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Argentine Beef Stew in a Pumpkin | Carbonada en Zapallo

In 2011 a young Argentine man went viral in a 6-second video when he laughed about the cost of a burger at a soccer stadium. His exact words were: Con quince peso me hago alto guiso.pum For 15 pesos I could make quite the stew. To put this young man’s remarks in perspective, 15 Argentine pesos is just under $2 USD. It seems as though, relatively speaking, overpriced stadium food is a shared phenomenon – as common as rainy days and sunny dispositions. What is remarkable – and what made the young man’s comment go viral – is the assumption that good, homemade stew can be made for the cost of an overpriced burger. I looked into his logic: here in the USA an overpriced stadium burger in Silicon Valley goes for $12. Surely, I could make a soup for less than $12, even shopping at costly American grocery stores. Testing the theory… Curious (and inspired), I began looking into Argentine stews – sending me down a delicious rabbit hole of beef and root veggie based bowls. I finally emerged …

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Spiced Skillet Eggs | Yemeni Shakshouka

Eggs. In the shell, they seems so… ordinary. But glowing, too, like they’re full of potential. Like they’re ready to become something more. When it comes to breakfast, Yemen knows how to dress them up – as Shakshouka. Shakshouka is a beloved skillet egg dish popular all over North Africa and the Middle East. We’ve made shakshouka before – the kind that is rather like a tomato sauce with poached eggs inside (and, by the way, yum!) – but Yemen makes shakshouka differently. For starters, they include spices like cumin, turmeric, cardamom, and clove. They also add hot green chili peppers for kick. Anything from an anaheim to a jalepeno would work well for this recipe. I’m a half hot pepper kind of gal. Keith’s more of a whole hot pepper. If you’re a no pepper person, that works too – though a touch of heat does add a layer of authenticity to the dish. But the biggest difference of all  with Yemeni shakshouka is that, in Yemen, the eggs are scrambled, not poached. The result is …

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Chifa Beef Stirfy | Lomo Saltado

Remember the girls who could do Double Dutch jump rope? I loved them. I loved them because I was never coordinated enough to do what they could do. Every day I watched their hair fly, their feet pump like pistons, and ropes slice through the air. Today, I’m not even sure if I can jump regular rope, let alone Double Dutch. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been on a playground for my own pleasure. But if there’s one thing I can do, it’s eat double carbs. In this case, I might as well be Peruvian. I’m talking about Chifa – a fusion of Peruvian and Chinese food… and it’s not something just a few people love. Chifa is Peru’s heart and soul, considered one of the country’s top favorite dishes. Today’s Lomo Saltado is a simple beef stir-fry, but made with Peruvian peppers, cilantro, and  cumin (of all things). And… this is the important part… Chifa is served with French Fries and rice. Double carb town. Lomo Saltado is the strangest sounding combination, …

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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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5 Step Mole Poblano

I’ll be honest. On the onset, learning how to make Mole Poblano sounded a lot like learning how to knit a wedding dress. Outrageously epic, but not entirely something I had the skills for. In case you’ve never heard of it, we’re talking a Mexican recipe from Puebla that has a million, gazillion ingredients (ok, really just about two dozen), many cooking phases, and centuries of history behind it. Yikes. After staring at dozens of recipes, drinking several cups of tea, and more than a little sleep lost, I broke mole poblano down into 5 basic steps. Deep sigh. Smile. This feels better. Five steps are manageable. So, my goal today, is to make you Mole happy. To encourage you to give it a try. Because if you do, you’ll be in Mexico with every bite. NOTE: This Mole Poblano is vegan, although you can serve it on whatever you’d like – veggies, meats, etc. Traditionally it is served with turkey and made with turkey stock. Makes 6-7 cups Ingredients: These ingredients get toasted: 1 Tbsp …

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Pepian Sauce for Stewed Chicken or Veggies

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 realize what they’re eating. The smooth, complex flavor makes me happy – especially when I’m in a cooking rut. Serve over vegetables or stew with chicken. Our recipe is adapted from our friends over at Uncornered Market (where you can watch a great video of Pepian preparation in Guatemala). They used guaque and pasa chilis; we could not obtain these so we substituted the closest we could find. The result was a completely mild pepian. Enjoy! Ingredients: 2 ounces sesame seeds, toasted 2 ounces pumpkin seeds, toasted 5 large roma tomatoes, …

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Ratatouille

Serves 4 When I was little, mom made ratatouille all the time. We ate it hot in the winter and cold in the summer, but always with loads of garlic. She’s half Italian, half Hungarian so – naturally – I figured ratatouille was a dish from our own, personal heritage.Later, when I moved to France, ratatouille turned up everywhere. Who knew? Ratatouille is French, French, French. Most popular in the south of France, around Nice (one of the hotspots for rich and famous folk, on the French Riviera), ratatouille means “to toss food together.” They key to great flavor is browning the veggies. With summer on the horizon, I dream about grilling each ingredient and tossing together into a ratatouille inspired salad. Ingredients: 1/3-1/4 cup olive oil (as desired) 1 large onion, sliced 1 red bell pepper, cut in 1″ pieces 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in 1″pieces 6 cloves garlic, sliced 1 1/2 lbs zucchini, sliced into rounds 1 small eggplant – about 1 1/2 pounds – cubed 4 roma tomatoes, chopped 1/4 tsp chopped fresh …

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Fresh Veggie Seasoning Base | Sazon/Sofrito

Makes about 5 cups Are you haggard in the kitchen? Overwhelmed at the thought of cutting up a bunch of fresh vegetables on a week night, but aware that – if you don’t – dinner is going to be b.l.a.n.d.? Dominican Sofrito (also known as Sazon) is your answer. Make a batch once or twice a week and you’ll have a great, healthy seasoning base that will amp up any dish. NOTE: In the Dominican Republic, sofrito can be made any number of ways. At the lovely web site Dominican Cooking you will find three examples that are completely different from each other (one even has radishes in it!). The moral? No Sofrito is better than your sofrito – make it the way you like it! Here’s the way I did it… Ingredients: 1 green pepper, cut in large chunks 1 red pepper, cut in large chunks 1 red onion, cut in large chunks 3 green onions, sliced 2 tomatillo, quartered 2 roma tomatoes, quartered 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped 1/2 bunch parsley, roughly chopped …

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Armenian Bulgur Pilaf Salad | Itch

Serves 8 This colorful salad reminds me of tabouli. The orange hue comes from the pureed tomatoes. Serve at room temperature with grilled chicken or lamb. Ingredients: 1, 15 ounce can diced plum tomatoes 1/2 cup olive oil 2 cups chopped onion 2 cups bulgur 1/4 cup lemon juice salt pepper 1 small jalapeno, minced 1 large red bell pepper, diced 1 large red onion, diced 8 scallions, sliced 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley 1-2 cups very hot water (add as needed) Method: 1. Saute onions in oil over medium heat until golden. Add tomatoes and liquid and bring to a boil. Puree. 2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and let stand for 45 minutes, until the liquid is completely absorbed. 3. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Let stand at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature. Votes: 2 Rating: 5 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe This colorful salad reminds me of tabouli. The orange hue comes from the pureed tomatoes. Serve at room temperature with grilled chicken or lamb.Armenian …

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