This recipe can be used with chicken, pork or fish, what makes this dish distinctive is the special rice that is used and the accompanying "dipping sauce." This meal has very simple ingredients and is relatively easy to prepare. It is enjoyed both in Laos and Thailand. The dipping sauce is very spicy, but this can be adjusted to personal preferences. Although it is commonly referred to as "sticky rice", it is more properly known and sold as "sweet rice". Please note that other varieties of rice cannot be substituted for sweet rice, they just won't work at all. Our directions call for the use of a Thai sticky rice steamer and a steaming basket. You can purchase an inexpensive steamer "kit" at the Thuan Phat Supermarket. It is possible to make sticky rice with a standard American vegetable steamer basket. We have tried both methods and although the Thai steamer works best, the other method works well too. Please note, for best results the rice should be soaked in water for 6-8 hours (or longer) before you start cooking it.


  • 2 cups Thai long-grain sweet rice
  • 4 White meat Chicken fillets (pork firm fish fillets can be used as well
  • 2 tablespoons of grapeseed, peanut or canola cooking oil
  • Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1-10 Thai green chilies
  • 1 tablespoons of a fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of Nam Pla (น้ำปลา) (Thai Fish Sauce or "Nam Pa" in Laos)


Prepare the rice . . .

  1. Rinse the rice in water several times.
  2. Soak the rice in water for 6-8 hours or overnight
  3. Fill the steaming vessel will a few inches of water (water level must be below the steaming basket)
  4. Drain the soaked rice and fill steaming basket with the drained rice
  5. Cover the rice with a pot lid and then bring the water to a boil
  6. Turn the heat down to medium, a gentle boil will do (the steam's the important part)
    About 12-15 minutes after the rice starts to steam you will need to "roll" the rice.
  7. Carefully remove the steaming basket from the steamer being careful not to burn yourself. Firmly grasping the edges of the steaming basket flip the rice over with a motion that is similar to flipping an egg or a pancake in a pan. This takes practice!!!! But don't worry, even if you can't get just right, the rice will still be delicious. Please note that if you are doing this in some other sort of steamer (like a folding metal vegetable steamer), the only discernible difference will be how compacted the rice is, the difference is only slight.The rice should be fully cooked in 20 - 25 minutes.

Cook the Chicken . . .

  1. In America it works just fine to use pan fried Chicken Breasts. If the breasts are too thick, carefully slice them in half.
  2. Season to taste the chicken breasts fillets with garlic powder salt and pepper and fry both sides on medium heat. Both side should be a nice golden-brown.

Sauce Preparation:
Tolerance to chilies varies greatly from person to person, you should adjust the number of chilies to the tastes of your guests. Use 1 to 10 chilies.

  1. Grind chilies in a mortar and pestle (Laotian style) or slice very thin (Thai style). Removing the seeds will lessen the heat a bit. It is a good idea to use rubber gloves, and whatever you do don't touch your eyes with your fingers!
  2. Add 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice to the ground chilies (about half a juicy lime)
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the Nan Pla fish sauce.
  4. Serve the chicken and rice with your choice of vegetables. Authentically pieces of chicken are dipped in the sauce, but it works well if you drizzle sauce over your chicken.

Sticky Rice with Mangos:

Sticky rice with mango is a very popular and delicious dessert. It can be made with the rice left over from the recipe above. It's very easy to make. Sweeten (to taste) coconut milk with sugar and then pour the mixture over a mound of sticky rice. Top with slices of fresh mango. If you like mangos, try to find a mango slicer as slicing mangos is a bit challenging and the slicer makes it simple.

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"Creole" and "Cajun" are two terms often associated with the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans. The two words refer to different, although related, cultural traditions. Cajuns—who live throughout much of Louisiana—are considered to be descendants of French colonists who were exiled from the eastern maritime regions of Canada (principally Nov a Scotia, aka "Acadia" from which the term "Cajun" derives) in the late 1700's during Le Grand Dérangement. Cajun culture is not, however, purely French having been strongly influenced by Southern US cultures. "Creole,"—"a term which linguists use to denote a stable language which is a mixture of two dissimilar languages—is variously used to denote people who are; a mixture of European and African descent, Southern U.S. residents who are French descendants, or a person of European descent born in the West Indies or Latin America. In common usage there is a great deal of overlap in these two cultural terms although they are not interchangeable.

The word Jambalaya has many competing folk etymologies, but the Oxford English Dictionary considers it to be derived from the French Provençal word "jambalaia" meaning "mixture" a meaning that is well suited to its cultural milieu. Jambalaya is a dish that is thought to have originated in the European quarter of New Orleans, now commonly known as the "French Quarter" or simply "The Quarter". Although originally established by the French, much of the present day historical architecture was built during subsequent Spanish rule as many of the original French buildings were destroyed by fires in 1778 and 1794. It is likely that Jambalaya was a New World approximation of Spanish Paella in which tomatoes were substituted for saffron. Jambalaya, like the architecture and the inhabitants of the city of New Orleans, regales in the complementary blending of diverse elements and cultures.

Unlike Cajun style Jambalya, Creole style Jambalaya is cooked with tomatoes. Another difference is that Cajun jambalaya, also known as "Brown Jambalaya," is darker in color due to generous browning of the meats and is generally spicier than its Creole cousin. Unlike other dishes in Louisiana (notably gumbo and étouffées), but similar to Paella, rice is integral to the dish itself. Differing from its culinary ancestry, Paella, Jambalaya is cooked with long grain, not short grain, rice. As you can see from the directions below, preparation is quite easy and relatively quick. Variations of ingredients abound, so feel free to experiment!


  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound diced chicken (white or dark)
  • 1/2 pound diced smoked ham (diced)
  • 1/2 pound diced or sliced Chaurice, Andouille or other smoked spicy sausage.
  • 1/2 pound shrimp (peeled and de-veined, or whole)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 (14 once) can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 scallions sliced
  • 1 large bell pepper (red, green or both) diced
  • 3 cups long-grained rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon. chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (crush with your fingers)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Tabasco sauce, other hot sauce, or cayenne pepper to taste


  1. Sauté over medium heat ham, sausages, chicken and onions in 3-quart saucepan until sausages are browned and onions are translucent.
  2. Add bell pepper and garlic. Continue to sauté until vegetables are wilted, 3-5 minutes
  3. Add rice, chicken stock, tomatoes and spices.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover pot and cook for 10 minutes
  5. Add shrimp and green unions, mix well, cover and cook an additional 5 minutes
  6. Add parsley, mix, and serve.


Recipe by Tom Johnston-O'Neill
Photo by Shari K. Johnston-O'Neill

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Cinco de Mayo celebrates the 1862 victory of Mexican forces over the French army in the "Battle of Puebla." This battle pitted a poorly equipped Mexican militia against a much larger French force. The victory was rather short-lived as upon news of the French defeat in Puebla, Napoleon III dispatched a much larger force of 30,000 troops to conquer much of Mexico. French rule lasted a mere 3 years, as American and Mexican worked together to expel the French. While Cinco de Mayo is somewhat celebrated throughout much of Mexico, it is most exuberantly celebrated in Puebla. Cinco de Maya has also become a widely celebrated event in the United States, particularly, but not exclusively, in the Southwest. It is often mistakenly understood as Mexican Independence Day which is on September 16th although the complexity of the process in which Mexico became an independent country make setting an exact date a bit problematic. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is somewhat similar in meaning to St. Patrick's day, more of a celebration of culture than a celebration of a specific meaningful event. Pollo Encacahuatado is a regional specialty of Puebla.


  • 4 tablespoons of corn oil
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes (or 2 Roma tomatoes, skinned)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, and chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup shelled roasted peanuts (remove skins if necessary)
  • 1 Ancho chili (dried Pablano chili), seeded, de-veined and soaked in warm
    water until soft (about 10 minutes)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 (14 once) chicken broth (one can)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large saucepan, saué chicken 3 tablespoons of oil until golden brown.
  3. While the chicken is browning:
  4. In a food processor, puree chili, onion, garlic, and one tablespoon of oil. the mixture should be smooth. Set aside mixture and rinse processor.
  5. Now puree the roasted peanuts, tomatoes, and cinnamon in the food processor.
    Add water if necessary to make the mixture smooth.
  6. Remove browned chicken pieces from the skillet and set aside.
    Drain excess oil from pan so that only a tablespoon or two remains
  7. Add chili/garlic/onion mixture to pan and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes stirring frequently
  8. Add peanut/tomato/cinnamon mixture and broth to pan and mix well.
  9. Add chicken and cook over low heat for 35-40 minutes turning chicken pieces halfway through.
  10. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice, beans and hot corn or flour tortillas.

¡Buen Apetito!

Recipe by T. Johnston-O'Neill

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Many Indonesians survive the often sultry evenings by eating out with their friends or family with food from mobile roadside eateries called kaki lima (five feet) or at small eateries known as warung. These eateries serve a variety of dishes including; noodle soup (soto), skewered meat (sate), fried tofu with chili sauce (tahu goreng), deep-fried bananas (pisang goreng). A popular snack dish (but it can be a whole meal) in the Sumatran coastal town of Padang is martabak. The dish is believed to have originated in Deli, India. It is variously known as murtabak (Malaysia) mutabbaq (Saudi Arabia). In Indonesia martabak comes in sweet (martabak manis) and savory version that resembles a crispy fried crepe with a curried meat and vegetable filling. It is often served with a "mixed pickle" (acar segar) sauce that can either be sweet, vinegary or a combination of both. Expert martabak vendors are able to fry the "crepe," add the filling and finish by folding the crepe. The following recipe uses an easier method of making a small folded package and then frying it on both sides.



  • 2 cups general purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil (peanut, canola or grapeseed)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (peanut, canola or grapeseed)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 pound ground beef, lamb or chicken
  • 1 cup diced shallots (or yellow onion)
  • 1 small leek (white & some of the green) halved and sliced very thin
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced
  • 1-3 red Thai chilies seeded and sliced very thin
  • 3 tablespoons of minced celery leaves
  • 4 large eggs lightly whisked
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper

Mixed Pickle Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 10 shallots (small size) peeled and quartered (fewer if using large shallots)
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients. Place dough in a mixing bowl, cover the bowl and set aside for 2 hours.

Mixed Pickle:

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. This concoction actually improves with age. If you keep it refrigerated for 2 to 3 days before using it will develop its full flavor.


  1. Add oil in a frying pan or wok to frying temperature
  2. Add garlic for a half a minute
  3. Add ground meat and fry for 2 minutes
  4. Add the shallots, leek, chilies, celery leaves and curry powder and fry until meat is completely cooked
  5. Remove from heat, add scallion, salt, pepper and egg
  6. Divide dough into four equal portions
  7. Form each dough portion into a ball
  8. With an oiled rolling pin roll one of the balls into a very thin tortilla shape
  9. Fill each tortilla with the filling mixture and fold over the edges to make a thin square package
  10. Fry each martabak in about 1/4 inch of oil heated to a medium high temperature. The oil should not exceed 350 degrees, or else the wrap will burn

Serve the martabak with the mixed pickle.

Selamat Makan! (happy eating!)

Recipe adapted from Authentic Recipes from Indonesian by Heinz von Holzen and Lother Arsana
Photo byShari K. Johnston-O'Neill

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In poor to middle class neighborhoods in Turkey, the expression "I am not rich enough to eat baklava and boerek¹ every day" can commonly be heard among residents—alluding to the early history of baklava when it was primarily consumed on special occasions by the wealthy and elite. Dough and butter are basic to baklava, but throughout the Middle East there are variations in nuts, spices and syrup used. The ingredients themselves are widely believed to be the reason that baklava maintained such an elite status as pistachio, honey, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves were considered to be aphrodisiacs popular among Turkish sultans. Just as baklava consists of many layers of a variety of ingredients, a glimpse at its origins reveals similarly complex layers as this rich pastry evolved over time, across generations and across cultures. While the history of baklava has not been well documented, a commonly accepted belief is that the most primitive form of the delicacy was created by the Assyrians circa 8th Century B.C. Their baklava consisted of thin layers of bread dough filled with nuts and honey. The Greeks later modified the recipe by making the dough thin as a "leaf" (which in Greek is phyllo). The 15th century saw the birth of the culinary dynastic kitchens of the imperial Ottoman palaces, bringing together chefs from Hungary, Serbia, Assyria, France, and elsewhere to cook for the Sultans and their guests. These chefs collaborated to fine tune and perfect existing recipes, including that of baklava, resulting in a culinary treasure that has been gleefully enjoyed around the world. - Cheryl Landin

¹ A cheese, meat or vegetable filled pastry.

Editor's notes: This is hands-down the best baklava I have yet tasted. If you find most baklava to be overly dry (as I do), you must try this recipe submitted by Jennifer Patterson. Jen says that the recipe was handed down to her by her Macedonian great-grandmother, pointing out that the original recipe used somewhat less precise measurements, such as "a glass of sugar." Jen's well-tested preparation advice is spot on, Shari (who cooked the baklava pictured above) reports that although the preparation is a bit time-consuming, none of the steps are difficult to manage and so even if you are not the most experienced baker, your results will be fabulous.


  • 2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups finely chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound phyllo pastry dough
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter or margarine


  1. Thaw phyllo pastry according to package directions. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine nuts, sugar and cinnamon. Keeping unused sheets of phyllo covered with a towel, place 8 sheets—one at a time—in the bottom of an 9x13 inch baking dish (preferably one that has a cover), brushing each sheet with melted butter. Depending on the brand, sheets may be long enough to drape over the edge of the dish and fold in half.
  3. Sprinkle top sheet with 3/4 cup of nut mixture and cover with 2 buttered phyllo sheets. Continue adding buttered phyllo sheets, sprinkling every second sheet with nut mixture until 4 sheets remain.
  4. Place remaining phyllo sheets on top, layering in half with melted butter on each layer
  5. Cut top layers (do not cut too deeply!) of baklava into small diamond or triangle-shaped pieces with a sharp knife (see photo above).
  6. Place the pan on the middle shelf of your oven and bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until golden brown.

While baklava is in the oven, prepare the syrup.

Syrup Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Syrup Preparation:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients except the honey in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add honey and simmer 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove cloves and cinnamon stick. Let cool.
  5. Remove baklava from oven and pour half the cool syrup all over the top.
  6. Twenty minutes later slowly dribble a bit more—but not necessarily all—of the syrup all over the dessert. Pour sparingly, you will judge the correct amount with experience.
  7. Allow the baklava to rest in pan for 4 hours or overnight before cutting and serving. Do not refrigerate.
  8. When ready to remove pieces from pan, cut through the entire pastry, including the bottom crust. Use a sharp knife and cut deeply at least twice, so that pieces come out cleanly and easily.

Recipe by Jennifer Patterson, visit her food blog Put a Spork in It!
Baker: Shari K. Johnston-O'Neill
Photo by T. Johnston-O'Neill

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The Joomla! content management system lets you create webpages of various types using extensions. There are 5 basic types of extensions: components, modules, templates, languages, and plugins. Your website includes the extensions you need to create a basic website in English, but thousands of additional extensions of all types are available. The Joomla! Extensions Directory is the largest directory of Joomla extensions.

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