Saturday, June 3, 2017

Roulette: International Cuisine Family Experiment Number Two: It's Mixed Bag!

Sometime toward the end of last year, my family had another one of our international cooking nights, and I've been meaning to share that experience with you ever since that day. Sorry it's taken so long!

This time we decided that instead of choosing one style of food to taste, we would each choose one or two recipes from random areas around the world. Bill and I thought it might be fun to twirl the globe, close our eyes, and stop the spinning by pointing wherever we felt like landing. I landed in East Africa, somewhere around Uganda. I was fortunate, because by landing there, all I had to do was ask my brother, who is often in Uganda on TDY, for recipe suggestions. Bill blindly pointed his finger at Madagascar, and Ian went with a recipe inspired by the cuisine of Korea. The results were predictably delicious - good enough for me to post "That was delicious! Great blog coming!" on my Facebook page. In the interest of keeping the secret for this blog, I didn't post a list of what we made. Unfortunately, that means we've forgotten something. That is, we can't recall exactly what Bill made! So, we'll get back to that when we remember what it was and call it a lesson learned -- keep notes if you can't finish the project on time!

Here's what we do recall of that mid-September feast:

Ian's Offering:

Ian found a recipe on Emeril's recipe page called Korean-style Pork Wraps with Chili Sauce. Here's what he made:


1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup Sriracha hot chili sauce
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 1/2 cups cooked jasmine rice
1 head Boston, bibb, or butter lettuce

Prepping to Marinate the Pork


Wrap the pork tenderloin in several sheets of plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 40 minutes. (This is to make it easier to thinly slice, so make sure it doesn't freeze completely.)

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil, green onion, garlic, and ginger. Whisk together until the sugar dissolves.

Take the pork out of the freezer and unwrap on a clean cutting board. Slice the pork into thin strips, about 1/4 inch thick, 1/4 inch wide, and 21/2 inches long. Place the pork strips in the soy marinade, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the Sriracha hot chili sauce, the honey, and the remaining sesame oil. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Pork Ready to Serve
When the pork has marinated, take the bowl out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the pork from the marinade and carefully place in the skillet. (Be careful that the drippings don't splatter out of the pan.)

Cook the pork, stirring constantly with tongs or a wooden spoon, 4 to 5 minutes, until the pork is cooked through.

Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame seeds. To serve, spoon several tablespoons of rice into the center of a lettuce leaf, taco-style. Top with a few pork strips and drizzle with a few drops of the chili mixture.

Roll up and eat!


Oh! My goodness, was this delicious! While credit for the recipe belongs to Emeril Legasse, the cooking credit goes to my son. He made a great choice and did a fabulous job of preparing the food.

My Additions:

My brother Matt sent me two recipes from Uganda that he particularly loves. Rather than choose just one of them, I went ahead and made them both. One of them called for a spice mix called Royco Mchuzi Mix, which I was unable to find here. Fortunately, an internet search unearthed a list of ingredients which were easily accessible. I put all the loose spices into a jar and shook them up. Here's the recipe for "Royco Mchuzi Mix," as I found it:

1 tsp each of:

Garlic Powder
Ground Ginger
Ground Fennel
1 bullion cube (beef)

 The first recipe is a sort of beef stew called Beef Katogo. Here's the recipe:

Veggies for the Stew

5 peeled fingers of matooke (super green bananas or plantain)

Boneless beef ¼ KG (2 LBS)
2 tomatoes
1 big red onion
Two spring onions
1 big bell/ green peppers
1 fresh clove of garlic
1 carrot
Two fresh spinach leaves
Coriander leaves (sometimes known as cilantro)
Cooking Oil
Mchuzi mix (In this case, Royco)

Heat up a pot and pour in some oil, wait till the oil heats up.

As the oil heats up, finely chop the carrots, onions, pepper and garlic. Chop the tomatoes too and place them on the side. You cut the veggies into small pieces depending on what style is easy for you to cut them into.

Pour the chopped vegetables into the pot and cook till they are brown.

Add the tomatoes, cover the pot and let them cook for three minutes.

Add finely chopped spinach

Add salt and mchuzi mix for taste then stir.

Add the beef with a little bit of water then cover the pot and let it cook for four minutes

Add a cup and a half of water.

Add the matooke and cover the pot. Let it cook for 10 minutes.

Turn the heat low and uncover the pot, let it simmer for three minutes and switch off the fire.

Steaming Beef Katogo
Beef Katogo Ready to Serve


Well, this one was a hoot! The original directions had the disclaimer that the number of "fingers of matook" depend on how many people you are cooking for "and in this case we are cooking for one." I took that literally, meaning one person, which means I tripled - yes, tripled - the recipe. I made enough of this for a very large family with a LOT of leftovers. I actually had to look up "fingers of matook," and even "super green bananas," because I wasn't sure if they were a specific type of banana. The internet information led me to thinking plantain would be the right choice. Plantain are more savory than bananas, so I thought it would work best with beef. Next time, after a post-experiment conference with my brother, I'm going to use the super green bananas. I suspect the consistency is a little lighter. Plantain worked very well, but I found them to be rather dense. The overall taste of this recipe was great, though. I love a good stew, and that's exactly what this is, a very good stew. 

The other Ugandan recipe is a simple spicy hot salad. It was a great side dish!

Kachumbari Salad:

 2 tomatoes diced
½ large red onion diced
1-2 jalapeƱos, seeded, diced 
1 medium cucumber diced
1-2 garlic minced
Juice from 1 lime
Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Salt and black pepper to taste


Combine ingredients; tomatoes, onion, cucumber, jalapeno, lime and herbs. Season with salt and pepper

The longer it sits, the hotter it gets.

Mmmmm! Spicy! Katchumbari Salad

Hot is definitely a good description of this salad. For those of us in the Southwest, though, it was a familiar flavor. We all enjoyed a little bit of this on the side with the savory stew and delicious pork wraps.

A Hint of Bill's Dessert

As I wrote earlier, we can't recall exactly what Bill made for dessert. That is, we don't remember the name. We do, however, know it was a scrumptious cake-like dessert made with flour, sugar, eggs, and coconut shaped into little balls and baked.

I recall that I wished he had made a larger batch so it would last longer!

 Oh! What a Meal!

Components for Dinner, Ready to Go!

My Plate, Ready to Eat

  A Taste of Things to Come:

There will be some addition posts coming soon, including a recipe I created last night that was a surprise success, a little bit about that autumn batch of mead, and some creative and healthy uses for turmeric. I'll try not to be gone so long this time! 

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