Recipe: Rainy Day Couscous

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I've been putting off making couscous. I don't mean the boxed, nearly instant kind - I make that fairly often. What I'm tackling today is delicate, fluffy steamed couscous. The kind  you buy in the bulk bin. The kind that fluffs up like a dream. According to Clifford A. Wright, steaming the tiny pearls twice, sometimes three times, is the "only" way to make proper couscous. Color me intrigued. While we've cooked many countries that enjoy couscous (Libya and Algeria for example), I put off … [Read more...]

Recipe: Noodle-Town Eggs, a.k.a. Vermicelli Frittata (Froga tat-Tarja)

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Some days are for feeling grown up. Responsible. Full of lists and the determination to check them off. Other days are for bubbles, silly string, and dancing with your shoes off. And eating Maltese Froga. Froga is the adorable lovechild of omelets and angel hair pasta. Yes, pasta in your eggs. Eggs in your pasta. It's like the noodles are doing a squiggly dance in your breakfast. This is major happy food. Where has it been all my life? In Malta (and nearby Sicily), you can find … [Read more...]

Recipe: Triple Cheesy Pasta with Sweet Onion (Käsknöpfle)

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When I told Keith, a.k.a. Mr Picky, what was for dinner this week, he said "Bless you." You try saying it - Käsknöpfle - and see if you get the same response. Some words just sound like a sneeze, I guess. But don't let that fool you. This week's Käsknöpfle is ... ahem... nothing to sneeze at. This wonderful, cheesy pasta dish enjoyed in Liechtenstein is like mac and cheese, but all grown up ... a meal that has had a few years to explore the world and came back refreshed and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mountain Gnocchi (Maakroun)

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Gnocchi is always associated with Italy. Gondolas. Striped shirts. Butter and sage. But take a trip southeast, across the Mediterranean, to the old mountain villages of Lebanon and you'll encounter something very similar. It's called Maakroun -  a thick homemade pasta that is either fried and served sweet, or boiled and served with an intense garlicky lemon sauce called toum. While Maakroun is not made with potatoes, the shape is nearly the same - a little longer perhaps. I would have never … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lao Rice Noodle Soup (Foe)

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It's time we take back the expression "Have it your way" from that mega corporate burger joint and put it back where it belongs - into our homes, onto our own homemade-with-love meals. Take this soup from Laos, for example. Traditionally served for breakfast, but great any time of day, Foe is a celebration of individuality, creativity and having it exactly how you want it - without chemicals, junk and gunk. Foe is a rice noodle soup from Laos, typically made with beef, pork or chicken. In … [Read more...]

Recipe: Kyrgyz stuffed & rolled pasta (Oromo)

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Truth: anything coiled up is infinitely better than the same item not coiled. Think cinnamon rolls... princess Leia's hair... really flexible kitty cats napping... and now, as never seen in my kitchen before Global Table Adventure, Oromo. This Kyrgyz dish of rolled and coiled pasta filled with various stuffings is pure genius. Unlike Italian stuffed pastas, no cheese is used as binder. Instead the filling is commonly meat and veggies (such as sweet potatoes or pumpkin). While it remains a … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lagman (Hand-cut Noodles)

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  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 … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chak Chak

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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 … [Read more...]