Friday, April 30, 2010

Haiti Round-Up!

After being the poorest country in the Americas for years, the small country of Haiti was finally brought to the world's attention earliest this year when a horrific earthquake struck and destroyed its capital city of Port-au-Prince. While it is terrible that it took such a traumatic event to bring Haiti to the world's attention, Haiti is now, finally, being given some much-deserved help and attention.

As such, it made sense to me to choose Haiti as one of our countries for Regional Recipes, seeing as how I knew so little about it's history, culture, or cuisine. Here is what I learned.

Haitian cuisine is typically very similar to that of French Creole/Cajun but with a Caribbean twist, drawing on the many tropical fruits and vegetables that grace its shores. Haitian dishes are spicy, often using peppers, such as the Scotch Bonnet Chili Pepper, and bold seasonings to flavor it. Rice and beans, along with fried goat or pork are very popular dishes, and are often served with fried plantains on the side.

Now that I have made myself sufficiently hungry, let's delve into the dishes!
First up, we have Cool Lassi(e) of Pan Gravy Kadai Curry who submitted two recipes to this month's round up. Since Haiti is such a tropical country, she thought she would start us off with a cool and refreshing Haitian Mango Juice. Considering the fact that it's almost 80 degrees in NY today, I could certainly use one of those!
She also brings the Haitian national dish - Riz et Pois Rouges or Haitian Red Beans and Rice. This dish is so spicy, I can see why she ended up making the mango juice as well...her palate definitely needed some cooling after this. Delicious.
Deb (along with the rest of us, I fear) of Kahakai Kitchen experienced a slight panic attack when finding out the next country on our culinary journey was Haiti (this is me projecting my emotions). However, she was much relieved when her May issue of Cooking Light came in the mail and contained a whole segment on Haitian food. Boy am I glad it did because her Snapper in Haitian Court-Bouillon looks fantastic.
Marisa of The Creative Pot graces us with not one. Not two. But THREE recipes, each of which builds upon the next to make a complete meal. First up is the Sauce Ti Malice or Haitian hot sauce. Be sure to check out Marisa's post to read about how this spicy concoction came to be.
Next up, we have Tassot or fried goat, which is traditionally served with the Sauce Ti Malice. Marisa explained the addictive nature of this dish using the oft quoted Pringles slogan...once you pop, you just can't stop.
Finally, to round out the meal, Marisa provides us with Diri Jon Jon or Mushroom Rice. She had to get up early to make this dish before the approaching deadline, so I'm certainly glad that she liked it enough for it to be worth her while!
Now that it's getting to be bathing suit season and salads for dinner are becoming ever more critical, I was so glad that Faith of An Edible Mosaic decided to share her Tropical Chicken Salad. You need to check this out...the breading is made with incredibly unique Haiti-inspired ingredients!
Danielle of Cooking for My Peace of Mind submitted not one, not two, but THREE recipes this month! The first up is her Mango Cupcakes with Lemon Glaze. When making these, Danielle pondered the critical question that we all face at one point or another - cupcakes and muffins, WHAT is the difference? It seems very chicken-and-egg to me...
These Haitian Carnitas also came from Danielle's kitchen. These babies may or may not actually be Haitian in origin, but I say who cares so long as they have Haitian seasonings! We live in a globalized world people! Fusion is everywhere.
Our last entry from Danielle is these succulent Haitian Chicken Legs. As someone who really only likes dark meat poultry...I can definitely appreciate these!
Before deciding which dish to create, Debbi of Debbi Does Dinner...Healthy and Low Calorie did some serious research on Haiti (she really wanted to emotionally connect with this month's country :P) so you should stop by her blog to learn a fun fact or two! Not only that, but she also made these delicious Haitian Chicken Puffs! I'm so glad you stepped outside of your comfort zone for these Debbi!
The lovely Chaya of Chaya's Comfy Cook Blog decided to make the Haitian national recipe of riz and pois (rice and beans). Carbs on carbs? Sounds like my kind of dish.
Finally, we have my version of Joumou, a Haitian Pumpkin Soup. I added okra to the soup because it is very popular in Creole cooking (and was being sold at my Farmer's Market...and I just couldn't resist).

Thanks everyone for participating!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ireland Round-Up!

Looking for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? (Aren't we all?)

Well you no longer have to look any farther. Here are some of the best dishes that Ireland has to offer. The highlights, if you will.

Hope you enjoy!
First up, Aoife of The Daily Spud brings us a potato dish called Champ. Quite a fitting name, if you ask me, as it helped to raise her spirits after a trip to Argentina was canceled due to an earthquake in near-by Chile. At least she had this comfort food to help her recuperate!
Bob of Cooking Stuff also brings us comfort food with his Irish Macaroni and Cheese. Guinness, cheese, cabbage, cheese, corned beef, cheese (and, oh, did I mention cheese?) - what more could a person ask for?
Poor Ann of Split Pear-sonality was sick recently with a stomach flu and one of the few things she could stomach during this time was this Irish Potato and Leek Soup. It looks delicious to me!
Reeni, who is the queen of interesting pasta dishes, creates this fusion dish of Cabbage, Sausage, and Bacon Noodles in Cheddar-Mustard Sauce. Be sure to check it out over at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice.
Mia of Bright Morning Star went on an Irish spree this month! She created an Irish Freckle Bread,
Irish Beef Stew
Blue Ribbon Soda Bread
St. Paddy's Day cookies all of which put me in Irish heaven!
Nicole of Prevention, RD really channeled her Irish ancestors for this challenge. She served up some Brown Soda Bread along with some green beer. Classic.
Marisa of The Creative Pot almost didn't share this Dublin Coddle with Guinness due to the hot temperatures on the other side of the hemisphere! Thanfully she did, because this looks so hearty and delicious!
Debbi put a new spin on an old recipe over at Debbi Does Dinner. Irish Apple Mash is a combination of mashed potatoes and apples that result in a fantastic side dish! How refreshing does THAT sound?
My favorite part of holidays is the food. And Val of More Than Burnt Toast definitely agrees with me. She whipped up this Grilled Guinness Marinated Steak with Colcannon-Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes for St. Patrick's day and enjoyed every second of it! I certainly understand why,
Need a good and delicious bread to throw together in the morning? Martha's Irish Brown Bread over at Seaside Simplicity is enough to make your mouth water. For days. You should check it out.
In the spirit of the holiday, Kim of The Ungourmet made this Irish Stew with Lamb Meatballs . She must have known that my favorite meat was lamb! How delicious!
Natasha of 5 Star Foodie, always one to cook outside of the box, is sharing her Bacon and Cabbage Terrine . This dish is super unique - I don't think I've ever seen anything like it!
One of the few things that gets me out of bed in the morning is homemade bread. Piper's Sweet Irish Scones seen at Piper's World are exactly the kind of thing that I crave at 6AM. Well done.
Susan must know of my intense love of potatoes because her Bird Flanagan Potato Pancakes really hit the spot. Check out these delicious little patties over at Savoring Time In The Kitchen.
Faith of An Edible Mosaic filled her post full of St. Paddy's day fun. A perusal of Chicago's "green river" and sone awesome stew to go along with it are just fantastic. Guinness Beef Stew with Irish Brown Soda Bread
What do you do with all of that extra Guinness you have lying around? You make cake, obviously! Check out Barbara's Chocolate Guinness Cake over at Moveable Feasts,
Andreas also uses Guinness in his dish, but in a way that I've never seen before - ICE CREAM. Cold or not, I'll take ice cream any day. Plus in this increasingly warm weather, it's always fun to hae a refreshing (and delicious homemade variety). Check out the Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream over at Delta Kitchen
You win some, you lose some is Deb of Kahakai Kitchen's motto. She doctored up this Lamb and Guinness Stew with Potato Scones until it was not only edible but absolutely delicious!
KC of Kits Chow loves the recipe for sponge cake as it is so versatile! Her Yellowman, Irish Sponge Toffee looks especially delicious.

Kristen of Frugal Antics of A Harried Homemaker takes on the semi-crazy feat of making her own home corned beef . I personally think this is awesome - the more fresh, real food, the better!

And of course there is my dish of Irish Beef and Guinness Stew. The only dish that has really ever gotten me excited about eating meat and potatoes.

So there you have it! Thanks to everyone for participating.

The next stop on our culinary journey is Haiti! Please send your entries to before April 30th!

Regional Recipes

Once upon a time there was a girl.

A girl with a dream.

She wanted. You see. To eat the world. All from a tiny kitchen. In a tiny apartment. In New York City.

And not just that. She wanted to spread the love. To all of you.

And that's how Regional Recipes was born. (Not really. It was actually the brainchild of Blazing Hot Wok. That was then passed onto the girl in question - Joanne of Eats Well With Others. And somehow ended up here. Adrift in the winds of bloggerdom.)

But what is Regional Recipes, you ask?

It's a blogging event that celebrates food from all over the world! Each month a region will be selected and people should post a recipe originating from that area. Submissions should be for a particular dish or should spotlight a particular ingredient that is widely used and somewhat unique to that region. To make it really interesting, I think participants should give some background about the dish or ingredient. By background, I’m not thinking just facts, but maybe a little story. Give us some context. Why is this dish great? How did you come upon it? During your travels? Did a friend make it for you? Your mom taught it to you? That type of stuff.

Here are the rules.

The Rules:
1. Make a dish, write it up and include a picture. I really think pictures give people an idea of what the dish should look like and convince them why they should try it.

2. In your write-up, make sure you link to this page and to Eats Well With Others so other people can find the information on this event.

If you want a logo to include in your post you may use this one:

Blazing Hot Wok

3. Submit your entry to me at Include your name (or handle), your location, your blog’s name and URL, the permalink to the post, and a picture.

4. Entries should be submitted by the end of the month so the round-up can be posted on the ASAP!

Regional Recipes Round-Ups

#1 Middle East

#2 Ireland - to come

#3 Haiti - Deadline April 30th