Recipe: Maple-Glazed Rutabaga

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Serves 2-4 You could glaze a hub cap and I'd eat it. The key is to make the glazed item tantalizingly sweet - leave a little mystery. I'm not into savory foods swimming in syrup. This Finnish recipe shows lovely restraint, striking a delicate balance. In fact, shortly after I took my first bite I decided to make this recipe as often as possible for the rest of my life. Rutabagas come from around northern Central Europe. Maple syrup and butter give the root the most addictive flavor and it … [Read more...]

Recipe: Stovetop Popcorn

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Makes 4 quarts Stovetop popcorn is a must have if you're looking to replicate an Ethiopian coffee ceremony. Sure, you could pop a bag in the microwave in less than three minutes, but... well... sometimes it's more fun realizing how much you can do without special gadgets and gizmos. As far as who had more fun with this - me, Mr. Picky, or Miss Ava - it might have been me. I spent most of the time squealing while I waited for the first few to explode... I mean... pop. Also? I ate the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Ginger Millet Porridge

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Serves 2-4 What is breakfast like at your house? Does one person eat more sugar than oatmeal? More syrup than pancake? That's Mr. Picky. One day I fully expect him to eat a bowl of nothing but sugar. Meanwhile I just barely dust my breakfast with sweeteners. While eating, we take turns shaking our heads at each other's crazy eating habits. Today, take your sugar out for a spin on a bowl of millet porridge, an African treat. Particularly popular in central Africa, you can make this dish as … [Read more...]

Recipe: Deep Fried Tofu Squares

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Serves 2-4 This crunchy, protein-rich alternative to croutons and crackers is perfect in soups and on salads. A great way to introduce tofu to someone who has never had it and particularly wonderful in our Bakso Noodle Soup. Ingredients: 1 block super firm tofu 1/3 cup rice flour (extra as needed) vegetable oil Method: Get ready for deliciousness. Preheat vegetable oil to 365F in a small, uncovered pot. Drain off a package of tofu, preferably super firm. Slice … [Read more...]

Recipe: Millet Ball for Sauces & Stews

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Serves 2-3 Millet flour tastes like wheat flour on steroids. These dense, rather pasty balls are traditional in parts of Africa, particularly central and eastern. They add body and substance to any number of stews and sauces. Ingredients: 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup millet flour (available at some health food stores and African markets) 1/2 cup water Method: Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Once everything is mixed together, it will be pasty and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cornmeal Pap

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Serves 2-4 In Botswana, Cornmeal Pap is eaten with the fingers, dipped into stews to pick up additional flavor. Like soft polenta, Cornmeal Pap goes well with any stewed meat or vegetable. The mixture stiffens up quickly, however, so serve immediately after cooking. NOTE: Please use white cornmeal for authentic pap. (I had to substitute yellow) Ingredients: 1 cup cornmeal (fine or medium grind is best) 1 quart stock (vegetable, chicken, or beef) salt pepper Method: 1. In a … [Read more...]

Recipe: Fried Plantains

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One plantain serves 1-2 Fried plantains can be on the table in less than 5 minutes. This easy, delicious side dish goes well with any Caribbean or African food. In particular, the slightly sweet flavor helps contrast with both region's spicy dishes. Ingredients: 1 plantain vegetable oil salt or brown sugar Method: 1. Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a frying pan. Meanwhile, cut plantains into long, oblong slices. NOTE: Choose plantains that are yellow to black in color, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Armenian Bulgur Pilaf Salad (Itch)

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Serves 8 This colorful salad reminds me of tabouli. The orange hue comes from the pureed tomatoes. Serve at room temperature with grilled chicken or lamb. Ingredients: 1, 15 ounce can diced plum tomatoes 1/2 cup olive oil 2 cups chopped onion 2 cups bulgur 1/4 cup lemon juice salt pepper 1 small jalapeno, minced 1 large red bell pepper, diced 1 large red onion, diced 8 scallions, sliced 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley 1-2 cups very hot water (add as … [Read more...]