It costs a lot of money these days to do some travelling.
There is one way, however, where you can stay at home and enjoy the flavours from those places far away.
With food we can travel around the world through our taste buds and the cost is not much.
I have never been to France, but I can cook a traditional French dish that would give me reasonable taste of that which may be eaten in France.
The same, of course, goes for Chinese, Thailand, Indian, Greek or other kinds of foods.
The biggest problem in trying to authenticate foods from various countries is to obtain the right ingredients.
I might be making a Thai recipe and discover that I can’t buy Galanga, (a ginger type root native to Thailand) so I can either substitute with a local ginger or try a different Thai dish where all of the ingredients are available right here at home.
I shop at all stores but I find Save-On-Foods is doing a pretty good job of stocking foods and spices or sauces from various countries, particularly Asian goods.
Try some different cooking today.
There are lots of easy dishes to cook and a lot of time you can purchase most of the food here or elsewhere in B.C.
You can take a palate trip to another country without leaving home.
Let’s start with an easy dish to start with, one from the Cajun area of the United States.
• 1/4 cup of butter
• 4 minced garlic cloves
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1/4 cup of chopped celery
• 6 ounces of chopped okra
• 3 tbsp butter
• 3 tbsp flour
• 4 cups of water
• 16 once can whole tomatoes, chopped and undrained
• 1/2 tsp sugar or splenda
• 4 tsp fresh parsley
• 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
• 3 bay leaves
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
• 6 ounces of spicy sausage cut into 1/2 inch pieces
• 4 ounces of flaked crabmeat
• 6 ounces of prawns peeled
• 1/4 tsp of hot pepper sauce or to taste
• 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 lemon
Melt butter in a large pan and cook over medium heat.
Cook garlic, onions, celery and okra until brown and set aside.
In a heavy stock pot over medium heat, add in the butter and flour to make a brown colored roux.
Stir in celery, onion and okra, then cook until tender.
Stir in water, tomatoes and sugar.
Season with parsley, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for two-and-one-half hours, occasionally stirring.
Add prawns, crabmeat and sausage to stock pot.
Stir in hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
Add lemon juice and simmer for an additional five to 10 minutes until sausage, prawns and crabmeat are cooked.
Take out bay leaves and serve. This recipe should serve four people.
Have a good fall weekend!
Bye for now and GOOOD COOKING.
Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Advisor.