2017 has been quite a year, eh? We saw everything from a solar eclipse (estimated to have caused nearly $700 million in lost productivity), to the reveal of Chipotle queso (too grainy for my tastes) and the popularization of “unicorn” food items (yikes).
On a personal note, my family move from Florida to Virginia, and I’ve spent nearly every spare moment working on my new cookbook. I started a new assignment in the Navy, which will have me traveling quite a bit over the next couple of years; an exciting opportunity to eat my way around the globe.
Here on The Domestic Man, I released about 50 new recipes, bringing the site’s total recipe count to nearly 500. Some of the dishes were brand new inventions or favorites from my previous cookbooks, but most came from recipes I’m testing for the next book – a small preview of what’s to come. I’m really proud of this year’s crop of dishes, but I wanted to take a moment and highlight a few of my favorites. So without any further ado, let’s dig in.
Chicken Korma Nadroo – “Korma” comes from the Urdu word ḳormā, which means to braise. This dish, as with other braised dishes like Rogan Josh, is characteristic of Moghul cuisine, which was first introduced to Northern India by the Mughal Empire in the 16th Century; the Mughal were a predominantly Muslim people of Turko-Mongol descent (some claimed to be direct descendants of Genghis Khan).
Inihaw na Liempo (Filipino Grilled Pork Belly) – This dish is a more modern preparation of pork belly, using ingredients with both short and long histories in the Philippines. Many recipes today call for banana ketchup, which was a replacement for tomato ketchup invented during tomato shortages in World War II. For this recipe, I decided to mash a couple bananas into my marinade, and was pleasantly surprised by the fruity notes that complemented the crispy pork belly.
Potjiekos (South African Hodgepodge Stew) – Potjiekos has all of the things I like in a good stew: tender and rich meat, sauce that’s bursting with deep flavors, subtly-seasoned vegetables, and a good backstory. Potjiekos is a communal dish, cooked outdoors among friends (and a bottle of wine); it is distinct from traditional stews in that the ingredients are not stirred together until right before serving. Instead, the vegetables are layered over the meat and steamed, giving each ingredient its own distinct flavor.
Beef Tinaktak – Hailing from the Pacific island of Guam, this pairing of ground beef, tomatoes, green beans, and coconut milk sounds a little strange on paper, but the resulting flavor is anything but; it’s immediately comforting, while wholly unique.
Gluten-Free Chicken Karaage – Chicken Karaage has only been recently popular in Japan, mostly over the past 50 years, but it was likely first developed during the Edo period (1603-1868). The key to a crispy gluten-free Karaage is to toss the chicken in potato starch to form a light coating right before you drop it in hot oil. I like to use lard when frying chicken, but I’ve heard some amazing things about Chicken Karaage fried in duck fat, so if you have any on hand, maybe try that instead.
Salad Shirazi (Persian Cucumber and Tomato Salad) – Salad Shirazi is a herb and vegetable salad from the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. It’s enjoyed year-round as a side dish, but is often served as a full meal during the hot summer months. While the vegetables are often diced – giving them an appearance not unlike Pico de Gallo – I have found that using larger chunks give each ingredient a bit more distinction, and results in a livelier eating experience.
Chicken Marengo – In June of 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte led the French army to a decisive victory against the Austrian army in Marengo (present-day Italy), an important battle during the French Revolutionary Wars. Legend has it that the French supply carts failed to catch up to their soldiers, and so Napoleon’s chef had to forage for ingredients in the local village. Returning with a chicken, olives, and some crawfish, the chef threw them together into the dish now known as Chicken Marengo, and served it with grilled bread topped with a fried egg. Napoleon, who was known to have bad digestion due to wolfing down his meals, enjoyed the dish so much that he requested it after every subsequent battle.
Fårikål (Norwegian Lamb and Cabbage Stew) – Originally from Western Norway (Vestlandet), Fårikål has become a widely-loved autumn staple, to the point where it was named Norway’s national dish in 1972. The traditional preparation of this dish couldn’t be simpler: layer some lamb, salt, and cabbage in a pot, then add water, potatoes, and peppercorns and simmer until everything is tender.
Gluten-Free Southern Skillet Cornbread – I don’t cook with corn that often, but when I do, I make sure it is unforgettable. I love the heartiness, and slight grittiness, of this Southern-style cornbread – a far cry from the muffin-like cornbread you’ll find in the North. But my favorite aspect of this skillet cornbread is its fleeting nature; right out of the oven, this cornbread is divine, but after an hour or so, its beauty wanes. This is the perfect dish to enjoy amongst friends, with big knobs of butter, and generous drizzles of honey.
Cheers to a New Year, and more adventures to come. Thank you for your continued readership, and I’m excited to see what 2018 brings. See you next week!