Cuisine Culture Conversation 2022

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2022 Recipes

February 24th, 2022

Sri Lankan

Samantha Ranaweera

Atula Herat

Sri Lankan Devilled Chicken

This hot, sweet, and succulent dish is very popular on restaurant menus in Sri Lanka. Unlike its appearance, it is not a complex dish to make. You can enjoy this dish served with rice and cucumber salad or as an appetizer. It is also a great alternative for chicken wings.

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Ingredients

For marinating the chicken

  • 2 lb Chicken cut into pieces (I use breast pieces)

  • 1-2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon Black pepper powder

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 3 teaspoons white vinegar

  • 1.5 teaspoons salt (adjust to your taste)

  • 2  tablespoons of vegetable or canoa oil.

For the stir fry

  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped

  • 1.5 inch ginger finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds

  • 1 to 2 teaspoon chili flakes

  • 1-2 tablespoon of Siracha (optional)

  • 1/3 cup ketchup

  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable or canoa oil.

  • salt (if needed)

  • 4 Banana peppers

  • 1 large red onion (cur 3/4 into rings and chop the rest)

  • 1 bunch green onions (diagonally chopped ½ inch pieces)

  • ¼ - ½ cup of water (optional if you want more gravy)

​Instructions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients from the marinade list above with chicken. Leave it aside for 30 mins or up to 2 hours (or up to 12 hours in the fridge)

  2. Air-fry chicken pieces until golden. Approx. 15 mins on 390F. You may need more or less time than this depending on your air fryer and the size of your chicken pieces. Make sure you do not overcrowd the air fryer pan and flip them once to get even browning. The chicken should be fully cooked but be careful not to overcook.

  3. On mortar on pestle first grind the mustard seeds and then add garlic and ginger and grind into a chunky paste.

  4. Heat a wok or pan on medium-high heat with oil. When oil is hot, add your garlic-ginger-mustard paste and fry for a minute Add onions and cook for additional 2 minutes.

  5. Add ketchup, siracha, and chili flakes mix well.

  6. Add chicken and toss (or mix well) – 2 mins

  7. Add onions and banana peppers – mix well (cook for longer if you want your onions and peppers softer)

  8. Taste and add additional salt, chili flakes and/or vinegar if needed.

  9. Add ½ cup water if you desire more gravy.

  10. Add green onion, toss, and serve

  11. You can add chunks of tomatoes as well at the end.

  12. Serve with warm rice and a cucumber salad.

Spicy Wattakka (Pumpkin) Curry

(Source - infolanka.com)

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups of pumpkin, cut in 1 inch? chunks

  • 2 tbsp of raw rice

  • 2 tbsp of grated coconut

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 Onion, chopped

  • 2 green chillies, chopped

  • Sprig of Curry leaves (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp chiile powder

  • 1 tsp curry powder

  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon (optional)

  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 tbsp of ground mustard seeds

​Instructions:

  1. Roast the rice and coconut in a pan till golden brown, taking care not to burn. Let cool.

  2. Stir fry the onions, green chillies, garlic, curry leaves, fenugreek, cinnamon chillie powder, curry powder and turmeric for a few minutes. Add pumpkin. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Season with salt. Add a cup of water. Cover and cook for a few minutes.

  3. Now grind the rice, coconut mixture into a powder. Dissolve in coconut milk and add to the pumpkin. Add the ground mustard and cook a couple more minutes. Adjust salt to taste.

  4. Serve hot with rice.

February 17th, 2022

Hawaiian

Dani Roylo

Spam Musubi

(Source - hungryhuy.com)

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Ingredients

ASSEMBLY

  • 1 can Spam

  • 2 c short-grain rice cooked

  • 4 nori sheets

  • furikake optional additions to rice

  • omelette optional topping

  • avocado optional topping

SPAM MUSUBI SAUCE

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp garlic minced

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar

EQUIPMENT USED

  • cling-wrap

  • knife

  • rice cooker or other way of cooking rice

  • pan

  • Spoon

  1. Cook the rice in a rice cooker (or other method). Fluff the rice when it’s finished cooking and keep it on the warm setting.

  2. Slice the Spam into 8 even slices (about ¼ inch thick).

  3. NOTE: If you do not have a saute pan large enough to cook all the Spam at the same time, make sure you divide the musubi sauce based on how many batches of Spam you need to cook. For example, if you can cook 4 Spam slices, divide the musubi sauce in half. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the sesame oil and garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant, but before it turns brown.

  4. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sprinkle the dark brown sugar. Use your spatula to mix all the ingredients together and let it warm up only briefly.

  5. Add the spam slices and cook for about 1 minute and then turn them over to make sure all sides of the spam are coated. Cook and occasionally turn the spam to prevent from burning for about 10 minutes or until the Spam begins to caramelize or turn golden brown.

  6. Remove the Spam from the pan and let it rest for about 5 minutes to cool down.

  7. Clean the Spam can and dry. Cut cling-wrap to about an 8 x 12 inch piece. Line the cling-wrap inside the can and make sure the corners are outside.

  8. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of rice into the can. It should be about 1 ½ inch high from the bottom of the can. Use a spoon to press down on the rice to make it even.

  9. Add one slice of Spam on top.

  10. Cut nori into your desired thickness, I like to cut the sheets into thirds. It’s a little thinner so that the ends of the Spam and rice stick out, but you can also cut them in half and cover the Spam and rice fully.

  11. Collect the corners of the cling-wrap and gently lift the Spam stack out of the can. Open the cling-wrap so that the Spam stack is lying horizontally on the table.

  12. Lay one piece of nori so that it’s vertical from the Spam stack. It should look like a weird cross at this point.

  13. Carefully wrap the nori around the Spam musubi. I like to lightly press the nori on the sides and then lift the top to slide in the nori underneath and repeat for the other side.

  14. To make a tighter musubi, cover the musubi in the cling-wrap again and twist both sides until it’s tight. You can also now use your hands to cup the sides and mold the shape so that it’s round.

  15. Unwrap the cling-wrap and serve immediately.

  16. Optional additions: You can also add sliced omelets and avocado slices on top of your Spam slice or mix in some furikake to the rice as additional flavors.

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February 10th, 2022

Haitian

Evens Louis Charles

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Haitian Legume

(Source - haitiopen.com)

Ingredients

  • ½ lb of Eggplant (cut thinly)

  • ½ lb of Cabbage (shredded)

  • ¼ lb of String Beans (cut in half)

  • ½ lb of Carrots (diced)

  • 5 oz of Fresh Spinach

  • ½ Yellow Bell Pepper (medium sized, chopped)

  • 2 Chopped Garlic Cloves

  • 2 Whole Garlic Cloves

  • 1 Onion (medium-sized, chopped)

  • 4 Sprigs of Thyme

  • ½ cup of Chopped Parsley

  • 3 tbsp of Tomato Paste

  • 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper

  • Water

  • 2 tsp of Dry Spice (blend)

  • 1½ tsp. of Salt

  • 3 tbsp of Olive Oil

Note : There's no meat included in this recipe but beef or goat can be used.

Recipe:

  1. Put a large pan on a stove and add the olive oil to it. Set the heat to medium-low intensity. Add the chopped onions and sauté them until they are tender. It should take no longer than 5 minutes.

  2. Change the heat from medium-low to low on the stove. Add dry spice and tomato paste into the chopped onions and mix it all together. Now add the chopped garlic cloves into the mixture and stir it all together. Next, add the thyme and parsley to the mixture and stir it around for about 3 minutes.

  3. If the olive oil and juices get absorbed by the ingredients, you can add more olive oil if the pan is too dry. Don’t add too much. Just a teaspoon should be good enough. The idea is to prevent the garlic and other ingredients from getting burned. If they do get burned, then it will diminish their flavor.

  4. Add several different layers of vegetables, starting in this order: eggplant, whole garlic cloves, onions (use the leftovers), cabbage, spinach, whole scotch bonnet pepper. Pour 1.5 cups of water into the mix. Increase the heat intensity to medium. Cover the pan and let the food cook for up to 40 minutes.

  5. Once the vegetables are tender, take out the scotch bonnet pepper and throw it away. Use a spoon to mash up the vegetables and blend them together. Don’t make it mushy, though. Put string beans and carrots into the pan and mix them together. Leave it to cook for 5 minutes. Add 0.25 cups of water if the pan dries out.

  6. Put bell peppers into the mix. Cover the pan and set the heat intensity to simmer. Let it cook until the liquid is gone, which should take about 10 minutes. Mix everything thoroughly.

  7. If you want to make the dish extra hot, you can add another scotch bonnet pepper into the mixture and leave it there for 10minutes. Take it out and serve the meal. The dish goes great with boiled plantain and white rice.​ 

February 3rd, 2022

Italian

Leslie Pallotta

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Easy Pasta Dough

(Source - allrecipes.com)

Quick & Easy Basic Marinara Sauce

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons water, or as needed

Recipe:

  1. Beat flour, eggs, olive oil, and salt together in a bowl. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to flour mixture until a smooth and very thick dough forms.

  2. Turn dough out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Let dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Divide dough into 8 balls and use a pasta machine to roll and cut dough into desired pasta shape.

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 Tbs. Olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ cup finely chopped onion (optional)

  • 1 12oz. Can tomato paste (save the can)

  • 2 8oz. Can tomato sauce

  • Italian seasoning to taste

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe:

  1. Combine the olive oil and onion and cook until onion is translucent, add the garlic and cook just a tad longer. If not using onion, just add the garlic and cook briefly.

  2. Add the tomato paste and sauce. Using the can from the paste, add 3 cans of water or more to desired consistency.

  3. Add Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Cook until just about to boil. Turn down heat to the lowest setting and allow to simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

  • Note - this is how I was taught to make sauce in the winter, when tomatoes aren’t of great quality

  • I’ve seen similar recipes that add other ingredients – carrots, celery, etc. Jazz it up and do your own thing. If you ask 10 Italians how to make marinara sauce, they’ll give you 10 different answers and they’ll all be correct. 

2021 Recipes

April 8, 2021

African & Vietnamese

Nouhoum Cisse

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Nem

(Vietnamese : fried rice paper roll)

Ingredients

  • Meat Mixture

    • Ground Beef or Ground Turkey

    • Salt and pepper to taste

    • Bouillon (Beef or Chicken) for extra flavoring

    • Thin Carrots strips

    • Onion thinly chopped into tiny pieces

  • Rice Noodles

  • Wraps

    • Spring roll skins or rice paper wraps

    • Romaine Lettuce

    • Red Onion

 

  • Dipping Sauce Options

    • Sweet chili sauce or 

    • Homemade Fish sauce

      • 1 cup Fish sauce

      • 1/4 cup White Vinegar (add more per your tasting)

      • Red pepper flakes (spicy option) add as much per your liking

      • 1 Tlbsp Sugar (sweet option) or add to your liking

      • warm on the stove

 

  • Vegetable oil or peanut oil if deep frying 

  • We will use the air fryer for our demonstration

Recipe:

  1. Soak noodles in warm water until soft.

  2. Depending on the size of noodles you may want to make them shorter.  You can use scissors before soaking or a knife after soaking the noodles.

  3. Mix meat with the seasoning, noodles, carrots and onions.  Just enough so carrots, onions, and noodles are sprinkled throughout.  

  4. Using your hands, form the meat mixture into sausage shape.  You want them to be shorter than the length of the spring roll skins (1/2 - 1 inch on each end or the wrapper and don't make it too thick so it can't wrap around it)

  5. Using a cookie sheet or cake pan.  Pour warm water into the pan to just cover the bottom.  You will want to place one spring roll skin into the pan at a time.  you will want to soak it until it is soft. Try not to allow the skin to wrap on itself.

  6. You will pull the wrap out, place the meat into the center of the  wrap, and wrap it up.  First wrap the centers tightly around the meat.  then wrap the edges over the center.  It is important to wrap tight and remove all air bubbles for proper frying.

  7. Continue until all meat mixture or spring roll wraps are gone.  

  8. Air Fryer should be turned on to 350 and place as many Nem into the Fryer without them touching for 15-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat.  

  9. Or you can heat up your oil. Then place as many in without them touching in your pan. You will want to turn them over to ensure they are thoroughly cooked.  You will know they are done when they are brown on both sides and beginning to float on the top of the oil.  

  10. Then wrap with lettuce and onion per your own liking and dip into preferred sauce and eat!

Sweet Fried Plantain

(African)

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Ingredients

  • Buy ripe plantain (is evident by more yellow and black).

    • Or you can buy the green ones and cover with a towel and place in a dark cabinet for a day or so until ripe. 

  • Vegetable oil.

Recipe:

  1. Cut plantain into coin shapes that are about 1/4- 1/2 inch thick.

  2. Heat oil

  3. Fry plantain turning over to ensure cooked (Golden color) on both sides

  4. Complete when floating

  5. Carefully pull out and place into paper towel to absorb the extra oil

  6. Then serve 

April 22, 2021 - Irish

Sandy Suski
Alekka Sweeney

Shepherd's Pie

(Source - marthastewart.com)

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds freshly ground lamb

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 4 carrots, coarsely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 10 ounces frozen peas, thawed

  • 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • 1 cup milk

  • 6 tablespoons butter

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat a large skillet over high heat. In two batches, cook lamb until no longer pink, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to a colander set in a bowl; let fat drain off and discard.

  • Add 1/4 cup water to the skillet, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium; add onion and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Add flour; cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

  • Add Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups water, and lamb. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in peas; cook 1 minute. Divide among eight 8-ounce ramekins or two 9-inch glass pie dishes.

  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover potatoes with salted water by 1 inch; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.

  • In pan, bring milk and butter to a simmer; remove from heat. Return potatoes; mash. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread over pies; use a fork to make peaks. Bake on a baking sheet until tops are browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly; serve.

Guinness Chocolate Truffles

(Source - bakersroyale.com)

Ingredients

  • 300 g dark chocolate (at least 65% cacao), chopped

  • 80ml heavy cream

  • 60 ml Guinness Imperial Gingerbread Spiced Stout

  • cocoa powder for dusting and

  • gold leaf to accent

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Method:

  • Spray a small 6x3-inch loaf pan with non-stick
    spray and line with parchment paper. The non-stick spray will prevent the
    parchment paper from shifting in the pan

  • Place chopped chocolate in a bowl. In a small sauce pan,
    over medium heat, bring cream to a boil. Pour cream over chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes, before stirring to combine. Rinse out sauce pan and fill 1/3 of the way up with water, bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate bowl over the pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate mixture continuously, until mixture is smooth and homogenous. Remove from heat and stir in the Guinness Imperial Gingerbread Spiced Stout.

  • Scrape mixture into prepared pan and then smooth the top to
    an even finish. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or until firm. (Mixture will keep
    in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week at this point.
    Bring to room temperature before cutting or shaping).

  • Using the parchment sides, lift the truffle out of the pan.
    With a warm knife slice truffle into 1-inch pieces. Dust with cocoa powder. Optional: accent tops with gold leaf.

Chefs personal site : chefalekka.com

Ingredients

  • Chicken – 2 pounds boneless

  • Tandoori chicken Masala – 4 tsp (use more if you want it spicy)

  • Yogurt plain – 1 cup

  • Oil – 5 tsp

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March 4, 2021
Indian

Method:

  • Cut the chicken into 1.5 inch cubes

  • Add all the above and marinade the chicken for at least 40 minutes. Preferably overnight.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 450 F

  • Arrange the chicken on a grill pan or on skewers.

  • Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.

  • Garnish with lemon juice and enjoy as a snack.

For more recipes - visit Semi Homemade

March 18, 2021

Ecuadorian

Diana Hoffmaster

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Empanadas

(pastry turnover)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • Knorr Fiesta Sides - Spanish Rice

  • Pack of premade Empanada Dough Shell

  • Frozen bag of Whole Kernel Corn

  • 15oz can of black beans

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Vegetable oil for Frying

Recipe:

  1. Cook 7 min Knorr Fiesta Sides - Spanish Rice per package direction. Move on to next step while rice cooks.

  2. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large pan over med high. Season beef with salt, black pepper and adobo (Spanish premade seasoning) You can add any seasoning to ground beef you want (i.e. cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne etc.,). Cook until browned, Drain and place back in large pan.

  3. Add corn and black beans to cooked ground beef. Once rice is done, add that to the large pan with rest of filling ingredient and mix.

  4. In a different pan heat vegetable oil for frying. This amount depends on the depth of the pan that is being used but should be enough to “deep fry” empanadas.

  5. While the oil is heating prepare empanadas. Brush water around half of outer edge of each round. Add rice filling to center of empanada discs and add shredded cheese. Fold round over filling and pinch edges to seal. Using a fork, crimp edges.

  6. Place the empanadas in hot oil and fry on both sides till it is golden.

Tostones

(Fried Green Plantains)

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Ingredients

  • 1 Green plantain makes 8-10 tostones

  • Vegetable Oil for frying

  • Tortilla Press (if available)

  • Salt

Recipe:

  1. Peel Green Plantain, easier to peel under warm water once ends are cut.

  2. While frying oil gets hot, cut plantains into 4-5 sections and then slice those sections in half.

  3. Place 8-10 plantain pieces into hot oil till they are a little golden and then remove from oil.

  4. Place slightly golden plantains in center of tortilla press (you can also use a can to press them). Once pressed, place “smashed” plantain back in hot oil to fully cook.

  5. Remove golden plantains onto plate and salt. They should have a nice crispiness to them like a thick potato chip