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Grilled Togo Chicken

  What brings a smile to your face? The sunshine? The taste of the ocean? What about security… that lovely feeling, when you know you can feed your family, without depending on someone else. Mrs. Essowedeou, from Togo, agrees. “I never knew how chickens could bring a smile to our faces,” she says. Mrs. Essowedeou raises chickens as part of the “Plan Togo” program.   These chickens are her smile because they are her (and her family’s) ticket to security. Independence. Food. She sells the chickens and the eggs to raise money for her family. This week, let’s smile with Togo in our hearts. And, in Kpetou’s honor, let’s do it with chicken. Because, sometimes, it’s that simple. Chicken recipes are plentiful in Togo, but Grilled Togo Chicken is probably the simplest, most straight forward way to enjoy the meat. All you need to do is marinate your favorite cut of chicken with ginger, garlic, and onion. Use a dash of cayenne if you’re feeling spicy, and be sure to rub on a hit of …

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Syrian Lamb kebabs with Sour Cherries | Kebab Karaz

I can almost hear it; the hiss and sizzle of grills waking up from their long winter naps. It’s warm in Oklahoma and we’re ready to move our kitchen outside, into the sparkling sun. Today’s inspiration comes from Syria and the pucker of sour cherries, which will be in season sometime in the next few weeks, depending where in the world you live. Syrian Lamb Kebabs with Cherries can be made two different ways. The first is easy – you string up the meat along with the sour cherries. The second involves creating a gravy of sorts with the sour cherries and serving the whole shebang on a platter over pita bread. The latter is more of a winter dish, so we’re going all summer, all the way. The distinctive seasoning in these kebabs is baharat (we’ll have that recipe posted very soon), but if you don’t have time to make any, add some pepper, allspice, and cinnamon, plus a pinch of clove and nutmeg  to this recipe and you’ll be good to go. Makes …

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Barbecued Meat | Carne Asada

Last chances only come once. Last chance to tell that boy you like him. Last chance to wear hypercolor. Last chance to wear a micro-mini. Because, guess what? The 90’s are over, and they’re not coming back. (not that I’m bitter) (well, maybe about the mini skirt thing). Take a look outside. This might be your last chance to fire up the grill in 2012. Come December, when the Mayan’s pop in to say hello, you might wish you took the opportunity. Especially when it comes with so much DIY goodness. I’m a big fan of DIY meals. (Remember when we made “Foe” (similar to Pho)? No one’s bowl looked the same. Yet they were all major Yum Town). Today we’re exploring the popular South American DIY called Carne Asada, a.k.a. the most lovely barbecued meat you’ll ever nibble. Carne Asada can be found all over  – from Mexico (hey, there’s those Mayas again), to the fine countries of South America. It is an especially fond part of the Paraguayan Global Table…and so here we …

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Tandoori marinade for fish or chicken

“It smells good in here.” That’s what Keith said as he wandered by. I was leaning in, photographing spoonfuls of spices that I’d later mix with yogurt for beautiful tandoori marinade. There was sweet, grassy coriander and bright lemon juice. Tangy yogurt and earthy garam masala. The ingredients slid together into intoxicating deliciousness – not without a bit of sass thanks to the fresh ginger and spicy garlic. Tandoori is enjoyed from Pakistan to India … even, as we learned this week, as far as the tiny island country of Palau, way out in the Pacific. To eat proper tandoori, you need a tandoori oven. These cylinders of shimmering heat create addicting char-grilled flavor while retaining perfect moisture. At home you can approximate the flavor of good tandoori in your regular oven or on the grill. Try this marinade next time you bake or grill fish (and even chicken). Your house will smell like an exotic market. Amazing Town. Ingredients: 3-4 lbs fish like cod, salmon … or even chicken Tandoori Marinade 1 cup yogurt 1/4 cup …

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Grilled Mussels Dabbed with Barbecue Sauce

Someone help me, but up until a few days ago, I was not a lover of mussels. I blame those times when, as a little girl, we dug them out of the sand in Cape Cod and drove them in the summer heat all the way back to Boston.  The drive took over an hour and half.  I don’t think I need to tell you the rest. It’s a shame, really, because good mussels are sweet, mild, and tender… a bit of romance for your mouth. But we’re here to change perceptions, and I knew I had to give them another try. (we can’t move forward if we don’t keep trying and learning). So I grabbed a bag a the store, zipped home as fast as possible, and got to work. Funny thing? There really wasn’t a lot of work to do thanks to this Palauan trick of tossing them on the grill and brushing them with a dab of barbecue sauce. You need two simple things. 1. Barbecue Sauce I went with our Homemade Ginger …

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Ginger Peach Barbecue Sauce

Way out in the Pacific ocean sits a bumpy, bumbling little island country called Palau. From what I hear, the fine people (20,000 strong) slather barbecue sauce on just about anything. Fish. Chicken. Even mussels. Some say it’s the American influence on their cuisine, but I detect a nod to the rich gingery-garlic barbecue sauces of Asia as well. I immediately knew that I had to make homemade barbecue sauce to experience our Palauan Global Table to the fullest. And if I was going to take inspiration from anywhere for the sauce, it would have to be from one of my favorite food blogs, Joy the Baker. Joy recently made Bourbon Orange Coriander BBQ Sauce. Hello, there’ s bourbon in her sauce. As I went along, however, I realized I needed to make a few changes …. of the whimsical, I-can’t-leave-well-enough-alone variety.  For starters, I wanted to add peaches since I had a bunch to use up from the late summer’s harvest (oh… an Oklahoma peach is a divine thing indeed). Once there were peaches in the …

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Grilled Kofta with Zucchini Sauce

This week we dove into a summery garden spread from Oman. Kofta are grilled hand-formed sausages enjoyed in Oman and neighboring countries. In fact, versions of kofta are enjoyed as far east as India (although these are typically served in meatball form). These Omani kofta sizzle with earthy cumin, warm flutterings of cinnamon, and are rounded out by coriander seed, fresh parsley and cilantro. The sauce – entirely vegan, by the way – is loaded up with fresh zucchini, garlic, parlsey and such a little sprinkle of mint, noone will know what your secret ingredient is. You can make it as spicy as you’d like with red pepper flakes (or go wild with cayenne, if you must). P.S. This sauce would be great for a variation on our vegetarian Shakshouka that we made back with Israel. Shakshouka is also enjoyed in Oman. Recipe adapted from Laura Kelley at Silk Road Gourmet, where she journies through the cuisines, histories and cultures of the more than thirty countries that traded goods along that great lifeline of the ancient world. Ingredients: For …

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Grilled Plantain spears with crushed peanuts | Boli Bopa

This is so quick, it’s silly. All you need are a few medium-ripe plantains (as pictured), some red palm oil, and a bit of salt & hot pepper. You can find the red palm oil at your natural grocer or, if you’re lucky enough to have an African market, there. You brush on the red palm oil (back in the day I wrote a bit about this popular west African oil)… Sprinkle with salt and whatever spices you like (think hot, like cayenne… or mild, like paprika)… Grill until tender and charred, but not mushy. Slice and serve… … preferably with crushed peanuts and a sprinkling of extra spices, as desired. This would also be great with minced chili peppers, like jalapeno. That’s it! A quick and relatively fuss-free taste of Nigeria. Adapted from The Africa Cookbook: Tastes of a Continent by Jessica Harris. Here’s what you need… Ingredients: 3 plantains 1-2 Tbsp red palm oil handful crushed peanuts salt cayenne pepper, optional Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe This is so quick, it’s …

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West African Peanut Kebabs | Suya

My pantry’s name is Patty.* She’s actually just a shelf in the laundry room, above the vacuum cleaner and mop, but I love her all the same. Right now she could use a diet – she is packed with boxes upon boxes of noodles, rice, 8 kinds of oils, soup, 4 bags of coffee from around the world, 4 kinds of dried chili peppers, and fishy bouillon cubes I bought 2 years ago for one of our Global Table meals and promptly forgot to use (I’m going to go ahead and presume they aren’t good any more). Just the other day I unearthed three bulk bags of peanuts in the back corner of the shelf. This is what happens when Patty is in disorder. When I don’t clear through her clutter. I’ve never been happier to have too many peanuts in my pantry. It means I get to make Suya, west African Peanut Kabobs. These kabobs, ever-so-popular in Nigeria, crackle with the most addictive crust – ground peanuts seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, paprika, onion powder, and …

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Grilled Sweet Potato & Bacon Salad | Kumara

When I read that New Zealander’s love “kumara,” I wondered what this dreamy word could mean. When I found out kumara are simply a variety of New Zealand “sweet potatoes,” I was thrilled. Sweet potatoes are on my “will-eat-any-time-of-day-for-any-reason-especially-for-my-last-meal” food list. Not many foods make that cut. Today’s salad takes inspiration from New Zealand’s love of barbecue. For color I combined two kinds of sweet potatoes on the grill before tossing them with bacon, green onion, and a quick, zingy honey mustard dressing. This is grilled sweet potatoes, dressed up for a party in your mouth. P.S. Since I couldn’t get my hands on actual kumara, I used an orange fleshed sweet potato and a white fleshed sweet potato. This makes for a really pretty salad. If you do the same, be sure to watch the cooking times. Some varieties tend to cook quicker than others. P.P.S. New Zealander’s love grilled lamb, especially with rosemary. I’d highly recommend serving these kumara with our Grilled Greek-stye Lamb from back in the day. The lamb is seasoned with rosemary, …

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Grilled Island Fries

Ok. So even in the summer I crave french fries. But I don’t crave heating up a big pot of oil inside the house. There’s a solution: grilled fries. The fine people of Nauru love their fries. While most of them enjoy deep-fried fries, we covered that with Belgium Pommes Frites. So, inspired by their island setting – where the fine people of Nauru love to grill – I thought it’d be fun to try grilled fries. And it was fun. In my research I found several ways to make these, including boiling the potatoes and then slicing (again, who wants to heat up the house with a big pot of bubbling water? Not me!). I decided to try something different. Something simpler. I crossed my fingers, shut my eyes, and hoped against hope that it would work. And it did. Here is how I did it. Serves up to 5 Ingredients: 5 large yukon gold potatoes, washed vegetable oil salt & pepper Method: First, find the largest yukon gold potatoes you can. You can …

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Bushmeat Skewers | An Alligator’s Bite

In the muddy waters of Namibia you can find all manner of crocodile. They are both hunted and hunters, so it’s best to keep your wits about you if you find yourself in their snappish company. Since I live in the part of the world where alligators roam (or very near to it, as they can be found in Georgia, just a couple of states away), I made this quick substitution for this traditional Namibian bushmeat. If you’d like to know the difference between a crocodile and an alligator, I’ve been told it’s in the shape of the snout. Otherwise, it is rumored, the taste (and bite) is the same. So let’s stove top travel our way to the hot Namibian sun and find ourselves some bushmeat for summer grillin.’ NOTE:  I purchased alligator at Harvard Meats, our local meat market (that’s also where we found kangaroo for our Australian Global Table). Call around and see if any near you have alligator (most likely frozen, unless you live in the deep south). Makes about 6 skewers Ingredients: …

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