Month: May 2015

56. Dominican Republic: Asopao de Mariscos

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Dominican Republic, we know it’s in the Caribbean somewhere and they speak Spanish right? Sharing an island with Haïti, the Dominican Republic has seen it’s fair share of good times and bad times. Most vacationers know the Dominican Republic simply as an island of pristine white beaches, all-inclusive resorts, tropical cocktails and ice cold beers. The capital Santo Domingo is the oldest European style city in the America’, with grand cathedrals and old fort walls. But know T-shirt shops or fast food restaurants in sight. No, the Dominicans know what’s good for them, they have their own food.

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Things you don’t know about Dominican Republic:

  • Dominicans love baseball, it’s their number 1 sport! Almost 40% of US baseball players are actually Dominican.
  • The Dominican Republic is the only place in the world where the blue, semi-precious stone called larimar is found. It most closely resembles turquoise.
  • The capital city, Santo Domingo, has a rich history. Founded in 1496, it’s the oldest European settlement in the Americas.
  • The Dominican Republic is the only country in the world to have a bible simble on it’s flag
  • The only place where 5000 humpback whales travel each year to mate

This dish is so delicious, it’s a little bit like a caribbean style paella. And I love paella! Definitely one I will make again to impress someone :D. It’s so easy and has just the right amount of spice! And the fact that you can eat it out of bowl makes me happy. I don’t know what it is with food in bowl but somehow it always gives me a very warm feeling when I eat food out of a bowl.

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Asopao De Mariscos

Ingredients: 2 lbs of shrimp, 1 1/2 cups of rice, 500 ml of fish stock,  2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons tomato paste,  1/2 green bell pepper, 1 red chili pepper, pinch oregano, 1 crushed clove of garlic, 1 pinch black pepper, 1/4 cup chopped seedless black olives,  1/4 cup chopped celery,  1 spoon finely chopped parsley, 1 spoon finely chopped coriander,  1/2 spoon of thyme leaves, salt

  1. In an iron pot heat the oil (reserve 2 spoons of oil).
  2. Add the herbs, olives, spices, tomato paste, peppers, garlic and salt.
  3. Add the shrimps and stir (be careful with hot oil splattering)
  4. Cover and wait two minutes, then stir again.
  5. Add the fishstock and bring to a boil.
  6. Add all remaining ingredients (including the rice)
  7. Stir regularly to avoid excessive sticking. Let 3/4 of the water evaporate, by then a grain of rice should be about 3 times its original size.
  8. Adjust salt to taste. Serve while hot, with a slice of lemon.

55. Dominica: Caribbean Reef Chicken

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Dominica a tropical island in the sun, very often confused with Dominican Republic but that’s on the other side of the Caribbean. Dominica was discovered by Christopher Columbus on the 3th November 1493 on his second trip. He thought he had arrived in India. Oh boy was he of by just a few miles… When he discovered Dominica the Arawak people were living there. Soon after Dominica was colonized by Spain these Arawak people started dying of the flue and smallpox. Nowadays there are only 3000 Arawak people left on the island.

Dominica

Things you didn’t know about Dominica:

  • Dominica is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles and was formed by geothermal volcanic activity.
  •  The main industry is tourism, however the locals are proud of how well preserved their island is and they’re doing everything they can to avoid deforestation. 40% of local power is generated through hydro-electricity thanks to all the waterfalls and rivers. Conservation and eco-tourism aren’t buzzwords on Dominica, they’re a way of life. Even if tourism increases to Dominica, it will never be a high-rise hotel island. (that’s the way to go guys well done!)
  • Dominica is often described as ‘the anti-Caribbean’ and isn’t your average 2-week all-inclusive style island. Since there are now white sandy beaches to be found on Dominica.

This Caribbean Reef Chicken is Sweet and Spicy at the same time! So deliciously caramelized!

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Ingredients: 1 roast chicken,, ½ tsp salt , ¼ tsp. pepper , ½ cup dark brown sugar , 4 tbs. dark rum  (divided) , 1 tbs. lime juice, 2 tsp. lemon pepper , 1 tsp. ginger , ½ tsp ground cloves , ¼ tsp. cinnamon , ¼ tsp. garlic powder , 2 drops sriracha hot sauce , 4 tablespoons of mango chutney, lemon – sliced, lime – sliced

Sprinkle salt and pepper over washed and dried chicken. Set aside.

In a small bowl, make Caribbean paste by mixing together sugar, 2 tablespoons of the rum, lime juice, lemon pepper, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, garlic powder, and hot pepper sauce; set aside.

Place the chicken, skin side up, in a large shallow baking pan. Rub Caribbean paste evenly over the chicken. Bake in a 205 C oven for 75 minutes or until the chicken is fork tender. In a blender, place chutney and remaining 2 tablespoons of rum; process to blend. Spoon chutney mixture over chicken and bake about 10 minutes more or until chutney is warm.

 

 

 

54. Cyprus: Halloumi Salad

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Soo this week I found out that I forgot a country. I was so looking forward to Cuba and Czech Republic that I completely forgot the amazing country of Cyprus! So stupid since I love Mediterranean food!

Cyprus is a complicated place, half Greek and half Turkish but completely part of the European Union. Because of it’s strategic location the history of Cyprus is basically the history between East and West. It’s also an incredibly popular tourist destination. The blue sea, beautiful beaches and rich history attract tons of tourists! And not just the nice kind… amongst Cyprus is know as a party destination. Which means weird people who just came for the cheap booze and hot girls in bikini. Tragic…

cyprus

There are lots of ancient Greek myths about Cyprus supposedly Aphrodite (Greek goddess of love) was born there.

  • Mount Olympus, which is notable in Greek mythology as being the home of the gods, is the tallest mountain in the Troodos range.
  • Cyprus was once the wealthiest nation in the known world. It was during the Copper and Bronze Ages when the island’s rich natural copper resources were exported to other countries.
  • Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is now the only capital in the world to be divided between two nations – North Cyprus & South Cyprus.
  • One of the world’s most famous shipwrecks lies off the Cypriot coast near Limassol Harbour. The Zenobia, with its cargo of vehicles, sunk in 1980.

I had never tried haloumi cheese but now I am hooked my friends! It has the texture of mozzarella but it tastes like goat cheese, oh come on! This pimps up every salad you make!

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Haloumi Salad

Ingredients: about 10 cherry tomatoes, 1/2 bulb of halloumi cheese, cucumber, mint, olive oil

Half the cherry tomatoes, slice the cucumber and slice the halloumi cheese.

Dip the halloumi cheese in olive oil and then fry it in a pan. They are ready when they are a little golden on the outside. Don’t worry it doesn’t melt!

Grab a few mint leaves and put everything in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and your done!

53. Djibouti: Skoudehkaris (Djibouti Rice)

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To be completely honest I hadn’t the slightest idea there was a country called Djibouti let alone where in the world it was situated. After browsing my world map for a while I found a tiny little country next to Somalia right in the horn of Africa called Djibouti,so it’s in East-Africa! Great I haven’t had many East-African countries yet. It’s a quite young country it only declared independence 37 years ago, before that Djibouti was a French colony called French Somaliland. France took advantage of bountiful trade from the nearby Red Sea, Suez Canal and other countries such as Ethiopia, building the Franco-Ethiopian railway in 1897.

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Things you didn’t know about Djibouti

  • Lake Asal: the third-lowest land depression on the planet, this saline lake is also the lowest point in Africa at 155 meters below sea level, and holds 10 times the salt content of any ocean.
  • It is the hottest inhabited in the world. Temperatures pass 45C/120F sometimes with and sometimes without humidity.
  • Space shuttles in need of an emergency landing can use Djibouti in the Grand Bara desert. Next time you are stuck in one and the engine fails, you know where to go. (I can’t prove this but it is a powerful and persistent rumor in Djibouti.)
  • Evaporation is the main activity. It makes the water go out from the famous Lake Assal. Even though the lake is very salty, it gives benefits to the life of the local people in Djibouti. People can use the salt for personal use. Sometimes, people also trade the salt for the commercial purpose.
  • If you want to use taxi, I suggest you to take it before the sunset. When the sunset comes, the fee will be raised 50%.

So this rice this is delicious. I never knew you could get so much flavor into plain rice! This dish did however remind of the first dish I ever cooked for this around the world project for Afghanistan so i you liked that one I can guarantee you will love this one aswell! It’s not refined food, but it’s good old comfort food you want to eat out of a bowl while crying during the Grey’s Anatomy Finale which is exactly what I did!

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Ingredients: 500 g lamb shoulder, diced, 500 g rice, 3 tbsp oil, 500 g fresh tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped, 2 large onions, chopped, salt and black pepper to taste, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom seeds, 1 chopped red chili

Fry the chopped onions in the oil until softened. Add the meat and cook until browned then add the tomatoes and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add all the spices, cover with water and allow to simmer gently for 45 minutes. When the meat is tender add the rice and 500 ml water, bring to the boil reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is done. Cook for a few more minutes to dry the mixture immediately and serve immediately.