Argentina (Part 2)

img_1177

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)

img_1173

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.

img_1167

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

Egypt (Part 3)

2016-09-03 20.53.55 (1)

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.

2016-09-03 19.43.44 (1)

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

2016-09-03 20.25.15 (1)

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

Trinidad & Tobago

IMG_0031

Crab Pilau

Trinidadian braised rice with crab and coconut milk.

Total time: 60 minutes
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cup purple onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 hot chili, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 3 uncooked white rice
  • 4 400ml cans coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 700g canned crab meat, drained
  • 4 tablespoons green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • lime wedges for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over moderate heat until foamy. Add onions, garlic, and chili and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add curry powder and continue stirring (2-3 minutes). Add uncooked rice and continue stirring until rice is coated with the onion mixture (2-3 minutes).
  3. Stir in coconut milk, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer undisturbed (15 minutes).
  4. Stir in 1-2 cups water, bring to a boil again, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is fully cooked (15-20 minutes).
  5. Stir in crab meat, green onions, and lime juice. Simmer until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and crab is heated through (about 5 minutes).
  6. Serve with lime wedges for garnish.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 3.5/5, very filling!
  • Papa: 4/5, could use less rice and add shrimp
  • Girlie: 3.5/5
  • TW: 4/5
  • McM: 3/5, somewhat heavy so I would recommend substituting half the regular coconut milk for “lite” coconut milk and reducing the amount of rice

IMG_0029

Original recipe: 
http://www.alleasyrecipes.com/recipes/2/2/braised_rice_with_crab_and_coconut_milk.asp

Romania (Part 2)

DSC09611

Chicken Ghiveci

Romanian braised chicken with vegetables.

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, deseeded, sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1.2kg chicken breast, cubed
  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • bread or rice for serving

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are browned (5 minutes).
  2. Add bell pepper and carrots and continue cooking until peppers begin to soften (5-8 minutes).
  3. Add chicken pieces and cook, stirring, until chicken is browned (10 – 15 minutes).
  4. Add tomato paste, wine, sugar, thyme, and rosemary. Stir thoroughly, then cover and simmer until chicken is fully cooked (15-20 minutes).
  5. Serve with bread or rice.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5
  • Papa: 4/5
  • Girlie: 4/5
  • TW: 4/5
  • McM: 4/5, delicious meal, very flavorful!

DSC09604

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-ghiveci-romanian-braised-chicken-297592

Finland (Part 2)

DSC09596

Punajuuripihvit

Finnish beet steaks.   

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 400ml cans sliced beets, drained
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • fresh parsley (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Dip beets in beaten egg. Coat with breadcrumbs.
  2. In a skillet, melt better over medium-low heat. Saute beet slices, turning once to brown each side (3 minutes per side).
  3. Place on serving platter, sprinkle with lemon juice, and garnish with parsley.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 3.5/5
  • Papa: 3.5/5
  • Girlie: 3/5
  • TW: 3.5
  • McM: 3.5/5, great way to serve beets, but would be even better with fresh garden beets (baked and sliced) instead of canned beets!
  • AC: 3/5

DSC09593

Original recipe:  http://www.food.com/recipe/punajuuripihvit-finnish-beet-steaks-373374

Mexico

DSC09590

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!

DSC09589

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

Thailand (Part 2)

DSC09584

Shrimp Pad Thai

Classic Thai meal with shrimp and tofu.    

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 250g thin rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • 600g cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup firm tofu, cubed
  • 5 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup bean sprouts plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, crush, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 lime cut into wedges for garnish
  • spicy peanut satay sauce for serving
  • Sriracha hot sauce for serving

Directions

  1. Put the noodles in a medium bowl with hot water to cover. Soak until tender (30 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar, fish sauce, and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in the beaten eggs, tilting the skillet as you pour to make a thin even coating of egg. Cook until just set (1-2 minutes). Invert the eggs onto a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  4. Heat another 1 tablespoon of peanut oil over high heat in the same skillet. Add shrimp, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Fry until shrimp are pink (2 minutes).
  5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil, garlic, and shallots and cook until shallots are lightly browned (2 minutes).
  6. Add tofu and cook (2 minutes).
  7. Add noodles and cook, tossing, until lightly coated with garlic mixture (1 minute).
  8. Add fish sauce mixture and scallion pieces and heat through.
  9. Stir in cooked egg, 1 cup of sprouts, and crushed peanuts and toss until hot.
  10. Serve with additional sprouts, peanuts, and lime wedges as garnish. Add peanut sauce or Sriracha sauce to taste.

DSC09578

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4.5/5
  • Papa: 4.5/5
  • Girlie: 5/5
  • TW: 4/5,
  • McM: 4.5/5, excellent meal!
  • Kid Cairo: 5/5

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/shrimp-phad-thai-recipe.html

Chile (Part 2)

DSC09569

Caldillo de Congrio con Vino Blanco

Chilean seafood stew.   

Total time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 cups vegetable stock* (see notes below)
  • 4-6 tablespoons fish sauce to taste* (see notes below)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 cod fillets* (see notes below)
  • 250g scallops
  • 250g shrimp
  • 250g mussels
  • 1 cup 18% cream
  • 1 egg yolk

Directions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute until softened but not browned (4 minutes). Add bell pepper, carrot, garlic, cayenne pepper, chili powder and cook, stirring (2 minutes).
  2. Transfer the onion mixture to a large pot. Add broth, fish sauce, tomatoes, bay leaf, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer over low heat (10 minutes). Remove bay leaf.
  3. Add cod, shrimp, scallops, and mussels. Simmer over low heat until fish and scallops are opaque, shrimp are pink, and mussels open (10 – 15 minutes).
  4. In a small bowl, whisk heavy cream with egg yolk. Ladle a small amount of hot soup into the egg mixture before adding to soup (to prevent egg and cream from curdling). Simmer (2 minute).
  5. Garnish with additional parsley and serve.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 5/5
  • Papa: 4.5/5, could use a little less parsley but otherwise an excellent stew!
  • Girlie: 5/5
  • TW: 5/5,
  • McM: 4.5/5

Notes

  • Congrio is not available in North America, but any firm-fleshed white fish can be substituted. We used cod, but other options include halibut, sea bass, red snapper, grouper, or monkfish.
  • The original recipe included fish stock but we were unable to find this in our local grocery stores. We substituted by using vegetable broth and adding fish sauce.

Original recipe:  http://thelatinkitchen.com/r/recipe/caldillo-de-congrio-con-vino-blanco

Philippines (Part 2)

DSC09557 edit

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.

DSC09552 edit

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

Laos (Part 3)

DSC09549 edit

Larb

Minced chicken in lettuce wraps. Served with sticky rice, a staple in Laotian meals.

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sticky rice (sushi rice works well)
  • 1/4 cup uncooked medium grain white rice
  • 1kg boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 small red chile, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste (see previous post on this blog)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 10-12 lettuce leaves (one head of butter lettuce works well as the lettuce is flavorful and sturdy enough to make wraps)

Directions

  1. Cook sticky rice according to package instructions. We used sushi rice cooked in a rice cooker.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the uncooked white rice onto a baking sheet. Bake the rice in the oven until golden (15 minutes). Once cooled, grind into a fine powder using a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Set aside.
  3. Process the chicken thigh meat in a food processor until finely minced. Set aside.
  4. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chili, and green onions. Cook, stirring, until the garlic softens (3 minutes).
  5. Add the minced chicken and cook, stirring to break up lumps, until the meat is no longer pink (5 minutes) .
  6. Add fish sauce, shrimp paste, and sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the excess liquid has evaporated (5 minutes).
  7. Stir in the ground rice, mint, and lime juice.
  8. Serve on lettuce leaves with sticky rice.

DSC09535

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 5/5, my favorite dish out of all the countries so far!
  • Papa: 4.5/5
  • Girlie: 4.5/5
  • TW: 4.5/5
  • McM: 4.5/5, very interesting and exotic flavor, lettuce wraps make a great light meal!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/lao-papaya-salad-447215

DSC09546 edot

Larb (bottom) served with sticky rice (right), papaya salad (top), and shrimp paste on crackers (left). See other posts on this blog for recipes.