Andorra is probably best known for its ski resorts. Grandvalira is the largest ski area in the Pyrenees, with 210 km of ski slopes. It was founded in 2003 when two of the oldest ski resorts Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig and Soldeu-El Tarter joined together. This year it is hosting the Freeride Junior World Championship, the Speed Skiing World Cup trials and the seventh annual Skiers Cup.
The largest country in the world, at 17,075,200 sq.km, almost double the 2nd largest country, Canada. It has 11 time zones, the worlds largest forest (The Taiga) and the deepest lake (Lake Baikal). The longest train journey on earth is the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to Vladivostok is 9,289k, takes 7 days with 58 stops. A one way ticket 3rd class costs £202, 2nd class £346 and 1st class £694. People have been taking this journey since 1916. One of Russia’s most urgent problems is its grave population decline, in response they have created incentives including cash rewards for families to have more children. It has the largest McDonalds in the world with 700 seats. Moscow has more billionaire residents than any other city in the world. There are a total of 74 billionaires living in the popular city. Moscow’s amazing metro system is the fastest means of transport. During rush hour, trains are scheduled for every 90 seconds. It is estimated that over 9 million passengers ride the Meto every day. The Metro of St. Petersburg is also the deepest subway in the world, clocking in at a whopping 100m deep. Home to the Bolshoi Ballet, an internationally renowned classical ballet company, based at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia. Founded in 1776, it is among the world’s oldest ballet companies. Vodka is worth over $12 billion in global sales annually and there are hundreds of different Russian brands. Stolichnaya is the 4th best selling vodka in the world, with the French ‘Grey goose’ being no.1.
Heat oil and butter in a heavy skillet and cook onions and mushrooms over medium-low heat for 7-10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Add cut steak to the same skillet and quickly fry over high heat for 3-5 minutes.
Serve quickly whilst its hot with mounds of mashed potatoes or rice.
T’bilisi, the capital of Georgia, has been home to human territory since 4th millennium BC. Georgia is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world, with climatic zones ranging from subtropical to high alpine to semi-desert. Georgia has the world’s deepest cave – Voronya Cave and it’s highest mountain is Mount Shkhara with an altitude of 5,201 meters (17,059 feet).
The first time of sharing (inflicting one could say) my cooking challenge with anyone other than my generally thankful husband!! … Mum and Dad joined us this evening.
Haiti makes up one third of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, with the Dominican Republic making up the other two-thirds.
Native Haitians were pre-Columbian Amerindians called Taíno, “the good people.” The Taíno named their land “Ayiti,” meaning “Land of Mountains”—a term that evolved into “Haiti”
In the jungles of Haiti, one can find certain species that do not live naturally on any other part of the globe; some bat species native to Haiti include the Greater Bulldog bat, the Sooty Mustached bat and Waterhouse’s leaf-nosed bat.
There are some quite harsh facts associated with this Caribbean country:
– It has been ranked as one of the five most corrupt countries
– Because of both violence and AIDS, it has the highest percentage of orphans of any country in the Western Hemisphere. Before the 2010 earthquake, the United Nations estimated there were 430,000 orphans
– From 1804-1915, more than 70 dictators ruled Haiti
– It is estimated between 200,000 – 300,000 Haitians died and 1.5 million were left homeless in the devastating earthquake in January 2010.
– c.1% of Haiti’s population owns more than 50% of the nation’s wealth.
These were some of the recipes I found in my research; Diri kole ak pwa (rice and beans), Kribich nan sòs (Haitian Shrimp), Legim (thick vegetable stew), but as I knew I was entertaining, I chose the more popular Griyo or Griot (fried pork). I found several recipes, all varied quite significantly in both method & ingredients. This is how I made it:
Ingredients for 4 people
6 pork shoulder steaks, cut into 1” square chunks
1 large onion, sliced thinly
4 spring onions, sliced thinly
1 jalapeno chilli pepper, seeds removed and sliced thinly
1.5 tsp of thyme leaves
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1 orange
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
Put the pork with all of the ingredients except the water and oil in a bowl, mix well, cover and refreigerate overnight
Take the pork out of the fridge an hour before you want to start cooking
Drain any liquid and reserve it. Place the pork, onions & water in an oven proof covered dish
Preheat the oven to 190
Cook the pork for 1.5 hours.
Using a large colander, drain the liquid into a medium saucepan, reserving the pork & onion in the colander.
Put the oil in the same oven dish and place into the oven for 5 mins
Place the pork into the hot oil and cook for 25 mins
Meanwhile heat the remaining liquid in the saucepan with ½ cup of orange juice and reduce by half to make the sauce
When the pork is cooked, remove from the oven and pour the reduced sauce over the pork and serve with cooked boiled rice.
I have 2 distinct food memories from my first trip to Cyprus. The first was of Crêpe Suzette – not a Cypriot dish obviously, but it seemed to be the chosen dessert in the restaurants of Ayia Napa in 1990! I’ve loved it ever since. The second was a little more authentic, a simple barbecued chicken in a restaurant with no menu, in the heart of the Troodos mountains – it had such an amazing flavour.