Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Rice

This Chinese dish is from the Mandarin style of cooking and is therefore not spicy. If you like spicy food add hot sauce to taste.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1/2 pound bok choy, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
3 carrots, sliced thin on the diagonal
1 sweet onion, quartered and layers separated
2 celery stalks, sliced thin on the diagonal
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, sliced
Hot cooked Jasmine rice

Sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions

Remove any silverskin from the pork. Cut pork into thin 1-inch-long pieces. Season with pepper and salt.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or wok over high. Add half of the pork; cook, stirring, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from skillet. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of the oil and remaining pork.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet. Add bok choy, carrots, celery, onion, remaining salt, ginger, and garlic; cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender-crisp, 5 to 6 minutes.

Whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining sauce ingredients in a bowl. Pour the sauce mixture over the vegetable mixture in the skillet; bring to a simmer over medium-high. Add pork and simmer stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve with rice.

 


America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland.
True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought its cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

Hoppin’ John: A New Year’s Tradition

Forget champagne—in the Southern United States, Hoppin’ John is standard New Year’s fare. This simple dish of peas, pork, and rice has been a tradition since the 1800s. It’s believed to bring luck and peace in the coming year to anyone who eats it.
The first recipes for Hoppin’ John appear in cookbooks that date back to the 1840s, although the mixture of dried peas, rice, and pork was made by Southern slaves long before then. It seems to have originated in the Low Country of South Carolina, an area where plantation owners searched long and hard for a crop that would flourish in the hot, muggy weather. Rice grew well in the river deltas, so it was a natural choice, but the white farmers had no real experience with cultivating rice on a large scale until enslaved West Africans who had grown rice for generations arrived in America.

Although any type of dried peas can be used for Hoppin’ John, the black-eyed pea is the most traditional. This pea happens to have been domesticated in West Africa, which led to the belief that African slaves took the peas with them, planted them in their new surroundings, and created a dish that would remind them of their lost homes. This is probably only partly true. Newly abducted Africans were lucky to have clothes on their backs, and they certainly weren’t encouraged or even allowed to bring sacks of planting grain along with them. What is more likely is that slave traders saw black-eyed peas as an economical and easy way to feed their cargo.

The origins of the name “Hoppin’ John” are slightly less clear. Some say an old, hobbled man called Hoppin’ John became known for selling bowls of peas and rice on the streets of Charleston. Others say slave children hopped around the table in eager anticipation of the dish. Most food historians think the name derives from a French term for dried peas, “pois pigeons.”

It’s also uncertain why the dish became associated with New Year’s and good luck. The most likely story is that slaves would often have the period between Christmas and New Year’s off since no crops were growing at that time. Hoppin’ John was, and still is, often eaten with collard greens, which can resemble paper money and “golden” cornbread. The peas themselves represent coins. Some families boost the potential of their Hoppin’ John by placing a penny underneath the dishes—or adding extra pork, which is thought to bring more luck.

One tradition common in the United States is that each person at the meal should leave three peas on their plate to ensure that the New Year will be filled with luck, fortune, and romance. Another tradition holds that counting the number of peas in a serving predicts the amount of luck (or wealth) that the diner will have in the coming year.

This dish is traditionally a high point of New Year’s Day when a shiny dime is often buried among the black-eyed peas before serving.Whoever gets the coin in his or her portion is assured good luck throughout the year. For maximum good luck in the new year, the first thing that should be eaten on New Year’s Day is Hoppin’ John. If you eat leftover Hoppin’ John the day after New Year’s Day, then the name changes to Skippin’ Jenny since one is demonstrating their determination of frugality. Eating a bowl of Skippin’ Jenny is believed to even better your chances for a prosperous New Year!

Source: Beyond Black-Eyed Pease: New Year’s good-luck foods, by Mick Bann, Dec. 26,2008, Austin Chronicle.

Recipe for Hoppin’ John

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small ham hock or bone
4 celery stalks, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tablespoon)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
8 cups lower-sodium chicken or ham broth
4 cups fresh or frozen black-eyed peas

For the rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups uncooked Carolina Gold rice
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh scallions, sliced
Chopped parsley

Directions
Heat oil in a large pot. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, black pepper, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add broth and black-eyed peas and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until peas are tender about 40 minutes. Drain pea mixture, reserving cooking liquid. Return pea mixture and 1 cup of the cooking liquid to the pot. Cover to keep warm; set aside.
To cook the rice
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add rice and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of the reserved cooking liquid and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until rice is tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, and gently stir into pea mixture in the Dutch oven. Stir in the remaining cooking liquid, 1⁄4 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle servings with parsley and sliced fresh scallions.

 


Rack of Lamb with Pomegranate Sauce

Servings 4

Ingredients

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
½ cup Panko crumbs
1 rack of lamb, “frenched”, about 8 ribs

Directions

Brush the meat area with mustard. Sprinkle it with rosemary and garlic. Press on the panko crumbs.
Place the lamb in a roasting pan with the ribs curving down. Set aside for 1 hour at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 450 F degrees.
Roast the lamb for exactly 20 minutes for rare or 25 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 15 minutes, then cut into individual ribs and serve with the Pomegranate Sauce.

Pomegranate Sauce

Ingredients

2 cups of water
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 garlic clove minced
¼ cup molasses
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Set aside 2 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds. Place the remaining seeds, honey, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the temperature to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Strain the liquid over a bowl and in a colander and press the seeds until most of the flesh is extracted. Discard the seeds. Set the mixture aside.
Heat the oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté until tender, about one minute.
Whisk in the broth and molasses. Add seeds.
Increase the heat to high. Boil the sauce until it reduces by half and is syrupy about eight minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk the butter into the sauce, one piece at a time, until well blended. Season the sauce to taste with salt and twists of the pepper mill.

Parmesan Rice Cakes

You can cook these patties in the oven with the lamb. Leave them in the oven to finish cooking after you remove the lamb.

Makes 6-8 patties

Ingredients

3 cups cooked rice
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3 eggs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup onion finely minced
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper or to taste
Vegetable oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 F degrees.
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Oil a baking sheet.
Using a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measure, form the mixture into patties and place on the prepared pan.
Bake until brown and crisp about 40 minutes.

Cucumber And Tomato Salad

Ingredients

1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, sliced into 1/4″-thick half-moons
1 large tomato, diced and drained
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons red onion, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Directions

Place cucumber slices in a colander; sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, then rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine yogurt, sour cream, onion, vinegar, sugar, and dill in a mixing bowl. Add cucumber slices and drained tomatoes; toss to coat. Let salad stand for at least 5 minutes before serving, or chill in the refrigerator for several hours.

 


Make a batch of Greek Lemon Rice. Serve some with your dinner and set aside 1-2 cups for the recipe below.

Lemon Rice

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup of water
1 large lemon (1 teaspoon zest + 3 – 4 tablespoons lemon juice)
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped herb (dill or parsley, oregano, basil chives, mint)
Salt and pepper

Directions

Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
Add garlic and onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
Add rice and stir until rice is coated.
Add broth and water. Place lid on, bring to simmer then turn the heat down to low.
Cook for 12 minutes or until water is evaporated.
Remove from the stove and rest for 10 minutes (keep the lid on).
Remove lid. stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.

Greek Style Flounder WIithLemon Rice Stuffing

Serves 2. Double the ingredients for 4 servings

You might want to serve some crusty bread with this dish to soak up some of the tasty sauce.

Ingredients

1 lb. flounder fillets
1 cup Lemon Rice, recipe above
½ teaspoon Greek seasoning
2 plum tomatoes
Grated Pecorina Romana cheese
Sauce
1/4 extra virgin olive oil oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano

Directions

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
Sprinkle the fish fillets lightly with Greek seasoning. Spread the rice evenly over the fish fillets. Roll the fillets up and secure with a toothpick, Place the fish rolls in individual baking dishes.
Cut the tomatoes in half. Place two in each baking dish and top with a sprinkle of cheese. Pour the sauce evenly over both fish rolls and tomatoes.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve in the individual baking dishes.

Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

2 medium cucumbers, peeled
½ teaspoon of sea salt
`/4 cup Feta Cheese
Dressing
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup sour cream
¼ of a sweet onion, finely chopped
½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, grated
½ teaspoon dried dill weed
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Cut the peeled cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
Cut each half into ½ inch thick slices (half moons). Place in a colander and sprinkle with the salt. Toss gently to evenly distribute the salt.
Let the cucumbers drain while you make the dressing.
Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a storage bowl with a cover.
Place the salted cucumbers on several thicknesses of paper towels and squeeze gently to rid them of extra moisture.
Add them to the dressing and mix well. Cover the bowl and chill several hours before serving.


Pork Fried Rice

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 cups diced raw or cooked vegetables (see suggestions, below)
2 cups diced cooked pork (I used leftover spare ribs)
3 cups cold leftover cooked rice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 green onions, sliced
Fried rice veggie ideas: celery, bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, bean sprouts, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, peas, snow peas, cabbage.

Directions
In a wok or a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. Add egg and cook, stirring, until the egg is scrambled. Remove the scrambled egg to a plate.
Pour the remaining oil into the wok. When it is very hot, add chopped onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 or 3 minutes or just until onion is softened. Add raw vegetables first, followed by any cooked vegetables (the first ones into the pan should be the veggies that take the longest to cook, like raw carrots). Already-cooked veggies should be added last. Now add cooked meat, stirring to mix well and heat through.

Add rice, stirring constantly to break up the lumps of rice, mix it with the other ingredients and heat thoroughly. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil and cook, stirring and tossing, for 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the scrambled egg and green onions and stir-fry for one more minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Fish Baked In Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients

2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cod fillets, each 6 ounces
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the teriyaki sauce and garlic.
Lightly spray a small baking pan with cooking spray. Place the fillets in the pan. Pour the teriyaki marinade over both sides of the fillets. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to marinate the fish.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.. Sprinkle the fish with the sesame seeds.
Bake until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with a tip of a knife, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with the fried rice.

Asparagus in Ginger Garlic Sauce

Sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
1 pinch red pepper flakes

Stirfry
1 bunch medium-size asparagus spears, trimmed
1 tablespoon peanut oil

Directions

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.
Cut the asparagus into two-inch pieces, on the diagonal.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high until hot, 3–5 minutes, and add oil and asparagus; season lightly with salt. Cook, tossing occasionally until asparagus is just beginning to brown around the edges, about 2 minutes. Add sauce and cook, tossing constantly, until asparagus is still crispy yet cooked through and coated in the sauce, about 30 seconds longer.

 


All varieties of peppers are in season right now in my area and they are abundant. They must like the weather. Here is a good recipe that uses peppers. I served the dish with Jasmine rice.
This is an easy Asian dish to prepare. Once you assemble and prep the ingredients in advance, dinner comes together in minutes.

Ingredients

1 pound flank steak, skirt steak, hanger steak, or beef tenderloin, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
1/4 cup soy sauce (divided)
5 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry (divided)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken or beef broth
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups green bell peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch squares
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch squares
2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
4 tablespoons vegetable, peanut, or canola oil
Kosher salt to taste
Garnish with chopped scallions if desired
Jasmine rice

Directions

Combine beef, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine in a bowl and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature and up to 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Combine remaining soy sauce with cornstarch and stir with a fork to form a slurry. Add remaining Shaoxing wine, broth, sesame oil, sugar, and pepper. Set aside.

Combine peppers and onions in a bowl and set aside.

Combine garlic and ginger in a small bowl and set aside.

When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large deep skillet over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add the beef and cook until well seared but still pink in spots, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the skillet, heat and add the peppers and onions. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir into the peppers and onions. Return the beef to the skillet and pour the prepared sauce over the mixture. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is glossy and thickened about 2-3 minutes more. Garnish with scallions if desired. Serve with rice.


Crispy Oven Baked Shrimp

Servings: 2. Double for 4 servings.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 lb large peeled (about 12), deveined raw shrimp (16-20 count), tail-on
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 medium finely chopped garlic clove
2 tablespoons Italian flavored panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Coat the bottom of a glass or ceramic baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil.

Pat shrimp dry and place them in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the shrimp evenly with pepper and salt.

Whisk butter, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl; pour the mixture evenly over the shrimp.

In a mixing bowl combine the Panko, Parmesan cheese, chives, and the remaining oil; stir to combine.

Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Roasted Zucchini

2 servings. Double for 4 servings.

Ingredients

Olive oil cooking spray
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
6 grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon garlic-flavored olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Coat a baking dish with the cooking spray.
Arrange zucchini halves, flesh side up, in the prepared baking dish. Arrange the grape tomatoes on the sides of the squash.

Drizzle olive oil over zucchini. Season the flesh with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle thyme, Herbes de Provence and garlic powder over the top. Roast 8 to 10 minutes, until tender and golden brown.

Rice Pilaf

4 servings

Ingredients

Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup Lundberg wild rice blend
Salt to taste

Pilaf

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Half a red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
1 chopped celery stalk
2 tablespoons toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the broth, rice, oil, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. When the liquid returns to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer 40 -50 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet, and add the onion, garlic, celery, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until tender, and the mushrooms have softened about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice and the remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring until the sherry has evaporated. Taste and adjust seasonings.


Some of the first arrivals were Filipino seaman who settled in Louisiana and California, at the beginning of the 18th Century. Migration patterns of Filipinos to the United States have been recognized as occurring in four significant waves. The first was connected to the period when the Philippines were part of New Spain and later the Spanish East Indies and they migrated to North America during this time.

The second wave was during the period when the Philippine Islands were a territory of the United States; as U.S. Nationals, Filipinos were unrestricted from immigrating to the US by the Immigration Act of 1917. This wave of immigration has been referred to as the Manong generation. Filipinos of this wave came for different reasons, but the majority were laborers. This wave of immigration was distinct from other Asian Americans because of the American influences and education in the Philippines; they did not see themselves as aliens when they immigrated to the United States. During the Great Depression, Filipino Americans were also affected, losing jobs, and being the target of race-based violence. This wave of immigration ended due to the Philippine Independence Act in 1934, which restricted immigration to 50 persons a year.

Later, due to agreements with the Philippines, Filipinos were allowed to enlist in the United States Navy; this continued a practice of allowing Filipinos to serve in the navy that began in 1901. Filipinos who immigrated to the United States, due to their military service, were exempt from quota restrictions placed on Filipino immigration at the time. This ended in 1946, following the independence of the Philippines from the United States, but resumed in 1947 due to language inserted into the Military Base Agreement between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines. In 1973, Admiral Zumwalt removed the restrictions on Filipino sailors, allowing them to enter any rate they qualified for; in 1976 there were about 17,000 Filipinos serving in the United States Navy.

The third wave of immigration followed the events of World War II. Filipinos who had served in World War II had been given the option of becoming U.S. Citizens, and many took the opportunity. Filipino War brides were allowed to immigrate to the United States due to the War Brides Act and Fiancée Act, with approximately 16,000 Filipinos entering the United States in the years following World War II.

The mural is titled “Ocean’s Crossing.” and focuses on the experiences of Filipino immigrants as they made their way to America is located in downtown Lompoc, CA. The mural was commissioned by the Lompoc Filipino-American Club (LFAC) as part of its 50th anniversary (2018) celebration and was created by artist Eliseo Art Silva.

The fourth and present wave of immigration began in 1965 with the passing of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 into law. It ended national quotas and provided an unlimited number of visas for family reunification. By the 1970s and 1980s Filipino wives of military service members reached annual rates of five to eight thousand. The Philippines became the largest source of legal immigration to the United States from Asia. Navy based immigration stopped with the expiration of the military bases agreement in 1992, yet it continues in a more limited fashion. Many Filipinos of this new wave of migration have migrated here as professionals, such as qualified nurses. As of 2005, 55% of foreign-trained registered nurses taking the qualifying exam administered by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) were educated in the Philippines.

Filipino cuisine is composed of the cuisines of more than a hundred distinct groups found throughout the Philippine archipelago. The style of food associated with it have evolved over many centuries from their shared Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine origins to a mixed cuisine of Indian, Chinese, Spanish and American influences.

Dishes range from the very simple, like a meal of fried salted fish and rice, to fish curry, chicken curry, complex paellas and cozidos created for fiestas. Popular dishes include: lechón (whole roasted pig), longganisa (Philippine sausage), tapa (cured beef), torta (omelette), adobo (chicken or pork braised in garlic, vinegar, oil and soy sauce), dinuguan (pork blood stew), kaldereta (meat stewed in tomato sauce), mechado (larded beef in soy and tomato sauce), pochero (beef and bananas in tomato sauce), afritada (chicken or pork and vegetables simmered in tomato sauce), kare-kare (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce), pinakbet (kabocha squash, eggplant, beans, okra, and tomato stew flavored with shrimp paste), crispy pata (deep-fried pig’s leg), hamonado (pork sweetened in pineapple sauce), sinigang (meat or seafood in sour broth), pancit (noodles), and lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls). Various food scholars have noted that Filipino cuisine is multi-faceted and is the most representative in the culinary world for food where the “’East meets West”.

Make some Filipino recipes at home.

Shrimp in Achiote Oil

Achiote oil
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons achiote (annatto) seeds

Shrimp
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1–2 Thai chiles, with seeds, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced

For achiote oil:
Cook oil and achiote seeds in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the oil turns dark red, about 5 minutes. Strain into a jar and let cool. Cover and chill until needed.
For shrimp:
Heat achiote oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chiles, garlic, lime juice, and soy sauce and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing often, until shrimp are opaque throughout, about 4 minutes. Top with scallions and serve.

Adobo

Substitute for Palm vinegar: 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 part water with a squeeze or two of lime juice.

Ingredients

2 1⁄2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 cup palm vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
12 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cooked white rice
Patis (Philippine fish sauce; optional), for serving

Directions

Place the pork, vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaf in a large bowl and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Heat pork mixture and 2 cups water in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Skim the foam that rises to the surface, and then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover, and cook until tender, about 2 hours.
Pour the pork into a colander set over a bowl; discard bay leaf, and set pork and garlic aside. Return broth to the pot, and cook over medium heat until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Transfer broth to a bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil in the same pot over medium-high heat. Set the garlic aside, then, working in batches, add the pork, and cook, turning until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, and stir into the pork mixture. Stir broth back into the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook to meld flavors, about 5 minutes.
Serve Adobo with rice. Season with fish sauce, if you’d like.

Bok Choy Stir-fry

Ingredients

Half of a head of bok choy cabbage, cut into diagonal pieces
1 small carrot, cut into diagonal pieces
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, quartered and separated into pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Fish sauce or salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a deep skillet, heat oil and saute garlic and onion.
Add bok choy and carrot and stir cook for a minute then add oyster sauce.
Simmer for 2-3 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a serving plate and serve with fish sauce.

Maruya (Banana Fritters)

Ingredients

1/2 cup flour, plus extra for coating bananas
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
3 ripe saba (banana plantain) or regular bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise
Vegetable oil
Sugar

Directions

Cut each banana strip into 3-inch lengths. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add milk and egg, beat until smooth.
Heat oil in a frying pan (or a large saucepan) over medium heat.
In batches, roll banana slices in flour and then dip in batter. Fry in hot oil until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels. Roll in sugar. Place in a serving dish and serve for a snack or dessert.


Pepper Steak

Ingredients

1 pound top sirloin steak or flank steak, cut into very thin strips
1/4 cup soy sauce (divided)
1/3 cup Shaoxing wine (divided)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 green bell peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch squares (about 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1-inch squares (about 1 cup)
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
3 scallions, whites only, finely minced
4 tablespoons vegetable, peanut, or canola oil
Kosher salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons Sriracha

Directions

Combine beef, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine in a bowl and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature or up to 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Combine remaining soy sauce with cornstarch and stir with a fork to form a slurry. Add remaining Shaoxing wine, chicken stock, sesame oil, sugar, and pepper. Set aside.

Combine peppers and onions in a bowl and set aside. Combine garlic, ginger, and scallions in a small bowl and set aside.

When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or a large deep skillet over high heat until smoking. Add half of the beef and cook without moving until well seared, about 1 minute. Continue cooking while stirring and tossing until lightly cooked but still pink in spots, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and remaining beef. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon oil and half of the peppers and onions. Transfer to the bowl with the beef. Repeat with remaining oil and remaining peppers/onions.

Return pan to high heat and add the peppers/onions/beef and the garlic/ginger/scallion mixture. Cook, tossing and stirring until incorporated about 30 seconds. Add sauce and cook, tossing and stirring constantly until thickened, about 45 seconds longer. If you like your Chinese recipes with spice add several tablespoons of Sriracha.

Carefully transfer to a serving platter and serve with rice


African immigrants in the United States come from almost all regions in Africa and do not constitute a homogeneous group. They include peoples from different national, linguistic, ethnic, racial, cultural and social backgrounds. As such, African immigrants are distinct from African Americans, many of whose ancestors were involuntarily brought from West Africa and Central Africa to British North America by means of the Atlantic slave trade. African Americans whose ancestors were forced into slavery and Africans who emigrated to the US have all contributed numerous qualities in the development of the US as a nation and have greatly influenced our culinary world.

Since the 17th century, enslaved Africans and their descendants have had a profound impact on what Americans grow and eat. Watermelon, okra, yams, black-eyed peas, and some peppers are all indigenous to Africa. Fruits and vegetables brought from Africa flourished in America in large part because enslaved Africans planted their own gardens to supplement the meager rations provided by their captors. These plants eventually made their way from gardens of the enslaved to those of some of the wealthiest and most prominent people in the country, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, whose gardens were planted with heirloom seeds from Africa. Enslaved African chefs left their mark on certain cooking methods, while also developing recipes that are now staples in the American diet, particularly in the American South. Dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, pepper pot and the method of cooking greens called Hoppin’ John (a dish made with greens and pork) are all examples. “The method of deep frying of fish or barbecuing meats were all documented in West Africa before the transatlantic slave trade,” says Kelley Deetz, director of programming at Stratford Hall and who is also the author of Bound to the Fire, which explores how Virginia’s enslaved cooks helped invent American cuisine. “These dishes and ingredients were essential to the formation of Southern, and eventually American, food.”

The continent of Africa has seen many changes in migration patterns over the course of history. The influx of African immigrants began in the latter part of the 20th century and is often referred to as the “fourth great migration.” About three-fourths of all immigrants from Africa went to the United States after 1990. This trend began after decolonization, as many Africans moved to the U.S. seeking education and an escape from poverty, and this trend has been steadily rising over time. Originally, these immigrants came with the sole purpose of advancing themselves before returning to their respective countries. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of African immigrants interested in gaining permanent residence in the U.S. One major factor that contributes to migration from Africa to the United States is for job opportunities. It has been relatively easier for Africans with advanced education to leave and enter the international labor markets. In addition, many Africans move to the United States for advanced training. For example, doctors from different African nations move to the U.S. in order to increase their skills and gain more economic opportunities.

African immigrants tend to retain their culture once in the United States. Cultural bonds are developed through shared ethnic or national affiliations. Some organizations like the Ghanaian group Fantse-Kuo and the Sudanese Association are organized by country, region, or ethnic group. Other nonprofits like the Malawi Washington Association is organize by national identity and are inclusive of all Malawians. Other groups present traditional culture from a pan-African perspective. Using traditional skills and knowledge, African-born entrepreneurs develop services for immigrants and the community at large. In the Washington area, events such as the annual Ethiopian soccer tournament, institutions such as the AME Church African Liberation Ministry, and “friends” and “sister cities” organizations bring together different communities. According to estimates in 2000, there were 8.7 million African American families in the United States. The ten states with the largest populations of African Americans are New York, California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Louisiana, Michigan, and Maryland.

The migration of Africans to Europe and the US has introduced a range of African culinary dishes to the world. Ethiopian and Moroccan foods have made their mark with popular restaurants in urban hubs like London, New York, Paris, and Washington DC. Traditionally, African cuisines use a combination of locally grown fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, and meats. African cuisine can be broken down largely into styles from Central Africa, East Africa, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, South Africa, and West Africa. Heavily influenced by spices, African recipes are known for their intense flavor and often include combining sweet flavors such as dried fruit, ginger, and cinnamon with garlic and onions.

The historical record indicates chickens were known in ancient Egypt by 1,400 BC, and later in the Greek and Roman empires. When they first arrived in sub-Saharan Africa is unknown, but they are now common throughout Africa as in the rest of the world. A similar bird, the guinea fowl, is native to Africa and is widely raised there. Both are often called kuku in many African languages. Nsusu or soso are words for chicken in the Congo region. Every culture has its own way of cooking chicken. One classic method of preparing chicken in Africa is to stew it in a peanut and tomato sauce (this basic recipe goes by many names in different parts of Africa). Another delicious African chicken dish is Poulet Yassa, which is chicken marinated in an onion-mustard mixture. The African kitchen is traditionally outside or in a separate building apart from the sleeping and living quarters. By far the most traditional and to-this-day the most common sight in an African kitchen is a stewpot filled with meat and vegetables (often greens) simmering over a fire. The pot usually sits on three stones arranged in a triangle, and the fire slowly consumes three pieces of wood that meet at a point under the pot.

Here is another traditional recipe for chicken.

Piri-Piri Chicken with Piri-Piri Sauce

Piri-Piri (sometimes spelled peri-peri) is Swahili for ‘pepper pepper’, or ‘strong pepper’ and refers to an African-style chili sauce. Piri-Piri Chicken is marinated in a hot chile pepper marinade, then grilled. This dish evolved in Angola and Mozambique (once Portuguese colonies) after Portuguese explorers and settlers brought American chili peppers to Africa.

The most basic piri-piri marinade recipe calls for just oil, cayenne pepper or minced fresh hot chile peppers, and salt. Many piri-piri recipes add an acidic liquid (usually lemon or lime juice, or vinegar, or possibly wine or liquor) which adds a tang and tenderizes the chicken. More elaborate versions also include additional flavorings and spices.

This recipe makes quite a bit and since I cook for two most days, I cut the recipe in half. This dish is delicious and the chicken turns out quite tender and juicy. The sauce has a bit of a kick but not overly spicy.

6-8 servings

Ingredients

4 lb chicken cut into parts or 4 lbs of your favorite chicken parts, about 8 pieces.

Peri Peri Marinade
3 red chilies (reduce for less heat or remove seeds), finely chopped or use 2 tablespoons red chili paste
1 green chili, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Peri Peri Sauce
3 tablespoons reserved marinade
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold all the chicken parts and blend well.

Reserve 3 tablespoons of the marinade in a small storage container and the coat the chicken with the remaining marinade. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight.

Hear an outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan.

For the Piri-Piri Sauce
Add reserved marinade, water, and sugar to a small saucepan and bring to boil. Cook for 2 minutes, remove from the heat and keep warm.

To cook the chicken
Place chicken bone side down on the grill. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook for 25-30 minutes. Turn chicken over once more and grill for another 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and drizzle the sauce over the grilled chicken.

African Cucumber Sambal

Ingredients

2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 green chili (jalapeno pepper), minced
1 teaspoon sugar or natural sweetener (honey, agave nectar, etc.)
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 mint leaves, minced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, quartered and thinly sliced

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir and toss well to cover.


Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.
The Sambal will store up to 4 days refrigerated in a tightly covered container.

West African Style Rice With Black-eyed Peas

Every culture seems to have its own version of rice and beans. Peanut oil and hot red pepper give this dish a West African flavor.

Carolina Gold Rice, long grain rice, was the basis of the colonial and antebellum economy of Carolina and Georgia. Considered the grandfather of long grain rice in the Americas, Carolina Gold (which came from Africa and Indonesia) became a commercial staple grain in the coastal lands of Charles Towne in the Carolina Territory in 1685. The rice has a superior flavor, nutty aroma, a tiny texture and a beautiful golden hue in the field. Cooking directions differ from traditional rice, in that, Carolina gold is boiled in salted water rather than simmered.

4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup (200 grams) dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in water to cover or one 15.8 oz can of black-eyed peas
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 large vine ripe tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ⁄ 4 teaspoon ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
1 ⁄ 8 teaspoon salt
Cooked Carolina (Charleston) gold rice (recipe below)

Directions

To cook the beans if using dried beans:

Cover black-eyed peas with water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat until soft, about 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

Or drain and rinse the canned beans. Set aside.

To finish the dish

Heat oil in a heavy pot. Add onion, tomato, tomato paste, red pepper, and salt. Simmer 10 minutes, uncovered, over medium heat until vegetables are soft. Add rice and beans to the pan. Cover and let the dish sit for 5 minutes before serving. Adjust seasoning if needed.

 Rice

If you use regular long grain white rice, follow the package directions for cooking 1/2 cup rice.

4 Servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup Carolina gold rice
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups of water

Directions

Bring the water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan. Rinse the rice three times with tap water in a mixing bowl. Add the rice and salt to the boiling water. Stir gently to separate the grains and cook in boiling water 12-15 minutes until rice is tender and doubled in size. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside to add to the beans.

Sources:  Jessica B. Harris’ The Africa Cookbook; Marcus Samuelsson’s The Soul of a New Cuisine and The Congo Cookbook.



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