Tag Archives: carrots

Korea…

Friday, August 23 – photo 1

Sooooooooooooooo much good food. This, I’m pretty sure, was one of the best blog dinners ever. My mouth still waters thinking about it, and it happened two weeks ago!

I made Bibim Bap, using the marinade recipe below instead of bottled sauce. I also purchased cabbage kimchi, seaweed salad, and pickled ginger to go on the side. Sir VJ and RubsWithLove made short ribs, pork belly, mushrooms, stuff for lettuce wraps, and a bean sprout salad. They also purchased cucumber kimchi. Sir VJ had a table-top grill that he set up outside on the picnic table and grilled the ribs, pork belly, and mushrooms right in front of us. It was amazing times a million.

I made the marinade and put it into a ziplock bag (I don’t have a juicer, so for the pear I just put it into a food processor and then strained the juice). Then I cut the beef (which was actually a sirloin cut) into thin strips and put them into the marinade. I put that in the fridge while I prepped the veggies and the hot sauce. I cut and sliced and prepped all of the veggies into their own bowls and set them aside. Then I made the hot sauce into a bowl and set that aside. I made the executive decision to use just one pot of boiling water to cook all of the veggies, even though it says not to. How bad could it be? Turns out, it wasn’t bad at all – it worked just fine. I started with the carrots, then the zucchini, then the mushrooms, then the sprouts, and last was the spinach. Once all of the veggies were done, I put the beef and marinade into a hot pan and cooked until *just* done enough. While I was doing that, WingWoman cooked us some fried eggs, leaving the yolk as runny as possible. photo 2

Into the bowl went rice, then some of each of the cooked veggies, then little bits of ripped up seaweed sheets, then sesame seeds, then the meat, then the egg, and then I dumped the cooked sauce over the top of all of the bowls.

We dug into the Bibim Bap (read: devoured) and there was much “mmmmmmmmmmm”ing going on. With the short ribs, pork belly, mushrooms, garlic, and sides, there was so much food I didn’t want to get up from the table. Absolutely epic dinner. Thank you to all of my Korea dinner friends, it was a night I’m going to remember and drool over for a very long time!

Korea
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: http://recipes.wikia.com and http://koreanfood.about.com)

Bibim Bap

Beef

  • 4 slice bulgogi beef – (⅛ lb)
  • 2 tbsp bottled bulgogi marinade
  • 1 tsp oil

Vegetables

  • 4 x fresh shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp bottled bulgogi marinade
  • 2 x carrots
  • 4 cup spinach
  • 1½ cup soybean sprouts
  • 1 large zucchini

Rice

  • 2 cups short-grain rice

Sauce

  • ¼ cup red pepper paste (kochujang)
  • ½ tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced

Assembly

  • ½ cup bottled kimchi cut thin strips
  • 1½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • ½ sht nori seaweed – (8″ square) sliced into fine, thin strips
  • 1 fried egg

Directions:

Beef:    Place the beef in a bowl, add the bulgogi marinade, cover and refrigerate, 1 hour.    Remove the beef from the marinade and cut into ½-inch slices.    Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.    Add the beef and stir-fry until cooked through, 1 minute.    Note: cook the beef just before assembling the dish.

Vegetables:    Cook the mushrooms in the oil and the marinade in a skillet over high heat until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.    Set aside.    Cut the carrots into very thin, long strips.    The spinach, carrots and soy bean sprouts need to be blanched in separate pots of boiling water.    Blanch the spinach 30 seconds.    Drain and squeeze dry.    Blanch the carrots, 1 minute; the soybean sprouts, 30 seconds.    Cut the zucchini into very thin slices.    Cook the zucchini in boiling water until tender, about 3 minutes.

Rice:    Wash the rice several times in cold water until the water is clear, rubbing the rice well.    Drain.    Place the rice in a heavy pot; add 3 cups of cold water.    Cover and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and steam, covered, until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes.

Sauce: Combine the red pepper paste, sesame seeds, honey, oil and garlic in a small bowl.    Set aside.

Assembly:     Place the hot cooked rice in a large serving bowl.    The vegetables can be at room temperature.    Arrange them on top of the rice in separate groups, along with the kimchi.    Sprinkle with the sesame oil and sesame seeds.    Arrange the beef on top and a small pile of nori strips at one side. Place the egg in the center.Pass the sauce in a separate bowl. Add this to taste and stir it into the mixture, preferably with a long-handled Korean spoon.

Korean Meat Marinade (Bulgogi sauce)

  •     3 Tbsp chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
  •     3 Tbsp soy sauce
  •     2 Tbsp sugar
  •     1 Tbsp honey
  •     2 Tbsp fresh squeezed juice from an Asian pear
  •     1 Tbsp Japanese rice wine (mirin)*
  •     1 Tbsp sesame oil
  •     3 green onions, finely chopped (including white part)
  •     1 tsp pepper

Preparation:    Mix marinade together until sugar and honey are dissolved/distributed.    Can be stored in refrigerator or freezer for use on beef, pork, and chicken.    (Serves 4)   *If you don’t have access to the rice wine, a splash of dry white wine will also work here.


Israel…

Sunday, May 19 –

Apparently I have some catching up to do! Mistress Whiskey picked this dinner to host, along with Bestie Extraordinaire, for her birthday. So there were so many people there that I can’t even name them all. All I photo(6)can say was there was a pretty darn good spread of food, some shenanigans, and an outrageous game called “butt quarters”. I’m sure you can imagine how hilarious that was!

I made the recipe exactly as it is written below, the only change being that I used chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken. And I simmered it for closer to 30 minutes instead of 75.

It turned out a little soupy instead of like wine-gravy that I thought it would be. I think it might have been even better without the flour in it so that the lemon and wine really got a chance to stand out against the dark meat. But other than that it was a pretty good dish.

Thank you to Mistress Whiskey and Bestie Extraordinaire for hosting, it was a great party!

Israel
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.easyjewishrecipes.com)

Chicken In Leek Garlic Lemon Sauce

  • 1 chicken, cut-up, skin removed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium leek, cleaned and diced
  • 3 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 ½ cups white wine (you can substitute chicken stock, water or your favorite juice: ex: pomegranate juice or syrup)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)
  • 2 tsp. paprika

Pour half of the oil into a large skillet and leave it nearby. Place flour in a plastic bag together with pepper and mix it up. Place each piece of chicken in bag and shake to coat. Heat oil over medium high and brown each piece of chicken on both sides. Set aside.

With brown bits left in skillet, add a bit more oil then the onions, garlic, leek and carrots. Lower heat to medium and saute vegetables until they are soft. Add the wine, lemon juice and paprika, scraping up any brown bits left on skillet. Stir the sauce and let it cook for 10 minutes – it will reduce and thicken.

Add browned pieces of chicken back into sauce and cover. Simmer on low heat until chicken is fork-tender – about 75 minutes.


Guinea-Bissau…

Sunday, February 17 –

Last night’s dinner was a good jump-start to my love for this project. Thank you to my friends that continue to support this effort. We had BestestFianceEver, WingWoman (Jollof), ChinUp (Frango de Churrasco de photo(9)Guiné), and MyBuddy – with LightsOn showing up to hang out right at the very end of the evening.

I took one look at the name of this dish, and knew I had to make it. BestestFianceEver LOVES split pea soup, so it was a no-brainer to pick it. I did, however, change the recipe to this one instead – knowing that the flavor of boiling meat is just not my favorite. So I followed the new recipe to the letter except I used bacon fat to cook the onions and celery, and used the cooked bacon in the soup instead of ham. So I pretty much kept with the spirit of the soup, but didn’t stick with the cooking method. Figures, at the rate I’m going, right? Also, I didn’t measure any of the spices I put in (tumeric, thyme, basil, black pepper, salt, cayenne, 2 bay leaves), I just kept shaking until it looked spicy enough for an entire pot of soup.

The soup was thick and very potato-y, but the spices and heat were incredible. I will definitely keep this recipe around, just take out about half of the potatoes. The jollof was a perfect combination of rice and cabbage, and was also a great compliment to the chicken, which was lemony, spicy, goodness. Of all of the plain meals we have had for African countries, this was definitely not one of them. Huge success all the way around.

Can’t wait to move on to the H countries – with more potlucks coming up in the I countries. Exciting!

Guinea-Bissau
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.celtnet.org.uk)

Pea Soup and Meat

  • 900g neck of mutton or lamb, sliced
  • 1 small pork shank
  • 4 strips bacon, cut lengthways into strips
  • 450g split dried peas
  • 100g rice
  • 2 large celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, coarsely grated
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method: Place all the ingredients (except peas and rice) into a large cast iron casserole pot. Add 2l water, cover and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 2 hours. Towards the end of cooking you will need to stir frequently to prevent burning. Add the peas and rice to the pot along with 2.5l water. Season to taste, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Again, stir frequently as the soup thickens to prevent burning. Serve immediately either as a soup, ladled into bowls, or as a stew with rice.


Finland…

Saturday, October 13 –

Usually I would start one of these posts with, “I made it exactly like the recipe…” but not this time. This dinner was out to test my cooking skills from the very beginning to the very end. Thank goodness I had ChocolateThunder and TroubleWalking in the kitchen helping me to rescue these three dishes: baked mushrooms (that strangely weren’t baked), cream of carrot soup, and caramelized swedes. We also had Bestie Extraordinaire and Mistress Whiskey over, and they brought herb-seasoned fish fillets with potatoes and mushrooms, recipe also below.

Let’s start with the cream of carrot soup recipe. Take the broth and brandy and simmer your carrots in it (I used veggie broth instead of beef broth). Drain the broth mix but save it. Mash the carrots. Set aside. Melt the butter, add the flour, add the milk, presto you have a roux and then a gravy-sauce. Add the carrots, broth, sugar, and pepper. What does that leave you with? A mushy, bland pot of carrot flavored soup-stuff. I took it one step further and had BestestFianceEver use our immersion blender on it. Then I added some salt  and some more brandy and let it simmer for a bit, hoping the flavors would all come together. They did, sort of, but it was still bland. Definitely a better texture, but the flavor was pretty pasty. I asked ChocolateThunder to help me figure out what it was missing and I’m pretty sure what he said was he added the parsley and the nutmeg (supposed to be garnishes, but we put them in anyway) and also some onion powder, garlic powder, and some more nutmeg. Then together we decided that the thing it really needed was… bacon. Yes, yes we did. So BestestFianceEver got to cooking bacon chopped into bits and I moved on to the next recipe. In the end it turned out smoky, smooth, and filling. I am planning on making this again very, very soon.

Next up we have the caramelized swedes (aka rutabagas – also aka something I’ve never cooked before, ever). This recipe I did make as it was written, but stay with me until we get to the funny part. The recipe says to use precooked rutabaga but it doesn’t say how to precook them. So I chopped two peeled rutabagas up into little bite-sized pieces and I boiled them until they were fork-tender. I drained the water then added the butter, two chopped shallots, and one chopped, small onion. I let the butter melt and the sound of frying to begin. Then I added the sugar and let the whole thing cook until the rutabagas were yellow/almost gold. In next was the rosemary and the vinegar – then to put the lid on and simmer. After that was gingerbread crumbs (um, ok?) and blue cheese crumbles (um, really?) and let it heat up and blend the flavors. Once the dish was complete I looked around the room and said, “Ok, rock/paper/scissors for who has to taste this first.” ChocolateThunder, TroubleWalking, and I actually ended up tasting it at about the same time. And even though that’s a really weird combination of flavors to me, it was actually really, really good. Surprised? Yeah, me too. But I would definitely make it again.

Last, but not least, is the baked mushrooms. If this sounds like it would taste like condensed cream of mushroom soup, heated, then you are probably right. Also, right about now my eyes just stopped sending the right messages to my brain. I started off on the wrong foot with this recipe at the very beginning. Butter and breadcrumbs? Check. Mushrooms, onion, lemon juice, butter, salt, and pepper? Check. Keeping them in separate pans? Not so much. I didn’t read to the end first to see that you put the breadcrumbs on top. Oops. So breadcrumbs went in with the mushrooms and other ingredients. Then add the cream and boil, right? Nope – I was supposed to have that in yet another pan, heated to boiling. Instead I put the cream in with the breadcrumbs and mushrooms and heated it till boiling. Then the flour. Then the egg (which I tempered with the heated cream). What do all of these mistakes make? A broken roux. It looked like lumpy, mushroomy vomit with butter floating on top. Yuuuuuummm… *wince* We try everything to fix it – we drain the butter, we mix it vigorously, we have it on low heat, then high heat, and then we almost gave up. What saved the day? Google. Apparently if you want to fix a broke roux you take a cup of cream and you simmer it down to half the volume, and you mix this into the poor, lumpy, mistreated dish. It worked PERFECTLY. All of a sudden it was a creamy, beautiful dish again. Hallelujah! (But nope, you don’t bake it. Weird, huh?)

I also made homemade cheddar garlic biscuits to serve on the side to try to make it not so much like a bunch of side dishes thrown together. (It almost worked.) And Bestie Extraordinaire and Mistress Whiskey brought the fish and potato dish – making the only “main dish” we served.

The fish was tender and the flavor soaked into the potatoes perfectly. The biscuits were ok, but by the time we got to eat them they were cold, which isn’t my favorite. The “baked” mushrooms were pretty much heated cream of mushroom soup, but ok I suppose. The caramelized swedes were so good I went back for seconds. And the soup was so good that when I went back for seconds the pot had already been scraped clean!

So there you have it – new foods, rescue operations, gallons of wine, and good friends. All the things that make a Saturday freaking awesome.

Next week is France and is a potluck. Stay tuned!

Finland

(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.foodfromfinland.com and www.food.com)

Finnish Baked Mushrooms

  • 1 lb mushroom, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons onions, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, fine, dry
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions:

1  Mix the breadcrumbs with 1 tbsp butter and toast until golden brown, stirring often to prevent burning.

2  To the sliced mushrooms add the lemon juice, onion, butter, salt, and pepper. Saute until onions tender.

3  Heat the cream to just short of the boiling point.

4  Stir the flour into the mushrooms, stirring rapidly to prevent lumping.

5  Stir in a bit of the cream.

6  Stir in each egg yolk separately.

7  Stir in the remaining cream.

8  Cook, covered, until the sauce is just short of boiling.

9  Sprinkle with the toasted bread crumbs and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

10  Note: The thicker the cream the better the dish tastes. Half and half is better than milk and whipping cream is best of all.

Cream of Carrot Soup (Porkkanasosekeitto)

  • 1 lb carrot
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • rolls to serve

Directions:

1  Peel carrots. Cook carrots in beef broth and brandy until tender, adding additional brandy if necessary. Drain, reserving the stock, and strain or mash the carrots to make a smooth puree.

2  Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the flour, and stir until blended.

3  Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly.

4  Heat to the boiling point and simmer for 10 minutes.

5  Add reserved stock, carrot puree, sugar, and pepper.

6  Garnish each serving with parsley and a dash of nutmeg.

Caramelized Swedes

  • 1 swede (rutabaga), app. 500 g when peeled
  • 4 shallots or 2 small onions
  • App. 25 g butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp apple vinegar
  • 50-100 ml gingerbread crumbs
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • (Blue cheese)

Peel the swede (rutabaga) and cut it into cubes of about 2 x 2 cm’s (0.8 x 0.8 inches). Slice the onions. Pre-cook the swede wedges. Drain well. Fry the swedes on low heat in butter. Add the onion wedges and sugar. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and gets a bit golden. Add the chopped rosemary and vinegar. Reduce the heat, place a lid over it and let it simmer until tender. Season with gingerbread crumbs, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over it with blue cheese crumbs.

Herb seasoned Fish fillets with Potatoes and Mushrooms

  • 4 skinless fillets of pike perch, whitefish or perch (app. 600 g)
  • Salt, pepper
  • 150 ml fresh herbs, chopped (basil, chervil/parsley, thyme)
  • 800 g peeled potatoes
  • 2 tbsp ripe-seed oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 100–200 g shiitake mushroom
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 50 ml lemon juice

Cut a diagonal slit on the deepest parts of the fish fillets, up to half way of the fillet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and spread the chopped herbs, pressing into the slits as well. Slice the potatoes as half-centimeter slices and toss a chopped garlic clove in a small amount of oil, into a baking dish. Season lightly with salt. Even the surface. Cook the potatoes in 225°C (440F) for about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms and saute in a pat of butter or margarine in a pan. Season with chopped garlic and lightly with salt and pepper. Combine the mushrooms with the nearly ready potato slices. Add some lemon juice evenly for freshness. Place the fish fillets onto a bed of potatoes and mushrooms and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, until the fish is done. Serve with fresh salad and lemon wedges.


Ethiopia…

Thursday, September 27 –

This dinner was equal efforts on the part of Bestie Extraordinaire (spicy mixed vegetable stew and wine), ChinUp with assistance by MyBuddy (chicken stewed in red pepper paste and wine), BestestFianceEver (dishes and cleanup), and me (spicy lentil stew, naan, rice, and plain yogurt). Three cheers for everyone making this dinner so delicious!

The spicy lentil stew was incredibly easy to make. I took the dried lentils and cooked them just like it said to on the back of the package (1 cup of lentils to 4 cups of water for about 35 minutes). I cooked the onion and garlic in plain butter instead of the spiced butter (I should really make some soon, I do love these spices…) until they were translucent. Then I added rounded tablespoons of all of the spices. Yes, I know that little t’s in recipes are usually supposed to be teaspoons, but I like things strongly spiced, remember? So tablespoons it was! In next went the tomatoes and the paste, some of the salt and pepper, and then the broth. I let it all simmer together until all of the other food was ready.

Everything was a brilliant shade of red – the veggie stew was brown with a hint of red, the lentil stew was red with a hint of brown, and the chicken was a brilliant shade of red with white little eggs floating on top. And the smell – mmmhmm. That’s what food dreams are made of. The dinner was supposed to be served with injera, but because of my terrible crohn’s experience with it the only other time I’d had it, I decided to go with naan and rice instead. With a dollop of yogurt on top, dinner was served.

I started off with the different dishes next to each other, but not mixed. In the end it was all scooped together and each of them blended together deliciously with the others. I was so excited for left-overs, let me tell you what. If you have a love for stews with a touch of spice, these are definitely recipes that you should think about making. Especially with the cold weather coming and the need for warm soup starting to settle in, save these to your computer!

Ethiopia
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.whats4eats.com and www.interlog.com)

Yetakelt W’et (spicy mixed vegetable stew)

  • 1 c Onions; finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 T Berbere
  • 1 T Sweet Hungarian paprika
  • ¼ c Niter Kebbeh
  • 1 c Green beans; cut into thirds
  • 1 c Carrots; chopped
  • 1 c Potatoes; cubed
  • 1 c Tomatoes; chopped
  • ¼ c Tomato paste
  • 2 c Vegetable stock
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ c Parsley; fresh, chopped
  • 2 Batches Injera
  • Plain yogurt or cottage cheese

Saute the onions, garlic, berbere, and paprika in the Niter Kebbeh for 2 minutes. Add the beans, carrots, and potatoes and continue to sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix in the parsley. Serve with injera and yogurt or cottage cheese following the same serving and eating procedure as for Yemiser W’et. Servings: 6. Note: Try making this dish and Yemiser W’et for the same meal. In Ethiopia, it is customary to offer several stews at one time, and people eat some of each kind.

Yemiser W’et (spicy lentil soup)

  • 1 c Dried brown lentils
  • 1 c Onion; finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic; minced
  • ¼ c Niter Kebbeh
  • 1 t Berbere
  • 1 t Cumin seeds; ground
  • 1 t Paprika; sweet Hungarian
  • 2 c Tomato; finely chopped
  • ½ c Tomato paste
  • 1 c Vegetable stock or water
  • 1 c Green peas; fresh or frozen
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper; fresh, to taste
  • 3 Batches Injera bread
  • Plain yogurt or cottage cheese

Rinse and cook the lentils. Meanwhile sauté the onions and garlic in the niter kebbeh, until the onions are just translucent. Add the berbere, cumin, and paprika and sauté for a few minutes more, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of vegetable stock or water and continue simmering. When the lentils are cooked, drain them and mix them into the sauté. Add the green peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste. To serve Yemiser W’et, spread layers of injera on individual plates. Place some yogurt or cottage cheese alongside a serving of w’et on the injera and pass more injera at the table. To eat, tear off pieces of injera, fold it around bits of stew, and, yes, eat it with your fingers. Servings: 8

Doro Wat (Ethiopian chicken stewed in red pepper paste)

  • 2 lbs Chicken, leg and thighs, skinless
  • 1 Lemon juice only
  • 2 t Salt
  • 2 Onions chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 T Gingerroot, peeled, chopped
  • ¼ c Oil, butter or niter kibbeh
  • 2 T Paprika
  • ¼ to ½ c Bebere paste
  • ¼ c Red Wine
  • ¾ c Water or Stock
  • ¾ c Salt & Pepper to taste
  • ½ to 2 t Cayenne Pepper
  • Option 4 Eggs hard-boiled

Mix together the chicken pieces, lemon juice and salt and in a large, non-reactive bowl and set aside to marinate for about 30 minutes. While the chicken is marinating, puree the onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender. Add a little water if necessary. Heat the oil, butter or niter kibbeh in a large pot over medium flame. Add the paprika and stir in to color the oil and cook the spice through, about 1 minute. Do not burn. Stir in the berbere paste and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion-garlic-ginger puree and saute until most of the moisture evaporates and the onion cooks down and loses its raw aroma, about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to burn. Pour in the water or stock and wine and stir in the chicken pieces, cayenne to taste, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add water as necessary to maintain a sauce-like consistency. Add the whole hard boiled eggs and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and very tender. Adjust seasoning and serve hot with injera bread or rice. Servings: 4-6


Dominican Republic…

Saturday, August 4 –

I’m back to playing catch-up again. Please forgive the length between posts. Summer is crazy for us right now and I’m trying the best I can to keep these caught up.

This dinner was another potluck. We had: ChinUp and MyBuddy bring coleslaw and a coconut pudding, SlotMachine helped provide chips and guacamole, Bestie Extraordinaire made a pork roast with lamb sausage and veggie dish, GingerNuts and NoPoots brought a red bean and veggie stew type dish and mojitos, BestestEverFiance made a sweet corn rice dish, and I made two different roast chicken dishes and more mojitos. Last minute we also had DangerD and SecondMomma show up to join us for the party. NoPoots also brought her kids with her this time, and while they didn’t try the food, they still hung out with us and had a great time, so I feel like they should get complimentary blog names: MiniSass and MiniSweets.

While researching these recipes I noticed that jerk chicken and lemon/garlic chicken were both very common flavors – so I decided to do both. I took 10 chicken legs and divided them into two bowls. I poured on a store-bought jerk sauce on one and a lemon/garlic sauce on the other. I happened to use the Safeway brand, and it worked really well. I didn’t add any of the other stuff to the sauce, I just simply poured it straight from the bottles and let it sit in the fridge for about two hours.

Into the two baking dishes went the sweet potatoes, pineapples, and carrots. Then I set the chicken legs over the top, poured the sauce over the whole thing, and put them both into the oven (uncovered). I roasted them for the 30 minutes the recipe suggests and they weren’t quite done. So I put them back in for probably another 10 minutes and they measured correctly on a thermometer and looked cooked when I cut into them.

The jerk chicken was only slightly spicy but had good flavor. The lemon/garlic chicken was good, but fairly ordinary. The veggies that roasted under them were absolutely divine, and I will make chicken again this way just so I can indulge in the sweet potatoes and pineapple that were cooked this way. The carrot and cabbage coleslaw was a perfect, crisp cut to the sauces. I really, really liked the mix of the coleslaw with the bites of other food. The red bean and veggie dish was dangerously good. I could have settled down with a dish of that in front of a fire on a rainy night and been very satisfied. The corn and rice dish was perfect to scoop up all the sauces with. And the pork/lamb dish was heavy but good. On top of everything were plenty of mojitos, which is always a good plan for me!

Dominican Republic
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.dominicancooking.com)

Chicken with Lemon and Garlic Sauce

  • 6 chicken legs, skinned, cleaned of fat and divided into halves
  • 1 1/2 cup of world harlbors lemon pepper and garlic sauce
  • 6 cups of sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups of pineapple, cut into cubes
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • pepper
  • salt

Directions:  Mix the World Harlbors Lemon Pepper and Garlic Sauce, olive oil, half a cup of water, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of freshly-ground pepper. Shake well. Place the chicken legs in a zippy bag and add the sauce mix, moving around until the meat is coated with the sauce. Marinate for at least two hours in the fridge. Heat the oven to 350*C. Place the sweet potatoes, carrots, and pineapple in a baking pan. Put the chicken legs on top of them and drizzle everything with the sauce in which the chicken was marinaded. Roast for 30 minutes or the chicken is golden brown. Serve with green salad.


Djibouti…

Friday, July 19 –

It isn’t very often that I have no left-overs at all. This dinner is one of the few that I can happily say was devoured – every bite of it. There were five of us for this dinner – Wonderful Boyfriend, Bestie Extraordinaire, ChinUp, and DangerD.

I started with the stew, figuring that it could simmer as I cooked the samosas. I put regular butter into my soup pot (I just didn’t have the time to go hunt down niter kebbeh, so instead I doubled the amount of berbere I put into the stew) along with the spices and one chopped up onion. I let the onion start to soften, and then in went one peeled, chopped russet potato, two medium peeled and chopped carrots, and a cup of green beans that I chopped in half for easier chewing. After ten minutes, in went the tomato, tomato paste, and veggie broth. I let this simmer, stirring occasionally, as I made the samosas.

The samosa recipe I decided to edit a little. I took one onion and one leek, chopped them up and then mixed them together. That looked like too much in the way of veggies compared to how much meat I had, so I scooped away half of it to save for a later dinner. I cooked one pound of ground lamb with the salt, pepper, and lot of cumin. (I didn’t measure the spices, I just sprinkled until it felt right. I coated the meat with the cumin until it was clearly powdery.) Then I threw in the onion and leek and let it finish cooking down. Instead of making my own dough I used pre-made pie crust. I cut the crust into six wedges, stuffed them, folded them up, and then put an egg wash on top. I put them in the oven at 350* for about 20 minutes and then checked every five minutes until they were golden brown on top and bottom.

On the table was also salad (made by the wonderful ChinUp), yogurt to put on the stew or samosas, and toasted naan to scoop it all up with.

The salad was crisp and amazing with fresh heirloom tomatoes. The samosas were so good that I could have blinked and they would all have been gone. With the light, flaky, buttery crust and the cumin and lamb flavor melting in your mouth, I should have made three times as many. The stew was spicy, flavorful, and I managed to cook the veggies just long enough to make them soft but not mushy. The naan was a little crumbly (it was the store-bought kind) but it was still a good idea to serve with the stew.

Not only was this dinner delicious, it was the perfect combination of flavors and textures to serve together. I highly recommend this for any dinner (but maybe a colder, fall day so that you can really enjoy the spicy stew). Cheers!

Djibouti
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://healthy-life.narod.ru/wor_ek57.htm)

Spicy Mixed Vegetable Stew (Yetakelt W’et)

  • 1 c Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tb Berbere (dry)
  • 1 tb Sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/4 c Niter Kebbeh
  • 1 c Green beans, cut in thirds
  • 1 c Carrots, chopped
  • 1 c Potatoes, cubed
  • 1 c Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 c Tomato paste
  • 2 c Vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c Chopped fresh parsley

Cooking Instructions:  Saute the onions, garlic, berbere, and paprika in the niter kebbeh for 2 minutes. Add the beans, carrots, and potatoes and continue to saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the parsley (optional). Serve with injera and yogurt or cottage cheese.

Djibouti Samosas (Samboussa)

  • 2 l oil
  • 500 g flour
  • 2 kg minced meat
  • 5 onions, finely diced
  • 3 leeks, finely diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:  Sift the flour and a pinch of salt to a bowl. Add just enough water so that the mixture comes together as a stiff dough. Shape into a ball and allow to rest. Meanwhile add 4 tbsp oil to a frying pan and fry the meat for a few minutes. Add the onions and leeks season with salt and pepper then fry until the meat is done and the onions have softened. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and cut into triangles. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture in the center of the triangle and fold over to form a samosa. Heat the oil in a wok until almost smoking and place the samosas one at a time in this. Cook until golden brown and crisp on all sides, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Allow to cool a little then serve with African hot sauce.