Thursday, 16 October 2014

Champion Chicken: The Coop du Monde Battle!

The competition is over and there is a winner! Sharon's Coop du Monde won, although it was very close. So close that we couldn't decide on the day of the competition, so we slept on it and in the morning I claimed victory over Kim.

The video shows the different preparations and talks about the different influences from each nation on the dish.

Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras Together Make a Winning Recipe
You can hear and see both of our processes and influences in the video, but here's the description of mine.
The chicken was browned in coconut oil in a large oven-proof dish; wine and chicken stock (in equal amounts :-)) was added until it covered the chicken. This step brought in influences from two of the countries, Honduras, known for its use of coconuts and France, known for its tradition of cooking chickens in pots (and wine!).

Although the Coop du Monde book includes a stuffing step, I didn't make any for this dish.

I also chose not to add the potatoes to the pot. I used a traditional Ecuadorian recipe for potato pancakes called llapingacho (which you'll hear me mispronounce many times in the video) and stuffed them with Swiss cheese.

Once the chicken was cooked, I took it out of the pot for carving and made a sauce with the juices by adding coconut milk.

I plated the chicken with the llapingacho on the bottom, a chicken breast on the top and spooned over the coconut milk sauce. The dish was garnished in the style of a fanesca, a traditional soup made to celebrate Easter in Ecuador with leftover hearts of palm from Kim's dish, some peanuts and boiled eggs.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Is it Cool to be a Polyglot?

Do you speak five languages? If not, you're falling behind the pace of a growing number of expat student, according to a recent InterNations study.

Many people would think of fluency in two languages as being ahead of the curve, but the growing number of polygots are focusing on developing language skills for many reasons.
Parents are recognising that language skills are more important for their children's future. Language skills may be seen as a way to gain entry into the new global economy and, as most people believe it's a lot easier to learn a language as a kid than to go through the arduous task of learning it as an adult, parents are making this choice for their children.

It's also conceivable that the current global economy is contributing to this surge in the number of languages spoken by students. Youth unemployment is at unprecedented levels in many countries.

The inability to find a job could sharply boost the size of the population who identify themselves as (expat) students. Rather than wait for a job they are overqualified for to open up at home, many would rather return to school to boost their credentials with foreign language skills.

Other types of expats wouldn’t find language skills to be as pressing as they are assured employment for the length of the assignment (with or without fluency in the local language).

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