Banana blossom salad on Flickr.Ingredients
    2 cups mint leaves
    2 cups Thai basil
    2 cups coriander leaves
    1 banana blossom, thinly sliced and placed in acidulated water (See Cooking Notes)
    3 spring onions, thinly sliced
    10 g (1 cup) toasted coconut flakes
    1 cup fried Asian red eschalots
    2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
Coconut chicken
    375 ml (11 cups) coconut cream
    2 tbsp brown sugar
    2 tbsp fish sauce
    1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, roughly chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
    1 lime, zested, juiced
    2 skinless chicken breast fillets
Dressing
    150 g palm sugar, chopped
    2 tbsp ginger, shredded
    1 red chilli, finely chopped
    2 limes, zested, juiced
    2 tbsp fish sauce
    2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
As soon as you slice into a banana blossom, you will need to place it in a bowl of acidulated water to prevent it from going brown.
To make coconut chicken, place coconut cream, sugar, fish sauce, lemongrass, garlic, chilli, lime zest and juice and 375ml water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add chicken, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave chicken to poach for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from poaching liquid and cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make dressing, place palm sugar, 80ml water, ginger, chilli, lime juice and zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar, then simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly sticky and reduced. Cool completely, then stir in fish sauce and coriander.
Shred chicken into a bowl, then add mint, basil, coriander, drained banana blossom and spring onions, tossing to combine. Arrange on a serving plate and scatter with coconut, fried eschalots and chilli. Drizzle over dressing to serve. annabalint.blog.com

Banana blossom salad on Flickr.

Ingredients

2 cups mint leaves
2 cups Thai basil
2 cups coriander leaves
1 banana blossom, thinly sliced and placed in acidulated water (See Cooking Notes)
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
10 g (1 cup) toasted coconut flakes
1 cup fried Asian red eschalots
2 long red chillies, thinly sliced

Coconut chicken

375 ml (11 cups) coconut cream
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
1 lime, zested, juiced
2 skinless chicken breast fillets

Dressing

150 g palm sugar, chopped
2 tbsp ginger, shredded
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 limes, zested, juiced
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

As soon as you slice into a banana blossom, you will need to place it in a bowl of acidulated water to prevent it from going brown.

To make coconut chicken, place coconut cream, sugar, fish sauce, lemongrass, garlic, chilli, lime zest and juice and 375ml water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add chicken, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave chicken to poach for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from poaching liquid and cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make dressing, place palm sugar, 80ml water, ginger, chilli, lime juice and zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar, then simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly sticky and reduced. Cool completely, then stir in fish sauce and coriander.

Shred chicken into a bowl, then add mint, basil, coriander, drained banana blossom and spring onions, tossing to combine. Arrange on a serving plate and scatter with coconut, fried eschalots and chilli. Drizzle over dressing to serve.

annabalint.blog.com

Vatnajokull-glacier valley,Iceland on Flickr.On a cloudy day we traveled to the west end of the Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland, when the clouds opened it showed us this amazing valley with Eyjafjallajokull and Katla standing over a river floor layered with black ash, sand and lava from years of eruptions and flooding. annabalint.blog.com

Vatnajokull-glacier valley,Iceland on Flickr.

On a cloudy day we traveled to the west end of the Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland, when the clouds opened it showed us this amazing valley with Eyjafjallajokull and Katla standing over a river floor layered with black ash, sand and lava from years of eruptions and flooding.

annabalint.blog.com

Chicken tagine on Flickr.Famed for its tagines, Moroccan cuisine is a mix of North African, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences. The tagine is a traditional clay pot with a distinct pyramid shape that allowSee recipe at: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/chicken-tagine-1 annabalint.blog.com

Chicken tagine on Flickr.

Famed for its tagines, Moroccan cuisine is a mix of North African, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences. The tagine is a traditional clay pot with a distinct pyramid shape that allowSee recipe at: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/chicken-tagine-1

annabalint.blog.com

Marsalforn salt pans, Malta on Flickr.A man and his passenger ride a motorcycle near salt pans, believed to have been used for harvesting sea salt since Roman times, outside the village of  Marsalforn, on the northern coast of the Maltese island of Gozo, annabalint.blog.com

Marsalforn salt pans, Malta on Flickr.

A man and his passenger ride a motorcycle near salt pans, believed to have been used for harvesting sea salt since Roman times, outside the village of Marsalforn, on the northern coast of the Maltese island of Gozo,

annabalint.blog.com

Silverbeet and feta gozleme on Flickr.Silverbeet and feta gozleme - Turkish food
Ingredients
    1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
    1 red onion, finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    180 g (6 oz) finely shredded silverbeet (Swiss chard)
    200 g (7 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
    50 g (13 oz/1 cup) coarsely grated cheddar cheese
    1 tsp sweet paprika
    4 large Greek pitta breads, about 26 cm (101 inches) across
    lemon wedges, to serve
Instructions
Combine the olive oil, onion, garlic, silverbeet, feta, cheddar and paprika in a bowl, mixing well.
Spread half the mixture over one pitta bread and top with another. Repeat with the remaining pitta breads and filling to make a second gözleme.
Preheat the barbecue hotplate to medium–high. Brush both sides of one gözleme with olive oil. Cook the first gözleme for 3–4 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden, using a metal spatula to compress it. Cut into wedges and serve immediately, with lots of lemon wedges for squeezing over.
Brush both sides of the second gözleme with olive oil and cook it in the same way, while your guests eat the first. annabalint.blog.com

Silverbeet and feta gozleme on Flickr.

Silverbeet and feta gozleme - Turkish food

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
180 g (6 oz) finely shredded silverbeet (Swiss chard)
200 g (7 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
50 g (13 oz/1 cup) coarsely grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp sweet paprika
4 large Greek pitta breads, about 26 cm (101 inches) across
lemon wedges, to serve

Instructions

Combine the olive oil, onion, garlic, silverbeet, feta, cheddar and paprika in a bowl, mixing well.

Spread half the mixture over one pitta bread and top with another. Repeat with the remaining pitta breads and filling to make a second gözleme.

Preheat the barbecue hotplate to medium–high. Brush both sides of one gözleme with olive oil. Cook the first gözleme for 3–4 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden, using a metal spatula to compress it. Cut into wedges and serve immediately, with lots of lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Brush both sides of the second gözleme with olive oil and cook it in the same way, while your guests eat the first.

annabalint.blog.com

Chicken and mushroom pot pies on Flickr.Ingredients
    1 roasted or barbecued chicken, meat shredded
    1 cup chopped chives
    ⅓ cup chopped tarragon
    10 Swiss brown mushrooms, quartered
    1½ cups (360 g) sour cream
    ½ cup (125 ml) chicken stock
    sea salt and white pepper
    2 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed if frozen
    1 organic egg, beaten
    green salad, to serve
Instructions
You’ll need eight 10 cm ramekins for this recipe.
Preheat fan-forced oven to 200°C.
In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, herbs, mushrooms, sour cream, chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste.
Lay the pastry sheets out on a clean benchtop and cut eight rounds of pastry slightly larger than your ramekins. Fill the ramekins with the chicken mixture and top with a pastry lid, then brush with beaten egg. Press down the edges to seal and sprinkle with salt.
Bake on an oven tray for 20 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden, then serve with a leafy green salad. annabalint.blog.com

Chicken and mushroom pot pies on Flickr.

Ingredients

1 roasted or barbecued chicken, meat shredded
1 cup chopped chives
⅓ cup chopped tarragon
10 Swiss brown mushrooms, quartered
1½ cups (360 g) sour cream
½ cup (125 ml) chicken stock
sea salt and white pepper
2 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed if frozen
1 organic egg, beaten
green salad, to serve
Instructions

You’ll need eight 10 cm ramekins for this recipe.
Preheat fan-forced oven to 200°C.

In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, herbs, mushrooms, sour cream, chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste.

Lay the pastry sheets out on a clean benchtop and cut eight rounds of pastry slightly larger than your ramekins. Fill the ramekins with the chicken mixture and top with a pastry lid, then brush with beaten egg. Press down the edges to seal and sprinkle with salt.

Bake on an oven tray for 20 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden, then serve with a leafy green salad.

annabalint.blog.com

Standing Stones, Galicia on Flickr.Standing stones called menhirs spike the coast of northwestern Spain in Galicia. The 1994 installation by Galician artist Manolo Paz pays tribute to the Celtic people who once inhabited much of Europe, including northern Spain. annabalint.blog.com

Standing Stones, Galicia on Flickr.

Standing stones called menhirs spike the coast of northwestern Spain in Galicia. The 1994 installation by Galician artist Manolo Paz pays tribute to the Celtic people who once inhabited much of Europe, including northern Spain.

annabalint.blog.com

Spekkoek on Flickr.Ingredients
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
    1 tsp ground cardamom
    ¼ tsp ground cloves
    1 tsp ground ginger
    325 g unsalted butter, 250 g chopped, at room temperature, 75 g melted
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
    10 eggs, separated
    255 g (1¾ cups) plain flour, sifted
    icing sugar and vanilla ice-cream, to serve
Instructions
Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 22 cm springform cake pan. Combine spices in a small bowl and set aside. Beat chopped butter, vanilla and half the sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and thick. Add egg yolks in 2 batches, beating to combine, then fold in flour.
In another clean, dry bowl, whisk egg whites to stiff peaks, then gradually add remaining 110 g sugar and beat until glossy. Fold one-third of egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture, then fold in remaining egg whites in 2 batches. Divide between 2 bowls, then add combined spices to one, stirring to combine.
Evenly spread one-sixth (about ½ cup) of spiced cake batter over base of prepared cake pan and bake for 6 minutes or until cooked through. Heat grill to medium-high (the rest of the cake will be cooked under the grill). Brush cake with melted butter, then evenly spread one-sixth (about ½ cup) of the plain batter over cooked spiced layer and cook under the grill for 4 minutes or until cooked through. Repeat, alternating between spiced and plain batters and cooking under the grill, to make 12 layers in total. Cool in pan before removing. Dust with icing sugar and serve with ice-cream annabalint.blog.com

Spekkoek on Flickr.

Ingredients

2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
325 g unsalted butter, 250 g chopped, at room temperature, 75 g melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
10 eggs, separated
255 g (1¾ cups) plain flour, sifted
icing sugar and vanilla ice-cream, to serve

Instructions

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 22 cm springform cake pan. Combine spices in a small bowl and set aside. Beat chopped butter, vanilla and half the sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and thick. Add egg yolks in 2 batches, beating to combine, then fold in flour.

In another clean, dry bowl, whisk egg whites to stiff peaks, then gradually add remaining 110 g sugar and beat until glossy. Fold one-third of egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture, then fold in remaining egg whites in 2 batches. Divide between 2 bowls, then add combined spices to one, stirring to combine.

Evenly spread one-sixth (about ½ cup) of spiced cake batter over base of prepared cake pan and bake for 6 minutes or until cooked through. Heat grill to medium-high (the rest of the cake will be cooked under the grill). Brush cake with melted butter, then evenly spread one-sixth (about ½ cup) of the plain batter over cooked spiced layer and cook under the grill for 4 minutes or until cooked through. Repeat, alternating between spiced and plain batters and cooking under the grill, to make 12 layers in total. Cool in pan before removing. Dust with icing sugar and serve with ice-cream

annabalint.blog.com

Charles Bridge, Prague on Flickr.Charles Bridge, Prague
Morning on the famous Charles Bridge. The only part of the day when there are no tourists, so that you can feel the real spirit of this magic place.Jaroslav Zakravsky annabalint.blog.com

Charles Bridge, Prague on Flickr.

Charles Bridge, Prague

Morning on the famous Charles Bridge. The only part of the day when there are no tourists, so that you can feel the real spirit of this magic place.Jaroslav Zakravsky

annabalint.blog.com

River fish celebration on Flickr.River fish celebration
Far upriver from the Burmese coast of Rakhine State lies Mrauk U, a sleepy tourist destination of villages and Buddhist ruins. On my last night there, the main dish for supper at the guesthouse where I was staying was a whole fish cooked this way. It’s a remarkable expression of the Rakhine palate, with chillies, galangal as well as ginger, and a little bitterness from cooked coriander. You’ll need a pan that is large enough to hold the whole fish (snapper or trout is a good choice), one with a tight-fitting lid to seal the steam in. Serve with rice or boiled new potatoes. Start with a light soup, and serve a mild vegetable dish alongside. Recipe at: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/river-fish-celebration annabalint.blog.com

River fish celebration on Flickr.

River fish celebration

Far upriver from the Burmese coast of Rakhine State lies Mrauk U, a sleepy tourist destination of villages and Buddhist ruins. On my last night there, the main dish for supper at the guesthouse where I was staying was a whole fish cooked this way. It’s a remarkable expression of the Rakhine palate, with chillies, galangal as well as ginger, and a little bitterness from cooked coriander. You’ll need a pan that is large enough to hold the whole fish (snapper or trout is a good choice), one with a tight-fitting lid to seal the steam in. Serve with rice or boiled new potatoes. Start with a light soup, and serve a mild vegetable dish alongside. Recipe at: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/river-fish-celebration

annabalint.blog.com