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Malaysian Herbed Rice Salad | Nasi Ulam

Do packaged herbs ever go on strike at the back of your fridge? Now, thanks to Malaysian Herbed Rice Salad, bundles of herbs can finally go to work in a dish that everyone will love. When herbs go on strike I wonder how many partially used packages of fresh herbs lay wilting at the back of fridges across America. I’ve certainly been there. Even though I “store” my herbs in the garden, disgruntled leaves occasionally congregate behind the eggs and mustard (the few remaining upright stems looking like picket signs). The problem? Outside of a putting basil in pesto or parsley in tabbouleh, it’s hard to use most fresh herbs up. To give our herbs a chance, we need to rethink how we use them. A pinch here or there doesn’t really do the trick when it comes to adding flavor or using them up. Standing them in a jar of fresh water helps tremendously (sometimes adding a couple of weeks of life to them). Another idea is to find a recipe that makes good use of …

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Zambia’s Spiced Tilapia Stew

  “Leading a race does not mean that you will win it.” Zambian Proverb It’s a chilly, wintery, blustery sort of day. Even the trees shudder, their leaves falling down in chatterings. Thankfully, Zambia makes quick work of dissipating the cold, with this Spiced Tilapia Stew.  Each bite pops with fresh lime juice, tomatoes, and Napa cabbage. A dusting of cumin, mustard seeds, fresh ginger and garlic give the broth depth. But it’s the Thai Bird chilies that’ll clear your sinuses.  Even just one in the pot promises a mellow tingle in every spoonful.   This is another kind of DIY soup, because of the garnishes. Children will especially enjoy squeezing lime juice on their soup and sprinkling their bowl with parsley.  Adults will enjoy seeing how many Thai Bird chili peppers they can handle. My husband added an entire sliced chili to his bowl; though he was sniffling and coughing from the heat, he then proceeded to add more. A note on the Tilapia: traditional Zambian stews often use dried tilapia. We’ve used fresh because …

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Madagascar Chicken | Akoho sy Sakamalao

There are times when I need a little bit of sunshine. A smattering of happy. A bouquet of deliciousness. Today I found exactly what I was looking for in this Malagasy chicken. One of the most unusual things about the food of Madagascar is how much it pulls from different traditions. In today’s chicken dish, we see traces of mainland Africa, Asia and Polynesia. The coconut oil gives the chicken just a hint of Polynesian tradition, while the garlic, and ginger play into Asian flavors. Finally, the lemon rind gives a fresh, yet slightly bitter flavor, reminiscent of north African cooking. Serves 4 Ingredients: 4 whole chicken legs (thighs included) 3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 inch ginger, grated 1 lemon, zested 1 pepper, sliced 1 onion, sliced 1/3 cup coconut oil Method: Next time you’re looking for a blast of sunshine, like the Lemurs in Madagascar… … simply zest a sunny lemon, grate the ginger and crush the garlic… Rub all over the chicken legs, cover, refrigerate, and let marinate for at least 2 hours, …

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Lithuanian Honey Spirits | Krupnikas

The holidays are over. We stuffed our wrapping paper back into the closet and swept the confetti into the trash, right on top of the party hats that say 2012. The cookies and the friendly buffets of family favorites are long since gone, replaced by soulless detoxes and way-too-skinny drinks. I know some of us are even thinking about spring – scanning the frozen ground, vainly hoping to see some stray spot of green, willing a warm gust of air to come our way, instead of a moveable wall of ice. But can we just… pause for a second, in the interest of good planning? Would you be very mad if I asked you to make a few presents for next year? Right… now? Hear me out. They say Lithuania has the largest collection of amber in the world – known as the gold of the baltics – but I uncovered a far more enticing “gold” in their liquor cabinets: Krupnikas, or Honey Spirits. This boozy drink tastes like heaven on fire – a sweet, fragrant blend that …

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Smoked Ham & Green Bean | Jollof

I’m that girl who orders the same thing over and over again at restaurants. I know – not what you’d expect from someone cooking the world. But I can’t help it. I like knowing what to expect. Plus, there’s nothing worse than wasting hard-earned money on a dish that I could possibly end up hating. After all, it’s not like I can send the food back just because I don’t like it. Now, to be fair, I’m a completely different person at home. Without the burden of outrageous restaurant bills, I’m a free spirit.  I play with food. Experiment. Get all MacGyver on it. If things begin to head south, I’m quick on my feet. A dash of this and a squirt of that will usually bring the meal back into edible form. I rarely make the same thing, the same way, twice. Well, today we’re revisiting Jollof – a dish we made a few months ago with such success that I thought I’d make another popular variation for Liberia, a country that loves Jollof as much as any …

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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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Jamaican Sorrel Drink

Makes at least 1 1/2 quarts (more, depending on how much you dilute it) August has drug on too long. I know because the mosquitoes have given up for the summer. Not a one can be found. They’ve been cooked off. I’ve been shriveling up, too. Thankfully a few of our readers suggested I try sorrel, Jamaica’s perky, often spiked answer to iced tea, typically served at Christmastime. Sorrel is better than pouring a bucket of ice down your back. And it’s (literally) cooler than mulled wine (although I like that too). Imagine: It’s December. The sun has her cheery face on. The tin roofs are hot. Cats hide in the shade while people sip sorrel in flip flops. Christmastime in Jamaica. Prime Sorrel drinkin’ time.  I love it! Now, let’s get clear on terminology… (UPDATE: Please check the comments  – I seem to have this mixed up a bit…) Sorrel is the Jamaican word for hibiscus, a flower which grows abundantly on the island. Even though this drink is served on ice, sorrel retains the flavors of …

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Saag Paneer

Serves 4 It’s creamy. It’s earthy. It’s one of my favorite dishes from India. Ladle saag panner over basmati rice and it’s also a surefire way to get a picky man to eat his spinach. Ingredients: vegetable oil 1 tsp fresh grated ginger 1 tsp fresh grated turmeric 2-3 tsp homemade garam masala 1 onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic Serrano chili, sliced thinly (to taste) 1 lb frozen spinach, thawed, juices retained homemade paneer, to taste salt pepper finishing touch 2 Tbsp butter 1/4 cup half and half (or more to taste) Method: There’s only one way to get a picky man to love spinach. Load it up with good flavor. Blend it so it’s no longer slimy. And add some delicious cheese to distract him from all the green. First step: gather the ingredients. Whole Foods had fresh turmeric this week (see bottom right), so I did my happy dance. Next, toast the ginger, turmeric, and garam masala in vegetable oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add the onion, garlic, and Serrano chili. Cook until softened, …

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Spicy Chicken Peanut Soup | Groundnut Soup

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 the rest of West Africa for sharing this gem of a recipe with the world. Variations include a perfectly smooth soup (the ingredients can either be pureed or simply mashed together), as well as prepared with fish or beef instead of chicken. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make an even more authentic version of Groundnut Soup by substituting fish stock instead of chicken stock and garnishing with crushed, dried shrimp. The spice level of this soup is mild-medium. You can add more heat with ground cayenne pepper, if desired. Ingredients: …

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Lemon Ginger Tea | Gingembre

Makes about 3 cups concentrated juice Want to fall in love vigorously? Ease a nasty stomach bug immediately? Wake up cheerfully? Drink a giant glass of spicy, cold lemon ginger tea. It’s like a big punch in the face, but in a good way. This drink is so strong, you’ll do the post-whiskey-shot shudder. Our recipe is a concentrated blend – be sure to water it down to taste. Special tip for the flu season – add a splash of hot water to dilute for a great, cleansing drink. Perfect if your sinuses feel miserable. Ingredients: 1/2 cup grated ginger 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, pulp and all 2 cups water Method: Get ready to purify yourself. Get the juiciest lemons you can squeeze, the spiciest ginger on the shelf, and the sweetest sugar in your pantry. Peel and grate fresh ginger root (a bit of skin doesn’t matter as it will be strained). Add to a small pot with sugar, lemons and water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook …

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Spiced Papaya Milk

Serves 2 Thick, creamy, and spicy, this drink popular in Northern Chad is refreshing and healthy. Ingredients: 4 cups cubed papaya (if fresh is unavailable you can use 2 cans, drained) 2 cups milk 3 Tbsp sugar 1/4 tsp cardamom pinch ginger 1-2 cups ice, as desired Method: Gather your ingredients. First the beautiful papaya… drained and ready for the blender… Then the spices. Start off with just a little and add the full amount if you can handle it! 🙂 Dump into a blender with some cold milk… And ice, to taste. You can make this drink as thick or as thin as you like. Make it on a wickedly hot day, or a balmy night.  Or right this minute. Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Thick, creamy, and spicy, this drink popular in Northern Chad is refreshing and healthy.Spiced Papaya Milk CourseDrinks, Sweets Lifestyle5-ingredients or less, Vegetarian Food TypeCold Drinks, Fruit, Non-Alcoholic Drinks Servings 2people Servings 2people Ingredients 4cups papaya, cubed 2cups milk 3Tbsp sugar 1/4tsp ground cardamom 1pinch …

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