#148: Pakistan

“Only you can prevent forest fires” vintage poster hangs in the Grand Junction Meyer’s guest room…

For some reason, this– THIS— was all I could think about a few Wednesday evenings ago when I was using my grill plate in my tiny one bedroom apartment. I had this image of a happy 1950’s Smoky the Bear smiling at me as my apartment filled with smoke. Fajitas. Indoors. Yes, I’ve had better ideas in my life. In my defense, I’d like to point out: I was left unsupervised; they were delicious; I would do it again.

Through the cloud of haze, when the door of the apartment opened, I was thrilled to see I wasn’t in this smoky mess alone. If at least one component of your adult life isn’t in a constant state of hot mess, you’re not doing it right. As you get older, there’s a realization that the messy parts are the best parts. Think about it. The best food? Messy food. The best games? Messy games. The best life? You got it. Even experienced cooks tend to make a total circus out of meals sometimes. The secret though is that they always enjoy that part. They make lemonade out of lemons… now this time, the solution was to make salsa, but trust us, lemonade wouldn’t have paired well.

Unrelated side note: Dad, the smoke detector works 😉

THE DINNER: To update you all on the 3 year journey we have had thus far, we only have 47 countries left! That’s a little less than a year away from completion. 76% give or take. With that, we were off to Pakistan like a herd of turtles for #148!

Beef Pasanda is a traditional middle eastern recipe for a lightly-spiced curry consisting of beef, onions and yogurt. The meal originated from the court of the Mughal emperors who conquered Northern India and Pakistan. The name Pasanda is a variation on the native word “pasande” meaning “favorite”. The cut of meat traditionally used? The best and most prime cut of meat… so it’s safe to say, “Tonight, we feast like kings!”

Beef Pasanda Recipe: http://mobile.pakirecipes.com/recipe/Pasanday

IMG_0777IMG_0778IMG_0780IMG_0758IMG_0761IMG_0779IMG_0766IMG_0767IMG_0769IMG_0771IMG_0772

Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STARS out of five this meal!
All things considered, we have had tougher meals to prepare. The ingredients, even for a curry were pretty simple and there wasn’t a lot of problem finding the spices (many of which we already had on had). The recipe does require some conversion from metric, but by now, we are old pros at that maneuver.

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR STARS out of five for Meal!!
This was tricky… we really enjoyed it but it wasn’t amazing. The strangest addition was the poppy seeds– and there was a metric ton of those. They added a bizarre texture component to the dish, but we all agreed that we couldn’t taste a distinct difference. The biggest thing was it was peppery. Not spicy, but peppery. That’s a good thing for the most part, but overall it was a little underwhelming. 

We were so happy to be able to celebrate Natalie and Matt’s wedding this weekend with all our out of town family. I gotta say, the Brovskys clean up nice and party like it’s 1999. The next stop for this adventure is Eritrea for #149!

Happy Campers All Around,
– L & K

 

Advertisements

#147: Jamaica

Happy belated 4th of July, America!

This last weekend was American Independence Day… and to stick it to the British (like we have every year for the last 200 or so years) we make a whole big ruckus that includes blowing things up, BBQing more meat than we could eat in a year and drinking lots of cold beer. Along those lines, I was able to escape for a girl’s hike with LS and BT in Boulder followed by really escaping to Buena Vista for some camping adventures. While we didn’t blow anything up personally, we did blow up our taste buds by roasting some Oreos over the open camp fire and pairing them with some pretty spectacular beer from Spice Trade Brewing (Olde Town Arvada’s own little America’s Sweetheart). Let me just tell you, both the mountains and the Oreos were life altering–heart stopping kinds of good for your soul 😉 …. and the company wasn’t too shabby either.

Check out that #oreodiet2017 life here for the recipe: http://spicetradebrewing.com/2017/07/07/first-friday-food-pairing-campfire-hero/
**sidebar for the foodies in my life: The Brewer at Spice Trade does a first Friday food pairing each month for you to sink your teeth into. You’re welcome in advance.

THE DINNER: Now, we took a bye for the holiday weekend because  every single Brovsky was stuffed with BBQ. But we picked up the torch again this weekend with Jamaica on the menu. L happens to have a friend who is Jamaican and gave me a week off from recipe research duty as she supplied us with the family recipe for her Jerk Chicken with butter beans and rice. I’m positive this one is not to be missed.

The coolest thing from a foodie perspective is that the Jamaican spice profile is so unique! It combines elements of Spanish, British, Indian, Chinese and French cooking. It’s literally a melting pot of people who have settled on the island over the centuries. This makes Jamaican food unlike anything else but at the same time oddly familiar to your senses. You can’t place it, but you love it. That’s the umami of Jamaica.

While you may be disappointed that we did not dress up as the Jamaican bobsled team for the meal… if you’re in the market, I might know someone who can hook you up with a costume. (Disclaimer: Must go to a good home. Only serious inquires please. Highest bid will be considered.)

Jerk Chicken with Butter Bean Rice Recipe: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/452189618826271201/

IMG_0651IMG_0652IMG_0650IMG_0653IMG_0654IMG_0633IMG_0634IMG_0635IMG_0637IMG_0639IMG_0640IMG_0641IMG_0642IMG_0655IMG_0646

Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STARS out of five this meal!
It wasn’t tough– it was a matter of measuring a whole lot of spices and then letting the meat get happy in the marinade. You throw it on the grill for a nice char and then continue cooking in foil. The rice and butter beans were easy as boiling water. We weren’t able to find scotch bonnets (they were sold out at Kings) but we did find Caribe peppers which are much more authentic as they are indigenous to the island we were making. Not to mention, the scoville units are similar so we were solid gold, baby.

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR and a HALF STARS out of five for Meal!!
At the risk of being a broken record from last week: it was not as spicy as we wanted or anticipated… but man alive, it was good! The marinade was flavor packed and the rice, while bland, took full advantage of it’s side-kick-status by gobbling up all the yummy drippings. For those that are wondering why it was butter beans and not red beans? Yeah, turns out from the mouth of a native Jamaican, that they actually dig the butter bean more than the red bean. We were happy to oblige and were not disappointed… they were, well, “buttery” which added a nice texture contrast.

  • Question that came up from A while we were eating: “How did the marinade get so deep into the meat?!”
  • Question from L: “Wonder what beer would pair well with this…?)

 

Can’t wait to end up in the throws of Pakistan for #148! There’s nothing this girl loves more than slow roasted meats and eggplant– so I’m not worried about this food adventure.

Nyam! (which means “eat” in Jamaican)
– L & K