Khmer Stir Fried Ginger and Beef-Cambodia

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I haven't had time to get to the Asian grocery store and I've been short on time so I chose this simple recipe. There's a more elaborate Khmer recipe I'm going to try when I have some time.

Cooking fish sauce stinks to high heaven but the resulting dish is very good.

Look for young unwrinkled ginger otherwise you'll get the "cat hair" effect.

Khmer Stir Fried Ginger and Beef-Saiko cha k'nye From Hot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffrey Alford

1/2 lb boneless sirloin or ribeye cut into thin slices
1/2 lb ginger peeled and cut into matchsticks
3 tbs vegetable or peanut oil
3-4 garlic cloves smashed and minced
2 tbs fish sauce
2 tsp sugar

Heat a wok over medium high heat and add oil when hot. When oil is hot stir fry garlic until it starts to golden. Add meat and stir fry until it changes color. Add fish sauce, sugar and ginger and cook until tender about 4-5 minutes. Serve over rice.

Spiced Orange Shrimp Ceviche-Ecuador

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This appetizer is out of this world!

It comes from the aforementioned Greatest Dishes cookbook.

Chunky zesty sauce with crunchy onion and cool cilantro. A refreshing cooler for a hot summer day.

Most cerviches are raw fish "cooked" in lime juice and seasoned. This incarnation is more like a shrimp cocktail.

And I loved the presentation. We used the endive leaves to scoop up the cerviche.

The book states that ketchup is indeed an authentic cerviche ingredient in Ecuador. She also suggests using some chopped jicama for crunch or mango for sweetness.

Spiced Orange Shrimp Ceviche
From The Greatest Dishes: Around the World in 80 Recipes by Anya Von Bremzen

1 lb uncooked shrimp
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
4 tbs fresh lime juice or more to taste
2 large garlic cloves chopped
1 small jalepeno cored and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
large pinch ground cumin
small pinch ground cinnamon
small of ground cloves
dash of tabasco sauce
1 medium red onion quartered, thinly sliced
1 medium tomato seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves plus more for garnish
2 tbs olive oil
Belgian endive for garnish

Boil salted water and add shrimp. Remove from heat and let sit for 1 1/2 minute. Drain and immediately place shrimp in ice water. Drain, pat dry, peel and devein shrimp.

Place ketchup in a large bowl and whisk in the orange juice until blended. Whisk in lemon and lime juices. Add garlic through tabasco. Taste and adjust lime juice. It should be sweet tart and spicy.

In a large non-reactive bowl toss shrimp, onion tomato and cilantro. Pour the marinade over shrimp and toss in the oil. Cover and refrigerate 8-24 hours tossing once or twice.

Serve in martini glasses with the endive as a garnish

Peruvian Grilled Chicken-Peru

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This recipe comes from the September issue of Gourmet magazine. I'm assuming you all know how to grill chicken so I didn't include directions here.

I loved the flavorful marinade. Peruvian food has a heavy Japanese influence hence the soy sauce. The other item you see on the plate is Tostones from the same issue. I didn't include the recipe here because I didn't think they were very good.

Pollo A La Brasa (Peruvian Grilled Chicken)

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbs fresh lime juice
5 garlic cloves
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 chicken, quartered

Blend soy sauce through oil in blender. Put in large ziplock bag and marinate 8-24 hours.



I got a request for Khmer food. That person would be my brother, a chef, who lived in Cambodia for over 10 years. My sister-in-law is Khmer.

Tomorrow I'm making a Peruvian dinner so it will have to happen next week. Meanwhile...

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I'm not a big beef eater but Wild Oats had some beautiful grass fed ribeyes on sale. I'll spare you my rant on why you should eat grass fed beef(better for the cow, better for you).

Seeing them made me crave Chimichurri, which is my favorite condiment for beef.

This recipe comes from The Greatest Dishes!: Around the World in 80 Recipes by Anya Von Bremzen. The book is pretty much the worlds greatest culinary hits and is a great choice for those who want to dabble in international cuisines but who are wary of being too adventurous.

The CLBB is a bad influence. I had posted that I didn't have any cast iron cookware and was immediately told to get a cast iron skillet NOW! Someone mentioned Marshalls had Lodge for $9.99 and, well, my car happened to find the Marshalls across the street on my lunch hour. I didn't find the skillet but I did find a really nice cast iron grill pan for $14.

Unfortunately I couldn't do this steak in the cast iron skillet. It's still 110 degrees here and heating up the house and opening the windows is not an option. Maybe this winter.

Chimichurri from The Greatest Dishes by Anya Von Bremzen

1 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
6 large garlic cloves chopped
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 to 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp Goya adobo seasoning(I skipped it)
1/4 cup mild olive oil
2/3 cup red wine vinegar

In a mini processor process parsley and garlic until minced but not pureed. Add a little vinegar if necessary to help processing.
Scrape into a bowl and let sit 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste and let the sauces stand at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. It will keep refrigerated for a week.

serve on steak.

Peppery Hot and Garlicky Fish and Carrots in Oil-Jazar bi Zeit-Libya/Algeria

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If you like Claudia Roden's Arabesque then you'll love The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. At 513 pages she covers every region of the Middle East.

I was happy to find a small Middle Eastern Market near my house(with an African Market and an Eastern European Market across the street!). I stocked up on a few things mentioned in the book. I didn't find Argan oil but there's a large Middle Eastern Market downtown that may carry it.

For this dish I bought a can of harissa instead of making my own. The homemade is probably much better but I was feeling lazy.

She warns that the fish is spicy but I didn't find it particulary hot. Then again I'm not a wimp when it comes to spices. I think I may up the harissa to 1 tablespoon next time I make this.

I loved the mint with the carrots. I didn't have dried mint but I had some fresh that had to be used quicly so I chopped the rest of it up and added it at the last minute.

Here's a tip. If a recipe calls for a small amount of tomato paste I take what I need and put the rest in a ziplock, smash it flat and freeze. Whenever I need another small amount of paste I just break off a chunk. I did this with my canned harissa too.

Peppery Hot and Garlicky Fish-L'Hout Hraimy

The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden

1 whole head of garlic peeled
2 tsp tomato paste
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 teaspoon harissa(recipe to follow if you want to make your own)or buy a can.
or you can sub 1/2 tsp ground chili pepper
juice of one lemon
2 lbs fish filets(I used cod)

puree the garlic in a food processor. Add to skillet with tomato paste and stir in oil and the rest of the ingredients except the fish. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Add the fish and cook over low heat 3-10 minutes turning once until done(mine took about 6 minutes)
serve hot.

Makes 3/4 to 1 cup

2 oz dried hot chili peppers stems and seeds removed
4 peeled garlic cloves
1 tsp ground caraway
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
Olive Oil

Soak the peppers in water for 30 minutes until soft. Drain and pound with the garlic, spices and a little salt in a mortar and pestle, or blend in a food processor adding just enough oil to make a paste. Press into a har and cover with oil. It keeps for many weeks in the refrigerator if covered with oil.

Carrots in Oil-Jazar bi Zeit

1 lb carrots peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tbs dried mint
2 tbs olive oil

Put the carrots in a pan and cover with water. Add salt and simmer until tender about 20 minutes. Uncover and let liquid reduce(I poured most of it out) Add garli, mint and oil and cook a few minutes more.

A Tunisian version calls for 1 tbs tomatoe paste in the cooking water.

Mint and Parsley Salad with Rice -Lebanon

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The recipe says this is four servings but they're going to be four generous servings. It makes a LOT! I liked it on it's own and ended up adding more lemon juice.

This will be great in a pita for tomorrows lunch or, as the book suggests, as a vegetable stuffing.

Tabbouleh Bi Roz
From Arabesque

1 cup basmati rice
2 cups loosely packed chopped flat leaf parsley
7 scallions thinly sliced
juice of 1 to 1 1/2 lemons
5 tbs olive oil
black pepper
5 ripe tomatoes diced
Romaine lettuce(optional)

Cook the rice according to package directions and let cool.

In a large bowl add salt, parsley and scallions. Mix.

Whisk lemon juice olive oil and pepper and stir into mixture. Serve on flat plate topped with tomatoes. More lemon juice can be added if you want a sharper flavor.

Tuna wth Red Bell Pepper Sauce-Morocco

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I'm always nervous searing my own tuna. I don't know why as ahi is quite tasty raw.

Tuna is expensive and I was only making enough for myself so I had the fish monger cut me a small piece. Hence the little squares.

This recipe is also from Arabesque which is my new favorite cookbook!

Hout Bil Felfa (Tuna with Red Bell Pepper Sauce)

4 bell peppers
2 unpeeled garlic cloves
3 tbs red or white wine vinegar
3 tbs olive oil

3 tbs olive oil
4 thick tuna steaks
chopped flat leaf parsley

Prepare sauce. Place bell peppers and garlic cloves on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Broil until garlic is roasted and skin on peppers is black and blistered. Place the peppers in a zplastic bag for approximately 15 minutes. Take the skin off the garlic. When the peoppers are cool enpugh to handle, peel rough cop and place in food processor with garlic vinegar and oil. Puree.

Heat the oil in the skillet and sear the tuna for no more than one minute on each side. It should still be red in the center.

Serve on top of the auce sprinkled with the parsley.

Chicken with Tomato Pilaf-Turkey

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This Turkish dish is from Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon by Claudia Roden. I love this cookbook. It's beautifully photographed, the recipes are easy and the ingredients are readily accessible at any grocery store or Middle Eastern market. The recipes are also appealing if you're cooking for someone who isn't really adventurous.

This dinner went together easily. Minimal chopping and 2 pots. I cut the recipe in half so I'd have dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. I used thighs. I just cut the skin off, trimmed the fat and cut the meat off the bone. I also cheated and didn't use butter and oil for the chicken. I just used a little bit of butter. And I didn't use as much butter in the rice as the recipe indicated. I also sprinkled it with Zatar and lemon juice.

I had a Japanese eggplant that needed to be used so I brushed it with olive oil and sprinkled it with salt and pepper and served it on the side.

Chicken With Tomato Pilaf (Tavuk Ve Domatesli Pilav)
From Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon by Claudia Roden

Serves 4
1 1/2 cups Basmati or long grain rice
1 lb ripe tomatoes, peeled (I didn't peel mine)
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 tsp sugar
salt and black pepper
1/2 stick butter cut into pieces

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 tbs sunflower oil
2 tbs butter
salt and black pepper
2 tbs chopped parsley
quartered lemon or sumac

Soak rice in cold water for a few minute and drain and rinse.
Cut tomatoes into quarters and cut off stem. Puree to a liquid in a food processor. Add enough water to the tomato to make the mixture 2 2/3 cups.

Put the tomato in a sauce pan with crumbled bouillon cube, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add rice, stir, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile stir fry chicken in melted butter and oil until browned.

Remove rice from heat and stir in butter pieces until melted.

Pile rice on plate and top with chicken and cilantro. Sprinkle with sumac and lemon juice if desired.

Mean Chef's Essential Roasted Tomato-Jalapeño Salsa-Mexico

I love salsa!! I can eat it like there's no tomorrow. It's healthy, satisfying and so easy to make. This recipe is from Rick Bayless. It's not tremendously spicy but it does have a backkick to it. I made mine in my mortar.

Roast these:
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Pound the garlic and chiles with salt
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Add tomatoes
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Add onions, cilantro and vinegar
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1 lb red ripe tomatoes
2 large fresh jalapeno chilies
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar (optional)

1. Roasting the basic ingredients:.
2. The broiler method: Lay the tomatoes on a baking sheet and place about 4 inches below a very hot broiler. Roast until blistered and blackened on one side, about 6 minutes; with a spoon or pair of tongs, flip the tomatoes and roast on the other side.
3. The griddle method: Line a griddle or heavy skillet with aluminum foil and heat over medium. Lay the tomatoes on the foil and roast, turning several times, until blistered, blackened and softened, about 10 minutes. Don't worry if skin sticks to the foil. Cool, then peel the skins, collecting all the juices with the tomatoes. While the tomatoes are roasting, roast the chiles and unpeeled garlic directly on an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet (you already have one set up if you've griddle-roasted the tomatoes) over medium. Turn occasionally until both chiles and garlic are blackened in spots and soft, 5 to 10 minutes for the chiles, about 15 minutes for the garlic. Cool, pull the stems off the chiles and peel the papery skins from the garlic.
4. Grinding the salsa:.
5. The mortar method: In a large mortar, use the pestle to crush and grind the chiles, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt to a coarse-textured paste (this will release a wonderfully pungent aroma), paying special attention to breaking up the chile skins. A few at a time, grind in the roasted tomatoes, transferring the ground mixture to a bowl if the mortar gets unmanageably full.
6. The food processor or blender method: In a food processor or blender, grind the chiles, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt to a coarse paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Add the tomatoes and pulse a few times until you have a coarse-textured puree. Transfer the salsa to a serving bowl, and stir in any reserved tomato juices.
7. Final seasoning. In a strainer, rinse the onion under running water, shake off the excess and stir into the salsa, along with the cilantro and optional vinegar. Add water, if necessary, to give the salsa a thickish, but easily spoonable, consistency (2 to 4 tablespoons is the norm). Taste and season with salt, usually a scant 1/4 teaspoon, and the salsa's ready to serve.

Thai Lime Beef Salad

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Back to Asian food! I wanted to make something refreshing that wouldn't heat up the kitchen.

I've made this salad twice and love it! The blend of herbs in the salad and seasoning in the dressing is perfect. I grilled my meat instead of broiling.

I got this recipe off The Monthly Challenge Blog but it's originally from the Bon Appetit (May 2001). The original source is The Blue Elephant Restaraunt in Paris (

Thai Lime Beef Salad

For the dressing:
7 T. fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)
7 T. fish sauce (nam pla)
3 T. minced, seeded jalapeno chilies
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. sugar

For the salad:
1 lb. flank steak
1 head romaine lettuce, torn in pieces
4 T. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tomatoes, quartered
3/4 c. chopped shallots
1/4 c. matchstick-size strips peeled cucumber
1/4 c. diced celery
1 T. chopped fresh mint
1 T. minced fresh lemongrass, or 1 t. grated lemon peel
1/4 c. thinly sliced radishes

Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Let stand 30 minutes. (Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temp. before continuing).

Preheat broiler. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Broil to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer meat to cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut meat across grain into 2.5 inch wide strips. Cut strips crosswise into thin slices. Combine meat slices, lettuce, cilantro and next 6 ingredients (through lemongrass) in large bowl. Add enough dressing to taste (may not need all) and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with radishes.

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Chicken with White Wine, Grape Juice and Cilantro and Baked Rice-Spain

I made Spanish food again last night. These two recipes are from La Cocina de Mama: The Great Home Cooking of Spain by Penelope Casas

I always use bone in/skin on chicken. I think it has a lot more flavor than boneless skinless meat and you can always take the skin off after cooking. This recipe calls for a whole chicken cut up but I just used some thighs I had in the freezer.

It was a really easy meal to put together. It was also a lot milder than the Asian food I've been eating. I think I've grown too accustomed to spicy garlicky food.

I enjoyed these two recipes and would definitely make them again.

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Pollo a la Uva Blanca con Cilantro (Chicken with White Wine, Grape Juice and Cilantro

From the Andalucia region of Spain

3lb Chicken, cut up
Kosher or sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, slivered
3/4 c dry white wine
1/4 c plus 2 tbs white grape juice
6 tbs minced cilantro

Heat oil in shallow pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken. Sautee chicken until golden all over. Add onion and sautee until wilted. Add wine, grape juice and 3 tbs of the cilantro. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and turn up the heat. Boil the sauce until reduced and slightly thickened. Serve sprinkled with remaining cilantro.

Arroz al Horno (Baked Rice)

2 tbs olive oil or butter
2 tbs minced onion
1 c Valencian or arborio rice
1 c chicken broth
1 c water
2 tbs minced parsley
1 1/1 tsp thyme or 1/4 tsp dried
few strands saffron crumbled

Preheat oven 400. Sautee onion until softened. Add rice through saffron and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and salt to taste. Cover and place in oven for 15 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Bartolome's Malaga Style White Gazpacho-Spain

Last night I perused La Cocina De Mama: The Great Home Cooking of Spain by Penelope Casas and the photo of Bartolome's Malaga-Style White Gazpacho (Ajo Blanco Malagueno de Bartolome Rodrigo Lucena) caught my eye.

I love cold soups in the summer.

I had accidently bought raw almonds at Trader Joe's instead of my usual roasted which turned out to be a good thing as I have everything I need to make this recipe.

This morning I blanched the almonds(cover with boiling water for exactly one minute, drain and plunge in ice water and squeeze to peel) threw everything in the processor as directed and put it in the refrigerator.

According to the book this is a gazpacho typical of Malaga and the sweet green grapes are essential to counterpoint the tang of the garlic and vinegar. The shrimp are not typical but add flair.

The end result was phenomenal. The grapes and shrimp beautifully complimented the soup.

I added a bit more vinegar before serving.

This would be a great "company" soup course.

Bartolome's Malaga-Style White Gazpacho (Ajo Blanco Malagueno de Bartolome Rodrigo Lucena

One six inch piece cut of firm textured French bread crust removed
1/2 lb(about 1 1/2 cups) blanched almonds
2 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
2 tbs sherry vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt or sea salt
1 cup mild extra virgin olive oil, preferably Andulasian hojiblanca
4 cups ice water
16-24 skinned seedless green grapes or 16 small balls of green melon or apple
12 small cooked shrimp(optional)

Soak bread in water and squeeze dry. Place in food processor, add the almonds and garlic and blend till very smooth. Add vinegar and salt and with motor running add the oil in a thin stream until incorporated. Gradually pour in water.

Transfer to covered bowl and chill overnight of for several hours. Before serving taste and adjust salt and vinegar as needed. Garnish with 3-4 grapes and 3 shrimp if using.

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Squid with Ginger Garlic Sauce (Muoc Tuoi)-Vietnam

Last night I discovered I had all the ingredients on hand for this dish from Vietnam. Once again it's from Hot Sour Salty Sweet.

The recipe goes into detail on how to clean a squid but I bought a bag of frozen squid tubes for another recipe some time ago so I just cut one into rings.

This was easy to put together. The sauce would also be good with an Asian salad or as a dip for summer rolls.

I plated it like a salad and served it with a side of rice.

Squid with Ginger Garlic Sauce (Muoc Tuoi)

2 lbs cleaned squid chopped into rings
2-3 tbs lime juice
1/2 c chopped coriander

Boil the squid and cook until tender 4-6 minutes
Drain and place in a bowl with lime juice. Toss to coat.
Serve on a bed of lettuce. Sprinkle with coriander. Serve with Ginger garlic sauce.

Ginger Garlic Sauce

2 tbs minced ginger
2 garlic cloves minced
1 bird chile minced
1 tsp sugar
3 tbs Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
3 tbs lime juice
1-2 tbs water

Mix well.

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Aromatic Minced Pork-Shan Style (Laab Moo Tai Yai)-Thailand

I'm cooking Thai again. This recipe is from Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through South East Asia by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.

One of my favorite Thai dishes is Larb(also known as Laab)so I was happy to see I had all the ingredients for the Shan (NE Thailand) style on hand.

This is spicy hot and instead of poaching the meat, as in other larb recipes, the meat is stir fried with a paste and herbs

Normally the meat is minced or ground but I left mine in bigger chunks.

The end result was fantastic. I loved the flavors.

Aromatic Minced Pork-Shan Style (Laab Moo Tai Yai)

6-8 cloves of garlic, skins on
3 TBS minced lemongrass
1 TBS minced galangal
6 dried Thai red chiles
1 tsp salt
1 TBS toasted sesame seeds

Put the garlic cloves in a dry pan over high heat and roast until the skins are mostly blackened.

When cool remove skins and chop.

Now you can do this in your mortar and pestle but I used my mini-chopper.

Finely chop garlic with salt then add remaining ingredients and process one by one until a paste is formed.


2 TBS peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
3/4 lb ground pork
1/2 cup chopped scallion greens
1/2 cup rough chopped coriander
1/4 cup chopped mint

Heat a large wok over high heat and add the oil. Add the shallots, lower the heat to medium and cook till browned about 4 minutes. Add the paste and break up with a spoon. Add the pork and cook till browned on all sides then an additional 2 minutes. Add the scallion greens, coriander and half the chopped mint. Remove from heat and mound on plates. Sprinkle with remaining mint. Serve with rice(I used jasmine) and vegetables.

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