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5 Dishes to Eat in Peru

Peru
arwindsharma

Peru is fast-gaining a spot in international culinary conversations. It is home to dishes and flavours that are unique to the region, and not found anywhere else. Few places offer such diversity of ingredients,... Read more

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Recipes From Afar: Making Burek in Bosnia & Herzegovina Gigi Griffis August 1, 2017

Homecooked burek, or pita, from a kitchen in Bosnia
All photos by Gigi Griffis

Ask anyone who has been to Bosnia and Herzegovina—the lush, mountainous Balkan country where Europe’s most recent war was waged just 20 years ago—about the food and you’ll get the same answers every time.

They’ll tell you about pita bread stuffed with cevapi, the local minced-meat sausage made from lamb, pork, or beef. They’ll tell you about ajvar—thick, tart red pepper sauce served with pretty much every meat dish in the country. And, undoubtedly, they’ll tell you about burek, the king of Bosnian dishes: an extremely thin pastry filled with meat and onions or cheese (or even pumpkin), rolled, baked, and served up in slices like pizza.

During my own...

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Recipes From Afar: Congee Two Ways, Old and New Kimberly Nichols July 13, 2017

American girl porridge, a modern update on the ancient Asian dish of congee
"American Girl Porridge," courtesy of Kimberly Nichols

My obsession with Asian porridges started years ago, when I found the cheaply made and nutritious bowl of ancient Chinese food called congee listed as one of the most nutritious foods in the world, according to my global herbalism textbook. It was noted that many a spry monk in the Himalayas considered three plain bowls of soupy rice a day the key to vibrant health and longevity. To that end, my herbal course suggested mixing up the plain, lovingly long-cooked rice and water recipe with a myriad of fun additions like herbs, spices, minced vegetables, and even miso. Then I started seeing various forms of Asian porridge pop up...

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Recipes from Afar: Limoncello, Florence Stephanie Andrews June 1, 2017

Glass of limoncello with recipe and photo of Florence.
All photos courtesy of Stephanie Andrews

Limoncello: It’s a tummy tamer, an after-dinner delight. Italy’s liquid courage. Behold the power of lemons and their ability to quickly turn your evening into a whirling dervish if you aren’t careful. This isn’t something you knock back like a pint, lest you be knocked right on your butt.

When I touched down in Florence, after weeks of weary travel, I had no idea that this city and its love for this neon libation would leave such a lasting impact—and, fortunately, no headache. After every evening meal, once our plates had been whisked away, a small cocktail glass appeared in front of us as if by magic.

Despite its rather alarmingly...

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Tags: recipes Europe

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Recipes From Afar: Tallarines Verdes (Peruvian Pesto Noodles) Laura Siciliano-Rosen January 19, 2017

Tallarines verde, Peruvian green noodles, kind of like pesto!

Pesto is big in our house. Huge. Pesto with pine nuts, pesto with walnuts. Traditional basil pesto, kale pesto, radish leaf pesto. We love it; our kids love it. It’s probably the best way I know to serve fistfuls of raw greens to unsuspecting toddlers.

But then I was introduced to a new kind of pesto: Peruvian pesto. Well, technically it’s called tallarines verdes, or green noodles, a nod to the spaghetti that’s typically a vehicle for the stuff. There are major differences between this and real Italian pesto, but it is a tangible product of Italian immigrants in Peru, adapted to fit local ingredients and taste. We ordered it one night at a local Peruvian restaurant for my...

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Recipes From Afar: Gnocchi alla Romana Laura Siciliano-Rosen September 17, 2016

Gnocchi alla Romana with braised beef shank recipe
Gnocchi alla Romana with slow-cooker beef shank

We had planned a relaxing day at the beach. Well, as relaxing as one might get with a 1- and 3-year-old. My husband was home from work that day, so I figured it’d be a good night to cook something semi-ambitious. He’d be around to help watch kids while I mixed and cut gnocchi alla Romana, or Roman-style gnocchi—a semolina-based gnocchi that predates the Northern potato-dumpling gnocchi we all know, and a recipe I’ve had my eye on for a while.

Ah, plans. What’s that saying about the best-laid ones?? First, we left late because I needed to prep the other half of the meal—slow-cooked beef shanks—and while I was searing the meat...

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Recipes from Afar: Kentucky Beer Cheese on Toast Laura Siciliano-Rosen November 25, 2014
Homemade Kentucky beer cheese on toast
Bourbon optional
 

A few months ago in Louisville, Kentucky, we went hunting for beer cheese. Much in the vein of England's Welsh rarebit, this state specialty combines cheese with beer and spices in a dip of sorts and serves it, traditionally, with crackers. It turned out beer cheese wasn't terribly hard to find in Louisville; brewpubs served it with pretzels and even the farmers market had a stand selling the stuff. But it wasn't until we went to Eiderdown, a restaurant in Germantown, late one afternoon, that we really got the appeal of the stuff.

A local guy—whose apartment we were renting via Airbnb—told us Eiderdown had "perfected the perfect...

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Halloween Spider Cookies Laura Siciliano-Rosen October 27, 2014

Halloween spider cookies with recipe

We are the first to admit these cookies don’t qualify as “regional food”—unless, of course, you were to look at American holiday cuisine as a whole, but that’s a stretch, isn’t it? The thing is, we don’t bake much in the way of sweets, but these have become something of a Halloween tradition for us, delicious and adorable and simple to make, and therefore worth sharing with our food-loving readers. The “artistic” part of making those spiders is a bit labor-intensive, truth be told, but overall this is a pretty easy way to impress your friends/kids/coworkers. (And you get to eat the ones you mess up.)

This recipe from Jen’s Favorite Cookies has never let us down, although we add a...

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Recipes From Afar: Stroopwafel, Amsterdam Eating Europe June 26, 2014

Stroopwafel on a plate from the Netherlands

The Dutch stroopwafel, or syrup waffle, is a cookie unique to the Netherlands; it’s been eaten there for centuries. The history of this delicacy dates back to 1784, when a baker from the town of Gouda baked a waffle using old crumbs and spices, and filled it with syrup. Because it was made with leftovers, the stroopwafel was, at the time, a popular pastry among the poor, known only in Gouda. Today, every bakery in Gouda has its own particular recipe for these delicious sweet, sticky waffles, and they’re found across the country (including, of course, in Amsterdam).

Stroopwafels are made with two thin crispy waffles, filled and glued together with a special caramel-like syrup....

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Recipes From Afar: Som Tam Salad, Thailand Glynn Pogue May 20, 2014

Papaya salad from Thailand

It was our first night in Chiang Mai. After a 24-hour journey of buses, overnight trains, and general mishap, all my friend Noele and I wanted were long showers and a great meal. Before this trip, we’d had dreams of Thailand’s notorious midnight raves, but even then, our real draw to the “country of smiles” was the food. We wanted authentic pad Thai, exotic fruits, robust coffee—all of it. 

We found our addiction early on. We were seated at the night market, surrounded by one of everything—heaping plates of fried rice, stir-fried seafood with sprigs of leafy basil—but our forks couldn’t stop dipping into the som tam. The spicy green-papaya salad has long been a favorite in many...

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Tags: recipes Asia

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Recipes From Afar: Singaporean Fried Rice Juliana Loh March 27, 2014

Singaporean fried rice recipe

Contrary to what you might gather from your neighborhood Chinese eatery, there isn’t really a fixed recipe for fried rice. It evolved from throwing leftovers in the wok to stir-fry—one of the sustainable ways the older generation ensured every scrape of food was eaten, not wasted—and voilà, you get a really tasty variety of dishes.

Fried rice tastes best, therefore, with leftover, day-old rice: The grains lose moisture overnight, giving them a harder, crunchier texture—perfect for this dish—and they’re less likely to clump when you stir-fry them with everything else. Cook the rice the night (or at least several hours) before, leave it out to cool for an hour or so, then put it in...

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Crawfish Boil How-To Laura Siciliano-Rosen March 25, 2014

Backyard crawfish boil in Louisiana
Photo courtesy of Chris Davis

Crawfish boils are a springtime rite of passage in southern Louisiana, whether you’re in a bar, at a festival, or in a friend’s backyard. I’ll never forget the boil we went to, at New Orleans’ Maple Leaf Bar, where a small door fee covered both music and food (the Uptown bar holds crawfish boils on Sunday nights during the season). In an alley outside the bar, we glimpsed the giant pot of critters, and all the delicious stuff going in along with them—mushrooms, corn, potatoes, quail, andouille and boudin sausages—and knew we were in for a treat.

Backyard boils are, of course, more the local way, the equivalent of having friends over for beers and a...

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Recipes From Afar: Khmer Bor Bor Porridge, Cambodia Glynn Pogue November 20, 2013

Vendor serving bor bor rice porridge in Cambodia

I woke up to a loud pitter-patter on my tin roof—another cold, gray morning in central Cambodia. The rainy season had stretched on for weeks and left me with a perpetual sniffle and a cough I couldn’t shake. I needed to eat something to warm my belly.

I ventured into my village’s winding market for breakfast, the dirt ground muddy and wet. Older ladies and schoolchildren grabbing a meal before class hunched below the market’s makeshift sheet-metal rooftops, slurping up porridge from mismatched sets of porcelain bowls. I settled in at my favorite vendor’s stall, a little stand with nothing more than a rice cooker, a portable burner, a sagging wooden bench, and a young girl with a...

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Recipes From Afar: Polbo á Feira, Galicia, Spain Cinta Farnós Brull September 4, 2013

A plate of polbo á feira from Galicia, Spain

It was a rainy morning, as usual, in Galicia. At the weekly mercado de abastos, bustling with shoppers from nearby villages, a huge tent with communal wood tables and an enormous pile of wooden plates waited for customers to arrive, myself included. Outside, in the entrance, a line of cauldrons bubbled while the pulpeiras dipped pieces of octopus in and out—one, two, three times—before releasing them to the boiling depths. Nearby, a woman sliced up the cooked tentacles, laying them upon the wooden plates; a man next to her finished the dish—called polbo á feira—with a sprinkle of salt and Spanish hot paprika, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. It proved an efficient...

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From Shore to Table: Digging, Cleaning & Cooking Razor Clams in Washington Naomi Bishop April 29, 2013

Digging for razor clams off the Washington coastline
Photo by Naomi Bishop.

While most American families got up early on Easter morning to hunt about their lawns for eggs, my friend (and partner-in-foraging) Leslie, trusty canine companion Roger, and I were combing Grayland beach, on the southwest Washington coast, for razor clams (OK, Roger mostly just ran in circles). There were no bunnies or pastel plastic eggs to be found on this shoreline, just a rainbow of gray, with little definition between the muted-steel sky and the faint slate of the ocean. My eyes were trained on the muddy taupe of the sand most of the day, scanning for “tells,” the tiny, dime-size indents that indicate a clam lurking just below the surface.

It was late...

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Tags: recipes travel United States

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Recipes From Afar: Sacivi, (Republic of) Georgia Laura Siciliano-Rosen April 16, 2013

We’re a little obsessed with Georgian food lately. In Brooklyn, we nearly split our pants eating the simple, rich cuisine, in meals bookmarked by addictive soupy meat dumplings (khinkali) and buttery cheese-stuffed bread (khachapuri). While cruising Turkey’s Black Sea coastline last fall for hazelnuts and pide, we were tempted to just keep on driving to Tbilisi, to conduct our own taste tests of the two countries’ various dolmas (stuffed  vegetables), one of several dishes reflecting the countries’ shared Ottoman heritage. So when Anna, a Georgian friend in New Jersey, offered to cook us a homemade Georgian feast last month, we naturally accepted without hesitation.

A table spread with homecooked Georgian food

The spread...

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Recipes From Afar: Caillette (Ardèche, France) Tim and Nat Harris February 27, 2013

For this guest post, Tim and Nat Harris of food and travel blog A Cook Not Mad share with us the recipe for caillette (“ky-YET”), a pork-and-greens meatball dish from south-central France that dates to the 16th century.

Caillette, a meatball dish from the Ardeche region of France

The first time we visited Les Vans, a small town in the Ardèche department of France, we fell in love with it. It was quaint, and because it was 15 years ago and during the off-season, we shared the village with only its 2,660 inhabitants. We had rented an apartment from a family friend for a month and spent our time exploring the nearby mountains and villages extensively, foraging for wild mushrooms and chestnuts, making soups and confiture. 

South-central France, near Les Vans in the Ardeche department

The couple who...

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Recipes From Afar: Portuguese Kale Soup, Cape Cod Laura Siciliano-Rosen January 2, 2013

Caldo Verde Portuguese Soup

Every summer, Cape Cod is among our favorite go-to escapes, a long weekend with local friends for which we’re always in for lots of boating, clamming, lobstering, swimming, and, of course, eating. (As we’ve previously admitted, however, we are pretty bad about working when we’re in this area.) New Year’s weekend marked our first winter trip to the Cape, and it proved a long-overdue visit with its snowy conservation lands and starkly beautiful shores, transformed by snowdrifts and the absence of tourists. Of course, we spent a lot of time indoors, and when we weren’t in front of the fireplace, we were in the kitchen.

Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, during winter
Wintry Wellfleet, Cape Cod

Snowy wooded landscape in Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Hiking the woods in East...

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Tags: recipes cape cod United States

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Recipes From Afar: How to Cook Rice and Make Sushi, Japan Laura Siciliano-Rosen December 3, 2012

It’s so simple, yet so easy to screw up: Making rice is at the heart of Japanese cuisine, and our friend Megumi recently shared with us exactly how it should be done, as well as instructions for making vinegared sushi rice and temaki, or hand-rolled sushi. All photos by Trix Rosen, copyright 2012.

Temai or homemade rolled sushi with recipe
A basic salmon temaki

The Japanese are rice eaters. Traditionally we eat cooked, short-grain rice almost every day.  So we are very fussy about rice: its freshness, texture, firmness, softness, flavor, moisture, size, and shininess. Good rice is grown in the areas where the water is fresh and clean. Of course, the fresher, the better! The new crop that arrives in the market every fall...

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Recipes from Afar: Cataplana, Portugal Alexandra Jackson October 18, 2012

My introduction to Portuguese cataplana stew couldn’t have been in a more traditional and idyllic setting. Facing the coast on the Algarve, in southern Portugal, in great company and the light of a beautiful sunset, I sat awaiting a dish I’d seen on almost every blackboard menu during my time in this region. Having been assured of the freshest, tastiest ingredients by the enthusiastic waiters, my expectations were high for this local dish. My group of four opted to share two large cataplanas so we could try both the meat and seafood variations.

The Algarve in Portugal
The Algarve, where cataplana is most popular. Photo: Alexandra Jackson

While we sipped red wine and picked at a basket of bread and warm...

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Recipes From Afar: Mango Sandesh, Calcutta Sukanya Ghosh September 19, 2012

In this guest post, Sukanya of the food and travel blog Saffronstreaks shares with us the recipe for a favorite Bengali milk-based sweet from Kolkata (Calcutta): aam sandesh, or Indian fudge infused with mango. Of course, this “fudge” is not made with chocolate but with cottage-cheese-like chhana (also spelled chenna); the translation stems more from the dish’s texture. For more on milk-based treats from India, check out our Delhi sweets section.

Recipe for aam sandesh, or mango fudge, a Bengali sweet from Calcutta

Bengalis’ love for sweets is a well-known affair, and sandesh (“fudge”) is one they particularly adore. The great Bengali luncheon always ends on a sweet note,
and it doesn’t stop there; it continues with late-afternoon tea and dinner as...

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Tags: recipes India Asia

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Recipes From Afar: Sea Bass in Salt Crust, Fava Beans à la Croque en Sel, France Cristina Sciarra August 30, 2012

A few months ago, we published a Q&A with a saunier, or sea salt harvester, from Île de Ré, a small island off the west coast of France. In it, our subject mentions two can’t-miss dishes from the island, both of which make good use of its famous salt: sea bass baked in a salt crust and fava beans à la croque en sel. EYW contributor Cristina Sciarra, who’s just returned from the area—see our new Charente-Maritime food section—notes that these dishes are not as commonly offered in restaurants as prepared at home. Here she tells us how to make them. 

Sea bass baked in a salt crust, shown during preparation

Sea bass baked in a salt crust

Buying (and cooking) whole fish is not only more economical than buying filets, but it’s also a lot...

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Recipes From Afar: Cold Tofu and Noodles, Japan Laura Siciliano-Rosen August 23, 2012

We recently had the pleasure of cooking one evening with our friend Megumi, who shared with us these favorite warm-weather recipes from Japan. Both are very simple and fresh-tasting, perfect for the dog days of summer. Below she describes each in her own words.

Cold tofu, or hiyayakko, from Japan

Hiyayakko (Cold Tofu)

Tofu was one of the foods we ate almost every day when I was a child. Back then it was not mass-produced, and there were many local tofu makers. My mother bought fresh tofu every morning from a neighborhood grocery store, often using it for miso soup. But on a hot summer day, we had hiyayakko as a side dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This remains one of the most popular tofu side dishes enjoyed...

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Recipes From Afar: Sardine Butter, West Coast of France Cristina Sciarra May 8, 2012

Sardine butter recipe, from the west coast of France

Before I met my French boyfriend and his family, my culinary repertoire was sadly devoid of small sea creatures. Sure, I might occasionally have ordered mussels when out to dinner, but let’s face it—those mussels tasted only of what they were sauced with. I had never tried a clam or oyster, nor did I particularly care to. Scallops made me cringe. I was also fairly certain that sardines and anchovies were probably the
same thing.

But my shellfish ignorance was not to last. When I moved to Paris three years ago, my boyfriend and I started making regular excursions to his familial home in Angoulins sur Mer, a fishing village nestled into the western coast of France, famous for its...

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Recipes From Afar: Piña Colada, Dominican Republic Jessie Clyde February 21, 2012

Pina colada, with pineapple wedgeA few summers ago, I conducted my graduate-school research at a health clinic in a batey, or rural community, about an hour north of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana’s high-end resorts and all-you-can-eat buffets are a stark contrast to the impoverished former sugarcane plantations that make up the bateys in the island’s interior. Electricity is rare and subject to apagaones (blackouts) that can last an entire day, which has serious consequences for rural health clinics trying to operate blood labs and store vaccines—and severely limits the menu dished up for clinic staff.

During my 10-week stay, I slept on the floor of an empty clinic room with a handful of...

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Recipes From Afar: Chole Bhature, Delhi Laura Siciliano-Rosen January 20, 2012

Chole Bhature from Delhi, India

If you’re still hungry for North Indian food after our post on papri chaat and butter paneer masala, check out this post on Foodists.ca, in which we expound on our discovery of, and love for, chole bhature (curried chickpeas with fried bread). Recipe included, of course.

Related: Recipes From Afar: Papri Chaat & Butter Paneer Masala, North India

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Recipes from Afar: Papri Chaat & Butter Paneer Masala, North India Laura Siciliano-Rosen December 22, 2011

A half-year after returning home from a few weeks in North India, I thought it would be a good idea to cook some Indian dishes for friends. Twelve friends, to be exact.

It wasn’t long after I emailed said friends that I began questioning the wisdom of this decision.

Indian food is notoriously difficult for a non-Indian to pull off. Sure, having access to the right spices is half the battle, but in past experiments with an Indian cookbook, I’ve found that the spice ratio often seems off. For all the toasting and grinding of seeds called for, there’s never anywhere near the amount of flavor one expects, certainly nothing like the richness radiating from most Indian-restaurant dishes....

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Recipes From Afar: Crawfish Étouffée (New Orleans) Laura Siciliano-Rosen October 20, 2011

A pot of Crawfish Étouffée

In this new EYW Blog series, our writers will feature recipes of dishes they’ve encountered while away and re-created at home

A few gluttonous days in New Orleans are hard to beat, but while you can’t bring home the city’s soulful live music or lighthearted survivor spirit, you can at least attempt to make some of its classic foods in the daiquiri-free confines of your own kitchen. After my last trip to NOLA, I spent a week back in New York dreaming about beignets and BBQ shrimp before my husband and I got our acts together, invited some friends over, and set up a Sazerac bar. We were having a NOLA dinner party, damn it!

My mind wandered to what’s quick and delicious, and...

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