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Noodles from Tajikistan: Lagmoni Oromi jon (lagman)

This dish (sometimes called lagman) is part of Sogd cuisine, food from what we call "the 'stans", in the general region of The Silk Road. The recipe is from one of my most prized possessions: a self-published cookbook from our tour guides in Tajikistan. Characteristics of this cuisine are various noodles and dumplings, rice dishes, lamb and beef, and lots and lots of herbs. This dish is traditionally made with hand-pulled noodles, but a reasonable substitution is dried bucatini. I recommend cooking the meat in a pressure cooker or insta-pot for tenderness & time saving.

This makes enough for two people. Double for more.

Noodles: 1/2 lb. bucatini, cooked in well salted water
Sauce: 2 Tbsp. oil
1/2 lb. ground lamb or beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced thin
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 turnip, peeled and cubed
1-2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2-4 c. water or broth
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: 2 Tbsp. parsley, minced
2 Tbsp. dill, minced
2 Tbsp.…
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Andalusian Pot Roast with Peas

This is an adaptation of the recipe for Ternera con Guisantes from the amazing tome "A Mediterranean Feast" by Clifford Wright. Given that veal is all but impossible to find, I switched it to beef. We used a sirloin roast that was part of the quarter beef we bought, but I think it would also be good with a chuck roast. I made this version crockpot or Instapot friendly, which is more convenient for most. It yields a wonderfully spiced roast with not a ton of effort. We used a sirloin roast of some kind from the quarter of beef we bought, but I don't know specifically which cut. I don't think it matters much for a slow-cooked dish like this. We served it with risotto, which was a great combo. We devoured it too quickly to take a photo, though!

Ingredients One 3 lb. beef roast, tied
One bag of frozen baby peas
Parsley to garnish
Sofrito 3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 good pinch s…

Chicken Tinga

We make this really easy recipe often enough that it's worth posting. It's chicken in a simple sauce, often served on a tostada with refried beans and whatever tasty toppings you want (esp. avocado and cotija cheese). A local restaurant near us has this style of chicken as one of their standard meat options, and it's supposedly their specialty. I personally think this recipe produces something very, very close to the same.

The adobo peppers tend to be a bit spicy for some eaters - one way to moderate this is to alter how much of the sauce you mix with the shredded chicken. I also suggest making a double version of this recipe and reserving some sauce - that way, next time you want to make it, you just throw sauce on chicken and you're done.

You can use raw chicken, or you can use the sauce to cleverly use leftover poultry from other meals (this actually might make turkey edible).

The recipe below is adapted from the recipe here, in turn adapted from the Minimalist C…

Bavarian Krautsalat (Coleslaw)

I can't believe I didn't post this after we had it at an amazing real Oktoberfest event that we were fortunate to be invited to in Bavaria. It is very simple, and based on this recipe. Unlike American coleslaw, this one is blanched, so it has a softer texture and is more easily digested. It is very simple, and I have had it requested several times for potlucks. It is a lot easier to make if you have some kind of mandoline.


Vegetables 1 head of green cabbage
3 qts. boiling water + 2 Tbsp. salt
1 small white onion

Dressing 6 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. sunflower oil
1 Tbsp. caraway seeds
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt, to taste
1 tsp. white pepper

Instructions
Boil the water in a large stockpot and add the 2 Tbsp. salt.

Remove several of the outer layers of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into 4 wedges, and cut out the cores. Shred the entire head of cabbage very fine. I recommend using a mandoline or shredder--I have one like this, and I actually use it several times a year for sau…

Too many peppers!

Too many peppers!
Well, it's that time again! Those peppers you have nurtured all summer, waiting for them to turn a seductive shade of red (or deep green) are coming in fast. Here on the prairie, we seem to have skipped our warm intro to fall, and landed smack dab in the middle of dank, misty rain. Buckets of peppers (and tomatoes) line our kitchen floor, waiting to be turned into something we can enjoy in the deep, dark winter months. One solution is PICKLED PEPPERS,  a favorite of my youth. My Yiddish grandmother with my mother alongside her would fill gallon jars with these mouth-watering delights, and most years my brother and I could not keep our hands off them for the full time. I am honored to have my mother's hand-written recipe, in her lovely Catholic school handwriting. It is a little dim from time, so I have transcribed it in detail:


Cook peppers (roast)* on top of stove over flame (till black all over)Dunk in water and peel (or put in plastic bag when cool to hasten…

Stuffed Peppers, East German Style

Apparently it's been 11 years since I last posted a stuffed peppers recipe! I am posting a new one, which a) is a different style, and b) I think is more delicious. My previous recipe was more of a Turkish style. This is based on Das Original DDR Kochbuch, which we purchased in Weimar, Germany.  I have added some spice to what would have been a rather stodgy recipe.

This is great to make if you are practically drowning in peppers from the garden, as we are at this time of year. We used about 12 peppers of varying sizes, mostly small. If you are using store-bought peppers, 6 will probably do.


Preheat oven to 400° F
Filling 6-10 green bell peppers
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
2 c. cooked basmati rice
1 large onion, minced
1 lb. ground pork
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. dried white onion
1 Tbsp. salt
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. freshly ground whole coriander seeds (yes, you can just use ground, but this has more flavor)
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. butt…

Farfalle al Tonno (Bow-ties with Tuna)

This recipe based upon one from the grand tome "A Mediterranean Feast". It is the rarest of the rare: a true half-hour meal. Great for the tired, the desperate, the hungry. The original recipe calls for a 6-7 ounce can of tuna, but the largest I found was 5 ounces, and that worked fine. You could double to 10 oz tuna if you want it more meaty.

Recipe 1 lb. farfalle (bow tie noodles)
1 5 oz. can tuna packed in olive oil (do not drain)
Handful of fresh parsley leaves, lightly chopped
1/4-1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste

Salt the pasta water generously, and bring to a boil. Boil for the time listed on the box. Drain.

Empty the tuna, including the olive oil it was packed in, into a large bowl. Add the parsley leaves. Dump in the noodles and toss. Add olive oil to your liking, to keep it easy to toss, but not swimming in it. Sprinkle over the cheese, black pepper, and salt to taste, and toss g…