The island of Guernsey is apart of the islands of the English Channel found between France and England. It is apart of the Bailiwick of Guernsey which is a British Crown Dependency. Although English can be spoken on the island, the locals also speak a native language known as Guernésiais, their own variation of French. Guernsey is also known for one of the largest tidal ranges in the world of 33ft.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Guernsey cows, these cows are native to the island and are known for their rich dairy products with high protein and butterfat quantities. As for particular cuisine of the island it was difficult to find, but I found for the Channel Islands collectively local seafood and dairy products. There is a popular dish called “bean jar” from Guernsey which is slow cooked beans that traditionally was cooked over night in the oven and eaten for breakfast. Guernsey bean jar has been around for centuries and is one of the better known dishes.
I decided to try “potato peel pie” which caught my eye as I was scouring for recipes. There are several variations, but I picked one that had the peels on top which was appealing (pun intended) because the potential for a heavenly crispy top layer. The origins of the pie comes from the WWII time period when food was rationed. At the time Guernsey was occupied by Germany making food even more hard to come by. Most farm animals were taken away so farmers relied on their crops which included potatoes. Beet root can be found in a lot of the recipes, but the one I decided on had omitted it.
The cooking process is simple, just a lot of prep work. I used my mandolin to get evenly cut potatoes. I opted for cheddar cheese to get that nice rich flavor. You don’t have to use a baking dish, a pan works too but it could alter your cooking time. I thought dish since the recipe is for a “pie.”
We loved how unique this dish was! The crispy potato peels on top brought a fun texture to the meal and the cheese of course made the potatoes very creamy. The onions also were a good pairing and brought more dimension to the flavor profile. What a great way to use veggie scraps too! I will definitely think twice before I toss potato skins and see if I can repurpose them for a crunchy topping! We rated this one 8.5/10 🔥🥔
Next we head southeast to Israel!
Potato Peel Pie – Guernsey
Don't throw out the potato peels! This dish uses all of the potato- consisting of layers of thinly sliced potato, onions, and cheese this pie is topped with potato peels. It is baked in the oven for a nice crispy crust.
Madagascar is an island of Africa found off the coast of Mozambique and is surrounded by smaller islands Comoros, Mayotte, Reunion, and Mauritius. Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and has very diverse wildlife, a good portion of which can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Madagascan cuisine is a reflection of the cultures found on the island. There are 18 ethnic groups all of which have there own particular traditional foods and cooking styles. Their cuisine has three main influences: Chinese, French, and Indian. Traditionally rice is accompanied with every meal and seasoning is sparce, salt in particular is rarely used, us Americans couldn’t imagine.. Fresh sugar cane, fruits, vegetables (asparagus, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, and cabbage) and yams are grown on the island. Fish and beef is also consumed here.
To represent Madagascar I found this recipe for viande hachée et pomme de terre à la malgache which translates to “minced meat with Madagascan potatoes.” It is a specialty of Madagascar with a spicy tomato sauce and hearty mix of potatoes and beef. I had originally cooked this with another recipe that is similar but is no longer available, that is why you see the inconsistencies with the ingredients I used.
The ingredients are simple and relatively inexpensive. Cooking is easy and can be completed during the work week.
The meal was unfortunately underwhelming to us. The consistency was different and would probably be better with smaller potato pieces. There was a mild heat that we enjoyed but needed more salt and pepper for sure- 6.5/10 from us.
Wataweih (hello) and welcome to our next country. Norfold Island, a small Australian Island found in the East of Australia, is where we are stopping today! The island is an external territory of Australia and is about 5 miles long by 3 miles wide. This community has its own language which is a mix of Tahitian and 18th century English. An interesting fact here is that cows have the right of way!
This island goes by the mantra “catch and cook.” Fishing is referred to as “catching” and the catching is plentiful. Cuisine here is made up not only of local seafood, but beef, pork, seasonal vegetables. Like its’ language, the cuisine also is a blend of Tahitian and 18th century English cooking. There is great pride with using local and fresh ingredients.
Corn Pilhi is the recipe we made for Norfolk Island. There wasn’t too many recipes out there for the tiny nation that I could find. Pilhis seem to be a common type meal with simple ingredients consisting of mashed produce, a grain, and a liquid. The corn pilhi recipe I found had cheese, shredded sweet potato (known as kumara here), polenta, milk, and caraway seeds. You can find the recipe here.
Thinking of the island and its resources I paired the pilhi with breaded coconut fish. Cooking was a breeze. I used my Kitchen aid and the grating attachment to shred the sweet potato and cheese- dodged that arm workout! 🙈
This was another unique dish! The caraway, sweet potato, and cheese was unlike anything else we have ever had. The sweetness of the potato comes through but the texture was nothing noteworthy. The fish was a good addition to the plate. We rated this one 6.5/10
Our final Kenyan recipe had a lot of promise. A homemade spice blend and a solid ingredient list made for an exciting cooking journey. The recipe can be found here.
Kuku Kienyeji translates to “free range chicken.” Unfortunately my chicken was a Hannaford special 😅, but nonetheless this recipe calls for a whole chicken that you cut into sections for cooking. This more natural chicken traditionally takes longer to prepare thus the boiling is the first step of the cooking process. In some preparation I found people would use other parts of the chicken including gizzards and liver. I did not partake with that!
At the time I had questioned some of the preparation and was sad to see the chicken cook down to the point it fell off the bone. For anyone using store bought whole chicken I think browning the chicken on all sides at a higher heat and cooking over half way through before adding it to the vegetable mixture could give that aesthetic the blog has. Other sources this meal was definitely had more of a stew appearance. It is a lengthy cooking process with a homemade seasoning which if you don’t have a spice grinder could seriously add on time.
To round out our Kenya food tour we were unfortunately underwhelmed once again! The clove was too powerful and made it less appetizing. We found the mix of veggies and chicken was nice and it was spicy without being “too spicy” of course minus the clove.. Also the chicken cooked so long it fell off the bone making the presentation a let down compared the the reference. This one ranked lower at 5/10. It probably is just cook error🙃
Switching gears, we will next visit Norfolk Island!
I have a vegetarian and vegan option for you fellow foodies out there! Today’s meal consists of a bean dish (maharagwe) and a side of collard greens (sukuma wiki).
Maharagwe is a creamy bean stew that is found along the Eastern coast of Africa. Maharagwe means beans in Swahili and often refers to kidney-like beans that have a molted/speckled appearance. Coconut milk, spices, tomatoes, and diced peppers and onions are also found in the dish. You can find the recipe I referenced here.
As for the sukuma wiki (recipe), it is a simple side that is often found in African cooking due to the few ingredients which can be found locally and its versatility. With it being fewer ingredients it certainly doesn’t break the bank to make! The affordability of the meal is actually in the name- sukuma wiki meaning “stretch the week” in Swahili. There are variations on the dish but at its core is collard greens, oil, salt, tomatoes, and onions.
I opted for flatbread once again, but to keep it traditional you can take a swing at ugali. The entire meal was simple to make especially with the use of several canned ingredients it cut down the prep time. This was a nice option for the work week and also very affordable!
This hearty bean meal was well complimented by the cream coconut sauce. The bed of collard greens paired well. The flat bread was the perfect vessel to scoop everything up. Overall the flavor was found to be underwhelming so we rated this meal 6/10 average. Oh well!
Pilau is a festive and celebratory dish of Eastern Africa. Prepared with either beef or chicken, the dish has tons of seasoning. This rice dish is unlike its’ sister Indian pilau since it lacks curry powder making it less spicy.
The origins of pilau are rooted in Swahili culture. There is debate on weather pilau originated in the Middle East or Africa. However, with further research Indians/Middle Easterners likely brought this dish to Africa and it was then adapted by the locals with what ingredients were more readily available.
This stew-like meal was easy to follow along. I think I should have cooked the liquids down more to dry out the rice as it was intended. The aroma of the spices roasting in the skillet was very enticing.
We thought this meal had an awesome spice profile with cardamom being the stand out. There was a little more moisture (sorry to anyone who hates the word) than anticipated, but at least the meat was tender! 😅 We rated this Kenyan meal 8.5/10
A flavorful rice dish with beef and hearty vegetables. Recipe included for pilau masala spice blend
Combine whole ingredients if using and place in pan on low heat. Allow to roast until fragrant.
Place all ingredients in a grinder and combine. You will likely have leftover seasoning- you may save this in an airtight container.
Heat a stock pot on medium-high heat. Add oil and allow to heat. Add onions and fry making sure to brown, but not burn them. This can take 10-15 minutes
Add in pepper, ginger, and garlic allowing to cook until fragrant. Then add beef, spice blend, beef stock cubes (if using), cilantro, bay, and salt. Mix well and cook until beef caramelizes. Make sure to stir often, cook 8-10 minutes.
Add in tomatoes and cook until their liquid has been released, about 4-5 minutes.
Stir in potatoes and water (or broth) bringing mixture to a boil. Stir in rice and cover reducing heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Kenya, an African country known for its incredible wildlife -a safari hot spot. Nestled beside Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Indian Ocean, this country is chalk-a-block full with national parks and wildlife reserves. The country is also well known for the world’s fastest runners, the great wildebeest migration, and Kitenge culture.
Kenya is a big exporter of tea and coffee. Interestingly it is thought that Kenya has no “national dish.” Due to the 40+ native tribes there are several special dishes that are thought to represent these diverse communities. Common staples of the Kenyan diet consist of grain (maize, sorghum, and millet), rice, greens, grilled meats, fish (in coastal regions), and local vegetables. Stews are a very common meal to have on a regular basis along with ugali (maize polenta).
Today I made a traditional Kenyan curry with steak, it can also be made with chicken or goat. Similar to Kenyan stews, tomatoes, onions, and garlic are core ingredients.
I opted out of the the more authentic pairing of ugali because I have had unsuccessful attempts at making polenta/porridge that tasted good and naan bread is 👌Curries and stews traditional pair with ugali which is key to soaking up alllll the goodness! Cooking was a breeze, the slow cooking of the curry allows the flavors the develop.
Our first Kenyan meal was a power house dish full of pleasant spice and refreshing cilantro. The flat bread paired well with the dish and absorbed the curry which had a tomato dominant flavor. And if it couldn’t get better the meat was also very tender, perfect! We rated this one 9.5/10 🔥
Kenyan Beef Curry
This is comfort in a bowl with just the right about of spice!
1-2fresh chilis/hot pepperssliced for garnish (I used jalapeno)
1/2cilantro bunchroughly chopped
Add the 4 cups of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Mix in the beef, garlic, and ginger allowing to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove pot from heat and drain liquid, reserve broth for later. Set beef aside as well. Add the pot back to the stove and add cooking oil changing temp to medium heat. Add in the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add canned tomatoes to onions and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes soften. Mix the beef back into the pot along with the remaining spices and tomato paste. Combine ingredients well.
Add the broth back into the pot and add any additional water needed to cover the beef completely. Bring mix to boil then turn down to a simmer for 1 hour. Make sure to stir frequently.
Once the beef is cooked through you can do your final taste test adding any additional seasoning you find necessary. Garnish with peppers and cilantro. Serve with rice, ugali, or naan bread.
El Salvador, “The Savoir” in Spanish, is a small Central American country that borders Guatemala, Honduras, and the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador is also known by “the land of volcanos” due to it homing 20+, with two active volcanos that erupted last year.
Typical fare found here is influenced by the indigenous people and Spain. Maize is a main staple of the country and is used often in cooking. Cassava, beans, cheese, pork, and seafood are other main ingredients and loroco and isote are common seasonings. The national dish of El Salvador is pupusas which I attempted to make..
Pupusas are a thick batter with a stuffing either containing cheese, meat, vegetables, beans, or a combination. It’s popularity doesn’t stop here, it spans across the world as a tasty bite. Another indigenous recipe, they were thought to have originated from the Pipil tribe over 2000 years ago. The steak on the otherhand is another traditional and well loved Salvadorian classic with the flavor combo of yellow mustard and Worchester sauce. You can find the pupusa recipe here and steak recipe here.
I struggled to get the right consistency for the batter which you can see and I ended up adding more flour to get it more workable. The steak was straight forward. I can’t remember the salsa I got, but it was good!
Well, I failed at the pupusas.. so sad. I didn’t have the right grain/flour for it so mine didn’t stay together and was very cornbread-like. The steak had a unique sweetness to it. On a positive note we thought the salsa paired well with the pupusa “wannbe.” We rated it 6/10.. Oh well! That means we will have to circle back in the future and try something else to redeem ourselves!
The Philippines is an Asian country made up of 7.6k islands of which only 2k are inhabited. The Philippines are known for their beautiful beaches and picturesque landscapes like the one pictured below.
The cuisine of The Philippines is unique due to the diverse ethnolinguistic groups and tribes over the thousands of islands. Much of Filipino cuisine was created several centuries ago and have since evolved into known dishes today such as paella, lechon, adobo chicken, and lumpia to name a few. This country is also one of the world’s largest producers of coconut. Vinegar is also known as a very crucial element in Filipino cuisine as you will read more about below.
Of course the dish we chose is a very well known dish and is often the first food to be associated with Filipino food- chicken adobo! When I was researching the Philippines, my friend Eric who is half Filipino, steered me in the direction of this mouth watering plate. He has made us this meal on multiple occasions so I already had a good idea how good it would taste. Adobo, a salt, vinegar, soy sauce, and black peppercorn marinade has been around since the precolonial period. The indigenous people would use vinegar and salt to help preserve food in the tropical climate.
This was another easy dish! I marinated the chicken overnight in order to get as much flavor as possible and while it cooked I could get the mushrooms and onions prepped. When everything was cooking I got the rice going and prepared the salad. Although it was a steady hour of cooking with minimal breaks it can be done during the week.
Yum! This chicken was so delectable, the mushrooms were tender and full of flavor, and the salad was refreshing and spicy! We loved that the ingredient list was minimal and not overwhelming. The meal overall was well rounded and a crown pleaser. We rated it 8/10!
Adobo Chicken with Mushrooms and Onions – The Philippines
This super savory chicken uses simple ingredients and is easy to make.
Today’s meal is from Tunisia, not Greece as the above picture may convince you. Tunisia is apart of Northern Africa which borders the Mediterranean Sea, Algeria, and Libya. Here you can find a blend of Arab and Berber culture, 99% of the country being Arab. An interesting fact about Tunisia is that Star Wars A New Hope was filmed in several locations.
The local fare is greatly influenced by the countries culture and surrounding regions. Like other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, olive oil, tomatoes, and seafood are commonly used in their meals. A trait that sets Tunisian cuisine apart from other Northern African countries is that most of their meals are spicy. These spices include cumin, caraway, chili peppers, paprika, coriander, and garlic.
The dish I found to represent Tunisia is called shakshuka. It is thought to have originated here, but is widely eaten as a breakfast dish throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa. Simply it is lightly poached eggs in a pepper and tomato sauce along with other fresh ingredients. This meal traditionally is vegetarian and the recipe I used can be found here.
After prepping all the veggies (or using canned) you end up combining all the ingredients in one pot and making wells for the eggs to sit while they cook. The recipe is fairly simple and quick to make.
We found this plate to be unique, but unfortunately underwhelming in flavor and textures. The flatbread pair well and was the perfect vessel to transport the meal to your mouth. I can’t see us trying this one again, it was rated 6/10.