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Picadillo de platano verde

17 Jun

Picadillo de platano verde reminds me of the hamburger mince gravy my dad made each week.

A colourful, exotic Latin cousin perhaps, with its chunks of red pepper and golden plantain, spicy with cumin and paprika.

I found it interesting that Worcestershire sauce turned up in most of the picadillo recipes I looked at.

Like great-uncle Arthur’s chin or great-aunt Nellie’s hooded eyelids recurring across the generations. Continue reading

Singapore rice noodles

28 Apr

Singapore noodles

It’s an ambition to cook a dish from every country in the world – a sort of travel by fork.

So I was disappointed to learn that my long-time favourite Singapore noodles won’t earn me my Singapore stamp. Turns out they are a Cantonese creation, and probably originated in Hong Kong.

I certainly ate them regularly when I lived in Vancouver and worked a short walk from Chinatown.  Continue reading

Cauliflower and white bean stew

20 Feb

Cauliflower and white bean stew

Cauliflower and white bean stew is a one of those no-fuss, mid-week meals I’ve been making for years.

There’s something vaguely Mediterranean about it – Spanish or maybe Greek – which can be played up by adding smoked paprika, or a scattering of crumbled feta. But generally I just make it as below.

It took awhile for the girls to warm to it (courgette has always been a hard sell for some reason), but they eat it happily now. Continue reading

Mushroom risotto (risotto ai funghi)

7 Jan

mushroom risotto

Mushroom risotto is excellent, warming winter fare. It’s dead easy to make too, aside from all the stirring…

Continue reading

Red-red stew

8 Oct

red red

Red-red is a traditional Ghanaian bean stew that gets its name (and colour) from the tomatoes and palm oil used to prepare it.

The first red-red recipe I tried called for three types of chilli – fresh Scotch bonnet, chilli flakes, and chilli powder (plus additional minced chilli to garnish).

Despite cutting back significantly on the quantity of chilli (and omitting the chilli powder altogether), it was so blisteringly hot the girls were unable to eat it. Continue reading

Lamb-feta burgers with yogurt sauce

4 Oct

Lamb and feta burger with yogurt sauce

These lamb-feta burgers are my first foray into the world of Armenian cooking.

While I’ve met a few Armenians over the years, and seen an unlikely number of Armenian films, thanks to Armenian-Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan, I’m pretty sure I’ve never eaten an Armenian meal.

These lamb-feta burgers were such a hit, we’ll definitely be eating them again.

Continue reading

Spaghetti alio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and olive oil)

26 Sep

Spaghetti alio e olio

For all its simplicity, spaghetti aglio e olio is easy to mess up.

It’s really important not to overcook the garlic – no more than the faintest shade of gold, or it will taste bitter.

It’s also important to measure the salt. Too little, and the dish is insipid – too much and it’s ruined. Continue reading