Tag Archives: friends

Lebanon…

Sunday, November 24 –

Finally! A dinner and a post on time. Whew!photo 1 (2)

So this one time the President of the United States rolled through our neighborhood on his way to a fundraising dinner. It totally snarled traffic in every direction. It just so happened that WingWoman and LightsOn got caught in it, super near our house. So we stole them for dinner, and this is what we fed them.

I sprayed a glass baking dish with olive oil, then took 5 chicken leg quarters and put them in. Husband got the spices together and we sprinkled some (more than a pinch) on top of the chicken. Then I put the potato rounds on top and stuck it in the oven for 50 minutes. Right before it came out, I put a bunch of garlic in a food processer with salt and lemon juice (I used the pre-cut kind that already had oil on it). Scoops and scoops of it. We like our garlic STRONG.

I took the potatoes off and put them into a bowl, took the potatoes out and put them into a different bowl. Dumped the extra liquid out of the dish. Then put the potatoes back in, with the chicken on top, and dumped the garlic mixture over the whole thing. Then I stuck it back into the oven for about 10 minutes.

It was garlicky, warm, filling, and satisfying on a cold, crazy traffic night. Three cheers for stuck friends over for dinner!

Lebanon
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.mamaslebanesekitchen.com)

Baked Garlic Chicken

  • 4 lbs of chicken legs/quarters/breasts
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 20 cloves of garlic (or 1.5 heads)
  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 table spoons of olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • A pinch of Lebanese 7-spices (Equal proportions of: Allspice, Black Pepper, White Pepper, Cinnamon, Ground Cloves, Ground Nutmeg, and Coriander.)
  • Vinegar (optional)

Preparation Method:

1. Soak chicken in vinegar for 2 minutes (to help remove the “chickeny” smell), rinse them well with cold water then dry them with paper towels.
2. Make cuts in chicken in order to allow for garlic sauce to seep deep inside.
3. Rub chicken with a table spoon or two of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of Lebanese 7-spices.
4. Peel potatoes then cut them in disks of about 1/2 inch, salt lightly.
5. Place chicken on bottom of baking tray (preferably metal), place potatoes on top, and bake at 400F (medium heat) for about 40-50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
6. Meanwhile place the garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2-3 table spoons of olive oil in a blender/food processor and spin for 4-5 minutes, add the lemon juice and spin for another 4-5 minutes until you have a nice lemony-garlicky sauce.
7. Once the chicken has baked, take the tray out of the oven and very carefully drain any excess liquids/fat/water that you see on the bottom.
8. Pour the garlic sauce all over it while mixing it well with the potatoes, put back in the oven and broil for another 5-10 minutes until the potatoes turn reddish.
9. Serve warm.
10. Note: You may need to consume an unusually large quantity of toothpaste afterwards. (4 servings)


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.


Kuwait…

Thursday, September 5 – 

So… I got a new job. Hooray! And I got married. Extra, super hooray! But that means that I fell behind on writing my posts… again. Woops!

Kuwait (1)

 

Other than that, here are the photos. That’s all I’ve got for now. You know, since it was over a month ago. So enjoy the photos!I promise this happened. Yes, over a month ago. But it did! Mistress Whiskey and BestieExtraordinarie hosted the dinner. Their housemates helped cook, clean, and host everyone. We even had a birthday party thrown in on top.

Kuwait
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.nestle-family.com)

  • 25 baby zucchini or 2 kg
  • ½ cup basmati rice or 100 g
  • 250 g minced beef
  • 4 tablespoons ghee, melted
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley or 25 g, chopped
  • 1/3 cup coriander leaves or 25 g, choppedKuwait (2)
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill or 25 g, chopped
  • 1 small onion or 100 g, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 medium tomato or 150 g, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • ¼ teaspoon white ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 kg chicken wings
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cubes MAGGI® Chicken BouillonKuwait (4)
  • 12 cups water or 3 liters

Preparation:
Hollow zucchini and wash well. Soak rice in water for half an hour then strain. Mix rice, meat, ghee, salt, parsley, raisins, coriander, dill, chopped onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, and spices in a mixing bowl. Stuff zucchini with the rice mixture and keep 1cm empty from the top. Heat oil in pot and fry chicken wings for 3 minutes or until they become golden in color. Add tomato paste and MAGGI® Chicken Bouillon cubes then. Remove from heat. Place stuffed zucchini carefully in a pot, side by side. Secure zucchini with a plate on top. Add water and bring to boil then simmer on low heat for 1 hour 30 minutes or until zucchini are well cooked.KuwaitKuwait (5)


Kiribati…

Friday, August 9 –

Tell you what, changing the blog from every week to every other week probably saved the entire project. I’m back to looking forward to it and hope that you are too!photo(26)

For this dinner we had Mr. Hero, WingWoman, BestestFianceEver, and yours truly. Eventually CoinSlot and MoneyShot showed up too.

I made the three lobster tails exactly as it is written below (thawed, cut, cracked, pulled from the shell, placed on top, then baked). I also made the sauce as written, but probably with a little bit more curry powder. On the side I caramelized some onions and cooked some white rice. WingWoman brought some rockfish and we salted and peppered them, putting them into the oven at the same time as the lobster. Everything turned out pretty good. People were generally fans of changing the typical melted butter for the lobster to the sauce. It had a little bit of a kick but not too much for the not-too-spicy people. Overall, the dinner was a win.

Now that I’m working on making the blog better I have a new rule that I’m going to try to stick with, which is no more than six people to any dinner. It will keep the timing of the meals easier and the overall cost down. So if you’re interested in one of the meals, speak up before your chance is gone! And if you want to host a dinner at your house, it’s up to you to set how many people are invited.

Looking forward to Korea! Cheers!

Kiribati
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: http://globaltableadventure.com)

Roasted Lobster Tails with Coconut Curry Dipping Sauce

  • 4 Australian lobster tails (frozen)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp homemade curry powder
  • salt

Method:  How to make a fancy lobster tail at home: Thaw tails overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 375F. (1) Then, using kitchen shears, cut each one down the back, stopping at the last segment before the tail piece. (2) Take hands and bend back the tail until you hear a loud crack. Run fingers between the meat and the bottom membrane, freeing tail meat from the shell. (3) Pull meat up and over the shell, pressing the shell shut beneath it. (4) The tail meat can thus piggyback on top of the shell. Give it the lobster meat a generous coating of oil. Bake for 1 1/2 minutes per ounce of weight. TIP: Have the fishmonger tell you what each tail weighs (or wrap them up separately so the tag will tell you). My tails weren’t all the same size, so I just took the smaller ones out first so as not to overcook them. Meanwhile, whisk together curry powder in a small saucepan with the coconut milk and salt. I used light coconut milk, but you can go as rich as you’d like. Cook until hot. To finish off this meal, serve the curry mixture on the side, instead of butter. Serve with rice.


Japan…

Monday, June 17 –

Have you had sushi before? Yes? Ok, whew. Then you probably know that the fish is best when it might still wiggle. Other than that all you need is a little sushi rice, some seaweed, soy sauce, wasabi, and hunger.

This dinner was just BestestFianceEver, RubsWithLove, Sir VJ, and yours truly. Sir VJ and rubs with love brought several different kinds of fish, eel, sushi rice, pickled ginger, and some sushi-making skills. BestestFianceEver and I brought a huge slab of ahi tuna, edamame, avocado, gyoza and sauce, cucumber, and wasabi. Sir VJ actually did most of the work with the fish, slicing, rolling, and putting it altogether on platters. The rest of us helped when we could and got out of the way when we couldn’t.

There was SO MUCH FOOD. And it was so good, I can’t even begin to tell you. Thanks, you two, for making Japan so wonderful and memorable!

photo 3photo 4photo 2photo 1photo 5


Jamaica…

Saturday, June 15 –

Looks like I fell behind on posting again. Sorry guys! I will try to catch back up again. The summer has just stolen my attention away from sitting and writing at a computer.

I took the slow cooked jerk chicken recipe and instead of the taco recipe, hoping that the chicken would be tender and juicy. I slow cooked the chicken, using the exact amounts listed below, and let it cook in the crock pot for about 6 hours. Then I took it out, shredded it, and put it in a serving bowl. I put the reserved sauce in a bowl on the side so that people could control how spicy their tacos were. Then I used the mango salsa recipe as it is below and set that out along with the taco shells.

We had a bunch of people over for this dinner, but because I waited so long to write it, I forget who all brought what. MyBuddy and ChinUp brought an orange rum cake and a hibiscus punch. Mr. Hero brought booze. And I believe that LightsOn brought coleslaw and a bunch of meat that we grilled. I think we also had BabyBear, GrandpaBear, Missing Man, Texan Boy, and CannonBall. If I missed anyone, I sincerely apologize!

Jamaica
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.jamaicans.com and www.bakersroyale.com)

Jerk Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 4  tablespoons Jerk Seasoning/Sauce/Paste (We recommend Jamaican brands Jerk Seasoning, Sauces/paste – Walkerwood, Jamaica Country Style etc)
  • 3 shredded cups cheddar cheese,
  • 12 taco shells
  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 1 small red bell peppers (diced)
  • 1 small red onion diced red onion (diced)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (de-seeded and  minced)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

METHOD:    Rub each breast half with jerk sauce/paste, and place in a shallow dish.    Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.    Cook chicken on a low fire on the barbeque grill.    Mango Salsa Sauce: Combine mango, red bell peppers, onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro leaves and lime juice. Put in the refrigerator and chill.    Warm up the shells.    Once the chicken is cooked dice them into thin slices.     Layer the 12 tacos in this order: cheese, Jerk chicken (Optional: Add more Jerk Sauce), Mango Salsa.    Optional: Garnish with shredded lettuce. Serving size 6-8

Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

  •     8 scallions, chopped coarse
  •     1/4 cup vegetable oil
  •     2 habanero chilies, stemmed and seeded
  •     1 (1-inch) fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  •     2 tablespoons molasses
  •     3 garlic cloves, peeled
  •     1 tablespoon thyme
  •     2 teaspoons allspice
  •     1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  •     1 teaspoon coarse salt
  •     4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (split breasts, thighs)
  •     lime wedges for serving

Directions:
Place scallion, oil, habaneros, ginger, molasses, garlic, thyme, all spice, cardamom, and salt in a food processor or blender and puree. Transfer 1/2 cup mixture to slow cooker; reserve remaining mixture.
Add chicken to slow cooker and coat evenly with scallion mixture. cover and cook until chick is tender, about 4- 6 hours on low.
Position oven rack 10 inches from broiler element and start broiler. Place a wire rack in a foil lined bake sheet and coat with vegetable spray. Transfer chicken, skin side down onto rack. Brush chicken with half of reserved scallion mixture and broil until lightly charge and and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Flip chicken over, brush with remaining scallion mixture and continue to broil until lightly charred and crisp on second side, about 5-10 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.


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.