I don't know about you, but I like to nibble on sweet, salty, and tangy vegetable pickles with my meals. They help digest food and provide balance during the meal, especially when you are eating starchy foods like noodles. They also whet the appetite, which is probably why they are served the minute you sit down in many Asian restaurants. I call for kirby, Persian, or Japanese cucumbers, all of which are slender when compared to regular cucumbers. Kirby and Persian pickles are 4 to 5 inches long, while Japanese cucumbers are a couple of inches longer. The pickling liquid here is traditionally used for pickling sliced cucumber, carrots, and daikon, so feel free to try these vegetables as well. The amount of pickling liquid may look inadequate, but there will be enough because the cucumbers give up some of their natural water while sitting in the brine.
Ata is the Yoruba word for chile pepper, and Nigerian chiles range from the tiny ata wewe to the large ata funfun. It is served like a relish or dip with many West African dishes, particularly grilled meats. Variation: Add 1 bell pepper, chopped
Albuquerque-area resident and vegetarian cookbook author Nanette Blanchard has self-published a booklet of her favorite southwestern plant-based recipes. Fiesta Vegan: 30 Delicious Recipes from New Mexico contains her take on traditional recipes such as Posole, Calabacitas, Sangria, and Capirotada. Each of the recipes includes a color photo and a nutritional analysis. Fiesta Vegan also offers a list of online sources for specialty ingredients and recommendations for New Mexico stops for food-lovers. The 40 page booklet is available either in print or as a .PDF download. You can also find a Kindle version without photos; information on all the booklet versions is on her web site here. Blanchard also maintains a food blog, Cooking in Color.
If you can’t find prepared tostada shells you can simply serve this recipe on top of your favorite brand of tortilla chips. The Spicy Chile Sauce is also a great accompaniment to your favorite scrambled tofu recipe.
This recipe from Chef V. Morin, who writes, "avocado is an awesome fruit. I like avocado for breakfast it is full of vitamin A. and it can be made into an incredible mousse as well, served with seared shrimp or scallops and your favorite chile. I like Chipotle. Check out one of my favorite recipes for Avocado Mousse. Enjoy !!!"
These are so easy, it’s almost a non-recipe. Sure, you can complicate matters by making your own dough and cooking bacon from scratch, but for pure instant gratification, this is the way to go. And since we’re celebrating International Bacon Day—a holiday conceived by college students, I believe instant gratification is in keeping with the true spirit of the day.
The technique of soaking a food in a liquid to flavor it—or in the case of meats, to tenderize the cut—was probably brought to the Caribbean by the Spanish. A marinade is easier to use than a paste, and when grilling your jerk meats, the marinade can also be used as a basting sauce. “In Jamaica,” notes food writer Robb Walsh, “like Texas barbecue, jerk is served on butcher paper and eaten with your hands.” Serve this version of jerk with a salad and grilled plantains.