled our glasses with the proper amount. There's nothing worse than having a lovely bottle of wine served to you at 25 degrees celcius and having the server fill your glass with half the bottle.

Of course, I finished the meal with a piece of flourless chocolate cake and shot of espresso. It was a perfect outing.
posted by Jeremy at 8:18 PM    1 comments
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Saskatoon Berry Pie

What with Kent's goulash and cabbage rolls, I thought now was an appropriate time to post the dessert that would follow such deliciousness if served in Saskatchewan.

The Saskatoon Berry is a berry belonging to the rose family, that grows on small bushes in the Canadian prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba), as well as the Northern Territories, Alaska, and the Northwestern USA. The largest city in the province of Saskatchewan is named after this berry, whose name comes from the Cree word misâskwatômina.

Many of my childhood memories include picking such berries to be turned into delectable jams, jellies, syrups, and the cadillac of Saskatchewan treats, Saskatoon Berry Pie. My momphoned my Grandmother for the recipe on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

Kind of like a smaller, wilder blueberry, they stain your fingers and tongue purple. This pie is best warm with vanilla ice cream, but that particular slice was eaten for breakfast.
posted by Meg at 2:37 PM    1 comments