Month: September 2011


Hand-cut Noodles | Lagman

  If you want to make noodles like a kazakh, you just need a bit of pasta dough, a rolling pin, and a cutter or knife. An egg pasta recipe, like the one we made for Italy, will work beautifully in central Asia as well. You can make the noodles as thick or thin as you’d like. In Kazakhstan they generally like them pretty thick, like lo mein or udon. For this style, roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch or just under. Then cut in thin strips. Finally, toss them with plenty of flour to keep them separated. Cook immediately in boiling, salted water. Use as the base for an incredible stew called lagman shurpa.  Like so! Or the honeyed sweetness called Chak Chak… Enjoy on a cloudy day, when there’s a slight chill in the air and you almost wished you had a light cotton sweater to pull over your shoulders. Ahh, I love fall weather. Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe If you want to make noodles like …

Read More

Chak Chak

Serves 4 Chak Chak is the rice krispie treat of Kazakhstan. Totally irresistible and finger-licking good. Fry up a batch of fresh noodles in an entire stick of butter and coat with sweet honey goodness – you’ll see what I mean. How could it not be? Plus, with Halloween around the corner, the time couldn’t be better to make chak chak…. after all, there’s nothing like putting a little international spin to your spooky dessert table… a spin that looks rather like brains! Ingredients: 2 cups fresh noodles 1 stick butter 1/4 cup honey 1/2 cup sugar Method: Gather 2 cups of fresh noodles. Toss with a bit of flour and cook… … in a stick of melted butter, over medium heat. Toss continually until the butter coats all the noodles; this way they won’t stick. The noodle’s thickness will determine the cooking time. Mine took about 5 minutes. They are ready when they are a little crispy and golden.  Eat a few straight from the pan. Then eat a few more. Set the rest aside. Next, gather …

Read More

Salty Salty Chai

Every time I sip a cup of tea, my lips naturally curl up into a smile. It’s the world’s best mood enhancer. Chai tea is particularly warming. In Kazakhstan people like to add salt, pepper, butter, and even sour cream (Kalmak) to their tea. It’s a whole new world of flavor. If you’re feeling adventurous add a few salty shakes, buttery tabs, or sour cream plops into our homemade chai. You can also try it with plain black tea – like we did with our butter tea from Bhutan. It’s all good. As long as it makes you smile! Don’t you think? Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe In Kazakhstan people like to add salt, pepper, butter, and even sour cream (Kalmak) to their tea.Salty Salty Chai CourseDrinks Food TypeHot Drinks, Non-Alcoholic Drinks Servings Prep Time 1person 5minutes Servings Prep Time 1person 5minutes Ingredients 1cup black tea, prepared salt pepper butter sour cream Instructions Season black tea as desired. Source: Recipe Copyright Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure. For personal or educational use only.

Read More

Central Asian Noodle Stew | Lagman Shurpa

Serves 4 Are you in need of some revitalization? A breath of fresh air? Are you worn out, tired, or just plain sad? Are you cold? I’m with you. I’m all of the above. When I feel like this I just don’t know what I want. I want everything. And nothing. All at once. I want to sleep. I want to watch movie after movie. I want soup. I want lots and lots of noodles. And then I feel guilty and want some veggies. But not the crunchy, raw kind. Nope, the cozy cooked kind. Kazakhstan has the answer. Lagman Shurpa, a.k.a. noodle stew. According to the old Kazakh saying “Meat brings strength, shurpa brings beauty” (from Please to the Table), it sounds like it will help just about every ailment. It is also the perfect dish if you can’t decide what continent you’d like to eat from. It acts like  a stir-fry, a stew, and a hot pot all at once. And it has turnips in it. Great for lifting you out of a heavy day. …

Read More

Menu: Kazakhstan

Cabo loved his scraps as much as the next cat, which is why I know he would have endorsed this Kazakh saying: “Meat brings strength, shurpa brings beauty” (as found in Please to the Table). If he could speak, he probably would have used it anytime the grill was on (although he was known to love watermelon, too). I can hear him now: “MMmmmmeow, that smells good. Can I have some? Purrrrlease? You know, the Kazakh’s will tell ya – meat brings strength, shurpa brings beauty. Mmmmeow.“ I’ll miss that silly cat. With that being said, today is a good day for a filling, replenishing meal. A menu as good for celebrations as it is for mourning. A selection both comforting and nourishing. Plus, this grouping is filled with fun words – just saying them will bring joy into your day. What sounds good to you? Central Asian Noodle Stew (Lagman Shurpa) [Recipe] A blend of thick, homemade noodles, stir-fried lamb and veggies, finished in a light broth. A sprinkling of fresh basil sends it …

Read More

About the food of Kazakhstan

Last night we had to say goodbye to my sweet kitty Cabo. He was very sick with feline AIDS. I’m feeling pretty low right now, so I hope you understand if I keep this brief. Thankfully, Kazakhstan has fascinating food, so it is a decent diversion from my tired, puffy eyes and splitting heartache. And diversion is exactly what this heartache needs. So let’s go for it. Let’s talk Kazakhstan. Imagine eating a meal that has elements of Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East all bundled up together. The result is the occasional stir-fry, noodle [recipe], turnip, and lamb-laden stew [recipe]. In one pot. A melting pot, if you will. With a side of pickled vegetables. The Kazakh’s eat a lot of boiled meats – and unusual meat, too – like horse. Lamb is probably the most popular meat and one place you’ll find it is in Manti, a steamed dumpling served with sour cream. Like in the Middle East, the Kazakh’s love extremely sweet sweets – honey soaked noodles are particularly popular (called …

Read More

Monday Meal Review: Jordan

  THE SCENE I had a lot of time to think while caramelizing the four giant onions for the mujadddara. Ninety minutes, to be exact. My eyes were puffy and red from the sharp fumes. The scent clung to my hair and clothes. As the onions burned hotter and hotter, they released their juices until they were swallowed up in their own bubbling oniony swimming pool. It took at least 45 minutes for the liquid to steam off. I thought they would never start browning. As I stood there, stirring the soupy mess, my mind ran over and over the the last few months. One thing kept popping back up. About how I haven’t told you yet. How I’ve shied away from being real with you, my dear, trusting friends (and I’m so glad you’re here). As the onions finally dried out enough to begin caramelizing, I promised myself to to tell you. And not just part of the truth. The whole thing. Because that’s life. It’s real. So, here goes. Keith’s 21 year-old son is going to …

Read More

Jordanian Inspired Spiced & Grilled Chicken

Serves 4 There was a time when I wasn’t a very good cook, but I sure liked to try. Every night I rifled through my spice collection, eventually sprinkling a little of this and a little of that on top of whatever I was making. And when I say a little I mean a little. A speck. A drop. A dusting. My food never had much flavor because I was scared to overdo it. I’ve since learned (mostly thanks to my time at the Culinary Institute of America) that you need to be brave – bold – generous – when seasoning food. In every culture there’s a collection of common spices used in dishes. If you pull them together just right you can make anything taste great. And the happy side effect? Instant teleportation via stove top travel. This recipe is inspired by the Jordanian chicken in Steven Raichlen’s book Planet Barbecue! which is loaded up with the earthy and intoxicating flavors of cumin, coriander, paprika and more, marinated on a bed of sliced onions. I’ve made the recipe a …

Read More

Arabian Cardamom Coffee

There’s nothing as relaxing as sharing a cup of coffee with a dear friend. It helps you celebrate the life you are in. A part of the past. A bearer of the future.  Everything connected. There are even coffee ceremonies organized around this special drink, in which the raw beans are carefully washed before grinding and brewing. To make an extra special pot of coffee, grind the seeds of 3-6 cardamom pods for every 1/4 cup of coffee. Brew as normal – with a smile and a friend… … while laughing about nothing at all. And everything, too. Votes: 1 Rating: 5 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe There’s nothing as relaxing as sharing a cup of coffee with a dear friend. It helps you celebrate the life you are in. A part of the past. A bearer of the future. Everything connected.Arabian Cardamom Coffee CourseDrinks Food TypeHot Drinks, Non-Alcoholic Drinks, Sasha’s Favorite Recipes Servings 2-3people Servings 2-3people Ingredients 3-6 cardamom pods 1/4cup coffee grounds Instructions Grind the seeds of 3-6 cardamom pods for every 1/4 …

Read More

Snacktime in Jordan

The weather finally took a turn here, in Oklahoma. Over the course of 24 hours we dropped rather suddenly from 100+F degree temperatures to a rather balmy 70 something or other. I’ve never been happier. The proof: I did two cartwheels on our freshly cut lawn. I’m guessing it’s been at least 8 years since I last did a cartwheel. My hands ended up covered in grass clippings, but it was totally worth it. In the spirit of the perfect picnic weather, I’m sharing an unusual Jordanian snack – flatbread, watermelon, and white cheese. I learned about it at Landlopers, where Matt tells his readers: First, a small slice of the sweet watermelon was consumed, followed by some bread with the salty white cheese. A true culinary oddity, it all worked together in a perfect melody of taste and texture. The watermelon cut the saltiness of the cheese, which in turn acted as the perfect compliment to the sweet fruit. I’m totally in. Are you?

Read More

Lentil & Bulgur Pilaf | Mujaddara

Serves 6 Generosity. When people give it freely you feel loved. Taken care of. Your spirit smiles from the inside out. Your day is instantly better. It’s one of the most splendid qualities a person can have. In Jordan, as in many of the region’s countries, generosity to strangers is an honored mealtime practice. In times of plenty, the best part of the meal goes to the stranger. Even in poverty the last crumb goes to the hungry stranger. Today we explore Mujaddara – a splendid vegan dish that will fill a large platter and then some. Perfect for practicing generosity. Sometimes made with bulgur and sometimes with rice, Mujaddara is always made with lentils and caramelized onions. Get ready for fantastic twist on pilaf. Recipe inspired by the post at Ingredients: Garnish: 4 extra-large onions, sliced in half moons 1/2 cup olive oil pine nuts & raisins (optional) For the pilaf: 2 cups lentils 1 cup bulgur 5 cups water salt pepper Method: Let’s make a loving gift from a simple meal. In the spirit of …

Read More

Menu: Jordan

I’m feeling rather minimalist, especially after cooking Japan last week. Thankfully Jordan has plenty of recipes that fit the bill. This week’s menu is organized around the beauty of simplicity. Each of our Jordanian dishes celebrates fresh, clean but intense flavors, from caramelized onions in an otherwise simple pilaf, to a few cardamom seeds ground into regular coffee. Even plain chicken breasts can be perked up with a blast of straightforward spices. After all, life is easier when you strip away the complications. And aren’t we all more likely to try something new if it’s not too far out of our comfort zone? What sounds good to you? Mujaddara (Lentil & Bulgur Pilaf) [Recipe] A giant, fluffy mound of lentils and bulgur served with oodles of caramelized onions. This affordable, nutrient packed dish will make you healthy, wealthy, and wise. Jordanian Inspired Spiced & Grilled Chicken [Recipe] A simple spice blend to give plain ‘ol chicken breasts a kick in the pants. Arabian Cardamom Coffee [Recipe] Fresh coffee beans ground with cardamom seeds. Floral, intoxicating, and all natural. Snacktime in …

Read More