Monday Meal Review: Bhutan

This is meal #20 in my personal challenge to eat one meal from every country in the world.

Last week, during our Beninese Global Table, we were in the midst of expelling an evil kidney stone. I’m sad to say the misery continues. Poor Keith is a trooper, but he’s getting a little ansy to do something besides pain pills.

I have high hopes that this week’s Bhutanese Global Table will get Keith’s Kidney Stone a-movin.’ All that spice and butter has to be good for something (besides tasty goodness). Keep your fingers crossed.

Butter Grilled Poblanos [Recipe]


What I like most about this dish:

I love the mild heat of roasted poblanos in the summer, especially when the heat index is 105 (that’s Oklahoma for ya!). So what about poblanos stuffed with butter and grilled? To borrow an Oklahoman expression, I “might-could” marry one. After two simple minutes of prep, the forest green pepper takes on a rich, smoky flavor that goes well with just about anything. What’s better than that?

Oh yeah. I know. The hot gush of butter that oozes out when you cut into it. That’s better. Definitely.

What I like least about this dish:

The only problem with this recipe is that you cannot turn the poblano once you start cooking. If you do, a boiling geiser of butter will spill out from your incision, all over the grill (I don’t recommend it – very hot and dangerous). What you really want to happen is for the butter to ooze out, onto your plate (maybe over the rice, even) and then into your belly. And that, my friends, tastes like good!

Since you can’t turn these babies, you’ll need to watch your heat and make sure they don’t get scorched on the bottom. Keeping them over indirect heat will help a great deal.

Ema Datshi (chili pepper and cheese sauce) [Recipe]


What I like most about this dish:

Many people compare Ema Datshi to fiery hot queso. In some ways I agree, but it really depends on the cheese you use. I stirred a combination of Monterey Jack with a little Farmer’s cheese into the Anaheim and Serrano chilies. The flavor was good, albeit not traditional (see below).

I love that this recipe is flexible enough that you can use any chili peppers that suit your taste (mild, medium, or hot).

What I like least about this dish:

The hardest part about Ema Datshi is making it authentic. First, the Bhutanese use Yak cheese which is not easily found, at least not here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Let me know if you have Yak cheese where you live, though!

Many people use Danish feta as a substitute, but I’d read that the Yak cheese is a type of farmer’s cheese so I bought some Friendship farmer’s cheese and tried that. Hmm. First try, everything was too hot and curdled. Second try, let’s just say the texture was not at all creamy. See this ricotta-looking Ema Datshi in the background?

My third and final try finally got it right. Well, as right as I am going to get it without Yak cheese. From the pictures I saw, this dish needs to be creamy… which is why I ended up using Monterey Jack – for a more authentic texture.

Cracked Red Rice [Recipe]


What I like most about this dish:

The most fantastic thing about Red Rice is that it is as easy as white rice to make. After just 16 minutes of simmering (with whatever seasonings you like), you’ve got the perfect side dish. There’s something about the wheaty, nutty flavor… I imagine this grain could stand up to anything you put on it. My husband didn’t look twice at it either, but then again, he’s getting used to eating whatever I put in front of him. Red Rice is definitely going into our rotation of grains from now on.

What I like least about this dish:

Red Rice can be difficult to find. I lucked out and found it in “cracked” form at my local Indian Market. Cracked just means that the grains are smaller – cracked in half. Anyway, I like to “Eat Global, Shop Local” so I hope you can find this wonderful grain for sale in a shop near you. If not, I did happen to see it in various online stores.

Butter Tea [Recipe]


What I like most about this dish:

What a conversation starter! Would you like some butter tea? Butter what? Butter tea! What’s that… Tea with butter, of course! :D I’m told this drink is especially good in the winter. I’ll have to give it a try on a snowy day. It’s not very different than adding cream, especially if you stir it vigorously to break up the butter slick that inevitably forms.

What I like least about this dish:

I have no business putting butter in my tea. It erases any workout I just did (or think about doing). But there’s something super thrilling about drinking it anyway, like licking the brownie bowl.

What do you have to lose? A teabag, a drop of milk, some butter, and five minutes? I’m here to get you off the fence. Try the Butter Tea.

Himalayan Fruit Salad [Recipe]


What I like most about this dish:

Stacked fruit looks clean and pretty. How could anyone resist snacking on these. In fact, if you had a child who was fighting fresh fruit, this might be the way to convince them.

What I like least about this dish:

I suppose I’d have to say all the little odds and ends of fruit that don’t work for the cubes. But, really you can just freeze them for smoothies, or do like I did and eat the scraps as you go!

Ava’s Corner

She ate up some rice, but by the time we offered her the poblano she was a little … well … take a look.

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Comments

  1. i’ve just found your website via the flylady! however, i’ve got a ?. isn’t it expensive to be doing all of this different kind of cooking? between specialty shops and spices?

    • globaltable says:

      Hi Elaine,

      The short answer is yes, it can be…

      I’d say the cooking only gets expensive when I need something like kangaroo.

      I buy my spices in bulk at Whole Foods and refill my jars – that usually cost less than a dollar… depending on the spice. Foreign markets tend to cost less than grocery stores.. for example red palm oil was $15 at Whole Foods and $3 at an African market.

      The red rice was five dollars, but that will make 4-6 dinners.

      Some weeks it really adds up, but we have to eat anyway :)

      Sasha

  2. I also found this site through Flylady. Nicely written. The likes/dislikes section is useful. Hope you can get compensated for the time and items you’ve put into this. Perhaps your local supermarket chain can sponsor your articles in newsletters. Looking forward to more cooking travels..

    • globaltable says:

      Trini, that’s a great idea. I’d love to get sponsorship and will be looking into my options this summer. No matter what, I enjoy the Adventure, so I’ll keep on cookin’
      Sasha

  3. I love Ava’s reaction! She must be able to smell it under the rice! I liked that you can choose to use less spicy versions. I was a little worried for you this week! I love the presentation for the fruit salad, I hadn’t thought of that!

  4. I may have to try that red rice.

    It’s been so exciting reading all of your reviews!

    That video of Ava is so cute! She was not about the food this week!

  5. I have been enjoying your posts immensely as I love to cook ethnic foods. I also love that you are introducing your daughter to most everything. My last two boys ate everything until my daughter came back to live with us and wouldn’t eat certain things!

    I had a thought about the grilled peppers. You could run them under the broiler to char the top side. Yes?

    • globaltable says:

      Hi Madelin,

      Thanks for your lovely comment. I think kids imitate when it comes to food, so I can see where they changed their habits once they saw someone who was pickier. I know a young boy who eats sushi, though, so anything is possible :)

      Hope they enjoy the fruit salad. Let me know :)

      Sasha

  6. Maribeth says:

    Sasha,

    I just signed up to receive Global table also through
    Flylady. I am excited to follow along. Have you read the Pioneer Woman Blog? She is also in Ok. Check her out, she has sponsors on her blog, may have some ideas for you. I like the way you have set up your blog.
    Maribeth

    • globaltable says:

      Hi Maribeth,

      Thanks for your comment – I LOVE the Pioneer Woman. Ree Drummond is funny and smart – two of the best qualities a woman can have. I’ve definitely found inspiration on her web site, almost on a daily basis. She keeps us working on our photography, trying to give it the best “drool factor” possible. I’m glad you’ve joined the adventure :)

      Keep in touch,
      Sasha

  7. Desihomecook says:

    Best wishes to Keith and you on getting rid of the stone.. Hope you are making him drink lots of fluid… I suffered from it in 2004 and can never forget the pain.

    I am right now looking at the poblanos and drooling over them… Our grill is definitly grilling them the next time its on fire.

    • globaltable says:

      Hi Desihome

      Keith finally got rid of the stone! Hurrah! Three cheers :) Sorry to hear you went through it, too. Kidney stones should be outlawed.

      Hope you enjoy the poblanos – super easy and tasty. Let me know what you make them with :)

      Sasha

  8. This is a great fruit salad for my kids who love fruit and the presentation is fenomenal. Great idea,

  9. Tina Nettles says:

    We loved Ava’s Jedi mind trick and invisible bib! Oh yeah, and your photos and blog were exceptional as well! Keep inspiring us!

    • globaltable says:

      Yes, Keith is very creative :) The invisible big thing cracked me up, too. She’s been doing that lately when she’s “all done.” Too stinkin’ cute!

  10. Anitra Lavanhar says:

    I Loved Ava’s video. I hope you keep that section on your blog. You are doing such a great job. I also the article about you in Oklahoma Magazine, or was it Tulsa People, anyway it was great. I need to get that themometer back to you!

    Thanks for your inspirations.

    • globaltable says:

      Thanks Anitra!

      I told Keith the same thing – it’s really up to him if he has time to do it. I think he’s going to – plus, how great to have one video a week of Ava to look back on, years from now. What great memories! Let’s just hope this is the biggest fight she puts up… :)

      Sasha

  11. Love the video of Ava!!! Isabel, my daughter will be one on Monday and she has some of the exact same mannerisms when she’s not happy with the food I give her… :) Love the invisible bib, too!!!

  12. Angel Lamb says:

    I just found you while looking for recipes for Bhutan. I am basically stealing your menu for this one. We are eating our way around the world and incorporating it into geography and history lessons for our girls Catherine, 9, and Evan, 4. I am glad to see you are still at it 2 years later. I know I will visiting your site again and again as our project goes on.

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