Archive for the ‘Ethnic’ Category

Ecuadorian Salsa

16 May 14

After trying the original recipe we had found, and then adjusting the recipe through several trials, we found this variation to be our top preference. It is a raw, rather than cooked, salsa, and is just delicious. Himself does the rough-chopping and dicing, while Herself sits at the table and uses the food processor.

1 cup diced raw carrots
1 med cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 cup diced bell pepper (preferably red or orange)
1 large onion, sweet, diced
2 each tomatoes, large, juicy deseeded and chopped
3 each garlic tooths, chopped
10 sprigs sprigs parsley (leaves only), up to — 15 sprigs to taste
Salt, freshly ground, to taste (Pink Himalayan is best)
1 cup Lime juice (Key Lime juice works really well) (yes, that is one CUP – use more or less to your taste)
1 cup Clamato juice (more or less) to taste
5 drops Tabasco sauce (more or less) to taste (optional)
4 shakes Cayenne pepper (more or less) to taste




1. Blend chopped tomatoes, diced onions, chopped garlic, seeded, chopped cucumber, diced carrots and diced bell pepper in a food processor to desired consistency. We like the consistency a little rough, while the original recipe called for using a blender and liquefying the ingredients. Make it however you like it. The food processor Herself likes to use is the smaller one, so each item is processed separately and then all are mixed together in a large bowl.


2. Mix well in a large bowl.

3. Add lime (or Key Lime) juice, Clamato juice, salt, Cayenne pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Use less Lime juice and Clamato juice if you prefer a dryer salsa.

Added Tomatoes & Parsley

Added Tomatoes & Parsley


4. Check seasoning and adjust. (Keep in mind that chips will be salty.)

5. Serving suggestions: serve with corn chips as an appetizer, or as a side with grilled chicken or a grilled, mild fish (like tilapia), or with grilled salmon.

Cooking Tip: Do not use Italian tomatoes, too dry.

Author Note: The original Ecuadorian Salsa recipe called for no additional liquids other than a few tsp of lime juice. The original recipe also called for smaller amounts, with all ingredients to be blended to a smooth consistency. It is a much drier salsa. It also does not call for cucumber – but we really like the flavor it imparts.

Second Author Note: The nice thing about “folk” recipes is that every family makes them a little differently, so if you want to make yours differently from this, feel free!

Mixed and Repacked Keeps well in refrigerator up to 7 days (that's as long as we have ever been able to keep it)

Mixed and Repacked
Keeps well in refrigerator up to 7 days (that’s as long as we have ever been able to keep it – we eat it too fast!)


Third Author Note: If you prefer cilantro, use that instead of parsley – we just don’t much like cilantro. Sometimes we substitute fresh basil from the herb garden Herself works on. Nice change of taste.

Set Out for Eating

Set Out for Eating




Greek Night: Manitaria and Garides Tourkolimano –

20 June 08

I have eaten a lot of Greek food over the years. I like it. The second time I was in college the major was Greek, so that I could read the Greek plays and the Bible in the original. Also, being Russian Orthodox, I am completely at home with the Greek Orthodox. Same beliefs and services – different language and Saints calendar.

These two dishes are quintessentially Greek and also very easy to prepare.

Manitaria – Greek Mushrooms

2/3 cup olive oil – Greek or Cretan preferred
½ cup dry white wine – Greek preferred, but any decent wine will do
1 tsp dried thyme or 2 tsp fresh chopped
3 good sized cloves garlic chopped fine
4 Tbs chopped parsley
juice of 1 lemon
1-12 oz. pack Whole mushrooms – button preferred
salt and pepper to taste

Combine everything except the mushrooms and half of the lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the mushroom and stir to coat. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Set aside in a non-reactive bowl and let cool to room temperature. Just before serving sprinkle the other half of the lemon juice and some fresh chopped parsley over it. We like it with Tzaziki sauce.

Tzaziki Sauce – Greek flavored yoghurt

16 oz. Plain yoghurt

Herself Sez: Plain Cabot’s Greek-Style Yogurt is an excellent choice!

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped fine
kosher salt to taste
4 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 Tbs olive oil – Greek is preferred
2 Tbs red wine, Greek Retsina preferred

Put the yoghurt into a tea towel in a strainer and set over a pot for 2 to 3 hours to drain. Scrape the yoghurt into a mixing bowl. Put the cucumber into another tea towel and wring all possible water out. Mix everything together and let it rest for an hour or so to meld the flavors.

Variations have mint, oregano, or whatever else you like added to them. (The mint is particularly nice).

Garides Tourkolimano – Greek Shrimp

3 lb. Raw shrimp
1 lb. Feta cheese, crumbled
1 tsp Oregano
3 tomatoes cut into wedges
1 cup chopped green onion tops
½ cup lemon juice
¾ cup cream sherry or Retsina, depending on your taste buds
Olive oil

Clean, peel, devein shrimp, set aside with a bit of the lemon juice drizzled over them. Coat a good skillet with olive oil and sauté the tomatoes, garlic, and green onion tops. When the tomatoes are soft, add the shrimp and oregano. Salt and pepper to taste. Sauté the shrimp until nicely pink, turning frequently. Add the feta and wine and boil for 3 minutes or until the feta melts a bit.

Serve with a nice Greek salad and you have a good meal. Greek salad? Easy, just combine any salad greens and veggies that you like, sprinkle it with some crumbled Feta cheese. Oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper for a dressing.

Japanese Rice – Sort of –

3 April 08

Rice is one of the major sources of food for the world. It originated somewhere in the area of China and spread throughout the world. We have been cultivating it for about 5,000 years or so. Americans don’t really know about rice. We look for instant rice that has little character and flavor. I don’t know why, since the real deal is so easy and so versatile. Real rice is going to be a little bit sticky and can be eaten with chopsticks quite easily. (Chopstick and rice manners vary by region).

Chopsticks appear to have originated around 5,000 years ago in China, and spread all over the Orient. One of the reasons that they work so well is that the food has already been cut into bite size before preparation, which means that cooking requires less fuel and time. The Chinese chopsticks are usually rectangular, about 10 inches or so, and blunt ended. Japanese chopsticks are generally rounded, about 8 inches, and pointed. The snazzy lacquered wooden chopsticks were developed about the 17th century in Japan and are somewhat slicker and harder to use than plain wooden chopsticks. Hereself likes to takes our own very fancy chopsticks in their snazzy carrying case to Oriental restaurants. Ours are Japanese. I don’t generally care one way or the other. The disposable type in restaurants (wari-bashi) are easier to hold and to pick up food than the lacquered type, but the finer lacquered finish has better mouth feel. Life is a bunch of trade-offs.

Incidentally, there is nothing in the Oriental gene pool that makes them instinctive chopstick users. It is a skill that has to be learned like any other. If you want to see something hysterical, look at a video of any Oriental mother teaching her baby the proper use of chopsticks. It is delightfully funny – and quite messy.

Now to business. Get a good grade of some kind of Oriental rice. If nothing else the Mahatma Jasmine rice is better than most grocery store rice. If you can find some real Oriental rice at a specialty store try it – you will be amazed at the flavor difference. Anyway, for the most part follow the directions on the package, if any. If no directions then use this general way to cook the stuff. 2 parts water liquid measure to 1 part rice dry measure. That is 2 cups water to 1 cup rice for 4 people. 1 cup water to ½ cup rice for 2 people. (It doesn’t hurt to have rice left over). Stir the rice and put on the heat. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. You may have to reduce the cooking time if your stovetop doesn’t get low enough heat. I have to use the smallest burner on the lowest setting. Turn off the heat and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Do not lift the lid at any time! That’s it. Most people goof by lifting the lid to look and that will ruin it. Experiment a time or two. If you burn it then reduce the heat or time the next time – but DON’T lift the lid to see. If you’ve got a good lid you can use a wok for the rice, or any proportionally sized pot with a good lid.

We like rice with butter, soy sauce, or in other dishes. A nice, easy dish is a Japanese sort of thing. Oh yeah, this works very well with leftover rice. If you have a wok and know how to use it this is a good wok recipe.

2 cups cooked Japanese rice (Leftover is even better)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup broccoli flowers
1/2 cup diced meat of some kind – we like shrimp. Pork, ham, and chicken also work well.
2 eggs
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 cube chicken bouillon dissolved in a little hot water
2 Tbs Japanese soy sauce (We like Kikkoman)
vegetable oil
sesame oil

Whip up the eggs and scramble them quickly in hot oil. Set aside in a dish. High heat, add more oil and a bit of sesame oil for flavor. Sauté the vegetables until they are tender. Ham or pork goes in at the same time. If shrimp, add just before vegetables are done. Add the garlic just before the vegetables are done. Add chicken bouillon and rice and mix together. Lower heat and add soy sauce and mix it all up quickly. Add the scrambled egg, mix quickly. Get it off the heat, serve and eat immediately.

As a variation you can add a small bit of honey to the soy sauce over heat and stir it well. There is nothing sacred about the ingredients. You can use any veggies or meat that you have on hand, just add them in the order that they need to all come done together.

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