Around the World in 7 Meals

Around the World in 7 MealsThere’s No Need for a Passport When You Spend a Week Touring the Globe with These Exotic Recipes

By Andrea Walker

Traveling around the world is easier than you think — on your time and your wallet. What I’m referring to doesn’t require airfare, hotels or sightseeing tours. In fact, all you have to do is take a ride to the nearest grocery store. One of the best aspects of food is that it enables us to experience another country’s culture and history. For example, making a Mexican meal lets you sample the hot, tasty peppers that are prominent in many Mexican dishes, or the fresh, doughy tortillas that have been prepared in many countries throughout Central and South America for centuries. Take your taste buds on a trip from Europe to Asia with these easy, budget-friendly recipes.


Moroccan Tagine

Moroccan cuisine is rich in both history and flavor. This warm, exotic stew is sweet and savory, and is easy to make. Serve it over warm couscous. Makes two to three servings.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 skinless breast halves, cut into chunks
1 ⁄ 8 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
⅓ 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
⅓ 14-ounce can vegetable broth
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
dash cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Before starting, marinate the chicken in a plastic bag with garlic, onion, ginger and lemon zest for a few hours. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook chicken and marinade 15–20 minutes, until browned. Mix squash, carrot, tomatoes, broth, sugar and lemon juice into the skillet. Season with salt, coriander and cayenne pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover and continue cooking 25–30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.


Russian Tea CakesThis fabulous dessert is perfect for entertaining friends at a dinner or tea party. Makes six servings.

1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1 ⁄ 8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon heavy cream
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped almonds or pecans
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon plus 2 ½ teaspoons powdered sugar

Cream together butter and sugar, then add yolk, cream and vanilla to the mixture. Beat well. Add nuts, flour and baking powder.
Chill the dough for 1–3 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
Place the cookie sheet on a cooling rack over the sink and sift powdered sugar onto the cookies. When cooled, sift another layer of powdered sugar onto the cookies.

Chinese Chicken Salad with Noodles (aka Yum Yum)East meets West with this light yet hearty dish. Enjoy a salad that you can add more or less of any of the ingredients to fit your preference. Makes a little more than two servings.

2 tablespoons white or yellow miso
5 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
4 cups lettuce mix (iceberg or whatever you prefer)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts grilled or pan cooked and sliced
4 ounces dried Chinese ramen or egg noodles
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

In a small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, miso and sesame oil until combined. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, noodles, tomatoes and salad greens. Season to taste.

Italian Pizza with Prosciutto and GarlicThis is an easy recipe my husband and I love to make as great comfort food. If you’re not familiar with prosciutto, it is delicious Italian ham with a crisp, salty flavor. Makes four servings.

1 ready-made pizza crust
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups tomato sauce
1 package sliced prosciutto (a 3.5-ounce package is good)
12 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2–3 leaves fresh oregano, finely chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Finely chop garlic cloves. Cut prosciutto into thick chunks. Place pizza crust on pizza stone. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil around the crust. Spread the sauce evenly around the pizza. Add chopped garlic and mozzarella. Top with prosciutto and oregano. Add extra mozzarella if desired. Bake for 30–40 minutes until crispy.

Indian Chicken CurryThis is by far one of my favorite dishes to fix when the friends come over. Don’t be intimidated by the list of spices for this dish; this is nirvana on a plate! Makes two servings.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
½ cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 bay leaf
3 whole cloves
1 ½ tablespoons red pepper flakes
7 whole black peppercorns
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk (optional)

Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add chicken, onion and ginger garlic paste. Add chicken broth. Season with curry powder, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves, red pepper flakes and black peppercorns. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with white rice. If you want a Malay style curry, add 1 cup of coconut milk with chicken broth.

African Peanut SoupA wonderful combination of ingredients and flavors makes this soup creamy and delicious. Be sure to add some bread for dipping. Makes two servings.

1 teaspoon olive oil
½  large red bell pepper, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
1 cup chunky salsa
¾ clove garlic, minced
2 ½ tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 ⁄ 8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon brown rice, uncooked
roasted peanuts, chopped (optional for garnish)

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook onion and bell pepper until lightly browned, stirring in garlic when almost done. Stir in salsa, chicken broth and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 25–30 minutes. Stir in rice then cover and simmer 15–20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Stir in peanut butter until blended. Garnish with chopped roasted peanuts if desired and serve.

Japanese Ginger PorkThis quick and simple dish is found in most Japanese restaurants. It is best served with rice and steamed veggies. Makes two servings.

1 tablespoon mirin or soy sauce
1 ½ teaspoons fresh ginger root, grated (add more for extra flavor)
1 tablespoon sake
½ pound pork loin, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, mix together ginger, soy sauce, sake and mirin. Add the sliced pork, cover and marinate for 1–3 hours. Drain the meat and reserve the marinade. Heat oil in a skillet or wok over high heat. Stir-fry the meat until nicely browned. Add the reserved marinade plus some water to deglaze the pan. The pork should have a dark crispy look to it.