Since I started this project back in August 2011, I've made some really delicious food. I've made some real stinkers, too (maybe I should also post a list of the worst Travel by Stove recipes?) But for the most part, this little culinary adventure has produced a lot of keepers, and much of what I made actually earned a place in my family cookbook. Several of the recipes I've already repeated for special events and just for weekend family meals.
So here it is, in case you're looking for a list of delicious and unusual international recipes but you're not willing to take on the insane task of one complete meal every week (and take it from me, it IS an insane task).
This list is alphabetical by country, rather than in order by preference. It was hard enough narrowing down the list to 10, let alone putting them in order according to which ones I liked best.
Azerbijan: Parcha Dosheme Plov (Rice Pilaf with Chicken)
Plov is Azerbijan's national dish. It is made with rice, and it has a very strange and scary cooking technique that requires you to place it in a covered pot for an hour and pray it doesn't burn. If you get it right, it will be the most perfect rice you've ever cooked—fluffy and flavorful. Plov is labor-intensive but worth it.
For the recipe: Parcha Dosheme Plov (Rice Pilaf with Chicken)
Benin: Boulets de Poulet avec Sauce Rough (Chicken Meatballs with Red Sauce)
These chicken meatballs are cooked in a delicious peanut sauce that is reminiscent of a pad Thai, but African in character. Serve this dish over plain white rice and you'll be happy.
For the recipe: Boulets de Poulet avec Sauce Rough (Chicken Meatballs with Red Sauce)
Bhutan: Ema Datshi (Chilies and Cheese)
Ema Datshi looks like a train wreck but is gobsmackingly delicious. The traditional version is made with yak's cheese, but Bhutanese living in America will substitute a mix of Danish blue and feta to roughly approximate the traditional flavor. Depending on what chilies you choose, this dish can be mild or spicy and tastes particularly yummy served over nutty Bhutanese red rice.
For the recipe: Ema Datshi (Chilies and Cheese)
Brittany: Hazelnut Gâteau Breton
The texture of this dessert is somewhere between a cake and a cookie. It has a lovely crispy crust and is the kind of thing that I like to eat with a cup of coffee, and maybe with a little fresh whipped cream on top. It's a nice change from those overwhelmingly sweet American cakes.
For the recipe: Hazelnut Gâteau Breton
Burma: Burmese Rolls
These rolls take a little bit of time, but they come out crispy and delicious and are great with a sour dipping sauce. If you don't mind the extra calories, you could probably deep fry them to get a more uniform texture but I thought they were delicious just pan fried.
For the recipe: Burmese Rolls
Burma: Beh Thar Aloo Sipyan (Duck and Potato Curry)
Yes, I love Burmese food. In fact all the recipes I made from Burma ended up in my family cookbook, though the rolls and this delicious duck curry were my two favorites. The sauce was a little too oily for my tastes, so I actually cut back on it quite a bit when I make it now, and I also dice the potatoes up a little smaller. However you choose to do it, though, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
For the recipe: Beh Thar Aloo Sipyan (Duck and Potato Curry)
Cambodia: Sach Moan Cari Ang Chomkak (Grilled Curry Chicken on a Stick)
Cambodian food is just as delicious as Burmese food, and once again everything I made that week ended up in the family cookbook. These yummy chicken skewers were easy to make and had a delicious, unusual flavor. For the complete experience, you have to do this with mango salsa.
For the recipe: Sach Moan Cari Ang Chomkak (Grilled Curry Chicken on a Stick)
Central Canada: Poutine
Yes I know, this is gooey, junky, heart-attack on a plate stuff. But I am a real sucker for French fries and also for cheese, and let's face it, for gravy, too. I could not make poutine more than once a year because my waistline would most definitely not thank me for it. But for an occasional indulgence it is most definitely worth keeping in the recipe book, right there next to my favorite fried chicken recipe.
For the recipe: Poutine
Christmas Island: Ayam Panggang (Lemon Chile Chicken)
I almost didn't include this recipe on my list because, if you remember, it didn't exactly come from an authentic source. It was based on a Cocos (Keeling) Islands recipe (Cocos is a Christmas Island neighbor) and tweaked a little in the hopes it would approximate a Christmas Island recipe served at Island Dreams Café in Sydney, Australia. The result was so amazingly tasty though I had to include it here. Next time I will do it with chicken pieces instead of bone-in chicken, just because it makes for simpler eating.
For the recipe: Ayam Panggang (Lemon Chile Chicken)
Costa Rica: Cajeta de Coco (Coconut Fudge)
Ah, yes, coconut fudge. This stuff was heavenly. It cooks up really soft, though (not like American fudge) and can't be easily sliced, even when refrigerated. So just put it in candy papers and then be prepared to gain five pounds. Coconut fudge is yum, yum, yum.
For the recipe: Cajeta de Coco (Coconut Fudge)
And just narrowly missing the top 10:
- Azerbaijan: Tendir Choreyi (Tandoori Bread)
- Bahamas: Johnny Cakes
- Balochistan: Chicken Sajji Masala
- Cuba: Larry's Mojito Cake