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Published: March 28th 2023
According to Corrie Cooks (MSN):
Ah, the spicy heat of a great curry or the bursting flavor of peanut sauce. These delights are only part of the delectable options you can find in an authentic dish from Thailand.
Often served with rice and vegetables, Thai food is a major hit with many families no matter where you call home. However, much like Chinese food in the United States, what you get for takeout might not be as authentic as knowing how to make these culturally rich dishes from scratch.
If you're in the mood for curry but don't like the intense heat that comes with Green Curry -- which is the spiciest -- you can take a shot at Penang or Thai Curry. Food in Thailand is both interesting and quite affordable. Yellow curry is a favorite, along with pad Thai (noodles), and a dish that is hard to find, called mi grab. Our visits to Thailand are enhanced by locals who have shown us what to order, and where to go.
• Greek/Mediterranean- I start
most dinners with a Greek salad. Then a main dish of grilled fish, lamb, or a veal chop. Lunch is a bit simpler, with some souvlaki or a few kabobs. Greek pastries at breakfast are great with some strong coffee. And a cheese pie is always a welcomed snack. My Greek brothers provide ample house wine from their own vineyards, along with a house dessert, and the local mastika (home brewed moonshine).
Sushi is easily one of the most popular dishes in Japan; no discussion of Japanese cuisine would be complete without it. Distinctly Japanese, Sushi used to consist of fish preserved in fermented rice. It is often made with vinegared rice and fresh fish and styled in several ways.
Kaiseki, or 'tasting course,' is the ultimate in fine Japanese cuisine. Comprised of several different edible samples, this delicate entree allows you to have various flavor experiences in one dish.
My favorite Japanese food is a savory custard, called chawan-mushi. I generally order Hamachi-kama (yellow tail collar) with rice when we go out. I will order sushi in Japan or Hawaii, where
the fish is fresh. And once in your life, have a Kaiseki dinner, which we did at n/naka in Los Angeles (Michelin stars). I also enjoy shabu shabu once in a while.
Peruvian culture is a beautiful mixture of European and South American influences and has combined contradictions to create a culture all its own.
If you're in the mood for a generous helping of Peruvian comfort food, you can't do better than a helping of Aji de Gallina or Peruvian Chicken Stew
. This dish combines a healthy amount of shredded chicken
simmered in a beautifully creamy French-style sauce with Aji Amarillo chili.
This spicy meal will surely hit all your pleasure notes before you even get to dessert, as it pairs excellently with rice, pasta, or roasted vegetables. Our only trip to Peru included Lima, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu. Local and street food is basic, but hearty. Their gourmet restaurants rival many restaurants worldwide, as Peru has upped their game in the last decade or so. Seafood is still my first choice. I found the meat a bit tough and gamey. Maybe it is time to go back.
I had the best tomato soup at the Lima airport on the way home!
As far back as Medieval China, Roasted Peking Duck has been served to everyone from heads of state to foreign dignitaries and is considered a 'royal dish.'
This delicacy, praised for its thin, crispy skin, is often served sliced with pancakes, sweet bean sauce, or mashed garlic and soy sauce.
Either way, this dish is as traditional as China's and is one to take advantage of if you're going for an authentic Chinese meal.
Dim Sum is famous in China and around the world and is much like a Chinese sampler platter. With more than 1,000 dish options, this celebrated meal is usually served during breakfast or lunchtime tea. As with Mexican food, who does not like Chinese food? My preference is Cantonese style. My favorites are Singapore rice noodles, Peking spareribs, gai lan, and roast duck. My favorite places are Great China in Berkeley, and New Gold Medal in Oakland Chinatown. Hong Kong and Vancouver both have great Chinese food, some (Chinese friends) say it is the best in the world!
Go south of the border with some authentic Mexican food that will make you ache for a visit. If you're sluggish after a long night, try a warm serving of Chilorio with breakfast potatoes for a peppy start to your day. This guisado- any stewed meat that is braised, homey, and delicious- is also perfect for a lunchtime taco.
If you're in a hurry and want a meal when you get home, add black beans, pork ribs, water, rum, garlic head halves, onion, salt, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, and crushed red pepper in a slow cooker and let it combine for about eight hours. As with Chinese food, who does not like Mexican food. My favorite is chili relleno, but I also like the Tex Mex style lamb shank, and chicken with mole' sauce. Just add a cold beer. Homemade tamales are just a great holiday treat! My favorite Mexican place is Los Sombreros in Scottsdale.
Tagliatelle al Ragù, known as "Spaghetti Bolognese" to non-Italians, is a meaty, hearty dish of freshly ground pork and beef mixed with celery, carrots, onions, tomatoes, and red wine.
Poured over beautifully cooked tagliatelle pasta, which is said to be inspired by the curly blonde hair of Lucrezia Borgia, a 16th- century Italian noblewoman, this 'ragu' sauce is not to be missed. Freshly grate some Parmesiano Reggiano on top, and you have a lovely, authentic Italian meal. Do the Italians a favor, though, and don't call it Spaghetti Bolognese."
Fried Artichoke, or Carciofo alla Guidia in Italian, is a popular treat for any dinner table. This dish is exquisite simply for the time it takes to make and its nutty, crunchy texture.
Tiramisu, which translates to "Lift me up" in Italian, was rumored to come from a brothel. This ever-famous dessert, made from layers of lady finger biscuits that have been dipped one by one in a rich mixture of mascarpone cream cheese and your preference of coffee powders, is the perfect end to any Italian meal. Sometimes people add chocolate powder, but it'll be just the coffee for a 'purist '.
I have run "hot and cold" on Italian food. We like to make our own spaghetti sauce and five cheese penne pasta, and we love Serious Pie (Seattle) pizza. I love the old school Italian restaurants in San Francisco. I do not recall my best Italian meal, nor any food from Italy.
If you want something authentic, you can't go wrong with Kibbeh, the national dish of Lebanon. These torpedo-shaped, fried croquettes are packed with bulgur, minced meat, onions, and sauteed pine nuts
If you're in the mood for something light, look no further than Tabbouleh. A salad made of mint, parsley, fresh tomatoes, olives, onions, and bulgur or couscous, this colorful staple is excellent as a side or a main dish.
A crunchy, creamy dessert known as Kunāfah makes a beautiful finish for a traditional Lebanese meal, especially if you like the flavor of citrus. To my knowledge, I have had Lebanese food once, at a friend's home. It was very good, but I need more exposure before I decide if I would go out of my way for the food.
Phở is easily one of the most recognizable Vietnamese dishes outside Vietnam. Inside the country, it's an all-time favorite. Named for the noodle in the dish, Phở is a light, earthy broth that allows the noodles to meld with the slivers of medium-rare beef or boiled chicken.
Cơm tấm is a dish of humble origins made of 'broken' rice or cracked grains of rice that were unsellable. While there are several ways to make the dish, the most common is cơm tấm sườn nướng ốp la.
In the past few years, I have started to enjoy Pho, particularly locally, since we have many places to choose from. My Hmong friend takes me to some of his favorite places. I love the food in Hanoi, since it is a blend of SE Asian and the French influence from the colonial days.
Nothing says 'Cajun' like a Fried-Shrimp and Okra Po-Boy. These filling, seafood-centered options cannot be outdone as a sandwich, except by another Cajun-themed dish.
Shrimp and sausage gumbo isn't as old as New Orleans, but it is an attractive option for anyone that wants a gumbo option that pairs two great meat varieties.
We can't talk Cajun and Creole without mentioning bourbon, and nothing goes better after a Cajun dinner than Creole Bread Pudding
with bourbon sauce. Smooth and warm, this dessert will surely hit that comfort spot you've been dying to tame and will delight family and friends who've gathered at your table. I have been to Nawlins numerous times, and love almost all Cajun food, though not big-time heat. I love the oysters, Po' Boys, gumbo, etouffee, jambalaya, and bourbon bread pudding. I am certain you can make a case for other food and cuisine. French food should be on the list. And a personal favorite, Armenian food has been a favorite since childhood. My Mom was given recipes by her Armenian Bridge playing friends. She made the best pilaf, shish kebab, and borag. And I am certain that Penang, Malaysia has the best seafood in the world! My top three are: Chinese, Japanese, and Greek.
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