Saturday, March 31, 2012

Meal Plan for March 31 - April 6, 2012

This week's meal plan features Colombian dishes for April's Cook Around the Globe.

Saturday:      Caldeirada de Cabrito (Goat/Kid and Potato Casserole from Angola)

Sunday:        Carbonara-Style Spaghetti with Bacon, Peas & Parmesan

Monday:       Tostones (Twice Fried Plantain)

Tuesday:       Papas Chorreadas (Potatoes with Cheese Sauce)

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:      Arroz con Pollo (Rice and Chicken)

Friday:           Shrimp & Potato Omelette

Go to Menu Plan Monday to check out lots of other meal plans and ideas for this week's dinners.

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Angola: Caldeirada de Cabrito (Goat/Kid and Potato Casserole)


Friday, March 30, 2012

Welcome Home Pizza

You can find the recipes for these homemade pizzas here.

Salami & Capers Pizza
Rosemary, Olives & Feta Cheese

Friday, March 23, 2012

South Africa: Bobotie Burgers

As you might or might not know, the South African Bobotie is a meatloaf-like dish but instead of baking the minced meat as a loaf, it is being spread out in an oven dish. Towards the end of the baking time, the bobotie is covered with a custard (eggs and milk). In most recipes, the ground meat is mixed with Indian spices, raisins, and almonds. To see an example, head over to Amanda's blog, "Dabblings and Whimsey" (she is doing a cooking project similar to mine and is also visiting South Africa this month) to check out her Bobotie. Though the ingredients of this dish sound really delicious, in our house we don't really like meatloafs and baked minced meat dishes. However, we do love burgers and so I decided to turn this South African classic into just that. The recipe I was using called for dried apricots and diced apple to be included in the meat mixture. I left the apricots with the meat but thought to put apple slices on the burger for some crunch. The serving suggestion for the original dish was a side of rice and chutney. To include the rice, I used it in the burger buns (the recipe will be posted later). I turned the custard into a (rather delicate) omelette to put on the meat patty. Et voilà, you have a Bobotie Burger. The  curry flavored patties were great and we enjoyed eating this dinner! This dish is linked to this month's roundup of my Cook Around the Globe project.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Meal Plan for March 17 - 23, 2012

Saturday:      Curried Carrot Soup with Tarragon Oil (from Food & Wine)
                     Egg Sandwich with Mustard Greens and Avocado (from Food & Wine)

Sunday:        Salmon Fillet and Lentils

Monday:       Leftovers

Tuesday:       Nasi Goreng - Malay Style Fried Rice (from

Wednesday:  Bobotie/Boburti Burgers from South Africa

Thursday:      Mac & Cheese with Bell Pepper

Friday:           Steak and Bean Stew from Zimbabwe

Go to Menu Plan Monday to check out lots of other meal plans and ideas for this week's dinners.

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Egg Sandwich with Mustard Greens and Avocado

These sandwiches were highly praised by the author of the Food & Wine article that contained this recipe.  Also, they were described as the chef's go-to breakfast for their kids to eat on the go (in the car?). Let me clarify this: the egg yolk in this sandwich is supposed to be runny. We (adults) had trouble eating these sandwiches without getting egg yolk all over out clothes. And you are trying to tell me that you give this to your kids to eat "on the go"? Something is fishy here. Aside from this, we weren't very impressed by the overall taste of the sandwiches, they were kind of bland. We had never had mustard greens before and we didn't like their taste at all. I only put a tiny bit on the sandwiches. This recipe is definitely NOT a keeper for us.

Curried Carrot Soup with Tarragon Oil

When I found this soup in Food & Wine, it sounded really good. However, it did not turn out very tasty. It is not clear from the description whether to cook the carrots covered or in an open pot. If you do the former, there is way too much water for the amount of carrots in the soup. When adding water to the carrots I noticed that 7 cups would be too much and used only about 4 cups. Still, the soup didn't have a great deal of taste. I would definitely use more curry powder next time (though in all likelihood, there won't be a next time).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Meal Plan for March 10 - 16, 2012

Saturday:      Orange and Soy-Glazed Baby Back Ribs (from Bon Appetit)
                     Cabbage Apple Slaw
                     Turkish-Style Flatbread

Sunday:        Tomato Soup with Bell Pepper, Spinach, and Chickpeas

Monday:       Camaraõ de Coco (Coconut Shrimp from Mozambique)

Tuesday:       Dinner out!

Wednesday:  South African Lamb Stew

Thursday:      Leftovers

Friday:           Curried Carrot Soup with Tarragon Oil (from Food & Wine)
                      Egg Sandwich with Mustard Greens and Avocado (from Food & Wine)

Go to Menu Plan Monday to check out lots of other meal plans and ideas for this week's dinners.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Orange and Soy-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

We love to eat ribs in this house. Today, I tried this recipe from Bon Appetit. They were almost as good as my favorite ribs.

Forgot to take a picture - these are the leftovers  :-)

Swedish Cabbage and Apple Salad

I prepared this crunchy-fruity salad last month for Cook Around the Globe: Scandinavia. For the recipe, click here. This time, though, I used only green cabbage.

Turkish-Style Flatbread

This is one of my favorites breads. Turkish flatbread is very popular in Germany for most backyard BBQs (accompanied by Tzatziki). It is widely available in the thousands of Turkish grocery stores throughout the country. When looking for a recipe, I found a lot of different ones. This recipe is a combination of the three recipes that I liked best. This bread turned out excellent, though I say so myself. It tasted very similar to what I remembered and I am very proud of this recipe. It is a great side for (grilled) meat, soups, and as sandwich bread.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lots of Pizza

You can find the basic recipe for my homemade pizza here. Be as creative as you like with the topping.

Spinach, Ham & Goat Cheese Pizza
Capers, Olives & Anchovy Pizza
Salami & Green Bell Pepper Pizza

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Zimbabwe: Dovi (Peanut Butter Stew)


Zimbabwe: Sadza (Corn Meal Dumpling)

This side dish has many different names in various African countries. I am not a great fan of corn, corn meal, polenta, and the likes but given this dish's popularity in the region chosen for this month's Cook Around the Globe, I just had to try it. The original recipe called for much longer cooking times but the the corn meal I used was thickening incredibly quick. The most likely explanation I can think of is that (although the recipe didn't specify it) I used yellow corn meal and not the white variety. If I try this again, I will definitely go try to find white corn meal (for the yellow one, I would use a bit more water next time). Anyway, neither HubbyGrouch nor me liked this dish very much. It is okay with a nice sauce but surely not my favorite source of starch.

Six months ago:  French Onion Soup


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Colombia: Frisoles Antioqueños (Red Beans Antioqueño Style)

...recipe coming soon...
(recipe adapted from: "Secrets of Colombian Cooking" by Patricia McCausland-Gallo)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Malawi: Fish with Plantain

This is the first dish I prepared for this month's Cook Around the Globe project. HubbyGrouch loves plantain is always happy to see it on the meal plan. I, on the other hand, don't really like it but prepare it on occasion to please the hubbs. I have mentioned already that I am not keen on sweet main dishes. The ripe plantains in this one were definitely too sweet for me. I would try with another variety or less ripe ones next time. Also, as it is winter here and full-flavor tomatoes are hard to come by (unless you are willing to spend a fortune), I added some tomato paste to the sauce, which wasn't in the original recipe.

                            Mango Chocolate Cake
One year ago:      Lentils with Guiso and Egg
                            Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Paccheri and Cheese with Peas and Mint

This recipe certainly looked interesting, as it was baked like a cake. The taste, however, was not very interesting or special. I was rather disappointed. The original recipe is from Bon Appetit. I did double the peas to add more vegetables to this dish. Also, I found that the ricotta did not add anything in either taste or texture and would definitely leave it out. It was just weird to have it in the middle of the pasta bake.

Meal Plan for March 3 - 9, 2012

Another international meal plan with the First southern African dishes for this month's Cook Around the Globe.

Saturday:      Paccheri and Cheese with Peas and Mint (from Bon Appetit)

Sunday:        Leftovers

Monday:       Fish with Plantain (from Malawi)

Tuesday:       Red Beans Antioqueño Style (from Colombia)

Wednesday:  Dovi (Chicken and Peanut Butter Stew from Zimbabwe)
                      Sadza Dumpling (from Zimbabwe)

Thursday:      Leftovers

Friday:           Homemade Pizza

Go to Menu Plan Monday to check out lots of other meal plans and ideas for this week's dinners.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Announcement: "Cook Around the Globe" - March 2012

Welcome to "Cook Around the Globe"!

First of all, I want to thank everybody who participated in February. I hope you had fun and will join again this month. For more information about Cook Around the Globe, click here. This month, I hope you will join me in my exploration of the cuisines of Southern Africa.

March 2012 "Cook Around the Globe":
South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swasiland, Botswana
(You will be able to post the link to your recipe on April 1.)

Cook Around the Globe - February 2012 Roundup

Welcome to the February 2012 roundup of "Cook Around the Globe". As always, I am very excited and curious to see the recipes of other participants (and I will try to look at and comment on all of them!). This month was almost like home cooking for me. There are lots of similarities between Scandinavian (especially Danish cooking) and many dishes I know from childhood. As usual, there were lots of dishes that I would have liked to try as well but a month is just too short. If I had to pick some favorites, those would be Røkelaksterte (Smoked Salmon Quiche from Norway)Pinaattiohukaiset (Finnish Spinach Pancakes), and Kartöflu-grænkálssúpa (Potato Kale Soup from Iceland). Have you prepared a dish from Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, or Finland this month? Or do you have an older recipe that you would like to link up? I hope all of you enjoyed this event and will be back in March (announcement will follow). Also, if you liked the event, grab a button and spread the word. You can add the blog hop to your own blog if you like. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on the link, and choose the appropriate code for your type of blog. I will conclude by saying a thousand times "thank you" to all participants and enjoy the recipes!