Look Who’s Cooking at Home

Pam Mady’s Multicultural Flavours
Wake Up The Dining Table

Story by Karen Paton-Evans
Photography by John Liviero

“I’m fairly certain my mom invented fusion dining. Growing up, every special occasion meal included dishes representing Mom’s Armenian heritage, Dad’s Croatian heritage and our beloved Canadian traditions,” says Pam Mady, Manager of Communications & Community Engagement for the The Multicultural Council of Windsor & Essex County.

“My mom would fill the table with a ridiculous amount of food: turkey, bread stuffing, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, cabbage rolls, schnitzel – and always the latest casserole making the rounds with her girlfriends. The combination may have seemed strange to guests, but the variety of flavours became our own family tradition. So, it’s no surprise that I’m happiest when cooking for friends and family.”

Croatian Stuffed Peppers – Punjene Paprika

• ½ kg of ground beef
• ½ kg of ground pork
• 1 egg
• 1 cup of uncooked rice
• 8 to 10 red, green and yellow peppers
• 1 medium chopped onion
• 3 cloves of minced garlic
• 2 tablespoons of paprika • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
• 1 jar of tomato sauce (23.66 ounces)
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 tablespoon of flour
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• 1 cup of water
• Salt and pepper to taste

Wash peppers. Using a knife, cut out the stem and remove the seeds. In a bowl, mix together the meat, egg, uncooked rice, half of the chopped onion, garlic, parsley and 1 tablespoon of paprika. Season with salt and pepper and mix with your hands. Stuff the mixture inside the peppers and place into a large pot.
To create the sauce, heat olive oil, add remaining onion and cook until soft. Add 1 tablespoon of paprika and flour. Mix, then add water, tomato sauce and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
Cover peppers with sauce and bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Croatian Knedle

• 4 to 5 medium-sized peeled potatoes
• 3 tablespoons of butter
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup of flour
• ¼ cup of breadcrumbs
• Jam (strawberry works best,
just don’t tell my aunt I don’t use plums)
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
• Cinnamon for sprinkling

Boil and mash potatoes, then add 1 tablespoon of butter, two eggs, flour and salt. Mix with your hands until a dough forms. Add more flour if dough becomes too sticky. Sprinkle flour on the countertop and roll out the dough to approximately 1” thick. Cut dough into 3” squares. Add jam to the centre of each square and bring up the sides of the dough to form a ball. Carefully drop the knedle balls into a pot of boiling water. Cook 15 minutes. While knedle are boiling, melt remaining butter in a skillet. Add breadcrumbs and brown. Using a slotted spook, remove knedle and roll them in the breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Mom’s Armenian Chickpea Soup

• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• 1 small chopped onion
• 1 tablespoon of paprika
• 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
• 1 tablespoon of flour
• 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
• 1 cup of uncooked shell noodles
• 1 can of drained chickpeas (19 ounces)

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Stir in paprika and flour and then slowly add broth. Bring to a boil and then add noodles, chickpeas and parsley. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

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