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Showing posts from January, 2012

Argentina: Cooking Around the World with Camilla (CATWWC)

We are whizzing through the 'A's of our Cooking Around the World adventure . Here we go to ARGENTINA, the seventh country on the list. Country: Argentina Argentina's complicated political history lends itself to varied culinary traditions. But one thing is for certain: if you are a vegetarian, Argentinan cuisine may not be for you with beef reigning supreme at almost every meal. Still I navigated my way through recipe after recipe until I found a version of the main dish we selected - empanadas - that used fish instead of beef. We did, however, use the dipping sauce for the meat version. And Riley whipped up a rich, decadent caramel for dessert. Here's what we ate on our tabletop journey to Argentina... Empanadas de Atún (Argentinian Tuna Empanadas) Dylan did a great job on this and was incensed when Riley called them "Hot Pockets." Not that I've had a Hot Pocket, but these were fresh and filled with ingredients that we could recognize. And for d

Empanadas de Atún (Argentinian Tuna Empanadas)

This was a tag-team cooking effort tonight. Riley started the process, making the filling and the dough, but as the dough rested, Jake started watching a documentary that must have been more captivating than cooking with me. So, Dylan stepped in and finished the process. And as he proudly carried his creations to the table, Riley declared, excitedly, "Dylan, you made Hot Pockets." Dylan was indigant, "These are NOT Hot Pockets, Riley, they are empanadas from Argentina." You tell him, Sweetheart! These are not Hot Pockets; they are fresh and homemade, filled with recognizeable ingredients. 3 C all-purpose flour (normally I would use a white whole wheat flour, but Riley pleaded for "flour that normal people use...for once, please!" Fine.) 1 T baking powder pink Himalaya salt 1/4 C olive oil 3/4 C milk 1/4 C water Stir all of the ingredients together to form a kneadable mass. Remove it to a floured work surface and knead until silky smooth, approxim

Dulce de Leche (Argentinian Caramel)

" Dulce de Leche - Argentina's Legendary Dessert" the blogpost on From Argentina with Love screamed 'make me, make me'...and we did. It was the perfect end to our Argentinan feast. Riley did a great job with this. In preparation for this dessert I told him he could choose the ice cream flavor when we were at Trader Joe's this afternoon; he selected ultra chocolate. Okay, that made it over-the-top indulgent. But it was fantastic! Making Dulce de Leche is not difficult, but it was time-consuming; I should have looked at the recipe before I went for a run. It took hours on the stovetop to reach the right consistency. So we ended up having dessert right before the boys went to bed. Probably not the best idea, but I wasn't about to deprive them, especially since Riley made it. According to Rebecca, the force behind the  From Argentina With Love blog , there are a few ways to make Dulce de Leche , and they all give you the same basic result. I opted for

Seeded Garbanzo Crackers

I've made bread. I've made pretzels. But I have never made crackers. I remedied that last night so Jake and I could have some cheese, crackers, and wine after the boys went to bed. Though it is so easy to drop a box of crackers into your shopping basket, making crackers is almost as simple. I started with this recipe , via, from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day. Then I made a few changes to match what I had in my cupboard. Also, I chose not to use a cookie cutter or slice the cracker; instead I rolled it flat and baked it as one large cracker that we then broke into organic shapes and smeared with brie. Delicious! 2 C garbanzo flour 1 C white whole wheat flour 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds 1/4 C black sesame seeds 2 T olive oil 1 T fennel seeds 2 T honey 3/4 C water, room temperature freshly ground pink Himalaya salt and flower pepper Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use a large, sturdy wooden spoon and stir for 1 or 2 minutes. The do

Green Papaya-Yellowfin Curry Bowl

  A firm believer in cooking what you have on-hand, I had an open, unripe green papaya - you can read about my Antingua papaya pie disaster - some fresh yellowtail from a friend, and leftover coconut rice. Some researching into savory dishes that utilize green papaya and I came up with this... 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced 1 finger-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced 3 potatoes, washed and cubed 1 green papaya, peeled and cubed 1 t ground curry powder 1/2 t ground cumin 1/2 t ground paprika dash of cinnmon 1/2 t fennel seeds 1 can of coconut milk 1 C water 2 filets of yellowfin tuna (or whatever fish you have), cut into cubes 2 C leftover brown basmati coconut rice with peas (or whatever rice you have available) rough-chopped cilantro for garnish In a large flat-bottomed pan, brown the garlic and ginger in a splash of olive oil. Add the potatoes and green papaya. Cook till they begin to soften. Add spices, coconut milk, and water. Bring to a boil, then

Antigua and Barbuda: Cooking Around the World with Camilla (CATWWC)

We traveled to Antigua and Barbuda tonight. Two names, three islands, one country. This duo plus Redonda belong to a cluster of islands known as the Leeward Islands. Other islands in the chain include Anguilla, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands. Nothing like a little Caribbean flavor to warm up even the coldest winter evening. Though, truth be told, winter on the central coast of California isn't very cold. Still, this menu brought a little sunshine to an otherwise grey January day. And we're finally cooking a country to which I have actually travelled: Antigua. Remembering conch fritters on a sandy beach as azure seas lapped the shore. I wasn't sure that I would be able to locate conch - and I didn't - but research suggested I substitute clams. And we have those!   So, we're on to country number six of our Cooking Around the World adventure . Since it's a Friday night with

Spiced Cocoa-Rubbed Fish with Tamarind Chutney

Adapted from a recipe I found by Gary Rhodes' Rhodes Across the Caribbean , this dish was the centerpiece of our Antigua dinner...and it was a hit! Best of all, it was amazingly simple. I used some fresh ono and yellowtail tuna that a friend had given me and skipped the garlic and onion powder since my chutney had enough garlic to scare away vampires! Create a rub with organic brown sugar, cocoa powder, ground cayenne pepper, ground turmeric, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and freshly ground pink Himalaya salt and flower pepper. Pat your filets dry and completely covered the fish with the spices, gently rubbing the flavors into the flesh. Heat butter and oil in a large flat-bottomed pan set over a moderate heat and cook the fish for 3 minutes before turning. The sugar will have caramelized and the fish taken on a dark sheen. Cook on the other side for another 3 minutes. Add 3-4 tablespoons of water to the pan, cover with a lid and gently simmer the fish for 2-3 minutes to

Antigua (Faux) Conch Fritters

With conch meat no where to be found here on the central coast of California, I opted to use clams. It tasted very similar to the crispy morsels I recall from Antigua. 2 cans whole clams 4 stalks celery, washed and diced 3 carrots, washed and diced  1 egg 1/2 C coconut flour 1 T minced garlic 1/2 t baking soda 1 t pink Himalaya salt 1/4 C milk Blanch the carrots and celery, then drain and cool. In a large mixing bowl, blend all ingredients until a thick paste forms. Press the mixture into patties and cook - in butter - in a large flat bottomed pan until browned and crisp. Serve with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper and a lime wedge.

Barbuda Sands Cocktail

The original Barbuda Sands cocktail was invented at a seaside restaurant in Antigua in 2002 and named for the unique pink sands of Barbuda. It included two different kinds of rum and two kinds of juice. I used one kind of rum, since that's all we had, and three different juices. I added the coconut milk since the original recipe called for "coconut rum." No idea what that is. 1 oz rum equal amounts of each - guava, pineapple, and mango juice (to almost fill your glass) 1 T coconut milk squeeze of lime This was delicious. Cheers!

Sweet and Sour Tamarind Balls

I hardly call this a recipe, it's more like a process. We started with wet tamarind...about 2 cups. I bought this at an Asian market but you can probably use tamarind paste from Whole Foods or another specialty grocery store. Or, if you're feeling really industrious, buy the whole fruit and make the pulp and deseed them yourself. We kneaded in 1/2 C organic granulated sugar. We rolled them into balls, then rolled them in granulated sugar. Kind of like a sweet and sour fruit truffle.

Angola: Cooking Around the World with Camilla (CATWWC)

We are whizzing through the 'A's and are on to country number five of our Cooking Around the World adventure . Here we go to ANGOLA, the fifth country on the list. Country: Angola Having been a Portuguese colony, the traditional dishes of this African nation seem to reflect that influence. You see combinations of chicken, meat, fish, peanuts, peas, sweet potatoes, beans, palm oil, corn, coconut, cassava, okra, greens, zucchini, tomatoes and garlic simmered together in spicy stews and soups. Simple, yet flavorful. And in that vein of simple yet flavorful, I opted to make a single dish for our Angolan dinner...and no dessert much to the Mann boys' dismay. When I pointed out that we had two sweets from Andorra, they were silenced but still grumpy. I loved the simplicity of this dish - some chopping, one pot, and dinner on the table in less than 40 minutes. And the scent wafting from my kitchen while it cooked made my mouth water. Here's what we ate on our tableto

The Food Matters Project - you are what you eat

I need another cooking project like a need a hole in my head, right? Well, this one is important. A blogger friend of mine mentioned this in one of her posts, so, naturally, I clicked to take a gander and decided within the first few sentences that I was in. Click here to read more about The Food Matters Project . I cook three meals a day for my family; I may as well cook with a purpose. The Food Matters philosophy is all about eating more plants and fewer animal products and processed foods — and the positive impact this has on our health and the environment. I am not a vegetarian and will never be a vegetarian again. Been there, done that. I like meat; and I love cheese. But, for my family's health and the health of the planet, I can definitely eat less of it and animal products in general. This project is based on Mark Bittman's cookbook, The Food Matters Cookbook.  Once a week we will all cook the same recipe, blogging our versions for all the see. I hope you'll f

Andorra: Cooking Around the World with Camilla (CATWWC)

When I began researching a menu for our Andorran dinner, I realized that today was actually Chinese New Year and figured we'd go with Chinese for dinner tonight. But I was soundly vetoed by two little boys who are loving our cooking around the world adventure. "No, Mom, we're on the 'A's not the 'C's." So, I decided to skip the duck friend rice and braised bok choy that I had planned and went full steam-ahead with the Andorran planning. If you search online for "Andorran recipes" or "Andorran cuisine", you get very few results. I looked at what Sasha from Global Table Adventures cooked for her Andorran feast and, as good as hers looked, I wanted something a little bit more exotic than a potato-cabbage pancake, though I did make the same appetizer. Then I found a link between Andorran cuisine and Catalan cuisine and ran with that; there were so many more options for Catalan recipes. So, we're on to country number four of our C

Andorran Congols (Snails)

This recipe was my inspiration, apparently snails are quite common on Andorran and Catalan-region tables. Thank goodness I had just gotten escargots in my Christmas stocking! I cooked the snails - without their shells - in butter, minced garlic, and a squeeze of lemon. In the meantime I dropped the shells in boiling water and boiled them for 10 minutes to sterilize them. Drain, cool, and stuff the snail meat back into the shells. Set aside. In a large flat-bottom pan, I sauteed diced fennel, fresh rosemary, and diced pancetta until the pancetta begins to brown and the fennel is softened. Add coins of cooked sausage (I used a basil chicken sausage); quartered, cooked artichoke hearts; sliced green beans; 1/2 C tomato sauce; 2 C water; 1 C rice (I used a brown basmati rice, but the photos of this dish appears to use more of an arborio rice); and cooking liquid from the snails. Season with freshly ground sea salt and flower pepper. Gently tuck the stuffed snails