Recipe: Curry Spice Mix (Rempah)

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Makes enough for about 2 curries (more if you like them mild) Rempah, a common curry blend in Brunei, will infuse your meal with the most haunting flavors of garlic, ginger, lemongrass... spicy chili pwder and golden turmeric. The entire kitchen smells like paradise when you cook with Rempah. PS. You can use this in our recipe for Sayur Lodeh. Ingredients: 1/8 cup cashews 1 onion 3 cloves garlic 1 tsp chili powder 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp ground coriander 1 Tbsp belachan or … [Read more...]

Menu: Brunei

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Way up north, in Boston, my mother devours this blog. My biggest fan, she not only tells everyone she meets about the blog, she literally saves each post to her computer "just in case" (even though I tell her the server backs it up). That's some serious love. This week, she is in Tulsa for a visit. She will finally get a chance to climb out from behind the computer and devour the food. And she'll see the love and craziness that goes into each posting (is there any other way to do things than … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Brazil

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Things that make you go "Mmmm."  The food of Brazil is simple and decidedly non-fussy. Many dishes have a short list of ingredients, however they pack intense flavor into each bite. This food practically assembles itself, allowing the hostess to enjoy the fruits of her labor and dance at her own party. Speaking of dancing, Ava LOVES music. This weekend we played some Brazilian music and she did a cute baby dance while holding on to the coffee table (I call it the diaper-butt bounce). I. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Iced Brazilian Mocha-Cola (Iced coffee)

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Serves 4 Brazilian iced coffee has the spirit of a root-beer float. Rich chocolate milk and fizzy cola sweetens the drink, while the coffee gives it a nice kick (although decaf is a great option, too)! Kids will love the novelty of plain old chocolate milk with cola, without the coffee. Feel free to top with vanilla ice cream, instead of whipped cream. Mmm.... Ingredients: 1 cup double strength coffee 12 oz can cola 3 cups chocolate milk Whipped cream or vanilla ice … [Read more...]

Recipe: Brazilian Romeo and Juliet (Romeu e Julieta)

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Makes 10 servings This unusual treat can be served either for dessert or as a snack. The sweet and salty combination is shocking to my sheltered palette, but Brazilians serve this beloved treat up in many forms. For less of a salty/sweet contrast, try spreading a dab of cream cheese on top of the Guava paste. This mild spread is more suited to the sweet guava. Also, consider using queso blanco, a less salty cheese.   P.S. Here's a related recipe, called the Martin Fierro, which we … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sauteed Red Kale

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Ingredients: 1 bunch red kale olive oil vinegar (red or white wine) Method: 1. Rinse and trim the kale. Kale is full of good-for-you vitamins and minerals so eat it up! 2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add kale and vinegar. The vinegar gives the bitter greens an upbeat kick! You could even use fresh squeezed lemon juice, if you were in the mood :) 3. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. This photo shows the greens halfway. You can cook them even longer, if you … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cornmeal Pap

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Serves 2-4 In Botswana, Cornmeal Pap is eaten with the fingers, dipped into stews to pick up additional flavor. Like soft polenta, Cornmeal Pap goes well with any stewed meat or vegetable. The mixture stiffens up quickly, however, so serve immediately after cooking. NOTE: Please use white cornmeal for authentic pap. (I had to substitute yellow) Ingredients: 1 cup cornmeal (fine or medium grind is best) 1 quart stock (vegetable, chicken, or beef) salt pepper Method: 1. In a … [Read more...]

Recipe: Stewed Spinach Greens

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Serves 2-4 I love this easy, no-nonsense, super healthy side dish from Botswana.  Simply steam spinach in its own juices until all the vegetables are soft. If you'd like to leave the tomatoes a little firmer, add them half way through cooking. Ingredients: 1 lb baby spinach 1 large onion, sliced thinly 2 tomatoes, chopped 1 green pepper, sliced thinly oil salt pepper Method: 1. Add all ingredients to  a large skillet or wok. Cover and heat over medium-low, stirring … [Read more...]