Tag Archives: bell pepper

Kyrgystan…

Friday, September 20 –

Here’s another one that happened about a month ago. But I know that Hot Momma, Baby Bear, and Wingwoman were around to help us devour this dinner.photo 2 (1)

And a photo. Hooray!

Hopefully the chaos will simmer down now and I can get back on track with these dinners. Laos is going to happen tomorrow. Yay!

Kyrgystan
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.kyrgyzchildrensfuture.org)

Kuurdak (Chyz-Byz) – (Stewed Brown Meat)

  • 2 lbs meat (beef, lamb or mutton — traditionally was organ meat) cut into small chunks
  • 4 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or mutton fat)
  • 3 green bell peppers, seeded and julienned
  • 1 cup cabbage, julienned
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups water (approximately)
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste

In large pan, fry the meat in vegetable oil or fat until browned, about 10-15 minutes. Add sliced onion, green peppers cut in circles, cabbage, ground red pepper, black pepper, salt, bay leaves, water, and tomato paste. Simmer in partially covered pan until water absorbed and ingredients are soft, about 30-45 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve hot.

Advertisements

Ivory Coast…

Monday, June 10 –

I knew that this dinner was sneaking up. And I knew that I hadn’t made eggplant in a while, so I decided to go for it. When it got to the day-of, though, it just didn’t sound good. Not only that but boiling it to a paste photo(23)sounded like a terrible idea. (I haven’t ever tried it, however, so I could be wrong.) So instead, since it was just BestestFianceEver and I, I decided to change it up a little bit.

I cut up a quarter of an onion, a quarter of a yellow bell pepper, a quarter of an orange bell pepper, and a quarter of an eggplant. I heated up a little oil in the bottom of a pan, threw the veggies in, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, then dusted them lightly with cumin and turmeric. I let the veggies start to soften and then I pushed them to the side of the pan in a circle, added a little bit more oil to the middle of the pan, and then put the fish on the oil. Once the fish was flaky I put the rice on the plate, the fish next to the rice, and the veggies over the whole thing. BestestFianceEver made us a couple of green salads to go with it (hey, it’s summer and the veggies are perfect, so how could we not have a salad?)

I am really glad that I added just a little bit more flavor to the dish. It was ok, but it definitely could have used more. I picked cod for the fish, which turned out nice and flaky. Not one of my favorite dinners, but not bad!

Ivory Coast
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.celtnet.org.uk)

Poisson Sauce Aubergines (Fish and Eggplant Sauce)

  • 1kg mixed fish fillets
  • 500g aubergines, sliced
  • 300g bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • 100g onions, sliced
  • 250ml oil
  • 400g rice, washed and drained
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Method: Heat the oil in a casserole dish. Add the fish and onions, and fry until well browned all over. At this point add the aubergine and bell pepper slices. Season to taste with salt and black pepper then pour over 2l water. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to low simmer, cover and cook gently for 60 minutes. Remove the fish and set aside to keep warm. Strain the stock and set aside. Mash the vegetables in the casserole and add enough of the reserved stock to make a sauce. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Pour the remaining stock into the casserole, add the rice, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Serve the fish on a bed of the rice and accompany with the aubergine sauce.


Indonesia…

Wednesday, April 11 –

Did I mention that I am not very good at measuring spices and sauces and stuff? This dinner was a prime example of that, in the best way possible. I took the recipes below and made them me-ified. I will try to photo(9)recreate for you what we did. Thank you to WingWoman and LightsOn for hosting and grilling this amazing dinner!

Chicken – I cut two breasts into thin strips so that they cook evenly and quickly (no one likes raw chicken). The marinade was coconut milk (about a tablespoon), water (about 1/8 of a cup), red curry paste (about two tablespoons), and brown sugar (about 1-1/2 tablespoons).

Shrimp – WingWoman thawed them and put them in the marinade. Fortunately they were already shelled and cleaned. The marinade was tamari, honey, sriracha, garlic, and sweet WingWoman love.

Lamb – I used cubed stewing lamb meat. The marinade was Ketjap Mani (Indonesian sweet soy sauce, about half a cup), garlic (two chopped cloves), ginger (grated root, length of about an inch), brown sugar (about a tablespoon), and lemon juice (half a lemon).

Veggies – I used bell pepper, onion, zucchini, and mushrooms. The marinade was tamari (I just poured and stirred the veggies until it looked right), hot chili paste (about three tablespoons), lemon grass (one fresh stalk, chopped), and garlic (three chopped cloves).

Rice – WingWoman put rice, water, coconut milk, red curry paste, and peas in the rice cooker.

Dessert – Fresh mango!

As you can see, it wasn’t very well measured. But goodness, was it good! LightsOn did all of the barbequing and they turned out fabulously. We ate like blog-kings! I think I need this dinner on the menu once a month. Mmmhmm!

Indonesia
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.indochef.com)photo(10)

Indonesian Sate’s

  • 500 gr. of Beef, Pork or Chicken

Marinade:

  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 30 ml Dark Soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Grass
  • 1 teaspoon Hot Chilli paste
  • 1 glass red wine (optional)
  • 30 ml water

Preparation:  Dice the meat in to 2 cm square cubes and put onto bamboo skewers (about 4 per stick). Combine all the marinade ingredients into a food processor and make into a smooth paste. Poor this over the prepared sate’s and leave to marinade for at least 2 hours. Cook the sate’s on the barbecue or under the grill for 5 -10 min. until done and serve with hot Peanut Sauce.

Babi Kecap

  • 500 gr Tender Pork
  • 1 large Onion
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 3 cm fresh Ginger
  • 30 gr dark sugar
  • ½ cup Ketjap Manis
  • 2 cups Water
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 stock cube
  • Pepper & Salt

Preparation:  Finely dice Onion, Garlic and Ginger. Cut Pork into strips. Add Sugar, Pepper and Salt. Fry in small saucepan until Onion is soft and the pork is dark. Add the Ketjap Manis (sweet Indonesian soya sauce) and water, Lemon juice and stock cube and leave to simmer on a low flame for about 30 min.


Honduras…

Saturday, March 16 –

For this dinner we had: BestestFianceEver, Bestie Extraordinaire (wine), Mistress Whiskey (wine), Hot Momma (wine), Mr. Hero (baleadas), BabyBear, GrandpaBear, LittleBigBrother, ChinUp (mango, avocado photosalsa and chips), and MyBuddy (banana milkshakes). Later in the evening we also had LightsOn and WingWoman show up to hang out and drink some wine.

I started by adding oil to a pan and cooking the onion and bell pepper until they were just starting to brown. Then I added the garlic and let that heat up. While the veggies were cooking on the stove I added the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot. Once the veggies were done I added them in, stirred to mix, and let it simmer for a couple of hours. I did not use the sherry and I substituted a seeded habanero for the yellow pepper, which made it really, really spicy. Almost too spicy, really (which is really weird for me to say). After a few hours I blended the soup with an immersion blender and let it continue to simmer until everyone was ready to eat.

The sweet potato I substituted for a yam because I like their flavor better. Steamed, drained, crisped in hot oil, then drained. Put on a bed of baby arugula (which is what I had in the fridge) and feta, then tossed. I added the dressing in on top, made exactly as the recipe says, and gave that a good toss too.

ChinUp and MyBuddy had the salsa and chips out. Mr. Hero made the baleadas with all the toppings (basically tacos on soft corn tortillas), including beef, beans, onion, cheese, sour cream, and avocado. The wine was flowing freely, and dinner was served!

The soup was ok. I think I would have liked it better unblended. It was spicy but not terribly flavorful. Maybe it needed some ham or something to go with it? I’m not sure. The salad was good, the dressing was tangy and delightful. The beleadas were good and a great compliment to the other dishes. And the mango, avocado salsa was a perfect topping to chips and to all the rest of the food. Last we get to the milkshakes. They were good… and then they added rum. Banana rum milkshakes are pretty darn delicious. And dangerous, because you don’t really notice the rum!

Honduras
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://sidewalkmystic.com)

Bahia Black Bean Soup

  • 1 Onion
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 garlic minced garlic cloves
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 15-oz cans black beans, drained
  • 2 C stock
  • 1 1/2 t. oregano
  • 1 yellow chili, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (brave souls leave the seeds)
  • 1 15-oz can whole tomatoes with liquid or 18-oz can sauce
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed for juice (critical)
  • 1/4 c. sherry (I use red wine)
  • fresh cilantro (1 1/2 t. if fresh isn’t available)

Directions:  [The website author says: my adjustments to the recipe include adding a smoked ham hock for flavor.  As well, if you find the soup too heavily favored by the tomatoes, merely back down on the amount of tomato and increase the stock proportionately]. Saute onion; bell pepper and garlic in oil until onion is translucent. Add beans, stock and oregano. Heat thoroughly. Seed and chop yellow and jalapeno chilies and put into blender. Add lime juice and tomato. Puree to finely mince the chilies. Add black bean mixture to blender (in batches) and puree. When everything is pureed, return it to the soup pot. Simmer at least 1.5 hours. Add wine and fresh cilantro to taste.

Garnishes: Rice, grated cheeses, diced onion, salsa, sour cream, plain yogurt, grilled sausages.

Mixed Greens with Sweet Potatoes and Feta Cheese

  • ¾ lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ to ½ inch dice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar (don’t pinch; buy the top shelf stuff)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ t of Dijon mustard
  • ¼ C of buttermilk (you can use regular milk; just let it stand with a T of regular vinegar in it)
  • 8-10 oz of fresh greens (we use spinach and escarole – small slices of red cabbage add to the esthetic appeal)
  • 4 oz fresh feta cheese (I have used blue cheese when I make a fresh blue cheese dressing to accompany the salad)

Directions:  Steam the sweet potato for 5-8 minutes.  Just tender.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Get the steamed potatoes very dry. Heat 2 t of olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add potatoes, shaking pan often for 15 minutes.  Remove when crisp and drain again on paper towels.  Mix together the lime juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt pepper, and remaining olive oil and buttermilk.  Whisk in a blender (start to drool). Place greens and cheese in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing.  Top the salad with the sweet potatoes, serve, and call me.  Serve with tortillas.


Haiti…

Sunday, March 10 –

I’m not entirely sure why I got so lazy with this dinner, maybe because it was just the two of us, but because of my corner-cutting it turned out… well… strong. And salty. Very, very, very, very, very salty. photo(11)

Bestest fiance ever started the bacon cooking (three sliced, chopped into large-ish bits) and when they were mostly crispy I put the onion and a half cup of canned kidney beans in the pan with the bacon and drippings. I let that cook until the onion was starting to soften and then I added the cloves, garlic, pepper, cubes, and salt. Because I used canned beans I only had a little bit of the liquid it comes in, so I decided to top the rest off with vegetable broth. Because I used the bacon fat, I didn’t need the vegetable oil. And because I didn’t read the directions all the way down, I chopped the habanero up and threw that in as well. On top went the rice. I let that come up to a boil, put the lid on, and turned it down to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes. After tasting the resulting rice dish, which honestly had great flavor as long as you don’t mind that your mouth almost imploded with saltiness. Really, I should have known that broth plus bouillon cubes plus bacon plus salt would be too much, I just didn’t think that far ahead. But I will totally keep this on my list to make again, minus the crazy amount of salt that I unknowingly subjected us to.

The salmon, on the other hand, was simple and delicious. I got one 3/4 pound filet, put it in a baking dish and poured on a mix of the lemon juice, wine, and onion dressing (about a quarter cup of each). I sliced some red onion and red bell pepper and put them in the baking dish as well. Put it into the 375* oven and baked it for 20 minutes. It came out flavorful (and not salty at all, which totally saved our dinner) and delicious. The onion dressing was a neat way of cheating to get those flavors together, but I honestly prefer using spices and minced onion instead.

All in all, it was pretty ok. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to use the rice for leftovers, but I will try!

Haiti
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.everythinghaitian.com)

Riz National (Rice and Beans)

  • 2 cups Long Grain Rice
  • 1/2 cup Dried Red Kidney Beans
  • 3 cups Water kidney beans was boiled in
  • 1/4 lb Salt Pork or Bacon
  • 2 Chicken bouillon cubes (Maggi)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 6-8 Whole Cloves
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced White Onion
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Whole Habanero or Scotch Bonnet pepper (optional)
  • 3 cloves     Garlic, peeled and crushed

Instructions: Bring dried beans to boil in 8 cups of water. Cook until tender, but shape remains. Do not overcook. Strain beans and put bean water aside. Sauté salt pork or bacon, spices, and beans in oil, until beans are crispy. Add salt, cloves, and black pepper. Add 3 cups of bean water and heat to boiling. Add rice, bouillon cubes, and hot pepper to boiling liquid. Once water has evaporated, remove whole pepper and mix in 1 Tbsp of butter. Cover pot tightly and continue cooking on low heat ( approx. 20 minutes) until done.

Saumon Grille (Grilled Salmon)

  • 3 Lbs. Fresh Salmon Steaks
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup White Wine
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Vidalia Onion Dressing
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, sliced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Julienne
  • To taste Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Instructions:  Place Salmon Steaks in a large bowl, and pour lemon juice. Clean Salmon thoroughly and rinse in cold water. Place clean Salmon in an oven, proof dish.  Add Wine, Vidalia Onion Dressing, and black pepper. Mix well and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Pour 1/2 of melted butter on Salmon Steaks. Bake in preheated 375 F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn them over and pour remaining butter, bake until golden brown. Add Onion and Red Bell Pepper and mix.


El Salvador…

Wednesday, August 22 –

Slow. Cooked. Pork. Need I say more? Yum.

This dinner we had BestestFianceEver, Bestie Extraordinaire (salad and wine), Hot Momma, Mr. Hero (wine, mead, and tortillas), BabyBear, and LightsOn (wine). It was still nice enough to eat outside, but not so imagehot that it was miserable to cook dinner. Win all around.

I started with pork early in the morning. I put 3.6 pounds of pork shoulder (the only good pork cut I could find at the late-night hour I was out shopping at the night before) into the crock pot and poured on top one can of pureed tomato sauce. Then I sprinkled the salt and pepper and the teaspoon of cumin. Set on 6 hours on low, I left for work and let it simmer all day. When I got home I shredded the pork and left it to simmer on warm.

Next I made the flan, which was something that I had never made before. I made it exactly as it’s written – and ended up baking it for about 1 hour and 25 minutes. I tried testing it with a knife like it says, but custard sticks to a knife anyway, so I switched to the toothpick test and had much better luck.

While that was baking I made the salsa, which simmer on the stove for a while and then I blended it with an immersion blender. I set that aside while I finished the rest. I put the rice in the rice cooker without anything fancy in it. I made the veggie and bean mix in a separate pot and then mixed it altogether in the rice cooker to serve.

We plated the salad and dressing on the side, then piled the pork, rice and beans, and salsa into fresh-made tortillas from the store. The pork was absolutely heavenly. Theimage mix together as a burrito was pretty delicious, and overall the food disappeared quickly. The flan was good, the texture was good, but it wasn’t everyone’s favorite dessert. Apparently flan is “no cheesecake!”

Successful dinner and I’m happy everyone could join us!

 

El Salvador
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.catholicreview.orgsouthamericanfood.about.com, and www.whats4eats.com)

Salvadorian-style Chicharrón – Chicharrón Salvadoreño

  • 3-5 pound pork butt
  • 1-2 cups salsa
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon saltimage
  • Black pepper
  • tortillas to serve

Preparation:  Cut the pork into several large pieces and place the meat in the slow cooker with 1 cup salsa, the cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or 4 hours on high) or until pork is fork tender. Remove pork from slow cooker, reserving liquid, and shred finely with fork or using a food processor (fitted with the plastic blade). Place shredded pork and reserved liquid in a large skillet and saute until liquid evaporates and pork starts to brown slightly. Stir in remaining salsa until desired consistency. For making pupusas, add pork and salsa back to food processor, fitted with metal blade, and process with short pulses until finely ground.

Casamiento

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Directions:  Heat oil in a large pot. Add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté for two to three minutes, until tender. Stir in the drained beans, some of the bean liquid, and salt and pepper. Cook at medium-low until heated through. Add rice and stir until cooked through. Adjust seasoning and add a little more bean liquid if necessary. Serve hot.

Salsa Roja

  •     Olive oil — 3 tablespoons
  •     Onion, chopped — 1/4 cup
  •     Garlic, chopped — 1 clove
  •     Serrano or jalapeño chile pepper, chopped — 1
  •     Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped — 2 cups
  •     Dried oregano — 2 teaspoons
  •     Salt and pepper — to taste
  •     Cilantro (optional), chopped — 1/4 cup

Method:
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium flame. Add the onion, garlic and chile and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Stir in the tomatoes and oregano and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool a bit.
Puree the tomato sauce in a blender until smooth, adding a little water if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir in cilantro if using and serve.

Flan de Leche (Latin caramel custard)

  • Sugar — 1 cup
  • Water — 1/4 cup
  • Eggs, beaten — 4
  • Sweetened, condensed milk — 1 (14-ounce) can
  • Whole milk or water — 2 cups
  • Vanilla — 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar — 1/2 cup

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the 1 cup sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Place over medium heat and boil the sugar, without stirring, until it just starts to turn a honey brown, around 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the caramelized sugar from heat and pour into a 9-inch cake pan or in equal amounts into each of 6 individual ramekins, swirling to coat the bottom. You may not need all the sugar. Place the cake pan or ramekins in a baking pan large enough to hold them without touching.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, condensed milk, whole milk or water, vanilla and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Pour into the cake pan or into each of the ramekins.
  • Fill the baking pan with enough warm water to come about 2/3 of the way up sides of the containers. Place in the oven and cook until a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out clean, anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour. Do not overcook your flan or it may curdle.
  • Remove the custard(s) from the water bath and chill well. Run a knife around the edges of the custard, invert over a serving dish and serve.

Variations

  • Flan de Café (Coffee flan): add 3-4 teaspoons of instant coffee granules to the milk-egg mixture.
  • Flan de Coco (Coconut flan): substitute 2 cups of coconut milk for the sweetened condensed milk. Or simply stir 1/2 cup shredded coconut into the milk and egg mixture.
  • Flan de Piña (Pineapple flan): Makes 4 servings. Caramelize the sugar and pour into containers as above. For the liquid, boil one cup of pineapple juice with 1 cup of sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup. Allow the the juice to cool, then beat in 4 eggs until smooth. Pour into individual ramekins and proceed with the recipe. Popular in Puerto Rico.
  • Pumpkin Flan: increase to 5 eggs and add 1 cup pureed pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
  • The basic ratio for a custard is 1 egg to 1 cup liquid with sugar added to taste. The liquid used in most recipes varies widely and can be heavy cream, half-and-half, whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk or coconut milk. Mixing these liquids in different amounts is also common. Experiment to find the flavor and richness you like best.
  • For a richer, thicker flan, substitute one of the eggs with two egg yolks.
  • In Argentina, flan is often accompanied by dulce de leche.