Monday, 9 April 2012

And i'm off again

The boys decided it would be nice to add a little European flavour to the list and settled on Austria.
So adding Austria to the list it was time to roll.....

1. Morocco
2. Egypt
3. Canada
4. Iceland
5. Austria
6. Thailand
 ... drum roll please
And the winner is........................
File:Flag of Austria.svg 
Looking forward to see what tempting delights i can find :-)
Until next time - First bake the strudel then sit down and ponder (Austrian Proverb).

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Cuba... I'll be back :-)

Hot and spicy yet cool and creamy… Cuba you have it all J
Enjoy the ratings and video J

Preparation time: (how long does it really take?)
Papas Rellenas – 15 minutes – getting everything ready for the mince , peeling and chopping the potatoes
Ropa Vieja – 15 minutes tops – the time lies in cutting everything up  

Arroz con Leche – 5 minutes – Doesn’t take any effort to gather the ingredients

Ease to cook: (what does it involve?)

Papas Rellenas – Making mash potato is easy – just a little time consuming. The mince takes around 10 minutes to cook, but well worth the effort J The creation of the final product –rolled mashed potato balls filled with mince (Picadillo) takes around 15 minutes – best to set up a production line to put them together – makes things a lot easier.

Ropa Vieja – Very easy to cook – simply brown the meat and then add everything into the slow cooker. Turn on High and 4 hours later your kitchen will be filled with glorious smells from Cuba.  

Arroz con Leche – Need to set aside some time for this one. You have to cook the rice in the water and then in the milk & sugar. For me it took around 40 minutes total, but you may be more of an expert at cooking rice than me so it may be a lot less for you.

Overall: (i'll use a scale of empty bowls - 5 empty bowls is the best - 1 empty bowl not the best J)

I enjoyed cooking and eating all the meals especially the Papas Rellenas however, once again I thought it would be fun to let the boys have the final say and tell you what they really thought.

Lachlan -

Papas Rellenas – 4 empty bowls, this dish was a combination of spice and savoury put into one. The spice of the mince added a good kick to the dish and it would have been hotter if the potato wasn’t added to dampen the spice a little bit, but overall a good side dish/entrée to have.

Ropa Vieja – 4 empty bowls, this dish was also a nice dish to have. The spice wasn’t as strong and didn’t really impact me.  I would have it again.

Arroz con Leche – 5 empty bowls, this desert was very nice and was exactly what I was expecting it to be like. The rich and creamy texture with the cinnamon spice added was great. You could have this hot or cold, but I would preferably have this cold because it just hit the spot and satisfied me. I would definitely have this again.

Josh -

Papas Rellenas – empty bowls –5 empty bowls. I say this because it was well cooked with a very nice taste. I liked the combination of the spicy mince and the crispy potato.

Ropa Vieja – empty bowls – 4.5 empty bowls. I say this because it had good taste to it. It lacked the spicy heat of the mince. If it had more heat  that would have made it a little bit more tasty

Arroz con Leche – empty bowls – 0.5 empty bowls. My dislike of rice puddings didn’t help. The only bit of it I ate was the cinnamon sprinkled on the top of it. If it was sweeter and the rice was softer and if it was more solid, it could have been more enjoyable.

Just like India I have documented the adventure through a video slideshow – hope you enjoy it as well as the Cuban music.

As for my  next country the boys are deciding the next country to add to the list – Once they have it we’ll roll the dice and see what comes up. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you travel to Cuba real soon J

The Cuban meals are sorted

It's time to taste Cuba and with the help of my Nephews here is what we will be dining on...

For the Main course:

Papas Rellenas


Ropa Vieja

and for Dessert

Arroz Con Leche

Facts About Cuba

The Caribbean harbors a jewel in the Island of Cuba. The tropical Island extends 750 miles (roughly the size of Pennsylvania) and is a beautiful mix of mountain ranges and plains. There are over 200 bays and 289 sun drenched beaches to explore. The main ports are located in the provinces of Cienfuegos, Havana, Manzanillo, Mariel, Matanzas, Nuevitas and Santiago de Cuba.
Cuba has no plants or animals that are lethal to humans (Yes, this includes poisonous snakes!) The mountain ranges include the Sierra Maestra to the East, the Cordillera de los Organos to the West, and the Sierra del Escambray in the central region.

Full country name: Republic of Cuba
Area: 110,860 sq km
Population: 11 million
Capital City: Havana (pop 2,200,000)
People: 60% Spanish descent, 22% mixed-race, 11% African descent, 1% Chinese
Language: Spanish; Castilian
Religion: 47% Catholic, 4% Protestant, 2% Santería (many Catholics also practice Santería.

The Cuban Flag
The Flag of Cuba was designed in 1850 by rebels that wanted independence form Spain. The 3 blue stripes represent the divisions of the Island at the time, while the white stripes represent freedom. The equilateral triangle stands for freedom, equality and brotherhood. The red color represents the bloodstain necessary to achieve independence. The star represents absolute freedom of the people.

The National Flower
Butterfly Jasmine is the official Flower of Cuba. It represents purity, rebelliousness and independence. It flourishes in humidity. It can be found in the wild along river banks and lagoons. It is also a favorite garden flower.

The National Bird
The national Bird of Cuba is the Tocororo , or the Cuban Trogon. The colorful climbing bird's red white and blue plumage matches the colors of the flag.

The National Tree
The National tree of Cuba is the Royal Palm . Again reflective of the Cuban People it is a strong tropical tree, able to survive the storm force winds of hurricanes.