Recipe: 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 … [Read more...]

Recipe: 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 … [Read more...]

Recipe: Homemade Pasta Dough


Makes 1 large batch. Enough for at least 150 standard ravioli & more noodles than you know what to do with. Slap. Roll, roll, roll, roll. Slap! My great grandmother, Assunta, made pasta dough with the strength of a hundred Italian sailors. Mom, just a kid then, was not allowed to touch. Instead she was told to sit quietly and watch. She remembers how, as Assunta rolled the dough thinner and thinner, it gradually swallowed up the table and heavy oil cloth covering. Eventually, all … [Read more...]

Recipe: Alfred’s Pork Ravioli


Makes enough filling for at least 150 standard ravioli I have fond memories of curling up on the basement stairs, hanging over the railing, watching my great-great, very distant I'm-not-quite-sure-how-we're-related cousin, Alfred, make ravioli. I'll never forget the way the ravioli rolling pin zipped out dozens of ravioli in a heartbeat. Alfred lived to 103 and I attribute that partly to the fact that he continued making ravioli two-three times a year, well into his nineties. He'd make a … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mom’s Chicken Paprika


"Whose recipe is this? No, no, no. Much more paprika! Heap it on!" And so the Adventure to recreate a favorite childhood supper began. I say this is mom's chicken paprika, but it didn't start out that way. I had a basic recipe and then asked for her help to execute it. As we simmered along, however, mom tossed corrections my way - saving me from disaster and cluing me into how she would have made it, if she was the one wielding the wooden spoon. I promise you - although Chicken … [Read more...]

Recipe: Guyanese Chow Mein


Serves 4 Hello. I realize it's summer, but let's shut our eyes for a moment and daydream about winter. In Guyana. Are you ready for Christmas? Shall we deck the halls? (do people really do that?). Ready or not, today's recipe is going to take you to December 25th, Guyanese-style. Read this: The kids got their little presents, got their pictures taken on my lap, and everyone ate fried rice, chow mein, and chicken curry. You know, traditional Christmas food. From Mark Hejinian's travel blog … [Read more...]

Recipe: Spinners & Sinkers (Caribbean Dumplings)


Makes about 10 Perhaps you've had a rough week. Perhaps you need a little comfort. The time is right... come over my friends; let's make a batch of Spinners & Sinkers. I thought I knew what a dumpling was until I met a batch of Caribbean Spinners and Sinkers. They don't look like any dumpling I've ever had. They are long and gently tapered, which causes them to sink and spin and dance while they cook in simmering water. Traditional dumplings just bob and float. Spinners and Sinkers are … [Read more...]

Recipe: Kushary (also Kushari)


Serves 6 In Egypt, there are entire restaurants devoted soley to the production of Kushary. Giant vats are filled with the necessary ingredients and kept warm over low heat. With each order, a quick-moving server walks their ladle through the vats, filling the customer's bowl up to the brim with pasta, rice, lentils, spicy tomato sauce, and fried onions. While it is difficult to reproduce this type of assembly at home, it is possible to layer all the ingredients in a casserole and keep warm. … [Read more...]