Recipe: Babenda

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If you enjoy the flavor of funky blue cheese, dried or smoked fish, and bitter greens, then Babenda is for you! I know. I'm asking a lot. Although we might be a select group of people with such accommodating palates, this one pot meal is a common staple in Burkina Faso. Babenda is like a jazz orchestra in the mouth, making wild taste sensations and pungent high notes meander whimsically through mouth and home. Ingredient Overview: The Greens: Any bitter greens can be used for … [Read more...]

Recipe: Rice in Banana Leaves (Lontong) with Video

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The people of Brunei are brilliant. I've got proof - the lontong. This compact, slightly perfumed packet of white rice, stuffed inside a banana leaf, is portable, sliceable, flavorful, and affordable. Oh, and cutting the rice logs up into neat coins makes for easy portion control. Well. Ok. I'll be honest. The coins just make it easier to pop a hundred million of them into my mouth. Yum. Lontong represents everything I love about food around the world. While we share similar staples - … [Read more...]

Technique Thursday: Recipe and information about Llajua (Bolivian Hot Sauce)

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If you want to eat like a Bolivian, I highly recommend you try Llajua.  Bolivians happily splash this liquid fire over their meals as casually as Americans use ketchup - perhaps even more profusely. The stuff goes on everything - from soup to grilled meat, boiled vegetables, savory pies (like the Salteña), and more. The heat originates from the locato pepper, rated between 30k and 100k on the Scoville Unit. From what I gather, the locoto is like a mild habanero. Ha. Mild. Habenero. What an … [Read more...]

Technique Thursday: Recipe & 5 Tips for a Great Fruit Salad

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The crimes of fruit salad are many: not ripe, over ripe, tart, bitter, warm, rotten ... Because of these transgressions fruit salad has become the "Fruit Cake" of summer barbecues - a popular dish that only the brave eat. This week I made a Himalayan inspired Fruit Salad (just mango, red banana, and papaya) for our Bhutanese Global Table. In my interpretation, I decided to avoid the many pitfalls of regular fruit salad and serve it as elegant finger food. In this format each piece of fruit … [Read more...]

Technique Thursday: Peeling Beans

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I spent the better part of a day peeling beans for our Benin Global Table. This is partially because it takes an eternity to peel beans and partially because my husband became incapacitated by kidney stones. All day we ran around to the doctor, the lab, and the prescription house. I didn't take my beans with me which, of course, set me back several hours - but prevented me from looking like a crazy woman. Here's how to peel beans: First things first. Soak 2 cups of beans overnight. 2 cups … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pommes Frites (French Fries)

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Serves 2 Umm, let me explain the small amount of fries in the first photo. We couldn't keep our fingers off of them long enough to get a picture! I don't need to tell you - French fries are tasty with just about anything. Try these homemade French fries for the fun and satisfaction of making them yourself! :) NOTE: Please read my Technique Thursday post all about French Fries. Ingredients: 2 extra large baking potatoes (about 2.5 pounds total) quart of vegetable … [Read more...]

Technique Thursday: Fruit Leather

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Let's just get something out in the open. Fruit Roll-ups are no good. They've got corn syrup and hydrogenated oil in them. Take it from me, life is much better if you make the nummy sweet snacks yourself! And I have good news - it's easy. But you have to promise not to call them Fruit Roll-ups. The proper term for the homemade goodness is fruit leather. Sounds so much more John Wayne, don't you think? The Basics: 1) Puree Fruit with seasonings and water. (Make the texture like … [Read more...]