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A Central American Lunch

Lunch from El Salvador

Central America can provide fresh, fun inspiration for the lunchbox (with a generous dash of indulgence). Since our family chose not to opt in for my daughter’s school’s weekly Pizza Day, I’m always looking for something special for Ava’s Friday lunches. When I asked Ava how she enjoyed this particular Around the World lunch, Ava returned my question with wide eyes and an even wider grin. I have a feeling the cheesy pupusas from El Salvador did the trick.

Pupusas are made with masa harina and melted cheese or bean filling, then fried. We made them for dinner the night before (when Ava taught papa how to make them with a hilarious, if not entirely authentic “double stuffed” method). Not bad for five years old!

The leftovers were a quick reheat in the school microwave, though they’re decent cold, too. To balance things out, I included a cabbage slaw called “curtido” seasoned with dried oregano, vinegar, and a touch of red pepper flakes. The fried plantain chips and sliced avocado were just for fun!

Tips

  • Try substituting the curtido for a chunky guacamole. The plantain chips would make great dippers!
  • Pupusas  are great served with tomato salsa.
  • For more heat, add extra red pepper flakes to the curtido.

 

Ava's Around the World LunchesWhy show you Ava’s lunch?

Ava’s Around the World Lunches began when I shared a few of Ava’s globally-inspired lunches on Instagram and Facebook. Turns out a lot of people are looking for lunch ideas – whether for school or work.

In this regular column, I share one of our Around the World lunches with you. I give you tips, like where to find ingredients or possible substitutions. If you have ideas for lunches you’d like to see or challenges you need help dealing with, let me know in the comments!

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Feast of the 7 Fishes | Linguine with Baccalà Sauce

Feast of the 7 Fishes | Linguine with Baccalà Sauce

A lump of salt cod (baccalà) just might be everything. To use the tough, leathery fillet – more hide than flesh – the cod must first be soaked in fresh clean water. Gradually the salt leaks into the water and clouds it. A change of water, then more salt comes out. Several more water changes. A couple of days go by. The cod becomes soft. Mild. Tender. Italians know: these steps cannot be skipped or the meal will be ruined.

Feast of the 7 Fishes | Linguine with Baccalà Sauce

I find myself sifting around for meaning this year. Did you notice that Christmas came with Halloween and Thanksgiving was just a speed bump on the road to black Friday (which actually began before the dishes were done or the meal had settled)?  With all the fuss happening earlier and earlier in the year, the excitement of Christmas feels dilute.

But as I sit with this idea, restless in my desire to make the holidays special, I realize dilution – as with salt cod – can be a benefit. As the holiday season leeches into the stores earlier, becoming increasingly consumer-based, it is easier for me to identify that tender lump – what really matters. To me, anyway.

And that is family.

Feast of the 7 Fishes | Linguine with Baccalà Sauce

Feast of the 7 Fishes is a great way to recenter and reorient towards family and togetherness on Christmas Eve. This southern Italian and Italian-American feast has no hard and fast rules, except one: seafood must be served. Beyond that, one dish might contain 7 fish or there might be 7 distinct fish courses – though some buffets exceed one dozen. Creating all these dishes requires an enormous family effort to pull off –  several generations packed into the kitchen, bumping elbows. This is where memories are made.

Feast of the 7 Fishes | Linguine with Baccalà Sauce

No matter our backgrounds, we have the power to create such connection – to feed our hearts by cooking together.  It is with this spirit that I share this pasta dish –  unassuming swirls of linguine topped with fresh tomato sauce, capers, and lumps of salt cod. It’s perhaps not the most challenging dish to prepare, but it gets an the essence of things.

And isn’t that the point?

P.S. To keep the spirit of the Feast – with multiple courses and cooks – I enlisted the help of  a few bloggers I know and admire. Here are their delicious contributions:

Sicilian Citrus Shark Filets by Amanda Mouttaki, MarocMama.
Sweet and Savory Eel. Laura Kelley, Silk Road Gourmet.
Whipped Salt cod | Baccalà Mantecato by Deana Sidney, Lost Past Remembered.

A Feast of the 7 Fishes | Fettuccine with Baccalà Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 lb pasta, preferably linguine

For the sauce:

1 lb salt cod, a.k.a. baccalà
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin
28 ounces canned tomatoes (crushed)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup capers
small handful parsley (for garnish)

salt, as desired

Method:

Soak baccalà per package instructions (typically for 1 to 3 days with occasional water changes depending on thickness of the fillet).

On meal day:
In a medium pot over medium high heat, fry the onion in olive oil until softened – a good 10 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Continue heating. When the first bubbles pop through add pieces of the baccalà (cut into bite-size portions. Cover loosely and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes.
Check seasonings, adding salt and more crushed pepper as desired. Finish with capers and parsley.
Serve hot over linguine with a smile…
… and a view of Southern Italy, where Feast of the 7 Fishes also goes by La Vigilia, or “The Vigil.”
Cliff at Tropea, Italy. Photo by Przemyslaw "Blueshade" dzkiewicz. (2005).

Cliff at Tropea, Italy. Photo by Przemyslaw “Blueshade” dzkiewicz. (2005).

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Linguine with Baccalà Sauce
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Instructions
Preperation
  1. Soak baccalà per package instructions (typically for 1 to 3 days with occasional water changes depending on thickness of the fillet).
On meal day
  1. Cook pasta per instructions.
  2. Meanwhile in a medium pot over medium high heat, fry the onion in olive oil until softened - a good 10 minutes.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Continue heating.
  4. When the first bubbles pop through add pieces of the baccalà (cut into bite-size portions. Cover loosely and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes
  5. Check seasonings, adding salt and more crushed pepper as desired.
  6. Finish with capers and parsley.
  7. Serve over hot pasta.
Source:

Recipe Copyright Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure. For personal or educational use only. This recipe and hundreds more from around the world may be found at www.GlobalTableAdventure.com.

South African Lunch

An African lunch for a cold day

South African Lunch

Below freezing weather means one thing: the thermos goes on double duty. This week I filled Ava’s hot pink Hello Kitty thermos with a hearty bean stew bolstered with a swirl of red palm oil – a typical element in West African cooking. On the side – a fat hunk of mealie bread. This is southern Africa’s answer to corn bread (especially popular in South Africa). The fresh corn kernels add sweetness and interest beyond anything Jiffy Mix can offer.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you’d like a little spice in your mealie bread try adding some blackened chilie peppers (I like poblanos – here’s a recipe from Zambia).
  • Try adding some sliced plantain to your kidney beans stew or swapping the kidney beans for black eyed peas.

Ava's Around the World LunchesWhy show you Ava’s lunch?

Ava’s Around the World Lunches began when I shared a few of Ava’s globally-inspired lunches on Instagram and Facebook. Turns out a lot of people are looking for lunch ideas – whether for school or work.

In this weekly column, I share one of our Around the World lunches with you. I give you tips, like where to find ingredients or possible substitutions. If you have ideas for lunches you’d like to see or challenges you need help dealing with, let me know in the comments!

In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World

5 Jaw-dropping books for international food lovers

Pair of Reading glasses

Every once in a while I browse through my scattered but immense cookbook collection, thumbing for ideas like a hungry hitchhiker: Take me somewhere differentTake me somewhere new. These five books represent a selection of my favorite go-to cookbooks as well as several incredible coffee table books that make excellent gifts for loved ones with an international food obsession.

1.

Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard
Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch
by Nigel Slater

Ripe and Tender by Nigel Slater

The best cookbooks are like old friends, chatty and not afraid to share their dreams. Nigel Slater’s food descriptions are particularly delectable, especially when paired with honest photography and none of the fussy measurements that make cooking feel like a chore. A glug of this, a dash of that is often all we need, and Nigel knows this. Each volume is organized by ingredient (Tender is all about vegetables and has mostly savory recipes, while Ripe is all about fruit and has mostly sweet ones). These books transport me to Nigel’s British garden, every inch of which contains some food producing plant – a veritable Eden where nothing is off limits. While his table definitely favors British cooking, delightful international dishes are scattered throughout, from roast lamb with couscous to an Indian dish of spinach and potatoes.

Be warned: there is no fear of butter or cream in these pages, so tread lightly!

2.

In Her Kitchen:
Stories & Recipes from Grandmas Around the World

by Gabriele Galimberti

In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World

I fell in love with this project from the moment I first heard about it: A man about to leave for a trip around the world must first convince his grandmother that he’ll be okay. How does he do this? By assuring her he’ll find grandmas everywhere to feed him. This book is the happy result, capturing the signature dishes of grandmas all over the world. A gorgeous gift for families everywhere.

Here is the book trailer, see for yourself:

 

3.

The World Atlas of Coffee:
From Beans to Brewing — Coffees Explored, Explained & Enjoyed
 

by James Hoffman

World Atlas of Coffee

This book is for the coffee lover on your list. Laid out with gorgeous photos from around the world, this book tells the story of coffee with maps, charts, and compelling history.

4.

Food Journeys of a Lifetime:
500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe
 

National Geographic

Food Journeys of a Lifetime, National Geographic

National Geographic wrote this book for the food enthusiast that has everything but is still hungry. Stunning photography shows off 500 distinct regions and ingredients – from maple syrup in Vermont to fig harvests in Turkey, and from fish markets to candy stores. This one will take a long, long time to savor so reserve a spot on your coffee table!

5.

Forks:
A Quest for Culture, Cuisine, and Connection.
Three Years. Five Continents. One Motorcycle.

by Allan Karl

Forks-the-book

I don’t often support Kickstarter projects but Allan impressed me with his story – a man who traveled the world, met great people, and shared delicious meals along the way. He wanted to create a book that was full of photos, recipes, and stories – part memoir, part cookbook – there’s something for everyone in this beautiful book, not the least of which is inspiration from witnessing a dream realized.

#

Postscript: Do we need more cookbooks? 

Let me be clear: my bookshelves are fat with cookbooks – from Alice Waters to Clifford A. Wright. I have no business getting more: I could live a thousand years on the words within those shelves – each stuffed to capacity like the turkey I didn’t cook for Thanksgiving.  (Goat cheese and butternut squash lasagna with sage took the place of honor this year, ham and stuffing on the side, along with Argentinian squash salad.).

But I find food enthusiasts are like cat ladies: one more is always better. 

Post Postscript:

My memoir will be out March 3rd – not much longer now! Special promotions and early bird information will be shared with subscribers first. Stay tuned!

Post Post Postscript:

Jaw-dropping… get it!?!?

How cold is too cold for recess? 24 parents around the world weigh in.

How cold is too cold for recess? 24 parents across the globe weigh in.

How cold is too cold for recess? 24 parents around the world weigh in.

As a family we’ve always been big on eating and playing outside – even when the weather dips below freezing. Ava’s school is remarkably progressive in this regard – they’ll go out in snow, even if its just for a few minutes. But most schools in Oklahoma keep the kids indoors during recess for one simple reason – we’re more used to heat waves than snow storms. Our closets prove it: I don’t buy Ava a snow suit or snow boots unless a big storm threatens(otherwise it may never get used before her next growth spurt).

I remember being all bundled up as a kid during bitter-cold weather in Boston and wanted to know if there was a geographic difference in how kids spend their lunch breaks during “inclement weather.”  Apparently some babies nap outside in freezing weather.

So, yup. Turns out there is.

 

24 Parents answer my question:
How cold is too cold for lunchtime recess?

 

“I live in NE Ohio & if the wind chill is 20°F / -6°C or lower the kids can’t go out for recess” Laura P.

“I was brought up in the north of Sweden where we always had lots of snow and spouts of extreme cold (-30°C or so, which would make -22°F). I can’t remember a cutoff for not being allowed to play outside, it was more a question of when we were allowed to stay inside. And that may have been around -4°F / -20°C.” Jorun B.

“I live in Germany and kids play outside whatever the weather. But it doesn’t often get up to 6 feet of snow. Germans say there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. When we lived in England, people would also freak out about snow. Nurseries and schools shut there at the slightest sight of snow. Employees get often sent home early. And kids rarely play outside when it is cold or raining.” Anabelle H.

“In the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, both the temp and the windchill have to be at least 10°F / -17°C for outdoor recess.  My 6 y/o and her 2 classmates that I drive home give me an update every day if they could go outside for recess or not, and if it was so cold that they “huddled” instead of played. Apparently when it’s close to our 10°F / -17°C cut-off, they huddle like little penguins, taking turns in the center of the huddle. They love telling me all about who was in the center, who almost blew away from the outer ring (very windy in greater Chicago!!!), etc. They talk like it is the funnest thing!” Julie A

“I am in central Japan. The kids are not playing outside anymore at school, but the parents dress their kids in shorts year round with long socks.” Tara C.

“The teachers [in Chicago] just make sure the kids have coats, hats, gloves, snow pants and boots – the cold weather works! The kids went outside today when the temperatures were in the upper 20s F / -2°C. But, they stayed indoors yesterday when it was a high of around 20°F / -6°C with a windchill in the teens! My younger son brought up an interesting point to me when we were discussing if I thought they’d go outside for recess today. (Today’s forecasted high is 25°F / -4°C.) He thought it was interesting that they go out in the snow and cold – but never in the rain. It could be 80°F / 26°C, but if it’s raining, they stay inside.” Aimee T.

“My kids had a day off from school in Northern California recently. It was a chillier day than normal, in the mid-lower 50s F / 10°C. Usually it averages in the 60s F / 15°C. Our Moroccan babysitter stayed with them that day and when I got home from work the kids complained they weren’t allowed outside to play all day. Why not!? Atika said it was too cold to go out. I smiled as it was so not cold but I also know when raised in the tropics your are much more sensitive to the cold. – Stephanie M.

“It was 30°F / -1°C when we lived in Massachusetts.” MaryAnne

“The children play outside [in Germany] except for when it is really raining.” Olga M.

“This isn’t about temperature but about snow – Growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, where it rarely snows, school would get canceled with even light snow. I do remember school being canceled once because of cold, but I can’t remember the temperature. But it was practical, because so many kids did not have heavy winter gear. In Minnesota they are very tough – once when I lived there school was canceled for cold. I can’t remember the temp but I believe the wind chill was -50°F / – 45°C (basically if your skin was exposed for more than a few minutes you’d get frostbite).” Leanna G.

“In Latvia school is off for primary school kids when it’s – 4°F /- 20°C outside and for older kids if it drops to – 13°F / – 25°C. Of course you wouldn’t exactly play outside much in such temperatures but you’d still go outside without anyone making much fuss about it.” Ilze I.

“I live in the south of France and it’s not about cold but snow. It used to snow about once a generation here but with climate change it now snows very lightly about once a year and it’s chaos! School is usually closed or kids sent home the moment it snows. It rarely gets below about 41°F / 5°C in the day here and by midday is usually 59°F / 15°C or more.” Phoebe T.

“I was raised in Canada. We went outside during recess & lunch break. I don’t even recall getting a single snow day while I was in grade school.” Jodi S.

“In Alaska, the cutoff was -15°F / -26°C. Anything above that and they went outside!” Sandy G.

“In Finland there are no official cutoffs, every school can set their own and they vary between 4°F / -15°C and -13°F / -25°C for when kids do not go out to play. The warmer cutoff would be for some schools in southern Finland – further north they are indeed more used to lower temperatures. I have never heard of a school that would have closed due to cold temperature. Snow is also never an excuse to stay at home from school in Finland. Here in England schools are very quick to close due to snow.” Rita R.

“No question that those from northern/colder climates are generally heartier and subsequently healthier. Scandinavian outdoor nursery schools (barnehage/barnepark) have much to do with that. We learned quickly that even sub-zero temperatures weren’t always reason to stay inside. “Ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær”=No bad weather, only bad clothing.” Melissa D.

“In France, they leave them out whatever the weather – in a sensible way of course. Rain, snow, cold… do not prevent going outside. However, here in Ireland, as soon as there might be a very small “danger” they cannot go out – so they do not go out when it rains, when there is half a centimeter of snow. As for their lunch, they have to eat them over their book in 10 minutes max.” Yzabeau O.

“In Seattle, Washington, our problem is not cold or snow, but rain. We’ve had two days of sunshine, but I can already hear the rain has started before I even look outside. Kids play here outside every single day, no exceptions. I started my daughters at a farm preschool years ago that plays outside every day to get them ready. Pretty much every item of clothing we have has a hood (locals never carry umbrellas) so you are always ready . We get snow and low temps too, but the kids are outside then too. Yesterday was 42°F / 5°C, but mine went out right after school with friends to play capture the flag.” Koloud ‘Kay’ T.

“When we were in Montreal, Canada my kids were in preschool. They had no outdoor recess if the temperature was below 30°F / – 1°C  due to the wind chill factor. One time they had no outdoor play for almost a whole month because the weather was so cold.” Amanda H.B.

“I let my kids play out in any weather, if they are bundled up. But in Houston, Texas, it is under 40°F / 4°C  they stay inside for recess!!! If it is freezing temps and even the slightest chance of precipitation, school (and many companies) close. I lived in Minnesota for a while growing up and we would always have to go outside- I remember wearing so many layers and snow pants, and ski masks and climbing on the huge towers of snow made from the snowplows around the edge of the parking lot that was our playground. It was SO fun. I agree- people in the north are sooooo much tougher. I am worried that my kids’ blood is thinning being here in the south! People here freak out if it is even close to freezing (32°F / 0°C). The news tells people to stay indoors and business close. It only happens once a year (if that) so it is a big deal.” Becky M.

“I’m in Minnesota and the cut-off is 0°F / – 17°C. If either the temp or the windchill gets below zero, they say inside. They also get on parents’ cases if we don’t outfit our kids head to toe in winter gear (snow pants, heavy coat, snow boots, gloves, and hat).” Terri T.

“We live in the North of England where it is cooler but as you live with that weather you get used to it over a period of time!” Richard W.

“In Marrakech, Morocco people are wearing heavy parkas and it’s 50°F / 10°C. But higher in the mountains it snows and is very cold. But there’s no school cancelled for cold (or hot on the flip side) there were June days where it was easily over 115°F / 46°C and schools aren’t air conditioned.” Amanda M.

 

What about where you live?
How cold is too cold?

Join the conversation below!

It's all about the paste, the song.

The latest Viral song is for hummus lovers. Seriously.

Take one part hummus obsession and one part pop sensation – and this video by comedian Remy Munasifi (a.k.a. Go Remy) is the result. I laughed. I fell in love. And then I began rummaging around in my kitchen for hummus ingredients. Thankfully I had what I needed – and I was able to whip up the Lemon Garlic Hummus I made when my family tried Israel.

Here’s to all things hummus!

(And for those of you that think a video all about hummus will be a welcome break from pumpkin pie? Forget it. Watch the video and you’ll see how even pumpkin pie can “go” with hummus.)

P.S. Big thanks to reader Viola S. for sharing this gem with me! So. Much. Fun.

P.P.S. Here’s hoping you had an awesome Thanksgiving!

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10 Global Takes on Classic Thanksgiving Dishes

Sure, Thanksgiving is an American holiday but most of us can trace our ancestry back to some other part of the world. Which is why every year I like to bring you a selection of globally-inspired dishes for your Thanksgiving feast. Case in point? While mashed potatoes are classic components of the Thanksgiving table, there’s no reason you can’t add a bit of global flare to your recipe… and you’ll get a couple of ideas how to do so below!

Here are 10 global takes on classic Thanksgiving dishes. Try one out and add a touch of adventure to your Thanksgiving feast. You’ll be glad you did!

1.  Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

How to make Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

2. Zimbabwe’s Peanut Butter & Butternut Mash (Nhopi)

zimbabwe.food.recipe.img_3364

3. Zimbabwe’s Corn and Cheddar Stuffed Squash

zimbabwe.food.recipe.img_3325

4. Mealie Bread (Corn Bread) – Southern Africa

zambia.food.recipe.img_3228

5. Sweet Potato Biscuits (Mbatata) - Malawi

6. Mashed Potatoes with Veggies | Irio – Tanzania

tanzania.food.recipe.img_0765

7. Caribbean Pumpkin & Coconut Cream Bisque

8. Pumpkin Olad’yi – Russia

9. Maple Glazed Rutabaga – Finland

10. Honey & Pistachio Stuffed Quince – Uzbekistan

uzbekistan.food.recipe.img_2203

And if all that goodness whets your appetite, check out more Thanksgiving roundups from (many) years ago – these roundups include such yummies as homemade cranberry sauce and pumpkin flan!

Our Globally Inspired Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas from Around the World #1

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas from Around the World #2

 

An Indian lunch for kids or work

Indian Curry for Lunch

An Indian lunch for kids or work

Ava’s school encourages outdoor play – even when it snows. For this I am  SO grateful (if kids in northern climes like Alaska, Sweden, or Canada can go out to play when it’s cold outside my daughter can handle it, too). But if she’s going to face the elements, she also needs a hearty lunch to keep her furnace running.

recipe.chana.masala.img_6598

Curry is great for taking the snarl out of the winter air. This vegetarian chana masala warms with tomato cooked down into a bed of spices – cumin, coriander, turmeric, garlic and ginger. A healthy toss with chopped Serrano chilies will add pleasing heat, but it’s easily left out of the dish for mild sensibilities.

As for the rest?

Like most kids (?) Ava loves rice. And a heaping spoonful of plain yogurt and soft naan balances any heat. Finally: green peas because, yum!

That’s Ava’s lunch. What’s in your lunchbox?

Tips

  • Add a little salt to the plain yogurt to give it a savory quality little ones will really enjoy
  • While you can certainly make naan (I have a yogurt naan and a cumin naan from Afghanistan), there are several great brands available at the market nowadays – Ava loves the garlic naan (and her immune system thanks her).
  • If you want to mellow the spices in the curry, make sure to use ground cumin and coriander – the whole seeds can overwhelm young taste buds.

Ava's Around the World LunchesWhy show you Ava’s lunch?

Ava’s Around the World Lunches began when I shared a few of Ava’s globally-inspired lunches on Instagram and Facebook. Turns out a lot of people are looking for lunch ideas – whether for school or work.

In this weekly column, I share one of our Around the World lunches with you. I give you tips, like where to find ingredients or possible substitutions. If you have ideas for lunches you’d like to see or challenges you need help dealing with, let me know in the comments!

stuffed-turkey-breast-with-chestnuts

Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

How to make Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

You’ve had roast turkey and deep-fried turkey… but what about turkey with real international flavor? This Thanksgiving let’s honor our melting pot culture with a recipe worth talking about. This Korean stuffed turkey breast is perfect for a smaller gathering of curious epicureans, happily feeding 4-6.

I can’t decide if the best part is the sweet and spicy glaze (made with soy sauce, mirin, ginger and garlic)…

How to make Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

… or the butternut squash stuffing (complete with chestnuts, glutinous rice, and jujube dates)…

How to make Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

Or maybe it’s the fact that it can be made on the stovetop… saving the oven for more important things like pie.

Lots of pie.

How to make Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

The recipe is inspired by a Korean stuffed chicken breast recipe in The Flavors of Asia by Mai Pham.

There’s only a couple of watch spots with the recipe.

  • On soaking the rice: depending on the age it can be quite hard and if it isn’t soaked enough it stays that way. Thankfully there’s a guideline on most bags for how long. My recommendation is to double soaking times since the turkey provides a barrier and slows the steaming process.
  • On cooking vessels: Be careful to use the right size pot – too big and your sauce won’t come up the sides of the roast and risks burning.The liquid should end up being about an inch up the sides of your pot.

How to make Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

Inspired by The Flavors of Asia, Mai Pham

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 turkey breast – about 1 1/4 pounds
salt & pepper
vegetable oil – a good glug

For the stuffing:

1/2 cup glutinous rice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
5 fresh chestnuts, quartered
5 jujube dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup cubed pumpkin or butternut squash
2 cloves garlic, crushed

For braising:

1 small onion, chopped
10-20  dried, whole red chilies
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup mirin or other rice wine
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

Method:

Soak the rice in a 1/2 cup of water for at least 4 hours. Drain thoroughly, then mix with soy sauce and honey. Set aside while prepping the turkey breast and other ingredients for the stuffing. This will give time for the soy sauce to start absorbing into the rice.

How to make Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

To prep turkey:

Trim any extra fat. Slit halfway through the thickness to butterfly the breast. Cover with plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to pound the meat to 1/2″ thickness. Season with salt and pepper.

Tip: At this point you can place the turkey on top of saran wrap (skin side down) – and use the saran to help you roll the turkey tightly – just like a bamboo mat is used to help roll sushi. It makes the job SO much easier.

Stir the rice mixture together with the remaining stuffing ingredients. Spread down the middle of the turkey (leave any extra soy sauce juices behind – we don’t need them). Roll tightly and tie shut using kitchen twine (tie ever inch or so to keep the roll tight).

How to make Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

Pat dry with a paper towel and brown on stovetop in a good glug of oil, starting skin side down – this may take a good 5-8 minutes per side over medium high heat. After a few minutes of cooking add the onion and chili peppers. Turn once.

Stir together other braising ingredients and pour around the chicken. Cover and braise over medium low to braise for an hour and 15 minutes (or until the center of the turkey registers at 165F with a meat thermometer). Turn the turkey every fifteen minutes while cooking so as to get flavor into the entire breast.

Serve skin side up. While the meat is resting, reduce to the liquid to a thickened sauce for serving. Slice and serve with the reduced sauce.

How to make Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

Enjoy with in a warm room with a cool, daydreamy sort of view…

Photo by JongEun Lee.

Photo by JongEun Lee.

 

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You’ve had roast turkey and deep-fried turkey… but what about turkey with real international flavor? This Thanksgiving let’s honor our melting pot culture with a recipe worth talking about. This Korean stuffed turkey breast is perfect for a smaller gathering of curious epicureans, happily feeding 4-6.Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey
Servings Prep Time
6people 30minutes
Cook Time
75minutes
Servings Prep Time
6people 30minutes
Cook Time
75minutes
Ingredients
For the stuffing:
For braising:
Instructions
To prep the rice
  1. Soak the rice in a 1/2 cup of water for at least 4 hours. Drain thoroughly, then mix with soy sauce and honey. Set aside while prepping the turkey breast and other ingredients for the stuffing. This will give time for the soy sauce to start absorbing into the rice.
To prep the turkey:
  1. Trim any extra fat. Slit halfway through the thickness to butterfly the breast. Cover with plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to pound the meat to 1/2″ thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Tip: At this point you can place the turkey on top of saran wrap (skin side down) – and use the saran to help you roll the turkey tightly – just like a bamboo mat is used to help roll sushi. It makes the job SO much easier. Stir the rice mixture together with the remaining stuffing ingredients. Spread down the middle of the turkey (leave any extra soy sauce juices behind – we don’t need them). Roll tightly and tie shut using kitchen twine (tie ever inch or so to keep the roll tight).
  2. Pat dry with a paper towel and brown on stovetop in a good glug of oil, starting skin side down – this may take a good 5-8 minutes per side over medium high heat. After a few minutes of cooking add the onion and chili peppers. Turn once.
  3. Stir together other braising ingredients and pour around the chicken. Cover and braise over medium low to braise for an hour and 15 minutes (or until the center of the turkey registers at 165F with a meat thermometer). Turn the turkey every fifteen minutes while cooking so as to get flavor into the entire breast.
  4. Serve skin side up. While the meat is resting, reduce to the liquid to a thickened sauce for serving. Slice and serve with the reduced sauce.
Recipe Notes

There’s only a couple of watch spots with the recipe.

  • On soaking the rice: depending on the age it can be quite hard and if it isn’t soaked enough it stays that way. Thankfully there’s a guideline on most bags for how long. My recommendation is to double soaking times since the turkey provides a barrier and slows the steaming process.
  • On cooking vessels: Be careful to use the right size pot – too big and your sauce won’t come up the sides of the roast and risks burning.The liquid should end up being about an inch up the sides of your pot.
Source:

Recipe Copyright Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure. For personal or educational use only. This recipe and hundreds more from around the world may be found at www.GlobalTableAdventure.com.

French Around the World Lunch

Ava’s French Lunch

French Around the World Lunch

One of my favorite food memories from France was going out for couscous with my guardians. I was a wide-eyed teenager, happy to sit around a fragrant pot of stewed veggies and eat until my stomach ballooned. My favorite part was how the broth saturated the couscous, forming an unctuous gravy. The strong North African influence not only made its way into the restaurants  of Paris, but also into the home cooking – as I soon learned, couscous also makes a great base for ratatouille. Today I’ve combined my basic ratatouille recipe with plain couscous for Ava’s Around the World Lunch. Since ratatouille is often served room temperature, no microwaves will be needed at lunchtime. Perfect!

To complete the meal? A miniature wheel of Brie and the cutest little pear you ever saw are shameless appeals to my daughter’s preference for anything “cute” (Which worked perfectly – I hear they were the first things to disappear at lunchtime).

Tips:

  • While Brie is one of the more mild French cheeses, sensitive eaters may want to swap the brie for a wedge of “Laughing Cow” cheese – this French product is like cream cheese in texture and would be great served with a small croissant or crackers. They now have a US division, so they should be easy to find in most grocers.
  • Try swapping the couscous for rice – another common side with ratatouille.
  • If pears are out of season, try apricots. The French LOVE apricots.

Ava's Around the World LunchesWhy show you Ava’s lunch?

Ava’s Around the World Lunches began when I shared a few of Ava’s globally-inspired lunches on Instagram and Facebook. Turns out a lot of people are looking for lunch ideas – whether for school or work.

In this weekly column, I share one of our Around the World lunches with you. I give you tips, like where to find ingredients or possible substitutions. If you have ideas for lunches you’d like to see or challenges you need help dealing with, let me know in the comments!

global-family-reunion

The World’s Largest Family Reunion Needs YOUR Food Story

Photos courtesy of Global Family Reunion.

 

You might be cousins with Gandhi. Jeffrey Dahmer. Mother Teresa.

Imagine. You build your family tree. I build my family tree. If there’s a common relative our trees are linked and our family doubles in size. Magnify this by millions (billions!) of people. The result is the biggest family tree in the world – one that will eventually represent the entire human race and prove that we are all cousins! Several sites like MyHeritage, WikiTree, and Family Search are working around the clock to make this dream a reality. While you’ll be able to see what celebrities you’re related to and how close the ties bind, this isn’t just some fluff project – knowing how the human race is linked will be critical as scientists work to understand genetic diseases such as Alzheimers.

A cause for celebration

Creating an enormous family tree requires an enormous family reunion – a Global Family Reunion, if you will. NY Times Bestselling author A.J. Jacobs will deliver the biggest, baddest family reunion the world has ever seen on June 6, 2015 in New York City. Thousands will attend. Celebrities will abound. Morgan Spurlock (of Supersize Me fame) is creating a documentary about the event!

With every family reunion comes food.

Sasha Martin is your cousinI’m honored to be a part of the Global Family Reunion team, serving as an editor for the event’s fundraising cookbook that will be seen by tens of thousands of people! The book will contain recipes curated from a FOOD52 recipe contest as well as food stories from people all over the world.

That’s where you come in.

We’re looking to pepper the cookbook with stories of food and family from around the world.

 

I’d love to add your story to the Global Family Reunion Cookbook.
Share it below for consideration.

 

Fields marked with a * are required

LENGTH: 3 sentences up to 300 words

WRITING PROMPTS: (choose any one)

  • Share a story of how food has brought your family closer together, especially during difficult times.
  • Tell us how often you cook with your family and what cooking together means to you.
  • Give us insight as to how you keep track of your family recipes and preserve them for future generations.

With your submission, you’ll be added to my email list so that I can keep you up to date on the cookbook release as well as plenty of other great recipes and ideas from around the world.

Nordic Around the World Lunch

Ava’s Nordic Lunch

Nordic Around the World Lunch

Ah, winter. This week I took inspiration from the chill in the air and went Nordic with Ava’s Around the World Lunch (Nordic simply means the cultural part of Northern Europe that includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The Nordic menu is quite simple and can be assembled in about five minutes.

For Ava’s main meal, I went Danish: A few slices of dark rye bread smeared with a bit of butter are topped with a translucent slice of smoked salmon. Two smaller slices of bread were topped with cheese – use any mild cheese you like, especially Jalsberg which comes from Norway. Essentially simple Smørrebrød, these open-faced sandwiches include other common toppers such as sliced cucumbers and radishes – which she can eat on their own or turn them into toppers – finger food like this is perfect my kindergartner.

Dessert was a few raspberries and a squeezable tube of blueberry skyr, an Icelandic-style yogurt known for being super low in sugar and high in protein (a.k.a. my five-year old won’t have a post-lunch energy crash). Ava was SO excited about the Siggi’s – I have a feeling they’re going into the regular rotation!

Ava with pygmy goatsTips:

  • Use softened butter on your Smørrebrød to keep the cheese and salmon from sliding around. It works like (tasty) glue!
  • Try swapping dark or light rye bread for pumpernickel.
  • Other topping ideas for Smørrebrød include hard boiled egg, pickled herring, eel, sliced onion, pickles, dill, and many more.
  • Other popular berries in the Nordic region include cloudberries, blueberries, and lingonberries.
  • Want to win bonus points? Try making your own gravlax (gravlax is cured salmon and it’s almost exactly like smoked salmon in texture). I promise you’ll feel like a rock star when you’re done!

 

Ava's Around the World LunchesWhy show you Ava’s lunch?

Ava’s Around the World Lunches began when I shared a few of Ava’s globally-inspired lunches on Instagram and Facebook. Turns out a lot of people are looking for lunch ideas – whether for school or work.

In this weekly column, I share one of our Around the World lunches with you. I give you tips, like where to find ingredients or possible substitutions. If you have ideas for lunches you’d like to see or challenges you need help dealing with, let me know in the comments!