Tag Archives: bell peppers

Guam…

Sunday, January 20 –

I actually did this dinner a week ago but I forgot to write it up. Sorry about that!

There was three of us for this dinner: YoursTruly, BestestFianceEver, and TroubleWalking. It was a wonderful, quick, filling recipe for a cold, rainy day. And, well, there was cribbage to play, so I wanted to be done photocooking as quickly as possible.

Chicken breasts cut into thin strips, green and red bell peppers cut into thin strips, and an onion also cut into thin strips. See a pattern here? Heat oil, add chicken and garlic, stir and flip to get the chicken cooked through. Add the peppers and onion, mix thoroughly. Make the sauce mix, pour over the top of the chicken and veggies. At this point I strayed from the recipe a little bit and I added crushed red peppers for kick and a little more black pepper. I covered the pan and let it cook for a few minutes (five, maybe?) and the sauce was good and bubbly.

I should say that I started the rice in the rice cooker before I started cooking the chicken. So when the chicken and veggies were done, so was the rice.

Dinner was served in bowls – rice first, then the chicken, veggies, and sauce dumped over the top. It was hot, slightly spicy, simple, and delicious. I highly recommend this dinner if you’re looking for a warm, filling dinner on a cold night. Double yum! If I were to make it again the only thing I would add is fresh ginger. Definitely going on my to-make-again list!

Guam
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.pereda-family.tripod.com)

Pepper Chicken

Start your rice and prepare your chicken, vegetables and sauce before you start cooking. The actual cooking goes quickly.

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic, about 1 tablespoon minced
  • 16 ounces (or so) reduced-sodium chicken (or beef) broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (freshly ground) black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil

1. Cut chicken across the breast in thinnest possible strips.

2. Core and seed bell peppers, and cut them in thin strips. Slice the onion thinly, and mince garlic.

3. In a bowl, combine broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Stir to remove lumps from cornstarch. and set aside.

4. Heat wok or skillet over high heat for one minute. Add oil, let it heat through, then add chicken and garlic.

5. Stir until chicken is opaque (two minutes or so) then add peppers and onions and stir one or two minutes.

6. Stir chicken broth mixture again to distribute cornstarch, and add to pan. Stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil.

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Greenland…

Saturday, January 5 –

Greenland turned out to be a very simple dinner, once I decided to cheat a little and use pre-made pasta. It took three pans to make this dish: one to cook the pasta, the second to cook the shrimp in oil and balsamic vinegar, and the third to saute the bell peppers and the tomatoes. Just as simple as that. Serve with a salad and you are good to go. BestestFianceEver, Hot Momma, and Baby Bear all thought it was a pretty delicious meal. Easy to make, easy to enjoy. Perfect!

Greenlandphoto(11)
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.recipes.wikia.com)

Tagliatelle with Prawns

Ingredients:

  • 400 g (14 oz) prawns

Pasta dough:

  • 200 g (7 oz) flour
  • 2 eggs
  • a little water
  • ½ dl (1.5 fl. oz) oil

Vinaigrette:

  • 1 dl (3 fl. oz) olive oil
  • 1 dl (3 fl. oz) balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Vegetables:

  • ½ red pepper
  • ½ green pepper
  • 400 g (14 oz) tomatoes
  • a little rose pepper
  • a little fresh coriander

Pasta dough:

Put the flour into a bowl, make a hollow in the middle and break the eggs into this hollow.

Add water and a little oil.

Knead the pasta dough and run it through a pasta machine.

Put the pasta aside.

Vinaigrette:

Mix the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Vegetables:

Cut the peppers into small cubes and blanch them.

Blanch the tomatoes, remove the skin and seeds and cut the flesh into cubes.

Chop the coriander.

Boil the tagliatelle in lightly salted water for approx. 5 minutes.

Sauté the prawns in olive oil and balsamic vinegar; let it simmer for approx. 2 minutes.

Serving:

Put the tagliatelle on a plate and mix with pepper, tomato and coriander.

Sprinkle the prawns on top.


Cayman Islands…

Monday, April 2 –

Dinner last night was… well… expensive. And the flavors were… kind of bland. I’m having a hard time writing this one because most of the people who came to join us for this really, really loved it. Let me tell you about it, and then we will see where my tastes would have preferred something a little different.

First, let me say thank you to everyone who came over: Wonderful Boyfriend (AKA MudFlaps), Roommate Extraordinaire, CurlyCue (AKA PoopyHands) Hot Momma, Mr. Hero, MoneyShot, SlotMachine, and GingerNuts. Not in attendance (but got a take-home dinner) was Grandpa Bear and Baby Bear. As you can tell by the AKAs, the nicknames I’m giving people might start evolving. Each dinner there are more terrible funny stories and jokes that drive the names. So by the end of this adventure I will build a chart of the names, who they are attached to, what they have changed to, who they really are, and how they are connected. Should be really entertaining after four and a half years of this! I also want to say thank you to everyone for bringing wine. It was wonderful to have everyone come together, eat, drink, and be ridiculous merry.

On to the dinner – It started on a wild lobster chase, turned into a four-person veggie chopping workshop, and ended with sauce and beet juice all over my kitchen. Epic, right? So Roommate Extraordinaire and CurlyCue chopped, grated, sliced, and diced all of the veggies for this recipe (keep in mind we tripled the amounts to have enough food for all of the dinner guests). GingerNuts washed the stack of dishes I was making as I whipped, folded, and poured my way through the cake and salad recipe.

The cake was extremely easy to make and baked at the same temp that the beets were in the oven. The mascarpone, gelatine, raspberries, and cream made for a beautiful topping that went into the fridge to chill.

Then Roommate Extraordinaire, CurlyCue, and I de-shelled and de-poop-veined the shrimp (hence the PoopyHands name). We were ready to cook! Except we had too much food to cook all on one stove, and so GingerNuts and I cooked the lobster and shrimp with the sauce and also the noodles for the patties upstairs. Roommate Extraordinaire and CurlyCue cooked all of the veggies downstairs. As the sauce was simmering I peeled and diced the beets and got the salad ready. The veggies were done, and food was ready to be served. (Writing this whole adventure didn’t take very long, but it took about three hours for all of this to happen. Eek!) Because we were running so late, I decided not to fry the noodles. I figured that we could pour the sauce on just the same and it would work out alright.

We set the salad stuff out for people to dish up themselves. And then I plated the noodles, veggies, seafood, sauce, and raw veggies on top for everyone. Dinner was served!

The noodles were a little overcooked because we didn’t have enough hands to make all of the different dishes turn out at that large of amounts of food. The sauce was bland and runny – probably because I didn’t have time to let it simmer down and thicken properly. The seafood was a little tough for me. The veggies were good but almost too much for the dish. And the salad was good except I still don’t like beets. This was just my take on it, anyway. Fortunately, most of the people at the table really liked the flavors and ate until they were stuffed.

Now, if I got to do it all over again, here is what I would do. I’d only make these dishes for four people maximum. I would make the cake and salad and set them aside, just like I did this time. Then I would have steamed the shrimp and lobster and set them aside. I would have sauteed the veggies that went with the shrimp and then made the sauce in that pan. Then right when I was ready to serve everything I would gently mix the seafood back in. (Spending that much money just to make tough lobster was pretty much a tragedy.) I also would have actually made the fried noodle cakes instead of leaving them loose. I think it would have changed the texture enough to make me like it more.

The dessert on the other hand was simply incredible. The cake came out the texture of a molten chocolate cake. The mascarpone and cream were light, fluffy, and plate-lickingly good. That was by far my favorite part of this evening.

Things I have learned: Trying to triple a recipe like this made it a disaster (at least to me). Next time a recipe calls for that many steps, just keep it to a very minimum number of people. Also, trying to eat a dish that had a cream base absolutely killed my crohn’s. It was a miserable night for me after having only a mediocre dinner. I’m super glad that most people loved this food more than I did! Also, I learned that it is “mascarpone” not “marscapone” like I have been saying it for years. Good to have the right name for things, even if it takes you years to get it right.

Cayman Islands
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.caymanrestaurants.com)

Aragosta Di Buba

  • 1 1/4 lb lobster tail
  • 1 lb peeled shrimp
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 tsp dry or fresh chopped tarragon
  • 3 oz brandy
  • 3 oz dry vermouth
  • 16 ox heavy cream
  • 2 green onions

Julienne the following vegetables:

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red pepper
  • salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 4 vermicelli cakes (see below)

Cut lobster into bite-sized pieces. Heat olive oil in large pan. Sear lobster and shrimp in pan for 3-5 minutes, add garlic, shallots and sauté. Add ketchup, seasoning, deglaze with brandy, vermouth. Add cream. Reduce. When sauce becomes thick, taste and re-season if necessary. Add julienne of vegetables and chopped green onions. Toss. Serve on a vermicelli cake. – serves 4

Vermicelli Cakes

  • 1/2 lb vermicelli pasta
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/2 white onion, diced and sautéed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook vermicelli and cool slightly. Add the remainder of ingredients and mix thoroughly. Form cakes, using your hand. Let cool. In a hot pan (preferably with a nonstick surface) fry cakes until golden brown. – yields 4 cakes

Goat Cheese, Beets and Arugula Salad

  • Goat Cheese – 1 Lb. [crumbled]
  • Beets – 5 each [roasted or boiled]
  • Arugula – 1 lb
  • Pine nuts – 1 cup [toasted]
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – ½ cup
  • Olive Oil – ½ cup

Method: Wrap the fresh beets in aluminum foil and bake in oven for 1 hour at 350º F. Let cool, peel skin and quarter. (Or Boil in enough salted water to cover for an hour or till cooked.) To make the dressing: Combine apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, add salt and fresh cracked pepper and whisk well. Place beetroots in large bowl, toss with the vinaigrette. To Serve: Arrange the arugula in the centre of the plate. Place the beets on it and sprinkle the goat cheese over it. Spoon the left over dressing over it and garnish with pine nuts.

Chocolate Triangle

  • 4 oz bitter sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 5 oz milk chocolate, chopped
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 oz egg white
  • 3 oz egg yolk
  • 3 1/2 oz granulated sugar

Melt chocolate, butter and vanilla bean (only the inside). Whisk egg yolks and 3 oz sugar and add to the chocolate mixture. Whip egg whites and 1/2 oz sugar and fold under the mixture. Spread into pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350° F.

Mascarpone Cream:

  • 10 oz Mascarpone
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 2 oz whiskey
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 sheets gelatin
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Whisk Mascarpone, sugar, whiskey, and lemon juice together, then add softened gelatin. Whip heavy cream to soft peaks and fold into the mascarpone mixture. Take a triangle mold and lay out this mold with the chocolate cake, fill half with the cream, place raspberries in the center and pout the rest of the cream over. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Take the triangle out of the mold and coat with a chocolate ganache and let it set. Garnish with fresh berries marinated in simple syrup and Grand Marnier.


British Virgin Islands…

Sunday, January 29 –

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm… crab. Yes, please and thank you. (I could probably just say that and this blog post would mostly be written for me!)

Also, finally a form of meat that it’s ok to boil! Whooweee!!

For this country, I found a couple of recipes for crab dishes, but I thought to myself, “Self, you know what’s better than crab mixed in something? Devouring a whole crab!” So it needed to happen – butter covered, shell splattered, crabby goodness.

I also made a dish called Rasta Pasta, which was really good. But that’s not really what anyone wants to hear about after you tell them you’re making crab. So if you’re interested in a wonderful, flavorful side dish, check it out in the recipes.

We had seven of us total, with the newcomer of MoneyShot. MoneyShot is Hot Momma’s brother, and a crab enthusiast just like us. (He got his nickname from this dinner, because he managed to splatter both himself and Mr. Hero with crab juices and shell parts and the jokes went downhill from there. While this might not be PG13 dinner company, we certainly aren’t doing anything more than enjoying our food – a little too much sometimes!) We also had Baby Bear, Amine Chef, Roommate Extraordinaire, and of course my Wonderful Boyfriend.

This dinner took almost all of us to make. With 7 crabs, 3 pots of water, and a whole mess of splatters, we finally got everything cooked, cleaned, and devoured. A big “thank you” to Roommate Extraordinaire, Mr. Hero, and Wonderful Boyfriend for making it happen! Another big “thank you” to Hot Momma, Roommate Extraordinaire, and MoneyShot for bringing all of the wine for this dinner.

With melted butter, lemon juice, napkins, and huge smiles on our faces, we were ready to eat. If you haven’t had a crab feast lately, I highly recommend it!

Things I have learned: Cooking that many huge crabs took many hands. Remember to get help when you need it!

British Virgin Islands
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.caribbeanchoice.com)

Rasta Pasta

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 yellow and/or red peppers, cored, seeded and cut in lengthwise julienne slices
  • 1 pound fettuccini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked drained black beans
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli floweretes (just the top portion of small broccoli)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
  • Parmesan cheese

METHOD / DIRECTIONS: Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté garlic, onions and peppers just until limp. Add drained, cooked black beans. Cook fettuccini in rapidly boiling salted water just until cooked. Drain and toss with olive oil. Combine cooked pasta with pepper mixture, broccoli and seasonings. Sprinkle generously with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This can be served hot or at room temperature as a salad or main dish.


Armenia…

Wednesday, September 14 –

This meal was probably one of the fastest I have made (from this project) yet. I did change the type of fish I used, because I keep almost loving the white fish dishes I’m making, but not quite. So I chose to use cod this time, knowing it was a delicious, flaky white fish that would cook well with most spices. Wonderful Boyfriend de-boned the fish filets again, freeing up my hands for chopping and cooking the sauces. I started with chopping all of the onions and peppers. (I took it down to 1.5 onions in each recipe again, since it worked so well last time the recipes called for 2 onions each.) I put them on to cook in the oil and water respectively. Then I got all of the herbs and spices ready and set aside; then I got started on the chickpea salad. Once the chickpea salad was done, after adding a little bit more lemon, lots more paprika, and some finely diced garlic, it got set aside.

The artichoke dish is my one (slightly) funny story of the night. I got all of the veggies and the tomato sauce ready and bubbly, then I went to look for the two packages of frozen artichokes (I was only doing half the recipe) and I could only find one! Everything came out of my freezer, and sure enough, no more artichokes. So I scooped out half the tomato and veggie sauce and set it aside to turn it into something else this weekend (Italian something, probably). In went the one package of artichokes, and I let it simmer as I finished with the fish.

Next I put in the spices and tomatoes for the fish sauce, letting it cook down a little more. I chose to not blend the veggies because I thought it would be good with the chunky sauce on top. Once I spread the veggies and sauce on top of the fish, the fish almost disappeared. I put it in the oven for about 15 minutes and tested the flakiness, and it was about perfect.

I made rice for Wonderful Boyfriend and Roommate Extraordinaire (I’m on a new diet that doesn’t like rice, so I passed on it this time). And everything went onto the table at the same time and it smelled heavenly.

Roommate Extraordinaire brought the wine again (fair trade, don’t you think?) and we all sat down to eat. The table was almost too quiet as the food was quickly devoured. The guys and I made short work of our plates, looking up at each other as we were scooping up the last bites – we hadn’t even poured second glasses of wine and we were already done! I’d say that would mean that we liked it a whole lot. The better fish definitely helped, and the juices from the sauce made it flake perfectly and melt on my tongue.

Things I have learned: The geography lesson as we sit at the table and consider the map (yes, it is placed on the wall right next to the dining table) is almost as much fun as the cooking lesson. The three of us agree that we haven’t bothered to study geography since middle school, and we are surprised by all of the interesting facts we find while we are googling things like, “Is the Caspian Sea salt water or fresh water, and why?” Brushing up on facts about the rest of the world makes me feel a little more connected with the rest of the planet and a little more aware of places that I read about in the newspaper. I highly recommend spending a little time with a map and realize how much you don’t know about the world – and then start looking up the answers.

Thoughts about wine: We drank Pinot Noir and Malbec this time, and the Pinot Noir was a wonderful choice with dinner. We sipped the Malbec after dinner as we sat around talking, and it was a much thicker, richer flavor, so I’m glad we waited to drink that bottle so it didn’t overpower the flavor of the fish.

Armenia
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.thearmeniankitchen.com and www.armeniapedia.org)

Baked fish (Epvatz Tsoug)

  • 2 lbs. Haddock fish (or your choice)
  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil (or subst.)
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 qt. canned or fresh tomatoes

Wash fish and lightly salt and pepper. Lay out in baking pan. (preferably Corning Ware roaster) Put aside for a few minutes until you cook your sauce.

Put oil in saucepan. Sauté garlic, onions, peppers until transparent. Add crushed tomatoes. (Blend if you have a blender). Salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon juice, curry powder and cook for about 10 minutes. Add parsley, cook another minute and pour over washed fish. Bake at 350o until the fish draws most of the sauce. Serve with rice pilaf. Serves 4

Artichokes (Enguinar)

  • 4 pkgs. artichokes, frozen
  • 2 lge. onions, sliced very thin
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 1 lge. can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt, pepper to taste

Cook onions in water until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except artichokes. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add artichokes and cook until tender. This may be served as an appetizer. Serves 6-8

Armenian Chickpea Salad

  • 1 16-oz. can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzos)
  • three green onions, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 medium lemon
  • 1/2 bunch chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika

Directions: Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Add parsley and onions. Add paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Add the oil. Toss and serve chilled. Add fresh chopped garlic for a bit more bite!