Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My favorite world recipes of 2013

Well here we are at the end of another year, and I'm posting my list of favorite recipes from 2013. Didn't I just do this a couple of weeks ago? Oh, it was a whole year ago. Imagine that.

I love doing these posts actually because they give me a chance to refresh my memory. I cook a lot of interesting food for my blog and sometimes I lose track of the stuff that was really outstanding. Which would be a shame, because the dishes I'm about to list are worth putting in anyone's permanent recipe rotation.

Ready? Here we go:

Ecuador: Llapingachos

These little potato patties are pretty stinking good, especially topped with a peanut sauce called salsa de mani and an onion curtido (both recipes included in that post). When I made these llapingachos they turned out perfectly, even though I'm hopeless at any sort of pan-fried patty thing. I served them as a side but I could see these done as appetizers, too.

El Salvador: Quesadilla Salvadorena

This is not your local Chevy’s Restaurant quesadilla, nor is it like any other quesadilla you are likely to get anywhere in the US, unless you visit an El Salvadorian restaurant. This quesadilla is more like a cake, and is in fact served as a dessert. It’s sweet but also cheesy, and that’s a heavenly combination. Who knew? Well sure, there’s cheesecake … but cream cheese is meant to be sweet. Parmesan, on the other hand—it was unexpectedly delicious in this lovely dessert.

Ethiopia: Doro Wat

I might have actually given Ethiopia a nod on this list even if this hadn’t been one of the big highlights of my culinary year. You see, for the past decade and a half I’ve been living a lie—the lie that said I don’t like Ethiopian food. Now, this was based entirely on one bad restaurant experience so even I know how unfair that is. Fortunately this recipe for Doro Wat changed my mind about Ethiopian food. It’s a delicious, rich, flavorful stew that you really have to try.

Europa Island: Massala Cabri (Goat Curry)

Now, you may be surprised to see this one on the list and I’ll admit that I chose it more for the experience of researching it and writing the post than for the dish itself. It was a very good recipe, but sadly my goat was a bit tough. Still, the great story that came along with this recipe made my Europa Island meal one of the most memorable of 2013.

Fiji: Coconut Bread

Wait just a second while I bask in the memory of this coconut bread. Mmmm, this was really good. You could have it for breakfast with a cup of coffee, or after lunch as a dessert, or, you know, instead of dinner. It was seriously that good.

Gascony and the Basque Country, France: G√Ęteau Basque

Yes, I know there are a lot of dessert recipes on this list. What can I say, I made a lot of yummy desserts this year, and this was one of the best. It was buttery and rich and filled with decadent black cherry preserves. I could probably eat a whole cake all by myself and never feel an ounce of guilt about all that butter.

Grenada: Roast Pork Calypso Style with Black Bean, Heart of Palm and Corn Salad

This pork and salad recipe was a meal all by itself, and not only did it look beautiful, it also tasted that way. I served it on the same platter we use for our Thanksgiving turkey and it felt like we were having a holiday feast. Between the six of us we devoured a whole roast in less than 10 minutes and I had enough salad left over for lunch the next day.

Guadeloupe: Bokit au Poulet

This was a really simple dish made with a roasted chicken and fresh baked bread rolls. I could have eaten a lot of these and I really wish I’d made more. The roast chicken recipe all by itself was a good one and you actually could stop there if you don’t want to go to the trouble of making the bread. But hey why give yourself only half of a good thing? Fresh baked rolls with roasted chicken, what’s not to love?

Guam: Chicken Kelaguen

There are a lot of reasons why I love chicken kelaguen, and it’s not just because it tastes good. It was also really easy to make—proving once and for all that not every blog night has to be a back-breaking, hours-long cooking fest. Kelaguen can be made with unseasoned chicken cooked pretty much any way you like—grilled, steamed in foil or even just one of those rotisserie chickens from Safeway. Most of the flavor of this dish comes from what you mix it with. And it’s awesome on the slightly sweet coconut rotis I made to go with it.

Guernsey: Guernsey Biscuits

Whenever I open up a can of refrigerator biscuits I scream and jump halfway across the kitchen. I hate when they pop, it scares the hell out of me. So I was happy to find this recipe, which makes a delicious biscuit (with yeast!), no fiddly rolling technique required and no terrifying explosion necessary.

Actually I really liked the dessert I did from Guernsey, too, but I’m not going to go there again. You should check it out, though.

Yes! That’s the best of this year with Travel by Stove. Merry Christmas to all and a happy New Year too!

PS Did you try any of these recipes? What did you think?


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