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Triple Cheese Pasta with Sweet Onion |Käsknöpfle

When I told Keith, a.k.a. Mr Picky, what was for dinner this week, he said “Bless you.” You try saying it – Käsknöpfle – and see if you get the same response. Some words just sound like a sneeze, I guess. But don’t let that fool you. This week’s Käsknöpfle is … ahem… nothing to sneeze at. This wonderful, cheesy pasta dish enjoyed in Liechtenstein is like mac and cheese, but all grown up … a meal that has had a few years to explore the world and came back refreshed and refreshing – a great, big bowl of alpine comfort… A free spirit, if you will. This recipe is for the days when you don’t want everything all wrapped up in a neat little bow. When  you want things to be squiggly. And cheesy. And oniony. Trust me, it’s not too much to ask for. Just ask Liechtenstein. The fine folks of Liechtenstein recommend three cheeses… Fontina is creamy and has a bit of tang, Gruyere is salty and a bit drier (a bit reminiscent of Parmesan), and Emmenthalier is like a mild …

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Mountain Gnocchi | Maakroun

Gnocchi is always associated with Italy. Gondolas. Striped shirts. Butter and sage. But take a trip southeast, across the Mediterranean, to the old mountain villages of Lebanon and you’ll encounter something very similar. It’s called Maakroun –  a thick homemade pasta that is either fried and served sweet, or boiled and served with an intense garlicky lemon sauce called toum. While Maakroun is not made with potatoes, the shape is nearly the same – a little longer perhaps. I would have never guessed that the Lebanese have something so similar to gnocchi. Never in a million years. But that’s what this Adventure is all about – discovery and trying something new. So get off your gondola, and put on your hiking shoes. We’re headed to Lebanon. And we’re going to eat pasta. Recipe inspired by this regional tourism flyer from Douma, Lebanon. Serves 2-4 Ingredients: 3 cups flour 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil warm water, as needed (I used 3/4 cup) 1 tsp salt Method: Find yourself a happy mountainside. Or perhaps a beautiful window to cook by. …

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Lao Rice Noodle Soup | Foe

It’s time we take back the expression “Have it your way” from that mega corporate burger joint and put it back where it belongs – into our homes, onto our own homemade-with-love meals. Take this soup from Laos, for example. Traditionally served for breakfast, but great any time of day, Foe is a celebration of individuality, creativity and having it exactly how you want it – without chemicals, junk and gunk. Foe is a rice noodle soup from Laos, typically made with beef, pork or chicken. In Laos you might find funny organs floating in your soup and other delectables, but the real star is the bouquet of herbs, sauces, and spices which each person adds to taste, making each person’s soup bowl totally unique. Today we serve the simplest version of all – thinly sliced raw beef which cooks under the heat of the boiling broth and then topped how you’d like it. Inspired to try this soup because of the words in “Big soup, Big Love.” Serves 4 Ingredients: For the broth: 2 quarts beef broth …

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Kyrgyz stuffed & rolled pasta | Oromo

Truth: anything coiled up is infinitely better than the same item not coiled. Think cinnamon rolls… princess Leia’s hair… really flexible kitty cats napping… and now, as never seen in my kitchen before Global Table Adventure, Oromo. This Kyrgyz dish of rolled and coiled pasta filled with various stuffings is pure genius. Unlike Italian stuffed pastas, no cheese is used as binder. Instead the filling is commonly meat and veggies (such as sweet potatoes or pumpkin). While it remains a decidedly simple recipe, some southern regions of Kyrgyzstan are said to add herbs to their fillings. Still, however you slice it, Oromo is also more comforting than cinnamon rolls, princess Leia and kitty cats combined. True story. Notes: before you get started on this little journey you’ll need a steamer, preferably metal but bamboo will do just fine. Recipe inspired by National Cuisines of Kyrgyzstan, where the recipe is said to be shaped like a swiss roll which is then bent back on itself into a circle. This recipe is my interpretation of these directions. Ingredients: …

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Hand-cut Noodles | Lagman

  If you want to make noodles like a kazakh, you just need a bit of pasta dough, a rolling pin, and a cutter or knife. An egg pasta recipe, like the one we made for Italy, will work beautifully in central Asia as well. You can make the noodles as thick or thin as you’d like. In Kazakhstan they generally like them pretty thick, like lo mein or udon. For this style, roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch or just under. Then cut in thin strips. Finally, toss them with plenty of flour to keep them separated. Cook immediately in boiling, salted water. Use as the base for an incredible stew called lagman shurpa.  Like so! Or the honeyed sweetness called Chak Chak… Enjoy on a cloudy day, when there’s a slight chill in the air and you almost wished you had a light cotton sweater to pull over your shoulders. Ahh, I love fall weather. Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe If you want to make noodles like …

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Chak Chak

Serves 4 Chak Chak is the rice krispie treat of Kazakhstan. Totally irresistible and finger-licking good. Fry up a batch of fresh noodles in an entire stick of butter and coat with sweet honey goodness – you’ll see what I mean. How could it not be? Plus, with Halloween around the corner, the time couldn’t be better to make chak chak…. after all, there’s nothing like putting a little international spin to your spooky dessert table… a spin that looks rather like brains! Ingredients: 2 cups fresh noodles 1 stick butter 1/4 cup honey 1/2 cup sugar Method: Gather 2 cups of fresh noodles. Toss with a bit of flour and cook… … in a stick of melted butter, over medium heat. Toss continually until the butter coats all the noodles; this way they won’t stick. The noodle’s thickness will determine the cooking time. Mine took about 5 minutes. They are ready when they are a little crispy and golden.  Eat a few straight from the pan. Then eat a few more. Set the rest aside. Next, gather …

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Central Asian Noodle Stew | Lagman Shurpa

Serves 4 Are you in need of some revitalization? A breath of fresh air? Are you worn out, tired, or just plain sad? Are you cold? I’m with you. I’m all of the above. When I feel like this I just don’t know what I want. I want everything. And nothing. All at once. I want to sleep. I want to watch movie after movie. I want soup. I want lots and lots of noodles. And then I feel guilty and want some veggies. But not the crunchy, raw kind. Nope, the cozy cooked kind. Kazakhstan has the answer. Lagman Shurpa, a.k.a. noodle stew. According to the old Kazakh saying “Meat brings strength, shurpa brings beauty” (from Please to the Table), it sounds like it will help just about every ailment. It is also the perfect dish if you can’t decide what continent you’d like to eat from. It acts like  a stir-fry, a stew, and a hot pot all at once. And it has turnips in it. Great for lifting you out of a heavy day. …

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Homemade Pasta Dough

Makes 1 large batch. Enough for at least 150 standard ravioli & more noodles than you know what to do with. Slap. Roll, roll, roll, roll. Slap! My great grandmother, Assunta, made pasta dough with the strength of a hundred Italian sailors. Mom, just a kid then, was not allowed to touch. Instead she was told to sit quietly and watch. She remembers how, as Assunta rolled the dough thinner and thinner, it gradually swallowed up the table and heavy oil cloth covering. Eventually, all you could see was the giant sheet of dough – thin enough for spaghetti, linguine, tortellini or – as was typically the case – ravioli. I’ll tell you right now… The secret is in the slap. By occasionally slapping the dough down onto the table, the gluten relaxes, making it easier to roll out without springing back. That and generously dusting the dough as you go. Ingredients: 5 cups flour 4 large eggs water (about 1/3 cup, or as needed) Method: Find yourself a lovely Italian villa with an outrageously …

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Alfred’s Pork Ravioli

Makes enough filling for at least 150 standard ravioli I have fond memories of curling up on the basement stairs, hanging over the railing, watching my great-great, very distant I’m-not-quite-sure-how-we’re-related cousin, Alfred, make ravioli. I’ll never forget the way the ravioli rolling pin zipped out dozens of ravioli in a heartbeat. Alfred lived to 103 and I attribute that partly to the fact that he continued making ravioli two-three times a year, well into his nineties. He’d make a few hundred at a time, spreading out the work over several days (you can read his letter below to see exactly what he did). Here’s my recommendation: Day one: Eat pork chops for dinner. Save leftovers. Day two: Make the dough and filling. Refrigerate. Day three: Roll the dough and make the ravioli. Dry overnight, turning once. Day four: Freeze. Ingredients: 3 bone-in pork chops, grilled and cooled 1 lb frozen chopped spinach, defrosted 4 large eggs 1 cup plain breadcrumbs 1 cup Parmesan 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp pepper 1/4 cup whole milk 1/4 cup …

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Mom’s Chicken Paprika

“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 Paprika is not much to look at (especially if you add chunky chopped onions, like I did), it tastes amazingly creamy and – if you use good, half-sharp paprika – surprisingly spicy. Serve with buttered noodles for a completely addicting bite of Hungary. You can also roll shredded bits of the chicken inside Hungarian Crêpes (palacsinta) [recipe] and coat with the sauce – a great way to use up leftovers. Ingredients: One 4 lb chicken, cut into pieces (or 2 lbs assorted chicken pieces) 2 …

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Guyanese Chow Mein

Serves 4 Hello. I realize it’s summer, but let’s shut our eyes for a moment and daydream about winter. In Guyana. Are you ready for Christmas? Shall we deck the halls? (do people really do that?). Ready or not, today’s recipe is going to take you to December 25th, Guyanese-style. Read this: The kids got their little presents, got their pictures taken on my lap, and everyone ate fried rice, chow mein, and chicken curry. You know, traditional Christmas food. From Mark Hejinian’s travel blog Guyanese Mark My first reaction? I want to spend Christmas in Guyana. Immediately. It doesn’t help that it’s a zillion degrees here, but a nice cool winter day would be welcome right about now. And that menu? Yes, yes, yes. So let’s dig into what this dish is all about. While Chow Mein might sound like a stretch for the South American dinner table, Guyanese love this dish with a passion. It’s not a straight up copycat operation, however – they add plenty of unique touches, to make Chow Mein …

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Caribbean Dumplings | Spinners & Sinkers

Makes about 10 Perhaps you’ve had a rough week. Perhaps you need a little comfort. The time is right… come over my friends; let’s make a batch of Spinners & Sinkers. I thought I knew what a dumpling was until I met a batch of Caribbean Spinners and Sinkers. They don’t look like any dumpling I’ve ever had. They are long and gently tapered, which causes them to sink and spin and dance while they cook in simmering water. Traditional dumplings just bob and float. Spinners and Sinkers are also incredibly easy to make – an ideal activity for children – and, in my opinion, quicker to throw together than a traditional dumpling. They are dense and substantial – add them to soups and stews, such as Oil Down and your belly will be quite pleased with you. Recipe adapted from The World Cookbook for Students. Ingredients: 1 cup flour 1/4 cornmeal 1/2 tsp salt warm water, as needed Method: To make a fresh batch of comfort, start by mixing together the flour and cornmeal …

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