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Peas n’ Rice

There’s a tall, skinny window, in a full-of-love kitchen in Brooklyn, where one can set a giant pot of rice to cool. Under the icy winter sun, steam rolls up and fogs the panes. With a swipe of the hand you can peer out at the city below, but the glass now clings to a dream of sauteed peppers, onion, garlic, celery, and thyme.  This special place is my friend Marina’s kitchen, where I cooked our Global Table this past week while I was in NYC. There’s nothing to this recipe. And yet it is everything. And this is why it’s a staple all over the Caribbean. The version I made is vegan, although a few slices of diced, fried bacon or a ham hock would be grand – and traditional – in this as well (just fry them up before you add the veggies). The key to this dish are the Pigeon Peas, although you can substitute black-eyed peas if you can’t find any. In a delightful twist of fate, I found pigeon peas …

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Moldovan Veggie & Feta Stuffed Zucchini

In honor of Moldova, let’s clear out the weeds. Let’s make room for a garden. A springy, happy sort of place where you can go to daydream in the morning sunlight, with a cup of steaming hot tea at the ready. A place where you can feel your connection to the earth and the soil. Where you can think those thoughts you never have time to think. Where you can finally stop being too busy. While you’re there I’d like you to plant a tiny sprout that will one day grow up into one hundred dream boats. One hundred zucchini boats  that will set your mind to sail and carry your heart to Moldova. You’ll be able to bring anyone you like along for the ride. Are you ready? Let’s go on a Moldovan boat ride. NOTE: Most authentic recipes call for tomato juice mixed with a spoonful or two of vinegar on the bottom of you casserole pan. Instead I opted for a plain tomato sauce to add textural oomph, but the choice is yours. Also, …

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Caribbean Green Seasoning

Makes about 1 1/2 cups Ouch and yum. This seasoning blend should feel like molten lava as it slides down your throat; Guyanese use up to six habaneros in a recipe like this one. However, if you don’t have Caribbean friends coming over for dinner – or the time to replace your throat – feel free to make a mild version. For example, mine (certainly laughable to Caribbeans), uses only a 1/4 of a habanero. In my defense I have a two year-old. Call me crazy, but I don’t have the heart to feed her a paste made with six scorching habaneros, even if she does like a little spice from time to time. Plus, I’m pretty wimpy, myself. So whether you like it hot, or not, just be sure to whip up a batch – you can use it on almost anything, from curries, to stews to grill marinades. Totally flexible and totally tasty – this is the Caribbean’s take on the French mirepoix or the Dominican sazon (a.k.a. sofrito). Makes a really nice …

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Oil Down with Yucca

Serves 6 Stressed out? Time for a Caribbean Oil Down – and I don’t mean massage. This heavy duty dish is made by stewing cassava or bread fruit in coconut milk and curry. The result is a thick, indulgent stew worthy of any party. Our version is vegan, but pork bits are typical. With such rich ingredients, Oil Down seems more suited to a ski slope than a beach party, but, still, Grenadians eat this dish in their bathing suits. Brave, brave people. Oil Down is so rich that you may be able to stretch this one pot dish a lot further than six people. Especially if said people are teeny weeny or even tall, yet thin. The stew gains its richness thanks to the coconut milk which is a defining feature of this popular Caribbean meal. Serve with rice. Ingredients: 3-4 yucca/cassava, about 2 lbs 3 carrots 2 stalks celery 1 onion vegetable oil 1 Tbsp curry powder 1 whole hot pepper, optional 2 cans coconut milk (about 31/2 cups) 2 cups water salt …

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Chicken Meatball Soup | Bakso Noodle Soup

Serves 6 When it’s cold outside, gather around a steaming bowl of Bakso Noodle Soup – you’ll be refreshed by the bright flavors and warmed by the chili sauce. You can bring this soup to a potluck – just keep the tofu, green onions, and chili sauce in a separate dishes for diners to garnish their own bowls. While the soup is traditionally Indonesian, it is also sold by street vendors in East Timor, a country formerly part of Indonesia.  Ingredients: 1 bok choy, rinsed and sliced 3 green onions, sliced thinly 1 center section of celery – where it is 1/2 leaves and 1/2 ribs – sliced thinly 1 quart chicken stock 6 cups water (or stock) 1/8 cup soy sauce (more to taste) salt Additional soup components (all to taste): Chicken bakso meatballs cooked ramen noodles chili sauce green onions Deep-fried tofu Method: Let’s get a kaleidescope of green in our diets. Our doctors would be proud. Rinse and trim the produce… Then slice and toss in a large pot.  First the bok …

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Armenian White Bean Plaki | Lupia Plaki

Serves 8 This dish can be enjoyed hot or cold. We served the Plaki cold in an Armenian Meza style dinner (cold buffet) and scooped it up with flatbread. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups dried Great Northern Beans, soaked overnight in water 1 Tbsp salt 2-3 medium carrots, peeled and diced 1 celery stalk, diced 1/2 cup diced onion 1 can diced plum tomatoes, drained 2 Tbsp tomato paste 1/3 cup olive oil 8 cloves garlic, quartered 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp Hungarian paprika 1/2 tsp cayenne 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley and stems 2 cloves, crushed chopped celery leaves (optional garnish) Method: 1. Add beans to a large pot. Add enough water to cover 1″ and salt. Simmer until almost done. 2. Add remaining ingredients, except for crushed garlic and celery leaves, and cook another 30 minutes. 3. Take off heat and add crushed garlic and celery leaves. Serve warm or cold. Adjust seasonings before serving if necessary. Beware of Baby. Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe This dish can be enjoyed hot …

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