Month: September 2010


Peasants Cachupa (Cachupa Pobre) Vegan

Makes about 1.5 gallons Cachupa is the quintessential Cape Verdean dish. While there are countless variations, almost all Cachupas have hominy, beans, and potatoes. Some add yucca. Any assortment of vegetables and legumes can be added, depending on availability. For those who can afford it, dried and smoked Portuguese sausages are also added for tremendous “stick to your bones” flavor. Fish, such as tuna and wahoo, is a little more attainable for the average citizen. Our version is vegan and more affordable. More in the mood for breakfast? Leftover Cachupa will suit you too. In fact, refried cachupa (cachupa rafogado) is often served with fried eggs. Nothing like sight, smell, and sound of sizzling eggs in the morning… Tradition vs. our version: Traditionally and typically, the hominy is pounded prior to cooking, however our version leaves the kernel whole for texture. Even still, the entire stew infuses with the soft corn-like flavor of this addictive grain. If you’ve never tried hominy, run out now and buy some! Add it to any stew for wonderful, slightly chewy …

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Menu: Cape Verde

Thanks to Cape Verde, I’m in a summery mood. I even flipped the calendar to September a few dates late in honor of their beach-kissed islands. This menu has something for everyone – a healthy traditional stew, a quirky, indulgent dip, a slurp-able children’s drink, and a purely irresistible, decadent milkshake (although I have a feeling Mr. Picky will love it best). Enjoy! Peasant’s Cachupa (vegan) [Recipe] Hearty stew made with hominy, great northern beans, potato, acorn squash, cabbage, and more. For those who desire more protein, fish or meat can be added for a Cachupa Rica. Creamy Avocado and Date Dip/Spread [Recipe] Smooth blend of avocado with minced dates. Best served with prawns, shrimp or as a sandwich spread. Coconut Milk Chiller [Recipe] Rich coconut milk thinned with regular milk and a dash of cinnamon. Cape Verdean Coconut Milkshake [Recipe] Inspired by the popular chiller, I made a decadent treat from vanilla ice cream, coconut milk, milk, and cinnamon stick swirlers.

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Photo Courtesy of Dave Trainer

About Cape Verdean Food

The magic of Cape Verdean food lies in its history. This cluster of ten tiny islands and 5 islets dotted off the west coast of Africa has only been inhabited since the 15th century, when Portuguese sailors stumbled upon them. Since that time, the inhabitants have developed a cuisine steeped in both African and Portuguese traditions. On any given day, fishermen can be found amidst the sea spray, casting their nets and lines in the shadow of volcanoes. They bring home prawn, shrimp, albacore, wahoo, grouper, and dorado. A brave few travel further from the coasts in hopes of bringing back a tiger shark, known to attack humans almost as often as Great White sharks. We made a wonderful spicy prawn recipe for our Angolan Global Table that is also eaten by Cape Verdeans. For a light lunch, this prawn dish could be served over a traditional Cape Verdean avocado and date salad (or dip). Cape Verde’s national dish is called Cachupa (recipe), a hodge-podge stew that includes whatever vegetables and beans the cook has on …

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Monday Meal Review: Canada

I poured the thick, grade A dark amber maple syrup into the pot and reluctantly added a cup of water to thin it out. Even still, the liquid was viscous, sluggish, sweet. Perfect for simmering dough until tender. I clicked on the range and watched as the syrup shimmered, swirled, and eventually bubbled up. Time to make the doughnuts. I mean… grandpères. One by one, I dropped small, sticky balls of dough into the simmering syrup and watched them dunk, then bob back up to the surface. “Are they ready yet?” Keith was breathing down my neck. A moment later his nose was an inch from the molten hot tub of sugary goodness. “You’ll get burned,” I warned, slapping his fork away. “What’s with you and forks for dessert, anyway?” I muttered. He laughed. You see, almost every time we eat dessert he uses a fork. And every time I ask him why. He also wears his socks inside out. The man is a mystery. Canadian Dijon and Maple Grilled Chicken [Recipe] What I liked …

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Grandpa’s Maple Dumplings | Grandpères

Serves 4 Hot, sweet, syrupy Grandpères served with two scoops of cold vanilla ice cream. Genius. And we have generations of Canadians to thank for keeping this age-old recipe alive. You can eat this for breakfast or dessert. Or a midnight snack. Ingredients: For the dumplings: 2 – 2 1/4 cups flour 1 Tbsp baking powder 1/2 tsp cinnamon pinch of salt 3 Tbsp butter 3/4 cup whole milk For the cooking liquid: 2 cups maple syrup 1 1/2 cups water Method: In a large bowl, mix together flour… … start with two cups and add more if you need to. Stir in the baking powder… A scoop of cinnamon (or Sin as my mom likes to call it) Whisk together with a pinch of salt. Can you see Keith? Now add some buttery goodness. Cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter. Stop when the butter is pea-sized. Next comes the milk. Mix it together until it forms a loose mass, like wet bread dough. Add water to a pot… make it a …

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Canadian Dijon & Maple Grilled Chicken

Serves 6 If you’re looking for a quick and easy marinade, forget the supermarket bottles, loaded up with high fructose corn syrup and chemicals. Our sweet, natural glaze is made with dijon mustard, crushed garlic and rich maple syrup. Special thanks to Kevin from Toronto whose recipe Maple Dijon Grilled Chicken inspired our version. If you haven’t already checked out his blog “Closet Cooking,” you are in for a treat. This guy is an inspiring cook and photographer. Ingredients: 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/3 cup Dijon mustard 2 garlic cloves, crushed Method: For the marinade: 1. In a small bowl, mix together mustard… … maple syrup… … and crushed garlic. I love how the mustard seeds give the marinade a little texture. Pour over the chicken and marinade for a few hours (overnight is best). Turn once to ensure even coverage of the chicken. To Grill: Preheat a clean, oiled grill to high. Lay on the chicken and let cook a few minutes per side, or until done. The maple …

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Butter Roasted Tomatoes

Serves 2-3 Cherry tomatoes are sweet bursts of summertime. Their flavor deepens when roasted with creamy butter and fresh thyme – a juicy side dish that forgives even the driest chicken and wild rice, while bravely complimenting perfectly cooked meals as well. If that isn’t enough reason to try this vegetarian recipe, these tomatoes actually made my picky husband exclaim “pretty good!” That’s quite the milestone considering the tomato is one of his major food nemeses. Like Batman’s Joker or Superman’s Ingredients: 2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil) 1 pint tomatoes (grape, cherry, or other) 1-2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves Method: Run to your farmer’s market and pick up a basket of beautiful cherry tomatoes. Eat one or two. I won’t tell! When you get home, preheat the oven to 375F Melt some butter over low heat (or you can use olive oil for a vegan version of this dish) Rinse tomatoes and place in a bowl Bathe them in melted butter Sprinkle with fresh thyme – pull the leaves off of 1-2 sprigs. Always pull …

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Treats from Canada (with poll)

Maple Syrup To make 1/4 gallon (1 quart) of maple syrup requires an astonishing 10.5 gallons of tree sap. Traditionally a metal bucket was MacGyvered to a tree to extract the goods. Now a days, a tube connects all the trees into one happy, meandering mess of sap that flows directly into the sugarhouse, where it is finally boiled down into syrup. Dulse Dulse is an edible seaweed eaten in the Atlantic Canada. First it is harvested from the ocean waters, then dried out in the sunl. There are about 250 other varieties of seaweed growing wild on Canada’s shores, but most of them aren’t typically eaten.

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Giveaway: Linda Bladholm, Two of Two

Thank you for all your responses on Facebook! We have a winner, chosen at random by Yay!! Here is the winning response: Astrid Lague – I have a friend who is from Southern India, and I’d love to see where he is from and eat some authentic naan made in the tandoor and any other tandoor specialties. Not sure that is what’s around in Southern India… but Indian food is one of my absolute favorites! Congratulations, Astrid! No, we’re still not giving Linda away. However, if I could take Linda with me on shopping excursions, I’d probably spend a lot less time scrunching my face up into a question mark while food shopping. You see, as I cook food and recipes from around the world for my cooking challenge (to eat one meal from each country of the world),  I’m learning just how many ingredients I’ve never heard of. Not that I thought I “knew it all” before this A-Z Global Table Adventure, but still. It’s humbling. For anyone following along who is interested …

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How to cook Canadian Wild Rice

On shopping day, I browsed the bulk bins, hoping against hope that I could find the real thing – Canadian Lake Wild Rice – here, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  As I scanned past basmati, jasmine and wild rice blends, my eye caught something shiny and jet black. I didn’t even have to read the label to know I was in business. The long grains gave themselves away. They look like a pile of runway models in sleek black dresses. Canadian wild rice is all together a different plant than American wild rice.  In fact, the long, spindly needles are more related to wild grass than rice. Canadians have dubbed their special grain Canadian Lake Wild rice, a beautiful and apt description of the rice’s growing environment, where the grains billow above the waters. Recipe (Serves 2-3) Making Canadian Wild Rice is easier than almost any rice I can think of. Just remember my tips about hot dog buns and popcorn. Confused? You won’t be. Keep reading! Ingredients: 1 cup wild rice (rinsed and checked for debris) 3 …

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Menu: Canada

We chose our dessert in .001 seconds this week. What could possibly be better than dough simmered in maple syrup? I like to think of it as deep-frying, but in sugar instead of oil. While this dessert is decidedly sweet, our maple glazed chicken carries a more subtle sweetness, rounded out by garlic and mustard. The rest of the meal showcases farm fresh produce/grains of Canada. Canadian Dijon & Maple Grilled Chicken [Recipe] Chicken coated with a simple blend of maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and crushed garlic, then grilled. Butter-roasted Tomatoes [Recipe] Fresh tomatoes roasted with butter and fresh thyme until tender. Canadian Wild Rice [Recipe] Wild Rice seasoned with fresh thyme makes good use of this Canadian crop. Grandpa’s Maple Dumplings (Grandpères) [Recipe] Drops of soft dough boiled in hot maple syrup. Oh yeah.

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