Welcome to Food Explorer!

Hello | February 4, 2015 | By

Maybe you’re already a Food Explorer.  Maybe you’re just dipping your toes into the briny waters of international cuisine.  Maybe you don’t have much time to cook, but are looking for interesting dinner ideas.    

Whatever the case, you’re here, so it’s a solid bet that you’re looking to break free of the usual weeknight meal rotation.

We were too, so we started Food Explorer to expand our culinary & cultural horizons, and we quickly discovered that friends loved joining our weekly expeditions on Facebook. The more friends who joined, the more fun it was. That’s why we created this blog, to get even more people involved and have even more fun.

Every week, we’ll announce a new country and we hope that you cook along, join the adventure and share your pics and stories at #fdexplr.

Singapore: Beef Noodles

BeefNoodles

Singapore | August 10, 2015 | By

Beef noodles are one of the most popular street foods in Singapore. There is not really a single recipe for Singapore Beef Noodle and they can be influenced by any of the surrounding countries cuisines. They can be soupy, dry or somewhere in between. Our recipe has a distinctly Chinese influence to it, with a good amount of five spice and a dark soy sauce and rice vinegar broth. 

 

Click through for the recipe.

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Singapore: Cucumber Acar

CucumberAcar

Singapore | August 7, 2015 | By

Here’s a cool way to make a quick condiment that adds some freshness, crunch and a sour vinegary note to your meal. Acar is popular all over the region and this recipe is a quick way to make it.

Click through for the recipe.

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Singapore: Kaya Toast

KayaToast

Singapore | August 6, 2015 | By

We love exploring global breakfast at Food Explorer, and here’s something new! Kaya is a sweet, custardy jam made from coconut milk, eggs, sugar and flavored with pandan leaf. Pandan leaf is a little hard to find but it’s necessary for kaya. It adds a subtle flavor that, to us, is slightly nutty. Traditionally, Kaya is spread on toasted white bread along with a slab of cold butter. A soft boiled or over easy egg with a dash of dark say sauce accompanies it. Definitely worth a try if you can find pandan leaves in your area.

Here’s a recipe for Kaya Toast

Singapore: Hainanese Chicken Rice

HainaneseChickenRice_1

Singapore | August 3, 2015 | By

Here’s a recipe that’s deceptive in that it looks simple, almost bland, but it’s texture and flavor are tough to get right. That’s why cooks in Singapore are often judged by their Hainanese Chicken Rice. We don’t have much to compare ours against but it was really good, and ideal for a hot summer evening because it’s served cold over a bed of crunchy cucumbers. There are as many variations as there are cooks, but the basics are the same: Poached chicken and aromatics create a broth that is used to cook the rice and add to the sauces. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out.

Here’s the recipe we followed.

 

Provence: Pan Bagnat

Pan Bagnat

France | August 2, 2015 | By

This is basically a Nicoise salad in a sandwich. Who can argue with that?

Check out the recipe.

Provence: Salade Niçoise

Salade Niçoise

France | August 2, 2015 | By

Salade Niçoise is probably the most famous dish from Provence. We find it to be the perfect summertime meal because it’s cold and refreshing but has lots of salty and rich ingredients. Prepare the ingredients ahead of time so you can just throw it together at dinner.

Here’s a good recipe.

Provence: Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis

France | August 2, 2015 | By

Provencal cooking is all about seasonality. It just happens to be cherry season in New York right now so what better way to take advantage of the bounty than to throw them in a giant pancake and serve it up for breakfast. 

Here’s the recipe.

Provence: Socca

Socca

France | August 2, 2015 | By

We’ve been to Provence before and were struck by the quality and variety of fresh produce available. Every town has a farmers market at least one day a week and they are brimming with fruits, veggies, olives, salamis and all sorts of local goodies. Socca,which is a crepe or pancake made from chickpea flour is a great platform for this fresh produce because you can put just about anything on it and it’s delicious. Here we basically made a caponata of eggplant, tomato, and pepper and served it over the socca. 

Here’s a good basic recipe to get started.

Costa Rica: Tamales

Banana Leaf Tamale

Costa Rica | July 10, 2015 | By

We’re not gonna lie, this isn’t a weeknight meal that can be simply thrown together. These tamales took us 2 days to make. Even with our trusty pressure cooker we didn’t have the stamina to power through in one evening. But the results are worth it. A tender morsel of pork embedded in masa, potato and rice with a few other things tossed in for good measure, resulted in something unusual and delicious and that’s what food explorer is all about. The banana leaf wrapping was something we had never seen before and it imparted it’s own flavor after 2 hours of boiling.

In Costa Rica making tamales are a Christmas tradition, probably because it takes a whole family and a lot of time to make them. We’re glad we tried making and we’d recommend them as a family project, just set aside a whole day or two to do it.

Here’s a recipe that we followed.

Costa Rica: Coconut Crusted Tilapia

coconutFish

Costa Rica | July 8, 2015 | By

When we hear the word Tilapia we think farmed, bland fish that might as well be chicken breast. In Costa Rica, it’s actually a native species that thrives in the warm, fresh water of this tropical country and it’s an integral part of the Costa Rican diet. And we just happened to have some in the freezer. Besides ceviche, which we didn’t dare try with our fish of questionable age and provenance, there were very few actual recipes online so we made one up. A light layer of flour, a quick dip in egg wash and a bread crumb/coconut coating that got nice and crispy in the frying pan was all it took.  Along with the standard rice and beans, we whipped up a mango salsa and a simple salad of avocado and cucumber sprinkled with salt and lime juice. And of course Salsa Lizano, always.

Click through for the recipes.

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