Borscht is reputed to be one of the world’s great soups. However, to be honest, I initially wasn’t so sure. I’ve only had borscht a few times and it hasn’t always been a memorable experience. For a long time, I thought of it as an Eastern European peasant soup, probably good if you didn’t have much more to eat than beets but pretty dull otherwise.
For me, what changed things was having a borscht with dill. I’d had chilled beet soup with dill before but dill in hot borscht was a new thing for me. I understand it’s not really traditional but dill takes borscht from plain to interesting without overshooting the mark and getting into the realm of weird. Also, using plenty of beef turns this from a side to a filling one-pot meal. Continue reading →
I usually try to write these blog posts the day I make the dish in question but sometimes I don’t manage to get around to it until some days after. Sadly, this is the case today. Sadly, because the leftovers are gone. Sadly, because I’m a bit hungry and I suddenly really want some more chicken musakhan. It was really good. The leftovers were even better. Sigh. Continue reading →
I went to Tenerife at Christmas with my family, which is where I first heard of conejo (rabbit) al salmorejo, a traditional Canarian dish. To be honest, I never had it there. We rented self-catering apartments and didn’t eat out much, in part because of my dietary restrictions, but if I’d had the opportunity to try this dish in a restaurant, I would have, as it’s normally gluten-free. Also, I would have loved to have tried rabbit. Sadly, it didn’t happen, so I decided I’d have to try to make it on my own.
Unfortunately, it’s not all that easy to find rabbit in England, so since I heard rabbit tastes like chicken, I decided to make it with chicken instead. Apparently I’m not the only one who’s ever had this thought, as pollo al salmorejo is an easy enough recipe to find on the interwebs. However, all the recipes I found, both for rabbit and chicken, varied considerably. I’ve tried it a few different ways and have found it’s definitely a recipe you can modify to fit your own tastes. However, this is the version I like best.
Gung hay fat choy! It’s Chinese New Year… but it’s not just Chinese New Year. It’s also lunar New Year in many other countries including Singapore and Malaysia, which inspired tonight’s meal.
Beef rendang has always seemed a bit intimidating for me to make, because recipes usually call for a bunch of ingredients that are difficult for me to obtain, such as candlenuts and kaffir lime leaves, and call for the cook to grind their own spice paste and braise the beef for as long as four hours. However, I really wanted beef rendang, so after consulting a bunch of recipes, I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to make a rendang with the ingredients in my kitchen, in a lot less time. The result was truly delicious and tasted just like the rendang I’ve had in restaurants. I served it with steamed rice and yu sheng (Singapoean New Year salad) – and my husband declared it probably his favourite meal ever and half-jokingly asked me to make it once a week. Continue reading →
It’s pancake day here in the UK, which means my kids got a pancake lunch, a pancake supper, and pancake dessert. If that sounds like a lot of work, it really wasn’t. Not only was I too lazy to make a pancake breakfast, the truth is, I only actually made pancakes once. To be more accurate, I made galettes bretonnes once and we ate them three different ways using three very easy variations.
Galettes bretonnes, or buckwheat crepes, are traditionally made with buckwheat flour only, making them naturally gluten-free. If you want to have them in a restaurant, however, be careful, since some cooks mix the buckwheat flour with wheat flour. Perhaps they fear that the buckwheat will be strong-tasting – and in some recipes it can be – but honestly, here it isn’t. No, it doesn’t taste exactly like a wheat flour crepe, but it has a mild and pleasant taste and texture. Honestly, it’s nothing too challenging.
It’s Robbie Burns Day, which marks very nearly a year since I started this blog. I hadn’t actually been planning to blog this meal, so please excuse the relative lack of pictures, but when I realized it was almost my blogiversary, I took a picture of my plate just before I dug in. Good thing too. Because my impromptu creation in honour of Rabbie Burns turned out truly delicious.
Last year, I made a modern haggis in the slow cooker, eschewing the traditional sheep’s stomach casing as well as the sheep’s heart, lungs, liver and whatever else goes into traditional haggis. This year, however, I decided to take modernizing haggis a step further. I decided to turn it into burgers. Continue reading →
Chicken paprikash is easy, classic comfort food, perfect on a chilly winter’s day. It isn’t low-calorie, especially when served over a generous helping of noodles, but it’s definitely tasty. The Boy spent some time in Hungary when he was younger and loves paprika, so this also gives him his fix. Typically chicken paprikash is full of onions, wheat flour, and lactose, and is served with wheat noodles or dumplings, but this version is gluten-free and low-FODMAP. It also contains somewhat more in the way of vegetables than the typical version, but not so much that my kids complain.
It’s Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, the second-most-important holiday for Muslims. Not being Muslim, I know little about the holiday and have never celebrated it before, but apparently it commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail upon Allah’s command. At the last minute, Allah intervened and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead. Pretty much the same story occurs in the Bible, though the names of the main characters are Abraham, Isaac, and God, and instead of a lamb, God offers up a ram.
Um, yeeeaahhh. Much as I respect people’s religious freedom, to me, either version of the story seems frankly barbaric. However… I do like the idea of roast lamb. So putting aside the squickiness of the idea of the lamb standing in for a son, we “celebrated” with a delicious Moroccan-spiced roast lamb. I served it with a simple saffron rice (I cooked basmati rice with saffron, mustard seeds, and just a little asafoetida and turmeric, then stirred in chopped coriander once the rice was cooked) and a spinach dish similar to sabzi, except that I garnished it with olives.
I love to travel and, with very few exceptions, I would love to visit every country in the world. However, I feel my failure to visit Laos is one of the saddest of my missed opportunities. When I was travelling in Asia, pre-kids, I managed to get to Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia – why didn’t I go to Laos? (Or Vietnam, for that matter?) I hope I will indeed get there one day.
My failure to visit Laos means I don’t know a lot about Lao food. However, since I don’t believe there’s a Lao restaurant in town, never mind one that can cater for gluten-free and low-FODMAP, I figure the only way to learn is to try. So I picked what the interwebs said was one of the defining dishes of Laos and decided to try to make it. Continue reading →
Inspiration for this nominally Korean dish comes not from Seoul but from the streets of Los Angeles, where apparently the popular Kogi BBQ truck has spawned a number of imitators around the U.S.
I’ve never been to Los Angeles and have never had Korean tacos made by anyone other than myself but I liked the sound of the idea and wanted to create my own version, gluten-free and low-FODMAP, of course. They came out delicious, a fusion of different flavours into a perfect marriage. (I don’t think the fact I’m in a mixed marriage myself is influencing me.) Continue reading →