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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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/

Trinidad & Tobago

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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

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

Romania (Part 2)

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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!

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

Finland (Part 2)

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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

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

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/

Thailand (Part 2)

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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.

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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