Trying out new recipes from around the globe and enjoying different tastes is a way of bringing home a small piece of another culture, another way of doing things.
Get home and start cooking and enjoy a moment around a delicious dish together.
Every family member can participate, so start chopping, stirring, dicing and smelling the delicious flavors.
Below are some easy recipes that will make the whole family travel in the kitchen 🙂
Asian Chicken Curry (with a twist)
This recipe is fast, spicy and makes the house smell good. The twist is the potato, an ingredient we didn’t see much of in Asia, but my kids like them so… we adapt!
Serves 4 | Prep Time: 10 Mins | Cook Time: 20-30 Mins
Ingredients you’ll need :
- 4 tbsp cooking oil
- 1.5 lb (700g) boneless chicken thighs or breasts cut into large chunks
- 1 onion peeled and diced and/or 1 shallot diced
- 4 tbsp of curry powder (choose your own level of spiciness)
- 2 big carrots peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 big potatoes peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 lemongrass cut into strips
- 1 tsp fish sauce + 1 tsp sugar
Optional (but very good!): add a handful of green beans, spinach or broccoli. You could also double the carrots or potatoes, it depends on what your family likes best.
If you don’t have fish sauce or don’t like the taste then be sure to use salt, pepper, and a sweet soy sauce instead.
In a pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the shallots and/or onions until translucid. Add the chicken and stir for a few minutes.
Now add the curry powder, lemongrass, carrots, and potatoes combining well.
Add the coconut milk and chicken broth. Turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Check if veggies and chicken are tender.
Stir the fish sauce and sugar together and stir well.
Serve with steamed rice.
FRESH SPRING ROLLS
Some spring rolls recipes are fried, or look like egg rolls, the filling can be different according to who you ask, so it can be confusing.
So in the end, just experiment and let your imagination guide you. You’ll eventually find the perfect spring roll that everyone in your family will love.
That’s what we did and here is the recipe.
Serves 4 | Prep Time: 1 hour | Cooking Time 20 min
- 1 cup skinless poultry or other meat
- 10 shrimp (you can also any other protein)
- 1-2 carrot (choose veggies your family likes, anything will work!)
- 1 onion
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- a few fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 a cup rice vermicelli
- 10 Rice paper (or more because the first ones never look good)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- a few slices of ginger
- juice of 1 lemon
carrot shavings, 2 garlic cloves crushed, 4 tbsp cup fish sauce, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 8 tbsp warm water, 1 tbsp lemon, salt to taste, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 green onion chopped, 1 red chili thinly sliced (if you like spicy)
To make the sauce, whisk all the ingredients together and set aside. If you don’t have a certain ingredient, it’s ok.
Make it with what you have, experimenting is also half the fun!
Soak vermicelli in warm water for about 20 minutes. Stir gently once in a while to separate them. When done, rinse under cold water, add sesame oil to avoid sticking and set aside.
Cook meat (if using) well done. Let cool. Cut into thin strips.
Devein the shrimp and saute in soy sauce or if you prefer you can steam it. Cut in half.
Cut the vegetables into thin strips, then cut in half (like matchsticks). Marinate them in some sugar, lemon, and ginger.
Line up all your ingredients in the order that you’d like to use them. This is a real time saver (trust me) and will make spring rolling easier.
Place some water in a plate. You’ll use it to soak the rice paper a few seconds, this will help soften them and make it easier to use.
Lay out a humid tea towel on the table in front of you. Soak one rice paper and place it on the towel in front of you.
Place some veggie filling on the edge of the rice paper closest to you, then add some noodles, some veggies, and finish with the shrimp/meat.
Roll once and turn in the sides making sure nothing can fall out, now continue rolling.
The first few rolls will not come out as planned. (they never do) . But that’s fine, as you keep rolling you’ll get the hang of it.
Load up on healthy veggies and have a south of France taste on a lazy Sunday. This dish can accompany grilled meats or fried eggs or can be enjoyed cold with delicious fresh bread. Keep in mind there are many recipes for Ratatouille, adapt and make one that fits your tastes.
Serves 4 | Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 40 minutes
Ingredients you’ll need :
- 2 zucchini
- 1 eggplant
- 1 green pepper + 1 red pepper
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic
- olive oil + thyme or rosemary
- salt and pepper
First wash and peel the zucchini, eggplant, red and green pepper then cut into mid bite-size pieces. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and dice the onion.
In a skillet heat the olive oil and cook the zucchini on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Reserve.
Cook the eggplant on medium heat until semi-soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Reserve.
Cook the peppers, garlic and onion for about 10-15 minutes or until onion is softened. Add the tomatoes. Stir well. Lower the heat. Add the eggplant and zucchini. Add some salt and pepper to taste and some sprigs of thyme and/or rosemary.
Simmer for 40 minutes on low heat until all flavors have blended together. Always taste to check seasoning and adjust.
Brigadeiro is more than a dessert.
It’s a symbol of childhood and even as an adult the brigadeiro it’s loaded with memories.
In Brasil, It’s very common to find different versions of brigadeiro recipes at children’s birthday parties, special events, friendly get-togethers or for just no reason at all. Its original form is a small chocolate ball covered in chocolate sprinkles.
But cakes, verrines are also made with brigadeiro . You can get creative and add ingredients like nuts or decorative pearls.
We prefer them right out of the bowl with a spoon (or all 10 fingers) 🙂
The basic recipe is below.
Makes about 20 balls | Cook Time 15 min | Prep Time 20 min
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons chocolate cocoa powder
- chocolate sprinkles
Place all ingredients in a saucepan over low to medium heat.
With a wooden spoon stir non-stop for about 15 minutes. The mixture will thicken slowly.
15 minutes is not an exact science as all stoves are different. It’s a slow 15 minutes, so be patient. If you turn up the heat hoping the mixture will thicken faster, then it will burn.
You know it’s ready when: the chocolate mixture no longer sticks to the sides or bottom of the saucepan for a few seconds.
Pour the chocolate mixture on a plate or large shallow bowl. Let cool or you’ll burn your fingers.
Fill another plate with chocolate sprinkles.
Form small balls with your hands (use a bit of butter on your fingers so it doesn’t stick) or use 2 small spoons.
If using hands: take a bit of the mixture and roll together between your palms.
If using 2 small spoons take a bit of mixture with 1 spoon and transfer to/with the other spoon – several times.
Once the small balls rolled, place them in the chocolate sprinkles plate. Roll gently until completely covered.
Place the finished brigadeiros in tiny paper or decorative cups.
-When you start rolling the balls, if the mixture is too soft, then the consistency isn’t right. It can happen, it will get better with experience!
In this case, pair the chocolate mixture with sliced fruits instead or fill up some small verrines topped off with nuts or raspberries. Enjoy with a spoon.
-Let your taste buds decide if you put chocolate sprinkles, grated coconut, bits of pistachio or whatever else you enjoy.
-You can store them covered – for 2 days at room temperature, but usually, they don’t last that long!
This Greek staple is a very simple recipe and goes well with almost everything grilled or pasta recipes or..
Take it on picnics or just enjoy with a delicious loaf of bread!
Serves: Big Bowl 500g |Prep Time: 10 minutes | Draining time: 2 hours- overnight
Ingredients you’ll need
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large tub of Greek yogurt, strained
- 1 cucumber
- 5 cloves garlic (or adjust according to taste)
- a few sprigs of mint and a bunch of fresh dill
Mix the olive oil with the crushed garlic in a large bowl
Finely grate the cucumber after taking out all the seeds. Place the grated cucumber in a small colander with salt and let drain. This step will prevent the tzatziki from being too liquidy.
Leave as long as possible (a few hours to overnight) Then pat dry the grated cucumber.
Add the grated cucumber to the olive oil-garlic and mix in the yogurt slowly and thoroughly.
Cut the dill and fresh mint and add to the tzatziki.
Can’t you feel the coolness of a Greek island?
There are as many ceviche recipes as there are people who love it, and that’s a lot! Simple, fast, a breeze to make.
You just need to be patient until it marinates long enough.
Serves: 4-6 – Prep Time: 15 minutes – Marinate 1h – 3h
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 2 lbs (1kg) of firm fresh white fish fillets (otherwise clean it, debone and cut the filets)
- 1/2 cup lime juice and 1/2 cup lemon juice
- juice of half an orange
- 1/2 an onion sliced thin
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper diced small
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes diced small
- salt, a bit of white pepper and/or small chili pepper diced small
- 1 avocado diced small
- sprigs of dill and/or cilantro
- Optional: use red onions instead of white / use tabasco or hot sauce instead of chili pepper / add cucumber diced.. or not
- Use your imagination!
Use a very sharp knife to slice the fish into very thin slices.
Place the fish slices in a large dish and pour with the lemon-lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
If your fish is extra fresh and prepared the same day – it should not take more than 1 hour. Some people marinate up to 3 hours, but I’ve found this makes the fish fall apart.
You will see the fish change colors under the influence of the lemon-lime juice! It’s magic.. and science 🙂
Dice the tomatoes and avocado into very small pieces, slice the onion thin, chop the dill or cilantro.
Check the fish after 1 hour that it is no longer translucent.
Drain the lime juice marinade. Add all the other ingredients, and mix gently but thoroughly. Let chill about 30 minutes in the fridge so the flavors can blend.
And Enjoy! Together 🙂
-Use a firm white ocean fish rather than an oily fish. Make sure it is fresh and use the same day.
-Cut the fish into very thin slices or chop into small even bite-size pieces.
-Dice all the vegetables very small and evenly.
-Depending on the freshness of the fish it can marinate for 30 minutes to several hours. However, if you over marinate it will probably fall apart (it will still be delicious though).
-If using different proportions than above, then keep in mind to use 1/2 cup of lime-lemon juice for 1 lb of fish.
TAPAS GARLIC SHRIMP
One of our favorite foods in Barcelona was tapas.
And Pinxos. And more tapas. And yes.. also churros 🙂
Actually, we couldn’t get enough, it’s a foodie paradise.
There are endless recipes of tapas. But the one below is a staple and fast to make, not to mention delicious.
Serves: About 20 pintxos – Prep Time 15 min – Cooking Time: 15 mn
Ingredients you’ll need:
- About 20 shrimps, peeled and deveined
- A fresh loaf of bread baguette style (or any bread with a thick crust)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 5 (or more) cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- a splash of white wine
- sprig of fresh parsley chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Peel and cut one garlic clove in half and add it to a couple of tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Peel and crush the rest of the cloves.
Heat a skillet over low to medium heat with olive oil and add the crushed garlic. Stir for a few minutes and listen to it sing, but make sure it doesn’t burn.
Raise the heat to medium. Add the shrimp, paprika, and salt,. Let it cook for about 4 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through. Shake the skillet once in a while. Halfway through you can add a splash of white wine- about 2 tablespoons (optional). Add the pepper at the end.
While the shrimp is sizzling, prepare the bread. If it’s fresh then just cut into thick slices and place on a nice plate. If it’s not fresh then cut into thick slices and toast it before. With a fork rub the garlic oil on the bread.
When shrimp is cooked turn off heat. Add the sprigs of freshly chopped parsley.
Place the shrimp on each piece of bread and insert a toothpick so it doesn’t slide off
As you bite into this pintxo recipe, just imagine you are in Barcelona on vacation living the good life!
I hope you try these recipes with the family, each person can pitch in. Set a nice table, talk about the country from which the dish comes from and travel a bit during your meal!
Have fun Cooking. Together.
If you’d like a few more delicious recipes, don’t hesitate to download below.