Welcome to the Big 5-2!
We have reached a year’s worth of weekend food adventures on Around the World in 195 Sundays! We have officially been at it for a year’s time. It’s hard to imagine we have made 52 international meals already! I guess when they say that time flies when you’re having fun, they definitely mean it. We have only 145 more countries to go…which sounds like fun to us. It’s been another rainy week here in Denver. I’m starting to think I’ve moved back to Portland, OR that this is now Portland at this point actually. So we wanted to pick a sunny country to mark this Memorial Day weekend. We picked Tunisia and we can maybe fantasize that we are on the Mediterranean being fabulous. Maybe.
THE DINNER: The food of Tunisia is a melting pot of all the inhabitants of that land over the centuries:Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Turkish, French, not to mention, it’s native peoples. The basic profile is Mediterranean with notes of spicy distinctiveness that is common to the middle African nations. We in Brovskyland LOVE LOVE LOVE spice…at least L & K love it. So we were excited to hear this. Tunisian food offers mainly vegetarian fare with main meats including chicken and mostly seafood– keeping to the white fish common to the Mediterranean region. The best thing I read when doing research for this meal was that Tunisians like to refer to their food as “sun cuisine”, meaning that anything that is out in the sun makes for a good meal (i.e. olive oil, spices, tomatoes, seafood….). What a lovely way to put it though: “Sun cuisine”. It just sounds wholesome and happy. Which after all this rain in the Mile High City is certainly welcome.
We tackled the quintessential sauce for Tunisia: Charmoula! It is the chimichurri sauce of Northern Africa/Mediterranean region. It’s slathered on all types of meat, veggies and etc. It’s super simple to make just like it’s South American counterpart and it’s basically perfect on everything from basting, to saucing, to grilling. We wanted to make a region authentic dish, so we stewed/pan fried it with chicken quarters and then served over cous cous.
Charmoula Recipe: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Charmoula
OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:
Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STARS out of five this Dinner!
It’s basically throw all ingredients into a food processor and then slather over meat. So it’s nothing that’s particularly difficult here. It’s more just “what wonderful method of cooking” would you like to choose from. It was actually hard deciding what to do with the sauce and how to serve it once it was made that was the real difficulty. It was decided that we would do chicken quarters and that we would serve over plain cous cous. I mean, cous cous is the easiest grain in the history of life to make. You literally boil water and add the cous cous. It’s done when the water has absorbed. You can’t over cook it. You can’t burn it. It’s cake. So the cous cous gets negative stars for difficulty. I think, now looking back we might have added some more peppers to the carmoula.
Best dish of all time scale: FOUR STARS out of five for Dinner!!
Overall, this was a solid meal. It was tender and juicy and the charmoula was lovely. I could have had that on everything. Certainly lived up to the hype. I’m not concived it was more than four stars, because while it was delicious, it was not something that we raved about for days after or that we even raved about while eating. It was what it was. I love chicken and rice– which is really what it boiled down to. It was a great Sunday family meal, and for little ones or the not-so-food-adventuresome it was not crazy exotic.
As we approach week #53, we are going to head to the Middle East for the recipes of Tajikistan!!
Tajik food is very intricate and I’m most excited to announce a AW195S field trip– no not the the P.O.M (which we love!) but to Boulder! I think you can put the pieces together on this one, but if you’re not a native, the hint is that Tajikistan has give Boulder (it’s sister city) a present that we can visit to get something warm to drink in accompaniment of our meal 🙂
Peace, Love and Food Fights!
– L & K
PS: For those planning to make ceviche from week #51, please be aware that Lime Juice Burns are in fact a thing. It would behoove you to wear gloves! We are still recovering from some significant hand burns following some time in the sun and yard coupled with the lime juicing.