Global Cuisine

Barbecue Grilled Whole Red Snapper

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by James Moore

greeceThere is nothing like ordering fresh fish at a sea side tavern in Greece. It’s one of the quintessential experiences when visiting the Greek Isles. My friend Rich Campbell, who has uncanny knack for finding incredible places to eat, introduced me to a wonderful spot in Oia on Santorini called Taverna Katina in the quaint Ammoudi Port.

It’s simple, casual dining at its best. Mrs Katina oversees everything and beams with pride as guests enjoy her authentic Greek dishes. If you visit, be sure to try her tomatokeftedes (tomato balls) – a house specialty.

They offer the freshest fish, which you can choose from the display case inside the restaurant. We opted for local snapper - served whole with simple lemon and olive oil dressing on the side - and it was some of the best I’ve ever had.

If a trip to Greece isn’t in your near future, you can grill fresh snapper in your own backyard. Grilling a whole fish (head and all) delivers a richer, deeper flavor than grilling boneless fillets. If your fish are a little larger (between 1 1/2 and 2 pounds), simply grill them a minute or two longer on each side.

Greek Country Salad Santorini-Style

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by James Moore

greeksaladThe most traditional Greek salad recipe, and the kind of Greek salad you will usually encounter in Greece, does not typically include lettuce, but is more a bowl of raw chunky vegetables with a little olive oil and lemon juice.

The flavors of this dish just get better and you can store leftovers and use with grilled meats or in sandwiches made with pita pockets.

The rich, zesty vinaigrette gets great authentic flavor from the fresh oregano, and is further enhanced by the fresh mint and parsley.

Marinating the onion and cucumber slices in the vinaigrette helps tone down the raw onion in the salad.

Five-Spice Tilapia

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by Cathy Pollak

5spicetilapiaIf you are looking for a quick evening meal packed with flavor, you've found it.

A blend of Chinese five-spice powder, soy sauce and brown sugar make a quick glaze for tilapia, leaving you with sugar-coated crusted piece of fish....it's delightful!

Five-spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns and is available in all grocery stores in the spice aisle.

Already full of flavor, slip this piece of fish between a toasted-buttered bun for an incredible fish sandwich, you won't be disappointed.

Authentic Greek Tzatziki

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by James Moore

tsazkiI have just returned from an incredible week sailing the Aegean on the luxurious Seabourn Quest. (http://www.seabourn.com) It’s truly a wonderful way to travel and I highly recommend the experience.

A week of Mediterranean cuisine will undoubtedly influence the next few pieces I write.

I’ll start will some of the incredible dips and appetizers that are found on nearly all menus in Greece and Turkey.

Tzatziki, one of the most common, is perfect for spring and summer and can be served as a dip with pita bread, or as a sauce for grilled meat or vegetables.

Cooking Classes Your Way

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by Amy Sherman

tamalesWhen it comes to cooking the food from another culture, the ingredients and techniques can be unfamiliar. Going to a foreign country and taking a cooking class is great, but not a readily accessible opportunity for most. Fortunately there are local cooking classes and cooking kits.

Recently launched Global Grub offers cooking kits with extremely well written instructions that will help you succeed in making things like sushi, or jerk chicken with coconut rice and beans. I used the tamales kit and was very impressed with the quality of the ingredients, the clear instructions and the wonderful results. My dad said the tamales were the best he'd ever eaten!

Kits include the dry and hard to find ingredients, and range in price from $13.99 up to $19.99 and for every kit purchased, Global Grub donates a meal to someone in need through their local food bank. Global Grub offers tutorial videos on their site, and the instructions with each kit are easily folded into a stand for easy reference as you cook.

Huevos Rancheros Salad

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by Cathy Pollak

huevossaladI think Mexican food is one of my all time favorites.  Growing up in Southern California, the availability of "good" Mexican food was not hard to find, it was everywhere.  I have so many old favorite places that served everything from Tex-Mex cuisine to more authentic regional Mexican cooking.  I do miss those places.  Badly.

This particular dish is a take on Huevos Rancheros (Ranch Eggs), a classic Mexican breakfast dish usually consisting of fried eggs served on top of corn tortillas with a chili-based salsa and avocado.  It's an awesome way to start the day!

But I have to say this salad also has many of my favorite ingredients...black beans, green salsa, chips and cheese.  The tomatillo or green salsa gives so much flavor.  I have always preferred a green salsa over red anyway.  The broiling of the chips also gives them that extra-toasty crunch which is just makes it all worth the trouble.

James Moore's Beef Tamale with Cornbread Topping

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by James Moore

tamalepieThis is one of my favorite winter casseroles based on a recipe from The Best Make-Ahead Recipe Cookbook. You can make it in one large 9x13 pan or prepare two 8x8 square pans, and bake one and freeze one for another time. To freeze, wrap casserole in plastic wrap and then cover tightly with foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

To serve, unwrap casserole and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375F. Remove foil and continue to bake about 50-60 minutes longer, until cornbread is golden and filling is bubbly.
 
It helps to have everything prepped – onions chopped, beans drained, garlic minced, tomato cans opened. Once you begin, the recipe comes together quickly. Don’t start the cornbread until the filling is done and in the pan.

Quick & Easy Steak with Mushrooms and Bok Choy

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by Lisa McRee

jamieIf you have as many chef crushes as I do, here’s some good news: you don’t have to break up with your favorite chefs in order to lose weight, you just have to redefine your relationships…

And here’s a Jamie Oliver “recipe re-do” to prove the point:  Skinny Steak with Mushrooms, Bok Choy and Gingered Tamari Sauce.

From the moment Jamie burst on the scene–with dishes that were both simple and sophisticated, and a style of cooking that was casual and fun–I was a fan; never questioning his recipes, I just cooked. But now, 30+ pounds lighter and with an eye on the health of everyone in my family, I do question the ingredients and instructions for every recipe I make and, though I still adore Jamie and his dishes, I happily alter them.

Found in Happy Days with the Naked Chef, the original version of this quick and easy recipe calls for one 8-ounce sirloin steak per person. Without getting into the other health risks of eating too much red meat, it’s just an awful lot of fat and calories…32 grams of fat, to be exact, and roughly 500 calories–about a third of the calories I need in an entire day… And I’m not talking about the fat and calories in the whole meal,  just the portion of the plate that’s protein!

By reducing that super-sized portion of beef and using meat-mimicking magic mushrooms to fill out the plate you can still enjoy the taste and sensation of a beef dinner but with half the fat, cholesterol and calories.

Spicy Sweet Ginger-Garlic Chicken Wings

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by David Latt

phoBeing creative in cooking sometimes means breaking the rules or borrowing a sauce from a traditional dish and using it in a non-traditional way.

When a diner is served the popular Vietnamese soup called pho, a basket of fresh green vegetables and bean sprouts accompanies a giant soup bowl filled to the brim with meat and noodles. For seasoning, a dipping sauce is also provided. As a matter of personal taste, I prefer the lighter pho ga, made with chicken, to its deeper flavored, beefy cousins. After years of eating pho ga I realized that part of my craving for the soup was because I loved the dipping sauce called nuoc cham gung.

In the sauce, finely minced ginger and garlic mingle with flecks of dried Szechuan peppers in a vinegary-salty-sweet sauce, accentuated with lime-citrus notes.

With one of those wonderful epiphanies that happen to foodies who think about food a bit too much, I realized that nuoc cham gung would make a good marinade and glaze for my favorite appetizer—chicken wings.

Sichuan-Style Green Beans

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by Joseph Erdos

szichuangreenbeansIf you've ever taken the time to read a Chinese takeout menu closely you may have noticed it has the dishes organized by regional cuisine such as Cantonese, Hunan, and Sichuan. Most Chinese restaurants try to have a wide offering of its cuisine to appeal to many different tastes. Those who love spicy food know to choose a dish from the Sichuan page. This cuisine is characterized by an abundance of heat in many forms, including dried chilies, chili sauce, and tongue-tingling Sichuan peppercorns.

Sichuan food will have you sweating, your eyes watering, and your mouth numb. It isn't for everyone but it's worth trying for the adventurous eater. Now and then even I like to subject myself to such spicy torture by suffering through a dish like a trooper. One of my favorite dishes to do just that with is stir-fried green beans because it's quick to make when the craving strikes.

 

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