Top 10 of 2010!

It seems unbelievable that our family has covered an entire year cooking in 10 countries. We ate good food and learned about different cultures in our small world. This last week, I chose a few that I wanted to cook, simply because they were really good recipes. Here are the TOP TEN of our favorites in food pictures and some with the recipes that we liked this last year. Enjoy!

10.The Onion Bhajias is like a North American version of fritters. They are fairly popular in Northern India where they are sold, packaged, or freshly made in almost any Indian market or stand. Made with some intense spices, like fennel and onion seeds, I found the fennel to play a rather minor role. The onion was the star here! All you non-onion lovers out there, have no fear – you can barely recognize that you are eating onion!

9. Chipatis-Flatbread-Indian

Serves 4

2 cups flour ( 1 cup wholewheat, 1 cup white flour)

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup water

Mix flour and salt. Make a well and add water. Mix well, form a dough and then knead for 7-11 minutes. Make at least 8-10 round balls and with a little flour and the rolling pin-roll out into circles ( like a tortilla). Heat a pan or skillet, add a little oil and cook the chipatis until it looks like a little like a pancake. Eat warm!

8. The Cuban Sandwich-Cuba

Cubans call it “sandwich” when ordering this delectable pork, ham, swiss and pickle sandwich. Many Cubans will tell you the “right way” to make the sandwich, not too much unlike the many variations of barbecue that’s out there.  Cubans do agree, however, that in order to properly make a Cuban Sandwich, you need to make it sort of like a grilled cheese sandwich.

Here is a recipe I used from an online site and a good one.

7. Asparagus with Shiitake MushroomVietnam


1 1/2 pounds asparagus, woody ends trimmed & cut on the diagonal

6-8 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted (soak at 8 hours in water, you can keep overnight in fridge after soaking and drained of water), trimmed and cut into 1/4 – inch strips

Flavoring Sauce

1/2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp fish sauce

1 generous tablespoon oyster sauce

2 teaspoons canola oil or other neutral oil

1 1/2 teaspoons water

1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil or other neutral oil

Bring a large pan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and parboil for 1 minute, or until just tender but still firm. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside. Have the mushrooms cut and ready to cook.

To make the flavoring sauce, in a small bowl, combine and stir all the ingredients and set aside). The asparagus and sauce can be made ahead and set aside in the refrigerator for several hours.

In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the asparagus and mushrooms and stir-fry about 3 minutes, or until heated through. Raise the heat until medium- high. Give the flavoring sauce a stir to recombine, then add to the pan and stir to distribute evenly. When only a little sauce is visible, about after 1 minute, transfer the vegetables to a plate, serve and ENJOY!.

6. Lentils, Rice, and Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce (as found in “Nile Style”)-Egyptian.

This is considered fast food and served all over Egypt, it is good for you fast food.

6 Servings

1 Cup brown or black lentils ( I used green), rinsed

3 tablespoons oil

2 medium yellow onions, 1 diced, 1 thinly sliced

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups tomato puree

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

1 cup Egyptian (recipe in earlier post) or other short-grain rice

1/2 cup elbow macaroni or mini penne pasta

1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and well-drained


Place lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, until tender, approximately 20 minutes. Drain and reserve lentils until needed.

Heat 1 Tablespoon corn oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute until soft and golden. Add garlic and saute until it begins to turn color. Add tomato puree, stir, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add cumin, and chili powder, stir well. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add vinegar and simmer, covered for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove from heat and keep covered until serving.

Fill a medium saucepan three-quarters full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add Egyptian rice and reduce heat to medium heat. Cook until rice is tender and then drain. Place rice back in saucepan and cover to keep warm until serving.

Meanwhile, fill another medium saucepan three-quarter full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Season with salt and reduce heat to medium. Add pasta and cook until done. Drain well, place pasta back in saucepan, and cover to keep warm until serving.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons corn oil in a large, wide, frying pan over medium heat. Add slice onion and saute until golden brown. Take off heat and stir in chickpeas.

Assemble the Koushari by spooning the rice evenly into the bottom of a large low serving bowl. Scatter pasta on top of rice, and lentils on top of pasta. Pour sauce evenly over the top of rice and pasta. Arrange onion and chickpeas in a pattern around the center of the dish. Serve hot.

5.  Shorbat Bil Sharleya, Lahma wa Tomatum~~ Vermicelli, Meat and Tomato Soup-Egyptian

This soup earned high marks for ease of preparation and rave reviews from all the tasters! My family LOVED it!

Give it a try. It is light with intense flavors. You will not regret it.

From “NILE STYLE” by Amy Riolo

8 Servings

2 medium tomatoes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter ( I used regular)

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 medium carrot, diced

1 medium celery stalk, diced

1 pound ground beef ( I used sirloin)

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

4 cups beef or chicken stock

1 cup Vermicelli (I used spaghetti broken into small pieces)

Juice of 1 lime

Fill a large suacepan three-quarters full of water and bring to a boil. Add Tomatoes and boil 1-2 minutes or until skin begins to crack. Drain tomatoes and submerge in a bowl of ice-cold water. When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel skins off, cut in half, remove seeds and dice.

Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery. Saute for 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add beef and brown, stirring occasionally  and breaking the meat into tiny bits. Stir in allspice, cumin, nutmeg, and some salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Add tomatoes, stock, and 4 cups of water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, skimming off scum as it appears at the top of the soup. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove lid, stir, and add vermicelli. Simmer, uncovered, until vermicelli is tender. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.  Squeeze lime juice in to soup and stir. Serve hot. ENJOY!!

4. Calabacitas Picadas con Elote (Chopped Zucchini with Corn) fromMexico The Beautiful Cookbook

2 tablespoons oil

1 clove garlic

1/4 onion, chopped

1 1/2 lb zucchini, chopped, about 6 cups

kernels from 2 ears (cobs) of corn (about 1 cup) (I did not have corn the time, so I used carrots, either one is awesome)

2 tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped

2 small sprigs of cilantro

1 Teaspoon salt

1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in skillet, add the garlic and onion and saute over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and corn and saute for  2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat until the mixture begins to bubble. Add the cilantro (I omitted, because I did not have, and I liked it better), salt and pepper, lower the heat and cover. Cook for 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

Variation: add strips of roasted chile poblanos and sprinkle with queso fresco or feta cheese before serving.

3. Pork Chops Veracruz -NY Times International Cookbook edited by Craig Clairborne-Mexico

Fresh squeezed oranges make this plate tropical. I made this at least three times!

1/2 cup bacon fat

1 -2 cloves garlic, finely minced

6 thick cut pork chops

2 teaspoons dry mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions

2 green peppers, cored, seeded, and cut in strips ( I used 1 green pepper)

Heat the bacon fat ( I used bacon bits) and add the garlic. Cook stirring, but do not brown.

Smear the pork chops with the mustard and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides in the bacon fat and add the white wine and orange juice. Cook over low heat until the sauce is slightly reduced. Add the onion slices and green peppers. Cover the pan. Continue cooking over low heat until the chops are tender, about 30 minutes- up to 1 hour. If desired, add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with rice! Enjoy.

2. PaellaSpain (no recipe-if you want one, I can send).

I think you will find some great ones online, but be prepared for an event!

AND #1. Beef Stroganov!-Russia-

This recipe is easy. The onions, potato with the tomato puree make this an exciting meal. The next day, even better! It is not the American Version-made with noodles. In RUSSIA, it is the potato that makes the meal AMAZING. I can send the recipe if you send me a note.

And if I can say my personal favorite picture and food comes from Italy, and wanted to place this in the top 10, but I wanted this to be my number 1 in photography, taste, and looks plus everyone loves a good plate of spaghetti.

Spaghetti with Sauce Italiano

prep 25 minutes Cook: 8-10 Hours (low) or 4-5 hours (high)

Makes 6-8 servings

1 pound ground bulk Italian sausage or ground beef ( I used a mixture of both)

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 -14.5 ounce cans dices tomatoes, undrained

2 – 4 oz. cans (drained) mushrooms stems and pieces

1-6 oz. can tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1 to 2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup sweet green pepper

12 -16 ounces dried spaghetti, cooked and drained

Grated fresh Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, cook sausage, onion,and garlic over medium heat until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Meanwhile, in a 3 1/2  or 4 quart slow cooker, stir together undrained tomatoes, drained mushrooms (if desired), tomato paste, bat leaf, oregano, salt and black pepper. Cover and cook over low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high heat for 4 to 5 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in sweet pepper. Serve over hot cooked spaghetti. If desires, sprinkle with cheese.

We’re not through yet! Our family will venture to places in America that, I think, will be exciting. Our first stop and really in no particular order, ALASKA. I have the cookbook of top chefs in Alaska and we are excited about the endless possibilities our own native country has to offer.

Come on along and join us any way you can- bandwagon, trail-ride, horse, buggy, bike, subway, train, car, railway, motorcycle and however else you want to get there.

For now, we leave you with 10 goodbyes, see you laters or good eats in 10 different tongues.


See you later! اشوفك بعدين

Phir milenge – see you later



Hasta Luego~~See you later!!

Do vstrechi- see you later!


Daha Sonra bakin-see you later!

See you later! ~~ Gặp lại sau nhé


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