Friday, 20 May 2016

Eurovision Song Contest 2016 - Food & Drink Festival

This post is very behind the times, I apologise.
At this point, I'm mainly writing it for my future self as a reference.
Over the last few years our (that is, Husband's* and mine) celebrations for the Eurovision Song Contest have become increasingly elaborate. We both love cooking and trying new cuisines, plus the weather is just starting to cool down here in Australia, so it's the perfect time for cooking, eating and drinking.

This year, we decided to do something slightly different. Normally we cook several dishes from the host country, but for three out of the past five years, the contest has been held in Scandinavia. We both loved eating Scandinavian food, but felt we were familiar with it enough now, and wanted to try something else. I had the idea of trying dishes from one or more countries that have had the worst luck at Eurovision so far. After some research and a process of elimination, I ended up selecting Bulgaria, San Marino and Switzerland. (I was going to leave out San Marino as they haven't been in the competition very long, but Husband thought their cuisine sounded interesting.)

And of course, there was a lot of drink, both inspired by the selected countries, and just in general.

In Australia, the Contest is broadcast on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights -- perfect for a three-day festival! (Though, as Australia is about 12 hours behind Europe, we have to have a complete media blackout all day Sunday if we don't want any spoilers on who won.)

On Friday night, we had Bulgarian Güveç, a meal cooked in a claypot. I got a little confused and thought the meal had to consist of pork and vegetables, but it turns out that it can have almost anything in it, as long as it's cooked in the claypot. Husband found a recipe with a tomato and mint sauce, and it was delicious. He also made blue cheese dumplings as we had some cheese that needed using up. They went very well with it. We drank mulled wine with almonds and raisins.

Saturday morning we had Swiss rösti with eggs for breakfast, and leftover stew for lunch.

We made rice-stuffed capsicums for dinner, accompanied with crumbed and fried feta cheese (called sirene pane). Both of these dishes are from Bulgaria. For dessert, we had a fruit crumble. We used stewed apricots, which came from our own tree and I froze last Summer. To accompany this, we had orange vodka which I made from this recipe from Kaninchenherz. I didn't take any photos of the procedure as I was too excited, and my hands were covered in juice! But it turned out looking exactly like the pictures in the recipe.

On Sunday, we slowed down a bit with the food and had some cold meats, dips and cheese for brunch, which lasted through until dinner. For dinner, we had Zürcher Geschnetzeltes, a Swiss dish, which consists of veal and mushrooms in a cream sauce. It was accompanied with gnocchi, which some sources say was invented in San Marino. It was our first time making it ourselves. It was a lot of fun and not as hard as I thought it would be. We had orange-infused vodka again with dinner, and leftover apricot crumble for dessert.

Here are some more photos which were taken by Husband:

* I asked Husband about a month ago if he'd like to me to refer to him by a nickname etc on the blog. He said 'Husband' was perfectly fine by him. So there you go.

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