Recipe: Butter Roasted Tomatoes

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Serves 2-3 Cherry tomatoes are sweet bursts of summertime. Their flavor deepens when roasted with creamy butter and fresh thyme - a juicy side dish that forgives even the driest chicken and wild rice, while bravely complimenting perfectly cooked meals as well. If that isn't enough reason to try this vegetarian recipe, these tomatoes actually made my picky husband exclaim "pretty good!" That's quite the milestone considering the tomato is one of his major food¬†nemeses. Like Batman's Joker … [Read more...]

Recipe: Corn with Plantains

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Serves 4 Corn with plantains is a common pairing in West Africa. Add a little heat with your favorite hot pepper, or use regular bell peppers. Our version is vegetarian/vegan. Ingredients: 1 tsp red palm oil 1 lb fresh or frozen corn 2 yellow plantains 1 chili pepper (I used a poblano from my garden that turned red), diced 1/2 cup water Method: Heat up a little oil in a medium pot. Chop up a couple of plantains... ... and add them with the corn. If you're … [Read more...]

Recipe: Roasted Eggplant & Bell Pepper Dip (Kyopolou)

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Serves 4-6 Kyopolou melds roasted, sweet peppers, eggplant, and ripe tomatoes to make a dipping sensation. Serve with pita bread or alongside white fish. Be sure to prepare a day ahead (or at least several hours) so that the flavors can properly distribute. Otherwise the garlic will be too sharp and bitter. If you simply must serve this dish right away, use less garlic. Ingredients: 3 eggplants 4 red bell peppers 3 tomatoes (I used roma) 2-5 cloves garlic fresh parsley, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chilled Cucumber Soup (Tarator)

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Serves 4 Is your air conditioner busted? No problem - you'll be cool as a cucumber as you sip on chilled Bulgarian cucumber & yogurt soup (Tarator). ¬†Heck, take a bath in it. All that yogurt and cucumber has to be good for the skin. Right? Although many people enjoy this soup with little pieces of cucumbers, I liked it extra vevelty smooth. If you would like the texture, reserve half a cucumber and thinly slice it. I'd do half moons, or even smaller. Ingredients 2 small … [Read more...]

Recipe: Savory Cheese Pastry (Banitsa)

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Serves 6 My husband is officially in love with Bulgaria. To be fair, he didn't stand a chance. Second only to pure sugar, Keith loves anything that includes butter, pastry, or cheese. This recipe boasts all three, and in eye-popping quantities. Not to say it was love at first sight. It wasn't. After all, my pastry skills are minimal. But, hey, we can all use a little forgiveness in the kitchen, from time to time. Especially when it comes to pastries. Thankfully, phyllo dough spreads, … [Read more...]

Menu: Bulgaria

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We've been huddled around the air conditioner for, oh, about 2 months now. That's why, this week, I'm making a completely "cool" dinner, made possible by Bulgaria. Thank goodness for chilled soup, dips, drinks, and pastries. Mmm. P.S. This meal just so happens to be vegetarian (with one vegan dish). Chilled Cucumber Soup (Tarator) [Recipe] Refreshing blend of Bulgarian yogurt and cucumber, with a hint of garlic. Garnish with dill and/or crushed walnuts. Savory Cheese Pastry (Banitsa) … [Read more...]

Recipe: Yucca/Cassava Balls (Getuk Lindri)

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Makes two dozen Mildly sweet, bite-sized balls of mashed, sweetened cassava (yucca). This unusual treat is a big hit in Brunei. Read on to learn my struggles with this dessert. My first epic fail. Ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar 1/8 cup water 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 pound cassava root, peeled, rough fibers removed, and cubed 1/4 tsp salt red & green food coloring Method: 1. Peel and cube cassava (yucca). Steam for 30 minutes or until cooked. 2. Add sugar, water, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Shrimp and Vegetable Curry (Sayur Lodeh)

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Serves 4 This yellow, mild curry is a great way to mix up monotonous meal plans. A little spice and creamy coconut milk do the trick for a show-stoppingly good meal. Ingredients: Rempah Curry Spice Mix 1 can coconut milk 1/2 cup water 1/2 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced 3 cups mushrooms, sliced 3 cups long beans or green beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces 2 carrots, sliced 16 shrimp vegetable oil Method: 1. Add rempah to hot vegetable oil in a large pan and cook for about … [Read more...]