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Kitchen Tour

Tonight’s meal is Ajiaco Colombiano (Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup) with Aji and fresh Sour Dough

I woke up to a rainy day and decided to go for some comfort food for dinner. Ajiaco totally fitted the bill. It is a thick potato and chicken soup, with whole corn, garnished with sour cream, avocados, capers and a salsa called Aji.

The soup also relies on a special ingredient: Gacuas or quickweed. I was suprised to find some in my spice drawers as I have a habit of buying every herb and spice I have never seen before and then forgetting that I have it. So I must have bought it a while ago.

Gacaus imparts a taste different to anything I have ever tasted before. The taste of this soup is amazing and so very unique. If you can find Gacaus give it a go or maybe have a bowl next time you are in Bogota.

Also decided to test out the new sour dough starter I am making. Thought it was ready and it worked a treat. Perfect partner for the soup.

Entree: Pork and Mushroom Dumplings with 3 dipping sauces.

Main: Hong Shao Rou (Red braised pork belly), Stir Fried Eggplants in Plum Sauce, Sichuan Spicy and Sour Potatoes and Biang Biang Noodles.

Gave myself a bit of a challenge on this one and tried to really go authentic Chinese rather than what we get here in Australia (at least in the restaurants). I decided to try and make dumplings and noodles from scratch. Was a lot of fun!

The dumplings were great. The fresh filling was amazing and I’ll be making these again.

The Red Braised Pork Belly is slowly braised in Shaoxing wine and light and dark soy sauces. Then the sauce is reduced to a really thick consistency. The pork belly was literally like soft butter in texture.

The Biang Biang Noodles are handmade thick noodles and then cooked in a hot chilli oil for flavour. Loved them. I used the following recipes for Sichuan Spicy and Sour Potatoes and Egglplant in Plum Sauce.

Next up: Columbia

World Kitchen Tour Day 34: Chile

Entree: Cheviche

Main: Pork Belly Asado, Pedre Salsa and Sopaiillas

Cheviche is fresh fish cooked by adding lime/lemon juice. The acid cooks the fish. Chilean Cheviche is different to Peruvian cheviche, and it has less ingredients. Peruvian cheviche usually has extra things like sweet potato and corn, whilst the Chilean version just has some coriander, onion, chilli and capsicum. I love cheviche.

The Asado Marinated Pork Belly is a Chilean BBQ. This dish was made from pork belly marinated for a day in vinegear and spices, then slow cooked for three hours.

Chilean Sopaipillas are a pumpkin donut containing pumpkin, flour and salt that are deep fried. They can be used as a savoury or a sweet dish in Chile. It depends on what you serve them with.

I served a Chilean Salsa with the BBQ.

Next up: China

Chilean Pork Belly Asado (BBQ)

Mchuzi wa Biringani, Salade Du TChad with Kisra Bread.

Chad another poor central African country that totally delivered.

Kisra is a local fermented flatbread made from millet flour, I used finger millet which is grown extensively in Chad and gives it the nice dark colour. It is also very popular in Sudan but they make it from sorghum instead. It is a lot like injera bread from Ethiopia if you have ever had the chance to visit an Ethiopian restaurant. It is an unusual bread as it is leavened by the natural yeast in the fermented flour a bit like sour dough and has a rubbery texture and a sour dough like taste.

Mchuzi wa Biringani is a simple eggplant stew. Salade Du Tchad is a salad made from banana, cucumbers, chillis, raisins and rice. The honey lemon dressing in the salad really cuts through the stew and balances everything.

Next Up: Chile

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