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/

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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

Mexico

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Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

A healthy Mexican baked dish with quinoa and lots of vegetables.    

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2 415ml bottles of Old El Paso mild taco sauce* (see notes below)
  • 1 cup canned corn kernels, drained
  • 1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • small tortillas and lettuce to serve* (see notes below)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, cook quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, taco sauce, corn, kidney beans, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, 1 cup shredded cheddar, and 1 cup shredded mozza. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Spread quinoa mixture into a large baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake in oven until the casserole is bubbly and the cheese has melted (10-15 minutes). Serve immediately.

Notes

  • The original recipe specified Old El Paso mild enchilada sauce, however this product was not available in our local grocery store. We substituted with Old El Paso mild taco sauce. Mild sauce (half the amount) or tomato sauce (increase cumin and chili powder) could also be substituted if taco sauce is not available.
  • Our kids enjoyed eating the casserole wrapped up burrito-style in small tortillas with lettuce and additional tomatoes.

Family Ratings

  • Papa: 4/5, this recipe would be even better with more spice (medium or spicy taco sauce) and substituting half of the quinoa for ground beef.
  • Girlie: 4/5, this is great burrito-style!
  • TW: 4/5,
  • McM: 4.5/5, very light and healthy recipe, I love the quinoa!

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Original recipe: http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/07/quinoa-enchilada-casserole/

Philippines (Part 2)

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Pancit Canton

Traditional Filipino noodle dish with vegetables, pork, chicken, and shrimp.

Total time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g pork shoulder, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 250g shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup yellow beans, julienned
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms
  • 500g packaged rice noodles
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 green onions, sliced (for garnish)
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges (for garnish)
  • bean sprouts (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Soak mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes, then remove the stems and cut into thin strips. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large wok.
  3. Sauce garlic and onions until tender (about 3 minutes).
  4. Add pork, chicken, and shrimp. Cook until evenly browned (about 6 minutes).
  5. Add soy sauce and chicken broth and bring to boil.
  6. Add cabbage, green beans, carrots, and mushrooms. Cook until vegetables are tender yet crisp (about 5-8 minutes).
  7. Add rice noodles, mixing to immerse in broth. Cook until liquid is absorbed and noodles are soft (about 10 minutes).
  8. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
  9. Garnish with green onions, lemon wedges, bean sprouts, and soy sauce as desired.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5
  • Papa: 4/5, would recommend using fewer noodles (350g)
  • Girlie: 4/5
  • TW: 5/5, very tasty with lemon juice as garnish!
  • McM: 4.5/5, delicious!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/pancit-canton-25121

Costa Rica

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Baked Tilapia

Traditional Costa Rican style rice dish with pineapple, black beans, and salsa.

Total time: 90 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (plus more for garnish)
  • 1kg tilapia fillets
  • 4 cups jarred tomato salsa
  • 2 440ml cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups fresh pineapple, diced
  • 4 limes, thinly sliced
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine the rice and chicken broth in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid (about 20 minutes). A rice cooker could also be used to prepare the rice.
  3. While the rice is cooking, prepare the marinade. In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, sugar, and 4 tablespoons of cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place the tilapia fillets in a large flat pan and coat with marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator, turning fillets occasionally (about 20 minutes).
  5. In a large baking dish, mix together the cooked rice, salsa, beans, pineapple, and remaining 4 tablespoons of cilantro.
  6. Remove the tilapia from the marinade (reserve leftover marinade) and lay the fillets over the rice mixture.
  7. Pour the reserved marinade over the fish. Shingle lime slices over the fish.
  8. Bake in the oven until the fish flakes easily and is opaque (about 25-30 minutes).
  9. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.

Family Ratings

  • McM: 2/5, the tilipia was excellent but I found the salsa flavor overpowering in the rice and would recommended using half the salsa next time.

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Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ingrid-hoffmann/baked-costa-rican-style-tilapia-with-pineapples-black-beans-and-rice-recipe.html