Category Archives: Europe

Belgium ❀ Moules Frites

You didn’t seriously think I was done with Belgium, did you?  Yes, baking Jesus-shaped Christmas bread last month was fun and all, but I hardly did it justice in my eggnog-sodden state.  Plus cougnou is more of a regional speciality, and I can hardly claim to have covered this country if most of my Belgian friends haven’t even heard of it.  No.  I live in Brussels and was determined to do right by my adopted country.  Witness, then, the fabled moules-frites (or mosselen-friet, if you’re Flemish-speaking).

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Belarus ❀ Machanka, Draniki and Kvass

I have the unfortunate habit of biting off more than I can chew.  This is true in a literal sense – this week’s meal is rich enough to break all your January diet resolutions.  It left us well and truly stuffed – did you really think we were able to stick to the fairly sedate portions pictured above?

But I also over-committed myself slightly in a more figurative sense, making three different dishes for Belarus.  You can pick and choose between tangy pork and sour cream stew, crisp potato pancakes or the legendary Slavic beverage kvass.  Or you can go the whole hog like I did, and treat yourself to a full Belarusian trio!

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Belgium ❀ Cougnou

This is the cake I baked a few days ago as part two of Christmas baking season on Where the Food Is.  It looked good, tasted equally nice, and has an interesting backstory, but the fates seem to be conspiring against my sharing it with you.

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Austria ❀ Wienerschnitzel and Potato Salad

For the first time on this food blog, a country’s national dish is also a global classic.  You’ll find wienerschnitzel on menus around the world, with varying degrees of success.  Wikipedia lists 41 countries where some sort of breaded cutlet is eaten.  Done well and made fresh, these cutlets are a juicy, crunchy delight.  Done wrong, or left to sit under cafeteria lights for hours, they can be rubbery and taste more like greasy slabs of sawdust.  Austrians get billing as the world’s über-eaters, and -makers, of schnitzel.  The clue’s in the name, after all!  This week, then, was an exercise in learning about schnitzel from the best of them.

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Armenia ❀ Harissa (Chicken Porridge) and Lavash Bread

Armenian harissa

I think I’ve found the perfect cold-weather dish.  Yesterday I saw my own breath for the first time this autumn, and I knew I’d soon be craving the kind of food that makes you want to wrap yourself in it like a blanket.  Armenia, where the temperature gets to -46 degrees celsius in the dead of winter, certainly delivered on that front.  And what it delivered was harissa, a supremely comforting porridge that is simplicity itself.

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Albania ❀ Gjellë Me Arra (Slow-cooked meat with walnut sauce)

Albanian cuisine is another new one for me – cooking methodically like this has already made me realise how limited my usual repertoire is, despite my best intentions.  Someone is always eating something somewhere that you’ve never heard of, or thought to cook.  Today’s dish is gjellë me arra, a dish of slow-cooked meat in walnut sauce.  Continue reading

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