Monday, 23 May 2016

A Feast for Eurovision 2016

Dee - I've had the dreaded Writer's Block recently, which is why this blog entry is only appearing now, nearly a fortnight after Eurovision final night.  With this particular entry, it's quite possible that I just tied myself up in knots during the planning stages.  It wouldn't be the first time I've done that, but anyway, that's what happened.  

This year's Feast for Eurovision is made up of three parts:  There were two semi finals shown in the week leading up to the main event, and we weren't going to miss those so decided to cook themed meals to accompany them.  For these, we looked to a fellow food blogger and Eurovision fan Jason, of Don't Boil the Sauce  Over the past year he had been working on a 'Chow Down to Eurovision' project, which consisted of selected recipes from all of the competing countries.  Jay and me had been enjoying following it and were impressed with some of the recipes, so decided that we would cook our favourite main courses and desserts for each semi final.  

Semi Final One
Jay's Favourite Main Course:  Chicken with 40 Garlic Clove Sauce (France)
Dee's Favourite Dessert:  Rote Grutze (Germany)

Semi Final Two
Dee's Favourite Main Course:  Patates me Avga (Greece)
Jay's Favourite Dessert:  Apple Cake (should have been Rhubarb Cake but we couldn't get any Rhubarb) (Lithuania)

As with last year's Feast for Eurovision, we based our meal for the final on the cuisine of the host nation.  Last year it was Austria (click here for details) and this year it was Sweden.
We wanted to do something other than Meatballs, so looked instead to our recipe books and files, and found enough information to get us started.

For the starters we made Janssen's Temptation, from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's River Cottage Year.  We'd made this simple baked dish of anchovies, onions, potatoes and cream a few times, and served it alongside a few Knackebrod flatbreads, using a recipe from the book most responsible for inspiring me to bake my own bread:  'Bread' by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter.

The main course wasn't created from any published recipes.  We cooked Venision Sausages which were the closest we could get to Reindeer Sausages, and they were accompanied by a Mustard-Dill-Cream sauce, Hasselback Potatoes and a dressed salad.

Dessert was another of my own creations:  Saffron and Cardamom Buns, which we ate with some jam and cream.  We couldn't get Lingonberry Jam so had to use Strawberry.  If I make these buns next time I must remember to use less saffron as it overpowered everything else.

On the whole it was an enjoyable meal, which would have possibly been better with some Swedish craft beer, but we weren't organised enough to seek any out.

We will definitely be returning next year with a menu from the 2017 host nation: Ukraine.

The semis will have a slightly different arrangement, as the format of Jason's Chow Down to Eurovision has changed, so we will instead be putting together menus from the cuisines of the countries of our favourite songs, and they will be Belgium and Bulgaria.

With that, it's over and out for Eurovision 2016, and here's to more great food and entertainment next year. 

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