Any of you that are familiar with Andrew Zimmern and his popular Travel Channel show, "Bizarre Foods", probably got a little nervous reading that title! Never fear, these are three yummy, accessible recipes made with every day ingredients that have some international flair.
Over the past two weeks, I have made Andrew's Lamb Hand Pies, Korean Fried Chicken Fingers and Best Beef Stew. All three were delicious! The real test, of course, is my four year-old son. He gave the dishes an enthusiastic thumbs-up! Well, not literally, but he cleaned his plate and that is definitely a "thumbs-up" in his world!
I made the hand pies and chicken fingers as written in the links above. The chicken fingers took a bit of time, but the double frying technique was well worth it. They were wonderfully crunchy and delicious! Now, the beef stew required a bit of adjusting. First, unless I misread the recipe I printed from the website, it didn't mention when to add the garlic. I realized that while the beef was browning and threw it in then. I used a dark oatmeal stout beer brewed here in Michigan (we're not beer drinkers so I chose one that will be awesome made into beer bread). I didn't have all the herbs for the bouquet garni, so I made do with the ones I did have and, finally, I didn't have red wine vinegar, so I used balsamic. The stew was wonderful, even if I didn't do it exactly as written. And that, my friends, is the beauty of cooking from scratch. You can substitute ingredients or adjust cooking styles to suit your time, family and kitchen.
Give these a try. I really think you'll like any one of them and it might just open up a whole new world of flavor for you and yours!
PS-If anyone associated with "Bizarre Foods" ever reads this, know that I would do just about anything (within legal and moral limits, of course) to accompany Andrew on one of his expeditions. Food traditions and traditional diets may be the most important factor in saving our health and improving the health of our planet. I would love to experience them in a truly authentic way. Whew, shameless groveling complete...