This month home cook GiddyUpGo has taken on the impressive task of cooking one dish from every nation around the globe. From Abkhazia to Zimbabwe, she’s giving us a geography lesson with every bite. Read on to find out how this mother of four researches authentic recipes and sources unusual ingredients like yak and kangaroo from her small hometown of Rough and Ready, CA. Click here to see her recipes »
Tell us about the inspiration for cooking a different dish from each country in the world. I love to cook but I was getting bored making the same recipes. While hunting for something new and unusual, I hit upon the idea of picking a country and cooking its recipes. I thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to do one meal from every country?” Since I like to write, my blog came together naturally.
You and your husband love painfully spicy food. Has any country’s cuisine proven to be too spicy? Oh, yes. For Bolivia, I did this dish called Fritanga, which is a pork stew thickened with eggs. It was a four serving recipe that called for a 1/2 cup of cayenne pepper. I’ve eaten some really spicy foods before but this was even hotter than a London Vindaloo. I would not have even finished it if my reputation hadn’t been at stake.
How do you research authentic recipes? My most important tip is to use Google translator and search in the native language of the country. Bloggers, who are natives or ex-pats, are the best source for truly authentic recipes. Sometimes I use Wikipedia to find names of a specific dish and then use those names to search for recipes.
Tips for hard to find ingredients? If you live in a big city it’s easier to find specialty items. For me, it’s more of a challenge so I use Amazon. I have an online source for exotic meats like kangaroo and yak and I plan my menus six weeks in advance.
Do you have a least favorite ingredient? My least favorite ingredient is shrimp paste. The first time I bought some I threw it away. It smelled so rank I thought it was spoiled. The second time, I realized that it’s supposed to smell like that. Not only did it make my kitchen stink for days, it tasted as rank as it smelled. Now I run screaming whenever I see it in a recipe.
How have your children’s food tastes changed? Sadly, they haven’t. They hate almost everything. Actually that’s not quite fair, they do OK with some meals, especially Asian and European dishes. Their favorite foods are still pizza and french fries.
What’s in your fridge right now? My husband is forever complaining that there’s too much stuff in the fridge. There are about a million different kinds of cheese, grapes, strawberries and cherries, way too many sauces and condiments, some leftover lasagna and basics like eggs, yogurt, milk and juice.
What’s your favorite Food.com recipe? Why do you love it? This will sound funny after all this talk about international recipes, but Kittencal’s Prime Rib Roast is my favorite Food.com recipe, even though I never cook it. I ask for it on Mother’s Day and my birthday. I love it because it’s just as good as anything from a restaurant. Somehow it’s more satisfying to know that my husband made it!