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"GLOBAL CUISINE: RECIPES FROM AROUND THE WORLD": DE MODE GLOBAL

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN DE MODE | FOOD

Article Published on: 18TH MAY 2024 | www.demodemagazine.com


Exploring global cuisine is a delightful way to experience different cultures and traditions. Through food, we can travel the world from our kitchens, savoring flavors and techniques unique to various regions. Here, we delve into three iconic recipes from different corners of the globe: Italy’s Risotto alla Milanese, Japan’s Sushi, and Mexico’s Tacos al Pastor. Each dish showcases the rich culinary heritage of its country and offers a unique culinary experience.


1. Italy: Risotto alla Milanese

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:
  1. Prepare the Saffron: In a small bowl, soak the saffron threads in a tablespoon of warm water. Let it sit while you prepare the risotto.

  2. Heat the Broth: In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth over low heat. Keep it warm throughout the cooking process.

  3. Cook the Onion: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and half of the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.

  4. Toast the Rice: Add the Arborio rice to the saucepan with the onions. Stir continuously for 2-3 minutes until the rice is well-coated and slightly toasted.

  5. Add the Wine: Pour in the white wine and stir until it is fully absorbed by the rice.

  6. Incorporate the Broth: Add a ladleful of warm broth to the rice, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth, one ladleful at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next. This process should take about 18-20 minutes.

  7. Add the Saffron: Stir in the saffron and its soaking water into the risotto. Continue stirring until well incorporated.

  8. Finish the Risotto: Once the rice is creamy and al dente, remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the remaining butter and the grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

  9. Serve: Serve the risotto immediately, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Risotto alla Milanese is a classic Italian dish known for its creamy texture and the delicate flavor imparted by saffron. The key to a perfect risotto is patience and constant stirring, which allows the rice to release its starches and create a luxurious consistency.

Photo by Alex Favali | Source: www.pexels.com

2. Japan: Sushi

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sushi rice

  • 2 1/2 cups water

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Nori (seaweed sheets)

  • Assorted fillings (sashimi-grade fish, cucumber, avocado, crab sticks)

  • Soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi for serving

Instructions:
  1. Prepare the Rice: Rinse the sushi rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain well. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 18-20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.

  2. Season the Rice: In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat gently until the sugar and salt dissolve. Do not boil. Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl and let it cool slightly. Gradually fold in the vinegar mixture, fanning the rice as you mix to cool it quickly. This gives the rice its signature glossy appearance.

  3. Prepare the Fillings: Slice the fish and vegetables into thin strips. Ensure all fillings are ready before you start assembling the sushi.

  4. Assemble the Sushi: Place a bamboo sushi mat on a clean surface and cover it with plastic wrap. Place a sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the mat. Wet your hands to prevent the rice from sticking, then spread a thin layer of sushi rice over the nori, leaving a 1-inch border at the top.

  5. Add Fillings: Arrange your chosen fillings horizontally across the center of the rice.

  6. Roll the Sushi: Using the bamboo mat, lift the edge of the nori closest to you and start rolling tightly away from you, pressing firmly but gently. Seal the edge with a little water.

  7. Slice and Serve: Using a sharp knife, slice the roll into bite-sized pieces. Serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi.

Sushi is a quintessential Japanese dish that highlights the importance of fresh, high-quality ingredients. The balance of flavors and textures, from the vinegared rice to the delicate fish and crisp vegetables, makes sushi a beloved culinary art form.

Photo by cottonbro studio | Source: www.pexels.com

3. Mexico: Tacos al Pastor

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, thinly sliced

  • 3 dried guajillo chiles

  • 2 dried ancho chiles

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup chopped pineapple

  • Corn tortillas

  • Chopped onions, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and salsa for serving

Instructions:
  1. Prepare the Marinade: Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chiles. Toast the chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Soak the chiles in hot water for 15 minutes until softened.

  2. Blend the Marinade: In a blender, combine the softened chiles, pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

  3. Marinate the Pork: Place the sliced pork in a large bowl and pour the marinade over the meat. Mix well to ensure all the pork is coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

  4. Cook the Pork: Preheat your grill or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the marinated pork in batches until charred and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Add the chopped pineapple to the skillet during the last few minutes of cooking.

  5. Assemble the Tacos: Warm the corn tortillas on the grill or in a dry skillet. Fill each tortilla with the cooked pork and pineapple mixture.

  6. Garnish and Serve: Top the tacos with chopped onions, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and your favorite salsa.

Tacos al Pastor is a popular Mexican street food that blends the flavors of marinated pork, sweet pineapple, and vibrant garnishes. The dish reflects the fusion of Mexican and Middle Eastern culinary traditions, resulting in a delicious and aromatic meal.

Photo by Los Muertos Crew | Source: www.pexels.com

Conclusion

These three recipes—Risotto alla Milanese, Sushi, and Tacos al Pastor—illustrate the diverse and rich tapestry of global cuisine. Each dish offers a unique taste of its country’s culinary heritage, inviting you to explore and appreciate the world through food. Whether you are in the mood for a creamy Italian risotto, the delicate artistry of Japanese sushi, or the bold flavors of Mexican tacos, these recipes provide a starting point for your culinary adventures.

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