Recipe: Balkan Burger (with poll)

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You don't have to know how to pronounce it to enjoy eating it. Pljeskavica. If this long, meandering string of letters makes you stutter, just clap your hands, because that's what Pljeskavica means - the sound of hands clapping as the "Balkan burger" patties are formed. And this is not just a big word. This is big food. This is the original "super-size." Not only are the patties large enough to cover a small plate, they contain as many as 6 cuts of meat from three different animals. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Ajvar, Roasted Pepper Spread

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Some days I dream about reinventing myself - pulling myself up, out of the ordinary into the wildly wonderful. On these ornery-sorts-of-days, I imagine myself strutting around in a bold color I've never worn before, like mustard yellow. On really good days I actually make these dreams happen. I become a mustard-wearing queen. Other days I just end up wearing mustard. Literally. That's the way life goes: sometimes change works, sometimes it doesn't. The fun is in the trying. Are you willing … [Read more...]

Recipe: Micronesian Ginger & Lime Marinade

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In college I went by MacGyver. It had nothing to do with my ability to save lives (with little more than a shoestring and a balloon), and everything to do with feeding my four hungry roommates in the face of the greatest of obstacles (an empty refrigerator). I once made them lasagna without pasta or sauce. True story. Which brings me to this Micronesian marinade. There are four fantastic reasons to make it: 1. There is really no need to measure the ingredients. I have it on a local's … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cheesy Roasted Poblanos (Rajas con Crema)

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Listen. Not everything has to look perfect. We don't always need lipstick and hair straighteners (In fact, I haven't seen either of those since Ava started crawling). Some days I don't even look in a mirror until night time. Until it's too late. Let yourself off the hook once in a while. Let your hair down. Smear your lips with chapstick and call it good. While you're at it, eat messy food. Because, no matter how it looks, if it tastes good, then all is well in your world. Which … [Read more...]

Recipe: Roasted Whole Fish from the Maldives (Fihunu Mas)

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You should have seen my brother's face when I told him we were going to make whole fish for our Maldivian Global Table. His eyes about popped out of his head. In fact, my entire family - both brothers, my sister, mom, niece and nephew - was wary of the idea.  While eating the whole fish is rare in the United States, we knew from experience that our family was in for a treat. We ate this meal in Florida, as part of a celebration of my mom's surprise 70th birthday, so I had a bounty of … [Read more...]

Recipe: Jordanian Inspired Spiced & Grilled Chicken

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Serves 4 There was a time when I wasn't a very good cook, but I sure liked to try. Every night I rifled through my spice collection, eventually sprinkling a little of this and a little of that on top of whatever I was making. And when I say a little I mean a little. A speck. A drop. A dusting. My food never had much flavor because I was scared to overdo it. I've since learned (mostly thanks to my time at the Culinary Institute of America) that you need to be brave - bold - … [Read more...]

Recipe: Jamaican Jerk Chicken

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Serves 4 There's no way around it. Jerk chicken is supposed to be blacker than a starry night - and more sizzlin' than that smokin' hot hotty you wake up to every morning (Hi, Keith!). Typically cooked in a barrel smoker, Jerk gets it's distinctive flavor and color from low, slow cooking over smouldering all spice wood. The long cooking time gets the jerk seasoning extremely caramelized. Now, for those of you who want to go all out, you can easily get your meat much darker than mine … [Read more...]

Recipe: Muhammara (Char-grilled Red Pepper Dip)

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Makes 3 cups If you're wilting and melting and generally crying for a reprieve from the heat, try Muhummara. This Middle Eastern roasted pepper dip takes the heat out of summer in the most fingerlicking way. The walnuts add body, but you don't taste them. The pomegranate syrup gives a slightly tart tang and the cumin gives earthy warmth, but the ingredients are so balanced and subtle you'll be seduced before you know it - and you won't exactly know why. Just like falling in love with the most … [Read more...]