Monthly Archives: April 2016

Aljotta (Maltese Fish Stew)

I love this recipe. I’ve made it at least a dozen times over the years, and if it weren’t so expensive to make, I’d make it more often. Why is it expensive? The ingredients are:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion (large, peeled and thinly sliced)
  • Garlic (6 cloves, peeled & minced)
  • Diced tomatoes (1 large can)
  • Fish stock
  • Basil leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Mint leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Marjoram leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Rice (2 cups, cooked)
  • Fish (1-2 lbs)
  • Lemon juice (to taste)

Neither fish (something like cod, haddock, or tilapia works well here) nor fish stock are cheap. I’ve found that seafood stock is inferior to actual fish stock (if you can find it) and in either case, it’s hard to buy enough to avoid having to supplement the stew with some amount of water. But if money is no issue for you, just use fish stock.

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The ingredients.

The place to start is with a simple, empty pot. Then add the oil.

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Heating the oil.

Add onions and garlic and fry in the oil until soft.

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Cooking down the onions and garlic.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, and then the fish stock (if need be, you can supplement with fish bouillon, but I never have).

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Add the tomatoes…

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…and then the fish stock.

Next, tear basil and mint leaves into pieces, then add to saucepan with marjoram leaves.

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Green stuff!

The next ingredient is the fish, cut however you like (I do cubes).

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Fish!

Let that cook for a few minutes, then add the cooked rice. It’ll expand even further in the stew, so (depending on how much broth you like) you may want to add more water in.

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Rice!

Finally, season the stew with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. I usually use at least a tablespoon of each, and often more. But they’re all to taste, so you’ll need to decide for yourself : -)

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The finished product – enjoy!

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Thai Pepper Steak

This meal is easy to make, and delicious. So, so good! The ingredients are:

  • Beef (2-3 lbs, sliced)
  • Green bell pepper (1, sliced)
  • Red bell pepper (1, sliced)
  • Onion (1, sliced)
  • Garlic (8-9 cloves, minced)
  • Fish sauce (6 tablespoons)
  • Maggi seasoning (2 tablespoons)
  • Sesame Oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Sugar (4 tablespoons)
  • Oil (e.g. coconut)

And for the marinade:

  • Fish sauce (3 teaspoons)
  • Corn starch or corn flour (2 tablespoons)
  • White pepper (ground; 1 tsp)
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The ingredients.

The first step is to make the marinade. This is what it ends up looking like:

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The marinade.

Yup, kinds dry and clumpy. But this is what you’ll bathe your sliced beef in for about ten minutes, for whatever it’s worth. Oh, and that sliced beef? This is how I sliced mine, but you do you:

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The sliced beef.

Meanwhile, you can slice up the rest of your stuff: the green pepper, red pepper, and onion:

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The sliced onions and peppers.

Then melt some oil in your pan (I used coconut oil, but that’s not required).

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Melt some oil in the pan.

Put the sliced beef in the pan and cook on medium-high heat until the beef is nearly completely cooked through.

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Add the beef.

Then add the onion/pepper/pepper mixture you already sliced, and mince the garlic into it as well. Cover and cook on low or medium heat until everything is soft.

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And the veggies.

Meanwhile, you might as well combine the rest of your ingredients: the sugar, fish sauce, maggi seasoning, sesame oil. This is what that looks like: appetizing, right? Pour this into the pan once everything is softened.

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And the rest.

Then mix it all together and you’re done. I ate mine over rice – it’s delicious!

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And you’re done!

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Chicken Vindaloo

Vindaloo is one of my favorite Indian curries, both because of the heat and because of the flavor. But the flavor can vary, depending on the recipe, and you don’t have to make it hot if you don’t want to. I particularly love the flavor of this recipe. The ingredients are:

  • Chicken (2 lbs)
  • Onions (4 medium, chopped)
  • Ginger (2 tablespoons, chopped)
  • Garlic (10 cloves, chopped)
  • Tomato sauce (1.5 cups)
  • Coconut milk (1 cup)
  • White vinegar (1/2 cup)
  • Plain yogurt (1/2 cup)
  • Ground coriander (2 tbsp)
  • Ground cumin (2 tsp)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Tumeric (1/2 tsp)
  • Cayenne pepper (1 tsp+)

This time, I made the recipe using only a single teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and it’s nowhere near as hot as it ought to be. So you may want to use more – and, if you get it wrong, you can always add more in, after the fact.

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The ingredients.

The first step is to add the oil to your pan and cook the onions, garlic, and ginger over medium-high heat for about five minutes, until golden brown.

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Onions in a pan.

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Oh, and garlic and ginger, too.

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Now brown.

Next, add your colorful mix of spices – the coriander, cumin, salt, tumeric, and cayenne pepper – and the tomato sauce, and partially cover and simmer for at least five minutes, or until a thin film of oil begins to form on the surface. Then remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

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Colorful spices in a colorful bowl.

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Adding the spices and the tomato sauce.

Next, place the sauce in a blender, and blend until smooth.

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Put the stuff in the blender.

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Blend.

Then return the sauce to the pan and add the chicken, too. simmer for five minutes or so, until the chicken is partially cooked.

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Adding the chicken.

Next, stir in the vinegar and the coconut milk. Simmer until the chicken is no longer pink in the center – for another 10 minutes, say.

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That beautiful orange glow.

The final step is adding the yogurt. Don’t just plop it in; whisk it first until you have a smooth mixture. Keep cooking for another minute or so, just to warm the yogurt; then you’re done! Enjoy.

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The final step.

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Chicken Moambe

Versions of this dish are prevalent in central Africa; it’s considered the national dish of the Congo. The first time I made it, I more or less followed this recipe; the feedback I got was that I should add more tomatoes. Accordingly, the ingredients were as follows:

  • Chicken breasts (two)
  • Lemon juice (6 tbsp)
  • Paprika (1 tsp)
  • Salt (2 tsp)
  • Cayenne Pepper (2 tsp)
  • Coconut oil (2 tbsp)
  • Onion (2 large, chopped)
  • Garlic (6 cloves, minced)
  • Ginger (1-inch piece, minced)
  • Diced Tomatoes (4 14-oz cans)
  • Peanut butter (1 cup)
  • Collard greens (1/2 bunch, shredded)

The original recipe calls for palm oil instead of coconut, so if you can find it (unlike me) you may want to use that instead.

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The ingredients.

First, combine the salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice, and marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.

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The spices.

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The marinade.

It’s not really enough marinade to immerse the chicken, so I just made sure the breasts were coated, and let them set. I also cut the breasts in half, making each one half as thick as it was before. But you do you. You may also want to shred the collard greens, and remove the thick stems.

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Collard green pieces.

Next, melt the oil and start frying the onions – cook until browned, and then add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the chicken and browning it as well (it’s a big browning party!)

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Adding the oil

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Adding the onions

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Browning the onions

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Browning the chicken.

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Browning the chicken.

Once the chicken is browned a bit, add the tomatoes, the peanut butter, and the collard greens. Then cover and simmer for an hour.

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Adding the tomatoes.

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Adding the collard greens.

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Adding the peanut butter.

…And voila! I think the mixture of tomatoes and peanut butter is very tasty. Enjoy!

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Yum.

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