Posts Tagged With: history

¡Viva México

Hola viajeros y amantes del gourmet.  Hello travelers and foodie lovers.  This week we explore Mexico.  A current attraction in Cancún, Mexico is “Bodies” by Jason deCaires Taylor.  Taylor creates hundreds of life-size human sculptures which act as a coral reef.  With the installment of the sculpture, marine biomasses, fish and tourism will divert attraction from the old reefs, thus giving the old reefs a better chance of natural rejuvenation.  Another attraction to Mexico is Copper Canyon which you might recognize the name from the show “Man vs. Wild” on the Discovery Channel.  The canyon is made up of 6 distinct canyons in the southwestern region of Chihuahua, Mexico.

 

Mexican food and the culture is something to be appreciated.  Like most countries, a meal is a bonding experience.  Mexican foods and culture are no stranger to this experience.  Mexico has introduced many wonderful products such as peanuts, vanilla, beans, tomatoes and of course CHOCOLATE!  From the Aztec’s usage of salsa and tamales to the Mayan’s incorporation of tortillas with bean paste, ancient Mexico has introduced myriad infusions of their cuisine to the world’s table.  With European settlers in the 1500’s bringing new products and livestock, Mexican food had reached new tasty heights.  The combination of indigenous and European traditional food has become Mexican cuisine as we know it today.  Present Mexican cuisine is so delicious and hard to resist.  With a few margaritas, an afternoon meal can easily run into a meal at dusk.

 

This week I leave you with a Black Bean Salad recipe found in my book Around the World in 80 Recipes.  The book can be purchased on Kindle or Paperback at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4.

Have a wonderful week and I look forward to exploring South America with you next week.

 

Black Beans Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans , rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can corn , drained
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of hot sauce

 

Directions

Cook brown rice by measure out 1 cup of brown rice.  Rinse the rice thoroughly in a sieve or strainer until the water runs clear.  Heat a little oil in the pot over medium heat and fry the rice for a moment before adding the water.  This helps build flavor, but is definitely optional.  Add 2 ¼ cups water and stir just once.  Bring to a simmer and cover over tightly.  Turn the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes.  Remove the lid and stir once to make sure there is no more liquid water at the bottom of the pan.

In a medium bowl, combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, oil, salt, pepper and hot sauce.

To serve, place a scoop of hot rice in a bowl or on a plate, top with a generous scoop of the black bean mixture.  Stir together before eating.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Let’s Go To The Fair!

Hello all you traveling Foodie lovers.  This week we are talking about going to the fair.  Fairs are a meeting grounds for everything human culture.  Fairs have been around for many years.  It’s all about the show casing.  From arts and crafts, live stock and farming techniques to the crazy foods.  Which type of foods?  Well these days it’s not only fresh but its deep-fried.  Trends evolve from year to year at the state, county and global fairs.

The first fair in the world is not exactly known.  However, the chronicles of mankind are filled with references to fairs, not in an institutional context, but as a part of everyday communal interaction.  Indication in scriptures point to the existence of fairs as early as 500 BC.  Merchants from all over the countries would come together to trade regional goods and native wares.  Later, entertainment and other forms of activity were added to gatherings making them into the fairs that we recognize today.  In 1765, the first Northern American fair was presented in Windsor, Nova Scotia.  Elkanah Watson, from New England, earned the title, “Father of US agricultural fairs” by organizing the Berkshire Agricultural Society.  He created the Cattle Show in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in September 1811.  Today there are more than 3,200 fairs in North America alone, bringing people closure together to share and learn about the agriculture and domestic products.

Let’s not forget about the foods of the fair.  Between all the exhibits and competitions, people get hungry and they want food.  What kind of foods?  Well, it seems every so often fairs foods start a new trend.  Right now it’s everything on a stick and something being deep fried.  Let’s not forget about the classic funnel cake or some local ice cream.  Some of the more interesting treats we have tried were hash brown covered hot dogs, or a banana rolled in a flour tortilla and then deep fried.  Have you ever tried fried beer?  Or fried coke? How about a fried Twinkie?  Next time you are at the fair, explore some of the more interesting foodie goodness.

 

With so many fairs all over the globe I know that many of you will find one close to you.  I’d like to leave you lovely foodies with a corn dog recipe and funnel cakes.

 

Corn Dog

Ingredients

  • 1 quart oil for deep frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 pounds hot dogs
  • wooden sticks

 

Directions:

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in bacon drippings.  Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg, buttermilk, and baking soda.  Mix until everything is smooth and well blended.  Insert wooden sticks into the ends.  Dip the hot dogs in the batter one at a time, shaking off the excess.  Deep fry a few at a time in the hot oil until they are as brown as you like them.  Drain on paper towels and serve.

 

Funnel Cake

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

 

Directions:

In a deep-fryer, or heavy skillet, heat oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  In a large bowl, beat milk and eggs together.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Stir into the egg mixture until smooth.  While covering the funnel hole with one hand, pour in 1 cup of batter.  Start from the center in a swirling motion to make a 6 inch round.  Fry on both sides until golden brown.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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AMER I CAN!

Good day to all!  Welcome to this week’s The Traveling Foody blog.  It’s Amer I “can” not Amer I “can’t.”  Why am I talking this way?   Well, today many of us American’s are celebrating the adoption of our independence.  With the invention of the internet we are able to share what this day means to us and to other nations.  It’s an awesome feeling to be free and be able to open up and share knowledge and culture between people from all nations.  I like to invite all our travelers and Foody lovers all over the globe to celebrate with us the joy each other’s stories and recipes which will bring all of us closer together.  I must add that I am grateful for my life on this beautiful earth and being able to share this earth with you, my family and friends.

 

North American food is as diverse as the land. In recent years North America has seen more sustainable farms popping up and pushing away from corporate and government subsidized farming.  People are willing to pay a little more for quality local foods.  The turn of the 19th and 20th centuries brought to light an influx of immigrants who developed a rich assortment of food preparation throughout the region.  From the Pacific coast to the Atlantic, North America has been a melting pot of cultures.  The vast rich farmland of North America provides people the perfect conditions for farming various fruits, grains, vegetables, and livestock.  The Pacific and Atlantic oceans also provide people with bountiful treats from the sea.  The combination of the North American topography and culture will astound the traveler.  North American cuisine will continue to fuse new and old traditions.

I would like to share with you some strange facts about food and about America.  Included in this week’s blog are recipes from the North American section of my book, Around the World in 80 Recipes.  Thank you to my good friends, Ben and Rachel Shelton, for letting us use their kitchen and for the beautiful photos they were able to capture for the book.

You can purchase the book at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4.  For more information on upcoming books visit http://thetravelingfoody.com.

 

Strange facts:

Apple rock!  Why?  They are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

There were 57 varieties of pickles Heinz ketchup produced.  Now you know why there is a 57 on the bottle.

Wrigley’s gum was the first product to have a bar code.

Charles Jung invented the fortune cookie in 1918 in America.

If you chew gum while peeling onions you shouldn’t tear up.

California and Arizona produce 95% of America’s entire lemon crop.

In the American Civil War, acorns were used as a substitute for coffee.

 

Grilled Salmon

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs salmon fillet
  • lemon pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil

 

Directions

Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder and salt.  In a small bowl stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved.  Place fish in a large sealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat grill for medium heat.  Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

 

 

Crock Pot Bison Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups dry red kidney beans (soaked overnight in 2 quarts of water)
  • 4 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped yellow onion (2 medium)
  • 2 lbs ground bison
  • 1 can diced plum tomatoes (28 oz – 796 ml. size)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (23 oz – 680 ml. size)
  • 1 small can tomato paste (5.5 oz – 156 ml. size)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

Combine chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne in a small bowl and set aside.

Put vegetable oil in large saucepan.  Heat over medium-high heat, add onions and sauté for 2 minutes.  Sprinkle in set aside spices, stir to combine with onions.  Let sizzle for a minute or two, or until the aroma from cooking spices becomes quite noticeable.

Immediately add the ground bison.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the meat has completely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Transfer saucepan contents to the crock pot.  Drain the kidney beans.

Add kidney beans to the crock pot along with the plum tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.  Sprinkle in salt.  Stir to combine all ingredients.

Cover and set on high heat.  Serve in a bowl.
For light red kidney beans, cook the chili a minimum of 8 ½ hours; for dark red kidney beans no less than 10 hours is required.

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GOOOOOOAL!

Welcome travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s The Traveling Foody Blog.  In lieu of the UEFA EURO 2012 finals this Sunday in Kyiv, Ukraine; I would like to explore the Ukraine.  First off, I must say that the people of Ukraine are intelligent, beautiful, and innovative and have been very gracious in hosting the UEFA Euro.  Kyiv is centrally located in the northern part of the country.  Early travelers passed through the city on their travels between Constantinople and the Scandinavian countries.  Not only is Kyiv the capital but it is the largest city in the Ukraine.  The country is well known for its history, higher educational institutions and high tech outsourcing industries.

Although the traveler might not find any street food in the city, the historic landmarks and amazing scenery declare that Kyiv is not a city that will let The Traveling Foody down.  The Ukraine and its culture have thousands of years experience with preparing treats that keep the belly satisfied.  A couple of my favorites are Pirozhkis and Borscht.  I would like to leave you with a Cabbage Pirozhki and a Borscht dish recipe. Both recipes and information are available in my publication of Around the World in 80 Recipes @ http://thetravelingfoody.com/#

I hope that all of you have enjoyed traveling with us and enjoy the game on Sunday.

Cabbage Pirozhki

Ingredients for dough

  • 2½ cups sifted flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • Ice water

 

Ingredients for filling

  • 5 cups chopped cabbage (2 small heads of cabbage)
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon dill or parsley, minced
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs

 

Directions

Dough: Sift dry ingredients together.  Add shortening and butter into dry mixture, mixing with a fork until the mixture looks like oatmeal.  Beat the egg slightly in a measuring cup and add enough ice water to make ½ cup. Pour egg and water into the flour mixture and mix well.  Roll out the dough on a board or countertop dusted with flour.  Take egg sized balls of dough, flatten, and roll out.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Make filling: Remove outer leaves from 2 heads of cabbage, and finely chop the cabbage leaves.  Mix cabbage with salt in a bowl and let stand for 15 minutes.  Pour the cabbage into a colander in the sink and drain.  Heat 4 cups of water to boiling and carefully pour boiling water over the cabbage in the colander.   Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the chopped onion. Sauté until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add the drained cabbage to the skillet and continue cooking, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the cabbage is soft.  Remove the shells from the hard-boiled eggs and chop the eggs.  Add dill or parsley and chopped eggs to the cooked cabbage and cook for 2 or 3 minutes longer.  Remove from heat.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Fill each pirozhki with about 1½ Tablespoons of the cabbage mixture.  Pinch edges together and place on a greased cookie sheet.   Bake the pirozhkis for about 15 minutes.

 

Borscht

Ingredients

  • 1 lb beef (with or without bones)
  • 1 lb red beets (3 average ones)
  • ½ lb shredded cabbage
  • 4 small potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic (grated)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley, dill and spring onions

 

Directions

Put beef into a large saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Remove the grease and froth from the broth surface with a spoon.  Add one onion. Cook at low heat for 1-2 hours.

Melt 1 Tablespoon margarine in a saucepan.  Cut red beets into thin sticks and add them into the cooking pot.  Add tomato paste or sliced tomatoes.  Simmer at low heat for 1 hour.  If there is not enough liquid, add some broth. Add vinegar.

Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a frying pan.  Add chopped onions and carrots cut into thin sticks.  Cover and sauté for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Heat broth to boiling.  Add chopped cabbage and potatoes cut into bars.  Cook for 5 minutes. Add sauté and cook another 10 minutes.  Add simmered red beets. Cook another 5 minutes. Add salt, black pepper and garlic.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Muy Caliente!

Welcome everyone to this week’s The Traveling Foody blog.  The kids are out of school and you spent all year working hard and saving up for your vacation this summer.   I hope everyone is ready to kick start their summer with some HEAT!  That’s right foodies; it’s time to discover the powers of “Hot Sauce.”

Hot sauce has been used for thousands of years and containers for the sauce have been found during archeological digs and from sunken ships.  Aztecs have been noted for using the chili’s that make these sauces and began refining them as early as 3500 B.C.  Not only are hot sauces used for flavoring our foods but for medicinal usage as well.  On their ventures to the Southern America’s, the early European explorers brought these peppers back to Europe and India where the popularity became infused in their cultural cuisine.

There are many different kinds of chili’s that are use and many types of sauces that are made around the world.  A cluster of chemicals called capsaicinoids are the cause of the heat in chili peppers.  When making the sauce, the peppers are infused with anything from oil, vinegar, beer, water, alcohol, vegetables and fruit pulp.

The hotness of the chili pepper and hot sauces are measured using a scale called the Scoville scale.

Today you can find a wide range of hot sauces.  Many of these sauces have funny names to accompany their heat.  It’s not just about the heat but about the flavors.  Being a popular ingredient, hot sauce contests take place all over the globe.  So get out there and test your palate, meet some new friends and try making your own.  Who knows what you will unleash.

Here is a basic recipe for hot sauce:

First thing you need to do is select your pepper.  There are many types of peppers to choose and this will be up to you to decide.  Once you have selected your pepper you will need to determine the heat level.  Depending on pepper, ½ pound will be milder than if you use 1 pound.

Tips:

  • To reduce the heat of the sauce, cut open the peppers and remove the seeds and membrane.
  • Adding shredded carrots will reduce the heat of the sauce and enhance the fruit flavor of the chili.

Ingredients:

  • ½ to 2 lbs of peppers
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ large onion
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed red peppers
  • 2 Tablespoon Salt

Directions:

Mince one clove of garlic.  Dice ½ of large onion.  Mix garlic, onion, hot peppers after taking seeds out and 16 ounces of tomato sauce in a food processor.  Puree the mix until all thick chunks are gone.  Place the mix in a frying pan. Cook on low to medium heat until simmering.  Add one tablespoon of vinegar.  Strain hot sauce into jar.

Happy summer everyone!

-Damien- The Traveling Foody

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