Argentina (Part 2)

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Carne y Chimichurri

Argentinean flank steak with parsley sauce. Pictured above (top right) with bunuelos de espinaca (top left) and tzatziki sauce (bottom).

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 medium-size jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1.5kg flank steak (can substitute tenderloin if flank steak not available)

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Directions

  1. Preheat a grill or broiler to high.
  2. In a food processor, combine vinegar, jalapenos, garlic, and bay leaves. Puree until smooth. Add the herbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Puree briefly until well-blended. Set aside.
  3. Season the flank steak with olive oil, salt, and pepper and grill/broil the steak medium rare. Slice the steak thinly. Serve with chimichurri sauce.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 5/5 for chimichurri sauce, fantastic!
  • Papa: 4.7/5, great steak and great sauce!
  • Girlie: 3/5, I don’t really like steak
  • TW: 5/5, the steak and sauce combination is perfect
  • McM: 4/5, I don’t generally like steak but the chimichurri sauce is very flavorful and I think it would go well with many other dishes

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/argentinean-steak-with-parsley-sauce-carne-y-chimichurri-recipe.html

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Argentina (Part 1)

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Bunuelos de Espinaca

Argentinean spinach fritters.

Total time: 60 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 450g fresh baby spinach, chopped and steamed
  • 3/4 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • oil for frying (liquid coconut oil recommended)

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Directions

  1. Chop spinach, then steam over boiling water for 4-5 minutes until fully wilted.
  2. Mix spinach and onion together in a bowl. Add milk and eggs. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and pepper together.
  4. Stir flour mixture into spinach mixture until batter is evenly combined.
  5. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a large, deep frying pan over low-medium heat. Oil is ready to use with a drop of spinach batter added to the oil bubbles immediately.
  6. Drop batter (about 1 tablespoon per fritter), into the hot oil. Fry until outside edges of fritters are golden brown (3 – 4 minutes per side). Remove fritters with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil and adjusting oil temperature as needed.
  7. Serve with tzatziki sauce and chimichurri.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5, very good as an appetizer!
  • Papa: 3.5/5, somewhat bland but the coconut oil adds a nice flavor
  • Girlie: 2/5 by themselves, but 4/5 when served with tzatziki sauce
  • TW: 2.5/5 by themselves, 4/5 when served with tzatziki sauce or chimichurri

Original recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/236662/bunuelos-de-espinaca-spinach-fritters/

Egypt (Part 3)

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Ta’ameya

Egyptian falafel made with fava beans. Chickpeas are more commonly used in other Middle Eastern versions of falafel.

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups canned fava beans*
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup fresh dill
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • vegetable oil (peanut oil or canola oil) for frying*
  • pita bread (to serve)
  • lettuce (to serve)
  • lemons, cut in wedges (to serve)

Directions

  1. Combine fava beans, red onion, parsley, cilantro, dill, garlic, coriander, and cumin in a food processor. Process to a doughy consistency.
  2. Toast sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat (5 minutes). Stir frequently.
  3. Shape fava bean mixture into balls (2cm diameter). Roll balls in sesame seeds to coat.
  4. Fill a large saucepan with oil (4cm deep) and heat over medium heat. Fry fava bean balls in batches until golden brown (3-5 minutes).* Drain on paper towels.
  5. Serve with pita bread, lettuce, lemon wedges, creamy yogurt sauce, and chipotle tahini dip.

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Notes

  • Most falafel recipes recommend using dried beans that are soaked overnight. However, dried fava beans were not available in our local grocery stores, so we had to substitute with canned fava beans. Using canned beans instead of dried/soaked beans may have altered the consistency of the falafel, which may have contributed to our difficulty deep-frying.
  • Deep-frying the falafel was unsuccessful despite various adjustments in oil temperature and frying technique. Falafel balls fell apart in the oil and did not develop a crispy outer texture. To achieve a crispy coating, we tried baking the falafel in the oven (425F for 5 minutes) which was moderately successful and we tried cooking the falafel on the barbecue (400F for 20 minutes, rolling balls frequently) which seemed much more effective in creating a darker, crispier outer texture.

Family Ratings

  • Papa: 4/5 for falafel alone (great taste but unable to achieve crispy texture) and 4.5/5 for falafel served in pita (with creamy yogurt sauce and chipotle tahini dip), highly recommend barbecuing the falafel to create a crunchy texture
  • VOD: 4/5, great flavor but could have had a firmer consistency
  • McM: 4/5, really tasty served raw (not baked or barbecued) and I didn’t mind the softer consistency when served in a pita with crunchy lettuce

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Original recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/254743/taameya-egyptian-falafel/

Egypt (Part 2)

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Chipotle Tahini Dip

Spicy dip for falafel or pita bread.

Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10-12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tahini
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 can (about 100g) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce

Directions

  1. Puree all ingredients in a food processor until evenly blended.
  2. Serve with falafel or spread on pitas.

Family Ratings

  • Papa: 5/5, one of my new favorite dips!
  • VOD: 5/5, subtle flavor at first with more spice in the aftertaste
  • McM: 4/5, great flavour but a little too spicy for my preference

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/falafel-with-chipotle-tahini-dip.html

Egypt (Part 1)

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Creamy Yogurt Sauce

Falafel dressing made with navy beans and yogurt.

Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups canned navy beans
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Puree all ingredients in a food processor until very smooth.
  2. Serve with falafel or as a salad dressing.

Family Ratings

  • Papa: 5/5, fantastic!
  • VOD: 5/5, really good in combination with the chipotle tahini sauce
  • McM: 5/5, light and refreshing, very flavorful

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/falafel-recipe.html