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Peking Walnuts

In the spirit of DIY deliciousness, why not start off the Chinese New Year with something sweet and savory? Peking Walnuts are an impressive affair – the glossy walnuts appear lacquered, but it’s really just a simple sugar coating that’s been dunked in a vat of hot vegetable oil. While the walnuts cook, the sugar caramelizes onto the crust and takes on a reddish hue – just like Peking Duck. The red color makes Peking Walnuts lucky. What’s the story with the color red and Chinese New Year? Legend has it that a Chinese beast called Nian lives under the sea and mountains. He is afraid of the color red. Chinese families use lots of red during the New Year to scare him away.Today, red signifies both luck and joy in Chinese culture. How to make Peking Walnuts (and impress all your friends): Grab a bunch of walnuts. Boil them until their skins fall off. Dry well. Toss with sugar and let dry for a couple of hours in a sunny spot (or overnight).   Meanwhile, go watch some fireworks! When you return, deep …

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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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Rosemary & Lemon Harissa Kebabs

Summer still catwalks through the August air, unabashed and sizzling. There’s still time to grill, still time to sit out under the stars without a coat, or even a hoodie. There’s time to wear out those flipflops and kick back in sunglasses. And there’s still time to try Uganda’s kebabs, adapted  from Marcus Samuelsson’s beautiful cookbook Discovery Of A Continent – Foods, Flavors, And Inspirations From Africa.  The flavors are intense. Bright lemon juice starts of the explosion. A long marinade brings out bright sparks from the citrus. Then there’s a needling burn from the Harissa, a traditional spice often found in North African cooking. How much heat is there? As much as you can handle. Or as little as you’d like. Tip: You find Harissa mix at Whole Foods in the spice aisle (to be combined with water, olive oil, and crushed garlic), or you can buy a canned paste at a Middle Eastern market. Be sure to add this to taste, as some mixes may be spicier than others. IF you use the …

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Chicken Yassa

In Senegal’s villages, which dot lazily between scrubby fields, life is slower. People gather barefoot on stoops, pounding millet or boiling rice. Talk and dance reverberate in rhythm with hide-covered drums, around outdoor fires, as though there were nothing more to do with the day than to live. There’s a popular proverb: Yarude seesa haɗtaa yettaade* or Going slowly does not prevent you from arriving. The words make me wince a little. Even with this Adventure I’m often in a hurry, rushing out the door, arms too full to hold Ava’s hands, or trying to slap a meager dinner on the table conjured up halfheartedly bagged, frozen helpers, all the while mind racing with checklists. Slowing down, I’ve realized, is a privilege and luxury that I often don’t indulge in. I could take a lesson from slow, easy Senegal. Chicken Yassa, a favorite stewed chicken dish in Senegal, simmers with onion and lemon juice quite leisurely until the flavors unite to create a tender, falling-off-the-bone, mouthwatering delight. Yassa can be found all over West Africa and there are …

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Filipino Braised Pork Adobo

Sometimes I have to play games to get through a busy day with a smile. Here are some good things that help me out (in no particular order): – watching the sun peek through the clouds. – listening to my shoes squeak in the library. – counting how often our daughter giggles. – feeling her small hand in mine. Other times it’s all about vinegar, slowly reduced with soy sauce and brown sugar, with a hit of black peppercorn and bay leaf. What? I know, I know. But it’s true. As a long time fan of Vinegar City, Pork Adobo is just right for those sweet and sour days which cling to us like paperweights. Whatever that means. The inspiration comes from our Filipino Global Table, which (in turn) was inspired by the cuisine of Portugal. It would seem adobo can be anything in sauce (particularly vinegar based), but pork adobo is particularly grand with pork belly or shoulder. In other words, any meat that is thick, fatty and wonderful on the slow and low side …

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Burmese Ginger Salad | Gin Thoke

If we can’t open our hearts to the “weird” things in life, we’re not living fully. The girl who wears rain boots in the snow. The man that studies a bustling ant hill for an hour. The child that dips her scrambled eggs in molasses (Ava did this yesterday). These people all have one thing in common: they see the world through a different lens. Their world has no limitations. Wouldn’t it be glorious if a salad could change how you see the world? If one bite could take away all your preconceived notions and open your mind to the new, the exciting, and – let’s just be honest – the weird? Today we’re going beyond watery diner salads, sporting  browning lettuce, one measly crouton, a white-washed tomato, and a solitary red onion ring. (Thank goodness) Instead we’re loading our chopsticks with fresh, spicy ginger, salty fish sauce, fried lentils and chickpeas, chickpea flour,  peanuts cabbage… and… and… so much happy goodness. This is a bouquet of flavor that sounds more … quirky.. than it really is. This Burmese salad is extremely …

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Indonesian Beef Satay

Serves 2-4 Do you get hungry late, late, late – in the dark corners of the night? Does your stomach growl? Your mind race? Do you ever feel like you need a big bite of goodness before you can roll over and snooze? Me, too. Indonesian Beef Satay is just the ticket. Believe me when I say I would turn on my grill at midnight to eat this satay. Here’s the truth: I’ve never simply sat and eaten a half pound of meat in my entire life. I’m just not that into meat. Until today. Completely, and without remorse, I ate an entire half pound and would have continued on to eat more skewers, if I could have weaseled some away from Keith and Ava. The Satay are rich and sweet from the kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), wonderfully fragrant, and incredibly addictive. Apparently I’m not alone because many Indonesians are known to eat up to 6 skewers in one sitting. Ingredients: 1 small onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 1/2 tsp minced ginger …

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Indonesian Peanut Sauce

Makes 2 1/2 cups I’ve discovered the secret to a happy belly. Indonesian Peanut Sauce. This is not just any peanut sauce. This is the kind of peanut sauce that leaves you wondering. Hoping. Dreaming. Wishing for more. This sauce is complex. Interesting. Mysterious – full of wonderful flavors you can’t quite identify. Flavors that’ll make you nibble and nibble – until, eventually, you give up trying to figure everything out all the time and simply enjoy. NOTE: Vegetarians and vegans can also enjoy this sauce by simply leaving out the shrimp paste. Ingredients: 1 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil 1 candle nut*, grated 1 large shallot, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped chili pepper (to taste), seeded 1 tsp shrimp paste (sweet or hot)*, optional 5.5 oz can of coconut milk 1 tsp ground coriander 1 cup roasted peanuts 2/3 cup water salt Season with: 2 Tbsp kecap manis* 1-2 limes juiced *available at most Asian markets. Method: There are so many ways to make this peanut sauce. Your best bet is to pull up …

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Georgian Chicken

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 instead. Adapted from The Silk Road Gourmet: Volume One: Western and Southern Asia Ingredients: 2 lbs chicken leg 1 cup lemon juice 3 Tbsp Georgian Five Spice 1/3 cup peanut oil salt Method: Hello sunshine! Time to juice some lemons.  Beware paper cuts… this won’t be pleasant for you. Add in the Georgian Five Spice. And peanut oil… Pour the mixture over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. To quote Emeril, these chicken are “getting happy.” Grill on each side over medium-low heat, turning once. …

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West African Spinach with Groundnuts | Peanut Butter

Serves 4 I’m not sure why this idea seemed so strange to me. West Africans love greens with peanut butter (they call them groundnuts), and I should have never doubted them. The earthy peanuts stand up to the mighty bitter spinach. It balances out nicely with the sweet peppers, but spicy would work wonderfully as well. If you can pick up the spinach and onions from your farmer’s market, I highly recommend it. The fresh flavors will crunch and zip and smile inside your mouth. Ingredients: peanut oil (or regular) 3 green onions, sliced 1 lb fresh spinach 1 red bell pepper 1/4 cup natural peanut butter 1/2 cup water salt pepper or cayenne Method: I was just so happy the farmer’s market opened up for business the same day we cooked The Gambia. Look at these green onions and the healthy, sultry spinach. That’s right. I said sultry. Cook the pepper in hot peanut oil (or vegetable oil if you don’t have any) Add in peanut butter and water. Stir to combine into a …

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Ethiopian Lamb & Onion Stew | Awaze Tibs

Serves 2-4 I was a total lamb newb before starting Global Table Adventure – I simply had never cooked it. Sure, I grew up eating it with mint jelly (although the jelly always stayed on my plate, untouched), but the actual process of making a tasty meal out of lamb was a mystery to me. Thanks to our Adventure, it’s becoming rather second nature and this Ethiopian recipe might be my favorite lamb recipe thus far (barely edging out the Roast Lamb from Cyprus). Our recipe is adapted from Laura Kelley of Silk Road Gourmet, a most wonderful author and world traveler. Serve with Injera. Ingredients: 1/8 cup peanut oil 2 red onions, chopped 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 1/2 tsp) 3 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tsp berberé 1 cup beef stock 1.2 lbs cubed lamb yogurt, to taste Method: Chop the onions (you can do a large dice or strips) and cook them until golden (10-15 min) over medium high, or until you can no longer stand how good the …

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Algerian Green Beans

Serves 4 Algerian green beans, called Loubia, are a nice side dish to almost any meal. Make them ahead and reheat in the oven at the last minute. Ingredients: 1 lb fresh green beans 3 Tbsp peanut oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp paprika a hefty pinch ground cloves 3 Tbsp slivered almonds Method: 1. Steam green beans until tender, about 15 minutes (or if you like them firmer, that’s okay too). 2. In a small skillet over medium heat, combine oil, garlic, cumin, paprika, and cloves. Saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add slivered almonds and cook for 1 minute more. 3. In a large serving bowl toss green beans with seasoned oil. Serve hot. Votes: 3 Rating: 4.33 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Algerian green beans, called Loubia, are a nice side dish to almost any meal. Make them ahead and reheat in the oven at the last minute.Algerian Green Beans CourseSides & Salads LifestyleGluten-Free, Potluck Friendly, Quick, Vegan, Vegetarian Food TypeVegetables Servings Prep Time 4people 10minutes Cook …

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