Tag Archives: green beans

Hungary…

Monday, March 18 –

Full house for this dinner, that’s for sure! We had: Hot Momma (wine and bread), Baby Bear, MoneyShot, SlotMachine (cucumber salad, wine, and beer), Officially Gangster, ChinUp (goulash), MyBuddy, photo(5)BestestFianceEver, and yours truly. Whew, what a crowd! And we had some seriously good food, too.

I heated up two large pans and put the cubed pork in, browning the pieces on both sides but not worrying about cooking them all the way through. Then I transferred the pieces from the secondary pan to the main large one and added a little oil to the smaller pan and cooked the onions until they were translucent. In the big pan I added in the paprika, crushed tomato, sugar, bay leaves, water, and drained sauerkraut. Once the onions were done I added them in as well. Covered and set to simmer on low until everyone showed up. Once everyone was over I added the sour cream, stirred, and it was ready to go.

The green beans I rinsed and trimmed off the ends. I put them into a large pot, covered them in water, set it on the stove, covered it and turned it onto medium high. I let that boil until they were tender but not squishy. Drained and set aside. In another pan, while the beans were simmering, I melted the butter, added the onions, and cooked until they were soft. I used dried dill and then added the flour. Once that was well mixed I added the rest, let it bubble, and it thickened pretty quickly. I added the beans, stirred, turned the heat to low and put the lid back on.

That’s all four burners going at once! Which meant I had to quickly shuffle the two extra pans into the sink when everyone showed up so that the goulash could be on the heat as well. And dinner was served!photo(4)

The pork was tender and cooked through after being on low for about 40 minutes. The sauerkraut, tomatoes, and sour cream tasted almost like a vodka sauce for pasta. You almost couldn’t tell it was sauerkraut except for the texture. That with a good crusty bread would be a great warm, filling dinner. The goulash looked tender (I say looked because I didn’t try it, as it was beef) but the potatoes I did nibble on had great flavor and were extremely good. And finally the cucumber salad was a good bright, sharp flavor to cut between the rich flavors.

Definitely a win all around – and all of the plates were scraped clean. Keep these recipes handy!

Hungary
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~june4)

Sauerkraut and Pork (Szekely gulyas)

  • 2 lbs. pork cubedphoto(6)
  • 1 &1/2 lbs. sauerkraut, rinse and drained
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbls. lard or oil (if meat is very lean)
  • 2 Tbls. Hungarian sweet paprika (no generic please)
  • 1 large can of crushed tomato (or fresh tomatoes peeled and crushed)
  • 1 Tbls. sugar
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 pint of sour cream (no yogurt please)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat and onion (in lard or oil if needed) in a pot with lid. Add the paprika to the meat and onion mix, stir to mix in (do not burn). Put in the drained sauerkraut, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Mix. Cover pot. Cook slowly for about one hour, or until meat is tender. Add the sour cream and stir it in. The aroma will make yphoto(3)our mouth water. Serve in soup plates, with good crusty bread, a meal fit for the Kaiser.

Green Beans with Dill (Kapros zoldbabfozelek)

  • 2 packages of green beans
  • 2 Tbl. Lard or butter
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 1/2 cup of sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup of good vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbl. chopped fresh dill

Directions: Cook beans in salted water till tender, not soft. Melt lard or butter, add onions and saute till limp, add chopped dill. Then add flour making a roux. Add 1 cup of water, sugar and vinegar and stir while the sauce gets thick. Add drained beans, and mix, if too thick add a little more water.


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


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.


Cameroon…

Friday, March 16 –

This dinner was just the three of us at the house, and a lot less hectic. But the food was definitely worth making!

There were four parts to this dinner – the chicken and veggie mixture, the fried spinach, the fried plantains, and the rice. I started with the chicken dish, getting all of the veggies cut and ready to go. I made it almost exactly as it was written… the changed I made were to put in a three inch piece of chopped up ginger (with bigger pieces so that you got the fun ginger zing as you bit into the pieces), I added four cloves of garlic instead of one, and I also added some salt and pepper.

As that was cooking down, I put the rice together. I decided last-minute to actually make rice in the rice cooker with coconut milk, bay leaves, and chives mixed in instead of the recipe given. I did that because once I got to really reading the recipes, the veggies in them were mostly the same! So instead of duplicating the flavors, I just cut the veggies out and kept the coconut flavor. Unfortunately, the rice didn’t soak up the coconut milk as much as it did the water, so it turned out crunchy and mushy at the same time. Weird, and not something I’ll do again!

Once the rice was cooking, I got started on the fried spinach and the fried plantains. I made the spinach exactly as written except I sliced the mushrooms instead of quartering them. And I fried the plantains plain in a little oil until they were brown on both sides. (And yes, we absolutely made sure they were ripe first!)

Everything came together perfectly. I love it when that happens. We dished up, poured some wine, and toasted to friendship. The chicken was a little drier than I like, and I am not entirely sure why. It might be that I let it simmer too long, but the flavors were great. The ginger was definitely a kick in the taste buds – in such a good way. The spinach and mushrooms were slightly garlicky and definitely a good addition to the chicken. I probably could have mixed it altogether and it would have been great. The plantains were ok – not my favorite way of eating them so far. And the rice was a fail – but I’m glad it was there to soak up the sauce from the chicken dish.

Things I have learned: Green beans wilt pretty quickly when you let them simmer. Don’t lose the crunch next time!

Cameroon
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.allrecipes.com, www.cdkitchen.com, and www.celtnet.org.uk)

Cameroonian Fried Spinach

  • 1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach, rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • garlic powder to taste

Directions: Heat the olive oil in a wok, or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onion, and saute until they are about halfway done. Dump in the spinach, and liberally sprinkle with garlic powder. Fry until the spinach has wilted, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Buea Coconut Joloffe Rice (Cameroon) Recipe

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • hot pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 small slice ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 1/4 cup long-grain rice, washed
  • 1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped

PREPARATION:  Fry the onion in hot oil, in a large saucepan, for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato puree. While stirring, fry over a moderate gas for 5 – 6 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and continue to cook until the mixture is reduced and thick. Add the rest of the coconut milk, carrots, hot pepper, ginger, bayleaf and salt. Bring to the boil, and add the rice and the remaining vegetables, stirring with a fork. Reduce to a low heat, cover and cook until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Remove the lid, cover with foil and replace the lid until the rice is done.

Poulet Directeur Général

  • 1 chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 60ml oil
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 ‘Maggi’ cube or a chicken stock cube with a pinch of ground cumin and coriander seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • handful of French beans with ends trimmed
  • 3 sweet bell peppers, de-seeded and chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • optional: plantains for frying

Method: Combine the chicken, 1 tbsp oil, spices, carrots, green beans and peppers in a bowl then allow to marinate for at least two hours. Heat the remaining oil in a casserole dish or large frying pan then add the onions and fry briefly until they just begin to soften. Add the chicken then fry over high heat until the pieces are lightly browned all over. Add the remaining ingredients, except the tomatoes then reduce the heat to as simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is done and most of the liquid has evaporated (add a little water if it becomes too dry) then add the tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes more. Serve with rice or Baton de Manioc and fried plantains.


Burundi…

Monday, February 27 –

Chaos – barely controlled, wine fueled mass of people in the kitchen. That’s what last night was. It was LightsOn’s birthday mixed with a blog dinner and it ended up being thirteen people total. The attendees were: LightsOn, WingWoman, CannonBall, Amine Chef, Hot Momma, Mr. Hero, Baby Bear, Grandpa Bear, MoneyShot, SlotMachine, Wonderful Boyfriend, Roommate Extraordinaire, and me. Whew! That’s a lot of people.

I made two of the dishes from this country but I left off the dessert (to make birthday cheesecake instead). So the two parts I will go over are the tuna and the potatoes. The tuna was fresh, pink, and delicious. I made the marinade by putting all of the ingredients into a food processor and letting it all mix together. Coated in the mix and left to sit for about an hour and a half, they looked like heaven every time I glanced at them. I doubled the amount of oil (because I was cooking 10 tuna steaks instead of 4) but I tripled the other marinade ingredients. I just like more flavor, and this was an easy way to keep everything in the right amounts.

The potatoes ended up doubled in some aspects and not in others. I peeled and boiled nine regular russet potatoes. Then added one bunch of spinach. I then transferred pans to the one with the oil, of which I only used one cup. I figured that was plenty, even though I had doubled the amount of potatoes. Then in went two drained cans of garbanzo beans. Then things got more crazy in the kitchen and Roommate Extraordinaire took over prepping the veggies. He chopped one red bell pepper, one green bell pepper, and one onion. In those went along with a liberal sprinkle of the oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. This mixture was left to simmer on low until the tuna steaks were done and everything was ready to dish up.

Wonderful Boyfriend and Roommate Extraordinaire shared the grilling duty, and even ran to get more propane when we ran out in the middle of everything! The fish ended up different levels of done-ness because of how hurried they were, but the flavor of the fish was wonderful anyway.

On the side I made garlic green beans, because I felt like the meal needed a little touch of green. Just simmer the beans until cooked but still firm. Rinse in cold water to stop them cooking. Put them back in the warm pan. Add some butter, salt, pepper, and a whole bulb of crushed garlic. Cover with the lid to the pan to keep them warm.

The tuna was firm and lightly flavored with the marinade. The center was just slightly pink (I wish it had been a little more pink, actually). The potatoes were mashed goodness with a punch of flavor. And the green beans were just the right break in flavor. I would definitely make this dinner again.

Things I have learned: Be more firm about shoo-ing people out of the kitchen if I need more elbow room. When there is a party everyone wants to be in the kitchen (closest to the wine, of course!). But it’s just too hard to dodge people from the stove to the sink and back again.

Burundi
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.alws.s3.amazonaws.com)

Grilled Tuna with Herbed Aioli

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • 4 Tuna steaks (each about 3cm thick)

Method: Whisk together first 6 ingredients in shallow dish for marinade. Place Mayonnaise in separate small bowl. Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoons marinade. Set aioli aside. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Place fish in marinade in dish, turning to coat evenly. Marinate 1 hour at room temperature, turning fish occasionally. Oil grill rack. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill fish to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium. Top fish with aioli and serve.

Spinach Potatoes

  • 4 large potatoes (peeled)
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves(minced) (or teaspoon of garlic powder )
  • 2 cups garbanzo Beans
  • 1 red pepper(seeded+ diced)
  • 1 green pepper(seeded + diced)
  • 1 medium Onion (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Sprinkle of red pepper powder

Method: Boil potatoes 8 minutes. Add spinach and cook until potatoes are tender. Drain pot. Heat oil in large, deep frying pan until lightly bubbling. Add potatoes, spinach, Beans and remaining ingredients (except red pepper powder). Sautee (stirring with spatula) until potatoes become slightly creamy and ingredients are heated through. Sprinkle all over with red pepper powder. Cover pan; simmer at medium heat 3 mins.