Syrian Food and Culture

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Where to begin. I have been thinking about Syria. With any mention of Syria these days, no one thinks about food. The civil war and refugees is front and center. For me though, it is all that and the food. I am excited about cooking Syrian, but with utmost respect to the Syrians and their plight. I do not want to downplay at all the crisis, but instead highlight Syria with my cooking and prayers for our world neighbors. Syrian cooking in and of itself is not difficult. The Syrian flavors include cinnamon, allspice, cumin, pomegranate, lemon, onion, garlic, currants, nuts, and if these sound good to you, they taste even better. Continue reading

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One last visit…Thailand then off to Syria

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spinachIf you cook anything Thai, this might be the easiest recipe yet, cause you can pretty much use any leafy green- baby bok choy, savoy cabbage, cabbage, napa cabbage, spinach, kale, or even broccoli. The concept is simple- chopped garlic, add fish sauce, sugar, black pepper and water and there you have it! Don’t add salt to the cooking dish or even soy sauce (as I learned) it will definitely be too salty. Wait until the dish is complete and then add to taste. Continue reading

Crying Tiger Steak with Roasted Tomato Chili Sauce-Thai

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Such a cool name for a recipe- no? The legend goes like this (comes from my cookbook “Quick and Easy Thai” by Nancie McDermott) “the tiger snatches a pawful or two of the Roasted Tomato-Chili Sauce, burst into tears and then weeps uncontrollably…” Another story from the book says the fat from “lusciously marbled beef steak melts onto the fiery coals and flame up like a tiger’s tears.” Either way, the sauce was not so terribly hot that my tear ducts went crazy. Instead, true to Thai form, the intense flavors win over this recipe. Continue reading

 Thai Pork with Garlic and Black Pepper

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smilesWai!- Hello again in Thai. I cannot believe it is the latter part of February. Does it feel like spring to you already? In parts of North Carolina it is feeling quite warm. Cooking Thai food when it feels warm doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s because I’m thinking about Continue reading

Panaeng Beef in Red Curry Peanut Sauce

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One of Thailand’s signature dish is panaeng beef and the cookbook I am using “Quick and Easy Thai” by Nancie McDermott says of this dish “extraordinary: flat out delicious.” I will be the first to admit that this recipe soon became a favorite Thai dish. I have made about 12 different Thai dishes and this one will go on the list of favorites (other favorites include: Continue reading

Thai Noodles

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chiliesWai!- Hello in Thai. I am about 5 days into cooking Thai food. Coconut cream, coconut milk, fish sauce, peanuts, chiles- if these ingredients entice you then you will not be disappointed. The complexity of these flavors create bold tastes with just a few ingredients. Simple to make and perhaps more importantly easy to get from stove to table in about 30 minutes. I will probably encounter recipes that might take longer but for now I am trying the easier ones so that I can get the hang of new ingredients and a new way of global cooking. Here is a recipe you will like and super easy to make- Thai Noodles.
Thai  Noodlesthai-noodles
Ingredients

1 pound linguine or spaghetti

2 TBS olive oil, divided

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 zucchini, cut in half vertically

8 ounces mushroom cut in half

2 tsp garlic powder

2 TBS brown sugar

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

2 TBS Hot Chili sauce or Sweet Chili sauce whichever you prefer

1 Tsp ginger powder

2 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup peanuts, chopped

Continue reading

Thai Cabbage Salad

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thaiWai-that means hello (it can also mean good-bye or thank you) in the Thai tradition. So Wai!

Welcome to all things Thai. This is my first post on Thai food and culture. Let’s get started with a recipe I made last night and one I think you will really like. It was absolutely, positively fantastic. This recipe will be one to keep for all times. Take this to a potluck, a 4th of July picnic, a spring fête or just have it along side some grilled chicken. You cannot go wrong with this side dish.

THAI CABBAGE SALAD -adapted from Epicuriousthai-cabbage-salad

  • 1/2 head ea. Red & Green cabbage (sliced thinly- I used green)
  • 1 carrots grated
  • 1/2 cucumber diced small
  • 1 Green Onions (slice 1/2 pcs)
  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Few dashes of Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbls. Garlic Chili Paste (Asian section in market)
  • 1 Serrano chili’s (minced)
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder (minced)
  • 2 tbls. Sugar (Raw Sugar)
  • 1/2 cup Peanuts chopped

Toss all salad ingredients together. Make dressing in jar and store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. When ready to serve toss salad and dressing, add peanuts last. **NOTE: If doing ahead of time do not toss dressing in. It will get soggy. If using a little at a time leave dressing off until ready to eat. Taking to a pot luck, toss when it in when you get there.

See you next time, when I share a great Spicy Thai Noodle Dish.

WAI!

Sesame and Pistachio Snack- Greek

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How many of you like Pistachios? They are such an instant gratifying crunchy snack. I like it when I can pull the nut meat out of its salty shell and pop into my mouth…soon I have had 1/2 a bag! It is probably my favorite tree nut. Continue reading

Lemon Roasted Potatoes~Greek Cooking

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Our adventure in Greece is almost complete~! Tonight, I will be doing A LOT of baking and cooking. By the time I am finished, I will have made about 30 Greek dishes! Tonight- planning on a few sweets- Pistachio/Sesame Snack and Honey Cakes with walnuts. Other items include: Fisherman’s Soup, Lamb and Rice, Spinach Rice, Once A Year Bread, Greek Salad. Excited to end with an OPA!

Here is an easy recipe to cook this weekend- even great for a Super Bowl party. Great with grilled foods-like chicken or beef.

greek-potatoes

Roast Lemon Potatoes~Food From Greek Kitchens~Tessa Kiros

Serves 6

2 lbs potatoes, peeled and rinsed

juice of 1 lemon

6 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 350. Halve the potatoes lengthwise, then cut each half into 2 or 3 wedges, depending on the size of your potatoes. Spread them in an 8 1/2 x 12 inch non-stick baking dish. Splash the lemon juice and olive oil over them, and add salt and pepper generously. Crush the oregano between your fingers, letting it fall over the potatoes. Turn the potatoes to coat them well with everything. Drizzle 2 cups of water down the sides and give it a shuffle. Roast until the potatoes are tender and melting and a bit golden here and there with still a bit of sauce in the dish, about 1 1/2 hours, turning and basting them every 20 minutes or so. Add more salt and serve hot. OPA!

Keep following me in February- Headed to Thailand culture, food and freinds!

Greek Egg Breakfast

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feta eggs.jpgI make this kind of “omelette” all the time. My favorite breakfast is something with protein and greens. This is one that you can do everyday with different ingredients. Add a bit of feta and you will see that there is something satisfying about this briny, tangy, salty sheep’s/goat’s milk cheese.

If you did not know, the term “feta” has a protected designated of origin which basically means that Greece is the only country to claim the briny cheese from sheep’s/goat’s milk. Other countries can call it soft cheese, but it must originate from Greece in order to use the “feta” word -kind of like champagne which has a protected designated of origin also-France. Other “champagne” like drink is called sparkling wine. If you want to read more on Feta check out this link :http://www.realgreekfeta.gr/history-of-feta/

Switching gears or rather switching countries. It’s that time where our family members chime in on where we are headed for February….drum roll please.…. Continue reading