Month: September 2013

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Uruguayan Hot Dog | Pancho

Yes, that’s corn on a hot dog. Listen, friends: if  you’re going to have a hot dog, you might as well have a Uruguayan one. Sure, it might just cost a buck or two, but… They’re amazing. Dramatic. Game changers. If this seems like a lot of responsibility for a hot dog, that’s because it is. The pancho’s success is not so much about the meat, though it’s true:  the “dog” is usually bigger and better than your average hot dog (it sticks out a good inch or two on either side of the bun). But when it comes down to it, the pancho is all about the toppings. At many pancho stands, you’ll find some combination of corn, melted cheese, relish, salsa, and especially “salsa golf,” which is a blend of mayo and ketchup.   You can eyeball the salsa golf: aim for half of each… and it’ll be pale pink. There’s not much of a recipe…. simply grill a batch of extra-long hot dogs, provide a small bowl of each topping, and let your guests …

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Menu: Uruguay

Ah, Uruguay. I kept this menu nice and simple for two reasons. First, we’re only a few weeks away from our #GlobalTableExperience on October 12, 2013, where we’ll serve food from more than 160 countries on a single string of tables. I’m spending every ounce of free time getting the details ready, so that you and your loved ones can enjoy a bite of the world. Even if you can’t make it, make sure you read about how you can be involved in spreading our message of peace and understanding through food from wherever you are! Second, we were on a little family vacation in Southeast Oklahoma when I cooked this meal, so I wanted everything to be easily prepared (with a minimum of equipment). The results? Simple & tasty. Two of my favorite words. All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Uruguayan Hot Dog | Pancho [Recipe] There’s nothing extraordinary about a hot dog, unless you consider the toppings on this one, particularly the sauce. This one recipe will keep your BBQ’s …

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About the Food of Uruguay

[Recipe] I’ve been saying “Uruguay” wrong my entire life. Apparently, it’s “oooo-rah-gway,” as in, “oooo” that food looks good. Located in South America, Uruguay is made of gentle hills and a glistening coastline. As with much of South America, this is a meat-lover’s paradise. Beef is the specialty of choice, though blood sausages and other offal are included as well. In this, it reminds me of Argentina (which we cooked three and a half years ago!). More mainstream choices include BBQ, like carne asada… though, even a good hot dog (called pancho)[Recipe], is worthy of the hungriest stovetop travelers. The cattle are raised in the heart of the country, while produce like corn and tomatoes grow on the coastal plains. For dessert, there’s no stopping their love of flan, alfajores, and a layered cheese and fruit paste treat, called Martin Fierro [Recipe]. Wash it all down with a strong cup of yerbe mate tea or clericó, which is like a white sangria, made with fruit juice and wine. Then, when all is said and done, perhaps …

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Monday Meal Review: United States of America

Friends, we are here. After three and a half years, we’ve come to the first ending. With the United States of America, North America is officially done. The continent is “cooked,” as it were. I can’t help but notice the irony: the first country to begin the end of our Global Table Adventure is my own country. Perhaps this is a bit of alphabetical nonsense, and nothing more. But I like to find meaning in my life. I choose to dig deeper. I see it as a two-part message. First, we need to understand our home before we can understand anything beyond it. Second, the world can help us understand our home better than anything else. There are lessons out there that can enlighten us. That can clarify our own situations. Only once we love and appreciate our own home, can we fly from the nest and explore the world with love. We celebrated in style: this week we hosted an All-American potluck with our friends. I’ve never done such a thing. With my eyes so …

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All-American Apple Pie

Mom made apple pie all the time when I was little. It was my brother Damien’s choice for “birthday cake” several years in a row. He was born in October: it just made sense. Mom taught us how to cut the butter into the flour, to make a flaky pie crust, and she taught us how to add cinnamon and nutmeg to flavor it. (In her honor, I’ve labeled my cinnamon jar “sin,” just as she did then) Then I moved to Oklahoma, as far from New England’s familiar orchards as I could get. Every year about this time I start missing home – I start hungering for the bright, fall taste of apple pie. Of home. Use any firm baking apples you’d like.  This time I used pink lady, though many different varieties will do, as long as they are firm. Check with your grocer and see what crop they think would suit you well. While many insist on adding at least half granny smith, I prefer my pie granny-free. In the end, I …

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Barbecued Ribs

I’ve heard that finger-lickin’ is not allowed in finer circles. Rumor has it, you should only order foods that are easy to eat during business dinners. No spaghetti, no lobster, and definitely no ribs. The same goes for when you meet your in-laws for the first time. Is this true? I don’t know. But I do know that, when you find yourself face to face with a rack of ribs, you aren’t getting away from them without a little finger lickin.’ Barbecued pork ribs can be made any number of ways, depending on the part of the USA you’re emulating. Some ribs are prepared as wet BBQ, meaning they are brushed with barbecue sauce throughout the cooking process, while others use a simple dry rub of assorted spices, as is popular in Memphis barbecue. Even though I’m American, I really don’t have much experience cooking ribs, so I looked at The Best Recipe by Chris Kimball for inspiration. He suggested going with a dry rub, then brushing BBQ sauce over them at the end.  I played around with …

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Menu: United States of America

In yesterday’s post, someone had a really great point: when it comes to American food, we mustn’t forget the Native Americans. Yesterday, I spoke of Thanksgiving and how the Native Americans taught us to celebrate the harvest and abundance. Today should be no different. Apples are the perfect example of the Native American mindset, even if not an actual recipe of theirs. The apples are harvested from American crops. They haven’t been flown in from a continent away. As they are sliced and lovingly added to apple pie, they remind of us of the abundance right here, in our own land. Even within our wide borders, we grow many varieties of fruits and vegetables. Let’s be sure  to celebrate that which grows right here, right now, whenever possible. Both recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. BBQ Ribs [Recipe] Baby back ribs, dry-rubbed with an assortment of spices like paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, oregano and more.  After three hours on the grill with hickory wood chips, the ribs develop a lovely …

New York City at night. Photo by Paulo Barcellos Jr.

About the food of the United States of America

Ah, the United States of America. After three and a half years of cooking the world, we finally reach my homeland. Our country is known as the land of opportunity, a melting pot, and a dream that stretches “from sea to shining sea.” Whether or not you agree with these sentiments, one thing is for certain: it’s easy to eat in the USA. There’s food on virtually every corner. Ever since the first Thanksgiving, when native Americans shared their bounty, our people have celebrated abundance. Thus, when talking about American food, Thanksgiving is a fair place to start: that one holiday which is quintessentially American and that celebrates all the goodness we have and are grateful for. A traditional spread offers a giant roasted turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, and other autumnal fare. A crimson scoop of cranberry sauce [recipe] is served on the side. Soft dinner rolls round out the meal. Once everyone is as full as can be, dessert is pulled out: usually a pumpkin or pecan pie, though the most …

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Monday Meal Review: United Kingdom

Other than the perennial baseball cap, there’s not a lot of people wearing hats anymore.  I don’t usually give the matter much thought, but this week, as we had our royal British Tea Party, I found myself wondering why not? Why don’t we wear fancy, fussy, feathery hats? Even at the beach, it’s a rare  to find women sporting practical, wide-brimmed, shade-bearing hats. Where has the fuss and circumstance gone? Because, with it, I think we also lost some fun. Is it that we’re too afraid of standing out? Have we run out of room in our closets? I read somewhere that men stopped wearing them because JFK didn’t wear one to his inauguration (or much at all, really). UPDATE: Snopes says this is not true. I haven’t heard any excuses for us women. Do you ever wear hats? Why or why not? THIS WEEK’s FOOD: Coronation Chicken Salad [Recipe] What I loved most about this dish: EVERYTHING! Cooking down the onion, toasting the spices, the sweet chutney, and bits of diced apricot…it really is a blast of flavor. I’ll definitely be …