World Dinner Club

World Dinner Club
World Dinner Club

Thursday, January 24, 2013

An introduction to the Street Food of Penang, Malaysia

San Francisco Chef Azalina Eusope helps Hungry Globetrotter bring the famous street food of Penang to life in our February dinner box 

Check out this great video of Azalina via the Food Network:

Discover Malaysia with Azalina in our  February World Dinner Club subscription box.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Enjoying Mole at Home

Mole is a rich chili and spice sauce from Mexico that incorporates sometimes dozens of ingredients cooked over many hours and reflects the complex flavors of each cook or restaurant.

The best-known legend of the origins of Mole Poblano says that it was created at the Convent of Santa Rosa in Puebla. An archbishop was visiting, and there was nothing on hand to prepare. However, the resourceful sisters pulled together some leftovers. The bishop loved the intense sauce of chocolate and chilies served over an old turkey. 

It’s said that the original recipe for Mole Poblano contained over a hundred different ingredients. Today it usually consists of dried ancho, pasilla chilies, chipotle, tomatoes, raisins, unsweetened chocolate, almonds, sesame seeds, clove, cinnamon, pepper, parsley, onion, garlic, and tortillas. 

Of course, you don’t have time to gather and slowly cook all these different ingredients. After testing several mole short cuts (and even making it from scratch to be sure), we’ve discovered an easy mix from Urban Accents, which is in our January box shipping this week, that makes it possible for anyone to enjoy this complex and rich sauce at home… without a team of Puebla nuns on hand in the kitchen!

While putting together this box we enjoyed thinking not just about how to showcase two unique ways to use chocolate, but also how to appreciate some key techniques of Mexican cooking.  We do this by using soffritto as a base for rice and by adding tortillas in a flavorful soup.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fun Food Facts from Mexico

  • Many of today’s favorite foods come from traditional recipes developed by the Mayans and the Aztecs.
  • Chili peppers, corn, tomatoes and other New World foods spread to the rest of the world after the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors. 
  • Mole poblano has its roots in Mayan and Aztec food, but the modern version was created in Puebla State (in light green in the center of the map above) in the colonial age. 
  • Many of Mexico’s candies are not only food, but small pieces of art. Skull-shaped candies or chocolates (like the ones in our box) are specially prepared for the Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, a holiday when it is typical to pray for and remember friends and family members who have passed away.