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No forks allowed……Morrocan dinner.

9 Oct

I was super excited about trying this cuisine, (especially because it is proper to eat with your hands, no utensils needed)  so many things were tempting to make, but due to being pregnant, and completely grossed out by all raw meat except ground beef, I opted for the Egg and ground meat Tagine. It is normally cooked in something called a Tagine, (hint the recipe name)

but did not have time to scrounge one up. So I used a Le Creuset pot, seemed to work fine, however, I have nothing to compare it to! It turned out absolutely delicious, especially using the bread to sop up the juices, tasted like nothing I have ever had! MAKE THIS DISH!

Egg and Ground Meat Tagine


Start out with finely chopped onion and tomato, and simmer.

Add meatballs and slow cook until meat is thoroughly cooked.

Crack eggs on top (that is the white that you see on top), allow to cook until whites of eggs are done, then serve. Easy and so much flavor.


Tchoutchouka….. Roasted Pepper and Tomato salad

This was a great salad/ condiment with the tagine. So much flavor, wish I had made more to eat on the left over bread.




Batbout M’Khmer Bread


This bread was easy and tasty, like I said earlier, it did a great job sopping up the tagine juices, especially since Morrocan’s do not use forks, hands only!

I love seeing bread dough go from this…….


to this!


Morrocan Couscous



The couscous is to the left of the bread, didn’t put much time into styling the plate, I was starving!

Morrocan food was a treat, and will make this exact dinner again very soon, simple enough and a great addition to our evening meals!






New Zealand

3 Sep

This week, through suggestions of Friends on Facebook, we decided to try out New Zealand’s cuisine. Since most recipes I found online had something to do with deer meat, I decided to go with a Venison meat pie. Our friend, David, donated to some wonderful meat to our cause. I have had deer numerous times before, but I had never cooked it myself, other than some ground meat in chili. The flavor and tenderness was far from my expectations. As soon as I started cutting into the chops, I could tell it was going to be tender. I used the ingredients from this recipe, but did a somewhat different cooking method.

Started out with the deer meat….

I then coated in flour, garlic powder and salt, and browned each side in some olive oil……

Removed from pan, and cooked bacon and herbs, and the rest of ingredients except for crust, and out the venison back in……..

I didn’t use as much red wine as it called for, since I wasn’t going to cook it as long as the recipe called for. I also added some cornstarch to thicken before I used the red wine. Allowed to simmer for 20 minutes, or until thick, then covered with a pie crust, any pie crust recipe will do. Bake at 360 degrees until pie crust is golden.

It turned out absolutely perfect, the meat was tender, and so flavorful. This will make anyone who is afraid of eating deer, turn into a fan!

Next I made a Kumara Salad. Kumara is a type of sweet potato from New Zealand, of course I just used regular sweet potatoes, they are grilled with a vinegar, oil, sugar, and bacon dressing. It had a great taste, and was very colorful.


The Kumara Salad is plated here next to the Venison Pie.

Malaysian Cuisine

27 Jun

This week, we explored the cuisine of Malaysia. Malaysia is located near Indonesia, Thailand and Phillipines in South East Asia. It’s cuisine is derived from multiple ethnicities, due to that, a complex flavor has developed in “Malay” cuisine. There many many dishes I wanted serve this week, but due to time constraints, I only chose Steamed Pork Pau (Steamed Pork Bun) and Char Kuey Teow (Penang Fried Flat Noodles). They were both absolutely delicious and will stay in my recipe box!

Steamed Pork Buns

These are very similar to the Siopao’s I made for the Phillipines  dinner ( ) The filling was a bit different. I did not follow the recipe completely as I had time constraints, so I put all of the meat filling ingredients in a crock pot on low for 6 hours, shredded it, and then followed the directions the rest of the way. The flavor was absolutely great, and thanks to my friend Jamie, I didn’t have to even put them all together!

Recipe :

Jamie, rolling out the dough.

Other than pork filling, we also had steamed cabbage, and eggs.

Steaming the Pau.

The final product!


Char Kuey Teow

This fried noodle dish is amazing, it is a popular street food in Malaysia, specifically Penang. The chili paste recipe that is included in this recipe is even MORE amazing, we made the entire batch of it, cooked with some of it, then ate pretty much all but a tablespoon, which I polished off the next day with some tacos. I’ve already whipped up another batch but just used jalapenos (they are super super cheap) and used it as a salsa, a flavoring, and just to eat by the spoonful.  I thought it would be over powerfully spicy, but it’s not, so please, please, for the sake of your tastebuds, just make it and eat it!! Another recommendation, the frying of the ingredients, requires high heat, a wok, and preparedness, you have to move so fast your head will explode. Have everything lined up, and if it’s your first time stir frying, open the windows and be prepared for a smoke filled kitchen. (I have not figured out how to avoid this yet.)

Recipe :

Steamed mussels, such a cheap, delicious and versatile shellfish!

Ryder, trying out our awesome new Kitchen Aid Food Processor that our friends Nick and Jamie bought for me as a gift, they must love this cookin 🙂   Did I mention it’s a 13 cup food processor?!!!

I was so busy during this cooking process, this was the only (crappy) image I could catch.

Yum, all complete!

The most dishes I have ever used in one cooking session, and I only made 2 things!

Ever heard of Azerbaijan?

5 Jun

I had never heard of the country Azerbaijan! To pick the country this week, I closed my eyes, scrolled up and down a page with all of the countries of the world, and this is what I landed on. It is located between Russia and Iran, two countries that have had major influences on the cuisine of Azerbaijan. I chose 5 dishes the appetizer was Shuyudle Suzme (Yogurt cheese with dill), a bread Tandoor Cheyri (Tandoori Bread), a side dish Et Gutabi (Meat Flatbread), another side dish Soyug Salat (Barbecue Salad), and the main dish  dasharasi cucelari (flattened herb chicken) . All of the dishes were great, and the bread was the best loaf of bread I have EVER baked!

Shuyudle Suzme (Yogurt cheese with dill)

This dip was made with plain yogurt, strained and mixed with herbs, we ate it on the bread.


Your suppose to use a cheese cloth, I didn’t have one, so I poured the yogurt over coffee filters, strainer and a bowl, worked perfectly.

The final product, smeared on some of the Tandoori bread.


Tandoor Cheyri (Tandoori Bread

This was absolutely the best bread I have ever bakes, perfect amount of chewiness on the crust, and inside was soft and moist. This WILL be my #1 bread recipe from here on out.


Tandoori bread, before baking, brushed in egg yolk.

Fresh out of the oven.

Everly kept sneaking licks in on the loaf. Caught in the act.


Et Gutabi (Meat Flatbread)

This was very good, I didn’t have the fruit it called for, so I substituted with pureed raisins (much better flavor than you are thinking) and orange zest. This had to be rolled out paper thin, I was pretty proud of myself!


The dough before it was rolled (obviously)

Look how thin!

Filled with meat.

All done!

 Soyug Salat (Barbecue Salad)

Veggies skewered and grilled, dice, and spiced, can’t go wrong!


Before the grill.

After the grill.



Dasharasi Cucelari (flattened herb chicken)

Flattened chicken is getting pretty popular around here, the spices were perfect in this recipe. If you have never butterflied a whole chicken and weighted down on the grill, please do!!


Grilling to perfection.

Ready to Eat.





Pasta From Scratch

29 May

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my last post, we’ve been very busy the past few weekends, and had to skip my international dinner nights. I’ll be back at it this weekend, with a meal from Azerbaijan. In the mean time, I finally got to some pics from  quite a few months ago, I went to go visit my Memaw, and we decided to make some pasta from scratch! I don’t have any recipes, this was a last minute thing, but I did have my camera, so here are the pics!

Mozambique + Peri Peri = Spicy Love

24 Apr

This week we explored the cuisine of the African country Mozambique. A couple weeks ago, Anthony Bourdain featured Mozambique on No Reservations. If you get a chance to watch it please do. Mozambique is abundant in plants and spices, as well as seafood from the coast, the cuisine was much different than I had imagined it would be, as it is mainly influenced by Portugese cuisine. Portugal ruled Mozambique since the 1500’s, until the return of Democracy in the 1970’s, they were then in a civil war for nearly 10 years, ending in 1992. The country is still in the rebuilding process, after watching the No Resevations episode, it’s amazing how positive the Mozambique people are after so much bloodshed. It’s very inspiring (and the food looked really tasty too!)

Peri Peri Chicken

Mozambique is mostly known for there Peri Peri Chicken. It is traditionally made with a sauce from the Piri Piri pepper, which I could not find, so used local peppers. I took a whole chicken and butterflied it, here is a tutorial if you have never butterflied a chicken, it makes the grilling process quicker and easier,   The sauce was absolutely delicious, I marinated the chicken in it for several hours, placed the butterflied chicken on a low grill heat, basted it with the sauce over and over. I also placed three foil wrapped bricks on the chicken so it would press against the grill grates to get a little more charred effect. I believe it cooked for 2.5 hours, making it super juicy. I just wish I had made more sauce for dipping afterwards. If you have time for a juicy chicken and like some heat, please try this recipe!

Here is the Peri Peri Chicken recipe, I added quite a bit more garlic though,

I also made this coconut rice that went really well with the chicken,

Peri Peri Chicken with Coconut Rice

Mozambique Squash Soup

This was absolutely incredible, and very very healthy! So much flavor, and seems so hearty.


Boiling the butternut squash

These two dishes went great together for a filling a tasty dinner, we finished the night off playing Sequence by candlelight (the electric was out for quite sometime for some unknown reason.)

Cambodian is pho-kin good!

16 Apr

We embarked on a Cambodian dinner this weekend. I was able to get everything I needed at the Saigon Market down at Findlay. Cambodian is similar to Vietnamese, and Thai (somewhat). Cambodian dishes are fairly healthy, vibrant with color, and fragant with spices. I loved the flavors of all 3 dishes, and will be making  Phnom Penh very soon again!

Cambodian Phnom Penh Noodle Soup

This dish is the Cambodian’s version of  the Vietnamese dish Pho. Broth base, with rice noodles, and topped with various meats, fish, sauces, and herbs. This was so delicious, the presentation of the dish is beautiful, and it’s a very healthy dinner!

Recipe (the link takes a while to load, but give it a few seconds, the recipe is worth the wait!)

Garlic , peppercorns, and coriander, gets smashed into a paste for the seasonings of the broth, I then cooked pork loin in water with this, and onion, and a few other ingredients for 3 hours, strain, and the base of the soup is ready.

Cilantro, shrimp, mung bean sprouts, limes, rice noodles, and some shredded pork loin is all thrown into the broth in individual bowls.

Topped with sirachi, complete! Delicious!


Fresh Spring Rolls

These are super healthy and tasty, made with rice paper soaked in water, and stuffed with steamed carrots, bok choy, chicken and bean sprouts. These are not fried or baked, the wrapper is soft and flimsy when you eat it. I did not follow this recipe excatly, but the basics are there.


Steaming carrots and bok choy.


Amok Trey

This fish dish was steamed in banana leaves, and was very aromatic.  I wish I gad made rice to go along with it, that would have made the dish much better, but it was very tasty and aromatic as we at it.


Swai filets cut up and resting in salt and pepper.

After fish is cooked in coconut sauce, it is placed on banana leaves.

Banana leaves are folded up into a boat (not the easiest thing to do), and steamed for an hour.