Czech Republic – The Last C!

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Unusual Fact: There are over 2,000 castles, keeps, and castle ruins in the Czech Republic, one of the highest density in the world (after Belgium and France)

Image DS Lands
Image DS Lands

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Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 5.56.08 am

Can you believe it, we have finished the C’s! Two years down the track and look where we are, 55 countries cooked and goodness knows how many left. Even though the C’s took us almost a year to complete I think that we will be just finishing the F’s this time next year. Finger crossed……

I wish our grass could be this green, Image Travel and Escape
I wish our grass could be this green – Image Travel and Escape

We made three dishes for the Czech Republic. I warn you though, Czech food is not very photogenic. First was a winter vegetable soup. This is packed with vegetables from all colours of the rainbow. Not only is it healthy for you but it also has heaps of flavour. The paprika and oregano add a lovely warmth to this dish. I can imagine it would be perfect to eat while it’s snowing.

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Although the original recipe did not ask for it, we put sour cream on top of our soup. This really helped, the creaminess cut through the sharpness of the tomato, herbs and spices. Overall this is a really warm and inviting soup to have.

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Secondly we made onions stuffed with mushrooms and meat. I couldn’t work out what to do with the onions before simmering them. I think the best way is just to peel off the very outer layers of hard orange skin and to not remove the tops or tails. Some times the onions would split when I tried to take the insides out. In the end I got each layer of onion and cut it in one place. So that instead of it being a cylinder it was a rectangle, I put some stuffing along one side and rolled it up and baked it sideways. They looked the same as the ones that were kept as a whole.

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The stuffing was amazing, full of a garlic-y, mushroom-y flavour. I could eat it straight. After the onion was simmered it lost most of its strong potent flavour and allowed the favour of the stuffing to shine through. If you could get them looking any better these would be a great dish to serve as finger food or as an appetiser.

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Finally, raspberry bubble cake. The Czech name for this cake is bublanina which translates as ‘bubble’. It is called this because of the way the raspberries are dotted around the cake and look like bubbles. I love the way the lemon zest shines through this cake. I don’t really know what else to say about this cake other than it has a lovely light fruity flavour.

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Winter Vegetable Soup

Mum 7

Me 7

Angus 5

Stuffed Onions

Mum 9

Me 7

Raspberry Bubble Cake

Mum 7

Me 7

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Wintry Vegetable Stew  recipe from Healthy Life
Servings: 6
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
2 Stalks Celery, sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, mashed
4 Large Tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 Tablespoons Sweet Paprika
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Medium Butternut Squash
2 Large Parsnips, diced
12 Pearl Onion, peeled
2 Medium Carrots, peeled and diced
2 1/2 Cups Water
1 Can Cranberry Beans or kidney beans
1 Cup Corn
8 Broccoli Flowerets
1 Large Chipotle Pepper, chopped
Cooking Instructions:
In large saucepan, heat oil. Saute celery and garlic for 4 minutes. add tomatoes, chipotle and seasonings. Cook about 8 minutes on low until mixture is thick pulp. Add squash, parsnips, onions, carrots and water. cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender. Stir in beans, corn and broccoli. cook 5 to 10 more minutes.

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Onions Filled with Meat & Mushrooms recipe from Healthy Life
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
4 Large Onions
1/4 Cup Butter
1/2 Pound Mushrooms
1 Pinch Pepper
2 Cloves Garlic
8 Ounces Cooked Beef
1 Egg
Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Margarine
1/4 Cup Beef Stock
1/2 Cup Cheese, grated
Cooking Instructions:
Simmer peeled onions in salt water. When cool, cut off caps and scoop out carefully. Saute the scooped out onions in butter, when clear add sliced mushrooms, pepper, garlic and meat.
When cooled mix with the egg and thicken with bread crumbs in a bowl. Fill the onions with the stuffing, and put in baking pan, add stock pour some stock over onions. Sprinkle with cheese, and bake for 25 minutes.

DSC_0091Raspberry ‘bubble’ cake (bublanina) recipe from SBS

  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 g (¼ cup) sour cream
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour, sifted
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 125 g raspberries, plus extra, to serve
  • icing sugar, to dust

Preheat oven to 180°C. Liberally grease a 1.2 L ovenproof dish.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale. Add egg yolks and beat for 4 minutes or until pale and combined. Add vanilla, sour cream and lemon zest, and beat to combine. Transfer to a large bowl, sift over flour and baking powder, then gently stir to combine.

In the cleaned, dry bowl of the electric mixer, whisk egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold into flour mixture in 3 batches, keeping as much air in egg whites as possible.

Pour batter into baking dish. Combine raspberries with extra 1 tbsp sugar and ½ tsp water in a bowl. Dot batter with raspberries. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, scattered with extra raspberries and dusted with icing sugar.

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