Europe, are you ready to party?!
We know that all of you are not going to be in Stockholm for this year’s Eurovision and that many of you will be going to Eurovision Parties. If you’re anything like me you will have been to many Eurovision parties over the years and will have had to bring a dish from your favourite/nominated/designated country. If that’s the case for you this year, then look no further, usually on a Friday (but this is last weeks because I was in Austria, then London, bringing you interviews with this year’s Eurovision hopefuls!) we’ve got you covered with some party recipes from across the continent and because you enjoyed my Christmas wine article, some more drinks choices too…
This week: The Easter Frontier!
We’re out at the furthest reaches of the EBU, of course the contest was held in Baku in 2012 so those who went had the delights of Azeri food for yourselves. Azeri food has some similarity with neighbouring Iran and like a lot of food from this region is a blend of the fresh flavours of southern European cuisine and the spices of the Indian world – enjoy!
2 red pepper
5tbsp olive oil
1/2 red chilli pepper
1 red onion
large bunch fresh basil
large bunch fresh coriander (to taste)
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp of olive oil
Wash and fully dry aubergines and peppers, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and bake at 180C/350F for about 30 minutes until they are soft, after about 15 minutes add the tomatoes. Let them cool and then peel the skins and cut the vegetables into small cubes. Put them in a strainer and squeeze to remove excess of juices and transfer them to a bowl.
Wash, dry and finely chop basil and cilantro. Also finely chop onion, garlic and the chili pepper. Add everything to the roasted vegetables, add vinegar, olive oil. Mix well and transfer to your serving bowl. leave in the fridge for 30 mins before serving.
Although Azerbaijan is made up of around 95% Shia Muslim’s the country is, technically, a secular state and alcohol is allowed. However, apart from a few local beers and wines, not much of it makes it outside of Azerbaijan itself. I suggest an Azeri tea called ‘Darchin Chai’, made of tea, ginger, cinnamon and rosewater – well it’d be something a bit different wouldn’t it!
Baked Trout with Bacon
This is actually a bit of a festive dish in Georgian but I reckon it’d make a nice dish for your Eurovision part too.
4 large trout (or similar fish, whatever you can get!)
12 rashers of bacon
cracked black pepper to taste
Gut, wash and scale the trout (or ask your fishmonger to do this bit for you – life is too short!) lay them in a roasting pan. Score the skin making sure you go just into the flesh and then sprinkle with pepper. Wrap each fish in strips of bacon and roast at 220C/450F for about 5-8 minutes. Serve piping hot with a spoonful of sour cream.
Gerogian wine has a long and rich history – hunt down some super rich, dark ‘Saperavi’ and enjoy!
Traditionally Manti are boiled, but that takes time and attention so here’s a baked style one that you can pop in the oven ready for your Eurovision Party.
150 g minced lamb
1 small onion, coarsely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp dried mint
2 tsp ground chilli
1 tsp white sugar
4 tomatoes, flesh grated, skin discarded
1 Pack short crust pastry
Fry the onions and lamb in a hot skillet with a little olive oil. When it is cooked through add the parsley, mint, chilli, sugar and tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring as you go.
Roll out the pastry to about 2-4mm thick and cut into squares of about 6cm. spoon in some of the lamb mixture and then fold each one in half but leaving the middle bit open. Bake at 180C/350F for about 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Enjoy with a natural yoghurt dip.
Armenia is heavily influenced by its Turkish neighbours and he drink of the day is always Coffee, the Turkish strong variety. There is a small wine industry in Armenia, look out for Zorah Wines which is the nation’s biggest producer, and if you find some let me know where as I want to get some!
That’s it from the Eastern frontier – back on Friday with some Russian style food and drink for you to try out!
Author (and Chef!): Lisa-Jayne Lewis
Source: Eurovision Ireland