Naturally gluten-free, with intense nutty corn flavor when cooked fresh, they are always a crowd pleaser in soft tacos or enchiladas. It is practically impossible to find them in stores, because common believe is they have to be cooked and eaten as soon as possible. Most of the time they are cooked stuffed. The recipe is very simple and it is easy to make blue corn tortillas at home. You don’t need any special cooking skills. You need tortilla press and blue corn flour.
Treasures I bring home from my travels are mostly not material. They are memories, pictures, and recipes. I love traveling for many reasons, but seeing my friends who live far away is the most valuable experience. And sometimes, I am lucky to meet in real life people I knew for years virtually, which always feels…
Rich, thick and dense, bright red, piping hot, always served with a dollop of a sour cream on top. My father and brother would say: “There is a borsch and there is red soup with beetroots and tomatoes. These are two very different things.”
There are many similar sauces in different regional cuisines. Fermented chilies are used for making some variations of famous Thai sriracha. There are popular Louisiana hot chili pepper souses that also use fermentation to add subtle acidity to the taste. The taste of fermented sauces is very different from mass production sauces with vinegar. It is more complex and intelligent. This recipe is for a very mild sauce. It allows to modify the level of heat by changing the ratio of sweet and hot peppers.
Chef J got us one of authentic recipes for the class. We made it, and the whole school came to taste our falafel — the best I ever had. I remember other chef-instructors couldn’t believe it was truly vegan and gluten-free, with no wheat flour added to the mix.
It was during my vacation on Hawaii Big Island, on the farmers market in Hilo. I stopped at Ratana’s food trailer and watched her making salads. Seeing the process and being exposed to all the aromas coming from her mortar made me hungry and curious. I tasted her Som Tam and… became an addict. How this famous Thai salad had escaped my attention before? What else was I missing in Thai food?
Almond whipped cream has different properties than dairy whipped cream. It is much lighter, there is less fat in it. It doesn’t form stiff picks, so it can’t be used for decorating cakes or pastries. But it tastes good and it will successfully replace whipped cream in, for example, coffee or hot chocolate.
Pkhali (ფხალი) is a signature Georgian appetizer. Its consistency is similar to pesto and tapenade. Pkhali’s main ingredients are cooked vegetables and walnuts mixed with traditional herbs and spices. If you don’t aim for authenticity, and rather prefer to explore your own vegetables-nuts-herbs-spices variations, play with different nuts and seeds. Use your favorite spice mixes and herbs instead of Utskho Suneli and Khmeli Suneli. You won’t be able to name your dish “pkhali”, but you’ll enjoy it for sure.
Kharcho (ხარჩო) is a traditional Georgian meaty soup or stew. It is usually made with beef or chicken, but can also be made with other meats and poultry. Depending on the region, its consistency may vary. There are many recipes, many variations. What similar characteristics make them all “kharcho”?