Recipe: Pepian Sauce (for Stewed Chicken or Veggies)


Makes 3 cups Is your blender lonely? Do you want to blast away from boredom? Try pepian, a thick mole-like sauce from Central America and beloved in Guatemala. With a quick whizz-whirr in the blender, this vegan sauce (a.k.a. recado) blends the smoky flavor of roasted, toasted seeds and other goodness with a half stick of cinnamon and dried chili peppers. If that sounds like a lot of different ingredients, don't worry, pepian is so balanced that even the pickiest eaters in your house won't … [Read more...]

Recipe: Eastern European Red Cabbage


Serves 6 There's one thing I know for sure. This recipe is served all over Germany and other eastern European countries. You almost don't have to look at a menu before ordering it (unless, of course, you're eating at a Chinese restaurant in Germany). Red cabbage is super simple to make -the hardest part is cutting the cabbage. And that's not very hard. Unless you don't have a knife. Ingredients: 1 head red cabbage, cored and sliced thinly (about 3 lbs) 1 small onion, thinly sliced 1 … [Read more...]

Recipe: Georgian Five Spice (Khmeli-Suneli)


Makes about 3 Tbsp Ever take a bite of food and know exactly what country the food is from? Ever wonder why? Usually it's because the food is loaded with typical, regional herbs and spices. The food of Georgia (the country) is no different. This Georgian five spice can be used in almost any dish thanks to it's agreeable combination of grassy herbs like coriander, savory, bay leaf and dill - along with a hit from subtly bitter fenugreek seeds (whose flavor you'll recognize from curry … [Read more...]

Recipe: Homemade Curry Powder


Makes about 1/4 cup Curry powder isn't just for India anymore. Fijians, all the way in Polynesia, also love the golden goodness. I took a look at Mark Bittman's curry recipes (he has three different ones in The Best Recipes in the World), and made a version which combines the best of his fragrant curry and mild curry. The result? An all-purpose curry that will taste great on almost anything. Except maybe ice cream. This version ended up quite a bit different than Bittman's, most notably … [Read more...]

Recipe: Berberé – Hot East African Spice mix


Berberé is a spicy and savory spice mixture used all over Eritrea and Ethiopia. This blend goes well with chicken, beef, or lamb, and would also be great with lentils and other legumes. I've used it with our Doro Wat (chicken stew) and Awaze Tibs (lamb stew) recipes. A few sprinkles would also be great in our Lentil Wat. Makes about 1/4 cup Ingredients: 3 cloves 1/2 tsp coriander seeds 1/2 tsp  fenugreek seeds 1 tsp cumin 1 Tbsp paprika 1/4 tsp peppercorns 1/4 tsp ground … [Read more...]

Recipe: Salvadoran Pickled Cabbage Slaw (Curtido)


Makes 1 giant bowl. Vinegar lovers unite! With very little effort you can have this Salvadoran slaw at your next barbecue or gathering. To be authentic, serve slightly "pickled" - about 1-3 days after making it. This should be vinegary and with the slightest hint of heat. Serve with pupusas. Ingredients: 1 cabbage, cored and sliced thinly 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly 2 carrots, grated 1 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1/8 cup olive oil salt … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sazon/Sofrito (Fresh Veggie Seasoning Base)


Makes about 5 cups Are you haggard in the kitchen? Overwhelmed at the thought of cutting up a bunch of fresh vegetables on a week night, but aware that - if you don't - dinner is going to be b.l.a.n.d.? Dominican Sofrito (also known as Sazon) is your answer. Make a batch once or twice a week and you'll have a great, healthy seasoning base that will amp up any dish. NOTE: In the Dominican Republic, sofrito can be made any number of ways. At the lovely web site Dominican Cooking you will … [Read more...]

Recipe: Hot and Sour Cucumbers


Serves 4-6 as a condiment This side dish from north china is crispy, spicy and tart. A great condiment for heavy meat dishes. Ingredients: 1 Asian or English cucumber, sliced on a bias 2 tablespoons sesame oil 1 1/2 tsp ginger, minced 1 1/2 tsp garlic, minced 1 chili pepper, crushed 3 mushrooms, sliced 2 Tbsp rice vinegar 2 Tbsp water 2 tsp brown sugar Method: Heat sesame oil over medium heat. The smell is wonderful and nutty.  Add garlic... And ginger.. As soon as … [Read more...]