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NAME OF COUNTRY: CAMBODIA

CONTINENT: ASIA


A super fast and easy dish to put together — very tasty too!

What Is Lok Lak?

First founded in Vietnam, Lok Lak founded its way into Cambodia and is now the country’s national dish. Its Vietnamese name is originally called bò lúc lắc, which translates into English as “beef” and lúc lắc “stir” or “shake”.

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NAME OF COUNTRY: LAOS

CONTINENT: ASIA


An easy and simple recipe to put together to make a nice quick lunch! The combination of juicy ground chicken, fresh lemongrass, toasted rice powder, and spicy red pepper flakes
make this dish absolutely tasty!

Laotian Larb Gai with Mint garnish

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NAME OF COUNTRY: CAPE VERDE

CONTINENT: AFRICA


Although this dish requires only a few spices, it is flavorful all around — the juices from the meat, the sweetness from the corn, and the starchiness from the beans and root vegetables. Delicioso!

Cachupa — a traditional Cape Verde dish.

What Is Cachupa?

Cachupa is the traditional dish of Cape Verde. It is a thick hearty stew that can be eaten with meat and/or only vegetables. There are two varieties of Cacupa —

  1. Cachupa Rica: Rica meaning “rich” in Portuguese — the stew is made with meat.
  2. Cachupa Pobre: Pobre meaning “poor” in Portuguese — the stew is made with vegetables.

FUN FACT: Cachupa, depending on the region in Cape Verde, is also called: Munchupa, Cachupa Rica, Cachupa Pobre, Cachupa Refogada

Cachupa — a traditional Cape Verde dish up close.

My Substitutions

  • Since I was unable to find pork legs, I substituted it for bone-in pork shoulder from Wild Fork. If you cannot find either, you can also substitute for pork belly.
  • Any type of beef is okay with this recipe. I used flat-iron steak and then diced them into cubes.

Ingredients you need:

  • 10 oz of corn kernels
  • 15.5 oz beans (I used black-eyed peas)
  • 2-4 links of chorizo, sliced thick
  • 1 lb flat iron steak, cubed
  • 1 lb bone-in pork shoulder, cubed
  • 8 oz unsalted bacon, cut 2-inches wide
  • 2 onions, divided, 1 chopped and 1 quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves, divided (I used organic bay leaves)
  • 2 tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 small cabbage, cored and sliced thick
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cassava, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups organic stock (beef, chicken, vegetable — I used chicken stock)

How to Make the Cachupa Rica:

Marinate the Meat:

  • Add all the cubed meat (beef, pork, chorizo, and bacon) into a big bowl and pour in 2 cups of stock. Set aside and let marinate.

Make the Hominy:

  • In a pressure cooker on medium-high, add 1 tbsp of oil. Saute corn kernels, 1 quartered onion, 1 bay leaf, and salt for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the starchiness in the corn is gone.
  • Submerge corn kernels with water.
  • Cover with a lid over medium heat for 30 minutes

Make the Stew:

  • In a big stockpot, add the cooked corn, beans, and the marinated meat with the stock until it starts to boil. Add water if needed.
  • Give it one more stir and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage and root vegetables. Cook for an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables is fully cooked through.
  • If there is too much liquid in the stockpot, stir occasionally on high heat until the liquid evaporates and the stew is to your desired consistency.
  • Immediately serve.
Cachupa — a traditional Cape Verde dish.

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Cachupa (Corn and Beans Stew)

Cachupa (Corn and Beans Stew)

Yield: 8-10
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

This thick hearty stew can be enjoyed with meat or only vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz of corn kernels
  • 8 oz beans (black-eyed peas)
  • 2-4 links of chorizo, sliced thick
  • 1 lb flat iron steak, cubed
  • 1 lb bone-in pork shoulder, cubed
  • 8 oz unsalted bacon, cut 2-inches wide
  • 2 onions, divided, 1 chopped and 1 quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves, divided
  • 2 tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 small cabbage, cored and sliced thick
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cassava, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups stock (beef, chicken, vegetable)

Instructions

Marinate the Meat:

1. Add all the cubed meat (beef, pork, chorizo, and bacon) into a big bowl and pour in 2 cups of stock. Set aside and let marinate.

Make the Hominy:

1. In a pressure cooker on medium-high, add 1 tbsp of oil. Saute corn kernels, 1 quartered onion, 1 bay leaf, and salt for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the starchiness in the corn is gone.
2. Submerge corn kernels with water.
3. Cover with a lid over medium heat for 30 minutes

Make the Cachupa:

1. In a big stockpot, add the cooked corn, beans, and the marinated meat with the stock until it starts to boil. Add water if needed.
2. Give it one more stir and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add the cabbage and root vegetables. Cook for an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables is fully cooked through.
4. If there is too much liquid in the stockpot, stir occasionally on high heat until the liquid evaporates and the stew is to your desired consistency.
5. Immediately serve.

Notes

1. You can opt to add 1 can (14oz/ 398 mL) of tomato sauce to make the stew more tomato-based.

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NAME OF COUNTRY: ANDORRA

CONTINENT: EUROPE


This is my rendition of Andorran a la Trucha. I substituted whole caught trout for frozen trout and it still tasted wonderful. I have no doubt that fresh fish tastes better than frozen.

Andorran Trout with Bacon Strips.

What Is Trucha?

Trucha translates to “trout” in Spanish. A tiny country situated between Spain and France, Andorra does not have the luxury of having a coastline, however, it does have many clear lakes and rivers where fresh trout can be found. Fishing is a common sport amongst Andorrans. Therefore, trout is the most popular dish in Andorra and is eaten almost every day in the household.

Closeup of Andorran Trout.

My Substitutions

  • Instead of fresh-caught trout, I used frozen trout from Wild Fork.
  • The traditional way of making the topping for the fish is fresh jamon, such as Iberian ham or Serrano ham, but I used unsalted bacon to accompany it with the trout. Not 100% authentic but still delish nonetheless!

Ingredients you need:

  • 2 trout, fresh or frozen
  • 4 slices bacon, fried and cooked
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp oil (Olive or Grapeseed)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

How to Make Trucha a la Andorrana:

  • In a frying pan over medium-high heat, place 4 slices of bacon and fry until desired crispiness. Take out and put on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Set aside.
  • Wash the trouts and pat dry.
  • Mix the salt and pepper with the flour, then dredge the trout on both sides and fry them until golden brown on the outside and cooked inside.
  • Assemble by placing the trout on the plate and then putting 2 slices of bacon on each one.
Closeup of Andorran Trout and Bacon on top.

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Trucha a la Andorrana (Andorran Trout)

Trucha a la Andorrana (Andorran Trout)

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Easy to make and the quickest, healthiest recipe if you're in a pinch!

Ingredients

  • 2 trout, fresh or frozen
  • 4 slices bacon, fried and cooked
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp oil (Olive or Grapeseed)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, place 4 slices of bacon and fry until desired crispiness. Take out and put on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Set aside.
2. Wash the trouts and pat dry.
3. Mix the salt and pepper with the flour, then cover the trout both sides and fry them until golden brown on the outside and cooked inside. (see notes 1)
4. Assemble by placing the trout on the plate and then putting 2 slices of bacon on each one.

Notes

Note 1: I covered the pan with a lid for an additional 5 minutes to allow the fish to thoroughly cook inside.

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NAME OF COUNTRY: ALBANIA

CONTINENT: EUROPE


This dish is so delicious! A casserole that is filled with succulent lamb pieces, rice, and a tasty yogurt mixture is definitely a must-try!

What Is Tave Kosi?

Tave Kosi is the national dish in Albania. It is also known as Elbasan tava, which is named after the Albanian city, Elbasan. Served warm, this comfort food is full of flavor in every layer.

Tavë Kosi translates into English as tavë “casserole” and kos “goat’s or ewe’s milk”.

Tavë Kosi in an earthenware casserole dish.

My Substitutions

  • To facilitate the prepping time, I used boneless lamb stew meat from Wild Fork. It is organic and grass-fed. The lamb comes in a 1-lb bag that is already diced into 2-inch cubes, so no extra work is required. 😉

Ingredients you need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2 lbs of boneless lamb stew meat, diced into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup water (or more, if needed)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup white rice (I used basmati rice)
  • 2/3 cup reserved lamb broth 
  • 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Nutmeg, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

How to Make Tave Kosi:

  • Prep meat by washing thoroughly.
  • In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of butter (this is my favorite kind of organic butter) and olive oil.
  • Once the butter melts, add meat in batches and stir gently until the meat is browned. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Once all the meat is browned, add the minced garlic and oregano. Stir for 3 minutes making sure the garlic does not burn.
  • Add 1 cup of water or until meat is fully submerged. After the water boils, lower heat to simmer for 40 to 60 minutes until the meat is tender.
  • Remove the lamb and add the broth in a separate saucepan over high heat. Once the broth starts to boil, add rice. Lower the heat to simmer and cover for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
  • Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and mix vigorously with a whisk until smooth.
  • Add the Greek yogurt and eggs and mix until everything is combined.
  • Mix the lamb with the rice then spread at the bottom of a baking dish, pour the yogurt mixture, then cut up the remaining 1 tbsp of butter into small pieces and distribute it over the top.
  • Place the baking dish in the oven for 40 minutes. 11. Let cool and sprinkle nutmeg over the top. Serve and enjoy!

Tavë Kosi in an earthenware casserole dish.

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Tavë Kosi (Albanian Lamb Casserole)

Tavë Kosi (Albanian Lamb Casserole)

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Succulent lamb pieces and a tasty yogurt mixture casserole dish will surely transport you to Albania.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2 lbs of boneless lamb stew meat, diced into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup water (or more, if needed)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup white rice (I used basmati rice)
  • 2/3 cup reserved lamb broth
  • 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Nutmeg, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. Prep meat by washing thoroughly.
2. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp olive oil. Once the butter melts, add meat in batches and stir gently until the meat is browned. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Once all the meat is browned, add the minced garlic and oregano. Stir for 3 minutes making sure the garlic does not burn.
4. Add 1 cup of water or until meat is fully submerged. After the water boils, lower heat to simmer for 40 to 60 minutes until the meat is tender.
5. Remove the lamb and add the broth in a separate saucepan over high heat. Once the broth starts to boil, add rice. Lower the heat to simmer and cover for 10 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
7. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and mix vigorously with a whisk until smooth.
8. Add the Greek yogurt and eggs and mix until everything is combined.
9. Mix the lamb with the rice then spread at the bottom of a baking dish, pour the yogurt mixture, then cut up the remaining 1 tbsp of butter into small pieces and distribute it over the top.
10. Place the baking dish in the oven for 40 minutes.
11. Let cool and sprinkle nutmeg over the top. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

1. You can opt to use just plain water (2/3 cups) for the rice instead of using lamb broth.
2. If you want more rice for the casserole, put 1/2 cups of rice with 1 cup of water, broth or a mix of both.
3. Make sure to add a pinch of salt to the eggs before you beat it with a fork.

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