Recipe: Machboos, or how I went to happy town.

Machboos

Certain times call for celebration. Babies. Birthdays. Finding the love of your life. Daydreaming about the love of your life. When a light turns green at the exact right moment, before you have to apply the brakes. For those times, I present Machboos. Take a dive off the deep end with this beloved Kuwaiti dish that boasts warm hits of cinnamon, turmeric, saffron mingled with sweet caramelized onions and raisins. We made ours with chicken, but you can also make it with fish or lamb. If you … [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: Mom’s Chicken Paprika

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"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: Curried Caribbean Chicken Kabobs

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Serves 4 Guyanese love a good curry. Since we're in the middle of intense summer, I've adapted a traditional curry recipe for the grill. Instead of stewing the chicken with the curried Green Seasoning, I simply marinated the chicken in it and threw it on the grill. An easy way to get the heat out of the kitchen, although you'll still feel it in your mouth. Big time. P.S. To eat this like you're in Guyana, serve with Chow Mein. Seriously. Ingredients: 4 chicken breasts, sliced into … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pepian Sauce (for Stewed Chicken or Veggies)

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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: Spicy Chicken Peanut Soup (Groundnut Soup)

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Serves 4 I can't begin to explain why or how this recipe works, but it does. Of the four adults who sampled the soup, every single person had thirds. Thirds. Epic. Groundnut soup is your passport to west Africa. In less than an hour, you'll be spooning a delicate blend of fresh ginger, garlic, tomato and groundnuts (a.k.a. peanut butter), with bites of browned chicken and bits of hot peppers. And you'll be mourning the time you lived without this soup. Special thanks to Ghana and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Georgian Chicken

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Serves 2-4 I'll be honest. I don't have great luck with grilled chicken. Usually it's bland, overdone and, as much as I hate to admit it, I'm usually to blame. Naturally, I was delighted when I found this foolproof Georgian recipe in Laura Kelley's The Silk Road Gourmet: Volume One: Western and Southern Asia - it's a giant bright bite of lemony goodness. The crazy strong flavor comes from an extra long marination - 24 hours. If you'd rather a milder flavor, try just a few hours … [Read more...]