Welcome back, for our 126th country we traveled to Cameroon. Cameroon is part of Central Africa and can be found bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo. The country is well known for its’ native music, 200+ linguistic groups, and football (soccer) team. Another interesting thing about Cameroon is that the country is actually named after shrimp! The name comes from the Portuguese word camaroes due to the abundance of ghost shrimp in the Wouri River that runs through the country.
Cameroonian cuisine is a mix of several African cultures due to the many countries it borders. You can expect to see an array of fruits and vegetables on the menu along with maize, peanuts, and rice. The country’s cuisine has Portuguese, French, and German influence however it sticks to its roots with honoring cultural traditions. The dish made today features the crustacean the country was named after. You can find the recipe here.
Ndolé is the best known dish of Cameroon and very popular in the country. Shrimp of course is the star of the dish, but it can be made with stewed beef or fish. The ingredient list is relatively simple, however the recipe I had used didn’t have one of the classic ingredients- plantains. Cooking was easy and straight forward.
So we felt this Cameroon dish had a subtle nut flavor in the broth, however the taste in general was more on the bland side. We felt it could have been better with more garlic and ginger. Additionally we thought it could have had more elements to make the dish stand out. We felt underwhelmed and gave it 5/10- Cameroon has been added to the new recipe list!
Next we will share our experience of Algerian cuisine 🍽️
We had to leave you with the most interesting dish for last.. Toad in the hole is yet another unique English creation from the 18th century consisting of Yorkshire pudding with sausages and herbs. This was another dish that was developed by the lower class using common ingredients to make a meal with sustenance to yet them through the work day. Originally meat such as sausage was more expensive so game, fowl, or even kidney meat was used.
If your are wondering where the name stems from you aren’t alone! We were quite curious to discover the reason behind the cheeky name. It literally was named after the title suggests- toads peering out of crevice. Another thought to the name came from a golf tournament in Northumberland where a toad poked his head out of a hole which caused the golfers ball to pop out.
The key to making the Yorkshire pudding is chilling the batter and pouring it into the hot baking pan to get a dramatic rise. It is a simple enough recipe if you follow the steps. As for the onion gravy you essentially caramelize the onions and get a jammy consistency that makes for a good pairing to the pudding and sausage. This heavier meal works well with a vegetable side of salad.
This last dish was a nice sweet and savory combination. The pastry was soft and we found the onions to be especially sweet. It was yet another meal like no other and fun to make. This dish was worthy of 7.5/10.
Toad in the Hole
This humorously named dish is easy to make if you follow the directions to a T.
8pork sausages we used a link of kielbasa that we cut into smaller pieces
salt and pepperto preference
Red Onion Gravy
2red onionssliced thinly
2tsplight brown sugar
2cupshot beef stock(480ml)
salt and pepperto taste
10fresh thyme sprigs
First you will make the pudding. Place flour in a jug and form a well in the center. Add eggs to the middle and whisk with the flour gradually working from the center out. Add milk and whisk well. It will likely be a lumpy in texture which is fine.
Allow batter to refrigerate for 1 hour (can chill longer but no longer than over night). The chilling will allow for a good rise!
Preheat the oven to 425F. Place sausages/kielbasa in a large baking dish and drizzle oil over them. Place them in the oven to cook 15-20 minutes or until browned. While this cooks slice the onions.
Next is the fun part! Take out the pudding mixture and add in salt and pepper. Safely, open the oven door and pull out the tray quickly pouring the batter over the sausages/kielbasa. Close the door immediately and allow to cook for 25-35 minutes. The pudding should rise and be golden in color.
While this cooks it's time to make the gravy. Place oil and butter in a large fry pan at medium heat. Place onions and sugar into pan reducing the heat to medium-low. Allow onions to cook for 15-20 minutes giving a stir every few minutes. The onions should caramelize. Heat beef stock at this time.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions cooking for 2 minutes. Add the hot stock and whisk until the gravy thickens. Add the salt, pepper, and Worchestershire sauce and keep at low heat to keep warm.
Once the Toad in the Hole is done allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle thyme over the top and serve with red onion gravy. Enjoy!
Keyword England, toad in the hole, Yorkshire pudding
The state of Palestine is not recognized world wide, but is found in the middle east bordering Israel and Jordan. Over time the size of this region has shrunk to a fraction of what it once due to results of wars, some conflicts are still ongoing. Palestine is known for several of the holiest sights and has been inhabited since the Stone Age. It is also home to the world’s oldest olive tree believed to be 4,000 years old.
Palestine is full of beloved traditional foods that spans maqlouba and knafeh to better known middle eastern delights like falafel and hummus. The cuisine can differ based on climate and region. The West Bank is known for taboon bread, lentils, and seafood; Gaza has more variable spices and enjoy chili peppers. For something sweet Palestinians turn to pastries filled with nuts, cheeses, or dates.
Today’s dish musakhan also known as muhammam is a Palestinian classic. Musakhan translates to “heated up” in Arabic and is accurately named because all the ingredients are heated up separately. This national dish is one of few ingredients yet still brings a burst of flavor and it has a standout flavor- sumac! I had never tried it before and was glad to check a new flavor off the list. It is said the darker the sumac the higher the quality. All of these ingredients are commonly found in the Palestine kitchen. It can be served with yogurt or soup, but often is eaten alone.
Oh my goodness, my poor eyes! Cutting all those onions made me run to the tissues! Unfortunately my local grocery store was out of pine nuts, but I could secure the rest of the ingredients. The taboon bread was substituted with flatbread which is pretty similar. Once I added the sumac to the onions this wonderful lemon aroma filled the kitchen. I was pleasantly surprised!
This dish went two ways for us- I loved the vibrant, citrus notes of sumac with the sweet onions. The seasoning was warming and the flatbread was a nice vessel for the combination. If you’ve never tried sumac before you will like it if you enjoy lemon or citrus flavors, however Ian thought it was too much of a good thing. He felt the sumac was too strong and the dish was too different. I feel with some other vegetables added to the mix and slightly less sumac we could bump the rating higher. Maybe the pine nuts would have made a difference! Averaging it out we rated this one 7/10.
Let us know if you try it out or if you are a sumac lover too!
This Palestinian classic is so beloved it is considered their national dish. Full of spice and tanginess you can enjoy this dish with a side of thick yogurt, salad, soup, or as is!
1chicken cut into 4-6 pieces or 4-6 chicken thighs bone-in
2cupsextra virgin olive oil
2medium sized taboon breador flatbread
1/3cupsumac + 1 tbspthe darker the color the better
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepperto taste
pine nutsto garnish (optional)
First prepare the chicken. Preheat the oven to 375 and place chicken in a lined baking dish. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and rub the chicken evenly with the seasonings (except the sumac). Place in the oven and allow to cook 40-50 minutes or until fully cooked. I typically turn the pan half way through since my oven isn't convection.
In a large pot heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and allow to sauté for 30-40 minutes until softened, but not browned. By adding a little salt to begin with it will help with browning. Once onions are done you can add the sumac saving the last tbsp for garnish.
To assemble add the chicken to the oil/onion mixture allowing it to pick up the flavors, lay the onions evenly on the flat bread then top with the chicken. Evenly distribute the last tbsp of sumac over the dish and garnish with pine nuts if using. Optionally you can place the flat bread into the oven at 350 with the toppings and allow to crispen for 10 minutes or so. Enjoy!
For our final meal in Brazil we decided to do two classics- cheese bread and beef kabobs. This delectable and versatile cheese bread (or pão de queijo in Portuguese) has its roots set back to when the Portuguese colonized Brazil. It originated when the African slaves of these landowners used cassava to make tapioca flour by grating the flesh of the root, allowing it to soak in water, and straining the mixture so it could dry. The first bread was made solely of this starch and did not contain the dairy products until later on. The bread is now very popular throughout Brazil. If you are interested in making this cheesy goodness click here.
The history of churrasco however is a bit different. It started when cowboys in the Southern Brazilian wilderness cooked local game over an open fire in a deeply dug pit. Before the meat was cooked they allowed the flames to die down until embers remained, the meat was skewered and salted thoroughly. Now a days you can see these kabobs with various vegetables and fruits accompanying the tender and flavorful meat. Today’s recipe includes pineapple, peppers and onions that were simply seasoned with salt/pepper. I did not bother to prepare the pineapple as the recipe directed because grilled pineapple is already incredible.
While I prepared the bread and the meat marinated Ian heated up the grill. It did not take long to cook the meal, most of the time was spent skewering the meat and produce (it took a surprisingly long time). We decided to make up a fresh salad using greens from our garden to lighten things up.
HOLY GUACAMOLE! This cheese bread is everything you are looking for- soft, doughy, and cheesy. It is just so easy to make and 100% gluten free! I can see myself making this bread as a side, as an appetizer paired with tomato sauce, or a delightful snack. The kabobs of course were delicious and I do love so grilled pineapple. I feel like it is the superior way to prepare it and honestly I didn’t season it at all (even though the recipe called for butter among other things). This meal was crazy good, the bread really outshining the kabobs and truly blowing our minds. We rated this dish 9.5/10!
Welcome to another day traveling the globe by taste bud, today we land in the Caribbean on an island called Curaçao. You can find this Dutch island off the shores of Venezuela. It has a unique landscape that makes it stand out from the other Caribbean islands- it is a true desert island that receives little rain. Because of its dry climate growing crops is a challenge. When the Spanish came to the island and wanted to grow oranges they instead got small and tart fruit. Eventually it was discovered that the leaves from these plants were great to make liquor known today as blue curacao! This island of course has beautiful sandy beaches, incredible coral reefs, and a vibrant capital city know for its array of colors.
This gem of an island has strong European influence that can be found in its buildings, culture, and of course food. Dutch treats are enjoyed around the island along with Caribbean specialties. Keshi yena is considered to be the national dish of Curaçao which can be made vegetarian or with meat. It consists of cheese lined molds (such as a muffin tin or ramekins) filled with a savory filling that is baked until the cheese melts to completely enclose the center. You end up with several “cheese-castles” which is best served with a sliced up French baguette. The recipe I used can be found here.
When I was starting to make this dish I was surprised by the ingredients I was using. I would have never thought that raisins, capers, and soy sauce would be together as a part of this dishes filling! I found it tricky to cut the cheese thin enough to mold into my muffin tray, but I made it work. I used two different gouda cheeses (one older and one younger) which I felt elevated the meal.
Once I stuffed the cheese molded tray with the filling I used the remaining sliced cheese to encase the concoctions. Warning, there was a lot of grease that formed on the top of my tray and I had to keep dabbing it throughout the cooking time to avoid it dripping into the bottom of my oven. The author of this recipe used separate cooking dishes which may have eliminated this issue.
The end result once again surprised as with its complex and rich flavor. Most of my little cheese castles fell apart, but I was able to get a couple to stick together (shown above). We served them with the recommended baguette which we discovered tasted great with the keshi yena on top. Ian thought it reminded him of a lasagna in a way. If you don’t like your meals really cheesy this would probably be too much for you (or if dairy makes your tummy upset). We rated the dish 7.5/10.
Welcome to our 30th country Switzerland! Switzerland is situated between Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein. Here you can find 7,000 lakes, Lake Geneva being the largest at 45 miles max length and 8.7 miles max width. Surprisingly all of those mountains and lakes fit into a country that is roughly the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined. This country is like much of Europe- stunning landscape and mouth-watering food. This dish is just that!
I found an incredible recipe for this cheesy masterpiece and I could not pass it up. This dish is a combination of caramelized onions that are sautéed in butter and light beer, Swiss and cheddar cheeses, eggs, Dijon mustard, Worchester sauce, and sour cream that is encased in pastry crust.
You might be thinking yikes this is a heavy dish, but don’t worry a side of soup or salad helps brighten and lighten it up. I was thankful for my very efficient Kitchenaid shredding attachment that made prepping a breeze! I highly recommend this if you don’t already own it.
I ended up opting out of making a homemade crust and used the Pillsbury pre-made crusts to save time. I thought it was fairly straight forward and we couldn’t wait to try it!
So as you may have predicted this recipe was a success and very savory. It has a rich, creamy texture and reminded us of French Onion soup in pie form. It was so good that we both went for seconds (which I never do). We rated highly at 8.75/10.