Saturday, December 5, 2009

Yo se cocinar, yeah! (con recipes)

Today I was in my kitchen, speaking Spanish and cooking Chicken Scarpariello, and I honestly can't say which one is more amazing.

You might have had to have known me, before, and known what a fire hazard I was in the kitchen.

I had this full feeling: I was proud of myself, dammit.

After 24 years of non-cooking, the Peace Corps has finally forced me to learn. I think it's the boredom as well as not wanting to have to rely on a family to feed me. That means more fried meats and mayonaisey salads.

As a former restaurant junkie, I was used to thai, sushi, pizza, burgers, vegetarian hippy feed, etc. I still like that food.

So I'm like a recipe sleuth. It starts in one of two ways. Either I think of something -- Mmm, remember pad thai? -- and I look up the recipe to see if I could make it. I usually get to the third ingredient and say, nope, no way. Or, the second way is that I find something I've never seen before in a big, chuchi supermarket in the city. I go to Allrecipes and search and search for how I can use it. I found dried seaweed and successfully made sushi. I found plain yogurt in Oviedo and it's opened up a world of Indian. One of these days I'm going to translate all the cheese names in the Villarrica supermarket and figure out what I can do with them.

Today I felt like experimenting and tried a frappachino recipe. (Fail). And I made rosemary tea out of the rosemary in the back yard, which also lead to the chicken.

I never thought that if I went to a country I'd learn recipes from all over the world except that one place. (Although I am now, unfortunately, an expert fryer.)

But here are some of the recipes I love, with stuff that it is possible to find in Paraguay:
Chicken Scarpariello I made with rosemary growing in our back yard. For white wine I used toro viejo. Only the best!

This Aloo Phujia I made once I figured out that curcuma means tumeric. It is simple and so good and Oscar called it my rice from India and asks me to make it every third night.

This Thai Eggplant recipe is awesome, of course I just use regular eggplant and basil growing in the backyard. So good, even with low-grade soy sauce.


Hannah said...

Vino Toro! Definitely the best. How could it be anything but amazing out of a cardboard box?

Did you make a flowerpot out of the empty box? That seems to be the thing to do with milk and wine boxes, at least around Ñeembucú...

Ken, Christie, Camille, Caroline said...

YAY! I've had to learn to cook here, too, as my family's survival depended on whether I could bridge the gap between pre-packaged stove top stuff and mac and cheese, and mandioca and raw stuff. We're still alive, so some progress has been made. Congrats!