Saturday, 22 March 2014

A Double Axel Dinner Party: Recipes Inspired By Figure Skaters

I don't know about you, but I'm no stranger to a knife and fork. I'm no size two anymore, and you know why honey? I love to eat delicious food. From sushi to Mexican and everything in between, I'll try anything once... and usually go back for seconds. Just as we need a little more adventure in our figure skating, we always need to be adventurous with our palates. There is already a wonderful cookbook out there with favourite recipes from the world's best skaters called Figure Skaters' Favorites that you can purchase online for only $20 USD but I decided to join in the fun too and compile or adapt some wonderful recipes for the ultimate of all dinner parties: A Double Axel Dinner Party with recipes inspired by some of our favourite (and not so favourite) figures in the skating world. From Dick Mutton to Spicy John Curry, join me in a culinary adventure of "level five" proportions:

But first... the best dinner party speech of life. "And oh my! This soup's delicious, isn't it?"

MARIE-REINE LE GOULASH

A French twist on a Hungarian classic where you get to CHEAT a little! Serves four hungry judges after a cold, toe tapping day in the rink:

600 g beef shin or shoulder, or any tender part of the beef cut into 2x2 cm cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil or lard
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 carrots, diced
1 parsnip, diced
1-2 celery leaves
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 tbs. tomato paste
2 fresh green peppers
2-3 medium potatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon Piment d'Esplette
1 teaspoon ground caraway seed
1 bay leaf
ground black pepper and salt according to taste
water

Start by pouring yourself a White Russian, because it's always important when making Marie-Reine Le Goulash to put the Russians first BEFORE you start cooking. Heat up the oil or lard (or butter if you feel like cheating) in a pot and braise the chopped onions in it until they turn golden brown. Sprinkle the braised onions with Piment d'Esplette while stirring them to prevent the Piment d'Esplette from burning. Add the beef and sauté until they turn a brownish color. Let the meat and onions simmer in the meat's juices and oil and add garlic, caraway seed, salt and ground black pepper and the bay leaf. Pour enough water to cover the contents of the pot and simmer on low for a while. When the meat's half cooked, add carrots, parsnip and potatoes, celery leaf and more salt to taste, as well as 2-3 cups water. When the vegetables and meat are almost finished add tomato and green pepper and let the Marie-Reine Le Goulash continue to cook on low for another few minutes, removing the pot's lid to thicken. Or... you can always cheat and just throw it all in a slow cooker and go out for a walk or go skating, right?

JEREMY RABBIT

A fabulous rabbit stew that's completely underrated and people never give enough credit to! Get on your A game (get it? game?) and try this old German favourite (Hasenfeffer) that will hop in your mouth faster than Jeremy Abbott can hop into the air for a kickin' triple lutz:

2 3/4 cups red wine vinegar
3 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
8 whole cloves
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
5 stalks celery, chopped
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pickling spice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 (2 1/2 pound) rabbit, cleaned and cut into pieces

From allrecipes.ca: "In a large pot, combine the water, white sugar, whole cloves, onion, celery, lemon, cinnamon, ground cloves, salt, pickling spice and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn off and allow to cool. Place the rabbit pieces into the mixture to marinate. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread flour out onto a parchment or aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flour is a light brown color. Remove the rabbit from the marinade and pat dry. Strain the marinade, and discard the solids. Reserve the liquid for later. Heat the oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat the chicken with the toasted flour. Place into the hot oil, and cook until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan, and set aside. If there is oil left in the pan, sprinkle enough of the toasted flour over it to absorb the liquid. In a jar with a lid, mix 1/2 cup of the marinade with 1/4 cup of the remaining toasted flour. Close the lid, and shake vigorously until well blended with no lumps. Heat the pan with the rabbit drippings over low heat. Gradually stir in the marinade mixture, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Return the rabbit pieces to the pan. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, or until the meat is falling off of the bones. You may remove the bones prior to serving if desired."

TRIPLE SAL-COW BURGERS

Delicious beef burgers served with three different salad greens (spinach, kale and chard) in them!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 slice bread ground into crumbs (about 3/4 to 1 cup fresh bread crumbs)
3/4 cup finely chopped greens like spinach, kale, and/or chard
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
slider or hamburger buns
additional greens for topping
sliced tomatoes
condiments

From GoodCheapEats.com: "In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, bread crumbs, greens, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper. Combine well, but do not overmix. Divide mixture into eight sliders or four quarter-pounders and form patties. Patties can be frozen at this point if you want to make them ahead of time. Divide them with layers of waxed paper. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a zip top freezer bag and freeze. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe. Cook in a skillet or over a hot grill until cooked through. Serve with buns and toppings."

ZAYAK RULE CASSEROLE

A delicious layered casserole with nothing repeated more than twice.

3/4 lb. (340 g) extra-lean ground beef
1 onion , chopped
1 green pepper , chopped
2 tsp. chili powder
1-1/4 cups salsa
2 cups frozen corn
3 large whole wheat tortilla s
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
3/4 cup Kraft Tex Mex Light Shredded Cheese , divided

From Kraft Canada: "Heat oven to 375ºF. Brown meat with onions and peppers in large skillet on medium-high heat. Stir in chili powder; cook 1 min. Add salsa and corn; mix well. Simmer on medium-low heat 5 min., stirring occasionally. Spread 1 cup meat sauce onto bottom of 8-inch square baking dish; top with layers of 1 tortilla, 1/2 cup meat sauce, sour cream and 1/4 cup cheese. Cover with 1 tortilla, 1 cup of the remaining meat sauce and 1/4 cup of the remaining cheese; top with remaining tortilla and meat sauce. Cover with foil. Bake 25 min. or until casserole is heated through. Top with remaining cheese; bake, uncovered, 5 min. or until melted."

DICK MUTTON

A first rate mutton! If this doesn't put the fanizzle in your shanizzle, nothing else will.

750 grams mutton, cut into 1 inch pieces on the bone
1/4 cup dry coconut (khopra), grated
1/4 cup scraped coconut
4 tablespoons coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 inch piece ginger
2 green chillies
1/2 fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
4 medium onions, chopped
15 cloves garlic
1 inch piece cinnamon
4-5 cloves
5-6 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
15-20 fresh mint leaves
4-5 cashews
3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon red chili powder
8 tablespoons oil
salt to taste

From Sanjeev Kapoor: "Grind coriander seeds, fennel seeds, ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves, one onion, garlic, dry coconut, fresh coconut, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, caraway seeds, poppy seeds, mint leaves, cashew nuts to a fine paste with sufficient water. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, one tablespoon oil and salt to the mutton pieces and mix well. Set aside in the refrigerator for two hours to marinate. Heat the remaining oil in a pressure cooker. Add the remaining onions and sauté till golden brown. Add the masala and saute till oil separates. Add the marinated mutton and saute for two to three minutes. Add two cups water, cover the cooker and cook under pressure till six whistles are given out. Open the cooker when the pressure reduces completely and serve hot."

SPEEDY OTTAVIOLI

A convenience take on an Italian pasta dish that is all about speed. It's outdated, has been served the same way for far too many years with no signs of ever improving.

Instructions: open a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli, pour it in a bowl, microwave for three minutes, hope you don't have to eat this ever again.

SPICY JOHN CURRY

Fiery and fabulous, this curry will leave you wanting more! Serves 6.0. And for heaven sakes, have the water and wine at the ready. This one's a scorcher!

2 1/4 lbs meat or 2 1/4 lbs poultry, chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
12 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 ounces fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 1/2 tablespoons ghee or 4 1/2 tablespoons oil
21 ounces canned tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato puree
18 dried chilies (birdseye work well) or 18 fresh chili peppers (birdseye work well)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, ground
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, ground
4 1/2 teaspoons chili powder (dried, ground chiles such as cayenne)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala

From Food.com, shared from Pat Chapman's "Curry Club" recipe book: "Fry the meat in a pan in half the ghee or oil, until sealed (5 to 10 minutes). Set aside. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger until golden in remaining ghee or oil. Mix the spices with a little water to make a paste. Add to the onion mixture and cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomato (tinned, ketchup and puree) and chilies. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Combine the meat and all ingredients in a casserole dish and cook in a pre-heated oven at 400 deg F, Gas 6 for 45 to 60 minutes. (Alternatively, add meat back to the pan with the mixture and cook covered on low heat for an hour. At this stage you can also just throw it all into the slow cooker if you prefer."

NORBERT SCHRAMMBLED EGGS

A German take on scrambled eggs (Ruehrei) that works well for breakfast, lunch OR supper!

3 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter

From RecipeThing: "Melt butter in skillet. Mix the rest of the ingredients into a smooth dough, except eggs, which you beat well, and fold into first mixture. Put egg mixture in skillet on high, brown on both sides, cutting and turning while browning."

ANNET POTZSCHED EGGS

You might even say the recipes that came out of the early 80's were eggcellent. See how I did that there?Learn how to poach the perfect egg and serve with Frankfurt Green Sauce (Grüne Soße)!:

Parsley
Chives
Basil
Spinach
Dill
Watercress
1/8 bunch of celery leaves
Spring onion
1 clove minced garlic
2 hard boiled eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
150g Sour cream
100g Creme fraiche or thickened cream
150g Greek yoghurt
Some lemon juice
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Salt & pepper to season

From Monitor Muncher's Blog: "You want roughly equivalent amounts of each herb (I was using celery leaves as a substitute for another herb but I find the taste is quite strong so I’ve used much less than equivalent). The rest of the ingredients are really to your preference. Taste as you go. Finely dice all your herbs & put them in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, fork your hard boiled eggs mashing them up & whisk in olive oil.  Add 80% of the rest of the ingredients (as you will add more to taste) and whisk it in. Mix it into the herbs. Taste it, does it require more sour cream/yogurt/mustard/etc? Then you’re done."

A DRY PAUL MARTINI

Every good dinner party ends with a nightcap! You may have enjoyed one of these before if you watched Canadian TV coverage of skating in the 1990's. A classy classic that will always leave a good taste in your mouth. Don't drink too many though - you'll end up under a hill.

From Tanqueray: "Splash 2-4 dashes of vermouth on ice and strain. Then pour 1.25 oz of Tanqueray® London Dry Gin onto ice. Stir then drain into a glass and deck with an olive."

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2 comments:

  1. our rink made a whole cookbook in the '60's called : Ice'N Easy do you have an email address?

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    Replies
    1. Very cool and absolutely! You can reach me at N_N_23@hotmail.com.

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