Archive | International Food Night RSS feed for this section

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.

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.





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.



Polish food and Vodka!

11 Apr

This week we created a meal from the Polish cuisine. There were a ton of awesome recipes to choose from this country, but narrowed it down to these few. Yum Yum Yum…..

Pierogi (Polish Dumpling)

Pierogi’s can be stuffed with anything you fancy, I chose the more traditional dish with sauerkraut and onions sauteed. I also made up my own dill and sourcream mixture to dip them in. Pierogi’s may look intimidating to make, but they are pretty simple and fun too!

Pierogi recipe I followed:



These dumplings were very good and I plan to try some other stuffing variations soon!

Zrazy Zawijane

The name sounds much crazier than it is. These are beef rolls stuffed with sauteed mushrooms and shallots, with a creamy sauce, it taste very similar to beef stroganoff. If I make this in the future, I think a more tender cut of beef will be used rather than top round. It was a little tough, but had a ton of flavor.



Top Round Steak


Pound it out to 1/4″ thick


Spread with dijon mustard and place stuffing on the meat.


Roll up and tie with string.


Roll in flour before browning.


The finished product….pretty huh?

Polish Mushroom Soup

I absolutely love mushrooms, so of course I adored this recipe. To bad way enjoyed too much vodka and forgot to put it away that evening! You can enjoy this recipe as a broth based soup, or add cream at the end and it is a cream of mushroom soup. I tasted it both ways, loved them both!



The base for the soup, alot of mushrooms, celery and shallots.


Pickled and Creamed Herring

A popular snack in Poland is pickled and creamed herring, since I waited to last minute to choose Poland, I did not have enough time to try and pickle it myself, so I bought it. This has always been a favorite of mine, and my dad’s. So it was nothing adventurous for me, however our friends Nick and Jamie had not had this before, so it was new to them and they seemed to enjoy (and Nick thought he didn’t like seafood, until he met me!)


Last but not least, our Polish Potato Vodka!

Lebanese Deliciousness

26 Mar

This week, our fun international food night was based in Lebanon. Lebanese food has major influnces from Turkish cuisine, France. The foods are spiced with an array of herbs and seasonings. I really enjoyed the dishes, and will keep these recipes for future use!

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush is a dip made with eggplants. Similar to Hummus. I got this recipe from, It was tasty, but I will definetly use less tahini, and omit the sesame seeds next time!


Shish Barak (Yogurt Dumpling Stew)

This stew was very easy to make, but tedious due to the small dumplings stuffed with meat. Ryder helped me make the dumplings. He’s such a big help, you will also get to see his leftover pirate costume we threw together for his friends “pirate” birthday party. Notice the worn off mustache!

Here is the recipe we followed:

The base for our stew, labneh.

Cutting the dumpling dough.

We made alot of dumplings!

Flatten the dough with your fingers,

add meat filling,

fold dough over, half moon,

and finally tuck the ends around and pinch! Now 60 more to go!

He did this 100% on his own!

After the dumplings cook in the yogurt and spices, here is the final dish!


Chicken Shawarma

This is generally cooked on a spit, and shaved off finally onto pita bread. I found a recipe to use without a spit, we grilled the chicken. The flavor of the meat was incredible. I only had time to let it marinate a few hours, I can’t imagine how good this would be marinated for a couple of days. I heated up pita bread, covered them in a garlic sauce, added chicken, and fresh tomato and red onion. So good

Chicken Shawarma recipe :

Garlic Sauce: