Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Technical hitches, wardrobe malfunctions and thank you

No good contest can escape without a technical hitch and I have discovered that the Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 is no exception. Some of the clips of the contest have not been appearing on mobile devices of late, like all the best technical hitches it worked and then it just didn't. Like Spain's Azucar Moreno in 1990 when the music for Bandido didn't play and then started in the wrong place so they walked off before the band realised the music was playing so mimed along, there are solutions. I have included a link to the clip on the performer's name so that should help if the clips don't appear where they should.

Thankfully there has been no staged wardrobe malfunction like in Sweden in 1985, well not in the Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 anyway, there was a job interview where as I left my pants fell off! I got the job and for a much larger salary than was on offer, some how I must have given the impression I have the goods! (my version of the story and my therapist and I are sticking to it)


I also wanted to say thank you to all the readers that keep coming back and from so many places around the world. Don't be afraid to say HI, I'd love to hear from you and even get suggestions for next year's Chow Down to Eurovision.
I am really grateful for all the positive feedback I have received about my blog. It just goes to prove "Saucers" (fans of don't boil the sauce) are the best most brilliantest peeps in the world!
Some very kind Saucers have even voted for dontboilthesauce in the Australian Best Blogs 2013, voting ends today so if you haven't already voted (Hint!Hint!)

Thank you all again so much, oh and don't worry I have now bought a pair of braces! It's panties on all the way!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 - Bulgaria

The 23rd country we visit on this Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 is Bulgaria. I'm sure I've already mentioned that I watch Eurovision live which means a 5am kick off in Australia. Breakfast is a pretty high priority on these mornings as it needs to be super quick and substantial enough to get me through the rest of the day, exhausted from the stress of the results while still buzzing from the excitement of the whole spectacle.

Thankfully these days I am smart enough to pre book annual leave for these days so I can either "chillax" for the day or re watch the contest over and over again. (you know which one I do)
In the past the breakfast of choice was a weird scrambled bacon and egg omelette, that involved chucking bacon, eggs, spring onions, chilli, and parmesan in the food processor to wiz it up. Then I would half scramble half omelette the mixture as I made sure the internet stream was prepped. A pile of buttered ciabatta, a quadruple espresso, my blankie and I am ready to hear Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Te Deum play.

Tradition or bouncy I have come to accept the newer version.
Keeping an eye out for new breakfast ideas I came across today's offering from Bulgaria Panagyurski Eggs. This dish has a nice kick with the garlic and paprika, but gentle texture with the yogurt so I think it will find a place along side my ciabatta, espresso and blankie on Eurovision mornings.   
Bulgaria always brings something special to Eurovision but whether it be the throat singing, stilt walking dancers or the electro scratching, break dancing and salon girl of 2008 they have only reached the final once.

My all time favourite Bulgarian entry is from 2009 Krassimir Avramov with Illusion, there is nothing this act doesn't have, a counter tenor, costumes from a revival of Pippin and Robin Hood, an ensemble competing to see who can hit the highest note, spinning a girl by the end of her stilts and is that a cameo from Eleanor LaGore?
Gina Riley as Eleanor LaGore from Big Girls Blouse

It is Eurovision at it's finest and you may find yourself humming the song.

Panagyurski Eggs
  • 500ml Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • A splash of vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • Strain the yogurt in a sieve over a bowl in the fridge for about 1 hour (this is not necessary if using a thick yogurt)
  • Combine garlic with yogurt and season to taste
  • Spread mixture over a serving plate
  • In a medium saucepan of water, add the splash of vinegar and bring to the boil
  • Poach the eggs to the yolk firmness you prefer
  • Drain the eggs in a colander
  • While eggs are cooking heat the oil in a small saucepan
  • Add the paprika, remove from heat
  • Place the eggs on the serving plate
  • Pour over the oil and serve
  • The oil takes no time at all when it's hot to burn the paprika so be mindful to take it off the heat.

This year Bulgaria will again send Elitsa Todorova, their only finalist and Stoyan Yankulov with Samo Shampioni (Only Champions), will there be stilts and drums?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 - Malta

Yes hello, this is Valetta calling, we are in beautiful Malta. If Eurovision does nothing for you it should at least help you learn European capital cities. You may remember the little tiny fish that feasted my feet in Amsterdam, well as they say revenge is a dish that is best served fried. This dish was really tough to make because let us be honest here, how can anything fried be bad. I hope that the frying advantage can give Malta a winning chance as they usually send such good entries to Eurovision but are always pipped at the post.
Chiara or as she is known in this house "Miss Malta" is the queen of the Maltese "nothing but quality" ballad and placed 3rd in 1998 to Dana International of Israel in 1st and Imaani of the United Kingdom in 2nd place.
Miss Malta came 2nd in 2005 behind the gyrating bare chested Greeks, so being someone that likes patterns (not to a medically alarming level) I advise Malta to send her again so that they can score their first win.
This recipe is really addictively moreish but make sure you don't eat the whole 1kg of whitebait between AB and yourself for dinner as you could end up feeling a little poorly, I would imagine, OK, OK so I did it!

Makku - Whitebait
  • 1kg whitebait
  • 4 eggs
  • 4-5 tbsp. plain flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 minced garlic clove (optional)
  • Oil for frying
  • 1-2 lemons
  • Rinse whitebait in a colander under running cold water
  • Leave the whitebait whole, head and guts intact, yum!
  • In a mixing bowl add the eggs, flour and beat to a lump free batter but not too runny
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add the garlic and parsley to the batter (or leave out garlic and sprinkle parsley over at the end as pictured)
  • In a large pot heat the oil on high
  • In batches dip the whitebait in the batter and then fry till golden brown
  • Reduce the heat of the oil if the whitebait are browning too quickly
  • Drain in a metal colander over a bowl to maintain the crispness
  • Place on a serving plate and season
  • Sprinkle with parsley and add some lemon.
Will Gianluca be able to do one better than Chiara and secures Malta's first win with Tomorrow?
Xorti tajba!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 - Finland

Finland the winners of the 2006 Eurovision song contest is our destination for today. While researching Finish dishes one dish I kept running into was creamed rice pudding. I'll be honest, I hate creamed rice it's vile baby vomit like stuff,was that too honest? I don't understand why I hate it so much as I adore risotto, but then again I can't stand congee, so maybe I have a mushy rice threshold and there is only so far I can go. Considering I tackled a pig head in this Chow Down I thought I should be brave even to come to turns with my mushy rice phobia.
Riisiunnpuuro is an oven baked rice pudding and after extensive trials, I realise it's something I will have to live with for the rest of my life but I just don't love creamy rice.
One thing I do love from Finland is their variety of Eurovision acts. One comfort I have to get me through my riso issue is knowing I was in the arena the night that the monsters from Lordi won Eurovision. Ok so it was third row from the back, but I'll discuss that in detail when we are in Greece, but thanks Labrina ya biatch! I'd like to say you can see AB and I in the crowd but I don't think they had telescopic lenses.

Today it is all about the Pump-Pump from 1976 from Fredi & Friends, this is pure Eurovision gold. If ever I write Douze Points the musical I want to play Fredi.

Rice Pudding
  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1lt milk
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Add all ingredients to a baking dish
  • Bake in a 180°C oven from 75-90 minutes
  • Stir a couple of times while cooking and cover with foil if you feel the top is browning too much
  • Top with walnuts and serve with ice cream and drowned in honey
  • Serving it in a dome is optional, just use a small oiled bowl as a mould
  • Please enjoy even though it's not my thing, people seem to like it...weird!

Krista Siegfrids will treat Malmö to Marry Me.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 - Azerbaijan

Today we're with another of our newest member to the Eurovision family, Azerbaijan. Just like San Marino they have only been participating in the contest since 2008 but managed to pull off a win with their 4th attempt.
The Zebra Cake is an edible representation of Azerbaijan's first entry, the competing mix of vanilla and chocolate that come together to create a perfect experience joyfully in your mouth......I'm talking about the cake!!
I had a few attempts to perfect the version I liked the most, the decision was a more defined pattern versus a lighter more moist cake or was it really I just because I wanted to keep eating it?

Azerbaijan's first entry started with a bang, heavenly counter tenor versus the devilish rock god, backed up by the beauty school drop outs chorus and an extras from Girls Gone Wild the interpretive dance spectacular.
A warning some of the notes in this song may be disturbing to small animals and ears.

Zebra Cake
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder sifted
  • Icing sugar to dust
  • In a mixing bowl add the eggs and sugar
  • Beat with an electric beater till fluffy, paler and thicker about 2 minutes
  • Add the milk, oil, vanilla, flour, and baking powder.
  • Beat till smooth, don't over beat
  • Pour half the mixture into a separate mixing bowl
  • Add the cocoa to one of the bowls and mix through
  • Grease a 23cm round cake tin
  • Into the centre of the tin add a dollop of vanilla
  • To the centre of the vanilla add a dollop of chocolate
  • Alternate till both mixtures are used
  • It works better if you do it quickly, don't spread around the mixture it will do it independently
  • Don't worry if its not perfect, zebras aren't all the same, or made of chocolate for that matter.
  • Bake in a 170°C oven for about 50 minutes
  • The cake will be cooked when a skewer comes out clean
  • Cool the cake in the tin ad then place onto a serving plate
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve

 This is an earlier version I made it was very moist but the pattern wasn't defined, if you prefer this way omit 1/2 cup of self raising flour.

Hold Me will be performed by Farid Mammadov, even though he hasn't specified when to hold me will he share some Johnny Logan magic?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 - F.Y.R. Macedonia

Hello this is  Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia calling. For the country with the longest name in the contest we have one of the shortest posts and easiest dishes of the Chow Down to Eurovision 2013.

I first discovered halva while watching Greek Come Dine With Me and then had some tutoring from a Macedonian colleague, she'd advise too pale, too dry, but I think I got it right in the end.
My all time favourite F.Y.R.M entry is 2002 Karolina singing Od Nas Zavisi musically this song is so interesting and I love the complex backing vocals, but really if you can rip off a ball gown to reveal gold chest armour you're OK in my book.

I've also added a special mention for another F.Y.R.M act I love for their theatricality, Toše Proeski with Life from 2004 who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2007.

Halva with walnuts
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 orange zest and juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sunflower oil (or vegetable)
  • 3 1/4 cups coarse semolina
  • 200g walnuts chopped coarsely
Optional topping
  • 500g Greek yogurt
  • 1 pear pealed and chopped
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Honey to drizzle

  • In a large saucepan add the water, sugar, honey, orange zest and juice, cinnamon and cloves.
  • Gently simmer and stir to dissolve sugar and infuse flavours for about 20 minutes the strain.
  • In a large boiler add the oils and semolina and mix
  • Toast over a high heat to darken the semolina, it should turn a nut brown colour
  • Take semolina off the heat and add the walnuts and mix through
  • Carefully add the syrup, this will be very dramatic and may spit so caution is advised
  • Mix to absorb the liquid
  • Spoon halva into an oiled Bundt tin, again carefully as it is super hot
  • Let cool in the fridge for a few hours
  • Remove from Bundt onto a serving plate
  • Rather than filling the hole with a pot plant (you've all seen the movie...it's a cake) I combined the pear and yogurt then topped with pomegranate seeds and honey but this is optional

Gotta love an oozing reveal!

It also make a delicious breakfast while writing and if you cover up the halva you can try and claim you are just having healthy yogurt, it's worth a shot.
Will F.Y.R.M give us some drama again this year as Esma & Lozano sing Pred Da Se Razdeni?
Cо среќа!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 - San Marino

Let us shimmy all the way to San Marino one of our newest members of the Eurovision family. The only positive thing I can think of about not living in a Eurovision nation is come May the weather is perfect for Eurovision lounging and comfort food comas. As you may know I hate the heat so there is nothing better than watching Eurovision with a blanket (better known as blankie) tucked up on the lounge with AB and a big bowl of heart warming comfort food. While I love soup sometimes you just need a dish with more chunky, hearty richness and San Marino's pork and beans scores a massive douze points from me.
This will be San Marino's fourth time in the contest and they are yet to reach the finals. I think their first entry was the best so far but it placed the worst so what would I know?!?!

Miodio with Complice in 2008

This recipe was inspired by a recipe for pork rind and beans.

Pork and Beans
  • 200g of dried barlotti beans
  • 6 pork rashers
  • 2 onions quartered
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp. lard
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery chopped
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • Soak beans over night in cold water
  • Cook the beans in fresh salted water for about 1 hour till tender (use double the amount of canned beans to skip this step)
  • In a large pot of cold water bring the pork rashers, quartered onion and garlic to the boil
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 1-1.5 hours till rashers are tender
  • Slice rashers into 2 cm pieces
  • Melt the lard with the oil in a large pot on high heat
  • Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, garlic and coat with lard/oil
  • Reduce heat and add the drained beans and rashers
  • Add the stock and tomatoes and simmer for about 30 mins till tender and reduced slightly.
  • Season to taste
  • Garnish with parsley and a splash of olive oil
  • Hot buttery ciabatta would make the perfect mate for this dish

Valentina Monetta placed the highest of all San Marino past contests with the Social Network song in 2011, so they are packing her off to Malmö to try her luck again this year. Can her song Crisalide (Vola) place San Marino even higher this year?
 Buona fortuna!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 - Latvia

Welcome to Latvia and the start of the second semi final in the Chow Down to Eurovision 2013. Since Latvia hosted the contest in 2003 and an appropriate menu item was needed to celebrate I have loved Latvian liverwurst, that smooth creamy meat paste on a warm buttered English muffin..........oh sorry where was I?

The natural choice to represent Latvia this year in the Chow Down was Liverwurst and I was so looking forward to making it until disaster struck! If you follow me on twitter* you'll know my oven has broken! I opened the door and heard a hell of a crack and now the oven door wont stay closed. The poor old thing I suspect is older than I am so she had a good innings but I say it will be a little while before she is replaced for with younger shiner model. Thankfully I had completed the baking for most of this Chow Down so not too many countries have been affected.

Latvia and my liverwurst will have to wait unfortunately but it has been replaced with a much better option health wise anyway.
*If you're not following me on Twitter why aren't you?? @dbtsauce

Our past Eurovision hit is an homage to my broken oven, I'd ask why my oven breaks in the middle of the Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 but only Mr God knows why! I could have asked if there are a lot of out of tune notes in this one but I know the answer to that, enjoy.

Latvian Cucumber Salad
  • 2 large cucumber
  • 1 small red onion
  • 100ml sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. chopped dill plus extra
  • juice of a small lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • Slice the cucumbers and onion finely (I used the food processer)
  • In a large bowl mix the sour cream, dill, lemon juice
  • Add the cucumbers and onions
  • Mix to combine and season to taste
  • Sprinkle with extra dill to garnish 

Fittingly Here we go by PeR is a first taste of semi final 2, will we see them again in the final?
lai jums veicas!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 - Requested Recap

I've received feedback from some saucers that they would like a recap of all the countries from this semi final to assist them with voting.
Ask and ye shall receive....as they say.
I hope this helps and just a reminder that voting for this semi final will close 22/4/13.
Other feedback is saucers have experienced difficulty voting from mobile devices, to solve this issue select web version at the bottom of the page.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist your viewing pleasure, always happy to help if possible. xx