Recipe: Mauritian Chili Poppers (Gateaux Piments) (w/ poll)

mauritius.food.img_2754

If you have a hankering for a munchin', come with me via "stove top travel" to Mauritius. While there, we'll cozy up, picnic-style, with a basket of Gateaux Piments. These crisp, crunchy poppers are quite a bit like falafel and I got to try them thanks to you, dear readers, since they won your vote on our Facebook Fan Page as the split pea recipe you'd most like me to try. (Thank you!) What I find most exciting about these chili poppers is their intense, fresh flavor. Each bite reveals … [Read more...]

Recipe: Rainy Day Couscous

mauritania.food.img_2278

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: Papa, an African staple (Lesotho)

lesotho.img_3012

I find that Mr. Not-as-Picky, Keith - even with all his progress on the adventure - can still be rather fussy about food that looks soft and mushy. Especially if he has to eat it with his fingers. If you ask me, some of the best food is soft and mushy - mashed potatoes being the prime example. So I'll you what I told him. Papa, a stiff white porridge from Lesotho, is not that unusual. Especially if you eat grits for a living, which - apparently - many people do, here in the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sweet Coco Pumpkin with Pandan Leaves

How-to-cut-a-pumpkin

If you've been to the grocery store lately you've seen it. Mounds and mounds of pumpkins. They're bright fire orange, forest green, haystack yellow, cloud white, and even sorceress gray. Some are bumpy and some are flat out gnarly. They're all saying hello, strutting their stuff, hoping you'll take them home. Every year I take a few more home than the year before. I can't help it. I like the teeny weeny ones best. The kind Ava can practically palm in her small 2 year-old hand. I also like to … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mujaddara (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 … [Read more...]

Recipe: Palacsinta (Hungarian crêpes)

hungary.img_1500

Serves 2-4 Ah, the glories of simple love. Simple food. Simple summertime breakfasts in Hungary. My mom has been making palacsinta under the guise of crêpes for decades. Despite being half Hungarian, she even calls them crêpes -I suppose because it's easier to say. Still, like any good Hungarian, she's made an art of rolling them up with fruit, yogurt, and nuts. Today - in her honor - we make the simplest preparation of all: smeared with apricot jam, sprinkled with crushed walnuts and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Yucca Fries

guinea.img_0176

Serves 2-4 I never thought the day would come. I never thought I would conquer the mighty yucca. This tuber has made sweat, cry, and is quite possibly be the reason why I blacked out and went crashing to the floor one night after eating way too many Bâton de Manioc - out cold for a good thirty seconds. To be fair, the next day the doctor blamed dehydration. Regardless, given my terrible past with this tuber, I have a deep need to remedy my track record, this time with yucca fries. Who can mess … [Read more...]

Recipe: Oil Down with Yucca (vegan)

grenada.img_0467

Serves 6 Stressed out? Time for a Caribbean Oil Down - and I don't mean massage. This heavy duty dish is made by stewing cassava or bread fruit in coconut milk and curry. The result is a thick, indulgent stew worthy of any party. Our version is vegan, but pork bits are typical. With such rich ingredients, Oil Down seems more suited to a ski slope than a beach party, but, still, Grenadians eat this dish in their bathing suits. Brave, brave people. Oil Down is so rich that you may be able to … [Read more...]