What fun it was to attend the Kent County 4-H International Foods event that was held Jan. 15 at Lake Forest High School! This event originated as an opportunity for 4-Hers who might not otherwise be involved in foods projects to show off their cooking skills to other 4-Hers, parents, grandparents and friends. For many years I’ve shared recipes with you from the 4-H Favorite Foods Contests that are held in early March but this is a competition open only to 4-Hers who are enrolled in the various food projects that the 4-H program offers. International Foods entries are not officially judged. An alternate name for this could be the International Foods Covered Dish Luncheon.
Last year just 30 young people signed up for the International Foods event. This year’s event involved 57 cooks, aged 5 through 16, despite the fact that football playoff games were being hyped on television. (I observed that several people were following the scores on their smart phones … ah, the wonders of modern technology.)
After everyone had eaten, the young cooks were invited to step up to the microphone and tell the audience their names, the name of the 4-H Club that they belong to and the name of what they had made.
Elizabeth Pallmann who is a member of the CDCA 4-H Club prepared German Cabbage Soup. She even wore a German folk dress as she stepped up to the microphone to let everyone know what she had prepared. I sampled her soup and I can attest to how good it is. Caraway seeds add flavor to this soup.
Lena Berry who is 12 years old and a member of the Harrington Sunshine Club knew that Jeffery Sullivan, a sophomore at Washington College, had studied in Peru this fall and she asked him to recommend a recipe that was typical of the food he had eaten there. Jeffery recommended Beef Saltado – and I do, too!
Many of us find dessert to be the most exciting part of a meal, and 4-Hers are not any different. Approximately 50% of all the dishes that were prepared and offered for sampling were on the dessert table. It was very, very difficult to decide what to sample. I was intrigued by the name and golden appearance of the Jamaican Coconut Pudding that Logan Rash, 12, from the Midstate 4-H Club brought to the event. This is an easy dessert that you’ll enjoy sharing with your family.
German Cabbage Soup
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 cups water (plus extra if needed)
1 small head of Napa or regular green cabbage
1 pound lean ground turkey, ground beef or ground bison
1 red onion, chopped
6 tablespoons caraway seed (divided usage)
2 or 3 large russet potatoes, chopped small
Page 2 of 2 - Salt and pepper to taste
Combine broth and water in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Chop cabbage and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix meat, eggs, onion and 2 tablespoons caraway seeds together. Roll into small walnut size balls and drop into boiling broth mixture. Add potatoes, cabbage and remaining caraway seeds and bring mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to keep it from boiling over. When the meatballs are cooked through and the cabbage is soft, it is done. Add salt and pepper to taste.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 to 1 1/2 pounds flank steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch strips
Salt and pepper
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Prepared white or brown rice
Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add steak pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir-fry until meat is browned on both sides — about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer steak to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm; set aside. To the drippings in the pan, add onion, tomato and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the onions are soft and the tomatoes start to break down — about 2 to 4 minutes. Return beef to pan; add soy sauce and vinegar and cook for 1 minute more. Serve over rice.
Jamaican Coconut Pudding
1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all ingredients into a blender and whisk until smooth. Pour into a buttered 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 1 hour. Cool before serving.